LaSalle County Illinois Village Histories

Transcribed by Nancy Piper


Meriden

Meriden is a small town on the C.B. &Q.R.R., about five miles northeast from Mendota. It was laid out by John Grey, county surveyor, for Samuel Wiley, May 4th, 1863. A Mr. Jones erected a warehouse that year and commenced the trade in grain. The town is too close to Mendota to attain any growth as all trade of any value goes to that city. There are a few small stores, several shops of various kinds, which find their trade chiefly confined to the immediate locality. There is no church in town, the church-going people attending principally at Mendota. A good school is well sustained.

[The Past and present of La Salle County, Illinois : containing a history of the county, its cities, towns, &c., a biographical directory of its citizens, war record of its volunteers in the late rebellion, portraits of early settlers and prominent men, general and local statistics, map of La Salle County, history of Illinois, Constitution of the United States, miscellaneous matters, etc, etc.. Chicago: H.F. Kett & Co., Ottaway & Colbert, printers), 1877. Page 352]


Triumph

A small town east of Homer, was laid out by Stephen R. Beggs, in 1836. He named the prospective town La Fayette, but failing in his expectations, vacated his plat. Many years after, the present village of Triumph was laid out on the old site. It now contains about a hundred inhabitants, supporting a few shops and stores, a school and church. Joseph Reynolds was the first settler here, coming as early as 1830. At the opening of the Black Hawk war, Reynolds, Carey and Thornton were the only settlers in this part of the county. The two latter went to Fort Wilburn for safety, while Reynolds repaired farther east and did not return. He afterwards sold his claim to Asa Baldwin.(1)

VILLAGE OF TRIUMPH

At the intersection of section lines 17, 18, 19 and to is Triumph. 1 Here and near here was made the pioneer settlement of Ophir Township, by Reynolds, Baldwin, Johnson and Biggs. The place is not one of much importance. About one dozen families now have their homes here and the town has one store and two blacksmith shops. There is quite a fine Methodist church; and also, which speaks well for the people, a very fine two-story schoolhouse. Of its early history it is told that Rev. Mr. Biggs, in 1835, platted the ground, giving to his plat the high sounding title of Lafayette. His attempt to sell lots and settle people here was a failure. Recognizing this, he vacated the place not long afterward. Norman Dewey opened a small stock of goods here. Derisively the place was called "Hard Scrabble," a name which for some years clung to it. Dewey was succeeded by Thomas Parks, who increased the business somewhat. A post office was established and called Triumph. Mr. Parks was made Postmaster. The name of the post office became the name of the village. Mr. Parks was succeeded by W. H. Worsley, the merchant and Postmaster of 1885, in which year the Northern Illinois Railroad, a branch or the Northwestern, built a line passing near Triumph and giving them a station. Radical improvement in the business of Triumph may be expected in the near future.

The Methodist Church at Triumph is a wood structure, built in 1864. It cost $2,000, and when dedicated, in August of that year, it had been entirely paid for. The Building Committee and first Trustees were - Joseph Worsley. Sr., Leonard Towner, B. J. Hall, Silas Hale, Henry Trowbridge, Gibson Doane and Uriah Franks. The preacher in charge was Rev. William Foreman. During his pastorate the parsonage was at Homer. It was afterward sold and the parsonage established at Prairie Center. After Mr. Foreman came Revs. B. Lowe, George Lovesie, W. H. Tibble and W. H. Pomeroy. In the fall of 1867 a number of the members removed and for a few years the society was not prosperous. Supplies were for a time sent from Prairie Center, among those who thus visited Triumph being the Revs. Beam, Beal, B. F. Hardin and C. C. Lovejoy. Better times then came, and a regular pastor was sent, Rev. E. E. McKay, who is the present minister (1886).(2)


[(1)The Past and present of La Salle County, Illinois : containing a history of the county, its cities, towns, &c., a biographical directory of its citizens, war record of its volunteers in the late rebellion, portraits of early settlers and prominent men, general and local statistics, map of La Salle County, history of Illinois, Constitution of the United States, miscellaneous matters, etc, etc.. Chicago: H.F. Kett & Co., Ottaway & Colbert, printers), 1877. Page 352]

[(2) Source: History of La Salle County, Illinois : together with sketches of its cities, villages and towns, educational, religious, civil, military, and political history, portraits of prominent persons, and biographies of representative citizens : also a condensed History of Illinois, embodying accounts of prehistoric races, aborigines, Winnebago and Black Hawk wars, and a brief review of its civil and political history.. Chicago: Inter-State Pub. Co., 1886.Page 491-492, Ophir Township]


Garfield

Is situated a few miles above New Rutland, on the railroad. It was laid out by Robert Wilson, deputy county surveyor, in July 1868, for Mr. Robert Davis, owner of the town site. It is still a small town, engaged in trade with the surrounding farmers and in shipping their produce.(1)


Garfield

The village of Garfield is situated in the northeast corner of section 11, on the Dwight branch of the Chicago & Alton Railroad. It was laid out by Robert Wilson, Deputy Counry Surveyor, in July 1868, for Robert Davis, owner of the village sit. It is still a small village, containing two stores, a blacksmith shop, etc.(2)


[(1)The Past and present of La Salle County, Illinois : containing a history of the county, its cities, towns, &c., a biographical directory of its citizens, war record of its volunteers in the late rebellion, portraits of early settlers and prominent men, general and local statistics, map of La Salle County, history of Illinois, Constitution of the United States, miscellaneous matters, etc, etc.. Chicago: H.F. Kett & Co., Ottaway & Colbert, printers), 1877. Page 355]

[(2) Source: History of La Salle County, Illinois : together with sketches of its cities, villages and towns, educational, religious, civil, military, and political history, portraits of prominent persons, and biographies of representative citizens : also a condensed History of Illinois, embodying accounts of prehistoric races, aborigines, Winnebago and Black Hawk wars, and a brief review of its civil and political history.. Chicago: Inter-State Pub. Co., 1886.Page 514]


Dimmick Station

When the railroad was completed, a station was erected at a point nearly west of Homer, but afterwards moved to its present locality, two or three miles father south. A depot was built here. A post office was established, and the station called Dimick. There are but few houses here, its nearness to Homer or Mendota precluding the possibility of making a large town.(1)


When the Illinois Central Railroad was opened, a side track and warehouse were built on section 9 for the accommodation of Dimmick farmers, located about seventy rods south of the present station. The present station was built in 1873, on land owned by Luke Doyle, who platted the village the same year. The place now is the home of a few families, has two stores and a blacksmith shop. S. H. Weller opened a general store in 1876. In 1877 the postoffice was established with Mr. Weiler as Postmaster. In 1882 Mr. Weller moved to Wenona. He was succeeded in trade by Thomas Finern, who is yet doing business here. Lewis Gaynor is the other dealer, grain buyer and the present Postmaster. (2)


[(1)The Past and present of La Salle County, Illinois : containing a history of the county, its cities, towns, &c., a biographical directory of its citizens, war record of its volunteers in the late rebellion, portraits of early settlers and prominent men, general and local statistics, map of La Salle County, history of Illinois, Constitution of the United States, miscellaneous matters, etc, etc.. Chicago: H.F. Kett & Co., Ottaway & Colbert, printers), 1877. Page 359]

[(2): History of La Salle County, Illinois : together with sketches of its cities, villages and towns, educational, religious, civil, military, and political history, portraits of prominent persons, and biographies of representative citizens : also a condensed History of Illinois, embodying accounts of prehistoric races, aborigines, Winnebago and Black Hawk wars, and a brief review of its civil and political history.. Chicago: Inter-State Pub. Co., 1886.Page 135]


Vermillionville

This is one of the oldest villages in La Salle county. It was platted in the spring of 1836 for Isaac Dimmick, by I. W. Dimmick, Deputy County Surveyor. At one time the village attained considerable growth, and was engaged in an extended trade. The advent of railroads in later years changed the tide of commerce and Vermillionville, as well as many others began to decline. A store and a shop or two remain, and but little trade is carried on, and will probably be discontinued before long.

[The Past and present of La Salle County, Illinois : containing a history of the county, its cities, towns, &c., a biographical directory of its citizens, war record of its volunteers in the late rebellion, portraits of early settlers and prominent men, general and local statistics, map of La Salle County, history of Illinois, Constitution of the United States, miscellaneous matters, etc, etc.. Chicago: H.F. Kett & Co., Ottaway & Colbert, printers), 1877. Page 355]


Vermillionville is one of the oldest villages in La Salle County. It was platted in the spring of 1836 for Isaac Dimmick by L. W. Dimmick, Deputy County Surveyor. The first store was kept in a small frame building by a Mr. Davis and the first Postmaster was J. W. wood. At one time the village had attained considerable growth and had an extensive trade, but at the present time ther is nothing but a postoffice. The first church was built in 1841 and has been rebuilt since. Services are now held only occasionally. The first school-house was built in 1836.

Agreeable to the notice of the clerk of the County Court of La Salle County a meeting was held on the 2d day of April, 1850, at the school-house in Vermillionville, for the purpose of organizing the township of Deer Park under the law authorizing townsip organization. John Clark was chosen Moderator and Philo Dimmick Clerk.

[Source: History of La Salle County, Illinois : together with sketches of its cities, villages and towns, educational, religious, civil, military, and political history, portraits of prominent persons, and biographies of representative citizens : also a condensed History of Illinois, embodying accounts of prehistoric races, aborigines, Winnebago and Black Hawk wars, and a brief review of its civil and political history.. Chicago: Inter-State Pub. Co., 1886.Page 110]


Bailey’s Point

The town of Vermillion embraces that part of T.32, R.2, lying southwest of the Vermillion river. It was among the earliest settlements in the county. It contains a fine tract of timber, called Bailey’s Grove, through the centre of which runs Bailey’s creek, while to the northeast it rests on the Vermillion river. This grove was doubtless the attraction that induced the settlement, for here, as elsewhere the first settlements were all along the edge of the best timber.

Lewis Bailey, the first settler in the town of Vermillion, came from Ohio; first to Indiana and then to Illinois in 1825. He first came to Ottawa but located on Section 19 at the head of Bailey’s Grove, which was called Bailey’s Point. His son Augustus is claimed to have been the first male white child born in the county, while a daughter of Christopher Long was the first. George Galloway, son of James Galloway of Fall River, has claimed the honor of being born before Bailey. The fact seems to be that Bailey’s son was a few days the oldest, but he was born at Peoria, where his parents had gone in a canoe, in anticipation of the event, and soon after returned, having been absent from home eighteen days.

The location selected by Bailey was a romantic one and he said it was a favorite resort of the Indians, who ever evinced a keen appreciation of the beautiful. Mr. Bailey’s neighbors at first were only Indians. He always expressed a high opinion of his swarthy friends and persistently claimed that they were more honest, friendly and trustworthy than the whites. He was doubtless somewhat misanthropic. He with his family left the county in 1844 and died in Oregon. He had two sons; Augustus and Timothy.

[Source: History of La Salle County, Illinois : together with sketches of its cities, villages and towns, educational, religious, civil, military, and political history, portraits of prominent persons, and biographies of representative citizens : also a condensed History of Illinois, embodying accounts of prehistoric races, aborigines, Winnebago and Black Hawk wars, and a brief review of its civil and political history.. Chicago: Inter-State Pub. Co., 1886.Page 703]


Danway

Danway post office is situated in the eastern part of section 7 (Miller township). Mr. E. Thorson is the present Postmaster. A small store has been located there for a number of years.
[Source: History of La Salle County, Illinois .. Chicago: Inter-State Pub. Co., 1886]

The little village of Danway, in the eastern part of section 7 (Miller township), was a postoffice point until the development of the rural free delivery system. Its population, as indicated by the 1920 census, is less than fifty.
[History of La Salle County, Illinois. Chicago: Lewis Pub. Co., 1924.]


Prairie Center

Philo Kellogg was appointed the first Postmaster here Jan 1, 1867. During the war there was a club of citizens, by means of which the mail was brought daily from Ottawa. A regular mail now arrives and departs. William Place is the only merchant of the place. Others who have kept stores at Prairie Center in the past are Leander Remick, John Lee, John Bowman, Dr. Putney and Blackwell & Place.

Charles Meet is the present blacksmith. Before him were James Shaw, Nels Helgrem and Grenville Butler. Dr. Putney has the medical practice of the vicinity. In the past there have been Drs. Sumner, Russell, Lunsburg, Rutter and Davis.

Philo Kellogg is the shoemaker of the place and Charles G. Kellogg the carpenter. At the village is a hall belonging to the Patrons of Husbandry, a school-house and a union church.

This church was built in 1864, Methodist, Free-Will Baptists, Close Communion Baptists, Congregationalists and Universalists contributing to its cost. The following have conducted services in it: Free-Will Baptists, Revs. Dun, Whipple, Darling and Sanken; Methodists, Revs. Foreman, Low, Tibbals, Bean, Harding, Dempeler, Lovejoy, Arnold and McKay; Regular Baptists, Rev. Olds.

[Source: History of La Salle County, Illinois .. Chicago: Inter-State Pub. Co., 1886]


Cedar Point

Cedar Point Village, south of the Illinois River, near Peru, was incorporated October 3, 1907. In 1910 its population was given as 545 and in 1920 it was shown to have a population of 686.

[History of La Salle County, Illinois. Chicago: Lewis Pub. Co., 1924.]




Cedar Point

Just over in La Salle county at a settlement called Cedar Point, another shaft is in process of development, and like Standard, located on the O. & G. railroad, giving it interurban connection with Granville make it tributary to Putnam county's great metropolis. What change this development will product upon the social and financial interests of Granville remains to be seen. Our prerogative is that of a chronicler, not a prophet.
[Taken From the Past and Present of Marshall and Bureau Counties, 1907, Page 81]


Deer Park Village

Deer Park Village, in the township of the same name, receives mail on one of the rural routes from the City of La Salle, and constitutes a station on the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad.

[History of La Salle County, Illinois. Chicago: Lewis Pub. Co., 1924.]


Munson

William Munson came from Indiana to Putnam County, this State and from there to this county in 1833; he purchased the farm owned by William Hall at the time he was killed by the Indians on section 1. He married Rachel Hall, who was taken away prisoner by the Sauk Indians May 20, 1832. In 1837 he laid out the village of Munson, which has hardly realized the expectations of its founder. His wife died May 1, 1870 and he followed her shortly.

[Source: History of La Salle County, Illinois : .. Chicago: Inter-State Pub. Co., 1886.Page 260]


Rockwell

Dixwell Lathrop came from Norwich, Connecticut, in 1835, as emissary of a company in that place, his mission being to select and purchase land. He brought his family the following year, and, as agent for Charles and John Rockwell, of Norwich, Connecticut, laid out the town of Rockwell, in which locality he was soon reinforced by other colonist from his old home state. The town of Rockwell survived only a few years.

[Source:  History of La Salle County, Illinois. Chicago: Lewis Pub. Co., 1924.]

Rockwell

In 1835 Dixwell Lathrop came from Norwich, Conn. He was employed by a company in that place to select and purchase land. He arranged to enter land at Rockwell and brought his family in 1836. As agent of Charles and John Rockwell, of Norwich, he laid out the town of Rockwell and was soon reinforced by a colony from Norwich and vicinity. Rockwell survived but two or three years. In the spring of 1836 Daniel Baird came from Westborough, Mass., and kept a boarding house in Rockwell.

----

This same year (1835) Dixon Lathrop was sent by the Rockwell Land Company, for speculative purposes, He selected the half section now known as Rockwell, supposing that the city which should arise at the crossing of the river by the proposed Illinois Central Railroad and at the terminus of the canal, would probably be located there. He soon after returned home, and in the winter of 1837-38 started out with a colony of over 100 persons, many of whom shopped at different points after crossing the mountains. Among those reaching Rockwell and remaining there were Mrs.George Neu, D. Carr and Miss Serls.

This settlement grew rapidly a short time. In the autumn of 1836 the fever epidemic struck the town and nearly depopulated it. It had then nearly 200 inhabitants, contained two good pioneer stores, a blacksmith shop and a large frame building nearly completed, intended for a tavern. As soon as the people saw the location of the canal terminus was below them, they perceived their error, and the fall of their hopes for a town.

The terminus of the canal was determined in 1836 and the succeeding spring the town plot was laid out (for La Salle), leaving those in Rockwell and on Government lands entirely out of its limits.

[Source: History of La Salle County, Illinois : together with sketches of its cities, villages and towns, educational, religious, civil, military, and political history, portraits of prominent persons, and biographies of representative citizens : also a condensed History of Illinois, embodying accounts of prehistoric races, aborigines, Winnebago and Black Hawk wars, and a brief review of its civil and political history.. Chicago: Inter-State Pub. Co., 1886.Page 342 and 742]


Millington

Millington Village possess the unique advantage of being situated in two counties Kendall and La Salle; the combined population in 1920 was 212 of whom more than a moiety belonged to Kendall. [History of La Salle County, Illinois. Chicago: Lewis Pub. Co., 1924.]

MILLINGTON.

Mission Township contains the thriving little villages of Sheridan and Norway, and also a part of the village of Millington. Millington is a small village situated at the point where Fox River and the Fox River branch of the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad cross the boundary between La Salle and Kendall counties. It is an old place, being founded some thirty-five years ago.

It has three general stores, kept by L. M. Waters, M. D. Hudgins and Pleis & Conger; two drug stores, by S. P. Nelson and Samuel Lee Foster; one wagon shop and plow factory, by Fletcher Misner ; one planing-mill and pump factory, by C. H. Miller; two blacksmith shops, by William Walker and Fletcher Misner; physician, Dr. J. A. Freeman; tile factory, by Jackson, Gillet & Terry; one hotel and livery stable, by A. A. Boyd; millinery and dressmaking, by Mrs. Woodbury and Miss Carty; two lumber yards, by George N off and C. H. Miller; grain merchants, Courtright and Coe; stock yards, by C. H. Miller; two saloons, by C. A. Wilson and C. Hathorn. Many years ago a stock company was formed, consisting of the following persons: Thomas Serine, Samuel McMath, Seymour Potter, Aaron Brodie and a Mr. Curtis for the purpose of building and operating a woolen-mill. The business was successful until about the year 1875 when it failed. A large flouring mill is located near the village. About two years ago, at Millington, Fox River was bridged. The bridge is made of iron, and cost about $25,000. The post office was first called .Milford, but on account of there being another village in the State by the same name, its name was changed, about 1860, to Millington. The first Postmaster was a Mr. Delamater, since then Isaac Waters, Richard Richardson, F. Halwell and S. J. Bartwell have served in that capacity. The present school-house was built about 1875. It contains two rooms, and is attended by from seventy-five to eighty pupils. S. F. Ashville and Miss Sadie F. Adams had charge of the school last year.

The Methodist Episcopal church was organized over twenty years ago and the present building was erected. Rev. R. K. Bibbins is the present pastor. The congregation is large, and services are held twice each Sunday.

About two-thirds of Millington is in Kendall and one-third in La Salle County. It is a good stock market.

[Source: History of La Salle County, Illinois : together with sketches of its cities, villages and towns, educational, religious, civil, military, and political history, portraits of prominent persons, and biographies of representative citizens : also a condensed History of Illinois, embodying accounts of prehistoric races, aborigines, Winnebago and Black Hawk wars, and a brief review of its civil and political history.. Chicago: Inter-State Pub. Co., 1886.Page 430-431]


Otter Creek, Otter and Bruceville

Otter Creek Township has three post offices, viz: Otter Creek, Otter and Bruceville.

Otter Creek is situated on the railroad on the section line of 22 and 23.

Otter is situarted in the southwest corner of section 4. Martin H. Crider has been Postmaster ever since it was established.

Bruceville post office is located in the southwest corner of section 1. It was established about twenty years ago and E. Strait appointed Postmaster. He served but a short time, when J. W. Stevenson was appointed and has served ever since.

[Source: History of La Salle County, Illinois : together with sketches of its cities, villages and towns, educational, religious, civil, military, and political history, portraits of prominent persons, and biographies of representative citizens : also a condensed History of Illinois, embodying accounts of prehistoric races, aborigines, Winnebago and Black Hawk wars, and a brief review of its civil and political history.. Chicago: Inter-State Pub. Co., 1886.Page 541]


Otter Creek Township

Three small villages are in this township, Otter, Bruceville and Otter Creek, each of which formerly had a postoffice - prior to the introduction of the rural free mail delivery. [History of La Salle County, Illinois. Chicago: Lewis Pub. Co., 1924.]


Northville and Asberry

The township (Northville) is now thickly settled and has nine good school-houses and two churches, viz: Evangelical and Methodist. The former was built before the war by the Lutherans, but afterward it passed into the possession of the Evangelical Association and is now controlled by it. It is a brick structure situated in the southern part of section 32. On section 30 in 1873 the Methodists erected a large, handsome church and still occupy it. At present the society numbers about twenty, under the pastorate of Rev. Dix. The Sunday-school is large for a rural district and is under the superintendency of B. Brayton. Just south of the church is a store and blacksmith shop, also the Northville post office, which was established in an early day.

Asberry

In an early day, on section 13, there was an embryo village called Asberry. It has a store, blacksmith shop and post office; the latter was kept by W.L.F. Jones, the blacksmith, until the Fox River branch of the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad was built when it was removed. Nothing now remains of the village.

[Source: History of La Salle County, Illinois : together with sketches of its cities, villages and towns, educational, religious, civil, military, and political history, portraits of prominent persons, and biographies of representative citizens : also a condensed History of Illinois, embodying accounts of prehistoric races, aborigines, Winnebago and Black Hawk wars, and a brief review of its civil and political history.. Chicago: Inter-State Pub. Co., 1886.Page 477, 478]


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