New Hanover

Monroe County, Illinois

This history was extracted from the following book on:


Combined History of Randolph, Monroe and Perry Counties, Illinois

Published by J. L. McDonough & Co.

Philadelphia 1883



Pages 447-449

This precinct was created in the year 1875 out of Eagle, Fountain and Bluff.  It lies in the northern part of the county, and embraces in geographical area portions of township 1 south, range 10 west, and township 2 south, ranges 10 and 11 west.  The population, census of 1880, was 568.  The surface, generally, is elevated and broken.  Drainage is afforded by Fountain creek and Andrew's run, a tributary flowing west.  There is an abundance of lime rock along both these streams, and sandstone along the later.

Attica, a station on the St. Louis and Cairo R. R., which extends north and south through the eastern part of the precinct, is a convenient shipping point.  The inhabitants at present are principally German and of German descent.  They speak the English language as well as that of their native tongue.  It is a subject worthy of remark, that while the German builds his residence of brick, the pioneer or his descendant occupies the primitive log dwelling.  He adheres to it apparently with an attachment not unlike that evinced by the Indian for the game-haunted hillside and ravine.  There are two public schools in the precinct, one in the town of New Hanover, and one a mile and a-half northeast of it.

The oldest permanent settlement in what is now New Hanover precinct, was made in the northern part by Jacob Judy, in the year 1794.  Jacob Judy was a very ancient and respectable pioneer in Illinois.  He came and settled in Kaskaskia in the year 1788.  He was born in Switzerland, and immigrated to the United States with his parents when he was three years old.  He married in Frederick county, Maryland.  In the year 1786 he and his family descended the Ohio river to Kentucky.  On the river, at the mouth of the Scioto, he heard the Indians making noises to decoy him to land, but he kept straight on.  He had but one man with him besides his family.  His daughter Nancy Judy, then eighteen years old, steered the boat, while her father, her brother, Samuel Judy, and the hired man, rowed the craft with all possible speed by this dangerous section of the river.  He remained two years in Kentucky, near Louisville, and descended the Ohio in a flat boat.  He was forced up Cash river, in the present county of Alexander, for protection from the Indians, and remained there for seven weeks, until a boat could come from Kaskaskia to his relieve.  He resided in Kaskaskia four years, and then moved in 1792, to New Design.  In 1794 he settled at his mill and died there in 1807. Judy worked at his trade in Illinois, and accumulated considerable property.  He possessed a strong mind, with much enterprise and energy.  Samuel Judy, his only son, came with his father to Illinois in the year 1788, and became a very conspicuous and enterprising citizen.  He married in to the Whiteside family and settled In Goshen in 1801.  Judy's mill stood on Gilmore, formerly called Judy's creek, where the ST. Louis and Cairo Railroad crosses that stream south of Columbia village, in section 34, township 1 south, range 9 west.  It was an overshot watermill, and the first in Monroe county.  In the early part of the present century it was patronized by the upper colonies including the Goshen settlement.  George Valentine also had a water mill on the stream west of Judy's at an early day.

With a few exceptions the territory of New Hanover was not early settled.  Seth Converse settled on the S. W. of section 8, a mile and a half south of New Hanover as early as 1814 or15.  He established a tannery, which was in operation as early as 1820.  William Bradshaw settled in section 8 on a property adjoining that of Converse.  John Henderson settled in section 8 on Fountain creek.  A portion of his place afterward occupied by McKendrick Moore, who had a saw mill on Fountian creek.  Jordan Johnson, about the year 1818, married Susanna Lock and settled on the n. E. of section 8, Township 2 South, Range 10 West.  Mrs. Johnson is still living in the precinct at the age of eight-four years.  Abraham Neff, about the year 1820, settled on Fountain creek.  Henry Imon was an early settler on Bond creek in section 18, Township 2 south, range 11, west.  One Osborn was among the early settlers on Andrews' run.  He was in search of silver, and in pursuance of his object blasted some ten or twelve feet into the solid rock.  John Vanarsdal was also an early settler.  Hiram Whiteside was born in Columbia precinct.  About 1825 he married Delila Kidd and settled on the S. W. of the N. E. of section 8, Township 2 south, range 10 west.  This was his home for life.  Mrs. Whiteside is still living at the age of seventy-two, with her son William, on the old place.  As early as 1825 Mr. Whiteside followed the trade of shoemaking.  The neighbors obtained leather at the tannery of Seth Converse, and had it made into shoes.  This was also, at a little later date the trade of Elias Clover, who was born near Harrisonville in 1810.  In 1829 he was married to Anna Kidd and settled on W. of section 8, Township 2 south, Range 10 west.  His widow survives him at seventy-one years of age.

John Cloves, a brother of Elias, at a little earlier date, married a Miss Brownfield, and settled on the N. half of section 8.  John Dulan was a resident on Fountain creek, near a natural pool of water named Dulan's spring, which perpetuates his memory. About the year 1830 Robert Coleman whose wife was a McRoberts, moved form Columbia precinct, and built a mill at the pond where the road leading from New Haven to Dug Hollow, in the bottom crosses Fountain creek in the S. E. quarter of section 7, township 2-10.  John Fischer, of German descent, but an immigrant from Virginia, a mill-wright and cabinet maker, constructed the Coleman mill.  He settled on the S. E. quarter of section 8, southwest of New Hanover.  The following are the first land entries:  Seth Converse, December 3, 1814, entered the S. W. quarter of section 8, 115 acres.  September 24, 1816, James B. Moore entered the W. half of the S. E. quarter of section 9, 80 acres.  The N. E. quarter of section 10, 160 acres, was entered, April 3, 1816, by John Slaughter.

The Germans began immigrating in 1835.  In this year John Martin, with his wife, came form Hanover, Germany and settled about two miles east of New Hanover, and there improved a farm.  Ernst Schrader settled one-half mile south of the village.  He came from Hanover and brought his wife and his son Henry.  The latter married and settled on the old homestead.  He now lives a little north of New Hanover.  Henry B. Stehr arrived from Hanover, Germany, in 1839.  He settled on the site of the village of New Hanover, whose founder he became.

Village of New Hanover

This well built hamlet derived its name from Hanover, Germany, of which Henry B. Stehr, its founder, was a native.  It is situated in the northern part of the precinct on the S. W. of the S. E. of section 5, township 2 south, range 10 west.  It was platted and surveyed by Hugo Ropiquet, county surveyor, January 17, 1860.  The first house, a frame dwelling, was built by John Karius about 1845. Mr. Karius was a tailor, and kept some goods for his own trade.  To these he made additions for the purpose of trade, and thus founded the first store in the town which was also the first in the precinct.  Not far from the same date Mr. Stehr built a blacksmith shop which was operated by his son, Henry Stehr, Jr.  Charles Mindermann began shoemaking in 1859.  The first saloon was kept by Ernst Koch in 1860.  Charles Mund built a wagon shop in 1861.  In 1866, Michael Hesse built a blacksmith shop, Adolph Springer a wagon shop and Frederick Rudelof began the manufacture of brick.  The post-office was established March 5, 1875.  The town is well built and manifests considerable life and enterprise.  Jacob Fischer now keeps a general store and a hotel, and is also the postmaster.  Henry Stumph and William Jehling are blacksmiths.  Charles Mund and William Sibert wagon makers.  The shoemaker is Frederick Schwarze, John Stein is tailor, Lewis Lot stone mason and Henry Beckman carpenter, builder and brick maker.