History of Honey Creek Township, 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 natural features of Honey Creek Township, which is located north of the central part of Adams County, are extremely diversified, and yet all favorable to substantial development and comfortable progress. Honey and Brush Creeks, tributaries of the south branch of Bear Creek, drain and fertilize the country, which is included in the watershed of the Mississippi basin.


Agriculture, horticulture and live stock raising all flourish, dairying being a chief and growing specialty. The specific products upon which the people of the township depend for their substantial prosperity and future growth are corn, hogs and cattle. Apples, pears and peaches do well, although on account of the constant fight which fruit growers must wage against insect enemies, horticulture has not, on the whole, advanced.

Originally, Honey Creek Township consisted of about three-fifths timber and the remainder prairie lands, but since the timber has been stripped away to a large extent for building purposes and to manufacture such articles as barrels and wagons, there have been no industries which are not dependent upon the annual products of the soil, or the raising of live stock.


The principal prairie of Honey Creek is called Froggy. The why and wherefore of the name is thus explained by an old settler: “It originated at one of the old-fashioned spelling bees, where a school district at the west of the prairie was pitted against the home district. Schoolhouse, a log cabin on the prairie; time, March 25, 1844; at candle lighting, present both schools in full force; wild grass taller than a man; water, boot-leg deep full of frogs, which made so much noise that the teacher was compelled to pronounce the words at the top of his voice in order to be heard at all. A schoolgirl from the west district called the place Froggy; and Froggy it has been ever since.”

A squatter named Haven is said to have made the first settlement in the township, fixing his habitation on what is now Hog branch of Honey Creek, section 21, some time previous to 1830. The story is that he found a bee tree on the creek bottom so laden with honey that he forthwith gave the main stream its name, which was also applied to the township. Within the decade succeeding Haven’s arrival came such settlers as Edward Edmondson, Enos Thompson and.sons, John Byler, H. B. Baldwin, J. E. Kammerer, Richard Gray, Joseph Pollock, Mrs. Irene Grigsby and Jabez Lovejoy, Daniel Gooding, the Strueys and the Whites. Dr. Joel Darrah settled in the spring of 1840.


There are two villages in Honey Creek Township, both on the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy line—Coatsburg and Paloma. The former was surveyed and platted by R. P. Coats in January, 1855, and derives its name from him. Coatsburg witnessed a somewhat steady growth for about twenty years and reached a point in its development when it had a substantial support for the county seat; but the contest of 1875 laid its ambitions low in that regard, and it is now, and has been for some years, in a state of decline. It has a local newspaper, the Community Enterprise, edited by R. C. Stokes, and a branch of the State Street Bank of Quincy, organized in October, 1909. D. L. MeNeal is its cashier. The bank building was erected in 1914.

There are half a dozen general and special stores in the village. It is in the center of quite a large German Lutheran community, the church at Coatsburg having been founded in July, 1862. Its first pastor was Rev. A. Fismer, and Rev. A. H. Zeilenger, the present incumbent, has been in charge since 1908. The society has a membership of about 150, with a strong Sunday School and several flourishing auxiliaries. The Methodists have no settled pastor, being served by Rev. C. B. Underwood, of Columbus, and the Disciples of Christ are in charge of Rev. L. C. Mauck of Quincy. As to the lodges of the neighborhood, oniy one is strong—that which represents the Modern Woodmen.

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