THIS is a rhomboidal-shaped precinct, its northern and southern boundary lines being parallel, whilst its eastern and western are not, the eastern being an angle of 50 degrees with a meridian line. It is bounded on the north by McLean county, on the east by Piatt, on the south by Piatt county and DeWitt township, and on the west by DeWitt and Rutledge townships. It contains 27 square miles, or more accurately 17,297 acres. It is well drained by Salt creek and its affluent's. Salt creek enters the township from McLean county, passing in its general south-westerly course through sections 14, 23, 27, 28, 33, 32, 31, and 6. Its minor affluents take their rise in springs chiefly within the boundaries of the township. It is well timbered, in parts heavily so. The soil is rich and fertile, and is adapted to all cereals raised in the latitude. The scenery presented to the eye of the observer is varied and inviting. Not alone are the water courses followed by strips of timber, but here and there are fine natural groves adorning the landscape.

In the spring of 1830, Tilmon Lane, Sr., Matthew K. Martin, William Lane, Benjamin L. Lisenby, and J. J. McGraw, desiring to spy out the country, followed up Salt creek to its headwaters, and found a family occupying a deserted Indian wigwam on section 33, just south of the present site of Farmer City. John Danner was the bold pioneer who had pushed his way beyond the settlements and taken up his abode in the solitude of an unbroken wilderness. His visitors stanchioned their horses, built a fire against some logs and slept on their blankets, except when disturbed by the howling of wolves and hooting of owls, which they declared they had never found so plentiful as here. The restless spirit of the adventurer always characterized Danner. As soon as other immigrants came in he left, and in 1846, together with quite a band, he perished in the Rocky Mountains enroute for California. This visit resulted in giving the name of one of the party to a small tributary of Salt creek, and which name it yet bears, being popularly called Martin's Branch. Another pioneer named Bridges had located and remained within the line of this precinct simultaneously with Danner. His brief stay was passed in hunting, and content with heaven as a canopy and furs as a bed, he erected no rude cabin to blaze the march of civilization.

To Dennis Hurley belongs the credit of being the first permanent settler in this precinct. His humble cabin was erected in the fall of 1830, in what is called Hurley's Grove, a short distance south-west of Farmer City. With him came a brother-in-law, Richard Kirby, who followed with the second cabin. Dennis Hurley was the father of twelve children, two of whom died in Ohio. Catharine Hurley, now the wife of George Swigart, was the first person born in the precinct. She was born July 16th, 1832. Soon after getting his cabin comfortably fixed, Dennis Hurley had the misfortune to cripple his right hand in an effort to load his gun. He struck the ramrod with such a force as to cause it to penetrate the hand, carrying into the wound a bit of his coat. In chopping wood and shooting game, the left hand, as a sole dependence, added to the hardships incident to pioneer life.

The rangers, on their way to participate in the Black Hawk war, camped near Hurley's cabin, in the grove which yet bears his name, and thrilled with their accounts of the atrocities practiced upon the whites by the Indians, he promptly offered his services and took up his line of march for the north-west.

Richard Kirby was the father of fifteen children. He originally came from Ohio, a poor man, in search of a home. Here he found it and lived respected by his fellows until 1870, when his death was caused by falling from a wagon loaded with wood.

In the spring of 1832, a band of Kickapoo Indians whose custom it had been to make sugar along the creek returned for the last time, cut to pieces their sugar troughs and destroyed everything the whites could utilize in its manufacture. Those Indians had a tradition that eighty years before any whites came to this country there was a snow-fall of seven feet which destroyed all the game in this section. This tradition the early settlers thought somewhat corroborated by the fact that they found piles of buffalo bones bleaching on the prairies as if the animals had perished in herds.

In the fall of 1882 came Nathan Clearwater, making the fourth family to settle on headwaters of Salt creek. These four neighbors were ten miles distant from any other settlement. At this time Bloomington was their nearest trading point and even there was only a small store kept by a man named Haines. The wants, however, of these sturdy pioneers were few. An annual trip sufficed to supply them, and this was oftener extended to Peoria or Pekin than to Bloomington. Thus far the staking off of a claim was sufficient evidence of ownership. But on the first day of February, 1833, Nathan Clearwater entered the first tract of land entered in this precinct, it being the N. E. of the N. W. of section 33, township 21, range 5 E. After this, land entries were made as follows:


Feb. 18, 1833, William Y. McCord entered W. , S. W. , Sec. 32, 80 acres;.
Oct. 10, 1833, Reuben Clearwater entered W. , N. E. , Sec. 33, 80 acres.
Mar. 17, 1834, James W. McCord entered S. E. , S. W. , Sec. 32, 40 acres.
Feb. 6, 1834, P. Webb entered 33 acres, Sec. 33.
June 2, 1834, Reuben Clearwater entered S. E. , N. W. , Sec. 33, 40 acres.
Nov. 1, 1834, John Danner entered N. E. , N. E. , Sec, 32, 40 acres.
Nov. 19, 1834, John E. French entered N. W. , N. E. , Sec. 32, 40 acres.
Aug. 27, 1835, Edward Covey entered W. , N. W. , Sec. 34, 80 acres.
June 10, 1834, John Hurley entered N. E. , S E. , Sec. 6, 40 acres.
Nov. 20, 1834, Dennis Hurley entered N. , S. W. Sec. 6, 80 acres.

These lands are all comprised in the timber belt following the meandering of Salt creek. The idea that the rolling prairies, stretching away for miles, luxuriant in their tall grass and bright flowers, would ever be even habitable was undreamed of by those who sought the friendly shelter of the forests. Uncle Nathan Clearwater as he is known and his estimable wife yet live on the land entered by the wife's father, John Danner, in 1834. The quaint and cozy old homestead is a most valued relic of the past, and brings with it the crude ideas of those earlier days of pioneer life, characterized as they were by genuine fellowship and good feeling. Among other things that mark it as a homestead coming from a past generation is the grove of stately black locusts near the house set out by the owner nearly fifty years ago. Uncle Nathan and Aunt Polly are known and loved by all. They have passed their golden wedding, and are now the only two left who were among the heads of the first four pioneer families. About the same time with Nathan Clearwater came J. Washington McCord, who lived for a year or two in this settlement and moved to what is now Harp township. He had passed through here as early as 1828 when on a tour of home hunting. He affirmed to his Tennessee friends that the time would come when the prairie land, then entirely neglected and unsought, would be considered more valuable than timber tracts. His friends were incredulous. Some of them declared they wouldn't accept twenty thousand acres of such land as a gift and pay taxes on them, that they would always remain on hunting grounds where deer congregate. The wife of J. W. McCord, living when he first came to Illinois, was a most devoted and earnest Christian woman a member of the Methodist Episcopal faith.

Jno. Weedman, Sr., in passing through here in 1832, looking after stock, found a man named George Hand living in the hollow of a tree, which at the time was certainly the largest in DeWitt county. His sojourn here was temporary.

Henry Huddleston, an Indianian, was the next person to unite his destinies with those of the little band. Then came Richard D. Webb from Shelby county, Kentucky, reaching here Nov. 16th 1833. He purchased the claim of John Danner, who had left for other parts, so there were but the five families in close proximity, although to the west, in the adjoining township, lived Washington McCord.

The first religious meeting was held in the house of Richard Kirby, and in this house, a cabin 12x16 feet in size, their meetings continued some months. The first class formed numbered seven persons; Richard Kirby and wife, Dennis Hurley and wife, Nathan Clearwater and wife and Mrs. Julia McCord, first wife of Washington McCord. They met together in praise and prayer and their zeal was strengthened by an occasional visit made by a preaching brother. The first circuit rider was a man named Hall. His circuit required at least a hundred miles' travel in making a single round, hence his appointments for the same place were a month apart.

The first death in the community was that of William Smith Clearwater, a son of Nathan Clearwater, and occurred November 13th 1834. His remains were placed in a rudely constructed coffin, the workmanship of Richard D. Webb, and lowered to their last resting place where so many have since been laid away to sleep the sleep of death.

On the 9th day of April, 1835, One of those cold and blustery days, not uncommon in Illinois, a man named Ryan was frozen to death in this vicinity. A cold north wind blew all that day; pelting snow alternating with rain fell fast. Three immigrant wagons, westward bound, had been trying all day to push their way against the beating, driving storm, when on attempting to cross a slough east of Farmer city the wagons and teams mired down. The men fixed their families comfortably in the wagons for the night, then unhitched their teams and started for the Salt creek timber, where they expected to get food and shelter for their stock. Mr. Ryan's was an ox team. He started a little earlier than his companions, riding the near ox, a thing very common in those days. When he reached the slough south of Salt creek he found it so swollen with the rain that he dared not attempt crossing. He started back to the wagons; on the way he fell from his ox stiffened with cold and died. The next morning his body was found, and decent burial given it in a coffin made by Richard Webb and his neighbors. This was the first burial of an adult in the old grave-yard. Nathan Clearwater cared for the bereaved widow and orphaned children until more propitious weather enabled them to pass on to their western destination in Knox county.

Paxton Cumming moved here in the spring of 1833, after the sad occurrence just related, from North Carolina. He was a most excellent man, a devoted Christian and minister in the M. E. church. His piety, meekness and purity of character, combined with a heart reaching out in love and tenderness for the suffering, made an impression upon the generation in which he lived, that the wasting, corroding influences of time will never efface. The memory of his noble deeds is still fresh and green in the minds of the early settlers, and affords a theme, as sweet as the fragrance of holy, precious incense. Mr. Cumming, was for two or three years actively engaged in proclaiming the word, traveling a circuit of over one hundred miles. He brought with him the first kit of blacksmithing tools ever brought to the township, and supplemented his preaching labors by doing the work of a smithy. He died in the month of September, 1839. Being the first person buried in the second cemetery located in the precinct. His death occurred the first day of the first camp meeting held in Santa Anna, and quite appropriately his remains were laid away to rest on the camp ground which was located on section 31.

Settlers now began to come in more freely, and in 1837 there were in the grove, as the old settlers call the Salt creek valley adjacent to Farmer city, nineteen families, most of whom are yet represented in the population in this vicinity. They were: Henry Huddleston, Nathan Clearwater, John Danner, J. W. Bradley, Jas. W. McCord, John Weedman, Asa Weedman, R. M. Patterson, Richard Kirby, Paxton Cumming, Edward Covey, Byron Covey, Noah Grant, Richard D. Webb, Thomas Blalock, James Webb, Mrs. Watson, Matthew Johnson, and Dennis Hurley. The village of Mount Pleasant had been laid off by Nathan Clearwater, John W. Bradley, and Robt. M. Patterson, January the 28th, 1837. Squire Hiram Buck, of McLean county, surveyed the plat. The first house erected on the town site was by Nathan Clearwater. The first stock of goods and groceries brought to the place was by Wm. H. McFall, in the fall of 1837. The next house in order of building, was a small frame building by John Smith occupied as a hotel. Old settlers remember the sign, on which was painted the word "Hotel", swung out from the building, which was hardly large enough to afford accommodation for a single household. The houses throughout the entire settlement were provided with stick and mud chimneys, affording a large and open fireplace, from four to six feet across, and having a hearth of mother earth, except that built by Clearwater, which put on metropolitan airs, by having a brick chimney made of the first brick manufactured here. In 1839, the first voting precinct was laid off and Richard D. Webb, John Danner and Dennis Hurley were appointed judges of election. At the first election held, William H. McFall was elected Justice of the Peace, and Thomas Blalock, constable. There were in all twenty-four votes polled. During the same year, the first mail facilities were afforded citizens by the establishment of a mail route extending from Danville to Bloomington, by way of Urbana, LeRoy, Mt. Pleasant, Middletown, and Sidney. James McKillop obtained the first contract for carrying this mail. Citizens around Mt. Pleasant were some time in securing an office after the establishment of the route, owing to the fact that each name selected proved to have been already given an office in the State. John Smith at last proposed the name of Santa Anna, and it was chosen, and he was installed first postmaster. The mail was carried once a week. In 1840, the mail facilities were increased, a semi-weekly being provided for, and a regular two-horse hack being put on the route. Asahel Brewer, of Urbana, carried the mail from Danville to Mt. Pleasant. The hacks met here, and John Smith's hotel became a place of more business.

The first saw-mill was erected by Messrs. Brooks and Bosturok. Being unable to secure a sufficient supply of water when it was first built, it was torn down and rebuilt on the east side of Huddleston's Grove, where it did a fair business. McFall grew tired of merchandizing and, after a year or two, quit to engage in milling. This left the people without such facilities. However, the mail carriers were accommodating men and made purchases at Danville or Bloomington, on order of parties desiring goods. Hunting afforded a great attraction for these pioneers, and at stated times they would gather together to enjoy the excitement of the chase. Richard D. Webb had a fine large hound he called Mang, that was an especial favorite. Rarely did he fail to take down a deer or catch a wolf, in a fair chase. Once he caught a fine buck, throwing him heavily to the ground. Losing his hold and his balance too, he tumbled over on his side. The buck gained his feet first, and away he sped. Mang rallied and followed a half mile, when he suddenly stopped and looked after the game with a look that seemed to say, "Go, I don't want to catch you". All the rallying the hunters could do passed for naught with him; he would not resume the chase. Webb's delight was in wolf hunting, in which he excelled. Once he was first at the death of three wolves caught the same day. John Weedman was the owner of two fine gray-hounds, and took great delight in the chase of deer, in which he was eminently successful. He was the owner of a very fleet horse named Blue, which was generally first in a deer chase. There was much excitement in these hunts, as all participated in the fun.

About 1840, hogs were worth from one dollar and fifty cents to two dollars per head. Dealers visited the settlement, carrying an old-fashioned pair of steelyards with which to weigh them. Cattle brought from eight to twelve dollars a head; horses ranged from thirty to fifty dollars.

The first political speaking was by Asahel Gridley (Whig), of Bloomington, and Wilson P. Brown (Democrat), of the same place. They were candidates for the State Senate. Amos Kendall, Postmaster-General, had written to John Smith, the postmaster at Santa Anna post-office, asking him to use his influence for the re-election of Martin Van Buren as President of the United States. Smith gave the letter to Gridley, who in the course of his speech read it to the small crowd that had gathered together. Brown, when replying to Gridley, said he had a letter rebutting what was said in the letter Gridley had read in their hearing, and proceeded with his speech. Reuben Clearwater, who was present, thought Brown had forgotten the letter, and said, "Squire, we would like to have that letter read." Brown replied, "Yes, yes, I forgot myself," shuffled his papers around; commenced where he left off, and went on with his speech. Clearwater was not to be put off in such a way, so he again said, "Squire we would like to hear that letter." Brown replied again, "Yes, yes, I declare I forgot myself again," shuffled his papers for some time, and went on with his speech. But Clearwater was persistent, and compelled a confession from Brown that he had no such letter, which brought out a wild shout from the Whigs present.

Peter Gideon of Clinton, made the first abolition speech ever made in Santa Anna township. His predictions respecting the death of slavery were undreamed of by his auditors, and their declaration fairly startled them. The effort is well remembered by those who heard it, and lived to witness the destruction of the institution throughout our land, many of whom extended a helping hand in its downfall.

Millerism numbered several of the old settlers among its converts; one of whom had in his possession large pictures of the final scenes on earth, and accounts of the last days, together with the day of final reckoning sometime in 1843. That year, snow in drifts was to be seen the first of May; grain was scarce; it was a year of hardships, which the imagination of the Millerites easily construed into a fulfillment of Miller's predictions. On the day for the rolling together of the heavens as a mighty scroll, and the melting of the earth with a fervent heat, two persons in this vicinity clad themselves in ascension robes ready to meet their God.

The first wedding to take place in the timber was that of Absalom Danner, to Lucretia Covey in 1837. The neighbors generally contributed their presence and cheer to the happy event.

The first school-house in Santa Anna township was erected on a beautiful bluff, the base of which is washed by Salt creek, about a mile south-west of Farmer City,. A grove of sugar maple is close by. It was a hewed-log house, twenty-four feet square, and served for the double purpose of school and meeting house. The fire-place was eight feet wide and four feet deep. The chimney was of sticks, imbedded in a stiff clay mortar mixed with cut straw, a material called by the settlers "cut and clay". John Danner was the moving spirit on behalf of the educational interests of the rising generation. He furnished the land on which to build, and most of the material, hewed all the timbers, and aided in its construction, until it was completed. Schools were taught by subscription; $2.25 and $2.50 were the common prices per scholar for a three month school. The first teacher was John Heath, a native of Tennessee; Robert Pool, a local preacher, was the second.

Henry Huddleston and wife died of small-pox during the late war, and were buried on the bluffs, high above Salt creek, in the beautiful grove which bears their name.

Edward Covey came here from Ohio in 1835, and bought land of Rueben Clearwaters. He was an exemplary citizen. He and his wife have long since passed into "the realms of shade."

During the winter of 1832-33, the wolves committed such depredations among stock as to lead citizens of Buckle's Grove to offer a hundred bushels of corn, worth as much at the time as sixty acres of prairie land, to the man who would kill the most of them during the remainder of the winter. Nathan Clearwater put up a trap in which he caught nine within a month. He believes himself to have been entitled to the prize, but more laid claim thereto. Among the note-worthy adventures of citizens, perhaps none are more deserving of being chronicled than that of Asa Weedman. He was one day hunting near the north-fork of Salt creek, when he shot what he said was the largest buck he ever saw. At the track of the rifle the dear fell, and he rushed upon it to cut its throat, and let it bleed. As soon as he reached the deer, it started up and Weedman caught it by the antlers. A terrible struggle ensued, as the deer had scarcely been wounded by the shot. To release his grasp would have been certain death, so he held on with a vice-like grip, and the desperate and doubtful conflict continued until the deer and man both sunk down from sheer exhaustion; Weedman still clutching the horns with bull-dog pluck. The combated were perfectly hors de combat, and remained indifferently passive; till the deer, feeling himself somewhat rested, attempted to regain his footing and renew the struggle. When the deer started to rise, Weedman wisely thought to let his hands glide gently from the horns, and remain lying on the ground still and motionless, as if he were dead. The buck got up, looked upon his brave and fallen foe, and walked leisurely off with the triumph of a victor. Weedman got up congratulating himself on the success of his ruse. Although the buck was the better fighter, he lacked strategic ability. Weedman long carried the scars, showing the desperate character of the struggle.


The town of Mount Pleasant, now Farmer City, was laid off by Robert M. Patterson and John W. Bradley January 23, 1837. The original plat being a part of the N. E. of the S. W. of section 28, was surveyed by Hiram Buck of McLean county, and divided into fourteen blocks of twelve lots each and four partial blocks, in the center of which is a public square after the manner of old southern towns. In all, there were two hundred lots. These lots were 44x125 feet in dimension. Streets were 49 feet wide, except Main street, which was 66 feet wide. To the original town plat, additions have been made as follows: By John Weedman and John R. Blackford as surveyed by A. L. Barnett, May 1st, 1856, a tract 849 feet long by 560 feet wide, in all six blocks of twelve lots each, to the east of the original town. By Reuben Huddleston as surveyed by David Richardson, August 12th, 1868, eight blocks containing forty-six lots, being a part of the S. W. of the N. E. and a part of the N. W. of the S. E. , section 28. By Reuben Huddleston a 2d addition east of above addition, sixteen blocks, in all 159 lots, addition made March 9th, 1870. By G. W. Herrick, an addition east of Weedman and Blackford's, made October 14th, 1871, six blocks, in all fifty-seven lots. By A. M. Cumming, March 2d, 1871, west of original plat, six lots; by same addition, September 12th, 1871, of four blocks of four lots each. By Watson, August 28th, 1871, four blocks of four lots each, located south of Cumming's addition. By C. H. Moore of four blocks, August 2d, 1871. By A. B. Norris, twenty- two lots, October. 12th, 1872. By J. McMurray, fifteen lots, February 6th, 1872. By William T. Bean, five lots, June 28th, 1870. By _____ Keenan, nine lots, April 26th, 1871. By W. T. Bean, ten lots, June 9th, 1871. The dates of these additions indicates the period of the greater growth of the city. The construction of the Gilman branch of the Illinois Central railroad gave an impetus to it that caused much speculation in town property and made of it a handsome little city. The name of Mount Pleasant was exchanged for that of Farmer City by popular vote in 1868.

Elevators: The first elevator, and largest as well, was that of Gallup, Clark & Co., erected in 1870, at a cost of $10,000. Its capacity is about 10,000 bushels. Shipments for 1881: 240,000 bushels. It is on the line of the I. B. and W. railroad from which a switch is extended to the elevator.

In 1871, another elevator, now the property of A. T. Peckham of Rhode Island, was erected. It has a storage capacity of 12,000 bushels, and originally cost about $8,000. Shipments for 1881 were a quarter of a million of bushels. W. W. Alder is manager.

Mill: In 1869, John Weedman and William Y. McCord erected the mill now owned and operated by William Haynie, at a cost of $18,000. It is supplied with three run of burr and all modern appliances, guarantying good work. Its capacity is one hundred and twenty-five barrels per diem.

Banks: The bank now known as Weedman's was first opened for business by the Thomas Brothers and John Weedman. Oscar Thomas died in 1876, whereupon Weedman bought out the interest of the brothers, and has since carried it on. The capital was $840,000 when first established. It is largely a bank of deposit, buys and sells home and foreign exchange. It is admirably managed and deserves the extensive patronage awarded it. J. B. Lewis is Cashier and Teller, and W. K. Stare, book-keeper.

First National Bank was organized on the 16th of August, 1874, with a paid up capital of $50,000 and a surplus of $10,000. It is well-conducted. Its present officers are J. H. Harrison, President, A. M. Cumming, Vice President and Frank J. Miller, Cashier.

Hotels: "Commercial House," by J. H. Crane, a well-ordered and roomy house, that is quite a favorite with traveling men; "Park Hotel" by Ponce White; "Central Home" by L. H. Campbell.

Dry Goods: Z. T. Lillard; S. S. Chapin; Burford Brothers; H. Levy & Brother; J. E. Houlz &, Co.; and L. W. Cook.

Physicians: M. L. Reed; A. L. Norris; A. S. Norris; John Clouser; J. W. Woodward; J. D. Gardiner; L. Loda.

Attorneys at Law: C. M. Welch; George W. Herrick.

Dealers in Hardware: J. H. Harrison & Sons; M. H. Kelly; Alder and Bro.

Druggist: Garver Bros.; Austin Vanscoyoo.

Groceries: Barnes & Kunler; L. W. Cook; William Young & Son; George Chisholm; J. T. Davidson; Burford Bros.; S. S. Chapin; Z. T. Lillard.

Harness and Saddlery: Henry Mitchell; Isaac Albright.

Livery Stable: F. P. Sangster.

Furniture: R. H. Seltzer; J. W. Moreland.

Blacksmiths: Allen Finch & Brother; John Gould; Thomas Bosler; George Taylor.

Undertakers: J. W. Moreland; John Stensler.

Wagon Makers: P. H. Wilson; B. B Johnston & Son.

Agricultural implements: Knox & Farmer; Lindsey French; Robert Lord.

Boots and Shoes: A. M. Cumming; W. T. Bean; Z. T. Lillard.

Clothing: I. Stearn & Co.; Epstein & Bach; H. Levy & Co.

Milliners: Mrs. Sarah Page; Mrs. Lucinda McMurry; Lemen Sisters.

Butchers: Weedman & Crang; F. Deibert & Son.

Insurance Agents: Walter S. Young; J. Jackson, W. S. Lewis.

Newspapers: "Journal", W. C. Devore, Editor; "Reaper", Robert Ewing, Editor.

Contractors and Builders: J. Johnston; Jefferson Wetzel; Charles Williams; Isaac Danner & Son.

Postmaster: W. C. McMurray.

Coal Operators: McKinley & Webb; Knox & Farber.

Grain Buyers: W. W. Alder; M. Kent; L. Luddington.

Dealers in Lumber: Mathias Crum; K. Kent.

Merchant Tailor: G. S. Adolph.

Painters: Richard Rose; George D. Finch; J. D. Parker; J. McDonald.

Opera House: F. M. Bean, seating capacity for six hundred. Well arranged for concerts etc.

Flour and Feed: James Jackson.

Jewelers: M. Moore; E. Berman.

The Farmer City Union Agricultural Society was organized in 1872. For six years its exhibitions were large and interesting. Then, owing to a variety of causes, it was abandoned. The officers of the society were:

Hon. Jacob Swigart, President.

J. B. Ryburn, Vice President.

Chris. Garver, Secretary.

F. M. Bean, Treasurer.

Col. John Weedman, General Superintendent.

Z. C. Weedman, Marshal.

On August 21, 1879, Farmer City was visited by a most disastrous fire which destroyed twenty-three of her business houses. The buildings were occupied and owned as follows: W. B. Howard's grocery store, loss on stock and fixtures $1800. Building owned by F. M. Bean. Eppstein & Bach, clothing, loss $8000. Building owned by F. M. Bean. Garver & Bro. druggists, loss $2200. Building owned by J. G. Watson. Murphy & Michael, saloon, loss $1200. Building owned by W. C. Rathburn. E. W. Sangster, groceries, loss, $2700. E. Berman, jeweler, loss $500. Building owned by George Erler. John Longmate, groceries and feed store, loss $500. Building owned by William Young. Harrison & Sons, hardware, loss $4300. William Young, groceries, loss $300. R. H. Seltzer, furniture, loss $4000. Drs. A. S. & A. L. Norris, medicines and office furniture, loss $100. First National Bank, loss $4000. Vault and contents all saved. Reporter newspaper, loss $2000. Mr. Smith proprietor. John S. Wilson, bakery and restaurant, loss $400. Building owned by C. Buford. H. Levy & Co's. New York store, loss $13,000. Peter V. Cool, bakery and restaurant, loss $1000. Building owned by E. L. Waller. H. C. Porter, implement and seed store, loss $700. Lawman & Davidson, druggists, loss $2000. W. T. Bean, boots and shoes, loss $4400. Building owned by Mrs. N. Helmick; upper stories occupied by the Masons, Knights of Pythias and Good Templars, lower story unoccupied, loss $4000. McLean Hotel, at the time the largest building in the county. Owned by N. Helmick. Much damage was done to other buildings, but the city recovered rapidly from this check to her prosperity and now most of the sites occupied before the fire are again the foundations for good substantial business houses.


Farmer City Lodge, No. 70, A. F. and A. M was chartered October 5th, 1873, and A. L. 5873 was instituted by J. H. Tyler, Special Deputy Grand Master, on the 20th of the same month. The charter was granted to William McMurray, Henry Funk, Alden S. Bissell, Andrew M. Cumming, Albert P. Davidson, Isaac Allbright, F. S. Weedman, James H. McKinley, Isaac F. Durbin, John Weedman, Thomas Bosler, Jr. and Reuben Clearwater. The first officers were: William C. McMurray, W. M.; Henry Funk, S. W.; Alden S. Bissell, J. W.; A. M. Cumming, Treasurer; A. F. Davidson, Secretary; Isaac Allbright, Chaplain; F. S. Weedman, S. D.; Thomas Bosler, J. D.; Reuben Clearwater, Tyler. The Lodge Hall was destroyed by fire August 22, 1879. All the property of the order including a small Library was destroyed, except the charter and jewels. The members promptly came forward with contributions and built a hall 40x70, in which they held their first meeting in January, 1880. The cost of the Hall was about $1600, which sum was all paid up within five months. The present officers are: Henry Funk, W. M.; Morris H. Kelly, S. W.; Jacob Bach, J. W.; Andrew M Cumming, Treasurer; Horace S. Lowery, Secretary; Thomas Bosler, S. D.; Isaac Strain, J. D.; Isaac F. Housmann, S. S.; Charles M. Welch, J. S.; Isaac Thomas, Tyler. The present membership is 65.

Mt. Pleasant Lodge, A. F. and A. M., was instituted in the spring of 1857, with E. Richards, J. W. Rogers, J. W. Woodward, A. M. Cumming, S. A. Chapin, P. Watson, J. H. Tyler, John Marsh, John Blouret and W. G. McMurray, as charter members. The lodge was disbanded in 1870.

Farmer City Lodge, No. 37, Independent Order Good Templars, was organized March 28, 1878, by Jacob Beck, with a charter membership of forty-eight, officered as follows: Dr. D. H. Rolton, W. C. T.; Miss R. A. White, W. V. T.; D. C. Wetzel, W.B.; Thomas McBride, P. W. C. T. The present membership is forty. Its officers, December 1st, 1881, are: J. W. Moreland, W. C. T.; Mrs. M. E. McDonald, W. V. T.; Mrs. Maggie Mitchell, W. S.; J. McDonaId, P. W. C. T. The order meets every Saturday evening in Slick's Hall.

Kenilworth Lodge, No. 60, Knights of Pythias, was instituted May 7th, 1875, with 17 members.

Plantagenet Lodge, No. 25, of Clinton, Ills., assisted by Capitol Lodge, No. 14, of Springfield, Ills., and Damon Lodge, No. 10, of Bloomington, Ills., initiated the following charter members: Chris. Garver, Reuben Clearwater, P. M. Beau, Oscar Thomas, George Thomas, R. M. Rose, D. H. Gardner, R. A. Lemon, L. C. Glessner, O. Lawman, Wm. Hammer, D. Ziegler, J. P. Ziegler, J. Lee Smith, Levi R. Murphy, J. A. Natcher, H. S. Weedman. The following officers were installed by Grand Chancellor, S. J. Willett: Chris Garver, P.C.; D. H. Gardner, C.C.; F. M. Beau, V. C.; J. P. Ziegler, P.; O. Thomas, M. of E.; O. Lawman, M. of F.; Reuben Clearwater, K. of R. & S.; J. A. Natcher, M. of A.; D. Ziegler, I. G.; Wm. Hammer, O. G.; Grand Lodge Representative, Chris. Garver; Grand Lodge Alt. Representative, D. H. Gardner. Lodges meet every Thursday night of each week. Nov. 28th, 1881, present number of members 42. Present officers: Chris. Garver, P.C.; J. M. Shaw, C.C.; M. L. Reed, V. C.; Philip Deibert, P.; A. Finch, M. of E.; Wm. L. McIntosh, M. of F.; Reuben Clearwater, K. of R. & S.; J. D. Roy, M. of A.; P. W. Mitchell, Charles Swiney, O. G.; Grand Lodge Representative, Reuben Clearwater; Grand Lodge Alt. Representative, R. M. Rose; Special District Deputy, Chris. Garver.

November 29th, 1881, Endowment Rank, No. 466, Knights of Pythias, was instituted by F. M. Burroughs, F. C., with the following Knights of Pythias: Chris. Garver, F. W. Haynie, Reuben Clearwater, Charles Swiney, William L. McIntosh, J. Lee Smith, J. M. Shaw, H. B. Athey, H. W. Webb, W. P. Curtis, W. T. Bean, A. Finch. The following officers were installed: F. W. Haynie, President; J. Lee Smith, Vice President; J. M. Shaw, Chaplain; Chris. Garver, Secretary and Treasurer; H. B. Athey, Guide; Wm. L. McIntosh, Guard; Alvin Finch, Sentinel. Fraternally submitted, Chris. Garver.

Mt. Pleasant Lodge, No. 126, I. O. O. F. organized October 20th, 1853, charter members: Phineas Page, Thomas Gardiner, Jr., John McHugh, John Weedman, Jr., George Weedman, J. M. Davenport, C. G. Larnard, Peter Walton, John Hubbard, R. D. Webb, Joshua Dorris, James Lisenby and Samuel Payton. First officers: C. G. Larnard, P. G.; Thomas Gardiner, Jr., N. G.; John McHugh, Secretary; Phineas Page, Treasurer. Present officers: Nathan Welch, N. G.; Isaac Strain, V. G.; J. Y. Thew, P. Sec.; Z. T. Lillard, R. Sec.; Fred Deibert, Treasurer. This Lodge was organized in a school-house, where its first meetings were held, thence to Waller's Hall, thence to Lillard's Hall, and lastly to a lodge room owned by the order. The cost of the present room was $1100. The present active membership is sixty-two.

Santa Anna Township contained in 1860 a population of 833; in 1870, 1,276; in 1880, 2,166. Much of this growth was due to the thriving city within her limits. The assessment for property for 1881, shows in the township 485 horses; 922 neat cattle; 24 mules; 328 sheep; 1,677 hogs; 7 fire proof burglar safes; 159 carriages and wagons; 50 watches and clocks; 200 sewing machines; 16 pianos; 26 organs and melodeons, and a total valuation of lands of $295,652; of lots, $85,189. Valuation of personal property, $108,172.

The following supervisors have represented the township on the county board: R. R. Knight, elected in 1859; Isaac Monett elected in 1860, and served two terms; H. P. Smith, elected in 1862, and served three terms, and as chairman during 1864; W. C. McMurray, elected in 1865, served two terms; S. S. Chapin, elected in 1867; W. Y. McCord, elected in 1868, served two terms, and was chairman of the board during the year 1869; David Kelly, elected in 1870, and served until 1875; served a chairman of the board during the years 1872, 1873 and 1874; Levi Rathburn, elected in 1875, and served until 1880; Mathias Crum, elected in 1880, and re-elected in 1881, and is the present incumbent.

Transportation Facilities.—What is known as the Gilman branch of the Illinois Central Railroad, was built in 1870-1. It enters the township on section 31, passes a north-easterly course leaving on section 14. The Indianapolis, Bloomington and Warsaw Railroad enters on section 35, passes north-west leaving on section 18. These roads have nearly ten miles of track in this township, and offer excellent facilities for business.

In 1879, citizens put forth strenuous efforts to secure coal by sinking a shaft. After expending large sums of money the idea was abandoned, owing to the flooding of the shaft with water in such quantities as to prevent work. For results see chapter on geology.

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