Charles F. W. Schell was born in Ulm, Germany, February 18, 1845, and came with his parents to America in 1851. While in Wisconsin he was married to Miss Mary E. Brooks, August 15, 1867. She was born March 27, 1844. They have five children, whose names are Unice A., Lida E., Charles, Caroline B., and William A. Early in life he learned the trade of blacksmith at Burlington, Iowa. December 18, 1863, he enlisted as a soldier for the union, in co. G, 25th Ia. Inf., and in May, 1865, was transferred to the 9th Ia. Inf., from which he was honorable discharged late in the summer of 1865. His father, Leonard Schell, settled in Oquawka in September, 1852, and has since been one of its honored citizens. He has been engaged in carriage and wagon manufacture for fifty-two years. He was born in Ulm, Germany, January 31, 1818. His wife, Anne Bielhald, died in 1862. His children are Charles F. W. (the subject of this sketch), William Henry, and Rudolph.
The earliest record known of the Schenck family is found on the records of Amsterdam, Holland, dating back to 1153, bearing a military commission. When the first emigration to America was is not exactly known, but must have been at an early date. The name is found on records at Long Island, and Monmouth and Somerset counties, New Jersey, at dates from 1660 to 1683. The Schencks along the Raritan and Millstone rivers, Somerset county, New Jersey, are descendants from Johannas, or John, who came to Somerset county, New Jersey, in 1683. He had five children, who grew up and married, two sons and three daughters; their births were from 1691 to 1728; their deaths were from 1729 to 1793. The youngest daughter, Catharine, married her cousin, and raised a family of eight sons and four daughters. One of the sons followed the seas and died young, the other four brothers all settled, or at least lived for a time, along the Raritan and Millstone rivers. They were married and settled in life from 1735 to 1745, and owned mills and stores on the Millstone river, where many of their descendants remain, and many others have moved to other parts. The great-grandfather of Cornelius, William and Silas, the subjects of this sketch, and now of Henderson county, Illinois, was William Schenck, who moved from Monmouth county, New Jersey, to Hunterton county, New Jersey, long before the revolutionary war. His wife was Mary Winters, and among his children were Ralph, John and Josiah, all of which were in the American service as soldiers. John was a captain. Ralph was wounded, and after the war drew a pension. Josiah was three years in the service, and was with Gen. Washington in crossing the Delaware at Trenton, New Jersey, when he surprised the Hessians at that place, and came near losing his life at that time. After the war he removed to Weston, Somerset county, and bought a farm of Gen. Frederick Frelinghuysen of 300 acres, where he lived and died, and was buried in the cemetery in Millstone, New Jersey. His wife was Alshe Wycoff. They had nine children, four sons and five daughters, all of which are dead except Josiah, who is living at Millstone, New Jersey. Jacob W. was the father of the family now in this county. He purchased the homestead at Weston, where he lived and died. In 1848 he married Ann Brokaw, of the same county. She died in 1854. They are both buried at Millstone, New Jersey. They left six children, five boys and one daughter: Magdaline died in 1854, and was buried at Fairview, Fulton county, Illinois; Josiah died 1857, and was buried at Millstone, New Jersey; John H. died at Baird's Point, Missouri, and was buried at Raritan, Illinois. He was a member of Co. L, 7th Ill. Cav. Reg.
William J. Schenck was born at West Somerset county, New Jersey, April 4, 1833. He married Miss Martha Ann Strycker, of the same county. They removed to Henderson county, Illinois, in 1855, where they have since resided. He was among the earliest settlers of the county in which he lives. He has taken much interest in educational matters, an active part in the development of the country morals, both in church and state. To them have been born two children, a daughter and a son: Gilroy Anna, who married William Davis, and one son, Jacob W., who is still remaining at home. Mr. and Mrs. Schenck are members of the Methodist Episcopal church. In politics he is a republican.
Cornelius Schenck was born in Weston, Somerset county, New Jersey, in 1852. He was married to Miss Liddia M. Stryker, of the same county. Three children was the result of this union: Josiah, born September 27, 1857; married Miss Elizabeth Gearhart December, 1880; Mary, residing at home, was born 1860. On Mr. Schenck's arrival in Henderson county he bought a quarter section of land in Sec. 15, on which there was a small log house. A small portion of the land had been broken up, and fenced with a fence three rails high. He immediately began improving a farm, and in a few years he had transformed the wild prairie into a fine farm. His son Josiah is now living upon the old home place, and Mr. Schencks is spending his declining days in Raritan in ease and comfort, the effects of an industrious life.
Justice Schlotz, Oquawka, was born in the Province of Hesse, Germany, in 1832. In 1852 he married to Eleonore Wiegand, who was also a native of the same province. In 1857 they left the home of their birth and sailed for America. Soon after their arrival they came to this place and permanently located, and here Mr. Scholtz engaged in the wagon and carriage manufacture. He has now ten children, whose names in the order of their birth are: Charles (born in Germany, December, 1852, is now in the livery business in Oquawka, Sophia (wife of Fredrick Harbus, now of Peoria, Illinois) Cassie, Mary (wife of Charles Linsenmier, of Burlington), Annie, Christena, Emma, Henry, William, and
Herman Schirmer, merchant, Oquawka, was born May 22, 1827, in Saxony, Germany. Early in life he learned the trade of basket maker, and followed the business in the land of his birth till 1854 where he emigrated to America, sailing in the ship H. von Gagern. He located in St. Louis, Missouri, and there followed his trade till 1861 when he nobly responded to the call of his adopted county for soldiers. He enlisted in Co. F, 2d Mo. Inf., and for nearly four years suffered all the horrors of border warfare, incident to the western part of the great struggle. After being honorable discharged, he came to Oquawka, where he settled and engaged in the mercantile trade, at the same time carrying on his old business, that of basket making. Mr. Schirmer was been twice married, but has no children. His present wife was Mrs. Fredricka Kom, a daughter of George Altrenther. She is a native of the kingdom of Bavaria, in Germany.
Honey Creek Township, Page 352
LEE W. SHAW, of Dallas City, was born in Honey Creek township, Henderson county, May 20, 1846. He is the son of Jackson W. and Abagail Shaw. He grew up among the pioneers on a farm and received a common school education. He enlisted April 11, 1865, in the 83d Ill. Vols., but was soon after transferred to Co. G of the 61st Illinois, and commissioned as a corporal, and was honorably discharged during the same year. Married January 26, 1868, to Euphemia J. Babcock, daughter of Samuel B. and Nancy (Logan) Babcock, who were early settlers in the vicinity where Mr. Shaw now lives, by whom he has five children: Elmina S., born October 25, 1869; James Jackson, March 15, 1872; Ada Leora (deceased), October 27, 1874; Lula Etta, June 5, 1877; Iva Odella, May 6, 1880. Mr. Shaw has always engaged in farming. He is a republican in politics.
Biggsville township, Page 1358
DYKEMAN SHOOK, farmer, Biggsville, was born in Kentucky in 1828. He is the third son of Dykeman and Mary (Conkright) Shook, who were also natives of Kentucky. In 1830 emigrated to Hancock county, Illinois, where they lived till 1836, when they removed to Henderson county. They endured all the privations and hardships incident to pioneer life. Coming to this state as he did in an early day, young Dykeman was deprived of all the advantages of an education enjoyed by the young of the present generation. He was, however, thoroughly trained to industry and honest labor. December 14, 1849, he married Miss Sarah E. Worden, a native of New Jersey, born in 1833. She was also a very early settler, and well remembers the hardships of settling in a new country. They have an interesting family of seven children: Charles, John W., Daniel H., James A., Emeline, Sherman and Mary E. Mr. Shook moved onto his present farm in Sec. 4, T. 10, R. 4, in 1878. They are members of the Christian church.
Biggsville Township, Page 1358-1359
GEORGE W. SHOOK, farrier, Biggsville, was born in Casey county, Kentucky, August 8, 1824. His parents, Dykeman and Mary (Conkright) Shook, were born November 22, 1800, and August 4, 1799, respectively; and were married May 17, 1821. In the fall of 1830 they left their native state and emigrated to Hancock county, Illinois, where he entered land and lived till the spring of 1836, when they sold out and removed to Henderson county and entered a piece of land, the N.E. 1/4 of Sec. 34, T. 10, R. 4, and thus he became known as among the early pioneers. This farm they bought when it came in market and on it made their home and reared their family. They died November 12, 1876, and January 30, 1876, respectively. Major Shook, a name by which he was familiarly known, was a staunch member of the Christian church, and a short time before his death willed $1,000 to further its financial interests. His name stands today in this county without blemish, which is more to be appreciated by his posterity than large endowments of bonds or gold. George W., the second son, was, like his father, reared on the farm, and early in life was trained more particularly to honest toil and industrious economy than in the district schools, which in his school years were of a very primitive character. November 4, 1858, he married Miss Mary A. Bartness, a native of Clark county, Illinois. They are the parents of six children, whose names in the order of their birth are: Eliza J., Angeline, John F., Cora A., William L. and Mary M. Mr. Shook is now the owner of over 400 acres of good land, including the old home of his father, and is residing on the N.W. 1/4 of Sec. 35, T. 10, R. 4. They are members of the Christian church.
Biggsville Township, Page 1353
ISAAC C. SHORT, son of Gabriel and Sarah (Purcell) Short, was born in Henderson county, Illinois, June 30, 1838. Being one of the sons of this county, born and reared before the county's development into its present school system, his educational advantages were limited. He was twice married: first to Miss Rutha J. Burrus, February 21, 1859. She was born March 11, 1838, and died November 15, 1868; his second marriage was with Miss Martha A. Smith, a native of Ohio; she was born August 4, 1835, and died August 1, 1879. Mr. Short has children living, as follows: Sarah F., Samuel B., Wilson D., John N. and George N., by his first wife, and Martha E. by his second wife, and three deceased. In March, 1875, he purchased and moved onto his present farm in Sec. 31, T. 11, R. 4. As will be seen by reference to the history of Gladstone township, his father, Gabriel Short, settled in this county in an early day. He was born in Washington county, Kentucky, in 1810, and in 1819, with his mother and stepfather and their families, removed to Perry county, Indiana, and to Henderson county, Illinois, in 1830. He served through the Black Hawk war as a volunteer. In 1835 he was united in marriage with Miss Sarah Purcell, an old schoolmate, by whom he reared a family of eight children. He is now a resident of Biggsville and is a consistent member of the Cumberland Presbyterian church.
Honey Creek Township, Page 352
SAMUEL SIMMONS [SIMMONDS], of Dallas City, was born near Marysville, Kentucky, April 10, 1820. His father's name was Samuel and that of his mother Elizabeth, who came to Illinois and settled near Nauvoo in 1836. Mr. Simmonds spent his youth on a farm and received such an education as the common schools of the day afforded. He was married to Miss Sarah LoganDecember 15, 1852, by whom he had three children: Elizabeth A., born September 22, 1843; Mary T., April 28, 1845, and Margaret V., August 14, 1847. Was married a second time to Miss Mary Ann Green, daughter of Williamand Mary A. Green, May 22, 1852, by whom he had eight children: Levina J., born November 10, 1853; Richard H., February 3, 1856; Alice P., March 17, 1858; Martha D., January 30, 1860; Samuel A., December 16, 1869; Florence Jane, June 7, 1866; Capitola D., February 16, 1869; Esther Rose, January 20, 1874; Alonzo W., June 22, 1871; Melinda, July 4, 1872. Mr. Simmonds was a captain in the 78th Ill. Vols., and served through the war. He is now engaged in farming.
Bedford Township. Page. 268
Garret Simonson was born in New Jersey, where he was educated and raised to farming. He came to Henderson county in the spring of 1857, and bought eighty acres of land of his brother on Sec. 8, where he at present resides. He was married in New Jersey, in 1845, to Miss Martha Dunham. Three children were the result of the marriage. R. B. D. is principal of the high school of Troy, Missouri, where he graduated with high honors, after earning money with which to pay his tuition. D. Simonson, father of the subject of this sketch, was born in New Jersey, and is of German descent. He was twice married, and his children are: Rev. John Simonson, Dennis S. (deceased), James W. (a resident of Rock Island county, and member of the legislature), Marie (wife of Abram Wycoff), Gertrude E. (wife of Parker Wright, of Chicago), Balinda M. and Anme (spelled that way in the book) live at Port Byron.
Oquawka Township-pages. 107-108
Jonathan Simpson, who has been at the head of the bar of Henderson county for more than a score of years, and is one of the leading practitioners of Western Illinois, is a native of New England. His ancestors were of those who left left England and went to Amsterdam, Holland, that they might acquire the privilege of worshiping according to their own beliefs. From here they, with the other persecuted ones, drifted to America, and finally to Penobscot county, in the State of Maine, where Jonathan was born August 28, 1825. His father, Jonathan Simpson, was a ship captain, engaged in European-China trade. He died at Point Aupetro, Guadalupe, while Jonathan was yet quite young. His mother's name was Abigail Knowles. He grew up as most boys under similar circumstances would. At the proper age he was sent to Professor Wooster's institution, at Bangor, Maine, for the preparation of young men to enter college. Having finished the curriculum of studies, he prepared to enter Walterville college, where he might receive more liberal instruction. Ill health compelled him to lay aside his studies, and after traveling for some time in the sough he returned to his native district and commenced life as an instructor. The year 1846 was spent in travel, mostly on the West India Islands, to recuperate his wasted energies. His health being much improved he went to Louisiana where he remained a short time. During the 1847 he came to Oquawka, Illinois, where he has ever since resided. Soon after his arrival he embarked in merchandizing, in company with his brother, Jason B. Simpson. Being unsuccessful at this, and consequently acquiring a dislike for the business, at the end of four years they closed out their business. Having read law for a while prior to his advent at Oquawka, he concluded to finish his legal studies. He entered the office of Charles M. Harris, afterward a member of congress from the fifth district, was admitted and commenced practice in 1853. At the election in 1854 he was chosen to fill the office of school commissioner, for Henderson county, and was re-elected in 1856. His official duties were conscientiously fulfilled, to the satisfaction of his constituency. Although he had been a life-long democrat, when Fort Sumter was fired on he declared for the vigorous prosecution of the war. In 1862 he was chosen as the union candidate of Warren and Henderson counties, to represent them in the convention called to revise the constitution. He was elected by an overwhelming majority, defeating Judge Ivory Quinby, of Monmouth, Illinois. When the convention assembled Mr. Simpson was appointed on the Committee on Bill of Rights, on the Committee on Schedule, and on the Committee on Law Reform. Mr. Simpson was an active worker during the season, and introduced several important propositions. He proved himself to be of no mean ability as a fundamental legislator. In 1864 he was chosen as the union candidate to represent Henderson and Mercer counties in the general assembly, against editor Birdsall, of Aledo, Mercer county, defeating him by a large majority. Here, as in every other public capacity in which he served the people, he proved to be a valuable functionary. Besides these official positions he has filled two unexpired county offices, with great credit to himself and those he represented. Mr. Simpson is a married man and has three children living: Cora Frances (now in Colorado), Donald (in the employ of the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy railroad), and Frederick (printer and student in school, aged eighteen years).
Terre Haute Township. Page. 435
The SLOAN family, now residents of this township, consists of the families of FRISBY, THOMAS W. and WORKMAN SLOAN. The last named is deceased. They are the sons of ROBERT and RUTH (FRISBY) SLOAN. The father was a native of Ireland and came to America about 1790 with his father, JOHN SLOAN, and located in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, where the last named (John Sloan) died. Ruth Frisby Sloan was born in Pennsylvania and emigrated to Ohio, where she was married to Mr. Sloan, who died in 1839 at the age of about 59 years. His wife is now living with her son, Thomas W., and is a member of the Free-Will Baptist Church; she is now 83 years old. FRISBY SLOAN was born in 1828, Muskingum County, Ohio and came to Illinois in 1852, and located in Hancock County, where he remained but a short time, when he moved to Oquawka. There he resided 29 years, and now lives in this township. He is a stonemason by trade, which vocation he has followed most of his life. In 1847 he was married to PHOEBE SPANGLER, of Muskingum County Ohio, born in 1825, daughter of MATHIAS and SARAH (WELLS) SPANGLER; the father of Maryland, the latter of Pennsylvania. They were married in Ohio, and emigrated to Illinois in 1851. The father was born in 1793 and died in 1864; the mother was born in 1791 and died in 1854. They were members of the Baptist church. He served in the war of 1812. Frisby Sloan has by this marriage six children: Ann Eliza, William C., Louis E., Judson, Emma and Laura. WORKMAN SLOAN was born in 1825, in Ohio. He came to Illinois at the age of 22 years, and located in Hancock County, where he resided four or five years, when he came to Henderson County and located where his widow now lives. He was married in 1853 to PERE ROBERTS of Pennsylvania, born in 1831, daughter of JAMES and LUCRETIA (MORRIS) ROBERTS.; the father born in 1785, the mother in Pennsylvania in 1787, and died in 1867. In 1851 they came to Illinois and located in Hancock County, where they lived the remainder of their days. They were farmers and lived near LaHarpe. He was in belief a Quaker; she a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church in Pennsylvania. They raised a family of 13 children. Workman Sloan had by this union five children: James R., Frisby (deceased), Rhienhart M., Pleasant J., and Nancy E. (deceased). He and wife were members of the Baptist church. His oldest child joined the church when 13 years old; his second when only ten years old. Rheinhart M. remains at home with his mother . Mr. Sloan left his family in good circumstances. His farm consisted of 135 acres, located in the northwest corner of the township. THOMAS W. SLOAN was born in 1824 in Ohio he was reared on the farm. In 1850 he came to Illinois and located in McDonough County, where he remained three years, when he moved to Henderson County, where he now resides. He has a farm of 120 acres and keeps a good grade of farm stock. His aged mother lives with him. He has remained a bachelor. He is a member of the Free-Will Baptist church at Terre Haute.
Biggsville Township, Page 1357-1358
JAMES SLOAN, farmer, Biggsville, is a son of William and Margaret (Pea) Sloan, and was born in 1839, in County Antrim, Ireland. He was reared on a small farm, where his time during early youth was principally devoted to agriculture. At the same time he learned from his father the trade of boot and shoe maker, and improved occasional odd hours in the schoolroom. On April 26, 1857, with a heart full of hope for future plenty and independence, he left the home of his birth and friends with a view to renew them in America, on the sailing vessel "Neptune," and landed at Castle Garden, New York, May 26 of the same spring. From there he went to Knoxville, Illinois, where he engaged to work on a farm for his uncle, John Sloan. He remained there on the farm till the fall of 1858, when he removed to Biggsville, Henderson county, Illinois, where he went to work at his trade, which he followed till the fall of 1861. When the honor of his adopted country was assailed by traitors he offered his services to protect the national flag, and at once volunteered as a member of the 11th Cav., at Peoria, Illinois, under Col. R. G. Ingersoll. He participated in all the battles and marches of that noble and heroic regiment; veteraned with the regiment and was with them honorably discharged. In September, 1862, he was captured by the rebels, but by hiding in the canebrake made his escape during the night, and after a walk of fifty miles joined his comrades near Corinth. October 30, 1868, he married Miss Elizabeth Tolcott, of Pike county, Illinois, a daughter of Albert and Rhoda (Daniels) Tolcott, natives of Massachusetts. She was born July 30, 1851, in Pike county, Illinois. After his marriage Mr. Sloan turned his attention to farming and stock raising. He now owns, besides his home in Biggsville, 260 acres of land near Biggsville, and all earned during his few years' residence in this county, besides over three years of the best part of his life devoted to his country.
Alexander M. Smith, the present manager of the Henderson county poor farm and jail, was born in Kentucky, February 16, 1846. His father, Ralph Smith, died in Kentucky in 1846, and our subject came to Illinois with his mother and brother Charles, in 1849. They settled and lived for a number of years on a farm about four miles southeast of Oquawka. At that time the county was new and but sparsely settled, and consequently Alexander enjoyed but few school advantages. In January, 1864, he enlisted Co. F, 16th Ill. vol. Inf., when the regiment was home on veteran furlough, leaving home the day after his eighteenth birthday, and was honorable discharged at Springfield in the summer of 1865, having been with Sherman on his memorable march to the sea. After his return home he engaged in farming. March 9, 1876, he was married to Miss Eliza M. Jackson, the daughter of Mr. Asa Jackson, of Greenville, Henderson county, Illinois. She is a native of Indiana. They have one child, Ralph, born April 12, 1881. In March, 1879, he took charge of the Henderson county poor farm and jail, and is making the farm a decided success. His mother has been three times married. Her second husband was Thadeus Bird, now deceased. Her present husband is Mr. S. H. Crow. They are now residents of Greenville precinct. By each of her three husbands she has reared two children.
Asa Smith, dealer in lumber and staves, has been a resident of Oquawka about thirty-six years, actively engaged in business, or at trade. His parents, Ezra and Lydia (Brooks) Smith, were natives of Connecticut. They moved to Ohio in 1818, and there died. He was a house joiner and miller by trade. Mrs. Smith had been married before, having a family of two children by her first husband. In the second family were three children, of whom Asa Smith is the oldest. He was born January 13, 1812, in Saybrook, Middlesex county, Connecticut. His early life was mostly rustic. When he was six years old his parents moved to Ohio. The youth enjoyed fair educational advantages, which he improved. He early worked with his father at house-joining, also on a farm. He followed the trade at Cleveland awhile, also farmed. Mr. Smith was married January 1, 1840, to Miss Esther Patterson, daughter of Lewis and Lucy Patterson. She was born in Vermont in 1817. After marriage Mr. Smith farmed till 1846, when he came to Oquawka, bringing his wife and one child, Angeline. Mr. Smith engaged in the daguerreotype business, also kept a bookstore in connection with the gallery for a couple of years. In 1857 he engaged exclusively in lumber and stoves, which he continues. He and his wife are members of the Presbyterian church. Mr. Smith was born a whig, and with the budding of republicanism he was been true to that party. He has served a number of times as town trustee.
Thomas C. Smith, proprietor of the Smith House, Oquawka, was born at Lebanon, Ohio, June 1, 1829. He was principally brought up on a farm, and at the age of twenty years engaged at learning the trade of coach maker. In 1851 he came to Illinois, spent some time in Oquawka and Chicago, and in 1854 made a trip to California, returning home again the same year. December 31, 1857, he married Miss Cordelia F. Richards. She was born in Henderson county, Illinois, September 25, 1838, and is a daughter of Jonas and Eliza (Fouts) Richards, who came from Pennsylvania to this county at an early day, being among the very earliest pioneers. In 1858 Mr. Smith permanently located in Oquawka, and to some considerable extent engaged in the manufacture of carriages and wagons. In 1871 Mr. Smith turned all his attention to the business of running hotel, making it a success. He has two children, Arthur H., and Effie A.
Honey Creek Township, Page 351
Charles Sparrow was born in Oxfordshire, England, in 1828. He is the son of William Sparrow. His mother's maiden name was Porter. His father was a native of Suffolk. In 1842 the young Charles came to American, first stopping at Burlington, Iowa, where, on December 17, 1846, he was married to Mary Foster Darbyshire, by birth an Englishwoman, having been born to John and Jane Darbyshire in London. They became the parents of seven children, six of whom are yet living, the other dying quite young: Lutetia, now the wife of John F. King, Shenandoah, Iowa, was born April 28, 1848; Sarah E., now the wife of Samuel Leek, of Grenola, Kansas, born July 10, 1850; Martha Ann, born May 27, 1858; Albert C., born May 6, 1862; and Edward T., born February 28, 1865, yet remain at home with their father. Mrs. Sparrow died July 11, 1877. Mr. Sparrow came to this country with nothing, but he now owns a well improved farm of 420 acres in T.8, R.6.
Bedford Township. Page. 262-263
WYETT STANLY ranks among the several prominent gentlemen of Henderson county who have taken an active part in its development. He was born in North Carolina in 1835, where he remained until at the age of 18 years, when he removed with his father's family to this county. On their first arrival here they rented land the first year, and at the same time bought land on section 4, where they settled, but continued to rent for three years after, devoting all their surplus time to the improvement of the place which was to be their future home. Our subject began life with nothing but his empty hands, his whole stock-in-trade being his indomitable energy and industry. He first began to work by the month, in which way he managed to lay by a small share of his wages with which he bought his first eighty acres of land. From this small beginning he added to his farm until 1882. He controls over 1,000 acres of choice land. In 1876 he build a handsome mansion at a cost of $10,000. This house is three stories high with a gothic tower extending high above the tall trees that surround the picturesque place overlooking the surrounding country, with high arched windows, hardwood finish and carved solid stone steps leading to the main entrances, it presents a grand appearance, and one would scarcely believe, not knowing the facts, that the proprietor of this edifice carved this stately heritage out by his own energy. His barn and outbuildings were built at a cost of $8,000. He was married in 1864 to Miss Ellen Veech, a native of Kentucky. The following children bless their happy home: Jesse A., Artie, John, Minnie, Georgie, and Maggie. John Stanley, his father, an Englishman by descent, was born in North Carolina. He left his native state for Fort Dennison, Iowa, but changing his mind landed in Henderson county, Illlinois. In his family there were eight children: Sarah, the eldest, married William Robinson. They are both deceased. She died in Henderson county, and he in North Carolina. Mary Jane, wife of Eli Reziner, resides near Biggsville, this county. Hannah married A. E. Stanly and is deceased. JAMES H. died while young, caused by an injury from the kick of a horse. William S. married Miss Ellen McDill; he was killed at Stone River. His widow resides at Biggsville, Illinois. George W. married Nancy Woodside. Stephen B. married Isabel Rodden; she died and he married a second time to a Miss Dennison, of McDonough county. Mr. Stanly is a republican in politics.
Cyrus W. Steele, the eldest child of James Steele and Elizabeth Peck, was born at Waynesborough, Augusta county, Virginia, in the year 1818. Both his parents were born and reared in the same county, where they were married and where their son was born. The father was of Irish, the mother of German extraction. His grandparents on both his father's and mother's side were actively engaged in the war of the revolution. James Steele, but a lad during the revolution, found opportunity to show his patriotism in the war of 1812. He was stationed at Norfolk, Virginia, where the tedium of camp life was relieved by occasional encounters with the enemy. A rather ludicrous incident of this service was specially relished by the old man. One evening a certain Capt. Boyer saw, through the woods, the blazing camp fires of some British soldiers. At once detailing a sufficient number of men, the doughty captain set forth to bring the enemy into camp. The party approached with stealthy step and circuitous route the hostile encampment; but, lo! when they entered the clearing, there, bland and smiling, was the ruddy face of the rising full moon. The captain left his prize on the field. In 1818, when Cyrus was but two years of age, James Steele removed from his farm in Virginia to Greene county, Ohio. Here he buried his wife in 1827. He himself was laid beside her five years later, in the year 1832. Cyrus, thus thrown upon his own resources, remained in Ohio until the year 1840. During this time he learned the carpenter's trade and worked at it for several years. In 1840, his health failing, he went to Louisa county, Iowa. Leaving there, he came to Henderson county in 1841. Here he divided his time between carpentering and the saw mill until 1856, when he purchased 120 acres in the S. W. 1/4 of Sec. 10, T. 9N., R. 5 W., where he still lives. He afterward sold four acres of this to obtain a saw mill, which he ran for some time. The mill has since been removed. In 1851 he married Mrs. Susan Downs. They had five children, the three youngest of whom are living: Elizabeth, Viola, and Franklin. Mr. Steele has two sisters living, Julia, in Green county, Ohio, and Emily, near Indianapolis, Indiana. For a long series of years Mr. Steele has held public office, first as constable, afterward, as at present, justice of the peach. He has had a hard task to subdue the wilderness in which he settled, but lives to enjoy his labors in his old age.
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