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

Mason County

Crane Creek Township
Page 660

Casting our mental vision backward along the stream of time half a century, we behold the region of country now embraced in Mason County one unbroken wilderness. Here and there, near some point of timber, or hard by the bank of some creek or bubbling brooklet, might be found the log cabin of the sturdy pioneer, with a few acres rudely cultivated. These were the only indications of an approaching civilization. Emigrants, regarding these plains and sand ridges as fit only to unite other and better portions of the country, avoided them as unworthy of their notice. Now and then one from a passing train dropped out, more from necessity than choice, and started an improvement. In this manner the earliest settlements in the county were made. The settler very soon discovered, however, that the forbidding appearance of the surface was a false indication, that an exuberance of productive power lay here concealed under an exterior show of poverty. This fact being discovered led to a steady, uniform and onward progress in the settlement and development of the territory. Despised and neglected as she was in the beginning, Mason County to-day may safely challenge the State to produce better crops with an equal amount of cultivation. Crane Creek Township, one of the civil divisions of the county, is situated south of the center, and, in extent, contains a little more than one Congressional township. Originally, it embraced the eastern half of what is now Kilbourne Township. It is bounded, north and east, by Sherman and Salt Creek Townships respectively; south by the Sangamon River, and west by Kilbourne Township. The surface is about equally divided between prairie and woodland. The extreme southern portion of this section is subject to overflow, and is valuable for pasturage only. The southwestern part of the timber district has a fine growth of young and valuable timber which has sprung up within the memory of some of the earlier settlers yet living. A county ditch crosses the northwest corner and, with its tributaries, drains a large extent of its productive land. Much of the timber-land is high and broken, and the soil of an unproductive nature. Yardley, Revis and Long Lakes are small bodies of water found in the south part of the township, tributary to the Sangamon River. Taken throughout its entire extent, it is not the best, nor yet the least productive of the various divisions of the county. In point of settlement, it reaches back through a period of fifty years, and to this feature of its history we will now direct our attention.

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