The village of Bath was originally incorporated under a special act of the Legislature, approved February, 1857. The charter was prepared by Gen. Ruggles with great care, and is said to have been the best and most perfect instrument of its kind in the State of Illinois. An election was held on the first Monday in April of the same year, which resulted in the election of J. M. Ruggles, Harvey Oneal, B. H. Gatton, Samuel Young and Richard Bigsby, Town Councilmen. The Board organized by electing B. H. Gatton, President; G. H. Campbell, Clerk and Treasurer; James M. Robinson, Police Magistrate, and John H. Johnson, Town Constable. It remained under this style of government until 1876, when it was organized under the general law, and the following Board of Trustees elected, viz.: Warren Heberling, F. S. Cogeshall, B. H. Gatton, P. Perkins and J. S. Allen. This Board was organized with B. H. Gatton, President, and L. Carpenter, Clerk and Treasurer. At present the Board consists of John L. Rochester, J. H. Allen, A. Schaaf, M. Frank, John R. Horstman and J. H. Daniels. John L. Rochester is President of the Board; L. Carpenter, Clerk; H. Middlecamp, Treasurer, and G. W. Moore, Police Magistrate.|
The cemetery on the southern limits of the village is a beautiful burying-ground, inclosed by a handsome fence, and kept in most excellent order. The first interment in its "silent shades" was a daughter of Col. West. She was teaching school at Virginia, Cass County, at the time of her death and her father (Col. West) came to Gen. Ruggles and suggested the propriety of a burying-ground being laid off, and remarked that he would like to bring his daughter here for interment. Ruggles went and staked off the present cemetery, saw the parties who owned the land, and arranged for its purchase. Having surveyor's instruments, he surveyed it and laid off the lots before the first burial in it. Since then, many of the pioneers of the village and township have been laid beneath its weeping willows, to take their last long sleep.
"Where are their spirits flown?
Although the business of Bath has been waning for several years, as other villages have sprung up in its vicinity, yet it is the center of trade for a large and rich scope of country. Its grain trade has always been its most valuable branch of business. Its mercantile trade boasts of some able firms and energetic and wide-awake business men. The following summary shows the present status of the business of the place: Two dry-goods stores, two drug stores, two tinware, one hardware, four grocery stores, one furniture, one hotel, with blacksmith, wagon and shoe shops, grain dealers, etc. Several well-filled millinery stores furnish the fair portion of the population with all the fashionable flummery and female toggery of the times.
Saidora Station, in the south part of the town, has scarcely attained to the dignity of a village. It consists of a store, depot and grain elevator, but has never, we believe, been laid out as a village. The station is located on the land of Joseph Adkins, and the only store of the place is kept by a son of Adkins, who also buys grain for Low & Foster, of Havana. Large shipments are made from this point, considering its close proximity to Bath and Chandlerville.