ILLINOIS GENEALOGY EXPRESS

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Welcome to
Stark County, Illinois
History & Genealogy

 

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COURTHOUSE INFO:

Stark County Court House
PO BOX 97
Toulon, IL 61483-0097
Phone: (309)286-5911

HISTORY:

Stark County and Its Pioneers by Mrs. E. H. Shallenberger, 1876--- In the latter part of April, 1829 a solitary, heavily laden wagon was wending its way from the hospitable home of Mr. French, at Prince's Grove, about a half mile north-west of the present town of Princeville, towards Spoon River, probably crossing that stream at a point since known as Boardman's Ford, or, as others think, near the seat of Cox's Mill, and moving on towards section fifteen in what has since been known as Essex Township.

The weather was warm and balmy considering the season. The prairie burnt over by the Indians in the fall was already green with sprouting grass. Accompanying this vehicle were as it might seem a guard of good men, and true; "neighbors" they called themselves, although they must have lived many miles apart, some of them thirty or forty from the scene of their present friendly labors, having come from LaSalle Prairie, from Chillicothe and Peoria. They were neither hunters or warriors, they feared no enemy, and sought not the "spoils of war".

It was a peaceable expedition and its leader was the occupant of the wagon, Isaac B. Essex, then in the strength of his manhood, and with him came his young wife and infant child to found a home in the wilderness. The "neighbors" were Daniel Prince, Stephen French, Simon Reed, Frank Thomas and two Baptist ministers, Elders Silliman and Allen. The former of these two was the father of the much respected Toulon townsman Minott Silliman, the first treasurer of Stark county. And these men had came so far to raise a cabin!

Mr. Essex had been out and made a claim in 1828, and in the fall of that year cut the logs and split the clap-boards for his house, probably all of which were on the northeast quarter of section fifteen. They now proceeded to haul them together and get them in shape on the proposed building site. They all camped in the woods the first night, but towards sundown of the second day, the cabin was raised, the roof on, and as Mr. Essex graphically said "we cut a log out and moved in."

This was emphatically the first pioneer cabin, the first home of non-native American settlers within the present limits of Stark County.

 

 



 

County Seat: Toulon
Year Organized: 1839
Square Miles: 288

 

ADJACENT COUNTIES:
1. - Henry Co.
2. - Bureau Co.
3. - Marshal Co.
4. - Peoria Co.
5. - Knox Co.


Cities & Towns:
Elmira Twp.
Essex Twp.
Goshen Twp.
Osceola Twp.
Penn Twp.
Toulon Twp.
Valley Twp.
West Jersey Twp.


Villages:

Bradford
LaFayette

 
 

 

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