Montgomery County (IL)
Genealogical Society

Forgotten Towns in Montgomery County

     Audubon was laid out in 1834 by a colony of emigrants from Massachusetts.  At one time Audubon competed with Hillsboro for the county seat.  Audubon enjoyed a few years of prosperity, then the town began to fade.  The courthouse was sold to the Methodist's, the magnificent hotel was torn down and a farm house was built from it.  Some buildings were moved into Nokomis.
     Chance, another town laid out by William Wood, was located across the railroad tracks from the town of Melrose, that he had previously sold.  Mr. Wood moved his store building from Melrose to his new town of Chance.  William Wood died in 1873.  Chance is part of present day Witt.
Frametown, Hillcrest, Summit Heights
Became "additions" to Taylor Springs.
     Grisham, a town platted in Section 7 of Grisham Township, in the early 1900's was attempted by S. P. Chapin and others.  Lots were sold, but failing to secure the sinking of a coal shaft, as had been promised, the lot owners refused to build.  As a result, the proposed town site was abandoned.  1918 Historical Ency of Montgomery County, page 877.

     Hamilton, the first county seat, was located in Hillsboro Township.  The town was laid out, lots were sold, and a few houses built, though no court house or other public buildings were erected.  Shortly after the town was laid out, the location of the county seat was changed to Hillsboro, as it was more centrally located in the county.
     According to the 1882 History of Bond & Montgomery County, IL, page 220, "From its ruins, however, arose eventually, the village of Woodsboro, which was laid out very near if not at the same place where Hamilton had formerly stood.  It is not believed at present that Woodsboro was laid out in the same location as Hamilton, but one to two miles to the west of the site.
     Hardinsburg was located in Section 7 of South Litchfield Township.  The town was laid out in 1850 consisting of 17 blocks, with 8 lots each, and several families built homes there.  A Methodist Chapel was built in 1853 or 1854.  Hardinsburg was the only village between Woodsboro & Bunker Hill.  With the building of the Indianapolis & St. Louis Railroad, the founding of Litchfield just a couple of miles to the northeast, the village of Hardinsburg disappeared.  Families moved with their buildings into the new town of Litchfield.
     Huntsville was the original name when the initial survey was made for present day Litchfield in the fall of 1853.  The survey consisted of "a cornfield was converted into 236 lots and this 80 acres was the beginning of Huntsville, today called Litchfield."  Litchfield Centennial 1853-1953, page 16.   The name of Huntsville was changed to Litchfield when the railroad was built to honor Electus Bachus Litchfield, Director of Terre Haute and Alton Railroad.
     Hurricane was the original name of VanBurensburg.
     Leesburg, named after Robert E. Lee, a wholesale merchant of St. Louis and whose name the land was entered, was laid out into town lots about the year 1828.  Its name was later changed to Zanesville.
     Melrose was founded by William Wood (of Woodsboro, then Butler) in late 1868.  He built a store facing that part of the Nokomis-Hillsboro Road he named Talmadge Street.  It was parallel to and one block north of the Indianapolis & St. Louis Railroad.  Witt Centennial 1868-1968, page 7.  In February 1869, William Wood sold seventy acres in Section 5 & 6 to Thos. Saunders of Philadelphia for $25 per acre.  This included Wood's town of Melrose consisting of 9 blocks laid out on 3 streets all north of the railroad.  The town's name of Melrose was unable to get a post office as there was another town by that name and was renamed Witt.
     Paisley was a small village consisting of 60 acres, founded by George William Paisley.  Mr. Paisley bought his land north of Witt in 1879.  In 1894, he purchased more land southwest of the original town and sank a coal mine.  He built his own town and named it Paisley.  He built a depot and post office, but had trouble convincing both the railroad and the federal government that another depot and post office were needed only one mile from the already established ones in Witt.  Paisley was annexed into Witt in 1905.
Another name for Kortkamp along the Illinois Central Railroad per Rand McNally.
     Woodsboro was laid out in 1848 in Hillsboro Township where the Springfield & Greenville road crossed the Hillsboro & St. Louis road, about 3 miles southwest of Hillsboro on the William Wood farm.  William Wood, after whom the town was named, succeeded in getting a post office in 1848.  Woodsboro flourished until about 1853 when the Indianapolis & St. Louis Railroad was built through Butler.  Mr. Wood moved to Butler, and then to the Witt area. 
     "A church of the Methodist denomination was built at Woodsboro", 1882 History of Bond & Montgomery Counties, IL - page 220.  This church was located on the west side of what is now Miller Trail, between Walshville Trail and Farm Trail.  This church was destroyed in 1883 during the devastating tornado.
     Originally called Leesburg, Zanesville was at one time considered the second most important place in the county.  By 1830, the town had a large store, businesses of various kinds, a school, and lots were sold rapidly.  Zanesville was located in the northwest corner of Section 7 of Zanesville Township.