When Lee County was divided into townships in 1850. Towns 37. 3S and 39, Range 2, were given the name of "Paw
Paw" by the commissioners appointed to make the division. Their report was dated July 19, 1850. On the 14th
of the preceding May. six representatives of the different localities met in Dixon, as a "Board of Supervisors,"
convening at their first session, and at this meeting changed the name of the "town formerly called Paw Paw"
to Wyoming. (See ante. "Lee County.") The authority for this action is at least open to question, and
but for acquiescence in the change, Paw Paw might still be legally Wyoming. The latter name is said to have been
adopted at the suggestion of James Goble, in memory of Wyoming Valley, Pa., from which his family and others came.
Levi Kelsey and Joel Griggs were the first to locate a claim and build a house at Paw Paw Grove. This was in the
winter of 1833-4: but supposing that they were on the Indian reservation, whose boundaries had not yet been defined,
Mr. Griggs abandoned his claim and moved to Troy Grove. Tracy Reeves, writing from Princeton. Ill., under date
of July 27, 1881. says that he was with a party at Paw Paw Grove in May, 1834, and camped over night in Indian
huts, and that "they saw no one there, white or Indian."
We have the authority of Mrs. Sarah Terry, now of Earlville, Ill., a daughter of David A. Town, for the following
statement: "David A. Town and family arrived in 1834. and stopped at the east end of the grove, where he put
up an unhewed log house (on land afterward owned by Pierpont Edwards), in which he lived until 1835. when his brother
Russell came and occupied the cabin he moved out of. On moving from this cabin. David A. Town built a log house
north of the Chicago road, on the southeast quarter of the southwest quarter of Section 11, on or near the spot
where the residence of H. L. Roberts now stands. He soon erected a hewed log house (the first of its kind) close
to this. The two houses were separated by so short a space that they were occupied as one, and the hewed portion
was given the dignity of a parlor of the pioneer home. In this log house was held the first wedding in this section,
George Town, the son of David A. Town, being the groom, and Fidelia Sawyer, the daughter of George Sawyer. of Lee
Center Township, being the bride.
"The first store at the east end of the Grove was operated by one Harris. and the first store at the west
end was built and operated by Wheeler Hedges, until it was purchased by Willard Hastings. whose property it continued
to be until consumed by fire, this being the first building to burn in the settlement. It was located on the triangular
piece of ground east of the town plat formed by the crossing of the Chicago road and the railroad. George Town
built a hewed log house where the residence of W. I. Guffin now stands, near the southwest corner of Lot 6, Block
5, Harper's Addition."
O. P. Johnson. who settled in Brooklyn Township and died tnere at an advanced age. stated that he rived the shingles
for Town's cabin, and, with three others, put it up in a day and a half in November. 1834. Edwin (or Edward) Town,
a brother of David, settled at Shabbona Grove, and Hosea Town, a half brother, located at Melugin's Grove about
the same time.
About two years later than Town came Benoni Harris. then a man approaching eighty years of age, and his equally
aged wife, with a large family of children. Mrs. Harris was the first in the settlement to be taken away. They
were accompanied by a son-in-law, Edward Butterfield. John Ploss, John Wilcox and William McDowell. In the spring
of 1836 Butterfield built a log cabin near the county line and close to the north line of the southwest quarter
of Section 19, DeKalb County, on south side of the road now leading to Earlville. It was on the east edge of the
tract which became South Paw Paw. He later moved about a mile northeast of this point, and in 1854 went to /slack
Hawk, Iowa, whence he finally returned and is buried near his old home. Wilcox located on the fractional southwest
quarter. Section 18; Stephen Harris on the fractional northwest quarter of Section 19, LeClaire reservation; Benjamin
Harris on the northwest quarter of Section 19, and Joseph Harris on the northeast quarter of the same section all
in DeKalb County. These were sons of Benoni Harris. John Ploss had a claim which embraced the larger part of South
Paw Paw. Here, some rods east of the county line, he built his house on the creek about the time Butterfield put
up his cabin.
As late as 1840 the only tavern at the Grove was that afterward known as Simms' Tavern. It was a hewed log house,
the second of its kind in the neighborhood. Simms' son, having been indicted for counterfeiting, the father sold
out to raise money to satisfy the bail bond, and the criminal was permitted to escape. Isaac Robinson purchased
the tavern of Simms and added a small stock of goods to his business. It was on an elevation on the north side
of the road, probably on the west half of the northwest quarter of Section 12, but earlier a hewed log house on
the opposite side of the road had been used as a tavern. In 1840 a log house stood on the north side of the Chicago
road, on Section 12, nearly opposite the junction with the present road from South Paw Paw. This house was occupied
by Charles Morgan, who came with his wife and a number of children in 1836. Here was kept the first postoffice
in the town, Morgan being the Postmaster. Afterward, Hiram Wood held the office in the house then standing next
west of the Robinson, or Simms', Tavern. On the south side of the Chicago road and on the east half of Section
12, a small log house stood in 1840. It was never occupied for residence purposes after that year, but was used
for a time for a public school, the first in the township. It is supposed that Jacob Alcott, who had married a
squaw, built it. A little east of this cabin, and on the same side of the road, a frame house, believed to have
been the first in the township, was built in the hollow by one Musselman, and hence was then, and has ever since
been, known as the "Hollow House." It is still standing and is used as a barn. For a number of years
Musselman kept a tavern here, and the house became noted for its dance hall and bar.
On the south side of the road and about thirty rods east of David Town's house, stood a log blacksmith shop in
the early '40s, where once Alonzo Osborne was the smith. Later, perhaps in 1845, a blacksmith shop stood on ground
in the village now occupied as the store of R. A. Hopps, and here this same Osborne held forth for a time. A man
by the name of Alger settled at Four Mile Grove in 1835 or '36. Alcott, above mentioned, married the Pottawatomie
woman, Madaline, the former wife of Joseph Ogee, the half breed, the one favored in the treaty of Prairie du Chien
reserving to "Madaline, a Pottawatomie woman, wife of Joseph Ogee, one section," etc. (See ante, "Lee
County.") David A. Town eventually purchased the west 170 rods of this Reserve Section for $1,000, and William
Rogers the remainder. The tract has always been designated in conveyances and on maps as the "Ogee Section."
In 1880 William McMahan, County Surveyor, surveyed and platted the section and recorded the plat. The section granted
to Pierre LeClaire by the Prairie du Chien treaty, was surveyed an& platted by Wheeler Hedges in 1843. which
plat was recorded. The County Atlas of 1900 shows these sections and their relation to each other.
William Rogers, son of Charles, arrived in 1836, and was the first Postmaster. His office was located near Morgan's
tavern, which was presumably the "Hollow House." Jacob D. Rogers landed in 1837. His claim included the
west part of the site of Paw Paw village. He was a conductor, and his house was a station, on the "Underground
Road," over which negro slaves were transported to freedom. His log house was built in 1837 on Section 10,
where Mr. Ritchie's house stood in recent years. In the latter year James Goble, afterward Sheriff, came with Jacob
D. Rogers, Rogers's wife being Goble's sister. Goble's father, Ezekiel, and his brother, Timothy, came at the same
time. William Jenkins and family were also accessions of 1837, while Henry and Medard Comstock, both blacksmiths,
were a year earlier. Reference is made in other works to a "Butterfield or George Town" cabin, when,
in fact, Butterfield never built or owned a cabin in this part of the grove. His holdings were confined to the
south side of the grove.
Rev. Caleb Morris joined the settlement in 1848 with his widowed daughter, Nancy Robinson, and children, all of
whom settled south of the grove. About this time a man by the name of Dunbar became the second settler at Four
Mile Grove. In 1840, Deacons Orlando Boardman and Hallock were added to the settlers on the south side of the grove,
at which time there were eighteen families encircling the grove, thirteen being within what is now Wyoming Township.
This year, also, came Baily Breese and started a cooper shop and bought of William Rogers nearly all of the land
on which East Paw Paw is situated. Peter May and family were added in 1841. He bought all the land now covered
by Paw Paw village, but disappeared mysteriously, ten years later, without having received a deed. Elder Norman
Warriner came in 1843 and Obed W. Bryant settled at Four Mile Grove in 1842.
In the later '40s two saw mills were in operation in the grove, both propelled by horsepower. One was put up by
Stanley Ruggles on the southeast corner of the west half of the northwest quarter of Section 19, DeKalb County.
The other was in Lee County on the road between the LeClaire and Ogee Sections.
Without being able to make anything like an exact comparison, it would seem that, in 1840, Paw Paw Grove was the
focus of the largest settlement in the county - Dixon and, possibly Sugar Grove, in Palmyra, excepted. This is
accounted for by two facts: that it was on the stage road from Chicago to Galena, and also was one of the largest,
most beautiful and attractive pieces of timber in all the country. All the early settlers sought the shelter and
other advantages of groves, and were slow to reach out for the now valuable prairie lands.
John D. Rogers was not the only abolitionist in the colony who, by the "Underground Road," dealt frequent,
but ineffective, blows at slavery. He expressed the sentiments of many when he said: "Whether I am an abolitionist
or not, my best mares are."
The township and range lines were surveyed in 1836, but the section lines were not run until the winter of 1842-3.
Prior to this people had held their lands only by right of possession, awaiting the market or pre emption day.
Consequently the "claim jumper" found the same scope and temptation to operate here as elsewhere, and
as in nearly every other section, protective societies were organized to defeat his dishonest efforts. The remedy
was always adjusted to the emergency and the outcome was never satisfactory to the rascal. The law was of the home
made kind, but its principles were founded in justice, and hence it was never appealed from.
The horsethief and the counterfeiter plied their vocations all over the country. Conditions favored them and they
prospered. Paw Paw and Inlet seem to have been their favorite rendezvous or bases of operation. Nn other settlements
in the county are as notoriously identified with them as these two. As a rule, all newcomers were under suspicion.
As a settler of 1837 put it: "Paw Paw was a strange place then. It seemed to me that every other man I met
was hunting a horsethief, and you couldn't tell which was the thief - generally it was both." One horsethief
buried a sack containing $900 in gold and, on being sent to prison, told his wife how he had marked the spot by
a notched stake, but she was unable to find it. The secret having leaked out later, Harris Breese noticed such
a stake and, together with his neighbor, Hampton, dug for and recovered the treasure. The latter's share is said
to have been to him the nest egg of future wealth.
In 1834 a thousand Indians were encamped for a week at the Big Spring, at the northwest corner of the grove. They
were being moved from Indiana west, and the Government made them a payment here. The local Indians had already
been sent to their western reservation the same year, but the old chief Shabbona, who is held in grateful memory
for the protection he afforded the settlement in the days of the Black Hawk War, afterwards returned to the scenes
of his early life and died on the Illinois River July 17, 1859, aged eighty four. He was buried in a lot set apart
to him in the cemetery at Morris, Grundy County, where a fitting monument was raised to his memory a few years
ago. His oldest wife and several children rest beside him. Waubunsie, Chief of the tribe at Paw Paw Grove, and
Shabbona were on the most friendly relations. The latter was, however, the leader and the former loyally followed.
The Indian trail from Chicago to the Indian village at Rock Island ran along the south side of Paw Paw Grove.
Schools. - The first school in Wyoming Township is supposed to have been started as early as 1836, in what was
called "The Little Pole School House," which was not more than twelve feet square, and was erected expressly
for school purposes.' The probability is that it was the same cabin heretofore mentioned as having been built by
Jacob Alcott. The schools were all necessarily small and were started and maintained entirely by individual contributions,
the public school system not having then been established. Vacant cabins were sometimes utilized for this purpose,
and at other times private houses sheltered the school. The first frame school building in the township was erected
about 1844 on or near the northeast corner of Section 24. Here Charles Dickinson and Orlando Boardman were the
first teachers, Dickinson probably preceding Boardman. In two or three years the building was moved half a mile
east, and now serves as a roosting place for chickens.
Postmasters. - Before a postoffice was opened at Paw Paw, the nearest one was at Somonauk, fifteen miles eastward.
A "star mail - route" was established through Paw Paw in 1837, William Rogers being the first Postmaster
there. Isaac Robinson took charge of the office as early as 1838 or 1839. In 1841 a Mr. Brittain, who lived in
Princeton, carried the mail from that place to Paw Paw by way of Knox Grove. Willard Hastings was the carrier between
Paw Paw and Ottawa. Hiram Wood held the office of Postmaster from 1845 to 1849, when William H. Robinson succeeded
him, remaining until 1853, when Wood came in again. He was followed in 1857 by James Simons, and he in 1861 by
John Colville, who remained at the post many years. Then came C. F. Preston, in Cleveland's first term, Ezra G.
Cass, J. H. Braffett and Sadie Case, the present incumbent.
At the first organization of the township in 1850, 113 votes were cast for town officers. David A. Town was the
choice for Supervisor and John Colville for Clerk.
Paw Paw Village. - Paw Paw Village was first incorporated as a village June 7, 1882. George Town's log house, already
mentioned, was the first to be erected on the site of the village. Peter May's cabin stood close to the location,
in recent years, of the Sutter house, west of Siglin & Potter's brick store, and his blacksmith shop, started
in 1842, was on the south side of the road nearly opposite the store. The Hastings house, formerly on the site
of the Roberts dwelling, was built in May, 1841, and was the first frame house in the village or in the township.
About this time Hastings put up the first brick building in the township, about one half mile south of the village,
on Fonda's corners, and it was later clap boarded. In 1844 Rodolphus Hawley built on the south side of the Chicago
road, opposite George Town's, on site of the place now owned and occupied by John E. Eawards. The next year Amos
Sawyer built a cabin where the Detamore house now stands. In 1846 George Town moved out of his log cabin into the
house known, many years afterwards, as the "Grummond" house. In those days John Colville and Jacob Rogers
were partners in the manufacture of shingles by horse power. They also had such a mill over in DeKalb County. Probably
this was the same mill moved from one locality to the other.
This was the settlement in 1847. Not a store was then in the place. Enterprising peddlers traveled the roads and
undertook to supply the simple wants of the people. In the latter year, however, settlers began coming in and the
village entered on a career of healthy development which, though slow, has had no appreciable check up to the present.
We should be glad to follow its business growth, building by building, but space will not permit. Plodding, indeed,
was its headway up to 1871, when lots and buildings together were assessed at only $3,809. Allowing for the assessor's
discounts, this will still prove to be very small.
Village Schools. - Prior to 1880 the demands of the village school had led to the erection of a two story frame
building situated on the west side of North Street at the west end of East Avenue. In 1883 a two story addition
was built on the west end of this building, thus making four rooms in all. In December, 1884, the building was
destroyed by fire, and, in 1885, a two story brick structure, with large hall above, was erected on the same spot.
Dr. J. H. Braffet was one of the school directors, and was chiefly instrumental in having this building erected.
January 27, 1897, this structure was also consumed by fire. A long contest followed over the selection of a new
site, which was finally settled in favor of the present location by a majority of twelve votes. In the summer and
fall of 1897, the school house now in use was erected on the ground thus chosen, occupying a campus of four acres.
The building, furniture and grounds are valued at $15,000. The building furnishes ample accommodations, and is
in every respect thoroughly modern. The full course of study embraces twelve years, eight in the graded departments
and four in the high school course. The school is on the accredited list of the State University, the Northern
State Normal, Oberlin College. as well as others. Six teachers are employed.
Newspapers. - The first number of the "Paw Paw Herald" was issued November 23, 1877, by R. H. Ruggles,
editor and proprietor. In January, 1878, E. G. Cass and J. B. Gardner became publishers, Ruggles still owning the
plant. On the 22d of the next month they were succeeded by W. M. Geddes, who soon purchased the outfit. The paper
was Republican in politics, but ceased publication some years ago.
The "Lee County Times," originally a Democratic paper, appeared March 21, 1878, with E. G. Cass and J.
B. Gardner as proprietors. In August following Mr. Gardner retired. It became a strong Republican paper and, as
such, is now owned and edited by O. W. Briggs.
Churches. - The Baptist church is the pioneer religious organization of the township. In February, 1841, it was
organized with Orlando Boardman and wife, Mrs. Hallock, wife of Israel Hallock, James Goble and wife, Rev. Burton
Carpenter, Sr., Hiram Harding and wife, Cyrus Whitford and wife and Mr. Sampson and wife as its first members.
The meetings were held in Deacon Boardman's log cabin. Cyrus Whitford and wife belonged to Johnson's Grove, twelve
miles to the northeast. Harding and wife and Sampson and wife came from Harding (now Freedom), La Salle County,
about the same distance southeast. The others were all living at South Paw Paw. Israel Hallock, who is now living
and is respected and known as Deacon Hallock, joined the society the next year and became its second deacon, Boardman
being the first. Rev. Thomas Powell preached the sermon at this first gathering. Assisting him were Rev. Burton
Carpenter, Jr., from Dixon, Rev. Hadley and Mr. Stannard of La Moille. Rev. Mr. Carpenter preached a few sermons,
and was succeeded by Rev. Charles Harding in March, 1841, who continued as pastor until his death, February 3,
1843. Feeling the need of an assistant in his work Mr. Harding sent for Elder Norman Warriner, of Indiana, who
arrived just in time to help bury Mr. Harding. Mr. Warriner occupied the pulpit for twenty years until he resigned.
In 1843 the first meeting house was commenced at South Paw Paw and was finished in 1846. Until then services were
held in Boardman's log cabin, which stood on the spot where now stands the home of Deacon Hallock. The membership
reached its highest point in 1859, when it numbered 162. On Mr. Warriner's resignation, J. D. Pullis became pastor
serving from July of that year until December 31, 1865. During his pastorate the present house of worship was built
at South Paw Paw at a cost of about $3,000, and a parsonage purchased at the cost of $1,000. In March, 1866, G.
W. Scott became pastor and continued until July, 27, 1867. CH. Perritt served from October 12, 1867, for a little
over one year, and was succeeded December 26, 1868, by William Sturgeon, who remained until October 26, 1872. In
1873 the church building was moved from South Paw Paw to its present location in the village, and a basement was
constructed under it at a cost of a little over $2,000. The parsonage at South Paw Paw was disposed of and a lot
purchased in the village, on which a parsonage was built in the winter of 1873-4. January 24, 1874, H. R. Hicks
became pastor, continuing until September, 1881. S. B. Gilbert was pastor from December 10, 1881, until July, 1885.
September 26th, following, H. F. Gilbert became pastor and served until May 21, 1887, after which the church was
for a while without a regular pastor. R. H. Shaftoe served from June 3, 1888, to April 1, 1891. On May 10th of
the latter year, R. S. Sargent was called and continued to May 10, 1896. During his term an addition was made to
the rear of the church and other improvements at a cost of $1,000. A. C. Jones became pastor, June 14, 1896, and
served until September 1, 1898. He was succeeded January 1, 1899, by William A. Mathews, who continued until October
1, 1892. In April, 1901, the parsonage on Flagg Street was sold for $800, and a modern residence as a parsonage
was erected on Wheeler Street, at cost of about $2,500. November 16, 1902, H. J. Wheeler, the present pastor, assumed
charge. The church celebrated its fiftieth anniversary June 18, 1891.
About 1870 a class of the Methodist Episcopal Church was formed with James Fonda, Jane E. Fonda, Sarah E. Swarthout,
Edward Patrick and Harriet Patrick as members, the way being prepared by the preaching of Elder Lazenby at the
school house the previous year. In 1875, while Rev. Pomeroy was pastor, their church building was erected. Paw
Paw was made a separate charge in Rock River Conference in October, 1879.
In 1864 the Protestant Episcopal Society, organized in 1857, but long in a somnolent state, was revived by Rev.
Jacob Fowler and built up to a membership of thirty or forty. A church was built in 1866 on the northeast quarter
of the northwest quarter of Section 6, at a cost of $2,600. The building was finally sold at Sheriff's sale, on
a judgment for $500 recovered by the minister, A. C. Wallace, for arrears of salary. Being bid in by him he sold
it to the United Brethren in 1874.
The Presbyterian Church of Wyoming, at Cottage Hill, was organized under the labors of John Flemming as missionary
pastor from Earlville, in 1857, with the following members: Barton Bisbee, Joseph Blee, William Winter, Sally C.
Bisbee, Euphemia Blee, Mrs. William Winter, Mrs. William Sproul and James Sproul. Mr. Flemming continued to preach
once in two weeks in the school house, but for how long we have been unable to ascertain. In 1858 or '59 a building
was put up at a cash outlay of $200. Being too small it was sold and became James Blee's granary. A new church
36 by 60 feet was erected a little north of the first one at a cost of $2,200. It was remodeled in 1861. No pastor
was settled until about 1870, when Alexander S. Peck was installed, serving at Paw Paw at the same time. Rev. McFarland
succeeded him for a year and, in 1878, Mr. McCullock, the pastor at Paw Paw, became the supply and continued for
About 1870 the Presbyterians began holding meetings in the school house at the village, Rev. Alex. S. Peck, of
Cottage Hill, preaching every two weeks. The society was regularly organized May 26, 1873, the first members being
Miss Sarah A. Wilson, Andrew J. Fuller, Susan C. Fuller, Jane Nettleton, Jane Bulentine, Mr. and Mrs. Simeon Cole,
Henry Cole, Anderson G. Radley and Mrs. Jane Howell. Rev. Mr. Peck was the first pastor. In 1875 a church was built
at a cost of $1,900. Mr. Peck remained until the close of 1876. Revs. McFarland and E. N. Lord filled the pulpit
until April, 1878, when George D. McCullock was installed, continuing until July, 1881. "The Presbyterian
church of Paw Paw" was formally incorporated May 8, 1901. On the same date the society voted to sell the old
church, parsonage and grounds, and purchase the Siglin property, where the new church and parsonage now stand,
the latter having been moved to make a place for the church. The project was inaugurated with an offer from Mr.
David Smith to give $1,000 towards the expenses on condition that a church building, costing not less than $5,000,
should be erected. Robert Pogue, David Smith, W. S. Yingling, William Moffatt and T. H. Stettler were chosen building
committee. The church was completed at a cost of $10,000, and the improvements on the parsonage, with cost of ground
on which both buildings stand, came to $3,000. The pastors succeeding Rev. McCullock have been: John H. Carpenter;
C. E. Schaible, Edgar D. Keys, Henry A. Furgeson, Charles IL Herald, Samuel Olerenshaw, W. A. Bass and Joseph W.
Mann, the present incumbent. The first Board of Trustees of the church were Jacob Hendershot, A. C. Radley and
A. J. Fuller.
Banks. - A bank was organized in the spring of 1880, under the name of the Union Bank, by M. M. Morse and P. C.
Ransom, Mr. Ransom transferring his interest to Mr. Morse in 1882. B. J. Wheeler and Teal Swarthout succeeded Mr.
Morse, in June, 1887. In 1901 the bank was reorganized under the State law, as the State Bank of Paw Paw, with
a paid up capital of $25,000, B. J. Wheeler being President; David Smith, Vice President; Teal Swarthout, Cashier,
and Frank Wheeler, Assistant Cashier. Its first Board of Directors consisted of David Smith, B. J. Wheeler, S.
B. !Eller, T. H. Stettler and Teal Swarthout. In July, 1902, the capital stock was increased to $40,000, and the
Board of Directors from five to eight members, W. I. Guffin, Alonzo La Porte and A. H. Rosenkrans being added to
the former list. On November 1, 1902, they bought out the interest of the First National Bank of Paw Paw, which
had been organized June 1, 1902, and the capital stock was increased to' $50,000. At this time W. I. Guffin, A.
H. Rosenkrans and Alonzo La Porte resigned as directors, their places being filled by the election of William Moffatt,
B. F. Frantz and A. C. McBride, the latter being elected Assistant Cashier. The Bank has a line of deposits averaging
close to $200,000. Loans and discounts amount to $150,000, and the institution is in every way doing a conservative
and satisfactory business.
Water System. - Natural Gas. - The village is equipped with an efficient water system for fire protection and general
use. While drilling a well for the water supply an obstruction was encountered which required the use of dynamite,
the explosion of which opened up a powerful stream of natural gas necessitating the abandonment of the well. B.
J. Wheeler purchased it and piped gas from it to several houses, but the gas soon gave out. Another gas supply
was struck on the west half of the southeast quarter of Section 1, which still furnishes fuel for the houses and
for the power used on the farm. The village standpipe, or water tank, stands over the first mentioned well.
East Paw Paw. - This settlement, as well as that of South Paw Paw, is so near the real Paw Paw in the grove that,
to a certain extent, the early history of one runs through all of them. William Rogers' hotel was evidently within
the bounds of what became East Paw Paw. Baily Breese settled in 1841, and a part of East Paw Paw was platted on
his land. Jacob Wirick bought out William Rogers about 1842 or 1843, and thus was, for a while, landlord of the
hotel in that part of East Paw Paw lying in DeKalb County. A man by the name of Meade landed in 1838 and located
in the grove south of East Paw Paw. At that time Paw Paw grove extended into DeKalb County. Hiram Gates came in
1845 and bought Meade out. Charles Pierce also arrived in the latter year. The first store at "the grove"
was opened here by one Harris, and another was started a little west on the Chicago road by Charles Howard, in
1847, and a postoffice was opened in 1850 with Andrew Breese as Postmaster. About 1855 the Teachers' Institute
and Classical Seminary was erected with funds subscribed for the purpose. The building stands in DeKalb County,
and is now used for public school purposes. Before 1848, S. B. Warren had a general store and Jos. Harris a grocery
and saloon in East Paw Paw, and there was also a blacksmith shop in the place.
A Union Church has been standing here since 1868, but is no longer used for services.
South Paw Paw. - Most of the first settlers of South Paw Paw have already been mentioned, including John Ploss
in 1835, and Deacons Boardman and Hallock in 1840. Eber St. John seems to have arrived prior to the latter date.
Ralph Atherton arrived in 1844, as also did Dr. George S. Hunt, the first physician in the township as well as
at the grove. Deacon Daniel Pine settled here in 1845, while Timothy Goble, brother of James, did the same in 1843.
Once the place supported a graded school which is reputed to have done excellent work. Prior to 1859 a postoffice
was opened here and continued until about two years ago, and was always called LeClaire Postoffice. Daniel Robinson
was the first postmaster. About 1855 the Union Academy was started in South Paw Paw and was continued for several
years, with H. H. Hoffman as first Principal. A two story building was erected by subscription - the upper floor
being used for the academy and the lower for a district school. It now stands about fifty rods east of the original
site, being used as a barn.
Railroad. - September 22, 1869, the town, by a vote of 142 yeas to 62 nays, decided to take $50,000 stock in the
Chicago & Rock River Railroad, issuing ten per cent, interest bearing bonds for that purpose. The bonds were
issued July 1, 1871. The town resisted payment by instituting suit to enjoin collection of the bonds, but was defeated.
In 1881 new bonds were issued to take up the first issue, and were made payable in annual installments, the last
of which fell due in 1901, the principal and interest aggregating $102,380. The stock was purchased at this cost
to aid in the construction of the road, which went into operation in 1872 and has been of inestimable value to
Elevator. - The only grain elevator in Paw Paw was erected by Capt. D. M. Roberts in 1872, and was operated by
him until it was sold in 1873 to J. H. Hurlbut & Company of Chicago, and rented to Warner & Guffin, who
bought it the following year. The original building collapsed in 1880, while loaded with wheat, oats, corn and
timothy seed. It was rebuilt at once on the old site and is now owned by the estate of A. J. Warner, and operated
by the firm of Warner & Guffin. Mr. W. I. Guffin has been a member of the firm from the beginning, and is now
actively engaged in the business.
A prosperous tile and brick business is carried on in the village by J. M. Beal & Co. Their drying sheds have
15,600 feet floor space, and with their two kilns, give them a capacity of 30,000 brick per day and about the same
proportion of drain tile.
The population of Paw Paw village, according to census of 1900, was 675. The population of the township and village
combined, was 1,455 in 1890, and 1,546 in 1900.