Town Of Andalusia, Illinois

Town Of Andalusia, Illinois

Andalusia is one of the historic towns of Rock Island County. It is located on the Mississippi River, about ten miles west of the City of Rock Island. The township has about six miles of frontage on the river, but has less depth, being less than half the size of a congressional township. Though small in size it is one of the hustling townships of the county. Its history dates from the earliest settlement of the country. One of the first settlers was Captain B. W. Clark, father of Captain W. L. Clark, of Buffalo, Scott County, Iowa, now the oldest living first settler in the State of Iowa. A quarter section of land, which forms a part of the present town plat of Andalusia, was entered by Captain B. W. Clark, and in the fall of 1832 he built a hewn log house at the west end of what is now the Village of Andalusia. This house when first built was the only one between that of Joshua Vandruff on Vandruff’s Island, at the foot of Black Hawk’s Watch Tower, and Erastus Dennison’s, at the upper “Yellow Banks,” now New Boston. The logs used in Captain Clark’s house at Andalusia are still doing good service. They were taken down long years ago and hauled across the river on the ice to the Town of Buffalo, and at the present form, the west half of Henry Springmeier’s residence at that place. The next house built here was on the Sulphur Springs farm in the spring of 1834, by Hackley Sans. The next was built by John Vanatta, during the fall of 1834. This was afterwards bought and occupied by Jonathan Buffum, and for half a century was known as the old Buffum place, now owned by A. Hofer. This same fall Mr. Dunlap, Daniel and John Edgington came to this part of the new west and located lands just south of Andalusia. They soon returned to Ohio, and in the spring of 1835 chartered a boat and brought their families and household goods and became permanent residents. They also brought with them the elder McNutt and his son John, a carpenter; Moses and Charles Titterington and two other brothers and their families; also Charles and Harry Eberhart and families, and Adolph Dunlap, a noted gunsmith. James Robison and the Parmenters came a little later. Clark’s Ferry, which was operated between Andalusia and Buffalo, became the most noted river crossing above St. Louis. Many of the first settlers of this section of the west came down the Ohio River by boat and then up the Mississippi to Clark’s Ferry. Many of the first settlers of Scott, Muscatine, Cedar and Linn Counties, Iowa, crossed the river here. Captain Clark operated this ferry until 1836, when he sold his interests on this side of the river, including the ferry to Colonel Stephenson, W. S. Hamilton and a Mr. White-side, of Galena, Illinois, for $17,000. These men, with others, laid out the town of Stephenson, afterward Rock Island. They also laid out the town of Rockport, the east side of which was Fancy Creek, and the west side the creek on the west side of the Sulphur Springs farm, and the south line at least a mile from the river. They had it platted on paper in a most gorgeous and attractive manner and took it to Washington, D. C., where, it is said, they sold thousands of dollars worth of town lots to such men as Daniel Webster, Henry Clark, John C. Calhoun, General George W. Jones and other prominent people, none of whom ever saw the lots. Rockport only grew on paper and finally died a slow and easy death, was sold for taxes and bought up by Napoleon Bonaparte Buford, who re-laid a portion of it into lots and named the new town Andalusia. Their public schools have the well earned reputation for being amongst the best in the county. The Memorial Association is composed of old soldiers, old settlers and others. Its organization was effected by the members of Alfred Bing Post, G. A. R. The idea was to have an association that would be historical in character and in time, when the old soldiers have all passed away, would succeed the Post in a way, and aid in perpetuating the memories of war heroes and also of the historic characters conspicuous in the early settlement of the country. This organization sets an example worthy to be followed in other communities. Captain W. L. Clark, in his reminiscent sketches, tells of a wedding party in the early days, where the knot was tied by the late Daniel Edgington, when a young man and justice of the peace. John Cooper and Jane Fay were the contracting parties. They lived in Buffalo, which was then in an unorganized territory, so they came to Rock Island County for a license and were married on this side of the river. The young justice had never performed a ceremony of this kind before and was more or less nervous. Thus it happened that he forgot to ask all the usual questions and when the consent of the bride had been signified he pronounced them man and wife without propounding the usual queries to the groom. Mr. Cooper, who lived many years in Buffalo often asserted that he had been but half married. An interesting statement by Captain Clark is the following: ” Since boyhood I have lived in the territory known as the Louisiana Purchase, State of Illinois, Michigan Territory, Wisconsin Territory, Minnesota Territory, Black Hawk Purchase, Iowa Territory, and the State of Iowa, and all this time only moved one mile. I might add that I have a friend, `Timber Woods,’ of Burlington, Iowa, whose oldest son was born in Michigan Territory, his second son in Wisconsin Territory, his third son in Iowa Territory, and his fourth son in the State of Iowa, and all were born in the same log cabin, standing all the time on the same spot.”Village Of Andalusia Captain B. W. Clark was the original owner of the village plat, which was a part of the old paper city of Rockport. In 1843 Samuel Kenworthy opened a store in his log cabin, which stood near the river and ferry landing. In 1845 Colonel N. B. Buford bought at tax sale the lots of Rockport, built a store and warehouse, and named the place Andalusia. In 1866 S. M. Boney had the place re-surveyed and laid out into lots and blocks with streets named. In early days the village did a good prosperous business with the farmers and steamboat shipping trade. An election was held May 10, 1884, in the Town of Andalusia, at the hall of Robert Ross, for village organization; the total vote being seventy. For village organization, thirty-nine votes; against thirty-one votes. Vote was canvassed and approved May 12, 1884, by County Judge Lucian Adams and Justice of the Peace, David Hawes, and James W. Ballard. The third day of June, 1884, an election was held in the village of Andalusia for six village trustees, seventy-five votes being cast. Trustees elected were William Smith, John H. Brookman, James W. Ballard, Benjamin Dill, J. H. Britton and H. Mosher.


Township Organization 


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

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