Erienna Township

5140 N Nettle School Rd, , Morris, Illinois 60450
815-351-1465 | |

History of Erienna Township

History of Erienna Township, Illinois

by GrundyILGW | Feb 6, 2015 | History | 0 comments

How was Erienna Township Named?

The most likely source for the township name is the "Erie" Canal suffixed with -enna.

A large number of the people who built the Erie Canal in New York also worked on the Illinois and Michigan Canal, and many of them settled in the Will-Grundy-LaSalle area after work on the I&M Canal was completed in the 1840's.

Erienna Township was established November 6, 1849. 

Earliest Settlers

One of the earliest settlers in Grundy County was Isaac Hoge, who came to Erienna Township and took up land along Nettle Creek. Probably the only other one was William Marquis, who preceded him by a short time. Finding it possible to make a comfortable home here, Mr. Hoge married, settled on his first selection of land and later bought extensively, becoming one of the very large landowners of this section.

Horrom City was staked out in 1836 by Doctor Horrom, for whom it was named. It existed chiefly on paper. A stage line which lived but a short time passed near it, but as this did not pay, the place was really nothing but a name told except in records; it is forgotten.

O. Cone came here in 1840, making the trip by wagon, and rented land from Isaac Hoge, but later bought property of his own on Section 2. The year 1842 brought Messrs. Kennedy and Kendricks, who came with the idea of working on the canal, but they were so pleased with the locality that they settled on Section 7. Abraham Holderman arrived in 1845 or 1846. Charles Moody came in 1848, becoming one of the early developers of the township.

Columbus Pinney located on Section 12, this township, in the spring of 1880, and founded what was known as Castle Danger, one of the very first hotels of this region. He also kept the stage line station, and the stable in which he housed the horses stood for many years, although the hotel did not outlive the period of its usefulness. Considerable interest has been shown in trying to discover the reason for giving the hotel that name. Some hold to the theory that it was so called because some of the prairie bandits, who infested the region in the early days, found here a safe refuge, but no authentic confirmation of this can be gained.

The hotel/inn was located in an area that became the town of Clarkson.  This town was considered as a location for the county seat, however, Morris was selected when it was known as Grundyville.  Completion of the I&M Canal resulted in the abandonment of Clarkson, another village that lives but in memory.


Stockdale is a station in Erienna Township on the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific Railroad. Although it practically consisted of nothing but the railroad station and stock sheds, it was a place of great importance. Here immense consignments of cattle and sheep from western shippers were unloaded and kept until sufficiently recovered from the hardship of the long trip across country, and restored to their original weight by careful feeding and watering. From Stockdale these consignments, when in proper condition, were forwarded to the Chicago stock yards.

The Chicago and Illinois Valley Railway (later known as the Chicago, Ottawa and Peoria Electric Railway) operated an interurban line through the county and township during the early portion of the 20th century until its abandonment in 1934. It provided passenger service from Princeton to Joliet (with connections to Chicago) stopping at all towns in between and at numerous road crossings.  The Old Stage Road was the first main east-west artery and also paralleled the mentioned rail route.


Two cemeteries are found in this township, one on Section 5, known as Hatcher’s Cemetery, and the other known as Hoge Cemetery which is located on Section 7.


The schools of Erienna were conducted under the magnificent system that prevails throughout Grundy County, and pupils and teachers were united in their efforts to bring the work of the township up to standard and maintain it at that high point