My Present Past
A genealogical experience
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Genesco, Illinois
In population, wealth and business importance, this is the chief town in Henry County, Illinois. It is situated
on the Chicago Rock Island & Pacific Railroad, twenty six miles east of Rock Island and one hundred and fifty
nine miles  west by south from Chicago, in one of the richest agricultural sections of the Prairie State. The
surrounding country is thickly populated and cultivated, presenting in every direction a succession of well
improved farms, farm houses and orchards, which bespeak the enterprise, thrift and wealth of the
inhabitants.

In the winter of 1836 the families of Cromwell K Bartlett, Culver Bartlett, Elisha Cone, Rueben Cone and
Roderick R Stewart settled in what is now the town of Genesco, Illinois. The families of Henry Manville and
John C Ward arrived in the spring of 1837 after enduring severe hardships during their ill fated attempt to
travel to  Genesco from New York in December of 1836.

Elisha Cone built the first cabin and John C Ward the first frame house and opened the first store. The first
crops were planted in the spring of 1837.

In the winter of 1837-38 James M Allen went to Vandalia, Illinois and secured a separate organization of
Henry County, it having been under the jurisdiction of Knox County. At the first county election in June of
1837, thirty seven votes were polled.

The Chicago Rock Island Railroad was surveyed in 1850 and completed through the county by 1854. Once the
railroad started running, the town of Genesco came to life with over one hundred new buildings erected
including the first brick business house being built by the Perry bothers. The cabin of Roderick Stewart was
converted to the first hotel in town, also in that same year.

In 1855 over seventy new buildings were built and on February 14, 1855, Genesco was incorporated as a town
and remained under that form of government until February 16, 1865, when it was incorporated as a city, by
the Illinois Legislature.

In June of 1856  I. S. Hyatt issued the first paper of the Genesco Republic from the building on Main
Street, occupied by J. S. Hutchins as a furniture store. The paper failed and passed into the hands of J. M.
Allan and O. A. Turner in February of 1858 and was then purchased within a month by Merritt Munson.
In December of 1858 the paper was again purchased by two other investors, George Hobbs and George Lewis
and in November of 1863 Mr. Hobbs acquired the interest of Mr. Lewis. In the summer of 1862 Major James
M. Hosford commenced the publication of the Union Advocate in the rooms of the bank building on Main
Street but due to Major Hosford's commitment to the Great War, the paper suffered and it was then
purchased by Adam Lieberknecht in November of 1863. On November 18, 1863 the Republic and Advocate
were consolidated into one paper and published under the name of The Genesco Republic.
1837 Illinois General Assembly
Henry County, Illinois  Pg 90
1837 Illinois General Assembly
Henry County, Illinois  Pg 91
Above:
1840 Census James M Allen
Genesco, Henry County, Illinois
Line #26

Left:
1837 Laws of Illinois passed by the
Tenth General Assembly
December 05 to March 06, 1837
Vandalia, Illinois.
1840 United States Census Genesco,
Illinois


Harry Manville- Line #13
Cromwell Bartlett- Line #14
Culver Bartlett- Line #03
Roderick Stewart- Line #05
Elisha Cone- Line #12
Rueben Cone- Line #07
John C Ward- Line #04
1850 Census
A. W. Perry and Mathew Perry Merchants
Genesco, Illinois
1860 Census
Adam Leiberknecht
Genesco, Illinois
1860 Census
George Hobbs and George Lewis
Genesco, Illinois
1860 Census
J. S. Hutchins
Genesco, Illinois
The town of Genesco, Illinois was named by
Roderick Stewart after the town he came
from, Genesco, New York
The town was platted by Mr Seymour on
December 13, 1837.