History of Orland, Il.
From: History of Cook County, Illinois
By: A. T. Andreas
Published by: A. T. Andreas, Publisher Chicago, 1884


It is almost a tradition that the first white settler within the present limits of the town of Orland was a man named Henry Taylor, who in 1834-35 located on Section 15. Little could be learned concerning him, save that a few years later he removed still further West. and has not been heard of since. Thomas Hardy came in 1836, and located on the farm on which he still resides in the northwestern portion of the township. In 1844, William and Ichabod Myrick located on lands which they had purchased in 1841 in Section 6; while in the year first mentioned Sydney S. Campbell settled on the farm in Section 4, where he still lives. In 1845 came George H. Newman, and in the year following the Bartlett family settled on Section 5; also Fergus Dickson took up his abode on Section 12. Those who came later were Alanson St. Clair in 1848, locating on Section 9; Joseph Ward, in November, 1849, settling on Section 26; William Jackson in the same year, locating about two miles northwest of the village; Thomas Cooper, in 1850, on Section 15, and Frederick Kimmel, two years later, who settled on Section 23. Mr. Kimmel lived here until his death, which occurred in June, 1863; his son Charles still resides on the old home place. Of these, the earliest settlers of this township, the majority are still living in a quiet and peaceful old age, and in the calm enjoyment of a rest richly earned by years of honest toil. In addition to the death of Mr. Kimmel, there are to be recorded those of Joseph Ward, who deceased in 1880, and of Amos Parmalee of the previous year. George H. Newman moved to the State of Kansas some years ago, where he now lives, and Fergus Dickson, for so many years a resident of Orland Township, now lives at the advanced age of eighty years in Newton County, Ind.

Among those who came later, and after the township organization, were the following: William Hewson, 1852; William Sippel in the same year, George Brandau in 1856, H. Reed and Alonzo Briggs, both of whom arrived in 1855. An idea of the population of the township only thirty four years ago may be gleaned from the statement that at the first town election held in 1850, there were only thirty one votes cast, while its poll lists now show nearly three hundred voters.

The first post office in the township was established in 1848, at the house of Alanson St. Clair, on Section 9, and in what would now be School District No. 2. Here the people of this neighborhood obtained their mail until the establishment a few years ago of an office at the little village of Orland. For those living remote from this office, there were postal facilities to be at Bremen, just over the line in the township of that name, and also at the little village of Mokena in Will County. It is scarcely necessary to add, that unto this day a goodly portion of the people of this township still get their mail at these places. The first school in the township was built in 1849-50, and was situated about a mile and a half southwest of the village, near the site at where now stands the house known as No. 2. In this house was held also the first town election, besides being used by the inhabitants of the district for church and Sabbath school purposes.

Until 1850, Orland Township was situated in what was then called Vork Precinct, which was made up of the towns of Bremen. Worth, Palos, Lemont, and Orland. The latter as now constituted, is bounded on the north by Palos, on the east by Breman, on the south and east by Frankfort and Homer townships, of Will County. The election for adopting a town form of government was held April 2, 1850, at Center schoolhouse, in District No. 2, and the following officers chosen: William Jackson, Supervisor; Alanson St. Clair, Clerk; Sidney S. Campbell, Assessor; William Myrick. Collector; Milton P. Bartlett, Overseer of the Poor; Ichabod Myrick and Fergus Dickson, Justices. From the records, it also appears that on motion of William Jackson, it was unanimously voted to dispense with pounds and pound-masters for the ensuing year, and also, that horses, mules, asses, cattle, sheep and hogs, be permitted to run at large as free commoners from the 20th of March to the 20th of November. In addition, it was also enacted, "that a fence, substantially built, and four feet in height, should be deemed a 'lawful fence,' and that owners of stock breaking through such a fence, should be fined $5 for each offense." Although the above is a little ambiguous in its import, it should perhaps be construed to mean that when the cattle, and not the owners, broke through the fence, the owners, and not the cattle should be subjected to a fine of $5, for the violation of this somewhat peculiarly worded statute.

On the 20th of April the Commissioners of Highways held their first meeting and proceeded to divided the township in nine road districts, which division has remained unchanged to the present time. They are as follows: District No. 1 consists of Sections 1, 2, 11 and 12; District No. 2, of Sections 4, 4, and 10; District No. 3, of Sections 5, 6, and 8; District No. 4, of Sections 13, 14, 23 and 24; District No. 5, of Sections 15, 16, 21 and 22; District No. 6, of Sections 17, 18, 19 and 20; District No. 7, of Sections 25, 26, 35 and 36; District No. 8, of Sections 27, 28, 33 and 34; District No. 9, of Sections 29, 30, 31 and 32.

The first roan laid out in the township after the town organization, was ordered on the 22d of October, 1850, by Timothy White and Fergus Dickson, the newlyelected Highway Commissioners, on the application of Alanson St. Clair. Its course was as follows: "Commencing in the middle of the highway leading from Jackson's to Hickory Creek, and at the northeast corner of lands owned by Benjamin Briggs on Section 8, and running east, bearing south 22 1/2 degrees, one mile and thirty six rods to the northeast corner of lands owned by Alanson St. Clair, in the center of Section 9; thence south aiong the east line of Mr. St. Clair's farm threefourths of a mile, and terminating at the highway which runs east and west in front of Amos Parmalee's house." This road is still in existence, as are all those established during the first few years after the township organization.

At the second town meeting held in April, 1851, it was decided to henceforth have both a pound and a pound-master. It was therefore ordered that a pound be established on the northeast corner of Amos Parmalee's farm; that it should be three rods square, with walls eight feet high; a tax of twenty five dollars was levied to pay for the same, the building of which was to be awarded to the lowest responsible bidder. Thus has been given the first doings of what may be termed the legislative board of the township; its later transactions assume, of course, the character of mere routine duties, the recital of which would be of no interest or import to the general reader. Following, however, is given the roster of the principal officers of the township, chosen at the annual elections, from 1851 to the present time.

Supervisors.- William Jackson, 1851-54; S. Campbell, 1854-59; I. H. Myrick, 1859-61; Henry Reed, 1861-63; William Myrick, 1863-64; Thomas Cooper, 1864-66; Christian Battenhouse, 1866-67; John Humphrey, 1867-7 x; Charles Holstein, 1871-73; John Humphrey, 1873-78; William Jackson, 1878-79; John Humphrey, 1879-84.

Clerks.- Alanson St. Clair, 1852-53; Ichabod Myrick, 1853-56; Fergus Dickson, 1856-63; John A. Jackson, 1863-64; Christian Andres, 1864-65; Fergus Dickson, 1865-69; J. B. Dickson, 1869-70; Fergus Dickson, 1870-74; J. B. Dickson, 1874-75; F. J. Nichols, 1875-77; James Cooper, 1877-78; Henry Laun, 1878-84.

Assessors.-S. S. Campbell, 1851-53; Fergus Dickson, 1853-55; S. S. Campbell, 1855-56; James H. Bendlett, 1856-57; Henry Reed, 1857-58; John Hackett, 1858-59; S. S. Campbell, 1859-61; William Jackson, 1861-62; Thomas Cooper, 1862-64; Adam Brandau, 1864-66; John Moore, 1866-68; William Brandau, 1868-69; Charles Holstein, 1869-71; Charles Brinkhortt, 1872-73; George Cox, 1873-74; Conrad Battenhouse, 1874-75; George Cox, 1875-76; C. Battenhouse, 1876-78; S. S. Campbell, 1878-83; John Kirby, 1883-84.

Collectors. - William Myrick, 1851-52; Timothy White, 1852-55; H. N. Dickson, 1855-58; John G. Bartlett, 1858-60; A. Briggs, 1860-61; Christian Andres, 1862-62; Conrad Battenhouse, 1862-65; Charles Holstein, 1865-66; Charles Burkhartt, 1866-69; Conrad Andres, 1869-70; H. Kirsch, 1870-71; J. B. Dickson, 1871-73; Barnhardt Gunderman, 1873-74; William Cox, 1874-75; Barnhardt Gunderman, 1875-76; Charles Holstein, 1876-77; John Kirby. 1877-78 George McGregor, 1878-79; Conrad Battenhouse, 1879-80; John Kirby, 1880-81; Charles Kinnell, 1881-83; Adam Gunderman, 1883-84.

Justices-Timothy White and John Simpson, 1854-58; A. Briggs and William Jackson, 1858-62; William Jackson and C. Andres, 1862-66; Henry Laun and William Jackson, 1866-70; Henry Laun and John M. Pearson, 1870-74; James M. Parsons and Henry Laun, 1874-78; James M. Parsons and William Sippel, 1878-82; Wilham Sippel and Noble Mitchell, 1882-84.


The township of Orland has at this time but three post-office hamlets within its limits; of these Orland, situated on the Chicago Division of the Wabash, St. Louis & Pacific Railroad, and about twenty-three miles from the city, is the largest. It was founded in 1889, and immediately after the completion of the railroad above mentioned, which was begun in 1879. The first dwelling-house put up in the place was built by G. H. Zahn, in November, r88o, and the second by John Humphrey in May of the following year. In the summer of 1881, Henry Laun, the present Town Clerk, erected the building which he still occupies as a store, below, and living rooms above. The first plat of the town was made in April, 1880, for Colonel Fawcet Plum, and consisted of twenty acres, lying in triangular form, in the northeast corner of Section 9, and platted into nearly two hundred lots. This plat was made under the name of Sedgwick, the title bestowed on the station by the railroad company, but in deference to the wishes of the inhabitants, the name was, in the spring of 1881, changed to Orland. Humphrey's addition of ten acres was platted in the summer of 1880, and adjoins the village on the south and west. The business interests of Orland are represented by two saloons, two general stores, a furniture store and a blacksmith and wagon shop. It may be mentioned in passing, and as showing the extreme temperance proclivities of the citizens here, that in 1883, at the spring election, the question of permitting a saloon to be established within the village limits, was decided in the affirmative, by the exceedingly popular vote of 98 to 1. As the place has a population considerably less than two hundred, and now has two saloons, the above vote indicates the unanimity of opinion in regard to the beneficial influence which their institutions wield over the morals of a community.

ALPINE is the post-office name given to the next station on the railroad south of Orland. It was established at the same time as the latter named place. It has a general store and post-office, kept by R. Sumpstein, who is also station agent for the railroad company.

EAST ORLAND is situated about four miles northeast of Orland, and a mile east of the railroad. For ten years past Lewis Grosskoff has kept a small general store here in one end of his farm-house, and about five years ago was appointed Postmaster.

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