Richwoods Township History


"Forest Hill" Suburban residence of Judge Wellington Loucks
Section 32, Richwoods Township

2 1/2 miles northwest from courthouse square
Atlas Map of Peoria County, Illinois, 1873, page 120


     Richwoods is situated in the eastern portion of Peoria county, joining Peoria township on the north. Was so called by its first inhabitants because of its heavy timber of sugar maple, elms, walnuts and oak, and when the township organization was effected the name was retained.
     It has within its limits Springdale Cemetery, containing one hundred and seventy acres of land, beautifully situated on the bluff overlooking Peoria Lake and the Illinois river. The county fair grounds — Jefferson Park — is also in this township. Mr. William German was the first settler of the township. He came in 1832 and located on Sec. 29. Later in the same year came Thomas Essex, a native of Virginia, and settled on the same section. In 1833 Benjamin Slane, Marginus Belford, and William Nixon, came and settled on Sec. 27. Mr. Slane remained but a short time, then removed to Princeville township. He was the first supervisor from that township. Also later in 1833 Stephen Carroll, Levi McCormick, and a man by the name of Barton, settled in the township. In 1834 Josiah Fulton and family removed from Peoria. The first marriage was Charles Ballance, of Peoria, to Miss Julia Snebly, in 1835. The first death was Mr. Stephen Carroll's father. The first minister was Rev. Isaac Keller, who preached in a log school-house on Sec. 27, in 1835. Nathan Giles immigrated to the township in 1836; was a native of Oneida county, N. Y. John Berket of Lancashire, England, came to the county in 1836. Smith Frye came from Washington county, Penn., in 1834; was an active, influential man. Was elected sheriff of the county in an early day. Mr. Frye was killed by a pistol shot at the stock yards in Peoria, in 1860, by a man named Carroll. Benjamin Lusk settled in the township in 1834. He was from Duchess county, N. Y., has two sons living in the township. John Heines also came as early as 1834. He was born in Frederick county, Va. In 1833 William 0. Stringer settled on Sec. 8, and was among the earliest seitlers of the township.
     Schools. — In 1851 the Snebly and Chauncey wood school-house was built, being the first frame building used for school purposes in the township, (previous to that log cabins were used,) eighteen by twenty-four feet, and cost $400. The next was the Stringer school-house in the northern part of the town, in 1853, at a cost of about $400, which is still standing and occupied for school purposes. The next was the brick house on section 28, known as the Fulton school-house, which was pulled down and a fine building erected in 1858, on section 33, in its stead, known as the Jackson, or Yates school-house, at a cost of $1,000. In 1853 the Spears school-house was erected, a brick building, eighteen by twenty-four, and cost $400. It was afterwards abandoned, and the district being divided up, there has been two houses erected, one known as the Louks, and the other the Sipp. They are frame buildings costing about $600 each. In the northwest corner of the township a frame building was erected, known as the Snebly and Johnson school-house, costing about $500. In the year of 1865 or '66, there was a frame building erected on section 15, on the Illinois Bottoms, known as the Littleton school-house, and cost about $400. The Hines school-house was built in 1872, on section 28, and cost $500. The schools are in a flourishing condition, always pay very good prices for teachers, and having sessions of six to nine months a year. (The History of Peoria County, Illinois, 1880, page 615, submitted by Janine Crandell)

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Updated December 11, 2004