Polk township is located in the western half of Macoupin county and is bounded on the north by Bird, on the
east by Brushy Mound, on the south by HiIyard and on the west by Chesterfield townships. The soil is very rich
and productive, being drained by Macoupin creek and its tributaries, the principal ones of which are Silver creek,
Lick creek, Dry fork, May's branch and Sugar creek. Along these streams was originally found timber, consisting
of oak. maple, hickory, white and red elm, black and white walnut, sycamore and cottonwood. There is still some
timber to be found in this region. Along the water courses the land is broken and rolling but in the valley and
bottom fine grazing land is to be found.
The first settlements were made in this township in 1825. when Daniel Deadrick, Irvin Smith, Shadrach Reddick and
Abraham Smith came with their families and located near where the Chicago & Alton railroad crosses Macoupin
creek. Each erected a log cabin and began to improve a farm.
In 1826 James Hall and family located here and in 1830 Peter Wagoner and William Rhoads came with their families,
settling on the north side of the prairie, south of the creek, on section 28. Mr. Wagoner built the first house
on the prairie and from this settlement the place became known as Wagoner's prairie. Mr. Rhoads erected his home
near the town of Steubenville, that being the first and only town ever laid out within the borders of Polk township.
The first sermon preached in the township was by William Jones, a Baptist. This was in 1826 and the service was
held at the home of Daniel Deadrick. P. C. Raffurty was the first resident clergyman. He was also of the Baptist
faith and began preaching here in 1852. The first church was erected by the United Baptists in 1871, on section
35, at a cost of $2,000.
The first schoolhouse was built on section 6 in 1839, and Ebenezer P. Upham was the first teacher, while the
first female teacher was Miss Virginia Bement who taught here in 1842.
Between the years 1827 and 1836 the first marriages occurred in the township, the contracting parties being James
Holben and Matilda Hall, Henry Miller and Catherine Wagoner, William Grimes and Nancy Wagoner, and George C. Keller
and Elizabeth Raffurty.
William Deadrick was the first child born in the township, his birth occurring in May. 1825.
The early settlers had to go long distances to mill, sometimes going to John Irvin's mill south of Carrollton,
in Greene county. and at other times to Tegard's mill, east of Carlinville. There was no mill in Polk township
until 1850, when Stephen Marshall erected a grist mill, which was located on section 28, on Macoupin creek and
was run by water power.
The first persons to enter land were Tames Mason, who entered eighty two acres on section 6, November 9. 1831:
Robert Holliday. who entered forty acres on section 20, February 28, 1834: and on the same date Peter Wagoner entered
one hundred and sixty acres on section 33.
The Raffurty family came to Polk township in:833; Daniel Elliott came in 1831: Elias M. Dorman in 1834: George
W. Rhodes in 1833; S. F. Rhodes and Daniel Hayward in 1838; S. A. Pepperdine in 1830; Mathew S. Gillespie in 1834;
D. R. Johnston in 1836.
After the building of the Chicago & Alton railroad through the township, settlements were made quite rapidly
and among some of the early settlers, following the completion of the road, were Edward G. Duckles, E. B. Eldred,
A. H Eldred. Isaiah Rhoads, Edmund Rhoads. John Hounsley. Cant Candler and John M. Powell.
Macoupin Station is located in the northern portion of section 23 and contains only a store and a postoffice.