Long Creek Township
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Long Creek, so named in honor of the creek which drains the greater portion of its territory, is situated south-west from Decatur, and is bounded on the north by Decatur and Oakley townships, east by Piatt county, south by Moultrie county and Mt. Zion township, west by Decatur and South Wheatland townships. Its area is thirty-eight and one half square miles, or twenty-four thousand six hundred and forty acres. Long Creek is composed of portions of Congressional township 16, Ranges 3 and 4.
Drainage.--The Sangamon river drains the north-western corner. The principal stream in the more central portion is Long creek and its tributaries. This creek enters the township on the northeast corner of section 7, and meanders in a south-westerly course through the township until it reaches section 36, when its course changes to a northern and westerly direction, leaving the township on the south-west corner of section 30. Big creek drains quite an area in the western part of the township.
Timber.--In the early times this portion of the county was well supplied with timber, affording building material and fuel in abundance for the pioneer, and even at this writing about one-fifth of the area is timber land, the balance a rich and fertile prairie. Beautiful groves of the several kinds of oak, elm, sycamore, sugar-tree, soft-maple, hickory, walnut, ash and other forest trees, skirt the banks of the Sangamon and the several streams which run through the township, adding beauty to the landscape, besides giving an ample supply of fuel, fencing and building material for the farmer.
Early Settlements--To William Bakes and David Davis, who with their families came here in the fall of 1828, and located and built cabins on section 20 (township 16, range 4), belongs the honor of being the first permanent settlers. They were natives of Lincoln county, North Carolina, and subsequently moved to Rutherford county, Tennessee, and from there, by means of pack-horses, brought their families and household goods to this county, and founded the settlement above mentioned. At that time (1828) their nearest neighbor on the south, was four miles, and on the north-east, twenty-eight miles.
David Davis was born in Lincoln county, North Carolina, May 2, 1798. At the age of seventeen he emigrated to Rutherford county, Tennessee. In 1828 he came to Illinois and settled in this county. At the age of twenty-three he had the misfortune to become paralyzed in his lower extremities, and throughout his long life he walked with great difficulty. Notwithstanding this he was ever energetic, and gathered a handsome competence for himself, and provided liberal means for beneficent charities. He died August 19, 1875. He was once county treasurer and one of the judges of the first election held in Macon county. He was married to Mary Martin, September 28, 1825, who was born in Rutherford county, Tennessee, November 15, 1806. Of their children--
Isabella C. was born Augst 17, 1826; was married to Michael C. Rozzell, Nov. 4, 1845. William M. was born January 14, 1831; was married to S.J. Nicholson March 23, 1854. Sylvester C. was born June 8, 1834; married Mary C. Baker, September 3, 1857. Milton Z. was born August 29, 1835; married to Emma Eichinger, September 3, 1865. Mary P. was born January 11, 1838; married to Hiram G. Wheeler, October 11, 1855. Elizabeth E. was born September 6, 1841; Married to John Rucker, December 28, 1842; died April 26, 1865. Traughber L. was born March 2, 1845; was married to Mendosia Houseman, September 25, 1873. Marilla A. was born January 2, 1847; was married to Thomas J. Odor, September 28, 1869.
In the early days there was an abundance of game here, principally deer, wolves, foxes, coons, etc.; wild-turkeys, pheasants, grouse and myriads of geese and ducks. The streams abounded with fish; and wild-honey was to be found upon the table of the pioneer; hospitality and good-feeling prevailed. Among the few scattered settlements the "latch-string" of every cabin hung on the outside, and the weary traveler was always welcome to the best the larder afforded--thrice welcome was he, because he brought the news of the outer world. The settler and his family, at that early day in this township, lived a simple and quiet life; content was he if his little patch of corn and small garden yielded, with what meats and fish he could get with his gun and rod, a support for his little family. His taxes and such "store-goods" as were used were procured and paid for by the then "legal tender," skins of foxes, wolve, coons and other wild animals.
In the fall of 1828 a band of the Kickapoo Tribe of Indians encamped for several weeks on Long Creek, and were engaged in trapping, hunting and fishing. After a time they began to wander to other portions of the county where there were settlements, and not being satisfied with the game they could capture, began killing a few hogs and stealing poultry from the settlers. Finally a party of men from the "Ward" settlement came over and ordered them away. They soon after broke camp, and left without doing further damage. After 1830 settlers began to come into what is now Long Creek quite rapidly. In that year John Florey, a Virginian by birth, located with his family on section 26 (township 16, range 3), where he erected a cabin and made other improvements. The same year (1830) came Newton N. Baker, who settled on section 29 in the above township. Mr. Baker was born in Lincoln county, North Carolina, February 28, 1803, and when eleven years old removed with his father's family to Rutherford county, Tennessee. He was married in 1853 to Tabitha J. Hodge, and died May 27, 1872. Mr. Baker's wife was born in Orange county, North Carolina, in 1814, and removed with her parents to Illinois in 1829, first locating in Sangamon county, and the next year moved to Macon county. Several of their descendants are yet residents of this county.
In 1830 came John Rucker, who settled on a tract of land on section 15, township 16-3, where he built a cabin and began an improvement. Mr. R. was a native of South Carolina, and was born in the year 1800, and when quite young removed with his parents to McMinn county, Tenn., where he resided until his removal to this county. He was one of the county commissioners of Macon county for fourteen years. This will attest the high appreciation in which he was held by the citizens of the county. Many of the most beneficial acts of the commissioners in the early days of the county, are due in a large measure to his sagacity, good judgment and integrity. In his private as well as public affairs he was successful, and succeeded in amassing for that period considerable wealth. He died in the year 1872 honored and respected by all. After his death his wife, Mrs. Elizabeth Rucker, made her home with her son-in-law, E.R. Eldridge, in Decatur. The Travis family were also among the pioneers of this township, and Allen Travis settled on section 27, township 16-3. In "Smith's History," we find the following in reference to this family:
"John Travis was born in South Carolina in 1768, where he married Rebecca Travis, born in South Carolina in 1777. He died in Wayne county, Illinois, in 1824, and Mrs. T., in Macon county, in 1850. Their children were Allen, Thomas, Finis and Harvey, mentioned below. Allen Travis was born May 18th, 1789, in York District, South Carolina. In 1805 his father removed with the family to Livingston county, Ky., where Allen was married, October 5th, 1820, to Margaret Campbell, who was born March 5th 1801. They removed to Wayne county, Illinois, perhaps in the spring of 1821, and to Macon county in March, 1829, in company with his brothers Finis and Thomas, James D. Campbell, Andrew and John Davidson. Mrs. Travis died some five or six year ago. Of their children John B. was born January 9th, 1823, in Wayne county, Illinois. James D.C, was born March 7th, 1825, in Wayne county, Illinois. Presly A. was born April 24th, 1827, in Wayne county, Illinois. Rebecca was born February 24th, 1829 in Sangamon county, Ill. Wm. H. was born March 30th, 1831, in Macon county, Ill. Elizabeth J. was born May 23d, 1834, in Macon county, Ill.; died January 5th 1863. Samuel H. was born September 14th, 1836, in Macon county, Ill.; died January 9th, 1863. Ulysses D. was born March 5th, 1839, in Macon county, Ill.; died April 27th, 1863. Margaret Z. was born February 3rd, 1841, in Macon county, Illinois. Thomas C. was born in South Carolina, and was married before removing to Illinois, to Sarah Davidson, and settled one and a half miles north-west of Mt. Zion. Finis Travis was born in Kentucky, in 1810, in what is now Crittenden county, and was married in 1840 to Nancy J. Foster, who was then the widow of Wm. Foster, maiden name Bell. She died, and he was married a second time to Nancy Mahollen. Both are now dead. Harvey Travis was born in Wayne county, Illinois, in 1823, and removed with the family to Macon county in 1830. In 1851 he married Elizabeth Cox, who died in 1862, and he was married a second time to Harriet M.F. Campbell; now residing in Decatur."
James Wheeler settled on section 16, township 16-3, in the year 1830. He was a South Carolinian by birth. Removed to Tennessee when a boy with his parents, and from the latter state to this county. Joe Davis, a Kentuckian, settled on section 27, in the same Congressional township, in the year 1831.
Andrew Haddick, a native of Rutherford county, Tennessee, located on section 28, a mile west of Davis' place, in the year 1832.
The summer of 1832 was remarkable for the heavy frosts, and the great injury done to corn, potatoes and other crops. Corn was so badly damaged that none was found fit for seed, and when ground into meal cmae from the hopper in rolls. Many of the settlers the following winter largely subsisted on parched corn and rye hominy. There was in some localities almost as much suffering during that winter, as there was during the period of the "deep snow" and "sudden freeze,", both of which at this distant day are regarded as wonderful phenomena.
Land Entries--The first land entered was by Jacob Myers, September 26th, 1828, eighty acres in section No 36. David Davis entered October 20th, 1829, eighty acres in section 20, township No. 16 N. R. e east of the 3d P.M. The following lands entered in same precinct, but in township No. 16 N. R. 4 east. Jacob Myers entered November 14th, 1836, eighty acres in section No. 31. Asbury Smalley entered June 8th, 1843, forty acres in same section.
The first marriage ceremony solemnized in this township, was that between Bailey Myers and Jane Black. Wm. M. Davis was the first child born, which event occurred January 14th, 1831. He was the son of David Davis. Mrs. Birch, the wife of one of the early settlers, was the first white person who died in the township. In 1834 a school-house was built on section 16, township 16-3. It was of rough unhewn logs, mud and stick chimney, puncheon floor and benches, and the spaces between the logs were chinked with mud. The room was lighted by means of one small window, and the wide fire or chimney-place. It was in this structure thaat Daniel Stichel taught the first school. This building served for many years for school and church purposes. To Rev. Mr. Lapham belongs the honor of having preached the first sermon, at the house of one of the pioneers. Among the early preachers. Among the early preachers we find the names of Revs. Lapham, Knox, Lewis and Bird, of the M.E. Church; and David Foster and James Wilson Cumberland, Presbyterian. Occasionally, David Bunn, of the Universalist Church, held services.
The first church organized was the Methodist, in the year 1835, and the first building was erected in 1842. The first Sabbath-school was established in 1839, and was attended by the children of all denominations. At this writing, the citizens of Long Creek are well supplied with church and school facilities.
Early Mills--The first mill built was by Joseph McGuinis. It was what is known as a horse or band mill, and was propelled by horsepower. A blacksmith shop was established on section 28, by John Bell, an "old settler", in the latter part of the year 1830, and was used to keep his own farm implements, and those of his neighbors in repair. A post-office named Hopewell, was established at the residence of Allen Travis on section 27 in 1852.
Imported Stock--Allen Travis introduced the first blooded cattle. They were of the Durham breed. Among the best stock of horses brought to the township, was a stallion of the Copper-bottom breed, in the year 1845, by Thomas B. Warfield; these horses were noted for their beauty, speed and endurance.
Among the early justices of the peace, we find the name of Joseph Davis, who was the first, and John Rucker, the second. Dr. Cooper was the first resident physician; he located in the township in 1840, and in 1851 was followed by Dr. George Young.
Township Organization--On the adoption of township organization, the territory now embraced within the boundaries of Long Creek was formed into an election precinct, and the supervisors elected from the several precincts became the governing power of the county. We append the following list of supervisors and the date of their election, and time of service.
John Rucker, elected in 1860 and re-elected in 1861 and 1862
John S. Kizer, elected in 1863
John W. Tyler, elected in 1864, (chairman), re-elected in 1865, and re-lected in 1866
J.S. Kizer, re-elected in 1867
Joseph Spangler, elected in 1868
Samuel Gillispie, elected in 1869
J. Benson Myers, elected in 1870, re-elected in 1871
A.T. Davis, elected in 1872, re-elected in 1873
Samuel Gillispie, re-elected in 1874 and 1875
H.W. Davis, elected in 1876
A.T. Davis, re-elected in 1877, and 1878
H.W. Davis, re-elected in 1879
S.C. Davis, elected in 1880
Transportation Facilities--Long Creek is well supplied with good wagon roads, and the streams are spanned with convenient and durable bridges. The Indianapolis, Decatur and Springfield R.R. crosses township in a western and north-westerly direction, enters it on section 33, Tp. 16-4, about the middle of the section, and its line is due west for nearly three miles, when it assumes a north-westerly direction, and crosses the Sangamon on section 19, Tp. 16-3. There are three stations, Long creek, Antioch- flag-station, and Casner, the latter of which is the most important. This road affords excellent facilities for the shipment of the various products of the township; since the building of the orad, many farms have been opened up, the lands have advanced in value, and population increased.
Long Creek Station
Situated on section 27, Tp. 16-3 on the line of the I.D. & S.R.R., and is one of the stations of that road. A post-office was established here in 1875, and named Long Creek. The first store was opened and operated in 1875, by Messrs. Kizer & Myers, the present store is owned by Jacob Albert.
Village of Casner
Is located on section 31, Tp. 16-4 on the line of the I.D. & S.R.R., and is a station of the above road. This village was named in honor of its founder, L.B. Casner, who is now one of the leading farmer and stock-raisers, not only of this township, but also of Macon county. It was established in 1877, and the first house was built by Mr. Casner--he also kept the first post-office, which was also named Casner.
Present Business--B.S. Tyler carries on a general store; is also post-master, and grain dealer; his corn cribs have a capacity of 15,000 bushels. Ball & Eams are also grain dealers; their cribs and warehouse have also a large capacity for storing grain. The physicians are Drs. Lonergon and Dawson; and Thomas Medlon is the blacksmith of the village. A boot and shoe shop is operated by Benj. Simms. Another important industry in this township is the large nursery owned and operated by Mr. H.W. Davis, on section 27, Tw. 16-3. His fruit, shade and ornamental trees have done much in the way of adorning the homes of the farmers of this portion of Macon county.
Among the present old settler of the county, and now residents of Long Creek, may be numbered the following: H.W. Davis is a native of Macon county, born in the year 1835. N.M. Baker, also a native of this county, was born in 1837, and resides on section 20, Tp. 16-3, and is a minister of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. Mr. Z.R. Prather was born in this county in 1836, is a farmer by occupation, and lives on section 30, Tp. 16-4. Long Creek has many good farms with substantial improvements, and her citizens are among the most thrifty, enterprising and intelligent in the county.
Partial List of Patrons
NAME RESI'D OCCUPATION NATIVITY SET'D BAKER, N.M. Sec 20 Minister Presbyter. Church Macon Co 1837 Sarah E. PRICE Sec 20 Wife of N.M. Baker OH 1857 CASNER, L.B. Sec 21 Farmer & Stock Raiser OH 1845 Mary E. FLANIGAN Sec 21 Wife of L.B. Casner Montgomery Co IN 1832 DAVIS, H.W. Sec 27 Nurseryman Macon Co 1835 Martha A. STICKEL Sec 27 Wife of H.W. Davis Macon Co 1844 DAVIS, Samuel C. Sec 27 Farmer & Stock Raiser Macon Co 1844 H.E. GABBERT Sec 27 Wife of Samuel C. Davis IN 1851 DAVIS, A.T. Sec 36 Farmer & Stock Raiser OH 1858 Mary A. MYERS Sec 36 Wife of A.T. Davis Macon Co 1839 EICHINGER, Michael Sec 30 Farmer & Stock Raiser PA 1854 Lucy Ellen HUFF Dec'd Late wife of Michale Eichinger, Died 4 Oct 1876 OH 1864 HERMAN, W.S. Sec 17 Teacher PA 1853 Annie M. WALLACE Sec 17 Wife of W.S. Herman Macon Co 1851 JONES, John Sec 19 Farmer & Stock Raiser Sangamon Co 1851 S.A. HARRIS Sec 19 Wife of John Jones MD 1855 JENNINGS, I.D. Sec 17 Farmer & Ex-sheriff NJ 1853 Caroline HUNTER Sec 17 Wife of J.D. Jennings Morgan Co 1853 KIZER, J.S. Sec 27 Farmer & Stock Raiser OH 1846 Lydia DAVIS Sec 27 Wife of J.S. Kizer KY 1830 MYERS, J.W. Sec 32 Farmer & Stock Raiser Macon Co 1841 Mary J. SANDERS Sec 32 Wife of J.W. Myers Green Co OH 1864 PRATHER, Z.R. Sec 30 Farmer Macon Co 1836 Florence L. McDONALD Sec 30 Wife of Z.R. Prather Macon Co ? PETTYJOHN, Thomas Sec 20 Farmer & Stock Raiser KY 1853 Charlotte CROSS Sec 20 Wife of Thomas Pettyjohn Macon Co 1853 QUICKEL, T. Sec 13 Farmer & Stock Raiser York Co PA 1867 Mary A. REESER Dec'd First wife of T. Quickel, Died 1870 PA 1867 Lizzie A. HURSH Sec 3 Wife of T. Quickel Cum'land Co PA 1871 RUCKER, N.W. Sec 10 Farmer & Grain Dealer TN 1853 M.J. HORTON Sec 10 Wife of N.W. Rucker TN 1854 SEITZ, Jacob P. Sec 17 Farmer PA 1853 Eliza HAWKS Sec 17 Wife of Jacob P. Seitz Macon Co 1851 TOHILL, N.W. Sec 33 Farmer & Stock Raiser IL 1865 Rebecca BURROWS Sec 33 Wife of N.W. Tohill Macon Co 1862 WORLEY, D.T. Sec 35 Teacher IN 1872 S.C. BAKER Sec 35 Wife of D.T. Worley IN 1869 WIKOFF, J.H. Sec 31 Farmer & Stock Raiser IL 1865 Cordelia CASNER Sec 31 Wife of J.H. Wikoff Macon Co 1857
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