History of Shaw's Point Township, Macoupin County, Il
From: History of Macoupin County Illinois
Hon. Charles A. Walker, Supervising Editor
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company
Chicago 1911


This township is situated on the east side of the county and is bounded on the north by Nilwood, on the west by Carlinville, on the south by Honey Point townships, and on the east by Montgomery county. The surface is a gently rolling prairie, of rich, alluvial soil. Fine belts of timber border the creeks. It is well drained by Macoupin creek and its affluents which flows southwesterly through the northwest part of the township. Cottonwood creek and Shaw's Point branch are the Macoupin's principal tributaries.

A man by the name of Shaw made the first settlement in this township. He located on section 35. in the year 1825, and his name was given to the township, namely Shaw's Point. Mr. Shaw built a small log cabin and improved a few acres of land which he abandoned before any more settlements were made in the township. Probably the next to settle in the township was John Lewis, who came with his family in 1827. Soon after followed Job Sperry, C. K. Hutton, the Powells, the Cooks, George W. Barnett, and others. The Yowells arrived about 1829 and a Mr. Fullerton settled here in 1833. The following year came the Davis family and in 1837 George W. Barnett, Sr., settled in this township. He was elected justice of the peace when a young man and held the office fifteen years. Other prominent settlers here were: John J. Womac, a Kentuckian by birth, who came to the county in 1835; W. C. Anderson, who was born in the county in 1820; James W. Yowell, a native of Kentucky, and Strouder Yowells, from the same state. came in 1829; E. L. Owen, of Tennessee, in 1835; and L. W. Bugger, in 1834. R. B. Black was a resident of the county in 1830; L. M. English, in 1837; and Hardin T. Richardson, in 1839.

Captain Samuel Cummings came with his parents and first settled in North Palmyra township near Vancil's Point, in 1825. On the breaking out of the Black Hawk war Captain Cummings, then a young man, enlisted as a private. He also bore an honorable part in the war of the late rebellion.

The first preacher was B. F. Castaine, and the second was R. G. Allen. They both belonged to the Christian church and preached in the only house of worship, in "Hickory Wall" church near the site of Bethel Chapel.

There is some contention of opinion as to who was the first schoolteacher. Some maintain that Cyrus Harris was the first, while others give the distinction to F. McClernand. They were, however, both early teachers, as was also James Johnson. who was known as "jimmy" Johnson. All three taught in the "Hickory Wall" church and schoolhouse.

A grist mill was built on Macoupin creek in 1840 by William Nichols It was propelled by water power. He subsequently sold the mill and it was changed to steam power. There was prior to this a small horse mill built by a Mr. Powell. Two others of the same kind were also built by Peter Aces and David Plain.

The first store in the township was kept by G. W. Barnett. The first land entries were by David Cook, May 4. 1829, eighty acres in section 9; William G. Cook, May 4, 1829, forty acres in section 17: John Yowells. July 25. 1830, eighty acres in section 3.

On the line of the Chicago. Burlington & Quincy railroad, in the northeast part of the township, is located the village of Atwater. Here are probably about a half dozen stores. a church, and near by. a school.

The Bank of Atwater was established in 1904 and has a cash capital of $10,500. Deposits show $50,000. The bank is incorporated and the president is O. B. Cain; cashier, J. P. Enslow.

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