History of Coral, Il.
From: The History of McHenry County, Illinois
Published by: Munsell Publishing Company, 1922



CHAPTER XXVII
CORAL TOWNSHIP

BOUNDARIES — EARLY SETTLEMENTS — INDIAN VILLAGE — PIONEER EVENTS— VILLAGE OF CORAL — VILLAGE OF UNION — INCORPORATION — POST OFFICE — DEFUNCT HARMONY — POPULATION — TOWNSHIP OFFICIALS.

BOUNDARIES

In the southwestern part of the county is found the civil township of Coral, which comprises all of congressional township 43, range 6, east, hence is six miles square. It is south of Seneca Township, west of Grafton Township, north of Kane County, and east of Riley Township. Its soil is fertile and especially well adapted for dairy purposes. The territory is well watered by Kiswaukee Creek and its small tributaries.

EARLY SETTLEMENT

The records show that Coral was among the first townships in the county to be settled. Its first settler was William Hamilton, who located near the present site of Coral Village, in November, 1835, but he did not long survive his migration here from Ohio, as he died in the following spring from injuries sustained assisting Calvin Spencer of Marengo, to raise a log cabin. The next to locate were Benjamin Van Vleet and his father, and they built a cabin near the old Indian camping ground, but they were not permanent settlers, for in 1836 they sold to William Jackson and moved to Pecatonica, where both later passed away. O. P. Rogers settled here March, 1836, upon a claim entered for him by J. Rogers in 1835, and his wife was the first white woman in the township. At that time the Rogers’ home was the only one between Dundee and a residence three miles west of Elgin. For many years Mr. Rogers lived in Coral Township, but finally removed to Marengo. Frank Diggins and Enos A. Pease came to this township in 1836, to settle on a claim made for them the preceding year. Other settlers of 1836 were: L. Thompson, Clark P. Thompson, Joseph Bullard and Proctor Smith. A. Thompson came in 1837, as did John Jab, Robert Eddy, A. F. Randall, Sebas Frisbie, John Denison and Ira Nichols.

INDIAN VILLAGE

Prior to the white settlement in Coral Township, there stood near the present site of the village of Coral, a scattering village of Indian wigwams. From one of the earliest publications on McHenry County, the following, bearing on this Indian village, is quoted:

“Among these wigwams of various architectural descriptions, stood one of peculiar formation, being conical in form. This round building was about fourteen feet in diameter. Inside were placed seats which were about thirty inches wide, and formed of split sticks. It is believed that these were used during the daytime at council meetings as places to sit on, and at nighttime as bedsteads, upon which they spread skins of animals. The walls presented a picture gallery of a one-idea artist. Here was presented the picture of an Indian in full rig, on a march, followed by a squaw on a pony and a dog in the rear. This trio was produced over and over again till the wails were literally covered with its production. Though these lands had been purchased of the Indians, the time for giving possession had not arrived when the aggressive white man put in his appearance. Those who settled in Coral Township in the autumn of 1835, were visited the following spring by the inhabitants of this Indian village. They had spent the winter elsewhere and had returned to take up their abode and stay the balance of the time allotted them. Upon their return they found that much of the material comprising their wigwams had been taken by the white men and made a part of their shanties. They called upon Mr. Hamilton and secured their copper cooking pots, which he had found and was preserving as curiosities. They then opened up a pit of corn, which they had buried the year before, and commenced housekeeping in their way. These Indians only knew enough of our language to swear.”

PIONEER EVENTS

The first marriage in Coral Township was that uniting Samuel H. Bullard and Samantha Dunham, by Beman Crandall, a justice of the peace, on August 25, 1839.

The first white child born here was Mary Eddy, a daughter of Robert Eddy and his wife, who was born in 1837.

John Hamilton, who died within this township in the spring of 1836, was the first white person to die in the township. The first cemetery was not laid out till 1838, hence he was buried in private grounds. A little later a cemetery was provided in Harmony; also another one at Union, after the latter became a fair sized village.

VILLAGE OF CORAL

Coral was the first village in Coral Township. It was laid out or rather settled on in the northwest quarter of section 8, by Fillmore & Anderson who opened a store there, which was burned and never rebuilt. The post office, which was the first established between Chicago and Galena, was given to the township in 1837, and kept at first at the house of William Jackson, who was its first postmaster. He was succeeded by a Mr. Smith, and he was followed by Harriet Dunham. W. J. Fillmore then secured the appointment and moved the office to Coral village. Other postmasters at Coral were William Ross, Mr. Cleaver, Mr. Valentine Aistine, Mr. Morris and Henry Stoddard. A large nursery was started at Coral, but it was later removed to Marengo. J. H. Ocock, William Boice, T. Ross and W. L. Morse were among the first dealers at Coral. With the coming of the railroad, other towns were laid out and Coral never grew much more.

July 16, 1866, was the date on which Coral village was platted in regular and legal form.

VILLAGE OF UNION

Union village is located on the Chicago & Northwestern Railroad, in section 4, township 43, range 6, east. It was platted in 1851 by William Jackson, with the idea of having it made a station point on the proposed railway when it should be constructed through the county. He really hit it nearer than men seldom do, for he secured a. station. The first house was erected in 1851 by F. M. Mead, and it was later occupied by the station agent. The first store in Union was opened in 1852 by one Hathaway who acted as agent for Mr. Kimble of Elgin. Hungerford & Smith had the first drug store in Union, opening it in 1857. Cutler & Van Pelt and J. A. Crandall were among early merchants there.

INCORPORATION

Union has been an incorporated village since August, 1897, and the following is a list of names of those who have served as presidents: C. L. Kremer, H. W. Kittenger, I. N. Muzzy, P. A. Ranie, H. W. Kittenger, E. H. Eggert, William D. Mallett, J. H. Calbow, P. A. Ranie, E. H. Eggert, P. A. Ranie, John Buchte.

PRESENT OFFICIALS

The following are the present officials of the village of Union: President, John Buchte; clerk, H. J. Miller; treasurer, H. F. Luhring; magistrate, P. A. Renie; marshal, L. F. Nulle; attorney, C. B. Whittemore; trustees, C. E. Guse, Fred Miller, August Kunke, Frank Trebes, Herman Trebes and William Clasen.

The village bonded itself in 1912 for a waterwork system. Good well water is their supply. A gasoline engine pumps the water to a pressure tank. The village maintains a volunteer fire brigade. The village is without debts at this date. Several years ago they purchased in conjunction with the Odd Fellows order, the old Universalist Church, a two-story stone structure built at a very early date. The Odd Fellows have the upper story, while the village has the first floor for its offices and meeting place.

POST OFFICE

The post office at Union dates back to the autumn of 1852 when its postmaster was a Mr. Cannon, who was succeeded in a year by S. A. Randall. Other postmasters have been: F. M. Read, Mr. Sheldon, S. A. Randall, William H. Alden, William M. Baldwin, J. D. Bliss, N. C. Gardner, Homer Darling, L. D. Fillmore, Mrs. E. E. Fillmore, and present postmaster, W. C. Null, who was appointed in February, 1915. This is a fourth-class office; has one rural route of thirty miles in length, with John Schneider as carrier.

DEFUNCT HARMONY

Harmony was the name given a little community in this township. It was never dignified by being platted, but it was an early community center where church and school privileges might be had by the pioneers. Here was built the first church within the township. In 1885 a store, a cheese factory, a school and church constituted the hamlet. It now exists in memory largely, for its commercial days are forever gone.

POPULATION

The population of Coral Township for four United States census periods have been as follows: In 1890 it had 1,432; in 1900 it reached 1,451; in 1910 its population was 1,354; and in 1920 it was 1,296.

TOWNSHIP OFFICIALS

The following are the township officials of Coral Township: Supervisor, Charles Ackman, Jr.; assessor, Herman Trebes; clerk, C. M. Siems; highway commissioner, Chris Fritz; justices of the peace, A. S. Peak and William Wertz; constables, L. F. Wilde and C. T. Can.

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