Olena Township.
William Stuart Bailey, M.D
., was born at Richmond, Jefferson county, Ohio, November 24, 1849, the first of the five children of Benjamin S. Bailey and Dorothy Patterson, the former of Scotch, the latter of Irish lineage. Both parents are now dead, and are buried at Wayland (formerly Marshall), Henry county, Iowa, whither they had removed some years before. The father died September 20, 1873; the mother, November 13, 1861. William S. Bailey was reared to his father's occupation, farming, but received the best education the public schools at Washington, Iowa, could give. About 1866 or 1867 he came to Olena to read medicine under Dr. Maxwell. February 18, 1873, he completed the prescribed course at the college of Physicians and Surgeons (allopathic), Keokuk, Iowa. After his marriage, June 8, 1876, to Anna, daughter of G. H. and Mary Mosher, he settled first at Wayland, Iowa, his father's home; but in 1878, returned to Olena, where he has succeeded in building up a lucrative practice. Dr. and Mrs. Bailey have one child, Gideon Stuart, born April 16, 1877.


Bedford Township. Page. 270 & 273
Oquawka Township.
Jedediah E. Barnes, Kirkwood, Illinois, who was for many years a prominent citizen and able educator of Henderson county, Illinois, was born in Rensselaer county, New York, in 1829. His youth was spent on the farm engaged in agricultural pursuits. He was also, during boyhood's years, an attentive student in the common school, finishing his education, however, in East Hampton, Massachusetts. The seven years previous to 1853 was spent in teaching school in the State of New Jersey. In that year he emigrated to Henderson county, Illinois, and for the next twelve years devoted his time largely to teaching. In 1858 he was elected county superintendent of schools. In 1865 he removed to Kirkwood, Warren county, Illinois, where he is now engaged in the nursery business. December 26, 1856, he was united in marriage with Miss Elizabeth A. Ewing, a native of Indiana, by whom he has two children. The elder, William, is now in the railroad office, at Galesburg, and a daughter Olive is a student at Knox College. Mr. Barnes' parents were Jedediah P. and Elizabeth (Eldridge) Barnes; the former a native of Connecticut, and the latter of Massachusetts. They both died at Troy, New York. Mr. Barnes enjoys the esteem and respect of the best citizens of Henderson county.


Robert H. Barnes, editor of the "Raritan Bulletin," is perhaps as well known and respected as any man in Henderson county. He was born in LaHarpe, Hancock county, Illinois, April 29, 1849; is the son of H. H. and M. D. Barnes. He commenced learning saddlery with George Newton in 1862, and worked at the trade and shoemaking for three years. He sold notions, etc., from 1866 to 1870, when he quit business on account of declining, health, and in that year, 1870, went to Arkansas. Here he spent his time for awhile in hunting, clerking on a cotton plantation and overseeing about ninety hands, mostly negroes. In the spring of 1871 he returned to LaHarpe and was married to Miss Julia A. Butler March 19, 1871. Immediately thereafter returning south, he settled on a small farm near Raleigh, Tennessee, a watering place about nine miles northeast of Memphis. In the fall of the same year he returned to Raritan, Illinois, and started a saddlery and harness shop in company with S. D. Parsons. In 1873 he bought property and built a shop, 16 x 32, two stories high, the upper room of which was used for a grange and masonic hall. In 1875 S. D. Parsons retiring from business, he formed a partnership with G. H. Butler, his brother-in-law, and put in the first exclusive stock of hardware, and enlarged the building to 32 x 48. In the fall of 1876 he issued the first copy of the "Raritan Bulletin," a two-page paper, in size 5 x 7. This was issued in the interest of Hon. John Hungate, candidate for congress, and self. The subscription fee charged for this sheet was ten cents per annum. In about six months after he increased the size of the paper, as well as the subscription placed at $1 per annum, and finally in 1878 to a five-column eight-page, at the same price, circulating all over the Union. His wife died September 18, 1877, leaving a small babe five days old, Julia A., who is living with her grandfather Butler. Mr. Barnes was married a second time to Miss Ida M. Beard, March 17, 1880. By this union they have one child, Jettie M., born February 14, 1881. She died September 11, 1881. In the fall of 1881, he built a large business house, 32 x 64, two stories high, the upper part of which is wainscoted and ceiled with matched and grooved flooring, and is used as a town hall and for storing furniture. The lower floor of the building is used for storing implements.


Bedford Township. Page. 275-276
Dr. E. Beard is not identified with the history of Henderson county for so long a period as some others, but he has reached a position of prominence in the community by his own exertions as a successful practitioner. He attributes success to the fact that experience has taught him to throw aside many of the old dogmas of the early practice, and to use such remedies as prove the least harmless, and afford the most speedy relief to the patient. Mr. Beard was born in Leesburg, Loudoun county, Virginia, in 1820. In 1829, he removed from that state to Ohio, where he received his education, and graduated at the medical college of Columbus, Ohio. Soon after this he began the practice of medicine in that state, and continued it for seventeen years. He removed to Henderson county, Illinois, in 1865, and during his residence here his practice has extended over a large portion of the county, and he classed among the most skillful and successful of the profession. He was married in Ohio in 1841, to Miss Mary Brady. Ten children, five boys and five girls, were born to them. Dr. Beard's ancestry were of Scotch-Irish descent, and runs back to the Moors and Brady's of Virginia. His grandfather was born in Virginia in 1761. He removed from that state to Ohio, where he died at the advanced age of ninety-two. When a young man, he was a drummer in the revolution, and joined the army in company with a man with whom he was at that time learning a trade. After his service and the war was over, he followed shoemaking as an occupation.


Oquawka Township.
John Biggs was born in Manchester, England, in 1802. His father was crushed to death by an engine when John was about fourteen years of age, necessitating many severe experiences in the career of the boy. He became ship-boy on the Queen Charlotte, in the British navy, and took part in the battle of Algiers. He visited many parts of the world. About 1820, at the age of eighteen years, he landed in New England. He subsequently secured a situation in a factor in Philadelphia. He next spent about ten years in building mills and cotton factories in Texas. In 1843, Mr. Biggs came to Oquawka, but soon purchased the Robinson and Birdsall flowing mills near what is now Biggsville. The floods soon washed the mill away, and Mr. Biggs erected the present flouring mills of Biggsville. He was an excellent workman, and highly respected. His death occurred December 30, 1852. Biggsville is so named in his honor. His oldest son, William, was killed about two weeks previous, crushed by the burrs. Of his children, one is buried in Texas, one in Philadelphia, and one in South Henderson. Three daughters living, are Mrs. Mary Barton, Mrs. Margaret Jempson, and Caroline. Of his sons, Thomas enlisted in Co. G, 84th Ill. Vol., and died in the hospital near Nashville. Iram is one of the proprietors of the "Galesburg Plaindealer." John is foreman in the "Madisonian" printing office. Mrs. Biggs (Charlotte Ordway), widow of the deceased, John Biggs, resides with the son, Robert, in Oquawka. Robert was born July 24, 1839. In August, 1862, he enlisted Co. C, 91st Ill. He was captured by Morgan in 1862. He afterward was engaged at Mobile, Blakely, and Spanish Fort. Since the war closed Robert Biggs has been a faithful clerk of the Moirs.


Biggsville Township, Page 1354-1355
PAUL D. BIRDSALL, son of John and Lucretia (Fowler) Birdsall, farmer, Kirkwood, was born in Westchester county, New York, in 1816, and when but a mere lad removed with his parents into the Province of Ontario, Canada, whence they emigrated to Illinois in 1838, leaving home in Canada June 12, with team and wagon. When near Niles, Michigan, his sister died, and when they reached Joliet the mother was stricken with fever and died also. The rest of the family reached Ellison, Henderson county, on October 18. The family settled here, and here the father died in 1863. Paul D. was here in an early day, and was early connected with the improvements of Biggsville, as his father purchased an interest in the first mill built here. January 19, 1841, he married Miss Fannie Ryder, a daughter of Jacob and Elizabeth (Denyke) Ryder, who was born in Genesee county, New York, in March 1823, and emigrated to Henderson with her parents in 1839. In 1844 Mr. Birdsall removed to Oquawka and remained there till 1853, when he removed to Warren county and engaged in farming till 1869, when, for the purpose of educating his family, he went to Abingdon, where he continued to reside till 188O, when he returned to his farm in Warren county, in Tompkins township, where he is now comfortably located. He and wife are members of the Methodist Episcopal church. Their children's names in the order of their birth are: Charles E. Senica, who was killed at the battle of Lookout Mountain, in Georgia, during the war of the rebellion, Mary E., wife of William R. Toll, Nancy, now Mrs. S. J. Moose, Alexander Jacob, George, Frank, Flora and Fannie. The publishers of this work are under obligations to Mr. B. for valuable information furnished.

Oquawka Township.
William N. Boden, blacksmith and dealer in agricultural implements was born in Philadelphia, December 27, 1836, and reared in Beaver county, Pennsylvania. He received a fair common school education, and early in life learned the trade of blacksmith. In May, 1858, he came to Oquawka, and at once engaged in blacksmith business, and some time later formed a partnership with Riner Schell & Co., and is now the company part of that active firm. April 20, 1872, he was married to Mrs. Florence Gould, a daughter of Lloyd Cunningham, Esq. She is a native of Warren county, Illinois. Their only child, Frank, was born in Oquawka.

Bedford Township. Page. 278
John Bowen was born in Giles county, Virginia, in 1800, and is the son of John Harless Bowen. In his father's family there were fourteen children. His father died in that state. His mother was still living at the time he left the state. When a young man Mr. Bowen left his native state for Michigan with teams. When he arrived in Ohio, he ran out of money and was forced to stop and seek employment, which he found, and remained there three years. He then went to Michigan, and after a residence of five years came to Illinois in 1836. He first settled in McDonough county, and two years after came to Hancock, where seventeen years of his life was spent. He bought land in that county, and having three yoke of oxen, harness and wagon, he was not long in making a start in life. He sold his land there in 1854 and removed to Henderson county. At one time he owned over a section of land. He was married in Virginia at the age of nineteen years to Miss Mary Burton. He is the father of the following children: Ariminta, Marshall, Elizabeth, Lena, John R., Almeda, Catharine, W. H., James H., Mary, Jonathan, Arena, Lafayette, Eliza, Warren, and two others who died while young. Though Mr. Bowen is now eighty-two years of age, he is quite active and attends to all the little odds and ends about the farm. In all his struggles with fickle fortune to gain a competence, and the severe trials thought which he passed, it is a source of great satisfaction to him in his declining days to know that he has the good will of all. He holds to the principles of Freemasonry.


Oquawka Township.
Davis S. Brainard was born in the state of Connecticut, March 26, 1821. When about four years of age his father died, leaving him to the care of a cold and indifferent world. In 1838 he came to Oquawka and here soon became engaged to Mr. S. S. Phelps, accompanying him on his trading expeditions among the Indians. He also worked for Col. J. B. Patterson a number of years, and for a short time was a student in one of the early school here, taught by Rev. Mr. Stebbins. Mr. Brainard took an active part in the Methodist Episcopal church in its early history, having come here as a licensed exhorter. He filled that position for many years, as well as class leader and superintendent of Sabbath school.

? Township
Zelota Britt
, another of Henderson county's old settlers, was born in Cedonia County, Vermont, June 6, 1805, and emigrated to New York in 1810, where he was married to Catharine Haskins, of Herkimer county, that state, April 4, 1833. Four children where born to them. He removed to Kendall county, Illinois, April, 1845, and to Henderson county October, 1855. Here he made a farm and was successful in accumulating property. He was industrious in his habits and esteemed by his friends and acquaintances, and popular in masonic circles, having taken the chapter degrees.


Oquawka Township. Page. 126
John W. Brock is a native of what is now Otterville, Jersey county, Illinois. He was born May 16, 1837. His father was from Virginia, and his mother from Georgia. Both emigrated west about 1818. In 1819 his father accompanied his (the father's) brother-in-law from St. Louis to Council Bluffs, where the latter had contracted to supply the post of that place with supplies. The trip consumed the summer. The journey was made in keel boats propelled by oars, sail or cordell, as circumstances necessitated or permitted. The parents of Mr. Brock were married in 1827 and settled the farm on which John W. was born two years later. Until eighteen years of age John's summers were passed in farm labor, while the winters afforded him opportunities for school and home study. At the age of eighteen he entered McKendree college, from which he graduated in June, 1858, with the degree Bachelor of Science. From 1859 to 1861 he taught school at Elsah, Illinois. In August 1861, he enlisted at Camp Butler as second lieutenant in Co. D, 27th Ill. Inf., serving his country till November, 1863, when re resigned on account of disability. He was engaged in the battles of Belmont, Farmington, Stone River, Chickamauga and several minor engagements. In the fall of 1865, he engaged in the general merchandise business in Madisonville, East Tennessee, which he continued about two years. Decline of prices from those of war times to those of peace proved injurious to his interest, causing failure in this project. Madisonville is the county seat of Monroe county. While in the goods business he was city postmaster. In 1867 he was elected county superintendent of schools in that county, and immediately became engaged in putting into successful operation the "free school system." In 1868 Mr. Brock went to Florida, where he was in the saw milling business at Live Oak. While there he acted as one of the county board education. He was also appointed colonel of the 13th regiment of state militia by the governor. Soon after going to Florida he was married to Miss Maria Parshley, who in 1866, had removed from Ohio to Florida with her parents. In the spring of 1873 Mr. Brock moved to Missouri; in the fall of 1874 to Mount Vernon, Illinois; then to Quincy. In July, 1875, he was ordered to Sagetown, now Gladstone, Henderson County, Illinois, by Gen. John Tillson, United States internal revenue collector at Quincy, to take charge of the distillery at that place, seized by the government on account of some crookedness. He remained its custodian about a year. In the fall of 1876 he took charge of the school at Gladstone, remaining it principal for five consecutive years. In 1881 he was principal of the Oquawka public schools Mr. and Mrs. Brock's children have numbered three, two boys that died in infancy, and one girl, Georgia, now about eleven years old.


Bedford Township. Page. 264
Abram Brokaw (deceased) was born in New Jersey in 1830, and was married in the same state, in 1853, to Miss Gertrude Striker, of the same county. Soon after his marriage they removed to Henderson county, Illinois, settling on the farm now owned by Mrs. C. A. Cox. Not unlike many of the early pioneer settlers of this precinct, Mr. Brokaw came here a poor man; but blessed with the riches of hardihood and a strong, determined will, he soon improved a farm and made a comfortable home. When he first settled on the now home farm, he began at once to plant trees and shrubbery, and erect new farm buildings, and at the time of his death had just begun to realize the return from his hard labor. He was a prominent member of the Reformed church and much respected by his neighbors. By their marriage they had eight children, as follows; Isaac, John D., Mary G., Vandivier, Isaac, Martha A., John S., Cornelius S. Mrs. Brokaw's father, Isaac Striker, and mother, Gidie Voorhees, were born in New Jersey; her great-grandfather Striker was a revolutionary soldier.


Bedford Township. Page. 281
Josiah Brokaw (deceased), son of the late Major Brokaw, of Fairview, Fulton county, Illinois, was born near West Somerset county, New Jersey, April 25, 1829, and which married in 1850, to Miss Mary Ann Groendyke, by which union resulted seven children: Georgie Anna, wife of J. T. Owens, of Mercer county, Illinois; Gertrude D., wife of M. Cox; Ida, wife of George Stephenson; Frederick V. L., Edmond E. (deceased), Garat A., and Charles N. Mr. Brokaw was one of the first pioneer settlers of Bedford precinct. He came into the neighborhood about the year 1831, and purchased a large tract of land, at which time there were but a few houses in the neighborhood within sight of his dwelling. The whole country around was one vast prairie. It was only a few years after this that the tide of emigration set in, when many others followed, and began the erection of dwellings, fences, etc. At an early day the settlement when by the name of the Brokaw settlement, until the progressive enlargement of its domain, when its name gave way to a more distinctive appellation, more suited to the growing spirit of the times. Then came the familiar Simonsons, Voorheeses and Neviuses, with many other other families and households, who soon made the prairie to smile and bring forth the fruits of industry. Through all the signs of eventful growth, Mr. Brokaw, though young in years, was regarded as the father of the settlement. Every newcomer received more or less of his help and guidance, and always a welcome at his house. The string of his cabin latch was always hanging at the door in sight of all. Happy days were these, though days of toil and anxiety. In the development of the prosperity of the settlement Mr. Brokaw lent his aid in securing religious services on the Sabbath. The first sermon was preached at his house, and after the establishment of the Reformed church he became a member. From that time to the time of his death, in February, 1879, he had by his liberality and example done much toward promoting its prosperity. Before his death he had been chosen a member of the consistory, and was to have been ordained to the office of deacon the day of his burial. His remains repose in the cemetery of Raritan, where a monument appropriate to his past worth and usefulness has been erected.


Oquawka Township
Benjamin F. Brooks
(deceased), was born in Genesee county, New York, June 27, 1818. In the very early settlement of this county, his parents entered land and settled near Carman, where our subject early received that culture and education in the art of pioneer life and industry that characterized his movements through all subsequent life. September 24, 1846, he was united in marriage with Miss Eliza Curts, the daughter of John and Temperance (Fredricks) Curts, who was born in Clinton county, Pennsylvania, November 23, 1823, and came with her parents to Henderson county, Illinois, in 1836. After his marriage Mr. Brooks engaged in farming till 1853, when he removed to Oquawka and embarked in the lumber trade, which he followed till the time of his death, which sad and untimely event occurred November 28, 1862 at Hannibal, Missouri. He had gone there with a view of entering into the lumber trade at that place, and was busily engaged in starting a steam saw mill when, on the day above stated,,, at a few minutes after 11 o'clock a.m., the boiler exploded with terrific force. He was struck with a piece of flying timber, from the effects of which he died a few minutes' after six the same day. His wife and friends were at once notified by telegraph, and his body was brought back to Oquawka for burial. He left, besides his wife, six children. Two have since died, and William F., Charles, Henry, and Edward, are still living. The two deceased are Annetta and Ella M. Col. G. B. Patterson thus spoke of him in the "Spectator" at the time of his death: "Mr. Brooks was one of the successful business men of this city, and always forward in his efforts to bring out the best development of his town. He was loved and respected in life, and in death lamented by all who knew him while here in Oquawka."


Terre Haute Township. Page. 435
Among the present businessmen of Terre Haute is STEPHEN H. BRUEN. He is a native of Morris County, New Jersey, and was born in 1836. His parents were ISAAC and MARY A. BRUEN, both of New Jersey. They were born, reared, and raised their family in the same neighborhood. His mother died in 1862, at the good old age of 60 years, without ever having moved from the place of her childhood. In 1868 his father came to Illinois and located with his son Stephen at Terre Haute, where he now remains. ISAAC H. BRUEN is a cooper by trade. He is now 84 years old. His wife was a member of the Presbyterian Church. The history of the BRUEN family in America was begun by three brothers coming over from England, if not previous to the Revolution, very shortly after. Stephen H. received only a common school education. When 16 years of age, he went to learn the mercantile business, which he has pursued constantly with the exception of four years he was in this service and 10 years he spent in farming in this County. He enlisted in this service of his country in 1861, in the 7th New Jersey Vols, Co. K., and served till 1865, the close of the war. He was with the army of the Potomac. He entered service as a private and was promoted to the office of first lieutenant and quartermaster, which position he held at the time he was discharged. He was in the adjutant's department previous to his promotion to the lieutenancy. During his first month of service he was in almost continuous battle. He was in the seven day's fight in the Wilderness, second battle at Bull Run. He was married in 1869 to MARY MAGIE, a native of New Jersey, born in 1851, and daughter of WILLIAM H. and EUNICE MAGIE. They were both native of New Jersey, and came to Illinois about 1856, and located in Henderson County, where they remained seven years. They then moved to Chicago and returned to Henderson County in 1869, then returned to New Jersey in 1874, and came again to Henderson in 1875, then removed to Crawford County, Kansas where they now live. They are farmers. S. H. BRUEN, by this marriage, has three children: Bertie, William H. and Royal C.. For the past three years he has been engaged in general merchandise in Terre Haute, and has a live trade. He is presently Postmaster, and a member of the I. O. O. F. Lodge of that place.
Bedford Township. Page. 265-266
James H. Butler was born in Jefferson county, Kentucky, and came with his father's family to Adams county, in the fall 1832. Mr. Butler grew up to manhood, taking such chances for an education as offered in the early times of the country, and connected with which was the old log school-house of that day. Notwithstanding the meager and rude literary facilities with which his early life was surrounded, he secured a very fair business education, and grew up to manhood with a constitution seasoned to ruggedness by the exposure and hardships consequent to a pioneer life. After a residence of eighteen years in Adams county, they removed in the spring of 1850 to Hancock county, and in the same year to Henderson county, Illinois, where he bought land on the S. W. 1/4 of Sec. 29. This land he sold to John Wasson in 1867, and a quarter of unimproved land in Sec. 30. March 4, 1844, he was married to Miss Nancy Jane Mattock, of Adams county. This marriage has been productive of the following children; Julia A. (deceased), wife of R. H. Barnes, editor of the Raritan "Bulletin", George H., who resides in Jackson county, Kansas; Charles C., a student of Eureka College; John, who died at the age of twelve; Tobias, and James P. During the excitement consequent upon the first discovery of gold in California, Mr. Butler determined to join a band of emigrants and seek a fortune on the Pacific coast. Accordingly, in 1850, he crossed the plains in company with a party who started from Hannibal. He was chosen captain of the party during their travels. Dissatisfaction having arisen among the party, he, in company with a few others, left the main party and took a route by themselves, and reached the destined place in safety. On his return from California he followed farming until the breaking out of the late civil war of the rebellion of the southern states. He then enlisted as a private in the 118th Ill. Inf., and when the company reorganized he was elected lieutenant, and served with the same until failing health necessitated his leaving the field. On entering the field the regiment was consigned to Gen. Osterhaus' division, and was a participant in the following battles: Hain's Bluff, Arkansas, surrounding of Vicksburg, Port Gibson, and charge at Black River bridge. Mr. Butler is a member of the Christian church, and a member of the republican party.


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Copyright 2000

Connie Lovitt Bates