NORTH AND SOUTH OTTER TOWNSHIPS
NORTH OTTER TOWNSHIP.
North Otter is situated in the northern tier of townships and comprises township 12 north, range 7 west. The
township is bounded on the north by Sangamon county, on the west by North Palmyra, on the south by South Otter
and on the east by Virden and Girard townships. It took its name from Otter creek, which flows through the eastern
part of the township, and it was so called from the fact that in early times large numbers of otters were found
on the banks of this creek.
In 1829 the following settlers came to this locality: Hugh Gibson, John Pope, John Chandler, Jesse Cox, John Stewart
and G. L. McGinnis. All brought their families with them. William C. Crump came in 1833, while the year 1834 witnessed
the arrival of W. C. Alderson.
The first birth in the township was that of William H. Cox. on the 22d of November, 1829.
The first preacher in the locality was "Uncle Johnny" Stewart, a local preacher of the Methodist church.
The Methodist denomination erected the first church here about 1866.
The first school was taught by George Boggess.
The first mill was erected by Thomas Sprouse. It was operated by horse power.
Dr. Goode located here in the '30s and began the practice of medicine. He was the only practitioner here until
the arrival of Dr. Chapman in 1876.
The first two entries of land were made in 1828 by Owen T. Merry and Hardin Lodsdew, each entering eighty acres
on section 19, in the month of November. In February. 1829, James McGinnis entered a like amount on section 19.
SOUTH OTTER TOWNSHIP.
This township is located in what is geographically known as township 11, range 7 west, and is bounded on the
north by North Otter township, on the west by South Palmyra, on the south by Carlinville and on the east by Nilwood
township. In the eastern and southern portions the land is mostly prairie and is a rich, black soil, while in the
northwestern portion some timber is to be found, including oak, hickory and cottonwood. The general surface is
undulating but near the creeks the bluffs are quite abrupt and the soil is mostly clay. The land is afforded good
drainage by Otter creek and its tributaries. A portion of the village of Nilwood is located in the eastern part
of this township.
The first settler in the township was a man by name of Days, who moved a log house across Otter creek from South
Palmyra township. The first new buildings were erected by Samuel and Henry Miller. Other of the early settlers
were Irvin and Martin Pullam, Joel Bond. Alvey Graves, William Etter, Comfort Smith, Samuel Clark, David Davidson,
T. Adams, T. S. Barrow, M. M. Ross, Robert and Thomas Bacon, G. D. Crawford and others.
M. P. Pullam entered the first land in the township. November 8, 1831, ninety two acres on section 2. Peter Lair
entered forty acres on section 6, December 5. 1833, while Casper Rowland entered forty acres on section to, in
The first physician to locate here was Dr. Vance.
William M. Clark, son of Samuel and Mary Clark, was the first child born in the township, his birth occurring March
The first death was in September, 1838, that of Mrs. Elizabeth Miller, at the home of her son, on section 30.
In 1837 Samuel Raffurty and a Mrs. Hoover were married. which was the first in the township.
At an early day a schoolhouse was erected on section 3o and Mrs. Mary Bacon was the first teacher. She was succeeded
by Annie Dorman.
In 1839 Mrs. Mary Bacon organized the first Sunday school in the township at her home on section 19.
Rey. William Vance, a Methodist, and a Rev. Williams, a Presbyterian, conducted services in the schoolhouse on
section 30. at an early day. The Baptist church at Hickory Point, erected in 1869, was the first in this district.
Daniel Snyder was the first carpenter in the township.
A horse power mill on section 30. built by Henry Miller, was the first in the township. It was a sawmill. and was
abandoned about the year 1850.
There is no village in this township.