Money Creek, Illinois Roads

In the early history of this settlement, Indian trails were the only roads. There was a very prominent trail passing through the settlement, which connected the Wabash with the Illinois. Indian paths, of course, followed the most direct and convenient course. The first road made by white men did the same. Many of these became regularly-established highways, and, as a result, we find the township crossed in all directions by roads that follow section or half-section lines but little. In townships that are composed of prairie-lands almost wholly, we naturally look for roads on every section line, but, where there has been a considerable amount of timber, it is not so. Accordingly, we find a number of section lines that are not authorized highways.

The principal road through the township is the Lexington and Bloomington road. It enters the township from the southwest, with the Chicago, Alton & St. Louis Railroad. Afterward, it passes a short distance north, and then one mile cast; thence one mile north and one-fourth mile west; thence one-half mile north ; after that, one and one-half miles east; one and one-fourth miles north again, and from this point, in a northeasterly direction, through the remainder of the township. Another much-traveled road, is the one leading north from Towanda village. It follows the section-line between Sections 31 and 32 and 35 and 29 ; here it meets the road extending across the township, on the north side of the second tier of sections, from the south.

A strangely-zigzag road passes north, through the second tier of sections, from the west. It extends through the township, and though it makes many turns, it never passes outside of the second tier of sections.

There are a number of oblique roads, the most noticeable being the following: A road, beginning one-fourth mile north of the southwest corner of Section 15, and extending northeasterly, crossing a branch of the Mackinaw on an iron bridge; a road beginning at the southeast corner of Section 2, and passing partly in a zigzag course, and partly in a northwestern direction, through the old site of Clarksville, to the northern line; from the iron bridge on the branch of the Mackinaw, first due north three fourths of a mile, and then in a zigzag and oblique direction to the northwest. Although the roads of Money Creek are thus seen to cut the farms in many places, they furnish shorter routes to market, and any inconvenience is thus overcome by a positive benefit.

The origin of the name Money Creek; is shrouded in mystery. There are. two theories afloat, that we hear of.

“Ever since the days of Capt. Kidd,
The Yankee thinks there’s money hid,”

and ever since the oldest settlements, there has been a legend afloat in regard to the hiding of some money at Smith’s Grove, by some one, who died and left it buried there. It was told how great wealth might possibly be found there. As this story was circulated very early, it may have given rise to the name as applied to the creek.

Again, it is said that some Indians found a piece of money along the creek; and gave it the name of Money Creek, from this fact.


Le Baron, William., Jr. & Co. The History of McLean County, Illinois: portraits of early settlers and prominent men. Chicago. W. Le Baron, Jr., 1879.

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