Clement Township

(Clinton County)


Source: "1881 History of Marion & Clinton Counties, Illinois"


This township was formerly known as Carlyle, when township organization took effect, but in 1875, Carlyle was subdivided into four towns, to wit, Carlyle, Clement, Wade and Santa Fe; Clement being bounded as follows: On the north by Irishtown, on the east by Meridian, south by Lake, and west by Carlyle. It contains more than fifteen thousand acres, and a population of 947, according to the census of 1880. The surface is gently undulating, and it contains some of the finest prairie land in the county. Lost Creek flows through the south-eastern part of the township, entering on section thirty-six, and soon afterwards leaving the precinct on section thirty-five. The Kaskaskia cuts the north-west corner, section four, and then takes a southerly course along near the line of Clement and Carlyle. The township is about evenly divided between prairie and timber; the former predominating, however, and is among the best prairie soil in southern Illinois. Grand Prairie contains some of the best land in the state, extends almost entirely through the precinct from the north-east to the south-west. The O. & M. railroad nearly bisects the township, extending east and west, and thus affords the people with the best transportation facilities.

The first pioneer here, and in fact the first in this part of the country, was Haden WATTS. He was a native of Georgia, and came to this state with his family in 1812. He first located at or near Lebanon, St. Clair county, where he remained until the fall of 1816, when he removed to this county and settled on section thirty-five. On his advent in the state, he and his family, "forted" about three years near Lebanon. It may be curious for the present generation to know what is meant by "forting." In those times, it must be remembered, that the wild and untamed Indian had the precedent and possession of this part of the country. It became necessary in order for the pioneers to protect themselves and families against the savages, to gather together in some safe retreat. This was done by building a fort, as it was called, with block-houses, stockade, etc., where the people lived together for mutual protection. This is what the old timers call "forting." Mr. WATTS was the head of a large family, and in his time was one of the representative men of this part of the county. Dr. William WATTS, one of the most respected citizens of Clement, is now the only living representative of the WATTS family in this precinct.

Isaac HUGHSON, another pioneer, came to this part of the country in the summer of 1818. He was as native of Putnam county, New York. When he came to this state had a large family, consisting of a wife, four daughters and three sons. Their mode of conveyance was the primitive style of immigration, an ox-wagon, and sailing under the canvas known in the West as a "prairie schooner." Mr. HUGHSON located on the north-west quarter of section 11. In those early days, he was often obliged to go to East St. Louis for milling purposed, Nicholas Jarrot's water mill on Cahokia creek being the nearest point at that time. The only direct representative of the family now living in the township, is Abraham HUGHSON, the youngest son, who is still occupying the old homestead. Two of the family moved to Texas in an early day and died there. The father and mother died on the old farm in Clement township at a good old age.

Edward COLE came in the fall of 1817, and settled on section ten. He was a native of Kentucky, and was one of the first to pave the way for what the people of this township enjoy to-day. He erected the first mill built in this part of the country. Robert C. MCKEVER, Sen., then a young man, aided in building it. It was situated on section ten, the old HUGHSON homestead. It was a rude affair, known by the early settlers as a horse-mill. Mr. COLE also built the first frame house in this precinct; in fact the first in this part of the country. For many years afterwards it was the main house used for church services by the Methodist denomination. At this house occurred of the sensational events of those times. A Methodist minister by the name of FOLKS was then preaching in this part of the state, and made his headquarters at Mr. COLES. It seems that a half-breed Indian by the name of PRAYER was then living here, and through a desire to rob the house of COLE, or a contracted hate toward Rev. FOLKS, he came in one day with a loaded gun, bent on mischief. Mrs. COLE sent her little girl to inform FOLKS, who was then staying with the family, that the Indian was there, and from appearances meant to do him harm. FOLKS grasped a gun that was at hand, and as the Indian came up the stairway the preacher fired and killed the Indian in his tracks. Of course it created a great sensation; the preacher was indicted for murder, stood trial, and was cleared on the plea of self-defense. Some of the representatives of the COLE family are yet living in the county, and are among the substantial farmers of this part of the county. Among other old settlers were Benjamin ALLEN, Harry and Thomas WILTON, a man by the name of HOOPER, and Leon FISH and Samuel LEE, all of whom were here as early as 1818. Jane BOND, nee ALLEN, was born here in 1823. She is still living; was the wife of Thomas BOND, now deceased. With the exception of Carlyle, the first land entry was made here within the county. This was mad by John EDGAR, April 28, 1815. He entered the south-west quarter of land in section twenty-two. For the benefit of our readers we append the names of those who made entries up to 1819.


First Land Entries

The first lands entered in this township were as follows: April 26th, 1815, John EDGAR, entered the south-west quarter of section 21; April 8th, 1817, Benjamin ALLEN entered the north-west quarter of section 28; June 16th, 1817, Thomas HOOD entered the north-west quarter section 22; June 16th, 1817, W. L. E. MORRISON entered the west half of the north-west quarter of section 21; July 4th 1817, Edward COLE entered south-east quarter of section 10; December 1st, 1817, James WADSWORTH entered south-east quarter of section 1; February 7th, 1818, George P. TODSON entered 476 63/100 acres, in section 1; August 16th 1818, Jacob GONTERMAN entered the north-east quarter of section 10; December 19th, 1818, John ADAMS entered the south-east quarter of section 15; April 25th, 1815, Henry MACE entered the south-east quarter of section 33; April 18th, 1817, John WADSWORTH entered south-east quarter of section 34; June 6th, 1817, James B. MORRISON entered east half of the south-west quarter of section 28; January 5th, 1818, Jacob CROCKER entered west half of the north-east quarter of section 33; July 3rd, 1818, Robert MCEVER entered the north-west quarter of section 36, 160 acres.

The first land cultivated was by a man of the name of GUNLACK, as early as 1812. He was what was known as a "squatter." This was on section 21. In the same year, Mr. GUNLACK moved with his family to Shawneetown, in the southern part of the state. He returned again in 1815, and improved the land upon which he had struck the first blow toward civilization, in what is now Clinton county. His house was a little rough log-cabin, with puncheon floor, and the old-fashioned stick and mud chimney. The roof was constructed with split boards called shakes, and held to their place with what was then called "weight-poles." This was probably the first house constructed in the county, with the exception of the old "Hill Fort", and the ferryman's pole cabin situated just over the river in what is now Carlyle.

The first school-house constructed was in 1819, and situated on section 15, about a mile north-west of the village of Clement. It was built of rough logs just as they were felled in the timber. The puncheon floor, seats and desks, were also a necessary part of the structure. The first interments made in this part of the county were on the school-house ground. It has long since been abandoned for a burial place or school. The first preaching was about 1819, by the Reverends FOLKS and CARTER; the former being the person who killed the Indian which has already been mentioned. In those days church services were held in private houses in the neighborhood. The first church-house built in this precinct was in 1864, by the congregational denomination, and situated in the village of Clement. It was an ordinary frame building, with not pretensions to architecture. It was removed last year, 1880, to give room for the fine brick structure now standing upon the same ground. For a complete history of the rise and progress of church affairs, see special chapter on this subject.

Among the early justices of the peace, were Turner NICHOLS, Joseph OUTHOUSE, and Joseph HUEY, the former probably being the first in the township. Charles NEWTON, then living at Carlyle, Dr. HOLLINGSHEAD, and Thomas AFFLICK were the first physicians. Dr. HOLLINGSHEAD was drowned while attempting to cross the river near Carlyle. Dr. BEARCE was the first resident physician, and came here some years after the others had been practicing.

The following scrap of interesting history of the hardships of the pioneers, we glean from an article prepared in 1876 - Centennial year - by Mr. Robert C. MCKEVER:

"Among other difficulties and trials we had to encounter, was one of Pharaoh's plagues, the green-headed fly. They would come or gather in swarms on the stock, and, in a short time, would kill the horses or cattle if turned out on the prairie without shelter. All our chance, in those days, was to plow very early in the morning and late in the evening. We also plowed by moonlight every chance we had, and slept during the middle and heat of the day. We tried the following means which gave us some advantage over the flies. We would make a smoke in an iron pot, and swing it from the point of the staple in the yoke. In this way we could plow later in the morning and earlier in the evening. Oxen could naturally stand the flies better than the horses, though the ox, when covered with green-heads, which stung him like a swarm of bees, - it mattered not whether he was hitched to a wagon or plow - would run at break-neck speed to get to the bush or under shelter. No man could hold or stop him as such a time. There was still another great pest here in those days, and that was the wolves. You could hear them howl around your house at all times of the night, in every direction. Some would howl and others would answer. There were three kinds, the prairie or small wolf, and the large gray and the large black wolves. The former were about the size of a small dog with the color of a gray fox. They never traveled with more than two together, oftener going alone. When grown they would sneak around the barn-yard, both by day and night, even coming to the very doors of your house, and catch the chickens, geese, pigs, etc. The only way one could raise any of these domestic animals, was to keep them huddled around the door, and then keep an excellent watch over them. The large gray, or black wolves, were as large or larger than the biggest dog. They were somewhat slimmer mad, and could run a tremendous speed. They generally went in packs from two to fifteen, and if they encountered a dog, woe unto him! If they came across a flock of sheep away from the house, they would kill and destroy the whole flock in one night. There were other more wild animals then roaming over this part of the state, some of which were very useful to the pioneers for food and clothing. It did not require an experienced hunter to kill game in those days. Any one, even the women, who could hold up a gun and take aim, could shoot deer then. Often two or three were killed before breakfast, sometimes by the settler standing in the door of his cabin."

The following named persons have represented the township as supervisors since township organization. Billings GRINNELL elected in 1875, and served until 1880. George KENOWER elected in the spring of 1880, and served one term; J. E. BASTON elected in 1881, and is the present incumbent.


Village of Clement

This neat little prairie village is situated on the O. & M. railroad, about four miles east of the county-seat. It was first laid out in the spring of 1858, by Joseph W. HUEY, and situated on sections twenty-two and twenty-three. Mr. Zophar CASE was the surveyor. In 1860 Daniel COLLINS made an addition to the town, and in 1867 two others were made and known as the Steel and Huey additions. Although the town and post-office are named Clement, the station is called Collins'. This was done by the railroad company in honor of Mr. Daniel COLLINS, who donated a portion of the ground on which the town stands to the railroad corporation.

The first house in the village was a frame dwelling, and was hauled from near Lost creek about 1852, and used by Joseph W. HUEY for a dwelling. It is yet in existence, but is divided into two parts, one of which is used for a kitchen by William WILTON, who lives in the northern part of the town. The other portion forms a dwelling for Nic. HELTNER.

The first merchandising was done by Joseph W. HUEY in 1854. The store was situated on the ground now occupied by Oliver Outhouse's mercantile house. It was a one-story frame building, suitable for a country store. The first business house in what is now Clement was a blacksmith-shop, owned and operated by Daniel COLLINS in 1852 or 1853. It stood upon the same block of ground that the store did above mentioned.

Incorporation. - Clement was incorporated as a village the 9th day of March, 1867. The first councilmen elected were: Joseph W. HUEY, Jacob KLEIN, C. S. ANDERSON, Henry STRANG and Michael REITHMAN. Samuel JOHNSON was elected Police Magistrate, and Thomas E. ALLEN appointed Marshal. The present members of the Board are: George KENOWER, W. F. WILTON, R. C. MUSGRAVE, Abram HANEY, and W. S. OUTHOUSE. Magistrate, Samuel JOHNSON. George P. COOPER, Marshal.


Present Business

Clement Mills. - This industry was established in 1880 by S. A. HOGUE, and situated south of Sherman street, in the southern part of the township. It is both a flouring and saw-mill. The grist mill proper is a frame building two and a half stories high, and 24 x 40 on the ground. Both mills cost $4000, and have a thirty horse-power engine. The capacity of the grist mill is fifty barrels of flour and two hundred bushels of meal per day. It has two run of stone, and, in connection with the saw-mill, gives employment to eight men. The latter has a 52-inch saw, and has the capacity of sawing 4,000 feet of lumber daily.

Hay Press. - Owned by LINDLEY Brothers. It was established in 1875, and is situated just south of the railroad track, near the depot. It has the capacity of baling six tons of hay per day, and gives employment to four men, besides two or three teams.

General Stores. - Henry LINHOUGH, Oliver OUTHOUSE, August BLANKE, Richard OLIVE, R. F. MCADAMS.

Druggists. - Charles E. BAKER, Dr. D. R. MARKS.

Agricultural Implements. - Henry ROPER.

Blacksmith and Wagon Makers. - HANG and STRANG, T. T. BERRY, Charles SWANK.

Harness Store. - James MATSLER.

Tinner. - Ely MYERS.

Cooper Shop. - Lewis EBLY.

Physicians. - W. F. WATTS, J. T. PACE, D. R. MARKS.

Carpenters. - F. W. KIRKHAM, J. W. NICHOLS, O. BRIDGES. Geo. WARD.


Painter and Glazier. - R. W. JOHNSON.

Boot and Shoemaker. - John KLUTH.

Undertaker. - Geo. KENOWER.

Milliner and Dressmaker. - Mrs. PHIPPIN.

Grain Dealers. - R. C. MUSGRAVE, Geo. P. COOPER.

Hotels. - Collins House, Clinton House, Reithman Hotel.

Post-master. - Chas. E. BAKER.


Secret Society

Clement Lodge, No. 674, I. O. O. F., was organized April 30th, 1880, with five charter members. The following were the charter officers: S. A. HOGUE, n.g.; O. OUTHOUSE, v.g.; J. T. PRATHER, Sec.; W. F. WATTS, Treas. The present officers are as follows: O. OUTHOUSE, n.g.; Dr. W. F. WATTS, v.g.; R. C. MUSGRAVE, Sec.; Richard OLIVE, Treas. The present membership is 26. The lodge is in a flourishing condition financially and otherwise. It meets every Saturday night in their hall.

We would be doing this chapter an injustice without a special notice of the Clement school-house. For a town of its size, only about 300 inhabitants, it can certainly be proud of its school building. It is situated in the south-western part of the town, and at the western terminus of Sherman street. It is a frame structure two stories in height, and contains four rooms. It has a belfry with a bell, and every other convenience for a graded school. It was built last year, 1880, at a cost of $3200. Two acres of nice prairie ground, planted with shade trees, surround the building, which afford ample play-ground for the pupils.

The village also contains three churches, the Methodist, Christian, and Congregationalist. The latter is a fine brick building, and cost upwards of $2000. They all have spires and bells, and are well arranged for church service. For a more complete history relating to churches and schools, see special chapters on the same, elsewhere in this volume.



Back to 1881 Township Listings

Clinton County ILGenWeb