NIXON TOWNSHIP (Pages 327-328)

THIS was the latest settled township in the county. It contains a prairie surface, with only now and then a few groves of timber of a very small growth. Its form is irregular, and contains 27 sections. A notch of 9 sections is taken out of the south-east corner and joined to Piatt county. The surface is mainly flat or level, but of a deep, rich soil, specially adapted to the successful culture of corn or grass. When under drainage or tiling shall have been fully adopted, it will be found that this is one of the most productive parts of the county. The natural drainage is somewhat meagre, and it will take time and patience to bring this land to yield what it is really worth to the husbandman. Friend's Creek and a small tributary, rise in the north part of the township and flow in a southerly course through its territory. Two brooks or small rivulets take the same course through the township. These constitute the surface drainage, except the line of railroad which bisects the township from west to east. The Division of the Wabash, St. Louis & Pacific railway enters from the west in section 7, and takes an easterly course, passing into Piatt county in section 12. Nixon is situated in the extreme south-eastern part of the county and bounded as follows: On the north by DeWitt township, on the east and south by Piatt and Macon counties, and on the west by Creek township. Its first settlement began as late as 1850. At the time of township organization —1859—, there were but 32 voters in the township. It is true that there had been land cultivated within its boundaries years before, but they were parties living near the borders, not citizens of the township.


The first to locate in this township was Cicero Twist, in the spring of 1850. He settled in section 8, and that year broke a small patch of prairie, and raised a crop of sod corn. He came from Sangamon county and had two children, Ann and Eliza. Mr. Twist yet resides in the township, and has a family of eight children. His first house was a rude cabin, constructed of rough logs just as they were cut from the timber, and covered with boards for a roof. He is now in comfortable circumstances, and residing at the old homestead.

A. M. Pue broke the first prairie, and raised the first crop within the boundaries of the township, but resided in an adjoining precinct. This was in 1837. George, William, Morris and Nixon [sic] were all early settlers. They were brothers, and came from Ohio about 1850, and settled in different parts of the township. They became prominent farmers, and at the time of township organization the commissioners gave it the name in honor of these citizens. George is dead, and the others live in different parts of the county.

John N. Manlove, a native of Ohio, was also one of the first citizens. He emigrated from his native state to Indiana at an early day when he was a mere boy, and from thence to Illinois, about 1852. He has been twice married, and reared a family of ten children, five boys and five girls. He is yet living in the township, and among the first of the citizens. Hiram Chandler came from Vermont, and located here about the same time as the above. He married a sister of Mr. Manlove in Indiana before his coming. He died some years ago, but his family yet resides in the township. C. S. Lisenby also improved land in this township in an early day, but resided just over the line in Creek township.

The first land entry was made by A. M. Pue, January 2d, 1835, being the N. of the N. W. of section 6. In the same year, April 15th, 1835, T. R. Davis entered the S. of the N. W. of the same section. October 25th, 1836, P. S. Longborough entered 485.98 acres in same section. September 2d, 1848, Benjamin G. Lisenby entered the S. of lot 1 of the N. W. of said section. October 16th, 1848, Charles S. Lisenby entered the N. of lot 2, of the S. W. of section 7. June 22d, 1849, George Nixon entered the W. of lot 2, of the N. W. of section 5. November 22d, 1849, Pleasant Lynch entered S. E. of the N. E. of section 7.

A. Rusk and Kate Shipman were the first married couple, and Milo Twist the first born in the township. The first school was taught by Andrew M. Pue. The school-house was constructed of logs, and situated in section 6. The house was removed some years ago. The first goods sold was in 1870, by John C. Coulter. The store-house was what is known as a plank building, and was situated in section 3. It was subsequently moved to the village of Weldon, and is now utilized for a billiard hall. Cicero Twist was the first blacksmith. His shop was a pole cabin, and situated in section 8. It was afterwards planked over, and is yet used by Mr. Twist for the same purpose. He commenced business in 1850. D. M. Cavender was the first justice of the peace, and John Magginnis the first postmaster. The first to practice medicine was Dr. Lewis. He moved to Kansas some years ago, where he died.

Supervisors.—The following are the names of the persons who have represented the township in the county board; Hiram Chandler was elected in 1859, and served until 1863. W. H. Martin elected in 1863, and served one term. W. S. Brooks elected in 1864. John Bosserman elected in 1865, and served three terms. John Manlove elected in 1868. John Bosserman re-elected in 1869, and served two terms. H. C. Martin was elected in 1871. Moses Predmore elected in 1872. Charles Klipzig elected in 1873, and served until 1875. J. C. Coulter elected in 1875. C. S. Lisenby was elected in 1876, and served until 1879, John N. Manlove, elected in 1879, re-elected in 1880 and 1881, and is the present incumbent.

Quite a portion of the land of this township is in the hands of speculators, therefore its progress in the way of improvement is somewhat impeded; but the citizens are tiling largely, and although the surface is rather level, there is plenty of fall for fair drainage. The increase of population has been more rapid than in some of the other townships. The following is the official census since its first settlement; 1860—337; 1870—648; 1880—896.


This town was placed on record in the fall of 1873 by Thomas Snell, Charles S. Lisenby, James B. Alexander, and James DeLand. It was surveyed and platted by the county surveyor, John Brown, in the spring of 1872, and is described as follows: A part of the S. of the N. E. , and a part of N. of the S. E. of section 9, town 19 north, range 4 east, of the 3d principal meridian. It contains twelve blocks, and four half blocks. There are five streets running north and south, and named as follows: Lynn, Oak, Chestnut, Walnut, and Ash. The streets extending east and west are, North, Water, Maple, High, and Grove. All lots fronting are 22 feet in width and 175 feet in depth, except corner lots, which are 22 feet. All other lots are 25 feet front and 175 feet deep. All the streets are 80 feet wide, and the alleys 25 feet.

The town was named in honor of Lawrence Weldon, a prominent lawyer of Bloomington, who was an attorney of the railroad passing through the town, and took an active part in establishing the road. The first house was a residence, and built by C. S. Lisenby in 1872, who still occupies it as such. The first goods were sold by Winslow Brothers in 1873. Their store-room was a frame building, 20 x 60 feet, and two stories in height. It was situated between Water and North streets, and was destroyed by fire in the summer of 1879. Their first stock consisted of drugs and groceries, but was subsequently merged into a general assortment of goods. The house was built early in the spring of 1873. John Bennett erected the first hotel in 1874, and was its landlord. The first blacksmithing done was by James Paulson in 187__ . His shop was located where C J. Seaburg's carriage factory is now situated. The post-office was established in 1873, and J. C. Coulter was the first post-master.

At this time the town contains about two hundred inhabitants, with the appearance of thrift and prosperity on every hand. The buildings, both business houses and residences, are neat for a small country town. There are several new houses in progress of construction, and the village has the general semblance of a prosperous future. The school-house is one of the adornments of the town, and speaks well for the public spirit of the people. It is a neat frame building, 24 x 40 feet on the ground, and two stories in height. It was built in 1876, at a cost of about two thousand dollars, and is furnished with the latest improved furniture, besides having a cupola and bell. Two teachers are employed and it is, therefore, partially graded. The maximum attendance is about seventy-five pupils. The town also contains a good church building, which belongs to the Methodist Episcopal Society. It is a new house of fair size, and is adorned with a spire, and situated in the eastern part of the village.


There are two elevators in the town, the larger of which is owned by C. S. Lisenby. It was established in the summer of 1881, and is situated on the north switch of the railroad, in the eastern part of the town. It is a frame building, 16 x 40 feet on the ground, and 40 feet in height; and cost, in its erection, about three thousand five hundred dollars. Besides the main building, there is an engine-room and other attachments suitable to the business. It contains five dumps, and a capacity of storing fifteen thousand bushels of grain, besides detached cribs that will hold twenty-five thousand bushels of corn. The capacity for elevating is four thousand bushels daily. The engine is twenty horse-power. This industry gives employment to four men.

Wagon and Carriage Factory.—C. J. Seaburg, proprietor. This manufactory was established in the fall of 1874, and is located on the corner of Water and Walnut streets. It is composed of four frame buildings, two of which are two stories in height, and 22 x 30 feet on the ground. The blacksmith shop is one story, and 20 x 70 feet, and the machine shop 20 x 26 feet. The works give employment to seven men, and are operated by steam power. The estimated value of annual production manufactured is fifteen thousand dollars.

General Merchandise.—Winslow Brothers, McConkey & Co.

Dry Goods, Drugs, and Groceries.—Humphrey, Walters & Co.

Dry Goods and Groceries.—Tweed & Goodpasture.

Hardware and Agricultural Implements—Cain & Nixon.

Hardware, Stoves, etc.—Morehead & Co.

Harness Store.—G. W. Reed.

Confectionery and Restaurant.—I. A. Sharp.

Shoemaker.—E. Cresmer.

Milliner and Dress-Maker.—Mrs. Ella Cain.

Physicians.—W. H. Taylor, A. M. Drew.

Hotels.—J. S. McConkey, Samuel Morehead.

Lumber and Coal Dealer.—C. S. Lisenbey.

Grain Buyer.—E. Kent.

Carpenters.—John Bosserman, J. W. Turner, J. H. Saulsbery, D. M. Cavinder.

Painter and Glazier.—Charles Sweeney.

Plasterer.—E. Freeman.

Barber.—W. D. Griffin.

Postmaster.—L. B. Chenoweth.


Weldon Lodge, No. 746.—A. F. and A. M. Chartered, Oct. 3, 1876, with the following charter officers: James R. Heskett, W. M.; F. A. Winslow, S. W.; James Danison, J. W.; John Bosserman, Treas.; Worship Gray, Sec.; William Hodge, S. D.; A. M. Drew, J. D.; William Smith, Tyler.

There were but nine charter members. The present officers are, A. M. Drew, W. M.; L. M. Pace, S. W.; J. W. Turner, J. W.; L. P. Moore, Treas.; Thomas C. Byland, Sec.; L. B. Chenoweth, S. D.; B. F. Staymate, J. D.; John Marsh, T.; W. B. Goodpasture, C.; J. C. Sylvester, S. S. ; W. Gray, J. S. The present membership is thirty-five. The Lodge meets in the Masonic Hall on every Saturday night after the full of the moon in each month.

On the 4th of June, 1879, the hall of the order was destroyed by fire, including the records, jewels and furniture. From that time until the summer of 1881, the Lodge held its communications in the Public school building. Within the last summer —1881—the fraternity have erected a good building, costing seven hundred and fifty dollars. The Lodge, at this writing, is somewhat in debt, owing to their misfortunes, but will soon be able to throw off their load, and stand free from all indebtedness.

Mozart Lodge, No. 96 K. of P., was instituted January 3, 1882. The following were the officers installed: W. H. Taylor, P. C.; J. D. Brown, C. C.; William Capron, V. C.; J. C. Nichols, P.; W. A. McKelvey, K. of R. and S.; D. F. Edmiston, M. of E.; C. J. Seaburg, M. of F.; W. H. Costley, M. of A.; Daniel O'Brien, I. G.; E. F. Cresmer, O. G. In all, there were twenty-five charter members. The lodge meets Tuesday evenings at the Masonic Hall.

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