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

Danvers Township. - This township contains more territory than the ordinary one, having 45 square miles. It is located in the northwest part of the county, containing much prairie land and over 10,000 acres of timber, of which Stout's Grove is the most important part. The timber attracted early settlers, and Ephraim Stout came here from Tennessee in 1825, being followed in 1827 by Matthew Robb, Robert McClure and Peyton Mitchell, Jonathan Hodges and his sons, U. S. and W. F. Hodges. Five years later Stout built a mill, which was a headquarters for farmers for many miles during several years. Wheat was a staple crop of the farmers of this section for many years, and is still raised to some extent, but not so profitably. The old state road from Danville to Peoria passed through Danvers, and much east and west travel went that way. An early tavern was Wayside Inn, located in the west part of the township and kept by Alvin Goodenough. The first school was a private one taught by Archibald Johnson in 1832-33. The second teacher was Lyman Porter and the third Hosea Stout, who was converted to Mormonism and went to Nauvoo and became an apostle. Matthew Robb acted as school treasurer and justice of the peace. He was also elected to the legislature. James Wilson was the first supervisor from Danvers township. The present supervisor is Chester R. Ewins, who served many years and was: chairman of the board for a time. There have been many religious organizations in Danvers, the Friends, Cumberland Presbyterians, United Brethren, Methodists, Congregationalists, Christians, Baptists and Mennonites being represented. The fifth house built in the settlement was erected by Thomas Walker for a church, building it of hewn logs. Many earlier religious bodies have disappeared. The Friends moved away, leaving no organization. Lutherans and Mennonites have prosperous organizations. Danvers had honorable records in all the wars, from the Mexican War to the World War. George H. Fifer, a brother of Governor Fifer, who went from Danvers in the Civil war, was killed in battle in Texas. Several young men from Danvers lost their lives in the Word war.

The village of Danvers, laid out in February, 1836, was first called Concord, for the sake of Israel W. Hall, who came from Concord, N. H. The name was changed to Danvers in 1861. The first postoffice was called Stout's Grove, founded in 1848. Danvers is now a progressive and - modern little city. It has a water works deriving its supply from wells; a public library, two banks, three elevators, an electric interurban road and steam road, and for years the Willow Park sanitarium, a drink and drug cure, was run by Dr. Parkhurst. The Danvers Independent is a weekly newspaper. The village population is about 650.

There are lodges of the Masons and Modern Woodmen in Danvers, and a post of the American Legion. The Danvers club is a progressive social organization. The schools are up to date, and live parent-teachers' association keeps the women in touch with the schools. Five churches are functioning, the Presbyterian, Zion Lutheran, Mennonite, Methodist and Baptist. Danvers has no pavement, but the streets are well oiled.

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