This township constitutes what is known as Congressional T. 15, R. 6, and is situated in the north-eastern part of the county. It is bounded on the north by Piatt county, east by Douglas county, south by Jonathan creek township, and west by Lovington. The surface is a gently-undulating prairie, with neither stream or timber within its borders. The soil is a deep, rich black loam, that in fertility is not excelled by any in this part of Illinois. The first land was not entered in this township until November1st, 1851, when Cyrus R. Gifford entered the following in sec. 31: Lot1, S.W. quarter, forty acres; E. one-half of the S.E. quarter, eighty acres; and S.W. quarter of the S.E. quarter, forty acres. In 1852 and '53 nearly all the land in the township was entered.
The earliest settlements were made in the north-east corner, near the Douglas county line. Abraham Moon, who settled on section one in 1831, has the honor of being the first settler. He built the first house and made the first improvements. The next arrival was David Taylor, who located a little south of Moon, on the same section. Mr. Taylor died in December, 1860, but his widow and one daughter, the wife of Samuel Lewis, are still residing in the township. Lewis Bowen, Charles Whitsel, Benjamin Ford, Alfred and John Taylor (brothers), and George Nelson settled in the same neighborhood in the years 1851 an '52. Isaac Kinney came to the same settlement about 1854, and about the same time James Browning, John W. Budd and John Q. Adams arrived. James Underwood made an improvement in the southern part, near the Springfield road about 1856, but soon abandoned it. A Mr. Bradley settled in the south-eastern corner probably as early as 1856, and a Mr. Iles settled about the same time near the center of the township, on the west line. These were all the settlements made here before 1858, when William and John Ellars, John McDougal, Wesley and David Barrett, Joseph Taylor and John Davis came in and settled. At the election held in November of that year (1858), there were just twenty-seven votes cast in this township--twenty of which were democratic. There were but few more settlements here until after the close of the late war, when the country soon filled up with a good, energetic and thrifty class of farmers. According to the last census, Lowe has a population of one thousand three hundred and five.
There was no school taught here until the building of the McDougal school-house in 1861. This was a small frame building erected on the south-west corner of section twelve, but it has since been moved to section twenty-four. There are at present twelve school districts, all having good houses, where school is taught the greater part of the year. The Missionary Baptist Church, which was erected on section twenty-seven, in 1875, is the only church building in the township, outside of Arthur. The first mercantile business was carried on by the Landers Brothers, who kept a store one mile west of the present site of Arthur in 1872, which was afterwards moved into the village. John Earhart had a blacksmith shop in the north-west part of the township, and James Williams one in section twenty-six, before Arthur was laid out.
Notwithstanding the territory in Lowe was about the last in the county to be settled, her citizens have evinced a stirring enterprise in all their pursuits, and to-day their township ranks among the best in the county. The following taken from the last assessor's book, will give an idea of the rapid progress they have made:--No. of acres improved land, 24,677, valued at $247,301. No. of acres unimproved land, 840, valued at $7,870. Total number of acres, 25,517, valued at $255,171. Corn is the principal product, though flax and all the smaller grain yield large crops.
The following have represented Lowe in the county board of supervisors, since township organization in 1867: George W. Winn, elected in 1867; A.L. Maddock, in 1868; C.A. Reeves in 1869 and served until 1871, when James Kinney was elected and served until 1874; C.A. Reeves was re-elected in 1874; James H. Jones 1875, and served till 1877, when C.A. Reeves was again re-elected, and served until 1880; Jacob Dumond, elected in 1880.
This village was laid out September, 1872, by M.H. Warren and William Kanitz. These gentlemen laid out twenty acres each, and donated half to the Paris and Decatur, now the Illinois Midland Railroad. The line dividing Moultrie and Douglas counties, runs north and south through the center of the plat, and the railroad through from east to west. It was re-surveyed and platted September 1, 1873, by Abraham Jones, county surveyor, and filed in the office of county recorder September 2, 1873. The first house was erected in November, 1872, by J.W. Sears, who came from Jonathan Creek township. It was a two story frame building, 20 x 24 feet, with a store room on the first floor, and the second story arranged for living purposes, into which he moved with his family. He placed a stock of goods in the store-room, and was the first merchant and the first resident in the village. This house has since been enlarged, and is now kept as a hotel by Mr. Sears. The second building was a dwelling, erected in January, 1873, by Dr. J.P. Lamb, who located here and became the first physician. Also about the same time John Warren erected a small frame office and established a grain business. In March of the same year, William Ward built a store-house and opened a general stock of goods for sale; and a little later in the same spring, J.W. Fisher erected a store building, and opened a stock of the same character. During the same year the following parties erected buildings: Joel Miller, a store-house; Scott Warren, Abel Fleming, William Hood, William Karuger, J.W. Sears and David Crockett all built residences. William Hood and William Karuger each built a blacksmith shop in the summer of 1873. The railroad was built through here in the summer of 1872, and the place was named by R.G. Hervey, then president of the road, in honor of his brother Arthur living in England. The present school-house was the first one built here. It was erected in the autumn of 1876, by directors James Ellars, J.H. Watkins and D.N. Magner, for the sum of $3,000. It is a two story frame, with belfry, 32 x 48 feet, and 26 feet high. There are two rooms, arranged with the latest improved furniture; the school is graded, employing two teachers. The only church-house is an old frame building, moved into the village from a mile and a half south. Esquire M.H. Warren, the present justice for Moultrie county, was the first in the village. The daughter of J.W. and Sophronie Sears, born February 17, 1873, was the first child born here; and a child of H.K. and Susan Davis was the first death. The post-office was established in 1873, and T.T. Warren was the first post master. M.H. Warren , H.K. Davis and W.H.H. Reeder have been post-masters. The village was incorporated in June, 1876, and the following were the first trustees: W.H.H. Reeder, President; J.W. Sears, C.C. McComb, Matthew Hunsaker, Nicholas Thompson, Henry Jones; J.W. Fisher, Treasl; J.W. Barrum, Clerk. The present board: M.H. Warren, President; Edward Kirby, Michael Corbit, J.W. Sears, J.H. Dolan, G.V. Lankan; P.I. McCord, Clerk; C.A. Reavs, Treas. On the night of June 29, 1878, a fire was discovered in Sears' Hall, and three stores and two residences were completely destroyed. Two stores now replace the old ones.
There is considerable trade carried on at this point, but the shipment of grain is by far the principal business. The present business is shown in the following list: The Arthur steam flouring mill, which stands in the south part of the village, was built by Dawson, Ridge and Marshall, in 1874. It has a run of two burrs, one corn and one wheat, and is now owned by Jacob Smock.
The Arthur Elevator was erected in 1876, by Levi Seass. It has a capacity of 20,000 storage, and is built for handling all kinds of grain. Seth Woodworth is the present owner and operator. D.N. Wagner is operating the grain business for J.O. Peckam & Co., of Farmer city, Illinois.
General Stores--D.H. Baker, W.H.H. Reader.
Drugs--Henry & Barrum.
Hardware, Stoves & c.--H.O. Snyder.
Restaurants--Charles Stapp, James Davis.
Harness Shop, Furniture and Undertaking--Frank Shaltz.
Shoe Stores--George Vanlaken, G.M. Piper.
Blacksmith Shops--Jacob Painter, William Krauger, Frank Key.
Lumber, Coal and Agricultural Implements--C.A. Reavs.
Stock Dealers--Ellars and Murphy.
Barbar Shop--Simon Bollinger.
a post-office and station, on the Illinois Midland Railroad, situated
in Section 30 of this township. The first settler was Esquire William
White, who still resides there. A general store kept by J.C. Howser; a
blacksmith shop occupied by Nathan Dixon and Byron Cheevers dealing in
grain, constitutes the business.