On the south bank of Crooked creek, on a rolling piece of ground sloping gradually towards the stream, is the little village of Brooklyn, with pleasant homes nestled beneath the shade of elm and maple. The well-kept lawns and beds of flowers, surrounded by neat fences, bespeak the good taste of its inhabitants. It is situated in the western part of the township and occupies the southeast quarter of section 20; and was laid out by William C. Ralls, October 26, 1836, and surveyed and platted by Allen Persinger, the county surveyor. It was named by its founder in honor of the city of Brooklyn, N. Y. It has never had a corporate existence. The first house, a rude log cabin, was built in the early part of 1832 by William C. Ralls, who soon afterward built several more for the accommodation of his hands engaged in building the mill. Mr. Ralls also kept the first store as early as 1832. The post office was established about the year 1840, and William Horney was the first postmaster. The first blacksmith was a man named Redfield who worked at the trade as early as 1832, and a few years later Samuel Holloway opened a shop in the town. The first mill was built and operated by William C. Ralls, and has been as fully described as the facts in our possession will permit. The first physician in the village, as well as in the township, was Dr. James Blackburn. William Lewis was the first Justice of the Peace, not only of the village but of the township. A Miss Dodds was the first teacher in the village. She taught in a small frame building in the summer of 1844, and was employed by Mr. William Lewis. The first church built in the village was the Methodist, in 1866, and is still used by the congregation. The present pastor is Rev. N. H. Kane. There was formerly a cooper shop carried on by David Shanks, but he has long since passed away.
Present Business.--Churches and Schools
Flouring Mill.--This mill was built in 1842, on the south bank of Crooked creek, near the site of the old mill of William C. Ralls, by William Lewis and George M. Wells. It is a good, substantial, three-story frame building, being furnished with three run of burrs, two used for wheat, and the third for corn. A good dam spans the creek and furnishes a water supply sufficient to run the mill at all seasons of the year. It is strictly a custom mill, and has been sold for $16,000. It is undergoing repairs, being refitted and furnished with all the latest improvements. Mr. John Glandon, one of the enterprising citizens of the township, bought it recently, and is having the changes made. It will be worth at least $10,000 when the comtemplated improvements are made. It is the most important industrial establishment in the township.
General Store.--Taylor & Hite, Blackburn & Bissell.
Drugs.--W. H. McCamish.
Physicians.--George Willis and J. E. Camp.
Blacksmith.--O. P. Jackson.
Wagon Maker.--J. C. Strong.
Carpenters.-- Orville Blackburn and Bryson Blackburn.
Undertaker.--Jackson & Pelsor.
Cabinet Maker.--George Pelsor.
Milliner.--Mrs. Mary Brickman.
Dressmaker.--Mrs. Sarah Mullen.
Watchmaker.--C. L. Bissell.
The Presbyterian Church has a neat frame edifice, with a spire, and enjoys the services and company of a resident pastor, Rev. D. T. McAuley. Their building was erected in 1866. A public school is maintained eight months in the year, in a neat and commodious frame building. No liquor is sold in the village, and peace and good order are leading characteristics of its inhabitants.
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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