Bedford Twp. pg. 278-279
John H. Atkins was born in Elmira, New York, September 18, 1823. There he was educated, and meanwhile assisted his father. At the age twelve years he went to Pennsylvania, where he clerked in a country store for his uncle, after which he went back to New York and worked in a furniture shop, and later on the Erie canal, in the summer, and in the winter in the timber, chopping logs. He was married April 19, 1849, to Miss Abigal Dalrimple. After their marriage he moved to Steuben county, and from there to Schenectady county. Later he moved to Potter county. On the last day of October, 1854, they started for Lee county, Illinois, and in the spring of 1857 came to Henderson county. On their arrival they found the soil unbroken. There were no roads and they could take a straight course to Burlington. No houses could be seen anywhere. There were living in the neighborhood at that time David Thompson, William Van Doran and James Statts, from Ohio and Charles Edward. Mr. and Mrs. Atkins began life under the most unfavorable circumstances. They, however, went to work with a determination. They now own a fine farm and a house that cost $8,000 when built. Their children are: Sarah (wife of Mr. Frank Everett, of New Mexico), Mary Jane (deceased), and Abner D., who is residing at home. He was married to Miss Alice Biggs, of this county. Mr. Atkin's grandfather was a Scotchman, who emigrated to America at the age of eighteen. He was a soldier in the revolution, and lived to be 104 years old. Mr. Atkin's father volunteered during the revolution and was present when Gen. Ross was killed. His eldest brother enlisted as a drummer and was promoted to lieutenant. Mr. Atkins was drafted during the late war and immediately responded, leaving his family and his thriving business to vindicate upon the tented field the principles that he cherished. In the days when the expression of abolition sentiments subjected a man to social and political obliquy, he hesitated not to espouse the anti-slavery cause, and never turned his back upon the dusky fugitive that asked for succor while escaping to freedon. The fundamental principal of the republican party have received his warm support from beginning to the present time. He is a member of the masonic fraternity.


Bedford Twp. pg. 279-280
Hugh G. Woodside was born in Washington county, Virginia, June 30, 1825. When about nine years old he came with his father's family, in the fall of 1837, and settled in the northwest corner of McDonough county, where his father bought a quarter-section of land on which there was slight improvement. After he had made some improvements and lived on the place a short time, a man with a forged title came on and his father bought that also. He remained on the place until the time of his death, in 1854. He was married in North Carolina to Miss Jane Galliher. They had seven children: Nancy, Mary, James, Julia, William and H. G., subject. One other was born in North Carolina and died there while yound. Mr. H. G. Woodside was married in McDonough county in 1851 to Miss Catharine Wilson, of the same county. Thirteen children was the result of this union, as follows: Nancy, Jane, William, Henry, Edward, Annetta, Andrew E., Alonzo, Grant, Charles, Minnie. Those not named died while young. His grandfather, James Woodside, was a soldier in the war of 1812. Mr. Woodside received such an education as the times afforded. He was a pupil in the first school established in Bedford precinct. This was a subscription school and was held in a log house near Bedford church. Mr. Woodside has been chosen assessor of Bedford precinct for several years.


Bedford Twp. Pg. 277-278
William H. Cortelyon, one of the pioneer settlers of Bedford precinct, was born in Somerset county, New Jersey, May 29, 1826, and was married in the same county to Miss Elizabeth M. Field, of the same place. Four children were the result of the union: Emma Elizabeth (wife of R. V. D. Simonson, was born in New Jersey), A. W. Cortelyon, Fannie A., and Lyon are all at home. His father, Abraham Cortelyon, was also born in Somerset county, New Jersey, in 1795, and was married in 1817 to Miss Elizabeth Van Arsdale, of the same state. She was born in Middlesex county. His oldest sister, Mariah, was born in New Jersey in 1818. She married Christopher B. Melick, of the same county. They had ten children. Ralph V. married Catharine Stephens, of the same county. He moved to this state in the spring of 1858. Ella P. married Richard Hageman, of North Branch, New Jersey, where they still reside. William H. Cortelyon is of German descent. His great-grandparents were Hollanders, who came to this country at a date unknown, but which must have been before the revolution. William Cortelyon, grandfather of our subject, was born in New Jersey and settled on Long Island. Mr. Cortelyon, in the spring of 1836, shipped his goods to Fulton county, where he had gone to visit friends, and in the meanwhile came to Henderson county to look at the country, and being satisfied with the appearance and prospect, he returned to Fulton county, and came back with lumber ready to build. The prairie grass was almost waist high all over. He bought his first land of David Rankin, in section 10. When he came out he brought five carpenters with him, and a house was soon erected; but one day, when he was in town, a heavy windstorm came up and carried away the newly-build edifice.


Bedford Twp. pg. 278
Daniel Leinbach was born in Pennsylvania in 1811. He was a German by descent. He learned blaksmithing in Pottsville, that state, and followed the trade during his lifetime. He moved in an early day to Ohio, at the first settlement of that state, where was married to Miss Julia Ann Messer. They raised a large family of children, among whom were Isaac, Henry, Mary Ann, Benjamin, Sarah J., Donald, Samuel E., Emma C., Hannah M., and James W. Mr. Leinbach came first to Fulton county in an early day and bought a farm, and resided for four years, when he removed to Henderson county, where he bought 160 acres of land in section 1, of John Huston. He improved it and made a fine farm, which is still owned by the heirs. His son, Daniel, a farmer, resides in Henderson county, near Raritan. He married Miss Elizabeth Huston January 1, 1871.


Bedford Twp. pg. 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.


Bedford Twp. Pg. 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 learing a trade. After his service and the war was over, he followed shoemaking as an occupation.


Bedford Twp. Pg. 276-277
The subject of this sketch, S. V. Van Arsdale, who is now passing his declining years in the village of Raritan, with all the comforts of life spread around him, was one among the first few enterprising band of pioneers who came to this county in "days that tried men's souls," and through whose influence the pillars of society were founded on the principles of virtue and knowledge. He was born in New York in 1815, and is the third child of a family of six children, and three only of who are living. His sister, Catharine, wife of Garrett Staats, resides in New Jersey; Peter B. resides in Fulton county, Illinois, and S. B. Van Arsdale resides at Glen Garden, New Jersey. His father having died in 1836, and his mother May 26, 1847, he came to Illinois, settling in Fulton county, in 1850. There he bought some land and began to improve and make a farm. During his settlement there he made a visit to Henderson county and was attracted with its natural advantages for agricultural pruposes, but not until some time after this could he be induced to remove to the new eldorado. They returned to Fulton county and in a short time sold their farm there, and in the spring of 1856 came up and bought 160 acres of land on Sec. 22. He improved it and traded it for 180 acres on Sec. 7. Having bought a residence in town, he retired from business. He was married in New Jersey, 1836, to Miss Joanna V. Bergen. Six children was the result of the union: Abraham, the eldest, born March 1, 1838, married Miss Mary Ann Huston, daughter of George Huston, one of the first early pioneers of Bedford precinct; they have four children and live south of Raritan. Peter, born May 9, 1842, married Miss Amanda J. Huston; they have three children. J. B. Van Arsdale, born October 30, 1844, married Miss Ann M. Lewis; she having died, he married Sarah M. Brokaw. Peter served three years as a soldier in the late war, as a member of the 14th Ill. Cav. Mr. Van Arsdale's grandfather, Abraham Van Arsdale, was born in Somerset county, New Jersey, December 2, 1750. He as a magistrate. His father was born in Holland, and emigrated to America in an early day and settled on Long Island. He was an only son, as was Mr. Van Arsdale's father. He was buried in Harlingen cemetery, Somerset county, New Jersey. Mr. Van Arsdale's grandmother, Margaret Keneday, was born in America. In Mrs. Van Arsdale's father's family were the following: James, the eldest, was born September 14, 1804; John, March 12, 1808; Joanna, June 7, 1813; Mariah, April 18, 1815; Peter and Philip Bergen, twins, March 5, 1818. Mr. and Mrs. Van Arsdale are members of the Reformed church.


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.




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Connie Lovitt Bates