1879 History of Menard & Mason Counties
Published by: O.L. Baskin & Co., Historical Publishers
186 Dearborn Street

Mason County

Bath Township
Page 564

This township has considerable river-front, and, excepting Lynchburg, is the southwest town of Mason County. It has an area nearly equal to two Congressional towns, embracing about seventy sections, and is some twelve miles long by six to eight miles wide. It is bounded on the north and northwest by Havana Township and the Illinois River, on the west by Lynchburg Township, on the south by the Sangamon River, and on the east by Kilbourne Township. The soil, like that of most of Mason County, partakes of a sandy nature, but is exceedingly fertile, producing corn, oats and wheat in great abundance. At the time of its settlement, about one-third of the land included in Bath Township was timbered, the remainder rolling prairie; well watered by the numerous little lakes here and there, among which may be mentioned Wolf, Wiggenton, Swan, Fish, Goose, Bell, and, perhaps, others, while it is drained by the Illinois and Sangamon Rivers, White Oak Creek and numerous sloughs. Artificial draining has also been added, by the opening of ditches at the public expense. One of these modern but valuable improvements extends through the eastern part of the town, and is known as the Ruggles' Ditch, carrying off the superfluous water, through Jordan Slough, into the Sangamon River; and another in the northeast, Black Jack Ditch, conveys the water, through White Oak Creek, into the Illinois. The "Main Branch" of the Illinois River, as it is termed, and which is the deeper channel, but the narrower, diverges from the broader stream about two miles north of the village of Bath, thereby forming an island west of the village, some six sections in extent, called Grand Island, and containing several farms and residences, to which reference will again be made. The Peoria, Pekin & Jacksonville Railroad, more particularly noticed in the general county history, traverses the entire length of Bath Township, entering the north part through Section 26 and running, in a southwest direction, to the village of Bath, when it takes a course due south, on the section line, crossing the Sangamon River between Sections 29 and 30. This road has been of great benefit to this section in transporting the large quantities of grain produced, and, with the competition afforded by the river, the farmers are enabled to secure reasonable rates of freight. The stations in this town are Bath and Saidora, the history of which will be given in another chapter.

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