William A. Findley, farmer, Oquawka, was born in Muskingum county, near Zanesville, Ohio, September 1, 1819. In the fall of 1835 his parents, Matthew and Elizabeth (Blackburn) Findley, with a family of six children, emigrated to Warren county, Illinois, and remained the first winter near Kirkwood. The following spring they permanently located in what was since organized as Henderson county, on Sec. 36, T. 11 N., 5 R. W., where they lived till the time of his death in the spring of 1863. He was born in Allegheny county, Pennsylvania, January 11, 1793. He was a son of David Findley, who emigrated with his father, David Findley, Sr., and family, from north of Ireland to America, about 1770. The sons of David Findley, Sr., took an active part in the revolutionary war, and one of them was for many years a member of congress. William A., the subject of this sketch, was early identified with the interests of the first settling of this county, and struggled hard against disadvantages to get a start, and honest labor has finally been rewarded with success. October 25, 1849, he was married in Perry county, Indiana, to Miss Sarah J. Lawrence, a daughter of James and Esther (Jamison) Lawrence, born in Perry county, Indiana, November 20, 1824. Their children are: William H., Isabel (wife of W. C. Sloan), Caroline, Ida J. (now Mrs. Samuel R. Jamison), Elizabeth and Hettie May. They are members of the United Presbyterian church. Mr. Findley's membership dates back to 1837, and he has been an elder since 1866. He has ever been very liberal in supporting and building up the church.
During the spring and summer of 1834 there came into this section John H. Dunn, Jacob Mendenhall, Robert Kendall, John Shull, T. J. Fort, John Houchin, and James and David Laswell....
Thomas Jefferson Fort came from Warren county, Kentucky, where he was born January 20, 1809. At the age of nineteen he left home, and, after a few years spent in farming near his native place, came to Illinois, settling successively in Warren, Fulton, and Henderson counties. He had been married before leaving Kentucky to Sarah Brown, daughter of Andrew Brown, a soldier in the British army at the time of its capture at Yorktown. Principally self taught, Mr. Fort has been a friend of education, and to his intelligent observations and clear memory, we owe most of the early history of the county, here presented.
G. F. William Froehlich, the present efficient county clerk, was born March 21, 1835, in Rheinisch, Prussia, and is the seventh child in a family of thirteen. His parents, Peter and Johanna Froehlich, were natives of Rheinisch, and there died. Peter Froehlich was a tanner by trade, and was a soldier under Napoleon Bonapart. G. F. Wm. Froehlich, the subject of these memoirs, was schooled in Prussia, graduating from the high school of Bonn, in preparation for college. He relinquished the projected college course, and became a clerk in a chemical factory for one year. In 1852, in May, he set sail at Liverpool, England, on the vessel Warbler, for America. After fifty-two days' sailing the vessel reached New Orleans. Mr. Froehlich came up the Mississippi to Warsaw, Illinois, but very soon came to Oquawka, and became clerk for Frederick Odendahl. In the spring of 1853 he went to Warsaw where he became an apprentice to the harness trade, working two and a half years. He then followed the trade at different places. In 1859, and part of 1860, he taught a German American school. When war's cruel tongue called for brave men to put down rebellion and slavery, Mr. Froehlich thought of duty to country, for although he was not American born, he was an American citizen. He enlisted April 22, 1861, in Co. D. 10th Ill. Inf. from Oquawka for the three months' service. When discharged he re-enlisted in Co. G. 10th Mo. Inf., of which was made orderly sergeant, and so continued till near the close of the war. The principal battles in which he was engaged were: Corinth, Iuka, second Corinth, Jackson, Champion Hills, siege of Vicksburg; was in the Yazoo Pass expedition, at Missionary Ridge, and much skirmishing. At the battle of Corinth, October 4, 1862, he was wounded in the forehead, and at Champion Hills May 16, 18632, was wounded in the right leg. He was discharged September 11, 1864, at Carterville, Georgia. He served from 1864 to 1865 in the ordinance department of the service. In 1865 he returned to Oquawka for a permanent home. He engaged as clerk, and served as constable a year. He then became deputy sheriff. In 1866 was made deputy assessor, also. In 1868 he became deputy county, and deputy circuit, clerk. In 1877 he was elected county clerk, which office he still holds with ability. Since 1879 he has been town clerk, and has been notary public for a number of years. Mr. Froehlich was married in 1865, to Mrs. Margaret Herbertz, a native of Prussia, and whose family at that time numbered four children. Mr. Froehlich is deeply interested in compiling a soldiers' record, and deserves aid in gathering biographical matter pertaining to those who have fought the battles of the union.