In no one thing have been more noteworthy the changes which mark the transition from the condition of savagery which covered the whole county eighty years since, than in the roads of the county. Far from being ideal passages from place to place, the roads which mark nearly every section line, and afford the means of easy transportation of persons and property, indicate the great advance. Human agencies have produced all of this advancement. Before the coming of the white man, and with him the ways of subduing and bringing to his use the elements which Nature had here planted, these useful avenues were not found, nor were they in demand. (660)

It must not be supposed, however, that no roads existed which directed the traveler to his place of destination. The earliest comers found paths and traces leading across the country which, in a measure, aided them in finding the shortest cuts from timber grove to timber grove, but were not of human origin. Before even the Indian came to hunt the wild animals, these animals, in search of water or pasturage, made their traces or paths, always choosing the best lines of travel and, so far as possible, the shortest lines of communication. While to these lines few, if any, of the existing roads owe their locations, this cannot be said of the first roads made us of by the white man at his coming. He found traces leading across the country which he chose then to call Indian paths, but we must look farther back than to the coming of the Indian for their origin. (660-661)

What its [Bloomington/Ft Clark Road] real origin was will never be known, but it is fair to believe, from its location and the points connected, that it was first a buffalo path, leading from river and grove in the east to the like objects in the west; afterwards an Indian trail, where the buffalo was hunted and trapped and finally adapted by the great tide of immigration which set in early in the last century from the States east of the Ohio to what is now known as the "Military Tract".... (661-662)

When the white man first came here, he also found other trails which served to guide the traveler from timber to timber.... The location of these trodden paths over high ridges, connecting important timber groves, suggest a like origin to that attributed above to other early trails - namely, to the buffalo herd. Over them, doubtless in remote ages these wild roamers of the prairie, in great masses thronged from water-course to timber belt, in search of water and food, leaving no other souvenirs of their presence than their bleaching bones beside their worn paths, or near by the their watering and resting places. Man, either as a savage with his ponies, or as a civilized denizen of the country with his wagon, gladly accepted and long made use of these trails, until the improvement and fencing into farms of the country forced the roads upon section lines, since which, except in the memory of the aged, neither has now an existence. The scarred and furrowed surface of many a knoll upon these routes, however, where from the erosion of travel, the soil was long since worn away, bear silent testimony of the use to which they were put generations ago. (663)

History of Champaign County (1905)
J.O. Cunningham