History of Camp Point, Il.
From: Quincy and Adams County
History and Representative Men
David F. Wilcox - Supervising Editor
Judge Lyman McCarl - Charman of Advisory Board
Published by: The Lewis Publishing Company, Chicago and New York, 1919

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The pleasant, progressive village of 1,200 people, known as Camp Point, northeast of the central part of the county on the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad, is at the headwaters of the south branch of Bear Creek, and its site and vicinity still bear proofs of the natural charms of the early times which made the neighborhood such. a favorite camping ground for Indian and white alike. The point of timber which originally extended into the prairie has been virtually obliterated by cultivated farms and the expanded village, but, even from the landscape of today, it is not difficult to reconstruct the Indian Camp Point of the '20s and '30s. When a petition was circulated to secure a postoffice at Garrett's Mills, it was thought that the name mentioned was too long and the "Indian" was omitted.


The earliest settlements in the township were made at and near the village of today. Daniel Smith and James Lasley, brothers-inlaw, came to the locality in 1828 and established homesteads on sections 28 and 29, two or three miles west of the present site. In the fall of 1829 Mr. Lasley sold his improvements to Jezreel Shoemaker, who continued to reside there for several years. Messrs. Calley and Rand, the latter Calley's son-in-law, located on the northeast quarter of section 27, in what was to be the edge of Garrett's Mills, or Camp Point. Jonathan Brown, who established his homestead in section 8, was the first resident in the northern part of the township. In 1831 a Mr. Lock, who had settled the year before on the northeast quarter of section 22, transferred his land axid improvements to William Wilkes, whose descendants still own the place. Samuel MeAnulty, William MeAnulty and Lewis McFarland settled in the extreme northern portion of the township (section 3) in 1832.


Peter B. Garrett located in section 26, during the fall of 1835, and immediately commenced to form the nucleus of the little settlement, which, for some years afterward, retained his name. The first schoolhouse in the township or on the site of the village was built on his land in 1836, and a man named Brewster was the first teacher. The second was built on section 29, about three miles west, in the spring of 1840, and Thomas Bailey, afterward one of the founders of the village taught the first class in it. As several families had now settled in the northeastern portion of the township, a third schoolhouse was erected on the southwest quarter of section 12, and P. W. Leet was employed as its teacher.


Among the citizens of Camp Point who have attained some distinction James E. Downing, Thomas J. Bates, Jacob Groves and Dr. Samuel Mileham served in the State Legislature. Richard Seaton, John W. Roth and Edward P. Smith served as sheriff. Thomas Bailey, a pioneer who grew wealthy with the progress of the community gave the Bailey Opera House to trustees for the benefit of the worthy poor and be purchased the former Adams County Fair Grounds and gave them to the village for a park which is officially known as "Bailey Park." George W. Cyrus and Hezekiah G. Henry served on the state board o equalization. William L. Honnold, a mining engineer who spent many years in the gold mines of South Africa, became the assistant of Herbert Hoover in administering relief to the sufferers in Belgium and later came to New York where he became head of the American Board of Relief. Silas Lasley became a district judge in Kansas. Richard Kimber became a superintendent on the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad. Albert Crawford became assistant general passenger agent on the same railroad. Robert A. Beckett and Thornton L. Welsh served in the Kansas Legislature.


The first schoolhouse in the village was built in 1855 on the lot where Charles S. Huber's residence now stands. The first teacher was a Mr. Clifton. Another schoolhouse was built in 1861 on lot numbered seven in block twenty-two in Benjamin Booth 's addition. The two districts were consolidated in 1866, forming the present district No. 104 and the result was the erection of the building which became famous as "Maplewood." The third schoolhouse was destroyed by fire in 1855 and a new building was erected on the corner of the southeast quarter of section 15 and is now known as district No. 103.

The first school in district No. 101 was held in a log building on the northeast corner of section 2. A frame building was erected on the same corner in 1856 but some years later was moved to its present location near the southwest corner of section 2.

A schoolhouse was erected in 1844 on the northwest corner of section 4 which was burned during the winter of 1854. The territory was then divided and the building known as "Primrose" was erected in 1855 and is now known as district No. 102. Another building was erected near the northeast corner of section 5 and is now district No. 106 and known as the "Coffield." District No. 105 is the successor of the second schoolhouse built in the township. The schoolhouse is located near the center of section 29. District No. 107 is the successor of the first schoolhouse and the building now stands on the center of the west line of section 25. The schoolhouse in district No. 108 is situated on the southeast corner of section 17 and is locally known as "Highland" school.

Among the number of prominent citizens who attended Camp Point schools may be named Judges Albert Akers and Lyman McCarl; Attorney Samuel Woods; William L. Honnold, mining engineer in South Africa; James E. Craver, superintendent of the western division of the Northern Pacific Railroad; Robert A. Backett and Thornton L. Welsh, members of the Kansas Legislature; Isaac Cutter, Grand Secretary of the Grand Lodge of Masons: J. Baxter Bates, for many years editor of the Bloomington Pantagraph; Supreme Justice Fletcher Sharp, of Oklahoma; and Mrs. Kate Sumney, of Omaha, noted as a suffrage orator.


The first church building in the township was also erected in its northeastern section (12). The Methodists were the builders and called the church Hebron, the society by that name still being maintained by the denomination mentioned. The second house of worship was erected by the Cumberland Presbyterians, a short distance west of Camp Point, but the building has been razed and the society dispersed.


It is said that the first mercantile enterprise put on foot by Thomas G. Stevens, in 1850, came to a sudden end-pronounced by some untimely, by others, most timely.. At first, when he sold only groceries, his project met with general favor, but when he added whiskey to his stock a strong contingent of "drys" objected. They held a meeting, raised a fund to buy out his stock of liquor, and, although the owner protested that he desired to sell at retail as a more profitable plan, his business views were ignored, the purchase money was tendered, the barrel of whiskey rolled outside the store and its contents poured on the ground.


The population of the township increased slowly for several years and the township was politically organized in 1849. The first officers elected were Thomas Bailey, supervisor; John Adams, clerk; John Downing, assessor; Vixen P. Gay, collector; Peter B. Garrett, Ebon. C. Downing and Samuel McAnulty, highway commissioners; Lewis McFarland and James Robertson, justices of the peace. The office of supervisor has been filled by the election of the following citizens: Thomas Bailey, James E. Downing, Vixen P. Gay, Silas Bailey, Thomas J. Bates, Richard A. Wallace, George W. Cyrus, Charles V. Gay, Fred A. Morley, Matthew W. Callahan, James R. Guthrie, Levi Cate. and Alexander Thompson. The present officers are Alexander Thompson, supervisor; John O. Ward, clerk; George W. Omer, assessor; Henry C. Welsh, highway commissioner; George W. Cyrus and George W. Francis, justices of the peace; George Grimy, constable.


Industrial life first sprouted in the northern portion of the township in 1838, when John Newland erected a horse mill for the grinding of corn on the north halfof section 5. But nothing like a manufacturing center appeared until 1844, when Peter B. Garrett erected a carding machine on the present site of Camp Point and during the following year added a grist mill. The power for both was furnished by a tread wheel worked by oxen. Later steam power was added and the plant developed into the modern mill owned and operated by W. A. Berrian & Company. Casco Mill was built in 1866 by Thomas Bailey, Silas Bailey, William L. Oliver and Ormond Noble. It has been long since dismantled.

Lewis McFarland established the first tannery in the '30s and he served as the first justice of the peace in the township. Benjamin Booth opened the first blacksmith shop at an early day, and in 1846 James H. Langdon. opened a second, at Garrett's Mill. Granderson M. Hess opened the first general store at that place in 1854.


Camp Point, as a village, dated from 1855, when it was platted and made a station of the Northern Cross Railroad. Cars commenced running in February. At that time the owners of the town site were Thomas Bailey, Peter B. Garrett, Benjamin Booth and William Farlow.

The township had been created in 1850 and Thomas Bailey was elected as its first supervisor. Among his early successors were James E. Downing, Vixen P. Gay, Silas Bailey, Thomas J. Bates, Richard A. Wallace and George W. Cyrus. The last named, one of the advisory editors of this history, is still alert physically and mentally and is one of the best informed men in the county.


The influence of Thomas Bailey was felt longer and stronger than that of anyone who has been identified with the growth of Camp Point. He was of an old Maine family and the year following his departure, as a young man, reached Adams County and first engaged in teaching near Garrett's Mill. But he soon was investing his savings in farm lands, early improved a quarter section and erected a residence thereon. A portion of Camp Point was laid out on it, when it was platted in 1855, and he made several additions to the original tract. Finally he became one of the large and prosperous land owners of that section of the county, and for a number of years also engaged in merchandizing and milling at Camp Point. In 1867 he founded the Bailey Bank, a private institution, which he conducted successfully for thirteen years. In 1873, with George W. Cyrus, he established the Camp Point Journal, and the association continued for three years, when Mr. Cyrus became the sole proprietor.

Mr. Bailey served as township supervisor during two terms in the '50s, and in 1875 was chairman of the board. He was a justice of the peace of Camp Point Township for more than forty years, and after the birth of the republican party served repeatedly as a delegate to its county, state and national conventions. He was also one of the old and prominent Masons and Odd Fellows of the county.


Perhaps more permanent and noteworthy monuments to his memory are the gifts of the 20-acre tract of land known as Bailey Park and the Opera House Block, in 1903. The former, which adjoins the corporation limits on the north, at the time of his death, had been occupied for more than twenty years by the Adams County Agricultural Society as a fair ground. The grove of fine trees embraced in the tract formed the basis for the park improvement, which has developed into an excusable village pride. It is famous as a resort and is utilized by the Chautauqua Association as a place of meeting.

Railroad Park is a strip of land through the center of the village owned by the C., B. & Q. Railroad Company and turned over to the village for park purposes. It is shaded, by large trees which, with grass, forms a pleasant feature of the town.

The Opera House Block, on the main business street of the village, was deeded by Mr. Bailey to George W. Cyrus, E. E. B. Sawyer, William T. Kay, Frank W. Blood and James R. Guthrie, as trustees, the income from the property to be used for the relief of the worthy poor. After the death of Mrs. Bailey, his late residence and spacious grounds will pass into the hands of the trustees named to be used for the same purpose. Three of the original trustees have passed away, and their successors were chosen by the annual town meetings.


Camp Point has also a Free Public Library, which is rightly classed as an educational agency, working, as it does, in close co-operation with the village school. With electric light supplied by the Illinois Public Service Company, protection from fire afforded by a good gas engine and an alert volunteer department, and an abundance of pure water drawn from numerous deep cisterns, the village is provided with the essentials for cheerful, safe and sanitary residence. When to these advantages are added churches, societies, a well conducted newspaper, two substantial banks, an elevator, feed mill and a sufficient number of business houses to fully supply the wants of citizens and their families-what more could be asked for comfort and happiness?


Camp Point has been noted for more than half a century for the exeellence of its schools. In the summer of 1866, a site was purchased for the erection of a graded school building, which was completed in the following year. It was built in a large block of ground which was planted to maple trees, and the school was therefore christened Maplewood. As such, it became prominent as an educational center throughout the county. The building was three stories in height and completed at a cost of $25,000. Its first principal, Prof. Samuel F. Hall, came from Princeton, Illinois, and during the eighteen years of his superintendency brought Maplewood School into much prominence. Pupils came to the high school not only from the neighborhood of Camp Point, but from far distant parts of the county, and during the earlier period of its work it is said that fully one-half of the teaching force in Adams County comprised graduates of Maplewood High School. Improvements in the building and pedagogical methods have been continuous, so that as an educational institution it is still up-to-date and a source of village pride. It has long been one of the leading accredited high schools of the county. The Maplewood School of today is in charge of Prof. J. D. Knight, who has some 350 pupils under his superintendence.


The newspaper history of Camp Point covers more than fifty years. W. R. Carr established the first local paper in April, 1866, under the name of the Camp Point Enterprise. It was printed in Augusta, where the proprietor also issued the Banner. In 1867 the Enterprise was sold to E. E. B. Sawyer, who moved the plant to Camp Point and in 1870 sold it to J. M. & J. E. Kirkpatrick. The Kirkpatricks conducted it for two years when the Enterprise was suspended.

In January, 1873, the material of the defunct newspaper was purchased by George W. Cyrus and Thomas Bailey, who began the publication of the Camp Point Journal. In 1877 Mr. Bailey disposed of his interest to his partner, and Mr. Cyrus conducted the paper until 1910. In the year named Elmer T. Selby purchased the Journal of Mr. Cyrus and in March, 1918, Mr. Selby sold it to Frank Groves, the present proprietor.


There are two prosperous banks in the village. The Camp Point Bank was established by Thomas Bailey in 1868. It was subsequently owned by Bailey and Seaton (Richard Seaton) then the firm became Seaton & Wallace (Richard A. Wallace), then R. A. Wallace & Brother (John S. Wallace). The bank was sold in 1892 to Charles V. and Albert P. Gay and the title became the Camp Point Bank. The People's Bank was organized in 1893 by M. W. Callahan, Hez. G. Henry, Samuel Farlow and Christopher S. Booth. Mr. Booth later disposed of his interesb and Mr. Farlow gave his interest to his daughter, now Mrs. H. G. Henry.

The Camp Point Homestead Association, a building and loan association, was organized in 1889, with Frederick Boger as president and George W. Cyrus as secretary. It has assisted a great many people in securing homes. Mr. Cyrus remains secretary at the present time.

The live stock and grain trade have always been important factors in the prosperity of the business men of the village and the farmers of the adjacent territory. In the poultry and egg trade an extensive business has been developed.


The Methodist Episcopal Church of Camp Point was organized in 1855 by Rev. Curtis Powell. A brick building was erected a few years later. During 1892 under the pastorate of Rev. James R. Ivins the present handsome structure was erected. The following have served as pastors of the church: Reverends Atkinson, Montgomery, B. F. Newman, Lester Janes, M. Miller, Avery, Henry Wilson, C. Y. Hecox, A. M. Pilcher, John C. Sargent, Thomas J. Bryant, William A. Crawford, Reuben Gregg, Lewis F. Walden, J. H. Dobbs, A. L. Morse, Thomas W. Greer, W. Malay Reed, James R. Ivins, A. N. Simmons, Thomas M. Dillon, R. S. McNabb, C. N. Cain, A. S. Chapman, E. A. Hedges, B. H. Fuller, Leo Howard, R. W. Ennis, J. S. Smith, Charles E. Taylor, and A. R. Grummon. The present mernhership of the church is 330.

The Presbyterian Church was organized September 1, 1855. with nine members. Rev. H. C. Abernathy was the active spirit of the little group served as acting pastor while regularly employed at Columbus. Rev. W. T. Bartle was the first stated pastor. The first meetings were held in a school house, then in a hail above E. B. Curtis' store, now owned by Edward C. Farlow. Thomas Bailey donated a lot and a small church building was erected in 1867. Afterward the building was reconstructed and increased in size.

The society of the Christian Church was organized at the school house east of the town July 20, 1865, with thirty-four members, none of whom now survive. Robert H. Routh, John W. Miller and Dr. Smith U. Moore were selected as the first elders. A church building was erected the next year on a lot where the Fraternal Temple now stands. This building served the needs of the society until 1893 when the building was reconstructed and an addition erected. This building was destroyed by fire in 1912. The present beautiful edifice was dedicated in February, 1913. The pastors were as follows: Joseph Lowe, Jerome H. Smart, J. H. Garrison, A. J. Johnson, Winters, W. T. West, W. T. Maupin, James R. Ross, Eugene J. Lampton, D. W. Wilson, Robert A. Omer, Orren Dilley, Charles Laycock, J. T. Webb, W. H. Applegate, H. J. Reynolds, Geo. W. Wise and C. C. Wisher. The church has (June, 1918) about 300 active members.


Camp Point Lodge, No. 215, was instituted October 17, 1856, with John Williamson, John Watson, John F. Alberti, John T. Hagerty and John Nowland as charter members. The lodge has grown and prospered having now about 150 members. It owns the stately threestory building which was erected in 1897. The building was dedicated by George C. Rankin, grand master of the state in the presence of a large audience, November 9, 1897. The Odd Fellows also have a substantial encampment.


Benjamin Lodge, No. 297, was instituted August 11, 1858, by Harrison Dills, grand master of the state, with John R. Warren, John A. Roth, Isaac Covert, William L. Oliver, Ormond Noble, Ansel Warren, Jesse L. Reed and Joseph Keenan as charter members. The lodge did not receive a charter in 1858 and the dispensation under which it acted was continued until October, 1859, when a charter was issued. The lodge met in various halls until 1892, when the second story of a brick building on Jefferson Street was purchased and fitted for lodge purposes. This hall was occupied until October, 1915, when the building was destroyed by fire. In conjunction with the order of Knights of Pythias the present Fraternity Temple was erected and dedicated June 6, 1917, by Ralph H. Wheeler, grand master. This striking edifice was erected at a cost, including furniture, of $18,000. The lodge membership is 125 and includes Isaac Cutter, grand seeretary of the Grand Lodge of the state.

Fraternity Temple is handsomely finished and furnished. It is approached by broad stairways from the ground surface, while the first story contains kitchen, dining room, club rooms, billiard hall and other modern accessories to complete lodge pleasures and comforts.

The following persons have served the lodge as worshipful masters: John R. Warren, W. T. Bartle, P. M. Herndon, John A. Roth, M. P. Stewart, Samuel Mileham, Solomon Aispaugh, George W. Cyrus, Thomas Bailey, John H. Francis, Richard Seaton, Joseph P. Lasley, Ormond Noble, James K. P. Little, John W. Creekmur, Rankin W. Castle, Isaac Cutter, Fred A. Morley, George Gruny, Benjamin T. Earl, Charles W. Blood, Robert F. Humble, Daniel W. Crippen, William W. McHatton, Hezekiah U. Henry, Jonathan Ensminger, Hugh S. Nations, J. Harry Pittman, Edson B. O. Dean, Harry S. Blood, Aubrey D. Spence, Charles N. Fletcher, James H. Downing, Harry C. Gannon and Orves Hudson.


Camp Point Chapter, No. 170, Royal Arch Masons, was instituted April 29, 1875, with George W. Cyrus, Martin L. Stewart, Richard Seaton, John H. Francis, Andrew Hughes, Thomas A. Lyon, James W. Caldwell, Thomas Bailey and Samuel Curless as charter members. The several high priests of the chapter have been George W. Cyrus, Richard Seaton, John W. Creekmur, James K. P. Little, George W. Francis, Isaac Cutter, William E. Gilliland, Louis Olberg, Benjamin T. Earl, Robert F. Humble, Joshua D. Rainier, George Gruny, Henry J. Lewis, James E. McCarty, William H. Callahan, Edson B. O. Dean. J. Harry Pittman, Edgar W. Greenhaigh, Harry S. Blood and Aubrey P. Spence.


Excalibur Lodge No. 297, Knights of Pythias, was organized in July, 1891. It is in a flourishing condition.


The women of Camp Point have been active in literary and reformatory matters. They have taken an especially prominent lead. in temperance matters, through the Adams County Woman 's Christian Temperance Union. That body was organized at Camp Point on March 28, 1888, and the following officers were elected: President, Miss Irene Smith; recording secretary, Mrs. S. Woods. Unions were organized at Camp Point and Clayton and these, with Quincy, constituted the first county union. A young people 's society was also organized at each place. In a few years organizations were formed at Loraine Liberty, Coatsburg, Fowler, Payson, Plainville, Burton and Adams.

Mrs. Vincent Francis, Miss Nellie Scott, Mrs. Agnes Wagner, Mrs. Neff Wells, Mrs. A. E. Sigsbee, Mrs. Margaret Grubb, Mrs. M. L. Dines, Mrs. Rebecca Vickers, Mrs. Mary Edwards, and Mrs. Josie Lumrnis have served as presidents. Mrs. Mary Edwards is at present the county president. Others prominent in the work in Adams County have been Mrs. Ella Honnoid Collier, Miss Ida McClure, Mrs. Geo. W. Cyrus and Mrs. Anna Smith of Camp Point; Mrs. Benson, Miss Mary Bray and Miss Mary Poling of Mendon; Mrs. Emma Bandies (deceased) of Loraine; Mrs. F. Fred and Mrs. S. Lawless of Liberty; Mrs. R. Stahl (deceased) of Fowler and many others. The work of the county organization is largely, as Frances Willard said, "to educate, agitate and legislate."

Specifically, local organizations are also the Civic Improvement Society and the Woman's Literary Club, of Camp Point. The latter was organized in February, 1907, with Miss Bessie Allen as its president. The membership of the club is limited. Miss Harriet Hunsaker is now its president.

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