Keithsburg Township is known as Town 13 North, Range 5 West. The soil of the greater portion of this township is sandy; the bottom lands north of the town of Keithsburg are timbered and subject to overflow. John Vannatta, the first settler, came from Pennsylvania in 1827, and opened a wood yard to supply the steamboats.
During the Indian troubles Mr. Vannatta and other settlers abandoned their claims and took refuge in Pence's fort until after the Black Hawk War.
Returning he continued his wood yard until the spring of 1835, when he sold out to Robert Keith, a Scotchman, who took possession the following spring, and the Vannatta family moved to the vicinity of Muscatine, Iowa.
Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois
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