History of Lawndale Township, McLean County, Illinois
From: History of McLean County Illinois
By: Jacob L. Hasbrouck
Historical Publishing Company
Lawndale Township is made up of rich prairie lands and contains many excellent farms. The settlement of the
township took place between 1851 and 1854, when emigrants bought lands from the government. Hon. John Cassedy,
one of the early settlers and members of the Legislature, was the one who suggested the name, the land suggesting
to his mind a great lawn. Cassedy was a man of great stature and equally great brain, a marked character of his
time and station. Henline Creek, which crosses the township and flows into the Mackinaw, was named for John Henline,
who settled here in 1828. He with his three sons, David, William and Martin, were the only settlers living here
at the time of the deep snow. By the year 1832, when the Black Hawk war broke out, there were many settlers living
in Lawndale, Martin and Lexington townships. They banded together and built a stockade and block house for mutual
protection against roving bands of hostile Indians. Jacob Spawr, an early settler, says this stockade was about
six rods long and four rods wide. McLean County at that time extended beyond the present site of Pontiac, and was
almost on the Indian frontier. Some of the settlers being in terror of the unknown extent and ferocity of the Indians,
fled the country and went back east. The only known Indian band in this immediate vicinity at that time were the
"praying Indians" of the Kickapoo tribe, then located at Oliver's Grove in what is now Livingston County.
This fear of them caused the government to remove them west of the Mississippi River in September of that year.
This panic over supposed Indian dangers probably lost the county many permanent residents at that time, some leaving
never to return.