Edgington Township, Illinois

Edgington Township, Illinois

This is one of the oldest settlements in the county. Three score and ten years have gone into the past since the first white settlers set foot upon its soil. The first white children born here are now among the old men and women of our times. They are the Dunlaps, Edgingtons, Titteringtons, Montgomeries, Parks, Parmenters and Eberharts. Only a few of them reside here now to tell the story of their childhood days. Many have removed to other parts of the globe, and some have passed the bourne whence none return, and so the name of Edgington has now a halo of sacredness about it. The pioneers have all passed away, and the old homes are inhabited by members of the old families or strangers. The first settlers were James Robison, Joseph Dunlap and Daniel Edgington. It was in the summer of 1834, when Andrew Jackson was president, and the State of Illinois had attained the age of sixteen years, that they planted homestead stakes. Robison moved up from Warren County, Illinois, and Dunlap and Edgington came prospecting from Steubenville, Ohio. Immigrants came overland in wagons, or down the Ohio and up the Mississippi by steamboat. Prospectors came mostly on horseback. Robison and Dunlap located on section 5 and Edging-ton on section 6. On each section good springs of water were found. Where Jacob L. Harris now lives, James Robison built his cabin, and returned for his family that same fall. About the center of the section, on the east border, Joseph Dunlap built a double log house. He and Edgington returned to Steubenville and brought their families. They came in the spring of 1835. Those three cabins formed a sort of triangle, with a path leading from one to the other. Such was the beginning of the settlement of Edgington Township. George W. Kell and Henry Eberhart and family, came in the spring of 1835. Charles Eberhart and family, John Titterington and family, with Moses and Charles Titterington, came in the fall of 1835. The Eberharts coming from New Jersey and the Tittering-tons from Ohio. In 1836 B. McNutt and family from Ohio, William Snell and family from Mississippi, Daniel Montgomery from Pennsylvania. Soon after came Alexander Hazlitt and family, W. D. Hatton, Parley Laflin and family, Joseph Asquith and family. In 1838 George Parmenter, Allen Parmenter, Lorenzo Parmenter, Seth Parmenter, H. H. Parks, A. J. Webster and Timothy Dulton increased the settlement. Daniel Edgington was the first justice of the peace. The business of the justice was not very onerous in those days. Squire Edgington, however, had the honor of per-forming the first marriage ceremony that was solemnized; the parties united by him were John P. Cooper and Miss Mina Pace. The first school was taught in the cabin home of Mrs. Amanda Cushman, on section 6, just opposite the present residence of Geo. T. Harris. Mrs. Cushman was the teacher. The first post office was kept in the Cushman home, and Mr. C. D. Cushman was postmaster. It was not against the law to scratch matches on mail boxes, for there was no matches nor mail boxes. There were no postage stamps, no envelopes, no money orders, no registering of letters. The first storekeeping was by George D. Parmenter, in his own residence at the “four corners,” where the Edgington village is located. The first and only grist mill, which was a great thing for the neighborhood, was constructed by Joseph Dunlap, at his own residence, in a very primitive manner. The building was of logs. Its size was sixteen feet square, one story. The burrs were two granite boulders. The mill was run by horse power. Its grinding capacity was about fifty bushels per day. To make a fine quality of flour the bolting was done by hand with a hair seive. But the wheat flour was, for the most part, a first class quality of what is now called graham. Much corn meal was used. Neighbors on coming to the mill usually furnished their own horse power, and did their own grinding, and the proprietor took no toll.Edgington Village Is an unincorporated village, situate in the Town of Edgington. In the early forties and up to the coming of the railroad it was quite a thriving place. George D. Parmenter opened the first store in 1843, in his house, a log cabin. He afterwards built what was called the old store, selling out to Isaac Negus and E. Burrall. The firm of Negus & Burrall subsequently built a larger and better building. They were succeeded by Charles R. Ainsworth, and he by Rufus Walker. In 1855 Fish & Lee commenced business here, afterwards locating in Rock Island. The railroad on the east cut off the early trade, and conditions now are much more quiet.Taylor Ridge Village Is not incorporated. It is situated in Bowling and Edgington Townships. The Rock Island and Mercer County Railroad was completed to this place in September, 1876, and on the day of its completion twenty-three cars of stock were shipped to Chicago; and on the following day seventeen car loads. The village is surrounded by a good agricultural country. It was laid out by J. L. Frankeberger, a civil engineer employed on the railroad, and contains two blocks and twenty-four lots, two stores, a blacksmith shop, an eating house, post office, drug store, hotel, elevator and excellent conveniences for carrying on grain and stock business. The people along the line of the railroad have shown a remarkable degree of enterprise and liberality in contributing to the constructing of this road. Mr. James Taylor gave the right of way here and $1,000, and the place was named Taylor Ridge in his honor. The railroad crosses the village transversely.Village Of Reynolds Wait and Walker originally platted a portion of Section 36, of the township of Edgington, for a village, and gave it the name of Reynolds, in honor of Elisha P. Reynolds, the railroad contractor and long time resident of the City of Rock Island. The first plat contained three blocks of forty lots. The village as at present is situated in two counties and four townships. Edgington and Bowling Townships of Rock Island County, and Perryton and Pre-emption Townships of Mercer County. The Rock Island and Mercer County Railroad was completed to Reynolds October 6, 1876. On that day a half-mile of track was finished by 3 o’clock and at 6 o’clock thirty-three cars of stock were shipped to Chicago. A glorious day’s result. The first building erected was the depot building, by Rufus Walker, and where was sold the first goods. W. D. Goodner erected the first hotel, the Commercial House, in 1876. The first blacksmith was H. Webster, winter of 1876. The first harness maker was Emil Helpenstell, in 1877. Joseph Flora the first wagon maker in 1877. . The first physician, Dr. F. Stuart in 1877. The first grain buyers were Wait & Walker; loading grain directly into the cars from the farmers’ wagons. The post office was established in 1876, with R. B. Olmstead its first postmaster. School District No. 7 was formed in 1877, the first school being taught in the house of Weaver Kuhns by Miss Jenny Kuhns. At present they have a fine commodious school house. The school is a graded one. An election held at the bank in Reynolds, February 28, 1891, for village organization, resulted as follows; sixty-seven votes being cast: Thirty-three votes for organization, and thirty-four votes against organization. May 17, 1894, upon petition to the County Court of thirty-one legal voters of the district, June 2, 1894, was appointed the date to hold another election on the proposition of village organization. Said election resulted, fifty-six for incorporation, and twelve against. July 3, 1894, J. P. Johnston, W. G. Davis, J. M. Walker, Gust Olson, W. P. Kuhns and R. P. Wait were elected village trustees.


Township Organization 


Source: Historic Rock Island County, pub. Kramer & Company, Rock Island, Illinois, 1908

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