Iroquois County Places

Below are place names for Iroquois County. Some of these places no longer exist and some simply no longer have a post office. Some of these are places, the names of which may appear in old family documents, but are not on current - or even relatively old - maps. The U.S. Geological Service which was once linked to this page seems to be no longer available. If you are aware of an online mapping service that shows old locations that no longer have a post office -- or maybe never did -- please send e-mail to Loretta Barlow and she will link it here. You also may go to my map page to confirm locations. The road system is more complete on my map, even though it is an old map.

Some of the place names below are links to personal observations, recollections, etc., of former webmasters about the locations.

PLEASE CONTRIBUTE your memories or historical notes about any location listed - and especially about any location I might have missed.

E-Mail E-mail your contribution to me.

# Alonzo # Ash Grove #Ashkum # Beaverville # Bryce # Buckley (Bulkley) # Cissna Park # Chebanse # Claytonville # Clifton # Coaler # Crescent City # Cutmer # Danforth # Darrow # Delrey # Donovan # Eastburn # Effner(Haxby) # Fountain Creek # Freedville # Gilman # Goodwine # Greer # Hallock # Hickman # Hooper # Idaville (Ash Grove Corners) # Iroquois (1st County Seat) # L'Erable # Leonard # LeHogue # Loda # Martinton # Middleport (2nd County Seat) # Milford # North Hooper # Onarga # Papineau # Pitchin # Pittwood # Plato # Ridgeville # Schwer (Queen City) # Sheldon # Stockland # Thawville # Watseka (South Middleport) - County Seat # Webster # Wellington # Woodland # Woodland Junction # Woodworth

Alonzo - Share your memories.
Ash Grove - Ash Grove obtained its name out of necessity. It is not and never was a town or on any map. It contains only a Lutheran Church (M-S), the parsonage, and the church cemetery. But, you see, the church is named St. John's Lutheran Church. There was already a congregation by that name in Buckley. Since this church is located in Ash Grove Twp., it simply became known as Ash Grove. Many residents do not even know the name of the congregation - it's just Ash Grove. Located on the Buckley/Milford Road, west of Idaville.
Ashkum - Share your memories
Beaverville - I attended Holy Family Academy in Beaverville....7th grade, abt 1954-5. It was a Catholic girl's boarding school....both of my sisters graduated from high school there. The local kids attended school there too. Unfortunately I can't remember any of their names. I understand it burned down a few years ago....would like to know what year and how it burned down. We used to go to St. Anne, near there to a skating rink once a month. A lot of fun! Beaverville was a small, nice town with a lot of great people in it.
Bryce - Share your memories.
Buckley (Bulkley) -  "Home of the Dutchmasters" and "Home of Scott Garrelts" are signs that greet you on U.S. Hwy 45 as you enter town. Buckley was platted by a man who recognized the potential of the Illinois Central Rail Road, and named Bulkley after a friend. The steeple of St. John's Lutheran Church is visible from quite a distance as you approach town, as is the round water tower which, when it was first installed, was something of a wonder. There have been other churches in Buckley, but only the Lutheran Church has survived to this day, along with its elementary school.. Beginning with the 1997-98 School Year, Buckley will be home to Christ Lutheran High School, the first Lutheran High School in this area, with 9th and 10th grade enrollment. Brick streets are the rule. The playground equipment in Tower Park is older than I, but well-maintained. Unfortunately, the Klann Grocery is long gone, though the sign is still readable on the long-abandoned building, where the men really did gather around the pot-bellied stove to converse with each other in German (so we kidlets couldn't understand, I'm sure) while their wives shopped; where the farmer could run up a bill until he sold his crops. Also gone are the Reynolds Cafe and, next door, the grocery store with the meat lockers. The Lutheran congregation maintained a meat locker for its pastor (probably still does), and that locker had never ever better be empty or the Board of Elders was gonna want to know who didn't put in their "tithe" at butcher time. Gone are 2 of the 3 taverns in one block (one had a door directly to the barber shop since the barber owned the tavern), and the Roach Pharmacy (Greyhound Bus Stop). Still there are the descendants of many of the original settlers (c.f. "History of Iroquois County, Illinois," Beckwith), Bradshaw Insurance Agency, The Corner Tap (now the Triple-K) with its on-going pinochle game (DON'T play pinochle in Buckley) and a sense of community pride that extends to persons who no longer have a Buckley mailing address, no matter where they are.
Cissna Park - Share your memories See FLOOD stories from two residents.
Claytonville -Share your memories.
Clifton - Share your memories
Coaler - Share your memories
Crescent City - The old business district of Crescent City is gone; destroyed by a derailed train. This is why postcards depicting the old town cost a pretty penny. See one in the Iroquois County Scrapbook. Share your memories.
Cutmer - Share your memories
Danforth - Share your memories
Darrow - Share your memories
Delrey - Between Onarga and Buckley on U.S. Hwy 45. Once incorporated, bustling village whose only industry now is the grain elevator and feed mill. Known for its petting zoo from approx. 1970 to 1994, when the "Zookeeper" (Fritz Krumwiede) retired upon the death of his wife.
Donovan - Donovan in the late thirties and early forties was about as nice a place to grow up as you could hope for. On Saturday nights there were band concerts, cake walks, free movies and about all the excitement a boy of five or six could handle. There was even a uniformed cop on duty just on Saturday night. In those days there were two auto dealer-ships, a bank (earlier there were two), a weekly paper, two grocery stores, a couple of restaurants, a produce house (eggs and cream), a high school (burned down in '41 and rebuilt), grade school, Methodist church, Church of Christ, and probably a lot more. I remember spending a lot of nights at my grandparents and riding my bike on those wonderful paved streets until all hours of the night. No one locked their doors then. Maurice Barnlund, Orlando, Fl.
Eastburn- Share your memories
Effner (Haxby)- Effner is located on U.S. Hwy 24 at the Illinois/Indiana State Line. It is the location of a weigh station for trucks, a small road-side park, a grain elevator, and a few houses.
Fountain Creek - Share your Memories
Freedville - Share your memories
Gilman- Gilman has been a major cross-road for as long as I remember; U. S. Hwy 24 crosses U.S. Hwys 45 and 54 ( which continue South until U.S. 54 turns west at Onarga). In the past, this cross-road was the site of a Greyhound Bus Terminal, a standard rest stop on any bus passing through. That location is now a Truck Stop, complete with a Baby Bulls Restaurant - which I personally recommend. If you want good old Illinois rhubarb pie in season - get there early.
Another major milestone for Gilman was the construction of a new grain elevator in about 1952; it was so tall that it could actually be seen from the second floor of St. John's Lutheran School in Buckley (12 miles) by yours truly. Actually, that's a testament to the very real flat nature of prairie land, but we were all amazed.
Goodwine - Share your memories
Greer - Share your memories
Hallock - Share your memories
Hickman - Share your memories
Hooper - Share your memories
Idaville (Ash Grove Corners) - I have never known Idaville to be on any map or to be incorporated. Yet, "everyone" knows where it is. It isn't on my map page either. It is located on State Road 49 at the Buckley/Milford Road intersection. My map is so old that this road does not show in total, but the intersection with the road going to Milford is the location of Idaville. It boasts a Lutheran Church (now LCMS, but was once ALC), its parsonage, and a Farm Implement company which used to do auto repairs as well. There was a Texaco station and a diner there until the owners moved to California for the health of their son.

Iroquois (Bunkum)- I didn't live in Iroquois---I grew up in Sheldon, about 3 miles(?) south--where my dad owned "The Show"--also known as the Sheldon Theatre. However, I'll never forget 'Bunkum' as it was known. And still may be. Why? Every 4th of July Bunkum was host to the roudiest 4th of July celebration I've ever attended. It was the summer's big event in that part of the county. The Sheldon girls would plan for weeks what they were going to wear on the big day. That was most important, for we were all hoping to attract and meet cute boys from all the other Iroquois county towns. A 'successful' summer depended on it.
Older Iroquois Co. residents would go early to get a good seat in the concrete open-air pavilion where great entertainment was sure to take place amid sounds of exploding firecrackers and the smells of onions frying in the food booths. Oh yes, those firecrackers! You had to learn to step lively as the boys would throw them right under our feet! The air was thick with smoke and the smell of powder. People stayed all day and far into the night. Some brought picnics. Others ate the carny food---delicious! After the base ball game, where the men spent most of their time, there would be the big formal fireworks--the main show of the day. After that, older couples danced in the pavilion or drifted home.
Then Bunkum went to sleep for another year. And the Sheldon girls? We were already looking forward to 'Punkin Vine'. Joanne (Jones) in Orange County CA

L'Erable - It was the middle of winter of 2001. I'd flown from California to find the graves of my Irish immigrant ancestors: James Catherine Costello Mongovan. I found James's gravesite in Gillman. But where was Catherine's? I knew she had died in 1870 was buried in L'Erable Township. But did this place still exist? I was told by a couple wonderful locals to travel up highway 45 until I saw the sign pointing to the town. Couldn't miss it, they said. I pressed onward...rain pounded my windshield from time to time and the wind howled and threatened to blow my car off the slippery two-lane road. Iroquois County is as flat a tract of land as I've ever driven (and I was born in North Dakota!) and the weather was not cooperating with me. I prayed the rain'd let up so I could take some digital photos if I found the cemetery. Sure enough, I came to a halt at the L'Erable sign, turned right, and headed toward the church in the distance with its tall white steeple. L'Erable is nothing more than several well-kept homes and some double-wide trailers...and a large and beautiful Catholic Church. I found St. John the Baptist Catholic Cemetery and stepped out of the car into the freezing wind. My hands were numb and my umbrella inverted a couple times as I attempted to make out the names on the stones. After about 20 minutes, and with a stinging rain blowing almost sideways, I found my g-g-great grandmother's headstone. I took several terrific photos of the stone, the cemetery with the bare trees and church as background. Thank you, L'Erable, for keeping my ancestor's memory alive for me and others. I hope to return some day. --Jan Patrick Mongoven

LeHogue -Share your memories
Leonard - U.S. Hwy. 24, between Crescent City and Gilman. Leonard's claims to fame are an Artesian Well that is at the surface and is piped, and the path of Butterfield's Trace. The well is still flowing today, and there is a drive which allows you to stop to get a drink or fill a jug with water. Watch for the brown "Historical Marker Ahead" sign. The marker for Butterfield's trace and the well both are on the south side of the highway. You may well miss it the first time.
Loda - Loda was once the second-largest community in the State of Illinois with a population in excess of 800. Population now hovers at about half that. It's phenomenal growth was due entirely to the Illinois Central Rail Road, which placed a major terminal at Loda. Share your memories
Martinton - Share your memories
Milford - Share your memories
North Hooper - Share your memories
Onarga- The MODE Theatre (still there) and Frobish Photograpy Studio (not still there), and the wooden floor in the Five-and-Dime where we bought shoes comprise my major memories of Onarga. But Onarga's real claim to fame at one time was the summer home of Allan Pinkerton (sitll there). If anyone has pictures from the canning factory fire, we would love to see them. Currently, Onarga is home to Bork Nurseries - formerly the Onarga Nursery - a major supplier of seedlings and current owner of the Larches, which it uses as a communications center. Onarga was originally the only place Sea Sprite was manufactured, by Onarga Boat Company, site of many a dance and an outdoor roller skating rink. Share your memories See also More Genealogical Links
Papineau - Share your memories.
Pitchin - Share your memories
Pittwood - Share your memories
Plato - I did not see the town of Plato mentioned on the Iroquois County Places web page. My ancestors came from that community, and my information comes from the obituary of John Wilson who died at his residence in Plato on July 1, 1891.
His obituary states at the time of his death he owned 300 acres in Martinton township and 100 acres in Ashkum township, these lands being at least part, if not all, of what encompassed the Plato Company holdings when it was formed around 1837.
The "History of Iroquois County" published in 1880 states a post office was established in Plato about 1840 and John Wilson appointed postmaster, and his obituary states he continued in that capacity until the April before his death, when he resigned due to poor health and was succeeded by a man named William Dixon. It also states that the Plato post office was served at first by a stage route that ran from Joliet to Danville, IL.
There probably is more information available on this community that eventually died out. The Wilson family cemetery is located near the old home place. By James Jones. 
Ridgeville - Share your memories
Schwer (Queen City)- From _Iroquois County History, 1985_ p 121:
"No one knows why the site, known as Schwer, was called Queen City...It is Queen City in the 1864 Iroquois County Atlas, but when a post office was established there in 1887, it was listed as Schwer... John Schwer, who came from Chicago in 1876, built a general store and the first dwelling in Queen City....In 1886, John Schwer moved to Wisconsin and his brother, Louis, took over the store...In 1890, Henry Schroeder purchased the general store..." The publication containing this material is available from the Iroquois County Historical Society.
Sheldon - Share your memories
Stockland - Share your memories
Thawville - Share your memories
Watseka - Share your memories
Webster - Share your memories
Wellington - Share your memories E-mail WELLINGTON family researcher.
Woodland - Share your memories.
Woodland Junction - Share your memories
Woodworth - Just East of State Road 49, South of Crescent City. This lovely little village has a Lutheran Church and School (M-S), its parsonage, and if I'm not mistaken a place where you can buy Lionel Trains. Other than that, Woodworth's major industry seems to be my Uncle Louis. Need it done? He'll do it. Woodworth still has a residency of over 100 persons (my guess after visiting recently), but is considered by the postal service to be rural Milford.. From "Iroquois County History, 1985" - p.122: St. Paul's Lutheran Church of Woodworth "In the beginning families gathered at the homes of Henry Rehborg and August Luecke. Pastor Traub of Crete, Illinois, served as pastor. Later on, the public school was used, but as the membership grew a congregation was organized. In July, 1872, St. Paul's Congregation was formed, and 12 men subscribed to the Constitution. They were August William Schwer, Christoph Munstermann, Dietrich Langelett, Carl Raddatz, Henry Rippe, Henry Rehborg, William Hue, Henry Schumacher, August Luecke, Philip Redeker, August Pfingsten and Henry Schraze (Schrage?). The first three elders of the congregation were August William Schwer, August Pfingsten, and Philip Redeker." The publication containing this material is available from the Iroquois County Historical Society.

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