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1882 History - Chapter 19

[Page 162] Chapter XIX – Zion Precinct

At one time this precinct was known as “Dry Fork” Precinct, but it 1857 or 1858 the voting place was changed from Sutton HASTING’s, were elections had previously been held, to what is now Newport, and at the same time the name of the precinct was changed to “Zion,” in honor of the old Zion Church and camp-ground.

The early settlement of Zion Precinct is very interesting, it being one of the first-settled precincts in Bond County. Sutton HASTINGS came in from North Carolina early in the year 1818, the same year that Illinois was admitted into the Union as a State. Two years later (in 1820), Daniel MOORE and family, also from North Carolina, came and settled in Section 19. His father, Philip MOORE, came at the same time. He raised a large family of boys, all of whom are either dead or have left the precinct. In 1817, Horatio DURLEY came from Kentucky, and in 1819 he entered about one thousand acres of land, a part of which is the farm now owned by James H. MOSS. Mr. DURLEY was considered a very wealthy man. He ran the first horse-mill in the precinct, about 1820. It

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was a grist-mill, but at that time was used mostly for grinding corn; it was located near where the old ENLOE place now is. A family named STUBBLEFIELD came in 1818, and in August of 1819 John STUBBLEFIELD entered the farm now owned by John GRIGGS. Daniel GRIGGS came from North Carolina in 1825, and settled in Section 31. He was accompanied by his brothers Samuel and Richardson, both Baptist ministers, and Bolin GRIGGS, another brother, who at present resides in Section 4, and is the oldest man in the precinct (ninety-two years old). There was a large family of GRIGGS, and numerous descendants at present reside in Bond County. Prior to the war of 1812, a man named TRUITT came from Kentucky, and settled on what is now known as the "Old Kline place", but about the time of the war the Indians became so bad that he was compelled to leave, and he returned to Kentucky. He afterwards returned to Illinois, and lived until his death near Edwardsville in Madison County, where he became quite a prominent man, and accumulated considerable wealth.

The DIAMOND family came from South Carolina in 1820, about the time the WATSONs came. The father, John DIAMOND, was a very old man, and deserves special mention, from the fact of his having been a soldier in the Revolutionary war. He died soon after removing to this precinct, and was buried in the "Old Diamond Graveyard", near Zion Spring, in the northwest corner of Section 29. His son Robert lived in the precinct until his death, which occurred in 1850. He was a very old man, and has three brothers still living in Arkansas. William W. MOSS came in 1835, and located in Section 21. His son, James H. MOSS came with his father, and also settled in same section. He at present resides in Section 30, and is considered one of the best, most industrious and responsible citizens in Zion Precinct.

On the “Old KLINE place” there is an immense spring, known as “Zion Spring,” and when the earliest settlers came to this region, a widow, named “Clarey,” and her sons, occupied a cabin near this spring. She is said to have come from Kentucky, though nothing definite concerning her can be learned. She must have been a courageous woman, however, to brave alone the dangers and perils of the wilderness. Alex GLENN came from North Carolina about 1828, and located in Section 17. He was, for many years, a Justice of the Peace, appointed by common consent, to settle the grievances of the settlers of this region. Thomas KLINE came with GLENN, and settled in Section 30. His widow at present resides in the village of Newport. William HUNTER settled near the Cross Roads, in 1820, from North Carolina, and entered the land on which the village of Newport now stands. His son Wilson, who died last summer, was about the first merchant in that town. Daniel MOORE came from North Carolina in 1825, and settled in Section 31. His widow, Jennie MOORE, who is now more than eighty years of age, at present resides with her daughter, Mrs. Henry HILL, about four miles west of the town of Greenville. It was at her residence and at the residence of Sutton HASTINGS that the first Methodist preaching in Zion Precinct was held. Asa OLIVER came from Tennessee about the year 1830, and settled on Section 29. John GRIGGS came from North Carolina in 1829, and located on Section 30. Lemuel SCROGGINS came from the same State in 1833, and settled in Section 17. Three or four miles north of the village of Mulberry Grove, a Frenchman, named ST. JOHN, kept a trading post, which was established prior to the year 1816. Some of the first white settlers used to haul furs and skins from that place to Cahokia. Another Frenchman, named LACROIX, lived near ST. JOHN, and also dealt in furs. When

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horses belonging to any of the settlers strayed away, they were sometimes taken up by the Indians. In such cases the settlers would employ these Frenchmen to recover them, by giving such rewards as they could afford. A few years subsequent to this time, settlers came in so fast that it is difficult to keep trace of them.

The first church built in this precinct was the "Old Zion Church", reference to which is made elsewhere. It was built on Section 19, about the year 1828; ... In 1833, the camp ground was cleared off, and regular camp meetings were held there until late years. About 1840, the old log building was torn down and a neat frame church, ... In 1861, the society, which was of the Methodist denomination, removed to Newport, the Zion Church was torn down, and a new edifice erected in that village, which they now occupy. Among the original members of this church were Robert STEWART and wife, Philip MOORE and wife, Rev. William HUNTER and wife, Arthur SHERRAD, Asa OLIVER, Jane McCRACKEN, Eli McCRACKEN, Ephraim McCRACKEN, and Daniel and Jane MOORE.

In 1881, the Free Methodists built a church on the camp-ground, on the site of the “Old Zion” Church. It is a frame building, forty-two feet in length and twenty-eight feet in width. On the site of the Zion Camp Ground, there is at present a cemetery, where repose the last remains of many of those who, in an early day, attended meeting on that same spot.

Schools were taught ...

The village of Woburn was first called Newport, but on account of there being another post office of the same name in the State, the name was changed to Woburn. In this section, it is more generally known as the Cross Roads, the name it bore in early days. It was laid out by John HUGHES, of Virginia, who owned the land, about the year 1856. The first store was built and run by William HARPER. The first Postmaster was A. W. WATSON. His father, Hugh WATSON, ran the first blacksmith shop. John HUGHES was the first miller, and Abraham JARRED was the first wagon-maker. Dr. HARNADY first administered to the ailments of the settlers in this precinct. The first mill of any importance in the precinct, was erected here in 1866. It was a saw-mill, but was afterward purchased by the MOSS Brothers, who took out the saw-mill and put in two run of buhrs for grinding purposes. These brothers run the mill for several years and finally sold out to Porter McKAY, who, after running it about one year, sold out to J. W. DANIELS and William DAVIDSON. These gentlemen, after continuing the business for some time, sold the mill to its present owner, George FORCE, and at present it is doing a fair business. Melton PHILLIPS was the first shoemaker. At present there are about 150 inhabitants in the village; two stores, one run by Joseph ISLEY and the other by Eugene ENLOE, who is also the present Postmaster; three blacksmith shops, doing a good business, though Thomas WHITE has the best

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trade. Dr. POINDEXTER is the present doctor and has the best practice of any physician who ever did business here.

The Protestant Methodist Episcopal Church was organized here about the time of the laying out of the village, through the influence of Samuel GLENN, of North Carolina. He and his wife had been members of this church in North Carolina. His family formed the nucleus around which this organization formed. Their first minister was Rev. William H. COLLINS. Among the first members were Samuel GLENN, wife and two daughters; Thomas KLINE, wife and two daughters; Mrs. Thomas ENLOE and Mrs. Joseph WASHBURN. The society at first had no church, and for several years worshiped at the houses of the members, and afterward in the schoolhouse. In 1871, a church building, forty feet in length and twenty-eight feet in width, was erected, at a cost of about $1,400. At present, the membership, which has been as high as forty, numbers but nineteen. The present minister is Rev. Edward BACHE, and services are held semi-monthly. A flourishing Sunday school is at present held in the church under the Superintendency of Saburn MIDDLETON.

The United Baptist Church, commonly called "Liberty Church", was established about 1856. the first minister was Richard KEEL. Among the first members were Richardson, Samuel and Bolin GRIGGS, James ELAM, Gabriel JETT and wife, and Charles MESSENGER and wife. At that time there were only eight members, all told. Samuel GRIGGS and James ELAM were the first Deacons. Their first meeting was held at the house of Gabriel JETT, and afterward at the residences of the several members, until in 1859, when they erected their present church, which is frame building thirty-six feet long and twenty-six feet in width, and cost about $600. In this building, Richardson GRIGGS preached the first sermon, and was succeeded by Samuel GRIGGS, who is the present minister. The Deacons are R. S. D. ROBERTS, Joseph BIGHAM and Anderson ELAM, and the Clerk is R. B. GRIGGS. The membership is at present 215. Regular services are held every third and fourth Sabbath, and prayer meetings on the first and second Sabbaths in each month. The first Sunday school was established in 1860, with John FISHER as Superintendent, and at present a large and flourishing Sunday school is conducted here.

The Church of God in Christ, or Christian Church, was organized at Newport in 1859. They experienced considerable difficulty in establishing a church, but through the exertions of Jonathan SKATES, who located here in the spring of 1858, they finally succeeded. Among the early members were Jonathan SKATES and wife, Miranda LEMERT, Henry ALLEN, Daniel TABOR, James ADAMS, John CURLEE< etc. In August, 1860, by vigorous efforts, they succeeded in erecting a church, and Brothers ADAMS, SKATES and TABOR were chosen Deacons. At present the church is in a very prosperous and thrifty condition, having a good membership, regular services, and maintaining a good Sunday school.

From the foregoing church history, it will be seen that Zion Precinct is well supplied with religious instruction, That it is not only well supplied at present, but ever since the settlement of the country it has had no lack of church facilities. If the people are not moral and religious, it is certainly nobody’s fault but their own, and nobody but themselves, perhaps, will be held to account for their shortcomings. With this finale on the moral influence of this favored section, we close our chapter on Zion Precinct.

Transcribed by Norma Hass from the History of Bond and Montgomery Counties Illinois, published in 1882, Part I, pages 162-165.

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