The article courtesy of Warren Jennings.

In the early part of the nineteenth century, as civilization kept moving westward, settlers began to come into Indiana and Illinois. The first reliable information of Crawford County dates back to 1809. Vincennes, Kaskaskia, Cohokia and St. Louis were only stopping points for immigrants before entering the wilderness of the Northwest Territory.

Among them was Samuel Allison, who led a band of pioneers from Kentucky. They came over narrow Indian paths and trails, up the Illinois side of the Wabash River, until they arrived at the site of a deserted Indian village where Russellville, Illinois is now. They arrived there in 1809.

The Plankeshaw Indian Tribe had recently ceded their right to the United States, but were permitted to roam their haunts and hunting grounds until the treaty was ratified in Washington. The Allisons had all their earthly possessions loaded on what vehicles they had, with the men and women following on foot with extra horses and cattle. Just how many were in the band is not known, but with Samuel were his sons, Frederick and Ezra and his brother Jonathon, and all had families, also John Morris, a man of color.

They set to work at once to cut timbers and build cabins for their families and later, around 1815 they built a stockade, which was named Fort Allison. People could live longer in forts than anywhere else.

Fort LaMotte at Palestine was built in 1812. During the War of 1812 twenty-six families lived in Fort LaMotte, protected by 90 rangers under the command of Captain Pierce Andrews, a frontier officer. Fort Allison was built by four families, two of who were the first settlers of Honey Creek Township.

The act of the Territorial Legislation, forming Crawford County, was passed at the session of 1816-17. In 1868 the county adopted the present township organization of the county.

The Allisons were staunch Baptist. They had decendants from the first church that was established in the United States, in March 1638. In 1809 the Maria Creek Church was organizationed across the Wabash River in Indiana, about 20 miles north of Vincennes. Samuel Allison, his wife Phoebe, and John Morris were listed as charter members. Later in 1812, when the LaMotte Church was organized near Palestine, They with others, lettered out from Maria Creek.

In the mean time, between 1809 and 1825 other families had moved into the Allison settlement. Some mentioned were: Thomas Mills, Stockweels, Kuyendalls, Adam Lackey Sr. and children, Adam, Elizabeth and John James, Thomas Fyfe and John McCleave. Among them were three negro families, the Andersons, Morris, and Tannons.

In 1816 Elder Daniel Parker, a Baptist preacher from Tennesse, came through the settlement looking for horses and preaching wherever and whenever opportunity offered. He was described as a small man, wearing home-made jeans colthing, and his shoes were laced with hickory bark.

His preaching was well recieved and a church was organized the next year, 1817. The church met in the home of Thomas Mills, and was called "Little Village".

Charter members were: John Mills, Thomas Mills, Lydia Mills, Richard Highsmith, Sally Highsmith, John Allison, Richard Allison, Daniel Allison, Phoebe Allison and John Morris.

The exact date of organization is not recorded, but the first business meeting was held Mar 30, 1817. Ezra Allison was recieved at this village church by relation on June 25, 1817. The Little Village Church also recieved Samuel Allison, Jonathon Allison and wife Lydia, all by letter and Samuel Haskins by experience and appointed Thomas Mills a first deacon.

In 1818 Elder Daniel Parker moved his family from Tennessee to Illinois and he and Thomas Kennedy pastored Little Village Church and the LaMotte Church for many years.

While living in Illinois Parker served as state senator in the third and fourth General Assembly and history described him as an able legislator. Kennedy was also in politics and was Crawford County's first treasurer.

Little Village's first meeting house was built between 1820 and 1822 and was located on a bluff between the homes of Thomas Mills and Samuel Allison. The exact location of the bluff is not known, but was probably near Russellville. The site finally selected for the church was commonly known as the Farrel place. The land was donated by Samuel Allison and his wife Matildia. It was to be a place for divine worship and education for children, and also as a burial ground, which was called Little Village Cemetry.

In about 1844 the name of Little Village was changed to Canaan Church. In 1855 the present frame church was dedicated in November, 1885 and has served as a place of worship since that time.

In 1816 Samuel and Jonathon Parker settled with their families, two and a quarter miles southwest of Flat Rock. They were instrumental in the early organization of the township. Popular tradition has it that Daniel Parker preached the first sermon in Honey Creek Township, which by necessity had to be at some cabin home. Thomas Kennedy Sr., a baptist preacher, belonging to the LaMotte Church was an early preacher in this part of the county.

Parker left Illinois in 1833, taking with him a band of seven, which he had organized into a church and moved overland to Texas. It was said to be the first Baptist church there. He also established a town which he named Palestine after Palestine, Illinois.

Early in the 1820s the Methodists were trying to evangelize this part of the territory. Their preachers and those of the Baptist preached through this settlement at the cabins before the Highsmith schoolhouse was built in the early 1830s. It at once became a religious and educational center. This schoolhouse was not only the first school but the first permanent preaching point aside from the cabins in the early 1830s. The Methodists found most of their members on the south of the settlement, the Baptist in the center and the United Brethern on the north prior to 1840. All of these denominations had preachers at the Highsmith schoolhouse, sometimes preaching at the same service.

The Jones Meeting House was built in late 1840 by the Methodist. The Goff schoolhouse was built in 1845 and served as a preaching point for the Methodist and Christians. About this time the Methodist had preaching and a class at the Nuttal schoolhouse southwest of Flat Rock. The schoolhouses were almost as primitive as the pioneer cabins. The preachers traveled between preaching poiunts on horse back armed with a bible and a musket.

At first the different denominations had all things in common. Preachers traveled to all parts of the county, preaching to all people, at cabins or schoolhouses. As the population increased it became necessary to organize separate congregations, hence the meeting house came into being.

The Jones Meeting House was the first of its kind in the township. It was located on the William J. Jones farm southwest of Flat Rock. It was used as a schoolhouse as well as a preaching place. Just before the old frame church was built, where Flat Rock is now, the name was changed to Joy Chapel. Sometime after Flat Rock was laid out, the church was named The Village. According to old records of 1866, the classes at Martin's Mill and Nuttall's schoolhouse disbanded and transferred their membership to Joy Chapel and then to Flat Rock. In1867 there were 40 members and in 1875 there were 118 members.

In the spring of 1913, the Flat Rock Methodist church was destroyed by fire and the present building was built soon after. The church became a station church with a full time pastor in 1916, but after several years, it became the head of the circuit and shared time with Swearingen Chapel, Van Houten and Oak Ridge. Later Van Houten and OakRidge were transfered elsewhere and Green Hill was added. About 1950 Flat Rock again became a station and was again head of a circuit with Oak Ridge and Green Hill sharing time.