Shipman township lies in the western tier of townships and is bounded on the north by Chesterfield, on the west
by Jersey county. on the south by Brighton township, and on the east by Hilyard township. The surface is mostly
rich prairie and and the township is one of the best improved in the entire county. Piasa creek rises here, while
Coop's creek flows through the northeastern part and empties into Macoupin creek, two miles north of the township
In 1830 the first settlement in the township was made by Rev. William Peter, who located on section 31. He died
soon after and the family removed to Upper Alton, but in the following spring Mrs. Peter returned here and erected
a cabin, the first in the township.
In 1831 Benjamin Stedman came here from Edwardsville. Illinois, and entered land, on which he later located.
In 1833 Tames Honchance built the second cabin in the township on section 15. Other settlers of that year were
Aaron Arnold and his sons, Smith and Edwin: George D. Randle and a Mr. Houston, both of whom settled near Coop's
creek; James Haycraft, Samuel Haycraft, Joel Parker and a Mrs. Cleaver, who constituted what was known as the Haycraft
settlement; George D. Arnold Nimrod Dorsey, William P. McKee and Dr. B. F. Edwards, who came from Madison county.
Illinois: and Silas Crane and Tames Haley, who settled on sections 20 and 3o. respectively.
In 1835 George Parker settled in the township and in the spring of 1836 William H. Wilson, Sr., and R. Meatyard
settled near Piasa creek and they were soon followed by Thomas B. Rice.
In 1836 George D. Randle laid out twenty acres on section 24 in town lots and called the town Brooklyn. He built
a store and brought the first stock of goods here. The same year the Methodist denomination built a church, which
was afterward purchased and used as a dwelling by Peter Schneider. In this church the first school was taught by
Miss Maria Arnold.
The Brooklyn election precinct was organized in 1837 and George D. Randle was elected the first justice of the
In 1844 Horace Mead, John R. Denny. William Prosser and John Richardson settled in the township and about this
time the first log schoolhouse was erected. It was also used for religious services.
It was not until 1840 that a frame schoolhouse was built, which was located at Pisa.
The first religious services in the township were held at the home of Mrs. Keziah Peter, Rey. Otwell conducting
the services. For many years services were held in the homes before a church was erected.
Dr. John Ash. who located at Piasa about 1830. was the first practitioner in the township.
Those who made the first entries of land were: William Peter, May 26. 183o, eighty acres on section 30; Thomas
Love, May 21, 1831, eighty acres on section 3o; Robert Hargraves, July 19, 1832, forty acres on section 31.
Among some of the early settlers may be mentioned Samuel Trible, C. C. Rhoads, John T. Jolley. T. H. Stratton,
B. E. Parker and B. C. Rhoads.
The town of Shipman was named in honor of John H. Shipman, one of the original proprietors, who laid out the
town. John L. Roberts was the other proprietor, and the surveyor was George H. Holliday, who surveyed it in 1852.
It lies on section 24.
The first dwelling in the town was erected by a Mr. Phillips, while Leonard Loveland, Jr., built the first store
and stocked it with groceries. In 1853 Messrs. Denny and Meatvard engaged in the mercantile business here, having
erected a store building for the purpose. In 1855 a third store was opened by I. & E. Green.
In the fall of 1854 M. W. Seaman located here for practice and in the spring of 1855 he was followed by Dr. J.
A schoolhouse was built in 1857, while in 1858 the first church was erected by the Methodists.
In 1852 the Chicago & Alton railroad was built through the town. The town was incorporated in 1867.
The town of Shipman was larger twenty years ago, when there were 410 people. At this time there are but 392. which
shows things have been practically at a standstill.
The Shipman Banking Company was organized in 1895. and has a cash capital of $15,000. S. P. Saner is president;
A. Dehl. vice president: James B. Metcalf, cashier.
The town of Piasa took its name from the creek which bears the name. It is located on the line of the Rock Island
division of the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy railroad, where the corners of sections 19. 20, and 29 and 30
The first person to locate in the town was George Parker, who built a log cabin in the spring of 1836. The following
year, 1837, R. Meatyard came and located in the town.
In November, 1849, William Baily opened the first store in the town. It was managed by a Mr. Smith and subsequently
kept by J. W. Warren.
In 1849 a schoolhouse was erected at a cost of $250. The first postoffice was established in 1850, with Charles
Talley as postmaster. The same Year H. G. Talley opened a blacksmith ship.
Charles Justison was the first person buried in the Piasa cemetery. This was in March. 1850.