Old school records indicate a frequent turnover in the staff, so the position evidently was perceived as temporary and often was awarded to whoever was available. Sometimes the teacher was as young or even younger than the students. Addie Rector Williams was only fourteen when she began teaching at Channel Lake School. She subsequently resumed her education in Waukegan and later taught at Grass Lake and English Prairie.
Many of the pupils of these first schools felt deeply the deprivation of their early years. In the Portrait and Biographical Album, they frequently included accounts of efforts at self-education. Charles Webb, who came to Antioch in 1843 when it was “entirely destitute of improvements,” claimed that by “reading, study, and observation, he acquired a gund of general knowledge.”
The Gage brothers’ first cabin was built in Illinois rather than Wisconsin, then part of the Territory of Michigan, by courtesy of the Illinois Enabling Act of 1818. Previous to that time, the Northern boundary of Illinois had been set at the southern tip of Lake Michigan. Northern politicians, led by Nathaniel Pope, feared tht, denied a port on the Great Lakes, the new state would fall into the sphere of Southern influence. Therefore, the northern boundary was moved to its present location, placing Lake County firmly in the state of Illinois.
When the state was admitted to the Union, however, Lake County did not exist. At first the territory was part of Cook County. When McHenry County was formed from parts of LaSalle and Cook in 1836, it included this area. In only two years, the population reached a point which suggested the advisability of dividing it into two parts. The new county was named for its coast on Lake Michigan and the numerous small lakes within its boundaries.
Ten years later the question of adopting a township form of government was submitted to the voters of Lake County. With only three votes against it, the proposition was overwhelmingly approved. Now names had to be chosen for the ne townships.
Our town held a referendum on January 10, 1850. Two names were placed before the electorate. “Windsor” was the choice of sixty of the voters, but the religious faction once again prevailed. By a margin of fifteen votes, Antioch became the name of the town as well as its larger village.