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

White Oak Township. - This, the smallest township in McLean County, contains only about one half the ordinary area of a congressional township. Its peculiar shape is due to the politics of two families, the Benson and the Carlocks. When Woodford County was formed, the Carlocks wanted to be in that county, because it was Democratic, while the Bensons wanted to be in the Whig county of McLean. Consequently the line was drawn half way between the Benson and the Carlock farms. Only one half of White Oak Grove is in this township, the remainder being in Woodford County. Smith Denman was the first settler, in Sept., 1829. He was followed next year by Elisha Dixon, John Brown, Samuel and Robert Phillips, and a little later by John, James and William Benson. The father of the Bensons was a soldier of Tippecanoe under General Harrison, who had come to Blooming Grove in 1823. He afterward became the first treasurer of Tazewell County. The sons served in the Black Hawk war, and the grandsons in the Civil War. Oak Grove was one of the towns of McLean County which was destined to arise, flourish for a time, then die out. It was situated in White Oak Township, and there a town hall was built, a postoffice established, several stores and shops opened. But when the Lake Erie Railroad was built and a station placed at Carlock, Oak Grove dwindled away. White Oak Grove was a resort of the Indians, and a camping place was at Indian Point, west of the Carlock farm. There was an Indian trail leading from Blooming Grove along the high lands past Dry Grove and Twin Grove to White Oak Grove, thence west to Peoria. Another trail came from the Wabash country on the east by the north side of Cheney's Grove, thence by Money Creek passing near where Hudson now stands, to Indian Point. The village of Carlock was laid out Jan. 5, 1888, by John P. Carlock, after the building of the Lake Erie Railroad had left the town of Oak Grove sidetracked off the line of the road. Most of the buildings of Oak Grove were removed to Carlock. The latter has grown slowly since it was founded. It has modern business buildings for a town of its size, churches, elevators, good schools and a newspaper. It is located on one of the trunk line's hard roads built by the state in the years 1922-24.

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