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Livingston County, Illinois
Genealogy and History

The History of Livingston County

The curious may want to know who named and why the townships came to be named as they are. There is almost always a reason for any name. An investigator once discovered, by close study, how there came to be so mary Smiths in the world. He said, after the Lord had thought of all conceivable names to give the different families. He decided to call the remainder Smith.

The investigator has been among the townships.

Reading was so named from the little village in its borders, which received its name from old Reading, in Pennsylvania.

Newtown was but a slight change from New Michigan, a little hamlet in that township, named so in consequence of its being settled by Michigan folks.

Sunbury, from the post office of that name in the township, kept by Wm. K. Brown.

Nevada, from the prominence just then given to the present Western State of that name, just then drawing attention.

Dwight, from the village of Dwight, which was named by Col. R. P. Morgan, Jr., an engineer on the Chicago & Mississippi Railroad, in honor of his friend, Henry Dwight, the builder of the road.

Round Grove, from a small grove in its borders.

Long Point, from the stream and point of timber in it.

Esmen was named by Judge Babcock. It is the first person plural of the Greek verb to be, and means "we are the chaps," or words to that effect.

Odell was named by S. S. Morgan, after W. H. Odell, of Wilmington. Broughton, from and by Wm. Broughton, the first settler there.

Nebraska, by Reuben Macey, from the then prominence of "Nebraska Bill," who proved to be a very important personage in the affairs of this county.

Rook's Creek, from the stream, named in honor of Frederick Rook, the pioneer.

Pontiac, by Jesse W. Fell, from Pontiac, Mich., where the first settlers had moved from.

Saunemin is a mystery; the only man living who ever knew how it derived its name, and what it means, has forgotten.

Sullivan, an abbreviation for Sullivant, who, at the time it was named, owned half the town.

Waldo, by Parker Jewett, who named it from his old home, Waldo, Maine.

Eppard's Point, from the point of timber land in it.

Indian Grove, from the grove in that township.

Forrest was first named Forestville by the railroad men, who there encountered, in building, the only piece of timber land for fifty miles on their road. Frost, the President of the company, came along, one day, and said it should be changed to Forrest, the name of his New York partner, and railroad Presidents were a power in those days.

Chatsworth, by the officers of the railroad company, from the country seat of the Duke of Devonshire.

Germantown, by the German settlement in that township.

[The History of Livingston County, Illinois - Wm. LeBaron, Jr. & Co. - 186 Dearborn Street, Chicago (1878)]


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