1873 Atlas Map of Greene County, Illinois


Index includes County History, Table of Subscribers, Residence Illustrations, Maps, Biographies, Business Notices, etc.

Business Notices

County History
The Territory of Illinois, at the close of the war of 1812, was very sparsely settled, containing, in 1815, less population than that of Greene county, in 1870. The land grants to the soldiers of the late war, the fertility of the soil, and genial climate, were among the causes that produced a rapidity of growth in wealth and population unequalled in the settlement of the great North-West. More than one-half of the pioneer settlers were from the southern states; Kentucky furnishing, perhaps, the largest quota. Illinois was admitted into the Union as a state in April, 1818, and the capital at first located at Vandalia, Madison county, which then included a large portion of the state. This county, before 1818, was on the south-west frontier of settlement, and very few settlers were permanently located within the present limits of Greene and Jersey counties. Before that period the fragrant prairies were traversed mostly by Indians. The first government survey had been made and completed in some portions of the territory now embraced in Greene county, but savages, in some locations, destroyed the land marks of this original survey, and made occasional raids on the pioneers of the territory covered by the present limits of Madison county. These demanded the protection of the "HomeGuards," or rangers, organized in those early times. Among the early settlers of the territory now embraced in Greene county, the following may be mentioned: David Stockton and James Whiteside settled south of Macoupin creek, June 10th, 1817. The next year Samuel Thomas and others made permanent settlements in the limits of Greene and Jersey counties, which increased, in about three years, to that point of population and importance as to ask a divorce from Madison county, which petition was granted, by act of Assembly, in 1821, and the county seat was located at Carrolton, April 26th, of the same year.
The first tenement, or dwelling, north of Macoupin creek, was a log building erected by Samuel Thomas, in the month of August, 1818, on the site of his present residence.
Gen. Jacob Fry cut the timber of which the first house was built in Carrollton. The first death of a permanent citizen occurred in the early part of 1819, and Jacob Fry manufactured the coffin from a walnut tree, split in puncheons, and planed, which formed the boards used in its construction.

The first marriage occurred in the spring of 1820, that of William Stockton to Miss Peggy McFadden.

Among the pioneer preachers of the county were the Rev. C. J. Gardiner, Newton, and Joseph Piggott. The first school teacher was William Scott. The first school house was a log building, erected in 1820, south of Macoupin creek. Samuel Lee, Jr., was appointed and officiated as the first county clerk, assessor, and collector. Thomas Carlin was the first sheriff of the county. The first grand jury in the county was composed of John Finley, Martin Wood, Thomas Gilleland, Nathaniel Wass, Cyrus Tollman, Isaac Pruitt, James McFadgin, John Morland, Walter McFarland, Hugh Jackson, Jacob Fry, Charles Gregory, Willis Webb, Christian Link, John Costley, William Webb, William Costley, and Philip Fry. The first coroner was Jacob Waggoner. The first court was held in a small frame building, near the public square. The first justices of the peace in the county were appointed in 1822. They were Samuel Lee and Alexander King. The first execution in the county was that of Patrick Cavanaugh, in the spring of 1832. He was executed for the murder of a little boy by the name of O'Laughlin. The present court house was built in 1832.
The geographical location and topography of Greene county are favorable for a variety of productions, and afford many advantages to the inhabitants. It is bounded north by Morgan county, and on the west by the Illinois river, containing a great variety of soil, broad prairies, clay bluffs, and rich alluvial bottom lands. It is one of the best counties for wheat and fruit, and is settled by an intelligent and thrifty class of inhabitants. Its absence of large cities is in a great measure compensated for by its railroad facilities and its proximity to St. Louis.

Greene county was settled among the first in the state (in 1817) and its development and growth have been steady and rapid. It possessed, at an early day, superior advantages, on account of its location on the Illinois river, which afforded the early settlers easy transportation for their products to the markets of St. Louis, and a return of goods and merchandise, long before the county was penetrated by railroads.
Now, however, it has three excellent lines of railroads running through it: the Chicago & Alton (Jacksonville Branch), the Rockford, Rock Island, & St. Louis, and the Louisiana branch of the Chicago & Alton. The first of these intersects the county from north to south, nearly through the center, and passing through its county seat and principal villages; the second named road runs in a somewhat zig-zag course, nearly through the center of the county, entering it in a south-westerly direction, and diverging at Whitehall in a south-easterly direction, to the beautiful and enterprising village of Greenfield, then running south to the county line, whence it continues to St. Louis. The last named (Louisiana Branch), crosses the western half of the county from Roodhouse, and with a proposed road soon to be constructed, connecting Roodhouse and Virden, Macoupin county, will form a continuous road across the northern part of the county.

The mineral products of this county are as varied as any in the central section of the state, abounding in excellent clay for brick and pottery, building stone, &c. At Whitehall there is a considerable manufactory of tiles and pottery, and the wares made here are known extensively in the state. Macoupin and Apple creeks furnish water power for milling purposes and some of the best brands of flour in the west are furnished from these mills. The county is also well adapted to stock raising, and the improved stock on many of the ample and well cultivated farms will compare favorably with that of any other section of the "Garden State."
The people of Greene county are not behind in intelligence, thrift, and progress, in the modern appliances of civilized life. They have an eye to education, religion, and morals. Good churches and school houses abound, and the character of the people is usually high-toned. The descendants of many of the sturdy old pioneers who first settled this section of the state, from the best blood of Kentucky, Virginia, New York, Ohio, and New England, are surrounded with the comforts and luxuries of life, and enjoying the advantages of refined society. All this has been gained by half a century of enterprise and progress which it is cheerful to contemplate.


Was laid off April 26, 1821, by Thomas Carlin. It is situated nearly in the geographical center of the county; is the county seat of Greene county, and is surrounded by one of the finest and wealthiest farming countries in the state. The Jacksonville branch of the Chicago, Alton, & St. Louis Railroad runs through it. It has the trade of most of the country accessible; has several good business blocks, public buildings and private residences, and its citizens are generally moral and prosperous.


Was laid off March 8th, 1832, by David Barrow. It is situated on a fine, rich, fertile prairie. It is at the intersection of the Jacksonville branch of the Chicago, Alton, & St. Louis, and Rockford, Rock Island, & St. Louis Railroads. It does a large shipping business, and enjoys an extensive trade from the surrounding country.

Was laid off October 2, 1834, by Green Weaver. It is a small place, doing only a local trade.


Was laid off November 29th, 1834, by G. W. Allen. It is delightfully situated in the midst of one of the finest farming regions of the state. It is on the Rockford, Rock Island, & St. Louis Railroad, has a number of fine public and private buildings, and does a large and profitable business.


Was laid off July 9th, 1835, by Bostwick, Metcalf, and Blair. It is surrounded by a fine farming country, and does a good local trade.


Is situated on the Illinois river, and was once a prominent shipping point. It was laid off September 24th, 1835, by Solomon Bushnell.

Is a small village situated in the south-western part of the county. It was laid off October 10th, 1835, by Amon Wood and others.


Is situated in the north-western part of the county. It was laid off May 18th, 1836, by Henderson and Higbee.


Was laid off July 14th, 1836, by John Walker. It is a small town in the western part of the county, doing a local trade only.


Is situated in the southern part of the county, one mile west of Kane. It was laid off by Perry Hains and Merrick.


Is situated on the Chicago, Alton, & St. Louis Railroad, and does considerable local trade. It was laid off September 1, 1865, by Kellogg, Olmstead, and Worcester.

Is on the Chicago, Alton, and St. Louis Railroad, and in the southern part of the county. It is surrounded by a rich and prosperous farming community. It does a large and lucrative trade. Kane was laid off November 2, 1865, by Tobias Holliday.


Was laid off April 20, 1866, by John Roodhouse. It is situated at the intersection of the Kansas branch of the Chicago, Alton, and St. Louis Railroad with the Jacksonville branch of the same. It is located in a fine agricultural region, is growing rapidly, and promises to be one of the best towns in this part of the state. It has a number of good stores, shops, &c., and does a large trade.

New Providence

Is a small place, located nearly in the center of the county. It was laid off May 5th, 1867, by F. M. Bell, John Bell, and Jesse S. Allen.


Is situated on Macoupin creek. It was laid off August 13, 1867, by Fred Sunkel & Bro.

Was laid off February 1, 1871, by A. W. Barrow. It is situated in the north part of the county, on the Rockford, Rock Island and St. Louis Railroad.


Is situated on the Rockford, Rock Island, & St. Louis Railroad; is on a beautiful prairie, and does a considerable trade. It was laid off July 18, 1871, by L. F. Williams.

Hanks Station

Is in the north-west part of the county, on the Kansas branch of the Chicago, Alton, & St. Louis Railroad. It was laid out September 8, 1871, by Thomas Hanks.


Was laid off June 18, 1872, by A. J. Wright. It is a station on the Rockford, Rock Island, & St. Louis Railroad.

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