Union County Genealogical Society

Grant Township

Grant is the southeast township in the west half of Union County.  Several small creeks run through the township and can provide some water for livestock.  The government survey was made during the years of 1848-1849.
The first settler building the first log cabin in Grant Township was Amos Ames, who in the summer of 1854 located in the grove (became known as Ames’ Grove) near the south line of section 34.  His claim, entered from the government, included land in both Union and Ringgold counties.  He had previously entered land in Platte Township but sold his claim to Reuben Madden.  Maddens’ grove was a part of the original Ames’ claim.
The same summer Samuel Ruby settled on the southwest quarter of section 34, but sold the following fall to John Shockey.  John Thompson settled in section 2 in 1856.  John Cain and A. J. Snyder became residents about the same time.  From this time until the B & M railroad reached the county settlers came very slowly and not until 1870 was the number of settlers in the township sufficient to warrant its separate organization.  The board of county supervisors’ record shows a resolution making the township a civic precinct on 06 September 1870 and giving it the name Grant in honor of President U. S, Grant.  Twenty-six voters participated in the election and the first officers were Joseph Peery, S. H. Beall and Saul Richards, trustees; R. J. McKee, clerk; and George A. Ide, assessor.
The pioneers in their isolation and solitude were conscious of the need of church advantages for themselves and their families.  Until schoolhouses were built, religious services were often held in the homes of the settlers.  In the spring of 1871, a union Sabbath school was organized in the northwest part of the township.  Five families constituted the membership and the school met from house to house with the members, rotating in regular order.  When a new schoolhouse was built it was used for the meeting place.  From this school a Methodist class was formed andd services were conducted by an ordained minister for several years.
Shannon City was the only town developed in Grant Township, earning post office status in 1887..  The site was selected by the Chicago Great Western Railway when their engineers surveyed the line through the county in 1887.  The land on which the original town site was surveyed and platted in 1888, was owned by Preston Bilderback and M. C. McCright.  The town was located first on the Ringgold County side and was called Loomis or Shannon.  But fire destroyed the first stores on the Ringgold side.  New business buildings were built on the north-south street and City was added to the name thus becoming Shannon City. The town quickly became a boom town with three stores, a blacksmith shop, two hotels, hardware, grain dealer, livery, and a coal dealer within a year.  Information from 1908 Union County History by George A Ide
Grant Township is home to two cemeteries, Harmony Cemetery also know as Mound Cemetery and the Ide Cemetery.