History of Arenzville, IL
By Judge J. A. Arenz, Chapter XIV, History of Cass County, Illinois, edited by William Henry Perrin, Chicago, O.L. Baskin & Co. Historical Publishers, 1882.
Arenzville Precinct--Its Early History
In order to prepare a complete history of the precinct of Arenzville, it will be necessary to refer to some events which preceded its organization.
By an act of legislation, passed in 1837, it was declared that the County of Cass should be one of the counties of this State, that the county seat should be located at Beardstown on the public square, that the citizens or corporation should raise ten thousand dollars to defray the expenses of erecting public buildings, payable in one, two and three years from the passage of the law aforesaid; that an election for county officers should be held on the first Monday of August 1837; that Thomas Pogue and Dr. O. M. Long, notaries public in Beardstown, should open and examine the poll books in presence of one or more justices of the peace, etc.
This contained in it the germs from which afterward bitter contentions arose about the county seat.
The Three-Mile Territory
Cass County having been formed from the northern part of Morgan, this last mentioned county had retained the south halves of the townships north of the line, dividing townships Sixteen and Seventeen. This caused considerable dissatisfaction among the inhabitants of what was generally called "the three-mile territory," because the geographical situation of the county and the then existing settlements, were of such nature as to incline the people to prefer to belong to the County of Cass.
Arguments were futile, and it was useless to expect to obtain relief by means of a new election when it was known by everyone that the county of Morgan could outvote Cass ten to one upon any question upon which both might be interested.
Finally John W. Pratt, the member in the legislature from Cass, with the assistance of Francis Arenz, who at that time was one of the six members from Morgan and a resident within this three-mile territory, succeeded in obtaining the passage of an act of the General Assembly on February 26, 1845, allowing the people within the said three miles to decide by their votes, at an election to be held on the first Monday of May, 1845, to which county they would prefer to belong. This act further provided that all justices and constables in Morgan, who may reside in this territory, should hold their offices in the county of Cass, and for judges of election at the designated places of voting; the following persons were appointed: David Epler, John A. Arenz and Edward W. Turner, at Arenzville; Jacob Yaples, George Petefish and Peter Conover, at the house of Henry Price; Jonathan C. Bergen, William Montgomery and Z. W. Gatton, at Princeton; William Berry, Alfred Dutch and John Miller, at the house of William Berry.
This election resulted in nearly a unanimous vote for Cass County, only a few dissenting votes having been cast.
John A. Arenz and Charles Coffin, having been elected justices of the peace in Morgan County, continued to hold their offices in the new precinct of Arenzville, with the following boundary: commencing on the line between Morgan and Cass Counties, at the southeast corner of section 33, town 17.11, thence running east on said section line to the northeast corner of section 9, township 17.11, thence south to the place of beginning.
The persons voting at Arenzville, for or against the three-mile territory to Cass County, are as follows: Joseph Thompson, Thomas Thompson, Jacob Lawrence, John Altman, Frederick Lang, G. H. Richards, David Epler, William Taylor, E. Hardy, H. B. Dun, Shad. Dun, Henry Meyer, William Kimball, L. B. Kimbal, Thomas Cook, Peter Light, Julius Philippi, Jacob Heinz, Jno. Orchard, James Jackson, J. L. Cire, Omar Bowyer, David Griffin, James C. Robertson, D. Wagner, Joel Stewart, Christ. Lovekamp, Frederick Brauer, Charles Sandman, W. H. Houston, Peter Arenz, I. P. McLane, Francis Mitchell, J. Creson, Goorge [sic] W. McLane, Jep. Weagle, Jacob Epler, James Newman, George McPherson, Richard Mathews, N. Carter, Frederick Lovekamp, Henry Howell, Alexander Ferguson, Henry Wedeking, Jacob Drinkwater, Frederick Kilver, Sq. Houston, H. Lippert, James V. Pierce, Charles Cooper, Jeremiah Cawood, Joseph Houston, Daniel Sumner, Peter Schaaf, Elder Hardy, George A. Treadway, Charles Robertson, Christ. Rahe, John Marshall, Christ Grave, Victor Krueger, Henry Goedeking, Philip Yaeck, Louis Boy, Isaac Drinkwater, Henry Phelps, Silas Miller, Randal Miller, Thomas Burnet, Samuel Harris, George Hegener, Henry Lovekamp, Frederick Fricke, Daniel D. Comstock, David Sharp, Isaac Houston, Adam Schuman, Frederick Wedeking, William Teilkemeier, Herman Lovekamp, Frederick Hackman, J. L. Comstock, Daniel Dun, Henry Carls, John Carls, Henry Krems, John Houston, William Hackman, William Meyer, Herman Eberwein, J. F. Skinner, George Manuel, Alexander Pitner, Henry Detmer, Joseph M. Webster, George Gunther, John Thompson, George Diehm, Henry Buck, J. C. Carter, John James, Tenna James, Nicholas Houston, Theo. Burchird, Isaac Coy, Henry Menke, Jacob Menke, Frederick Kummel, Charles Merz, John Wies, John Doell, Christ. Crowell, John Masch, M. P. Bowyer, V. G. Smith, J. A. Arenz, Joseph Thompson, Joseph Kircher, G. Hackman.
There were also inhabitants of the Arenzville Precinct, who voted at the house of Henry Price, which was their nearest voting place; among that number were: Oswell Thompson, Christ. Crum, James Crum, who came from Indiana in 1830, and who is the only living person among the first settlers in that neighborhood, and nearly 76 years old. There also voted Thomas Fozzart, John Wood, Charles Jockish, William Reside, Ernest Fletcher, David Wilson, John Dobson, John Clark, William Nesbit, Anthony Boston, William C. Miller, L. C. Pitner, Thomas Nesbit, David Hamacker, J. H. Melone, Samuel McClure and others.