Iroquois County Places
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
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.
OUR PERSONAL MEMORIES
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
E-mail your contribution to me.
# 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
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
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
Claytonville -Share your
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
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
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
Fountain Creek - Share
Freedville - Share your
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
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
Then Bunkum went to sleep for another year. And the Sheldon girls? We
were already looking forward to 'Punkin Vine'. Joanne (Jones) in Orange
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
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
Milford - Share your memories
North Hooper - Share your
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
Pitchin - Share your memories
Pittwood - Share
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
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
Thawville - Share your
Watseka - Share your memories
Webster - Share your memories
Wellington - Share
your memories E-mail WELLINGTON
Woodland - Share your
Woodland Junction - Share
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.