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Chapter 32 - Chalmers Township

Chalmers township is one of the inland sub-divisions of the county, and is known as township 5 north, range 3 west. It was first organized in 1857 as a full congressional township, and so remained until 1880, when Colchester township was formed, at which time all of sections 5, 6, 7, 8, 17, 18, 19, 30 and 31, and the west half of sections 20, 29 and 32 were taken therefrom, and now compose a part of the newly-organized township. Chalmers is one of the oldest settled townships of the county. It contains more timber land than any other township in the county, which doubtless accounts for its early settlement and subsequent growth. It was first christened Erin, but at the first meeting of the board of supervisors, in May, 1857, it was changed to its present cognomen. A portion of the city of Macomb lies in the northeast corner of this township. By reference to the returns of the assessors, we learn that there are yet 7,760 acres of timber land, a greater number than any other in the county. The fuel question, so far as they are concerned, is settled. There are here many good farms, the most of which are small, there being very few large landholders. This is far better for the general good.


It is believed that Elias McFadden was the first to settle in Chalmers township. In 1828, he located in the north-east part of the township, in company with his son David, and nephew, afterwards his son-in-law, Wylie McFadden. This was on what is now the Hunter farm. A history of this family is given elsewhere, they having made themselves infamous during the early days of the county's existence, by a dastardly murder.

James Edmonston was one of the early settlers of Chalmers. He came in 1829, and located in the south part of the township. He did not remain at that location very long, but removed over the line into Bethel. In a few years he removed again into Chalmers township, locating on section 32, at the edge of what is now Middleton. He afterwards went with his family to Schuyler county, and there resided until his death.

William O'Neal came from North Carolina to this township in 1829, with his family, and located on section 24. He went to Iowa a few years later.

Truman Bowen came to this county in October, 1830, and located on section 3, Chalmers township. He was born in Pennsylvania in 1786, and when yet a young man, removed to Ohio, where he married Nancy Lewis, in 1811. Mr. Bowen died in the March following his arrival in this county. His wife died in 1858.

Among the first settlers of Chalmers was John Massingall. He had a cabin on the northwest quarter of section 33. He did not pay any attention to agriculture, but was known as a great deer hunter. He afterwards died in the county.

James Clarke settled in Chalmers in 1830. He shortly afterward removed to the city of Macomb, where he lived until his death. A sketch of this gentleman appears elsewhere in this volume.

David Troxwell came to the township prior to the summer of 1828, locating on the northwest quarter of section 21. In November 1830, Troxwell left for parts unknown.

William I. Pace, a native of Kentucky, came in 1830, settling the farm now owned by Robert Venard. Five years later he removed to Scotland township, on the farm now owned by A. J. Pace, where he lived until his death, in 1855.

William Edmonston located on the southwest quarter of section 26, in 1829. He came from Indiana, and became widely and favorably known within a short time after coming to the county. He is spoken of in the representatives' chapter, he having represented this county in the general assembly.

John Wilson, who was afterwards murdered, in 1834, by the McFaddens, settled in the northeast part of the township, in 1830.

David Clarke the same year located in this township, but did not remain very long, removing to the city of Macomb.

Willis Wayland, Sr., came to McDonough county in the spring of 1832, and located on section 34. He was born in Orange county, Virginia, in 1795, and was there reared. He removed from there to Carroll county, Kentucky, and from there to this county, as before stated. He was twice married and 13 of his children are living. He died in this township in 1861.

James McClure located on section 33, in the year 1832. He was born and reared in Kentucky, and from that state removed to Morgan county, Illinois, in an early day. From there he removed to this county, choosing a location as aforesaid. He was almost deaf, and is remembered by old settlers for his odd way of approaching and listening to any one speaking to him. He died in this county.

William Champ is one of the old settlers of Chalmers township. He is a native of Kentucky, and was born in October, 1802, in Madison county, where he followed farming. In September, 1834, he came to this county and located in Chalmers township, where he resided until 1857, when he moved to Colchester, his present home. He was married to Frances Maupin, who died February 8, 1884. They had seven children.

Andrew M., his second child, was born in Kentucky, in 1830. In early life he followed farming, but after coming to Colchester, worked at carpentering for some time. He began the study of law in 1867, and has been city attorney of Colchester since 1877. In 1862, he was married to Phoebe Wood, and by this marriage they have five children.

Reuben Alexander was a settler of 1833. He located on section 34, but sold his place the next year to Wesley Wayland, and removed to Lamoine township, where he died.

Wesley Wayland came to the county in 1834, and located on section 34, where he lived until the time of his death, which occurred in 1874. He came from Carroll county, Kentucky.

Israel Camp and family located on section 3, in 1835.

Farman B. Camp lives on section 3, Chalmers township, where he was born November 13, 1836. His parents, Israel and Anna (Barnes) Camp, came here in 1835, from Vermont. They are now both dead. Farman was brought up on the farm, and acquired his education by attending the district school. He was bereaved by the death of his mother, when 11 years old. His father died 10 years later. Mr. Camp has followed farming with the exception of eight years, from 1856 to 1864, during which he operated a saw mill in this township, and two years spent in working at the carpenters' trade. He now owns a portion of the homestead farm, and is engaged in general farming. Mr. Camp has several times visited Kansas and Colorado, once on prospecting tours. He is a republican in politics, and has always been identified with that party, also strongly favors the cause of temperance, having been for the past 20 years a member in good standing of the Good Templars. He was assessor of Chalmers township one year, and has been director of school district number 2, for many years.

Alexander Provine came to McDonough county in the spring of 1835, and located on section 36. He was born in Clark county, Indiana, on the 7th day of November, 1806, and there resided until coming to this county to make his home. He died in Macomb, on the 3d day of May, 1853.

William Allison located on the southwest quarter of section 24, in the spring of 1835. He was born in Washington county, Pennsylvania, in 1775. He was reared in that state. He died December 10, 1857.

John McCormick settled on section 33, in the fall of 1835. He was born in Maryland, in 1789, but was reared in Kentucky, and came from there to this county. He was married in Kentucky to Nancy Cox. They were the parents of seven children. Mr. McCormick died December 18, 1880, and his wife died May 31, 1838.


Under this heading are placed the sketches of those who, while not pioneers, are yet worthy of prominent mention on account of their standing in the township.

William F. Steckel is a native of Lehigh county, Pennsylvania, and was born September 25, 1835. He is a son of Daniel and Elizabeth (Frantz) Steckel, who were of German descent, but natives of the same state. Daniel died August 18, 1871, and his wife March 16, 1879. William was brought up and educated in his native county. In 1859, he went to Tippecanoe county, Indiana, where he taught school until 1861. In that year he enlisted in company B, of the l0th Indiana infantry, in which regiment he served three months. He then re-enlisted in the same regiment as first lieutenant of a detachment of a company, which was afterwards used to fill up another company, so he returned to Indiana, and resumed teaching, which he continued until the spring of 1863. At that date he came to McDonough county, and engaged in teaching in the Oakwood district. He taught there two terms, then in 1864, settled on his present farm, in Chalmers township. In the winter of 1872, he returned to Pennsylvania, where he remained until 1876, then came back to this county, and engaged in the grocery trade at Macomb, continuing the same three years, after which he went in the sewing machine business, in the same place, until the spring of 1880, when he again located on his farm near Salem church. He was married December 17, 1863, to a daughter of John Saffell, of this township. She died September 25, 1872, leaving him two children—Mattie E. and Henry R., deceased. Mr. Steckel was married May 9, 1876, to Emma M. Kachline, a native of Pennsylvania. By this union there is one child—May Iva. Mr. Steckel is one of a numerous and prosperous family in which the medical, the legal and the ministerial professions are equally and fully represented. Personally of a mind that aims not at public praise or position, the community in which he resides, has nevertheless from time to time, manifested its appreciation of him as a worthy citizen, by electing him as president of the Bible society, superintendent of Sunday schools, etc., which positions he now creditably occupies.

Mrs. W. F. Steckel was born in Whitehall, Lehigh county, Pennsylvania, of kind and most estimable parents, Aaron J. Kachline, of German descent, and Clara Tice, English born. The former departed this life November 20, 1872. In early years became a consistent member of the Reformed church, at Egypt, Pennsylvania, under the ministrations of Rev. Dr. Dubbs. At the age of 11, attended school at the Allentown seminary, which was then conducted by Rev. Dr. Kessler. Several years later went to school at Jonestown, Lebanon county, Pennsylvania, Professor I. L. Rupp, principal. The institution is now known as Swatara collegiate institute. At the beginning of the internecine war, was a member of the senior class at Washington female college, Maryland. Returned home and taught school at Ballietville and Hokendauqua. During 1868-69 was principal teacher of the female high school in the city of Allentown. May 9, 1876, she was married and came west, leaving home and friends with the heartfelt conviction that memories of her were fraught only with the pure thoughts of a life of virtue and rectitude.

Robert W. Saffell is a son of John Saffell, who was born in Harper's Ferry, Virginia, in 1811. John Saffell was reared in Washington county, Pennsylvania, and about the year 1837, went to Richland county, Ohio, where he lived 13 years. He then removed to Highland county, of the same state, from whence he came, in October, 1854, to McDonough county, and located on section 22, this township. In 1860, he removed to the place where his son, Robert W., now lives. He was married in Pennsylvania, to Martha Wilson, a native of that state. They had two children. John Saffell died September 8, 1876. Robert W. Saffell, the only surviving son of John Saffell, was born in Richland county, Ohio, February 11, 1837. In 1854, he came to this county, with his parents, and has resided here since that time. He now lives upon the homestead farm, formerly owned by his father, and carries on general farming. He was married July 28, 1863, to Isamile Wolf, a native of Pennsylvania. They are the parents of four children George V., William F., Chas. W. and Minnie M. Mrs. Saffell died February 24, 1885. Mr. Saffell has been for the past two years, supervisor of the township. He has also held the offices of township treasurer and commissioner of highways.

George W. Kruse, a prominent farmer and stock dealer of Chalmers township, is a son of Dirk S. M. Kruse, who was born in Germany, in 1776. In 1835, he emigrated to America, and located in Schuyler county, Illinois, where he remained until his death, which occurred in 1860. George W., the subject of this sketch, is the youngest of seven sons, and was born June 12, 1832. He was reared by a brother in Germany, and in his youth, learned the baker's trade. In 1857, he emigrated to America, and located at Rushville, Illinois, where he continued one year, then came to McDonough county, and settled at Macomb, where he managed a large bakery until February 22, 1867, at which date, the establishment was burned out. In the spring of 1868, he moved to the farm where he is now living, on section 23, Chalmers township. He has 380 acres of land, and is largely engaged in feeding and shipping stock. He has at present, a large number of cattle and hogs on his place. Mr. Kruse was a member of the board of county supervisors, for the term extending from 1880 to 1882, and for six years previous, commissioner of highways. He was married in October, 1859, to Rinne M. Grovewold, a native of Germany, who died November 19, 1867, leaving him four children—Frank H., Emma, Elizabeth, and Herman G. In January, 1869, Mr. Kruse was married to Agnes McCann, a native of Ireland, and by this union, has five children—William, Anna, George H., Peter, and Clara.

William M. Reid is a son of John Reid, a native of Scotland, and was born in New York city, April 9, 1842. He came to this county in 1858, and located at Macomb, and there followed the carpenter's trade until 1860. In the spring of that year, he began farming in the neighborhood, which he continued until August, 1864. At that date he enlisted in the service of his country, and was assigned to company A, of the 8th Tennessee regiment. He served until April, 1865, when he was honorably discharged and returned home, to Macomb, where he lived one year. He then settled where he now lives, on section 15, Chalmers township. He has 100 acres of land, which is well cultivated and valuable. January 20, 1864, Mr. Reid was married to Mary E. Curtis, a native of New York. They have seven children—Charles D., Mary E., Nellie E., Jessie E., William M., Mabel and an infant. Mr. Reid is a member of the G. A. R.

John Reid was born in 1804, and married in his native country, to Mary McKay. They emigrated to America, and located in New York city, from whence they came to Macomb, in the year 1857. He was here employed as a carpenter and builder, until his death, in 1868.

August Plassmann, a native of Germany, was born May 20, 1837. He resided in Germany until he arrived at the age of 18 years, then came to America, and located at New Orleans, Louisiana, where he remained three months. He then went to St. Louis, Missouri, and two months later, to Quincy, Illinois. He worked on a farm in the vicinity of that city, two and a half years, after which, he came to McDonough county, and worked on the farm of Andrew H. Allison, by whom he was employed 18 months. He then rented the farm of Harmon Allison, upon which he lived eight years. In 1865, he settled on his present farm on section 23, Chalmers township, where he now owns 260 acres of land. He ranks among the successful farmers of the township. He has been commissioner of highways three years, and school director six years, and is an esteemed citizen. He was married, October 28, 1857, to Charlotte Rethorst, a native of Germany. They have seven children living—Anna, Emma, Frederick, Maggie, Lou, Lillie, and William. There were two other children—Charles and Henry, both deceased.

Orrin Peck, is a son of Lyman Peck, who came to this county in 1839, and located near Blandinsville. The latter was born in Essex county, New York, February 22, 1806. He was brought up in his native county. In 1835, he settled in Sandusky county, Ohio, where he resided four years, then removed to this county at the time above stated. He remained in Blandinsville township until 1859, then moved to section 21, Chalmers township, where he continued to reside until his death, which occurred in February, 1872. He was married in New York to Cynthia Steele, and by this union had nine children, four of whom are now living. His widow survived until April, 1881. Orrin was born in Ohio, May 5, 1837, and was two years old when be came to this county, where he was reared and received his education. In 1859, he located on the farm where he now lives. Mr. Peck enlisted, December 13, 1861, in company A, of the 64th Illinois infantry, and served until March, 1863, when he was discharged on account of disability, after which he returned home and resumed farming. He has 130 acres of land, well improved. He was married January 15, 1857, to Sarah J. Merritt, a native of Ohio, and by this union has seven children—Artie M., Owen L., Caddy M., Lois, Birdie, Dot and Orrin. In 1880, Mr. Peck discovered upon his farm, the mineral springs, which have since made his place famous. Observing that the water had a beneficial effect upon stock, he determined to have it analyzed. For account of this, see further on.

Willis F. Wayland is a son of Willis Wayland, a native of Orange county, Virginia, born in 1795. He, Willis Sr., removed to Kentucky, where he worked at the cooper's trade until 1832. In that year he became a resident of McDonough county, locating on section 34, Chalmers township. He died in 1861. He was married in Kentucky, to Sydney Haines by whom he had 14 children, nine of whom are now living—Willis F., Joshua, John W., Garrett H., Eliza, Lorinda, Julius, Elizabeth and Eliza J. His wife died in 1849. He was then married to Mrs. Elizabeth Dennett, a widow, and by this union, had four children—Ann M., Rose B., Lucy and Geo. T. Willis F. Wayland, the oldest living child of the pioneer, was born in Kentucky, June 28, 1824, and came with his parents to this county. He was here reared and educated, settling on his present farm in 1848. He was married March 13, 1862, to Emma T. Forsee, a native of Kentucky. They have two children—Frank E. and Eva L.

Henry B. Walker, son of Solomon Walker, was born in Des Moines county, Iowa, February 3, 1855. The following year, Solomon Walker removed to McDonough county, Illinois, and located on section 13, Scotland township where Henry B. was brought up. He attended the district school of this township, thus obtaining a fair education. In 1877, he located on a farm on section 14, Scotland township, and began business for himself. He continued there until the fall of 1881, when he removed to his present farm in Chalmers township. He has 83 acres of desirable land, which is fairly improved, and deals some in cattle in addition to farming. Mr. Walker was married November 23, 1876, to Alla Yeast, a sister of L. Yeast, a prominent citizen of Sciota township. They have four children—Bertha, Glenn, Perry E., and Harry. Mr. Walker was elected a justice of the peace in the spring of 1884, also holds the office of school trustee and highway commissioner of Chalmers township. He is a member of the Christian church.

James Andrews was born in Somersetshire, England, May 20, 1832. He was reared, in his native country, to agricultural pursuits, and there remained until the fall of 1854. At that date he emigrated to America and settled in Scotland township, McDonough county, Illinois. He resided in that township until 1859, when he rented a farm in Chalmers township, to which he removed. Ten years later he located upon his present place, on section 26, Chalmers township, where he owns a good farm of 80 acres. Mr. Andrews was married in July, 1854, to Rosanna Brown, a native of England. They have six children—John T., James A., Mary E., Ann E., Jessie W. and Rhoda B. Mr. Andrews carries on general farming.

William Andrews, son of John M. and Ann (Biddlecome) Andrews, was born in Somersetshire, England, February 2, 1835. He there grew to man's estate, and at the age of 18 years, emigrated to this country. He settled then, (1853) in Scotland township, McDonough county, Illinois, where he resided five years. In 1858 he removed to section 25, Chalmers township, where he made his home till 1879. He then moved to section 26, of the same township where he at present resides. He has a desirable farm comprising 280 acres, and is engaged in general farming.

Hugh McClure is a son of Samuel L. McClure, who came to McDonough county in 1844, and rented a farm in Industry township. The following year he settled where his son now lives. Samuel L. McClure was born in Cumberland county, Kentucky, June 23, 1811. He came to Morgan county, Illinois, in 1835, there remaining until the date at which he came here. He was married July 9, 1835, to Elizabeth Taylor, a native of Christian county, Kentucky. They reared six children—James T., Edward, Nancy J., Hugh, Lorenzo D. and Elianor P. Mr. McClure died January 26, 1877. Hugh McClure, the subject of this sketch, was born in the house where he now lives, November 3, 1846, and was reared and educated here. In 1864 he enlisted in company I, of the 78th Illinois infantry, and served under General Sherman in the 14th army corps, until the close of the war. He was discharged in July 1865, at Chicago. He then returned home and resumed farming. In 1867 he went to Nebraska, thence to Kansas, being absent from this county two years. He owns the homestead farm of 70 acres. He is a member of the G. A. R.

W. S. McClelland, came to McDonough county, in September 1856, from Canfield, Mahoning county, Ohio, where he was born, June 20, 1831, his parents being, Robert L., and Rebecca (Stewart) McClelland. He was brought up on a farm and obtained a limited education. At the age of 18 years, he was bereaved by the death of his father, July 3, 1849. He remained with his mother on the old homestead until 21 years old. He then worked out, two years at farming. He was then married to Betsey Blair, a native of Ohio, born in Huron county. Their marriage took place in Trumbull county, Ohio, November 14, 1854. He settled then upon the homestead farm, where he remained until the date of his coming here. He first settled on what was then the county farm, under contract to keep paupers, should there be any. During his residence on the place, he kept a number, and the first one, of the county. He remained there six years, then moved to section 18, Scotland township, where he purchased a farm of 75 acres, also 20 acres of timber in Chalmers township. Six years later he sold this place to John M. Kelly, and removed to section 12, Chalmers township, where he purchased 126 acres, on which he now lives. He is engaged in general farming, feeding all of his corn to stock. Mr. and Mrs. McClelland have had seven children, six of whom are now living, Charlie H., married to Anna Reden, and living in Fairfield, Iowa; Nellie G., living at home, engaged in teaching school; Ada M., at home; Harry B., who died October 12, 1872, aged eight years and seven months; Carrie R., William G., and George H., living at home. Mr. and Mrs. McClelland are members of the Christian church at Macomb. He served as commissioner of highways, in Scotland township and has been school director a number of terms. Politically, he affiliates with the republican party.

Ladson Mills, the subject of this sketch, was born January 9, 1820, in Rutherford county, North Carolina. He received a common school education and remained at home until he had reached the age of 21. He was married December 8, 1843, to Sarah M. Hill, who was a native of North Carolina. This union was blessed with 11 children, of whom seven are still living. John A., Melissa, James E., Charles W., Anna, Mary, Seth, Sarah, Kate, Thomas and Etta. Mr. Mills came to Illinois in 1850, and for seven years farmed for a share of the crops, and in 1857, purchased 80 acres of land, to which he has added from time to time, until he now owns 200 acres of fine prairie land. Mr. Mills is a republican in politics, and is always ready to pull off his coat and do valiant work for the party of his choice. He is a prominent figure in the affairs of Bethel township.

Robert J., son of Ladson Mills, was married March 22, 1871, to Marcella Hammer, who is a native of Kentucky. They have five children—Lula V., Melvin A., William N., Frank L., and Ethel Blanche. Robert, like his father is a republican.

Robert Hunter, a son of William and Elizabeth (Harvey) Hunter, resides on section 1, Chalmers township, where he was born July 7, 1855. He was here brought up on a farm, living at home with his parents, and attending school as opportunity afforded. His father moved to town in the spring of 1878, since which time, Robert has been managing the farm. The farm consists of 160 acres on the home place, and 120 acres detached, in Scotland township. Mr. Hunter was married February 28, 1878, to Ella Chamberlain, a native of Morgan county, Illinois. Two children have been born to them—Harvey Palmer, and James Roy. Mr. Hunter carries on general farming, and is enterprising and successful. He is politically a republican.


It is learned from an examination of the last annual report of the county superintendent, for the school year ending June 30, 1884, that the district township of Chalmers has 658 children of school age, 575 of whom are enrolled in the 10 sub-districts of the township, which have an average of 7 and 19-20 months of school per year. There is one brick and nine frame school houses in the township, which have an estimated value of property amounting to $4,600. The highest monthly wages paid any male teacher is $40, and the lowest $40, while the highest salary paid lady teachers is $35 per month and the lowest $20 per month. The amount of tax levy for the support of schools is $1,844.93. Chalmers is free from any educational indebtedness. In the township are 12 districts, four of which are union with other townships. As regards educational matters, Chalmers occupies the same territory as it did previous to the time Colchester township was created. Although separate townships, Chalmers and that part of Colchester taken from the original territory to form the latter township, are recognized one and the same with reference to educational matters.

The school building in district No. 1, is located on the southeast quarter of section 1.

In district No. 2, the school house is situated on the northwest quarter of section 3.

District No. 3, has a school building on the northwest quarter of section 8, and is in what is now known as Colchester township.

District No. 4. —The school building was erected in 1867, on section 17; it is brick, 20x30, and cost $900. Previous to the building of this house, school was held in an old log house, which was built about 1847. The school house in this district is also in what is now known as Colchester township.

The school house in district No. 5 is situated on the northwest corner of section 22.

The school house stands on the northeast corner of the northwest quarter of section 14, in district No. 6. It was erected in 1857, at a cost of $600. John Saffell, Eugene Pierce and Robert Hunter were the first directors. The present directors are George W. Reid, Robert McCutchen, and Michael McGan.

In district No.7 the school building is located on section 25. It is a good frame structure, and was completed at a cost of about $500.

District No. 8. —This school is known as the "Long Nine School." The building is located on section 33. It is a good, frame house, and formerly stood in Middletown, and used as a business house. It was purchased by the district in 1866, for $600, and moved to its present site. The district was organized April 2, 1866.

Union district, No. 1, has a school house located in Bethel township, on section 1.

The building in union district, No.2, is located in the town of Colchester.

The school house in union district, No. 8, is located on section 19, in what is now Colchester township.

In union district, No. 12, the school house is situated in Middletown.


The Wilson saw mill was built by J. O. C. Wilson and Devine Anderson, on section 14, about the year 1840, who operated it until about 1856, when it was destroyed by fire. Another mill was erected on the site of the old one by Wilson, Thornburg & Ferguson. It was afterward owned by Wilson & Thornburg, then by Wilson, then Eugene Pierce, then John Saffell & Son, then Thomas Cornelius, then John McCoy, and lastly, by Samuel Fox, who afterward disposed of the machinery. The building was then torn down, and part of the timbers entered into the construction of the barn on the place of Robert McCutcheon.


On the southwest quarter of the southeast quarter of section 21, is a mineral spring which is destined to make its proprietor widely known, as well as to be a never failing source of revenue to him. It was discovered by Mr. Orrin Peck, the owner of the property, in 1880. At that time he did not know of its valuable properties, and probably would never have suspected them had he not noticed the beneficial effects of the drinking of the spring water on his stock. This fact led him, in 1883, to have the water analyzed. Accordingly, Professor Long, M. D., professor of chemistry, pharmacy and toxicology in the Chicago medical college, was employed to make the analysis, which he did on October 16, 1883. As a result, it was found to contain ingredients in the following amounts, per U. S. gallon of the water: Chlorate of sodium, .623 grains; sulphate of sodium, 1.045; sulphate of potassium, 1.092; sulphate of calcium, 39.181; bi-carbonate of magnesium, 20.756; bi-carbonate of calcium, 15.683; bi-carbonate of iron, 2.877; silica, 1.389; alumina, large trace; organic matter, small amount. At the spring he has a commodious pleasure house, built in 1883, which is 16x30 feet in ground area. Another smaller building is situated just below the spring, receiving water from it through pipes. This water is guaranteed to cure Bright's disease in all stages, liver troubles, palpation of the heart, neuralgia, rheumatism and every curable ailment. Mr. Peck feels confident that a trial of the water of his spring will convince any skeptic of their medicinal value. He sells it in quantities to suit purchasers.


Chalmers was organized as a full congressional township in 1857, but in 1880, some of its western territory was cut off and is part of the present township of Colchester. The first township election was held April 7, 1857, at which time J. C. Simmons and Gholson Lane, were elected justices of the peace, and Charles Dickerson, Jr., and Michael Strader, Jr., were elected constables. Isaac McCown was chosen to represent the township on the board of supervisors. The present officers of the township are as follows: Supervisor, Robert Mitchell; clerk, John W. Wayland; assessor, B. K. Frisbie; collector, Henry D. Hoyt; highway commissioner, H. B. Walker; justices of the peace, James Cochrane and James Hays, constables, Jesse D. Bowen and J. A. Black.


The first marriage was John W. Westfall and Icemenda Neece. They were united by James Clarke, a justice of the peace, December 15, 1834.

The first birth was Martin, son of Robert Phelps, during the year 1830.

The first death was Truman Bowen, who died in 1830, at the residence of David McFadden on the farm now owned by William Hunter, near the city of Macomb. He was buried in the old grave yard near Macomb, and was the second person interred therein.

The first sermon was preached by Rev. John Barker, about the year 1830, at house of Daniel Troxwell, on the south side of the township, near Troublesome creek.

The pioneer school was taught by William Shelton, on section 20, about the year 1833.

The first justice of the peace was Jesse Neece, and Isaac McCown was the first supervisor.

Source: The History of McDonough County, together with sketches of the towns, villages and townships, educational, civil, military and political history; portraits of prominent individuals, and biographies of the representative citizens, 1885, pages 809-820. Transcribed by Karl A. Petersen

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