History of Sidney, 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 bounded on the north by St. Joseph, on the west by Philo, on the south by Raymond, and on the east by South Homer; being Town 18, Range 10 east. Within this town is a magnificent body of timber, a woodland, lying on the Salt Fork, which enters the town from the north, near the center of the town, and after winding through the same, passes out near the north-east corner; the space in the huge bend being covered with stately trees of oak, ash and black walnut; invaluable for fencing material, and manufacturing purposes. The country south and west from the Salt Fork is prairie, of the same characteristics to be found in all parts of the county, well adapted to mixed or special husbandry.

The first to enter land here was Jesse Williams, February, 1827, the east half of the north-east quarter of Section 12, Town 18, Range 10.

The first settlers in this town, of whom we have been able to obtain information, were Thomas L. Butler, who came from Ohio, in 1834, and one Adam Thomas, the same year. These men made improvements. Mr. Thomas planted the first orchard in the town. G. W. Towner came in 1837; he was born in Pennsylvania, 1815. George Wilson came in 1839.

Dr. James H. Lyons came in 1837, and. made valuable improvements, building the first house where the village of Sidney now stands. It is said of him, that he brought the first blooded stock to the county; but from all the light we have on that subject, that honor rests with one Mitchel, who settled in Newcomb township.

From this early period, until 1854 or 1855, the growth of the town was slow, receiving, occasionally, new accessions to the number of its inhabitants, of those who dared to brave the trials and discomforts attendant upon the life of the pioneer.

In 1855, the Toledo, Wabash and Western Railway was completed through the town, and immigration flowed in, settling up the lands with great rapidity, about the woodlands of the Salt Fork, and stretched out to the west and south, as it came to be known that the prairies could be inhabited by man, without the danger of freezing, or blowing away.

Fountain Busey, whom we found in Hensley township, and who sold out there to H. Phillipe, in 1841, resIdes here, and hia farm of over 500 acres tells plainly that he has not been idle.

Thomas Butler has a farm that for improvements is excelled by few. In all of his farming operations, there is stamped the impress of a guiding hand, controlling the work, and not controlled by it.

The farm of J. B. Porterfield is the boast of the town, and. they have a right to boast, for one more complete in all its parts does not exist within the State, or out of it.

Mr. Porterfield's farm contains about 1,000 acres, in a high state of cultivation, improved almost to perfection. The design is for stock-growing and feeding; and in buildings and appointments generally, there seems to be no fault.

E. Waters, Samuel Love, Geo. Wilson, and many others, have large farms, the cultivation and improvement of which give evidence of the care bestowed by their owners, and also of the great improvement in the management of farms over the earlier days.

The village is located on the T., W. & W. R. W., at the point of woodland at the bend in the Salt Fork to the east, and is a thriving, flourishing town. One of the tributaries of the Salt Fork runs through the village, rendering its location peculiarly advantageous for cleanliness and health. Its inhabitants are a wide-awake, driving people, evincing a thorough knowledge of the value of time. The extensive flouring and saw mill of William Parks is an acquisition of which any town in the West might boast, while all the business men are of the right mettle.

They have two fine church buildings; one graded school, that is an honor to the county; three blacksmith and wagon manufacturing shops; two dry goods houses; drug store; agricultural warehouse; and all the various branches of industry, fully and well represented by active business men, all in happy accord, in making their town, as it really is, worthy the attention of capitalists.

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