My Present Past
A genealogical experience
Wyanet, Illinois
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The very first approach of civilization in Bureau County was commenced in Wyanet Township by Bulbona at
Bulbona Grove. After him came John M. Gay, who settled on section 4. Thomas Washburn came in 1831 and
settled a little west of the county farm on section 23. Benjamin Lamb and James Triplett were also settlers
about 1834. John Phillips settled on section 10 and E Chilson on section 35 and George Coleman made the first
improvements on what is now the county farm in 1833. In 1834, Edward and Aquilla Triplett made claims,
Solomon Sapp, Lemuel and Rufus Carey arrived in 1835. Ellis and Edward Mercer, Milton Cain, Thomas Clark,
William Allen, William Frankenberger and James Hamrick were also among the early settlers. In 1837,
Ellis Mercer built a sawmill on Big Bureau, sections 37 and 27 and the first flouring mill was built on section
35 by Amos Leonard. West Bureau passes through this township and along its course quite a good deal of
timber is found. Center Prairie also in this township, is one of the richest tracts of land in the county.  
Wyanet for many years was one of the best grain markets in this part of the state with the first carload of
grain being shipped in 1854 by William Moffatt. The first warehouse was erected in 1855, including the
Chicago Burlington & Quincy depot, at first being just a rail car, then in 1857 a  permanent depot being
constructed. Wyanet village was laid out in 1856 by Henry King, John Stubbs erected a blacksmith shop and
William Moffatt put up the first house. The first man to establish a place of business the same year was
Franklin Crittenden, which consisted of a home dwelling and store that is now in 1877, the residence of
Albert Hugo. The Wyanet House was built in 1858, also by Frank Crittenden. The town is so well located that
it can choose either the Chicago Rock Island railroad, the Chicago Burlington and Quincy railroad or the
Hennepin canal for the transportation of its products.  

The village was first incorporated in 1857 by a special prior to the general law of 1872.
Wyanet re-incorporated under the general law on May 26th, 1891.
The population of Wyanet Township in 1900 was 901; the Village of Wyanet was 902.
Wyanet Town Officers

    Elijah Hays, 1851
    James Hamrick, 1852-55
    Mark Holroyd, 1856
    E B Triplett, 1857-59
    S M Knox, 1860
    H F Boyce, 1861-62
    D T Nichols, 1863-66
    M M Thompson, 1867-70
    James Hamrick, 1871-76
    S Aldrich, 1877
    Thomas Mowry, 1878-80
    James Hamrick, 1881
    T Clark Hays, 1882-85
    E  Mosher, 1886-88
    W E Sapp, 1889
    T C Hays, 1890-91
    E  Mosher, 1892-95
    John H Olds, 1895-99
    Constance Brown, 1900-06
David Thomas Nichols, wife Hulda and family came to Wyanet,
Bureau County, Illinois in 1853. During his residence in Wyanet, he
was the first agent for the Chicago Burlington & Quincy railroad
from 1854 to 1893. He also served as Town Supervisor from
1863-1866 and was the Trustee for the Village of Wyanet from

1885 History of Bureau County
H C Bradsby
John Engel, wife Jacobina and family came to Wyanet,
Bureau County, Illinois in 1856. He was a farmer and was also
employed as a Teamster from 1861 to 1890, driving the express
wagon carrying mail from Wyanet to Pond Creek.

Jacobina worked at the
Rock Island - C B & Q Junction in Wyanet
helping transfer passengers during the time her son Edward was
employed there as the operator/agent from 1878-1881
1860 Census John Engel
Wyanet, Bureau County, Illinois
1860 Census  David T Nichols
Wyanet, Bureau County, Illinois

In the following pages you will meet and learn about the friends and relatives
of the Nichols and Engel families, who were living in or visited Wyanet,
Illinois from 1855 to 1935. Both families had a very active presence in both
the Wyanet and Bureau County areas.

In the
Railroad section of this site there is an extensive pictorial and
documentary covering the careers of the Nichols and Engel's family, friends
and co-workers.

Background: Sadie Engel's Guest Book 1878-1928
1855 Chicago & Burlington Pass
Issued to D T Nichols, first Railroad Agent
at Wyanet, Illinois