History of Anchor Township, McLean County, Illinois
From: History of McLean County Illinois
By: Jacob L. Hasbrouck
Historical Publishing Company
Topeka-Indianoplis 1924

Anchor Township. - This township is practically all prairie land, and it remained unsettled for many years after other parts of the county were populated to more or less extent. R. M. Rankin entered the first lands in Anchor townshi pin August, 1850, and Robert Cunningham was the second claimant in 1851. Robert Stackpole settled in the township in 1853 and bought a tract of over 2,300 acres. He incurred large expenses for fencing and other improvements, and crops failed for a year or two after her started farming, hence his lands were sold for debt about the time of the Civil war. Anchor township was first a part of Cropsey, but in 1877 was separated from it, leaving Cropsey only half the area of a congressional township. George R. Birch, its supervisor, gave it its name. After the Civil war the township was rapidly settled up, A. R. Jones acquiring most of the lands formerly owned by Stackpole. Among the earlier settlers after the war were A. S. Dart, John Ingram, N. Brinley, Henry Gilstrap, M. H. Knight, R. H. Arnold, Daniel B. Stewart, W. H. and F. M. Anderson. The settlers of this vicinity were largely of German extraction for the last 30 years, and being of a thrifty character the farms of Anchor are among the best in the county. With the building of a branch of the Illinois Central railroad through this township in 1880, a town, also called Anchor, sprang up on a site covering part of Daniel B. Stewart's land. It formed a trading center for the people of Anchor and Cropsey townships. The village was incorporated soon after it was settled. The source of the Mackinaw river is generally presumed to be in Anchor township.


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