Rushville Township History
Rushville Township was the home of the earliest pioneer in Schuyler County, and it dates its history from February, 1823. Nor could those early pioneers have found a more suitable location. There was timber in plenty and an abundance of sparkling spring water, and the rich prairie land had natural drainage that allowed the cultivation of the deep black loam soil by the first settlers, who harvested abundant crops with but little labor.
These same lands where the first homeseeker broke the sod are the finest in Schuyler County, and more than eighty years of constant cultivation has not impaired their fertility. But to this limited area of prairie land has been added a valuable area of land that, in those early days, was thickly covered with timber. Where the giant forest stood are now cultivated fields, save along the streams where the marketable timber has been removed and the young growth left standing.
Rushville Township is underlaid almost entirely by an excellent vein of coal. Along the streams the coal seams crop out, and they furnished coal in the early days with but little effort on the part of the miner. Best results, however, are obtained by the shaft mines, and coal is found from forty to fifty feet below the surface. The vein varies in thickness from four to five feet and is of fine quality. Although extensively mined near Rushville and Pleasantview, it can be said that there are yet hundreds of acres of the finest coal lands in Illinois yet undeveloped in Rushville Township, and this great store house of mineral wealth will one day add immensely to the wealth of the property owners.
Inasmuch as the story of the early settlement of Rushville Township is so closely associated with the general history of the county, it would mean but a repetition of other chapters to go into detail. But it can here be said that the location of the county seat on the southwest quarter of Section 30 was a most fortunate one, for with Crooked Creek running through the center of the county as originally formed, it was the natural result that the county would be divided and, after this division, Rushville was almost the geographical center of what became known is Schuyler County.
The only other town in Rushville Township is Pleasantville, located on the south half of Section 36. The town was laid out and platted by Ebenezer Dimmick, who was the first merchant and Postmaster.
Pleasantview is surrounded by a rich agricultural country and, in addition, there are several coal mines in operation there, which add to the wealth and prosperity of the village.
The total population of Rushville Township in l900, including the larger part of the City of Rushville, was 2,893 of which 1,663 was within the city limits.
Excerpted from Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois and History of Schuyler County, 1908, edited by Howard F. Dyson.
Transcribed by Karl A. Petersen for Schuyler County ILGenWeb
Copyright 1999, 2000 Robin L. W. Petersen; all rights reserved. For personal use only. Commercial use of the information contained in these pages is strictly prohibited without prior permission. If copied, this copyright must appear with the information.
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