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sufficient thickness to make it well worth the trouble of work
ing Quite a number of mines have been opened, and are being worked successfully. Many valuable quarries of limestone and sandstone have been opened, thus affording excellent building material. These interests can not fail to prove a source of immense profit to those who have invested in them.
The first settlers in Helt township were John Helt, Augustus Ford, Michael Helt, Geo. Helt, Daniel Helt and John Skidmore. They all settled here in the year 1818. Daniel Helt is the only one now living, who furnished this account. Shortly after this, others came and settled in this township, among whom may be mentioned Matthew Harbinson, Abraham White, Samuel Ryerson, James Harper, Obediah Swayze, Edwin James, William James, Elijah James, Alanson Church, John Castle, Richard Mack, William Conly, John Martin, Chandler Tillardson, Caleb Bailes, John Hiddle, for whom Hiddle's Prairie was named; all of whom have passed away; and of those now living we may mention Dr. C. F. Keys, W. L. Malone, John Ford, James Rush, Warham Mack, Steven Harrington and James Conley.
The first child born in the township was William Skidmore,
All these were among the "hardy sons of toil," who made homes for themselves and their families in Helt township. Like the residents of other townships in the county the people of Helt possessed no immunities from the many privations and sufferings attending the settlement of these wilds at that early period. How grateful, then, ought the sons and daughters of those brave pioneers to be when they remember
the hardships, sussering and toil which their fathers and mothers endured, that they might hand down to their children the comforts and luxuries of wealth. And now in our time, while living in comfortable homes, surrounded with all the manifold blessings of civilization, we must be ungrateful, indeed, if we do not feel moved as with a common impulse to rise up and bless the memory of those noble-hearted ancestors.
The first church built was Salem Church, on Hilt's Prairie, and the first school was also taught on this prairie. The first mill was built upon the bank of Cool Branch, a little stream which takes its rise in the central part of the township and flows south-west. This mill was built by William Anderson in 1836. But it has long since fallen into disuse, and “Cool Branch” does not look as if it ever could have run a mill.
The clearing and settling up of the country has had the effect of drying up water courses until many of them that used to be considered formidable streams have dwindled into eomplete insignificance.
The principal towns in Helt township are Highland, Dana, Bono and Summet Grove. They are lively little places, and contain the usual number of dry goods, grocery and drug stores, together with shops of various kinds.
The Illinois and Indiana Central Railroad crosses the Wabash river at Montezema, and runs west through the township into Illinois.
Salem Methodist Church, situated one mile north-west of Summit Grove; Rev. M. B. Wood, pastor; membership, 67 ; average attendance at Sabbath school, 80; S. R. White, Superintendent.
Asbury Methodist Church, situated three miles south-east of Dana; Rev. M. B. Wood, pastor; membership, 41 ; average attendance at Sabbath school, 40; value of church property, $800.00.
Spring Hill Methodist Church, situated four miles north of Summit Grove; Rev. M. B. Wood, pastor, membership, 31; attendance at Sabbath school, 42; R. P. Mercer, Superintend
Center Methodist Church, situated 5 miles south-west or Summit Grove; pastor in charge, Rev. John E. Newhouse; membership, 50; average attendance of Sabbath school scholars, 70; value of church property, $1500.
Center Sabbath School was first organized by an Eastern lady named Sarah McConhe, and was the first in Helt township. The present superintendent, James H. Wishard, has held that position for the last fifteen years, during ten of which the school has never been closed, winter or summer, and we are pleased to record that, through its blessed instrumentality since its organization, two ministers have been sent forth into the work.
Methodist Episcopal Church, situated at Bono; Rev. M. B. Wood, pastor; membership, 41.
Union Sabbath School; average attendance, 50; superintend
ent, Aaron Hise.
United Brethren Church; Midway; situated 5 miles southeast Dana; Rev. J. N. Anderson, pastor; membership, 64; superintendent Sabbath school, Amos Wells; value of church property, $800.
Hannamon Chapel United Brethren Church, four miles west Hillsdale; Rev. James Anderson, pastor; membership, 46;
Sabbath school superintendent, John Adams; average attendance of Sabbath school, 25, value of church property, $5,000.
Class of United Brethren; Rev. J. H. Anderson, pastor in charge; membership, 50. This society meets at the school house in the south-western part of the township.
Union Sabbath School; held at No. 9 school house; average attendance, 25; superintendent, George W. Smith.
Presbyterian Church; situated at Bono; Rev. Thomas Griffith, pastor; value of church property, $2,000.
Tennessee Valley Missionary Baptist Church; situated 4 miles northwest Summit Grove; Rev. Wm. McMasters, pastor; membership, 13; value of church property, $2,000.
Missionary Baptist Church; situated at Bono; Rev. William McMasters, pastor; membership, 49.
Christian Church; situated at Highland; Elder Price in charge; membership, 30.
There is a Union Sabbath School held here, with a fair attend
Center Grange, No. 1251, meets at Center Church, five miles west of Summit Grove; membership, 54; Master, J. H. Wishard; Secretary, H. D. Crane; organized March 29, 1874.
Helt Prairie Grange, No. 1250, meets at Salem Church, one mile north west of Summit Grove; membership, 37; Master, R. M. White; Secretary, N. T. Laiton; organized February, 1874.
Staats Grange, No. 1580, meets at No. 7 School House, five miles south east of Dana; membership, 24; Master, James Harrington ; Secretary, W. B. Wellman; organized March 5th, 1874.
Toronto Grange, No. 1581; meets at Presbyterian Church at Bono; membership, 29; Secretary, J. W. Andrews; organized, March, 1874.
Aye Grange, No. 1659, meets at No. 3 school house, I mile east of Dana; membership, 33; Master, Caleb Bailes; Secretary, Thos. A. Edmonston; organized March, 1874.
Asbury Lodge, No. 320, F. and A. M., meets at Bono; membership, 30; William Hood, W. M.; W. M. Taylor, Secretary; organized 1861.
The Township Trustee makes the following school report: No. school houses in Township,
18 Value of school property,
$11,000 Whole number pupils enrolled,
870 Average attendance at school,
789 No. of teachers in Township,
25 Average daily compensation of teachers, (male), $2.18 Average daily compensation of teachers, (female),
1.91 Average length of school term, six months.
Oscar B. Lowry, Township Trustee.
DIRECTORY OF HELT TOWNSHIP.
ANDREWS, GEORGE W.; farmer; m w Saint Bernice P.
0. Born in V. C. 1844. Rep.
ANDREWS, ELIAS, JR.; farmer; 2 m s Saint Bernice P. O.
Born in V. C. 1845. Rep.
ANDREWS, HENRY; silversmith; 2 m s w Saint Bernice P.
O. Born in V. C. 1849. Rep.