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

Within this township lies a part of the City of Mendota. The Village of Homer here became an important trading point in the early pioneer days, and it increased the population and variety of interests in the passing years. Troy Grove Village, with a population of about 300, is to be numerically considered in the census record of 1920, which gives to the township a population of 1,076, this including also the portion of Mendota that lies within the township.

Troy Grove was one of the several La Salle County townships that were formally organized April 2, 1850, and its officials elected in that year were as follows: Super-. visor, P. J. Wagner; clerk, William Wooster; assessor, John Farqttharson; collector, M. D. Masterman; justices of the peace, Levi Kelsey, O. A. Andrews; constables, John S. Simpson, Wiffiam W. McLaughlin.

The grove that gave to this township its name was designated Troy Grove by one of the first settlers, Warren Root, who chose this title in honor of Troy, New York, the place whence he came. Elias Cary and his wife became the first settlers in the township, where they established their home in the spring of 1831 and where they improved a good farm. They found refuge at Fort Wilbur when the Black Hawk war began, in the spring of 1832, and at the fort was born their son George W., the youngest in a family of eight children. Hiram Thornton was the second settler in the township, and other pioneer settlers in the '30s were Pliny Dewey and his brother Nathaniel H., who were followed by their parents, Justin and Desire Dewey. The list for the 1830-40 decade includes also Warren Root, members of the Wixom family, Thomas Welch, George S. Ransberger, William Winterton, Zophar Holcomb, Riverius Goddard, John Taylor, Charles Stevens, Richard Malony, Hartley Setchel, David McLaughlin, William Dunlap, Jason Gurley, William A. Hickok, William G. Shed, Joshua Brown, Levi Kelsey, Charles B. Foster, Rufus Shed, and, last but not least, Miss Prudence Crandall became a resident of the township in 1842 and here remained until 1865. Miss Crandall was an ardent opponent of slavery, and her experience in admitting negro pupils to a school which she conducted at Canterbury, Connecticut, led to her arrest and imprisonment. Her activities and persecution by the authorities constitute a distinct chapter in the history of the abolition movement. While the controversy concerning this noble woman was at its height, she became the wife of Rev. Calvin Philleo, a Baptist clergyman. Upon coming to La Salle County, in 1842, Mrs. Phillo settled on land which her father had purchased in 1838, in Troy Grove Township. She continued her teaching service during her residence here, and in 1865 she sold her property here and removed to Rock Island County. In 1877 she removed to Kansas, in which state she passed the remainder of her life. She was more than eighty years of age at the time of her death.


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