History of Virgil Township, Kane County, Il
From: The Past and Present Kane County, Illinois
Wm. Le Baron, Jr. & Company
Chicago 1878


The Spring of 1837 found the territory now embraced within the township of Virgil unsettled, save by three isolated families who had sought homes there during the previous season. The extensive sloughs spread over the region traversed by the crooked and insignificant Kishwaukee had delayed the peopling of these otherwise rich and desirable sections for many moons after the alluvial lands along Fox River had been subjected to the plow and the smoke had arisen from settlers' cabins throughout the entire valley, from Algonquin to Ottawa. The old Oregon and St. Charles Road had been laid out two years before the period of which we write, and traversed for miles a country in which there was not a single white inhabitant. North of this, and likewise extending from east to west, the road from St. Charles to Coltonville, the defunct capital of De Kalb County, was surveyed by Capt. Barnes, in 1837. Thus Virgil became one of the few townships in the county which had roads before it contained inhabitants. Aside from the cause mentioned which retarded the settlement, and which has now in a great measure disappeared, leaving Virgil one of the best farming townships in Northern Illinois, there was one proceeding from other than natural sources. Early in 1836, Luther Merrill, with his family, from the State of New Hampshire, found his way to the eastern edge of the township, south of the center, and, having erected a miserable log hut, laid claim to all the country extending from the southern line of the town north to Lilly Lake, near the residence of James Outhouse, and west to De Kalb County. An old settler declares with reckless hyperbole that his claim included all God's creation, and that he would have taken De Kalb County in addition if the rest had not been all that he could conveniently watch. The general verdict of those who knew him pronounced Mr. Merrill a man of unusual energy. His family has now left the country. The land monopoly which he formed had the effect which might have been expected, until settlers utterly disregarded his claim, as they should have done from the first, and established themselves upon reasonably large tracts, without asking his consent or paying his exorbitant prices.

Itinerant preachers had visited Virgil previous to 1837, and it is difficult to decide who was the first of these missionaries. Though not inspired with the zeal of the Jesuits who had entered Illinois more than a century and a quarter before, they were still, as a class, devout and conscientious men, working for the glory of God and the good of their race rather than for any personal ambition or emolument. We will start with one who left St. Charles in the Fall of 1838, on the Oswego Road, and, following him on his journey to De Kalb County, will there leave him to pursue his way, but will rejoin him as he enters Virgil on his return trip by way of the only remaining road across the township at that time. He is an honest and consistent follower in the path that John Wesley laid out, and as he enters upon an old gray horse the country since named Virgil, his eyes are opened for sinners to save. It is late in the Fall, and the occasional patches of woodland, dyed in carmine and gold, and resplendent beneath the last ray of the setting sun, inspire his mind with vague fancies of the beautiful as he rides along. He is not a man of sentiment or one accustomed to commune with Nature, yet even for him the glory of the scene through which he passes has its inspiration. But the thought that the hour of supper has arrived inspires him more, and now, a small cabin appearing, he determines to alight and ask the hospitality which his stomach demands. He is kindly received, as all travelers were in those days, and is soon seated by the rude fire place, asking questions. From the replies given he ascertains that the name of his host is John B. Moore, former resident of Wood County, Ohio, and that he came to Chicago, with his family, consisting of wife and nine children, in July, 1836, and, continuing his journey thence without delay, crossed the Fox River at Geneva, and at length reached the residence of an old friend, James Isbell, in Sugar Grove, where he stopped two or three weeks. Finding much of the land there claimed, and hearing of the rich tract at the north taken up by Merrill, he had determined to proceed thither. With his large family of sons and the Isbells, he had mustered quite an army, and, without asking leave of any one, had built his cabin and established himself in the new quarters. Mr. Merrill had visited him while he was erecting his abode, but, seeing so many men engaged in the work, had made no objections; and from that day the Merrills and Moores had continued the policy of carefully avoiding each other. Mr. Moore further informs his guest that it was a wild country when he came, and that he had seen 500 Indians encamped just south of Vim, in 1836. Having remained until morning, and performed the ceremonies which his piety suggested, the preacher continu his journey with refreshed body and a self satisfied mind. Mr. Moore remained upon the place where he found him until about 1841, when he died. His son, John O. Moore, now resides a little west of the old farm which is the present home of Thomas Anderson.

But the missionary proceeds on his tramp. He has made inquiries of Mr. Moore, concerning all the settlers across the country to the DeKalb line, and already feels quite well acquainted with them; so he ought, for he knows their family histories better than they do themselves. He soon approaches the residence of the first one, which is of logs, like the one just left, while various improvements in the vicinity indicate that the settlement was made at least two years before. And such our friend knows to be the fact, for the house was built by James Outhouse, a previous owner, who had come from St. John. New Brunswick, in the Fall of 1836, with his wife and two children, and having learned of the Merrill claim, had left his family at Blackberry, and traveled across the country to the cabin of the pretended owner of some thirty six square miles, where he was informed that he could. have 200 acres for $300, and not a. cent loess. With this assurance he returned toe Blackberry, and was told by D. W. Annis, that he would not pay any such outrageous price; that $100 was enough, and that if Merrill was not satisfied with that amount, he would furnish men enough to build a log house upon any part of the land which Outhouse should select, and help him to defend it. Accordingly Mr. Outhouse presented this view of the case to Mr. Merrill, telling him that the land which he claimed had never cost him a cent, and that he might take $100 for 200 Nacres, or he should take the land by force, and pay him nothing for it. After due consideration, Merrill concluded that he would accept the offer. Outhouse moved to the land already mentioned, but sold, in 1837, to William Kendall, who immediately disposed of it to two Pennsylvania Dutchmen. Mallo and Spangler, who were in possession when our. missionary passed it, and who resided there some five years. Mallo was noted throughout the township as the first brickmaker. It appears that the brick which he manufactured were not used in building any houses in the neighborhood, but merely for chimneys and wells. Next west of this land, arose the low shanty of one Klinepeter, another Pennsylvanian, who had come to the country about the same time as his countrymen on the east; but before reaching his house, the traveler had passed a sight very common in that part of the country then, but uncommon to him, as he had recently come from the East. Looking off to the south, a dark cloud appeared spread over the prairie, but moving rapidly toward the spot where he was concealed by some low bushes along the road side. Drawing his reins, he waited for the nearer approach of the objects, to solve the mystery. In a few moments a vast herd of deer was clearly distinguished; and as they approached, the reverend gentleman counted forty five* before they took fright, and changed their course for the nearest grove. The traveler watches them until they disappear, and then drives on. The man who was then occupying the neighboring shanty remained upon the place until his death; and several years later, his widow married a Mr. Smith, who now occupies the farm. Here the traveler bids farewell to the settlements of Kane Caunty, and a little later crosses the line. Returning several days later, upon the other road, he arrives in the middle of the afternoon at the cabin of Milton Thornton (who removed from his. original claim some four years ago to Geneva), and there our traveler inquires his way, and asks about the settlers along the home route, then drives along to the residence of the Read family, of whom hem has learned everything of the last stranger, for he is an inquisitive man, as has already appeared. He has learned that the Ether's name is Joshua, and that he has but recently arrived from New Brunswick with his family of seven sons and several daughters, and that one of the older daughters is the wife of James Outhouse. who had sold his claim to his father in law, and removed to the farm which he now owns in Campton Township. Musing on the changes constantly going on in this western country the parson draws his horse up at the house, to obtain a drink. While he is thus employed, we will give a brief sketch of the Reads, who settled a large part of the township.
*Several of the settlers have assured us that they have seen as many as fifty in a single herd.

The original homestead was situated upon Section 24, where Charles, the second son. now resides. Eliphalet, the oldest son, located on land purchased of Mr. Hackett, and lying partly in Campton - the portion in Virgil being upon Section 24. Charles purchased, at an early day, a claim on Section 29, of Henry German, a brother of Lyman German. now of Geneva, both of whom settled in Virgil in 1887, Lyman's claim being just north of his brother's, on Section 20. Joseph Read, the third son, was a mechanic in New Brunswick when the remainder of the family left, and was unable to come to Illinois until. 1840. In 1859, he died in Missouri. Richmond, the fourth son, took up them claim which he still owns in the northern part of the township, Section 12. Otho took the tract where he still resides, on parts of Sections 21, 22 and 28. George purchased the Erna on which Charles first settled, and Albert settled on Section 13.

Having satisfied both his own and his horse's thirst, the missionary hastens on as it is becoming late, and passes, on a brisk trot, the shanty of Henry Whitmarsh, from New York, whose settlement, he had learned, only dated from the previous year; and, in the course of a half hour's drive, arrived at the cabin of the original claimant of all the land which he had passed during the previous hour and a half. Although the earliest settler in the township, Mr. Merrill's. habitation was no better than those of the settlers who had but just arrived. It was built of rough logs like all the rest, but, unlike some of the others, it had no floor but the native prairie mud, in which the children of the proprietor burrowed like pigs in the sty. Believing from what he saw and had heard, that prayers would be as needful in that locality as anywhere, our missionary dismounted and was met at the door by a lady, who was evidently above her unfavorable surroundings, and he was here permitted to remain until morning. Some of the good brethren in Virgil Township had given notice, in expectation of his arrival, that upon the following day, which was Sunday, there would be preaching at a designated place in the neighborhood. The orthodoxy of that day was tedious to unbelievers, and our missionary's sermon was divided into no less than twenty four heads, all of which were elaborately subdivided. Mr. Merrill was doing his fall plowing, but decided to rest during part of the day from courtesy to his guest. He accordingly plowed until meeting time, then he hitched his horses to a tree and was an attentive listener until the preacher had reached his "Tenth" or "Twelfthly," when he yielded to the suggestions of the evil one and returned to his work.* In fine, it may be doubted if the labors of the good missionary on this occasion met with more than moderate success, since his hearers were more interested in the unregenerated gentleman in the neighboring field than in the labored discourse of the zealous preacher. It is a fact worthy of note, that of all the claim speculators scarcely one died in comfortable circumstances; and Merrill was no exception to the rule. About 1838, he built a frame house in the place of his original cabin, and some years later removed to Iowa, where he became poor previous to his death. Joseph Gray now lives upon his old homestead in Virgil. Israel Seaton was the builder of the old frame house, which was probably the first in the township. There was much speculation in claims in Virgil in 1837, many of them being sold for three times as much as they were worth, after the land sale in 1842. Merrill found a ready market for his land during the former year, for it was then that the greatest number of settlers came to the township Among them may be mentioned, aside from those already given, Daniel Smith, who located just north of John B. Moore, Daniel McKinley (deceased) and Harrision Chambers, now in Batavia. John McKinley settled west of the Kishwaukee timber, and later, about 1840, his father in law, Henry Krows, received part of his claim and settled thereon. Nearly all in that part of the township were New Yorkers. Lyman German's log house, erected in 1837, upon the bank of the creek, was standing until about three years ago. Just south of Daniel McKinley, a young man, named Massicar, built a house at an early day, but never lived there, having disposed of his property to one of the early purchasers. Just north of the Merrill homestead, Jeremiah Massingham settled, and sold, while the country was still new, to A. Dobson, a foster son of Joshua Read. Massingham became widely known among the settlers from driving a breaking team in connection With the Hacketts. West of him, and near the Kishwaukee timber, was John Scott, a great man in his day, for he was County Commissioner before the township organization, and early Supervisor, Notary Public, etc. He died in St. Charles in the Fall of 1877. A nomadic hunter, by the name of Chapman, lived east of Mr. Scott, but left the country early, having sold to a gentleman from Canada named Seaton. These, with Silas Shumake and Daniel Smith, who settled on the place now owned by his heirs, complete the list of the early settlers from 1836 to '38.
* Fact; on good authority.

The traveler through the township at that day would have noticed that the chimneys to the houses were nearly all constructed upon the same plan, being built upon the outside and with great care and skill. They were the workmanship of Daniel McKinley, who had made the building of chimneys his trade. The lower parts of these chimneys, for which McKinley claimed the copyright, were built of clay up to the summit of the fire place. Wooden moulds were used for this purpose, in which the clay was placed and pounded down until it formed a solid mass, when the board siding was removed and the structure was completed with small logs, between which the spaces were filled with "cat and clay," instead of mortar. This " cat and clay " consisted of finely cut straw mixed with clay, and formed in districts where lime was wanting - a good substitute for the compound which has now generally superseded it. The lower part would last a hundred years, if properly used.

Joshua Read made an innovation in architecture, a few years after his arrival, by building a frame house from which the chimney projected from the root instead of rising from the ground upon the outside, according to the common custom.

There are some who claim that this was the first frame building in the township, but Mr. J. O. Moore, the first of the settlers in the township now living, gives the priority in them to Merrill's. Read's was erected about 1839, on the old farm, was 18x24 feet in its dimensions, contained not a single sawed stick in the entire frame; and is now standing. Many a party has danced within its weather beaten walls, and laughed defiance to the whistling storm without.

Probably the first ball in the township was there; and there, too, one of the earliest marriages took place. Orson Kendall and Maria Read were the devoted pair, and Esquire West, of Blackberry, had the honor of uniting them.

The first birth in the township was that of a daughter of Seth Merrill, in the Summer of 1837.

No township in the county possesses more accurate records than Virgil. Through the good sense of Mr. Otho Read, the proceedings of all the school meetings, from 1841 to the present day, have been carefully preserved. It was not unusual to record such proceedings, but far from preserving them, it was common for school boards to instruct their Secretaries annually to destroy all their records.

We learn that in 1839, the intelligent farmers from New Hampshire assembled on Section 24, near the present site of Joseph Woodman's house, and built the first log school house in the township.

In the Winter of 1839-40, the first term was taught by Simeon Bean, a native of the Granite State, whose reputation is rather that of a profound thinker and scholar than of a disciplinarian. As the latter qualification is more essential than the former in the management of the common country school, Mr. Bean's experience might have been more successful than it was. The little boys and girls shot paper wads at him, "cachinated and sicyfungled," while he was treading the intricate labyrinths of Euclid or soaring among the stars with Kepler and Copernicus.

After the opening of this school, followed a district organization, in 1841. From the old book now in Mr. Read's possession, it appears that the first proceedings were kept upon scraps of paper or in some smaller book, and afterward copied into the volume which now contains them; and which bears the following entry upon the fly leaf. We copy verbatim et literatim:

"A Book of records for Trustees of School Land Township 40 Range 6 East. Bought By S. Johnson Treasurer for trustees of school land. price 37 cents."
"January 14th 1843

This day received this book of S. Johnson & paid for the same

The first record bears date more than a year previous, and reads as follows:

At a meeting of the Trustees of school lands, held at the school house_ in Township 40, Range 6 east, on the 27th Nov., 1841, Trustees William H. Robinson, Daniel Smith and John Scott present, the said Trustees appointed Spencer Johnson, Treasurer, at the same time and place; and the said Town was divided into destricts in manner following: School destrict No. 1 to consist of Sections 25-26-27, and the south half of Sec. 22-23-24. Dist. No. 2 to consist of the north half of Sec. 22-23-24; also, from 1 to 15 inclusive. Des. No. 3 to consist of Sec. 19-20-21-28-29-30-31-32. Dist. No. 4 to consist of Sec. No. 33-34-35-36. The trustees appointed Daniel McKinley, David Brown & Henry Krows, Directors in School Destrict No. 3: also, William Spangler, Henry Shumake & Abner S. Rand, Directors in Dist.
No. 4."

A certificate, at the close of the year 1841, places the number of children in Washington Township, as Virgil was then called; at ninety five. In accordance with the provisions of an act passed by the Legislature, February, 1841, the town was incorporated, for school purposes, on the 30th day of April, 1842.

Upon the same day, a vote was carried to change the name of the township from Washington to Franklin; and Simeon Bean, Luther Merrill, John Scott, Henry Krows and Daniel Mallo were elected Trustees of Schools. At a meetings of the Trustees, held January 2, 1843, the former arrangement was declared null and void, and the entire township resolved into a single district. Up to this time, it appears that there was only one school house, as "the school house in Township 40" is mentioned.

The consolidation of the districts proved unsatisfactory before the close of the year; and accordingly, on the 11th of November, Sections 19, 20, 21, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32 and 33 were set apart as District No. 2. At the end of the year the number of children under 20, 114, shows a marked increase in the population.

In 1844, great excitement arose over the school election. Informality was claimed, and a new election demanded, which resulted in Luther Merrill, Joseph Jenkins, Henry Krows, Robert Kemp and Noah Lakin becoming the Trustees. Section 16 (the school section) had been sold the previous December, at an average of $1.25 per acre. With the proceeds arising therefrom the Trustees felt that they represented a wealthy organization, and accordingly appropriated $55 for a Summer school, in 1844. During the same year, the present District 3 was formed as a union district, with a part of Fairfield (now Campton) Township. The census, at the close of 1845, states the number of children to be 202.

In April, 1846, the present Districts Nos. 4, 5 and 6 were formed; and in the Spring of 1847, a union district was set apart, with a fraction of Burlington Township. At the close of the latter year, the township census returns show an increase of thirty children over the one taken" two years before. In the Fall of this year, a union district was formed with a portion of Kaneville, since which there have been no radical changes, although some slight variations in boundaries have followed.

School houses had, in the meantime, sprung up all over the township The first built after the regular school organization is the wood building now used in District No. 1. The District No. 2 house is likewise old. No. 3 is a brick building, which has seen a number of years of service. Nos. 4 and 6 are frame buildings, which have also been used a long time, the latter having been built in 1858. No. 5 is a good frame structure, built in 1875; and Union No. 6 house was erected in 1876, at a cost of $1,400. Union No. 7 is the Lodi District, which will be again mentioned; and Union No. 9 contains a good brick building. The estimated valuation of school property is now $5,000. The number of children in the Fall of 1877 was 531, and of these, 375 attend school. $2,371 were paid to teachers during the same year.

The name of the township became Virgil at the time of the regular township organization.

The first tavern in Township 40 was opened as early as 1840, in a little log house on Section 17. The first store was a diminutive grocery establishment, started some four years later, by a Mrs. Groves, north of the tavern.

There was regular Baptist preaching, by Rev. Mr. King, in the old log school house, from 1840 to 1842.

About 1845, Joseph Jenkins opened a blacksmith shop, upon the farm now owned by Jackson Downing.

A post office was established under the name of New Virgil, a mile northeast of Lodi, at the house of Milton Thornton, about 1847. It was subsequently removed to the residence of W. H. Robinson, who was Postmaster until it was discontinued. The Ohio Grove post office, four mile north of Lodi, was started about 1854, with James A. Richardson as Postmaster, and was withdrawn by the Government about 1860. The citizens formerly accommodated at these offices now obtain their mail at Lodi.

This completes the institutions of the rural portion of this quiet country township, and it remains simply to notice briefly the rise and progress of the


The charter of the Chicago & Galena Railroad required the company to have their track completed and in condition for trains to run to Hickory Grove on the 1st day of January, 1854. The letter, but not the spirit, of the charter was complied with, for late in 1853 the work was hurried through at a desperate speed, and finding that with all their exertions it would be impossible to complete the work to the designated point in the required time, the ties were laid loosely upon the frozen prairie during the last three miles, the rails hurriedly placed upon them, with a nail or two to each, and on New Year's Day an engine slowly puffed to the Grove, where; rejoiced at having complied with the requirements of the law, the conscientious company indulged with the surrounding grangers in a sumptuous regale. It was while these exertions were in progress that the road passed the present site of the village, in 1853. Stopping merely long enough to raise a station shanty west of the site now occupied by the depot and name the prospective place Lodi, the company continued its progress. The track then laid was not formed with the elegant " T " rail now in use, but was pimply parallel square iron bars, such as are still common upon coal roads.

In March, 1854, James Watson, with his family located in the edge of DeKalb County, just outside of the limits of the present village, where he still resides. At that time, there was not a house built in the place, but, soon afterward, Heath & Hathorn (who had purchased the tract upon which the village stands of a Frenchman named Louis Cota, who in turn had derived his title from one Charles Sheldon, the original purchaser) laid out the place * and erected a store where the drug store now stands. This was the first building erected in the village A little later, James Haines put up a house, which is now occupied as a residence by Mr. Sunlie, and used it for a short time as a hotel, but finally disposed of it, and, about a year later, built the National Hotel. Mr. Watson's store, erected immediately after his arrival, should be mentioned in connection with the early institutions of Lodi, although the building stands just across the line.
* Lodi was laid out and surveyed March 20, 1854, for Heath & Hathorn, by Andrew Pingree, County Surveyor Several additions have since been made.

Previous to the surveying of Lodi, a post office had been established at the house of Spencer Baker, about a mile west of the present village, and named Line Post Office, from its location. After the plat of the town was laid, it was removed to the store of Heath & Hathorn, and has remained in the village ever since.

From the commencement, the place had a rapid growth. O. S. and F. T. Miner raised a blacksmith shop in the Fall of 1854; B. W. Lyon came in 1855, and built a small store where Kline is now located; and, about the same time, a fine building was erected by a stock company and designed, at first, as an academy, but finally sold to the District and since used as a public school house. At the close of the year 1856, the village could boast a population of 450; but now came a sudden change in its prospects.

A reliable authority states that Heath & Hawthorn laid out the place in 1854, and that the financial crash laid it out again in 1857. For several years it remained in a dormant condition, from which it was at length roused to life and activity by the booming of the first shot fired at Fort Sumter. Many a young man from Lodi and the neighboring country hastened to offer his services to his menaced country, and many gave their lives in the sacred cause. Among them may be mentioned the builder of the first dwelling in the village, who perished near Vicksburg.

Business interests revived as the war proceeded. In 1861, a new depot was built, but was destroyed by fire four years later, only to be replaced by a larger and more convenient one.

Religion also revived in 1861, and early in that year the Baptist Church, which had originated, years before, in the northern part of the township, commenced a church edifice. which was dedicated in October.

A little later, the Catholics commenced their building. This society was a branch of the church which had been formed between Kaneville and Lodi as early as 1849, under the missionary labors of Father Fehlie, and known as Blackberry Mission. Father Dwyer followed him, and when the new building at Lodi was completed, Father Murry, from DeKalb, had the honor of dedicating it.

The Methodist Episcopal building was put up in 1862, and the Free Methodist in 1866. In the latter year, the large store now occupied by Brown Brothers was also erected.

The first attempt to incorporate the village had been made two years before, when the general law for the government of incorporated towns had been submitted to a vote of the inhabitants, and the result had shown a majority in favor of its adoption. City Fathers were elected; but many of the citizens declared that the proceedings of the election had been irregular, and after several arrests for breach of village ordinances, so strong a sentiment was manifested against the village government that it became impossible henceforth to enforce its acts. In 1858, a majority of the people at an election declared the proceedings of the election of 1856 null and void, and great rejoicing followed this result, for the village government had become generally obnoxious All the old shotguns and anvils were brought out, and a grand racket followed; but in the height of the commotion an anvil burst, breaking and mangling one of Dr. Kennedy's legs, and inflicting a mortal wound upon George Brooks, one of the village boys. Thus the celebration ended in grief. No attempt was made to revive the subject of incorporation for six years, but in 1865 it began again to receive general attention, and although much opposition arose, it was overcome honestly, and Lodi became a village, with full power to enforce its laws, on the 11th day of March, 1865. After this event the place prospered, and a number of new buildings were put up. Two thousand dollars were raised among the business men in 1869, and paid to G. W. Bunda, of Ithaca, N. Y., as a bonus for establishing a manufactory of agricultural implements. Five thousand dollars' worthy of machinery were purchased, including a good engine, and an extensive business was expected. But the proprietor seems to have lacked the requisite qualifications to make the enterprise successful, and in 1871 sold out to E. J. Austin: The manufactory was never operated with any energy, and is now forgotten by the citizens. A carriage shop, started in 1870 by F. O. Rood, has been more prosperous, as has been the cheese factory, which has become one of Lodi's permanent institutions. In the Fall of 1871, the large store on the present site of the drug store was destroyed by fire but was shortly replaced. Mr. Watson's old stand is now occupied by Shoop Hoyt, dealers in almost everything required by farmers. The streets of Lodi are regularly laid out, and its location is said to be an exceedingly healthy one.

The first physician to locate in the town was Dr. Strong, who came about 1856, and was followed in 1857 by Dr. Wm. Kennedy, the father of W. H. H. Kennedy, Esq. Dr. K. was a thoroughly educated practitioner, and continued to deal out prescriptions in accordance with the teachings of the Allopathic school until his death, which occurred in the Fall of 1862. Dr. McNair took his place, and Dr. Thompson came in 1875, both of whom still remain in the village.

The legal profession was first represented in Lodi, at its commencement, by W. J. Brown, the son of an early settler in Virgil. Mr. Brown remained until 1861, took part in the war which followed, and settled at Geneva after his return. W. H. H. Kennedy commenced studying with him in 1858, was admitted to the bar in 1860, and since 1861 has been settling the disputes which are said to arise occasionally, even in Lodi.

Several orders have arisen in the village at various times in the past, and once a literary society flourished, and collected a library containing some $200 worth of books; but the societies have become dispersed, owing generally to removals to other places, and the volumes of the library are scattered. The village is important as a railway station, since it contains large water tanks and a coal depot. Its situation is fifty miles west of Chicago, five miles from the nearest village, and it is surrounded by one of the richest farming sections in the State. The assessed valuation of the entire township, including the village, as estimated at fifty cents on the dollar, is $451,383. The population of the township, including the village, is 1,274.

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