The history of this township is largely given in that of the city of La Salle, in the chapter devoted to the
“Twin Cities,” La Salle and Peru. Across the center of the township is the line of the old Illinois & Michigan
Canal, the Illinois River likewise traverses the central portion from east to west, as does also the Chicago, Rock
Island & Pacific Railroad. The Illinois Central Railroad crosses the township from north to south, and here
the fine city of La Salle is situated on the northern side of the Illinois River.
Dixwell Lathrop came from Norwich, Connecticut, in 1835, as emissary of a company in that place, his mission being
to select and purchase land. He brought his family the following year, and, as agent for Charles and John Rockwell,
of Norwich, Connecticut, laid out the town of Rockwell, in which locality he was soon reinforced by other colonists
from his old home state. The town of Rockwell survived only a few years. In the spring of 1836 Daniel Baird came
from Westborough, Massachusetts, and established his residence at Rockwell. In the autumn of the same year Hackaliah
Merritt, with his wife, Sarah, came from Putnam County, New York, and settled on section 3 of this township.
The township was organized in April, 1851, and the personnel of the first corps of township officials was as follows:
Supervisor, John H. McFarren; clerk, Nicholas Duncan; assessor, John Gray; collector, William H. Valentine; highway
commissioners, O. H. P. Hastings, William Byrne, J. D. Mixon; justice of the peace, J. V. Swarthout; constable,
Don Carlos Cooper.