I listened a moment and turned me to see
What man of compassion the stranger might be
I saw him low, kneeling all on the cold ground
The loveliest being that ever was found.
So deep was his sorrow, so fervent his prayer
All down over his bosom rolled sweat, blood and tears
I went to behold him, I asked his name
He answered 'tis Jesus, from Heaven I came.
I am thy redeemer for thee I must die,
The cup is most bitter but cannot pass by
Your sins like a mountain are laid upon me
And all this deep anguish I suffer for thee.
Barren Township lies west of Ewing Township. It was named Barren on account of the condition of the territory. It was very thinly settled and had so much brush and waste land, that it was named Barren. The Big Muddy River flows through the township and renders a large area of the township unfit for farming. John Sandusky is said to be the first settler of the township.
Timothy, Boyles, McFatridge, Elkins, Martins, Phillips, Quillmans, Kirkpatrick, Cockrums, were early settlers.
The township boasts the distinction of having a very large coal mine at Keller, which employs a great many miners.
Barren, though greatly retarded by the Big Muddy bottom, has excellent farm lands.
The leading families who have had a part in the development of Barren from the barren waste of land, are the Cockrums, Kirkpatricks, Elkins, Jones, Mallorys, Quillmans, Johnstons, Kirks, Franklins, Deputys, Samples, Browns, Harrisons, Eubanks, Kings, Freemons, Cooks, Martins, Paynes, Galloways and others.
Barren Township has the distinction of having a great city on paper, that was never built. It is not generally known, but a long time ago a scheme was hatched for building a great city in Franklin County. The Centennial Committee of 1876 gives the following history: "In 1840, Zodac Casey of Mt. Vernon, conceived the idea of building a city in Franklin County and employed a man by the name of Perry as surveyor, and they surveyed out and laid off a town in section 14, township 5, range 2, on the Big Muddy River, and called it Portland. They made fine plats and maps of the city showing the location of the most important buildings, the river, streets leading to it,
and also showing the city was located at the head of navigation of Big Muddy.
They put the lots on the market and sold a good many of them to eastern capitalists, realizing about $4,000 out of this speculation.
Portland still lives upon our county records, and in the memory only of those who bought town lots but nowhere else, occupied by crawfish, frogs and tadpoles.
The south side of Barren Township, west of Big Muddy, is known as part of the Spring settlement, and the south part of the township east of Big Muddy has been known as the "Diggins," which was the haunts of the celebrated "Joab" of old.
The churches of Barren are: Baptist-Horse Prairie, and Palestine; Free Baptist- Palestine and Hazel Dell. The schools of Barren are: King College, Red, McGlassen, Hazel Dell, Keller and Martin.
The country trading points in Barren are: Cypher's Store and Palestine.
Politically, Barren is Democratic and the present supervisor is J. A. Freeman.
Goode is just west of Barren and is in the northwest corner of the county. Goode Township received its name from one of the first families that came into the township. Baker King settled in Barren Township in 1813, and is said to be the third settlement made in the county.
Benjamin Goode, Robert M. Galloway, Adkins Greenwood, seem from the records to be early settlers of the township.
The Little Muddy River is the western boundary between Franklin and Perry instead of the 3rd principal meridian as was formerly the case. Goode Township is not a full township as several sections west of Little Muddy and east of the 3rd principal meridian belongs to Perry County.
The C. B. & Q. railroad runs through the township and on this railroad is located a very progressive city, called Sesser. Sesser is a city of about 3,000, and was started when the C. B. & Q was built. Sesser has two mines near it, which is the greatest cause of the city's rapid growth.
Sesser has a very strong bank, two lumber yards and several large stores. At this writing Sesser seems to be forging to the front and is taking its position among the large cities of the county.
The township has splendid farms and up-to-date farmers to manage them. There are more silos in Goode Township than in any township in the county.
The schools of Goode Township are: White Oak, Mt. Tabor, Bear Point, East Center, West Center, and Sesser. The churches are: Methodist-Sesser; Baptist-Sesser; Free
Baptist-Bear Point; Southern Methodist-Howels Chapel;
Political complexion of Goode Township is slightly Republican. The political parties divide the people very near equal. The present supervisor is Wm. Willis.
Tyrone Township lies south of Goode and joins Perry County on the west. The name Tyrone was selected as the name of the township when it was first organized. The name was taken from the name of an old steamboat that plied on the waters of the Mississippi River. Charles Tinsley was captain of this steamboat for many years and being an early settler and a man of influence, the name of his steamboat was voted as the name of the township.
John Kirkpatrick seems to have been the first settler in the township, settling on what is now the Reid farm on Little Muddy Creek, in 1818. Barzilla Silkwood and the Tinsleys came soon afterwards, so likewise did the Mulkeys.
Old Mulkeytown sprung into existence in a very early day; the trading point took its name from the Mulkey family. John Mulkey put up the first store about 1835. The Mulkeys have been very prominent in the history of the county. Judge Mulkey, who became very prominent as a jurist, sprang from this family of Mulkeys in the county.
The Mulkeys and John Kirkpatrick were related. They held religious meetings at the home of John Kirkpatrick soon after his coming to Franklin County in 1818.
As a result of these meetings, a church was organized in about 1823, which became known as the "Christian Church," being the first organized in the state of Illinois. For nearly a century the Mulkeys and Kirkpatricks have been identified with this old church. From this church's influence more than eleven Christian churches have been organized.
Later the Harrisons, Bayless, Prices, Plumlees, Rogers, Means, Davis, Swishers, Greenwoods, Arteberrys, Dees, Tefferkellers, McClellands, Snyders, Capelands, Reids, Keonigs.
Hills, Browns, Faggs, Eubanks, Ethertons, Moyers, and Cook families came into the township and Tyrone township began to develop rapidly.
What is known now as the I. C. R. R. was built through the county in 1879-80. Isham Harrison had part of his farm laid out into town lots, soon new Mulkeytown became a thriving village. Mulkeytown has not been a mushroom town, but has had a steady growth, the citizenship of the staid old town has been of a high character, standing for good schools and good moral citizenship. The people of the vicinity of Mulkeytown have ever been characterized as a church-going people.
In the eastern part of Tyrone and in Browning Township, settled a family of people destined to play a very important part in the history of the county. This was the Harrison family. They seem to have been related to the Virginia stock of Harrisons, and of close kin to William Henry Harrison of "Tippecanoe fame" who became president.
The founder of the Harrison clan in this county was Isham Harrison who, coming into the county about 1814, settled southeast of what is now the city of Christopher.
Isham Harrison was shut up in Jordan Fort during the Indian trouble of 1812. He, like John Browning, selected a site on the west of Big Muddy for his place of settlement.
Along with him two grown sons came and settled near by. When Illinois had almost reached statehood and Franklin County had been organized, Isham Harrison was sent to Kaskaskia, then the capital, to help frame the first Constitution of Illinois. The greatest question in the convention was the slavery question. Harrison, though a slave owner, stood against a slavery clause in our constitution. On Aug. 26, the convention had finished its work. The Constitution of Illinois was never ratified by the people.
Lemuel Harrison, a son of Isham Harrison, was the first surveyor and county commissioner of the county. He surveyed out the first town on Frankfort Hill. His two sons, Isham and Christopher, were the founders of the two largest towns in Tyrone-Christopher and Mulkeytown.
Christopher Harrison, a son of Lemuel R. Harrison, was one of the 49 dying of cholera and was buried at Independence, Mo. His cousin was with him and went on to California, but returned in a short time and married the widow of his cousin.
Christopher Harrison owned land where the city of Christopher is now located. His two sons, F. O. and Sydney, had the town named Christopher in honor of their father.
The town did not grow fast at first. Bolliver Farris put up the first store, then later sold to Walker Bros., who continued the store. Then came Horace Shepherd, who became a partner of Farris. Mr. Shepherd as an original boomer of Christopher has been with the city during all its growth, he having died a short time ago.
In the early days of Christopher the postmaster would carry the mail to the train and most of the citizens of the town would accompany him to see the "cars come in." Many jokes were made on Christopher in those early days but ere long
the staid old town took on a new life. Coal was located and mines developed. An energetic bunch of real estate men began to push Christopher and soon it was a fast growing town.
The building of the C. B. & Q. Railroad and the great coal development has transformed the little village of Christopher into one of the best cities in the county. Christopher has four large coal mines lying near, with an output that is enormous. The population of Christopher is about 8,000.
Tyrone has the following schools: Robtown, Cane Creek, Blue Grass, Long Branch, Mulkeytown, Arkansas, Christopher, Norty City, Valier. The churches of the township are: Baptist-Christopher and Valier; Methodist-Greenwood, Valier and Christopher; Christian-Mulkeytown and Christopher; Catohlic-Christopher; Free Baptist-Christopher.
Politically, Tyrone is Democratic but oftentimes Republicans carry the township. The present supervisor is Joe Bacon.
The town of Valier on the C. B. & Q. R. R. is a lively place. There are two large mines near and indications point to it as a very important city of the county.
Benton Township lies east of Browning and south of Ewing, taking its name from the county-seat that it within its limits. The township was not settled as rapidly as the surrounding townships. A. D. Dollins entered land in Benton Township in 1828, but William King was the first settler. Wm. Drummond, John R. Williams, Abraham Ray, W. A. Swofford, and Braxton Parrish came into the township at a very early date.
Braxton Parrish was a pioneer Methodist preacher who came from North Carolina to Tennessee and thence to Illinois, settling in the eastern part of the township.
The Mooneyhams, Whittingtons, Espys, Brownings, Smiths, Baxters, Vances, Halls, Lampleys, Stilleys, Moores, Todds, Sweets, Jones, Swoffords and Smothers are prominent families in the development of the township.
Benton Township has five large coal mines within its limits and two cities, Benton and Logan.
The city of Benton-the county-seat-has three important railroads, the Illinois Central R. R., the Chicago and Eastern Illinois R. R. and the Iron Mountain.
Logan, five miles east of the city of Benton, is a city of 1,500 people. They have an up-to-date coal mine owned by the John A. Logan Coal Co. The city has an excellent school building and the town is growing very rapidly.
The schools of Benton Township are: Gresham, Mt. Zion, Rolloson, McGuyre, Benton, Middle Fork, Franklin, Logan, Crown Point, Dixon, Poor Farm and Clem. The churches are: Baptist-Benton, New Hope, Mt. Zion, Logan; Methodist-Logan and Benton; Christian-Benton.
Politically Benton Township is Democratic but Republi