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Title: History of Pine Township
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History of Pine Township

Pine Township was created by the Board of Justices in March,1830. The west line was the state line dividing Indiana and Illinois, which as first formed included all of Prairie Township, all of the present southern tier of townships in Benton County lying west of Big Pine Creek. Today it is six miles long and six miles wide.

The township is hilly and heavily timbered. The northern and western portion is more of a rolling prairie.

Big Pine Creek enters the township in the northeasrtern part and flows in a southwesterly direction. It is a beautiful stream of water and is fed largely by springs. It flows into a deep bed and in many places has almost perpendicular or overhanging banks of massive sand rock. Pine trees used to fringe the banks, but now only a few remain.

Points of Rocks, one mile south of Rainsville, more commonly known as Rocky Ford, is a historic place in the township. Here huge rocks approximately nine feet in height and fifteen feet wide extend out into the stream for some distance, while just below and on the opposite side oif the creek a similar rock projects from the bank forming natural abutments. [At this point Judge Isaac Rains built the first mill in Warren County in 1827.]

North and east of Rainsville along Big Pine Creek is a spot called Deer Park. The scenery with its high stone walls, caverns, and waterfalls is most astounding. Legend has it that deer stayed there. It was also a favorite Indian camping ground.

All of these aforementioned features of Big Pine Creek made a strong line of defense in Indian warfare. In 1811 confederate tribes planned to fight General Harrison here, but he crossed to higher open prairie ground.

Mud Pine Creek enters the township on the north and transverses the entire township, uniting with Big Pine just before it leaves the township on the South. Island Rock, above the mouth of Mud Pine, stands in the center of the stream. The rock formation is approximately fifty feet in length, twelve feet in height, and twenty feet in width. This rock stands like a giant, disputing the way of the water.

Rainsville, the only town in the township, was laid out in April, 1833, by Isaac Rains, proprietor. The year before, he had come to this place, located his mill site, and built a rude dwelling from lumber sawed at a sawmill he had just finished. On the hill south of town he found a granite boulder which was split into two equal surfaces. These he dressed into stone buhrs and fitted into his mill and ground wheat and corn for the settlers.

These mills, the sawmill and gristmill, were a great convenience, and a necessity for the settlers. Thet came for many miles and brought their whest and corn to have it ground into flour and corn meal. Many came from eastern Illinois, over bad roads; sometimes the trip took two days.

During the 1840s and 1850s Rainsville was considered a rather hard place, because of the large quantity of liquor sold here. The Indians came here often to barter for "firewater", but it is said that they were less noisy and quarrelsom than the whites.

A carding mill, which carded wool into rolls, from which it was spun and woven into cloth, was operated at Brier's mill on Big Pine Creek, two miles south of Rainsville.

General Harrison's army crossed the southeast part of Pine Township on its march to Tippecanoe and also on its return from that battle. It is said that two of his men, wounded in the battle, died and were buried by the trail in the southeastern corner of the township.

[No part of the following text was put into the actual newspaper article]

The present school at Rainsville was built in 1929 and the modern kitchen and cafeteria were added in 1958. There are over 100 pupils from grades one to eight. Spanish is taught by IMPATI television.

The only church now in use in the township is the Methodist which was formed in the 1860s. The last three years new additions have been added to the rear. Foundations for new class rooms are under way and new paneling and altar have been added to the sanctuary. In 1964 the ceiling was lowered.

Pine Village Methodist Camp
Joseph Cowgill
There was a tannery established in 1836 which did a large business for that day. He manufactured horse collars and supplied the shoe makers for many miles around with leather from which boots and shoes for families of the settlers were made.

[The following text is from 1964]

Pine Township

Pine township was organized in 1830. It is the only congressional township within the county, that is six miles long and six miles wide. This is said to be a standard size. Prairie township was formerly a part of Pine. The township is hilly and heavily timbered. The northern and west portion goes more to a rolling prairie.

Big Pine Creek enters the township in the northeastern part and flows in a southwesterly direction. Pine Creek is a beautiful stream of water and is fed largely by springs. It flows in a deep bed, in many places has almost perpendicular or overhanging banks of massive sand rock. Pine trees used to fringe the banks to make up a beautiful and attractive scenery but now only a few reamin.

Point of Rocks, one mile south of Rainsville, more commonly known as Rocky Ford, is a historic place in the township. Here huge rocks approximately nine feet in height and fifteen feet wide extends out into the stream for some distance, while just below and on the opposite side of the creek a similar rock projects from the bank forming natural abutments. At this point Judge Isaac Rains built the first mill in Warren County in 1827.

Mud Pine Creek, from the north, joins Big Pine in the lower southwest corner of the township. Island Rock, above the mouth of Mud Pine, stands in the center of the stream. The rock formation is approximately fifty feet in length, twelve feet in height and twenty feet in width. This rock stands like a giant, disputing the way of thew water. There is a place along Big Pine Creek located north and east of Rainsville called Deer Park. For a while one almost thinks he is in Turkey Run Park or the Shades locale. The scenery with its high stone walls, caverns, and waterfalls is most astounding. Legend has it that deer harbored here. Also in this vicinity it has been told was a favorite Indian camping ground.

All of these aforementioned features of Big Pine Creek made a strong line of defense in Indian warfare. In 1811 confederate tribes planned to fight General Harrison here but he crossed to higher prairie ground.

Rainsville, the only town in the township was platted and named for Isaac Rains in April 1833. The original plan were nine blocks and eight streets. She is a sister city of Chicago and was very gay in her day, boasting of seven saloons. Jacob Brown had a general store, John Grames ran a shoe store..A postoffice was located in the town also a telephone exchange owned by Jake Shackleton and operated by Catherine Seals. Later this exchange was moved and most people were put on the Pine Village exchange. John Lawson ran a shoe and boot shop just west of the old town pub. He made shoes, boots, and mended harnesses. Today it contains a general store, Rebekah and Odd Fellow Lodge and the only church and school in the township. Pop. 41.

It is said the "Creek Road between Pine Village and Rainsville was once an old Indian trail. The Potawatami Trail ran from Parishn Grove in Benton Co. east. This trail was later known as Lafayette Road. The Indian trail destination was, of course, the fort and trading post at Fort Quiatenon.

Where the trail forked near Mud Pine, the southern spur ran southeast and crossed the creek at what was later known as the Perigo crossing, south of Chase and thence ran southeast through Rainsville to Kickapoo Falls on the Wabash. Another spur lead through Pine Village to Cicott's trading post in Independence.

U.S. Hiway route 41 runs along close to the western boundary of the township. This was originally known as the Keys road, so named for James Harvey Keys, a prominent farmer and identified with the development and progress of Warren County. He constructed a huge brick home on his farm joining Pine Creek. (a portion of his 3 thousand acres). It is now owned by the widow of Dr. Carl Freed.

There are eight cemetries within the township. They are: the Briscoe just east of the old Briscoe School now used as a service station and back in the field on the now J.W. Childeres farm. The Rainsville cemetry about one-half mile south out of Rainsville, probably the only one used to date. another is the Jones or Busselllocated at the end of the old adeway where it joins state road 26. To reach it you must go back through an orchard of the farm of Mrs. Ethel Larm Stemble. Most all of these were pioneers of Pine township. One soldier from ght[?] Civil War was remembered by his sweetheart by the erecting of a monument telling of his regiment, etc. This particular marker has disappeared..Some thought perhaps taken by an antique dealer. Another cemetry is the Hooker located just south of fork of state road 26 and blacktop leading south to Rainsville. Legend has it a maid of Abraham Lincolon is buried there. The Gray cemetry is approximately three miles east and one mile north of Rainsville along side the road. It may also be reached just a way off state road 26 second gravel to the left out of Pine Village going west on 26. The Van Reed cemetry lies along side U.S. highway 41 atop a hill overlooking a small stream near the Pine and Liberty township boundary line. The sixth one is known as the Bartlett cemetry across the creek from Rocky Ford between Big Pine and Mud Pine.
[An eighth is the West Pine cemetry almost to the county line]
At one time there were nine schools within the township. Some of these and their locations are: Cherry Point, located on the northwest corner of the Prostman farm on U.S. 41. The Alexander School was built after Cherry Point closed. This school stood just east of the Alexander place and south of road 26 where it junctions with 41. The Hooker school, which is still standing, is located on route 26 and the Rainsville Road on the Grames property. The Sargent School was located just southwest of the West Pine Chapel in the north west corner of the township. Smith school was built on land owned by William Smith farm nown owned by Morris Roberts, also located along road 26. Cobb school was located on the farm now belonging to Clay Logsdon. The Duvall school was located on the Edgar Akers Creek farm, on the road between Rainsville and Pine Village. The foundation of thie school is still there to tell where the old building once stood. There was a question about a school known as Hickory Grove believed to have been located on the La Gesse farm south of the home of Curtis Smiley south of Pine Village on route 55, and one mile west. Briscoe is still standing along route 41 at the corner of the Tab road leading west and the Rainsville road leading east. It is believed to have been the last school in the township to have been closed about the year 1928. This building remains almost the same from the exterior; but has been converted into a service station[operated by James C. Marquess]. The modern school built in Rainsville the year 1929 is now the only school in the township. It has just a little over 100 students from grades one to eight. It boasts of a modern kitchen and cafeteria built in about 1958. At one time Rainsville was considered the best consolidated school in the entire County. A clinic was held here in 1937 with top students from 7th and 8th grades, principals and trustees from over the county attending. It teaches Spanish therough the media of IMPATI television. In 1962 a correspondent from Farm Journal wrote an article on this modern little school.
The only church now in use in the township is the Rainsville Methodist which was formed in the 1860's. The last two or three years it has been undergoing some "face-lifting". New additions have been added to the rear. Foundations for new class rooms are under way. New paneling and altar have added to the sanctuary. This year the ceiling was lowered.
At one time there were two other churches located in the northern part of the township. One was the West Pine built in 1857. The grounds were dedicated by Jesse Sargent located just inside the northern boundary of Pine township [and one half mile west of Ade Way]. From the time of its erection until other churches were erected it was the principal religious center in both Warren and Benton Counties along lower Mud Pine Creek. The foundation of this old church may be seen on the now Cora Roberts farm. It was nicknamed Yellow Heaven because the interior was once papered with yellow paper which seemed quite peculiar. To this day you can refer to "Yellow Heaven" and everyone knows in which vicinity you refer.
Old Union was located just off the Adeway and about one mile south of the southeast section 33-24-8. In early days it was the most common meeting place of early Methodist, United Brethren, and Baptist.
Pine Creek Methodist Camp is located in the township. It is approximately 231 acres of wood and streams, 3 mile east of Rainsville or 3 mile south of Pine Village off road 55. Camp is held here during summer months and used as winter retreats. It is strictly rustic camping. To date it has a new $30,000 recreation center and a beautiful new dining hall just open to the public the summer of 1963. It benefits those of the Northwest Conference.
At one time three flour mills

Date: 2/1/1965
Origin: Barbara J. Haniford
Author: Barbara J. Haniford
Record ID: 00000106
Type: Periodical
Source Archive: Warren County Historical Society
Date Entered: 10/28/2001
Collection: Pine Township
Entered By: Andy Akers

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