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Media Township History

Years ago when Margie Barber and I were discussing early history of this township, she gave me this history of the area-commemoration of the town of Media's 125th birthday, these articles written by Faree Mathers are being shared.--Virginia Ross

Part IX

The first cemetery in the township was the Walnut Grove Cemetery which consisted of 3 acres of land which was set apart by Mr. Davidson as a burying ground. The South Prairie Cemetery was situated on a high eminence overlooking the Ellison Creek. It was set apart by Mr. Adair on whose farm it was situated.


The farmers in this community were very glad when they were told that there was to be a railroad built in the township. They could take their grain to the Davidson grist mill built near the springs which are across the road north of the Santa Fe Big Bridge. They had it ground here, but they had to haul it to Biggsville or Kirkwood to have it shipped.

This part of the country was called Subena before the A.T.S.F. Railroad was built. Smithshire was known as Smithdale and Stronghurst was once called Cleveland, then Forthurst and when the Santa Fe R.R. was built, they named it Stronghurst, Strong after the President of the R.R. and Hurst after the Vice-President. In February of 1887 the right-of-way was surveyed and on November 6, 1887 a ceremony was held some 80 roads west of the depot which linked the east and west portions of the Santa Fe Railroad. This spot is 206 miles from Chicago and an equal distance from Kansas City. The Santa Fe called this place Media because it was midway between Chicago and Kansas City and Galesburg and Ft. Madison. Media means middle. It has an elevation of 675 feet.

The depot was the first building erected in Media in December 1887 and January 1888 beside the single track. The first Santa Fe operator was Theodore Voorhees. The second tract was laid about 1905. The old open wooden big bridge was replaced by a closed-in one of concrete and steel. This made it safer for everything going over it. After the railroad was built the name of the township was no longer called Walnut Grove Township but Media Township.

In 1888 Earnest Stoutesman Mathers had a house moved up along the north side of the railroad track west of the depot. This was the first home in Media occupied by him his wife and baby Nellie. The public road went in front of the house but later was closed.