Mt. Carmel Precinct and Its First Settlers


Enoch Greathouse was born in Germany, immigrated to Pennsylvania and then to Kentucky and came to Illinois in 1803 or 1804. He settled on land where the city of Mt. Carmel stands now and later purchased all of Section 20, which is roughly all of the west side of the city north of 7th Street. He did not formalize his claim to the land until 1814 when he "entered" his claim at the land office. He brought with him his wife and four children: Enoch Jr., Rachel who married a Bratton, Leah who married Joseph Wood and Isaac. He later sold his land to Hinde and McDowell and moved to Centerville where he lived to be 100.


William McIntosh came to Illinois from the Vincennes area in 1814 and had possession of a great deal of land referred to as the McIntosh Reserve. He was a man of strong opinions and politically vocal. He was a party to a legal case in Indiana in which he sued the State of Indiana and Governor William Henry Harrison on behalf of the Native American people in the area who were moved off their land as a result of a treaty made by Harrison. McIntosh's home was near the Grand Rapids. He had a fine house for the day. It was a four room "mansion house" which was the highest taxed piece of property in the county. He kept a servant.


Gervase Hazelton and Seth Gard came in 1814. They were some of the proprietors of the town of Palmyra, located north of the Grand Rapids on the Wabash at Crawfish Creek. Hazelton was the county clerk from 1821-1823 and the first court session of Edwards County was held at his home in Palmyra.


Dr. Thomas Hinde was born in Oxford, England educated in medicine and was a surgeon's mate in the Royal Navy. He was attached to the Army and under the command of General Wolfe during the French and Indian Wars. He was present when Gen. Wolfe died of his wounds in Canada. He resigned his commission and settled in Virginia. He later moved to Kentucky where he raised a family. His son Thomas S. Hinde became close friends with fellow Methodist ministers William Beauchamp and William McDowell. They were living in the new town of Chillicothe, Ohio which for a time was the Ohio state capitol. When the capital moved to Columbus in 1816, the threesome collaborated on founding a new city, founded on religious principles, in Illinois on the banks of the Wabash. Thomas S. Hinde was sent ahead to purchase land in 1817. His first purchase (the east half of Section 29) adjoined Enoch Greathouse's land. This property is now the southwest section of Mt. Carmel. Beauchamp was the surveyor. Greathouse sold his Mt. Carmel property and purchased the SW 1/4 of Section 1 in 1817. This was were Centerville was later located. His descendants owned that property for many years.


James Majors purchased the SW 1/4 of Section 1 in 1816 and the land is still in the family. This property is just north of the Ogden community (near Conservation Lake).


Henry Utter purchased the SE 1/4 of Section 3 in 1817. This property is west of Mt. Carmel and north of Illinois Route 15 and just to the north of the Friendsville Coal Mine.


A. Vanderveer and Smook purchased the NE 1/4 of Section 11 in 1817. This property is southwest of Conservation Lake. Manlove Beauchamp (brother of Rev. William Beauchamp) purchased Section 14 in 1817. This was south of the Ogden community. James English purchased Section 24, also in 1817, about 1 mile west of Mt. Carmel. James Collins entered the land in the N 1/2 of Section 25. This is north of the current road N 1250 Boulevard, just south of Illinois Route 15.


Joshua Beall purchased the east 1/2 of the SE 1/4 of Section 25. Beall and his brother James came from Maryland, moved to Ohio and then on to Mt. Carmel in 1818. They were both blacksmiths who became merchants. They both pursued other work in 1840. Joshua was Mt. Carmel's first banker and lived in a house on the northeast corner of Third and Market Streets. It was removed in the early 1900s to make way for a service station. It is now a taxi stand. Joshua Beall married Judith Rand in Mt. Carmel. Judith's mother had married Rev. William Beauchamp as her second husband. Their descendants built the large brick home at the northeast corner of 5th and Cherry Streets. They also purchased the property near Rochester with became Beall Woods State Park. James Beall served in the Illinois legislature.


Hiram Bell first came to Friendsville and then moved to Mt. Carmel Precinct in 1817, He was the first Wabash County Clerk in 1824 and served for 26 years.

In 1818 David Beauchamp (also a brother of Rev. William Beauchamp) entered the land in the SE 1/4 pf Section 26. This would be between Illinois Route 15 and Illinois Route 1, west of Mt. Carmel. John Russell purchased the west 1/2 of the SW 1/4 of the NE 1/4 of Section 12 in 1818. This is located just west of what is now called Four Corners on the Friendsville Road. Henry Christy entered the land in the W 1/2 of the NE 1/4 of Section 12, very near to John Russell's property. William Beauchamp (Rev.?) purchased the East 1/2 of the SW 1/4 of Section 23, 2 miles west of Mt. Carmel in 1818.


J. and J. Dunlop purchased the SW 1/4 of Section 15 in 1818. This land is north of Poplar Road (N 1550) and east of what is commonly called the Maud Road north of Illinois Route 15 (E 700 Road).


Scoby Stewart entered the NE 1/4 of Section 1 in 1818. This land was east of Centerville. Wabash Avenue 13 runs diagonally through this property now. Scoby was born in New Jersey and came to Illinois in 1818. He went into business and served as justice of the peace for many years. He was said to have built the first brick house in the city of Mt. Carme on 5th Street. When the county seat was moved from Centerville to Mt. Carmel in 1829 there was a problem with how to finance the new courthouse. Scoby stepped forward and offered to give bond for $4,000 that within 2 years he would finance the new courthouse in Mt. Carmel at the location of the county judges' (commissioners) choosing of equal value to the one in Centerville. This would be free of charge to the county. Of course his offer was accepted. That court house was used until April 5, 1857 when it was destroyed by fire and most of the county records were also burned. Due to this tragedy most property records in the county have a section mentioning "The Burned Records Act" whereby the records in the possession of the county's residents were accepted as authentic. The location for the court house is the same as today. Scoby Stewart's daughter Hannah married Abraham Russell Jr., the son of Rev. William Beauchamp's wife by her first husband. The descendants of Abraham Russell and Hannah Stewart are the Parkinson and Harmon families.


In 1815 A. Lauvulette (August Lovellette) purchased the SE 1/4 of Section 3. This would have been west of Centerville and near the Ogden community, Mr. Lovellette owned property at Rochester also which he sold and moved to Mt. Carmel to become a hotel keeper later in his life. John Nesler purchased the land in the SW 1/4 of Section 3 in 1817. This would be near the Friendsville coal mine. Thomas S. Hinde also purchased land in 1817, the S 1/2 of Section 2. This would have been near the Wabash County seat of Centerville.


As you can see there were many connections to the founding families as their friends and relatives came to the vicinity of Mt. Carmel from Ohio. Others listed in the 1883 history of Wabash County who came from Ohio were: Isaac Ingersoll, Edward Ulm, Joseph Jones, James Townsend, William Simonds (the first farmer in the precinct), Aaron Gould, James Black and Beauchamp Harvey who came in 1819. Harvey served in the War of 1812 and was present at the surrender of Detroit.


First Court House Built in Mt. Carmel.