BRIEF ACCOUNT OF THE FIRST SETTLEMENT AND ORGANIZATION OF THE VARIOUS TOWNSHIPS
Maxfield is a full congressional township, having 36 sections of land. Its inhabitants are all, or nearly all, of German birth or descent. With but few exceptions the early settlers were from Cook county, Illinois. They are thrifty and successful. The buildings are among the best, and much better than the average, in the state. The farms are well tilled and the stock is among the best.
Christian Wente was the first settler. He erected himself a log house on Section 18 in 1854. This was the first house in the township.
The same year John Griese, Christopher Kehe, August Tegtmeier, Christian Engelbrecht, Henry Meier, Henry Reick, Henry Schumacher, Christian Nevermann, John Messerly and Mrs. Borchert located in this township.
Among others that located here in 1855 were Frederick and Conrad Oltrogge, Herman Raecker, J. W. and William Matthias. Others came in rapid succession, until the township was pretty well settled.
Politically this township was united to Jefferson and Franklin until, on September 6, 1858, it was organized into a separate township.
The first election was held, at the house of John Griese, in October, 1858. The whole number of votes cast was 53, and the officers elected were: Trustees, Martin Tombs, Charles Close and Herman Raecker; Clerk, D. F. Phillips; Assessor, J. P. Burgis; Justices, David Downs and John Moehling; Constables, William Beard and Christian Engelbrecht.
The first marriage was that of Fred Hagemann and Dorothea King, on April 11, 1857. The second was that of John Bruns to Elenore Grupe, June 10, 1859.
The first birth was that of Caroline Wente, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. W. Wente, on June 9, 1855.
The first creamery was established in the spring of 1880, by Little and Huebner and the second in 1881, by Huebner and Seehase.
A postoffice was established in April, 1873, and named Maxfield. H. Baumteath was the first postmaster.
The first religious services for the early settlers was held in a building on Section 18, owned by John Moehling, and was conducted by Rev. N. Volkert. In the spring of 1857, St. John's German Evangelical Lutheran church erected a church building on Section 19, on 5 acres of land, donated by Charles Bruns.
The United Evangelical St. Paul's church was organized January 22, 1862. The church and parsonage combined was built during the summer of 1863, and was dedicated October 25, by Rev. S. Hartmann, of Chicago. The first minister was Rev. G. Geckler.
St. Matthew's congregation, Evangelical Lutheran church, was organized by Rev. P. Bredow in 1878. The church and the parsonage were built in 1878. The first minister was Rev. L. Lobeck.
To Maxfield township belongs the honor of having the first regular church edifice and the first church bell in the county.
Readlyn—named for Mr. Read, who was a member of the townsite company—is the only town in Maxfield township and is a thriving little place. The town plat was filed November 2, 1903. Its business men are all progressive and the town has perhaps the most up-to-date improvements of any town of its age in the state. Its streets are well lighted, its buildings are good and it has waterworks, electric lights, a substantial bank, two churches, two machinery dealers, seven stores of different kinds, two lumber yards, two garages besides other shops and trades all being able to take care of the rich country by which it is surrounded.
Last updated 4/9/16
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