RICHLAND GROVE TOWNSHIP.
Arasmith Grove was changed to Richland Grove in 1837. The circumstances connected with the change were these: Josiah Jordan was building a house, and a talk arose as to the name of the grove. He proposed to those present that, as some did not like the name Arasmith, they there and then change the name to Richland Grove.
The name was almost unanimously adopted, and has come down to the present time. In 1834 the township was a solitary tract of desert waste, not a single house having yet been built.
The first house was built by Abner Arasmith, in the S.W.1/4 of Sec. 13. The first store was kept by Asa McMurtry, and the second by Willis Peckingpaugh. The first blacksmith shop was kept by George Lorance and the second by Luther Barnard.
Chancy Stanard, the hero of those early days, taught the first school, in the winter of 1837-8, in a log-house (size 12X14- feet) which stood on the Peter Metzler farm (S. E. 1/2 of S. E. J of Sec. 14). Chancy Stanard also conducted the first Sunday school, in 1837, near the same place.
In 1835 Wesley Arasmith, Sr., Abner and Alvin Arasmith, and Thomas Sellers constituted the settlers.
In 1836 Peter and John Metzler, George and John Love, Hugh Montgomery, Charles Norman, Sr., Henry Stowers, Henry, George and John Peckingpaugh, Thomas Chires, Sr. and Jr., William Parker, Hugh McMullen, Almond Wilcox, James Manning, Daniel Valentine, and Levi Shaw, came to the township.
In 1837 James Glenn, Alden Perce, Chancy Stanard, Alfred Dorsee, Parker Tinney, Wm. Lowther, Jonathan Smith, and Albert Merryman settled here.
In 1838 Thomas J. Jordan, John A. Jordan, John Rhodenbaugh, Lucius Dimmock, L. F. Langford, Joseph B. Trego, John Morey, and Abner Vanmeter. Of those named who are known to be living there are: John Metzler, George Love, Charles Norman, Sr., Henry Stowers, Thomas Chires, Jr., Alfred Dorsee, John A. and Thomas J. Jordan, Parker Tinney, L. F. Langford, Albert Merryman, John Rhodenbaugh, Joseph B. Trego, and John Morey.
The first village laid out in the township was Swedona, in 1838. It was first known as Berlin , but in 1869 the present name was adopted. At one time the village had a. population of 500. Since the development of the coal interests in the township two other towns have sprung into existence—Cable and Sherrard. The coal deposits being extensive, no development could be had without railroad facilities.
The Rock Island & Mercer County Railroad, from Rock Island to the southern line of the township, constructed by P. L. Cable, has proved a great financial benefit to this section. The vast extent of the great coal fields of Illinois is as yet scarcely realized. The eastern portion of Mercer county is not behind many of its sister counties in the quantity and quality of its bituminous coal deposits.
Hundreds of men find constant employment in the mines at Cable and Sherrard, while the manufacturing establishments of Rock Island , Moline , Davenport and other cities within a radius of one hundred miles, consume much of the coal from the mines. In the western part of the township and north of Edwards river are found veins of coal of a superior quality, which have been worked locally for many years, and sometime in the future a railroad will tap this region. The population of Cable and bherrard consists chiefly of miners, of whom 400 to 600 are constantly em ployed.
Both towns have good business houses, churches and schools. Sherrard has a bank that looks after the financial interests of the township. David Sherrard is the president and J. L. Vernon cashier. Robert Lee has been the head and shoulders of this great mining company since its organization, and to him is largely due the extensive development of the coal interests of Richland Grove.
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