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

Chapter VII 


Transcribed by Gaile Thomas.

     Valley Township occupies the southeast corner of the county and embraces Congressional Township 12 north, range 7 east. It is bounded on the north by Penn Township; on the east by Marshall County; on the south by Peoria County, and on the west by the Township of Essex. Previous to the introduction of the township system in 1853, this part of the county formed a part of the Wyoming Precinct. When the county was divided into townships the name “Valley” was conferred upon this political subdivision for the reason that it occupies the broad, fertile valley at the foot of the highest divide in the state. Camping Run flows in a westerly direction through the northern part and Mud Run through the southern part. With a generally level or slightly rolling surface and a productive soil, some of the finest farms in the county are in Valley Township.
     With the exception of section 16---the public school section---and a few isolated tracts here and there, practically the entire township was claimed by veterans of the War of 1812 under the Military Bounty Act. Following is a list of soldiers’ land warrants located between the years 1817 and 1820:

Section  1, Charles Gibhard and Linus Gilbert;
Section  2, Justus Cobb and Thomas Edwards;
Section  3, Joseph McCord and John Thornburg;
Section  4, John Vinchane and Charles Young;
Section  5, Welcome Butterworth (320 acres);
Section  6, John Sargent and James Sawyer;
Section  7, Isaac Paulding and Samuel P. Stegner;
Section  8, Isaac Childs, John Erskine, Hugh Robb and Nehemiah Wood;
Section  9, Richard Horton, William Herrald, William W. Sickles and Nicholas Van Steyke;
Section  10, Benjamin Fall, Caleb Johnson, Leverett Richardson and John Vanderbeck;
Section  11, John Green, David Page and Edward Wyman;
Section  12, William Heath, Thomas H. Parker and John Pritchard;
Section  13, Robert Brown, Philip Clarke, Robert Cockles and Thompson White;
Section  14, Zerah Call, John Coffey, Oliphant Coleman and Charles Kitchen;
Section  15, Lodowick Blackley, James Briggs and John O’Neil;
Section  17, George Armstrong, John Concannon, Hampton Owens and John Thompson;
Section  18, Isaac Ackerman, James Beardwine, Pleasant Meredith and Peter Rotis;
Section  19, John Bingham, Norman Collins and Benjamin R. Meredith;
Section  20, Daniel Burns, William Dillon, Philip Kinston and Nathaniel White;
Section  21, John Booth, Gerard Gibson, John L. Griswold and William Walker;
Section  22, David Durand and Charles Tabor;
Section  23, John Andrews, Isaac Garrett and Nathan Hall;
Section  24, Charles Curran, William T. Graves, William McGlynn and Owen Riley;
Section  25, Samuel Adams, Thomas Carty, James Sproul and Joseph Yates;
Section  26, Frederick Cook, Frank Lowder, John McCormack and Benjamin Tarr;
Section  27, Ichabod Colby, Thomas Harris and Conrad Mandell;
Section  28, Clement C. Minor;
Section  29, David Guthrie, David Bringman, Francis Dudley and Moses Hamphill;
Section  30, John Archibald, Benjamin S. Snyder and Alexander Waistcoat;
Section  31, John Ayler, Henry Emery, Michael Gebhart and Daniel Palmer;
Section  32, Silas Beverstock, Samuel Chatterton, Calvin Hoyt and John Lackey;
Section  33, William Hearn, William Martland, Aaron Turner and Horton Wood;
Section  34, Peter Holloway, Isaac Smith, William Tapp and Daniel Woolford;
Section  35, Putnam Conouss, Ahaz Cook and James H. Rowland;
Section  36, Luke Barton, Moses Davis and Zeba Parmeley.

     As in the other townships of the county, these military titles subsequently caused numerous misunderstandings and retarded settlement to some extent. Among those who entered lands along in the ‘30s for actual occupation were Edwin and Titus Hutchinson, William C. Cummings, Joseph Sulliman, Charles Pope and a few others. The school section was not disposed of until 1851.
     On July 17, 1847, the first school trustees---David Rouse, Z. G. Bliss and William C. Cummings---were chosen at an election held at the house of David Rouse, and the township was soon afterward organized for school purposes. There were then but nine families, with forty-one children, and only two districts were established. Since then the two original districts have been subdivided until in 1915 there were eight. The eight schoolhouses in the township were then valued at $8,650 and during the school year of 1914-15 ten teachers were employed.
     Valley is fairly well provided with transportation facilities, the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad passing through the western part and the Chicago & Northwestern through the southeastern portion. Stark on the former and Speer on the latter are the only railroad stations. In 1910 the population was 821, an increase of 33 during the preceding decade, and in 1914 the assessed value of the property, including railroads, was $856,836.

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Updated June 6, 2007