History of Kerr, Il.
From: J. S. Lothrop's Champaign County Directory
With History of the same, and Each Township Therein
Published by: Rand, McNally & Co., Printers & Binders, Chicago 1871



Is in the extreme north-east corner of the county, and occupies Town 22, Range 14 west, 2 P. M., and Town 22, Range 11 east, 3 P. M. It is bounded on the north by Ford county, on the west by Harwood township, on the south by Compromise, and on the east by Vermillion county. It contains twenty-four square miles, or 15,360 acres of land. When first organized the name was Middle Fork, from the name of the stream which runs through it, and was then just twice its present dimensions, as it included that part of Town 21 which lies immediately south of the present town. The name was changed in 1861 to Kerr, and in 1869 the town was divided, and the southern half given to Compromise.

Although the least in size among the towns of the county, it is far from being the least in importance. As the country improves, and farmers have reached a point on the road, to competence where they can farm as they desire, their attention will be directed mainly to stock raising, and no locality offers greater facilities for that purpose then Kerr. The prairies are rich, beautifully undulating, and rank with rich grasses, while Middle Fork, a never-failing stream of' water, divides the town in twain from the north-west to the south-east, giving prime advantages of water, so essential to the success of the stockgrower. Unfortunately for the town hitherto, the location in the county has not been the most favorable for rapid improvement, being off the line of any railroad, or other carrying route; but this will soon be obviated, as by reference to the map, it will be seen that the new road passes through this township, and were it not so, the superior advantages for stock farming, as stated above, must soon command the attention of farmers seeking desirable locations to invest in farm lands for occupation.

The first lands entered in this township were by Andrew Sprouler and William Brian, the former entering the north-east quarter of Section one, Town 22, Range 11 east, on December 31st, 1833; and the latter entered the north-east quarter of Section six, Town 22, Range 14 west, in October, 1833. Where these men came from, or how long they remained in the town, is unknown to us. The first settler in the township was William McMeIlen, who came from Columbus, Ohio, and settled at Sugar Grove, in the fall of 1831, purchasing his land at the Government land sales. He was unfortunate at the first in losing some of his stock, a loss not easily repaired in those days. He improved his lands however, living there until 1835, when he sold out to Caleb Davis. One John Manning also settled at Sugar Grove about the same time as MeMellen, but died soon after. Samuel Kerr, from Ohio, entered land at Sugar Grove in 1834, and owned part of the grove. He improved his farm, and was engaged quite extensively in stock raising. He died in the year 1854.

Lewis Kuder was from Hocking county, Ohio, and came to Kerr with his father, John Kuder, in 1837, where they settled upon the land, now owned by the subject of our sketch. In 1840 his father died, and the following year his mother also died. Mr. Kuder then bought out the interest of the heirs and entered at once, as far as his means would permit, upon the stock-raising business. In this he has been successful, and piece by piece his farm has grown, until his inclosure now contains six hundred acres, besides one quarter that is not inclosed. The farm is in an excellent condition, and well arranged for a stock farm, for which it is designed, with a good house and barn, and all things else for comfort and convenience. A beautiful and substantial iron bridge spans the Middle Fork just east of his residence. He has upon his place about thirty head of horses, besides droves of cattle and hogs. Mr. Kuder has twice represented his town in the Board of Supervisors of the county, and is well known over the county as a sound and substantial man.

Levi Wood, Lindley Corbley, Joseph Martin, and Daniel Allhands, are substantial farmers, as are also many others we might name. Those named have done much in improving the county and adding to its material wealth and prosperity. Their farms are large, and models of their kind, being for stock purposes; and while they have grown rich themselves, they have made plain the, path they trod, and themselves a guide to those who would follow after. Mr. Corbley, like Mr. Kuder, has twice been elected Supervisor, while Mr. Daniel Allhands, has been returned six times to the Board, showing that he is not only a man of substantial means, but of substantial worth.

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