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Templeton, Robert T.

Born: 1811-10-20 Pennsylvania

Died: 1865-02-04

Flourished: Princeton, Illinois

Templeton arrived in Putnam County, Illinois, in 1836, purchasing property northwest of Princeton in what would become Bureau County, Illinois. He would continue buying property in the area, amassing 600 acres. He played a key role in the development of Princeton. He pioneered commerce in the village, opening one of the first grocery stores. In 1836, he and several other residents formed the Putnam County Literary Society (later renamed the Bureau County Literary Society). Templeton served as treasurer. In 1838, he was among those that voted to incorporate Princeton as a town. From 1859 to 1862 and again in 1864, he was president of the town board of Princeton. Templeton also helped organize Bureau County. In 1837, he was instrumental in organizing the first agricultural fair in the county. In 1837 and 1839, he served as county treasurer, and in 1848 and 1849, he was a member of the County Court. He also served as swamp land and drainage commissioner. Templeton represented Bureau County at the state constitutional convention of 1862. He was also active in local Whig politics. In 1846, Templeton married Leonora (Leonor) Wise, and the couple had one child. In 1850, he was a merchant and owned $5,500 worth of real estate. In 1860, he owned real estate valued at $25,000 and had a personal estate of $10,000.

H. C. Bradsby, ed., History of Bureau County, Illinois (Chicago: World, 1885), 154, 174, 242, 273, 275, 278, 281, 410-11; George B. Harrington, Past and Present of Bureau County, Illinois (Chicago: Pioneer, 1906), 107, 189; Illinois Public Domain Land Tract Sales, Bureau County, 708:54, 57, 130, 156; 715:36, Illinois State Archives, Springfield, IL; Illinois Statewide Marriage Index, Bureau County, 4 June 1846, Illinois State Archives, Springfield, IL; U.S. Census Office, Seventh Census of the United States (1850), Bureau County, IL, 235; U.S. Census Office, Eighth Census of the United States (1860), Princeton, Bureau County, IL, 22.