Tompkins Township

of Warren County IL


            This township is situated in the middle of the western row, and is in number 10 north, range 3, west.  It is bounded on the north by Hale, and on the east by Lenox, on the south by Ellison Township, and on the West by Henderson County 

    A meeting was held by the citizens for the purpose of establishing a township government, April 04, 1854.  Nathan Carr was called to the chair; Orrin Lamphere was chosen Moderator, Ransom Tinkham and Seth Smith, Assistants; T. W. Beers and Daniel M. Smiley, Clerks.  The result of the vote was follows: For supervisor, Joseph Tinkham; Clerk, Daniel M. Smiley; Assessor, James H. Martin; Collector, John L. Hanna; Justices of the Peace, William Hanna, and James L. Rusk; Commissioners of highways, Seth smith and T. F. Hogue; Constables, H. R. Norcross and John L. Hanna; Overseers of the Poor, William Norcross and Orrin Lamphere.

    John Quinn was the first settler to stake out a home in the township, but he pulled up his stake in a short time and moved to other fields.

    Samuel Hanna and family and Wilson Kendall moved in, , in 1830, and made claims, the former on section 5, and the latter on section 6.  The Kendall's lived in the township several years and then moved to Oregon.  Mr. Hanna's family consisted of a wife and nine children: William, John, Isabella, Elizabeth, Miles, Samuel, Jr., Green, Mary, and James.  Elizabeth was married to Robert Hutchinson, and Mary became the wife of Henry Creswell.  They were a remarkable family, especially noted for their benevolence and charity.  Mrs. Hanna was always ready to aid the poor and the sick, and her hand was ever ready, and her purse open, for charitable purposes.  The family were wealthy, and she had plenty of means to second the promptings of her generous heart.  Mr.. Hanna and his wife died at the old homestead at an advanced age, beloved and mourned by all who knew them.  James Gibson and Samuel Creswell, with their   families, came in the same year.  James Gibson located on section 7.  He was a good citizen, a successful farmer and accumulated for his family a fine property.  He and his wife died at the old farm, where his son, John K., Now lives. (See Biography)

    The Creswell's were from Ohio, and came to the township with six children, James, Hannah, Mr. Henry, Rachel and Rebecca.  Hannah died before marriage; Rebecca was married to William Hanna, eldest son of Samuel Hanna.  She is also dead.  Mr. and Mrs. Creswell died some years ago at the old place.  Mr. Creswell was a very able and intellectual man, having no superior in the township.  Before he came to this county he was a member of the Ohio Legislature.  James Creswell married Mary Ann Woods, and is now living in Henderson County.  Henry married Mary, youngest daughter of Samuel Hanna, and is living in Des Moines, Iowa.  Rachel was married to J. M. Woods , and both are still living.

    Zachariah M. Davis located in the township soon after the Gibson's, and near their farm.  They are now living in Nebraska.  They had two children, Joann and Martin.  Joann married Lew Leslie, and is dead; Martin is still living.

    Samuel Hutchinson came in, in the spring of 1833.  He is recently deceased, in Monmouth.  In 1835 Joseph and Ransom Tinkham, from New England, with their families, came in and settled in the lower tier of sections, where they lived for many years.  Ransom is dead, but his family are living in Kirkwood.  Joseph is also living there.

During this year and the following, Judson Graves, DeWitt Phelps, A. P. Carmichael and C. H. Warren moved in, making with those who preceded them, quite a little settlement, and giving a neighborly aspect to the new country. With the good start thus made, the township increased in population and developed very rapidly.

Isaac Ray, from Kentucky, wife and six children,--Talitha, Eliza, John, Isaac, Jr., Josphus and Mary Jane, moved in, in 1837, locating on section 7. The children are all dead but two., Talitha and Josephus. The parents died at the old home.

The first school was erected by Mr. Hanna, near his home, and the first school was taught by Mr. Banker. Mr. Creswell was the enterprising man who first put up a grist mill in the township. It was located near Mr. Hanna's place, and was operated by ox-power, the oxen working a tread mill.

The first church built in the township was at Kirkwood, and the first service held was by Rev. Jas. Brace, afterwards of the United Presbyterian Church. Prior to this, religious meetings were held in private houses.

The eastern part of the township is undulating prairie, the northwestern part is somewhat broken. It is watered by South Henderson Creek and its tributaries. A part of the township is liberally timbered, particularly along the water courses. The topography of the township is attractive, and the entire area is very well adapted for farming and stock raising, and both of these branches of husbandry are carried on well and successfully.

The Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad was constructed through the township in the early part of 1855. It enters the township near the northeast corner and passes out on section 18.

The people do their trading chiefly at Kirkwood, which is a thriving town. In 1880, the township as shown by the census, had a population if 1,994, and there has been since that time a small gain.

According to the County Superintendent's report for the year ending June 30, 1885, there were ten school districts in the township, with one graded and nine ungraded schools. All the buildings were frame. The school property was valued at $7,000. Of persons under 21 years of age, there were 725, of whom 548 were of scholastic age, 426 being enrolled. The highest wages paid teachers was $85 and the lowest $25 per month. The tax levy for this year was $4,725.

From the Assessor's report for the year 1885, the following items have been obtained. Number of acres of improved land, 21,794; number of acres of unimproved land, 388; value of improved land, $349,700; total value of lots, $71.740; number of horses 883; cattle, 2,047; mules and asses, 44; sheep, 85; hogs, 2,922; steam engines, 1; carriages and wagons, 349; watches and clocks, 214; sewing and knitting machines, 102; pianos, 10; melodeons and organs, 24; total cash value of personal property, $155,985.


Joseph Tinkham 1855-6
Wm. Hanna 1857
George Tubbs 1858-61
J. L. Bachelor 1861-2
Henry Tubbs 1861-2
James Moore 1866
Cyrus Bute 1867
Henry Tubbs 1868-9
N. A. Chapin 1871
Henry Tubbs 1872
W. M. Galbraith 1873
Hugh Gilmore 1874-5
Thomas Beers 1880
J. E. Barnes 1877-9
T. W. Barnes 1880
W. G. Latimere 1881
Henry Tubbs 1882
Robert Gamble 1883-4
J. C. McLinn 1885


Kirkwood once called Young America. History on another page.



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