Indian Creek History

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A Brief History of Indian Creek Subdivision

by Ron Parsons

 

< - Indian Creek in 1978 (see larger photo below)

Indian Creek is located two miles due north of Towanda on the east side of County Road 1900 and is completely contained within section 29 of Money Creek Township. It is roughly 200 acres and contains about 90 homes.

The area that we know as Indian Creek subdivision was covered by a glacier about 12-15,000 years ago during the last ice age that created the Bloomington Moraine.  As the ice receded it created a number of drainage rivers and Indian Creek was on the banks of one of these in what geologists call an "area of discontinuity". This explains why well water was so elusive when the subdivision was created. There were six test wells created and they all had a wide range of characteristics including depth and quality of potable water.

More recent history of this land included occupation by Pottawatomie and Kickapoo Indians up until about 1830. The area around Money Creek was a campground. A longtime resident of Towanda, Lyle Merritt, has found more than forty arrowheads in this area.

The original owner of most of Indian Creek was a family named Moates. They occupied the land after it was surveyed in the 1830s. Later the Underwood family owned the property for nearly 50 years. The Underwoods had a log cabin which was located just north and east of the current water tower. During the first half of the 20th century, this area was known by local residents as "the campground". Even more recently most of the property was owned by a veterinarian named Wainscott along with the Rudisill, Slagel, Sachs and Funk families. Up until the 1960s there was a wiggle in Road 1900E near the water tower in order to go around the settlement of the First United Brethren Church in Illinois. The original church was torn down in 1911 near where a marker currently exists next to the water tower. The church was actually on the west side of the original road 1900.

A partnership consisting of lawyer Leon Zanoni, realtor Paul Ball, and banker Jerry Gummere bought the property for development in the late 1970s with Peoples Bank as trustee. At that time, the area generally bounded by 1900E and Candle Ridge Road was tillable farm land. The part on the other side of Money Creek where Bent Tree Lane is located was pasture land up to 10 Bent Tree Lane. Beyond that point was virgin woodland. When the back part of Indian Creek was surveyed by Farnsworth and Wyle, there was no bridge across Money Creek .  Access was gained by a path beginning at the extreme southwest corner of the common ground and fording Money Creek at a shallow rock bottom point just north of where a long I-beam used as a footbridge existed. The bridge across Money Creek was built in 1979.

The original plans for Indian Creek called for three tennis courts to be located on the common area between Money Creek and 6 Eastwood Court. In the late 1970s interest rates were soaring near 18% for mortgages and the lots were not selling well. The tennis court plans were dropped. Originally the developers reserved three lots for themselves (8 Eastwood Court, 2 Bent Tree Lane, and 5 Eastwood Court). By the early 1980s these three lots were opened up to the public. But probably the best indication of developer angst was  rerouting of the path of Bent Tree Lane. The original plat as prepared by Farnsworth and Wylie showed the lane essentially going straight after it made its initial bend to the north. No lots were selling on Bent Tree Lane, but Bob Bouck indicated he would buy and build a home if they would reroute the lane to make 7 Bent Tree Lane larger. They did, hence the curve at that location. Lots still were not selling well and the partnership broke up and subdivision sales were taken over by Bloomington Federal Savings and Loan.

The first home built and occupied was at 2 Timber Creek Court in 1979 by the W. Charles and Lana Trickett family. The first home occupied in the back part was at 7 Bent Tree Lane and was owned by Bob and Carolyn Bouck in 1980.

 A few words are in order to help explain some names in Indian Creek.  Indian Creek is a euphemism for Money Creek.  Obviously, the name Indian comes from the aforementioned tribes that once inhabited the area. The street known as Eastwood Court is named after a farm family that once farmed a part of the subdivision and still farm ground to the north and east of the subdivision. Bent Tree Lane gets its name from a stately old Maple tree that died in the mid 1990's at 14 Bent Tree Lane.

The first Homeowners Board consisted of Bob Bouck, Pete Ingham, Tim Donaldson , Ben Daily,  and Ron Parsons.

This picture was take in October, 1978, one year before the bridge was built across Money Creek.  The focus is facing in a southwest direction and the camera was on what is now 4 Bent Tree Lane.  Bent Tree Lane was later paved on a course generally following the path shown.  The children are Kathy and Jeff Parsons.  The lack of underbrush is explained by the fact that this area was used as pasture land for cattle.

Approximately the same location today, from Parson's yard.
Bent Tree Lane is on the other side of the trees.

 

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This page was last updated Wednesday February 15, 2012.