Stark County, Illinois, by M. A. Leeson 

Transcribed and Contributed by Karen Seeman


Map of Stark County


PART I. -  Discovery and Discoverers:

Aboriginal Inhabitants; Wars of the United States; Regiments in the Revolution; War of 1812; Mexican War; War of the Rebellion; Chronology of the United States

Derivation of Name—Illinois; Illinois Confederacy; Chronology, 1655-1750; 1765-1814; 1816-1832; 1833-1871; Conclusion; Pere Marquette's  Map of the Mississippi; Documents of Stark County

CHAPTER I. - Topography and Natural History:
Physical Characteristics; Rivers and Streams; Origin of Cooper's Defeat; Economic Geology; Coal Measures; Archeology; Storm, Flood and Drought

CHAPTER II. - Indians of Illinois:
Origin of American Indian; Indians of Illinois; French Forts; Pottawatomies and Ottawas; Starved Rock; Destruction of the Illinois; White Settlements; Treaties; Black Hawk Troubles

CHAPTER III. - Exploration and Occupation:
American Settlement at Peoria; Travels in the Neighborhood; Isaac B. Essex's First School; Settlement in Stark County; Pioneers of 1830-35; Original Assessment, Dis. No. 1; Dis. No. 2; Dis. No. 3; Dis. No. 4; Military Tract

CHAPTER IV. Marriage Record 1831-1866: (1831-1853) (1854-1866)
Introduction; Record 1831-39; Description of a Wedding; First License and Certificate; Beginning of Marriage Record of Stark; Justices and Ministers

CHAPTER V. - Pioneer Associations and Reminiscences:
Causes of Association; Mutual Protection Society—Officers and Members; Beginnings of Old Settlers' Society; Organization of the Society; First Annual Meeting; Second Annual Meeting;  Death Record of Old Settlers; Third Annual Meeting; Death Record of Old Settlers; Meeting of 1882; Death Record of Members; Reminiscences; Meeting of 1883; Record of Deaths; Seventh Meeting; Death Roll of Old Settlers; Settlement of David Fast; Eighth Meeting; Names of Old Residents Present; Pioneer Necrology for 1884-5; Meeting of August, 1886; Record of Deaths; Underground Railroad; Receipt for Horse-stealing; Cattle Driving in Early Days; J. Blanchard's Reminiscences; James B. Witter's Reminiscences; H.C.Henderson's Reminiscences;  S. H. Henderson's Reminiscences

CHAPTER VI. - Organization and Commissioners' Court:
Organization of Illinois; Organization of Counties; Voters in Spoon River Precinct; Acts of Putnam Co. Commissioners; First Election in Spoon River; Bribery Act and Plunder; Agitating a New County; Coffee County in the Legislature; Bill for Establishing Stark County ; Life of John Stark; Act Providing for More Territory; Commissioners' Record, 1839-53; Organization by Townships; First Supervisors' Board; County Buildings; County Poor Farm; Index to Legislative Acts

CHAPTER VII. Political History:
Introduction; National Caucus and Convention; Precinct Elections, 1839; County Election Record; Masters in Chancery; Local Conventions; Douglas and Lincoln; Unconditional Union Men; Union League and Knights of G. C.; Soldiers' Convention; Anti-polygamy Meeting; Conventions of 1886

CHAPTER VIII. The Courts and Bar:
Introduction; First Law Office; Courts of Fulton County; Courts of Putnam County; Courts of Stark County; Reminiscences of First Court; Circuit Judges; Roll of the "Old" and the "New" Bar of Stark County; Brief Reference to a Few Cases

CHAPTER IX. Journalism and Literature:
Prairie Advocate, Toulon; News, Toulon; Union, Toulon; News (Redivivus), Toulon; Democrat, Toulon; Old-time Billingsgate; Democrat (Redivivus), Toulon; Ku Klux Bulletin, Toulon; Molly Stark, Toulon; Herald (Toulon S. W.); Sentinel, Toulon; Call (Toulon T. W.); Post-Chronicle. Wyoming; Post, Wyoming; Herald, Wyoming; Post-Herald, Wyoming; Daily Post-Herald, Wyoming; Bee, Wyoming; Chronicle, Bradford; Times, Bradford; Independent, Bradford; Annex, Lafayette; Stark County and its Pioneers; Pen Sketches of Service in the Marine Artillery; History of the 112th Regiment; Close of Chapter

CHAPTER X. - Schools and Institutes:
School Statistics of State; First School in Stark County; Roll of School Superintendents; School Statistics of County; Teachers' Institute and Association; S. G. Wright's Reminiscences; William Nowlan's Reminiscences; Roll of Teachers; Statistics of Teachers; Teachers' Normal Class; Teachers' Association; Teachers' Institute, 1882; Normal Institute

CHAPTER XI. - Religious and Semi-Religious Associations:
Establishment of Churches; Sunday-school Union; Camp-meeting Association; Bible Society; Temperance League; Women's Christian Temperance Association; Musical Society

CHAPTER XII. - Agricultural Societies:
Society of 1843; Stark County Agricultural Society; Effort to Establish at Wyoming; Central Agricultural Society

CHAPTER XIII. -  Physicians of the County:

Record of

CHAPTER XIV. - Railroads:
Western Air Line; Peoria and Rock Island; Rushville Branch; Proposed Roads

CHAPTER XV. - Military History:
Introduction; War for the Union; Statistics; Revolutionary Soldiers here; Black Hawk and Mexican Wars; First War Meeting in Stark County; Organization of Home Guards; County and Local Relief Circles; Military Disbursing Committee; List of Soldiers killed up to February, 1862; Township Relief Societies; Women's Loyal League; Provost-marshal White and the Terwilligers; Brown's Recruiting Station; The Draft; County Central Aid Committee; A Funeral Sermon; Miles A. Fuller's Report; Sundry Paragraphs; Soldiers' Monument Association; Meeting to Celebrate  Peace; Regimental Sketches and Rosters of Infantry Commands; Of Cavalry Commands; Of Artillery Commands; Fourth I. N. G.; G. A. R. Post Rosters, vide townships.

Documents and Biography of Townships and Villages:

CHAPTER XVI. - Toulon Township:

Topography; Original Land Owners; Present Land Owners; Political Statistics; Supervisors and Justices; Schools and School Officers; Census of Pioneers in 1866; Toulon Cemetery and Its Tenants; Modena Hamlet; Stark Predestinarian Baptists; Moulton; Societies

Town of Toulon:
Introduction; First Settlers; Survey of Town; Sale of Town Lots; Its Selection as County Seat; Improvement Era; R. R. Aid Granted; Trustees and Officers of Village; Reorganization; Officials, 1873-1886; Toulon Postoffice; Old Business Houses; Leaf from an Account Book; Hotels; Manufacturing Industries; Banking Houses; Railroad and the Grain Trade; Business Circle; Methodist Church; Congregational Church; Baptist Church; Second Baptist Church; Christian Church; Catholic Church; Universalist Church; Sabbath Schools; Schools of Toulon; Masonic Lodge; Eastern Star Chapter; I. O. O. F. Lodge; Temperance Workers; W. W. Wright Post; Military Affairs; Lotus Club; Woman's Club; W. C. T. U.; Y. M. C. A.; Literary Societies; Old Court House D. S.; Toulon Debating Society; Miscellaneous Societies

Town of Wyoming:
Introduction; Survey; Early Lot Buyers; Additions to Town; Sketch of Its First Days; Officials, 1872-86; Schools of Wyoming; Methodist Church; Protestant Episcopal Church; Catholic Church; Baptist Church; Congregational Church; United Brethren Church; Masonic Lodge; Wyoming Chapter; Eastern Star Chapter; Wyoming I. O. O. F.; Wyoming Encampment; De Wolf Post; Sons of Veterans; National Festivals; Miscellaneous Societies; Postoffice;Wyoming Cemetery and Tenants; Commerce and Mining; Houses in Village in 1882; Banks and Bankers; Business and Manufacturing Circle; Opera House; Conflagrations; Biography and Reminiscences

CHAPTER XVII. - Elmira Township:
Introduction; Original Land Owners; Present Land Owners; First Settlement and Settlers; Scotch Settlement; Travels of the Turnbulls and Olivers; Elmira Cemetery and Tenants; Osceola Cemetery and Tenants; Pioneer Neighbors; Highlanders and Lowlanders; Schools; Supervisors and Justices; Insurance Company; Elmira Grange; Grand Army of the Republic.; Roster and Record G. A. R.; Elmira Library Association;

Elmira Village:
Introduction; United Presbyterian Church; Methodist Episcopal Church; Elmira Bible Society; Presbyterian Church of Elmira; Knox Church; Cumberland Church; Schools of District 3; Business Circle

Osceola Village:

Introduction; Presbyterian Church; Methodist Episcopal Church; Baptist Church; Free Will Baptist Church; Other Religious Societies; Miscellaneous; Elmira in the War

CHAPTER XVIII. Essex Township:
Introduction; Neighboring Settlements; Original Entries; Present Land Owners; Madison Winn's Recollections; Sheets Cemetery; Pleasant Valley Cemetery; Schools of Essex; Supervisors and Justices; Railroad Election; Pioneer Postoffice; Methodist Church; Latter Day Saints; United Brethren; Duncan Village; Biography and Reminiscences

CHAPTER XIX. Goshen Township:
Introduction; Original Entries; Present Land Holders; Schools; Cemeteries

Lafayette Village:
Survey and Purchase; Incorporation of Village; Trustees, 1869-1887; Clerks, 1869-1887; Old and New Business Circle; Pioneers of 1848; Pensioners; I. O. O. F. Lodge; Daughter.; of Rebekah; Blue Lodge, A. F. & A. M; Eastern Star Chapter; Good Templars; Baptist Church; Methodist Episcopal Church; Indian Creek Class; Union Church; Presbyterian Society; Mormon Church; U. M. P. Church; Universalist Church; Church of Christ; Biography and Reminiscences.

CHAPTER XX. Osceola Township.

Introduction; Statistics; Coal and Gas; Original Land Entries; Present Land Owners; Schools; Supervisors; Justices; R. R. Aid Election; Franklin Cemetery

Bradford Village:
Survey and Plat; First Lot Buyers; Era of Settlement; Business Circle; Bradford Schools; Village Incorporated; Trustees and Officials; Masonic Lodge; Odd Fellows' Lodge; Good Templars' Lodge; G. A. R. Post and Roster; Universalist Church; Sewing Circle; Methodist Episcopal Church; Baptist Church; Congregational Church; Catholic Church; Protestant Episcopal Church; Bradford Cemetery

Survey and Plat; Improvement Society

CHAPTER XXI.  Penn Township:

Physical Character; Villages of; Population; Cooper's Defeat Creek; Original Entries; Schools of Penn; Supervisors; Justices

Survey and Plat; Lot Purchasers; Business Circle; Normal School; Methodist Episcopal Church; Drawyer's Class; Holgate's Class; Methodist Protestant Church; Evangelical Lutheran Church; Societies; Camp Grove; Franklin Cemetery; Snareville Cemetery

CHAPTER XXII. Valley Township:
Physical Character; Population; Original Entries; Present Land Owners; Township Schools; Supervisors; Justices; Pioneer Neighbors; Wolf Hunt,; 1830; Valley Cemetery; Stark Village; Pensioners; Congregational Church; Members of; Wady Petra Village; Methodist Church; Grange; Sons of Veterans;

CHAPTER XXIII.  West Jersey Township:
Introduction; Physical Character; Population; Original Entries; Present Land Owners; Schools; Supervisors; Justices; Pioneer Neighbors; Millbrook  Township; Victoria Township; Pioneer Memories; First Settlers; Distillery; First Ball; First Postoffice; Census of Pioneers; West Jersey Cemetery; Soldiers Buried in Cemetery; West Jersey Village; M. E. Church; Hazen's Class; Finch's Class; Trickle's Class; Presbyterian Church; Odd Fellows; Starwarno; Burning of Infirmary; Biography and Reminiscences


Population 1840—80; Township 1855—80 Nationality of Citizens Population of Villages; Annual Expenditures 1839—85; Elmira


Toulon Township and Towns of Toulon and Wyoming.

Elmira Township

Essex Township

Goshen Township

Osceola Township

Penn Township

Valley Township

West Jersey Township

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