Robert Bonham was the first settler in this township. He was drawn to the place by the strong temptations he could see in hickory groves. For a number of years, Bonham was the lone inhabitant, whose widest range of vision,so far as neighbors were concerned left him monarch of all he surveyed.He was from Maryland, and had started life in his native State and greatly prospered,but in one of those turns in the afairs of business he greatly impaired his fortune and then he turned his ace westward and came to this place. Though bankupt, he was to conquer and he faced the dreary solitudes of the wild country as bravely as any of the pioneers who came west. His stout resolution to regain what he had lost never failed him, and ultimate success crowned his efforts.
Hickory Grove is on section 20 and 21 and the surrounding locality was known and designated by the same name of the grove and the townships were formed and named when it was changed to Galva, after some town in Sweden. The groved was a noted body of timber in the early days-a landmark known to many an emigrant before he left his old home and started for the Illinois country. The grove lies a little northwest of the village of Galva and it is a little remarkable that some of the advance agents of the many colonies that came to the county did not select this elegant body of timber as a neucleus around which to locate a colony.
But in talking with aged settlers we find a good cause why the colonists did not seize upon this remarkable body of timber land. Bonham was here before they found it and had secured the entire grove, and from this fact we can estimate that he was among the earliest comers to the county. He was an in veterate old bachelor and died rich and without issue and his future was inherited by heirs of collateral blood.
The next settlement in the township after Bonham was the founding of Galva in by J.M. and William L. Wiley.
Source: Portrait and Biographical Album of Henry County, Illinois
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