History of Little York, Illinois


History / Thursday, April 30th, 2015

This vicinity was first settled in 1829, and was among the earliest in this county.

Among thoses who first came here were: Matthew D. Ritchie, Otho W. Craig, William McCoy, Hugh Martin, Sr., and others. Much fear and some trouble was experienced from the Indians by the early settlers. A roving band of those desperadoes were skulking along the timber on Cedar Creek, on the 9th day of August, 1832, when five of their number rushed out, shot and scalped William Martin, who was at work alone putting up hay. A block house had been built as a kind of fort, where perrsons and families resorted in time of supposed danger. Several women and children were at the fort at this time, and heard the shots, saw Martin fall, and the Indians run to him, shoot again, and scalp him. The news spread rapidly, and caused great alarm among the inhabitants. Martin had been at the fort but a short time previous, was cautioned by the women about working alone, though it was not known that any Indians were in the vicinity. He returned to his work singing a favorite tune.

The block house stood a few rods east from where now stands the pleasant residence of Hugh Martin, brother of William, and he was killed about eighty miles north. His body was not recovered until the next morning, and when examined, it was found that the last shot was made so near as to burn his clothing.

A company of Rangers followed the trail of the Indains as far as New Boston, where they were just in time to see them in their canoes, nearly across the Mississippi river. They fired upon them, but did not avail to stop them.

An account of the trial of these murderers is given in another part of this work.

The village of Little Rock was laid out in 1835 by William McCoy and M.D. Ritchie. James Kendall opened the first store in this vicinity, at the block house in 1833, and after his death, in the next year, his widow moved the goods to a building on the site of the village, and continued in the trade. This she sold to Arthur McFarland, who soon sold to J.F. Pollock, and he had a prosperous trade there for many years. He was the first P.M. for nearly twenty years. The first school was in 1837, taught by Peter Turpening. At the present time there is a good school house and a good bell, with pleasant grounds ornamented with trees.

The principal merchants are Messrs. Wallace & Morrison, general merchandise. There are two harness shops, three blacksmith shops, one wagon shop, and a boot and shoe shop.

This village is located in a thriving and industrious farming community, and is in Sumner Township, twelve miles northwest from Monmouth.

The U.P. Church of Little York was organized April 19th, a863, by Rev. John Scott, D.D., of the Presbytery of Monmouth. At the formation of this church there were forty-one members from the U.P. churches of Cedar Creek and Henderson. The first pastor was Rev. Wm. H. McMillan, The next pastor was Rev. W.T. Campbell, ordained and installed June 13, 1871, and continued four years. The present pastor is Rev. David Anderson, who began his work here in October, 1875. This congregation own a pleasant and commodious house of worship, which cost $4,000, and a convenient parsonage, recently built at a cost of $2,000. The present number of members is 130.

Source: The Past and Present of Warren County, Illinois, containing a history of the county–its cities, towns &c., a biographical directory of its citizens, war record of its volunteers in the late rebellion, portraits of early settlers and prominent men, general and local statistics, map of Warren County, history of Illinois, Constitution of the United States. Chicago. H. F. Kett & Co. 1877.

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