WESTERN MOUND TOWNSHIP.
Western Mound is one of the western tier of townships and lies in town 10 north, range 9 west. It is bounded
on the north by Barr township, on the west by Greene county, on the south by Chesterfield township, and on the
east by Bird township.
It was originally covered with a heavy growth of timber but much of this has now been cleared off. It is well drained.
The northwestern portion is drained by Joe's creek, which flows in a southwesterly direction across the township,
while the entire northern, eastern and southern portions are drained by Hodges', Solomon's, Lick and Bear creeks.
The surface is generally hilly, especially along the creeks. The bottom lands are among the most fertile and productive
in this section of the county. Sandstone is found outcropping on Hodges' creek and has been quarried for building
purposes. Coal has also been found in the bluffs of this creek and has been mined to supply the local demand since
the first settlement.
The first settlement was made in the township in 1826 by Samuel Judy. He first located on the southeast corner
of section 32.
In 1827 Bennett Tilley and family, natives of North Carolina, William Smith and family, Andrew Hughes, Henry Etter
and a Mr. Robinson and their families, arrived here and made permanent locations. The following year Huriah Smith
with his father, Richard Smith, and family. settled along Hodges' creek on section 31. In the spring of 1829 Norris
Hayes and family and J. Coddle and family settled on section 31. Among the arrivals in 1829 were Daniel Deadrick
and family, who came from Greene county, Illinois and James McFarland and family from Tennessee. In 1831 Jeptha
Reeder came from Tennessee, with his family. consisting of five daughters and one son, Paschall Reeder.
In 1832 a number of families settled here, among who were John Morris, who located on section 34; William Chism
and Jacob Kelly, with their families. who came from Kentucky; James Carr and family and Joel Hubbard and family,
the latter from Tennessee.
In 1834 Rev. Charles Holliday, a Methodist minister, settled here. John Dews came in the same year and entered
eighty acres on section 28 but did not locate here until the following year. Samuel Mullett, a native of England,
came here from Morgan county, Illinois, in 1833. Griffith Edwards was also among the earliest settlers.
The early settlers buffered many privations and hardships, being compelled to go long distances to mill and market.
Edwardsville, a distance of forty miles, was the nearest trading point,while many would go to St. Louis, a distance
of fifty miles.
The first child born in the township was a son of Samuel Judy and wife in the year 1828. The second birth was that
of Polly Ann Smith, a daughter of Huriah Smith and wife, born February 17, 1830.
The first death war that of Mrs. Nellie Smith, wife of William Smith. She died September I, 1828, and her daughter
Nellie died on the 7th of the same month, one week later.
The first marriage was that of Huriah Smith and Sally Tilly, the daughter of John Tilly, of North Carolina.
The first sermon in the township was delivered in 1829 by Rev. John McCray, a Baptist minister. The first church
was organized by him in 1831 at the home of Daniel Deadrick. During the summer months services were held in the
groves, while in the winter they were held in Mr. Deadrick's home, the minister walking twenty miles from Waverly
to conduct the services. Bethel church was the first to be built and was erected by the United Baptist denomination
in 1848 being located on section 3.
The first school was conducted in the home of Mr. Hubbard and the first teacher was William Hamilton. in 1836 James
Bates taught in a house built on section 8.
The first mill was erected on Bear creek, on section 24, by Richard Smith, in the year 1834 or 1833. It was a horse
mill and was the only one in the township for many years. Later Paschall Reeder built a tread or ox mill.
In 1844 Lee Overstreet erected the first blacksmith shop in the township.
Dr. Zopber Jayne located on the southwest corner of the township in 1837 and was the first local practitioner of
The first entries of land were made by Thomas Judy, which was a tract of eighty acres on section 32, May 31, 1827;
Nathan Collins, April 22, 1831, eighty acres on section 31 Henry Wilkerson, May 21, 1831. eighty acres on section
2. Other early settlers were John Dews, who came in 1834: John Kerley, in 1839; David Holmes, in 1830 Adam Dams,
in 1836; and W. C. Edwards. in 1834.