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

Old Town Township. - The belt of timber across the southern border gave its name to this township, the grove in turn taking its name from the old Indian town. The grove covered 6,620 acres, being 18 miles long and three miles wide. It was at the headwaters of the Kickapoo Creek. William Evans was the first settler within the township borders, coming in 1826 His farm buildings were destroyed by a tornado in September, 1827, and he gave up and moved to Blooming Grove. His land afterward became a part of the city of Bloomington and was quite valuable. John Bishop was a settler in Old Town in 1830 and William Bishop in 1832. John Hendryx and Lewis Case also came about that time. The first school was in Lewis Case's home, taught by Callista Stanton in 1838. The same house also sheltered the first church meeting. In 1853 the Methodists built a church at Benjaminville, which was later moved to the village of Holder and sold to the United Brethren. The Society of Friends formed the religious influence at Benjaminville. When the railroad afterward known as the Lake Erie road was built, the village of Holder was laid out in 1871 by Charles W. Holder. It occupies ten acres in section 13. The hamlet of Gillum is located in the southwestern part of the township and is on the New York Central, or Nickel Plate railroad. Pleasant Grove church and cemetery are located on section 26, and an older cemetery on section 22, not now in use.

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