History of Clayton and Golden, 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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Clayton Township, in the northeastern part of the county, is intersected almost diagonally from southwest to northeast by Little Missouri Creek, which drains and waters its area and makes of it one of the best agricultural regions of this section of the state. The soil is usually of a dark vegetable loam and there are few tracts which are not readily tillable, those being virtually confined to a narrow bluff along the Little Missouri. The first settlers of the township located in the valley of that stream.


Obediah Hicks is credited with being the pioneer of the township, and he settled with his family, in 1829, on. the northwest corner of section 23. In April of the following year came David M. Campbell, who located on the southeast quarter of section 21, and there his son and other descendants continued to reside for many years. Mr. Campbell was the first teacher in the township, but it is said that he had but "one session a week, and that on Sunday at the houses of the pioneers."

In the fall of 1830 Rev. John E. Curl settled on section 31, where William Curry afterward lived, and there gave one of his daughters in marriage to Josiah Gantz. This was the first marriage to be celebrated in Clayton Township and Rev. David Wolf performed the ceremony. About this time Jacob Pile located on section 23, and soon afterward Daniel Pile settled on section 24. The latter was elected the first justice of the peace. The first death recorded in the township was Sarah J., the infant daughter of David M. Campbell and wife, in August, 1832.


All of these events were happenings previous to the founding of the Village of Clayton, in the summer of 1834, by the three McCoy brothers, Charles, Rev. Reuben K. and John. The original town was located on the northeast quarter of section 34, and Charles Mc Coy, being an ardent admirer of Henry Clay, named it in honor of the great statesman. Rev. R. K. McCoy, a Presbyterian minister, erected the first residence in the new town. Two years afterward a church of his denomination was organized at Clayton, and he presided over it there until his death in. 1874.


Charles McCoy built and opened the first store, but sold to Sidney Parker, of Quincy, a few months afterward. Jason Wallace opened a general store in 1836, and also served as postmaster, while David M. Campbell erected the first hotel of the place in the summer of 1835. After keeping the inn for about five years lie disposed of it to C. McMurry. In the meantime Mr. Campbell had built a larger twostory structure on the same lot, which he moved to his farm, a mile and a half northwest of town. At the time, a deep snow covered the country, and Mr. Campbell, fastening long timbers under the house to serve as runners, collected a battery of nineteen yoke of oxen and gave the word to start the building on its journey. It was an occasion of great excitement and the whole neighborhood turned out to witness the remarkable feat of engineering. It was accomplished without accident, to the accompaniment of the shouts of the chief and amid the excited acclaims of the spectators. The building stood for many years and was long the residence of Samuel Newhouse.

The transportation of the Campbell Building fell in that early period of Clayton's history when its future was not at all bright, and it was not the only structure which was moved from the village to near-by farms, although it was probably the most "sizable." For several years the town site was almost abandoned, and there was really no revival of substantial life until the railroad came in 1856. Since then a number of additions have been made to the original town, so that the village covers portions of sections 27, 34 and 35.


The present Village of Clayton is situated on the Keokuk branch of the Wabash system, and is the center of a large district rich in the products of the farm. It has well paved or graded streets and pleasant residence thoroughfares and, aside from its retail business houses, a number of establishments of a more extensive nature. Its flour mill, of which H. J. Laurie is proprietor; the feed mill and coal yard of Smith Brothers; the stock yards and elevator, owned and operated by F. W. Burgesser; the fine nursery of the Missing Link Apple Company, of which the veteran Daniel Shank is proprietor; the green house of Charles E. Shank; the cigar factory and two large egg and poultry houses, are among the local and neighborhood illustrations of this high-grade class of activities. The southeast corner of Clayton is also the site of the Experiment Station of the Illinois University. It covers twenty acres and is in charge of J. H. Smith.

Clayton is an incorporated village and its attractive town hall was erected in 1887. The village has no regular system of water works, but has a public well for fire emergencies. Its electric lighting is furnished by the Central Illinois Public Service Company. The local public school is well conducted and patronized and is under the management of Professor Brewster. The first building was erected as early as 1836, but many years passed before any structure was built which was worthy of the purposes to which it was dedicated. The first brick public school, two stories in height, was erected in 1877.

The Clayton Enterprise was founded in 1879 by Rev. P. L. Turner & Son. Within the following six years, F. K. & B. L. Strother, F. J. Ayers and others held the helm with more or less steadiness, and in 1885 J. L. Staker, who still edits and publishes it, assumed charge of the enterprise.


As stated, Clayton and the rich surrounding country support two banks. The Bartlett & Wallace State Bank was founded in 1887, with Henry Bartlett as president and John R. Wallace as vice president. They served as such until 1916, and Mr. Wallace has been president since. James B. Moffett has been cashier since 1913. The bank has a capital of $50,000; surplus and undivided profits, $5,000; average deposits, $375,000. -

The Clayton Exchange Bank was established in 1905, with G. W. Montgomery as president, W. T. Craig, vice president, and W. H. Craig, cashier. Mr. Montgomery died in 1913 and was succeeded by W. T. Craig as head of the bank. There has been no change in the cashiership. Mrs. G. W. Montgomery has served as vice president since her husband's death. The present capital of the bank is $20,000; surplus and undivided profits, $1,500; average deposits, $200,000.


The active churches of Clayton are the Christian, Methodist and Baptist. The Church of God and the Christian Scientists have also societies. The pioneer church, of course, was the Presbyterian, a society of that denomination being formally organized by the Presbytery of Schuyler in April, 1836, at the residence of Rev. Reuben K. MeKoy, who, with his brothers, had founded Clayton two years before. He had been licensed to preach oniy three years previously, and continued to labor in its upbuilding for thirty-eight years, or the balance of his life. His longest absence from the Clayton church occurred in 1863, when, for six months, he was chaplain of the Third Regiment of Missouri Cavalry, the colonel of which was Dr. T. G. Black, also a citizen of the place. John McCoy and other members of the family were also pillars of the church in its early years.

The Methodists of Clayton also organized in 1836, their services being held in schoolhouses and residences until 1850, when their first house of worship was erected. The brick edifice was built in 1875. Rev. H. R. Kasiske is now in charge.

The Disciples of Christ Church was organized in 1855, with a membership of fifteen. Its first elders were Dr. T. G. Black and George Racklin. A small frame meeting house was built in that year, which served its purpose until 1906, when it was moved to the rear of the church lot and a large addition made. The structure was again remodeled in 1912. The society has a present membership of nearly 360 and is in charge of B. S. M. Edwards, who (fall of 1918) is also mayor of the village. He is in the ninth year of his pastorate over the Disciples of Christ Church at Clayton.

The secret and benevolent societies of Clayton represent the Masons, lodge, chapter, commandery and Order of the Eastern Star; the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, Knights of Pythias, Modern Woodmen of America and Modern Woodmen of the World.

The oldest of the local bodies is the lodge of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, which was organized October 15, 1852, with Dr. L. G. Black, George Scaggan, William Parker, A. G. Short and F. J. Guthridge, trustees. Doctor Black was its first Noble Grand. For the period covering the succeeding twenty years the records have been partly destroyed or lost. E. 0. Yeldell is the present Noble Grand, and the lodge has a membership of 105.

Mistletoe Lodge No. 391, Knights of Pythias, was organized in 1892, C. A. Wever being its first chancellor commander. J. H. Green now holds the chair. The lodge (fall of 1918) has a membership of about seventy.


The name of this flourishing township is well named from its geographical location in Adams County. In 1829 Alexander Oliver settled on section 2, in the northeastern part of the township, bringing with him a wife and ten children, equally divided as to sex. So that the immediate accession to the population of the township was considerable. Two of the sons afterward entered the Methodist ministry. Notwithstanding the scare occasioned by the Black Hawk war, the unusual privations caused by the "winter of the deep snow," and other drawbacks, discouragernents and privations, the Oliver family planted themselves permanently and proved worthy pioneers of the western country. The Marlows were of the second installment of early settlers, and Hanson Marlow, born in 1831, was the first native white of the township. In 1833 the first marriage ceremony was performed by 'Squire Christopher C. Yates, the pioneer justice of the peace. In the same year the settlers built their first schoolhouse on section 4, in the extreme northern part of what is now Northeast Township, and Rev. W. H. Ralstin preached the first sermon at the log cabin of John Hiber, a preacher of the Methodist Church. Not long afterward the Presbyterians built a house of worship on section 36, in the southeast corner of the present township. Rev. William Crain was the minister and was actively engaged in his good work for many years thereafter.

The Township of Northeast was organized in 1850, by the election of the following: Benjamin Gould, supervisor; William Burke, clerk; William Ketchum, assessor; J. J. Graham, collector; B. N. Galliher, overseer of the poor; Mitchell Alexander and James J. Graham, justices of the peace; Robert B. Combs and William F. Crain, constables; E. B. Hough, Elliott Combs and Clements Bobbins, commissioners of highways.


The Village of Golden, on the southwestern township line in section 31, was first known as Keokuk Junction. In 1862 the Wabash Railway located its branch line from Clayton to Keokuk, Iowa, and J. H. Wendell occupied a shack on the east side of the tracks near their junction with the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad. Some rods south of the Junction and between the tracks of the two railroads he put up a small building and opened a saloon therein. It was also his residence for nearly ten years, and during that period he erected a number of other structures of a more permanent nature. But the first really solid citizen to arrive was L. U. Albers, who opened a small store. During the same year he was joined by G. H. Buss, who started a larger store on the east side of the "Q" railway a few rods south of the present crossing of Smith Street. The two also established a grain house. which gave the place quite an air of business. There was no side-track yet; so the empty cars were left on the main track, coming up by the construction train and being taken back loaded in the evening.

The Albers-Buss partnership did not long endure. After a few months Mr. Albers sold his interest to Mr. Buss, who moved the stock to his new store on Smith Street. Although the C., B. & Q. at first refused to recognize the Junction as a station and goods bound for that point had to be shipped to La Prairie, that matter changed for the better when the postoffice of Keokuk Junction was established in the fall of 1863 and Mr. Albers appointed postmaster. In April of the following year he also succeeded John P. Harlow as station agent. Mr. Albers then transferred the postoffice to the depot, where it remained until 1868, when he relinquished the duties of both positions.

The next building was a two-story hotel erected by J. H. Dendell on the southwest. corner of West Front and Park streets, where the King Block now stands.

On lot 2, block 8, south of West Front. Street, Jurgen Ehmen erected a dwelling in 1863. He had been in charge of a water pumping plant on Bear Creek south of town, but after the new well was finished in Golden he became manager of it and the old plant was abandoned.

In 1864 Thomas Cain built a residence on West Front Street, but soon afterward sold it to a Mr. Spencer, who started the first shoe shop in Keokuk Junction.


The town was laid out in 1866 on the west half of the southeast quarter of section 31. The site was platted into seventeen blocks, duly divided by streets and alleys, and ten acres were given to the Wabash Railroad for depot grounds. The first sale of lots, which was held September 9, 1866, brought about $3,500. The original town site was part of the estate of Robert E. Scott, deceased, of Virginia, of which Nehemiah Bushnell, of Quincy, was administrator; but the Civil war had brought such complications to the estate that the titles to the lots could only run from. those in possession-' 'squatters," pure and simple.

The Legislature of 1867 granted the act of incorporation to Keokuk Junction, and on the first of April, of that year, the following officials were elected: John Lyle, justice of the peace; John H. Wendell, constable; L. U. Albers, George W. Myers, Andreas M. Fruhling and William Hanna, board of trustees. In March, 1873, the townsmen voted to incorporate under the general law of the state which had been but recently passed under the name of "Village Organization Laws." Not long afterward the - name of the Village of Keokuk Junction was changed to Golden.


The Village of Golden, as it is today, is the center of a thriving trade and a large number of progressive people. The riches of the surrounding country are inidcated by the nature of the industries and business which have built up the village. The milling of wheat, corn and other grains has always been a leading industry, and the Emminga family is more closely and prominently identified with it than any other. Henry R. Emminga brought his family from Germany to Clayton Township in 1850. Four years later he erected the Custom Mill, just east of Keokuk Junction. Its two run of stone were propelled by wind power, and it became very popular with the early settlers of the country for miles around. In 1863 Mr. Emminga returned to Germany, where he remained for nine years. In the meantime his son, Harm H. Emminga, had thoroughly mastered the business and industry-, and in 1873, with the father, he erected the Prairie Mills, likewise propelled by wind, immediately south of what soon afterward became Golden. The present steam establishment manufactures -corn meal, buckwheat and graham flour. There is a grist mill operated by F. B. Franzen about a mile from town.

The Golden Elevator and Mill Company also operates an elevator of about 100,000 bushels capacity, and deals extensively in live stock, especially hogs.

In 1891 H. H. Emminga established the People's Exchange Bank at Golden. A new building for its accommodation was completed in 1905. John J. Emininga, the son of the founder, is now president of the bank. The latter is also proprietor of a creamery at Golden.

Among the other institutions in which Golden takes pride are the manufactory of the Lightning Seed Sower, H. H. Franzen. proprietor, and the plant, or the service station, of the Illinois (Standard) Oil Company.


As early as possible the children of those who had settled in the southern part of the township were provided with educational privileges. The Civil war had retarded all such endeavors, but in 1865, when its end was in sight, the citizens of Keokuk Junction and neighborhood raised sufficient funds to erect a little schoolhouse on the southwest corner of the old Ostermann Farm, about a mile north of town. They engaged H. E. Selby to teach it at $35 per month (soon raised to $50). The school was conducted in that building for a number of years. But the Town of Keokuk Junction reached such proportions that in 1869 the village was formed into a separate school district and a $3,000 house erected to meet the requirements. Within a few years an addition to it was required and again, within a comparatively recent period, a modern two-story brick structure has replaced the other outgrown schoolhouses. An addition was made to it in 1917. H. Mitchell is now in charge of the village school, graduates from which are credited to the state colleges and universities without re-examination.

The home newspaper, Golden New Era, is one of the live institutions of the village. It was founded October 15, 1891, by H. H. Emminga, with Frank P. Hillyer as printer and editor. At first it was a five-column sheet, but was soon enlarged to a six-column quarto, its present size. In 1892 Messrs. C. W. Stinson and E. T. Selby took charge of it and. conducted it until June 10, 1913, when Mr. Selby became its sole proprietor. In 1894 Mr. Stinson again assumed control, and in the following year sold to Frank Groves, who, in turn, disposed of the paper to John P. Beckman.. Mr. Beckman conducted it from 1904 until 1911, when W. J. Wible & Son purchased it and are its present owners.


The church-going community of Golden-and it is very large - is divided between two Lutheran societies and the Methodist and United Presbyterian churches.

Irmnanuel's congregation (Lutheran), in charge of Rev. Henry Lindemaun, dates its foundation from 1867. Previous to that. year the parish was included in that of South Prairie. A number of its members living west of Keokuk Junction reguested their pastor, Rev. J. T. Boetticher, to conduct services in the new village in order that they might not be compelled to take long drives to South Prairie. He consented and services were held in the C., B. & Q. depot. Later an organization was effected. with fifty-three charter members, of whom Peter Ostermann is the only one living. In May, 1869, a house of worship was dedicated under Rev. J. Tjaden, on the site of the handsome edifice now occupied by the congregation. He remained but a few months, after which there was a vacancy of a number of years. Rev. P. Kleinlein served from 1876 to 1880. The Congregation was incorporated in 1873 and in 1877 Trinity congregation was separated from the parent society. Rev. C. Zlomke succeeded to the pastorate in 1880; Rev. F. W. A. Liefeld. in 1883; Rev. F. Alpers, in 1889; Rev. A. P. Meyer, 1905; Rev. H. Liudemaiin, 1910. The first period of Mr. Liudemann's pastorate was marked by the completion of the beautiful church in which Immanuel's congregation now worships. The parish school was founded during the pastorate of Rev. C. Zlomke, and is a very important adjunct to the activities of Immanuel's congregation.

Religious services in the English language were held in the Wabash Depot, alternately by Methodists and Presbyterians, until the autumn of 1869, when the district schoolhouse was completed and used as a Union meeting house. A Union Sunday school, which had also been organized, occupied the new building. Religious arrangements were thus continued until the Methodists erected their house of worship on Albers Street in 1872.

Rev. Robert Chapman was pastor of the First Methodist Episcopal Church, then located at the southwest corner of Albers and Congress streets. It was first known as Simpson's Chapel and was part of the old La Prairie circuit. William Beckett, James Whitford and Wil11am Strickler were the trustees of the chapel who formed the building committee for the erection of the first house of worship. When the name of the town was changed from Keokuk Junction to Golden in the middle '70s, the church adopted its present title-the First Methodist Episcopal Church of Golden. It is now under the pastorate of Rev. G, A. Cox. Among those who have served the church between the first and the last ministers mentioned were Revs. G. Garner, O. P. Nash, C. Y. Hecox, A. M. Dunnaven, Samuel Middleton, Lewis Walden, T. J. Bryant, Curtis Powell, J. W. Madison, J. M. Johnson, R. L. Smith, W. D. Atkinson, W. T. Evans, P. Slagel, Charles Wehrman, E. Hale Fuller, and A. F. Waters. It was during the pastorate of Rev. P. Slagel, in 1895, that the old church building was remodeled and made adaptable to increased requirements.

As stated, Trinity Lutheran congregation separated from Immanuel's in 1875, on the 18th of May. In December, 1877, its first house of worship was erected, and the continuous increase in membership made it necessary to enlarge and rebuild it in 1904. Rev. Hugo Dorrow has been the pastor of Trinity congregation for nearly a quarter of a century. Attached to it is also a large parochial school.

The United Presbyterian Church of Golden was organized about twenty-six years ago, and is really an offshoot of the Clayton society, which had then been in existence for nearly half a century. The official records show that, under instructions from the Monmouth Presbytery, the session of the Clayton United Presbyterian Church met at the Methodist Church in Golden for the purpose of organizing a local United Presbyterian Church under the jurisdiction of the presbytery named. There were eighteen charter members of the new organization, of whom. twelve were Wallaces. The first elders were James A. Wallace, Sr., William Wallace and James A. Wallace, Jr.; the trustees, William Wallace, John T. MeClintock and J. M. Walace. The two congregations of Clayton and Golden formed one charge and were served by Rev. J. J. Thompson (1892-94), Rev. M. Wallace Lorimer (1897-99). Rev. Thomas A. MeKernon, from 1900 until the disbandment of the Clayton congregation in November, 1902. Mr. McKernon continued to serve the Golden congregation until July, 1908. In the same year Rev. J. M. McConnell was called to the Golden Church. Rev. Charles H. Mitchell served from 1910 to 1914; Rev. Harry F. Whitmyer, 1915-17, and Rev. David A. McClung has held the pastorate since the latter year. The only house of worship erected by the United Presbyterians was completed in 1893.

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