GRANVILLE was surveyed April 7th, 1836, for Felix Margrave. A small addition was made Oct. 18th, 1858 by Thos. Ware, James Parr, Wm. Smith, Clarissa Ware, Andrew E. Hayslip, and Margaret Hayslip. The town has a beautiful prairie site, five miles east of Hennepin. It was named from Granville in Massachusetts, at the suggestion of Mr. Thomas Ware, who was the first settler in the place, having emigrated thither in 1833, and built the first house there the next year. At that time the prairie westward was an unbroken wilderness for many miles.
A few cabins were put up in the vicinity in 1834, and during the summer after the town was founded, two more houses were erected upon the site - one by Mr. Ware and one by Jas. Laughlin.
The town has since made steady progress in proportion to the increase of population in the farming region about it; and is now a flourishing village of several hundred inhabitants. It was incorporated under the general act on the 17th of March, 1859, and an election for town officers held in April, when John J. Delatour, Thomas Ware, Hiram Colby, Harvey B. Leeper and Wm. McKnight, were chosen Trustees. Under the new organization, the corporation limits enclose a tract of land a mile square.
Movements were very early made in behalf of religion and education. Ground was broken for an Academy building in the spring of 1836, to erect which a subscription had been started a year or two before.
A charter was obtained from the Legislature during the following winter, in which Thomas Hartzell, Daniel Shepherd, William Paul, Nathan Gould, James Mears, James G. Laughlin, Ralph Ware, Felix Margrave, and Benj. R. Shelden, are named as Trustees of the institution. The building went on to completion without serious delay; and the school was set in operation in December, 1837. Rev. Otis Fisher was the first teacher. The Academy organization was continued with success for many years, until 1859, when the property was transferred to the school district. The building is now occupied for a public school, on the graded plan.
The first church in Granville was organized by the Baptists, in 1837. The Presbyterian church dates from April 27th, 1839, when it was organized by Revs. Elliot of Lowell, Dickey of Union Grove, and Spaulding of Peoria. It began with 27 members, and there were many admissions during the year. Rev. H. G. Pendleton was the first Pastor.