History of St. Joseph Township, 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



This town is bounded on thenorthby Stanton, on the west by Urbana, on the south by Sidney, and on the east by South Homer, being town 19—10. It is one of the oldest settled, and a glance at the map will convince any one that this is the paradise of stock raisers and feeders. The Salt Fork enters the township from the west, near its northern line, and after flowing nearly across it, and being joined by an important tributary from the north, bends away to the south, making, with its northern tributary, a stream over fourteen miles in length, within this town of six miles square. Along the whole length of this stream is a rich growth of timber, principally of oak, ash and black walnut, exceedingly valuable. The prairie lands are gently undulating, exceedingly fertile, well adapted to the cultivation of the cereals and grasses, as well as the raising and feeding of stock.

The first settlers in the county were Jonathan Kazad, and Silas Yount, who came from Ohio, and settled here in 1831.

In 1833, Mr. Joseph Stayton, from Ohio, came, 4nd bought out Mr. Kazad, who then left the county. Mr. Stayton continued the improvements but barely commenced by Mr. Kazad, and through the years of discomfort and privation, brought his farm to the rank of first class among those of the county to-day.

In 1834, William Peters, from Kentucky, bought out Yount and continued the work there, be had begun. Both of these were energetic, determined men, true types of’ the early pionneer character of the county, through whose might and courage the wilderness has given place to the garden, and uncultivated wilds to bloem and beauty. Jacob Bartley, Joseph Stayton, and William Peters, each planted an orchard in 1835, the first in the town, and among the first in the county. That year there were, in all, ten families in the township, which did not increase much beyond that fbr many years.

The first land entered here, was by James Roland, in Feb., 1830, the east half of south-east quarter Section 23, Town 19, Range 10.

Among the prominent farmers of the town is John Kirk, who came from Ohio. His farm of about 1,000 acres, is one of the best stock farms in the State, reflecting great credit upon its owner, by whom it was planned and improved. In all its details there is manifest a care and judgment, worthy the attention of farmers of all classes, as it is by observing and intelligently comparing the work of others that perfection is reached in any branch of business.

David B. Stayton has also a large, well improved farm, devoted to mixed husbandry, of which stock-raising is the leading feature. He, too, has attained success through a thorough practical application, and earnest labor, which proves the superiority of the man and the farmer.

Uncle David Swearingen, as he is familiarly called, has a reputation second to none, as an agriculturist. His farm, with its buildings, orehards, and other surroundings, shows the careful planning, of its manager.

H. W. Drullinger, whose fine farm, with its hospitable mansion, close by the Salt Fork, is another of this class, who honor their calling, and the county in which they reside.

John L. Smith also holds a place in the history of the town that will not soon be forgotten. He is possessed of unlimited energy and perseverance, and well deserves the high confidence reposed in him by his fellow-citizens.

These, and many others, are making their mark in the vocation they have chosen, that shall tell for good, when they have passed off the stage of action, and their places are filled by another generation.

The I., B. & W. R. R. passes through this town, and the little village of St. Joseph gives promise of prosperity and importance.

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