Looking-Glass Township

(Clinton County)


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


This township derived its name from the Looking Glass prairie, of which about twenty-five sections are within the boundaries of the township. A small portion of Shoal Creek prairie is on the west side. The township is in the extreme south-west part of the county, and contains about 48 sections, mostly fine farming land. It bounded on the north by Sugar Creek, east by Germantown, west by St. Clair county, and on the south by Washington county. Sugar Creek flows through the eastern part of the township from north to south, and into the Kaskaskia river, which flows along the southern boundary of the township. The timber belt along Sugar Creek is from three quarters of a mile to a mile and a half in width, along the Kaskaskia from one to two mils in width. "Squatters" settled in this timber as early as 1810 or '12. Elisha RITTINHOUSE entered the first land in the township June 9th, 1817; it was the south-east quarter section 9, town 1, S. 5 west. It was not known how early he came to this place. In 1814, he was living on Silver Creek, in St. Clair county. He lived near the Kaskaskia many years. September 24th, 1817, Solomon SILKWOOD entered the west half of the north-east quarter section 18, town 1 south, 5 west, where he made an improvement and lived many years. John D. PATTON began an improvement just south of Silkwoods about the same time.

Daniel WHITE entered on Nov. 10th, 1817, the north-east quarter of section 2, town 1 north, 5 west, where he improved a farm. He was a native of Virginia, and came to Illinois in 1816. He first stopped near the Journey fort, in what is now Sugar Creek township, but only remained here a short time. He then went to Union Grove, in St. Clair county, where he lived until the fall of 1817, and then settled permanently as above stated, where he resided until his death in 1841. He was three times married, and raised a family of fifteen children. Three are now living, viz.: Daniel and A. H. WHITE, lawyers in Carlyle; and Mrs. George FURGERSON, now living in Mt. Vernon, Illinois. November 27th, 1817, Jacob CROCKER entered the east half of the south-east quarter section 27, town 1 north, 5 west, where he made an improvement the same year. In July, 1818, Peter and Israel F. OUTHOUSE, both entered land in section 13, town 1 north, range 5 west, where they improved farms. August 22nd, 1818, George WARD entered one hundred and sixty acres in section 27; his cabin stood near Sugar Creek, where he lived for many years. In the latter part of 1818, Anthony W. CASAD entered eighty acres near the Daniel WHITE place, where he improved a farm. James BOXLEY also settled a place joining White's, in an early day, where he lived many years, and afterwards sold out to William C. WHITE, who lived her on this place until his death. July 20th, 1818, William MIDDLETON entered the north-east quarter of section 17. A man by the name of THATCHER had a ferry on the Kaskaskia here, and MIDDLETON bought him out, and afterwards run the ferry until his death. It was on a direct well-traveled road, from the south-east to St. Louis, and much patronized by movers from the south going into Missouri in the early times, and MIDDLETON's Ferry was known far and wide. Robert MIDDLETON, a brother, settled about two miles farther down the Kaskaskia river the same year, his cabin stood near the line of St. Clair county. The MIDDLETONS both died on the places they improved here. Eli WARD, and a man by the name of HAGERMAN, also located in this part of the township before 1820.

John DUNCAN, a native of Kentucky, settled in what is now Sugar Creek township in 1818, where he lived several years, and then moved down and improved a place one mile north of where Damionsville now is, afterwards moved on the west side of the creek, and improved a farm, where he died in 1842. He raised a family of four children. M. DUNCAN, now living at New Memphis station, is the only survivor of the family. He was born in the county in the year 1829.

Archibald TRAYLOR, a Virginian, who had lived several years in Kentucky, emigrated to Illinois I 1814, intending to settle somewhere near the Kaskaskia river. After crossing the Ohio river and traveling several days toward the Kaskaskia, he heard of the LIVELY family being killed by Indians, and concluded the country was a little new. He returned to Kentucky, where he remained until 1819. He then again returned to Illinois and settled in the south-east part of this township. He built a two story hewed log house that stood upon the bluff, on the east side of Sugar Creek, and it could be seen for many miles from the west. He resided at this place until his death. He raised a family of seven sons, two now living, viz.; James TRAYLOR, who was a babe when brought to this county, now lives near Queen's Lake, and Andrew J. TRAYLOR, who now lives in Montgomery county.

John TRAYLOR, eldest son of Archibald TRAYLOR, settled a place on the west side of Sugar Creek, on the edge of Looking Glass prairie in 1832. James ORTEN settled on the east side of the township, where he improved a farm in an early day. He died about 1832. He left four grown sons, who married and located in the same neighborhood, two of whom died here, and the other two joined the Mormons and went west. Theopolis W. HARRELL settled in the ORTEN neighborhood soon after ORTEN came here, where he resided until his death. He left two sons and two daughters. Joel and Morgan were his sons; Joel killed a man by the name of HAWKINS in this settlement, about 1836. He left the country and remained away several years, and afterwards returned, by was never brought to trial, as the killing was thought to have done in self-defense. HAWKINS was a man who was much on his muscle, and meeting HARRELL in the timber, cutting wood, concluded he could whip him for some objections he had been making in regard to HAWKINS calling upon his sister. It is said HAWKINS sat his gun down by a tree, took off his shot pouch and unnecessary traps, and advanced upon HARRELL, who struck him with an axe, the blade of which cutting deep into his breast - he expired almost instantly.

The first German family who settled in the township was that of B. H. HEIMANN, a native of Hanover. He located on the east side of Sugar Creek, section twenty-four, in 1837. He here improved a farm, where his son, John B. now lives. When he came to this county he had no team, nor money to buy one with, and he raised his first crop with a hoe, breaking up the raw prairie with a hoe. In this way he put in four acres of corn the first year and raised a good crop. He raised a family of six children, and died in 1852. The next spring, 1838, Edward TEKE and family came in and settled on section twenty-five, where he improved a farm and resided until his death, in 1867. The same spring Harman KALMER settled here also. H. Henry SANTLE, J. H. SANTLE and Harman RENSING all settled on section twenty-four. In 1839 or '40 Nicholas MIDDENDORPH located on section twenty-five. Soon after W. BAAHLMANN, now living on section fifteen, came to the county in 1843. In 1842 and '43 the Germans began to settle here quite rapidly. Anthony HARBSTREIT came to Clinton county in the spring of 1844, and settled in this township. He is an extensive land owner and stock raiser. He was elected county commissioner in 1873, but township organization taking effect some time after he served only three months.

The first school-house built in the township stood near the centre, and was a small log building put up about 1830. The first school-house built by the Germans here was also a log building located on section twenty-four, and Joseph OSTENDORF was the first teacher, in 1844.

Dayton was laid out by John C. GORE and Alsa CANNADY, on part of the north-east quarter of section seven, and part of north-west quarter of section eight, town one south, range five west, and situated about a quarter of a mile west of where New Memphis station now is. This town was laid out in the spring of 1840, and was on the St. Louis and Nashville wagon road. Washington CARTER kept a hotel and stage stand here. SIMON and DEATRIX had a store. In the same building was the post-office. There was a blacksmith shop and about fifteen houses. The town has been abandoned about twenty-five or thirty years.

Wertemberg, on section sixteen, at the ferry, was laid out by Andrew EISENMAYER in 1856. The same year M. DUNCAN built a house and opened up a stock of groceries. In 1854 EISENMAYER put up a saw mill here. The mill is now operated by Frederick BRICKNER. Five houses and the mill comprise the village.


In 1860 the Catholic church, a handsome brick structure, 46 by 70 feet, was built; since enlarged to 46 by 120 feet, with a steeple 140 feet high. It was furnished in 1877. It is an ornament to this section of the county, and speaks volumes for the enterprise and public spirit of the congregation. In 1861 Henry HAIDDERS erected a store building, in which he put a small stock of goods. The third house was built the same year by B. STEPHENS, who opened a store here, and a post office was established the following year. The village has now three stores, kept by Henry BOOK, who is the post master; Martin JANSEN, and Gustav LEHRTER. There is also three saloons, two blacksmith shops and wagon-maker; also a good school building. The village has about one hundred and fifty inhabitants. It is located in sections twenty-three and twenty-six, and was named in honor of bishop Damion YUNKER, of Alton, Illinois.

New Memphis

Is beautifully situated on a slight elevation in the prairie, in the north-west quarter of section 5, town 1 south, 5 west. In 1862 the Lutheran denomination built a neat brick church here. March 29, 1865, John SCHUCHMANN laid out the town. In the same year and year following, John SCHUCHMANN & Co. built a large brick flouring mill here, which was operated until it was burned down, Feb. 1879. In 1865 John KILLENBERG built a house, and opened a small store. The next to build were John KOOB and V. STROVEL. In 1866 F. LUNT, William PETERS, G. PETERS, and F. PETERS under the firm name of Lunt, Peters & Co., built a large brick business house, and opened a general store. The building is now occupied by William PETERS. F. PETERS was the first post-master. M. L. KUGLER is the present post-master. The town now contains three stores, one hotel, a good two-story brick school-house, of four rooms, where two teachers are employed; a church, and about thirty residences, with a population of 175. New Memphis station is situated on the Louisville and Nashville railroad, one and a-half miles south of the village of New Memphis. Station house, grain house, and grocery store is kept by M. DUNCAN.

New Baden was laid out by Dr. F. N. CARPENTER, August 15, 1855, in the N. W. quarter of Sec. 18, Tp. 1 W., R. 5 W. Henry POOL, a German, and blacksmith by trade, put up the first house here, and began working at his trade. R. SPICER erected the second; it was a log house, in which he lived. The third house was a brick, put up by August SPICER, in which he opened a grocery. The above houses were built a few years before the town was laid out. The first post-master was Laurence GEIGER; he also had a general store here. V. HEINEMANN is the present post-master. In 1866 C. SCHEURER, H. DICHMANN and Peter FREESE built a large, first-class flouring-mill here, with four run of burrs. This mill burned down in 1869. There is now a small grist and saw-mill here, run by M. MILLER. The village has two good stores, kept by Henry HUMMEL and Christ. SHOEMAKER; four saloons; three blacksmith shops; two shoemakers; one tailor; fifty-two houses, with nearly two hundred population.

Queen's Lake is a post-office and station on the Louisville and Nashville railroad, that passes through the south-west part of this township. It is situated near the bank of a beautiful little lake, from which it derived its name. In 1871 L. D. CABENY built a large ice-house here, that was burned down in the spring of 1880. In the fall of the same year J. B. CONKLIN erected a very large structure in its place. There is a pic-nic ground here to which the Louisville and Nashville R. R. runs a special train out from St. Louis every Sunday during the summer months. There is a saloon and about half-a-dozen houses at Queen's Lake.

Supervisors that have represented the township: Conrad WANGER was elected in 1874; H. O. NETEMEYER was elected in 1875, and has served up to the present time.



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