Other Towns and Villages, Stark County, Il
From: Stark County Illinois and its People
J. Knox Hill, Supervising Editor.
The Pioneer Publishing Company
Chicago 1916

For towns and cities not listed below visit the Stark County Page.

Strictly speaking, Camp Grove is no longer in Stark County. It was established at an early date on the lines between Stark and Marshall counties, near the southeast corner of Penn Township. Among the early business men here were: J. Townsend and Cyrus Bocock, general merchants; R. G. Fargo, dealer in iron and metals; William Evans, butcher; S. H. Nichols, contractor and builder, and W. J. Townsend, postmaster. When the Chicago & Northwestern Railroad from Peoria to Nelson was built in 1902, it passed about half a mile east of Camp Grove and most of the business concerns "pulled up stakes" and removed to the railroad. About all that is left of the old village is the Catholic Church and cemetery.

This thriving little place is situated in sections 9 and 16 of Penn Township, on the But & Rushville division of the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad. It was surveyed by Edwin Butler, surveyor of Stark County, on March 4, 1870, for Dr. Alfred H. Castle, after whom it was named. The original plat shows seven blocks averaging sixteen lots each, the north and south streets being Main, Washington and Lincoln, and the east and west streets, Smith, Sherman and State. Since the original plat was filed three additions have been made to the town - Julg's and Fuller's, of six lots each, and Kissinger's, of forty five lots Among the early business concerns of Castleton were Klock & Fleming's grain elevator, Leo Julg's boot and shoe store, D. W. Crum's drug store, G. Wright's hardware and farm implement house, Mrs. Stewart's hotel and H. D. Martin's wagon and paint shop.

The Castleton of 1915 boasts several good mercantile establishments, a branch of Scott, Walters & Rakestraw's bank, three churches, a fine public school building, two grain elevators, a town hall, a number of minor business concerns and many pretty homes. The streets and sidewalks are in good condition and the town is lighted by electricity from the plant of the Stark County Power Company at Wyoming. It ships considerable quantities of grain and livestock, and in 1910 reported a population of 201.

On June 10, 1870, Edwin Butler, county surveyor, platted the Town of Duncan for Dr. Alfred H. Castle, with six blocks (104 lots) though blocks 1 and 4 were afterward vacated. The streets running north and south are Monroe, Adams and Jefferson, and those running east and west are Main, Washington and Galena. Duncan is located in section 35, Essex Township, on the Buda & Rushville division of the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad, seven miles south of Wyoming. F. F. Brockway and John H. Slater were among the first merchants of the town; George Fautz opened a hardware store, William Heath conducted a grocery store and a hotel, John Barker was the village blacksmith, and Dr. T. C. Thomas was probably the first resident physician. A postoffice was started soon after the village was laid out in 1870, with W. H. Miller as postmaster.

Although a shipping point of considerable importance, Duncan has never grown to be a town of any great proportions. Rand & McNally give the population in 1910 as 125. Scott, Walters & Rakestraw, of Wyoming, have a branch bank at Duncan. The village has general stores, a grain elevator, lumber yard, hotel, several small shops, a church and a public school.

W. It. Sandham, of Wyoming, who has given considerable attention to the origin of Stark County names, says: "Elmira is the name given to a postoffice which was first established about the year 1837, where the present Village of Osceola is now located. It was named by Oliver Whitaker, its first postmaster, after his former home, Elmira, New York. About the year 1845 the postoffice was moved to its present location on the west side of Spoon River and the name moved with it."

However, the Village of Elmira had its beginning some two years before the removal of the postoffice as mentioned by Mr. Sandham. In 1843 Ambrose Fuller entered the quarter section of land upon which the village stands and opened a store. Fuller's store soon became a sort of rallying point for the people of the neighborhood, the Methodists and Presbyterians located churches there, several families purchased lots and built dwellings, thus starting a town. No official plat of Elmira was ever filed with the county recorder, though part of the town is known as "Parsons' subdivision." In 1915 Elmira had two churches; two general stores, some small business concerns, a public school and a few residences. Rand & McNally give the population in 1910 as 76. The postoffice has been discontinued and Mail is now delivered by rural carrier from Toulon.

On June 15, 1870, Edwin Butler, then county surveyor, surveyed the Town of Lombardville for Julia A. Lombard and Dr. Alfred H. Castle, and the plat was filed on the 8th of July following. Lombardville is located on the Buda & Rushville division of the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad, on the line dividing sections 2 and 11, Osceola Township. The original plat shows 104 lots, with State, Franklin, Lombard and Duncan streets running north and south, and Howard, Main and Washington run east and west. The hotel and elevator were completed in the fall of 1870, the Lombardville Mining Company began operations about the same time, and for some time the village showed signs of becoming a town of some importance. But the coal deposits were worked out, much of the trade was diverted to Bradford and other towns and Lombardville never came up to the expectations of its founders. A public school, a general store and grain elevators are the principal institutions. Mains delivered by rural carrier from the postoffice at Bradford.

Says Mrs. Shallenberger: "Massillon was situated seven miles nearly due south of the present Town of Toulon, not far from the southern boundary of the county. Its projector and proprietor was Stephen Trickle. Date of survey, April, 1837."

This is the only written account of Massillon that the writer has been able to find. It is known that one of the precincts of the county was named "Massillon," from which it may be inferred that the town Was once a place of some consequence, though it is now nothing more than a memory.

The Village of Modena is located in the southeast quarter of section 1, in the northeastern part of Toulon Township and on the west bank of Spoon River. It was surveyed on March 24, 1853, for Miles A. and Williston K. Fuller. The plat was filed in July and shows thirty one lots, with Main and Second streets running north and south and Locust and Chestnut, east and west. The flour mill and the coal mines in the immediate vicinity were the principal industries of early days. A. Y. Fuller, who was one of the early purchasers of lots, opened a general store, and B. A. Newton also conducted a store here for some time. Mr. Sandham says the name was suggested by Modena in Italy. A Baptist Church was erected here about 1856. In 1915 a general store and the public school were the principal features of the village, which reported a population of 35 in 1910. It is on one of the rural mail routes from the postoffice at Wyoming.

This is one of the new towns of the county and owes its existence to the building of the Chicago & Northwestern Railroad through the county in 1901-02. It is located in the extreme northeast corner of the Township of Osceola and is only a short distance east of Lombardville. No official plat of the village was ever filed in the office of the county recorder, but an atlas of the county, published in 1907, shows fourteen lots - six north and eight south of the railroad station. Rand & McNally give the population in 1910 as 50. Mall is delivered by rual carrier from Bradford.

The extinct town of Moulton was located near the northern border of Essex Township, about three miles west of Wyoming, in the Indian Creek Valley. It was surveyed in August, 1836, by Robert Schuyler, Russell H. Nevins, William Couch, David Lee and Abijah Fisher. George and William Sammis had a store on the site at the time the town was laid out. At one time Moulton had aspirations to become the county seat of Stark County, but Toulon won that honor and the close proximity of Wyoming also contributed to Moulton's downfall. A frame house was erected there by Eugenius Frum a year or two after the town was platted, but this building was afterward purchased by Benjamin Turner and removed to Toulon, where it stood until 1886.

The village of Osceola is situated in the southeast quarter of section 11, Elmira Township, a small portion of the place extending southward into section 14. The first settlers in this part of the county came late in the year 1835. Among them were Giles C. Dana, Isaac Spencer, James Buswell, Thomas Watts and the Pratts, one of whom was a physician. Mrs. Shallenberger says: "They came out under the auspices of Maj. Robert Moore, who encouraged emigration hither, with a view to building up a town, which he had surveyed and called Osceola."

If such a town was ever surveyed it failed to become a reality, though the first settler named the grove in which they built their cabins "Osceola Grove," after the celebrated Seminole Indian leader in the Florida war. When the postoffice was established there in 1837 it was named Elmira, as already stated, and a settlement grew up around the postoffice. After the removal of the postoffice to the present village of Elmira, the village where it was first established took the name of Osceola. Being some distance from a railroad, the village has never grown to any considerable proportions, but it forms a trading point and meeting place for the people in the northeastern part of Elmira Township. The population in 1910 was only 55. It has a general store, a Baptist Church, a Methodist Church and parsonage, a public school and a few dwellings, and is on one of the rural mail routes from Neponset, in Bureau County.

An old map of Stark County shows the settlement of Pleasant Green near the center of section 33, Osceola Township. It was never formally laid out as a town, but a rural postoffice was maintained here for some time in early days and some coal was mined in the vicinity. The district school known as the "Pleasant Green" school is all that is left to tell the story.

This is another settlement that "just growed." It is located in section 7, Penn Township, a little south of the site of the old village of Walden, and consists of six lots along the south side of the highway. Just how the settlement obtained its name is uncertain.

Just east of the Spoon river, in section 33, Essex Township, is the old village of Slackwater, which at one time was a trading point and neighborhood center of some importance. The building of the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad and the founding of the town of Duncan, only a mile and half east on the railroad, robbed Slackwater of its prestige and it sank into insignificance.

While the Peoria & Nelson branch of the Chicago & Northwestern Railroad was under construction, James A. Speer, who owned a farm on the line of the railroad in section 36, Valley Township, conceived the idea of founding a town. Accordingly, on December 5, 1901, Henry H. Oliver, county surveyor, platted the town of Speer, in the northwest quarter of the above named section. The original plat showed twenty four lots west of the railroad, but on April 15, 1903, Mr. Oliver made a revised plat of the original town and Speer's first addition thereto. Front Street runs north and south next to the railroad and farther west is McKinley Avenue. The streets running east and west are Main and South, and one not named on the plat. Speer soon came into prominence as a trading and shipping point for the southeastern part of the county. It reported a population of 150 in 1910; has general and hardware stores, a bank, livery barn, planing mill, postoffice, lumber yard, grain elevators, and is one of the flourishing little towns of Stark County.

Five miles east of Wyoming, on the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific Railroad, is the little village of Stark, which grew up soon after the railroad was completed, but was never officially platted. A postoffice was established in the early '70s; Simpson & Smith and Charles N. Hull opened general stores; Joseph Anderson began dealing in grain and drain tile, and a few other business enterprises were established. In 1910 the population was 75. It has a large grain elevator, general stores, a Congregational Church, etc., and does a good business in shipping grain and livestock. It derives its name from the county.

No plat of this settlement - for it can hardly be called a town - was ever recorded. It is located in West Jersey Township, near the eastern boundary. A Methodist Church was organized here at an early date and is still in existence, but the commercial activity of Starwano has departed.

In the atlas of Stark County, published in 1907, is shown a thickly settled neighborhood in the southwestern part of Essex Township (sections 30 and 31) which has long been known as "Stringtown." Its location is almost identical with that of the old Town of Massillon previously mentioned. A church and public school are the only institutions worthy of note.

This little town with the oriental name was platted on June 2, 1873, by Edwin Butler, then surveyor of Stark County, for Mrs. Anna K. Chase. It is located on the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific Railroad, in section 31, Valley Township, only about one mile east of the Village of Stark. Front Street runs parallel to the railroad and a square farther east is Chase Street. The north and south streets are Main and Hamilton. The original plat shows fifty five lots. Wady Petra is a typical little railroad station, with the usual local business enterprises. In 1910 the population was given as forty five. Mail is delivered by rural carrier from the postoffice at Stark.

The old Town of Walden was situated in the north side of section 7, Penn Township, just across the Spoon River from Modena. It is said to have taken its name from Dexter Wall, and was sometimes written "Wallden." Mr. Wall built a steam mill there at an early date and a general store was opened, but the name of the pioneer merchant has apparently been forgotten. "Wall's Schoolhouse," which stood not far from the mill, was a favorite place for holding religious services by ministers of different denominations. In time Mr. Wall removed his mill to Wyoming and the Town of Walden disappeared from the map

Early in the year 1856 Jacob Young employed Carson Berfield, who bad previously served as county surveyor, to lay off a town almost in the exact geographical center of West Jersey Township, which town was named West Jersey. Seminary and Jersey streets and Plum Alley are shown on the original plat as the thoroughfares. The plat was filed for record on February 19, 1856, and ten years later only twenty four lots had been sold. During the next twenty years the growth was "slow but sure," and in 1886 about seventy lots had been sold. Among the early industries and business houses of West Jersey may be mentioned Snediker's mill, John Catton's coal mines, Giwitts & Son's planing mill, W. H. Little's harness shop, William Atkinson's blacksmith shop and W. H. Johnson's store. The Methodist Church was built about 1869. A postoffice was established here before the Civil war, but it has been discontinued and mail is now addressed to Toulon and delivered by rural carrier. West Jersey has a public school building, a church, general stores, some smaller business concerns, a hall for public entertainments, and in 1910 reported a population of seventy.

With the introduction of the free rural delivery system, several of the postoffices of Stark County were discontinued. The United States Postal Guide for July, 1915, gives the following offices in the county, the figures in parentheses following the name indicating the number of 'rural mail routes: Bradford (5); Castleton, Duncan, Lafayette (2); Speer (1); Stark (1); Toulon (5); Wyoming (4). Every office in the county is authorized to issue money orders. Those at Bradford, Toulon and Wyoming issue international money orders and are postal savings depositories.

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