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2018-19 Iroquois County Fact Book A publication of the Iroquois County’s Times-Republic

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Iroquois County Fact Book 2018

Iroquois Economic Development Association We love it here in Iroquois County. We’re sure you will too!

The Iroquois Economic Development Association (IEDA) is a people-oriented organization working constantly to improve the quality of life and to expand the economic opportunities for the citizens of Iroquois County. As a non-profit corporation, IEDA is able to focus on helping job creating businesses locate and remain in our county with no cost whatsoever for their services. The members at IEDA aggressively seek to retain existing businesses as well as attract new retail, service, and manufacturing companies. They offer a variety of financial incentives that can be quite helpful to new, expanding, or relocating companies. The association has a diverse and highly qualified board of directors made up of educators, bank-

ers, and business and local government leaders from all areas of the county. Ken Barragree is the executive director of IEDA. Iroquois County is an excellent location with short drives and open roads from Champaign, Bloomington, Lafayette, Danville, Chicago, Peoria, and Indianapolis. The county is 60 miles south of Chicago and 30 miles north of Champaign-Urbana with easy access to several good highways. Illinois 1 & US 24 meet and transit thru Watseka, the county seat, and Interstate 57 crosses north/south through the county as well and passes near several progressive communities. Iroquois County is the third largest area wise in the state with a total area of 1,117 square miles and boasts one of the most

progressive and productive agricultural areas in the entire country. Iroquois County offers a rich mixture of agriculture, business and manufacturing among stable, rural communities. Especially enticing is the solid contingent of ready and able workers with good old fashioned rural-based work ethics and solid family values. IEDA representatives are available to assist any company considering locating in Iroquois County. There are numerous buildings and site opportunities available in Iroquois County. Email or call 815-4320072 to talk about some of those locations.

Iroquois County Chamber of Commerce PO Box 13 Gilman, IL 60938 815-265-4818

Watseka Area Chamber of Commerce 110 S. Third St. Watseka, Illinois 815-432-2416

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Iroquois chambers of commerce

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Iroquois Economic Development Association .............................3 Iroquois County chambers of commerce .............................3 Iroquois County Historical and Genealogical societies ...........................5 Iroquois County Elected Officials .............................6

Iroquois County Officials .............................7 Iroquois County Board ..........................8-9 Cities, villages ...........................10 Iroquois County library and park districts ...........................32 Iroquois County schools

History of Iroquois County Iroquois County is the only county in the United States having the name “Iroquois,” a name originally applied to a confederation of tribes of North American Indians. According to tradition, a band of Iroquois Indians was once surprised and defeated upon the banks of the river now known as the Iroquois, by a war party of Illinois Indians, hence the name of the county and the river. Iroquois County is bounded on the north by the county of Kankakee, on the east by the State of Indiana, on the south by Vermilion and Ford Counties, and on the west by Ford County. Iroquois County in area ranks third in the state, being 35 miles long and 32 miles wide, and containing 1,120 square miles, only 130 square miles less than the state of Rhode Island. This county is exceeded in size only by McLean and LaSalle Counties in Illinois. Watseka, the county seat, is located a few miles east of the center of the county. The territory included within the present boundaries of Iroquois County was subjected to various states of political evolution before the present county organization was perfected. Under the charter of 1609 and supported by General George Rogers Clark’s request, Virginia laid claim to all the country north and west of the Ohio River and organized it as the county of Illinois. In the year 1784, Virginia surrendered her


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Iroquois County Fact Book 2018

Iroquois County Historical Society and Genealogical Society The mission of the Iroquois County Historical Society is to bring together those people interested in history, especially of the Iroquois County area. The society’s major function would be to discover and collect any material that would help establish or illustrate the history of the area. It will display the county’s history to arouse interest in the past. Preservation of this material is also key in its mission. The Old Courthouse Museum is operated by the Iroquois County Historical Society, a not-for-profit corporation.      The Historical Museum and Genealogical Society archives are located at 103 W. Cherry St. in Watseka, one block south of US Hwy 24. The archives are open each business day from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. Publications are available in the Historical Society Gift Shop as well as in The Genealogy Room in the same building. These include many cemetery records. Both groups put on a number of events all throughout the year, including cemetery walks, a fall festival (Harvest Daze), living history lessons, garden walks, informational sessions, concerts and holiday programs.

(Left) There are more than 75,000 obituaries within the genealogical society.

Among the historical society’s featured rooms at the museum are (below) a general store, (right) jail, and (above) a school house.

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Iroquois County elected officials The Iroquois County elected officials are County Clerk and Recorder Lisa Fancher, Gilman; County Treasurer Mindy Kuntz Hagan, Sheldon; County Sheriff Derek Hagen, Watseka; Regional Superintendent of Schools Gregg Murphy, Gilman; whose terms end in 2018 and Circuit Clerk Lisa Hines, Cissna Park; States Attorney Jim Devine, Watseka; Coroner Bill Cheatum, Watseka; whose terms end in 2020. Other office holders include EMA director Eric Ceci, highway engineer Joel Moore, supervisor of assessments and zoning administrator Bob Yergler, probation supervisor Barb King, public health department administrator Dee Schippert, animal control administrator Hany Youssef, maintenance supervisor Chris Drake, LISA FANCHER county board assistant Amanda Longfellow.




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Ronald E. Boyer, P.C. Attorney at Law

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Iroquois County Board The Iroquois County Board is made up of 20 members, with one member chosen by the board to be chairman of the board. There are four districts with five members elected from each district. The chairman of the board is John Shure. The vice chairman of the board is Dan Rayman. The clerk of the board is Lisa Fancher.








Iroquois County Historical Society Old Courthouse Museum 103 W. Cherry St., Watseka, IL 60970 815-432-2215

Located 1 block south of Rts. 1 and 24 on the corner of Cherry and Second St.

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Ashkum Ashkum Coliseum

President of the Board: Paul G. Heideman Village Clerk: Donna K. Schmitz Village Treasurer: Krystal Alberts Trustees: April Lyons, Edward F. Tholen, Jeremy J. Beherns, Russell L. Hull, Shannon Meier, Jeffrey Hanson

The village of Ashkum was named after a Potawatomi chief. It was laid out in 1856. It sits along U.S. Route 45. Ashkum has an Illinois State Police Department, District 21, within its borders. It has the Ashkum Coliseum, which has played host to many weddings and family functions.

Iroquois County Genealogical Society 103 W. Cherry St. Watseka, IL 60970

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Iroquois County Fact Book 2018

Beaverville St. Mary’s Catholic Church

President of the Board: Kathleen M. Hoover Village Clerk: Christopher Lareau Village Treasurer: Rhonda Emerson Trustees: Byron C. Fuelling, Joyce Arseneau, Maggie Duby, Michael T. Emerson, Dave Martell, Lori Arseneau

Beaverville was once known as St. Marie, founded by several Canadian families in 1851. In 1905 the village had to change its name when it was realized there was another town in Illinois known as St. Mary. The Beaverville name was adopted from the number of beavers which were known to be in the area. Today, the village is known for having the “Cathedral of the Cornfields”. It was built in 1909 and it is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

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Buckley President of the Board: Sheree L. Stachura Village Clerk: J.C. Biggs Village Treasurer: Linda Marquis Trustees: Terry Whitebird, Ernie Hoopingarner, Shane Stachura, Becky Weisenbarn, Peggy Shockley, Keith Hartke The village of Buckley got its start in 1856 and lays over U.S. Route 45. Buckley is the home of the Dutch Masters baseball team, a team in the East Illinois League, which has seen its share of professional and semi-professional players play on its diamond.

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Chebanse Welcome to Chebanse

President of the Board: Sheree L. Stachura Village Clerk: JC Biggs Village Treasurer: Linda Marquis Trustees: Terry Whitebird, Ernie Hoopingarner, Shane Stachura, Becky Weisenbarn, Peggy Shockley, Keith Hartke

Chebanse lies on the border of Iroquois and Kankakee counties. It was established in 1854 as the fist stop on the Illinois Central Railroad south of Kankakee. “Chebanse” means “the little duck” in Potawatomi, and today its 4-H Club has the name “Little Ducks”. Harold Gray, the creator of “Little Orphan Annie”

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lived in Chebanse his first five year. In 1971 its old high school became the Civic Center, which has the village board room police department, library, senior citizen’s room, Boy and Girl Scouts room, a historical society and a gym for youth recreational programs.

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Cissna Park President of the Board: Michael McCray Village Clerk: Valerie D. Dannehl Village Treasuer: Douglas Bauer Trustees: Brian Moser, Doug Luecke, Ellen M. Yergler, Kody Egolf, Chad Geiken, Chad Verkler William Cissna owned many acres of land in the early 1880s. He,

along with a few other men with notable names — William Clayton, William Goodwine, and J.B. Wilson — worked to get a railroad branch to connect with the CE&I railway. Cissna donated land for the city’s center park and financed several buildings to be built. The village was platted in 1882 and incorporated in 1891.

Today, the village has its annual Old Settlers Days, an event which is one of the oldest consecutively conducted events within the state. The residents are also active in working to maintain and improve the village’s features, for example working together to improve the facilities at the center park.

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President of the Board: Andrew Winkel Village Clerk: Shannon James Village Treasurer: Sandra Tammen Trustees: Casey Hull, Jimmie Schoon, Brianne Ryan, Joseph Kolosky, Paul Hess, Randy Gigl

The village of Clifton was platted in 1861. It is one of five communities in Iroquois County which has a swimming pool within its village limits. Today, village residents are active in keeping the village looking nice to those who drive along U.S. Route 45. A project to improve the space between the railroad tracks and the highway has continued. This Greenway in Clifton is used by locals as a walking trail and a nice place to stop and visit with one another.

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• Pools • Spas • Gazebos • Outdoor Grills • Flags • Jewelry • Wrought Iron Concrete Statues • Memorial Gifts

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Crescent City Crescent City’s memorial to its fire in 1970

President of the Board: Mark Rabe Village Clerk: Kim Lund Village Treasurer: Carolyn Rapp Trustees: Scott Schroeder, Scott Dirks, Jim Sorensen, Cary Hagen, Steven M. Carley, vacancy The village of Crescent City was incorporated in Sept. 25, 1884. It made national news on Fathers Day of 1970, when a freight train derailed setting off a series of explosions in the business section and near a residential section of town. Eighteen businesses and 29 homes were lost. About 600 residents were ordered to evacuate by authorities as gas explosions from bursting tank cars threatened death and engulfed the community in flames. There were no fatalities, more than 60 people,

mostly volunteer firefighters, suffered from burns and other injuries. There were more than 200 firemen, within 32 fire fighting units, who answered the call for help. There were also countless others who lent a hand in anyway they could. The village has a visitor stop near where the explosion happened dedicated to the horrible incident. The city since then has recovered and there are newer buildings dotting the downtown, which lies along U.S. Route 24. In fact, it was within a year before the town’s new post office was erected, and the first store within the new business district was ready for use. Local children attend Crescent City Grade School and there are parks on both the north and south side of town. 1390 S. Crescent, Gilman, IL

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Iroquois County Fact Book 2018

Danforth Danforth Historical Society

President of the Board: Larry L. Decker Village Clerk: Gerald H. Rieken Village Treasuer: Gerry Lunt Trustees: Gene Tammen, Lloyd Anderson, Judy Legan, Kyle Gray, vacancy, vacancy The village of Danforth was laid out in 1872, but a railroad switch had been put in in 1865, with a station soon after. The name Danforth comes from A.H. Danforth and George W. Danforth, who partnered to pur-

chase land from the railroad company, enough land to develop into what is now Danforth Township. The land was wet, swampy land and the men invited Hollanders to help work the land as they would in their own country. The Dutch Reformed Church members became a neighborhood of their own, and Dutch mills dotted the area. Today, Danforth stays proud of its heritage, having formed its own historical society to help keep the past alive.

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President of the Board: Ken Ward Village Clerk: Holly Ward-Collins Village Treasurer: Donna Arseneau Trustees: LouWonna Snodgrass, Andrew Norder, Mandy Wolfe, Lorin DePatis, Megan Parks-Webster, Adam Whitson

Donovan was platted in 1873. In 1882 a plot of land was donated by John and Anna Donovan to build the first church, the same building used today. The area was heavily settled by Swedish immigrants and the church offers several festivals honoring Donovan’s history and Swedish traditions. Page 18

Iroquois County Fact Book 2018

Gilman Mayor: Rick Theesfeld City Clerk: Susan Morris City Treasurer: Sheila Johnson 1st Ward Alderman: William (Bill) D. Kraft, Michael McGehee 2nd Ward Alderman: Fred B. Voigt, Steven Fancher 3rd Ward Alderman: Randy Eimen, John Elliott The Illinois Central Railroad was built from Chicago to DelRey in 1853. A mile south of what is now known as Gilman was a section house named “Tarbox”. The Peoria and Oquawka Railroad was building east from Peoria to Indiana. City founders donated 40 acres for a town site. The name “Gilman” was the name of a large stockholder in the railroad company. The area was platted in 1858. A post office named “Douglas City” was established in March of that year, but a few months later it was changed to match “Gilman”. Gilman is one of two Iroquois County communities to be incorporated as a city. It sits along Interstate 57, as well at the junction of U.S. Routes 24 and 45 and at a railroad junction. Every five years it celebrates a welcoming home event called “Old Boys and Girls Reunion”, and has various other events throughout the year.

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(Above) Mann Park (Below) American Legion Post Memorial Iroquois County Fact Book 2018

Lee Elliott President

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Iroquois President of the Board: George Runkle Village Clerk: Edward Armold Village Treasurer: Jacqueline Scurlock Trustees: Gary Scurlock, Joseph E. Vaughn, Troy Martin, Everett L. Butler Jr., Gary L. Strahl, Randy Luecke

Dunning Park

The village of Iroquois, some could say, is where it all began for Iroquois County. In 1822 Gurdon Hubbard was a fur trader who set up a post near the present town of Iroquois. He began the first farming operation in the county with 80 acres, at the site then called Bunkum. In 1836 Iroquois was platted, and its location along the Iroquois River was of great importance and use at the time. Unfortunately, there are no buildings erected before 1850 still standing in the community. Bunkum had always had a tradition of celebrating the Fourth of July. There are reports of the annual celebration going back to the early 1800s. One of the most publicized Fourth of July celebration was in 1914, when more than 12,000 people attended the event. The tradition of the Bunkum fireworks continued through the early 2010s, but there is continued talk of starting up the celebration again.



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Iroquois County Fact Book 2018

Loda President of the Board: Carol J. Arseneau Village Clerk: Regina Ptacek Village Treasurer: Myles Reck Trustees: Jon Boone, Richard Manzke, Ronda R. Breeden, Cathy Tittle, Joyce Gharst, Patricia Allen.

Loda was platted in 1855. The Illinois Central Railroad named its station Loda, but the post office took several titles, including “Mixville” and “Oakalla”. Those names never took and the post office officially was renamed “Loda”. The Loda Distillery, began in 1859,

American Legion Post 503 Memorial

was a big money mak- ing business in Loda at the time. It made what was known as “high wines”. This business operated until 1873. Loda has one of the five National Register of Historical Places in Iroquois County: The A. Heer and E.E. Smith Public Library, public li-

brary which dates back to 1858. The building was completed in 1897. In 1954 a wooded area west of Loda, along Spring Creek, was turned into a residential area named Bayles Lake, with Lake Iroquois created just north of it in 1968


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Martinton President of the Board: Joe LaFond Village Clerk: Patricia Butler Village Treasurer: Michael Butler Trustees: Bruce Langellier, John Dutour, Jeffrey Webster, Dewana (Dawn) Brault, Chad Nesselrodt, Cory Butler

In 1856 John Martin and E.W. Beckett set up a trading point, calling the community Martinburg. The name was changed because of another community which had the same name. With the C&EI Railroad set up a depot about two miles south of the once Martinburg, businesses migrated to the new stop. The original settlement became known as “Old Martinton” or “Old Burg”. The new Martinton was plotted and incorporated in 1875.

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Milford Old Depot

President of the Board: David Maro Village Clerk: Tricia Huff Village Treasurer: Mary Ann Kelly Trustees: vacancy, Kevin Woodby, Adam Clutteur, Ernest L. McKay, Fred L. Hines Jr., Cory D. Birch

Milford was settled as “Mill on the Ford” in 1830, and it was platted in 1836. It lays along the Sugar Creek. The original mill was used by many in the early “neighborhood”, because at that time the nearest mill was 30 miles away. Milford was once the county seat, and it also welcomed the Iroquois County Fair at one time. Milford was also the home of the first woman elected to the U.S. Congress, Jessie Sumner, elected in 1939 and serving until 1947.

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Dunham Park

President of the Board: Shane Cultra Village Clerk: Stephanie Von Drehle Village Treasurer: Doris Hubner Trustees: Claudia Ramirez, Angie Martinez, Matt J. Clark, Donald Fred Walraven, Holly Zirkle, Andrew McCann Onarga got its start in 1854. Its name comes from an Native American chief’s daughter by the name of Onarga. Onarga was the home of the Grand Prairie Seminary, a school sponsored by the Methodist church, from 18631918, replaced by public township high schools. The trustees of the school opened Onarga Military School in 1918, a time when World War I was upset- ting homes, and closed in 1971. The village is also the home of Allan Pinkerton, a founder of a detective agency and former agent in charge of President Abraham Lincoln’s safety. In fact, his home, named “The Larches” welcomed the president, as well as generals McClellan, Grant and Sherman.

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Papineau Papineau Post Office

President of the Board: Michael Johnson Village Clerk: vacancy Village Treasurer: Teresa L. Gash Trustees: Nicholas McFatridge, Randy Bowers, Myron Munyon, Dale Emerson, Jay Salm, William “Noble” Carroll Once named “Jones Settlement” and “Democrat”, French Canadians began to arrive and settled along

Beaver Creek near the present day Papineau. The original name for Papineau Township was “Weygandt” but the French requested the name be changed to Papineau, named for a French Canadian patriot who led an unsuccessful rebellion against the British in 1838. The village was platted in 1871 and incorporated in 1974.


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Iroquois County Fact Book 2018

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President of the Board: Jeffrey Mabbitt Village Clerk: Catherine Mabbitt Village Treasurer: Susan Eastburn Trustees: Jason Jackson, vacancy, Bill Milan, Nicole Harris, Joel Davenport, Scott Demarse

In 1860 a TP&W switch was placed in Sec. 2., T. 26N. R. 11W and it was called Sheldon. A village grew around that switch, with the beginning source of income being grain sales. The plat was composed in 1860, but the town wasn’t incorpo- rated until 1871. There is a memorial marker long U.S. Route 24 noting the settlement of Jesse Eastburn, Sr., whose family was the first to settle in the area in 1832. Its downtown was once busselling with U.S. Route 24 paved through it. Now, the highway cuts right at the village limits on the east. But Sheldon did have a hand in organizing a country club in 1922. About 3 1/2 miles west of Sheldon lays She- Wa-Mi, once a cooperation between Sheldon, Watseka and Milford. Today, baseball is on the minds of many local residents and there continues to be more and more improvements made to the ball diamonds on the westside of town.

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120 East Walnut Street Watseka, IL 815-432-2494

121 S. 3rd St., Watseka, IL


1420 S. Crescent St. Gilman, IL


Iroquois County Fact Book 2018


President of the Board: Brenna Hildenbrand Village Clerk: Skylee Crawford Village Treasurer: Jan Monk Trustees: Elizabeth Wilson, Casandra Jacobs, Paul Tjarks, Robert Lange, Judy A. Wilson, Rachel Zick

Thawville was plotted in 1872. It sits as the only village in Ridgeland Township, and it lays very near the county’s border with Ford County. The Illinois Central Railroad runs through the village and its sits off of State Route 54. Thawville is the home of Andy Freehill, who authored The Ontology of the Living Deity.

Thawville park

NEWTON COUNTY We’re OPEN For Business!

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For local info & events: Iroquois County Fact Book 2018

Page 27


Mayor: John Allhands City Clerk: Amanda Hibbs City Treasurer: Carolyn DeLahr 1st Ward Alderman: Mark Garfield, Brandon Barragree 2nd Ward Alderman: Charles DeWitt, Dennis Cahoe 3rd Ward Alderman: Beverly J. Foster, Rick Elliott 4th Ward Alderman: Rob Hoffman, Mary “Monna” Ulfers

Old Union Depot

Watseka was named after Princess Wat-ch-e-kee, an Indian woman who had married Gurdon Hubbard, who is named as the first white settler in what is now Iroquois County. The area was incorporated in 1867. It is located at the junction of U.S. Route 24 and State Route 1, and is almost the physical center of the county. It’s the largest city in the county and has become the county seat. It also is the home

to the county’s historical society and genealogical society within the county’s museum, the Old Courthouse Museum. The old courthouse and the Old Union Depot are two of the five places listed on the National Registry of Historical places. Today, the city hosts several annual festivals and makes use of the Watseka Theatre, a 1931 art deco structure. It has a chamber of commerce and an active park district.












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Iroquois County Fact Book 2018


President of the Board: Ronald Cappellano Village Clerk: Betty McClure Village Treasurer: Cheryl Gillins Trustees: Hiram Crawford, Darrin Brewster, Raymond Puffenbarger, Kenneth Case, Tyson Shreeves, Ray Langellier

Among the youngest communities in Iroquois County, the village of Wellington was organized in 1903. It was laid out in 1872, though. In fact, it didn’t have street signs until 1970. It sits in Lovejoy Township, and is about a mile from the main highway of State Route 1.

Miller’s Auto Repair 255 N. Jefferson • Watseka

See Mark for all your automotive needs. - tuneups - brakes - and much more! General Auto Repair

Same Family / Same Great Service For Over 45 Years

815-432-3565 Hours: Mon.-Fri. 8 a.m.-5 p.m.

Gilman Fertilizer Co. 108 S. Main St., Gilman, IL

815-265-4506 Iroquois County Fact Book 2018

Page 29

Woodland President of the Board: Eric J. Morales Village Clerk: Lori Dodson Village Treasurer: Robin Bohlmann Trustees: Matt Ailey, Marleen Purdin, Becky Pries, Kathy Edwards, Joshua Hoy, Jamie McGahan

Woodland Town Hall

Woodland was platted in 1876. The village is known for having a large number of trains pass through, and stop within its boundaries, with sometimes an occasional train conductor getting out to get something to drink next to the post office. The still operational clay quarry was once a large part

of Woodland’s economy. In fact, old steam equipment can still be found within the quarry. Woodland continues to look to improve itself, with great interest in continuing to make additions to its parks.

Jeff McMillan, LUTCF 815-265-4037

Gilman • Piper City • Chatsworth • Cullom • Bourbonnais

Donohue Package and General Store Owners Sharon and Jim Laffoon

101 S. Fourth PO Box 523 Sheldon, IL 60966 815-429-3145 Page 30

Store hours Sunday - Thursday 9a-9p Friday - Saturday 9a - 10p Iroquois County Fact Book 2018

When well can’t wait… Riverside Healthcare’s Watseka Campus

puts well within reach! Primary care providers, medical specialists, comprehensive testing and diagnostic services, occupational health services and immediate care – all in one convenient, welcoming location. primary Care for the entire Family Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Medical specialists Appointments available on certain days each month.

WorkForce Health Pre-employment physicals, DOT physicals, drug and alcohol screenings.

Diagnostic and imaging Center

Immediate Care Watseka IMMEDIATE CARE is here for injuries, for illnesses, for everyone.*

services… Colds and Flu | Ear Infections | Pink Eye Minor Burns | Radiology Services School/Sport Physicals | Sprains Urinary Tract Infections | And More

We accept all physicians’ orders for labs, x-rays, MRIs, ultrasounds, stress echoes, PET CT and CT scans and testing. Walk-in and scheduled services provided.

Open 7 days a week with extended hOurs…

Diabetes Wellness

*Seeing patients 18 months and older.

Certified Diabetes Educators provide resources to those living with diabetes.

sleep Disorder institute Comprehensive sleep studies are available Monday through Friday.

Download the Immediate Care App for hours, locations, current wait times, services and more.

Watseka Campus Harold & Jean Miner Outpatient Center 1490 E. Walnut Street | Watseka, IL 60970 (815) 432-7693 | aCCeptiNg NeW patieNts Most major insurances accepted, see website for complete list. Iroquois County Fact Book 2018

For more info contact Jennifer Nasers, Manager, at Page 31

Iroquois County park and library districts Douglas Township Park District

Park, 2021

Milford District Library

President: Melody Eimen, Gilman, 2017 Vice president: Pat Short, Gilman, 2019 Secretary: John Smith, Gilman, 2021 Commissioners: Jay Kuipers, Gilman, 2021; Kevin Bull, Gilman, 2017

Clifton Public Library District

President: Gene Ochs, Milford, 2019 Vice president: Amy Jo Crawford, Milford, 2019 Secretary: Naomi Christensen, Goodwine, 2017 Treasurer: James Reutter, Milford, 2017 Trustees: Rita Moenck, Milford, 2019; Jeanne VanHoveln, Milford, 2019; Deb Handy, Milford, 2017

Milford Township Park District President: Jan Lavicka, Milford, 2017 Commissioners: Randy Hiltz, Milford, 2017; Jill Brown, Milford, 2017 Secretary (appointed): Gloria Schleef, Milford

Watseka Park District President: Todd Oster, Watseka, 2017 Vice president Rich Moyer, Watseka, 2017 Treasurer: Christopher Both, Watseka, 2021 Secretary: Brett LaMie, Watseka, 2019 Commissioner: Don Pavlak, Watseka, 2021

Central Citizens’ Library President: Robert Lemenager, Clifton, 2017 Vice president: Wanda Thompson, Ashkum, 2019 Treasurer: Scott Senffner, Clifton, 2017 Secretary: Lavonne K. Gillespie, Ashkum, 2019 Trustees: Ann Blasey, Clifton, 2017; David Schafer, Chebanse, 2017; Lois J. Phelps, Ashkum, 2019

Cissna Park Community Library District President: Larry Hofbauer, Cissna Park, 2021 Vice president: Lynn Hasselbring, Cissna Park, 2017 Treasurer: Lois Steiner, Buckley, 2017 Secretary: Elaine Young, Cissna Park, 2019 Trustees: Charles R. Alt, Cissna Park, 2019; Jeannie Seggebruch, Cissna Park, 2017; Emily Tuttle, Cissna

President: Victoria L. Shell, Clifton, 2017 Vice president: vacancy, 2019 Treasurer: Julie Kolosky, Clifton, 2017 Secretary: Jill Rieken, Clifton, 2021 Trustees: Sara Faulkner, Clifton, 2021; Paulette Jarvis, Clifton, 2019; vacancy, 2017

Gilman-Danforth District Library President: William Stahlschmidt, Gilman, 2017 Vice president: Gerogine Vogrich, Gilman, 2017 Secretary-treasurer: Sharon Newman, Danforth, 2019 Trustees: Lynne Olson, Gilman, 2017; Maureen St. Peter, Gilman, 2017; Jill Brockman-Cummings, Danforth, 2019; Janet Elliott, Gilman, 2019

Hoopeston Public Library District President: Tony Hasbargen, Hoopeston, 2021 Vice president: Lori Eells, Rossville, 2019 Treasurer: Lawrence B. Jahn, Hoopeston, 2021 Secretary: Janet B. Crouch, Hoopeston, 2017 Correspondence secretary: Sharlyn Miller, Hoopeston, 2019 Trustees: Rita Carter, Hoopeston, 2019; Wayne King, Rankin, 2017

Loda Township Library President: Betty H. Healey, Loda, 2017 Vice president: Patricia Hamby, Loda, 2017 Secretary: Susan T. Lamb, Loda, 2019 Treasurer: Nancy Johnson, Loda, 2019 Trustees: Kay Houtzel, Loda, 2017; Sybil Kellogg, Loda, 2017; Beckie Green, Loda, 2019

Onarga Community Public Library District President: John Bank, Onarga, 2017 Vice president: Jennifer Cook, Onarga, 2017 Treasurer: Connie Cox, Onarga, 2019 Secretary: Susan Wells, Thawville, 2019 Trustees: Shirley Reed, Onarga, 2017; Maureen Kietzman, Onarga, 2019; Ray Smith, Onarga, 2019

Sheldon Public Library District President: Kevin G. Hamrick, Donovan, 2017 Vice president: Jeffrey Pittman, Sheldon, 2017 Treasurer: Suzanne Light, Sheldon, 2019 Secretary: Vickie Webster, Sheldon, 2017 Trustees: Barb Kusman, Sheldon, 2019; Sharon Knisley, Sheldon, 2019; vacancy, 2019

Watseka Public Library President: Rhonda Pence, Watseka, 2016 Vice president: Mary Bohlmann, Watseka, 2018 Treasurer: Richard Dickte, Watseka, 2016 Secretary: Debi Custer, Watseka, 2018 Director: Kim Zumwalt, Watseka, appointed Trustees: Kris Lundquist, Watseka, 2016; Troy Simpson, Watseka, 2016; John Tonner, Watseka, 2016; Kay Johnson, Watseka, 2018; John Dowling, Watseka, 2018

110 S. Third St. Watseka, IL 815-432-2416

Thank You for Shopping Watseka Area Businesses Proud home of unique shops, restaurants, parks and historical county museum


Iroquois County Fact Book 2018

Iroquois County school districts Iroquois County Regional Office of Education

189 East Court Street, Suite 600, Kankakee, 60901; 815937-2950 Regional superintendent - Dr. Gregg Murphy Assistant superintendent Frank Petkunas

Iroquois Special Education Association 100 Miner Street, PO Box 400, Crescent City, Ill. 60928; 815-683-2662 Director - Jennifer Ernst

Donovan Community Unit School District #3 PO Box 186, Donovan, Ill. 60931 Superintendent - Stephen Westrick School board members Joe Schultz, Dave Munson, George Wisniewski, Joy Carlson, Todd Miller, Lacey Regnier, Eric Schmidt Donovan Elementary School (K-6): 2561 East US 52, Donovan Principal - Christine Pitkin, 815-486-7321 Donovan Jr./Sr. High School (7-12): 600 North Street, Donovan Principal - Christine Pitkin, 815- 486-7397

Central Community Unit School District #4

203 N. Third St., Ashkum; 818-698-2212 Superintendent - Tonya Evans School board members - Paul Swanson, Doug Seibring, Sarah Schoven, David Luhrsen, Kevin Hack, Troy Meier, Lisa Beherns Ashkum Early Literacy Center (PreK) - 203 N. Third St.,

Ashkum; 818-698-2212 Chebanse Elementary School (K-4) - 475 School Street, Chebanse; 815-697- 2642 Principal - Andrea Lemenager John L. Nash Middle School (5-8) 3100 North Central School Road, Clifton Principal - Victoria Marquis Central High School (9-12) - 3100 North Central School Road, Clifton Principal - Marc Shaner

Cissna Park Community Unit School District #6

511 N. Second St., Cissna Park, Ill. 60924 Superintendent - Dr. Dan Hylbert School board members - Bud Petry, Mark Wilkening, Ashleigh Verkler, Jeremy Seggebruch, Jason Edelman, Brent Neukomm, Nutz Weber Cissna Park Elementary School (K-5) - Principal Bethanie Marshall Cissna Park Junior High School (6-8), Cissna Park High School (9-12) - Principal - Mark Portwood

Iroquois County Community Unit School District #9

1411 W. Lafayette St., Watseka; 815- 432-4931 Superintendent - James Bunting School board members - James Bruns, Bob Burd, Gina Greene, Crystal Blair, Brittany Cluver, Rusty Maulding, Kirk McTaggart Nettie Davis Elementary School (PreK- 1) - 495 N. Fourth St., Watseka; 815432- 2112 Principal - Heather Gerth

Iroquois County Fact Book 2018

Wanda Kendall Elementary School (2-4) - 535 E. Porter Ave., Watseka; 815- 432-4581 Principal - Dawn Garner Glenn Raymond Junior High School (5-8) - 101 W. Mulberry St., Watseka; 815-432-2115 Principal - Brad Welch Watseka Community High School (9-12) - 138 S. Belmont Ave., Watseka; 815-432-2486 Principal - Carolyn Short

Munsterman Crescent City Grade School (K-8) Principal - Jeffrey Alstadt

Iroquois West Community Unit School District #10

208 S. Chicago St., Milford Ill. 60953; phone 815-8895176 Superintendent - Dr. Dale Hastings School board members - Mary Ronna, David Fox, James Kunce, Charles Leitz, Jeff Mabbitt, Donna Hiltz, Mark Tweedy Milford Grade School - 100 S. Chicago St., Milford, Ill. 60953 Principal - Michelle Sobkoviak Milford High School - 124 W. Jones St., Milford, Ill. 60953 Principal - Steve Totheroh

529 E. Second St., Gilman, IL 60938 Superintendent - Dr. Linda L. Dvorak School board members Dave Haase, Anthony Miller, Kyle Kraft, Rodger Bennett, Norma Classen, Domitila Garcia, Vicki Killus Gilman Elementary School (K-2) - Principal - Jim Harkins Danforth Elementary School Principal - Ashley Carlson Iroquois West Upper Elementary School Principal - Don Keigher Iroquois West Middle School - Prinicpal - Duane Ehmen Iroquois West High School Principal - Joshua Houberg

Crescent-Iroquois Community Unit School District #249

600 South Street, Crescent City, PO Box 190, Crescent City, Ill., 60928; 815-6832141 Superintendent - Jeffrey Alstadt School board members Steve Massey, Craig Massey, Jody Niebuhr, Becky Dirks, Wade Bell, Scott Klump, Josh

There are 46 high school age students within the district. These students can choose to go to Cissna Park High School, Iroquois West High School or Watseka Community High School.

Milford Area Public Schools District #124

Zion Lutheran 160 W. Concordia Dr. Chebanse, Ill. 60922

St. Paul Lutheran 108 W. Woodworth, Milford, Ill. 60953

St. John Lutheran 206 E. Main, Buckley, Ill. 60918

Christ Lutheran High School 201 W. Lincoln, PO Box 8, Buckley, Ill. 60918

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From page 3 to the territory to the government of the United States. This vast domain afterward became known as the Northwest Territory. While the Illinois country was still a part of the Northwest Territory, in the year 1790, we find Iroquois County a part of the county of Knox and so contained until February 3, 1801, when it became a part of the county of St. Clair, belonging to the Indiana Territory. The Illinois Territory was established by act of Congress on February 3, 1809. This county continued to be a part of St. Clair County until the 14th of September, 1812, when upon reorganization it became a part of Edwards County. In the year 1816 the Iroquois country became a part of Crawford County and there remained until Illinois was admitted into the Union in 1818. When Illinois was admitted as a state, she had fifteen organized counties. One, Crawford County, embraced all the part of the state lying north of a line running east and west near the present site of Louisville, Illinois, the county seat of Clay County. It also included the area east of the third principal meridian, which runs due north from the mouth of the Ohio River. March 22, 1819, the territory included within the present limits of Iroquois County became a part of Clark County. In 1823 Edgar County was organized and what is now Iroquois County was attached to Edgar. It remained thus until the county of Vermilion was organized in 1826, after which it continued until the formal organization took place February 26, 1833. The law made it the duty of the judge of the Circuit Court of Vermilion County, whenever he should be satisfied the new county had 350 inhabitants, to grant an order for an election of three county commissioners, one sheriff, and one coroner to hold office until the next general election. The special election for first officers was Monday, Feb. 24, 1834. Gordon S. Hubbard, while a representative for Vermilion County in the 8th General Assembly of Illinois 1832-1834 was instrumental in procuring the passage of the act creating Iroquois County. The county embraced all that territory lying north of its present south line and east of its present west line and extended north of its present south line and east of its present west line, forming a rectangle and about one-third of what is now Will County. As then established, Iroquois County extended from the north line of Vermilion to the then south line of Cook County. Will County was created in the year 1836 and extended south to the Kankakee River. The river, except for a short distance at the northwest corner of the county, became the northern boundary of Iroquois County. In the year 1853 Kankakee County was created from territory which had belonged to the counties of Iroquois

and Will. Thus, Iroquois was limited to its present boundaries. In 1835 the town of Montgomery offered the county 20 acres of land on which to locate a permanent county seat. This land was located just east of Montgomery and was platted down as a town site in 1836 under the name of Iroquois. The offer was accepted, and the county seat was established in Iroquois. No buildings were erected so space was rented for county offices and a court- room in Montgomery. As no town ever developed at Iroquois the plat was later vacated. There was general dissatisfaction with the county seat so far from the center of the county. In 1838 an act was obtained from the Illinois legislature to relocate the county seat. The town of Middleport offered the county 52 lots to locate the county seat there. The offer was accepted and Middleport became the county seat in 1839. After the establishment of the county seat at Middleport, the first county building to be erected was a jail. It was made of hewed logs and was 16 x 20 feet in size. It cost the county $159.30. In 1843 it was decided to build a court- house. This was to be a two-story brick structure, 40 x 40 feet square. The down- stairs was to be the courtroom with offices for the county officials upstairs. To defray the cost of the new building, the sum of $1,506 was appropriated for county funds. To this was to be added the receipts from the sale of the remaining town lots given by Middleport for locating the county seat there. Still another source of funds was anticipated. The county owned some land along the Salt Fork River west of Danville. This land had salt springs on it and was part of some similar land given by the federal government to Vermilion County before Iroquois County was formed. It had been hoped that the salt springs would be developed commercially, and the income was to be used to build a bridge over the Vermilion and the Iroquois River at Montgomery. The land was never developed so Iroquois County retained a share of either 40 or 80 acres (the record is 40 or 80 acres (the record is not clear). It was decided to sell this land, and a representative was sent to Danville to dispose of it. The best offer he could obtain was in trade for a horse. The trade was made, and the horse taken to Chicago and sold. The records do not say how much this transaction added to the courthouse building fund. The new building was completed in 1847. In 1858 the Peoria and Oquawka Railroad was building its line east from Peoria to the Indiana state line. The route was surveyed through Middleport, but a dispute arose in regard to the town donating land for the depot ground. A group of land owners to the southeast of Middleport offered a proposition to the railroad. This of-

fer was accepted, and the route ran south of Middleport. A new town, called South Middleport, came into being about a mile southeast. The name was changed in 1865 to Watseka; and upon incorporation of Watseka, Middleport become a part of that town. The old courthouse in Middleport was abandoned and a new one built in Watseka. All that remains of the old court- house completed in 1847 is the square on which it stood. This is now a small park located one block west of the West Watseka School. A picture of the court- house appears in the large painting on the north wall of the present circuit court room. Until the new building was completed the county offices were located in a build- ing on the northeast corner of Fourth and Walnut Streets, Watseka. On October 16, 1866 about 2 o’clock a.m. the building caught fire and many county records were destroyed. It was thought that the fire was set by disgruntled citizens of Middleport over the removal of the courthouse to Watseka. The new courthouse was completed in 1866. Additions were made to it in 1881 and 1927. The new courthouse had the county jail in its basement. One of the original cell blocks can be seen there today. A new jail and sheriff’s residence was built in 1893. This courthouse is now the site of the Iroquois County Historical Museum located at 103 West Cherry Street. The present Iroquois County courthouse and jail was given to all the people of Iroquois County by the late Katharine Clifton. Mrs. Clifton’s bequest to the people of this County is without doubt the first time any individual ever gave the entire cost price for the construction of these units, together with all appurtenances, furnishings and accessories necessary to its functioning. The amount was over $1.5 million. Charles W. Raymond, then a Federal Judge at Muskogee, Oklahoma, Indian Territory, married Grace Matzenbaugh Fisher, a young widow and mother of our Katharine Clifton (nee Fisher), who was then 8 years old at the time of Judge Raymond and Mrs. Fisher’s marriage on January 8, 1902, in Muskogee, Oklahoma. The land on which the new courthouse and jail are located at 550 South Tenth Street in Watseka was originally purchased by Mrs. Clifton’s husband, William “Pete” Clifton, who had planned before his death to construct a municipal airport on the site. The new courthouse and jail held their open house and dedication ceremonies on Saturday, September 17, 1966. In 1833 Iroquois County had a population of 350, in 1860 a population of 16,000, and in 1950 a population of 32,348. The 2000 population of Iroquois County was 31,334.

Watseka Public Library

201 S Fourth St.

815-432-4544 phone 815-432-4545 fax

Watseka, IL

Mon, Tues 10am-8pm Wed, Thurs, Fri 10am-6pm Sat 10am-2pm

Appreciating the Past, Anticipating the Future

Page 34

Iroquois County Fact Book 2018

Take charge of your future Planning for your financial future isn’t about numbers – it’s about you. Your situations and goals are the basis for creating a solid plan for your future financial security. I can help you get the peace of mind that comes with step-by-step guidance based on your goals. Call today to get started!

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100 N 10th St I Watseka, IL 60970 Watseka

1380 S Crescent I Gilman, IL 60938 Gilman 815-432-5240 815-265-4731

Bob Bob Burd Burd

Brenna Brenna Hildenbrand Hildenbrand



100 N 10th St I Watseka, IL 60970 Watseka

1380 S Crescent I Gilman, IL 60938 Gilman 815-432-5240 815-265-4718

Tim Tim Santefort Santefort

Nate Zach Henrichs Gray



123 S 4th St I Watseka, IL 60970 Watseka 815-432-5240

437 S Main I Clifton, IL 60927 Clifton 815-694-2331

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Iroquois County Fact Book 2018

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Iroquois County Fact Book 2018

2018 Iroquois County Fact Book  
2018 Iroquois County Fact Book