History of Deer Park Township, LaSalle County, Il
From: History of LaSalle County, Illinois
By: Michael Cyprian O'Byron
The Lewis Pullishing Company
Chicago and New York 1924

Lying between the Illinois and Vermilion rivers and containing the grotto which bears the same name, Deer Park Township constitutes one of the most picturesque districts in this section Of Illinois, and it is specially favored in the wealth of its mineral deposits. In this township is also found the historic Starved Rock, concerning which adequate description is given on other pages of this publication. "On account of the timber and the advantages offered by the river, for transportation, Deer Park was one of the first townships in the county to be settled." The first settler, in 1829, was Martin Reynolds, who later removed to Ogle County, but in 1844 he returned to Deer Park Township, where he remained until his death, in 1870. His brother Joseph here settled in 1830, and of the names of other early settlers the following list may be noted: John Wallace, Mrs. Elsa Strawn Armstrong, Judge Isaac Dimmick (who came in 1833 and who platted the Village of Vermilionville), James T. Bullock, M. D., John Hollinger, Jason Wiswall, Enos Thatcher, Jedediah Beckwith, Bradish Cummings, Camp Hatch, Jabez Whiting, Matthew R. Coon, Ephraim Diminick, Rev. Thomas Powell (the pioneer Baptist clergyman of the county), Livingston Jenks, Ira L. Peck, David Clark, Andrew Kirkpatrick, James M. Leonard, Seth Eaton '(these two having erected a sawmill and gristmill at Vermilionville), John Beeson, William Wheatland, Edward R. and Robert B.. Williams, William Clayton, Alexander Eaton, John Wood (first postmaster at Vermilionville), George Bronson, William Gray, Job G. Lincoln, Robert Brown, John Clark, Ebenezer Little, Luther Woodward, Sheldon Cadwell, Michael O'Connor, Obadiah Brown, and William Turner. All of the pioneers mentioned in the foregoing roster settled in the township prior to 1840.

The following record concerning one of the points of major attraction in La Salle County is properly reproduced in this connection: "Deer Park Glen, so named from the practice of the' Indians in driving herds of wild deer into the rocky fastnesses from which there was no aperture of escape, and thus becoming easy prey, is one of the most remarkable formations found between the Alleghany and Rocky mountains; and in beauty and grandeur rivals the noted glens of the East and the far West. The upper park (the glen being divided by nature into two great sections) is forty feet above the lower, the two being united by a lovely cascade, forty feet high, falling into the lake of the lower park. Throughout the entire length of the glen (one and one-half miles) new beauties of verdure and falling water, and marvels of rock formation, continually delight the visitor."

The Village of Vermilionville is one of the oldest in the county - it was platted, for Isaac Dimmick, in the spring of 1836.

Deer Park Township, named for the picturesque glen described in an earlier paragraph, was organized April 2, 1850. Its first corps of officials was as follows: Supervisor, William Clayton; clerk, P. J. Dimmick; assessor, H. Kingsley; collector, Alexander Eaton; highway commissioners, A. T. Ross, J. M. Reynolds, W. H. Wiswall; justices of the peace, J. W. Armstrong, L. Jenks; constables, A. Eaton and T. Turner.


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