The History of Sheridan, LaSalle County, Illinois

Transcribed by Nancy Piper


This handsome little village, with its handsome residences, tasty church, edifices, elegant school house, well conducted business house, shops, etc., of a population of 300 people of thrift, intelligence and hospitality, is situated in the northwestern corner of Mission township, in the northeastern part of the county. Building a town here was not much thought of until the building of the Fox River Division of the C.B. &Q. Railroad, when a tract of land was laid off in town lots and the work of building a town or village commenced. Situated in the heart of as grand and productive a region of country as exists anywhere on the American continent. Sheridan is an important shipping point for grain, stock, &c. The situation is a beautiful one, on an elevated plateau of ground, about one mile south of Fox river. On the South, East and West of the village, the land is slightly rolling, while to the North the foliage of the groves of timber skirting Fox river, lends additional attraction to the beauty of the place, and relieves the eye of the monotony of a level, treeless prairie. Building material is plenty and cheap. As a village for a country residence, where water is good and abundant, atmosphere healthy, society good, and churches and schools fully established, Sheridan presents advantages of no mean order.


Sheridan Lodge, No. 735, A. F. and A. M.- Chartered Oct., 6, 1875. Abe White, W.M..; J. W. Richardson, S. W.; F. Y. Hamlinton, J. W.; F. H. Newhall, Treas.; John Barr, Sec.; Delos Robinson, S. D.; .A. J. Goodier, J.D.; John M. Hase, Tyler.; Charles Weston, R. W. Boner, Stewards Meets every second and fourth Saturday of each month.

Sheridan Lodge, No. 540, I. O. O. F.-Chartered Jan., 20, 1873. G. L. Taylor, N. G.; Henry D. Barber, B. G.; S. L. Brown, Sec.; A. C. Hcrrarg, Treas. Meets every Tuesday night.

[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 350-351]


In 1834 Robert Rowe, a Scotchman, came from Cincinnati, Ohio, and settled on the northern part of section 8 and southern part of section 5. The first improvement made where the beautiful and flourishing village of Sheridan now is situated was made in the autumn of 1869. Alfred Rowe built a small frame house and John Morahan moved in a shanty from the country near by. In the winter of 1869-70 a hotel and store building was erected by S. M .Rowe and Delos Robinson. Eli Robinson was the first proprietor of the hotel and the property is still in his possession. After him the hotel had several proprietors until the present when it is under the charge of Mrs. Addis. The first general store was established by S. M. Rowe and Delos Robinson, who put, in August, a large stock of goods in to the building they had erected the winter before. The firm continued until 1875 when a change was made and it is now known as Minigus, Robinson & Son. A drug store was opened in 1871 by .Norman Tremaine. The depot building was erected in 1871, the railroad having been completed Jan. 8, 1871. Mr. Frederick Frank was the first agent, after him J. McQuade was employed and then R. H. Cadwalader, who was superseded by the present agent, Robert Knapp.


The post office was established in 1866 and was located about a mile east of the present site of the village. John M. North was Postmaster. In 1870 it was removed to the village. Aug. 6, 1870, Delos Robinson was commissioned Postmaster and took possession of it Aug. 6, I 870, and Sept. 14, 1885, was succeeded by John Morahan, Jr. The post office has always been located in the building erected by Rowe & Robinson. The money-order office was established in 1875, the first order being issued J nly 5.


The village was incorporated under the general incorporation law, June 24, 1872. At the election forty-five votes were cast in favor of incorporation and one against it. S. M. Rowe was the first President of the board. The members of the present board are: W. H. Robertson, Delos Robinson, J. A. Quam, D. T. Coe, James Jennings and August Girolt. W. It. Robertson is President; George Wortman, Clerk; and A. Schlanbusch, Treasurer. The village has always been strictly temperate, no saloons being permitted.

In 1873 the village put a bridge across Fox River at a cost of $12,000. S. M. Rowe dedicated to the village two blocks in which in 1874 an artesian well was sunk by Delos Robinson, S. M. Rowe and others at a cost of about $1,500. It has a depth of 475 feet and a flow of about six feet. The grounds have been decorated with shade trees, so that the village now has a beautiful little park of which any city might be proud.


Sheridan is a good trading point. Following is a list of its business interests: General stores, Minigus, Robinson & Son, A. Schlanbusch & Co. and P. C. Berkland; clothing and gents' furnishing goods, J. A. Quam & Co.; druggists, O. F. Weston & Son and W. E. Miller; restaurants, B. Pearson, F. D. Whitney and C. A. Averill; meat market, William Gabel; blacksmith shops, C. Riskedahl and M. E. Beldin; harness shops, Adam Emig and E. O. Knight; wagon shop, Rogers & McCleary; hard ware store, Pooler & Pooler; tin shop, Charles Anthanat; barber and jeweler, William D. Paine; barber, Charles Bastian; hotel, Mrs. Addis; boarding house, Mrs. Pearson; millinery and dressmaking, Mrs. C. A. Averill; physicians, R. W. Bower and C. A. David; lawyer, John A. Whitmore; lumber dealer, builder and contractor, H. D. Barrows; grain-dealers, Courtright & Coe.

A manufactory of agricultural implements was established about 1814. A stock company was 'formed which continued business for about two years when it failed.


In 1871 a four-page newspaper was es ta blished called the News-Letter under the editorship of J. L. Seward. In a short time it took the name of Temperance Union. Soon it resumed its former name and continued till 1880, most of the time under editorship of A. V. Whitney. It was discontinued and commenced again in 1881 as the Independent under the charge of A. J. Lukins. It was increased to eight pages in size and was the largest paper in the county. Of late years it has frequently changed hands and has been removed to Plano twice. It has recently been revived by Messrs. Whitmore & Addis. It is called the Independent. It is a five-column quarto and is strictly independent in its politics.


When the village was laid out, the school-house stood east of town about a mile, but in1813, a school-house was erected in the village at a cost of $3,500. It is a large frame building about forty-eight feet square, containing two rooms. The school-house in the country has also been moved in to the village and is now used as a school-room for the primary pupils. About 140 pupils are enrolled and the school is in excellent condition. Among- the first teachers were: Mr. and Mrs. F. Y. Hamilton and A. V. Whitney. Present teachers are: H. S. Early, F. J. Curren and Miss Emelia Wideman.


Sheridan Lodge, .No. 135, A. F. & A . M., was instituted and chartered Oct. 23, 1875, with the following members: Abe White, John G. Wright, J. M. Hose, A. V. Whitney, W. B. Miller, A. J. Goodier, J. H. Rowe, J. B. Schlanbusch, Jacob Dolber, C. A. David, Francis Bowen and F. Newhell The first officers were: Abe White, W. M.; John M. Hose, J. W.; John G. Wright, S. W.; C. A. Davis, Treas.; A. J. Goodier, Sec.; A. V. Whitney, S. D.; F. Newhel1, J. D.; J. Dolber, Tyler. Present officers are: Albert Gransden, W. M.; R. W. Bower, S. W.; James Jennings, J. W.; C. H. Westoll, Treas.; D. Robinson, Sec.; H. S.

Early, S. D.; S. Fred, J. D.; E. Skagen, Tyler. Lodge has always met in Masonic ball. The present membership is thirty-five. One, A. T. Armstrong, has died since organization. The lodge has always been in a flourishing condition.

Fox River Lodge, No. 145, A. O. tr. W, was instituted July 21, 1879, with the following charter members: S. F. Gibb, D. Robinson, J. K. Miller, M. E. Beldin, Nels Nelson, A. Schlanbusch, F. Arntzen, J .. A.. Blake, P. C. Angevine, M. E. Blanchard, Charles Erickson, C. H. Wilson, B. F. Stevens, O. A. Averill, F. Stringer, E. Thorson, A .. T. Armstrong, Thomas Leonard, J. H. Miller, J. W. Lyman, D. F. Coe, D. Miller, and F. A. Butler. The first officers were: Rev. F. Stringer, P. M. W.; Rev. S. F. Gibb, M. W.: E. Thorson, F.; J. H. Miller, 0.; D. Robinson, Recorder; B. F. Stevens, Financier; A. Schlanbusch, Receiver; F. A. Butler, G.; O. H. Wilson, J. W.; O. A. Averill, O. W. Present officers are: D. F. Coe, M. W.; M. E. Beldin, F.; P. L. Johnson, O.; D. Robinson, Recorder; A. Schlanbusch, Receiver; P. O. Angevine, G.; J. Jennings, I. W.; II. A. Rood, O. W. The lodge has always met in the Masonic hall. The present membership is thirty-five. One has died, .A. T. Armstrong.

Sheridan Lodge, No. 540, I. O. O. F., was instituted Jan. 20, 1874. The charter member's were : John Barr, George L. Langley, Jesse McQuade, H. D. Barrows, John Morahan and Delos Robinson. The first officers were: John Morahan, N. G. ; Jesse McQuade, V. G.; John Barr, Sec.; Delos Robinson, Treas.; G. L, Langley, Ward.; W. Mc Wade, Con.; S. C. Barber, 1. G.; H .. D. Barrows, R. S. N. G.; G. L. Taylor, L. S. N. G.; Dysonn Miller, R. S. V. G.; R. W. Bower, L. S. V. G.; B. F. Smith, R. S. S.; G. Schlanbusch, L. S. S. Present officers are: Delos Robinson, N. G.; Peter Brown, V. G.; H. D. Bower, Sec.; P. O. Nelson, Treas.; J. A. Quam, Ward.; N. Beardsly, I. G.; H. Beardsly, R. S. N. G.; L. P. Johnson, L. S. N. G.; O. Fowler, R. S. v: G.; A. Robertson, R. S. S.; G. Wortman, L. S. S. Lodge meets Tuesday evening of each week in Odd Fellows hall. Present membership is thirteen. Four have died since the lodge was organized.


The Universalist Church was organized in 1877 with twelve members, namely: Mr. and Mrs. Jacob Tucker, Mr. and Mrs. P. C. Angevine, Mr. and Mrs. Delos Robinson, Mr. and Mrs. Morris Law, Mr. and Mrs. Levi Spradling, Mrs. S. M. Rowe and Joseph Minigus. In the autumn of 1877 a neat little church was built and the services of Mrs. Sophia Gibb, as pastor, were secured. After her, Rev. Jacob Merrifield was employed and he was followed by Rev. Otis Alvord. At present Rev. H. V. Chase occupies the pulpit once a month. The present membership is about thirty-five, the church having lost some by removals.

The Methodist Episcopal Church was organized Feb. 15, 1877, with Robert Wright as pastor. The congregation first occupied a small building which is now used as a dwelling-house. The present house of worship was erected in 1879 at a probable cost of $2,000 and was dedicated Dec. 28, 1879. Dedicating sermon was preached by Rev. O. G. Truesdell. Revs. James W. Lee, J. G. Campbell, O. W. Thornton, A. W. White, and A. F. Horn have served as pastors. Services are held every Sunday at 10:30 A. M. and 7:30 P. M., and Sunday-school immediately after morning service. Sunday-school enrolls 108 pupils. J. A. Quam is the Superintendent. The church is a very neat and complete building.

The Emanuel Church of Sheridan, Ill., of the Evangelical Association, was organized in 1860 under the pastorate of Charles Tobias. The names of the pastors who have filled the pulpit since that time are: William Strassburger, Samuel Tobias, Henry Messner, John Snidlinger, Christian Hummel, Henry Bucks, Henry Schumaker, Martin Eller, Louis Glassner, G. Langenstein, Christian Schuster, George Martin, J. G. Kleintuesht, Carl Roloff, Jacob Schaefle, Jr., F. W. Heidner, and A. Huelster. The church was originally situated across the river in Northville Township, but under the pastorate of Rev. F. W. Heidner the church was reorganized and the Protestant Methodist church of Sheridan was purchased, and some of its members united with the Emanuel Church. The services changed from German to English in 1883. Services are held each Sabbath morning and evening, and Sabbath school at 9:30 A. M., the pastor being Superintendent. Church numbers 114 at present.

The Methodist Protestant Church was organized in a log schoolhouse not far from Mission Point about 1850. A church was built in 1853 about one mile south of where Sheridan now stands and in the spring of 1871 it was moved into the village of Sheridan, it being the first church in the village. The pastors who served up to that time were: Daniel Young, B. Johnston, R. Burns, Chester Reeder, D. Ackerman and W. H. Robertson. The last-named minister was the first pastor in Sheridan. He was followed in the order mentioned by G. L. Taylor, H. S. Widney, F. Stringer and L. Sarchet. In 1883 a meeting of the members was held for the purpose of voting on the proposition to sell the church to the Evangelical Association. The proposition was voted down. Dissension arose and the church was divided. The part remaining was too weak to support a pastor and were finally disbanded by vote; some united with the Emanuel Evangelical Association. By order of the trustees the church was sold to the above named association. Thus the old Methodist church had an existence of over thirty years.

[ 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 432-437]

The Village of Sheridan, incorporated in 1903, contained 476 persons in 1920, in 1910 it had been 506. The thriving and attractive Village of Sheridan was founded in the late '60s, and it was incorporated June 24, 1872. This is a progressive community, the village is a prosperous trade center in a fine agricultural district and in its physical provisions and civic advancement has kept pace with the march of progress..

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

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