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Lofton’s Prarie, Mississippi Township
Notes from Oscar B. Hamilton, Ed., History of Jersey County Illinois, Chicago: Munsell Publishing Company, 1919. Notes from the text only, not an exact transcription. There will be typographical errors.
The Gillham campground was established here in 1820 by the Methodists. Annually, for a week to ten days, people from long distances would gather in their carts and tents, in the grove of immense forest trees, with springs of pure water. Here, sitting on puncheon seats, in front of the platform for the preachers, they would worship God. The campground was maintained for twenty-five years.
The first store in this township opened in 1836, one-fourth mile south of West Newbern on section 32. In a log building, its stock was dry goods and hardware.