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Champaign County, Illinois

History of Ogden Township

Ogden township was organized in the spring of 1873. The territory comprising it was taken from the north part of Homer, and the east part of Stanton. It is ten miles and a half in extreme length from north to south, and three and three-quarters in breadth from east to west. The first supervisor of the township was Edward V. Miles; Thomas J. Carpenter was town clerk, and W.C. Elder and Eugene P. Frederick were the first to fill the office of Justice of the Peace.

Among the early settlers of the township were Samuel McClughen, Thos. Richards, Michael Firebaugh, Hiram Rankin, and Thomas Freeman. The first house was built by Hiram Rankin, and stood in the Hickory Grove on the north-east quarter of section 18 (township 19, range 11), where Thomas Richnrds now resides. Rankin built a log cabin and lived there a short time, and then moved down on the state road leading from Danville to Urbana; Thomas Richards came to the township in 1830, and has now lived in it longer than any other man. He was a soldier in the Mexican war.

In Burr Oak Grove, the first settler was Samuel McClughen. He was born in Ohio, came to this locality in the year 1834, and for several years was the sole inhabitant of that part of the township. Subsequently two or three other families moved into the Grove. A man named McDougall, John Strong, Jesse England and William Parris were early residents of Burr Oak Grove.

On section 7, (of township 19, range 11), Michael Firebough settled. Thomas Freeman, about the year 1836 made an improvement on section 28, (township 19, range 14). Freeman came from Belmont county, Ohio. Moses Thomas was an early settler, and located on the north-east quarter of section 30, (township 19, range 14). He subsequently removed to Homer township and died there. His son Elias Thomas remained on the place his father settled till his death occurred. The Harmon place on the north-east quarter of section 30, was first improved by Garrett Moore, and subsequently came into the hands of John Clester. John Baily made a comparatively early improvement on section 30 of township 19, range 11. The farm now owned by William G. Clark, on the same section was settled by John Clester who moved there from the Moore place. On the same section, George Clark, a brother of William G. Clark, made an early settlement. On section 19 (of township 20, range 14), Ichabod F. Freeman and Thomas Freeman were early settlers. Among other early settlers were, Thomas Darby, John Haydens, Joseph Penny, Thomas Harmeson, Joseph Brird, Robert Harmeson, T. W. Leney, Samuel Reinicher, Daniel Williams, Jeptha Fawcet, Joseph Cowgill, Jackson Smith, John Hay, Eleazer Freeman, Edmund Freeman, Andrew Freeman, James L. Freeman, Joseph Cowell, a family named Doyle, John Butler, Otho Swearinger and David Mead. The southern part of the township settled up first; with the exception of Burr Oak Grove, there were no settlements in the northern part of the township till at a comparatively late date.

There was no early school in this township, the children in the days of the first settlements attending school in the adjoining townships of St. Joseph and Homer. Eleazer Freeman states that the first school in the township was taught in the kitchen of his present residence, in the immediate vicinity of Ogden, by Tiffin Donaldson, in the year 1855. There were no church buildings in the township till the erection of Methodist and Christian houses of worship in the town of Ogden.

The town of Ogden dates back to the year 1870, when it was laid out by John W. Leney. The station on the Indianapolis, Bloomington and Western railroad at this point, was called on its establishment, North Homer, but when the town was laid out it took the name of Ogden from a family of that name living just south of the town. This site was occupied by the farm of John W. Leney, whose house stood at the pump in front of Cox's store and near the railroad station.

The first building erected in the town, was a dwelling-house, by Theodore E. Haworth. Patrick Brennan built a residence shortly afterward. This was in the spring of 1870. Gabriel Johnson erected the third house, and at about the same date William R. Hill built a store, opposite William F. Yates' present store, and this was the first structure for business purposes ever erected in the town. Thomas J. Carpenter occupied this building as a general store, and opened with a general stock of goods, on the 25th of June, 1870. At the same time Bridget Gallagher was building a large two-story store which blew down when nearly completed; it was, however, immediately rebuilt and into this building Mr. Carpenter moved his stock of goods, while Dr. James E. Tourtellotte occupied Carpenter's old stand as a drug store. The building into which Carpenter moved is the store now occupied by Simon P. Hovey. Dr. Tourtellotte kept the drug store upwards of a year, when his wife died suddenly from the effects of chloroform administered by herself. It was never known whether she took the dose with the intention of committing suicide, or that her death was the result of ignorance or carelessness. Her death at any rate weighed heavily on the Dr's. mind, and exactly four weeks from the death of his wife he killed himself by means of laudanum.

In the spring of 1871, M. C. Cannon built a residence on the lot now owned by John Roach, and also on the same lot a small building which was occupied as a saloon. In the summer of 1870, S. P. Hovey began the mercantile business in a building which he erected in the extreme western part of the town, and which is now used as a residence by E. J. Hill. Thomas Roach next opened a grocery store in the building formerly occupied as a saloon; and Jacob A. Davis established a blacksmith and wagon shop. Theodore Haworth and David Little were the first to begin the grain business in the grain warehouse which now stands at the railroad station. This warehouse was originally Mr. Leney's barn, which in the spring of 1870 he moved from its first location, about one hundred yards distant from its present position, made an addition to it, and thus fitted it for its present purposes. The building was first rented to Haworth & Little, and subsequently Mr. Leney began carrying on the business himself. Mr. Leney also erected a mill in the year 1872.

The business establishments at present are the following: General Stores.---S. P. Hovey, William F. Yates. Groceries.---Thomas Roach.
Drugs.---John S. Cox.
Hardware.---N. J. Silkey.
Grain Warehouse.---John W. Leney.
Miller and Dealer in Grain.---Edward V. Miles. Blacksmith.---S. B. Umphenhour.
Wagon Maker.---Jacob A. Davis.
Dealer in Lumber.---Baird & Miles.
Tailor.---Hamilton J. Glascock.
Attorneys.---James Doran, E. T. Hill.
Physician.---Freeman P. French.

Ogden Lodge No. 754 A. F. and A. Masons, was organized March 24th, 1877, constituted under charter, Oct. 20th, 1877, as Ogden Lodge, No. 754.

The names of the first officers, were: T. P. French, W. M.; T. J. Carpenter, S. W.; E. V. Miles, J. W.; J. W. Leney, Trea.; J. S. Miles, Sec'y.; T. E. Silkey, S. D.; J. S. Coggshall, J. D.; W. G. Elder, Tyler.

We give the names of the following persons who were charter members: P. Brennan, B. F. Canady, J. D. Botkin, Ashford H. Freese, W. R. Smith, W. E. Lindsay, S. W. Baird, T. C. Clendenen, Jesse Doney and Joseph Downing.

The following are the present officers of the lodge, which is in a healthy working condition: T. P French, W. M.; F. J. Carpenter, S. W.; S. W. Baird, Chaplain; J. S. Miles, Trea.; P. Brennan, Sec'y.; T. E. Silkey, S. D.; Joseph Downing, J. D.; W. G. Elder, Tyler; B. F. Canady, S. S.; W. E. Lindsay, J. S. The number of members is 22.

The Methodist church was the first house of worship erected, and the Christian church was built shortly afterward, both in the year 1871. The Methodist cost twenty-two hundred dollars, and the Christian fifteen hundred. The town has a large two-story school building, erected in 1874, at a cost of twenty-two hundred dollars. The first postmaster was Theodore E. Haworth. We served nine months; and was succeeded by Thomas J. Carpenter, in January, 1871, who has held the office ever since. The first express agent, was David Little. Mr. Carpenter at present also fills that position.

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