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

Hudson Township. - The township and village of Hudson took their names from Hudson, New York, which had formerly been the home of some of the men who organized a colony and entered most of the land which comprised this township. The very earliest settlers of the vicinity were Bailey Harbert, his son in slaw, Richard Gross, and Mosby Harbert, who arrived here probably in 1828 or '29. Jesse Havens came in 1830, from Blooming Grove, and bought out the claims of the earlier settlers. Havens had been a soldier of 1812 and served as county commissioner after his settlement in this county. His son, Hiram Havens, grew to be a leading citizen. David Trimmer was the first blacksmith of the neighborhood. The Illinois Land Association, organized at Jacksonville, in Feb., 1836, entered large tracts of land in this township in the names of Horatio N. Pettit, one of the three charter members, the other two being John Gregory and George F. Durkitt. This was one of the many colonization schemes which flourished about that time as land speculating enterprises. Each member paid 5235, for which he was to receive 160 acres of land, four lots in the town of Hudson and a share in the net profits of the whole scheme. Some timber land was also promised to each, but finding a limited amount of timber to give out, caused discontent among members of the colony. Some left, but of those who remained there were Pettit and Gregory, John Magoun, James H. Robinson, Oliver March, James and Joseph Gildersleeve, Jacob Burtis and Samuel P. Cox. The colony had got a good start when the panic of 1837 hit it, and things were at a standstill until about 1850. Among the buildings erected at the start was a frame structure used as school house and church. The first preacher was John Dunham, a United Brethren missionary. Rev. James Latta organized the first Methodist church. The German Baptists or Dunkards also had a congregation here. The first man buried in the township was Solomon Lewis, a soldier of Captain Brown's company en route from Danville to the Black Hawk war. The company camped here, Lewis was taken sick and died at the house of Jesse Havens. The houses built by the Hudson colonists were of frame, in contrast to log houses erected in other settlements. This required sawed lumber, and a saw mill was among the first structures erected. J. Moats erected such a mill in 1836, and George Mason built a grist mill on the Mackinaw. Among the earlier settlers aside from those composing the colony, were James Smith, who removed here from Smith's Grove in Towanda Township, Benjamin Wheeler, the Hinthorns, Elijah Priest, Isaac Messer and Isaac Turnipseed.

The village of Hudson was laid out Aug. 13, 1836, by Horatio Pettit. The main street was laid out 120 feet broad, and other streets 80 feet wide. When the Illinois Central Railroad was built it passed through the township and the village, going along one side of the main street, or "Broadway." A celebration was held at Hudson under auspices of the McLean County Historical Society, at which time a boulder was set marking the site of the last camping ground of the Pottawatomie Indians in that vicinity. It stands just at the turn of the road in front of F. A. Carrothers' residence. Mrs. Carrothers was a Havens.

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