THE capital of the county is situated in this township. It is mainly prairie, with small belts of timber hugging the creek bottoms. A retrospection of a little more than a half century, carries us back to the first settlements. At that time this territory was but a dreary expanse, inhabited only by Indians, wolves, and wild deer. The white man came, and lo the transition: civilization and thrift took the place of barbarism and the abodes of the wild game of the prairies. The pioneers were few, but made of that material, which knew how to combat with every obstacle. It was no enviable task to clear the timbers or break the prairies, and undergo the hardships and privations of pioneer life. But these hardy few never flinched, or became discouraged in the part they had to perform. Indeed, to talk with them to-day of the olden times, one would come to the conclusion that it was among the happiest recollections of their lives. Many a time have we in gleaning history, stood at the door at parting with these early settlers, and they urging us to remain, as they desired to talk longer about the scenes and incidents of early times. Blessings on their worthy, gray hairs; they will certainly reap a fitting reward in the unknown beyond.

In 1859, at the time of township organization, it was first named Clinton, but subsequently changed to Clintonia. It is somewhat centrally situated, and bounded as follows: On the north by Wapella township, on the east by Harp, on the south by Texas, on the west by Barnett, and contains 30 sections of land; one tier of sections on the north being annexed to Wapella, therefore lacking this much in order to constitute a full congressional township. The surface is a gently undulating prairie, and contains some of the best land in central Illinois. Ten Mile Creek enters the township in the northeast corner of section 12 and meanders in a southwesterly direction and passes out in the southwest corner of section 31. Various small streams empty into it from the east. Coon Creek cuts across the corner of the southeast part of the township. It enters in the south of section 25, flows south and west, and passes out in section 34. Several perennial springs abound, among the most prominent of which is the public spring, situated in the highway on the premises of R. S. Smith, in section 22. The railroad facilities are unsurpassed. The Illinois Central passes through the entire township from north to south. The Springfield Division of the Central, crosses the former at Clinton, and takes a northeast and southwest course through the southern part of the township. A branch of the Wabash road takes a diagonal course through the southern part, crossing the Central near the southern limits of the city of Clinton.


The first to settle within the limits of this township, were two brothers, Benjamin and Landers Slatten, natives of Kentucky. Their father, Joseph Slatten, came to Illinois in a very early day and settled in Sangamon county. In the winter of 1828-9, Benjamin and Landers left the parental roof, (then single men), and squatted in section 34, Clintonia township. They built a small cabin where they remained until the summer of 1830, cultivating a small patch of ground in corn and garden vegetables. In the above year Josiah Clifton bought out their little improvement right and proceeded to break the prairie and improve quite an extensive farm for those days. Thomas Davenport, now residing in Texas township, drove the cattle to break the first prairie on this farm. This was the first farm improved in the township and is now owned by Hickman Mills, and is situated a little west of Clinton. Benjamin and Landers afterwards married in the county and brought up families. The former married Miss Henrietta Lane of Waynesville, in 1832. But one child was born of this union, Eliza, now deceased. Mrs. Slatten lived but a few years after the birth of their child. Benjamin afterwards married again, and moved to McLean county. A few years ago he moved to Missouri, where he died. Landers lived some years in the county and subsequently moved to Kansas, where he yet resides. None of the family are now living in DeWitt county.

Alexander Barnett is the oldest pioneer citizen of Clintonia. He is a native of Bourbon county, Kentucky, and came to the county in the fall of 1831. He first stopped in what was known as the Hall and Bowles settlement, Barnett township. He remained there but a short time, when he returned to his native State. The next year, 1832, he came back to this county, where he has remained a citizen ever since. In the fall of 1834, he entered the land for his present farm in the extreme western part of Clintonia township. At that time Mr. Barnett, Josiah Clifton and Samuel Curtright were the only citizens In the same year Mr. Barnett married Miss Elizabeth H. Hall, and early the following spring they went to house-keeping in a pole cabin previously built by Mr. Barnett on his premises in Section 30. His cabin was euphoniously called the "House that Jack built," from the fact that a man by the name of Jack Bruner superintended the construction of it. It was a rude affair, filled in with chinkings, but not daubed up with mud as were some of the most aristocratic of those times. Soon after moving in a heavy snow storm prevailed. Mr. Barnett was away from home, and when he returned he found his wife sitting, desolate and alone, in the middle of the room, muffled up in a cloak, and the floor covered with snow. He made a rousing fire, swept out the snow, stuffed up the cracks with rags the best he could, and for a time they were comparatively comfortable. The next morning, however, Mr. Barnett was obliged to wade through several inches of snow before he could reach his clothes to dress. Many years have passed, and Mr. Barnett is now one of the prominent farmers and representative citizens of DeWitt county. He has been a very active man all his life and, although gray haired and somewhat bent with age, he is yet active and capable of more endurance than many of the rising generation. He was elected the first surveyor after the county was organized in 1839, served in the office for twenty successive years, and is now the present incumbent.

James McAboy was born in Virginia, and moved with his father's family to Ohio, and from thence to Clintonia late in 1834, and located on the farm now owned by Henry Ziegler, a little southeast of Clintonia. But two of the family are now residing in the county, W. W. and John. The former is a successful florist in the city of Clinton.

Another pioneer of the township was Thomas J. Rogers, a native of Bourbon county, Kentucky. He came with his in the fall of 1835, and settled in section 28. The summer prior he entered the west half of the southwest quarter of the aforesaid section. His wife's maiden name was Mary Hickman. They had but two children, Asa and Martha J. Their nearest neighbors were Samuel Curtwright, Mrs. Catherine Mills, John Warfield, Samuel Duncan, Alfred and Richard Murphy, Alex. Barnett, Lewis Hickman, and Solomon Weaver. Some of these, however, were not living in what is now Clintonia, but were scattered around in various parts of this section of DeWitt county. Mr. Rogers then owned the only pair of steel-yards in the county, and were thus the property of the pioneers for miles around. He moved with his family to Kansas several years ago, and is yet living.

Among other early settlers were Jacob Brown, Samuel Curtright, Wm. Anderson, Josiah Davenport, N. Mills, John Warner, C. H. Moore, J. J. McGraw, and a few others.

By looking in the County Atlas of DeWitt, Clintonia township, the observer will discover the engraving of a tree, situated in the north-west corner of section fourteen. This landmark has a history, without a brief mention of which this volume would be incomplete. It is a "lone elm," and receives its name from being situated on the prairie, solitary and alone, about three miles from any timber. It is about five feet in diameter, and is located near Ten Mile Creek, a few miles north of Clinton. Fifty-one years ago, Tilman Lane, Benjamin Lisenby, Matthew K. Martin, William Lane, and Jno. J. McGraw passed under its branches, then a small tree, and halted to rest and refresh themselves. They had come from Waynesville, and were hunting suitable locations. All were afterward old citizens of the county, and except Judge McGraw, have passed away years ago, he being the only one left to tell the story of their sojourn.

The first land entries of Clintonia were as follows: November 29th, 1830— Josiah Clifton entered the east half of the north-east quarter of section 33. At the same date, Samuel Curtright entered the south-east quarter of section 31. John Clifton entered the west half of the north-east quarter of section 33, December 6th, 1830. The next entry was not made until April 1, 1834, which was the north half of the north-east quarter of section 34, which was by J. Allen and J. W. F. Clinton. October 1st, 1834, J. Downen entered the north-east quarter of the south-east quarter of the same section. Alfred Murphy entered the east half of the south-east quarter in the same section, November 4th, 1834. In the same year, November 17th, William and Josiah Davenport entered the north-west quarter of the same section. Alexander L. Barnett entered December 26th of the same year, the east half of the south-west quarter of section 30. M. Hall entered the west half of the south-east quarter of the same section, March 10th, 1835. May 8th, in the same year, J. S. Warfield entered the south-east quarter of the south-west quarter of section 28. William Anderson entered the south-east quarter of the south-west quarter of section 27 the same year.

The following were all made in1835: June 26th, N. Mills entered the west half of the south-east quarter of section 29. T. J. Rodgers entered the west half of the south-west quarter, July 8th, being in section 28. July 16th, J. W. S. Moore entered the west half of the south-west quarter of section 26. November 7th, G. Nelson entered the south-west quarter of the north-west quarter of section 28. On the 7th of October, D. Beeman entered the west half of the north-east quarter of section 27. T. H. Haines entered the east half of the south-west quarter of section 26, October 17th. James McAboy entered, December 24th, the west half of the south-west quarter of section 22. These are all the land entries made prior to 1836.

The first marriage rites solemnized were by Josiah Clinton, in the winter of 1831. The contracting parties were Isaac Carlock and Miss Polly Brown, a daughter of Jacob Brown, one of the pioneers. This marriage union has a history, and we will therefore give an account of it in detail. It occurred at the cabin of the bride's father in the time of the "deep snow," when this part of DeWitt county formed a portion of Macon. Thomas Davenport was detailed to procure the license at the then county seat, Decatur, but was obliged to turn back on account of the water caused by the melting of the snow at that time. They were accordingly married under a section of the statute which reads as follows: "All persons belonging to any religious society, church, or denomination, may celebrate their marriage according to the rules and principles of such religious society, church, or denomination, providing the bonds of marriage are published in the church or congregation at least two weeks prior to such union." It may not be generally known, but this law has never been repealed, and is yet in full force in the State of Illinois.

Apropos of the foregoing, we will relate the following as given to us by Judge McGraw: "At an early day, when he was serving as justice of the peace, he was called upon by Landers Slatten to unite him and Rachel Poff in the bonds of matrimony. Slatten was in indigent circumstances, and unable to pay the usual fee for the same. He, therefore, made the proposition to haul the squire a load of wood for his services. The marriage was effected, and the wood furnished as per contract. Another case, about the same time, wherein the groom was too poor to pay the officiating squire, was the marriage of David Curtright and Melinda Fenton. The agreement with Justice McGraw was that Curtright should pay him in quails. The services were performed, and the judge laughingly says, that in a short time he was supplied with a dozen of as plump quails as he ever ate."

The first interments were made in the north part of the city of Clinton, where the public school building now stands. Mrs. John Murphy was the first buried in the fall of 1831. Only five or six interments were made, and it is said that at that time the gophers were so numerous that they became despoilers of the graves. The second burial place was selected in section 34, just south of the city, and contained one acre of ground. Mason Paine was the first person buried here. Those buried on the school-house ground were afterwards removed to this place.

Thomas Davenport, now residing in Texas township, taught the first school, in the fall of 1831. It was what is called a subscription school, and the teacher was obliged to take his tuition in whatever his patrons were able to pay him; this consisted in anything that his family could eat or wear. This school-house was a rude log cabin, situated in section 34. Mr. Davenport says that a dog could jump through the cracks between the logs almost anywhere. Mr. D. had also the honor of serving as the first constable in the precinct. James K. Scott conducted the first religious services in the same year as the above. He belonged to the New Light, or the Christian connection denomination. Services were held in the private cabins of the settlers until the old court-house was built, when it was utilized largely for public worship. The old building is yet standing, situated in the south-east part of the city, and occupied by Isabel Lowrey for a dwelling. Peter Cartright was also a pioneer preacher, then a presiding elder in the M. E. Church. Robert D. Taylor, a Cumberland Presbyterian, was among the first, and is now living in McLean county.

The first church-house was erected by the M. E. Church denomination in the south part of the city. It was a frame building, and is now owned and occupied by the Rev. Adams for a residence. Josiah Clifton was elected first justice of the peace, and Jefferson T. Cross and Allen Nash were among the first. The first physician was Thomas Laughlan, an excellent man, and very popular with his neighbors. He commenced practice here as early as 1836. He died many years ago. John Warner and James Brown were also early physicians; the latter is now dead; the former is engaged in the banking business in Clinton, and is one of the wealthy and influential citizens of the county. The first post-office was established in 1836, and kept by Miles Gray, who was also a tailor. His shop and the post-office were kept in his residence. This was a log cabin of small pretensions, and situated on Quincy street in Clinton, just west of the square. It is yet standing, being weather-boarded, with a frame addition, and is used for a dwelling. The first mail-route was from Decatur to Bloomington via Clinton and back, and Back Hunting was then the carrier. Prior to 1836 the people of Clinton received their mail at Decatur.

The first mill was constructed by Samuel Curtright in 1831, and was situated on section 31. It was a small grist-mill propelled by one horse, and the gearing was simply a belt running from a drum-wheel of the horse power to the mill-burr. A customer, in order to get his grain ground, was obliged to furnish his own horse to run the concern. At one time, Nehemiah Clifton was grinding a small grist, when the band broke, letting the sweep into his horse's heels. He plunged and reared until he succeeded in breaking his bridle, when he ran upwards of four miles before being caught. This is one among many of the trials of early milling.

The improvements of Clintonia are among the best in the county, or in the central part of the State. Fine farms and splendid residences greet the eye on every hand. The roads and bridges are kept in good condition, and thrift and prosperity are everywhere to be seen. While the people, at this writing, in the more southern part of the state, are suffering for the common necessities of life caused by the severe drouth [sic], the inhabitants of Clintonia are enjoying themselves with plenty, and to spare.

The following are the names of parties who have represented the township in the county board of Supervisors: W. B. Smith was elected in 1859 and served one term; William Clagg, elected in 1860, and served one term; John P. Mitchell, elected in 1861, and served three terms; James DeLand was elected in 1864, and served until 1868. He was chairman of the board for the year 1867; Lewis Campbell was elected in 1868, served one term; James DeLand, re-elected in 1869 and served until 1872; W. Bishop, elected in 1872 and served one term; Lewis Campbell was re-elected in 1873 and filled the office until 1876, and was chairman of the board during the year 1875; James DeLand, re-elected in 1876 and served two terms, was elected chairman for the year 1876; John Wightwick, elected in 1878 and served one term; James DeLand, re-elected in 1879; Lewis Campbell, re-elected in 1880; William Metzger, elected in 1881, and is the present incumbent.


The larger portion of the history of Clinton township really belongs to the city of Clinton, as the township was not among the first settled, and Clinton soon became the objective point. It was named by Hon. James Allen of Bloomington in honor of DeWitt Clinton, formerly a governor of New York, of whom Allen was a great admirer. The first village plat was made October 3d, 1836, by James Allen and Jesse M. Fell, and is described as follows: Being a part of the north-east quarter of section 34, township 20 north, range 2 east of the third principal meridian, and was in the form of a perfect square. This was then a part of Macon county, and John D. Wright did the surveying, he then being the deputy county surveyor of said county, since which time there have been fourteen additions made as follows: Brown & Fraley's, Gideon's, Cushman's, Yazel's, Dye's, Rucker's, Ashley's, Slatten's, Madden's, Crang's, Argos', North-West, McGraw's and Madden's second addition.

The first house constructed in the town was a small log cabin, built by James Miller for a store-house, and situated on the west side of the square on the ground now occupied by Dahl & Gay's boot and shoe store. This was in the fall of 1835, just after the first survey was made. It was afterwards used as a carpenter shop, and was subsequently destroyed by fire. Within the old log house was sold the first goods in Clinton. The stock was a meager supply of groceries, notions, etc., usually found in a small country store. That the reader may have a better idea of what constituted a stock of goods at that time, we will relate the following incident as given us by one of the pioneers: It occurred in 1841, six years after the first goods were sold, and at the time when Judge McGraw was filling the office of County Clerk. At this time most of the merchandise brought to Clinton was bought in St. Louis, transported up the rivers to Pekin, and from thence across the country to the little inland towns. It became necessary for the county clerk to furnish his office with a new heating stove. Every one that came in would have to inquire all about that stove; where he got it, how much it cost, when he received it, etc., etc. The Judge finally became tired of answering these often repeated questions, and, therefore, posted up a very prominent written notice in his office to this effect: "This stove was purchased in Pekin, at the cost of $12.50, and was hauled here by William Lane." Everybody coming in would stare and gape at the notice in large letters, then turn to the clerk with an inquiring look, but would rarely venture to ask any questions.

The first dwelling-house was built by William Anderson, in the spring of 1836, and was situated on the now vacant lot just across the street, north of the Magill Hotel. It was a fair-sized log cabin, and at a later date, when travel commenced, and the country began settling up, Mr. Anderson utilized it for a hotel. This was the first hotel in Clinton Let the reader imagine, if he can, the contrast between this log cabin and the huge walls of the Magill House looming up just across the street from the Hotel de Log of Mr. Anderson. The house passed away many years ago, and so has its proprietor. On this lot was dug the first well, and what makes it more historical, it was dug by the wife of Mr. Anderson and her sister. The writer examined the ground to see if there were any marks of its former existence, but no signs are there. The second hotel was also kept by Mr. Anderson, and situated in the north part of town near the school buildings. This was in 1839, after the county was organized. It was a frame building of small pretensions. It was here that Abraham Lincoln, Judge Treat, David Davis, and other noted lawyers of those times made their headquarters when court was in session.

The first brick building was constructed by John Warner, for a dwelling, in about 1849, and was situated just south of C. H. Moore's office in lot 1, block 21. It is now occupied by Dr. Wilcox for a dwelling. C. H. Moore and J. J. McGraw built the first brick business house in 1854. It is situated on the east side of the square in lot 2, block 10, a portion of which is now occupied by H. C Wilson & Co.'s wholesale and retail grocery store. Benjamin Church was the first blacksmith. His shop was a small log concern, and situated a little south and east of the public square. This was in 1841. Both shop and Smith have long since disappeared.

Incorporation— The first step taken toward incorporating the town of Clinton was in the fall of 1853. The village then contained but a few hundred inhabitants. It was at the time of the construction of the Illinois Central railroad, and on account of the many lawless acts of the employees on the road, it became a necessity on the part of the citizens of the town to protect themselves against the many overt acts committed by the roughs. A meeting was called, with the following citizens present: Dr. W. W. Adams, Dr. H. Madden, B. T. Jones, Thos. McElhany, Jno. Slatten, Jno. P. Mitchell, Lewis Campbell, W. D. Catterlin, John A. Bean, Alexander Argo, Jesse Stout, John B. Wolf, Wm. S. Messervey, T. Sawyers, Evan Richards, J. B. McKinley, Lawrence Weldon, Cyrus Funk, James Proud, George W. Gideon, and John T. Clark. At this meeting prompt action was taken, notices were posted, and as soon thereafter as the law would permit an election was held, when the following officers were elected: John A. Bean, Lewis Campbell, Evan Richards, Geo. W. Gideon, and Burrell T. Jones.

On organizing, Jno. A. Beam was chosen President, and Lewis Campbell, Secretary. This organization was effected under the authority of the general statute, providing for the incorporating of villages, etc.

No special charter was granted until 1855, which reads in part as follows: "An act incorporating the village of Clinton. Be it enacted by the General Assembly, etc., that Evan Richards, Lewis Campbell, John A. Beam, Burrell T Jones, and John Slatten, of the town of Clinton, county of DeWitt, are hereby recognized and constituted a body politic and corporate, by the name and style of "The President and Trustees of the town of Clinton, and by that name shall have perpetual succession," etc.

The acting trustees for this year and until the first of April, 1856, were R. P. Smith, William Chambers, Henry Bell, T. M. Brown, and Lewis Campbell. January 3d,1857, another charter was obtained, granting further privileges, and substituted for the charter of 1855. Thomas R. Edmiston, Lewis Campbell, Henry Bell, P. B. Sweet, and William Clagg, by this charter were recognized and constituted a body politic and corporate, by the name and style of "The President and Trustees of the town of Clinton."

The special charter incorporating the heretofore village of Clinton as a city, was obtained in the session of the Legislature of 1867, and the first vote taken for city officers was on the first Monday of April following. The first elected officers were:

Mayor— James O'Donald.
Aldermen, First ward
— Hiram P. Smith, Washington Bates.
Aldermen, Second ward
— Emmett Kent, James DeLand.
Aldermen, Third ward
— Samuel K. Harrell, Abner Phares
Police Magistrate
— >Jno. J. McGraw.
City Marshal
— George W. Porter.
City Treasurer— S. F. Lewis.
Street Commissioner
— John P. Pollock.
City Surveyor
— David Richardson.
City Att'y. and ex-officio Clerk
— Michael Donahue.

A complete roster of the town officers from its organization to the present time cannot be given, from the fact of the destruction of the village records in January, 1858. We will, therefore, record the names of the Mayors and Aldermen, from the first city election to the present date, January, 1882.

1868.—Mayor—William Haynie.
   Aldermen, 1st ward—Zephenia H. Madden, Washington Bates.
   Aldermen, 2d ward
—William Bishop, James Lisenby.
   Aldermen, 3d ward
—Eugene Davis, Enoch Orahood.
1869.—Mayor—Christopher Goodbrake.
     Aldermen, 1st ward—L. H. Rathbun, Washington Bates.
     Aldermen, 2d ward—William Metzger, James Lisenby.
     Aldermen, 3d ward—Milton J. Mahan, John F. Martin.
1870.—Mayor—S. F. Lewis.
     Aldermen, 1st ward—L. H. Rathbun, P. H. Etherton.
     Aldermen, 2d ward
—Emmett Kent, F. H. Bogar.
     Aldermen, 3d ward
—Philip Wolf, A. H. C. Barber.
1871.—Mayor—William Metzger.
     Aldermen, 1st ward—Washington Bates, Z. H. Madden.
     Aldermen, 2d ward—Edward DeLand, F. H. Bogar.
     Aldermen, 3d ward
—J. F. Carle, Sam'l R. Harrell.
1872.—Mayor—William Metzger.
     Aldermen, 1st ward—Wm. L. Chambers, Z. H. Madden.
     Aldermen, 2d ward—James Lisenby, F. H. Bogar.
     Aldermen, 3d ward
—S. K. Harrell, J. T. Carle.
1873.—Mayor—William Metzger.
     Aldermen, 1st ward—Wm. M. Chambers, P. Warner.
     Aldermen, 2d ward—F. H. Bogar, Robert Pharis.
     Aldermen, 3d ward—S. K. Harrell, R. P. Rogers.
1874.—Mayor—Milton J. Mahan.
     Aldermen, 1st ward
—O. L. Kirk, Duncan McArthur.
     Aldermen, 2d ward
—Robert Phares, H. H. Harwood.
     Aldermen, 3d ward
—John A. Jones, Bradford Hand.
1875.—Mayor—Milton. J. Mahan.
     Aldermen, 1st ward—O. L. Kirk, Philip H. Etherton.
     Aldermen, 2d ward—Samuel Magill, R. H. Phares.
     Aldermen, 3d ward—S. K. Harrell, John A. Jones.
1876.—Mayor—William Bishop.
     Aldermen, 1st ward—O. L. Kirk, Philip H. Etherton.
     Aldermen, 2d ward
—Samuel Magill, Wm. Metzger.
     Aldermen, 3d ward
—John A. Jones, S. K. Harrell.
1877.—Mayor—William Bishop.
     Aldermen, 1st ward—O. L. Kirk, Orlando Winslow.
     Aldermen, 2d ward—Wm. Metzger, H. H. Harwood.
     Aldermen, 3d ward—Robert H. Phares, S. K. Harrell.
1878.—Mayor—A. D. McHenry.
     Aldermen, 1st ward—O. L. Kirk, E. Walker.
     Aldermen, 2d ward—Wm. Metzger, George Armstrong.
     Aldermen, 3d ward—Oscar Woodward, George W. Scott.
1879.—Mayor—A. D. McHenry.
     Aldermen, 1st ward—Thos. B. McElhiney, Duncan McArthur.
     Aldermen, 2d ward—W. E. Kerker, Joseph Freudenstein.
     Aldermen, 3d ward—Philip Wolf, E. Sylvester.
1880.—Mayor—William Bishop.
     Aldermen, 1st ward—O. L. Kirk, John Killough.
     Aldermen, 2d ward—John W. Boren, Joseph Freudenstein.
     Aldermen, 3d ward—S. K. Harrell, Robert Phares.
1881.—Present officers, Mayor—Geo. B. Graham.
     Aldermen, 1st ward—O. L. Kirk, C. T. Conwell.
     Aldermen, 2d ward—George K. Ingham, George Armstrong.
     Aldermen, 3d ward—W. H. McFarland, George Scott.
     Treasurer—Duncan McArthur.
     City Surgeon—David Richardson.
     Marshal—James Kirk.
     Street Commissioner—Thomas Smith.
     City Clerk—V. Warner.

The first ward constitutes all that part of the city lying East of the Illinois Central railroad. The second ward, all lying North of Main street, and West of the Central railroad. The third ward, all that part of the city West of the Central road, and South of Main street. In the second ward, situated in the heart of the city, there are three blocks that have never been made any part of the city, and are assessed as a part of section 27. This anomaly is bounded on the North by Clay street, on the East by the Illinois Central railway, on the South by North street, and West by Madison street. Regular streets of the city pass through it as though it were a part of the city proper, and the lines of survey are coincident. Of course the property can not be taxed for city purposes.

What a contrast in the size, appearance, and improvements of the town as compared with a little more than a quarter of a century ago. The following we find in the DeWitt Courier (the first paper published in the village) of December 29th, 1854: "We are creditably informed that this town is incorporated, and that all are taxed according to what they have, to improve and keep the streets passable, and to build side-walks. To say that we are suffering for side-walks or pavements would be but telling a blessed truth, and if they are paid for why can't we have them? Who is employed for that purpose, and who has the money?" At this writing the city has many miles of good walks, reaching out in every direction to the extreme limits of the corporation. Street lamps are placed at convenient distances throughout its limits, and fine business houses, churches and residences are among its adornments. With the exception of a few business houses on the North side of the square, all on the square have commodious and conveniently arranged basements

Clinton Industries, Manufactures, etc.,— Machine Shops and Round House of the Illinois Central Railway— These works are situated mainly within the corporate limits of the city in the North-east part of the town on the Springfield division of the Illinois Central. They were first constructed in 1871, by what was then known as the Gilman, Clinton and Springfield railroad. A part of the works was destroyed by a wind storm in 1876. After coming into the hands of the Central they were re-built and re-modeled, and five additional stalls for engines were added. They cover about two acres of ground and were constructed at an expense of $80,000. The length of the shops is 200 feet by 60 in width. The round house is the same in width and 70 feet longer. The works are constructed in the form of an L, the latter attachment being semi-circular in shape, and contains fifteen stalls for engines. The store-room and office is detached from the main building. It is also of brick, 30 x 70 feet, with two offices conveniently arranged in the western part of the building. The railroad company own in all twenty acres of land, on which are situated the reservoir, tank-house, coal-sheds, etc. The former covers two acres of ground, and is always competent to supply the works with plenty of water. An ice house is detached capable of holding 450 tons of ice. The coal sheds are 900 feet long and will hold nearly 1000 tons of coal. Two cranes are conveniently placed for supplying the engines with coal. The capacity of the water tank is 50,000 gallons, and is supplied with water by the shop engine pump through a pipe seven inches in diameter. The works also contain a brick building with tin roof, for the purpose of storing oil and sand, besides a cast-iron turn-table of the latest improved style. In all, 75 men are given employment by these works. W. B. McKenna is the master mechanic; A. Howard, foreman; and H. C. O'Donald, clerk.

Clinton Tile Factory is situated at the junction of the Central and Wabash railways. They were first established in 1877, half a mile south of the present location and moved to the present place in the spring of 1880. This industry is owned and operated by F. C. Davidson, and cost $6,000. The factory contains three drying sheds 20 x 120 feet. It has an engine of 18-horse power, and the latest improved tile machine, and three patent down-and-up draft-kilns. The capacity for manufacturing is 100,000 feet of tile per month, and gives employment to 18 men. The estimated value of manufactured product for the same time is $2,000. The size of the tile made is from 3 to 8 inches in diameter. This firm supplies a large portion of home demand, besides shipping largely to other points. The shed capacity for drying at one time is 80,000 tile. The works occupy four acres of ground, and when in full blast will consume 150 tons of coal per month.

Clinton Agriculture Works were established in the fall of 1874, under the firm name of Walker and Patton, and passed into the hands of the present proprietor, Mr. Walker, in 1875. They are located on East Main Street, in the east part of town. The first casting made, and the first made in the county, was in the fall of 1880. Prior to this the works were merely used for the purpose of repairing machines, etc., and not as a foundry. The main building is a frame structure except a small part off the east end, one story high, and 24x90 on the ground. It has an engine room attached, 12x16 feet, with a ten-horse steam engine to run the works. This industry gives employment to three men, and yields an income of'$5,000.

DeWitt Merchant Mills.—This enterprise was commenced in September, 1855, under the firm name of Powell and Haldeman.

In the spring of 1858, it became the property of Bergan & Co., and is now owned and operated by J. B. Haldeman. It is situated just across from the junction of the Illinois Central railroad, and the Springfield Division of the same, and north-east from the passenger house. The mill proper is three stories high, with brick basement, and 35x75 feet on the ground, and cost, including machinery, $15,000. It contains three run of stone, with a capacity of manufacturing 70 barrels of flour daily, and gives employment to four men. The engine room is 18x35 feet, and the engine is forty-horse power. It is purely a merchant mill, and ships mainly to the East. The estimated value of manufactured products is $65,000 annually.

George Armstrong's Carriage Factory— This leading enterprise is located on the south side of the Springfield Division of the Illinois Central railway and west of Madison street. The business was commenced about a half mile west of the public square in 1855, and in 1862, was moved to the corner of Monroe and East Main streets. In the spring of 1881, it was established on the present site. The building is a frame, two stories high, and altogether covers 17,424 square feet of ground. Twelve men are employed in the various departments. Both wagons and carriages are manufactured, and the annual value of product sold is estimated at $15,000.

Steam Elevator, William Bishop proprietor, was established in 1861, and situated on the west side of the switch of the Illinois Central railroad, and north of the depot. It is a two story building with a brick-one story for a foundation, and the remainder built of frame material, and was constructed at a cost of $12, 000. The main building on the ground is 40x90 feet, with boiler-room attachment 16x35 feet, and one story high. The engine power is twelve-horse, and has the capacity of elevating 5,000 bushels daily. The building has store rooms sufficient to contain 20,000 bushels of grain, besides having cribs detached capable of holding 10,000 bushels of corn. Mr. Bishop also deals in lumber, sash, doors, and mouldings [sic] The building for the latter purpose is detached from his elevator, and is 40x60 feet, and one story in height. He also has an excellent lumber shed 40x60 feet. Three men are given constant employment by this industry.

Florist and Gardener, W. W. McAboy, proprietor. The business was established in the summer of 1881, at a cost of $3,000, and located in block 21, four blocks south of the public square. It has three green or hot houses, each 50 feet in length, through which extend iron pipes heated with steam. The building also has an excellent brick basement for placing the heating apparatus and keeping bulbs, vegetables, etc. $5,000 worth of plants can be raised annually, and this business gives employment to three hands. Mr. McAboy is a practical florist and gardener, and the citizens of Clinton may congratulate themselves for having such an establishment in their midst.

Farmers' Mill.— This mill does both custom and merchant work. It was constructed by Clark and McKinney in 1858, and afterwards passed into the hands of Carl & Rosdail. It is now leased to Sylvester & Boyce, who conduct the business. The building is a two-story, with brick basement, and is 30x36 feet. It has two run of stone, one for wheat, the other for corn, and has the capacity of manufacturing 25 barrels of flour daily, besides from 75 to 100 bushels of meal. The annual value of manufactured product is estimated at $30,000. It has an engine of thirty horse-power; the mill gives employment to three men, and is situated four blocks directly south of the court-house square.

Brick Yard.— This industry was established in 1870, by James Bell, present proprietor, and located at the junction of Illinois Central and Wabash railways. The yard occupies one acre of ground and manufactures from the bottom found at the works; eight men are kept in employment, and they manufacture 500,000 bricks annually. It uses the hand mould only. Mr. Bell supplies the demand for bricks from the various parts of the country.

Planing Mill.— This mill was constructed in 1862, by C. Funk, who is its present owner, and it is situated a little west of the Illinois Central depot. Its original cost was $3,000. The building is a frame 30x50 feet, and two stories high, besides an engine and boiler room 10x40, one story. The engine is 20 horse-power. Mr. Funk employs in his business five men, and does contracting, building, drafting, etc. There is but one other business of the kind in the county, which is situated in Farmer City.

Carriage Manufactory of Morrison & Rhom, and located on East Main street, east of the public square. This manufactory was established by J. R. McErvin in 1856, and came into the possession of the present firm in the spring of 1879. It is a frame building two stories high, and covers an area of 66x150 feet. It also contains out buildings, drying sheds, yardage, etc. Eight men are employed, and $9,000 worth of manufactured material turned out annually.

Hay Press, situated on the switch of the Illinois Central, north of Bishop's Elevator. This business was established in the fall of 1877, at a cost of $1,800. The establishment is 50x80 feet in size, and has the capacity of pressing eight tons per day, giving employment to five men and three teams. Ships mainly to the Southern States. >Wesley Leavitt, proprietor.

Broom Factory.— This factory was established in 1880, and located on the corner of East Main and Jefferson Streets. It has the capacity of manufacturing 8,000 brooms annually. lt is conducted wholly by the proprietor, >G. W. Gash.

Magill House.— This is an establishment of which the people of Clinton may well be proud, being one of the finest, largest, and best arranged hotels in Central Illinois. It was constructed by the Magill Brothers, at a cost of $35,000, the first work being done in 1871, and completed in 1872. It is a brick structure, three stories high, besides the basement, and covers half a block. The rooms are large and airy, being forty-five in number, besides three store rooms on the first floor. It is situated just north of the square, fronting on Center Street. The building was originally heated by hot air, the furnaces being situated in the basement. This mode of heating was soon abandoned on account of the expense being too great for the income of the house. The dining room, billiard room, and halls, are large and commodious. The basement is now utilized for a laundry. A. W. Razey is the present efficient landlord. There are two other hotels in the city, the Clinton House and the City Hotel. Both are situated on Center Street, a little north of the Magill House.

Jno. Warner & Co., Bankers.— This business was established the 1st of September, 1867, and is the oldest bank in the city. It is situated in the south corner of the public square. It contains a fire proof vault, and McNeal & Irvin's best burglar-proof safe with time lock. The capital stock is $50,000, with a surplus of $87,706. The firm transacts all the business of the bank.

DeWitt County National Bank is located in one of the best buildings in the city, and situated on the south side of the square facing Center Street. It was chartered in the spring of 1871, with a capital stock of $50,000. It has a surplus of $18,000. Hall's burglar-proof safe with time lock is used, and enclosed within an excellent fire-proof vault. J. T. Snell, president; Wm. Metzger, cashier.

Hack Line, owned and run by T. S. Hutchison. The line contains one bus, two hacks, and baggage wagon. Makes all trains both night and day. The barns are situated on the corner of Monroe and Center streets, near the Magill House.

Clinton Fire Company, No. 1, was organized in 1874, with the total number of members of Engine Company 19, Hose Company 20. They have a fine hand engine and 500 feet of hose and hose-cart. The company are all well uniformed and excellently drilled for duty. The treasury is well supplied with funds sufficient to run the organization for a year or more. The engine building is situated in the south-west corner of the Magill block, and is two stories high, 34x66 feet on the ground, and constructed of brick. The first floor is used for engine and hose room, with a portion cut off the north end for the purpose of a calaboose. The upper story is divided into two departments for Firemen's Hall and Council Room. The present officers are as follows: Chief, H. C. Henson; Captain, James Armstrong; Secretary, James M. Kirk; Treasurer, A. W. Razey; Foreman Engine Co., Lafayette Ely; Assistant Foreman Engine Co., David Edwards; Foreman Hose Co., Matt. Clive; Assistant Foreman Hose Co., Jake Bryant; Pipeman, L. S. Harrell; Committee of Inquiry, T. B. McElhiney, A. F. Ely, and Joseph Metzger. Total membership at this writing, 16 in Engine Company and 14 in the Hose.

People's Library Association was chartered in the fall of 1879, with A. W. Razey secretary, who is the present incumbent. It started with a membership of 50, which at this time has increased to 75. Originally the library contained only 100 volumes, but has now over 300. The variety of reading matter consists of the biographies of eminent men, fiction, and standard literature of the day. M. M. DeLevis, librarian.

The School Building is an ornament to the town, and speaks in unmistakable language of the public spirit and enterprise of the people. It was constructed in 1867, and is situated in the north part of the town within an enclosure of five acres. This is really the prettiest part of the city, being high and rolling ground, just suited to the purpose to which it is devoted. The ground formerly belonged to Stephen A. Douglas, and after his death his widow donated her interest in the property to the city for school purposes. The building is constructed of brick, three stories high, besides the basement, and contains twelve rooms graded as follows: four primary, five intermediate, two grammar, and one high school department; and gives employment to twelve teachers besides a principal. Its cost was nearly $50,000, and originally it was heated by hot-air furnaces, but is now heated with steam apparatus, it being considered more healthy and congenial to the pupils. The basement is used for the generating of steam, and also furnished with rooms convenient for the family use of the janitor. The architecture of the building is pleasing to the eye, containing a cupola and other adornments in keeping with the house and grounds. Good walks lead to it from every direction, and everything about the premises is kept in first-class order.

Wood-Lawn Cemetery.— This cemetery contains sixty-five acres of ground, and was formerly owned by George W. Gideon. In 1861 his son, Edwin W., who had enlisted in the army, came home sick on furlough, and soon afterward died. He was the first buried here, and the lot where the interment was made was donated by Mr. Gideon as a burial-place for the soldiers of the war. The site being high and rolling, and favorably situated for a cemetery, the citizens purchased the ground and fitted it up for a city cemetery. The site was well chosen, for no better place could have been selected for miles around. It is situated about half a mile north-west of the business part of the town. The best of side-walks are kept to the very gates of this silent city; arched gateways of considerable height first catch the eye of the stranger. A sexton is employed, and everything is kept in a manner creditable to the citizens. Many excellent monuments adorn the grounds, the most prominent being situated about central, within the first rise of ground leading from the town. It is a marble shaft, twenty-five feet in altitude, surmounted by a life-sized soldier, standing on guard. The monument speaks for itself,— it is not necessary to read the scores of names engraved upon it to tell you that this is the spot where many a brave soldier is sleeping his last sleep, and that the granite soldier is standing his watch, for "the army is sleeping." All around the monument small mounds of ground show that many have already been buried here. This is a county enterprise, erected by the citizens of DeWitt, and under the auspices of a regularly constituted organization, entitled "The DeWitt County Soldiers' Monument Association," having a president, secretary, treasurer, etc. Every soldier's name, whether he dies in the county or out of it, if he were a resident of the county, after his death, is engraven upon this monument. The corner-stone was laid the 4th of July, 1868, and the monument unveiled just one year from the laying of the corner-stone, and cost $2,500. According to an act of congress, the general goverment [sic] has obligated itself to furnish all head and foot-stones, free, to the graves of the soldiers coming under the regulations of Associations regularly established. The following is a correct copy of a letter sent to Stephen K. Carter, of Clinton, in reply to a communication between him and the quartermaster general of the United States Army, and is dated June 4, 1881:

Sir, Your letter of 31st alt. at hand. Head-stones will be furnished as soon as practicable, but probably not this year. [Signed, etc.]

The city also contains several fine church buildings, and two live printing establishments, the histories of which will be found in the Ecclesiastical chapter, and History of the Press.


  • Dry Goods, Carpets, Dealers in Woolens, etc.— Magill Bros.
  • Wholesale Grocers and Queensware.— H. C. Wilson, Sackett & Hammond; Gallaher Bros.
  • Hardware, Stoves and Agricultural Implements— Hand & Lisenby, John Killough, Woy & Scott.
  • Drugs, Medicines, Books and Stationery— J. B. Hunt.
  • Groceries, Queensware, Cigars, Tobacco and Woodenware.— McKinney & Porter; L. Campbell; Phares & Harwood.
  • Furniture and Undertaking.— McFarland & Rogers; Sackett & Carroll.
  • Harness, Saddlery, etc.— I. B. Beatty & Son; William Metzger.
  • Lumber Merchants.— William Bishop; E. Kent & Co.; Leander McGraw.
  • Restaurants and Bakeries.— J. S. Wilson; Phares & Davidson; Kelly Bros.; Charles Cawrey.
  • General Stock.— Drew & Inman.
  • Clothing, Hats, Caps, etc.— H. Katz & Bro.
  • Dry Goods and Notions.— J. F. Miller; T. Frisch, Henry Crang.
  • Boot and Shoe Stores.— O. J. Woodward; Dahl & Gay.
  • Drugs and Medicines.— J. C. Myers; W. H. Wheeler & Co.; DeLevis & Monlux.
  • Dry Goods, Boots, Shoes, Hats, etc.— H. Toombs.
  • Books and Stationery.— A. C. Hand & Co.
  • Watches, Clocks and Jewelry.— J. R. Jones; N. E. Wheeler.
  • Millinery and Fancy Goods.— Mrs. M. P. Beatty; Mrs. N. E. Wheeler; Mrs. J. W. Bowren; Mrs. S. F. Conkling.
  • Sewing Machine Agent.— W. B. Barnett.
  • Physicians.— C. Goodbrake, John Wright, John Edmiston, G. W. Hyde, J. C. Myers, Dr. Downey, David Edmiston, Dr. Sappington, A. W. Edmiston, G. H. Garwood, D. Wilcox.
  • Grain Dealers.— E. Kent, William Bishop, Leander McGraw, Abner Phares.
  • Meat Markets.— W. B. Rundle, Hanger & DeLand, Daniel Crang, Jacob Haller.
  • Blacksmith Shops.— George Aughenbaugh, George Armstrong, William Bosler, Thomas Armstrong, William Catterlin.
  • Stock Dealers and Shippers.— Strain & Nagely, James DeLand, Wolf & McHenry, Jacob Zoger, James Wilson, Philip Clark.
  • Insurance Agents, etc.— S. F. Lewis, D. McArthur, M. Donahue, Conklin Bros., E. S. Van Meter, R. W. Robinson.
  • Livery Stables.— H. B. Taylor, William Weedman.
  • Cigars and Tobacco.— B. Burroughs, F. P. Brenner.
  • Hardware and Stoves.— C. O. Jones
  • Clothing and Gents' Furnishing Goods— L. Freudenstein & Co.
  • Dress Makers— Phillips Sisters, Miss M. Bell, Mrs. J. Porter, Mrs. Van Lew, Mrs. Messer, Miss Annie Carrol, Mrs. Toombs.
  • Agricultural Implements.— H. H. Harwood.
  • Merchant Tailor and Clothier.— N. J. Runbeck.
  • Photograph Galleries.— F. O. Pease, G. W. Browning.
  • Dentists.— W. F. Calhoun, J. G. Hyer.
  • Boot and Shoemaker.— John Bjorkquest.
  • Barbers and Hair Dressers.— Frank Hull, J. O. Watters, A. Jackson, H. Collins.
  • Cooper.— Geo. W. Moore.
  • Carpenters and Joiners.— P. H. Atherton, Robert Phares, Henry Bogardus, William Atherton, Thomas Bryant, Davis Eley, Samuel Petticord, J. A. Day, William Hall, A. Goodrich, E. Atherton, S. K. Harrold, Warren Winslow, Mathew Irvin.
  • Masons and Bricklayers.— O. L. Kirk, A. H. C. Barber, R. H. Ross, James Spradling, James Kirk, Samuel Jackson.
  • Painters and Glaziers.— J. Robison, William Spradling, C. A. Owens, Geo. Upshaw, G. Gladel, Charles Gideon, James Fackerell.
  • Junk Store.— H. Taylor & Son.
  • Tailor.— J. Jepson.
  • Postmaster.— Richard Butler.


Plantagenet Lodge, No. 25, K. of P. was organized under dispensation from the Grand Lodge, March, 6th, 1872, and chartered January 25th, 1873. The following were the charter officers: William Swan, C. C.; Samuel Proud, V. C.; A. J. Lewis, Prelate; A. V. Lisenby, K. of R. and S.; C. C. Stone, M. of F.; Jno. W. Stiles, M. E.; G. H. Gardner, M. A.; Geo. W. Ely, I. G.; John Cawrey, O. G. Total charter membership 13. The present officers are, Richard Butler, P. C.; E. G. Argo, C. C.; Drew Inman, V. C.; F. O. Pease, Prelate; H. L. Hunter, R. R. and S.; N. E. Wheeler, M. of F; William Metzger, M. of E.; Lyman Henry, M. at A.; A. C. Hosmer, I. G.; M. M. Woy, O. G.; A. W. Razey, Deputy Grand Chancellor for District of DeWitt. F. M. Burroughs is Grand Master at Arms in Grand Lodge of the State of Illinois. The present membership is 75. The Lodge meets in their Castle Hall, in Warner's Block every Thursday night. The condition of the Lodge financially is excellent, owing nothing, and has $350 in the exchequer. The past two years have been very important ones to the Lodge, having increased its membership from 34 to 75.

A new and important feature has been recently added to this order, entitled the Endowment Rank of K. of P., and is in a growing and prosperous condition, especially is this true with section No. 205, which is composed of the members of Plantagenet Lodge, No. 25. This feature is mainly for life insuring on a safe plan, and at a nominal cost.

DeWitt Lodge, No. 84, A. F. and A. M. was instituted October 8th, 1850. Evan Richards, John Warner, William S. Bates, and several others of the order, residing at or near Clinton, were among the charter members. Evan Richards was appointed by the Grand Lodge the first W. M.; John Warner, S. W.; and William S. Bates, J. W. The original charter and records were destroyed in the great fire of January 1858. A new and special charter was granted June 22, 1859. William W. Hickman was the W. M. The Lodge started out with a membership of 84. The names of the present officers are: A. V. Lisenby, W. M.; T. B. McElhiney, S. W.; A. J. McAboy, J W.; Samuel Magill, Treasurer; D. McArthur, Secretary; E. Sylvester, S. D.; Philip Wolf, J. D.; A. W. Razey and Geo. W. Scott, Stewards; A. H. C. Barber, Tyler. The present membership is 104. The Lodge meets in Masonic Hall on Friday evenings, on or before the full of the moon.

The order has an excellent hall, and all the surroundings to do good square work.

Goodbrake Chapter, No. 59, R. A. M. was instituted under letters of dispensation, in April 1860, and chartered by the Grand Chapter, September 29, 1869, with the following officers; Oliver Hetzel, H. P.; C. Goodbrake, K.; John Warner, S. The number of charter members was 17. The present officers are, A. D. McHenry, H. P.; E. Sylvester, K.; E. Johnson, S.; L. L. McGraw, C. H.; O. L. Kirk, Treasurer; O J. Woodward, Secretary; I. Frendenstein, P. S.; P. Wolf, R. A. C.; T. B. McElhiney, M. 3 V.; A. V. Lisenby, M. 2 V. The past High Priests belonging to this chapter are: Dr. C. Goodbrake, O. Hetzel, E. H. Palmer, John Warner, A. H. C. Barber, L. H. Cope, W. H. Taylor, W. C. McMurry, A. D. McHenry, and J. T. Hand.

The present membership is 80. In addition to the chapter degrees, those of Cryptic masonry are also confered [sic] in this chapter. The Chapter meets in their Hall, in Masonic building, in regular convocation on the first Tuesday evening in each month. The finances of the order are in good condition, they owning considerable stock in the Masonic building.

Olive Lodge, No. 98, I. O. O. F., was instituted October 17th, 1851, by D. Durfee, D. G. M. H., and chartered November 26, of the same year. The charter officers were, Cyrus Funk, N. G.; W. H. Collins, V. G.; Robert Lewis, Sec.; James Tidball, Treas.— there were but five charter members. The present officers are, Drew Inman, N. G.; N. E. Wheeler, V. G.; N. F. Hunter, Sec.; F. P. Brewer, P. S.; W. H. Britton, Treasurer. Present membership is 35. The order has paid out about $2,000 for benefits, and has assets of $500. The Lodge meets in Odd Fellows' Hall, in Warner's Block, every Tuesday evening.

Water Lily Lodge, No. 151, I. O. G. T. This Lodge was organized June 19th, 1862. The following were the charter officers, A. H. C. Barber, L. D. G. W. C. T.; S. L. Swords, P. W. C. T.; James J. Robinson, W. C. T.; Sarah J. Stevens, W. V. T.; Joseph R. Wolf, W. S.; A. M. Warner, W. F. S.; Juliette Wolf, W. T.; A. H. C. Barber, W. M.; Ellen King, W. A. M. Present membership is 27.

*We are indebted to the Secretaries of the various Lodges for information in reference to the same.


The first steps taken toward establishing this society occurred in the summer of 1855. Notice was given and the meeting convened at the court-house with a goodly number in attendance. In organizing William Cottingham was chosen chairman of the meeting, and Jno. R. Blackford appointed secretary. The meeting then proceeded to elect officers for the prospective association, which were as follows: President, Jno. D. Hutchin; Secretary, Dr. W. W. Adams; Treasurer, William Smith; Trustees, William Cottingham, E. H. Robb, Ambrose Hall, T. F. Cundiff, A. P. Cushman, D. H. Prouty, Barzilla Campbell, and N. C. Cane. A constitution was drafted with the usual preliminaries, with a provision that $1.00 should be paid into the treasury in order to become a member of the association. The following were appointed committeemen to solicit memberships in each precinct: Creek Nation precinct, T. Lane and Samuel Smallwood; Waynesville, John Lisk and A. P. Cushman; Long Point, H. Lane and Eli Harrell; Mount Pleasant, Asa Weedman and Isaac Monnett; Marion, William Cottingham and William Powers; Clinton, C. P. Ford and James Barnett.

Perhaps no better history of the rise and progress of this society could be given, than that published under the auspices of the association in 1880. We, therefore, take the liberty to glean from the same, as great care and regard for facts were exercised by the writer; in fact, Mr. W. B. Rundle, now secretary of the association, says that it can be relied upon as correct. "The first annual fair of the DeWitt County Agricultural Society was held in the fall of 1866. At that time it had no enclosed grounds or buildings, but launched out in the most primitive manner. Where the late Dr. Porter's residence now stands was then an open field, overrun with smart-weed and dog-fennel. Here the society drove stakes and encompassed it with a stout rope. Inside of this ring the first fair was held. The regulations for admission were twenty-five cents for each person, or a season ticket for a family, one dollar. An outsider could see the exhibition as well as those admitted, but to the credit of the people of that day nearly everybody bought a ticket, and did not take advantage of the facilities of crawling under the rope or attempting to view the exhibition at a distance. The exhibition, like the fair grounds, was a slim affair. A few horses and a meagre [sic] number of horned cattle, comprised of the entire list of stock entered for premiums. A small wagon would have held all the farm products on exhibition. The best display was made by the women of home-made bread, cakes, butter, domestic cheese, fruits, preserves, flowers and plants. These were arranged on tables situated in the open air. On other tables were specimens of needlework, knitting, bed spreads, etc. Everything was of a practical character, and but very little of the fancy arts. The total amount paid out for premiums at this fair did not exceed fifty dollars.

"This primitive beginning encouraged the promoters of the enterprise, and before the time came for holding the second fair, the society bought five acres of ground south-west of Clinton, the place now owned by E. Giddings and occupied by T.N. Byerly. They enclosed the ground and built a few stalls for the accommodation of stock. There was no amphitheater or floral hall, as such luxuries were not then thought of. A small ring was formed, around which the prize stock was marched in solemn procession. This was a great day for the association, as nearly the whole of DeWitt county came to the inauguration of the new fair-grounds."

The interest in the fairs so increased, that five acres soon became too small to accommodate the exhibitors and patrons of the society. Consequently, the old grounds were sold, and the association procured the present site from R. S. Smith. These grounds are handsomely located, and situated about a half mile from the business part of the city. They contain twenty acres, and cost the society $1,200. In one corner is situated a fine grove, convenient for the hitching of teams, and a resting-place for those in attendance. A half mile track is well kept for trotting purposes; substantial sheds and stalls are constructed on the south and west sides of the enclosure. A large amphitheater, capable of accommodating five hundred persons, and a roomy floral hall adorn the grounds.

The association has had some reverses to impede its legitimate progress; yet it has been remarkably fortunate in paying its premiums, as from the first, with the exception of two or three years, it has paid one hundred cents on the dollar. This necessarily gives the society a first-class reputation among its exhibitors. At the lowest cash value, the property of the society is worth $5,000, on which there is but a small indebtedness. By a liberal support of the people this indebtedness will soon be wiped out, and the Agricultural Society of DeWitt county will stand among the foremost in central Illinois.

The following are the officers for the association for 1880:— President, James A. Wilson; Fist Vice-President, Jacob Swigart; Second Vice-President, H. P. Smith; Treasurer, Edward Weld; Secretary, Lewis Campbell; Superintendent, John A. Phares; Marshal, Arthur Moore; Directors, George Weedman, George S. Newman, John Taylor, John Vandevort, John McMillan, William G. Shaw, Daniel Fuller, Jacob Parlier, Smith Fuller, Henry Simpson, L. B. Chenowith, William Haberfield, and J. H. Randolph.

Executive Committee: Henry Ziglier, M. R. Colwell, F. M. Borroughs, Peter Sprague, and Arthur Moore.

We have thus summed up the history of Clintonia township, from the first blow struck within its territory to the present time. It will not be difficult for the reader, pioneer, or later citizen, to see the progress it has made. It has the soil, the wealth, and the people to make greater development within the next half century than it has in the past. It is true that it has a railroad indebtedness, but with its growing population and the natural resources of the township, it will not be a heavy burden when due. This bonded debt is as follows:— $50,000 was voted to the Gilman, Clinton and Springfield road in 1871, and made payable in twenty years. The same amount was voted for the benefit of what is now the Wabash road, and made payable in two installments, ten and twenty years. These bonds were issued in July, 1872. $10,000 of the latter will be paid in 1882, there being a sufficient amount already in the treasury to make it comparatively light on the people.

The following is the census of the township and city within the last three decades—

1860. 1870. 1880.
Township, ............ 1,984 2,638 3,308
City, ............ 1,362 1,800 2,702
Total, ............ 3,346 4,438 6,010

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