Virgil, Illinois - History, Genealogy & Today

Virgil Township

Kane County, Illinois



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Franklin became Lodi - which is now known as Maple Park


Malloy P.O. was located in section 9 of Virgil Twp




LUTHER MERRILL from New Hanpshire was the first settler and laid claim to all the land included in the 36 sections that included Virgil township in 1908.  A large part of it was swamp and shallow lakes at that time.  For a time every settler had to buy of MERRILL, but they soon came in so fast that he was unable to keep them off, and he gave up the idea of holding the entire county.  MILTON THORNTON came early, as did JOHN B. MOORE, DANIEL McKINLEY, WILLIAM H. ROBINSON, JOSEPH GRAY, JOSHUA READ, DANIEL SMITH, LYMAN GERMAN, CHARLES JACKSON, HARRISON CHAMBERS, and HENRY KROWS (1840).  Until 1840 most of the pioneers were from New York state.


       The first school house was built on section 24 in 1839.


       A tavern was opened on section 17.

       LUTHER MERRILL built the first frame house.  It is said to have contained not one foot of sawed lumber, the timber being split and smoothed into boards with the ax and broad ax.  When it was finished MERRILL is said to have given a grand housewarming to the settlers, who danced to the tune of the first fiddle heard in that end of the world.

       In the same house occurred the first wedding - that of ORSON KENDALL and MARIA READ, who were married by SQUIRE WEST of Blackberry.  

       The first child born in the township was a daughter of SETH MERRILL.


       The school district was organized:  Trustees:  William H. ROBINSON, Daniel SMITH and John SCOTT.  There were 4 districts and 95 pupils.


       Mrs. GROVES opened a small store near the tavern which opened in 1840.


       Joseph JENKINS became the first blacksmith.


       A post office named COLLAMER was established about a mile north of Maple Grove, with MILTON THORNTON in charge.  It was discontinued in 1860.


Chicago and Galena Railroad ran through the township and became the beginning of the village now known as Maple Park.  It was plated in March 1854 by Loren HEATH and Zachariah HATHORN.  It was then known as Lodi, but changed to Maple Park about 1879.


HEATH and HATHORN built a store which was the first building.  James HAINES built a house, which became a tavern, and Mr. WATSON built a store.  O.S. and F.T. MINER put up a blacksmith shop about 1854.



B.W. LYON built a store.  Within 18 months of being laid out the community had a population of over 1000.



Source:  Kane County History by Joslyn & Joslyn, 1908

       Cemeteries were shown on the 1874 Atlas


#1 - Section 9 on J. McFarland prop.

#2 - Section 26 on Charles Read prop

#3 - Section 28 on Richard Van Vlack prop.


               Thatcher Cemetery, Maple Park, 1842-1962


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