At the time this township was organized, in 1867, it was named from Jonathan's Creek, which rises in section 3 and flows southerly through the territory, and received its name from the following circumstance: Jonathan Anderson, who settled a half mile south of Bruce, in Whitley township, soon after the Whitleys, came up into this region on a hunting excursion before there were any settlements, and on returning to his neighborhood related to the settlers the discoveries he had made, and gave glowing accounts of the stream, the fine walnut timber along its banks, and the beautiful prairie adjoining it. It was afterward visited by the Whitleys, Waggoners, and others, and always spoken of as Jonathan's Creek; hence it received its name. It had previously been told and written by others, "that one Jonathan Whitley was lost while out hunting, and from him the creek was named;" but this is a mistake; for there never was a Whitley by that name that lived in this county.
This township lies in the eastern part of the county; bounded north by Lowe, east by Douglas and Coles counties, south by East Nelson, and west by Sullivan and Lovington townships. It contains 23,227 acres, only 72 of which is unimproved. The total value of land is upwards of $233,413. The general surface is rolling, becoming more abrupt on approaching the streams. The timber is confined to a belt about one mile in width and four miles in length, along Jonathan's Creek, and a narrow strip bordering Two Mile Creek. Jonathan's Creek, as above stated, rised in section 3, and flows a little west of a southern direction, and passes out in the S.W. corner of section 33. The first land entries, as taken from the records, are as follows: May 24th, 1831, John Meatherton (probably Netherton), entered the S.W. quarter of section 15, 160 acres; and, June 20th, 1831, the W. half of the S.E. quarter of section 22, 80 acres. James Bolin, the S.W. quarter of section 34, 160 acres.
Settlements.--Jerre Provolt, a son-in-law of John Wilbern, built the first cabin and made the first improvement, in section thirty-three, on the farm now owned by the widow Fulton, as early as 1829. About the same time John Gordon settled a short distance east of Provolt, on section thirty-four, on the place now owned by Mr. James Bolin. These parties only remained here a short time, as we find that late in the same year Provolt sold out his claim to Benjamin Dabney; and Charles Hoffman, a borother-in-law of Dabney's, who came with him, bought out Gordon. Robert Holmes settled on the west side of Jonathan's creek in 1829, on the place now owned by Jacob Seass, in section twenty-one. Evan Waller settled south-west of the Bolin place in 1830, and Archibald Standerfer, sen., and his family arrived a little later in the same year. His son, Jerre Standerfer, is still residing here. John Drew, with a large family, came here about 1833 or '34. Thomas Fulton and Hamilton Bonham, with their families, settled a little later on the west side of the creek. John Fleming settled the present Frank Taylor place, and James Fleming settled at the head of the Jonathan's creek timber, where he soon afterwards died, and his family returned to Indiana.
Besides those above-mentioned, Levi Fleming, Elijah Fleming, Andrew Mark, James Underwood, John and Jacob Seass and William H. Lilly were early settlers here. Benjamin Freeman, who settled in what is now Moultrie county in 1830, is at present a resident of Jonathan creek.
A few years ago there was a village laid out in sec. four, called Wasco. A store or two, blacksmith-shop, etc, were built, and some trade was carried on for a time, but as a village it is now extinct. The inhabitants are strictly an agricultural community that number 1059, as taken by the last census. The principal trading is done at Sullivan and Arthur. The township is well supplied with churches and schools.
The following-named gentlemen have represented Jonathan creek in the county board of supervisors: Benjamin Freeman, elected in 1867; L.R. Jones in 1868; M.H. Warren in 1869, and served until 1872; S. Miller in 1872, P.P. Miller in 1873; Levi Seass in 1874, re-elected in 1875; A.J. Buxton in 1876; S. Miller in 1877, served till 1880. Frank McDonald is the present incumbent.