Lorraine Township

Lorraine Township is a case of an attempt to give the place a French name, and a failure to spell it properly. Hence the word is corrupted, and is neither English, French nor Choctaw. This style of naming townships has prevailed in nearly every county in the State. The Commissioners who selected the names it seems generally went at it with a hop-skip- and-a-jump. Sometimes there was appropriateness, and often there was neither rhyme nor reason in the name chosen. If the counties of the State had taken advantage of the opportunity and named the townships in honor of the first pioneers, when every name would have been an appropriate chapter heading in ths county's history—a heading carrying a meaning and history of deep interest for posterity, there would have been some apparent comprehension of the fitness of things in such official action. But this corruption of names after foreign places, or the much worse corruption in Indian names, often afflicting otherwise beautiful localities with some unreadable, unpronounceable name, has been much too freely in dulged in all over the country. And everywhere the stranger passing over the land encounters names that he does not attempt to pronounce lest he be laughed at, and when tripped off the tongue by some who has learned by long application to give it the conventional sounds, it is without beauty and wholly meaningless.

The first settler in Loraine Township was Cornelius H. Kemmis who came in the early summer of 1836, He was a typical pioneer of the times, a blunt, plain, honest and good citizen; industrious and frugal, he soon was the contented possessor of a good farm and all the substantials of life. He reared his family in habits of industry and sobriety. He died about 1876, on the place that he had im­ proved, greatly respected by a wide circle of friends. He was the father of a large family of children. His widow is now living on the place where he died, with her son Frank, There is a married daughter who some years ago went West.

The next in the order of coming was William T. Crozier, another good man and true. He died but a short time ago—the spring of 1885. He left quite a large family of children.

About the same time, possibly a little before Crozier, came David Heller. He died in 1879, leaving a widow, who now is temporarily residing with a daughter in Sterling , III. Mr. Heller was a man greatly respected by all who knew him. He was a very successful farmer, and an upright and worthy citizen.

Then came Rudolph Urich, who is still among his old and many new friends, still watching with inter­ est that wonderful tide of growth and improvements that have come about him since first he came here and selected his home. He has been a useful and good citizen, against whom no breath of evil has ever been breathed.

Then came Asa Blair, who died some years ago. He was a thrifty pioneer and a most excellent farmer. Three of his sons are living, two of whom reside on the old farm.

The next was the very numerous and important family of Arnetts. Phillip Arnett, the father, brought with him seven lusty boys and a daughter. This single family far exceeded in the number and value of its addition to the new settlements, some of the pretentious colonies that had been organized in the old States to populate the northwest territory. When the family came they were very poor, but their no-tire activity and shrewdness soon made amends for all this. And now the boys are all men in the prime of life, and more than the average financial success attends them. They are in the order of their ages: Jacob, William, George, Joseph, John, Anthony and Samuel.

Philip Sand is now one of the leading farmers in this part of the county. His farm improvements, and espe­ cially his elegant residence, is the best in the township. He is an old settler among old settlers. Has a large family of boys. No single individual was a more valuable acquisition to the county than was Mr. Sand. An estimable man in many respects, and reared a family universally respected.

 

Another early comer was Joseph Rink, who has now lived for more than forty years on the spot where he commenced his improvement. He is a plain, old-fashioned, honest farmer, making no pretensions, but has made a good farm.

Then there is Martin Roos, with his large and very much respected family, who have toiled together, and in their modest way, and have come to be among the best people in the township.

The first school-house was built on Mr. Heller's land, and for several years this was the church and the general meeting place on all public occasions. It was a modest, puncheon-floor log cabin, but fully served its intended purposes long and well.

 

Portrait and Biographical Album of Henry County

 

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