Albany Township

From Bent-Wilson History Book, 1877
Posted by Bob Mosher
The present township of Albany first formed a part of Van Buren Precinct, remaining so, however, only a short time, when it was set off as a Precinct by itself, and included within its boundaries the present townships of Newton and Garden Plain. In 1852 it was made a township by the Commissioners appointed by the County Commissioners' Court, and is described as fractional township twenty-one north of the base line, range two east of the 4th Principal Meridian. The township along the river until the Meredocia is reached, is made up principally of high bluffs, thence along the Meredocia it is low with frequent sloughs. The balance of the town is sufficiently rolling to render cultivation certain at every season. The low lands have also been brought to a great degree under cultivation. Besides the Mississippi River, which flows on the north and northwest boundaries, the town is watered by the Meredocia on the west, and Spring Creek in the northeast part. Upon the farm of W. S. Booth, situated on the latter creek, about one mile south of the Village of Albany, the Spring Creek Union Agricultural Society holds its annual fairs.

The Meredocia which borders the township partly on the west, and flows through a portion of it, is of peculiar formation. The marsh or stream extends from the Mississippi to Rock river, with a divide of high land in the center. This high land divides the stream, the eastern part flowing to Rock river, and the western part to the Mississippi river. In times of extreme high water in either river the divide is overflowed, the highest stream passing into the other. In 1849 at the breaking up of the ice in Rock river a gorge was formed below the point where the Meredocia enters that stream, causing the ice and water to flow through the Meredocia to the Mississippi with such force as to destroy the bridge over the former near its confluence with the latter. Many years ago Capt. H. H. Gear and others, of Galena, laid out a town at the Mississippi mouth of the Meredocia, intending to cut a canal from river to river, the idea being to avoid the rapids at Rock Island, and have steamers take the Rock river up to this canal and then follow it back to the Mississippi; but after making a careful survey of Rock river from its mouth up, greater obstructions were found there than at the rapids, and the project was abandoned.

At the election held on the 4th of November, 1851, under the act of the General Assembly of the State providing for township organization, Albany cast 59 votes in favor of such organization to 19 against it. The first town meeting under the new law was held at the public school house in the village of Albany, on the 6th day of April, 1852. The name of the Moderator does not appear in the record.

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