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Jersey County Page     Jersey County History

Otter Creek

From History of Greene and Jersey Counties, Illinois, Springfield, IL: Continental Historical Co., 1885, pp. 274 – 301. There will be typographical errors.

Otter Creek Township

     The first permanent settler within the bounds of what now constitutes the township of Otter creek was Joseph White, a native of South Carolina, but who came to his county from Kentucky, in 1821 or 1822. His two grandsons, Daniel P. and John L., are both residents of the township.
     Daniel P. White is a son of Joab and Maria (Randall) White, and was born in what is now Jersey county, in 1834. Here he was reared, and in 1855 was married to Mary M. Terry, a native of this county, who died in 1872. In 1874 he was married to Sarah V. Moss, who was also born in Jersey county. She died in 1876, and in 1882 Mr. White was married to Mrs. Mary J. (Turner) White, widow of Lewis White, of Mississippi township. Mr. White has always been a resident of this county, and always followed farming. He is the owner of a valuable and well improved farm, comprising 80 acres. He is a republican in politics, and an enterprising and worthy citizen.
     John L. White was born in Jersey (then Greene) county, Aug. 2, 1823. His father, Joab White, was born in South Carolina, and his mother, Jane (Lofton) White in Kentucky. John L. White is the oldest man, with one exception, born, raised and now residing in the territory comprising Greene and Jersey counties. He was reared here, and in 1843 was married to Martha L. Sansom, a native of Ohio. Three sons were born to them: James J., born in 1845, now living in Kansas; Lewis A., who died in 1880; and Charles Henry, now living in Mississippi township. Mrs. White died Feb. 14, 1851. Mr. White was again married, Oct. 4, 1851, to Rosa J. White, a native of Jersey county. By this union there were four daughters, three of whom are living: Susan, wife of John T. Wagoner, of Otter Creek township; Mary Jane, wife of James P. Achford, of this township; and Fannie Evelyn, living with her parents. Josephine died in 1857.
     Thomas White, in 1824, located east of Otterville, where he lived for many years.
     Samuel Lofton, the same year, made a settlement in this township, on section 14, where he resided for a long time. He came from Madison county to this township, where he subsequently died.
     James Dabbs settled on section 9, in this township in the spring of 1826. He was a native of South Carolina, and was married in that state, in 1802. Several years after that even they emigrated to Barren county, Ky., where they resided until 1819, when they removed to the vicinity of Wood river, Madison county, Ill., form which place they came here, as stated. Jesse Dabbs, a son, was a resident of the county until 1875, when he died. James Dabbs and his wife Mary were worthy members of the pioneer band. He died a resident of the county, Dec. 19, 1841, his wife living until Sept. 8, 1852.
     Samuel Dabbs, a native of South Carolina, made a settlement on section 8, in this township, about the year 1826. His son, W. W. Dabbs, is a resident of the township still, living near the old homestead.
     W. W. Dabbs is a son of Samuel and Mary (Link) Dabbs, who were pioneers of Jersey county. Samuel Dabbs was a native of Kentucky, and his wife of Tennessee. They came to Illinois in 1805, and to what is now Jersey county in 1826, settling upon Sec. 8, Otter Creek township, which was the birth place of the subject of this sketch. He was born ont he 8th day of June, 1836. He obtained his educations in the common schools of that township, and there grew to manhood. Nov. 5, 1855, he was married to Catherine Worthey, a native of Tennessee. Nine children were born to them: John M., George F., Lindley, Hattie E., Margaret E., Emma E., Nellie Jane, Oscar and Mary E. Mr. Dabbs owns a large farm, comprising 534 acres, and follows farming. He was engaged in a meat market 13 years. Politically Mr. Dabbs is a republican, having voted with that party since its organization. He has held the office of school director and is a member of the A. F. & A. M. Samuel Dabbs died Dec. 12, 1853, and his widow, Mrs. Mary Dabbs, Sept. 12, 1855. Both are buried in the old cemetery at Otterville.
     The first settlement on what is called Otter Creek Prairie was made in 1827 by Josiah White. He also built the first house on the prairie, on the farm now owned by John Sisson. He died in this township. He was the son of Joseph White, one of the early settlers of Lofton’s Prairie.
     Jesse White, deceased, was born in Madison county, Ill. in 1807. His father, Joseph White was a native of South Carolina, and his mother Elizabeth (Self) White, of Georgia. They came to this state in 1805 and settled in Madison county, near Edwardsville, in 1818. They moved to Jersey county and lived there four years, then removed to Greene county, and settled near where the town of Kane now stands. In 1838 they removed to Otter Creek township, where Joseph White built a grist mill on Otter creek, south of the present town of Otterville. He operated the mill and continued to reside there until his death, which occurred in 1840. He had six sons: Joab, who settled in Mississippi township; Josiah, who settled in Otter Creek; Jesse, subject of this sketch, who settled two miles west of Kane, in Greene county; Joseph, who also settled near Kane; Stephen, who settled near the same place; and Jehu, who settled in Greene county. Jesse White was married in 1827 to Tabitha Carrico, a native of Mason county, Ky. They had six children born to them, two of whom died in infancy. Those who lived to maturity were: Nancy, deceased, wife of J. G. Harper, of Greene county; Lewis, now living in Otterville; Baalam, of Greene county; and Ira, also of Greene county. Mr. White died in 1873 in Otterville. He was a consistent member of the Cumberland Presbyterian church. His wife is a member also. She is now living with her son Lewis, in Otterville.
     Lewis White, son of Jesse and Tabitha White, was born in Greene county, near Kane, in Oct. 1831. He remained in that county, on a farm, until 1873, when he moved to a place two miles east of Carrollton, where he lived five years. At the expiration of that time he removed to Jersey county, locating three miles east of the city of Jerseyville. He then moved to Missouri. One year later he came back to this county, and settled where he now lives, in Otterville. He is by trade a wagon maker. Mr. White was married in Oct. 1856, to Lucinda A. Cook, a native of Tennessee. Seven children were born to them, three of whom are living: John H., Charles M., and Justus V. Four children died in infancy. Mrs. White died Feb. 1, 1861 in Missouri. Mr. White is a member of the A. F. & A. M., a skilled workman at this trade, and an esteemed citizen.
     Gregg McDanel and his wife settled in Otter Creek township in the fall of 1828, on Sec. 7, where he lived for many years. He constructed a dam and mill for sawing lumber on Otter creek in 1828, and two years later a mill for grinding corn. Mr. McDanel came here from Madison county, and died in Sept. 1859, leaving a large landed estate. His wife, Rachel (Cooper) McDanel, died May 1861. Gregg McDanel built a large flouring mill at Upper Grafton in 1857, through the persuasion of Henry Shaff, a young miller, which proved a disastrous failure. His son, Charles McDanel, resides on the old homestead.
     Charles McDanel is a son of Gregg and Rachel (Cooper) McDanel, who settled in Madison county in 1820. They removed to Jersey county in 1828, locating on Sec. 7, Otter Creek township, where Charles now resides. Gregg McDanel died in Sept. 1859, and is wife in May 1861. Both are buried in the Noble cemetery. Charles McDanel was born in Mardison county, Ill. in 1827, and was one year old when his parents settled in this county. He was reared to the occupation of farming, also worked in a saw and grist mill. He received a good education, attending the district school and afterwards Shurtleff College, at Upper Alton. In November 1865 he was married to Amanda Dabbs, who was born in Otter Creek township. Mr. and Mrs. McDanel are the parents of eight children: Sarah Leonora, Rachel A., Charles G., Georgiana, Ada Maria, Mark L., William R., and Grace Adella. Mr. McDanel is one of the most extensive land owners in Jersey county, having 1,400 acres, and carries on general farming. He is a member of the A. F. & A. M. Mr McDanel has spent almost his entire life in this township, and has witnessed its development. He has contributed his full share toward effecting the transformaton from a scene of natural wildness to a country of comfortable homes and a land teeming with wealth and material prosperity. These solid comforts of life have been secured by the industry and sacrifice of those early settlers, and among them Mr. McDanel is now in the enjoyment of an abundant competency and can spend his remaining years in peace and happiness.
     Jasper M. Terry was a settler of the year of 1828, on section 24. A sketch of this gentleman appears in the National, State and County Representation chapter.
     Henry Clay Terry, son of Jasper M. and Mary A. (Wagoner) Terry, was born in Otter Creek township, Sept. 25, 1845. He was brought up on a farm in this township, and attended the district schools of the neighborhood. In 1864 he enlisted in the 124th Inf., an served in that regiment until July 1865. He was then transferred to Co. C. of the 33rd Ill. Regt., and served until Nov. of the same year. He took part in the battles of Benton, Yazoo, and Spanish Fort, returning home Dec. 7, that winter, he attended school in Otterville, and the following year, became a student at Shurtleff College, where he continued one year, then went, in the winter of 1867-8 to the Commercial College, at Poughkeepsie, N.Y. In the spring of 1870 he returned to Otterville, and engaged in the milling business, in company with H. E. Dougherty; this partnership lasted until July 1873. Mr. Terry then went to Christian county, and bought a farm near Rosamond, on which he lived until Jan. 1875, at which date he sold it and removed to Jerseyville, to his present residence on section 24, Otter Creek township, formerly the farm of his father. It comprises 160 acres, and is in a high state of cultivation, and well improved. His business is general farming. Mr. Terry was married Sept. 28, 1870, to Mary Cadwalader of Otterville, Jersey county, Ill. They have three children: Addie May, born Aug. 18, 1871; Charles H., born Oct. 28, 1873; and Lora F., born Oct. 23, 1876. Mr. Terry belongs to the A. F. & A. M. and also to the G.A.R. He is one of the directors of the board of agriculture of Jersey county. He is the only one of his father’s family now living in Jersey county.
     On the 18th of March 1829, Tarlton F. Brock settled on the northeast quarter of section 25 in this township. He was born July 16, 1802, in Franklin county, Va. His ancestors, who were originally for England, had resided there for several generations. He emigrated with his fathr’s family to the Missouri territory in the fall of 1818, and settled in Franklin county, about 60 miles west of St. Louis, from where he removed to the present limits of Greene county, Ill., in 1825. March 20, 1829, he located on Otter Creek prairie, on Sec. 25, T.7, R.12, where he remained until his death, Nov. 6, 1876. He was a life-long Methodist in his church relations, being a member of the quarterly conference for nearly 50 years. The writer, his son, well remembers the pioneer Methodist preachers who were always welcome at his father’s house: John T. Johnson, Hadley, John Dew, Deneen Phelps, Cartwright, Akers, Barger, Robbins, Heath, Wollard, Peters, Anderson, the Corringtons, Norman Allyn, the gifted C. W. Lewis, and many others. T. F. Brock was the first postmaster at Otter Creek, being the second post office in the county. He was a strong advocate of education, temperance and Sunday schools.
     Dr. Silas Hamilton came to Otter Creek township in the spring of 1830. He was born in Tinmouth, Vt. His father Captain Nathaniel Hamilton, commanded a company of Green Mountain boys in the Revolutionary war. The family afterwards made a settlement in Ohio, and finally he removed to Monroe county, Ill. Dr. Hamilton was an accomplished physician, and before coming to the country, had been practicing in Mississippi, back of Natchez. He born a high reputation while he lived in this county, and if his life had been longer spared, he would undoubtedly have risen to a high place here. Dr. Hamilton was the owner of a considerable number of slaves, whom, in his lifetime, he liberated. After his death, a fine monument of Italian marble, which still stands, was erected to his memory at Otterville. This monument bears the following inscription: “To the memory of Dr. Silas Hamilton, his former master, born at Tinmouth, Vt., May 19, 1775; died at Otterville, Nov. 19, 1834; having in his lifetime given freedom to 28 slaves, and at his death bequeathed $4,000 for the erection and endowment of the Hamilton Primary School.” There is also an inscription stating that the monument was “erected by George Washington, born in Virginia, a slave, died at Otterville, Ill., April 18, 1864, a christian freeman.” The school building erected by the doctor, and spoken of in the first inscription, is a stone structure, and is even yet a handsome appearing edifice.
     William Hamilton, a brother of Dr. Silas Hamilton, made a settlement on section 13, of this township, in 1830. He was from the state of Vermont, and losing his wife in 1828, he with his three sons immigrated to this state in 1830, and located upon the northeast quarter of the section, where he lived the remainder of his life. He was an active, energetic man, and higly esteemed by all. He died at the residence of Jephtha Dixon, in Calhoun county, July 22, 1849.
     William McDow came to Otter Creek township, in the fall of 1830, and settled where he now resides.
     William McDow, son of John and Margaret (Gilham) McDow, was born in Madison county, Ill., Feb. 2, 1808. His parents were natives of North Carolina. In 1809, his father moved his family to a farm near St. Louis, where they lived till 1815. In that year they moved to Boone county, Mo., where they lived nine years, and then returned to Illinois, locating in Jersey county, near Newbern. William resided here with his parents until the fall of 1830, when he removed to Otter Creek township, and bought 160 acres of government land, for which he paid $1.25 per acre. He built a log house the same year, in which he lived about 30 years. He now has a well improved place, with a good frame house and barn. He was married April 11, 1830, to Delilah Wagoner, daughter of David Wagoner. She was born in Virginia in 1808. They have had eight children, seven of whom are now living: Marion, living in Otterville; Ellen, wife of Charles Shelton Roads, of Macoupin county; Margaret, living with her parents; Mary, wife of Ziba Noble, Quarry township; William H., of Alton; Josephine, wife of Lawrence Green, of Kansas City, Mo.; and Allie, living at home with her parents. Mr. McDow’s farm contains 278 acres, which he rents, but still resides upon the place.
     Marion McDow has resided in the township over half a century, having been born here in 1830. He is a son of William McDow.
     James Derrick settled where Samuel Dougherty now lives in 1830. That location was on Sec. 14. That same year all the family had the bilious fever, and Mrs. Derrick took an overdose of laudanum and died. Derrick knocked around about a year, married a widow named Hurd, and moved to Missouri. He was driver out of there by bushwhackers during the war. He returned to Missouri after the rebellion was over.
     Solomon Dixon came in the spring of 1830, and located on the place where William Dougherty now resides. He died in 1831, and his widow sold the improvement to Thomas Hamilton. The widow and her family then removed to Macoupin county. Dixon was a native of Tennessee.
     Among other settlers of this year, 1830, were the following: Maurice Armstrong, on Sec. 13; Elijah Brown, Sec. 12; and James Hinson. Maurice Armstrong soon sold out, removing to the neighborhood of Fieldon, from where he removed to Montgomery county.
     Thomas H. Hamilton came in the spring of 1831, and brought the improvement made by Solomon Dixon, buying from the latter’s widow. He came to Illinois from Ohio in 1818, and located in Monroe county. On the 9th of May 1831, he came to Jersey county. He was a carpenter by trade. He died in the fall of 1844, leaving three sons: Nathaniel, Dr. J. O., and Rev. B.B.
     With him came Daniel H. Hamilton, who entered land on section 14. These were both brothers of Dr. Silas Hamilton.
     Jay M. Hurd, whose sketch occurs elsewhere, was a settler of 1831. He came here the year previous, with his uncle, Dr. Hamilton, but, being taken sick, returned to his eastern home, but the following spring came back.With him came his parents, Ezra and Polly H. Hurd, but they died soon after.
     James F. Terry and Ezekiel Chance were also settlers of the year 1831, the former locating upon section 24.
     William Dougharty, Sr. came in September 1832, and located on the farm now owned by his eldest son, John G.
     John G. Dougherty has been a resident of Otter Creek township since 1832, having come here with his parents in September of that year. He was born in Adams county, Miss. in 1820, and is a son of William and Janet (Fowler) Dougherty, the former a native of South Carolina, and the latter of New York. The subject of this sketch has always followed farming. He now owns a fine farm comprising 656 acres, with splendid improvements. He was married in 1845 to Susan Millross, a native of Scotland. They are the parents of eight children, six of whom are living: Louisa, wife of J. C. Cadwalader, of this township; George H., living at home; William, living in this township; Irene, wife of C. A. L. Reed, M.D.,of Hamilton, O.; Leonora, wife of Milton Noble, of this township; and John, living at home with his parents. Julius died in 1849, and Anna in 1881. Mr. Dougherty’s father, William, died in 1833, and his mother in 1862.
     Henry Noble, a native of Maryland, but a long time resident of the state of Mississippi, came to Jersey county in 1833, landing at Grafton on the 3rd of April. He immediately purchased some 400 acres of land on section 10 and 15, in this township, and settled down to the hard life of a pioneer. Mr. Noble was married in the state of Mississippi to Mary Swayze, a native of New Jersey. He was the father of quite a family of children, some of whom have risen to considerable distinction: Reuben, having been until lately the judge of the 5th judicial district of Iowa; Caleb, associate justice of this county, and others. Mr. Noble was noted throughout this county as a man of the strictest integrity and sterling worth. He died in July 1852 at his place near Otterville.
     Caleb Noble came with his parents in 1833. He was born in Adams county, Miss. in 1817. He was married in 1840 to Electa Gillham, a native of Illinois. She died in 1852.
     William Noble came to Otter Creek township in 1833, he being then six years old. He was born in Adams county, Mississippi in 1827. His parents, Henry and Nancy Ann (Curry) Noble, resided in this township from 1833 until their death, his father dying in 1852 and his mother in 1850. William H. was brought up on a farm and has always followed agricultural pursuits. He was married, on the 4th of March 1849, to Thirza Chappell, a native of England. They are the parents of six children: Israel Co., of Otter Creek township; Emma M., wife of Theodore Dodson of Jerseyville, Ill.; William H., of this township; Milton B., of this township; James R. and Jesse C., living with their parents. Mr. Noble owns 281 acres of land on sections 14 and 15, 200 on section 10, and 40 on section 9, of Otter Creek township. His residence is one of the oldest frame houses in Jersey county. He carries on general farming. Mr. Noble and all of his family are members of the Presbyterian church.
     Samuel J. M. Dougherty settled where he now lives in Otter Creek township in 1845, since which this has been his home. He was born in the state of Mississippi in 1810. His parents, James and Arkada (Varnada) Dougherty, were natives of South Carolina, who came to Jersey county in 1834, and settled where Samuel now lives, in this township. Here James Dougherty died in 1843. The subject of this sketch was married in 1846 to Elizabeth Cook, who was born in Mississippi, and came with her parents to this state in 1835. Mr. Dougherty owns a fine farm, comprising 275 acres of land, all improved, and is engaged in general farming. Mr. and Mrs. Dougherty are the parents of four children, two of whom are still living: Joseph C., of this township, and Mary A. James H. died while in the service of his country during the war of the Rebellion. He was a member of Co. C., of the 61st Ill. Inft. Alexander F. die at the age of four years. Mr. Dougherty and his family are members of the M.E. Church. He is a republican politically, and was formerly a whig. Although advanced in years he is still vigorous and hearty, and a well informed, intelligent gentlemen.
     Jeremiah O. Stillwell was born in Haywood county, N.C., July 28, 1814. He came to Illinois in 1834, and located in what is now Jersey county, on the northeast quarter of Sec. 27, T7, R12, about two miles southwest of the place where the village of Otterville is now located. He was married Dec. 14, 1837, to Ann Eliza White, who was born Oct. 1, 1821, in Chatham county, N.C., and who came to Illinois with her parents about the same time Mr. Stillwell did. There were born to Mr. and Mrs. Stillwell 13 children, of whom only six are now living: five sons, Virgin, Leander, Reuben, Logan, Ernest, and a daughter, Louisa. Mr. Stillwell resided on the old homestead until 1881, when he sold out and moved to Anderson county, Kan., where he now resides, engaged in farming and stock-raising. Politically, Mr. Stillwell was an old-line whig, but on the dissolution of that party, he allied himself, in 1854, with the republican party, with which he has ever since voted and acted.
     Leander Stillwell, son of Jeremiah O. and Ann Eliza (White) Stillwell, was born in Otter Creek precinct, Jersey county, Ill., Sept. 16, 1843. He received a limited common school education, at the old Stone school house in Otterville. On Jan. 7, 1862, he enlisted as a private in Co. D., 61st Ill. Inf., and in Feb. 1864, re-enlisted as a veteran volunteer in the same company and regiment, and served to the end of the war, being mustered out as 1st lieutenant, and having served continuously nearly four years. At the close of the war, he studied law at Albany law school, and was admitted to the bar in Dec. 1867. He immigrated to Kansas in May 1868, locating at Erie, Neosho county, where he engaged in the practice of law. He was married in 1872 to Miss Anna L. Stauber. He was elected to the lower house of the Kansas legislature in 1876, and in 1883, was elected judge of the seventh judicial district, consisting of the counties of Allen, Neosho, Wilson and Woodson, which position he now holds. Politically, he is a republican.
     Ephraim Fredenburg settled in Otter Creek township in 1837. He was born in Toronto, Canada, in 1817, his parents being Aaron and Mary (Routledge) Fredenburg. His early life was spent in his native country, where, in his youth, he learned the carpenter trade. In 1837 he came to Jersey county, Ill., and settled in Otter Creek township, where he continued to reside until is death, which occurred in January 1880. He owned a farm of 40 acres. He was married in 1844 to Mary A. Lofton, who was born in this county. Six children were born to them: Charles H., now living in Grafton; Catharine, wife of Charles Blish, of Jerseyville; Elizabeth J., wife of R. R. Nugent, of Grafton; Caroline C., wife of Thomas J. Cannada, of Otterville; Delevan, living at home; and Celinda, wife of Frank Calhoun of Otterville. Their son, Charles H., served one year in the army during the war of the Rebellion. Mrs. Fredenburg is a member of the Methodist Episcopal church.
     Reuben T. Worthey, son of George and Lucy (Ivins) Worthey, was born in East Tennessee in 1828. In Aug. 1846, he came to Jersey county, Ill., settled in Otter Creek township, and engaged in farming. He has been a resident here since that time and now owns a fine farm of 120 acres. He was married in June 1860 to Mary E. Miner, a native of this county. They are the parents of 11 children, 10 of whom are living: Toney Newton, Josephine, Daniel Benton, Aaron, Louis, Nathaniel, Louisa, Jennette, Christopher, Harry A., and Lucy. Alice is deceased. Mr. Worthey carries on general farming. He is at present school director of this district.
     John W. Sisson, one of the leading farmers of Otter Creek township, is a native of Virginia, born March 7, 1813. He is a son of Abner and Susanna (Hardy) Sisson, both natives of Virginia. In the fall of 1820 they removed from Virginia to Jefferson county, Ky. John W. came to the state of Illinois in May 1837, and settled in Macoupin county, where he lived until 1850, then moved to Jersey county and located where he now resides, on Sec. 13, Otter Creek township. He owns a well improved farm of 295 acres. His residence is a handsome structure, erected at a cost of $8,000. His barn and other farm buildings are of a corresponding description. Mr. Sisson was married in Feb. 1843, to Martha J. Eaton, a native of Kentucky. They are the parents of eight children: Susan S., wife of Charles Stephenson, of Nebraska; Henry Hardy, now in Nebraska; John Franklin, living in Logan county, Ill.; Louisa Maria, wife of Shepherd Bell, of Nebraska; Emma Cordelia, wife of Israel Noble, of Jersey county; Jessie May, living with her parents; Cyrus Ausbury and Olive Augusta, also living at home. He is engaged in general farming. He came here in very limited circumstances, and his present highly prosperous condition is due entirely to his own industry and wise management.
     Thomas Edsall, son of Coe and Lidice H. (Perry) Edsall, was born in Jersey county in 1841. Coe Edsall was a native of New York, and his wife of Tennessee. The subject of this sketch grew to manhood in this county. During the war of the Rebellion he served ten months as a member of Co. E. of the 9th Ill. Cav. He has always followed the occupation of farming and now owns a good farm of 120 acres in Otter Creek township. He was married in 1884 to Eliza A. Myers, a native of Reynolds county, Mo. She is a daughter of Lorenzo D. and Angeline (Legate) Myers. Mrs. Angeline Myers was born in 1820 and died in the year 1881. She was an old settler of Jersey county, was well known and highly respected. Mr. Edsall has served two terms as road commissioner, and is a highly respected citizen of this township.
     Charles R. Kirchner, a farmer of Otter Creek township, is a son of George C. and Elizabth (Thurston) Kirchner, natives of Prussia, who came to America in 1825. Charles R. was born in Jersey county in 1850. He here grew to manhood, receiving his education in the district schools of English township and the graded schools of Jerseyville. In 1870 he was married to Charlotte Hinson, a native of this county. They have three children: Lula Bell, Harry Wesley, and Della Leo. Mr. Kirchner owns a farm of 120 acres, located on Sec. 15. Mr. and Mrs. Kirchner are members of the Methodist Episcopal church. George C. Kirchner improved one of the first farms in English township, located on Secs. 31 and 32. George Kirchner died Dec. 11, 1881, and his wife Elizabeth in the fall of 1865. Both are buried in the Jerseyville cemetery.
     Samuel C. Ellis was born in East Tennessee in 1824. His parents were Elijah and Amanda (Cox) Ellis, the former a native of Tennessee, and the latter of Pennsylvania. When Samuel was quite young his parents moved to Pennsylvania, then to Ohio, where his mother died August 6, 1826, and his father in 1835. After his father’s death he went back to Pennsylvania, where he remained until 1841. He then returned to Ohio, and in the spring of 1846 enlisted in the Mexican war, joining Co. G. 2nd Ohio Regt. He was in the service two years, after which he came to this state, and settled in Quarry township, Jersey county. He followed farming there until 1872, then removed to Otterville, and has lived in this neighborhood ever since. In 1850 he was married to Mary M. Edsall, who was born in Pennsylvania. They have had two children: Linda Maria, who died June 14, 1860, aged nine years; and Ida Jane, wife of J. N. Noble, of Quarry township. Mr. Ellis owns a farm of 80 acres. He is a member of the Masonic fraternity and an Odd Fellow. Mrs. Ellis is a member of the Methodist Episcopal church.
     John T. Swan, a farmer of this county, was born in 1823, in St. Clair county, Ill. He is a son of Francis and Elizabeth (Chambers) Swan, the former a native of Kentucky, and the latter of Virginia. He came to this country in 1826 with his parents, and settled two miles west of Carrollton, Greene county. There he lived until he was about ten years old, when they moved to Mississippi township, this county, and lived there 15 years. They then moved to Sec. 25, Otter Creek township, which has since been his home, and where he now owns 80 acres of good land. He was married in 1856 to Melissa Fell, a native of this state. They have two children: Laura, wife of O. S. Davidson, of Virden, Ill.; and Mary, wife of Silas Spangle, of this township. Mr. Swan is a member of the M. E. Church. He takes considerable interest in public affairs, and has been town trustee. His mother died in 1844, and his father in 1846, and both were buried in Salem church cemetery.
     Henry S. Rogers, a prominent farmer of Otter Creek township, is a native of Scioto county, Ohio, born in the year 1821. His father, Elias P. Rogers, was born on Long Island, N.Y., and his mother, Susanna (Spangle) Rogers, in Pennsylvania. Henry S. Rogers came to Illinois in 1840, locating in St. Clair county. Eight months later he removed to Jersey county and settled in Jerseyville township, where he lived four years. He moved to a farm on the Illinois river bottom, upon which he lived two years and kept the farm, then went to Monroe county, Ill., and remained one year, then returned to Jersey county, lived here four years, and removed to Johnson county, Ind., where for two years he was proprietor of a paper called the Franklin Jeffersonian. At the expiration of that time, he came back to Jersey county and stayed five years engaged in blacksmithing, then went to Montgomery county, Ill., then went to Montgomery county, Ill., and there followed farming eighteen months, after which he purchased the farm in this county, upon which he now resides. It is located in Otter Creek township, and comprises 340 acres. Mr. Rogers was married in 1844, to Rachel Vanausdall, a native of Ohio. Eight children were born to them: Austin J., born in 1847, and died in 1879; Desdemona, born in 1849 and died in 1865; Margaret H., born in 1860, and died in 1865; Cornelius W., born in 1854, now living at home; Mary E., born in 1851, now the wife of T. A. Davis, of Winchester, Ill.; John V., born in 1857, living at home; Teresa C., born in 1863, now the wife of Seth Fisk, of this county; and Rowena Maud, born in 1865, living at home. Mrs. Rogers died in 1879, and was buried in the Noble cemetery, near Otterville. Mr. Rogers is a member of the I.O.O.F., and has for the past forty years, held connection with the Baptist church. He is at present serving as township trustee.
     Noah T. Rogers settled where he now resides, on section 11, Otter Creek township, in 1846. He is a son of Elias P. and Susanna (Spangle) Rogers, and was born in Scioto county, O., in 1824. He was married in 1849 to Sarah McDaniel, a native of Illinois. By this union there were seven children, six of whom are living: Sarah A., William C., Viola V., Maria L., Dora J., and Ada. He owns 198 1/2 acres of land. Mrs. Rogers also owns 180 acres in this county, and 240 acres in Madison county. Mr. Rogers is a justice of the peace and a township supervisor, having held both offices for a number of years. His is a member of the I.O.O.F., also of the A. F. & A. M.
     Hiram White a farmer of Otter Creek township, was born in Clinton county, Ill., Dec. 16, 1843. He is a son of Thomas and Rebecca White, who came to Jersey county in 1845, and settled on section 26, Otter Creek township, where Hiram White now lives. Thos. White died in 1850 and his wife, Rebecca in 1884. Hiram White was married in 1868 to Julia Hill, a native of Georgia. They have three children: Nettie Delight, Iva Nellie and Elda May. Mr. White served five months in the army during the war of the Rebellion, enlisting in the 27th Ill. Inf. He was discharged for disability and returned home. He owns 80 acres of valuable land and is engaged in general farming. He is a member of the I.O.O.F.
     Andrew Spangle of Otter Creek township was born in Ohio in 1818, and is a son of Jacob and Sarah (Johnson) Spangle, natives of the same state. In the year 1832 he came to Jersey county, and settled on the place where he now resides. He has 200 acres of well improved land, and is engaged in general farming. In 1846 he was united in marriage with Susan Hughes, who was born in Ohio. They reared a family of eight children: Ellen, who was married to Linus Humiston, and died in 1879; Silas, living in this township; Louis, at home; George, living in Mississippi township; Julia, at home; Albert, living in this township; Emma, wife of James Botkin; and Jasper, of English township. Mr. and Mrs. Spangle are members of the Baptist church.
     Isaac Kennedy was born in Hendricks county, Inds., April 10, 1838, his parents being Levi adn Elizabeth (Smith) Kennedy, both natives of Kentucky. Isaac came to this county in 1854, and settled in Quarry township remaining there two years. He then moved to Christian county, but after a few months, returned to Jersey county and located in Otter Creek township, where he has since resided. He was married on the 27th day of May, 1850, to Elizabeth Davis, a nataive of Indiana. They are parents of two children: Isaac Newton, of Otterville, and Jesse, living at home. Mr. and Mrs. Kennedy are members of the Baptist Church.
     Louis Albrecht was born in Germany in 1834, and is a son of Ignatius and Victoria (Tischler) Albrecht, both natives of Germany. He cam to the United States in 1867, and located first at Memphis, Tenn., where he remained six months, then went to Iowa, then soon after, to Missouri. Three months later he came to Illinois, and stopped three months in Brighton, after which he came to Jersey county, locating at Grafton, where he resided one year. At the expiration of that time he moved to a farm near Grafton, where he spent four years, taking care of a vineyard. In 1872 he rented a farm in Otter Creek township, and in 1876 moved to the farm where he now lives. He rented the same for a period of five years, but at the end of two years purchased the place. It is located on Sec. 34, and comprises 119 acres of valuable and well improved land. He was married in 1865 to Elizabeth Willmann, a native of Germany. Three children have been born to them: John Michael, Joseph Louis, and Maggie Elizabeth, all attending the district school. Mr. Albrecht, before coming to this country, served nine years in the German army. He was also a conductor on a railroad in that country, and kept a store there two years. He is at present serving as school director.
     James F. Moss, a farmer of Otter Creek township, was born in Jefferson county, Ill. in 1825, being a son of Ransom and Anna (Johnson) Moss, both of whom were native Virginians, and came to this state in 1818, settling in the county where James was born, near Mt. Vernon. His father there died in 1835, and his mother still lives in that county. The subject of this sketch came to his county in 1849, locating first in Grafton, and there remained one winter. He then came to this township, and located on Sec. 25, and rented a farm, which subsequently he purchased and where he now lives. He was married in 1846 to Martha Brock, a native of this county. By that union were nine children, only tow of whom, Samantha J. and James C., are now living. His first wife died Jan. 2, 1864, and July 27 of the following year he was married to Lucinda C. Slaten, a native of this county. By this marriage were six children: Neenah, Nettie D., Fannie R., Ruth, Harmon W., and Carrie. Mr. Moss takes a commendable interest in public affairs, and has been school director and trustee. He has always made farming a business and now owns 200 acres of land.
     James C. Moss, son of James F. and Martha (Brock) Moss, was born in Jersey county in the year 1858. His early life was spent here and his education obtained in the district schools of this neighborhood. In 1877 he was untied in marriage with Alma C. Hinman, who was born in Jefferson county, Ill. They are the parents of one child: Freddie, aged two years. Mr. and Mrs. Moss are members of the Methodist Episcopal church in which they take an active interest. Mr. Moss is superintendent of the Sunday school and in that capacity is well liked and highly useful.
     Daniel Newberry came to Jersey county in 1856, locating then in Otter Creek township. He was born in New Jersey in 1806, his parents being Daniel and Elizabeth (Smallwood) Newberry, both natives of New Jersey. Daniel Newberry was married in 1827 to Elizabeth Jones, a native of Clermont county, Ohio. Nine children were born to them, tow of whom are now living: Louisa, wife of J. W. Lane, of this township; and Hamilton D., now living in Montgomery county, Ill. Mr. Newberry has a farm of 80 acres, and has always been a farmer. Both he and his wife are consistent members of the M.E. church.
     Marion McDow was born in Jersey county in the year 1830, and is a son of William and Delilah (Waggoner) McDow. The subject of this sketch has spent most of his life in Otter Creek township, where he now lives. He was married in 1862, to Melissa Rogers, a native of Otter Creek township. In 1853 he went to California, remaining there until 1861, engaged in blacksmithing. He then returned to Jersey county. He owns 120 acres of land and town property, consisting of a residence and five lots. He has served as township assessor, two terms.
     Henry T. Miller was born in the kingdom of Hanover, Germany, in the year 1838, and is the son of Henry and Charlotte (Hincey) Miller, natives of that country. The subject of this sketch came to America in the year 1848, and settled in St. Louis, Mo., where he learned the trade of turner, with the firm of Woodburn & Scott, where he worked fifteen years. He then went to Calhoun county, Ill., and was a resident of that county five years, after which he moved to Clark county, Mo. One year later he came to Jersey county and settled in T7, R12, Sec. 36, where he still lives. He owns a farm of 80 acres and carries on general farming. In 1862, Mr. Miller was married to Melvina M. Miller, a native of Ohio. Four children have blessed their union: Scena, wife of Phillip Maxwell, of Burden, Kan.; Fannie Bell, wife of Samuel S. Leppler, of Burden, Kan.; Susie, wife of Edward W. Maxwell, of this township; and Thomas Henry, at home. Mr. Miller has been school director of his district four years. His father, Henry Miller, died in St. Louis, in 1874, and his mother now lives in Calhoun county.
     James Shortal is a native of Kilkenny, Ireland, born June 15, 1815. He is a son of Robert and Bridget (Griffin) Shortal. In 1847, James Shortal emigrated to America, landing in New York city, where he resided 12 years. In March 1865 he moved to Jersey county, Ill., settling in Otter Creek township, where he now owns a valuable and well improved farm, containing 277 1/2 acres of land. He has a commodious and comfortable residence, erected at a cost of $2,500. He began life without financial capital, and has accumulated his property unaided. He carried on general farming. He was married, in 1849, to Mary Sangford, also a native of Kilkenny, Ireland. Six children were born to them, only one of whom is now living, Samuel, who resides upon the farm with his father. Bridget was married to James O’Neal, who died in 1877. She died Feb. 2, 1879 in Colorado. Robert died Sept. 29, 1882 in this county. Margaret died in 1858. Mary died in 1859, and Ellen in 1861. The three last named are buried in Bordentown, New Jersey. Mr. Shortal and his family are members of the Catholic church. He has five grandchildren living with him, all of whom attend the district school.
     Edward D. Howard, a farmer of Otter Creek township, is a son of Beal and Ann R. Howard, both natives of Fairfax county, Va. They emigrated to Illinois in 1829, and settled at Alton, where Edward was born in 1843. When he was eight years old he removed with his parents, to a farm four miles north of Alton, upon which they lived until the fall of 1868. He then went to Montgomery county, and remained until 1875. In that year he came to Otter Creek township, where he has since resided. In Oct. 1882, he went to New Mexico, with the intention of making that his home, but not being pleased with the country, returned after a few months. He was married April 9, 1868, to Emma M. Terry, of this township, and by this union had five children: Jasper E., Thomas Henry, Anna, Eva, and Cartney Leroy. Mr. Howard owns a good farm containing 150 acres, all under cultivation and well improved. He carried on general farming. His father, Beal Howard, died in 1874, and his mother in 1861.
     Jesse K. Cadwalader is a son of John and Mary (Branson) Cadwalader, and was born in 1846, in Fulton county, Ill. He remained with his parents, on a farm, in that county till April 1858, then came to Jersey county and settled in Otter Creek township. After coming here he attended one year (1866) at Shurtleff college, at Upper Alton, then returned to the farm, on Sec. 12, where he now resides. In march 1864 he enlisted in teh 124th Ill. Inf., and served until June 13, 1865. He participated in teh siege of Mobile, Ala. In Sept. 1871, was married to Louisa M. Dougherty, daughter of John S. Dougherty, of Otter Creek township. The are the parents of one child, Mamie D. Mr. Cadwalader owns 279 acres of land, all of which is improved except 30 acres of timber; also, a residence in Jerseyville. He makes a business of stock-raising, paying particular attention to short-horn cattle. Mr. Cadwalader and his family are members of the Methodist Episcopal church. He is a member of the Masonic fraternity, an has held the office of township supervisor two years. John Cadwalader was born in Harrison county, Ohio, Feb. 29, 1812, and died Nov. 24, 1880. His wife, Mary (Branson) Cadwalader, was born in 1818, and is now living in Jerseyville.
     Adrastus Calhoun came to Jersey county in 1833, accompanying his parents, Solomon and Rhoda (Walker) Calhoun. They settled near the site of the present city of Jerseyville. Solomon Calhoun was a native of New Hampshire, and his wife of Massachusetts. They remained residents of Jersey county until their death. Solomon Calhoun died near Jerseyville in 1869. His widow survived until Jan. 1882. Both are buried in the Jerseyville cemetery. The subject of this sketch was born in Vermont in 1828, and was five years of age when he came to this county, which has ever since been his home. He was educated in the public schools of this county, and in 1859, married to Emeline Moore, who was born in this county. Mr. Calhoun has a fine farm of 260 acres, with a handsome and commodious residence. He is engaged in general farming. He is a the present assessor of Otter Creek township, and a member of the Masonic fraternity. Mr. and Mrs. Calhoun have six children: Frank, living near Otterville; Charles, in Belleville, Ill.; Caleb, James, Joseph and Frederick, living with their parents. Mr. Calhoun has in his possession a gun which was carried through the Revolutionary war by his grandfather, who was a soldier in the British army, but who deserted to join the colonists.
     Isaac T. Patton was born in Tennessee in the year 1828, and is a son of Josiah and Julia (Coile) Patton, the former a native of Tennessee, and the latter of South Carolina. In 1831, the family removed to Illinois, and settled in Bond county, where Isaac remained until 1854. In that year he came to Jersey county, locating there on the place where he now resides, on section 34, Otter Creek township. He owns 71 acres of valuable land, and is engaged in farming. In 1850 he was married to Jane Wilkinson, a native of Kentucky, and by this union, has seven children: Sylvester, living in this township; John, in Jerseyville; Alice, now married, and living in this township; Nancy, wife of John Lethler, also of this township; Rhoda, Freddie and Lula, living with their parents. Mr. Patton and wife are members of the Baptist church, in which he is a deacon. He has held the office of school director, and is a highly respected citizen.
     Thomas W. Anderson, son of Thomas and Isabel (Barton) Anderson, was born in Warren county, Ohio, Feb. 15, 1830. His parents were natives of the state of Pennsylvania. Thomas W. Anderson came to this county in 1852, coming all the way from Ohio on horseback. He arrived in Jerseyville on the evening of the day that Franklin Pierce was elected president of the United States. He settled then in this township, where he has since resided. He owns 80 acres of well improved land, and in addition to farming buys produce which he ships to St. Louis. Mr. Anderson was married July 25, 1861, to Mary Ann Austin, a native of Wayne county, Ill. Seven children have been born to them, five of whom are living: Rebecca Isabel, born in 1866; William Watson, born in 1868; Jasper Newton, born in 1870; Lydia Ann, and John T. Two sons, Robert Benjamin, died July 19, 1863, and Charles died in 1865. Mr. Anderson is a member of the A. F. & A. M. His father, Thomas Anderson, died in 1866, and his mother, Mrs. Isabel Anderson in 1864.
     Henry L. Slaten is a son of George W. and Clementine Slaten, the former, a native of Georgia, and the latter, of North Carolina. Henry L. was born in Jersey county, in 1842, where he was reared upon a farm. In 1868 he was married to Jane Kulison, also a native of Jersey county. They have three children living: Elmira P., Rollie R. and Zettie May. Mr. Slaten owns a well cultivated farm comprising 120 acres. His improvements are of the best class. He is a member of the A. F. & A. M. April 20, 1861, Mr. Slaten enlisted in the 14th Ill. Inf., and served two months, then returned home and remained until the fall of the same year, when he again enlisted in the 61st Ill. Reg., and served until Dec. 25, 1865. He participated in the battles of Shiloh, Corinth, Vicksburg, Little Rock and others.
     John T. Waggoner was born in Greene county, Ill., in 1850, being a son of John D. and Phoebe Waggoner. His father was born in Kentucky, and his mother in this county. He received his education in the district schools of Jersey and Greene counties. He began farming at an early age, and is still engaged in that business. He was married in March 1878, to Susie R. White, daughter of John L. White. She was born in Greene county. They have but one child, Lacy Earl. At the last school election he was elected to fill the office of director, in that district.


     The Otterville cemetery is located on the northwest quarter of Sec. 14, on land lying within the corporation limits. It was formerly called the Noble cemetery, being on land belonging to William Noble. The first interment made there was that of the mortal remains of Daniel White, oldest child of Josiah White, who died in the fall of 1829. This was also the first burial in the township. The plot of Otterville cemetery was filed for record May 28, 1877.


     Antioch Baptist church is located on the northeast corner of the southeast quarter of Sec. 36. It is the only church in the township outside of Otterville.


     The first school taught within the limits of what now constitutes Otter Creek township was presided over by Mrs. Caroline Ripson. It was opened in the summer of 1832, in the cabin built for Ezra Hurd, who had died the fall before.
     The first school house in the Pleasant Grove district was erected in 1870, and was 16 x 20 feet in size. The first teacher was Mary Jane Slaten. The present building was put up in 1875. It is 16 x 24 feet in size, and cost $300. The first teacher was Alice Hughes. Mrs. Kate B. Owens is the present teacher.
     Grant school house in district No. 2 was erected in 1883. It cost $450. Kate McKinstry taught the first term of school in this building.
     The school building in district No. 3, known as Buckeye school house, was erected in 1880, by John C. Lewis, contractor. The building is 20 x 36 feet in size and cost $500. The enrollment in this school is 35. The teacher is Ned Yerkes.
     Liberty school house, in district No. 4 was built in 1885, at a cost of $500. In size it is 20 x 36 feet. The enrollment is 20.
     Shiloh school house was built in 1872. It is a frame building 22 x 32 feet in size, and cost $1,200. There is an enrollment of 75 in this school, with an average attendance of 40. S. T. Cannedy is the present teacher.


     The first death was Daniel, son of Josiah White, born in 1828.
     The first marriage was that of William McDow and Delilah Waggoner, in the spring of 1830. The ceremony was performed by Rev. Joseph Basey, a Methodist minister, on the farm now owned by Edward Howard.
     Josiah White’s oldest child, Daniel, died in the fall of 1829, and was buried in what was known as the Noble cemetery, now the Otterville cemetery. This was the first death in the township.
     The first grist mill in the county run by water power was erected by Gregg McDanel in 1828, and was located in Otter Creek township, on section 7, on the south bank of Otter creek. It was built in 1830. A saw mill had been built by the same party, in 1828, on the opposite side of the creek. The dam was afterwards washed away, and both mills went down.
     The first justice of the peace was Gilbert Douglas, Sr., elected in 1824. His son is a resident of Des Moines, Iowa.
     The first constable was Jay Montgomery Hurd, elected in 1833.
     The first resident physician was Dr. Silas Hamilton, who located here in 1830.
     The first school was taught by Mrs. Caroline Ripson, in the summer of 1832.
     The first store in the township was opened at the forks of Otter creek, in 1832, by Woodberry Massey, who met with such a tragic fate, three years afterwards, at the Dubuque lead mines.

Village of Otterville

     This is one of the oldest towns in Jersey county. It is located on section 14, the principal part being on the west half of that section. It was surveyed and platted by Geo. I. Foster, county surveyor, Oct. 6, 1866, and the plat was filed for record August 14, 1867, although the palce is, really, many years older than it would seem to indicate.
     Its early possession of good educational facilities was one of the principal causes of the building up of the town. Dr. Silas Hamilton, who died in November 1834, left, by his will, $4,000 for the purpose of education. Of this sum $2,000 was to be expended in the erection of a school building on a site which had previously been selected by the doctor himself. This building was to be large enough to be used for a place of worship. The remaining $2,000 was set apart as an endowment fund for carrying on a primary school. Material was gotten on to the site selected, which was within the present limits of Otterville, and the executors commenced the erection of the present school building thereon in the summer of 1835, finishing the same season. The first term of school opened in June 1836, and was sustained in part by subscription, and partly by interest on the endowment fund. The opening of the school occasioned the settlement of a number of families in the neighborhood to enjoy its educational advantages, and this was the nucleus of the growth of the town.
     A log house which stood on what is now block three, was occupied by a man named Chandler previous to the erection of the school building.
     There has been made to the town of Otterville one addition since the laying out of the place. This was made by Henry E. Dougherty, and was surveyed and platted Aug. 14, 1867, by George I. Foster, conty surveyor. The plat was recorded in the office of the clerk of the circuit court, Nov. 20, 1867.
     The first store in Otterville was started by Joshua Thompson in 1845. About a year afterward he disposed of it to Thornton Hughes. He conducted the business two years and then sold to B. B. Hamilton. In the fall of 1854 he sold out the stock to William Shephard, who afterward closed out the goods.
     The first blacksmith was Thornton Hughes, who established his ship about the year 1846.
     A wagon shop was instituted about the same time by John D. Waggoner, in connection with Hughes’ blacksmith ship. This was also the first wagon shop in the place.

Present Business Interests

     The Otterville Store Company commenced doing business in 1885. The business is managed by H. L. Giers. He handles a general stock of goods, comprising dry goods, groceries, hats and caps, boots and shoes, queensware, glassware, hardware, notions, cigars, tobacco, etc. The building is of frame construction, the main portion being 24 x 55 feet in ground area, with a warehouse attached, 16 x 20 feet. There is also an office room attached, which is 12 x 14 feet in size. The building is two stories in height, the upper floor being used as a hall by the Odd Fellows and Masons.
     H. L. Giers is a son of Louis and Louisa (Rupp) Giers, natives of Germany, and was born in St. Louis, Mo., Oct. 28, 1851. He resided with his parents in St. Louis, where he attended school until he was 11 years of age. At that time he came to Otterville, which has been his residence the greater portion of the time since. He was for three years engaged in mercantile business in company with his uncle, Frederick Giers. The firm then became Giers & Barnes. April 4, 1876, H. C. Giers bought the business of that firm and continued it until March 1880, when he sold out to L. T. Wagoner. In January 1883, Mr. Giers rebuilt the Otterville mill, which he operated six months, then traded the same to C. C. McMurphy for Kansas lands, which he traded for a water-power flouring mill at East Dubuque. He removed there, and engaged in running the mill, 10 months, when it was burned. He then purchased a two-thirds interest in a mill at Alta, Iowa, where he lived 11 months, then sold out and returned to Otterville and engaged in merchandising for the Otterville Store Company. He was united in marriage June 9, 1883, with Isabella Montgomery, of Otterville. They have one child, Henry Webster, age 14 months. Mr. Giers held the office of postmaster one year (then resigned) and assistant postmaster for eight years. He was township treasurer one year, and is a member of A. F. & A. M.
     The drug store of Dr. Williams was established by him Nov. 1, 1879. He keeps a full line of drugs of all kinds, handles patent medicines, druggists’ sundries, cigars, fancy goods, paints, oils, toilet articles, etc. Prescriptions are compounded here with precision and accuracy, the doctor himself being a fine physician, and his assistant, Mr. Case, being a registered pharmacist. A sketch of Dr. Williams will be found in the Medical chapter.
     The wagon making and general repair shop of Lewis White was established in April 1882. The shop is well equipped for doing repairing of all kinds and general blacksmithing.
     L. T. Waggoner, postmaster, is also a dealer in general merchandise. His building is a one story frame, 24 x 70 feet in size. The business was established by him in 1882. The postoffice is in the same building.
     W. H. Lehmkuhl, blacksmith, commenced business in 1878. He does all kinds of general blacksmithing, repair and wagon work, and since May 1885, has been manufacturing a patent fence, constructed of wire and slats, which is acquiring considerable popularity.
     W. H. Lehmkuhl is of German extraction, his father, W. H. Lehmkuhl, being a native of Germany. His mother, Elizabeth (Grether) Lehmkuhl, was born in Missouri. The subject of this sketch was born in St. Louis county, Mo., in 1848. When he was eight years of age his father died, after which he went with his mother to St. Charles, Mo., where they remained a short time, then went to Cattleville, Mo., then soon after to Grafton, Jersey county. One year later they removed to Otterville, where he still resides. Here he received a fair education, and at the age of 16 years began learning the blacksmith trade, which he has followed the greater portion of the time since. In 1864 he enlisted in the 144th Ill., and served until the close of the war. In 1870 he was married to Elmira Montgomery, a native of Otterville. They have three children: William Francis, age 14; John Leo, age 8; and Preston Montgomery, age 5 years. Mr. Lehmkuhl was elected justice of the peace, but resigned after serving one year. He was been a member of the town board two terms. He is the owner of real estate, including residence property and a shop in Otterville.


     The first mill in Otterville was built in 1859 by H. E. Dougherty, William McDow, Ephraim Hughes, and John A. Campbell. It was not a very extensive establishment, and the business out-grew the facilities. A change was made in the proprietorship, H. E. Dougherty and William McDow assuming sole control. Some additions were made to the property, at the conclusion of which Mr. McDow went out of the firm. Mr. Dougherty then took J. M. Terry into partnership, and a new mill was erected. The old mill building was then used as a grain warehouse. The cost of the new plant was $28,000. Additions were subsequently made to the value of $4,000. The new mill commenced running in Aug. 1869. Dougherty afterwards assumed exclusive control of the mill, which he ran until he died. It then lay idle about a year, and was finally sold to a firm composed of H. N. Belt, W. E. Carlin, and W. H. H. West. The business was conducted under this proprietorship for a time, and was then sold to B. F. Waggoner. He ran it until it burned down in 1879. The property was incured for about all that it was then worth. A temporary structure in which to continue operations was soon erected by Humiston & Co., who afterwards sold it to a firm from Kansas, named Lee & Schofield, under whose management it again furnished food for the flames. The boilers still remain of the site of the ruined mill, they now belonging to Mr. Humiston.
     Otterville has a feed mill run by steam. It was put up in 1882 by A. H. Humiston, and does all kinds of custom grinding. Mr. Humiston also keep in stock feed and meal of all kinds, which he handles in large and small quantities.
     Arthur H. Humiston, son of Warren and Elizabeth (Starlin) Humiston, was born in Washington county, O. in 1856. When he was six months old his parents removed to Jersey county, Ill., and settled in Otter Creek township, where he has resided most of the time since. During his early life he worked upon his father’s farm and attended the district school. In 1873, he attended the graded school at Jerseyville for a term of five months. He then returned to Otter Creek and engaged in running a derrick used in erecting stone buildings. He assisted in building the school houses at Otterville and Grafton. After a time he located on a farm near Otterville, where he remained till the spring of 1882, at which time he returned to the village, and build the mill of the Jersey Milling Company. After carrying on that business a few months he sold his interest in the business, and the following spring moved to Kansas, and engaged in the drug business at Abilene, having as a partner, Dr. Curtis. Nine months later he sold out and came back to Otterville. In Dec. 1883 he build and fitted up a steam feed mill, which he operates at the present time. He was married June 2, 1885, to Sarah Gulick, a native of Macoupin county, Ill. He is the owner of real estate, including four lots and mill property in Otterville. Mr. Humiston is a member of the Methodist church, and his wife of the Presbyterian Church.
     Rev. Aaron Dodson has been a resident of Jersey county since 1840, having removed here from Greene county with his parents in that year. He was born in St. Louis county, Mo., Sept. 29, 1822, and is a son of Fletcher A. and Margaret (Toney) Dodson, the former a native of Kentucky and the latter of Virginia. In 1824 they settled on a farm in Greene county, Ill., near where the town of Kane now stands. Aaron grew to manhood on the farm, and attended the district school, thus obtaining a fair education. After coming to this county, he lived on his father’s farm, near Otterville, four years, then came to the village, where he has ever since resided. In 1849 he became a christian, making a public profession of religion. In 1852, after fully preparing himself, he commenced preaching the gospel. In 1854 he was ordained a minister of the Baptist church, known as the Missionary Baptist, and has continue to preach since that time. In 1842 he was married to Margaret M. Biggers, a native of Kentucky. By this union there have been six children: Francis M., now living in Jerseyville; Melvina, wife of Uriah Oberlin, of this township; Theodore, living in Jerseyville; Junius A. of East St. Louis; Mary Belle, wife of George Hocking, of Jacksonville, Ill.; Sarah M., wife of William D. Curtis, of Abilene, Kan. Mrs. Dodson died Feb. 20, 1857. The same year, Mr. Dodson was again married to Mrs. Nancy Montgomery, widow of William D. Montgomery, of Otterville. By this marriage there are four children: James F., living in Abilene, Kan.; Aaron, Jr., at Mendota, Ill.; Irena, wife of Edgar Nutt, of Abilene, Kan.; and Kersey, living with his parents. The second Mrs. Dodson died in 1878. Four years later he was married to Amy Irene Greer, by whom he had one child, Jennie M. Mr. Dodson served in the army three years during the war of the Rebellion, enlisting in 1862, in the 14th Ill. Cav., in which he acted as chaplain during the last six months of his service. He saw much active service, and participated in many engagements. In the fall of 1865 he was elected justice of the peace of this township, in which capacity he has served until the present time, except one year, and that year he served as assessor. He owns 40 acres of land, also town property. As a preacher Mr. Dodson is possessed of much zeal and ability, and has been successful in bringing many to a knowledge of salvation. His father was also a Baptist minister and school teacher over 40 years, 30 of which was spent in Missouri, and died in 1873.
     John B. Carroll, son of Andrew and Jane (Patton) Carroll, was born in Bond county, Ill. in 1844. Andrew Carroll died in 1846. His widow is now living in Otterville. John B. was brought to this county when quite young, and here reared, receiving his education in the district schools. Feb. 4, 1864 he enlisted in the 149th Ill. Inf. Co. G. and served one year. He was united in marriage Dec. 7, 1875, with Anna M. Porter, a native of Jersey county. She was brought up by Rev. James Slaten, of Mississippi township. Mr. and Mrs. Carroll are the parents of two children, Achsah and Beulah. Mr. Carroll has been constable four years, and still holds that office. He is a member of the G.A.R. He carries on, in the capacity of constable, quite an extensive collection business, also engages in loan and real estate business, having a large amount of land upon his list. Mrs. Carroll is a member of the Methodist Episcopal church.
     Allen M. Vanausdall, a carpenter and a resident of Otter Creek township, is among the old settlers, having lived here most of his life. He was born in Monroe county, this state, Aug. 4, 1839, and is a son of John and Mary (Pegan) Vanausdall, the former a nataive of Pennsylvania, and the latter of Virginia. These people were pioneers and came down the Ohio river on a flat boat in 1812, settling near Vincennes, Ind. They were also early settlers in this state, locating near Waterloo, Monroe county, as early as 1824. Thus they were among the early settlers in two states, and contributed their full share toward “opening up” a new country, and setting in motion a series of event, which subsequently made this a desirable home for many people. They continued to live near Waterloo until 1846, when they removed to Rosedale township, Jersey county, and remained four years, then came to this township where they both died. His mother died April 7, 1872, at the age of 76. The subject of this sketch here spent his youth engaging in the multifarious duties incident to farm life, and attending school until 19 years old. Subsequently he owned a farm of 80 acres and engaged in farming until 25 years of age, then came to Otterville and worked at the carpenter’s trade with Michael Murray, and has since been engaged in that business. He was married May 6, 1860, to Agnes Ann Hillman, a native of Iowa. They have five children living: Rose, at home; Mattie, Lillie, Millie and Ebert Sylvester. He is a member of the I.O.O.F.
     Charles F. Bull has been a resident of Jersey county since 1862, having come here in May of that year and settled near Grafton, on the Illinois river bottom. He remained there until 1868, when he moved to Otterville. He was born in Worcester, Mass. in 1845. He is a son of Horace C. and Sarah R. (Baker) Bull, the former born at Westfield, Vt., and the latter at Brattleboro, in the same state. Charles lived with his parents in the states of Connecticut and Massachusetts until he was seven years old. They then moved to Cleveland, Ohio, and two years later to Belleville, Ill., where they remained a few months, then moved to St. Louis. They resided in that city two years, removing in 1857 to St. Charles county, Mo. In the fall of 1861 they moved to Calhoun county, Ill., and the following spring to Jersey county. In 1864 Charles enlisted in the 144th Ill. Inf., and served one year. His father was also in the army, serving three years as a member of Co. K., of the 97th Ill. Inf. Charles was married April 10, 1883, in Fairfield, Ohio to Mary C. Martin. They are the parents of one child, Sarah Roxana. In 1874 Mr. Bull went to Clay county, Neb., and took a homestead of 160 acres, and remained there, teaching most of the time till 1879. He then went to Lebanon, Ohio, and attended the National Normal University until the fall of 1882. The following winter he spent in the southern states, Georgia, Alabama, and Tennessee, returning to Ohio in the spring. After marriage he went south to Tennessee and remained until August 1883, when he returned to Jersey county. During the winter of 1883-84 he taught school at Elsah, and the next winter at Blackjack school house, south of Jerseyville. In April 1885 he came to Otterville, where he at present resides. He owns a house and two lots in Otterville. He is a teacher by profession, for which he is well fitted both by nature and education and in which he is popular and successful. He is a member of the Cumberland Presbyterian church, with which he united in 1869. His wife holds connection with the Protestant Methodist church. He as always been an earnest advocate of the cause of temperance and is a member of the I.O.G.T. He belongs also to the A. F. & A. M., I.O.O.F., and the G.A.R. He has traveled considerably in Texas, the Indian Territory, and several states. He has learned two good trades, hence will always be able to make a good living.
     Silas W. Rogers of Otterville, is a son of William and Elizabeth (Hamilton) Rogers, and was born near this town in 1849. He was brought up on a farm and educated in the public schools of Otterville. When 16 years of age he entered the store of John A. Campbell, with whom he continued six years. He then went into business for himself, which he carried on until May 25, 1885. He was married in the year 1871, to Hattie McKinstry, a native of Jersey county. They are the parents of three children: Eddie, Flora and John. Mr. Rogers was postmaster of Otterville six years and servied two terms upon the board of supervisors, immediately after township organization. He is at present township treasurer and treasurer of the Hamilton fund. He is a member of the Masonic fraternity, also of the I.O.O.F. lodge at Otterville, of which he was the first member initiated. Mrs. Rogers is a member of the Baptist church. While in business here, Mr. Rogers won the respect and esteem of a large number of friends an patrons.
     Isaac Newton Kennedy was born in Otter Creek township, Jersey county, in 1859. His parents, Isaac and Elizabeth (Davis) Kennedy are still living in the township. Both are natives of Indiana. Isaac attended school until 17 years of age, thus obtaining a fair education. He then followed farming three years. At the expiration of that period, he went to Macoupin county and engaged in clerking in a store at Chesterfield. He continued thus employed until Jan. 1883, at which time he returned to Otterville entering the store of S. W. Rogers, for whom he clerked until May 1885, when Mr. Rogers sold out his business. Mr. Kennedy was married Sept. 2, 1884, to Mary C. Hall, of Chesterfield, Macoupin county, Ill. He is at present serving as township collector. He is a member of the I.O.O.F., in which he holds the office of N.G., being re-elected to the same.
     Lewis Humiston, of Otter Creek township, is a son of Jason and Margaret (McNeal) Humiston, the former a native of Wallingford, Conn., and the latter of Morgantown, W.Va. Linus was born in Washington county, O., in 1825. He remained in that county until 21 years of age, engaged in farming and carpentering. He obtained a good education in the public schools, and taught school one term of four months in Ohio. In Sept. 1847, he came to Jersey county and settled in Otterville, where he has ever since resided. He has followed teaching school and carpentering. He was employed about 10 years as teacher of the Otterville school. In Feb. 1864 he enlisted in the 124th Ill. Inf., and served till July 17, 1865, when he transferred to the 33rd Ill. Reg., and was mustered out Dec. 6, 1865. He participated in the following battles: Benton, Yazoo City, Clinton, Jackson Cross Roads, Miss., and Spanish Fort, Ala. Mr. Humiston was married in 1873 to Ellen Spangle, a native of this county, and daughter of Andrew Spangle, of this township. Mr. and Mrs. Humiston have two children, Andrew Jason and Luther Burton. Jason Humiston, father of the subject of this sketch, died in Ohio, Nov. 20, 1854, and his wife, Margaret, March 31, 1849, in the same state.
     Horace K. Barber is a native of the “Green Mountain State,” born in Windham county in 1829, a son of Calvin and Polly B. (Hall) Barber. In 1852 he came to Jersey county and settled in Jerseyville, where he resided till 1870. In that year he moved to Otterville, which has since been his home. He has followed the occupations of carpentering and brickmaking. In 1849 he was united in marriage with Martha E. Reed, also a native of Vermont. The are the parents of seven children: Francis Elliott, who died May 11, 1858, age eight; George Horace, born Aug. 6, 185?, now living in Edgar, Neb.; Arthur, who died March 18, 1854, age eleven months; John A. born Oct. 24, 1855, now living in Carthage, Mo.; Frederick Eugene, who died in 1876, age 18 years; Lula Winnie, who died in 1872, age eight years; and Desdemona, who also died in 1872, at age six years. Mr. Barber enlisted in 1861 in the 14th Ill. Regt., and served as a musician in Co. F., one year. He was mustered out at Corinth, Miss. in June 1862. In Feb. 1865 he again enlisted in the 154th Ill. Inf., and served seven months as commissary sergeant. Mr. Barber is a thorough musician and a band teacher.
     Thomas A. Case, of Otterville, is a son of John B. and Ann (Ross) Case, and was born in the town where he now resides, Oct. 3, 1856. He attended the graded schools of Otterville and later, a private school, thus obtaining a good education, and at the age of 20 years, began teaching in a district school, which he continued five terms. Since 1880 he has clerked in the drug store of Dr. John Williams, during the summer months, and followed teaching during the winter. In 1882 he was elected collector of Otter Creek township, and filled that office one term. He is a member of the I.O.O.F. in which he is P.G.


     Otterville lodge No. 456, I.O.O.F. was organized on the 10th day of Oct. 1871, by T. B. Needles, G.M., and N. C. Nason, G.S., with the following charter members: Albert Livingston, Jesse Cockrell, L. H. Palmer, James C. Buckles, E. N. Yale, John Cooley, Richard Chappell, Joseph Chambers and Joseph Marshaw. The first officers were: Albert Livingston, N.G.; Jesse Cockrell, V.G.’ John Cooley, R.S.; Richard Chappell, Treas. Since then the presiding officers have been as follows: Jesse Cockrell, N.T. Rogers, James C. Buckles, E. J. Hughes, J. C. Noble, J. E. Hurd, John S. Williams, H. K. Barber, S. W. Rogers, W. H. Lehmkuhl, J. S. Turner, William H. Cook, W. C. Rogers, A. J. Milford, W. H. Lehmkuhl, J. S. Williams, W. A. Smith, J. A. Flautt, Vincent Martin, S. Hamilton, Thomas A. Case, Geo. W. White, J. N. Kennedy. The present officers are the following: J. N. Kennedy, N.G.; W. H. Lehmkuhl, V.G.; Thomas A. Case, S.; W. C. Rogers, treasurer. The membership of the lodge is 40 at this writing. A commendable degree of interest is manifested by the members, and the lodge may be said to be in good condition, financially and otherwise. The lodge meets every Saturday evening.
     Otterville lodge No. 563, A. F. & A. M. was organized in 1868, with the following charter members: William J. Hull, O. B. Hamilton, John Lincogle, Rev. Daniel Bell, William Bell, Lewis White and F. A. Claridge. The hall in which the lodge met was burned in 1881, with all the records, so that little of the data of its earlier history is obtainable. The lodge was re-organized Dec. 3, 1881, with the following officers: J. C. Noble, W.M.; H. C. Terry, S.W.; L. H. Slaten, J.W.; N. T. Rodgers, S.D.; J. K. Cadwallader, J.G.; J. F. Curtis, secretary; A. Swantzmiller, tyler. The officers for 1885 are: J. K. Cadwallader, W.M.; J. S. Williams, S.W.; J. A. Flautt, J.W.; J. C. Noble, Treas.; S. W. Rodgers, Sec. The present membership is now 28. The financial condition of the lodge is excellent. Meetings are held once a month.


     Barber’s cornet band was organized on the 4th day of Dec. 1880, by H. K. Barber, with the following members: R. S. Bell, J. A. Barber, Charles W. Noble, George W. Noble, L. T. Waggoner, and H. K. Barber. Since then there have been some changes in membership, though the number remains the same. The band members at present contains the following new members: T. Herman Kirchner, Caleb C. Calhoun, W. C. Rogers. This band has held regular meeting for over four years, and under the efficient leadership of H. K. Barber, who is also instructor, they have made good progress and are now able to furnish good music when called upon.


     The present school house of Otterville was built in 1873 and 1874. The building is 28 x 66 feet in the main portion, with an annex 18 x 20. It is constructed of stone, is two stories high, and cost $8,000. The first term of school in this building was taught by Mrs. Hannah H. Devol and Frances Dibble. The school year consists of eight months. There are 106 pupils enrolled, and the cost of maintaining this institution of learning is $1,000 per year. The present teachers are Will Hanly and Elizabeth Godfrey.


     The Otterville Presbyterian church was organized March 19, 1885, with ten members.
     The Otter Creek Baptist church was organized in June 1855, by Revs. B. B. Hamilton, D. P. French, R. C. Keele, Aaron Dodson, and Elder John Brown.
     Shiloh M.E. church was built in 1859.

Excerpt from Oscar B. Hamilton, Ed., History of Jersey County Illinois, Chicago: Munsell Publishing Company, 1919, pp. 433-434, 447-448. There will be typographical errors.

     Otter Creek Township is bounded on the north by English Township: on the east by Mississippi Township; on the south by Quarry and Elsah townships; and on the west by Rosedale Township. It is a square township, and is numbered township 7, range 12. It is located in the basin formed by Otter Creek, which forks in section 8. This fork, which is called North Fork, bears to the northeast, from whence it runs eastward, forming two branches, one of which is called Sandy Branch and runs to Hickory Grove, now Jerseyville; and the other which runs to the north to Gillham’s Mound in Mississippi Township. The South Fork, which runs through Otter Creek Township in a southeasterly direction, enters Elsah and Quarry townships. Between these forks of Otter Creek, lie what are known as Lofton’s Prairie and Otter Creek Prairie. The basin formed by these streams is ten to twelve miles from its extreme limits, north, south, east and west, running from a southeasterly direction from Gillham’s Mound to within one and one-half miles of the Mississippi River, where George Noble and Isaac Terry settled on its headwaters; and running thence in a northwesterly direction to Jerseyville, along the divide between the waters running into the Macoupin and those flowing into Otter Creek. Within this basin are several other mounds, notably the McDow Mound at Otterville; one further east known as McGill’s Mound; one further south known at Utt’s Mound; and two further west, known as Gillham’s Mound and McClusky’s mound, the latter being near Dow.

     On the high land at Jerseyville, first known as Hickory Grove, the soil was extremely fertile; as was that of Lofton’s Prairie, and settlements were made here in 1818 and 1819. The English Settlements were made in 1818 and 1819. When Dr. Silas Hamilton made his first entry of land in Otter Creek Settlement, in April, 1836, there were but 320 acres of land entered in this township. Dr. Hamilton entered and purchased a section of land which was the east half of section 11, and the west half of section 12, in this township. He located his relatives on land immediately adjoining his section. On the east was his sister, Mrs. Polly (Hamilton) Hurd, her husband, Ezra Hurd, and their family; on the west was his sister, Mrs. Elizabeth (Hamilton) Douglas, her husband Gilbert Douglas and their family, and Aaron Hamilton, Dr. Hamilton’s brother. On the south were Daniel H. Hamilton and Thomas M. Hamilton, sons of his brother, Nathaniel Hamilton, and another brother of Dr. Hamilton, William Hamilton. Adjoining these settlements of his relatives were located: William Dougherty, Henry Noble and James Dougherty. Henry Noble’s wife was a sister of William and James Dougherty. These three were old friends and neighbors of Dr. Hamilton in Mississippi, and it was through his influence that they came to Otter Creek Township. The settlers adjoining the Doughertys and Nobles were: Jasper Terry and Jasper N. Terry, his son, Tarlton F. Brock, John W. Slaten, John J. Lamb, a son-in-law of Henry Noble, and George, Caleb and Sidney Noble, who were sons of Henry Noble, all of whom entered land in this neighborhood. In addition to them, Joab White, Ormond Beeman, Hiram White, Ira White, Samuel Dabbs, father of W. W. Dabbs, and Jesse Dabbs, father of Joshua Dabbs, settled on the west of the creek. George D. Sidway, a son-in-law of Gilbert Douglas, settled on the west of Dr. Hamilton, and opened a tannery on the latter’s land.

Survival of Original Settlers

     There are few representatives of the original settlers in Otter Creek Township now residing there, but among them may be mentioned Charles H. Terry, son of Jasper M. Terry; several of the children of Caleb Noble; George, William and John Dougherty, Jr., sons of John G. Dougherty; Josephine Green, daughter of William McDow; Mrs. Mary (Deming) Flautt, granddaughter of Daniel H. Hamilton; the sons and daughters of W. W. Dabbs; the children and grandchildren of Jesse Dabbs and Fred McDaniel; the Whites; Hendersons; Spangles; Sissons; Montgomerys; Bartletts; the sons of Linus Humiston, and Mrs. Alberta Chase, a granddaughter of John W. Slaten, and daughter of Judge A. M. Slaten, who, for many years, resided at Otterville. If there are any other representatives of the original settlers now living in that community, they have escaped the memory of the writer, there being no intention on his part to ignore or omit a reference to any of the original settlers of that community, he having himself been born in a log cabin erected by his father on land and entered by him, adjoining the present limits of Otterville on the west. In this connection, it may be said that in a letter received by the writer from Hon. Stephen V. White in 1910, Mr. White remarked that when a boy, returning from the old stone schoolhouse to his home, while passing the log cabin of Nathaniel Hamilton where the writer was lying as all infant at that time, in August, 1839, he distinctly remembers hearing the reports of the cannon which was fired at Jerseyville in celebration of the victory in the election, August 5, of that year which separated Jersey from Greene County.
     In 1918, the writer had the pleasure, by invitation of Prof. Edwin A. Terry, principal of the Otterville school, of visiting that school, and delivering an address commemorative of the establishment of the Hamilton Primary School, and of Dr. Silas Hamilton, its founder.


The population of Otterville is 100.

Village Board

Walter Smith. president; Hamilton Newberry, clerk,: Lester Cope., treasurer.

Business Interests

Merchants – William H. Lehmkuhl, Mrs. Elizabeth Ford. Blacksmith – Frederick Kirchner, Justice of the Peace, Thomas A. Case; supervisor, Charles H. Terry, Hamilton Primary School Fund, trustees; $2,000.00, William Dougherty, president; Thomas A. Case, secretary; Charles H. Terry, treasurer: George W. Noble, A. J. Humiston. Churches – Methodist, Baptist, Cumberland Presbyterian.


The supervisors of Otter Creek Township from 1879 to 1918. have been as follows: Silas W. Rogers, 1879-1880; A. M. Slaten, 1881; Jesse K. Cadwallader, 1882-1883; Noah. T. Rogers, 1884-1885; William Noble, 1886-1887; Joseph C. Dougherty, 1888, John G. Dougherty, 1889-1891: James R. Bell, 1892-1893; Thomas A. Case, 1894-1895; William Dougherty, 1895-1897; J. W. Tearny, 1898-1899; William W. Dabbs, 1902-1903 and 1906-1907; George W. Noble. 1908-1909. A. L. Slaten, 1910-1911; Charles H. Terry, 1912-1918.

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