Rural Township, Illinois

Rural Township, Illinois

The first settlers of Rural, which formerly formed part of Coal Valley Township, were Thomas and Davis Goodlow, brothers, who built the first house on section 29. John Farlow being. the second, who came from Pre-emption Township, at which place he was the first settler. He built the small house on section 30 of this township. The first child born was a son of John Farlow, in 1839. The first marriage was that of David Good-low and Nancy Farlow. Before the year 1840 the following persons came -to this township: A. L. and A. N. Sayre, J. M. Wilson, Capt. J. A. Jordan and Daniel Valentine. Capt. Jordan and Mr. Valentine lived just over the line in Pre-emption, but most of their land being in Rural they finally built in this township. The first school was taught by Seth Trego, in a private house. The first school house was built in 1846, by contributions from the following persons: Capt. J. A. Jordan, Albert N., Alonzo S. and M. Sayre, J. M. Wilson, Daniel Valentine and William Crist. These persons also contributed money to secure the first teacher, Mr. Shedd. Robert Middleham, Patrick Campbell, Henry Brown, Charles Wilkinson, Michael Ballman, Philip Deal and Alexander Gordon, all of whom had families, arrived in what is now known as Rural Township, about the year 1848. At that time the nearest habitation was six miles, at Milan (Camden Mills at that time.) Rock Island then was the nearest post office. Alexander Bailey, who won the appellation of “Old Satan” among his neighbors, was also among the early Rural settlers. He squatted on and held the southwest corner of section 1. His place was soon known as “Satan’s Kingdom,” and even to this day the land he held as a squatter is called “The Kingdom.” In 1850 Francis Bailey settled on a farm in section 11, and soon thereafter a school house was built on his land, which is still known as the Bailey School House. In 1851 William and Charles Bailey, with their families, lived in the only log house in what is now Coal Valley. John C. Bailey relates that when he arrived in Rock Island, in 1849, that he labored for $4.00 per month and got a grocery order for pay. The family settled in Rural Township in 1851. They broke prairie for several years with oxen of from four to six to a plow. Upon one occasion they broke forty acres of ground for a neighbor and received as remuneration the munificent sum of $80.00 all in silver 50 cent pieces. At another time they broke a like number of acres for the same money and considered that they were making money rapidly.


Township Organization 


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

1 thought on “Rural Township, Illinois”

  1. Could I hire someone to help me find a map of 1850s property owners in Rural Township? I have diaries of a settler who owned N.E. quarter of section 12, Township 16, Range 1 West. He worked for and had neighbors in Rural Township and taught in the Bailey Schoolhouse in the mid-1850s.

    Any assistance would be greatly appreciated.

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