From: The Past and Present of Warren County, Illinois,Chicago. H. F. Kett & Co. 1877.
Is peasantly located on the C., B. & Q. R. R. twenty-one miles eaast from Burlington, Ia. In the year 1836 five families had located in this township,
as follows: Samuel Hanna, Z. M. Davis, James Gibson, R Tinkham, Benjamin Tompkins, after whom the township was named. Prior to the building of the railroad through this county, settlement was slowly made in this region, but on the completion of the road, in 1855, new life was infused and business sprang up as if by magic. In the year 1854 David Irvine laid out the original village of Kirkwood to which two additions
have been made, called Quinby’s additions.
For many years a brisk trade has been carried on here, especially in grain, which has hardly been surpassed by any town on any railroad leading to Chicago. The village was incorporated in 1865, and the following were the first Trustees: O. Lanphere, J. L. Batcheler, J. K. Cummings, A. Carmichael and J. B. Sofield. The present board is, T. F. Lowther, Geo. Kellogg, A. C. Van Riper, L. Rapalle, Wm. McCoy, W. K. and J. H. Gilmore,
The first store here was opened by Knowles, Ray & Chapin in 1855. The First National Bank is one of the solid institutions of this county, and is ably managed by Dr. Henry Tubbs, President, and Willard C. Tubbs, Cashier. Chapin, Houlton & Davis have a large private banking business; also an extensive mercantile trade. There are at the present time five genral stores, four grocery houses, four drug stores, two hardware stores and agricultural implements, two boot and shoe stores, two bakeries, one bookstore and news room, one jeweler, two blacksmith shops, two shoe shops, two wagon shops, one lumber yard and two elevators.
The graded schools of this village are the just pride of all her people. There are two neat and commodious school houses– six rooms– in which schools are maintained nine months of the year. The number of children enumerated by the census of 1876 is 482 in the village and in the township 975.
The Presbyterian Church of Kirkwood was organized in 1856, and was first called South Henderson Church. Meetings were first held in a school house about two miles southwest of town. A committee had been appointed by Schuyler Presbytery to assist in the formation of the church. This committee was Rev. J. H. Nevins, R. C. Matthews, D.D., and Elders Hiram Norcross and James Boggs. At the organization there were twenty-six members, “of whom many have fallen to sleep, but a few remain unto this day.” The first elders were Jacob Ackerman, Alex. M. Hervey and Nathan Carr. Of these, Fathers Carr and Ackerman yet live, having more than fulfilled their four schore years. The first
stated preaching was by Rev. J. H. Nevins for one year. Then Rev. W. L. Lyons for three and a half years. From July, 1863, to April, 1865, was a vacancy, with occasional preaching by Dr. J. M. Jamison and others. At this latter date Rev. J. W. Ash began his labors here, and was the regular supply for two years. Then Rev. J. W. Allen was here for two years, and during his administration a new and commodious church was built, 40 by 65 feet, and cost $11,000. In 1870 Rev. G. N. Johnson supplied for six months. Then Rev. J. H. Marshall was stated supply for two and half years. The present minister, Rev. E. W. Thompson, is the only installed pastor the church has ever had. He began his labors here in 1874. The first house of worship built by this Church was a small frame structure, 20 by 30 feet, in the south part of town, in 1858. For two or three years it was occupied by the M. E. congregation on alternate Sabbaths. This was afterwards sold to the Roman Catholics and moved off the lot. In 1868 the present church was erected, and is an elegant gothic structure. It was throughly refitted in 1875. The present membership is 125. An interesting Sabbath school is maintained throughout the year, with an attendance of 125. E. P. Clauson is superintendent. The church is in a prosperous condition.