Chapter 36 - Sciota Township
This township lies in range 7 north, 3 west, and is bounded on the north by Warren county, on the east by Walnut Grove township, with Emmet on the south and Blandinsville on the west. It is a very fine body of land, and with the exception of one-quarter of a section in the southwest corner, it is entirely prairie, and nearly all available for cultivation. The land is very fertile, and at the present time there is scarcely a foot of soil, outside of public highways, but what is under fence, and all under cultivation, with the exception of the timber land mentioned above, and the little on the brakes of the creeks. The township was not settled until 1855 or 1856, to speak of, although a few settlers came as early as 1834. There being so much prairie land within its boundaries, it seemed a perfect barrier to its settlement. Where was the timber to come from for fuel and fencing purposes, and what protection could be had from the cold blasts of Boreas during the winter? The fuel and fencing question was effectually solved by the introduction of the railroad, in 1856, and, from experience, it was found that one could live about as comfortably upon the open prairie, as in the timber. The township is, mainly, well watered, the Walnut Grove branch, Crooked creek and its tributaries passing through some 10 or 12 sections. The principal products are wheat, corn and oats, the yield of which the township largely predominates over any other in the county. There are two villages in the township -- Good Hope and Sciota, the latter more generally known as Clarksville, in years gone by, a name given in honor of William B. Clarke, who established the point. A description of these villages appears further on in this chapter.
Presley Purdy, a native of Kentucky, came to Sciota, in 1834, making a settlement on section 31, where he erected a cabin, which was probably the first in the township. Some 20 years since he emigrated to Oregon, where afterward died.
In 1834, Victor M. Hardin came, settling near Purdy, on section 31. He lived there many years, and afterward removed to Blandinsville, where he died some 10 years ago, from the effects of a cancer. He was an infidel, but stood high as a man of good morals and integrity.
John Hainline and family came in October, 1836, settling on section 31, erecting a log cabin on the southeast quarter, where he lived until his death, which occurred June 28, 1861. He was born in Montgomery county, Kentucky, March 14, 1796, and was married in March, 1826, to Mary Devary, of Clarke County, that state. They had 10 children--David T., Susan W., Mary D., Henry C., Thomas S., John, deceased; Joseph H., Nancy E., Baxter, Sarah I. and John W. In 1840, Mr. Hainline erected the residence in which John W. now resides, on the southwest quarter of section 31.
John W. Hainline is the 10th child of John Hainline, the pioneer, mention of whom appears above. He was born May 10, 1846, and is now the oldest native resident of Sciota township, where his entire life has been spent. He owns a good farm, the same one on which is father made his first settlement in Sciota township, in October, 1836. John W. Hainline was married, November 25, 1869, to Catherine James, a native of Ohio. They are the parents of seven children--Charles H., Laurence, Fred, Effie J., Ernie A., Wilmer M. and Frank. Mr. Hainline's farm contains 155 acres of land and is well cultivated and improved. He is engaged in general farming.
Benjamin Clarke came from Kentucky to Sciota, in 1838, and entered a farm on section 30, where he died about the year 1854.
In 1843, Harrison Head settled on section 32, were he lived until his death, which occurred in March, 1881. He was a native of Washington county, Kentucky, and came with his parents to this county in 1832, settling in Emmet township.
Thomas W. Head came to McDonough county in 1832, living with his parents in Emmet township until March, 1848, when he came to Sciota township, settling on section 32. He still owns the farm on the above named section, but at present is living a retired life in the village of Sciota. His sons are in business in Good Hope.
After this the settlement was slow and the township made no special growth until about the time of the completion of the first railroad through the county, in 1856, as it was not until about that year progress was made in settling upon the prairie. Previous to this the settlers all hugged close to the wooded lands of the timbered townships. Therefore, after the advent of the railroad, the settlement was rapid.
In the spring of 1856, Zachariah Rickets settled upon section 25. He lived here until his death, in 1870, which was occasioned from the effects of being bitten by rattlesnake.
Lewis Woolley settled on the southeast quarter of section 12, in 1856, where he resided until 1863, when he removed to McLean county, Illinois. He was a man of some education, but was possessed of little energy or business ability, and as a farmer, was a failure.
Hugh Long came from Fulton county in the spring of 1857, and entered the farm now owned by William Yeast. He did not attain a very savory reputation during his stay here. In 1861 or 1862, he escaped from jail, where he had been confined for some petty offense, going ito Washington territory. He afterward returned and finally removed to Nodaway county, Missouri.
In 1857, Henry Baldwin came from Fulton county, purchasing a farm of 80 acres on section 11, which he located upon and improved. He afterward married one of the Long girls, and later sold his place and removed to Warren county, but has since returned and is now a resident of this township.
William and Richard Jones came to section 23, in March, 1857, improving a farm on the northwest quarter. They came from Fulton county to this county. About the year 1870, they sold out and left, Richard going to Kansas and William to Keokuk, Iowa.
Lewis Shaffer located on section 12, in the spring of 1858, where he remained till 1862, when he removed in Fulton county.
Robert Bishop came to the township from Walnut Grove, in 1859, settling on section 11, on the farm now owned by Leonard Yeast. He sold out a year later and removed to Kansas. His father was one of the early settlers of Walnut Grove township.
Under this head are placed many, who, though not strictly early settlers, are still thoroughly identified with the township:
Arlington Reed came to this county in April, 1865, and settled, then, in Emmet township. Three years later he located on the farm, where he now resides, on section 23, Sciota township. He has a well-improved farm of 160 acres. Mr. Reed is a son of Smith W. Reed, who was born in Tompkins county, New York, July 16, 1806, and remained there until 1865, when he came to McDonough county. He was married to Lydia Hunt who is still living. They reared a family of six children, of whom Arlington is the fifth. Smith W. Reed died in July, 1880. Arlington Reed was born in Tompkins county New York, in March, 1839. He was brought up and educated in his native county, there learning the moulder's trade, which he followed until 1861. In May of that year, he enlisted in company A, of the 32d New York infantry, and served two years, having been promoted to the rank of sergeant. He re-enlisted in November, 1863, in company L, of the 21st New York cavalry, and continued in the service until February, 1865, when he was discharged on account of a wound in his hand, by which he lost two fingers. He then returned home, and the following April came to this county, as before stated. He was married March 28, 1883, to Eliza Barnhart, of this county, a daughter of George Barnhart, of Scotland township. Mr. Reed is a member of the G. A. R., Macomb.
John L. Yeast is a son of Adam and Susan (Morley) Yeast, natives of Maryland. Adam East was of Dutch descent. John L. was born in Fayette county, Pennsylvania, April 4, 1836. He lived with his parents in his native county until 1858, when he went to Fulton county, where he engaged in farming until 1863. He then settled on the farm four miles south of Bushnell, and there remained three years, after which he returned to Fulton county. In the spring of 1868, he again became a resident of this county, locating, then, on his present farm, on section 13, Sciota township. Mr. Yeast owns one of the finest farms in this township, splendidly improved, and comprising 560 acres. He devotes his attention to stock raising, and is enterprising and successful. He was married July 3, 1857, to Nancy Griffin, a native of Pennsylvania. They have nine children living--William L., Carrie, Emma, John D., Edgar, George, Andrew, Harry and Leonard B. Mr. Yeast served, in 1882, a supervisor of Sciota township.
William E. James came with his father's family to Sciota township, in 1854, and located on section 7. He was born in Muskingum county, Ohio, May 11, 1843, and is a son of Aaron James. The family resided in Ohio until they came to this county. William grew to manhood in this township, and in August, 1863, enlisted in company C, of the 78th Illinois regiment, and served in the army of the Cumberland, participating in the march to the sea, in many engagements of that notable campaign. He was discharged June 21, 1865, at Chicago, Illinois, and mustered out at Washington. After the war he returned to Sciota township, and the following year, began farming for himself on section 18. He removed to his present place on section 15, in 1876. He has a desirable and well-improved farm of 160 acres. Mr. James was married April 2, 1867, to Susan Wright, of Ohio. They had three children born to them--Amanda, Luella and Clarence W. Mrs. James died September 12, 1873. He was again married February 3, 1876, to Martha E. Conn, a native of Ohio, and by this union has one child--George C. Mr. James is a member of the Methodist Episcopal church.
William H. James came to this county, in the spring of 1868, and located on section 5, Sciota township, where he has ever since resided. He has a good farm, comprising 245 acres, and carries on general farming. Mr. James is a son of A. F. W. James, who was born in Pennsylvania, November 26, 1808. The latter came to McDonough county with his family, in 1868, and settled where his son, William, now lives. He had six children, of whom William is the second. He died April 12, 1882. The subject of this sketch was born in Baltimore county, Maryland, March 12, 1838. His early life was spent in his native county. In 1862, he went to Washington, D. C., where he worked for one year, as a blacksmith, in the employ of the government, then as clerk for the Adams Express company, for whom he worked until 1868. He was married July 4, 1858, to Mary J. Scarff, a native of Baltimore County, Maryland. They are the parents of two children--Stephen N. and Harry W. Mr. James is a member of the Masonic fraternity. He is one of the school trustees of Sciota township, and served as tax collector in the year 1882.
John C. James was born May 26, 1814, in York county, Pennsylvania, and is a son of Joseph James, a native of the same state. When John was about 13 years of age, his parents moved to Baltimore county, Maryland, where he grew to man's estate, and there followed the occupation of farming, until 1838. At that date he removed to Ohio, and resided one year in Zanesville, then located on a farm farm in Perry county, where he remained until 1847, when he moved to Muskingum county. Seven years later, he came west and settled in Blandinsville township, McDonough county, Illinois, where he lived till 1867. In that year he became a resident of Sciota township, locating upon section 6, his present residence, where he has a well improved farm of 287 acres. He was married April 28, 1836, to Elizabeth Price, a native of Maryland. They have had 10 children born to them--Sarah E., Mary R., John W., Caroline, Charles W., Joseph F., Abel, Eliza A., Aaron E. and Franklin. John W. James was killed on the battle field at Jonesboro, Georgia, by storming the breast works on September, 1863.
Aaron James, an esteemed citizen of Sciota township, is a son of Joseph and Elizabeth James, who were natives of Bucks county, Pennsylvania. Aaron was born in York county, of the same state, May 29, 1812. When about 20 years of age, he removed with his father's family to Baltimore county, Maryland, where he remained until 1838. He then moved to Ohio, and lived in Perry and Muskingum counties, until 1855. In that year he removed to McDonough county, Illinois, and settled in Blandinsville township, upon rented land. In 1857, he came to Sciota township, and located on the farm where he now resides, on section 7. His farm, originally, comprised 200 acres. He now has 80 acres, having given the remainder to his sons. Mr. James has held the office of commissioner of highways of this township. He is a sincere and earnest working christian. He was for many years, class leader in the Methodist Episcopal church, at Liberty, Ohio, and has held the same position here, also, other offices in the church, always performing the duties devolving upon him in a faithful and efficient manner. He was united in marriage, in September, 1835, with Mrs. Elizabeth Deems, nee Brown, a native of Maryland. They have five children--Matilda, John T., William E. and Salina E., twins, and Philander. Mrs. James had by her former marriage, three children--Mary A. Deems, Margaret E. Deems, and Joseph F. Deems.
Abel James, son of John C. James, one of the early settlers of this township, was born in Muskingum county, Ohio, October 31, 1849. He came with his parents to this county and 1855, and was here reared and educated. He remained on his father's farm until 1872. In that year he began farming for himself on section 6, Sciota township. Three years later he removed to his present farm, which is located on section 19, where he has a well improved farm of 80 acres. Mr. James was married September 26, 1872, to Martha M. Sellers, a native of Perry county, Ohio. By this union there are four children--Oriella, Alda E., Essie G., deceased, Eva and Perry C. Mr. James is a member of the I. O. O. F., also, of the Methodist Episcopal church of Sciota.
John Logan is a son of Rev. John Logan, Sr., who was born in Rock Bridge county, Virginia, February 14, 1793. Samuel Logan, the father of Rev. John Logan, and grandfather of the subject of this sketch, was born in Ireland, and came to America when 20 years of age. In 1801, Samuel Logan removed with his family from Virginia, to Logan, now Simpson county, Kentucky, where John Sr., was reared. In 1817, he was there married to Nancy Newell, a daughter of Peter and Susana (Durham) Newell, of England. She was born in North Carolina, January 13, 1802. Six years after marriage, Rev. John Logan went to Indiana, where he remained till 1828, then migrated still farther west, and located in Industry township, McDonough county, there living in the old fort until 1829, when he moved to Schuyler county, Illinois. In October, 1835, he returned to this county, and took up his permanent abode on section 8, Hire township, where he died in January, 1851. Rev. John Logan was ordained a minister of the Baptist church, in Indiana, and had preached for some time previously. He was truly a self-made man, having become convinced of his duty to preach the gospel, he prepared himself for his high calling unaided. He possessed much ability and talent of a high order, which, combined with untiring zeal and energy, made him successful in bringing many souls to a knowledge of salvation. He was the first minister who ever preached in McDonough county, and preached the first sermon ever delivered in Macomb. John, the fourth child of this illustrious man, was born in Dubois county, Indiana, October 13, 1824, and came with the family to this county in 1828. He was reared in this county, with the exception of six years spent in Schuyler county. He lived on his father's farm in Hire township, until 1847, then went to Warren county and remained three years, working upon a farm, and at the cooper's trade. He then returned to Hire township, and there followed his trade until the spring of 1858, when he located on his present farm on section 16, Sciota township. He has 164 acres of good land. He was township clerk, in 1858, and has served many years as school director. He is the member of the Baptist church in Sciota. Mr. Logan was married May 20, 1852, to Jane Botts, a native of Kentucky. Two children have been born to them--Mary A. C. and Joseph W.
George D. Breiner, a prominent citizen of Sciota township, was born August 28, 1844, in Hunterdon county, New Jersey. He is a son of Francis J. Breiner, of Prairie City township. The family came to McDonough county in the spring of 1855, locating on section 5, Prairie City township, where his father now lives. Here George spent his early life, and obtained his education. He was employed upon his father's farm until 1868, when he settled on his present place, on section 3, Sciota township. He owns 90 acres of land in this county, and 160 acres in Warren county, Illinois. He was married October 29, 1868, to Mary F. Alexander, a native of Brown county, Illinois, but brought up in McDonough county. She is a daughter of Elihu Alexander, of Bushnell. Mr. and Mrs. Breiner are the parents of two children--Austin F. and George M. They are members of the M. E. church.
Lewis Breiner, a prominent citizen of Sciota township, is a son of Francis J. Breiner, of Prairie City township, and was born, October 18, 1842, in Hunterdon county, New Jersey. In 1852, the family removed to Fulton county, Illinois, where they resided three years, then came to McDonough county, and settled in Prairie City township, where Lewis was reared and educated. He remained upon the farm until the spring of 1862. In August of that year, he enlisted in company C, of the 1st Missouri Engineers, and served till November, 1864, when he was honorably discharged. He then returned home and engaged in farming upon his father's farm. In 1870, he went to Champaign county, Illinois, where he followed farming five years, after which he returned to McDonough county, and located on the place where he now lives, on section 16, Sciota township. He owns 165 acres of well improved land. He was united in marriage, December 27, 1866, with Mary King, a native of this county, and daughter of John W. King, of Prairie City township. Five children have been born to them--Edward, Charles, John F., Emma L., and Anna O. Mr. Breiner is a member of the Methodist Episcopal church, and was assessor of this township during 1884.
John Huff, deceased, was an early settler of Sciota township. He was born in Schuyler county, Illinois, September 27, 1833, and reared in the town of Rushville. About the year 1849, his father, Andrew Huff, removed with his family to Blandinsville township, McDonough county, and there remained until the spring of 1853. At that date, John Huff went to California, and remained three years, returning then to this county. In 1857, he located on section 28, in Sciota township, where his family now resides. He was married to Rebecca Anderson, daughter of Preston Anderson, and old settler of Blandinsville township. Their marriage took place January 15, 1857. They had five children--Joseph F., Berry L., Lewis G., Oliver N., and Parley J. Joseph F. Huff, was born on the farm where he now lives, May 1, 1860, and has spent his entire life in this township. He is a good and worthy young man, and a member of the I. O. O. F., of Sciota. Berry L. Huff, was born April 10, 1863, on the home place. They have a finely improved farm of 160 acres which they successfully manage, and are engaged in general farming.
James R. Wallingford resides upon sectin 34, Sciota township, where he owns a finely improved farm of 100 acres. He located here, January 1, 1871. Mr. Wallingford was born in Fleming county, Kentucky, October 25, 1820. He is a son of James and Sarah (Reed) Wallingford, the former a native of Virginia, and the latter of Pennsylvania. James remained in his native county, until 1843, then removed to Mason county, Kentucky, where he resided for more than 20 years. He followed farming there, and was a prominent citizen, being at one time, the county judge. In October, 1864, he removed to Illinois, and located in Emmet township, McDonough county. He remained in Emmet township until the date at which he came here. He served in 1881, as a member of the board of supervisors of McDonough county, and is a much esteemed citizen. He was married September 6, 1843, to Corlinda Farrow, of Kentucky, and by this union had six children--Mary E., Alice B., James W., Kenaz A., Sarah L. and Charles H. His wife died in September, 1867. January 1, 1871, he was married to Emily (Cook) Murphy, widow of Andrew Murphy. Mr. Wallingford is a member of the Baptist church.
George F. Hauser was born April 17, 1826, in Germany, and grew to manhood in his native country. He was reared upon a farm, and at the age of 15 years was apprenticed to learn the shoemaker's trade, and followed the same till 1850. In that year he emigrated to America, and settled in the state of Connecticut, where he remained till 1854. He then came west and located in McDonough county, two and a-half miles west of Blandinsville, on "Goose Neck," where he built a cabin and lived two years, engaged in farming and shoemaking. He then rented land in different places in that township until 1864, when he purchased his present farm. He has 160 acres of good and well improved land, and is a thrifty farmer. October 14, 1854, he was united in marriage with Dora Winch, who was born in Germany, June 14, 1826, and came to this country in 1851. They are the parents of three children, living, and four dead. Those living are--Mary C., Hermenia, and Dora N.
Captain Benjamin A. Griffith is a son of James D. Griffith, of Emmet township, and was born in Highland county, Ohio, July 16, 1836. His early life was spent in Ohio, where he remained until 1853. In that year he removed with his father's family to Emmet township, McDonough county, Illinois. He resided in Emmet township until August, 1862, when he enlisted, receiving a commission as second lieutenant of company I of the 124th Illinois infantry. July 8, 1863, he was promoted to the rank of captain. He served under General John A. Logan in the McPherson corps. At the assault on Vicksburg, May 22, 1863, he was wounded in the shoulder, and had his thumb shot off at the engagement at Champion Hills, May 16, of the same year. He served until the 17th of August, 1865. After being mustered out, he returned home and engaged in farming in Hire township. He located upon his present farm in 1870. It is a portion of section 31, Sciota township, and contains 80 acres of good land. Captain Griffith was a member of the state board of equalization, from 1869 to 1873. September 29, 1867, he was married to Belle Hainline, daughter of John D. Hainline, of Emmet township. They have three children--Edna, Effie and Ethel. He is a member of the G. A. R.
Martin W. Cozard, of Sciota township, is a son of Benjamin Cozard, a native of Ohio. Benjamin Cozard was born January 23, 1818, and in 1832 emigrated to Fulton county, Illinois, where he was an early settler. He was there married to Martha Webster, and by this union had nine children, five of whom are dead. Martin was the eldest. Benjamin died April 12, P. M., 1861, the hour and day that Fort Sumpter was fired on. Martin W. was brought up in Fulton county. His education was obtained in that county, with the exception of one year at Dayton, Ohio, where, for six months, he studied law at the Dayton law school. After finishing his education he devoted his time to agricultural pursuits in Fulton county, until March 17, 1874, when he came to McDonough county, and setted on section 22, Sciota township, where he now lives, and owns a farm of 80 acres. He was married July 4, 1863, to Sarah Wagner, who was born near Easton, Northampton county, Pennsylvania, December 13, 1839. She died September 24, 1878, leaving him five children--Edward W., William O., Lizzie B., Albert L., and Anna M. Mr. Cozard, in 1876, held the office of assessor of Sciota township. On May 16, 1885, his eldest son, Edward W. Cozard, died at the residence of his uncle, Edward Wagner, near Prairie City, where he went, under Doctor William Randall's directions, so he could receive professional visits.
Francis Hallenbeck, an old and respected citizen of Sciota township, is a native of Tompkins county, New York, born April 5, 1814. His parents, Samuel and Tamar (Lawson) Hallenbeck, were of Dutch descent, but natives of New York. Francis was reared and educated in his native county, there following farming until 1837, when he came to Illinois, and stopped for six months in Chicago, which was then a mere hamlet. He then returned to New York, and remained until 1852. In that year he came back to this state, and located at Beardstown, Cass county, where he lived two years, then, in the spring of 1854, came to McDonough county, and purchased the land upon which he now lives. In 1857, he took up his permanent abode here, where he has since resided. In August, 1862, he enlisted in company F, of the 88th Illinois infantry, the Chicago Board of Trade regiment, and served until mustered out, July 27, 1865. He was a part of the time under command of Phil. Sheridan. Among the engagements in which he participated were those of Perryville and Stone river. He returned from the army, and engaged in farming. September 30, 1844, he was united in marriage with Rebecca W. Jackson, a native of New York, who died July 24, 1851. He was married to his present wife, February 21, 1866. She was formerly Clara S. Smith, a native of Seneca county, New York. They have no children. Mr. Hallenbeck owns a nicely improved farm of 160 acres, all desirable land, also 10 acres in Emmet township. He is a member of the Baptist church, of Sciota. Mr. and Mrs. Hallenbeck are visiting in New York.
Charles A. Warren, manager of the firm of C. D. Elting & Co., of Sciota, is a native of LaHarpe, Illinois, born August 30, 1856, and a son of Hon. Benjamin Warren, an early settler of Hancock county. Charles spent his early life in his native city, partially obtaining his education there. In 1871 and '72, he attended Macomb college, at Macomb, Illinois. In 1879 he engaged in the agricultural implement trade at LaHarpe, where he continued in the same business until January, 1884. At that date he came to Sciota and engaged in his present business. Mr. Warren is possessed of good business talent, is upright and honest in his dealings, and a genial, accommodating gentleman. He was married October 19, 1882, to Miss Emma Bunger, a native of McDonough county. They have one child--Cora M.
Uriah T. Douglass, manager of the Sciota elevator company, is a native of Columbus county, Ohio, born July 29, 1830. He remained in his native state until 1856. He there learned the machinist's and also the carpenter's trade. He followed the latter there as a contractor, until he came to McDonough county, in 1856. Here he engaged in the same business two years, then, in 1858, went to Missouri, where he lived till 1861, when he returned to this county. In August, 1864, he enlisted in St. Louis, Missouri, in company A, of the 8th Tennessee regiment, and the following November, was discharged for disability, and returned home to McDonough county. He then engaged in carpentering, which he followed til 1877, when he engaged in the lumber trade at Sciota, continuing the same four years. He then assumed his present position. He is a member of the Masonic lodge, chapter and commandery. Mr. Douglass was married in April, 1867, to Julia McKamy, and by this union has four children--Jessie, Octavia, William B. and Roy.
David A. Robbins is of New England stock born June 24, 1810, in Cheshire county, New Hampshire, and was reared there upon the farm settled by his grandfather, William Robbins. His father, Samuel Robbins, was born upon the same place, January 19, 1776. The farm was situated on the southern boundary of the state, adjoining Massachusetts. In 1865, David came to McDonough county, and purchased land on section 11, Sciota township, to which he removed his family in 1868, and which has since been their residence. He was married January 21, 1841, to Betsey Coolidge, by whom he had one daughter--Mary S. His wife died April 22, 1843, and he was again married, June 30, 1844, to Louisa Stone, a native of Winchendon, Massachusetts. By this union there are three children--Ostrum A., Harlan S., and Warren A. Harlan S. Robbins came to McDonough county in 1867. He was born in Worcester county, Massachusetts, March 28, 1848. He returned east in the fall of 1867, and in the following February came again to the county, where he has since resided. The family are members of the Methodist church. The following genealogy of the Robbins family is herewith given as furnished by the gentleman above:
The family of Robbins are of English origin. The families now in McDonough county bearing the name, are descendents of Richard, who lived in Charlestown, Massachusetts, in 1640. His son, Nathaniel, died in 1719. Among his children was Joseph, born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in 1689, whose son William, born in 1712, was the father of William, born in Anatomy, (now West Cambridge,) Massachusetts, August 20, 1741. He went to Rindge, New Hampshire, in 1764, going some three miles from any settlement, into the wilderness, cutting his road as he went, through the dense forest. He was the first settler in that part of the township. Here he lived until his removal to Winchendon, Massachusetts, in 1807, where he died in 1824. His youngest son, Samuel, born in Rindge, New Hampshire, January 19, 1776, married January 1, 1807, Sally Steele, of Rindge, New Hampshire, resided upon the same farm as his father, until his death, in 1857; his widow died in 1861. They had eight children, three of whom now live in McDonough county. David A., born in Rindge, New Hampshire, January 24, 1810, married June 21, 1841, Betsy Coolidge, of Gardner, Massachusetts; she died April 22, 1843. He married June 30, 1844, Louisa Stone, of Winchendon, Massachusetts. He lived upon the same farm as his father until his removal to Illinois, in 1865, when he bought of Benjamin Robinson, the northeast of section 11, an unimproved quarter. He built the house in summer of 1866. In 1867, he bought the southeast of 13, of William Leper, Farmington, Illinois, also unimproved. He built the house in 1870, his son, Ostrum A. Robbins, living there until 1876. In 1868 he bought an unimproved quarter, southeast of 2, of Olcutt, of Fairview, Illinois. His wife and three sons coming here in 1867-68. They had to encounter all the hardships and privations incident to the new settler in breaking sod, digging wells, setting fences and hedges. In 1874 he bought the southwest of 11, of Charles Chandler, of Macomb, selling the northwest quarter to his son, Harland S. Robbins, in 1876. In 1882 he bought the northwest quarter of southwest of 1, of James Ryan.
Mary S. Robbins was born in Rindge, New Hampshire, November 15, 1841; married November 3, 1864, to Horace E. Lovejoy, of Rindge, New Hampshire, and came to Sciota township, January, 1876; occupy southwest of 11. They have six children--Elsie A., born in Winchendon, Massachusetts, July 13, 1865; Fred W., born in Winchendon, Massachusetts, November 7, 1871; Carrie G., born in Ashburnham, Massachusetts, June 10, 1875; Mary E., born in Sciota, Illinois, January 22, 1879; Charles T., born in Sciota, Illinois, April 21, 1881; Samuel A., born in Sciota, Illinois, July 17, 1884. Betsy C., the second, was born in Rindge, New Hampshire, April 16, 1843, died May 6, 1864. Ostrum A., the third, born in Rindge, July 30, 1845; came to Sciota township, in October, 1867; married to Francis Spurgin, of Greenbush township, September 15, 1870. They have four children--Delbert G. and Della M., born in Sciota, November 18, 1871; Charles Sidney, born in Sciota, July 29, 1874; Alvin Edson, born in Sciota, June 13, 1880. Harlan S., the fourth, born in Winchendon, Massachusetts, March 28, 1848. Warren A., the fifth, born in Rindge, New Hampshire, April 18, 1850; came to Sciota township February, 1868; married Anna M. Hamilton, of Sciota township, lives on northeast of 11, has one child--Mary Louisa, born August 21, 1883. Abigail S., daughter of Samuel, born in Rindge, New Hampshire, August 29, 1814; married September 29, 1859, to Uri Day, of Royalston, Massachusetts; she came to Illinois, December, 1865, now lives in Good Hope. Samuel William, son of Samuel, born in Rindge, New Hampshire, August 16, 1820; married December 30, 1847, to Mary Page, of Rindge, New Hampshire; came to Illinois in 1855, lives in Prairie City.
Thomas R. Wright, a prominent and respected citizen of Sciota township, is a native of Perry county, Ohio, and was born July 18, 1842. He is a son of Isaac Wright, now a resident of Blandinsville township. When Thomas was five years old, his parents removed to Muskingum county, Ohio, where they resided until 1858. In October, of that year, they came to McDonough county, and settled in Blandinsville township, where Thomas began farming in 1864. He continued in that township until the spring of 1868. He then located on his present farm, which, at that time, he rented, purchasing the same, three years later. He had 160 acres, to which he has added, until he now owns 622 acres, all improved, and is the largest land owner in Sciota township. He deals quite extensively in stock, and has some fine thoroughbred short horn cattle, also Clydesdale horses. He has held a number of local offices in this township. February 4, 1869, he was married to Frances A. Conwell, a native of Ohio. They have four children living--Willis P., Carl E., Angie R. and Sadie B. Their eldest son, Charles O., is deceased.
Henry S. Baldwin was born in Richland county, Ohio, April 8, 1833. He is a son of Charles Baldwin, formerly a resident of this county, but now deceased. The latter came her in 1854, and located two miles south of Macomb, where he died in 1856. Henry S., the subject of this sketch, resided with his parents, coming with them to this county in 1854. In 1857, he located on section 16, Sciota township, where he followed farming eight years, then moved to the edge of Warren county, there remaining till 1867. In that year he settled on section 3, Sciota township, his present home. He owns 720 acres of land, lying in McDonough and Warren counties, all in a high state of cultivation and well improved. It is worked by tenants, Mr. Baldwin not being, himself, engaged in farming. He was married in August, 1857, to Margaret Long, a daughter of William Long, an early settler of Fulton county. They have seven children--Callista A., Matie I., Ulysses G., Emma M., Willis D., Minnie E. and an infant. One son, John S., is deceased. Mr. and Mrs. Baldwin are members of the Baptist church.
James M. Wallin, an old and prominent citizen of Sciota township, was born in Lee county, Virginia, March 27, 1813. Much of his early life was spent in Tennessee, where he was for several years a merchant, in the city of Calhoun. He left that state in 1852, coming then to this county, where he has since been a resident. He lived three years on a farm in Macomb township, then located on section 25, of Sciota, where he now lives. He has held many offices in this township, having been justice of the peace for 23 years, also assessor and supervisor, several terms. He has been school treasurer of this township for the past 10 years. He is a member of the Masonic order, also of the Baptist church, with which he united in 1843. He was married in 1837, to Sarah B. Rose, by whom he had two sons--James H. and Isaac S. His wife died October 1, 1869, and on September 15, 1870, he was again married, to Mrs. Sarah B. Forrest, a native of the state of Tennessee.
Sciota township, according to the annual report of the county superintendent, for the school year, ending June 30, 1884, has 452 children of school age, 420 of whom are enrolled in the schools. There are 11 frame buildings in the township, in which an average of eight and four-elevenths months of school are taught. The highest monthly wages paid any male teacher is $50, and the lowest is $21.50, while the highest wages paid female teachers is $45, and the lowest $25 per month. The estimated value of school property amounts to $7,525 and the tax levy for the support of the schools is $3,850. There is no bonded indebtedness.
An early school in the history of the township, was taught by James M. Yapple, at the house of Zachariah Rickets, on section 25.
Previous to the organization of district 1, school was held in a building located about one mile south of the present school-house site of this district, and was then known as district No. 5. In 1871, district No. 5, was divided, forming the present districts of 1 and 6. The present building of district No. 1, is located on the northeast corner of section 11.
School district No. 2, has a house situated on the southeast corner of section 4, which was erected in 1868, the same year the district was organized. The size of the building is 20x28, and was erected at a cost of $450.
In 1868, school district No. 2, was divided, forming the present districts of 3 and 4. The house was removed to the northwest corner of section 8, this district (No. 3) during the same year. It was 22x26 feet in size, and was valued at $150.
District No. 4, was organized in 1867, and a school house, 18x24 feet in size, erected during the same year, at a cost of $450. The district is also familiarly known as Muddy Lane.
Center district No. 5, was organized as district No. 3, in 1858, and a building erected on section 22, during the same year. It was a frame structure, 20x24 feet in size, and was completed at a cost of $450. During the winter of 1884-5, Meredith Davis taught the school.
The school building in district No. 6, was erected on the northeast corner of section 14, in 1872. It is a good frame structure, and was completed at a cost of $1,500.
The first marriage was that of V. M. Hardin and Nancy Purdy, on the 16th day of April, 1840. Rev. Jesse Chapman, a Baptist divine, performed the marriage ceremony. On June 20, 1841, Mary E., was born to them; hers was probably the second birth in the township.
The pioneer school house was built in 1846. It was 18x20, constructed of native lumber. Louis Goddard taught the first term of school therein.
Rev. Cyrus Haines preached the first sermon, at the house of John Hainline, in the summer of 1837. Mr. Haines was of the Cumberland Presbyterian church.
William Heath was the first supervisor, and James M. Wallin was the second.
The first death was that of Samuel Purdy, which occurred in September, 1841.
The first justice of the peace was V. M. Hardin, who was elected in August, 1839.
The first child born in the township was John H. Hainlin, the date of whose birth was January 2, 1837. He lived on section 31 until his death, January 12, 1882.
The second death in the township was that of John Hainline, who died October 15, 1840, at the age of five years. The remains were interred in Spring Grove cemetery.
A man by the name of Townsend, who entered land on section 31, in the spring of 1836, broke out the first land suring the following summer--some seven acres. He did not put in a crop, but left the township in the fall.
In the spring of 1837, John Hainline sowed the first wheat and planted the first corn.
The organization of the township dates back to 1856, when the division of the county into townships took place. The first township election occurred on the 7th day of April, in 1857, at which time J. M. Seamans was elected constable; William Heath, supervisor; Simeon Clarke, clerk and collector; Stephen Gillihan, assessor; William B. Clarke and Mortimore Waterus, justices. The latter named gentleman failed to qualify, and at the next election, James M. Wallin was elected, serving in that capacity for 23 years. The present officers of the township are as follows: Supervisor, J. A. Allison; clerk, S. B. Norton; assessor, Lewis Breiner; collector, J. M. James; highway commissioner, H. Tuttle; justices of the peace, J. L. Hardin and W. B. Clarke; constables, William Furgie and Henry Arbogast; school trustee, E. Dice.
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 930-943. Transcribed by Karl A. Petersen