History of Bellflower Township, McLean County, Illinois
From: History of McLean County Illinois
By: Jacob L. Hasbrouck
Historical Publishing Company
Bellflower Township. - This township was originally named Prairie when the township organization was effected
in 1858. It was the only township in the county which possessed no timber. The first supervisor, Jesse Richards,
chose the name of Bellflower, that being his favorite apple. It is the most southeasterly township of the county.
It was first used as a cattle range by the pioneers of Cheney's Grove and other sections. The township possessed
much wet land, classified by the government as swamp land, and this was donated by the county commissioners in
1857 to secure the location of the Normal University in the county. Springfield parties bought up this land, but
it was not drained and occupied until after the Civil war. Much of the land of the township has always been owned
by nonresidents and operated by tenants. Nevertheless it has become one of the best farming sections of the county.
The people voted in 1871 $30,000 in bonds to secure a branch of the Illinois Central railroad through their township.
It was the first township in the county to erect a township high school, the structure costing 59,000, being built
in 1905. Its example in this respect was in later years followed by many other townships. With the I. C. railroad
running through the center of the township and the Wabash cutting off a corner, there are six shipping stations
in the township, namely the village of Bellflower, McNulta Switch, and Laurette on the main line of the I. C.;
and Meharry and Sumner on the Rantoul branch of the Central, and Osman on the Wabash. Just over the line in Champaign
County are two others, Harpster and Lotus.