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Articles & Local History > 1877 - History of Yorktown, Fairfield Twp., Bureau County, IL

December 06, 1877
p 132;7

Settlers From That State Brought Name of Old Home With Them

(by Darlene Drayton)

The early settlers of Yorktown came from New York and it is assumed that this where the name "Yorktown" originated. The town is located almost in the northwest corner of Bureau county, being within one-half mile of the Henry county line and one mile from the Whiteside county line, and is in Fairfield township. O. W.McKenzie was the first township assessor. Mr. McKenzie was one of the early settlers. He came to Yorktown in 1847 and purchased the McKenzie homestaead of 150 acres of land, on which a part of the village is now located, of the government, and the deed was signed by Millard Filmore, then preseident of the United States. It was writtenon buckskin. O. W. McKenzie was the father of Mrs. Eliza Brooks, who still lives on the old homestead.

Whicher Dow and Rufus Sheldon came to Yorktown in 1848 and settled on what are known as the old Dow and Sheldon farms. These early settlers came by ox team and covered wagons. Virgil McKenzie, deceased was the first boy and Mrs. Eliza Brooks the first girl born in Yorktown.

One of the first public highways laid out in 1850 was east and west through the village, where route 92 is now built.

At the township election April 2, 1850, the following were elected Whicher Dow, supervisor; James Cain, town clerk; William Rupell, assessor; Hiram McKenzie, collector; Rufus H. Sheldon, justice of the peace; S. D. Brady and O. W. McKenzie, constables; Thomas Wroten, J. M McKenzie and Horatio Ferrell, commissioners of highways; S. S. Goyer, overseer of the poor; John M. McKenzie and Moses Hunt, pound masters.

The total amound of money received the first year by the supervisor was $18.85, and the total amount disbursed by him was $18.15,leaving a balnace on hand of 70 cents.

Up to the spring of 1909 Yorktown was an inland town and then the railroad was built form Tampico through Yorktown to Hooppole and has been operating ever since. The past six months they have had two trains operating while the hard road on route 92 was being built and they will also be needed in the spring of 1930 when work starts on route 78 norht of Hooppole.

Business houses now are: C. A. Brooks, general store; J. T. Shoffner, restaurant; A. Bruder, hardware and pool hall; John E. Gudgell, Motor Inn garage; Charles Dixon, repair shop; Mathis Bros. and Co., grain, lumber and coal yards; Willliam White, colored barber intheold Jack Irvine house.

Yorktown has two fine churches and an excellent school, with gymnasium in district 42.

The present officers of Fairfield township are: Thomas A. Drayton, supervisor; Homer V. Steers, town clerk; H. H. Conkling, highway commissioner; T. M. Johnso, assessor; William F. Steers and A. A. Shere, justices of the peace; Fred Sandrock, constable; Wayne Johnson, Lena Black and Charles Hansen, school trustees.

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