Marshall County

Town of New Rutland


New Rutland is situated five miles below Wenona, the original town-site being wholly in La Salle county, but the addition of ten blocks, made by Wm. G. Burns Oct. 20th, 1856, is chiefly in Marshall. This town is the offshoot of an emigration movement started by a number of farmers in the neighborhood of Rutland, Vermont, in February, 1855. A company was formed in March, styled “The Vermont Emigrant Association," organized '' for the purpose of settling a section of country in the West, where social, religious, and civil privileges may be enjoyed." Dr. H. D. Allen was elected President of the Association; Wm. W. Ingraham, Vice President; Dr. O. Cook, Secretary; J. B. Kirkaldie, Treasurer; and a Board of thirteen Directors was chosen. In May a Locating Committee, who had been appointed "to proceed to the West, to select a site for a village in the midst of Government lands, where each member may obtain a quarter section or more of land at the minimum price," came out and visited Iowa and other parts of the West named in their instructions. They were unable to find a situation answering all the conditions of the company; but finally determined to report in favor of the present location on the line of the Illinois Central Railroad. This was agreed to by the Association in July; and the land was purchased accordingly, under their direction. Twenty-two thousand acres, lying in Marshall, La Salle, and Livingston counties, were bought of the Railroad Company and of speculators who had recently purchased it from the Government. Provision had been made for the laying off of some central part of the tract secured into building lots, of which the holder of each share of stock was entitled to one, with the privilege of selecting 160 acres of farming land in the vicinity. The town was surveyed in November, 1855, and named from the New England home of the emigrants. Two houses were built during the winter of that year, and a large hotel commenced the following summer. A considerable part of the colony arrived on the ground in 1856-7, and a large amount of building was done. A school house was built in 1857; a Congregational Church founded Feb. 15th, 1858, with twenty-six members; and a Baptist Church organized Jan. 15th, 1859. A movement has been made for a Public Library, which will probably be successful. About half the colony (which originally numbered 120 persons, or thereabouts, most of them heads of families,) have arrived and settled ; and a number of the remainder are expected to come, as soon as the depression of the times is removed. The community comprises an intelligent and industrious population, who will eventually build up an important town at New Rutland.

Transcribed 04 Feb 2012 from History of Putnam and Marshall Counties, by Henry Allen Ford, 1860

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