Frederick is thesmallest township in Schuyler County and the most irregular in shape, twoof its triangular sides being bounded by the Illinois River and Sugar Creek,a tributary stream. North and south the township measures nine miles, whilethe greatest width is three and a half miles, and it contains but twelvefull sections, although there are fractional sections lying along the boundarystreams. The land surface is broken and a portion of the township is subjectto overflow from the Illinois River.
Frederick Township was thegateway to Schuyler County in the first years of its history, and all ofthe early pioneers crossed its borders and mounted the high bluff in theirjourney inland. Some of them doubtless tarried for a time in temporaryhomes along the bluff, which makes it difficult to name any one personas the original settler in the township. Among the first to make a permanenthome within the bounds of Frederick Township was James Lammy, who settledabout a half-mile north of the present site of the village of Frederickin 1825. Andrew Vance, Timothy Harris and Edward White were also earlysettlers. Abraham Hollingsworth made his first permanent home in the countyin Frederick Township, locating there in the spring of 1827. He was oneof the early Justices of the Peace and Hollingsworth branch was named inhis honor. Others of the pioneer settlers, with the year of settlement,are as follows: John D. Wren, 1829; Lyman Utter, 1830; Anthony Messerer,1832; Jesse Darnell, 1834; Thomas Bellamy, 1835, and John Utter, 1838.
In the early ‘thirties, soonafter the first steamboats began to ply the Illinois River, George FrederickJonte and Frederick Merchant, two Frenchmen, located on Section 17 in FrederickTownship. Mr. Jonte took note of the natural conditions, and decided tofound a city that would be the shipping point for all the rich inland countryto the north and west. Allen Persinger was employed to plat the town, whichhe did, May 12 and 13, 1836, and in honor of its founder it was named Frederickville,and is so recorded on the court records, but the United States PostofficeDepartment in 1892 shortened the name to Frederick.
Samuel P. Vail was the firststorekeeper in the village. In l844 Charles Farwell & Co. establisheda mercantile business in Frederick that afterwards grew to large proportions.Maro Farwell came from the East in 1848 and joined his brother and, in1852, they built a large store building in the village and a warehouseon the Illinois River. They engaged in merchandising, pork-packing andsteamboating, and had probably the largest business of any firm on theIllinois River. In those flourishing days Frederick was connected withRushville by a plank road, and was the shipping point for towns as farnorth as Macomb. Steamboats, loaded at Pittsburgh, Pa., brought their entirecargo to Frederick, and on the return trip carried back to the East theirvaluable cargo of pork and lard. In those days it looked as if Frederickwas destined to be one of big towns along the Illinois River, but whenrailroad building began, its business was diverted and the gradual declineof the river traffic made unprofitable its big mercantile business, andthe firm of Farwell Bros. ceased to exist in 1877. But while the villagehad its most prosperous days in the early ‘sixties, it is yet a thriftylittle town and has a number of prospering mercantile houses.
The first school taught inFrederick was presided over by Horatio Benton in 1845. In 1871 a two-storybrick school building was erected which is in use at the present time.
Population in 1900, accordingto United States census, 628.
Excerpted from HistoricalEncyclopedia of Illinois and History of Schuyler County, 1908, editedby Howard F. Dyson.
Transcribed by Karl A. Petersenfor Schuyler County ILGenWeb
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