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History of the Towns in Wabash County


Wabash County's first community of white settlers was Rochester where Frenchmen traded with Piankishaw Indians as early as 1800. It was a prominent place early but was not platted until 1839 by Dr. Ezra Baker Jr. The grist mill was built in 1839. It was one of the largest mills around and served settlers as far away as Princeton, IN and Olney, IL and provided them with flour. Baker built a store in 1840 or 41. It was the best store in Wabash County. He purchased a large amount of pork and grain and operated a pork packing plant which shipped those products by steamboat. Around 1839 he built a saw mill powered by steam and water and shipped lumber to New Orleans and other places on flat boats which were built in Rochester. In 1845 Baker built a carding mill. Samuel Shaw was a blacksmith and ran a forge at Rochester. In 1847 Mr. Shaw built a shop and manufactured Diamond plows in Rochester. There was also a chair factory. George Legier purchased the grist mill in 1850 and moved it back from the river. The town was first called Coffee Island.


The next community was Timberville, platted March 17, 1866 for the proprietors William Higgins Jr. and Joseph Albietz on the old Indian trace which was used as a stagecoach route between Vincennes and Shawneetown, Illinois. The names J. W. price and John F. Wilkinson are also recorded on the official plat. The Armstrong Post Office was in Timberville or near-by and a store was run there by Anthony Albietz. The store building had been moved from Bedell's mill on the Wabash about 1 mile south of Timberville. Mr. Albietz also lived in part of the building. The Methodist church was built in 1865. There were two others stores, wagon shop, school house and a blacksmith shop.


Allendale was platted and recorded May 7, 1869 with 12 blocks planned for the east side of the Cairo and Vincennes Railroad. The proprietors were W. W. McDowell, J. W. Price, Hiram Fox, E. Fox and Theodore McClain. The first day of business on the railroad was December 26, 1872. Col .C. M. Allen was the railroad contactor building the line and the new town was named for him. Later other subdivisions were added on the south side of Hill Street, west of the railroad tracks and on the outer edges of the original plat. The Armstrong Post Office moved to Allendale, the Methodist Church was moved from nearby Timberville and the J. W. Price store was moved from Timberville in 1871. In 1874-1875 the Allendale Flouring Mills were built on the west side of the railroad tracks. In 1877 H. Naylor built the Allendale Steam Saw Mill and J. S. Lewis built a steam saw mill in 1881. A two story brick school house was built in 1879. The 1883 History of Edwards, Lawrence and Wabash Counties, Illinois lists these business in in Allendale: Dr. A. J. McIntosh, Dr. Harry Leeds and Dr. J. E. Smith; druggists A. J. McIntosh and J. E. Smith; general merchants J. W. Price, D. G. Price and F. M. Leek; grocer Franklin DeWitt; postmaster G. W. Crane; grain dealers J. R. Price and D. G. Price; hotel keepers James Payne and J. J. Williamson, blacksmith A. J. Shaw; carpenter Samuel Smith; painter A. R. Cusick; wagon maker J. N. Williams and John E. Hensley; undertaker John F. Hensley; shoemaker Jacob Copeland; milliners Mrs. Ella Hines and Mrs. John Capoot,; justice of the peace and notary Franklin DeWitt; sorghum mill owners John Rosenburg and B. B. Hill; school teacher O. H. P. Grundon.


Patton was platted February 5, 1877 for the proprietor Albert B. Keen. The town was named for Dr. Patton of Vincennes. Joshua Buchanan put up a warehouse as the first building in 1872-73. It was early called Patton Station since it was a stop on the railroad. A post office was opened in 1874 by Joshua Buchanan. George Collins opened a store in 1877 and Joseph Kepley was a shoemaker there. A log school was built in 1876 and Clara Moyer was the first school teacher. Parkinson Brothers built a grain house in 1882. In 1883 the town population was about 35.


Keensburg was platted for Ornamiel Keen and recorded on April 18, 1874. It was located on the Wabash Railroad and in the 1880 census had a population of 68. Mr. Keen built the first building, a store, in partnership with William C. Keen and B. M. Mitchell in 1873. The post office was moved from Rochester in March 1874 with William C. Keen as the postmaster. Dr. John Truscott came also in 1874. The Keensburg Flouring Mill was moved from Rochester to Keensburg in 1874. It had previously belonged to Dr. Baker and was sold to William E. Keen in 1879. The Christian Church was built in 1881. In 1883 the businesses listed were physician and druggist Paul G. Manley; general merchant D. S. Harvey and Son; Grocer B. M. Mitchell, grain dealer J. R. Carlton and blacksmith Elijah C. Compton.


Cowling was platted for Francis M. Cowling and Joseph Snyder and recorded June 26, 1875 as a railroad stop and was called Cowling station early. Joseph H. Compton ran a store there. The community also had a blacksmith shop and seven or eight homes. There was a post office which was moved from the tiny community called Logan, about 4 miles north on the railroad.


Logan was called Logansburg and was platted for William Cowling. The 1883 history book says the plat was never recorded. At one time the town had a post office, 2 general stores which were kept by William Cowling and James Langford, a saloon kept by William Butterick and a drug store kept by Dr. Walker. The town only lasted 2 or 3 years but declined after the deaths of William Cowling and Dr. Walker.


Centerville was the first county seat of Wabash County after Edwards County was divided into two counties. It was laid out in 1824 south of the baseline in Section 1 of T1 S, R 13 W. No plat of it has been found. The court house was a frame two story building. It was later used as a barn and then torn down. The location of the town was on top of a hill. Dr. Ezra Baker built a store in the town about the time it was laid out and had a good business there. He purchased castor beans, grown by local farmers, which were made into castor oil nearby. Ansel Brines also built a carding mill at Centerville which operated for several years. By 1828 Mt. Carmel's population had increased far beyond the town of Centerville. A group of men appeared before the county commissioners and petitioned for the county seat to be moved to Mt. Carmel. These men agreed to have a court house built in Mt. Carmel which would be of equal value or better by 1830. The last county court held in Centerville was in January 1829. The first county court in Mt. Carmel was in June 1829.

Mount Carmel

The founders of Mt. Carmel, Thomas S. Hinde and William McDowell came in 1817 and planned for a town built on moral principles. They drafted Articles of Association which were recorded on September 21, 1818. They provided for a seminary and a bank to be built. The town was platted in 1818 after the land was purchased. The town was incorporated as a village on January 20, 1825 and incorporated as a city February 15, 1865. The first justices of the peace were Scoby Stewart, Beauchamp Harvey and Joseph Jones. The first businesses were all located on Market Street between First and Second streets. Floods in 1875 and 1876 caused tremendous loss and businesses likely moved further up the hill after than time. On June 4, 1877 a cyclone wiped out most of the business district and many homes. Fourteen people were killed, seventy-five people were wounded and five hundred people lost their homes. The county court house was destroyed at that time and was not replaced until aid from the state of Illinois came to help rebuild.

A list of businesses in 1883 follows:

Kamp's Steam Flouring Mills on south Market Street,

Edward Miller's Planing Mill on the south side of Third Street between Walnut and Chestnut, Wabash Valley Mills on the southwest corner of Ninth and Cherry Streets,

Steam Saw Mill owned by Jacques and Chipman on the Wabash south of the city,

Foundry and Repair Works owned by Phillip Reel located on Fourth Street between Market and Mulberry,

A.M. Stein Furniture Factory between Mulberry and Cherry Streets,

W. H. Brown Steam Saw Mill on the river bank south of the city on the 6 pole reserve,

R. W. Weaver Stave Factory on the river west of the railroad bridge

Walter and Son Furniture Factory on the west side of Market Street at the corner of Sixth Street,

Mt. Carmel Marble Works owned by Henry Burrucker on the north side of Third Street between Market and Chestnut Streets,

F. J. Kuhn Carriage Factory on the east side of Market Street between Fifth and Sixth Streets,

Morgan and Armstrong Steam Saw Mill on the river bank just above the railroad bridge,

F. A. Hoskinson Banister and Table Leg Factory on the river just east of the Air Line railroad bridge,

Baker Banister and Table Leg Factory just east of the Hoskinson place,

Noller and Company Furniture Factory on Market Street between Fifth and Sixth Streets,

E. F. Beall Bank on the east side of Market between Third and Fourth Streets,

Mt. Carmel Coal Company owned by John Felker and located 5 miles west of Mt. Carmel on the Air Line railroad,

George R. Blood Brick Works and Kiln located just north of the city (13th Street),

three public schools and two parochial schools including a 3 year high school,

Thomas Deputy Ferry just north of the Air Line railroad bridge,

physicians James Harvey, Jacob Schneck, Paul Sears, Thomas J. Rigg, E. S. Biddle, William B. Ridgway;

general merchandizers Charles R. Russell, Wilkinson and Stein, Phillip Stein, Stansfield Brothers, Parkinson Brothers,

groceries and queens ware William Nelgin, William C. Greer, S. Greathouse, Thomas Watkins, Burns Brothers, John Oberhillman, William Seitz Jr., Solomon Keneipp, Adam Stein and John Hartman;

hardware Harper and Rigg;

druggists and pharmacists Robert S. Gordon, W. C. Hadley, William C. Ridgway;

harness and saddlery J. B. Bertlesman and M. S. Reinsmith;

books and stationery R. K. Stees and W. C. Haley;

bakers and confectioners Joseph Herberhold and Gus Meyer;

restaurant and confectionery Teatro & Fearheiley;

jewelry J. C. Wood;

notions, watches, clocks etc. Samonial Brothers;

merchant tailors Charles Redman and Anthony Spaeth;

milliners and dressmakers Barret & Dick, Mr. J. Ridgway and Mrs. Frost;

dressmakers Mrs. Reinsmith, Miss E. Manley, Miss A. Handle, Mrs. M. Randolph, Mrs. Rohan, Mrs. Weir;

millinery stores Mrs. Baker and Mrs. A. Hunt;

shoemakers Charles Henning, George H. Reinhard, Martin Fisher, George Unbehauen; lumber merchants Jacques & Chipman, William H. Brown, F. A. Hoskinson, Morgan & Armstrong

livery and feed stables John Bedel, George T. Landers, Watkins & Arbuthnot;

dentist H. H. Harrison;

grain dealers Smith & Foster;

meat markets Thomas J. Deputy, Sutton & Cardiff;

tinware and stoves Louis Rees;

gunsmith Gotlieb Krug;

florist Jacob Knell;

undertakers E. Miller, Walter & Son, Graves & Walter;

photographer E. G. North;

barbers and hairdressers William Lynn, Root & Rigsby, W. P. Orth;

blacksmiths Samuel Shaw, S. B. Shaw, James I. Shaw, Charles Snyder, John Smith, William Schafer, Louis Schafer;

blacksmith and wagon maker M. Heitzman;

wagon makers C. F. Putnam, Louis Zellar, Steckler;

implement dealers James I. Shaw, William Schafer, Samuel B. Shaw, Louis Schafer, Harper & Rigg, Wilkinson & Stein, W. H. Besler

sewing machine agent M. S. Metzger

carpenters and builders Higby, Martin & Cline, Michael Maser, Murray Brothers, Peter P. Worth;

mason, bricklayers and plasterers William F. Harris & Sons, Julius McClintock, Frank Strikand, George Boess, I. C. Tilton, Peter Helfman

painters and glaziers Reinhard Brothers

retail liquor dealers etc. Valentine Smith, S. P. Teatro, George T Bedel, Peter Oldendorf

cooper Jacob Stein & Son

justices of the peace I. H Brees, G. C. Turner, N. C. Burns, I. N. Jaques

constable M. S. Metzger, William Peters, William Bredwell

hotels--Grand Central (J. B. Wiley, Prop.), Commercial House (Bayles Grigsby, Prop.), Stillwell House (E. Titus, Prop.), Charles House (Adam Steckler, Prop.), Mansion House, (Mrs. Roberts, Prop.), City Hotel (N. C. Burns, Prop.)

postmaster Robert T. Wilkinson

newspapers--Mt. Carmel Register, Frank W. Havill, editor, Mt. Carmel Republican, Thomas J. Joy, editor

churches--Methodist, Episcopal, Lutheran, Albright, Christian and Catholic


Friendsville was named after the village of the same name in Susquehanna, PA that many of the residents came from. It was platted in 1854 for the proprietors William R. Wilkinson, John F. Youngken and Cyrus Danforth and then surveyed and recorded again in 1866. Job Pixley built the first house in 1818 and his son-in-law James Andrews built the second house. Robert Parkinson began a store in 1835 out of a house and then built a store in 1838. The first drug store was built by William Wilkinson. The post office was established in 1839 and Robert Parkinson was the postmaster. The Presbyterian Church was built in 1849. The Wyoming Flour Mills (named for the Wyoming Valley of Pennsylvania) was built by William R. Wilkinson in 1860 and 1861. The school house was built about 1866. The Academy was built for a high school in 1866. Earlier Rev. Samuel Baldridge had taught in a high school in the church. The Friendsville Library Association was established in 1840. Business in Friendsville in 1883 were:

physicians James Leeds, George Kingsbury and M,. E. Warner

general stores--Baggis Brothers, A. C. Kelsey and George Wilkinson

drug store by James A. Leeds, Jr.

wagon makers were John Shoaff, Joseph Price, and William Curren

carpenter Franklin Crosson

shoemaker John Pool

blacksmiths John C. Gilkinson and George W. Shoaff

dressmakers Mahala Snyder and Agnes rum

hotel keeper Thomas Wilkinson

justice of the peace J. P. McNair

postmaster William R. Wilkinson

machinery agents M. J. Foster and Matthew Birkett


Orio was formerly called Corrieville and when the post office was established in1879 it was called Lynn because of another Orio post office. A map exists of the village but it was never platted. Adams Shepard came from New England and settled in the area about 1830. W. P. Beasley had a tile factory there and there were two general stores, run by Shrader & Beasley and Henry Thompson. W. P. Beasley was the post master. Albert Shepard had a broom factory and Germane Shepard had a molasses factory. S. J. Underwood was a wagon maker and Martin Pheil operated a blacksmith shop. The physician was Dr. McMurray and the Presbyterian Church was built about 1839. Dr. Stephen Bliss was an early minister who preached and taught school there.


Bellmont was named in honor of Judge Robert Bell of Mt. Carmel and was laid out on the property of Gett Joachim an Elisha Brokaw in 1872. In 1880 the population was 213. Mary Crackles and her son Oliver purchased the first lot in the town. Thomas Arnold opened the first store in a temporary building in 1872. Harper and Son opened a general store soon after. Joachim Brothers opened a general merchandise store also in 1872. Joseph Bare built a blacksmith shop and Jeremiah Ballard opened a repair shop and opened the first hotel. The Bellmont Flouring Mills were built in 1874 by M. & F.H. See. The first school was built in 1874 with David Dan as the first teacher. In 1881 a larger school was built. There were three churches: Congregational, Methodist Episcopal and Christian. In 1883 the following businesses were in Bellmont:

physicians N. Bristow, C. T. McClain and J. D. Trego

general stores run by Peter Kirch, E. Joachims, Mann and Lines

grocers were J. A. Ingram and Elliott Brothers

druggists were T. J. Newsum, J. D. Trego and N. Bristow

farm implements and post office run by F. C. Manley

lawyer Joseph Bare

justice of the peace L. B. Baird

constable P. D. French

shoemaker William Bochhouse

blacksmiths were Samuel Sawyer and Joseph Bare

hotel keeper was Benjamin Weisenberger

meat markets by L. Middleton and W. H. Root

grain dealer J. L. Tanquary

gunsmith T. Greathouse

carpenter and cabinet maker H.H. Rigg

furniture W. M. Young

wagon maker F. D. French

fruit nursery K. C. Rassman

machinery agent W. H. Knowles


Lancaster was surveyed and platted in 1846 for the proprietors John Higgins, Jr. , John Keracher, Solomon Seibert, Elias Baily and Horace Woodward. The town was named for Lancaster, PA where many of the residents came from. John Higgins built the first building in 1817 and 1820, his home and a slaughter house. Soon afterwards he built a blacksmith shop. H. Gunn opened a general store about 1846 and latter Wilford Proctor had a grocery store. Other store owners were Wilford Proctor, Horace Woodward and I. Hershey. A group of farmers purchased a store run by their clerk Bowdoin Baily. They were Charles Seibert, Levi Couch and Russell Harrison, Robert Ridgely. Physicians in Lancaster were Dr. McJilton (around 1868), Dr. Reed (1845), Dr. Cleve (1848), Philbrick Brothers (1850) who sold patent medicine, Dr. William Friend (1852?) and Dr. Flanders. A school house was built in 1846 and another in 1866,. The Christian Church was built in 1857 as a union church The Albright church was built in 1866, the Lutheran Evangelical in 1877 and the Methodist Episcopal in 1880. The Lancaster Flouring Mill was built by Penrose Beihl and William Rowland about 1858 and was sold to Joel and F. J. Dreibelbis. The saw mill was built in the winter of 1881 by John Leighty and Solomon Grismore.

The following businesses were in Lancaster in 1883:

physicians William Friend, F Waller and Edward McJilton

druggist A. Corrie

general merchants J. Hershey and Charles Seibert

shoemaker T. Deiber

harness maker Peter Scherer

milliner Miss Minnie Malotte

blacksmiths Henry Reiber and William Raybuck

justice of the peace Isaiah Berninger

carpenters William Ginther, J. & M. Sugar, Ross McMillan, James Seibert

painter Joel Berninger

wagon maker Isaiah & Amos Berninger

butcher David Spitler

cattle dealer Simeon Mull tinware and stoves John Leighty


Maud was platted in 1898 for the proprietors Christian Ameter and his wife Rachel Ameter. The town was named for the daughter of Judge Robert Bell. The town sprang up along the railroad tracks of the Air Line which first began service in 1869 and became the Southern Railroad later. Maud was a popular passenger stop on the mail run. In 1882 the Maud Coal Company was formed and dug coal nearby. Several houses were built in the area at the time of the coal "boom" and the town was platted and named. The Zion Methodist Church was built in 1850. The Maud Stockyard had a record at one time of being the largest livestock shipper on the Southern Line. Area farmers would often drive their cattle and hogs along the rural roads to the stockyards for shipping. At one time a local Grange hall was located near Maud but the most famous event in the history of the community was the Maud train wreck on Christmas day in 1904 when two passenger trains hit head on just east of Maud,. Fifteen people were killed.

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