Oquawka Twp
Charles Haffner, cabinet maker and dealer in furniture was born in Ulm, Germany, January 22, 1826. His early life, until the age of fourteen was spent mostly in school. He was then sent to learn the trade of cabinet maker, which he completed in three years, and for the four years following he worked at the trade as journeyman. In October, 1851, he left his native home for America, in the sailing ship Saint Dennis. After an uneventful voyage he reached New York, and at once moved westward, reaching Oquawka in 1852, and here he permanently located and engaged in the manufacture and sale of furniture. In 1854 he was married to Miss Mary Goempler, a native of Germany, by whom he as nice children, whose names in the order of their birth are as follows: Joseph, William, Charles, Rickley, Caroline, Paul, Mollie, Christena, and John. They are members of the German Lutheran church.


Bedford Twp.
James Hageman, one of the prominent pioneer settlers of Raritan, and proprietor of the Prairie Side Park, and was born in Somerset county, New Jersey, June 27, 1824. Here he spent his youth at school, and when at the age of 22 commenced a course of study with a view to the ministry, and accordingly entered sophomore class of Rutger's College, New Brunswick, New Jersey, in September, 1847. In less than a year failing health compelled the abandonment of mental occupation and return to the pursuits of agriculture on his father's farm. In November, 1849, he was married to Miss Margarett Kershaw, of the same county. This happy union was blessed by six children being born to them, four sons and two daughters, Sarah Ann (wife of A. W. Van Dyke, editor of the "Bushnell Gleaner,"), Phoebe, Charlotte, Herman and Frank are living; Gilbert L. K., the eldest son, died in the spring of 1869, in the sixteenth year of his age, at both repose in the cemetery at Raritan. Mr. Hageman's career in life has been an extremely varied one. He removed from his paternal home to New Brunswick in 1854, and embarked in the business of manufacturing and selling clothing and making up goods to order, in partnership with S. R. Walker. In April, 1856, he emigrated to his present location in Illinois and commenced making a home on the then treeless, fenceless, unplowed prairie. The first building Raritan was then in process of erection, and the few settlers who had first arrived (the previous summer and fall) were finishing their dwellings just enough to make them comfortable. Mr. Hageman commenced at once to cultivate the virgin soil, plant trees, build fences and a dwelling, naming his chosen heritage Praireside, to which the suffix "Park" or farm is of late years appended by the villagers, as the grove, or Hageman's Grove. Here are held the pioneers' festivals, 4th of July, harvest home, political meetings, etc. Mr. Hageman removed to the Bushnell, McDounough county, Illinois, and commenced the editing and publishing of a newspaper which he named the "Bushnell Weekly Record." He continued the same for four or five years, when declining in health he gave place to A. W. Van Dyke. Since that time he has been an occasional contributor for several county papers. After a residence of 6 years and a half in Bushnell, Mr. Hageman returned to his Praireside farm. A few years later he sold twenty acres from the south side for $1,500 cash in hand and commenced the furniture and untertaking business in the village, the latter branch being still continued by him.. Mr. Hageman has been closely identified with the rise and progress of the Reformed church in Raritan, and also the Sabbath school connected therewith, of which he was chosen superintendent at the time of its organization, in 1856, and was re-elected three succeeding years and again at a subsequent period. Twenty-five years after the organization of the school he delivered, by appointment, a historical addess on the occasion of its quarter centennial anniversary. He became somewhat famous as the Prairieside poet through the publication of various essays in rhyme, some of which will be found elsewhere in this work, among which may be mentioned "Lights and Shadows of Prairie-life in the Early Day," "The Miseries of Drunkenness," "Retrospection," "Be Happy," "Vain Regrets," " The Old School-house." Mr. Hageman is also a composer of music, and has also some mechanical genius, and among his many business engagements Mr. H. has found time to devote a little study to mechanical skill, having constructed several violins and a few viotoncellos. The last violin which he constructed was made of seventy pieces of wood grown by him on his own farm. He was elected justice of the peace for Bedford precinct, Henderson county, in the spring of 1882.


Oquawka Twp. Pg. 125
Eugene A. Hail, editor and proprietor of the Henderson county "Journal,", was born December 26, 1850. His father, William S. Hail, is a native of Franklin, Kentucky, and his mother, Margaret (Chapman) Hail, of Kentucky, near the Tennessee line. William S. Hail followed saddlery for a time in Kentucky, then moved, about 1832, to Macomb, Illinois, where he yet lives. In Macomb he engaged at hi trade, also speculated in lands, loaned money, etc. But security for others proved his failure in business. He then engaged in the drug business. For several years he was deputy county clerk. During the war he was one year in the quartermaster's department. Eugene A. Hail is one of a family of eight children. He was educated in the common schools. At the age of fourteen years he entered the office of the Macomb "Journal," on which paper he worked about four years. He has since been continuously in the publishing business. In 1872 he became proprietor of the Henderson county "Journal,", continuing little more than a year. In 1878, in August, he resumed control of the "Journal." Since that time the "Journal" has prospered till today. Although so young it enjoys a circulation equal to any paper in the county. It is devoted to the furtherance of republican principles and the interests of the county and surrounding territory. It is a folio, seven column paper, and does credit it its editor. April 25, 1875, Mr Hail was united in marriage with Miss Lena Iseminger, daughter of J. M. Iseminger, of Macomb, and native of Illinois.


Oquawka Twp.
Lewis H. Hand was born at Mt. Gilead, Ohio, May 24, 1848, and came with his parents to Oquawka in 1851. He was for many years connected with the Presbyterian Sunday school, and is the only one of his class now here. September 30, 1874, he married to Miss Lulu Bigelow, a daughter of Solomon Bigelow. She was born in Oquawka, October 26, 1854. They have two children, Helen H. and Hattie B. Mr. Hand is a member of the masonic fraternity. His father was for a number of years identified with the interests of Oquawka, having served here as postmaster during President Buchanan's administration. In 1864 he went west to the mountains, and never since being heard from it is supposed he met with some tragic death.


Oquawka Twp., Pg. 121
William Hanna, says: "I was born June 19, 1827, in Fayette county, Indiana. My mother's name, prior to her marriage, was Crawford. She had one brother and ten sisters, ten of whom, including my mother, lived to be married, raising families amounting in the aggregate to eighty-seven children: forty-four boys, and forty three girls. Each of the ten sisters was an honor and a blessing to the man who married her. My father showed his good sense by marrying a Crawford, although three of his brothers had married into the same family before he did. It was a trait of my father's family, when they had found a nest of good eggs to take them all. If there had been ten Hanna men, I have no doubt but that all would have wedded Crawfords; true, the girls would have had something to say about it, too, but as my father and his brothers never asked for anything buy what was right, they usually got it. Had this been the case, I have no doubt that they would have succeeded, and the last one would have got just as good a wife as the first one. Mrs. Jeremiah Bake, my mother's youngest sister, who settled in Henderson county in 1836, will be remembered by all the old settlers as one of the best women who ever lived in the county. My father settled in Warren county in 1835, which then included Henderson county, near where Little York now is. Our family at that time consisted of father, mother, six children, and one hired man. We wintered the first winter in a log cabin 16 X 16 feet square, cooked, ate, and slept all in the same room, and had plenty of space left to keep everybody who came to see us. My mother was noted for being a good cook, and having a faculty of making a stranger feel at home; people used to go out of their way to get to say over night with us; of course, we used short bedsteads. This reminds of an incident, though a small matter itself, still it shows in a strong light the accommodating disposition of my father. We used the short bedsteads for some years after we had plenty of house room. On one occasion, when there was a long, land fellow, by the name of Robert Hutchison, whom the old settlers will remember as being about eight feet high, had come to see my sister; they called it sparking in those days. My father showed him to bed, and as he did so, remarked: "Mr. Hutchison, I am sorry that we haven't a bedstead about the house long enough to accommodate you, but I will shove a table up to the foot of the bed, and when you are tired of lying doubled up just run your legs out on the table and rest them." Whether Mr. Hutchisoon took this provision for his comfort as kindly as my father meant it, I never new, but I do know that he did not marry my sister; however, he did as well, perhaps, by marrying my cousin, Elizabeth Hanna. My father gave his children as good an education as the county afforded at that time. In the winter of 1835-6, the people of our neighborhood built a school-house of round logs, with greased paper for windows, instead of glass, hewed puncheons for seats, and a door hung with leather hinges. I commenced my education in that house, with a dirt floor under me, in 1835, and finished at Pleasant Green in a frame school-house twelve years later, having learned about all the teachers of those days were capable of teaching in a district school at that time. In fact, the teachers had to study of nights and Sundays to keep ahead of the scholars. The worst of it all is, I have had to unlearn a great portion of what little I learned at school. For instance, geography taught me there were twenty seven states in the union, and that the "great American desert" commenced at the Missouri River, and extended to the Rocky Mountains. A glance at a map of today stamps at the atlas that I studied as an unmitigated fraud. I drove an ox team across the plains to California in 1849; made a few thousand dollars at mining and keeping "ranch", returning in 1851.

"I married Miss Sarah Findlay, daughter of James Findlay, who settled in Warren county in 1832. We have two children living and one dead. Our son is known as J. Ross Hanna. I settled on a farm of my own in Henderson county in 1841, and followed farming on what is known as Cedar farm until the fall of 1864, when, being somewhat disgusted with the kind of implements farmers had to work with, especially plows and cultivators, I resolved to go into the manufacturing business. In that year, Messrs. W. S. Weir, Dr. W. B. Boyd, and myself, formed a joint stock company for the purpose of manufacturing farm implements, with a capital stock of $25,000. At the end of fourteen years we found our capital had increased to $1,000,000, after having paid dividends to the amount of $163,000. In order to do this we have had to make good goods and lots of them, and inasmuch as we warranted our goods to give perfect satisfaction or no sale, I flatter myself that we have been doing some good, not only to ourselves, but to our fellow-men. We have a shop capacity for about six hundred men, and still we have a demand for all we can make. I am now president of the Monmouth Mining and Manufacturing Company, and have been for some years. Since my connection with it we have gradually been paying off the indebtedness, and we are now, although about $19,000 in debt, increasing our capacity about fifty per cent, by yearly enlarging our buildings and putting up more kilns. We have learned, by seven or eight years' experience, how to make good goods. This gives us a demand for all we can make, and more too. There is no investment that a farmer can make which will bring a better return than to buy tiling and under drain his wet land. I am, and have been, president of the Monmouth National Bank for seven or eight years past. While I can compliment our patrons on the fact that we have lost less then $500 by them in all this time, I am proud to be able to say that they have not lost anything by us, and I trust they never will. I am now engaged in building a railroad from Peoria, Illinois, to Keithsburg, on the Mississippi. We commenced this enterprise in 1875. I was elected president at our first meeting, which position I still hold. We commenced with an empty treasury, and have held our own pretty well ever since. I speak advisedly on this point, as I am treasurer as well as president. We now have twenty-five miles of road completed and are running two trains daily each way from Peoria to Farmington. We have most of the grading done on the entire line, ties paid for, and the bridging completed for fifty miles, costing us so far about $450,000, and no bonded debt, except $13,000. To every man who subscribes a dollar or more, we issue certificates entitling the holder to a credit of twenty-five cent on each each bill for freight, or in payment for one-thousand-mile tickets, so that all subscribers will lose will be the interest on their subscription from the time they pay it until they can ride or ship it out. When this is done, who will own the road? Do you ask. I answer that the men who had the nerve to advance the necessary money, until such time and to such a point as will enable them to realize on their bonds. I have been twice mayor of the city of Monmouth. In matters of religion, I believe that the grace of God will finally restore to happiness the whole family of mankind. I believe that holiness and happiness are inseparable connected, and that the only way to be happy is to be good. I have never connected myself with any church or religious society, neither with a secret organization of any kind. I was born a democrat, raised a democrat, and expect to die a democrat, if the old party does not die before I do. I would like to say a few words to those who are finding fault with railroad, banking, and manufacturing corporations, and middle-men generally. I have been on both sides of the counter, and know of a truth how it is by experience, the best of teachers. I have plowed corn from early morn till dewy eve, row by row, three times in row with an old rusty iron shovel, bought directly from the country blacksmith, which I had stocked myself, without the intervention of a middle-man, and fed the corn thus raised to hogs, and sold them in the metropolis of Henderson county for $1.50 per hundred, net. I have swung the cradle to cut our wheat, bound it with bloody fingers, threshed it out by driving horses over it, with an ox team hauled it to market to Chicago, 200 miles away, and sold it for forty-six cents a bushel. I know by experience that we had not made this county, and a combination of capital has enable manufacturers to put in improved machinery and manufacture goods of a quality and a price never dreamed of by a cross-roads mechanic. The true policy, in my opinion, and I charge nothing for it, is for every man to follow the vocation for which he is best fitted by nature, if it is nothing but raising pop-corn, and exchange his products with some one who is better fitted to supply his other wants. Every article should be raised or manufactured where it can be the best and cheapest, and sold where it will bring the greatest net results, without restriction in any way, or, in other words, free trade between man and man, this wide world over."


Bedford Twp. pg. 269
James H. Hazelwood, farmer, was born in 1830, in the state of Indiana, where he received the advantages of a common school education and was reared to farming. His parents, Joseph and Mary, were born and raised in Kentucky, where they were married, but moved to Indana in an early day, and remained there until 1852, at which time they removed to McDonough county, Illinois. Our subject was married in 1860 to Miss Mary J. Duncan, of Henderson county, and by the happy union they have been blessed with three children. As a citizen Mr. Hazelwood's life has been characterized by honest and fair dealing. He is a member of the Masonic order and also a member of the chapter of La Harp. He is also a member of the Christian church.


Bedford Twp. Pgg. 265-266
Winfield S. Hixson was born in Hunterton county, New Jersey, in 1842. When young he came with his father's family to Henderson county, Illinois, in the spring of 1854. They were amoung the first settles in the vicinity of Raritan. During the late war he was a member of Co., D, 138th reg. Il. Vol. Inf., but was not in any engagements, his regiment having been assigned for garrison duty. On his return home after the war he rented land until 1869, when he bought eighty acres of land south of Raritan. This was raw land, which he improved and erected upon it a substantial house and outbuilding. He was married in Henderson county to Mill Ella Hill, in the fall of 1864. They have four children: Andrew E. Annie Mary, Maggie, and one not named. When Mr. Hixson first came to Henderson county, there was but one house in the neighborhood, that of Josiah Bokaw. Peter Tharp came the following spring.

Submitted by:
Anna Narcavage, one of our look-up angels, who noted that Winfield is her gr-gr-grandfather, and Andrew E., her gr-grandfather.


Oquawka Twp.
Robert Hodson, perhaps, does a business more extensive than any other firm in Oquawka at this time. Mr. Hodson's parents, Thomas and Sarah (Atkinson) Hodson, were natives of England. In 1836 Thomas Hodson sent his wife and children to America, where his wife's people were already settled. He remained to settle his business in England. The family arrived safely at Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Word was received by the family the Mr. Hodson would sail at a certain date. This was the last word ever received. The vessel that was to start at the time was lost and it is supposed on good grounds that he was lost with the crew. After residing a year in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, the family moved, with Mrs. Hodson's brother, to Wellsville, Ohio, remaining there about ten years. Mrs. Hodson then married and came with her husband to Indiana; then to live near Peoria, where she died. In the family were five children , one of whom is dead: John A., in the grocery business at Peoria; James, a machinist in Pennsylvania; Thomas, a farmer in Missouri; and Robert. Robert Hodson, the third child, was born in Yorkshire, England, April 11, 1832, hence was young when he emigrated and when deprived of his father's guardian care. His school advantages were very meager. At twelve years of age he left home to learn the tinner's trade with his brother at Pittsburgh, remaining with him one year. Disliking the business he went to live with a farmer Quaker, Thomas James, with whom he lived and for whom he worked for three years, receiving his board and clothes and three months schooling each year as recompense. He then lived with his mother and step-father in Indiana, working one summer in a brickyard, then on a farm, when he again made his home with the Quaker farmer in Ohio and attended school one winter. Early the following spring he started to Texas. He journeyed as far as New Orleans, then up the Mississippi river to Henderson county, Illinois, in 1846. He worked nine months for O. Edmunds, then went to the pineries on Black river. There he remained three years lumbering. In the fall of 1851 he returned and opened a small store in Shokogan. He was then a merchant. In the spring of 1852 he went to California, starting April 20, crossing the plains with ox teams, arriving in California August 20th. He engaged in mining with considerable success until 1856, when he returned and bought the Bake interest in the Scott & Bake saw mill at Oquawka. In 1857 he sold. He soon engaged in the drug and grocery business with Caswell and Bearce, continuing for eight years, when he purchased the interests of his partners. He has enlarged his business since. He has also shipped considerable stock for the last four years. He also superintends his farming interests. The official tables os Oquawka indicate a long local public life, significant of the trust of the people repose in him. Mr. Hodson was married January 6, 1859, to Adaline Phelps, daughter of Stephen and Phebe (Chase) Phelps. She was born in Oquawka, November 29, 1838. Her early playmates were the little indians. Mr. and Mrs. Hodson's children have numbered three. One died in infancy, Arthur when a little boy, and Hattie died at the age of sixteen.


Olena Township
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....

John Houchin built a mill on the east side of Ellison creek, opposite the present mill at Warren. This he sold to Hopper and Watson, and removed to Texas in 1836. He died there prior to 1860.


Honey Creek Township, Page 350
Thomas Andrew Howard
was born in Lewis county, Missouri, July 27, 1841. His father, Thomas Howard, was born in Hardin county, Kentucky, May 16, 1807. His grandfather, Thomas Howard, was a native of Scotland. His mother, Martha Jane Ashbaugh, was born July 29, 1811. She was the daughter of Joseph Ashbaugh, a native of Germany, and a potter by trade, who emigrated to this country and settled in Nelson county, Kentucky. Our subject grew to manhood at Monticello, Missouri, and received a common school education. After attaining his majority he drove stage for two years, and in 1866 he came to Henderson county, stopping near Raritan. He married Louisa Morton, of Canton, Missouri. She was a native of Ohio, and the daughter of Gilkyand Sarah (Slater) Morton. They have eight children, seven of whom are living: Leonidas B., born September 6, 1868; Claudius E., born September 25, 1869; Corrie Leonore, born December 3, 1871; Thomas M., born July 21, 1873; Charles W., born October 14, 1875; Mauriceand Marion, twins, born September 1, 1878; Joseph Cyrus, born June 22, 1881. Marion died November 1, 1879. Mr. Howard is now clerk of the school board of his district.


Bedford Twp. Pg. 277
Matthew Huston, though a young man, is nevertheless worthy of a place in the history of his county, in which he was born and reared. From his yough he has been an active business man, and to him the community is indebted for the introduction of fine bred horses in the neighborhood, which business receives a part of his attention. He made it a success from the start. His farm and stables are in section 28; he has 108 acres. He was married in Henderson county December 15, 1871, to Miss Minerva Lovett, who parents were among the very first pioneers of the precinct, as were also the grandparents and father of Mr. Huston. Mr. Huston's father is Walton Huston, a retired farmer and resident of Raritan. Mr. Huston is an honored member of the masonic fraternity.


Bedford Township
W. O Huston
, farmer, of Bedford precinct, and son of Walter Huston, of Raritan, is the youngest child of the family. He was born in Henderson county, Illinois, May 18, 1858, and was married February 5, 1880, to Miss Eliza J. Green, of McDonough county. They have one child. Mr. Huston owns his father's old homestead of 160 acres. He is a member of the Mystic Brotherhood of Justice, located at Blandonsville. The object of the institution is to suppress crime and vice and to aid innocent parties in obtaining justice. He is also a member of the Crhistian church. Though a young man, Mr. Huston is well and favorable known throughout the neighborhood. His friendly, courteous manner makes one at home in his society.


Bedford Township
Among the worthy prominent citizens of Henderson county we mention the name of Walton Huston, deceased, and father of Walter Huston, a retired farmer of Raritan. From his first settlement in Bedford precinct in 1831 to the time of his death, he was identified with all the interests connected therewith, and was widely and favorable known throughout the whole neighborhood in which he lived and acted. He was born in Rockingham county, Virginia, where he spent the early part of his life. He removed to Tennessee at an early day, where he was married to Miss Nancy Bradshaw, of South Carolina. This union resulted in fourteen children being born to them (twelve of whom were born in Illinois), as follows: John, Joel B., Grizie A., Archibald, Mary Ann, Margarett, Mary Ann P., Walter, William, Matthew, and Nancy Jane. Those not named died while young. Of this family two only survive: Walter, a successful farmer and fine stock raiser, resides in Raritan; Mary Ann P., wife of G. W. Penny, resides in Marysville, Missouri.


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Copyright 2000

Connie Lovitt Bates