Early Post Office, Stores, Schools, Etc.
A post office called Walker's Grove Post Office was established at the house of James Walker, in 1839. It was on the mail route from Springfield to Havana. James Walker was the first Postmaster. After a period of about eighteen months, it was moved across the river into Menard County. An office was established at the grove, at a later date, and was there in 1854, at which time William Warnock, Jr., now of Mason City, was Postmaster. Jack Close, who afterward occupied rather a prominent place among the early merchants of Havana, had a small country store in the township as early as 1841. This was doubtless the first attempt made at merchandising in this section. Not long after Close began playing merchant, William Walker opened a small stock of dry goods and groceries at the grove. For several years, a small establishment was kept here by different parties, that of William Warnock, Jr., and his uncle being about the last. There is not store in the township at present; those at Kilbourne, Easton and Mason City, are, however, easily accessible to the citizens of Crane Creek. The first schoolhouse built in the township, was on hand belonging to Henry Sears, and was built in 1836. It was rather a rude affair, put up by those in the neighborhood for the benefit of their children. It drew patronage from a large extent of country. William Lease kept the first school and was paid for his services by individual subscription. James Buckner, M. D., was from Kentucky and came to this part of the county in 1839. He was the first physician to locate, and stopped for a time at the residence of John Yardley. He is said to have been a well-read and successful practitioner. The prevailing diseases were bilious and lung fever with an occasional case of chills. Dr. Buckner lived a number of years on rented land in Walker's Grove, and then moved to Petersburg. His last place of residence was near Bloomington, in McLean County, where he died some years ago. Of him Uncle Henry Sears says: "He was a poor man, but every inch a gentleman." Dr. John Morgan was here early, but did not remain long. He had the gift of gab well developed, but his knowledge of medicine was looked upon as being somewhat superficial. He returned to New Orleans whence he came, and has for a number of years past been a resident of Texas. The milling for the earliest settlers was done on the Mackinaw, and at Broadwell's, on the Sangamon. Later, it was obtained at Simmonds' and McHarry's on the Quiver, and, after the building of the Bales' mill, they, for the most part, went to it.|