Huntsville is oneof the townships located on the extreme southwestern corner of SchuylerCounty, being bounded on the west by Adams County and on the south by BrownCounty. It is drained by Cedar Creek in the north and Little Missouri inthe south, both tributaries of Crooked Creek. In an early day the countrywas heavily timbered, but where once were towering forests there are nowrich, cultivated fields and handsome farm residences.
Huntsville enjoys the uniquedistinction of being the only township in the county settled by a pioneerwho came from the West. In all the other townships, the pioneers crossedthe Illinois River and either went direct to their destination or tarrieda while in the Rushville settlement. But the first homeseeker in HuntsvilleTownship came from the West. This honor belongs to William Spangler, anative of Pennsylvania, who had afterwards lived in Kentucky and Indiana.He had reached manhood and had a wife and family when he decided to pushon further west. Taking passage on a boat he went down the Ohio River andup the Mississippi, landing at Quincy in the summer of 1832. He broughtwith him a team and wagon, and loading his household goods, drove eastthrough Adams County to the northeast quarter of Section 5, HuntsvilleTownship, where he built his cabin and cleared a tract for cultivation,afterwards securing title by pre-emption. Mr. Spangler resided on his homesteadfarm until 1851, when be removed to Hancock County.
Before Mr. Spangler and hisfamily were settled in their new home, Willis G. Moffett came overlandfrom Kentucky and settled with his family on the southwest quarter of Section4, and in the fall of that year John Thornhill and Jamison Wilson settledon the north half of Section 22. Jesse Burke, a Virginian, was one of thefirst to settle in the south part of the township, and in 1832, he builthis cabin on the northeast quarter of Section 30.
In 1833 the settlement wasfurther increased by the arrival of Reuben Allphin, from Kentucky, whosettled upon the southeast quarter of Section 10; Robert Clayton builta cabin on the northwest quarter of Section 13, but never acquired title;David Tyree and Hamilton Anderson, with their families, located on thesoutheast quarter of Section 11, and Samuel Warren, Stephen Mendenhall,Alfred Jamison and Stephen Perkins were others who came during that year.
Rev. William Crain, Methodistminister, and Abraham Newfield came from Missouri in December, 1834, andentered land on the northeast quarter of Section 6, and also the northeastquarter of the northwest quarter of the same section for Ezra Dorsett,who joined them the next year. Among the settlers of 1835 were: WilliamAnderson, who located on Section 12, and William Nesbit and Samuel Smith,who located near by. John and Thomas Allphin come that year and settledon the northwest quarter of Section 16.
The first marriage in thetownship occurred in 1835, when Rev. William Crain joined in wedlock aMr. Cruikshanks and Miss Keziah Perkins.
The first birth was a childof Mr. And Mrs. William Spangler in 1832.
The first school was taughtby Jeremiah Briscoe in a log cabin on the southwest quarter of Section4 in 1835.
The first sermon in the townshipwas preached by Rev. Milton Kimball, at the cabin of William Spangler in1833, and Rev. Peter Borin, Rev. John P. Richmond and Rev. W. Pitner, Methodistcircuit riders, also held services at an early day.
Among the early physicianswere Dr. North, Dr. John P. Richmond, Dr. Samuel Clarkson, and Dr. A. J.Mead.
The first mill in the townshipwas built by Dr. Samuel Clarkson on the south bank of Big Missouri Creek,on the southeast quarter of Section 25, in 1837.
The town of Huntsville wasplatted February 21, 1836, by Allen Persinger for Willis G. Moffitt, JohnT. Gast, William Spangler, George H. Briscoe, Samuel Warren and John L.Ewing, proprietors. The village is situated on the northwest quarter ofSection 4. T. A. Burton erected the first dwelling house in 1835, and WillisG. Moffitt was the first store-keeper and postmaster. John L. Ewing wasthe first Justice of the Peace. The first church built in the townshipwas erected by the Presbyterians in the village in 1841.
Population of the townshipin 1900, 976.
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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