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MIDDLETOWNMiddletown is the oldest town in Logan County. Indeed, it was formed before the county existed. It was laid out by Hiram S. Allen, October 13,1832, and consisted of 64 lots, each 60 by 120 feet in size. Not long after the town was laid out, Smith & King opened a small store, probably the first enterprise of the kind in the limits of this county. Their stock of goods was small, and comprised only articles actually needed by the few residents of the country. This firm only continued in business a few years. King died, and, in 1836, Smith left. He was at once succeeded by Colby Knapp, now a resident of Lincoln. anxious to better Mr. Knapp had been a clerk in Baltimore, and, being anxious to better his financial condition and provide a home for old. age, determined come west. This he did soon after his marriage, the journey being performed by a stage, over the mountains to Pittsburgh, thence down the Ohio, up the Mississippi and Illinois Rivers to Pekin, where he alighted, and went soon after to Middletown. Here be succeeded Smith & King in the mercantile business, shipping some goods from Baltimore, and procuring some in St. Louis. His first store was a. frame building. He, in 1840, built a brick house, probably the first brick structure in the county. This was used as a dwelling as well as a store and was at one time the largest store in this part of the state.
The town at first comprised only sixteen acres. In 1836 Colby Knapp and William Glenn, Jr., platted the remainder of the 80 acres and placed the lots on the market. Mr. Knapp was appointed postmaster in 1837. Martin Van Buren was President and Amos Kendall Postmaster General. Prior to this time a post office had been maintained in Irish Grove in what is now Menard County. There was also a Presbyterian church built about 1833 or '34, and here the people in Middletown and surrounding country attended services. Mr. Knapp remained here till 1860. The brick store is yet used for the same purposes. One or two others have since been built. The town, being off the railroad route, never partook of the rapid advancement attained by others more fortunately situated. It now contains about 200 inhabitants and supports a good school and one church. The latter, the Methodist Episcopal, is a comfortable structure and the congregation in a good condition. The schoolhouse was built as early as 1844 or '45. It was afterward enlarged and repaired and, at present, contains two rooms.
In the early days of Middletown, the merchants brought their goods from St. Louis to Pekin by water, unless the river was too low for boats to run, when they were compelled to haul from the city across the country. As the town was on the route from that city to Chicago two mails were left here and often, when the rivers were high, over a wagonload of mail matter would accumulate.
The advent of the railroad in 1853 put a stop to all hope for a large town here and since that time it has about held its own.