Truman Eldridge, who now occupies one of the most inviting farms and homes within the Corporation, came, in 1836, from Hancock, Mass., and took 240 acres, a part of which is embraced in the northwest portion of the village. Shortly after he returned to his home and spent two years, and in 1838 returned, and in 1839 he took up, at the government price, 80 acres more, directly north, and in 1850 bought 160 acres more, embracing the northeast portion of the Corporation. The southeast quarter section was bought thirty-four years ago by Solomon Sovereign, and thirty years ago the southwest by John Reeves. The Corporation, one mile square, laid out in streets at right angles, embraces equal portions of these four quarter sections.
The first store was opened on a small scale by John Adams in 1856, a little south of where it now stands, on the southwest corner of Penn Avenue and Main street. The brick building owned by E. Pierce occupies its original site. Soon N. W. Baker succeeded John Adams, and not long after, Dally and Arter, and these were succeeded by E. P. Emans, who now owns and occupies a two story frame on the northwest corner.
The first township meeting was held in the old Union Church, on April 4, 1854. Truman Eldridge presided at the meeting, and at its close the first township officers were chosen.
Unitl the advent of the C. B. & Q. Railroad, almost all the produce was taken to Oquawka, there to be shipped to St. Louis by the Mississippi River. Whenthe railroad was completed trade was changed to Monmouth, and a local trade was started in Roseville.
New Lancaster and Elliston, a few miles west, were enjoying quite a local trade, which continued until 1870. During the summer of this year, the Rockford,Rock Island & St. Louis Railroad was completed through the county. This was the beginning of the prosperity of Roseville. It was now properly platted and the plat recorded by John A. Gordon, in the name of Mr. Eldridge and others of the most active residents, and an active trade at once opened.
The stores and shops at New Lancaster were moved here, and the town from being a “corners,” as it was commonly called, rapidly arose to a “town,” with its attendant privileges. Mr. John A. Gordon opened the depot and held the position several years.
Mr. Eldridge gave several lots to those who would erect shops or stores thereon, not a few of which liberal offers were accepted.
On May 8, 1874, the town had attained a population of 514 inhabitants, and was incorporated. Since then the population has increased to nearly east of the village. Here he commenced work as a blacksmith. Shortly after, he removed his shop to Roseville, where he added to his small shop a room about sixteen by twenty-four feet.
He soon purchased an engine to aid him in his rapidly growing trade, and increased the number of his employes. About a year ago the present firm was organized, and a still further increase in the buildings and machinery made. Their speciality is windmills, plws and tonqueless cultivators. Quite a number of shops are maintained, good stores, one bank and an excellent flouring mill.
The earliest attempts to educate the youth of this community was made in a small log school house, about one mile south of the site of the village. The frame school house east of town was next built. At its location there was a shop and small store, and the residents entertained some hopes of securing a town here. School was maintained here until a few years ago, when it was removed to town and the present edifice constructed. It is a two story building, capable of accommodating two hundred scholars; 156 are now in attendance. Three teachers are employed.
The Congregationalist Church was organized November 15, 1851, by President Blanchard, then of Galesburg. and consisted of eleven members, whose names were Stephen and Phoebe Delley, William and Mary Delley, David and Elizabeth Tuttle, Mrs. Elizabeth Axtell, and Miss Eunice Robinson. Four years after the organization they erected the present church building, at an expense of $3,000 dollars. The lumber was brought from Oquawka. Some time after, they erected the parsonage, worth $2,000. Rev. Asa Martin commenced his labors here, at a salary of $120 per year, in 1851, and remained one year. He was succeeded by Rev. J. A. Rodgers, the first installed pastor, who remained until 1858. He is now president of Berean College, Kentucky. Rev. A. R. Mitchell was called to succeed him, and occupied the pulpit until 1861. He was followed by Rev. Alfred Morse, who remained three years and was succeeded by Rev. Cyrus H. Eaton, from 1864 to 1867. Then Rev. Arthur E. Arnold filled the pulpit until 1868. From that date until the early part of 1877 the pulpit was occupied by Rev. J. D. Wykiff. The present pastor, Rev. R. A. Wood, has just lately been installed.
The membership is now 100, the attendance at Sunday-school 75.
The Baptist Church was organized in 1852 by Rev. S. G. Miner. It now numbers 175 members and 100 Sunday-school scholars. The organization was perfected in a school house, about one mile east of the present site of the town, with about 25 members. When the school house was erected in town, they used it for divine worship until they erected their present church. It cost about $2,000 dollars.
The following have been some of the pastors of this church: Elders Joseph Elliott, ____Morse and J. D. Kent. The present pastor is E. C. Cady.
The Methodist Episcopal Church is the outgrowth of a class of some half dozen members organized in 1839, who were Solomon Sovereign and wife, John Jared, Sr. and wife, MMrs. Sisson, Mrs. Welty, Mrs. Kirkpatrick. They held their first meetings in Jared’s school house, about three miles southeast of Roseville. In the fall of 1841, and until the spring of 1842, the meetings were held in Josiah Kirkpatrick’s house, about two and a half miles south of Roseville. They were then held at Solomon Sovereign’s house, now used for a hotel by Eli Gilbeert, opposite the depot. The meetings were held in this house until the first school house was built. This served as a sanctuary until the present church and parsonage were built in 1867, at a cost of $5,500. This class, in its infancy, formed one of the appointments on the Aquawka circuit, which included all of what is now Henderson and Warren counties. Monmouth, Kirkwood and other places of importance now were appointed on the circuit. Amoung the first ministers who broke the bread of life were the veneerable Henry Sumbers, W. M. Clark, Richard Haney, William Haney and Benjamin Applebee. These men are all yet living and are members of the Central Illinois Conference. Though all are on the superannuated list except R. Haney and B. Applebee. J. Kern was appointed pastor in 1856, W. J. Beck in 1857, A. C. Higgins in 1858, Thomas Watson in 1867 and ‘8, J. W. Coe in 1869 and ’70, R. Beeler in 1871, C. B. Conch (Calvin B. Couch) in 1872 and ’73, J. W. Coe in 1874 and ‘5. J. S. Cummings is the present very efficient presiding elder on the district, and N. T. Allen the present energetic pastor under whose labors the past winter seventy-five members have been added to the church, making the present membership one hundred and seventy-seven, with a Sabbath school of one hundred scholars.
The Christian Church was organized in 1859, or 1860, with about 25 members. There are now more than double that number, and a Sunday-school of nearly 50 scholars. In 1871 they erected a comfortable church, costing about $1,500. Their parsonage is worth about $800. The Rev. George L. Brackan is the present pastor.
The Lutheran Church, composed mostly of Swedes, comprises a membership of 35. They were organized into a body ecclesiastic February 26, 1876, with 26 members, and on October 29, following, dedicated their present house of worship. Rev. G. Wiberg occupies the pulpit, ministering part of his time in other places. The Sunday-school numbers about 25 scholars.
The Union Baptist Church was organized in 1844 or ‘5 in an old school house. It was used for some time for both purposes, and in it the first township meetings were held.
The members had belonged to the Berwick Church and organized here, this being a more central location.
They have now a very comforable church and sustain a regular meeting.
Talbott’s Creek Christian Church was organized about 1838-9, and for some timeincluded the Cameron and Alexis members.
Joseph Murphy and L. S. Wallace were among the first elders. John E. Murphy, Thos. Wallace, Wm. Wallace, Wm. Murphy and Wm. Hopper, with their families, were among the constituent members. John E. Murphy was the pioneer preacher among them. Thos. Griffith and Henry Bruner, father of the present pastor of Monmouth Church, were also early members. Their present church was erected near David Warren, an old member, and one who helped the church in its early trials. They occupied this building until 1855 or ‘6, when a house of worship was erected at an expense of $2,000, which they still occupy. They have a membership of about one hundred, and sustain a Sunday school of about the same number. Rev. D. D. Miller, pastor at Cameron, preaches here. This congregation has sent out several colonies, which are now large and growing churches.
Two weekly papers are sustained here. Wilson’s Weekly, the younger, was started about eight months since by the Wilson Brothers, two quite young men, and is already enjoying a good circulation. It is a good lacal paper, and a very creditable enterprise.
The Roseville Gazette, an independent family newspaper, by G. G. McCosh. Terms, $1.50 per annum in advance. It is published every Wednesday, and each issue contains twenty-eight columns of matter. It has a large and rapidly increasing circulation, chiefly in Warren and Henderson counties. Advertisements inserted at reasonable rates. Terms made known on application. A branch office is lacated at Monmouth, Ill., cor. Main street and Public Square, fitted up with the most modern and improved styles of type and machinery, is capable of turning out first-class job printing at lowest living rates. All orders for printing and all communications, to receive prompt attention, should be addressed to the publisher at Monmouth, Ill.
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.