Peoria County, Illinois Genealogy Trails

Logan Township


Est. Nov. 6, 1849
 Eden, Hanna City and Smithville (Starfield 1875)
Rail Roads: Central




Logan Township History  [from "The History of Peoria County, Illinois; Johnson & Co., 1880.  Transcribed by Karen Seeman]

Logan Township History [From Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois and History of Peoria County, Edited by David McCulloch, Vol. II; Chicago and Peoria: Munsell Publishing Company, Publishers, 1902.]







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by Wm. S. McCullough and Wm. S. Parr.

Logan Township (8 N., 6 E.) is situated in the southwesterly portion of the county, the northern portion being high rolling prairie, the southern portion timber land somewhat broken by the small streams flowing into Copperas Creek. There are several limestone quarries in the township from which stone is procured in limited quantities for building purposes, the well water being impregnated with that mineral. Bituminous coal abounds, there being four veins in the township at the respective depths of forty, eighty, one hundred and twenty and two hundred and forty feet, the two latter being workable veins of four feet six inches. Thomas Forbes sunk the first coal shaft in 1870 on his farm, reaching a four foot six inch vein at. the depth of forty feet. He hoisted the coal by horse power and burned some coke for the local market. A coal shaft costing $20,000 was put in operation in 1883 at Hanna City, a village on the Iowa Central Railroad, which is doing a successful business.

The larger portion of the township consists of rich farming lands, well improved and occupied principally by the owners, who form a highly intelligent, prosperous, moral and religious community. Eden is another village on the Iowa Central Railway, while Smithville, in the southern part, is one of the oldest towns in the county. As was usual in the early days, the first settlers sought this locality on account of its timber, its rich soil and abundance of water. The first settler was an old Indian trader by the name of Triall. who came in 18.30, to the south part of the township. Peter Maynard settled near him in 1831. Thomas Phillips settled on Section No. 2 in 1832, and in the same year came also John G. S. Bohanan, James Harker and Mr. Buck; John T. Runkle and Henry Heaton in 1833-4; Simon Reeves settled on Section No. 34 in 1834, and was followed in 1835 by many others, among whom were Thomas P. Smith, Richard Bourne, John Van Arsdall, Robert Kinney and George Sturgess.

Robert Reeves, the father of Simon Reeves, seems to have arrived in Peoria County in 1816, three years earlier than the party of Abner Eads, to look at the country, coming down the Ohio River as far as Cincinnati on a raft with one companion, thence on horseback to the northeast quarter of Section 6, 11 North, 7 East, thence back to Cincinnati on horseback, thence to his home in Plattsburgh, New York. The reason he did not stay in Peoria County was that there was no civilization anywhere near, and he did not want to take his family so far into the wil- derness. He settled in Fulton County in 1824, and his son, Simon, in Peoria County in 1834. The Indians were then plenty in this part of the country, but they gave no trouble until about 1826, when the steamboats began to bring whiskey, after which until the Black Hawk war there was trouble. Mr. Reeves did not go to the war but loaned a horse to Bird Ellis of the Fulton County Company, who was killed at Stillman's Run. The horse was never returned. That Mr. Reeves kept well to the front in modern improvements appears from the fact that he brought the first cook stove to the neighborhood in 1844. To Frank Libby is due the introduction of the threshing machine in 1850 and to J. B. Miller and Alfred Reeves the first reaper. An old man-of-war sailor named John Milligan, who "kept bach" on Section 35, used to go around the neighborhood making and mending shoes, carrying his "kit" with him. The early settlers, by force of circumstances, were obliged to adopt the customs of the country, the log cabin, the primitive dress, the hominy block and other outfittings as elsewhere described.

The first school was taught by John L. Clark in the winter of 1836 in a log school house on Section 36, the land of Andrew Parr. Mr. Clark afterward kept school in his own house on Section 22. He continued to teach successfully for many years and was one of those in attendance at the first Teachers' Institute held in the county. The schools of Logan Township have always maintained a high standing for efficiency, there being now nine districts in the township, each one supplied with a comfortable modern school house.

Smithville early became the center of a community of Associate Reformed Presbyterians, who have faithfully maintained their distinctive principles until the present time. Being of industrious habits they were not at a loss for workmen sufficiently skilled to supply their own wants. In addition to the shoemaker, already mentioned, they had a blacksmith in the person of William H. Brooks, on his farm two miles southwest of the village, and a chair maker in the village in the person of John D. Smith. Thomas P. Smith, who for a time served as one of the County Commissioners, kept the postoffice at his private house, one mile east of the village. The first store was kept in Smithville by Nesbitt & Smith in the year 1847.

Prior to the adoption of township organizations; the territory now known as Logan Township, together with parts of Townships 8 North, 7 East and 9 North, 6 East and 9 North, 7 East, constituted a precinct called Middle Precinct. At the time of the adoption of township organization, Township 8 North, 6 East was organized as the Township of Logan. The first township election was held at Smithville April 2, 1850, John Lobaugh being Moderator and John Stewart, Clerk. Thomas P. Smith was elected Supervisor, John McCullough, James H. Patterson and Richard Bourne. Commissioners of Highways John Stewart, Town Clerk; William Dryden, Assessor; S. W. Brooks and John Smith, Justices of the Peace; Robert Smith and Merritt Tracy, Constables.

The route of the old State Railroad from Peoria to Warsaw was laid out through the northern part of this township, and, after being graded remained unoccupied until the Peoria & Farmington Railroad was laid upon the same right of way. On the line of this road have sprung up the towns of Hanna City, laid out in 1882 on part of the southwest quarter of Section II by Robert G. McCullough, and Eden, laid out in 1883 on part of the southwest quarter of Section 8 by Milo M. Long.

Logan Township was among the earliest in the county to organize churches. The first church to be organized was that of the Associate Reformed (now United) Presbyterian, called the Church of Harmony, in 1836. It was organized by Rev. John Wallace by appointment of his presbytery, there being ten constituent members; John McFadden, Thomas P. Smith and Thomas Smith being chosen, and ordained as the first ruling elders. Rev. Andrew Fulton was the first pastor. Their first church was built in the timber in 1840, which was occupied until about the year 1852, when a commodious, brick edifice was erected in Smithville at a cost of about $2,300, which they still occupy. The present pastor is Rev. John Harper, who has faithfully ministered to this people for twenty-seven years. The session of the church is at present composed of Lenox Norwood and James Stewart, elders.

The United Presbyterian Church of Bethel (near Hanna City) was organized on June 3, 1853, by Rev. William E. R. Erskine, the place then being called Cherry Fork; John McCullough and James Pinkerton being chosen and ordained the first ruling elders. The first church building was a frame structure 30x40 feet, erected in 1854. The present one, also of frame, 34x52 feet, was erected in 1874 at a cost of over $3,000. Rev. Philip H. Drenan was the first pastor, serving from 1855 to 1857; he being succeeded by Rev. Elijah McCoy, from 1858 to 1865, and Rev. T. P. Proudfit from autumn of 1867 to 1871. In the spring of 1876, this congregation was united in one pastoral charge with the Church of Harmony, under Rev. John Harper. The present pastor is Rev. J. E. McFadden, and Thomas E. Patton, Stewart Glasgow and William S. McCullough, ruling elders.

In 1858, by the uniting of two denominations called the Associate and the Associate Reformed Churches (both formerly called Seceders) the United Presbyterian denomination came into existence, since which time both the above named churches have gone by that name.

The Pleasant Grove Methodist Episcopal Church was organized about the year 1840, with eighteen members. The first pastor was Rev. William Pitner. They first worshipped in the private houses and in a school house in the vicinity; afterward, in the year 1848, the first church was erected, which did good service until the year 1869, when it was replaced by a more commodious building which is still in use.

The Hanna City Methodist Episcopal Church was organized in 1880 with seven members, the first pastor being Rev. Humphreys. Their first church building was erected at Smithville in 1854, but in 1888 the location was removed to Hanna City, where a new building was erected at a cost of $2,000 and a parsonage at a cost of $1,200. The present officers are Rev. W. H. Clark, pastor; John Tamplin, B. F. Holt, E. P. Yinger and A. J. White, Stewards, and A. J. Blandon, Luther Couch, Dr. David H. Herrel and B. F. Holt. Trustees.

Salem Presbyterian Church was organized May 9, 1840, by Rev. Samuel C. McCune and Rev. William McCandlish, with nine members; William Stewart and James H. Patterson being ordained and installed as ruling elders. Previous to this time there had been a Presbyterian Church called the La Marsh Church, in the same territory, organized in 1843 by Rev. Isaac Kellar and Rev. Samuel McCune with twelve members; David McKinney and Samuel W. Brooks being ruling elders. This church became extinct in 1848. The first pastor of the present church was Rev. J. C. Hanna, during whose ministry in 1856 the first church was erected. The place of preaching was changed to Hanna City in the year 1892, when a very pleasant new church was erected at a cost of $2,500, and later a parsonage was secured at a cost of $1,500.

From Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois and History of Peoria County, Edited by David McCulloch, Vol. II; Chicago and Peoria: Munsell Publishing Company, Publishers, 1902.




Logan Township History

 [from "The History of Peoria County, Illinois; Johnson & Co., 1880.  Transcribed by Karen Seeman]

Logan township was settled in the year 1830. The first settler was an old Indian trader by the name of Triall, who located in the lower end of the township in that year. In 1831 Peter Mayward came and settled near him. In 1832 James Harker, J. G. S. Bohanan and Mr. Buck arrived. In 1833 J. I. Runkle, Thos. Phillips and H. J. Heaton came. In 1835 T. P. Smith, John Vanarsdall, Richard Bourne, George Sturgess and Seth Sturgess came. In 1836 and '37 M. A. Gardner, Wm. Forbes and Wm. Stratton settled in the township.

The first child born was Henry Smith, son of Thos. P. Smith, in the year 1834. The first marriage was that of James Harker Jr. to Miss Susan Van Patten in the year 1834. The first church service was held at the house of Thos. Lane. The first church was organized in Tunber township in the year 1840, and was removed to Smithville in the year 1853. The first school was taught by Dr. Clark, in the Winter of 1836, in a log schoolhouse on section 36.

The schools of Logan township are second to none in the county outside of the city of Peoria. Their buildings are in good repair, and first-class teachers are employed.

The northern and center portion of the township is fine farming land. The soutern portion, though broken, is interspersed with some fine farms.





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