Three years after the organization of Adams county the first settlement of this township was made, having been first settled by Jacob Franks and A. N. Penrod, in the fall of 1828. On Dec. 6, 1831, David Locke and Joseph Linthieum came; Dixon Tungate and N. D. Harris came in 1832; Aberdeen Mallet came in 1833. Henry Lile was also one of the first settlers. These all brought their families, and soon the township began to be filled up with a class of good and industrious people, among whom were Goldsbury Childers. John B. Atherton, Sanford Harris, Solomon Cusie, Henry Cleveland, James and Jefferson Long, Nathan Harris, I. Hunsaker, Alvin Hartshorn, Sr., and others. The first child born in the township was a daughter to David Locke; hers also was the first death. The first justice of the peace was Jesse Evans who was also the first supervisor of the township. The succeeding supervisors were Ira Tyler, A. H. Pettit, J. T. Hull, William Evans, L. M. Morrison, F. M. Behymer, Alvin Hartshorn and P. J. Daniels. The first school was conducted in a log cabin on section 6, by Erastus Rice, in 1836. The first school house was built in 1839, on section 19. The first church was situated on section 30, and was of the Methodist Episcopal denomination. The church building was erected in 1850, and is known as Shiloh Chapel. The first preacher was the Rev. Northcutt. At the time of organization, the board of trustees consisted of William Gooding, Joseph Linthieum, Henry Lile, William Holcomb, Jacob Baker and Benjamin Fahs. The first mill was mill was built on McCrany creek, about 1840, by David Locke. In 1843 the first saw mill was built.
The village of Richfield, which has never been incorporated, was platted about 1842. The first in the place was built about 1845 by Nahma Tyle, who conducted a general merchandising business. The village is located on the line of section 8 and 17; it contains a number of small dwellings, an M. E. church, blacksmith and wagon shop and two stores. The first secret society was a camp of the Modern Woodmen of America, organized here in 1899.
The township contains four churches, one Baptist and three Methodist Episcopal. The people of Richfield are intelligent and industrious, as is evidenced by their well kept homes and improved farms. The surface of the country is quite rolling and somewhat broken. It was originally about three-fourths timber. Much of the soil is quite productive.
Richfield has the honor of having furnished a representative to the General Assembly of the State from this district, in the person of Hon. Ira Tyler, who served three terms. He was a member of “Palmer’s famous 101.”
Source: Past and present of the city of Quincy and Adams County, Illinois, p. 342-343; by William H. Collins, Cicero F. Perry, joint author; John Tillson. History of the city of Quincy, Illinois. [from old catalog]. Chicago, S. J. Clarke Pub. Co. 1905.