Chapter 31 - Eldorado Township
This township lies at the extreme southwest corner of the county, and is known as township 4 north, range 1 west. It was first settled in 1830. It is bounded upon the north by New Salem township, on the east by Fulton county, on the south by Schuyler county and on the west by Industry township. About one-fifth of the township is timber land, the balance being a beautiful prairie. The timber land all lies in the southern part, with the exception of about 500 acres in the northeast part, comprising all of section 1, and part of section 2. Divided up, we have 21,292 acres of improved land; 1,490 acres of unimproved. In the southeastern part of the township, coal is found in great quantities, and of a good quality. Several small streams run through the township, furnishing living water for stock in all seasons of the year. Sugar creek and its branches are the principal water courses. As showing the value of the township for all purposes, we compile the following facts and figures of its products, for the year 1875, together with the number of head and value of all kinds of stock: There were 21,293 acres of improved land, of which number 7,634 acres were in corn, 1,457 in wheat, 1,467 in oats, and 656 in other products. There were also 2,270 head of cattle—value, $47,574; hogs, 4,192—value, $22,982; horses, 747—value, $31,200. There are no towns in the township, and her people can truly be said to be agricultural in their tastes and habits. In churches and schools, the township is behind none. On the southwest corner of section 15, is a good town hall, known as the Eldorado hall, mention of which is made further on in this chapter. Eldorado, politically, may be classed as democratic.
Records of early settlement and pioneer times in Eldorado township, are interesting, and they are not without their instruction. By the light of the past, we follow in the footprints of the adventurous and enterprising pioneer. We see him, as it were, amid the labors and struggles necessary to convert the wilderness into a fruitful field. We sit by his cabin fire, partaking of his homely and cheerfully-granted fare, and listen to the accounts which he is only too pleased to give as of pioneer life, and of the dangers, trials, hardships and sufferings of himself and others, in their efforts to make for themselves homes in regions remote from civilization. Through these pioneer records we make our way along to the present. From small beginnings, we come to the mighty achievements attained from industry, the complex results of daring enterprise, subduing and creative energy and untiring perseverance. Following on in the path of progress and improvement, we see once waste places rejoicing under the kindly care of the husbandman; beautiful farms, with all the fixtures and appurtenances necessary to make the tillers of the soil and their families contented and happy, are spread out before us; villages are built up as if by magic, and by hundreds, human souls are congregated within their precincts; the marts of trade and traffic, and the workshops of the artizans are thronged; common schools, union schools and high schools have sprung up; young and ardent minds—children of the rich and poor—may press forward in the acquisition of science, literature and art; churches are built with their spires pointing heavenward, and a Christian minister is sustained for the inculcation of religious sentiments and the promotion of piety, virtue and moral goodness; the press is established, from whence floods of light may emanate for the instruction and benefit of all; railroads are built to bring the products of every clime, and the people from afar, to our doors; and the telegraph "upon the lightning's wing" carries messages far and near. Let the records of the pioneers be preserved in after years, our children and our children's children will look over them with pleasure and profit.
Anson Mathews settled at what was afterwards called Foster's Point, and erected a cabin in 1827 or 1828. He was a practical tinner by trade. Shortly after his settling here he sold out to Foster. He is believed to have been the first to settle in this township, but of this there it much doubt in the minds of old settlers, the committee, giving it as their opinion that the question as to who was the first, could not be certain at this late day.
William Moore, a Georgian, made a settlement north of where the Hushaw farm now is, in 1828. The following year, he became demented, and was taken by his wife, back to the place from which they came.
George Dowell settled in this township late in 1829, or early in 1830, and put up a cabin. He did not remain long, but left the place.
Joshua David came to the township early in 1830, and as he was pleased with the location, he was soon followed by his father, who brought his family.
In the summer of 1830, Abraham David and family settled in Eldorado. He was a native of Hardin county, Kentucky, while his wife was born in Tennessee. They first settled near the town of Industry, but removed the same summer to this township. Mr. David died here in 1863, and was well and favorably known throughout McDonough county. Mrs. David died in 1878.
Arthur J. Foster and family came to Eldorado township in 1831, and located on section 2. Here he resided until the time of his death, in 1843.
James Horris settled in Eldorado township, on section 1, northeast quarter, at an early day. He came from New York.
John Hushaw came to McDonough county in April, 1832, and located in Eldorado township. He came from Fountain county, Indiana, He was married to Tamer Comer.
Daniel Sandidge came to this township in the fall of 1833, from Industry township. He resided here until 1850, when he went to Schuyler county, where he died in 1882.
Daniel Sandidge, deceased, was a native of Virginia, born February 23, 1804, and a son of John Sandidge. Daniel Sandidge was married in 1826, to Permelia Tate, a daughter, of William and Elizabeth Tate, of Casey county, Kentucky. In the spring of 1832, Mr. Sandidge moved to McDonough county, Illinois, and settled in Industry township, where he remained one and a half years, then removed to Eldorado township, which was his residence until 1850. In that year he removed to Schuyler county, where he lived until his death, August 8, 1882. He was twice married, his first wife dying in February, 1845. In August of the same year he was again married to Cynthia Phillips, daughter of Samuel Phillips. By his first marriage he had 11 children—Lucy Jane, wife of Isom David, of Eldorado; William, in Montana; John, in Vermont, Illinois; Mary, widow of Jonah Lindsay, of Walnut Grove; Harriet, wife of L. Gorsuch, of Schuyler county; Eugenie, wife of Albert Pittenger, of Walnut Grove; Permelia, who died in 1845; Virginia, wife of Nathan Lindsay; Daniel, of Brown county; Charles Clayton and Larkin, living in Montana. He had by his second marriage, two children—Ellen, wife of M. McCarty, of Shelby county, Missouri, and Samuel, who died when quite young.
John Sandidge, son of Daniel Sandidge was born in Lincoln county, Kentucky, August 12, 1829, and came with his father to this county in the spring of 1832, and continued to reside with him in Industry and Eldorado townships until March, 1850. He then went to California and remained there until September 1873, engaged in mining and stock raising. During that time, however, he returned to the east, and was married November 19, 1871, to Emma N. Stockton, daughter of Daniel and Sarah Stockton, the former a native of Kentucky, and the latter, of Pennsylvania. Mr. Sandidge returned soon after his marriage, to California, where he had a large amount of property, including a gold mine, he having been very successful in business while there. He disposed of his gold mine in 1873, and in 1875, sold his other interests in that state, and came to Illinois and purchased 400 acres of land in Oakland township, Schuyler county, where he lived till November, 1884. At that date he moved to the town of Vermont, Fulton county, Illinois; where he at present resides. He now owns 603 acres of improved land. He has upon his home farm, a handsome and commodious dwelling house, a fine barn and splendid accommodations for stock. He owns also, three acres of ground and a residence in Vermont, Mr. and Mrs. Sandidge have two children—John F. and Ida L.
Isaac Powers and family came in 1833, and took up land on sections 1 and 12, Eldorado township. He had got improvements well under way, when, on the 10th of February, 1836, he was killed by a runaway team.
Daniel Stockton located on section 30, Eldorado township, in the fall of 1834. There he resided until the time of his death, January 29, 1883.
Robert Comer located in Eldorado township in 1836, on section 18.
Wm. R. Pennington came to the county in April, 1836, and located in Industry township. He afterwards removed to Eldorado township, where he now resides on the southeast quarter of section 18.
William R. Pennington is a son of Joel and Elizabeth (Smith) Pennington, and was born in Franklin county, Illinois, March 16, 1824. When two years of age, he removed with his parents to Schuyler county, Illinois, where they remained 10 years, then, in 1836, came to McDonough county, and settled in Industry township. In 1858, William R. was married to Sarah Ann Conner, and removed to section 18, Eldorado township, where he has since resided. He owns a well cultivated farm of 334 acres, with good and substantial improvements. Mr. and Mrs. Pennington are the parents of 10 children—Elnora, wife of Henry Snowdon, of Eldorado township; J. M., living at home; Letitia, wife of Ross Miller, of Industry township; Roswell, Edgar R., Elliott, Angeline, Charlie, Edith and Archie, living at home with their father. Mr. Pennington has held the offices of constable and justice of the peace. He has also acted as school director for a number of years. He is politically a democrat, and one of the influential citizens of Eldorado township, and the county. Mrs. Sarah Ann Pennington, wife of William R. Pennington, died December 25, 1879.
Joel Pennington was born in Kentucky in 1803, and died in May, 1865. He settled in Schuyler county, Illinois, in 1826, there being then only 12 white families in the county. He served there as sheriff for seven years previous to 1836. He was also sheriff of McDonough county before its organization. He removed to this county in 1836, where he was also a prominent and honored citizen. He here acted as justice of the peace, and county commissioner for a number of years. He was one of the leading men of this portion of the county. In politics he was sensible, sincere, but not radical. He was often solicited to be a candidate for office, but declined with the exception of the instances above mentioned. His wife, Elizabeth, died in the spring of 1861.
Some of those mentioned below are comparatively early settlers, though not, strictly speaking, pioneers; the others are enterprising people, justly worthy of note in this connection.
John N. Foster, a farmer of Eldorado township, is a son of Arthur J. and Sarah Foster, natives of South Carolina. He was born February 8, 1829, in the state of Indiana. In 1881 he removed with his parents to McDonough county, Illinois, and located on section 2, Eldorado township, where his father died in 1843. John N. Foster was married in 1852 to Frances J. McClintock, of Ohio. They have three children living—Sanford Karr, born in 1854; Lois, born in 1858, now the wife of Jacob Barley, of Macomb; and Willie M., born May 1, 1869. One daughter, Josephine, died when quite young. Mr. and Mrs. Foster are members of the Cumberland Presbyterian church. He has held the offices of supervisor and assessor, the former for two years, the latter for three. He owns a fine farm of 240 acres of farming land, and 27 acres of timber. His residence is a commodious structure, erected at a cost of $3,000, and his barn and other farm buildings are of equally good construction. He is a republican, politically.
William Cox is a son of Thomas Cox, who was born in Chester county, Pennsylvania, in 1801, and emigrated to Illinois in 1853. In 1856 Thomas Cox came to this county, and located on section 11, Eldorado township, where William Cox now resides. The latter was born in Ohio, October 8, 1848. His mother was formerly Emma Johnson. His childhood and youth were spent in his native county, and he was there married, September 30, 1874, to Ritta Beal, daughter of David Beal, of Vermont, Fulton county, Illinois. By this union there are three children—Bertha, born September 19, 1875; Mabel, born March 26, 1877; and Clifford, born February 15, 1879. Mr. Cox has a good farm, containing 140 acres. He is a democrat in politics, and a member of the I. O. O. F. Mr. and Mrs. Cox are members of the Cumberland Presbyterian church.
Henry S. Leighty, son of Henry and Sarah (Smith) Leighty, was born in Fayette county, Pennsylvania, July 8, 1825. He came to McDonough county, in the fall of 1848, and located on section 15, Eldorado township. In 1849, he was married to Margaret McFadden, who afterwards died. In 1852, Mr. Leighty crossed the plains to California, and remained in that country two years, engaged in mining, then returned to Eldorado township. In 1854, he was again married to Eliza A. Keach, daughter of E. D. and Anna Keach, of Ohio. By this union there are eight children—M. D., married, of Eldorado township; Elwood, not married; Emma G., wife of Wade Campbell; Everett K., married, and living is this township; S. Anna, Henry U., Viola and James F. Mr. Leighty owns 760 acres of land, and is an enterprising and successful farmer. He has a handsome and commodious residence, one of the best in the township, which was erected at a cost of $4,000. He is a republican, (formerly a whig) in politics, and has held the office of assessor, two years. Mrs. Leighty is a member of the Cumberland Presbyterian church. Mr. Leighty is one of the leading citizens of Eldorado, and highly respected by all.
Samuel M. McFadden, of Eldorado township, was born in Fayette county, Pennsylvania, June 25, 1824, and is a son of Joseph and Rachel (Newell) McFadden. In 1849, he located in Adams county, Illinois, where he remained six months, then came to McDonough county, and settled upon his present farm, on section 16, where he owns 260 acres of land in a high state of cultivation, and splendid improvements. He was married in 1847, to Elizabeth Golley, daughter of Peter Golley, of Pennsylvania. She died at a later date, leaving him three children—Mary Ellen, wife of Frank Wylie, of Adams county; Joseph C. and Nancy, who is now married. Mr. McFadden was again married to Louisa Reve, and by this union, had two children—Livingston and Elizabeth, who died when quite young. Mr. McFadden served six months in the army, during the war of the Rebellion, being a member of company F, of the 84th Illinois infantry. He is politically, a republican, and has been school director and constable of this township, and is one of the prominent and leading citizens.
William B. Moran resides upon section 3, Eldorado township, where he settled in 1853. He came to Illinois in November, 1836, and settled, then, in Fulton county, where he remained until he removed to his present home. He was born near Baltimore, Maryland, in the year 1826, and is a son of Thomas and Sarah J. Moran, natives of the same state. William B., was married in January, 1852, to Sarah J. Turner, daughter of Horace and Jane Turner, who died, leaving him one child—Sarah Jane, now the wife of James M. Arnold, of Adair, Illinois. November 6, 1856, Mr. Moran was married to Mary J. Turner, daughter of Samuel and Sallie Turner, of Fulton county, Illinois. By this union he has five children—Sarah Julia, wife of William Leighty, of New Salem township; Mary E., wife of Thomas G. Moran, of Adair, Illinois; Susie, Elizabeth and Samuel T., living with their parents. Mr. Moran has a fine farm of 160 acres, well cultivated, a nice residence costing $4,000, a spacious and convenient barn, and other farm buildings of a good description. He is engaged in general farming and is a thorough-going and successful agriculturist.
Joseph Conner was born in Eldorado township in the year 1839. His parents, Robert and Nancy (Wilson) Conner, were natives of Ohio, but came to McDonough county from Indiana, in 1836. They settled on section 18, Eldorado township. Joseph Conner grew to manhood and received his education in this township. He was married in 1872 to Frances Craig, daughter of Richard Craig, of Kentucky. They are the parents of five children—Gilbert R., Mary E., Rettie M., George W. and Charles E. Mr. Conner is the owner of a large farm, comprising 257 acres of desirable land. His improvements are of a good class, and substantial and comfortable. He is a thrifty and well-to-do farmer, having accumulated his property without assistance from any one. He is a democrat, politically; and a member of the Masonic fraternity, Industry lodge, No. 328. Mr. and Mrs. Conner are members of the Cumberland Presbyterian church.
Jonas Hushaw, a native of Ohio, was born in Ross county, of that state, in the year 1814. He remained in Ohio until 13 years of age. In 1839, he came to McDonough county and located in Eldorado township, where he has ever since resided. He has a good farm upon section 16, containing 150 acres, and is engaged in general farming. He was married October 29, 1839, to Matilda Jane David, daughter of Abraham David, of Hardin county, Kentucky. Mr. Hushaw is one of the earliest settlers of this portion of McDonough county. The first election at which he voted in this county, was at Industry, when there were but five votes cast for four townships. He took part in the Mormon war, and participated in the capture of Nauvoo, and witnessed the shooting of Joe Smith. Mrs. Hushaw was born in Kentucky, in the year 1824. They have no children of their own, but have one adopted daughter—Mary Jane, wife of David C. Harris. She now resides with Mr. and Mrs. Hushaw. Mr. and Mrs. Harris have one daughter—Elizabeth Jane, married to Shelton David.
John H. Leighty has been a resident of Eldorado township since the fall of 1848, when he settled on section 16. He is a native of Coshocton county, Ohio, born in 1836, and a son of Daniel and Mary G. (Hamilton) Leighty, the latter, a daughter of John Hamilton, a native of Ireland. The subject of this sketch was married April 18, 1877, to Rebecca T. Campbell, daughter of Rev. William S. Campbell, from Tennessee. In the fall of 1862, Mr. Leighty, enlisted in company B, of the 84th Illinois infantry, and served three years as color-bearer. He participated in the engagements at Murfreesboro, Ringgold, Dalton, Resaca, Kenesaw Mountain, Nashville, Franklin and Atlanta. He was a brave and fearless soldier and did gallant service, until the close of the war. He is a republican, politically, and has been elected constable, but declined to serve. He has a good farm of 193 acres with excellent improvements and carries on general farming.
J. B. Standard came to McDonough county, in 1836, and settled then, on section 24, Industry township, where he resided until 1851. He then moved to section 19, which has since been his residence. He was born in Kentucky, June 23, 1824, and is a son of Gideon and Sina (Wyatt) Standard. He came to Illinois when a boy of eight years, and lived in Morgan county until he came here. Mr. Standard is one of the most extensive land owners, and one of the wealthiest farmers of McDonough county. He has 1,050 acres of land, all in a high state of cultivation, except 188 acres of timber. His improvements are among the finest in the county, his residence, barn, and other buildings being commodious and substantial. He keeps a large number of cattle, horses, and other stock, and carries on farming on an extensive scale. He began life poor, and his success is an example of what may be accomplished by industry, perseverance, and good management. Mr. Standard was married in 1849, to Jane Allison, daughter of John Allison, of Pennsylvania. By this union there are seven children—Mary, wife of Jerome Jones, of Scotland township; Margaret, wife of Thomas Jones, of Clay county, Nebraska; Julia, wife of E. F. Wheeler, of Kansas City; Malinda, wife of George W. Russell, of Bethel township; Gideon, living in Industry township; John, also in Industry; and George, living at home. Mrs. Standard died September 25, 1876, and was buried in the Vance cemetery, near Industry. In September, 1880, Mr. Standard was married to Mrs. Martha Duncan, widow of Dr. Duncan, and daughter of Morris Merrick By his second marriage, Mr. Standard has one child—Fannie.
Thomas Lawyer, a prominent citizen of Eldorado township, was born in Fayette county, Ohio, December 7, 1826, and is a son of John and Massie (Cooper) Lawyer, the former a native of Virginia, and the latter, of Ohio. In the fall of 1837, Thomas came with his parents to Industry township, McDonough county, Illinois. They resided two years in Industry, then removed to the southwest quarter of section 30, Eldorado township. Thomas remained at home until 1852. He was married January 15, of that year, to Catherine Connor, of Eldorado township. By this union there are seven living children—John R., living in Seward county, Nebraska; F. P., now in New York city, where he is fitting himself for the ministry of the Cumberland Presbyterian church, having previously been ordained; James N., a farmer of Eldorado township; Joseph F., who has been attending commercial college, at Burlington, Iowa, but now at home; Mary P., wife of William Moore, of Eldorado township; Emma and Charles, living at home. Annie E. died in 1863, aged seven months. Mr. Lawyer owns a most desirable and well-improved farm, containing 146 acres. He is quite extensively engaged in stock raising. He is a democrat politically, and has been a member of the board of county supervisors. He has also served as road commissioner of this township, for nine years; has been school director 15 years, and school trustee 12 years.
P. M. Leftridge was born in the state of Indiana, in June, 1844, and is a son of Henry and Rachel (Swink) Leftridge. Henry Leftridge removed with his family to Illinois in 1857, and settled at that time in Eldorado township, where he remained five or six years. He then moved to Lincoln county, Missouri, and engaged in farming there one year, thence to Macon county, Missouri, and three years later, to Lawrence county, of the same state, where they lived 18 months, then moved to Monroe county, Missouri, thence, three years later, to Schuyler county, Illinois, where they resided nine years. They removed from Schuyler to McDonough county, and located on section 7, Eldorado township. October 8, 1868, the subject of this sketch was married to Sarah Jane Brunner, daughter of David Brunner, of Eldorado township, and by this union has three children—Rhoda, Maria, and Fannie. Mr. Leftridge is the owner of a good farm of 80 acres, with substantial and comfortable improvements. He is engaged in general farming, but is preparing to go into the fine stock business. Mr. and Mrs. Leftridge are members of the West Prairie Cumberland Presbyterian church. He is a republican, and has served as road commissioner. He is a man of much intelligence, and a genial and pleasant gentleman.
Henry Mershon, a worthy and influential citizen of Eldorado township, now deceased, was born in Chester county, Pennsylvania, in the year 1817. He was a son of Henry and Ruth (Dilbert) Mershon, and was reared a Quaker. He came to Illinois in the fall of 1848, and settled in Vermont. In 1842 he was married to Izella C. Thomas, a native of Gloucester county, now Jersey, and a daughter of James and Amelia Thomas. Mr. and Mrs. Mershon had six children born to them—James T., Henry A., living in Stafford, Kansas; Louisa A, Fannie V., Benjamin G. and Mary A. Mr. Mershon died October 25, 1870, and was laid to rest in Vermont cemetery. He left a large estate to be divided among his children and heirs, including 760 acres of land, together with two houses; one valued at $3,000, upon the homestead farm in Eldorado, and the other in Vermont, valued at $5,000; property in Macomb, consisting of a house and two lots; and two store buildings, one valued at $4,500, and a warehouse, in Vermont. Mr. Mershon's sons, James and Benjamin, reside upon the farm with their mother, and are leading farmers of Eldorado township. They deal largely in stock, feeding and shipping several car-loads of cattle annually. They also keep about forty head of horses. They are shrewd business men, and are constantly adding to their already large estate.
Elisha Keach, son of E. D. and Ann (Brewer) Keach, was born April 4, 1835, in Ohio. His parents were also natives of that state. He remained with his parents, removing with them to Coles county, Illinois, in 1839, and to Fulton county in 1845. He came from thence to McDonough county in 1853, and settled on section 22, Eldorado township, but now resides on section 6, same township. He has 160 acres of land, which is well cultivated and finely improved. His residence is large and handsome, and was erected at a cost of $3,000. He makes a business of handling stock, feeding three or four car-loads of cattle annually. Mr. Keach was married in February, 1862, to Elizabeth Miles, of Eldorado township, and daughter of Martin and Elizabeth Miles. They have nine children—L. M., Ira M., Lizzie May, Ulman R., Rosa Bell, Amanda Jane, Howard Wells, Sarah Daisy and Hardin H. Mr. Keach is at present, road commissioner of this town ship. He is a member of the Cumberland Presbyterian church; also of the Masonic fraternity. He is a strong temperance man, and favors the cause of prohibition.
Henry Hushaw settled, with his parents, in Eldorado township, in April, 1838. He was born in Fountain county, Indiana, September 27, 1828, and was a son of John and Tamar (Conner) Hushaw. He grew to manhood in this township, and was married May 3, 1860, to Emily J. Little, of Fulton county. Six children have been born to them—Mary A., Charles R., Athie E., Samuel P., Addie and J. Evert. Mr. Hushaw has a fine farm of 240 acres, with good improvements, and carries on general farming. He is democratic in politics, and has held the office of commissioner of highways and school director. He is a member of the Cumberland Presbyterian church, and his wife, of the Christian church. He is an advocate of temperance, and a popular and esteemed citizen.
Samuel Kee, a well-known citizen of Eldorado township, is a son of William and Mary (Fisher) Kee, the former a native of Maryland, and the latter, of Brownsville, Pennsylvania. In October, 1853, William Kee removed with his family to Vermont, Fulton county, Illinois, and the following March came to Eldorado township, and settled on section 30. Three years later he moved to section 17 of the same township, where he died July 10, 1882. He was born January 5, 1806. His widow is still living upon the farm in Eldorado township. Samuel Kee was born March 7, 1847, and resided with his parents until his marriage, March 28, 1876, to Edith E. Marshall, daughter of John S. and Harriet (Craft) Marshall, of Vermont, Fulton county, Illinois. John S. Marshall was born in Ohio, and his wife in Kentucky. They came to this state in 1834. Mr. Kee owns 160 acres of land, with good improvements, and is an enterprising farmer. He is a democrat, politically, and at present serving as school director of his district. Mr. Kee is a member of the Presbyterian church.
James M. Little, son of Patrick S. and Mary A. (Riley) Little, is a native of Fulton county, Illinois, born March 2, 1842. He came with his parents to this county in 1851, and settled upon section 16, Eldorado township. In 1863, he was married to E. E. Royal, daughter of Rev. Joseph B. Royal, of Vermont, and by this union has five children living—Henry M., Frank P., Joseph B., Myrtie May and Royal E. One son, Irwin, died December 28, 1879. Mr. Little owns a farm of 100 acres, with 80 acres improved, and 20 acres of timber. He is a republican, politically. For the past 15 years, he has been township clerk, and has served, also, as collector five years, and as assessor, one year. His father, Patrick Little, died in 1869, at the age of 58 years. His mother is still living with her son, the subject of this sketch.
Charles Dennis, a prosperous farmer of Eldorado township, was born in Schuyler county, Illinois, in the year 1844. He is a son of Isaiah and Esther Dennis. Isaiah Dennis was from Ohio, and his wife, from Kentucky. In 1851, they settled in this county on section 26, Eldorado township. Charles made his home with his parents until his marriage in 1871, to Anna Snowden, daughter of John Snowden, of Eldorado township. In 1861, both Charles and his father enlisted in the service of their country, in the 28th Illinois infantry, and each served three years in that regiment, and Charles one more year in the 141st regiment. Isaiah Dennis held a commission as first lieutenant of company H, and participated in engagements at Shiloh, where he was wounded, Corinth, Vicksburg and Hatch's Run. Charles took part in the engagements at Shiloh, Corinth, Vicksburg, and Jackson, where he was wounded in the left foot, July 12, 1863. He returned from the army to his home in this township. His father now lives in Rocky Ford, Colorado. Charles Dennis has a farm of 320 acres, with fine improvements, and is engaged in general farming. Mr. and Mrs. Dennis have four children—Sadie, Lillie, Addie and Pearl. Mr. Dennis is a member of the G. A. R., an enterprising farmer, and a popular and esteemed citizen.
Mason Miller, a worthy citizen of Eldorado township, is a son of Richard and Ann (Barrett) Miller, natives of Ohio. Mason Miller was born December 7, 1842. In 1865, he came to Illinois and located on section 34, Eldorado township, McDonough county, where he has continued to reside until the present time. He has a good farm, containing 100 acres, with comfortable improvements. August 22, 1862, Mr. Miller enlisted in the 122d Ohio volunteer infantry, and served 14 months. He was wounded at Winchester, Virginia, June 14, 1863, in consequence of which he was discharged from the service. Mr. Miller was married May 26, 1867, to Sarah Ann Miller, daughter of Stephen Miller, of Fulton county, Illinois, they have four children—Marion, Elmore, Lucy and Catherine. Mr. Miller is engaged in general farming, and is a gentleman of much enterprise and intelligence. He is a republican, and a member of the G. A. R.
George Schisler, settled upon the place where he now resides, section 34, Eldorado township, in 1868. He owns 160 acres of land, with 120 under cultivation. His farm is a good and desirable one. Mr. Schisler was born in York county, Pennsylvania, June 24, 1832, and is a son of John and Lydia (Shinburger) Schisler. He came to this state in 1853, and has been a resident of Illinois since that time. He was married in 1857, to Sarah Albright, and by this union has three children--William A., Sophia and Lucy Ann. Mr. and Mrs. Schisler are members of the Dutch Reformed church. He is a democrat in politics, and has been road commissioner five years. He has acted as school director of his district 12 years, and is an enterprising and worthy citizen.
John Snowden, is a native of Brooke county, Virginia, born May 8, 1827. His parents were David and Jane (Woodrow) Snowden. He came to Illinois, in the year 1844, and settled in Fulton county, where he remained until 1852. In that year, he located in Eldorado township, McDonough county where he has ever since resided. March 27, 1852, he was united in marriage with Mary Jane Adams, daughter of William Adams, of Ohio. By this union there are 11 children—Annie, wife of Charles Dennis, of Eldorado; Melissa wife of Thomas Fowler, also of Eldorado; Amos, at home; David T., married to Elsa Cooney, and living in this township; Woodrow, William E., both of this township; Nancy E., wife of Lewis Swink, of Rocky Ford, Colorado; Cora, wife of Henry Bogne, of Eldorado; Nelson, Lewis, Ray, and Lee, living with their parents. Mr. Snowden carries on general farming, and raises fine horses. He is politically, a democrat, and has served as road commissioner, three years, and school director ten years. His father died in 1876. His mother now resides with him, at the advanced age of 82 years.
Thomas F. Schroder, is a son of Christopher and Louisa (Stockton) Schroder. He was born in Industry township, McDonough county, September 30, 1850, and remained in his native town until November 27, 1880. At that date he was married to Amanda Hill, a daughter of Jesse Hill. Soon after marriage, he located on section 37, Eldorado township, where he still lives. He is engaged in general farming, having an excellent farm of 160 acres, with a fine residence and other substantial improvements. Mr. and Mrs. Schroder are the parents of three children—Carrie I., Louisa Ann, and Nettie Jane. He is politically, a democrat.
Sherod R. Standard, a prosperous farmer of Eldorado township, is a native of Morgan county, Illinois, born in 1833. His parents were Gideon and Sina J. (Wyatt) Standard, natives of Virginia. They removed to Morgan county, in 1832, from Kentucky, and in 1836, came to McDonough county, and settled in Industry township, where Sherod R. was reared and educated. He was married in 1859, to Almira Jane Russell, daughter of James Russell, and soon after located in Eldorado township, where he is now among the leading citizens. He owns 235 acres of land, with fine improvements, and carries on general farming. He is a member of the Cumberland Presbyterian church, and politically, a republican. Mr. and Mrs. Standard have three children—Letha Ann, wife of E. Leighty, of Eldorado; Edward E., who is married to Miss Phillips, and Mattie A., at home.
Joshua Sandidge settled where he now resides, on section 20, Eldorado town ship, in 1844. He is a native of Lincoln county, Kentucky, born in 1812. His parents were John and Patience Sandidge. Joshua was married in 1834, to Mary Hoag, daughter of Andrew Hoag, who was a soldier in the revolutionary war. Mr. and Mrs. Sandidge are the parents of seven children—Mary A., wife of Jacob Micky, of Bushnell, Illinois; Patience, wife of M. Elwell, of Hancock county; William, who died in 1866, leaving a wife and two children; Irvin, of Eldorado township; Pullam, of Schuyler county; Amanda, wife of Samuel McDonald, of this township; and James, living in Nebraska. Mr. Sandidge owns a good farm of 80 acres, and carries on farming and stock raising. He is a worthy and respected citizen.
Alexander Adams is a son of Hawthorn and Mary (Wirts) Adams, and was born in Beaver county, Pennsylvania, in 1838. In the spring of 1851, he came to Illinois, and settled in Fulton county, where he resided until 1866. In that year he came to McDonough county, and located on section 28, Eldorado township, where he still lives. He owns, in company with his brother, 160 acres of desirable land, with comfortable improvements, and is engaged in general farming. In August, 1862, Mr. Adams enlisted in the service of his country, in company F, of the 84th Illinois volunteer infantry, and was in the service three years. He was wounded in an engagement at Elk river, Tennessee. Mr. Adams has accumulated his property without assistance, having begun life in very limited circumstances.
S. J. Price, a prominent citizen of Eldorado township, is a son of John Price, who was born in Franklin county, Pennsylvania, in 1803, and died in Illinois, in 1867. His widow, the mother of S. J. Price, was Catherine (McElhaney) Price, who survived her husband until 1877. Both are buried in Vermont cemetery. S. J. Price was born in Huntingdon county, Pennsylvania, and came with his parents to this state in the fall of 1849. They settled in Fulton county, where the subject of this sketch resided until the spring of 1856. At that date he located on section 27, Eldorado township, which was his residence until 1879, when he removed to his present home, on section 20, of the same town. In 1870, he was married to Laura Kennedy, daughter of William Kennedy, of Eldorado township. By this union there are two children—John W. and Ellen M. Mr. Price owns a farm of 120 acres, with valuable improvements. He has acted as school director six years, and is politically, a democrat. He is a member of the Masonic fraternity.
George L. Price, of Eldorado township, was born here in the year 1858, and is a son of John and Mary E. (Breeze) Price. He grew to manhood, and received his education in his native township. In 1883, he was united in marriage with Etta Schroder, daughter of C. Schroder, of this township. Mr. Price is a young man of good habits, enterprising and energetic, and possessing all the qualifications necessary to insure success in life. He is a democrat in politics.
M. V. Lawyer was born in the state of Ohio, in 1836, and is a son of John and Massie (Cooper) Lawyer. He came to McDonough county in 1857, and located then on his present farm, which is on section 30, Eldorado township. His farm comprises 290 acres of valuable land. His residence is a substantial and comfortable structure, and his barn, sheds, etc., commodious and convenient. He is engaged in general farming, also deals quite extensively in cattle of a high grade. Mr. Lawyer was married in 1866, to Sarah Cann, daughter of David Cann, of Vermont, Fulton county, Illinois. They are the parents of four children—Alba, Jesse, Bertha and Blanche. Mr. Lawyer is a prominent citizen of the township where he resides, and much respected. He is a democrat in politics.
James Harris, deceased, was born in Plainfield, Connecticut, in the year 1782. At the age of nine years he removed with his parents to Berkshire county, Massachusetts, where he lived eight years. When 17 years old he started west in search of a country better adapted to agricultural pursuits than the rough hills of his native New England. He went first to Canada, where he remained three years, after which he returned to Massachusetts, and was there married to Prudence Harris. After marriage he removed to Cayuga county, New York, and, in a few years, to Onondaga county, the same state. They remained in the latter place until 1834, then came to Illinois, the father having come to this county two years before, and located upon the northeast quarter of section 1, Eldorado township, McDonough county, and here resided until their death. Mr. Harris carried on farming and dairying, keeping from 30 to 40 cows, and supplying the home market with butter and cheese. He was politically, a whig, and in religious belief, a Universalist. Universalism was at that time a very unpopular belief, but he did all in his power to further its peculiar doctrines, and the first Universalist sermon ever preached in this county, was preached at his house by the Rev. Aaron Hinne in the year 1835 or 1836. Mr. Harris was an upright, honest and thoroughly good man, and died much regretted by the entire community.
Jonas Rude Harris, youngest son of James and Prudence Harris, was born April 8, 1831, in Onondaga county New York, and came with his parents to this county. He remained with them until their death, and now owns and resides upon the homestead farm. He is the owner of 640 acres of land, also a furniture store and lumber yard in Table Grove. He has been quite an extensive dealer in stock, and is in highly prosperous circumstances. Mr. Harris was married in 1859, to Mary. M. Warner, a native of Onondaga county, New York, born in 1833, taught school five years before her marriage. They have raised two children—Daniel O., son of James Harris, Jr., born in 1865, whose mother died when he was two years old, and Hattie Oakes, whose parents died in 1877.
Gregg Castlo, deceased, was a native of Ireland, and was born in county Galway. He came to America about the year 1832, and made his first stop in Howard county, Missouri, thence to Fulton county, Illinois. He was poor in this world's goods, and upon his arrival here, possessed only a pair of willing hands and a steady head as capital. With these he went to work at whatever he could find to do, and at such wages as he could get. In August, 1844, he was married to Rachel J. Miller. Her parents were Alexander and Katie (Hughes) Miller, who were native Kentuckians, and moved to Indiana, and thence in 1836 to Illinois. After their marriage, Gregg made two crops on the farm of Robert Carithers, then bought him a team and rented land, farming during the summer and chopping wood and splitting rails in the winter. In 1850, he came to this county, and rented a farm from James Abernathy, where he lived for four years. He then bought 40 acres of the northwest of the north west of section 4, of Eldorado township. Subsequently he purchased the south half of the north east, of section 32, in New Salem township, and the south half of the west half, of the northwest of section 4, in Eldorado township. He also had five acres of timber on section 2, and ten acres in Fulton county. Mr. Castlo, was a hard working, industrious man, and accumulated a competency, making a home for his family, and died February 5, 1880, leaving them in comfortable circumstances. They had born to them nine children—John H., born April 23, 1846, was married to Martha A. Hosford, January 30, 1868, and by that union are five children—Rosa J., born March 11, 1869, and died February 6, 1880; Bertha E., born August 4, 1871; Mary E., born September 25, 1873; and twins, who were born in 1876, but died in infancy. The next child of Mr. and Mrs. Castlo, was Catharine J., born June 12, 1848, she is now the wife of John Stracken, living in Eldorado township; then Anna M., born July 14, 1850, now the wife of Joseph Bingham, living at Table Grove; James M., born October 12, 1853, and died August 29, 1863; George W., born January 27, 1855, married to Rosan D. Vancise; Mary E., born September 1, 1857, married to George Phippins; Martha E., born April 1, 1860, is the wife of John Derry; Sarah M., born January 20, 1863, now the wife of J. W. Swartz; and William A., who was born on the 4th of July, 1865.
John H. Costlo, is a native Illinoisian, and was born in Fulton county, April 23, 1846. His parents were Gregg and Rachel (Miller) Costlo. He is of Irish extraction, and lived with his parents until 23 years old. During the great war of the rebellion he enlisted in the union army in February, 1865, in company C, 151st regiment, Illinois volunteer infantry. He served one year and was then mustered out at Columbus, Georgia. He was paid off and honorably discharged at Camp Butler, near Springfield, Illinois. He now owns 40 acres of land all under cultivation, and located on the northwest of the south east quarter of section 32, New Salem township.
Isaac W. Dailey, one of the farmers of Eldorado township, was born October 6, 1829, in West Virginia. He is a son of Thomas and Sarah (McIntosh) Dailey, who were also natives of the same state, and came to this state in 1835, locating near Springfield. Thomas Dailey was born in September 1783, and Sarah, his wife, April 13, 1790. They were married September 22, 1814, and raised a family of eight children, four of whom were boys. Of these living, two in this county, one in Dane county, Wisconsin, one in Seward county, Nebraska, and two in Jewell county, Kansas. Isaac W., is the seventh child. The family remained in Springfield one year, then came to this county, and settled in Eldorado township on section 6, where he owned two quarters of prairie land, which he improved and where they lived the remainder of their days. He died January 1, 1854, and she, November 21, 1862. The subject of this sketch came west with his parents, when but a small boy, and with them remained until their death. He now owns 212 acres of good land on section 6, which is well improved. He was married November 19, 1867, to Emily Craig, daughter of Richard Craig, of Industry village. They have three children—Warren M., born November 3, 1868; Irena A., born December 31, 1871, and Lucy H., born September 1, 1875. Mr. and Mrs. Dailey are members of the M. E. church. Politically he is a republican, and took an active part in war for the suppression of the rebellion, enlisting in the army of the United States, August 14, 1862, in company C, 84th Illinois volunteer infantry. He was one of the number that followed General Bragg through Kentucky. He was honorably discharged at Nashville, April 24, 1863.
Jacob Lawyer is a son of John and Massey (Cooper) Lawyer, who came from Ohio. Jacob was born December 7, 1841, in Industry township, and lived with his parents until of age. He was married to Nancy E. Standard, February 3, 1881. They have had nine children, all living but Alba W. and Walter. Those living are—Arthur E., Alvin C., Dallas, Alva L., Shered, Franklin and George. He now owns 320 acres of land, which is well improved. He has put in 940 rods of drain tile on his place, and now it is an excellent farm. He has been the highway commissioner for six years.
Samuel J. Foster, now a wealthy citizen and farmer of Eldorado township, was born here December 7, 1832, being the first white child born in Eldorado township. His father was A. J. Foster. He grew to manhood and received his education in his native county. September 19, 1854, he was married to Mary McMahan, daughter of James N. and Helena (Kelso) McMahan. By this union there have been nine children—Sarah V., wife of William T. Vail, of Eldorado township; Alonzo D., also in this township; James M., John L., Henry L., Eva H., Nellie C., Luella and Samuel Roy. Mr. Foster and his family are members of the Cumberland Presbyterian church. He is a republican in politics, and has held the office of road commissioner three years and that of assessor two years. He owns 500 acres of land with fine improvements, and carries on general farming.
From the superintendent's annual report for the year ending June 30, 1884, it is learned that there are nine schools in Eldorado township, none of which are graded. There are 312 children between the ages of 9 and 21 years, 256 of whom are enrolled in the various schools; the average number of months of school being seven and one-ninth.
There are nine school buildings in the township, all frame, one of which was erected during the year. The highest monthly wages paid any male teacher is $40, the lowest, $30; while the highest wages paid females $33, and the lowest, $20.
The amount of district tax levy for the support of schools was $2,550, the estimated value of school property being $6,400, while the township is entirely free from any bonded indebtedness.
One of the early schools in this township was obtained and conducted in an entirely original manner. A man who was sub-director for his district induced a friend to represent him to the county superintendent as being well qualified for the position of teacher. His excuse for not seeing that official in person was urgent business in another direction. The friend secured a certificate for him, and being sub-director, he hired himself and taught by proxy, his wife doing, or pretending to do the teaching. She began with six or seven pupils, but they dropped off, one by one, until she had but two or three left. One day, a neighbor from another district, seeing one of her former pupils running at large, asked him why he was not in school. "Oh, 'cause the school ain't worth a ——; the school-marm washes, cooks, sweeps and keeps school all at one time; then she doctors folks, too," She taught in the same shanty in which the family resided, and when the sub-director went to draw his pay, he brought in a bill for fuel, house rent and teacher's salary.
School district No. 1. —The school house stands upon the northeast corner of section 11. It is valued at $700. Until 1872, this district was two miles and a half long, north and south. At that time districts 1 and 6 were divided, forming 1, 6 and 7, as now known.
District No. 2. —The first school house in this district was built in the year 1865, being at the time the township was divided. It was an old building, costing about $400, and in 1884 it was worked over and $350 in repairs put on, making a good building for schools.
District No. 3. —This district had its first teaching about 1850, in a log building 18x18 feet in dimensions. Robert Comer and Thomas Ausbury were directors then. The first teacher was Jackson Wayworth. The second building used was erected in 1856, at a cost of $300, and was 20x24 feet in dimensions. The present school house was built in 1881, at an expenditure of $800. The first teacher in this school was Emma Tolen. The directors are: Samuel Price, Samuel Lee and Anthony Ausbury. Samuel Holton is the teacher at present. The enrollment is now about 30.
District No. 4. —The first school house was an old log building; after which, in 1861, a new one was built, costing about $600, and in 1880 a new one was erected, costing probably $800 to $900.
District No. 5. —The school house of this district stands on the northwest corner of section 22. It is a good frame building, erected in 1869, at a cost of $1,500; it is now valued at $1,000. It is 24x30. This school is familiarly known as "Sixteen." Wm. Carothers was the first teacher.
District No. 6. —The school house of this district was erected in 1872, at a cost of $800. It is on the southeast corner of section 14.
District No. 7. —The school building was erected in 1875, and is valued at $700. It is located on the northwest corner of section 36.
The school house in district No. 8 is situated on the southwest quarter of section 27, and is valued at about $200.
In 1875 the school house in district No. 9 was erected, at a cost of about $800.
Eldorado Hall was built in 1871, at a cost of $1,800, to serve the uses of the public at elections, meetings, etc. It is located on the southwest corner of section 15. The building committee was Isaiah Dennis and William Beckwith.
Eldorado township was organized at the time of the division of the county, in 1857, and on the 7th day of April, of that year, the first township election was held. At that election Thomas Cox and E. D. C. Haines were elected justices of the peace, and William Price, constable.
The present officers of the township are as follows: Supervisor, J. P. Marshall; clerk, J. M. Little; assessor, J. N. Foster; collector, W. B. Moran; highway commissioner, S. J. Foster; justices of the peace, Thos. Cox and Jesse Fowler; constables, J. M. Adams and Alex. Robinson; school trustee, S. K. Musgrove.
At the residence of Father Harris, living on section 1, was performed the first marriage ceremony in the township—Mr. Cleon Reddick and Miss Lucy Harris, by Rev. Aaron Kinney, a Universalist minister, in the year 1839.
The first death was that of Nimrod Foster, son of Henry Foster, in the fall of the same year.
Lucy Harris taught the first school in 1837.
The first birth was Samuel J. Foster, son of A. J. and Sarah Foster, who was born in the fall of 1831.
On section 2, Eldorado township, is located the Sugar Creek Cumberland Presbyterian church edifice.
The West Prairie Cumberland Presbyterian church building is located on section 9, Eldorado township.
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 790-809. Transcribed by Karl A. Petersen
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