This little village is pleasantly situated in the northern part of the township, on the nortwest quarter of section four, and was laid out by Willis G. Moffitt, John T. Gast, William Spangler, George H. Briscoe, Samuel Warren, and John L. Ewing, February 21, 1836; and was surveyed and platted by Allen Persinger. The village is without organization at the present time. Dr. A. J. Mead, one of the oldest citizens, informs us that it was chartered, and had regular officers at an early day; that a square, now the site of the public school building, was reserved for a city hall, but was afterwards converted to public school purposes. As the records have been lost, the particulars can not be given, although diligent search has been made. The appearance of the village is neat and clean, and there are a number of handsome private residences, surrounded by shade trees and well-kept lawns. There are two frame church buildings, which belong to the Presbyterian and the Methodist Episcopal congregations. The Presbyterian are without a regular pastor, and the Methodists are supplied by Rev. N. H. Kane. The Band of Holiness also have a congregation. A neat two-story frame school building adorns the town, in which two teachers are employed for a term of nine months in the year.
The first house built in the village was a frame building, erected in 1835 by T. A. Burton. The first store was opened by Willis G. Moffitt in 1835, who was also the first postmaster. In 1837 a man named Morris kept the first hotel. One McDaniels was the first blacksmith in the village as well as township. No mill has ever been built within the limits of the village. Dr. North was the first resident physician, as early as 1837. John L. Ewing was the first justice of the peace. The first church built in the township was a frame building erected by the Presbyterians in 1841, and was located in the village. The first school-house was a log building, and Jeremiah Briscoe was the first teacher. The town was named by Col. George H. Briscoe, after Huntsville, Alabama, where the colonelís brother resided. The township subsequently took the name of the village. The village has a well-kept cemetery of two acres, in which are many handsome monuments, marking the resting-place of loved ones. It is situated on gently sloping ground, surrounded by a neat fence, and shaded by forest trees. It was laid out in 1872, on the southeast quarter of section 4, and is a credit to the citizens of that section.
General Stores.--Thomas W. Watts, H. Worden Watts, William O. Watts, and George Richardson.
Groceries.--John T. Watts.
Drugs.--Harvey T. Robinson.
Harness and Shoemaker.--Thomas Ellis.
Barber.--B. L. Davis.
Carpenters.--Henry Hillyer, Reese Moore, and John Sebright.
Blacksmiths.--William Langdon, John Waner, and Lewis Labrash.
Stonecutter and Mason.--Reese Moore.
Manufacturers of Washing Machines.--J. Waner & Co.
Milliners and Dress-makers.--Mrs. Mollie Baxter, and Mrs. Eliza Jones.
Hotels.--Daniel Y. Miller, and David H. Ross.
Notary Public.--William O. Watts and Daniel Y. Miller.
Postmaster.--William L. Brumback.
Physicians.--A. J. Mead, and Horace F. Coe.
Huntsville Lodge, No. 465, A. F. and A. M.--This lodge was organized in 1864, and worked several years under dispensation, and its charter is dated October 3, 1866. The names of W. C. Stokes, W. H. Kirk, J. C. Moore, A. G. Bacon, J. B. Overstreet, B. J. Vertner, H. Van Buskirk, John Moore, J. R. Fackler, William Moore, J. A. Bilderback, James Baxter, J. A. Moore, William G. Deviney, John Bilderback, N. Burmood, J. W. Scott, William H. Crain, James Baxter Jr., J. A. James, and Jacob Kleppler, appear as charter members. W. C. Stokes, W. M.; W. H. Kirk, S. W.; and J. C. Moore, J. W., are named in the charter as principal officers. The lodge owned their hall, the second story of a business house, and had it handsomely furnished, and everything complete, but they met with the misfortune of having their hall and the entire contents burned during a severe thunder storm. They received an insurance of six hundred dollars, and have since built a handsome two-story frame building, and are virtually out of debt. The present membership is fifty, and the officers are: Charles H. Phelps, W. M.; John Moore, S. W.; A. J. Anderson, J. W.; Elmer Simons, S. D.; William Villers, J. D.; W. P. Croxton, secretary; Zebulon Allphin, treasurer, and Daniel Y. Miller, tyler.
Excerpted from The Combined History of Schuyler and Brown Counties, Illinois, 1882
Transcribed by Carol Longwell Miller for Schuyler County ILGenWeb
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