History of Newell Township, Vermilion County,
From: History of Vermilion County, Illinois
By: Lottie E. Jones
Pioneer Publishing Company
Newell township early attracted settlers. These came mostly from Kentucky and Ohio. The Leaves were the first
to come to this section. Later a colony came from the same county in Kentucky. This township gave generously to
the Blackhawk war. Two of these commanded companies. They were George Ware and Alexander Bailey. Bailey's company
was the largest in Col. Moore's regiment. Of the others who volunteered there were Chas. S. Young, Asa and Alpha
Duncan, James Cunningham, Ambrose P. Andrews, Bushro Oliver, Obidiah LeNeve, John LeNeve, William Current, William
G. Blair, Soam Jennings. John Deck, Samuel Swinford, Jacob Eckler, Jeremiah Delay, and John Watson.
When the county was divided into townships the name of Riceland was given to Newell but was changed to the present
name because there was another town of that name in the state. At this time Newell township had a third more territory
which was lost when, in 1856, Blount township was organized. When the Toledo & Wabash railroad was built its
western terminus was the point in Newell township now known as State Line City and Illina. The Great Western was
built by another company and had a continuation of the same route to the southwest and the two roads formed a junction
here. No wonder the village began to grow. State Line City was laid out in the spring of 1857 by Robert Casement
and at the suggestion of A. P. Andrews was given its name. Not long afterward that part on the Illinois side was
laid out by Parker Dresser and Edwin Martin and called Illina being a word formed from the first two syllables
of Illinois and the last syllable of Indiana. The railroad company put up two engine houses and a passenger station
with a large eating house attached. Passengers changed cars and all freight was trans shipped here. A large region,
including the towns of Covington, Perrysville Eugene, Rossville, Myersviile and Marysville shipped and received
freight at this point. About forty railroad hands were employed. Some time during the season John Briar and A.
P., Andrews, under the firm name of Briar &. Andrews, built a general merchandise establishment. These early
years of State Line City and Illina record the names of Perrin Kent and his son, William, Col. E. F. Lucas, Harvey
Barkley, Dr. Porter, Robert Craig, and John Ludlow, Prof. Walbridge Marshall established a manual training school
by soliciting subscriptions and issuing stock certificates entitling the holder to tuition for the amount subscribed.
He bought ten acres of land and put up a two story building, 40 by 42 feet, in dimensions at a cost of $4,000.
This institution was named Evens Union College. Prof. Marshall was a good instructor, and he managed the school
well and until he severed his connection with it there was no complaint to be made concerning it. In 1864 he was
succeeded by Prof. Asa D. Goodwin as principal all through the influence of John H. Braiden. These changes became
the fruitful source of sectarian dissension and the prosperity of the school rapidly decreased. Two or three years
afterward the trustees of Kent township bought the house for $2,700. It was later used for a public school.
Blount township was a part of both Pilot and Newell townships when the county was first divided by township
organization. The two streams, North Fork and Middle Fork formed barriers to interchange of neighborly duties and
the transaction of business and in 1856 the supervisors determined upon a further division. This name given to
the new township was Fremont, because of admiration of the dashing general by that name, but did not prove acceptable
to all and some one remembered the kind old man by name of Blount who lived in this section when the county was
young and his name satisfied everyone. The lines which form the eastern and western borders of Blount township
are quite irregular but follow as nearly as possible within hailing distance of a creek. It contains territory
a little more than a congressional township and a half. The surface of the township is higher in the middle and
north where the prairie lies and was covered in the southern half and along its eastern and western boundaries
with a stalwart growth of forest trees of oak, walnut, maples and here and there a beech tree. These trees are
almost all destroyed. There has been a wicked destruction of the forest trees in Vermilion county during the past
thirty years. There is a famous spring in Blount township where there has been an effort to establish a health
resort under the name of Henrietta Springs. It was at this spring that the Indians spent much of their time when
the white men came to this section. Samuel Copeland was the first settler of Blount township. The first schoolhouse
in the township was the old log school a mile east of Mr. Copeland's house. John Skinner was the first teacher.
The first preaching in the township was by the Rev. McKain at the home of John Johns. The Fairchild family came
to Blount township in 1828. It was in 1834 or 1835 that Mr. Blount sold out and went to Wisconsin, attracted by
the lead mines. There were a number of people who went at the some time. Hunting was the principle business of
that time. Sickness was the rule and ague, milk sickness and fevers of all kinds kept the people broken in spirit,
and sapped their strength, and energy.