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

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.

The village of Bellflower was platted and laid out by George N. Black of Springfield, who owned much land in that vicinity. The first man who engaged in business in the town was R. E. Moreland, who began buying grain in August, 1871. A. and A. J. Henry started in business there the following winter. John Nichols built the first residence and started a grocery in 1871. A. Libairn started a general store about the same time. T. B. Groves erected a home and started a hardware store in 1872. Other early business men were J. W. Eyestone, E. L. Rush, R. Rome, Hiram Rush, and G. W. Stokes. The first postmaster was A. H. Marquis. Bellflower has always been a great grain market. Many churches and several fraternal organizations are included in the community interests. Originally an entirely prairie township, yet the people have planted many trees and the town and countryside are well supplied. The population is about 500 people.

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