From: The Past and Present of Warren County, Illinois,Chicago. H. F. Kett & Co. 1877.
This village, though bearing the same name as the royal prince, is not a Russian Town. It was first called Alexandria and recently abbreviated to its present name for convenience. It is situated twelve miles north and east from Monmouth, and was laid out in Nov., 1870, by Robert Holloway and J.E. Alexander upon land owned by them. The first house was moved to the Town site Nov. 20, 1870, and upon the first train North on the Rockford, Rock Island and St. Louis R.R., J. E. Alexander moved his goods, and established the station. He has held the office of Station and Express Agent since the opening of the Railroad. The books of the Co. show that from this point there has been shipped 500 cars of stock in a year, and, sometimes 140 cars of grain per month. The growth of the town has been rapid, and new buildings are rising to take their place, showing the confidence there is in the stability of the town.
There are four general stores, five groceries, two drug stores, two hardware and agricultural implements, one book and stationery store, two blacksmith shops, one flouring mill, one machine ship, two lumber yards and two hotels.
A fine two story school house was built in 1874, cost $2,600, and the schools are well graded, Superintendent, C. Galloway. The number of children by examination of Sept., 1876, was 384.
The first village Trustees came in to office July 28, 1873, and their names are as follows: John C. Blaney, Prest.; A. G. Talbot, O. E. Bugbee, O. G. Chapman, James Loveridge, Daniel Churchill; John Douglas, Clerk, Chas. Churchill, Hiram Ingersoll, James H. Shaw, Robert Knox, W. W. Graham; Thos. B. Patterson, Clerk; Chas. E. Johnson Treas., and W. H. Brown Police Magistrate. The total population is about 700.
Mr. James Everett started the Alexis Journal at this place in 1874. He had originally intended to make it an eight column, four page paper: but from some cause cut it down to seven columns, four pages, in which form the first number appeared, on February 13, 1874, and was continued until the close of volume three, in 1877. Mr. Everett retired from its management in August, 1876, having sold the office to Dr. Chafee. At the close of volume three, the prospect if its future seemed very gloomy, and it was decided to discontiue its publication. A few weeks later, having received sufficient encouragement, the Dr. concluded to resume, but decided to make a change in the name and style of the paper; accordingly the name was changed to The Alexis Index, and the size of the sheet enlarded to a five column, eight pages, a change which the proprietor feels assured was fully warranted, and is dully appreciated by the people. Its circulation and influence is steadily increasing, although its local advertising patronage has been materially cut down by recent fire, and stringency of the times; still, the office is doing a fair business, remunerative to its owner, and much of its loss of local advertising is compensated for by its Monmouth patronage.
The United Presbyterian church was organized April 4, 1871, by Rev. J.M. Henderson. Meetings were first held at a school house some two miles distant. At the time of the organization there were thirty-one members, amooong whom are the following: Wm. A. Elder, Mrs. Jennie Elder, R. J. Lawhead and wife, Samuel Lawhead and wife. C. C. Graham and wife, Dr. J.F. McCutcheon and wife, J. C. Graham and wife and others.
The stated supplies for this congregation have been, Rev. J. M. Henderson, A. M. Black, D. D., and James I. Doig, D. D. This church has now its first regular pastor, Rev. M.F. McKirchan, who was ordained and installed May 30, 1876. The present number of members is firty-three. Attendance at Sabbath school, seventy-six, J. C. Graham, Supt. A pleasant house of worship was built in 1873, at a cost of $3,100.
The United Brethren in Christ. The first meetings of this church were held in the Mohler school house, four miles S. W. of the town. At this place, the church was organized in the winter of 1859, with forty members. The follwing are a few of the names first received: A.J. Ritehey, Mary Ritchey, David Swiler, Catherine Swiler, John Line, Mary Line, and others.
The first pastor was Rev. D. F. Bair. Then followed Rev. J.R. Hommond, Rev. Ezra Hall, Rev. Daniel Ross, Rev. J. Slutts, Rev. St. Clair Ross, Rev. A. Norman, Rev. O. F. Smith, Rev. A. Worman, Rev. P.R. Adams, Rev. J.P. Worman, and the present pastor, Rev. G. H. Varce.
A church edifice was built in 1872, colst $2,250. The present membership is 36. Sabbath school averages 50 pupils.
The Baptist church was organized July 4, 1868, at Apring Grove school house, afterwards moved to Alexis. Among those who were first members, are the names of Thomas Dunn, Mrs. Hannah Dunn, Miss Jennie A. Dunn, Miss Josephine E. Dunn, L. A. Palmer and others. The ministers who have supplied this church are as follows: Rev. –Lewis, Rev. — Shhirley. A neat church was built in 1875 at a cost of $3,000. The present number of members is twenty-six. Attendance at Sabbath school averages twenty-five, M. M. Palmer, Superintendent.
M. E. Church. The first meetings were held in a grove in 1871. Afterward met in a hall. Among the pastors who have labored here are Revs. C. Atherton, P. A. Cool, A. Keller and C. E. Rowe, present pastor. Services are held on alternate Sabbaths in the Baptist church. Present membership ninety-five. Attendance at Sabbath school eighty. Supt., Thomas Anderson.
Catholic. This organization is just completing a commodious structure, which will cost with improvements in contemplation about $3,000.
Village Officers Trustees: A. G. Talbot, J. E. Lafferty, J. C. Blaney, John Oswalt, George B. Dodge, Dr. J. W. McClanahan. Clerk: Thos. B. Patterson. Police Magistrate: W. H. Brown.
Alexandria Lodge, No. 702, A. F. and A. M., at Alexis; John E. alexander, W. M.; J. H. Wright, S. W.; P. H. Gregory, J. W.; T. R. Squires, Secy.; Steven Gamble, Treas.; M. D. Scott, S. D.; F. E. Wray, J.D.; J. H. Shaw, Tyler. Meets Friday evenings on or before full moon.
Alexxis Lodge, No 526 I.O.O.G.; Allen Laird, N. G. ; George Santee, V.G.; W. H. Brown, R. Secy.; chas. E. Johnson, P. Secy.; Robert