Montgomery County Illinois History
Bois D'Arc West

The first settlement made in this township was made by John Hendershott, at the head of the Macoupin Creek, about the year 1825.  This was one of the first settlements made in the county.  Mr. Hendershott's wife was the first death in the township.  In his family also was the first birth.  Lewis Thomas and Samuel Thomas made the fourth entry made, in 1850.  From 1852 to 1856 there settled in the northern, central, and western parts the two Thomases, mentioned, Absalom Clark, Prior Witt, John Jones, William Smith, Joseph Smith, Anthony Almond, John Ward, Frank Dunkley, Mark Risley, William Everts and father; Joseph Everts settled in the southern part.  George Rice entered land in the western part, where he afterward bought and settled.

Hiram J Young was the first justice of the peace, - appointed in 1862.  Jasper Witt was the first constable.  Jackson Boyles built the first blacksmith shop, - yet unused.  The first successful hedging was upon the farms of Lewis Thomas, Samuel Thomas, and Absalom Clark:  hence the name of the township.

The first marriage was Andrew Armstrong and Miss Martha L Everts.  The first church was organized by the Methodists, at the school-house on section 24, about the year 1865.

The first house built was the one occupied by Mr. Hendershott.  The second was a small house put up by Samuel Thomas and Alsalom Clark, on the premises of Mr. Thomas.  The lumber was hauled from Greene County.

Within this township is found the best land of the county.  Originally it was all prairie, with the exception of one or two small groves.  There are now several cultivated groves, - some large farms, and considerable stockgrowing.  Contains good school-houses, and ha some three church-houses in prospect.

Bois D'Arc East

The first improvement made in this township was made by an Irishman by the name of James McConnell, on section 7.  The premises were first occupied by a German by the name of Sedgewick.  Peter Christopher and his brother Joseph were the first citizen settlers (section 4), in the spring of 1854.  They yet remain on the farms first improved.  During the next five years came Albert Clayton, John and William Price, and James Woodward.

A little later, William Garrison, Henry Weston, Henry Hathaway, William King, and Michael Samison.  Cornelius and George Lyman settled in the southern part about the same time the Christophers settled in the northern part.  The first school-house, called the "Prairie Dell," was built about 1857, on section 4.  It was a log structure.  Here the first school was taught, by Miss Sallie Goodrich.  It was afterwards occupied by Samuel Laird, Miss Sarah Gale, Miss Mary Harlan, Mr. Charles Waters, and then again by Miss Harlan, when it was sold to private parties.  Next a frame school-house was put up at White Oak, where Miss Harlan taught the first term.  John Blaisier built the first blacksmith shop.

The first marriage was John Murry and Miss Mary Williamson, about 1862.  They were married by Rev. John Nicodemas, at the residence of Joseph Christopher.

Mary, daughter of Joseph and Elizabeth Christopher, was the first born, about 1855.  John, son of Peter and Elizabeth Christopher, was the first death, - September 25, 1856.  The first sermon was preached by Rev. Levin Harlan, a Methodist, at the residence of William King.

The first church was a Methodist Society, organized by Rev. Samuel Lily, at the Prairie Dell school-house.

This township was originally all prairie.  Has now some cultivated groves.  Soil is very rich.  Well supplied with schools.

Source:  Illustrated Atlas Map of Montgomery County, Ill. (1874)
Posted in: Farmersville
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