Peoria County, Illinois Genealogy Trails

Peoria County Towns

Towns of Peoria County


Akron was founded shortly after the building of the Chicago and North Western Railroad, along its path, about 1875.  By the mid 1950s, the population had dwindled to about 17 people.

Alta is situated in Medina township, along the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific Railroad.  Imri Case, Thomas Hanson, and Loren Wilder, all three pioneers of the area, platted the town in 1854.


Alta is a railway station and post office on the Peoria and Rock Island Railroad, and was laid off for Imri Case, Thos. Hanson and Loren Wilder in March, 1873, and gained its name from its elevated position, being the highest point between Peoria and Rock Island. On account of the increased postal facilities gained from the establishment of a depot there, the village has been a great convenience to the inhabitants of that portion of the township. It contains a general store kept by Clarence Case, who is also postmaster, a grocery kept by Alden Hawley, the Potter Brothers' cheese factory, capable of handling several thousand pounds of milk per day, and a blacksmith and wagon shop. A prominent feature of the place is the public school. The building is one of the best in the township. A lodge of the A. F. & A. M., and a temperance reform club are prosperously conducted in the village.  [from "The History of Peoria County, Illinois; Johnson & Co., 1880.  Transcribed by Karen Seeman]



Bartonville, a suburb of Peoria, is located in Limestone township.  Miners founded the village around the turn of the century, and it contains several large manufacturing plants, and nearby was the Peoria State Hospital.  Joseph Moffatt, and his sons Alva, Aquilla and Benjamin, were pioneers of the area, coming in 1822.



Bellevue is located in Limestone township along the Minneapolis & St. Louis Railroad.  It was incorporated in 1941.



(see Brimfield)


Chillicothe is located on the northern end of Lake Peoria, in Chillicothe township, and lies along the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific, and the Santa Fe Railroads.    The town was platted by James T. Temple and Harrison H. Jamison in 1838.  William and Jeremiah Moffitt were two of the earlier settlers, arriving in the area about 1834 and building a grist mill.  A saw mill was erected by Ashbel Merrill about the same time.

The City of Chillicothe

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

Is beautifully situated on the west bank of the Illinois river, eighteen  miles above Peoria, and on the line of the Bureau branch of Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific railroad.  It was settled in quite an early day, and was laid out as a town in July, 1836, by Harrison H. Jameson and Joseph L. Hart, on the southwest quarter of section twenty-one, and the southeast quarter of section twenty.  The original plat included thirty-eight blocks of ten lots each, sixty-six feet wide by one hundred and sixty-five feet deep.

The first cabin erected on the present town site was by Jef. Hickson, a blacksmith, some time before the town was laid out, and stood on the bank of the river, where he also built a shop and pursued his trade.  The second cabin was built and occupied by Esq. E. Jones, now of Marshall county, immediately after the town plat was surveyed.  He put a small stock of goods in one room of his double log cabin, and was the pioneer merchant of the place.  Mr. Jones was also elected the first justice of the peace.  He conducted the store for seven or eight years.  About 1838, Mr. Lehart came to Chillicothe and erected a small frame house of one room, which his family occupied; and he kept a store in a cabin on Water Street, for several years, then removed to Indiana.  In 1835, James M. Brown --then a young single man-- came from Ross county, Ohio, and soon after built a story and a half frame house on First Street, containing four rooms on each floor, and opened a tavern, to which he gave the euphonious title of "American House."  A part of the old building still stands on the site.  It was first kept by William Dunlap --afterwards Mr. Brown's father-in-law-- for about five years, during which time his house was a stopping point on the Peoria and Chicago stage line.

The second tavern building was erected by John Hayes, and stood opposite to Messrs. Mathews & Holman's store.  It was a frame structure containing ten to fifteen rooms, and known as the "Chillicothe House."  Mr. Hayes kept it for a number of years.  It was destroyed by fire in April, 1873.

The first religious exercises were held by the Baptist people in 1837, who, a year later, organized the first church in the village.

The first school taught in the village was in the Winter of 1838-9, and occupied a vacant cabin.  In 1845, a frame house of one room was built on the public square, which sufficed for school purposes until the first part of the present brick structure was erected in 1856.

The prosperity of Chillicothe has been somewhat impeded by several disastrous fires, which have at various times destroyed some of the most valuable property of the place.  In the Fall of 1864, the grain elevator at the depot burned; in 1869, Wood & Hosmer's large steam mill and two large warehouses on the river bank were burned; and in 1873, a large store and several dwellings on the corner of Elm and Second Streets, went up in thin air.

From an early period in its history Chillicothe has been prominent as a grain market.  John Alonzo Moffitt, built the first grain warehouse, in 1847.  The old frame still stands on the river banks.  Henry Truitt erected a grain warehouse, at about 1858 at a cost of some $5,000; and forming a partnership with S. C. Jack, conducted the first legitimate grain trade of the place.  Some years later John W. Fuller succeeded Mr. Jack in the firm, and about 1867, machinery and dumps were put into the building.  In the Winter of 1873-4, Mr. Fuller bought Mr. Truitt's interest, and the style of the firm has since been J. W. Fuller & Co.  In 1876, Mr. Fuller re-built and fitted up the warehouse with the most modern elevator improvements.  It has a storage capacity of 75,000 bushels, and he has additional storage room for as much more.  This firm handles half a million bushels of grain per year, about half of which finds a market in Peoria, and half in Chicago.

Soon after the completion of the Bureau Valley railroad now the branch of the C., R. I. & P. -- the railroad company built an elevator near the depot, which was destroyed by fire in August, 1864; but was re-built and filled with grain that season.  The present building has a storage capacity of 75,000 bushels with all modern improvements.  Since the Spring of 1866, C. W. Carroll & Co. have controlled the grain traffic of live stock, per annum.  Besides the elevator room the firm have crib storage room for 50,000 bushels of ear corn.

The Farmers' Mill erected by Adam Petry and A. C. Thomas, in 1868, at a cost of $5,000, containing three run of burrs, and a capacity for manufacturing fifty barrels of flour per day, consumes a considerable quantity of the grain grown in the vicinity.

In 1873 Chillicothe adopted a city form of government, previous to which its municipal affairs had been controlled by a board of five trustees.  In April of that year the first Mayor and Board of Aldermen were elected, consisting of the following gentlemen: Mayor, Henry Hosmer; aldermen, William McLean, Levi Booth, Joseph Bailey, William H. Barbour and Richard Hughes.  Wm. H. Barbour was elected mayor in 1875, Henry Truitt in 1877, and in 1879 Mr. Barbour was re-elected and now holds the office.  It is now a place of about 1,200 inhabitants, and in size and commerical importance is the third town in the county.

It contains a bank, two dry goods houses, seven groceries, two fine drug stores, one farm machinery house, two hardware and stove stores, two furniture stores, two large grain elevators, a lumber yard, a fine flouring mill, a saw and planing mill, two jewelry stores, a millinery store, a confectionery and bakery, a real estate office, two barber and two butcher shops, three carriage and wagon shops, three blacksmith shops, one tailor shop, a livery stable, a bowling alley, two hotels -- the Woods Hotel, C. Marble, containing about thirty rooms and well conducted, and the Will House about twenty rooms.

Doctors A. Wilmot, J. O. Tomlinson, J. F. Thomas, C. C. Allen, Mrs. E. Moffitt and O. F. Thomas are active in the medical profession.  Societies of the place are A. F. and A. M., I. O. O. F., and Temperance Reform Clubs.  The bank does a heavy business, and the dry goods house of Mathews & Holman is the most extensive in the county outside of Peoria; some of the grocery houses would be a credit to a city of 5,000.

The public square, occupying a block near the center of the city, has recently been nicely improved, planted to deciduous and evergreen trees, and will in a few years be an attractive ornament to the place.



Cramer is a small village in Trivoli township, coming into existence to serve as a shipping point around 1875.




Dunlap, in Radnor township, is located on the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific Railroad northwest of Peoria.  Erastus Peet pioneered the area in 1834, and the town was platted by Alva Dunlap in 1871.


Dunlap Village

This village is located on the Peoria amd Rock Island Railroad, fifteen miles northwest from Peoria, and is an outgrowth of that railroad enterprise. The situation is a commanding one, and is in the center of an agricultural district that is unsurpassed in any part of the county. The village site embraces forty acres of Alva Dunlap's home place, and was laid off by that gentleman in 1871.

The honor of building the first house in the village, belongs to Dr. John Gillett. He commenced building in June, 1871, and completed and occupied the building with a stock of drugs and groceries in October of the same year.

In the Fall of 1871 George W. Blake built a business house at the corner of B and Railroad Streets, and occupied it with a stock of groceries. H. I. Smith built a residence in the Fall of 1871, and commenced the business of a blacksmith. Hugh Yates built a store and residence combined on First Street in 1872. Miss Frances M. Dunlap commenced the dry goods and notions trade in the post-office building at the corner of First and A Streets in the Spring of 1876, where she still continues. The post office of Dunlap was established in September, 1871, with Miss Dunlap as postmistress, a position she still holds. J. Kreaner commenced the tin and hardware business on First Street in 1877. A. Huber, the village shoemaker, added a stock of boots and shoes in the Fall of 1878. Ben. C. Vaughan, blacksmith and wagonmaker, commenced business in 1872. The Mathews' elevator was erected in 1877. David Smith's warehouse was re-constructed and fitted up with elevator appliances the same year.

Schools and Churches -- The first school, after Dunlap was surveyed, was taught by Miss Susan Rathburn in a small building just over the south line of the village plat, and commenced in September, 1871. The school-house was built in 1877, and cost about $900. The first prayer meeting was held at the residence of George W. Pyle, corner of Third and B Streets, July 2, 1875.

The Presbyterian Church edifice at Dunlap is a graceful and elegant structure. Previous to the completion of this building, the Presbyterian people worshiped in a building erected on the land of Mr. A. Yates, in 1850. The Catholic house of worship was erected in 1879.  [from "The History of Peoria County, Illinois; Johnson & Co., 1880.  Transcribed by Karen Seeman]


Edelstein is located in Hallock township, built along the Santa Fe Railroad, north of Peoria, about 1887.  The town was started on land that was first owned by Samuel Burns, and was named for one of the earliest settlers of the area, Lewis Hallock, who came to Peoria county in 1820.  One of the first businesses located at Edelstein was the grain elevator of Robert A. Green.




Eden is situated in Logan township, west of Hannah City.  Milo M. Long started the city in 1883, along the Minneapolis & St. Louis Railroad near Copperas Creek.


Edwards is located in Kickapoo township, along the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad.  George Berry was one of the first settlers, building a mill there in 1836.


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


This is a mining and railway station on the Peoria and Galesburg division of the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad, and is located on section nineteen. By rail it is fourteen miles, and by wagon road, ten miles, west from Peoria. It is not a regularly laid out town, but more of a mining hamlet. The houses are built with but little regard to the points of the compass. The first man to settle here was Isaac Jones, who built a cabin on the side of the hill, very nearly where Wilkinson & Wantling's coal shaft is operated. He died in 1840.

The next house on the ground covered by the Station was built by Conrad Beck, in 1851. The school-house was built in 1865.

E. D. Edwards opened the first store, in 1851. He died in 1857. In 1876, Wilkinson & Edwards opeend a general store which still continues.

In 1853, two years after he commenced business at the Station, E. D. Edwards built a steam flouring mill here, which was successfully conducted until 1866 or '67, when it was destroyed by fire. It has never been rebuilt.





Formerly known as Rochester, in Millbrook Township, Elmore is located near the Spoon River.




Elmwood lies in Elmwood township, in western Peoria county.  It lies along the Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railroad, and is know for its fertile land and its abundant coal supply.  The town was platted by William J. Phelps in 1852.  John Ewalt, who came to the area in 1831, was the first settler in Elmwood township.



Glasford is situated in Timber township, by the Illinois River, southwest of Peoria.  It was built along the Toledo, Peoria & Western Railroad line around 1868, by Ohioan Samuel Glasford.   One of the most prominent early settlers was Colonel A. Fahnstock, who was an officer in the Civil War.

Benjamin Duffield immigrated to Timber township from Nicholas county, Va., in the Spring of 1832, where he died the following year. He married Miss Elizabeth Shock, of Shenandoah county, Va., by whom he had seven children, five boys and two girls. Mrs. G. has been in the township over forty-seven years. She married Samuel A. Glassford, a native of Ohio, who came to the county in 1842.

Mr. G(lassford). laid out the town of Glassford, December 9, 1868. The first name given to it was Glascoe, but it was afterwards changed for the reason that there was another town by that name in the State. The town contains two general stores, one Baptist church, a good school-house, two blacksmith shops, one flouring and saw mill, two shoemaker shops, a warehouse and one wagonmaker shop.

The first school-house, says Mrs. G., was a small log building near Dry Run, 16x18, with greased paper for windows. The benches were made of slabs turned flat side up with pins for legs. Here some of the best people in the township got their education. [from "The History of Peoria County, Illinois; Johnson & Co., 1880.  Transcribed by Karen Seeman]



Hale's Mill was a small settlement, now extinct.  It was located in Kickapoo township, near the location where William Hale built the first mill in 1834.


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


Hale's Mill -- in 1834 William Hale, then sheriff of Oswego county, N. Y., being West on official duty, visited the Kickapoo valley and selected a mill site at what is now the upper end of Pottstown. He returned home, resigned his office, and in the Spring of 1835 came back accompanied with George Greenwood, John Easton, and Waldo Holmes, and erected a saw mill on the site that year. The following Winter material was prepared, and in the Spring of 1835 a flouring mill was raised. He brought the necessary machinery and his family by wagon from Albany, N.Y., that Summer, and the mill was completed and set to running in the Spring of 1837. It was visited by settlers for a radius of thirty miles, and was crowded with business. The water supply giving out in 1848, steam was substituted, and Mr. Hale controlled the property until his death, in 1859. The mill was converted into a distillery, which was destroyed by fire in 1867.

Mr Hale donated a tract of land for burial, religious, and school purposes, and erected a small house thereon. A Rev. Mr. Beggs was one of the first preachers to visit the Hale's Mill settlement. He held services there and organized a Methodist society, which flourished a number of years, and at one time contained one hundred and fifty members, but is now extinct.



Hallock is located in Hallock township, near the Marshall county line, near Henry Creek.





Hanna City is located in Logan township, west of Peoria, along the route of the Minneapolis & St. Louis Railroad, and was a product of the coal mining business.  This area was pioneered around 1830. 




Hollis is a small village in Hollis township, platted in 1868 by M. A. and E. J. Jones.  Two railroads, the Chicago & North Western, and the Toledo, Peoria & Western, run through it.

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

Hollis Village is situated on the T. P. & W. R. R., six miles southwest of Peoria. It was laid out September 8, 1868, by E. J. and M. A. Jones, and is a mining village. The Hollis mines are owned by Hamilton & Carter. There is also one run by a corporation. The Orchard mines are owned and operated by the Newsam Brothers, who also have the only store, where they carry a general stock of about $2,000.





The village of Jubilee is the site of the Jubilee College State Park, northwest of the city of Peoria.  Jubilee College was established by Rev. Philander Chase, the Episcopal Church's first bishop in Illinois, in 1839.    He was one of the township's pioneers, coming to the area between 1836 & 1839, according to various sources.



Kickapoo is located in Kickapoo township, which was at one time was an important stop along the stagecoach route from Peoria.   John Coyle platted the town in 1836.


Kickapoo Village

The village plat was laid off in July, 1836. The plat was entered for record in the name of John Coyle. The town site is in the southwest quarter of. Sec. 6. About one-half of this quarter section was laid off in town lots with a public square in the center. The first house on the village site was erected by Mr. Jenkins on the site now occupied by Valentine Schlenk's hotel property, long known as the Kickapoo House. The original building is included in the hotel building. It was designed for a storeroom, and was used for that purpose for a short time by Mr. Jenkins, when additions were made for hotel purposes.

The honor of opening the first store is generally accredited to Richard F. Seabury, now of Peoria.

At one time, until the railroads surrounded it, there was a good trade at this ancient village.  [from "The History of Peoria County, Illinois; Johnson & Co., 1880.  Transcribed by Karen Seeman]



Kingston, formerly Palmyra, is located in Timber township on the Illinois River.  It was platted by James Monroe, and it's primary business is coal.   [from "The History of Peoria County, Illinois; Johnson & Co., 1880.]





Kramm is located in Rosefield township, founded around the turn of the century to function as a point from which to ship coal.


Lancaster is located on section 17 of Timber township, west of Glasford.  It was laid out about 1836 by Jacob Fahestock &  Samuel F. Bolinger, and has the distinction of being the first town in Timber township. 

Col. A. L. Fahnestock came to the county in 1837, from Adams county, Pa., and located at Lancaster. In 1856, he embarked in the mercantile business in Lancaster; afterwards removed to Glassford, where he handles a large stock of general merchandise. He has held several offices; was county treasurer two years. He entered the army as captain and was commissioned as colonel, but not mustered. Charles Fahnestock, son of the colonel, is also engaged in the same business.

Wm. H. Davis, has one of the finest flouring mills, outside of Peoria, in the county, equipped with the latest improvements. It was erected in 1872, and cost $17,000. There is also a saw mill worked by the same power, which cost about $3,000.

Lancaster is situated on section 17, and was laid out by Samuel F. Bollinger. Since the railroad passed through the township the business has gone chiefly to Glassford. [from "The History of Peoria County, Illinois; Johnson & Co., 1880.  Transcribed by Karen Seeman]




Laura, in Millbrook township, was platted in 1888 by James M. Keller.  The township was first pioneered by William Metcalf's family, in 1833.  Amos McRil accompanied the family to this area.  The town lies along the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul & Pacific Railroad in the northwest corner of the county.





Lawn Ridge is a small town in Hallock township, situated near the Marshall county line.  The town came into existence about 1900.


Mapleton is located in Hollis township, on the Illinois River.  The town was platted by John T. Lindsay of Peoria, with Samuel Gilfoy and William T. Maple, who both lived in Hollis township, in 1868, along the Toledo, Peoria & Western Railroad.    The first settler in the area was Andrew Tharp, coming in 1826, but the township was named after another pioneer, Denzil Hollis.
  Mapleton Village
 [from "The History of Peoria County, Illinois; Johnson & Co., 1880.  Transcribed by Karen Seeman]

Mapleton village is located on the T. P. & W. R. R., twelve miles southwest of Peoria. It was laid out in 1868, by William Maples, now of Missouri, and has about 100 inhabitants. There are three coal mines, one owned and operated by Linsley & Walker, who employ forty men. The Mapleton mine is owned by Mansfield, Gilfoy & J. T. Linsley, and employs twenty-five men. The mine is half a mile east of Mapleton, and was formerly owned by Neil, McGrew & Co., but is at present operated by Frank Newsman, who works twenty-three mines.

There are two general stores, one owned and run by Thomas Linsley, who carries a stock of $3,000, and has an annual business of $15,000; the other by Frank Newsam, who commenced business in 1874, and in 1876 erected a large, commodious store building, where he keeps a stock of from $3,500 to $4,000, and does an annual trade of from $15,000 to $20,000.



Monica is located in Princeville township, along the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad line.  Initially, the town was named "Cornwall".


Is a flourishing little village in Princeville township, situated on the Buda branch of the C., B. & Q. R. R., twenty-five or twenty-six miles northwest of Peoria. It was laid out and platted on the 26th day of June, 1873, by S. S. Cornwell, a native of Duchess county, New York, who emigrated to this county in 1838, and located on section 28, where he still resides. The Hon. Wm. J. Phelps gave it its name, after a Grecian princess. The first store was built by Andrew D. Rogers, for hardware purposes. Then followed H. P. Hanover, who erected a store building and opened out a stock of groceries and boots and shoes.

Mt. Zion M. E. Church was organized in 1858. The first sermon was preached in Nelson school-house, in district No. 8, by Rev. J. S. Millsap. The original members were eighteen in number. Fifteen of the original members are still living. The first house of worship was erected in 1867, on the southwest corner of section 20, a frame building, 32x45, and cost $2,208.20. It was removed to Monica in the Fall ov 1877, and enlarged and fitted up, at an expense of nearly $1,300. The present membership is eighty. The officers are: John Nelson, Roger Cook, John Goodman, Reuben Deal, George Belford, O. W. Cummings and Clark Hill, trustees; Phillip M. Nelson, George Belford, George Campbell and C. W. Miller, stewards; Clark Hill and E. C. Lincoln, class leaders. Rev. S. Brink fills the pulpit.

The Monica Blue Ribbon Club was organized by the people of Monica and vicinity on the 17th of December, 1878, and has been the means of doing a great deal of good. The first officers were, L. B. Martin, M. D., president; W. E. Elliott, 1st vice-president; D. D. Clark, 2d vice-president; L. L. Campbell, secretary; S. S. Cornwell, treasurer. The membership is about one hundred and fifty good workers. The present officers are, Joseph Motes, president; C. R. Coker, 1st vice-president; Mrs. M. Curtis, 2d vice-president; R. L. V. Deal, secretary; S. S. Cornwell, treasurer.

Schools -- The present school building in Monica is a handsome frame structure, 22x44, two stories high, and was erected in the Fall of 1878. The cost of the structure was $2,100. The first teacher was T. C. Young. Average attendance of scholars is seventy.

The present business men are: L. L. Campbell, dry goods; Herrington, Herger & Co., general merchandise; B. B. Bowman & Co., hardware; George Campbell, groceries; W. W. Hurd, dealer in grain and live stock, who has an elevator of 48,000 bushels capacity in the village; A. D. Hutchinson, also grain; M. A. Stowell, lumber; P. R. Ford, proprietor Monica House; F. Fairfield, harness; Joseph Gotz, boots and shoes; Dr. D. F. Duke, physician.   [from "The History of Peoria County, Illinois; Johnson & Co., 1880.  Transcribed by Karen Seeman]


Mossville, in Medina township, is located along the lines of the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific Railroad, overlooking Lake Peoria.  Mossville was founded about 1854, and is the principal town in Medina township.  The first pioneer of the township was George Love in 1824.

The township contains two villages, Mossville on Sec. 27 and Alta on Sec. 31. The former has a population of about two hundred, and is situated near the first land taken up in the township. It is on the line of the Bureau branch of the Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railroad, which was opened in 1854, and the village was laid off about the same time. It was named after Wm. S. Moss, who owned, in company with Isaac Underhill, the quarter section on which the village stands at the time the railroad was laid through it. Few villages of its population possess better church or school edifices. Mr. A. Marberry, the postmaster, is proprietor of the only store in it, and the Mossville House, conducted for many years by Mr. John Crawl, offers excellent accommodation for the weary stranger.  [from "The History of Peoria County, Illinois; Johnson & Co., 1880.  Transcribed by Karen Seeman]



Northampton is the only village completely situated within Hallock township, on section 13.  It was laid out in 1836 by Reuben Hamlin and Mr. Freeman, and was named after Northampton, Massachusetts, former home of Mr. Hamlin.





North Chillicothe, in Chillicothe township, lies east of Senachwine Creek, named for an early Indian chief of that area.


Oak Hill is a small village in Rosefield township, northwest of Peoria, built along the former Peoria & Oquawka Railroad.  It was platted by Joseph Bohrer and William M. Dodge in 1856.  Pioneers of the area began arriving in 1831, and among them were Levi Coolidge, William Nixon, John and David Combs, Minnie Rynearson, and Casper Yinger.

Oak Hill

The village of Oak Hill is situated on the C., B. & Q. R. R., about twenty miles from Peoria, in Rosefield township. It was laid out and platted by Joseph Bohrer and Wm. M. Dodge, in 1855. Mr. Bohrer was born in Frederick county, Va., on the 9th day of May, 1805. Was married February, 1829, to Harriet Dawson, and lived in Morgan county, Va., until 1836, when he emigrated to Illinois and located in Rosefield township. There is at present three general stores, one owned and occupied by A. Y. Forney, who commenced business in 1865, who also has been postmaster about the same length of time. Mr. Jacob Dawson has been in business since the C., B. & Q. passed through, most of the time dealing in stock and grain; but at present in the mercantile business. W. W. Miller owns and occupies one of the stores. He came to the township among the earliest settlers. There is one church (Methodist); a good school building; two blacksmith shops and one warehouse.

In 1865 the camp ground of the M. E. Church was bought by the Peoria district, where thousands of people congregate yearly to worship. It is situated a short distance northwest of town, in a beautiful grove, and has a fine spring of water on the ground.   [from "The History of Peoria County, Illinois; Johnson & Co., 1880.  Transcribed by Karen Seeman]




Olin is located in Rosefield township, along what was the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad, northwest of the town of Edwards.





Orange Prairie is a small village in Kickapoo township, near Radnor.  It was the location of the first post office, at the residence of Enoch Huggins (postmaster), section 36.  The post office was later moved to Dunlap.





Orchard Mines is located in Hollis township, along the Toledo, Peoria & Western Railroad.




(see Kingston)





Peoria Heights is a suburb of Peoria, and is located in Richwoods township, overlooking Lake Peoria.  William German was an early pioneer, arriving in the township in 1832.


Pottstown, a village in Kickapoo township, is west of the city of Peoria, along the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad line.    Mrs. Ann Potts, widow of Samuel Potts, platted the town in 1889.    One of the pioneer families of this township was that of William and Asahel Hale, who owned the saw mill, and came to the area in 1835.  The area around Pottstown was known for coal mining.


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

has been chiefly built up by Mr. Potts for the use of his operatives and their families, since 1869. In 1875 Mr. Potts began the manufacture of brick, which has since been quite an important business in the hamlet. William H. McLaughlin opened the first store in the place in March, 1872. Having changed hands several times, the business is now conducted by Joseph Middleton.

The Red Ribbon Club -- The temperance reform movement reached Pottstown in August, 1878. It met with a hearty encouragement by nearly all the most influential citizens; a club was organized and is in a healthy condition.

The Patrons of Husbandry have two quite flourishing lodges in Kickpoo. No. 446 was chartered May 15, 1873, and was organized with thirty members. In the Fall of 1879 the membership was thirty-five and the lodge in active working order. It holds stock in the Peoria grange store.

Orange Grange, No. 843 -- This grange was organized, with about forty members, January 10, 1874. It now numbers over fifty. The lodge owns a hall in school district No. 1. Meetings are held weekly -- Saturday -- in the Summer, and semi-monthly in Winter.

The Big Hollow Butter and Cheese Factory Company was organized in 1878, with a capital stock of $15,000, and erected a buildling 30 by 60 feet. It began operations in May, 1878, and has a capactiy of 10,000 pounds of milk, or 1,000 pounds of cheese per day.



Princeville is located at the junction between the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific Railroad and the Santa Fe Railroad, mostly in Princeville township, but extending into Akron township as well.  It was platted by William C. Stevens, Jesse M. McCutcheon, and Benjamin Clark  in 1837.  The first settler of Princeville township was Stephen French,  in the early 1830s.  The township was named for Daniel Prince, another early pioneer.

The Village of Princeville is situated in the northern portion of the county, on section 13 of Princeville township, on the Peoria and Rock Island railroad, twenty-two miles from Peoria, and is a flourishing town of about 900 inhabitants. It was laid out and named by Wm. C. Stevens, on the 20th day of June, 1837, in the midst of a rich and fertile prairie.

The first store in Princeville was kept by Elisha Morrow, on block No. 9 (owned by Thos. Morrow) in a log building, where he remained about two years. Afterwards, Mr. Wm. C. Stevens put in a small stock of goods -- as he says -- to hold the village together. After the closing out of Morrow, Hitchcock & Rowley embarked in business in the same building. They were afterwards succeeded by J. W. Gue, in 1851, where he remained a short time and then built the brick store now occupied by F. B. Blanchard, it being the first brick store in the town.

About 1851, a man by the name of Gray commenced the grocery and notion trade, but soon abandoned it. In the Summer of the same year, Eldridge & Parker built a store room where the Eureka House now stands, and put in a stock of goods.

Among the present business men are F. B. Blanchard, William Simpson and Otto Davidson, dry goods; J. H. Russell, Garrison & Fuller and Emmet Illingsworth, in groceries; Peter Auten & Son, in banking; Solomon Bliss and D. W. Herron, in drugs; C. W. Russell, in hardware; Valentine Weber, in boots and shoes; James B. Ferguson, in jewelry. There are two hotels in the place. The proprietors are J. G. Corbett, who also has a livery, and Mrs. W. G. Selby. There is one meat market, by John D. Hammer; two cabinet shops, one by James Campbell, and the other, Hammer & May; one bakery and restaurant, by John Ayling; one steam flouring mill, by Hitchcock & Voorhess; two harness makers, O. F. Herrick and George Reinhart; one attorney at law, B. P. Duffy; two millinery shops, Misses Bonton & Bohrer, and Misses Edwards and Godfrey; E. H. Burgass is postmaster.

The Presbyterian Church at Princeville was organized as "The Prince's Grove Church," August 16, 1834. The presiding ministers were Revs. Robert Stewart and Theron Baldwin. The latter minister preached the first sermon at this time. The number of constituent members was seventeen. On May 16, nine months after the church was organized, they secured the services of Rev. Calvin W. Balbitt, who was their first minister. The meetings were held in the old logschool-house, situated near the site of Voorhes & Hitchcock's steam grist mill, but this became too small. To get a church building when they were so few (fourteen male members) and so poor, was a great undertaking, but Thomas Morrow and Wm. C. Stevens stepped forward and pledged themselves that the church should be built. Mr. Blumb, of Peoria, was engaged to do the carpenter work. The members of the church and community did much of the work, and about 1844 the church was enclosed and dedicated. It was a good frame building, and the first church built in Princeville, and would seat two hundred and fifty persons. This church was used by the society till September 6, 1866, when the present neat, commodious and beautiful frame building was dedicated to the worship of God. At the dedication it was stated that the cost was $6,165, having been all paid by the church and its friends. To the honor of the ladies, be it recorded that the Ladies Mite Society of this church gave $1,000. The present membership of this church (January, 1880) is 126. Rev. Samuel R. Belville is the minister in charge. Edward Auten is secretary and treasurer. Trustees are, Josiah Morrow, Milton Cutler, William Simpson. The elders are Wm. H. Wilson, George Rowcliff, Samuel Auten, who is also clerk of session.

Princeville Press -- The first paper published in Princeville was the Princeville Weekly Citizen, by G. T. Gillman, started in the Summer of 1868, and lasted six months. The next venture was the Princeville Times, by C. A. Pratt, established in July, 1874, and run four months. The next was the Princeville Independent, by J. E. Knapp, first issued March 10, 1877. Changed hands September 29, 1877, J. G. Corbett becoming editor. Changed again October 13, 1877, to the firm of J. G. Corbett & H. E. Charles as editors. October 18, 1878, the firm was changed to J. G. Corbett & P. C. Hull, editors, October 3, 1879, it was bought by the present proprietors, J. E. Charles and P. C. Hull; P. C. Hull, editor. It is now a permanent institution, with a rapidly increasing circulation.

I. O. O. F., Diligence Lodge, No. 129, was organized at Princeville, on the 23d day of August, 1853, with seven charter members viz.: R. F. Henry, T. J. Russell, Josiah Fash. The first officers were: H. M. Barney, N. G.; R. F. Henry, V. G.; Milton Wilson, Rec. Sec. The lodge meets over D. W. Herron's drug store. It has a membership of fifty. The present officers are: S. S. Coburn, N. G.; Frank Stater, V. G.; D. D. McDougall, Rec. Sec.; A. J. Pratt, Treas.; C. W. Russell, Warden; Joseph Lyman, Conductor. [from "The History of Peoria County, Illinois; Johnson & Co., 1880.  Transcribed by Karen Seeman]



Rochester is in northwestern Millbrook township, on section 7, founded in 1836.

Rochester is situated in the northwest portion of the county, in Millbrook township, on Sec. 7, 36 miles from Peoria, and 24 miles from Galesburg. It contains three dry good stores, two churches, two blacksmiths, one wagon shop and undertaker, two milliners, one drug store, one butcher shop, and post office. There is a population of about 200.

Was and is the only town laid out and platted and recorded in Millbrook township, which was done July 2, 1836, by John Smith, Jr. The only houses at the time were those occupied by John Smith, Jr., and Clark Stanton. Some time 1836 a man by the name of Hurd, of Peoria, brought the first stock of goods to the town and opened out in a small log cabin on the bank of the river. He was soon after succeeded by Stacy & Holmes, who sold goods for about two years. John Smith Jr., opened out a stock of goods some time during the Winter of 1836-7, and remained in business until the Summer of 1857, when he sold out to the Hon. David Markley, of Canton, Fulton county, Illinois, then a prominent merchant and politician. This stock of goods was finally moved away.

The first school-house in the village was built by Dr. Fifield, C. W. Stanton, Russell Stanton, and Jonah Lewis, without the assistance of the public funds. The frame of this house is a part of E. Markley's dwelling. This was replaced by a large commodious brick, now in use, in 1867.

The first church was built by the Campbellites in 1858, a frame structure, costing about $1,000, which was blown down by cyclone on the 8th day of May, of the same year. In 1865 they erected their present church. The mill at this place has added very materially to the prosperity of the town since Mr. Holtz, of Elmwood, has had charge. It was built in the year 1837. People at that time came from Kewanee to get their milling done. The post office was first established in 1846, Mr. Therrygood Smith acting as postmaster, and as the first justice of the peace. The first death that occurred in Millbrook township was an infant son of C. W. Stanton, on the 1st day of August, 1836. The first marriage in Millbrook took place at the residence of C. W. Stanton, December 15, 1837, the ceremony being performed by Therrygood Smith, Esq. The parties married were Mr. T. Greeley, a native of Salisbury, N. H. , who came to Millbrook in 1836, Miss Chloe A. Barnes, a native of New York, who came to Millbrook the same year of her husband. The first white child born was the infant son of C. W. Stanton, which died, as previously mentioned. The first physician was John Fifield, who was a native of Salsbury, Hillsborough county, N. H. He came to Peoria, March 10, 1838, and soon after to Rochester, where he practiced until about 1845. [from "The History of Peoria County, Illinois; Johnson & Co., 1880.  Transcribed by Karen Seeman]


Rome is situated in Chillicothe township, on the Illinois River.  The Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific Railroad runs through it.  Isaac Underhill platted the town in 1835.


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

The village of Rome was laid out by Jefferson Taliaferro, and the plat filed for record December 24, 1832.  The original plat contained twenty-four blocks, of eight lots, 5x8 perches in size, situated on section 5, town 10 north, 9 east.  The town site is a beautiful one, on the right back of the Illinois river, fifteen miles above Peoria, and for several years it had quite a rapid growth.  In 1835 it contained a tavern of eight or ten rooms, kept by N. Sirlott, and several stores and groceries, some of them carrying large stocks of goods.  Wm. A. Ogle, Hiram Cleveland, Mr. Bingham, J. B. Adams and Joseph Blish were among the first merchants.  Hezekiah Rose was an early settler in the place.  In 1835 steamboats landed regularly, the town contained about 300 inhabitants, and was the most important point on the river for many miles.  The first school was taught by a one-armed soldier, named James Pierce, who died some years ago in this county.  The upper story of a store was used for school purposes until the present neat frame structure was erected in 1858, at a cost of $1,000.  The district, which is an independent one, maintains school nine months in the year, with about fifty scholars in attendance.

Rome has had a post office since 1835, save the decade from 1843 to 1854.  Mr. L. Adams is now postmaster.  There is no church building in the place, but the Methodists who have a class, hold services in the school house.  The only mercantile establishment in the village is a small grocery kept by Thomas P. Nicholson.

In 1837, Isaac Underhill of Peoria, purchased 2,200 acres of land, including the town site, and planted 500 acres to orchard in the immediate vicinity, some of which trees still stand.  The financial crash of 1837 proved a fatal blow to Rome, from which time it steadily declined.  It is a way station on the Bureau branch of the C., R. I.& P. railroad, and ships considerable fruit and produce.  Mr. H. S. Rose, who carries on blacksmithing, is the oldest resident living in the village, and has resided there over forty-four years.





Southport is located in northern Elmwood township.


Smithville is in Logan township, founded by Thomas P. Smith.



is situated on section 22, near the center of the township. Was laid out and platted by Thomas P. Smith. It is a village of about two hundred inhabitants. There are two general stores. J. B. Miller & Son have the leading business, and carry a stock of $3,500. J. H. Lucas deals in drugs, patent medicines, paints and oils, hardware, queensware and general merchandise. He established the house in 1871, and handles a stock of $3,000. There are two churches, two blacksmith shops, and a good, comfortable school building in the place.

The Harmony Church, Smithville, was organized in the year 1836, by Rev. John Wallace, with ten constituent members. Rev. Andrew Fulton was its first pastor. The original officers were: John McFadden, Thos. P. Smith, Thomas and F. Smith. The society has built two houses of worship, the first in an early day, costing $500, and the one in present use, at a cost of about $2,500. The church now numbers fifty-two members, officered by John M. Pinkerton, James and B. Miller. John Harper is the present pastor.

The United Presbyterian Church, of Bethel, was organized in the school-house in District No. 2, June 3, 1853, by a committee of the Associate Reformed Church of Illinois, (Second Presbytery,) consisting of Wm. E. R. Erskine, minister, and Robt. Pinkerton, ruling elder, with thirty members. Original officers -- John McCollough and James Pinkerton; ruling elders, Samuel Wiley, Samuel S. Glasgow, and N. C. Patton; Robert G. Patton, recording clerk and treasurer. Present church officers -- John Harper, minister, Thos. E. Patton, Stewart Glasgow, Wm. S. McCollough, ruling elders; J. P. Wiley, treasurer; J. A. McCullough, recording clerk. S. Glasy is Sabbath school superintendent.

The first church was built in 1854, a frame building thirty by forty feet. The first pastor was Rev. Philip H. Drennen, who was settled in the Spring of 1855, and resigned in the Spring of 1857. Rev. Elijah McCoy was called in the Fall of 1858 and remained until 1865. In the Autumn of 1867 Rev. T. P. Proudfit was installed as pastor, and remained until the Spring of 1871, when the congregation united with the Harmony congregation of Smithville, Ills., under one pastoral charge. In the Spring of 1873 the Rev. John Harper was settled as pastor of the congregation of Bethel and Harmony in which position he remains. In the Summer of 1874 the congregation erected a frame church, thirty-four by fifty-two feet, at a cost of $3,011.20.

In 1858 the United Presbyterian Church was formed by the unions of the Associate, and the Associate Reformed churches of North America. The church is in a prosperous condition, with a membership of fifty-two.

Kinney M. E. Church -- The first class was formed about the year 1840, and consisted of eighteen members. The first pastor was Wm. Pitmar. After holding services a few years in private houses a rude school-house was built, which was used, until in 1848 a brick church was erected. This building was occupied twenty years. Under the pastorage of J. L. Ferris, (1869,) the old church was pulled down and a neat and commodious frame building erected on the old site, at the cost of about $2,200, and was dedicated by Rev. J. H. Rhea, D. D. The church is well finished and furnished, including a good organ. There are at the present time forty-three members. L. V. Weaber is pastor. The official members are: W. O. Norval, located preacher and class leader; G. W. Dumans, Sr., local preacher; W. C. Green, steward and trustee; W. T. Dumans, steward; T. C. Smith, Geo. W. Dumas, Jr., and Alex. P. Parr, trustees.

Smithville M. E. Church -- The first class was formed in 1850. The number of members being seven, viz.: B. Kline and wife, Richard Taylor and wife, Alfred Reeves and wife, and a young man named Grinnard. For some time services were held in an old log school-house, Rev. Mr. Humphrey being the first preacher. The church building now in use was erected in 1854 and is now valued at about $800. It is not large, but within is cheerful. There is no indebtedness on the church property. Number of members at present time is twenty-five. A flourishing Sabbath school is sustained. The parsonage for the Smithville circuit is good property valued at $1,000. L. V. Webber is the present pastor. Gideon Wondee is class leader and trustee. F. M. Tipton recording steward and trustee. Luther Couch, steward and trustee, and Sunday school superintendent.

Salem Presbyterian Church -- was organized May 9, 1850, near Smithville, by a committee appointed by Peoria Presbytery, consisting of Rev. Samuel C. McCune and Wm. McCandish. The organization was composed of the following named persons, Wm. Brooks and Elizabeth Brooks, Wm. Stewart, and Sarah J. Stewart, James H. Patterson and Isabella M. Patterson, Wm. A. Brooks, nine persons in all. William Stewart and Jas. H. Patterson were chosen ruling elders, and duly ordained and installed on that day. The first sacramental service was held May 26, 1850, at which time nine persons were added upon certificates of membership from other churches. The place of meeting was a little brick school-house which occupied the place now adorned by the present more commodious one in District No. 7. There had been a former organization of a Presbyterian church in this community, known as the LaMarsh Presbyterian Church, as far as now can be ascertained, it was organized during the Spring of 1843, and was suffered to go into dissolution for some cause. The church building was erected about 1856, and during the ministry of Rev. J. C. Hanna, who was the first regular pastor the church had. The value may be estimated at $1,200 to $1,500. Within the past nine years a neat cottage parsonage has been erected at about the same expense. The church has a Sabbath school in which one man, Mr. S. W. Brooks, has been the superintendent for almost twenty-five years. The present pastor, Wm. Kerry has officiated almost ten years. The present membership number seventy-five. There is a Women's Foreign Mission Society organization which proves an efficient helper to the society.  [from "The History of Peoria County, Illinois; Johnson & Co., 1880. Transcribed by Karen Seeman]



Trivoli is located in Trivoli township, along the Minneapolis & St. Louis Railroad, in southwest Peoria county.  Isaac Harkness was among the first pioneers of that township, coming in 1830, near the time when Trivoli town was founded.

The Village of Trivoli

is situated in the township of Trivoli, eighteen miles due west of the city of Peoria, and has about two hundred inhabitants. The town was laid out about 1840 or '41. The business men at the present writing are as follows: Blacksmiths, J. F. Bourne, John Fletcher and John Greenhalgh; boot and shoemaker, Sharron Schilling; carpenter, James Callahan; harness and collars, Jacob Linck; justices of the peace, James Johnson and James Tyler; grist mill, Geo. Briber; physicians, A. J. Graham and W. C. Bonvard; one newspaper, Trivoli S., James Johnson, editor; two general stores, one M. E. church and one school building. It does a considerable local trade, and to make it a place of prominence it only needs railroad facilities, which are now comtemplated and undoubtedly a year or two will bring.   [from "The History of Peoria County, Illinois; Johnson & Co., 1880. Transcribed by Karen Seeman]


Tuscarora is a small town in Hollis township, situated along what was the Chicago & North Western Railroad.





West Hallock is located in Akron township for the most part, with a small section situated in Hallock townhip, and was founded about 1900.  At one time, a large cheese factory was located there, but the town's population has since dwindled.





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