History of Carroll Township, Vermilion County, Il
From: History of Vermilion County, Illinois
By: Lottie E. Jones
Pioneer Publishing Company
Chicago 1911


Carroll township is the one which has, more than any other, suffered from division and restriction. Originally it was that portion of Vermilion county which lay south of the center of town 18 and until Jamaica township was established the northern boundary of Carroll remained unchanged. Now, however, not one boundary is the same as the original township.

In 1826 the townships were fixed and Carroll became one of eight, instead of two, divisions of Vermilion County. After that Carroll lost a portion of territory to Georgetown township, and another portion of the east part to Elwood township. Yet later, the territory of Sidell township was lost from the western side. This was in 1867.

This part of the county was settled quite early. The Little Vermilion river runs across the southern end and has numerous branches which altogether makes it the best portion of the county for stock raising because of the inexhaustible water supply. This demand of the first settlers for streams of running water seems odd at this time when it is considered a disadvantage to have such on a farm, and the driven well has been made so easy to obtain. The timber along these streams was excellent and the township was covered for about a third of its territory. Water and timber, the two considered necessities, were plentiful and good. The first settlers south of the river came from Palestine, in 1820. Others followed these and a little later there were settlers on the north of the river. Of these early settlers there were John Myers, and his brother in law, Joseph Frazier, the Starrs, Moses Bradshaw, William McDowell, Abel Williams, and Robert Dickson. Silas Waters, John Reed, George Barnett and John Stark all came later. The earliest settlers on the north arm of the Little Vermilion were John Hoag, Samuel Munnel, William Swank and Alexander McDonald. Dr. Thomas Madden was the first physician in this township. Abraham Sandusky came to this township in the early thirties and both had large families. His brother, who settled in Catlin township, grew to prominent citizenship in this section.

Michael Weaver, the Baums, and David Fisher all were the early citizens of this part of Vermilion county.

The Slidell division of the C. & E. I., runs through Carroll township. Indianola has been a town of many names and little things of importance attached to it. It was laid out and recorded on the 6th of September, 1836, as Chillicothe. It is but one mile from the Little Vermilion river. David Baird and William Swank platted and made arrangements for one hundred and four lots. The public square in the center of the platted town had on its north side a street called North street, on its south side Main street, on its east side, Vermilion street, and on its west side, Walnut street.

These were the only streets in the original plat.

John Gilgis called for a resurvey of the town in 1865 but this did not change its geography.

When Chillicothe demanded a post office it was found that there was a town of the same name on the Illinois river, and a change of name was necessary. This resulted in calling the village Dallas. This was in 1844. After the change was made another postoffice in the state was called Dallas City and Mr. Culbertson, the postmaster, was so annoyed that, without knowledge or consent of the citizens, requested the post office department to change the name' of Dallas to Indianola. For a long time this name was not accepted by the people, and a confusion of names resulted. For many years Indianola had no railroad facilities and when this means of transportation came it was too late to have the village make use of it other than a means of seeking trade in more favored localities. The village was established in 1836 and its early growth was retarded by the commercial depression of the following year. Those early days have associated with them the names of Mr. Atkinson, Guy Merrill, A. H. O. Bryant, Dr. Baum and Mr. McMillen.

Carroll township has been so cut and divided as to make a history of it and one of other townships of the county the same.


S. Harvey Black, age 83, born in Bourbon County, Kentucky, 1827, came with his parents here and settled in Carroll township within a mile of where he is now standing in 1834. About 20 feet to the right of the tree where Mr. Black is standing is the depression of the old trail which is now in Mr. Black's door yard.

Mr. Black and wife, formerly Miss Hutt, who came from Kentucky with her parents in 1834 and settled near her present home and to her right a few feet was the old trail. Mrs. Black is 82 years old and she and her husband have been married sixty odd years.

To Mr. and Mrs. Black we are indebted for the facts concerning the once famous Indian trail. Then can describe the passing of the last few small bands of Indians over the famous trail.

The numbers are on the reverse sides of the pictures.

Nos. I and 2 are the same place, the two pictures being taken at different angles looking up the hill. The hill where these were taken slopes toward the southeast on the north bank of the Little Vermilion river very near the center of Sec. 25, town 17, north range 13, west of the second P. M. In No. 2 a large rock is shown at foot of picture.

No. 8 is near the south bank of the Little Vermilion river sloping north toward the river and is about 30 rods south of Nos. 1 and 2. Just in front of the automobile the depressions are plainly visible. This place is located about 20 rods south of the center of Sec. 25, town 17, north range 13, west of the second P. M.

Nos. 1 and 2 are went down in going south across the river and No. 8 where they went up the hill after crossing the river.

Nos. 3 and 4 are the same hill. No. 3 is looking up the hill toward the southwest. The white spot in the center of picture is a rock. The man to the left hand is standing in the depression where the road wound around and up the hill, the man to the right in another depression and man in center on the knoll between the depressions of the trail.

No. 4 is looking down the same hill toward the northeast, our coats lying in the depression. This hill slopes to the north and lies near the center of the south border of the north 1/2 of the N. E. 1/4 of Sec. 25, town 17, north range 13 west.

No. 5 shows the depressions to the left of the stack of posts and just to the right of large tree in the center of picture. This view is toward the northeast and on level ground. On the left hand lower corner and to the right of the tree is two plain depressions. From this place the trail led northeast to the present village of Indianola,

This photo locates the trail near the center of the west line of the S. W. 1/4 of the S. W. 54 of Sec. 19, town 17, north range 12 west of the second P. M.


This "Indian Trail" after leaving Indianola wound in a southwesterly direction across the northwest corner of Sec. 20, through near the center of Sec. 19, town 17, north range 12, west crossed the river near the center of Sec. 25, then along the north side of Sec. 35 and continued west along the north side of Sec. 34 for one half mile, then took a southwesterly course across Sec. 33 and intersected the Vermilion and Edgar County lines one half mile west of the southeast corner of Sec. 33, town 17, north range 13, west of second P. M. After reaching Edgar County the trail continued on southwest three miles to

Major Croghan "of the British army" and his party after leaving the old French fort of Guatonan near the present town of LaFayette, Indiana, came along the above described trail through the present site of Indianola to Sec. 7, town 16, north range 13, west of second P. M., Edgar County, where they met the great 'Indian Chief" July 18, 1765, where a conference was held between Major Croghan and Chief Pontiac which resulted in the formation of a treaty of peace between Pontiac tribes and the British or English speaking people. After this treaty Pontiac accompanied Major Croghan back over this same trail to Ft. Guatonan, Indiana.

The following illustrations of the old Indian trail from Kaskaskia to Detroit which is yet visible in southeastern part of the county tells its own story.

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