WIth the influx of settlers, the township was organized in 1850. At about 1853, William and Evelyn
Riley, the first settlers of Mineral, obtained from Mr. Phillips, a large portion of land in a trade for three yoke of oxen
and a new wagon. The land north of the railroad is known as Riley's addition to Mineral and was the first section of
the village built up.
The village was platted by William Riley in 1857. This was just north of his farm. Riley soon built
a fine home and soon donated the home for the first school in Mineral. Daily attendence average 15 pupils. A two-room
school building was built soon after and served until 1870. It was in that year that land was purchased and a large
school built on the site. An early teacher was Lieutenant C.G. Heaps. In 1883, the first P.T.A. was formed.
(possibly the first in Illinois, maybe even the nation!)
The building first used as a school (assuming that was the home that William Riley donated to be used
as a school), was later moved a block west and became the Baptist Church. It was later moved again to the east
end of Main Street where it was purchased by the American Legion Clark-Carrington Post. The legion used that as
its home until it was demolished to make way for the Mineral Post Office.
William Riley was the first postmaster of the village and the first agent for the railroad.
Some early records show Riley Squires as the first child born in Mineral Township and G.T.A. Squires as
the second. W.S. Reed was another of the first born in the new township.
Another pioneer of the early times was Dr. George Stone, who located on a farm owned by the Lyon family
and the Kenneth Bennett family. Dr. Stone was the father of H.A. Stone and was a renowned specialist in the cure of
cholera. He purchased "one-eighty" of his farm through the sale of a horse for $75.
In 1868, the first elevator was built, with managers Hiram Stone and a Mr. Whitmore. As Mineral proved
to be a great grain shipping point, in regards to the railroad, another elevator was built and operated by the Farmer's Company.
Mineral is also said to have been the best shipping point for grain around from Rock Island to Chicago.
In 1883, an Educational Association, which was connected with the County Association, was organized.
In 1894, two new 10-acre sections were added to the village, purchased from Charles Tomlinson and Thomas Durack. In
the early 1890's, a blacksmith and wagon shop was run by A.M. Laird for many years. It was purchased by John Christian.
In 1889, Pollard and Goff of Mason County, Il. secured the contract to dredge the large wet tract north
of Mineral (Gold Township). This section of land is known as Goose Pond. Dredging helped to drain the land
and furnished outlets for the tile which had been laid. The process reclaimed 10,000 or more acres of rich farming
lands and was finished in 1902."
The following further information was found on what was once Mineral's official website. It stated,
The early 1900s saw the completion of the Hennepin Canal just north of Mineral. By the time it was
officially completed (1907) however, the use of the train had made it fairly obsolete. Between World War I
and World War II Mineral hit a population peak of about 350 residents.
After World War II the country saw its industrial serge. The farm implement industry in the "Quad
Cities" brought many jobs for people in the area, this included several men from Mineral.
It is said in the article, that at Mineral's peak, there were two restarurants, three bars, a grocery
store, a barber shop, an upholstery shop, a heating and plumping store, a lumber yard, two grain elevators, three
gas stations, a welding shop, and a motel. The Grand Army Highway known as U.S. Route 6 was given a great deal of
credit for this activity being brought into town.
The 1960s brought even more progress, this time in a bad way for Mineral. Interstate Highway
80 was created just north of town. This new route took virtually all foreign traffic away from Mineral's business district.
It is said that the Mineral town board was given the opportunity to have exit and entrance ramps built for Mineral
on I-80. Rumors of the day are that the board members of that time feared the type of traffic the new highway would
bring would include bad growth for our small town. Therefore the members voted against this proposal.
There is much more information we would like to share regarding Mineral's wonderful past. This
page will include a "memories" section for those of us who remember more details of Mineral's history that we learned
or experienced while growing up. If you have memories or knowledge you wish to share on this page, please write
to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.