History of West Point Township, Stephenson
From: History of Stephenson County, Illinois
A record of its settlement, oragnization
and three quarters of a century of progress
By: Addison L. Fulwider, A. M.
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company
WEST POINT TOWNSHIP.
West Point Township is six miles square, is the east half of Township 28, and has an area of twenty two thousand
eight hundred acres. In 1850 Waddams Township was organized, thus leaving West Point with its present boundaries.
The first settlement in Stephenson County was made in West Point Township. It was made by William Waddams at Waddams
Grove in 1833, the next year after Black Hawk's War. The war and the previous uncertain attitude of the Sacs and
Foxes had held back the settlement of the county. The Winnebagoes also were frequently moody and likely at any
moment to join Black Hawk in an attack on the white settlements. The final defeat of the old Sac Brave at the battle
of the Bad Axe, August 2, 1832, made it possible for the first time for settlers to take up claims in Stephenson
County with safety. Even then there were many dangers because small squads of Indians still lurked about the county.
While the threshing Uncle Sam had given them had taken the fight out of the red men, yet such a foe might be expected
to make trouble by means of the skulking bands which, at least, were not afraid to steal. Mr. Waddams felt the
effect of Indian depredations more than once. At one time they drove away his hogs.
The Lena Star was founded in 1866. In that year, John W. Gishwiller, a photographer of Lena, and Samuel J. Dodds. postmaster, formed a partnership to secure material to start a newspaper and job office. They expended about one thousand four hundred dollars for a Washington Hand Press and other necessary equipment. The firm secured the services of John M. Shannon, who was then in Lena on a visit to his brother, the station agent. They also secured Robert Shannon of Chicago, then one of the fastest typists of the west, and Captain S. C. Harris, another printer. The complement of men was completed by Charles Weaver, the printer's "Devil." After considerable work by the "Devil" and others in blacking the faces of the new type, the first paper of Vol. 1, No. 1, of the Lena Star went to press. S. J. Dodds was editor.
March 21, 1867, Mr. Dodds withdrew from the firm. May 3, same year, Mr. John M. Shannon secured control of the
paper. February 12, 1869, Mr. James S. McCall, of Freeport, Illinois, purchased the Star outfit and secured James
W. Newcomer, of Freeport, as manager and editor. 1878, April 5, W. W. Lowis purchased the paper.
The Lena Bank is a private bank, the firm being George L. Baldwin & Company. The officials are: President,
F. A. Latham; vice president, Peter Seise; cashier, George L. Baldwin. The bank was organized in 1867 by S. Rising,
under the name of Rising, Smith & Company, and in 1870 changed to Folly, Corning & Company. In February
1878 the firm name again became S. Rising & Company. Later, the firm became Folly, Narramore & Company,
and in 1906, became George L. Baldwin & Company.
The Lena schools are now under the efficient management of Professor L. M. Carpenter. The High school with Miss Wilson as assistant, maintains a good reputation, and is accredited by the University of Illinois. The first school was in the log house on Samuel F. Dodd's farm. In 1850 a log schoolhouse was built on Franklin street and served till 1854 when the old stone schoolhouse was built at the corner of Franklin and Lena streets. A two story stone building was built in 1859. The two districts were combined in 1866 and in 1868 a large adequate school building was erected. The board of school directors is made up of the following officers and members: President, Frank M. Halliday; clerk, George Baldwin; Dr. Stiver, Lewis Heidenreich, J. C. Lampbert and R. M. White, members.
LENA SCHOOLS - 1910.
The complete roster of teachers for the Lena schools for the coming year is as follows: Principal of High school, L. M. Carpenter; assistants in High school, Miss Sue E. Wilson and Miss Vera Trump; grammar department, Miss Lydia Vautsmeier; second intermediate, Miss Luella Buss; first intermediate, Miss Mary Perkins; primary, Miss Selina Rutter.
THE G. A. R. - WILLIAM R. GODDARD POST.
The William R. Goddard Post, G. A. R., of Lena, has always been an active and enthusiastic organization of the
Civil War Veterans The Post took its name from William R. Goddard, a citizen of Lena who served in the Mexican
war, and who, at the outbreak of the Civil war, again entered the services of his country. As a soldier and a commander,
he won distinction on the battlefield and won rapid promotion till he became Major of the Fourteenth Illinois.
Major Goddard fell while leading his men at the Battle of Shiloh.
BENJAMIN R. GODDARD POST.
At one time the Benjamin R. Goddard Post of Lena numbered about one hundred members. Some have moved to other parts of the county, but most of them have honored graves in the Lena Cemetery. The Post has not been less faithful as its membership has declined. The Post had charge of the dedication of the Black Hawk War Monument at Kellog's Grove and each year conducts the Memorial Day services. Another patriotic and fraternal duty, that of conducting the burial services of the old soldiers who pass from this life, is faithfully performed. At the present time the Post has the following members:
Commander of the Post - C. F. Houser, Co. G, Ninety second Ill.
Waddams Grove is a small village, having a store, a postoffice, a creamery, an elevator, the Illinois Central Station and a few dwellings. The school is located a mile or more beyond the village. The venerable J. H. Osborne, who built the first store in Waddams, is now postmaster, a position he has held for 39 years. The elevator is run by L. F. Keeley. The feature of the village is the beautiful park maintained by Mr. George Schultz. The owner is a student of science and takes a special interest in flowers. The park is one of the prettiest places in the county.
A pretty little cross roads settlement on the road from Lena to Waddams Grove is Louisa. It lies where the Galena Road intersects a cross roads, and contains a church, cemetery, school, and a group of houses. There is no general store nor is there any need for one, for the village is only about two miles northwest of Lena, and the farmers of Louisa are accustomed to do their trading at the larger town. The settlement is of recent origin, and hardly promises to become a village of any great importance. It deserves mention however as one of the rural communities so numerous in Stephenson County, along with Waddams Center, Afolkey, Legal, and others of equal unimportance.