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This township constitutes the congressional T. 17 N. R. 2 E., and is bounded on the north by Maroa, east by Whitmore, south by Decatur and west by Illini township. It is drained by Stevens creek and its tributaries; there is a narrow belt of timber running along the banks of the creek and some of its tributaries. The Illinois Central Railroad crosses the township from north to south; the Pekin, Lincoln and Decatur passes diagonally through the south-west corner, and the Champaign, Havana and Western touches it in the south-east corner of section 36.
To David Florey at present an old and highly respected citizen of Whitmore township belongs the credit of having made the first settlement in Hickory Point. It was in the year 1825, and he emigrated from Virginia to this county and settled on section 35, in this township. He was then a young man and full of vigor and energy, as was John Draper, another Virginian who accompanied him in his mission.
Mr. Draper resided in this township about three years, when he removed to Whitmore township and became the first settler there. In 1826, Phillip D. Williams, a native of New York, a very intelligent and useful citizen, came to Hickory Point. James Johnson was also a very early settler in this county. He was a native of Virginia. Robert Johnson and his wife, both Virginians, settled here in the fall of 1831. They located in the edge of the timber on or near section 128. David Florey, above mentioned, built the first house. It was a log cabin, and located on section 35. The Smallwood's, also natives of Virginia, were among the early settlers, and several of them and their descendants are still living in the southern part of the township. Zebedee Sergeant and Nancy Manly were the first parties joined in holy conds of wedlock in this township. The first birth, was that of Sarah J. Smallwood, which occurred on the 27th day of July, 1827. She died in 1846. By the year 1841, the settlements in the southern part of the township had grown to such a number that a school-house became a necessity and one was constructed of logs during this year. It stood in section 34, just inside of the line dividing this township from that of Decatur. But as many as ten years prior to this there had been a private school taught at the different farm-houses throughout the settlement. Walter Robbins is said to have been the first teacher.
The Rev. Robert Hensen, who came to this township in 1832, was the first preacher to locate here. It was not until 1857, however, that a house of worship was erected. In that year there was a frame church of ordinary size built on section 32.
Phillip D. Williams, already mentioned as one of the earliest settlers, was made the first Justice of Peace. The first blacksmith shop opened, was in 1828, by James Johnson, who afterwards became very prominent in the Black Hawk War, rising to the rank of Colonel on May 16, 1832.
The first land entries in the Precinct were:
Randolph Rose, Feb. 5th, 1830, 80 acres in section 32.
James Johnson entered on the same day 80 acres in section 32.
The third entry was made June 5th, 1830, by William Lemon, to wit: The W. 1/2 of the S.E. 1/4 of section No. 32 in T. 17N., T. 2 E. of the 3d P.M. containing 80 acres.
We mention below a few of the oldest residents now living in the township:
John Y. Braden, who was born in Tennessee, March 22, 1818, settled in this county in 1829, and his wife, Laura A. Hunting a native of Vermont, came here in 1830. They now reside on section 26.
Robert Johnson and wife, now residing on section 34, are both natives of Kentucky, and were married in that state, April 5, 1831, and in the following fall, in the month of October, they emigrated to this county. Mr. Johnson was born in Bath county, Ky., March 3, 1807, and his wife, Luann Church, July 13, 1813.
In November, 1836, Ulysses Huston, now living on section 34, came to Macon county. He was born in Pickaway county, Ohio, August 25, 1824. He was married to Matilda McCoy, Feb. 25, 1847, who was born May 19, 1825, in Montgomery county, Indiana.
Geo. W. Schroll, now residing on section 15, is a Pennsylvanian, and came to Macon county in 1842. His wife, Lethe A. Hornback, was born in this county in 1836.
Henry Schroll, residing on section 27, was also born in Pennsylvania, and came here in same year.
Mary D. Taylor was born in Macon county in 1839.
David Houser, a native of Pennsylvania, came with his wife in 1845.
W.H. Gepford, D.S. Weigel, Wm. T. Grubbs, John H. McKinley, John Weaver, N.S. Batchelder, Hilleary Major, James B. Good, and Henry Martin, may also be mentioned among the early and prominent citizens of Hickory Point.
The Supervisors who have represented this township since its organization may be seen in the following list:
J.Y. Braden, elected in 1860, and by re-election held this office til 1866
W.F. Montgomery, was elected 1866 and held this office for two consecutive years
H.S. Mannon was elected in 1868
A. McBride, elected in 1869, and re-elected in 1870, '71 and '72
H. Lehman re-elected in 1873
A.W. McBride, re-elected in 1874, and '75
H. Lehman re-elected in 1876, '77, '78 and '79
Volney Barber elected in 1880
Forsythe is a pleasant little village, located on the line of the Illinois Central R.R. in section 14 of this township. It was laid out in 1864, by E. Smith. In 1865, George Shaffer erected the first house. A little later in the same year Charles Ruhel opened the first store in this place. The first school-house was built in 1864. Rufus Crossman was the first teacher.
In 1868, the first church was erected, and Rev. Wm. Nugent was the first preacher. The post-office was established in 1868, and N,F, Fitch was the first post-master.
In 1865, Dr. Baxter located here and was the first to engage in the practice of medicine. Hiran Eppler opened the first blacksmith shop in the year 1865. The town has its business houses represented in the following list:
General Stores--Mrs. E. Petsch, E. Weilepp, V.W. Benton
Drug Store--G.W. Drury
Blacksmith shops--Isaac Hornback, David Plank
Wood Work and Repairing--Herman Nicholls
Partial List of Patrons
Arthur, Jasper Sec 7 Farmer & Stock Raiser OH 1866 Ida A. Taylor Sec 7 Wife of Jasper Arthur OH 1869 Arthur, Joseph Sec 17 Farmer & Cattle Feeder OH 1867 Melinda Clover Sec 17 Wife of Joseph Arthur OH 1860 Braden, John Y. Sec 26 Farmer & Stock Raiser TN 1829 Laura A. Hunting Sec 26 Wife of John Y. Braden VT 1830 Black, J.R. Sec 18 Farmer & Stock Raiser KY 1866 Mary J. White Dec'd Late Wife of J.R. Black, Died Jun 24 '67 IL 1866 Rachel Ritchie Sec 18 Present Wife of J.R. Black PA Batchelder, N.S. Sec 8 Farm., Cattle & Hog feeder NH 1856 Mary M. Ritchie Dec'd Late Wife of N.S. Batchelder, Died Mar 2 '72 PA 1856 Margaretta Cornon Sec 8 Present Wife of N.S. Batchelder PA 1856 Bixler, A.J. Sec 13 Farmer & Stock Raiser PA 1860 Lovenia R. Lehman Sec 13 Wife of A.J. Bixler Macon Co IL 1845 Good, James R. Sec 32 Farmer & Stock Raiser Macon Co IL 1856 Ida L. Lehman Sec 32 Wife of James R. Good OH 1868 Gepford, W.H. Sec 8 Farmer & Stock Raiser PA 1848 Grubbs, Wm. T. Sec 34 Farmer & Stock Raiser IL 1846 Melissa C. Allen Sec 34 Wife of Wm. T. Grubbs KY 1855 Nancy J. Hornback Sec 8 Wife of W.H. Gepford Macon Co IL 1840 Hays, Hezekiah Sec 25 Farmer & Keeper Poor Farms Macon Co IL 1844 Margaret Lehem Sec 25 Wife of Hezekiah Hays OH 1864 Houser, David Sec 21 Farmer & Stock Raiser PA 1845 Leah Suanda Dec'd Late Wife of D. Houser, Died Sep '53 PA 1845 Catharine Larish Sec 21 Present Wife of D. Houser PA 1854 Hinkle, Wm. A. Sec 5 Farmer & Blacksmith PA 1870 Amanda Ivens Sec 5 Wife of Wm. A. Hinkle OH 1866 Huston, Ulysses Sec 34 Farmer & Stock Raiser OH 1836 Matilda McDay Sec 34 Wife of Ulysses Huston OH 1847 Johnson, Robert Sec 34 Farmer & Stock Raiser KY 1831 Luann Church Sec 34 Wife of Robert Johnson KY 1831 Love, David Sec 19 Farmer & Stock Raiser IN 1864 Elizabeth W. Weltmer Sec 19 Wife of David Love PA 1855 Magee, W.J. Sec 25 Farmer & Keeper Poor Farm Macon Co IL 1844 Fannie Musselman Sec 25 Wife of W.J. Magee PA 1849 Major, Hilleary Sec 30 Farmer & Grain Thresher OH 1858 Martha A. Adams Sec 30 Wife of Helleary Major IN 1858 McKinley, John H. Sec 12 Farmer & Cattle Feeder Macon CoIL 1843 Catharine Gher Dec'd Late Wife of J.H. McKinley, Died Apr 9 '79 PA 1855 Moon, Aaron Sec 11 Farmer & Stock Raiser OH 1863 Harriet Lippincott Sec 11 Wife of Aaron Moon NJ 1870 Moon, J.R. Sec 11 Farmer, Stock Raiser, Twp. Assessor OH 1863 Lydia Dakin Dec'd Late Wife of J.R. Moon, Died Feb 17 '70 OH 1873 Martin, Henry Sec 1 Farmer & Stock Raiser OH 1850 Caroline Colladay Sec 1 Wife of Henry Martin PA 1862 Schroll, George W. Sec 15 Farmer & Stock Raiser PA 1842 Lethe A. Hornback Sec 15 Wife of Geo. W. Schroll Macon Co IL 1836 Schroll, Henry Sec 27 Farmer & Stock Raiser PA 1842 Mary D. Taylor Sec 27 Wife of Henry Schroll Macon Co IL 1839 Weaver, John Sec 16 Farmer & Stock Raiser PA 1851 Catharine Oberlie Sec 16 Wife of John Weaver PA 1853 Weigel, D.S. Sec 16 Farmer & Minister PA 1851 Watkins, James Dec'd Late Husb. of Sarah Watkins, Died Oct 16 '62 VA 1856 Watkins, Sarah Sec 7 Farmer & Stock Raiser OH 1856
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