LUDLOW AND HARWOOD TOWNSHIPS.
Ludlow Township formerly extended over territory six miles north and south, and twelve miles east and west.
It is in the north tier of townships in Champaign county. It has recently been divided, making the township of
Harwood six miles square off the east.
The two townships, Ludlow and Harwood, are a splendid body of rich prairie, undulating, and susceptible of the
most perfect drainage, being the highest land in the county, and drained by tributaries of the Salt Fork and Middle
Fork of the Wabash, Vermillion (which waters flow into the Ohio river), and tributaries of the Sangamon river (which
waters flow into the Mississippi river). There is a fine ridge, comprising the greater part of the two townships,
running north-west and south-east, of high, rolling and very sightly country. On this ridge are situated some of
our handsomest farms, and the view from it, in a clear day, extending for miles in every direction, is truly enchanting.
The villages of Loda, Paxton and Rantoul are in full view, and apparently in a great extended valley. The Big Grove
at Urbana and Champaign, and the timber far away on the Sangamon, Salt Fork, and Middle Fork meandering in view,
amongst the rich farms of the county, form the outline of this great valley. There is no native forest in either
of these townships except a few acres in the north-east corner of Harwood township, where the Middle Fork of the
Verrnillion touches that township.
The Illinois Central Railroad, Chicago Branch, passes north and south through the township of Ludlow.
The village of Ludlow is situated one mile south of the county line, and five miles south of Paxton, the county
seat of Ford county. It is quite a business place, large quantities of farm produce being received here for transportation.
There are several active commission men; a mill for shelling and grinding corn; stores, two blacksmith shops, and
a large district school, requiring two teachers.
First Congregational Church cost $3,000; thirty-six by fifty-six feet. A. E. Everest, pastor.
First Christian Church will cost about $3,000; thirty-four by fifty-six feet. R. B. Roberts, preacher. Over one
The Methodists, under charge of Rev. Mr. Dale, are quite a large society, and expect to build next summer. They
already have a large subscription.
Jacob Huffman, from Harrison county, Kentucky, was the first settler. He built a dwelling in the year 1852, on
the south-west quarter of section one, Town No. 22 north, Range 10 east, near the timber on the Middle Fork of
Verrnillion. He died in 1857, leaving a widow and two sons. The widow married S. H. Cushing, and they now live
in the same house.
James W. Carter and Michael Huffman, (brother of Jacob,) came into the township in 1854. Carter settled in the
north part of Section one, also adjoining the Vermillion county line (now Ford county,) and near the Middle Fork.
Carter was young, active, persevering, close in trading, and economical. By keeping a variety of stock, colts,
cattle, sheep and hogs, the hogs living on nuts, acorns, and such support as they could find along the stream,
and by buying timber lands by the acre, and selling the wood and posts, he has added, by several purchases, until
he has now a very fine property of five hundred and seventy acres. He is from Kentucky, and is about 38 years old.
Michael Huffman has been one of the most prominent men in this township, serving a number of termsas Justice of
the Peace, and for many years Treasurer of the School fund. He bought the south-west quarter of Section three,
Township No. twenty-two north, of Range ten, and in 1854 built a good frame dwelling, being the first, man to try
the open prairie in this township. He is from Kentucky, and is about forty-nine years old. He traded his farm for
a store and stock of goods, at the village of Ludlow, (formerly Pera,) about the year 1860. He carried on the store
for three or four years, sold out, bought other property in the village, built four or five houses, the principal
of which is the hotel, now owned and kept by John Lamarsna. He is now farming, one mile east of the village. Esquire
lluffman has retained the entire confidence of the whole community in his integrity, honesty, and true friendship.
J. D. Ludlow, from whom the township and town derive their present name, was born in the year 1822, near Cincinnati,
Ohio, on a farm, and came to Illinois as agent of Michael L. Sullivant, in 1853. He examined lands, surveyed, and
purchased for Mr. Sullivant most of the great farm in the south-east corner of Champaign county, known as Broadlands.
He also purchased at the Danville land office, for Mr. Sullivant, most of the tract of 40,000 acres, now being
improved in Ford and Livingston counties by Mr. Sullivant.
In 1855, Mr. Ludlow bought at Government price the northwest quarter of Section seven, Township twenty-two north,
Range ten east, now in Harwood township, half a mile east of the village of Ludlow, upon which he built his present
dwelling, in 1856. (Scott & Ohaddon, of Champaign, were the carpenters and builders.) He set out trees, and
last fall his orchard was heavily laden with as handsome apples as were ever grown. The Esopus, Spitzenberg, Rambo,
Early Harvest and Yellow Bellefleur, were the best bearers. Groves of Wild Crab Apple, Walnut and Peach, in bearing,
also Hard and Soft Maples, Golden Willow, Elms, Lombardy Poplars, Red Cedars, and other trees in profusion, show
that with little care a beautifully variegated forest can soon be made upon these open prairies. Six years ago,
he added 160 acres on the west, running into the village, making 325 acres. It is well drained, having several
miles of mole and open ditches. Nearly the whole farm is well set in timothy and clover meadow.
The two churches in the village are on land donated by him from his farm.
When the county adopted township organization, he was chosen as one of the Commissioners to divide the county into
He lives a quiet and contended life at his pleasant home with his interesting family, an amateur farmer, aspiring
to no public honors.
Many good men came soon after, who are worthy of mention for their individual worth, their Christian virtues,
and success in business, and devotion to their country during the rebellion.
John Crawford, now seventy-one years old, came in 1857, and located on Section 11, Town 22, Range 10. He was from
Kentucky. Two of his Sons served in the war with credit. He and his sons are now living on the same farm.
Samuel and J. P. Middlecoff built a store and commenced business in the village, in 1857—young men of sterling
worth, and of smart, active, correct business habits. Samuel gave his life to his country, went with Fremont on
his one hundred days march and died at Warsaw, Missouri. J. P. Middlecoff is now conducting, and is sole proprietor
of a very large hardware, stove, tinware and agricultural machinery establishment in Paxton, Ford county, Illinois.
Joshua Emrnons, Jas. Barklow, B. F. Dye, Isaiah Estep, (now of Rantoul), Lewis Hicks, (now of Tomlinson & Hicks,
Rantoul), Wm. Lenere, Almond Lenere, R. W. Claypool, Isaiah Ferris, L. Chaddon, (now of Champaign), John Lucas,
(first station agent,) Seth Parsons, Jeremiah Delay, and others, deserve especial notice, but our space forbids.
They came here in the years 1855, 1856 and 1857.
The farm of Seth Parsons deserves particular notice for its neat, cheerful aspect, the quick, active, busy appearance
of the proprietor, and his success in wheat culture. When everybody failed, Seth Parsons had, good wheat, and his
corn was clean, and, better than that of others. His trees and shrubbery, with which his place is ornamented, grow
better than any of his neighbors. He would say, in a joking, earnest way, that his farm was warm and sandy, but
he was a live Yankee from Connecticut, and he worked. His farm was 120 acres, in Section 17, Township 22 north,
Range 9 east, but, poor man, be has left his beautiful home in the hands of strangers, and two years ago took a
section to open up in Southwest Missouri. (He will do it or die, but he will most likely die, as they have been
sick a great deal since they went out.)
The farm of Judge Phillips is on the southern slope of the ridge before mentioned, in Harwood township, beautifully
rolling, interspersed with cornfields, wide meadows, pastures and permanent water, subdivided by young thrifty
hedges, with some old hedges doing service. He is a successful farmer. His system of farming might be called mixed
husbandry, raising different kinds of grain, timothy and clover meadows, keeping cattle, hogs and colts. His handsome
dwelling overlooks the farm and the valley; to the south the cars can also be seen for many miles from his door.
In the rear of his farm, about half or three-quarters of a mile from his house, is to be seen a fine large district
schoolhouse, nestling in among the hills.