Bath Township is traversed by the Peoria, Pekin & Jacksonville Railroad, which was completed through the town in 1859. A full history of this road is given elsewhere in this work, and will not be repeated in this chapter. It is the only railroad running through Bath, about twelve or thirteen miles of it being in the town. The Springfield & North-Western Railroad, which was completed through from Springfield to Havana in 1873, although not touching this township, receives considerable freight from it, much of the grain in the eastern part of Bath being hauled to Kilbourne and shipped over this road. Thus it will be seen that Bath Township, with the benefit of two railroads and river transportation, is well supplied with shipping facilities.|
Mason County adopted township organization in 1861, when some changes were made in the boundaries of the original townships, or election precincts. Bath formerly included in its boundary one half of the present town of Kilbourne, as noticed in the history of that town. Under the new order of things J. H. Allen was the first Supervisor of Bath Township, while J. H. Dierker represents it at present in the honorable County Board.
In politics, Bath Township has always been Democratic, and, since the organization of the Republican party, it has been more strongly Democratic than ever. During the late war, it was loyal to the core, and furnished troops in excess of all calls. No draft occurred in the town during the entire struggle, and it could have stood another call without having been subjected to one-pretty good evidence in support of Mr. Lincoln's assertion, that he could never put down the rebellion without the assistance of the War Democrats of the West. Bath turned out a number of shoulder-straps, as well as her full quota of muskets. Among the former, we may mention the gallant Ruggles, noticed in the list of early settlers in another page. He went into the war as Lieutenant and Quartermaster of the First Illinois Cavalry, but was soon promoted to Major of the Third Cavalry, and, at the battle of Pea Ridge, to Lieutenant Colonel. At the close of the war, he was breveted Brigadier General for meritorious services. Charles W. Houghton, Captain in the Eighty-fifth Regiment of infantry; T. F. Patterson, Captain in same regiment; Charles H. Chatfield entered as a private, was wounded, came home and veteranized, and was elected Captain in same regiment, and was killed at Chickamauga; Samuel Young was Lieutenant in same regiment; C. H. Raymond, First Lieutenant in same; George O. Craddock, entered as private, and was promoted to a Lieutenancy in same regiment before close of war; A. J. Bruner (killed in Missouri), J. H. Mitchell and A. T. Davis were Lieutenants in the Seventeenth Infantry; J. H. Schulte, Captain, and W. W. Nelson, Lieutenant, in the One Hundred and Eighth Infantry; W. H. Rochester, Lieutenant in Twenty-seventh Infantry; J. W. Chatfield, Second Lieutenant in same regiment; A. H. Frazer, Second Lieutenant, First Lieutenant and then Captain in the Fifty-first Infantry; Robert Huston, Lieutenant in same regiment; Charles Reichman, Second Lieutenant in Twenty eighth Infantry; F. S. Cogshall and W. W. Turner, Lieutenants in Eighty-fifth Infantry; Frank A. Mosely and John B. Brush, Lieutenants in One Hundred and Thirty-ninth Regiment (one hundred days). The rank and file, too numerous to be mentioned in this limited space, were of the sturdy "sons of the soil," who bore themselves bravely in the front of the fray. To those who laid down their lives upon Southern battle-fields, Requiescant in Pace.