Stark County, Illinois and Its People: A Record of Settlement
Organization, Progress and Achievement, (1916)

Chapter VII 


Transcribed by Gaile Thomas.

     Of the eight townships comprising Stark County, Toulon is the most centrally located. It includes Congressional Township 13 north, range 6 east. Elmira Township bounds it on the North; Penn on the east; Essex on the south, and Goshen on the west. Spoon River flows southwardly across the eastern portion and the southwest corner is watered by Indian Creek. Along the streams the surface is somewhat broken, but the greater part of the township consists of rolling land with a fertile soil, well adapted to agricultural purposes. Some coal has been mined in the township. When Stark County was first organized in 1839 the eastern half of this township was in the Wyoming Precinct and the western half in the Central Precinct. Fourteen years later the township system was adopted and the name of “Toulon” was given to the township, from the county seat, which is located near its western border.
     More than one hundred military land warrants were located in Toulon Township between the years 1817 and 1820.

Jonathan Mathews and Samuel P. Tufts selected claims in Section 1;
Michael Cunningham and Nathan Chadwick; Section  2;
William Dunlap and Charles Gist; Section  3;
Erastus Backus and Joseph Banks; Section  4;
Solomon Hutchinson and Jesse Seeley; Section  5;
Jacob Rheam; Section  6;
David Park, Hiram Stevens and William Wiley; Section  7;
Elijah Coates, Ira Ellmore and Samuel McCahan; Section  8;
Daniel Dudley, Amos J. Eagleson, Silas McCullough and Robert Morton; Section  9;
Hester Faust, Bela Hall, Joseph Porter and Ira Remington; Section  10;
Isaac Dyer, Benjamin Pratt, James Thomas and Benjamin H. Tozer; Section  11;
Luke Blackshire, Abram Bowman and Samuel Grimes; Section  12;
David Fulwell, Jesse Ormsby, George W. Russell and Isaac Patch; Section  13;
John Dawson, John Pike, Robert D. Thompson and David R. Whiteley; Section  14;
Samuel Null, Abram Rader, Thomas Thompson and John R. Turner; Section  15;
James Bulley, William Davidson, Valentine Matthews and John Yearns; Section  17;
John Wallace and William Young; Section  18;
William Bennett and Gideon W. Moody; Section  19;
Lydia Barrett, Edward D. Strickland, Robert Vallally and William Vanderman; Section  20;
Jeptha Cloud, Robert Fry, Moses McClay and Robert Miner; Section  21;
Nicholas Cook, Allen B. Strong and John Wells; Section  22;
Reuben Boles, Richard Hill and W. B. McKennan; Section  23;
Abel H. Coleman, Silas M. Moore and Isaac Parcelles; Section  24;
Joseph Joy, William Karns, John Thompson and Asaph Wetherill; Section  25;
George Metzinger, Thomas Rogers and Joseph Wildey; Section  26;
Timothy Cook, Joseph S. Gorman, Job Parkhead and Polly Tucker; Section  27;
Ebenezer Gilkey, Samuel Griffith, Jacob Slantler and Phineas Spilman; Section  28;
Asa Hill, William Hyde, Henry Roberts and James Trumbull; Section  29;
Philip Lawless and Adam McCaslin; Section  30;
Squire Williams and Peter Wolf; Section  31;
James Baldwin, David Hambleton, Isaac Higgins and Thomas Wandell; Section  32;
Henry Bailey, James Chancey, Joseph Cram and John Cross; Section  33;
Jeremiah Davis, Richard Nixon, William Oaks and John Short; Section  34;
John Bussell, Luke G. Hasley, Benjamin Hughes and Henry Murphy; Section  35;
John Lynes, John Hageman, Patrick Short and Thomas W. Way; Section  36.

     The first lands entered for actual settlement were the southwest quarter of section 30 and the northwest quarter of section 31, which were entered on June 24, 1839, the former by Adam Perry and the latter by William H. Henderson. On September 6, 1839, John Miller entered the southwest quarter of section 19, where the City of Toulon now stands, and on the 28th of the same month John Culbertson entered the quarter section directly north of Miller’s. Lewis Perry, Chauncey D. Fuller and William Mahaney also entered lands in the township in the fall of 1839.
     Col. William H. Henderson, one of the early settlers in Toulon Township and a man who played an important part in the early history of Stark County, was born in Garrard County, Ky., November 16, 1793. At the beginning of the War of 1812 he enlisted in the Kentucky Mounted Riflemen, commanded by Col. Richard M. Johnson, and with his regiment was at the battle of the Thames, October 5, 1813. Upon retiring from the army he located in Stewart County, Tenn., where he was married on January 11, 1816, to Miss Lucinda Wimberly. He served as sheriff of Stewart County and afterward removed to Haywood County, in the western part of the state. In 1831 he visited Illinois and selected lands in what is now La Salle County, about fifteen miles north of the present City of Ottawa. In the spring of 1832 his father and mother, two of his brothers and a man named Robert Norris, with two of his wife’s brothers, set out for the new possessions. Just then the Black Hawk war came on, Robert Norris was killed by the Indians and the other members of the family were compelled to vacate their claims. Colonel Henderson therefore remained in Tennessee and in 1835 was elected to represent his district in the State Senate. He resigned his seat, however, before the expiration of his term, and on July 2, 1836, landed in Stark County. His work in securing the organization of the county is told in another chapter; the first session of the Circuit Court of Stark County was held at his house; he was a member of the last Legislature that met at Vandalia and the first that met at Springfield, and was otherwise active in public affairs. In 1845 he removed to Iowa and died in that state on January 27, 1864. His son, Thomas J. Henderson, was colonel of the One Hundred and Twelfth Illinois Infantry in the Civil war.
     In 1841 the county seat was located at Toulon and much of the history of Toulon Township is intimately associated with the county seat. It is therefore told in connection with the history of the City of Toulon in another chapter. The Peoria & Rock Island (now the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific) Railroad was built through the township in 1871.
     According to the United States census for 1910 the population in that year was 2,579, which included parts of the cities of Toulon and Wyoming. There are nine school districts in the township, outside of the City of Toulon, in which ten teachers were employed during the school year of 1914-15, and in 1914 the taxable value of the property, including railroad property, was $1,401,244.

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Updated June 6, 2007