Dorchester History, Newspaper Articles, Macoupin County
©1997 Cindy Leonard and Mary McKenzie
Newspaper Article on Dorchester Macoupin County IL
contributed by Cindy Leonard
Carlinville Free Democrat July 14, 1859 - Page 3: Dorchester--Where is it? While stopping at a hotel in the north part of the county, a day or two since, we noticed upon the wall, a finely executed plat of a city. Its magnificent avenues, numerous streets and blocks and more especially its spacious public parks, all dotted with stately trees of luxuriant foliage, attracted our attention. We thought we were gazing upon the map of an eastern city and judge of our surprise when, upon more critical examination, we found that a city of such vast proportions and exceeding loveliness was located in Macoupin county, somewhere near the Terre Haute Road--exactly where no one could inform us. Could it be that so beautiful and grand a city had existed in our own county unbeknown to us? Can anyone inform us where Dorchester is located and by whom inhabited?
Dorchester Macoupin County IL History
contributed by Mary McKenzie
Excerpted from the Macoupin Times, Carlinville, August 20, 1868, page 4. and the Bunker Hill Gazette, July 13, 1876, page 1.
The post office at Dorchester was established 1 Aug 1860. Dorchester was incorporated as a village 2 Mar 1875. In 1875, Dorchester's RFD postal route included Bayless, formerly Baylestown, and before Baylestown Bayless was called. Boylestown. Bayless is now part of Dorchester and in the part of Dorchester which lies in Gillespie Township.
Dorchester is located in Sections 4 and 5 of Dorchester Township. Dorchester is five miles from Bunker Hill. Dorchester's population was 155 in 1980 and, in 1990, the population was 145.
The first settle was T R Hayden who owned the large tract of land where the town now stands. In 1859, Alonzo Cutler owned some of the land where the town now stands and layed out a portion of his land in town lots. In 1860 T R Hayden followed Cutler's land development and layed some of his own land in land lots. Mr Reece Bayless layed some of his land into town lots about a half mile east which is now known as Baylesstown. When the question where to put a railroad switch in at Dorchester, Bayless or between, Col Moore was called in to settle the dispute. T R Hayden agreed to grade the sidetrack and ready it for ties and iron. Col Moore settled the question by putting the switch where it is. If the switch had been more centrally located to both towns, Dorchester and Bayless would have been one town.
In 1862, W T Hayden was the first railroad agent and B T Williamson was the first postmaster in 1861. The first school was established in a small building in Hayden's addition by 1863 and different religious denominations began using the school building for worship in 1863.
Dorchester had always had a saloon or bar. By 1876, Dorchester had 350 citizens, two churches, school, country store, one wagon and carriage shop, two blacksmith shops, one boot and shoe shop a good house for handling grain and hay, two hotels and boarding houses, postoffice, and railroad depot and ticket office.
Other names in the articles include Dewhurst, Luke Dillard, John Richards, Cummings, Williamson, Peter Rice, Dr Erwin, Meyers, Gregg, Calvin, Bless, August Kardell, Jas Gibson, Peter Conrad, Jt DeDaun, and Gaunt.
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