With a colorful past that includes long-lost towns, determined hog thieves, and cemetery lore, Morgan Township in northeastern Coles County is one of the area’s most interesting destinations. The township is around nine miles long, four and a half miles wide in the north and a mere one and a half miles wide in the south. The Embarras River valley and timberland lay along its eastern border, and the familiar prairie lay along its western border.
Morgan Township was named after David Morgan, a Kentuckian who arrived in Coles County in 1834, but that part of the county was heavily populated by American Indians prior to his arrival. Today, it is home to the communities of Bushton and Rardin, as well as acres of pristine, natural wilderness.
According to the History of Coles County, 1879, a number of Indian burial grounds are scattered around the township, although none have been excavated by archeologists. In 1877 or ‘78, a man named Henry Curtis dug up a human skull, as well as a few other bones, while looking for bait worms. The skull possessed a bullet-like hole in the back. Curtis, shocked by his discovery, quickly reburied the skeleton and covered the site with rocks. It was never determined to whom the skeleton belonged.