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In the northern part of the county, occupying the Congressional township, 18 N., R. 2 E. is situated Maroa township. There are also included within its borders, six sections in the north-western part of T. 18 N., R. # E., viz:--Sections six, seven, eight, seventeen and eighteen. It comprises and area of forty-two square miles, or twenty-six thousand six hundred and eighty acres. The soil is a rich prairie lozm. The surface is generally level, with but little or no timber, except a few artificial groves. It is well drained by Lake Fork of Salt creek in the north-west, Jones' Fork in the west and Stevens' creek in the southern and central parts. The Illinois Central Railroad passes from North to south through the township, entering it in section two, and leaving it on section thirty-five.
The honor of first settling this township belongs to James Pettyjohn, who came from Kentucky and settled on section five in the year 1839. Garrett J. Schenck, an Ohioan, located on section nine. William Cooper from Indiana, and Joseph Hilt from Ohio, settled on section nine. George Gray, John Gray, Robert Gray, and Milton Funk, emigrated from Kentucky, and settled on section five.
The first marriage in this township was that of Josph Garrett and Mary A. Pettyjohn, at James Pettyjohn's house, by the Rev. George Clifton, in the year 1856. The first birth was that of Charlotte Pettyjohn, which occurred on the 10th February, 1852. John H. Pettyjohn, who died August 15th, 1852, was the first person who died in that township.
The frist school was taught by Thomas Shaw, about the year 1852. The first school-house was a frame one built by a Mr. Clough. Rev. Thomas Davenport preached the first servon at the residence of James Pettyjohn, at an early day. Some of the early preachers were Rev. Robert Hensen, Rev. George Clifton, and Rev. Peter Garrett. Milton Funk was elected the first justice of the peace about 1855. Esquire John Crocker and Esquire Ross were also early justices. The first blacksmith shop was established by David Schenck in 1855, in the present town of Maroa. The first resident physician, was Dr. Smith, who settled in 1850. Doctors Thayer and Brown were also among the early physicians.
The following are the first three land entries made in township, No. 18 North, Range 2 East of the 3d principal meridian. Alfred Downen entered section seven, 30-58 acres. This entry was made September 6th, 1836. Thomas M. Geddis entered September 16th, 1836, 112.63 acres in section 6, also 30.45 acres in same section, township, and range.
The following are the supervisors since township organization:--William Crawford, elected in 1860, and by re-election served until 1865, when Anderson Franklin was elected. John Crocker was elected in 1866, R. Gray in 1867, John Lyons in 1868, and held the office by re-election to 1872. Jason Rogers elected 1872, John Orr elected 1873, and re-elected in 1874 and 1875. John Longstreet was elected in 1876, and re-elected each succeeding year, and is the present incumbent.
The Town of Maroa--This is the largest town in point of inhabitants, except the county seat within the limits of Macon county. It is located about thirteen miles north of the city of Decatur, at the junction of the Illinois Central and Illinois Midland railroads. The town plat is laid out at the point where the section lines of 2, 3, 10, and 11 intersect, and occupies a portion of each of the sections named. It is situated in the very heart of the finest cultivated, and richest agricultural region in central Illinois, and large shipments of grain and stock are annually made.
The original plat of the town was jointly laid out by the I.C.R.R. Do., and the Associate Land Company; the former then owned the land now occupied by the northern portion of the town, and the latter, the southern portion; the line dividing the two sections passing between the Illinois Central depot and water-tank, and on a line with the two roads that enter the town east and west. The Associate Land Company consisted of some of the officers of the I.C.R.R. CO., and other individuals, organized for private financial speculation in lands. They purchased the alternate sections of government lands, not already controlled by the railroad company, wherever they desired to locate a town, and then divided the sections into town lots and sold them at a great advance over the original cost. The Illinois Central Railroad was surveyed in 1851, but the road was not completed at this point until the sping of 1854, in which year the depot was built by the company, and John Crocker appointed agent, which position he filled for twelve consecutive years, or until 1866.
The first building, after the depot was erected, was by G.J. Schenck, in the fall of 1855, and is still standing. It was a dwelling-house, but for some time, a part of it was used as a store, where a small variety of general goods were retailed. The second dwelling-house was erected in the fall of 1856, by Mr. Schenck, for Samuel Barndt, who built the first blacksmith shop in the following spring. In the fall of 1857, M. Friedman built a dwelling and a store-house. This was the first regular store in Maroa, and Mr. Friedman has continued in business ever since, and is the oldest merchant in the place. The Prairie Hotel, built in 1858, was the first public house erected, though prior, and even since then, Mr. Schenck's residence was always a welcome place for the weary traveler. During the year 1858, a small school- house was built on the site of the present school-building, and Robert Collins taught the first school. The present fine brick school edifice was erected in 1866, at a cost of about $7,000. It contains four rooms, well furnished, and has accommodation for two hundred pupils.
The town now contains four churches, viz: Prebyterian, Methodist Episcopal, Christian, and Methodist Protestant. The Presbyterian Church was organized January 30, 1859, at the I.C.R.R. depot, and their house for religious worship was built in 1867. Rev. A.T. Norton, Secretary of the Church Extension Society, was the founder. The depot was used as a place of worship, until the school-house was erected, when that was occupied until the building of their church. The Methodist Episcopal and the Methodist Protestant are in good condition, and each have good churches. The Christian church was organized by A.N. Page, May 4th, 1868, and their church was erected during the same year.
The Maroa Lodge, No. 454 A.F. and A.M., was chartered Oct. 4, 1865. The first officers were:
J.H. Crocker, W.M.
Rufus C. Crocker, S.W.
Oliver J. Harlan, J.W.
Samuel Lowe, Trease.
T.S. Collins, Sec.
A.C. Keever, S.D.
Jacob Cooper, J.D.
J.F. Flount and A.D. Wysong, Stewards
Mayer Friedman, Tyler
These, together with J.H. Axton, C.F. Emery, Joseph Lingle, W.L. Webb, G.W. Conover, H.S. Tisdale and G.A. Milmine, constitute the charter members. The present officers are;
W.M. Phares, W.M.
J. Longstreet, S.W.
J.A. Hartman, J.W.
M. Friedman, Treas.
W.H. Austin, Sec.
F.M. Smith, S.D.
S.C. Crowell and E.J. Carter, Stewards
H.S. Bennett, Tyler
The Maroa I.O.O.F. Lodge No. 34 was organized and first installation of officers held on the night of May 3, 1865. The following were the first officers:
Thomas Hunter, M.G.
M. Friedman, V.G.
O.G. Harlan, Sec.
James Huff, P. Sec.
Jonah Lingle, Treas.
Maroa Grange No. 102 of the order of P. of H. was organized Jan 20, 1873, with twenty-seven charter members. The following are the first officers:
J.B. Garvin, M.
Henry Jones, O.
T.B. Gardner, L.
J. Longstreet, S.
A. Wykoff, A.S.
J.B. Parkhurst, C.
M.P. Funk, T.
J. Jones, S.
W.O. Williams, G.K.
Mrs. Emma Williams, C.
Miss Mary A. Farver, F.
Mrs. Kit Cooper, P.
There is also a Lodge of Good Templars, and a Library Association, both in a flourishing condition, but we were unable to get the material to give any of their history.
This town was incorporated by special act of Legislature, March 7, 1867. The first board of Trustees were: Job A. Rice, John B. Carey, Henry Stauffer, Joseph Wilson and Henry Jones. Mr. Rice was the first president of the board and J.B. Carey was the first clerk.
The earliest newspaper published in Maroa was the Times, started by T.J. Sharp in 1867. Another weekly paper, the Tablet, appeared in 1867, and still later the Maroa Tribune, which was succeeded by the Weekly News, an eight page, forty column paper, which is at present published by T. O'Banion & Co.
The steam elevator was built in 1867 by J.W. Richards & Co. of Chicago, at a cost of about $15,000, and is at present owned and operated by Crocker & Co. It is constructed for handling all kinds of grain, and has a capacity of 14,400 bushels. Emery & Co. also have a similar elevator in operation.
The following is a list of the leading business houses in Maroa:
Banks--Crocker & Co.; Emery & Co.
Dry Goods--M. Friedman & Son; D.E. Wagner; M. Grady
Hats, Caps and Groceries--J.D. Smith
Drugs and Boots--John Smelz; Austin Gault; Axton & Phillips
Hotels--Central House, Sherman House
Livery--J.T. Holt; Sherman Livery
Hardware--Pursinger, Adams & Co.; B.T. Jamison; Hines & Thompson
Hardware and Tinware--W.H. Hartman
Millinery--Mrs. C.M. Thayer; H.E. Kent
Bakery--G.W. Mumaugh; J.W. Cawrey
Restaurants--W.O. Buck; Wm. Golge
Harness Shop--Beatty & Pursinger
Watches and Jewelry--P.C. Tryner; Austin Gault
Merchant Tailor--Theo. Schaffer
Meat Market--J.G. Dix; Hoover & Camp
Shoe Shops--J. Kemphall; C.P. Frus.
Blacksmiths Shops--S.S. Burnett; E.P.Kent; F.K. Bohrer; Thomas Hackney
Wagon Shops--Robert Stroud; J. C. Stevenson; M.M. Thomas; G.T. Schenck; Walter & Reed
Lumber and Coal--T.M. Leavitt; B.T. Jamison Planing Mill--Besbit Bros.
The Tile Works of W.H. Long are one half mile east of Maroa, situated on section 12, and were built by Long & Stoutenborough in 1878. They have a capacity of 250,000 feet per annum.
The Tile Works of W.H. Stoutenborough are also the same distance east of Maroa, and were built in 1879 by Stoutenborough & Co. The capacity of their factory is 250,000 feet per annum.
Maroa, being surrounded by one of the best farming sections in the state, has become one of the largest shipping points on the Illinois Central R.R. in Macon county, except Decatur. The merchants have been men of energy and enterprise, who have spared no pains in advancing the business interests of the town. The citizens are of an intelligent and industrious class, who have used their united efforts in keeping pace with the van of progress. Maroa is well supplied with all the modern improvements usually found in places of its size. All the principal streets have sidewalks, which are shaded with trees of various kinds, which also add much to the beauty of the town. The town has been of steady growth, and with the increasing business interests of the place, there is no reason why Maroa should not in some future day decome a city of some magnitude.
Partial List of Patrons
NAME RESI'D OCCUPATION NATIVITY SET'D BENNETT, Peter Maroa Retired Farmer & Capitalist Wash'n Co MD 1855 Frances Williams Maroa Present wife of Peter Bennett Frank'n Co OH 1870 Susan Gongwer Dec'd First wife of P. Bennett, Died 1868 Rich'd Co OH 1855 Elizabeth Gongwer Dec'd 2d wife of P. Bennett, died 1872 Westmor'd Co 1871 BRADEN, D.F. Sec 19 Farmer & Twp. Assessor Rich'd Co OH 1856 Annie Myers Sec 19 Wife of D.F. Braden Lanc'r PA 1856 BILLINGS, M. Sec 16 Farmer & Stock Raiser Ross Co OH 1851 Asthalinda Callen Sec 16 Wife of M. Billings IN 1836 BEACH, H.P. Sec 31 Farmer & Stock Dealer Madi'n Co NY 1865 Elizabeth A. Harpole Sec 31 Pres. wife of H.P. Beach Madison Co OH 1865 Martha Slaughter Dec'd First wife of H.P. Beach, Died 20 Dec 1859 Madison Co OH ? BISHOP, M.W. Sec 35 Farmer & Stock Raiser Frank'n Co OH 1862 Ann M. Race Sec 35 Wife of M.W. Bishop VA 1862 BOWER, G.M. Emery P.M., Sta. Agt., & Grain Dealer Scott Co 1855 Minerva J. Thrift Emery Wife of G.M. Bower St Clair Co 1864 BURROWS, Benjamin Sec 12 Farmer & Stock Raiser Kent Co DE 1868 Sarah Covey Dec'd First wife of B. Burrows Wash. Co OH 1868 Eliza Jaynes Sec 12 Present wife of B. Burrows Adair Co KY 1871 BARGER, Henry Sec 6 Farm. & Breed Poland China Hogs PA 1858 Martha J. Pierce Sec 6 Wife of Henry Barger Fayette Co 1862 BENNETT, Joseph Sec 6 Farm & breed Ploand China Hogs Ashland Co OH 1867 Iva Cross Sec 6 Wife of Joseph Bennett DeWitt Co 1867 BATES, A.H. Maroa Minister IL 1876 CAMP, Samuel Sec 6 Farmer & Stock Raiser Berks Co PA 1852 Emma J. Long Sec 6 Wife of Samuel Camp Piqua Co OH 1835 COMPTON, W.J. Maroa Grain Dealer Morgan Co 1865 Mary Conover Maroa Wife of W.J. Compton Shelby Co 1865 CLINE, Daniel Sec 16 Farmer & Gardner Fayette Co IN 1868 Amanda Barger Sec 16 Wife of Daniel Cline PA 1868 CRAWFORD, Wm. F. Sec 22 Farm. & breed cattle & hogs Fayette Co PA 1856 Sarah McCann Sec 22 Wife of Wm. F. Crawford Musk'gun Co OH 1857 COOPER, Alex Dec'd Late husb. of Eliza. Cooper,
Died 27 Jan 1873
Butler Co OH 1870 Mrs. Elizabeth Cooper Sec 8 Farmer & Stock Raiser Warren Co OH 1870 DAVIS, John T. Sec 20 Farm. & breeder Poland China Hogs Scott Co 1855 Sarah Malony Sec 20 Wife of John T. Davis Menard Co 1855 Emery, C.F. Maroa Banker, Grain & Real Est. Dealer NY 1856 FUNK, M.P. Sec 5 Farm. & breed Poland China Hogs Morgan Co 1855 Melissa Smith Sec 5 Wife of M.P. Funk Effing. Co 1875 FAWKES, J.W. Sec 12 Farmer & inv. Fawks' St. Plow Lanc'ter PA 1862 A.E. Baughman Sec 12 Wife of J.W. Fawkes Lanc'ter Co PA 1862 FAWKES, Howard B. Sec 12 Farm & breed Poland China Hogs Lanc'ter Co PA 1862 Mattie H. Gardner Sec 12 Wife of H.B. Fawkes Peoria Co 1876 FOULKE, Edward Sec 26 Farmer Hamilton Co OH 1857 Adelide Colladay Sec 26 Wife of Edward Foulke Phila. PA 1858 FARREN, Geo. T. Sec 5 Farmer & Stock Raiser Jeff. Co, IN . Triphena Grady Sec 5 Wife of Geo. T. Farren DeWitt Co 1877 FARREN, William Sec 6 Farmer & Stock Raiser OH 1869 Eliza Jane Dunn Sec 6 Wife of Wm. Farren Bourbon Co, KY 1869 GEPFORD, Jacob Sec 28 Farmer & Stock Raiser Dauphin Co, PA 1855 Anna McCurdy Sec 28 Wife of Jacob Gepford PA 1855 GRADY, Thomas D. Sec 6 Farmer & Stock Raiser Hunt. Co, PA 1879 Maria S. Milburn Sec 6 Wife of Thos. D. Grady Wayne Co, OH 1879 HILL, Jas. D. Sec 25 Farmer & Stock Raiser NC 1870 Sarah L. Adams Sec 25 Wife of Jas. D. Hill MO 1870 HOLT, J.T. Maroa Prop. Liv & Feed Stable Knox Xo, OH 1876 Mary J. Tozer Maroa Wife of J.T. Holt Minn. ? JAMESON, B.T. Maroa Deal. in Luber & Coal Linc. Co, MO 1869 Amanda A. Oglesby Maroa Wife of B.T. Jameson MO 1869 JONES, Sylvester Sec 27 Farmer & Breeder Hogs Green Co, OH 1869 Susan B. Jones Sec 27 Wife of Sylvester Jones Cuyaho. Co, OH 1869 KEISTER, John Sec 32 Farmer & Stock Dealer York Co, PA 1850 Nancy Weaver Sec 32 Wife of John Keister Cumb. Co, PA 1850 LEAVITT, Thomas N. Maroa Post Master & Dealer in
Lumber & Farm Imp.
Rock. Co, NH 1861 Catherine A. Crowell Maroa Wife of Thomas N. Leavitt Warren Co, OH 1861 LONGSTREET, John Sec 12 Farmer & Supervisor Butler Co, OH 1862 Vashti Wycoff Sec 12 Wife of John Longstreet Butler Co, OH 1862 LAZELL, E.S. Sec 14 Farmer & Breeder of Hogs Tazewell Co 1878 Eva Hoffman Sec 14 Wife of E.S. Lazell ? ? LEHN, Samuel Sec 30 Farmer & Stock Raiser Cumber. Co 1855 Sarah J. Wetzell Sec 30 Wife of Samuel Lehn Cumber. Co 1855 MILLER, F.W. Sec 11 Farmer & Stock Raiser Jackson Co, IN 1863 Sally Mothby Dec'd First Wife of F.W. Miller
Died 6 Mar 1865
Harrison Co, KY 1863 Lydia M. Stewart Sec 11 Pres. Wife of F.W. Miller Harrison Co, KY 1865 McGUIRE, Wm. Sec 26 Farmer & Stock Raiser St Clair Co 1864 Nancy Caroline Carr Sec 26 Wife of Wm. McGuire St Clair Co 1864 MADDEN, Edward Sec 18 Farmer & Breeder of Thoro. Horses Antrim Co, Ire 1857 Margaret Welch Dec'd First Wife of Edward Madden
Died 7 Dec 1873
Tipperary, Ire 1861 Angie Hickey Sec 18 Pres. Wife of Edward Madden Wexford, Ire 1872 OGELVIE, David P. Sec 8 Farmer & Stock Raiser Lincoln Co, MO 1865 Annie Smith Dec'd Late wife of D.P. Ogelvie Lake Co, OH 1866 Mary Letta Baber Sec 8 Pres. Wife of D.P. Ogelvie St. Louis Co, MO 1879 PARKER, John S. Sec 4 Farmer & Stock Raiser Preble Co, OH 1860 Mary A. Pape Sec 4 Wife of John S. Parker England 1857 PETTYJOHN, James Sec 5 Farmer & Stock Raiser Russel Co, KY 1848 Angeline Cross Sec 5 Wife of J. Pettyjohn Russel Co, KY 1848 SCHENCK, Garret J. Maroa Prop. of Schenck's Hotel Butler Co, OH 1854 Alice Sill Maroa Wife of G.J. Schenck Monm. Co, NJ 1854 SCHENCK, John Maroa Salesman Warren Co, OH 1854 Eva Herrstine Maroa Wife of John Schenck IL 1877 SWIGART, W.B. Sec 21 Farmer & Stock Raiser Coshoc. Co, OH 1865 Caroline Bowlby Dec'd First Wife of W.B. Swigart
Died 11 July 1879
Williams Co, OH 1863 Carelda Edmiston Sec 21 Pres. Wife of W.B. Swigart Logan Co, OH 1880 STOUT, James P. Sec 28 Farmer & Stock Raiser Schuy. Co, PA 1865 Margaret A. Repman Sec 28 Wife of J.P. Stout York Co, PA 1867 SHORT, George B. Sec 36 Farmer & Breeder of Hogs St Clair Co 1863 Mary E. Stookey Dec'd First Wife of G.B. Short
Died 22 March 1852
St. Clair Co. ? Sarah E. Thrift Dec'd 2d Wife of G.B. Short
Died 30 Sept 1877
St. Clair Co 1863 STOUTENBOROUGH, W.H. Maroa Manufac. Drainage Tile Warren Co, OH 1866 Catherine Schenck Maroa Wife of W.H. Stoutenborough Butler Co, OH 1853 THRIFT, Andrew J. Sec 36 Farmer & Breeder of Hogs Christ. Co, KY 1864 Anna C. Peter Sec 36 Wife of A.J. Thrift Carlisle, PA 1864 WARBURTON, Joseph Sec 16 Farmer & Stock Raiser Lancas., Eng 1870 Sarah Emma Ellis Sec 16 Wife of J. Warburton Morgan Co 1870 WICKS, Francis Sec 17 Farmer & Minister Wiltshire, Eng 1868 Levina Atkinson Dec'd First Wife of F. Wicks
Died 26 Aug 1871
Westm. Co, PA 1868 Alice Rife Sec 17 Pres. wife of Francis Wicks Macon Co 1852 WICKS, John F. Sec 17 Teacher Edgar Co 1870
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