CHANA.
Including a Sketch of Pine Rock Township.


The earliest settler in this township is said to be David Maxwell. He passed through this prairie in 1832, on his return from the battle of Stillman's IRun, where he had gone with a Blopmington company, called McLain's Militia. He then was pleased with the fertile prairies of Ogle County. In 1835, with his brother-in-law, Samuel Aikens, of Franklin County, Ohio, he moved to Washington Grove. After locating their land, Mr. Aikens returned to Ohio, where he remained for two years, and then came back with his wife and others •of the family, among whom were Dick, Charley and Tom, their parents, and a Ross family, connected by marriage. Of these, the three young men mentioned gained rather hard names, and will be referred to more especially in another place. The parents, youngest son (Samuel), and David Maxwell were respected .as good citizens.
Mrs. Samuel Aikens is now living at Ashton, and her daughter, now Mrs. John Todd, is still living in Ghana. The Aikens brothers kept the first black­smith shop and built a saw mill on a small stream, at Washington Grove.
In 1835, Aaron Paine made a claim at Paine's Point, and settled there with his family. Benjamin Boyce settled near him soon after, but, after making ;some improvements, sold out to George Taylor from New York. Mr. Taylor lived on the same farm till the time of his death. His son, Mason, now occu­pies the farm.
Mr. Paine sold out to the father of Augustus Austin, who now lives there, Mr. Paine afterwards moved to Ox Bow Prairie, in Putnam County and from there to Oregon Territory, leaving his family behind. In Oregon he became a member of the state legislature. Mr. Paine learned his letters after he was forty years of age, of John Whitaker, an early settler at Black Walnut Grove.
The first post-office was kept near Paine's Point, by Mrs. Thomas Stinson. Here, also, the first church, Lutheran, was built, about 1852. This church was of stone, and was replaced in 1874 by the present frame building. Rev. Mr. Hill, of Oregon, now preaches there occasionally. The post-office, and also a store, are now kept by John Kizer. In 1856, a commodious frame church was erected there by the Wesleyan Methodist denomination. About 1843, a school-house was built here, which was afterwards moved to another district, and the present frame school-house built.
Homan Morgan settled in White Oak Grove, south of Ghana, in 1836. He had been a Baptist minister in Ohio. His oldest son, Lyman, built a grist mill on the Kyte River, and afterwards moved to Wisconsin, where he became known as the inventor of the Morgan water-wheel. His parents moved to Wis­consin and lived with him. Another son, Homan, still resides on section 25.
Soon after the Morgans, Captain Isaac Trask and family settled one mile west of White Oak Grove, on the Kyte River. Captain Trask left a sea-faring life to find a home in the wilds of Illinois, and for many years was seldom seen without a gun or fishing tackle for a companion. He has become one of Pine Rock's solid citizens. Israel, one of his sons, is now supervisor from that township. Nearly ten years since, Mr.

Schoonhoven established a cheese factory on the east line of section 13, which is still in operation.

At an early day, Dr. John Roe settled at Lighthouse Point, in the south­eastern corner of Nashua Township.
Among others, the following settled in Lafayette and Pine Rock before 1841: John Weeks and wife, Charles Rice, James Clark, Wm. Bridges, John Gilbraith, John H. Stephenson, Mercer P. Carr, Harrison Ogden, Milton Burright, Lewis Williams, H. Hills and Riley Paddock. Mathew Bailey settled near Dr. Roe and has two sons, James and John, now residing in the township.

There are many other early settlers at Paine's Point worthy of mention, did space permit, among them Luman Taylor, Avery Taylor, Spirick Wellington, David Hazleton, Anthony Wood, (his brother Enoch, now of Chicago, lived in Nashua Township,) Thoinas, Harrison and Langdon Stinson, their mother and sisters, Horace Grant and family, John Ely and family. Mrs. Thomas Stinson, a lady who was highly esteemed by all, died in May, 1877.
A number of families of the Tiltons settled more recently in the southeastern part of the township. They occupy almost the entire territory of that vicinity.
In 1846, Oliver W. Canfield settled at Washington Grove. His son, Geo. E., is now Justice of the Peace at Chana. John H. Stephenson at one time had a grist mill and distillery on the creek running through Washington Grove. R. T. Haines was a partner in the distillery business. Wtn. J.

Keyes kept school in 1841, at a cabin on the west side of Washington Grove. Mrs. Cryder afterwards taught near there.

In 1871, the Chicago and Iowa railroad was built through the township. Phineas Chaney bought the west half of the southwest quarter of section 15, half of it from John C. Ober, and the remainder from Benjamin Canfield, for $4,000. Mr. Chaney made a stock company of this property dividing into twenty shares. The railroad passed through these eighty acres; they were laid off for village purposes, and called " Chana, after its founder, whose name was originally spelled in that way.
A station was established here, and on July 4, 1871, the first building, the grain warehouse of Phineas Chaney, was completed. This warehouse was run by Benjamin, a son of Phineas Chaney, who was also station agent. A car was first used as depot. It is now used as a tool house.
The first storehouse, and second building, in Chana was a wagon shop, 18 by 35 feet in size, moved by Mr. Chaney from Paine's Point and fitted up for store purposes. It was first occupied with a general stock by Joel Matson.


The next buildings were the dwellings of Allen Eichaner, on Main Street, and of Charles Long, in 1872. Thomas Emerson built the first blacksmith shop, just east of the village line, in the Fall of 1871. This he afterwards moved into town. It is still continued by Mr. Emerson.

The next season, John Cumins built the largest storeroom now in Chana, on the north end and west of Main Street. Mr. Matson sold out to A. E. Kemper, who sold to Watson and Ball. They moved the stock away.

The second store was built by A. J. Butterfield and occupied by Lyman Phelps, with a stock belonging to Perry Brothers, of Rochelle.

George Proctor had a saloon in the basement.

Spreckef & Clevadence followed Lyman Phelps. Daniel Sprecker now runs this store in the corner building.

L. W. Clark established a drug store, June 10, 1875, buying out Joseph Dickover, who had opened the first drug store, eighteen months before.
John Rine, Daniel Sprecker and John Todd now keep general stocks of goods.

J. P. Lilly recently established a hardware store.

William Mclntire and James Pool now have billiard halls. Blacksmiths, George Trombly and Thomas Emerson. James Miller, Attorney at Law.

Dr. Newton, an old resident, lives three miles west of Chana, at the site of an old town called Watertown. Dr. U. C. Roe has practiced in Chana for four years.
A substantial hotel building, called the Valley House, was erected in 1875 by John Todd, who built several other houses, and did much to increase the prosperity of Chana. The hotel is now occupied by Samuel Tilton.

Watertown, above referred to, had, at one time, a saw mill and carding mill, on the Kyte River. The anticipations of making it a manufacturing point were never realized. Major Chamberlain and John Carpenter were among the prominent citizens there.

SCHOOL

The only school-house in the vicinity of Chana is one which was built north of the middle of section 22, in 1869. In this, Miss Nellie Putraan first taught. She was hired by Asabel Burricht. It is a small frame building, and is now taught by Samuel Howe. It is very detrimental to the growth and best interests of Ghana, that no school has ever been established in the village.


When the school-house was built, a station of the Methodist circuit was there established. • Meetings had previously been held at the Canfield school-house. The following pastors have officiated since that time : Revs. A. P. Hatch, Schoonmaker, Z. Paddock, T. R. Satterfield, and the present minister, Rev. Wm. Cross. The present church building was erected in 1875, at a cost of $1,800, under the pastorate of the Rev. Mr. Paddock. It was dedicated by the Rev. Luke Hitchcock, of Chicago. The present membership is about seventy-five. A Sabbath-school was established in connection with the church, with Alexander Knapp as superintendent. The present superintendent is Rev. E. H. Canfield.

The elevator, a frame building, was erected in 1874, by Andrews Brothers, who were early residents at Paine's Point. It 'is now owned by David H. Weltz, Sr.
Ghana has borne no enviable name in some social respects, but this Winter marks a new epoch in its history. Besides a great religious revival, by which about twenty-five members were added to the church, the temperance wave has reached the village, and restored many to sobriety and respectability. A large number of the youth, temperate men, and a majority of the hard drinkers have joined in the movement. There is now a membership of 125. Meetings are held Saturday evenings, with the following officers: President, Capt. F. W. Pike; Vice Presidents, R. K. Hawley, S. L. Aikens and Charles Clapp; Secretary, J. P. Lilly; Treasurer, Samuel Mitchell, Financial Secretary, John Eakle, and other minor officers.

INCIDENTS
On Tuesday, March 12, 1878, while the writer was visiting Ghana, a horrible accident occurred which wrapped the little village in a cloud of sorrow not soon to be effaced from memory. Lizzie, the beautiful, bright-eyed little daughter of George Trombly, was burned to death by catching her clothes on fire while in the house alone. She was four years of age, and beloved by the entire neighborhood:

On the night of November 29, 1876, John H. Rine was assaulted by William Maxwell, robbed and left for dead. Maxwell had seen Mr. Rme count out about $165, and take with him when leaving his store at night. Near the church Mr. Rine was knocked down with a car coupling-pin, robbed and dragged to the rear of the church, where he was left senseless. He recovered only after a long period of prostration. Maxwell was tried, convicted and sen­tenced to thirty years in the penitentiary, where he is now in durance vile.

 


The present township officers are : Supervisor, Israel Trask; Town Clerk, John C. Ober; Assessor, John Bailey; Collector, E. R. Cooley; Constables, Henry Emmons and William P. Deets; Commissioners of Highway, Samuel Mitchell, Sheldon Burright and Scott Gale: Justices of the Peace, George E. Canfield and Frederick W. Pike.

 

History of Ogle County-1878

 

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Illinois Ancestors