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WYMAN, EDWARD J., it may in truth be said that from 1850 to 1856 more settlers came into Knox County than during any other equal period of time since Daniel Robinson erected his cabin in 1828. That was a great railroad building era, and the fertile land of Knox County was taken up rapidly, and claimed by early settlers. Our subject, who is today one of the leading farmers in Persifer Township, residing on section 17, came in with his parents, Arthur and Anna (Salts) Wyman. His father was a native of Steuben County, N.Y. and his mother, of Ross County, Ohio. He was also engaged in agricultural pursuits during life. Both parents continued to reside in Persifer Township until their death, the father dying about the year 1876, and the mother Jan. 1884. It was in 1853 when they left Vinton Co, OH for their journey westward, and finding what proved a desirable spot, located in Persifer Township, where young Edward continued a member of the household until 1858.
During that year a new epoch in his life began with his marriage, and he settled down to follow the peaceful and independent calling that his father had previously honored. He selected what is his present location, and where during these 28 years he has continued to reside. He has erected upon his splendid 360 acre farm, a fine set of buildings, suitable for carrying on extensive agricultural enterprises.
Edward J. Wyman was born in Vinton County, Ohio, Jan. 10, 1833, and was married on the 4th of Feb. in the year 1858, in Stark County, Illinois to Susan E. Bradford, daughter of Harvey S. and Esther (Whitten) Bradford, they being early pioneers of Knox County, who settled in Persifer Township. They subsequently removed to Haw Creek, where they are prominent and highly respected residents. Mrs. Wyman was born in Persifer Township, Nov. 24, 1837, and has become the mother of eight children, to whom they gave the following names: Mary A., Alice E., Willie P., Lincoln H., Oscar S., Minerva J., Clark E., and Rufus C. Mary, Oscar and Lincoln are deceased. Before her demise Mary had become the wife of Nels Eiker, and resided in Persifer Township, where she died.
Mr. Wyman has taken a prominent position in the affairs of his township, as well as of the county, and has held the office of Supervisor for 7 years, and also the offices of Constable, Assessor, Collector, and Township Treasurer, up to the present time. The last he still holds. He labors and votes in support of the men and the principles of the Republican party. In his religious connection himself, wife and family are, excepting one son, members of the United Brethren Church.
CAMPBELL, JAMES L., of Indian Point Township, is conspicuous among the farmers of Knox County, as not only being proficient in his art, but extremely successful in the pursuance of his vocation. His farm is situated on section 3, and as an agriculturist he has no superior in that section of the country.
Mr. Campbell was born in Kentucky, near Paris, on April 11, 1829, and is the son of Lewis and Elizabeth (Wallace) Campbell, both born in Bourbon County, Ky., he Oct. 27, 1790, and she March 24, 1799. He died Aug. 9, 1849 in Ky., and she followed him May 17, 1885, in Knox County, IL. They were united in marriage in May 1818, when Mr. Campbell continued to pursue farming.
To them were born six children, viz: William W., Elizabeth, Margaret E., born Oct. 5, 1823 and who died at the early age of three years; John H. born Dec. 13, 1835 and who died Dec. 22, 1852; Margaret (2nd) born March 20, 1839, who died Nov. 22, 1852.
Mr. William W. Campbell, brother to the subject of our sketch, was born on the 6th day of April, 1819, in Bourbon County, Ky. The portrait of this gentleman, which will be found on another page, represents a man whose estimable life reflects credit not alone upon himself, but inspired to hope and encouragement the lives of those with whom he was directly or indirectly associated. He was a man of sterling qualities of mind and heart, and those who knew him best could appreciate him most. “Honor to whom honor is due” is a motto that cannot be misplaced, if found encircling the name of this good man.
After the death of Mrs. Byram’s husband, the widow finding herself the possessor of some considerable money, forwarded the same to her brother—the gentleman referred to—then in Kentucky, and they together invested it in some excellent pedigreed cattle and high grades. Arriving in Illinois with these—16 head in all—he so managed the business for his sister that Mrs. Byram’s cattle became known as the finest of their kind in Illinois. In this way he laid the foundation of those striking successes created and enjoyed by those who survive him. His death took place Dec. 18, 1876. Though dying in the hope of a bright future, he left many saddened hearts to mourn him.
For quite a time in his township he filled the posts of Assessor, Collector, and represented his township for several years on the Board of Supervisors. As an enterprising, consistent and conscientious citizen, Mr. Wm. Campbell has left a splendid record within the memory of those who knew and loved him.
James Campbell, of whom we write, united in marriage with Mrs. Amanda Wood, nee Ptizer, December 4, 1872. She was born in Kentucky, Oct. 24, 1829, and came to Illinois with her parents when a small girl, seven years of age. They located near Carlinsville. They were by name Blayborn and Sarah (Bradley) Pitzer. The father was born in Virginia in 1802, and his death took place in February 1865, in the State of Illinois. The mother was born November 12, 1807, and still survives him. Their marriage was celebrated in 1825, and the union was blessed by 12 children, three of whom died in infancy. Those living are: Amanda A., Fletcher P., Henry L., Emory W., Samuel C., Newton C., George, and one other, Mary A., who lived to become a most attractive and lovable young lady of 20 years, at which age she died.
Mr. Campbell, our subject, owns 80 acres of fine land one-half mile east of Abingdon, and engages in the breeding of pure-blooded stock, both horses and cattle. He includes Short-horns among his cattle and Hambletonians among his horses. He is an active, energetic worker in his home affairs and shirks no duty, whether domestic or public. He had held the office of School Commissioner for three years and is a Democrat in political sentiment. He is an honest and devoted member of the Christian Church, and supports and helps that organization by his presence and prayers, no less than in a financial way.
The first husband of Mrs. Campbell was Edward Wood, who was born in Illinois, Oct. 13, 1824, and died Nov. 12, 1859. Two children were born to them: Emma E., Nov. 18, 1851, and died Dec. 15, 1853; and Franklin P. born Sept. 13, 1853. He married Miss Fannie Philbrick, and his home is in Brown County, Nebraska. They have two children, by name, Harry L. and Chester E. Mrs. Wood, now Mrs. Campbell, is a member of the Congregational Church at Abingdon, and is an admired and estimable lady. Mr. Campbell remained in Kentucky until the year 1869, when he came to Knox County, where he has remained up to the present time.
PITMAN, GIDEON, this gentleman’s farm is located on section 3 of Henderson Township. He came with his parents to Knox County in the spring of 1842, and, settling in Henderson Township, lived respected, and died regretted by the community that had shared both in their successes and sorrows. His parents were John and Susan (Oatman) Pitman, natives respectively of Virginia and Kentucky. Mr. Pitman was the seventh child in a family of ten children, viz: Joseph, John, Christina, George, Elizabeth, Harvey, Flora, Philip, and Lucinda. George and Philip are deceased. The father died in 1849, and the mother in 1879.
The subject of this biography was born in Harrison County, Indiana, on Nov.17, 1831, and received a good common-school education. Since the year 1842 he has been almost exclusively engaged in agricultural pursuits and is the owner of 160 acres, 20 of which are under pasture and timber.
He was married in Henderson Township on the 29th of March, 1855, to Mary J. Champion, the daughter of Thomas and Artimitia (Miles) Champion; her parents being native of Kentucky. Mrs. Pitman was born in Henderson Township on the 6th of March, 1836. Mrs. Pitman was the eldest of a family of six children, viz: Mrs. P., Ruth, Nancy A., Drusilla, John H., and James M. The mother died in 1845, the father is still living.
By this happy union there have been five children: James A., Fannie, Nancy A., Thomas C., and Edgar G.
Thomas C., to the great sorrow of his parents, died in his 10th year;
James resides in Henderson Township. He married Alice Mathers, they are the parents of two children---Pearl and George.
Fannie is the wife of Ezra McMurtry and resides in Warren County. She is the mother of two children—Ethel and Grace.
The other children of Mr. Pitman’s family at present are at home.
Mr. Pitman has held the office of Road Commissioner, of which he has faithfully discharged the duties. He and his family are members of the United Brethren Church and are held in the highest esteem by that body. He is a stanch Republican in politics and always ready and willing to support any measure of sound policy favoring Republican politics.
MONTGOMERY, HARVEY, one of the leading farmers of Knox Township, residing on section 30, and prominent in the ranks of substantial citizens, is the subject of this biographical narration, and some of the principal points in whose life history are herein summed up.
Mr. Montgomery was born in Knox Township on Jan. 14, 1834, and is the son of John Montgomery, of Nelson County, Ky., who was born in 1801, and was the son of Robert and Rebecca (Brown) Montgomery, both of whom were originally from Mifflin County, Pa.
The great-grandfather of the subject of this sketch, John Montgomery, of Irish ancestry and birth, came to this country and settled in Pennsylvania, serving in the Indian War in Ohio, and receiving his death wound at the battle of Pickaway Plains in that State.
While yet a young man, the grandfather of Mr. Montgomery of this narration, removed to Kentucky and was one of the earliest settlers in Nelson County. He consummated his life’s happiness by a union in marriage in 1811, after which he removed to the Territory of Indiana, where he located in Harrison County. In that section of country he located and there lived until 1821. He then removed to Spencer County, where he bought timber land and with the assistance of his son, removed some of the trees and marked out the boundary of his farm. Here he resided until his death.
The father of Mr. Montgomery resided at home in Harrison County, under the parental roof, and went with them to Spencer County, where he continued one year or until he returned to Harrison County. In 1824 he married Margaret Vaughn, also a native of Kentucky, having been born in Green County in the year 1802. Instigated by the thrift and industry so common to him, the young man rented land in Harrison County and began life. He had prospered fairly well and there remained until 1830, when with his wife and their two little ones, he emigrated to Illinois; coming in a flat boat to the mouth of the Ohio, then by steamer up the Mississippi River, to Burlington, Iowa. Leaving his wife and children at this point, that they might not suffer the hardships of the journey with him, he came to Knox County and there procured a conveyance, an ox team, from his mother-in-law and returned for his goods. His family insisted on returning with him, and rode with the goods directly to Mrs. Vaughn’s home in Henderson Grove.
After this he rented land at Henderson Grove, which he worked with success until the fall of 1831, when he made a claim on the southeast quarter of section 30, of Knox Township. On this he erected a square log-cabin, 14 feet on each side, with clapboards for the roof and a puncheon floor. This rough structure completed, the little family entered it and commenced their labors on their western home. As soon as the land came into market he entered it from the Government. McKee’s Mill, in Schuyler County, 75 miles distant, was the nearest mill at that time, with the exception of hand-mills, which were resorted to. Several times he made trips to McKee’s mill with his ox team, and to Peoria, which was the nearest depot of supplies. He improved and cultivated the land on which he settled and also a farm of 80 acres in Sparta Township; 160 in Galesburg Township; besides 120 situated on section 36 of the same township, and from a comparative wilderness lived to see the county flourish and develop into a bright and stirring community. His death took place on Dec. 4, 1872, and his wife, surviving him 12 years, followed him Sept. 21, 1884.
The olive branches that sprang from the parent Montgomery family-tree, were seven in number, viz: Robert, who died in infancy; Rebecca, who lived to attain girlhood, reaching the age of 20, but who then died; Jane, wife of Jacob B. Gum, who resides in Knox Township; Eliza, who died at the age of 21; Harvey, our subject; Sarah, wife of C. N. Butt, who lives in Knox Township; and John, who died in infancy.
Mr. Montgomery of this notice, was reared on the farm where he was born and which has been his home since that time. He was married Nov. 15, 1864, to Miss Louisa Maxwell. She was born at Henderson Grove, Feb. 28, 1842, and was the daughter of Henry and Sarah (Hodges) Maxwell, who figure prominently among the pioneer settlers of Knox County. Three children have come to brighten the house of Mr. and Mrs. Montgomery, who bear the names respectively, of Sarah J., John, and Henry.
He owns and carried on the homestead farm, on which he has erected a neat frame house, which includes 165 acres. He has also purchased other land, and now owns in all about 800 acres of land, highly improved and cultivated, and is considered one of the wealthiest land-owners in that section of the county. Mr. Montgomery makes stock-raising a specialty in farming, particularly that including thorough-bred horses. He now has 40 head of horses; his cattle are high-grade Short-horns; as well as an excellent grade of sheep and hogs. In fact, he ranks among the leading stock-raisers in the county.
His success in life is the result of careful methodical effort, and he takes a foremost position among the public-spirited and enterprising agriculturists of Knox County. Any enterprise having for its object the improvement and benefit of the county in which he resides, may claim in him an earnest supporter. He is an active public worker, and is noted for keen logical thought and the accuracy of his political opinion. He affiliates with the Democratic party.
The portrait of John Montgomery, the father of the present gentleman, is shown on another page.
FAY, NORMAN, may be designated as one of the principal stock-raisers of Knox County. His farm is situated on section 20, Ontario Township. Mr. Fay came to this county in the year 1850, locating immediately after his arrival in the now thriving city of Galesburg. Feeling a deep interest in agricultural pursuits, he decided to turn his attention in that direction, and two years after he came to Ontario Township, he made his first purchase of 160 acres of land. He began the cultivation of his farm in 1856, his material being wholly raw prairie-land in a wild and uncultivated condition. He at once set about adding improvements with the view of eventually creating a home worth having. He has succeeded so pleasantly that his first acquisition of property has been his permanent residence ever since. His house is large, handsome, and convenient. His barns and surrounding farm buildings are commodious and substantial. His landed possessions have constantly been on the increase, dating from his first purchase. Soon after he began his farming pursuits he commenced raising and breeding blooded, Poland-China hogs, and has ever since made a specialty of this branch of his business. About 1880, he introduced breeds of Short-horn cattle. By constantly adding to and improving his stock, and by giving this business thought and attention, he has now in his possession a herd of 60 head of extremely fine cattle. His breeder is Baron Bates, Jr. and is a regular registered bull.
Mr. Fay was born in Windham County, Vermont, Sept. 22, 1821. His father, John Fay, a native of Massachusetts and a genuine New England man, is by trade a blacksmith. The latter was married in Vermont, to which State he went when a young man from Ma., where he had been engaged in learning blacksmithing. There he met and afterward married Phebe Lock, a young lady of English ancestry and American parentage. She was born in Rockingham, Windham Co, Vt. The result of their union was eight children, Mr. Fay of this writing, being the youngest but one. Of four brothers and four sisters, three of the former and one of the latter only are survivors. Both parents departed this life in Rockingham, Vt., having attained to ripe years.
When but a young man, Norman learned the trade of a mill-wright under his older brother. At this he was engaged for 12 years, but eventually abandoned it and came west.
While still living in his native State, he met and married Sarah J. Bellows, who was born, lived and died in the State of Vermont. After he came to Knox County, he again married, this time to Miss Susan O. Chapman of Ontario Township, becoming his wife, Dec, 25, 1853. She was the daughter of Ezra Chapman. Mrs. Fay was born in Whitesburg, Oneida Co, N.Y., Nov. 29, 1831. When she was but eight years of age, her parents came west and located a home in which she remained up to the date of her marriage. Mrs. Fay is the mother of three children, but lost one by death, namely: Norman, who died in infancy. The living children are as follows: Oscar L., who lives at home and works the farm in company with his father. He is connected also with him in stock-raising. The date of his birth is Oct. 25, 1855. Sarah J., the second child, was born March 15, 1857 and lives at home.
While connected with no orthodox Church and holding no specified position in secular belief, Mr. and Mrs. Fay are tolerant in religious matters and liberal in their views. Mr. Fay takes a live interest in political affairs and is a member of the Republican party.
PLECKER, JOHN R., one of the prominent business men of Indian Point Township is the subject of this biography, whose name finds a place on the records of Knox County, and of whose career a brief summary is herein given. He was formerly a hardware merchant and tinner, but at the present time devotes himself to farming, for which he has a liking and the duties of which he ably discharges.
Mr. Plecker was born in Shenandoah Valley, Va., April 27, 1814, and in 1856 moved to Lexington, McLean Co, IL., where he remained for one year. At the expiration of that time he removed to Abingdon, where he worked at his trade for four years. He then established a hardware business, which he conducted until 1866, then sold out his stock, moved to Bushnell, McDonough County, and bought a half interest in the hardware store of E.P. King. He continued as partner with him for one year, and then sold to Kingworthy & Hand. Pursuant to this he purchased a stock of dry-goods of James Cole, of Bushnell, and this business he conducted until 1872, at which time he returned to Abingdon and opened a new hardware store, and continued the same for three years.
In 1837, Mr. Plecker married Miss Sarah Gilkeson, who was born in Virginia in 1808, and died in January 1874, in Abingdon. She became the mother of four children: the first of whom died in infancy; the second, William A., was born Aug, 1839, and was killed accidentally by shooting himself while out gunning. This happened in Virginia, in 1856. The third in order of birth was James H., April 13, 1842, who married Miss Ellen Washburn, of Prairie City, IL. His present home is 183 West Madison St., Chicago. He made a study of medicine, graduating for the profession at Rush Medical College; Mary E.T. is the wife of Mr. Manning Hunt of Bushnell, IL, and was married in 1845.
In October 1874, Mr. Plecker married Miss Elizabeth L. Reeves, his second matrimonial alliance. She was a native of Ohio, born July 13, 1835. Her parents came to Illinois in 1850, and were Samuel and Susan (Martin) Reeves. They were natives of Kentucky and Virginia, respectively. He died in 1866, and she in 1869. Their family numbered six children: Eliza, Martha, Olive, Elmer, Lydia, and Elizabeth.
The Plecker’s real estate consists of 120 acres of finely cultured land and a house and lot in the city of Abingdon. They carry on mixed husbandry. They are active members of the society in which they move and are worthy citizens, genial, courteous, and honorable. They are consistent members of the Methodist Episcopal Church of Abingdon, and forward the interests of that body in word and deed. Mr. P. is, politically, a Republican.
VAUGHN, CHARLES H., among the well-to-do and prosperous farmers of Sparta Township, who have succeeded in acquiring a competency, and winning universal respect, is the subject of this notice, residing on section 19, where he is actively engaged in the prosecution of his chosen vocation.
Mr. Vaughn was born in Knoxville, Nov. 22, 1834. The parents of our subject were John and Viny (Osborne) Vaughn, natives of Kentucky and Indiana respectively, and of German-Irish ancestry. John Vaughn and family came to this State and settled in this county in 1828. His was the second family to locate in Knox County, where he located on a farm of 160 acres.
It must be remembered by the readers of these biographical notices that Mr. Vaughn’s being the second family to settle in Knox County, that he must have come otherwise than in a Pullman Palace car, and that on his arrival he had many obstacles to over come in making his settlement here. The land was in its original condition, nor portion of it ever having brightened the share of a plow, and the only neighbors were the Indians, who were not friendly at all times with the early pioneers.
John Vaughn was nevertheless favorably impressed with the lay of the land, and having great faith in the future development of the country, went to work on his farm with a determination of making it his future abiding place, and was thus occupied on his original claim for three or four years. He then moved to Henderson Township, where he again engaged in agricultural pursuits and there lived and labored, overcoming all obstacles, which naturally fell in the pathway of the early pioneer, until 1859. During this year he moved to Kansas, where he has an 80 acre farm, and where he is still living with his daughter, Mrs. Sarah Howe.
His wife, who came to this county with him in 1828, and who shared his reverses and successes all along during the years of their married life, died in August, 1870, in Marshall Co, Ks. It is hardly necessary in this short biographical notice for us to enumerate the many trials and difficulties through which John Vaughn and his good wife passed, from the time they made their early settlement here until her death, for they were similar to those of many others, and we more fully treat of this subject in another part of this work.
They became the parents of seven children: Sarah, Charles H., James T., Cornelius, Harvey M., Mary A., and Franklin P.
Cornelius died in August 1872.
In addition to being an agriculturist John Vaughn was a skilled mechanic, and was employed as engineer in different mills in the county.
Charles H. Vaughn was an inmate of the parental household until he attained the age of 18 years, receiving his education in the primitive log school house of that day, and assisted in the labors of the farm. When a boy residing at home, there were no houses on the prairie from Henderson Grove to Knoxville, and he was often engaged in hunting wild horses on the uncultivated prairies which are now fenced and under an advanced state of cultivation. The early settlers in those days were under the impression that the broad prairies were worthless, so far as cultivation was concerned, but Mr. Vaughn has lived to see those same prairies develop and made to “Bloom and blossom as the rose”, and advance in value until they are at the present time worth $75 per acre.
After leaving home, Mr. Vaughn worked for four years with James Osborne, and uncle, and afterwards worked his farm on shares.
It was at this period in the life history of our subject that he became a benedict, having united his destiny with that of Miss Helen M. Duval, the date of their marriage being Feb. 5, 1857. She was a native of Warren County, and was born Dec. 25, 1836, her parents being Thomas C. and Nancy (Shoemate) Duval. (see sketch of T.C. Duval).
After his marriage Mr. Vaughn and his bride lived on rented land in Henderson Township, which he cultivated for two years. He then moved to Wataga, where he also worked another year.
Nov. 7, 1859, in company with his wife and children, Mr. Vaughn moved to Kansas. He made the journey in a covered wagon, and four weeks after his start arrived in Pottawattomie County, Kansas, and was there a resident for 18 months. The first year of his residence there he was engaged in splitting rails and making posts, and the second year worked a rented farm. He then moved to Marshall County, that State, where he purchased 80 acres of land, which he subsequently increased by an additional purchase of 80 acres, on which he lived and labored until 1879. The land which he purchased was prairie but he improved it erecting thereon good buildings, and set out an orchard of apples and peaches, and in 1878 a cyclone came, which struck his place the 30th of May, and completely demolished all his buildings, and destroyed his orchard, leveling it to the ground. Strange as it may seem, it is nevertheless true, that none of the family were killed. There were nevertheless 33 persons killed by this cyclone, within a radius of 13 miles.
In 1879, after suffering the loss of his property by the cyclone, Mr. Vaughn returned to this State and county, settling north of Knoxville, where he lived four years. He then moved to Sparta Township, where he had purchased a farm of 236 acres, on which he settled and is living at the present time. In addition to his home farm he has 160 acres in Knox Township, and also retains his 80 acre farm in Kansas, where he suffered such a loss of property, and where his family came near losing their lives.
Of the union of Mr. and Mrs. Vaughn seven children have been born, Lydia A., Sarah E., James T., John O., Ellis E., Benny C., and Nancy U. The latter of whom are twins.
Lydia A. married H.B. Flinn, and they have three children, Clarence, Myrtie and Charles.
Sarah became the wife of George B. Landrum, and to them two children have been born, Claude G. and Charles.
James T. chose Miss Hattie E. Weed for his wife, and they have one son, Harrison T.
Politically Mr. Vaughn votes with the Democratic party. Socially he is a member of the order of Masonry. Religiously he and his wife are members of the Christian Church.
The experiences of our subject when he first made settlement in Kansas, were similar to those of his father when he first arrived in this county. We will not attempt to enumerate them all, but will simply say the country was new and very sparsely settled, and his location was 20 miles from the county-seat, and there was but one house between him and that village. Sometimes he was compelled to go nearly 100 miles to obtain flour for his family, and on one of these trips, in company with six neighbors, they were gone 18 days.
REED, JOSEPH N., the subject of this biographical narrative, is one of the proprietors and publishers of the Enterprise, a Republican organ in the journalistic field and a bright and newsy sheet, published at Abingdon, IL. It is a five-column quarto and has a circulation of 750, being managed financially by Mr. Reed, and is edited by its publishers.
Joseph N. Reed was born in Henderson County, Nov. 20, 1858. He is the son of John and Charity (Webb) Reed. He was a bright, intelligent boy, with keen foresight and of quick native wit. He was educated in the public schools of Abingdon and subsequently graduated from Hedding College—one of the class of 1884.
He entered into partnership with Robert E. Pendarvis, a class-mate, and the firm became known as Reed & Pendarvis. Their venture was the issuing of the Enterprise, a weekly Republican journal, and it proved eminently successful. The respective partners of the firm gained the good will of friends and neighbors and proved themselves able, mentally and financially, to fill their chosen positions, with all the more credit it may be said, because they were comparatively inexperienced. The Enterprise has grown until it now ranks high among the live papers of the county, and is a credit to its owners.
MOSSER, JOHN, is a dealer in dry goods, boots and shoes, carpets and cloaks, and carried a stock valued at about $12,000, in the city of Abingdon. He is quoted as one of the town’s successful merchants.
Mr. Mosser was born in Preston County, West Virginia, Jan. 1, 1832, and is the son of John and Susan (Frankhouser) Mosser. His father was born in Pennsylvania and comes of a direct line of German forefathers. His mother was born in Virginia, but grew to womanhood in West Virginia, on the farm of her father.
John grew to manhood, spending the years prior to attaining his majority, in farming. He afterward went to McDonough County, IL., in the year 1855, where he worked at blacksmithing, at Industry for 9 years, and at the expiration of that time, 1864, removed to Abingdon, and in February, opened his present business house.
He was married in the fall of 1860 to Miss Mary Carroll, in McDonough County. She is the daughter of William and Sarah Carroll, and was born in Fayette County, Pa. The fruits of the first marriage of Mr. Mosser are two children: Samuel T., born in 1861; and Ida L., born in April, 1864. Mrs. Mosser passed from earth, Oct. 21, 1866, leaving her husband and children to mourn her loss.
Mr. Mosser contracted a second matrimonial alliance with Sarah J. Carroll, Nov. 24, 1867, a sister of the first wife, who has presented him with four children, three boys and a girl, viz: Carlos G., Stacy C., Johnnie, who died at the age of two years; and Sarah, lost in infancy.
Mr. Mosser has been active in public service: has been Alderman one term and Mayor two years. He has also filled the office of School Director 15 years.
Mrs. Mosser and daughter are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church. They own a handsome and desirable farm of 240 acres in Cedar Township, finely improved and well stocked, and 80 acres additional, in the same township, and also a quarter section in Coffey County, with one half section in Reno County, Kansas. He is a member, respectively, of the I.O.O. F. and A. O. U. W. Orders, and a useful man in the community in which he lives.
SMITH, MALCOLM, among the highly esteemed citizens of Knox Township is Malcolm Smith, a resident on section 23, whose biography is herein given. It was during the year 1862 that Mr. Smith first invested in real estate in Knox County, his initiatory purchase being 40 acres of land on section 23. The farm which he now owns he bought in 1867, and it was well improved even then, but in the ensuing year he commenced modernizing it, and today it presents a most attractive appearance and is one of the most desirable homes in the township.
Mr. Smith was born in Herkimer County, N.Y., Dec. 15, 1836. His father, James Smith, was a native of the North of Ireland, and was of Highland-Scotch consanguinity and lineage.
`He was reared in agricultural pursuits, and entered the bonds of matrimony with J. McCann, a native of the same county as her husband. Soon after marriage the young pair emigrated to America, and located in Herkimer County, where they lived until 1858. They then removed to the State of Michigan, where he bought a farm and there lived until his death, in 1863; his wife following in a few months.
There were nine children born of this union, the subject of this sketch being the 2nd in order of birth. He grew to manhood and was educated to agricultural pursuits like his father before him, but when 20 years of age he tired of farm life and left it. After this he engaged as brakeman with the Chicago, Alton & St. Louis Railroad. He continued in this position for 18 months, at the end of which time he was made freight conductor, and at this he continued for 10 years, when he was promoted, becoming passenger conductor. This position he held 2 years, when he took another step upward and was made assistant train master, with headquarters at Joliet. He held this position 8 years, pleasing his employers and gaining the approbation of the people at large; received an appointment as train master, which he held until December 1880, when he resigned and turned his attention to farming. The writer of this sketch was at one time employed as conductor under the immediate supervision of Mr. Smith, and will say in regard to his abilities, etc. that he was considered one of the best officers on the road, a man that was well liked by all the employees and whose ability as a railroad man was unquestionable.
On the 7th of March, 1860, he entered the state of matrimony, his companion being Harriet Martineau Randall. Mrs. Smith was born in Allegany, N.Y. on the 23rd of Dec. 1839, and is the daughter of Dennison and Elexemena (Pratt) Randall, both natives of New York. Her grandparents were pioneers of Allegany County, N.Y., and her grandfather, on the Pratt side, was Doctor of Medicine, and at one time a Representative in the New York Legislature.
Mr. and Mrs. Smith are the parents of four children: Fred M., James D., George C., and Maude R. They are an agreeable, refined and cultivated family, and Mr. Smith is a keen, wide-awake man, with an eye to public interest and alive to all questions affecting public and private good. Politically he is a Republican.
Mrs. Smith and her two eldest children were connected by membership with the Central Presbyterian Church in Joliet, in 1878, where they have since remained members.
KAYS, JAMES W., this gentleman is a farmer of prominent standing on section 17, Cedar Township, and was born in Putnam County, Indiana, Nov. 17, 1831. He is the son of William and Elizabeth (Bracken) Kays, both natives of Kentucky.
Mr. Kays’ father was born April 9, 1804, while the birth of his mother took place in 1810; her death coming in 1871. They first emigrated to Illinois in the fall of 1834, locating in Cedar Township, and had 12 children born to them: William, James W., Henry, George W., Andrew J., Charles, Mary A., Nancy J., Artimitia, Abigail, Dealy Ann, and Francis E. Jackson and Charles are deceased.
James W. married Mrs. Sabina High, Aug. 14, 1864. She was a native of Parke County, Indiana, where she was born May 30, 1832. Her parents were John and Catherine (Weight) Reed.
Her father was born Oct. 4, 1784 in Virginia, and died Nov 30, 1858 while residing in Knox Co, IL. Her mother was born in Scotland, within 9 miles of Edinborough, May 24, 1789. They were married in the State of Kentucky. When she was only in her seventh year her parents emigrated to this county and landed at New York, in 1799. She died on the 18th of Feb. 1886, in her 97th year.
Making no stay here, they at once proceeded to Virginia and settled on the Potomac River. Mr. James Weight died in 1801. In her father’s family there were 10 children. The nine children deceased are: Ann J. born Aug. 7, 1809; Sarah, April 6, 1812; Mary, July 17, 1814;; James A., Jan. 1, 1817; Rachael E., Feb. 12, 1820; Jemima, Jan. 23, 1822; Catherine, May 22, 1827; Louisa, Feb. 10, 1829; and Sabina, May 30, 1832.
The last named is the youngest daughter of the family and the wife of Mr. Kays. By her first husband, Lemuel High, she had 4 children. She married this gentleman May 18, 1850. The children were Charles H., born July 30, 1852; George born Jan. 8, 1853; Gertrude S., Nov. 17, 1855; and Sophia S., Mar. 15, 1858.
Her marriage with Mr. James W. Kays, to which happy union has been borne two children, took place Aug. 14, 1864. The eldest, James R. Kays, was born Mar. 6, 1868, and Fannie S., Dec. 2, 1871. The death of Mr. George High, son of Mrs. Kays’ first union, was the result of hydrophobia, he only surviving seven weeks from the date of the attack.
During the late war, Mr. Kays enlisted in his country’s cause, Oct. 14, 1861, and was mustered in at Chicago in Co. K, 55th IL Vol Inf, under Col. Stewart and Capt. Joseph Black. He was at once ordered to St. Louis, where he remained two weeks, and then proceeded to Paducah, Kentucky, where his regiment remained four weeks. He was engaged in the battle of Shiloh, which was the first the regiment engaged in, and next participated in the battle of Chickasaw Bayou, near Vicksburg, where the regiment was stationed six days. We next find him at Arkansas Post, and from thence he went to Champion Hills, and was afterwards in the assault on Haines Bluff. After the surrender of Vicksburg, he took part in the siege of Jackson, Miss., then under Sherman to Kenesaw Mountains, where he received a dangerous wound in the left thigh and was conveyed to the field hospital, then to Altona, where he remained four weeks. This occurred June 27, 1864, but again we find him on duty, Jan. 13 at Savannah, GA. At the surrender of Gen. Lee he was in pursuit of Johnston, and when that joyful news was received he was glad to be mustered out, which was done at Little Rock, Ark., Aug. 14, 1865, and discharged at Camp Douglas, Chicago. He has the good fortune to be present drawing a pension from the Government.
Mr. Kays is the possessor of 141 acres of very fair land and an excellent two-story dwelling house. He is doing a mixed farming business and is considered very successful in his calling. Himself and family are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, all in good standing and in thorough sympathy with their communion. He is a member of the A.F. & A.M,. Lodge 185, at Abingdon, he having been created a Mason in 1863. As a member of the G. A. R., Post 58 at Abingdon, he has won to himself the esteem and good will of his fellow members.
On entering the army he took position as “high private”, but was made First Lieutenant March 24, 1865, at Goldsboro, N.C. He was subsequently mustered in as Captain, on May 21, 1865. This latter promotion was given him at Louisville, Ky., and the commission was held by him until he was mustered out of the service. His regiment, as history will show, performed as much hard service as any one of the regular army. At Shiloh it lost 45 men, 9 officers wounded, 1 officer killed, and 192 men wounded, besides those taken prisoners, who numbered 26, the whole number of casualties reached a grand total of 273 men.
He has always been a Democrat.
FOSTER, SYLVESTER, DR. is a leading citizen and prominent druggist of Oneida, and came to Knox County in June 1851. He stopped on a farm in Maquon Township, where his father, Richard Foster, had settled about one year before, having come from Highland County, Ohio. The father was a native of Bedford Co, Pa., where he was born in 1801. He was reared there as a farmer, and married Nancy Shreves, the daughter of a neighbor. She was born in or about the year 1802, and like her husband, was of American parentage and descent, and a child of a farmer. Soon after their marriage they went to Highland County, Ohio, crossing the country in a small wagon, in which was conveyed all of their earthly possessions, and with brave and dauntless hearts entered into a veritable wilderness, in which to carve out their fortune. Here they reared a family and prospered. Twelve children were born to them, of whom the present Dr. F. was the eldest but one; three of the children died when very young. Of the nine children living, all are now married except one daughter, who lives with and tenderly cares for the aged father, now 84 years old, living in retirement at Wallace, Knox County, calmly awaiting, as the Patriarch of old “To join the innumerable throng that moves to the mysterious realm.” This now venerable man, secured and improved a good farm and acquired considerable wealth. The good pioneer mother passed away about the year 1859.
Dr. Foster, when grown to manhood, had only a limited education, but like many others of native energy and talents, and innate ability, has gained a large knowledge and the practical cultivation of a self-made man. In 1846 when war was declared against Mexico, and his country called her sons to arms, our hero not then of age, enlisted in the American Army under Col. George W. Morgan, (now a noted politician of Mt. Vernon, Ohio) joined Co. C. and Ohio Vol. Inf., commanded by Capt. Arick. He participated on some of the minor engagements between the opposing forces, and was made Corporal previous to his discharge at New Orleans, in July 1847. Returning home he next went to Marion, Grant Co, IN, and served an apprenticeship at the carpenters’ trade, under one Mr. Dillon. His next movement was taking charge of a hotel at Wabashtown, IN, which he conducted for some time, and which he abandoned when he came to his father’s home in Knox Co. in 1851. Here he followed his trade for some time, establishing a shop later, in 1854, at Round Top, Fulton Co., 8 miles west of Farmington, where he worked as wagon mechanic for two years. From this place, in the winter of 1856-57, he removed to Fairview, where he clerked in a general store, and two years later returned to the paternal roof-tree, where he remained about two years.
In 1859 he went to Avon, and there began to study medicine under the tuition of Dr. Roe, one of the leading members of the medical profession there. He continued there until the winter of 1851-52, at which time he attended lectures at Rush Medical College, Chicago. Returning to Avon he opened a drug store, which he conducted until the spring of 1863, when he went to Galesburg, and engaged in the same business. In this he continued for some time, but eventually sold out and opened a grocery on Prairie Street, in that city, running it a year and a half. In the spring of 1866 he came to Oneida and established a drug store, which was burned out, after which he began in the drug and notion business at his present location. He owns four business houses, one of the finest residences in the city, and also runs two farms in Ford County, and one in Sedgwick County, Kansas, all improved.
Dr. Foster was married March 5, 1867 in Fulton Co, IL, to Miss Mary De Witt, a native of Belvidere, N.J. Her father died when she was but an infant, and while yet a child she came to Illinois with her mother and grandparents, living in Fairview, Fulton Co, IL for most of the time up to the date of her marriage. She is the mother of five children, namely: Car, DeWitt, Don, Madge, and May, deceased.
Dr. Foster is a solid Democrat and an active local politician, but no office seeker. He has followed a wide-awake, enterprising and successful business career, crowned with the cheering presence of wife, children, and friends, and whether as soldier, mechanic, hotel-keeper, student, farmer, druggist, or citizen, has always played his part in the drama of life, maintaining that rigid independence of character for which the old Pennsylvania stock from which he sprang are distinguished. Popular with all, his enterprise and public spirit are recognized and appreciated by his neighbors, whose good wishes and liberal patronage he enjoys.
MOOERS, DAVID, one of the most industrious and energetic citizens of Knox Co., and prominent for his skill in the business he conducts, is David Mooers. He is among the most thorough and adroit of his trade and calling, which is that of a blacksmith and farmer. This latter branch he conducts on section 9 of Rio Township, where his pleasant home stands.
The gentleman in question was born in Franklin Co, OH, May 8, 1820 from which part of the country he went, at the age of 15, to Genesee Co, N.Y. Here he lived for five years, with his uncle and others of his own blood, and from this point came to Licking Co, OH. In this section of the country he served as an apprentice to the trade of blacksmithing, which he has followed in connection with his agricultural pursuits, nearly ever since. On coming from Genesee County he settled in Rio Township, on land purchased in 1843, which included 80 acres, and was located on section 9. He is now the owner of 80 acres, besides a small timber lot of 5 acres.
Mr. Mooers, on the 3rd of Oct., 1844, united in matrimony with Harriet Bragg, who was born in Southern Virginia, April 25, 1820, and the result of this union was four children, all of whom are dead: Loammi, Mary A. Frances, and Elias B. Elias departed this life May 31, 1875, in the full flush and vigor of healthful manhood, having reached the age of 26 years. Besides his own family, he left to mourn his loss a wife, whose maiden name was Josephine Epperson, daughter of Samuel Epperson. Elias was the only one who lived to attain manhood, the other children all dying in infancy.
Mrs. Mooers is the daughter of Elias and Polly (Bryant) Bragg. They were natives of Virginia, as likewise their fathers before them. The grandfather of Mrs. M., Mr. Bryant, was in the War of Independence, under the immediate command of Gen. Washington, and for a time acted as his Private Secretary. Her father, Elias Bragg, was an officer in the War of 1812. He was a cousin of Gen. Bragg, of the late Civil War.
The parents of Mr. Mooers were Loammi and Maria A. ( Bartlett) Mooers. On the paternal side Mr. M., is of Scotch Irish origin, and on the maternal side of English ancestry. The father of Mr. Mooers, Loammi, was in the War of 1812, serving in the capacity of fife major. His father, David Mooers, was Inspector of the Springfield gun factory during the War of 1812. Jacob Swain, the great-grandfather of Mr. Mooers, was one of the Minute Men, of Revolutionary times.
Mr. Mooers, of this sketch, is a man of sound practical judgment and logical common sense, and is well liked for his straightforward and trite dealings with his patrons and friends. He is upright in business transactions and respected for his integrity and honesty of character. He is a member of the Odd Fellows’ Fraternity, and affiliates with the Democratic party, with which he is politically identified.
MOUNT, THOMAS B., resides on section 17, Cedar Township, and is pursuing farming operations. He was born in Ohio, in Warren County, Aug. 21, 1815, and until he attained his majority, lived with his parents working on the farm, and at the same time attending the district school. He is the son of Ralph and Lucy (Barber) Mount. The date of his father’s birth is unknown, but it is certain that he came to Illinois in 1845, and located in Cedar Township. By the union there were four children: T.B. Mount, born in 1815; Nancy, Susan, and one dying in infancy, William being the last. Mr. Ralph Mount the father of the present gentleman was married for the second time to Hannah Templeton, who was a native of Maryland, and by this wife he had 7 children: Richard, Caroline, Emily, Francis, Charlie and John (twins), and Rebecca.
Mr. Mount, who inspired this history, married Miss Elizabeth McCollough, Dec. 3, 1835. She was a native of Ohio and born April 26, 1815, her decease taking place in Sept. 1873. By this deserving union there were 7 children: Susan J., born April 6, 1837; Sidney, Oct. 30, 1839; Jane, Aug.7, 1841; William, Mar 27, 1843; Emory, July 28,1858; Lucy T., Jan 2, 1854; and Perry, Sept. 22, 1850. Of these children only one now survives, Sidney, now living near Cameron, Warren Co.
Thomas B. Mount married Mary B. Carson, widow of Furman Carson, to whom she was married Nov. 18, 1852. Her first husband being a native of Ohio, and born Jan. 15, 1827, in Warren Co. Mr. Mount’s present wife was united to him April 5, 1874, and was a native of Erie Co, Pa, where she was born Aug. 13, 1831. Her parents were Walter and Rachel (Lyon) Greenwood. They were natives of Pennsylvania and New York, respectively. He was born in Carlisle, Pa., in 1798, while her birth took place in 1805, her death occurring in Erie Co, Pa. Jan 12, 1874. By the union there were 8 children: Sarah E., Mary E., Elizabeth, who died in infancy, Thomas, Grace, L. Greenwood, Arthur and Annett. Mr. Greenwood, the father of these children, is still living in Erie Co., Pa.
Situated in this county there are 150 acres of improved land, at present the property of Mr. Mount, of this biography. He erected a very fine dwelling house one and one-half story high, in 1868. He has also a very suitable barn, 24 X 48 feet.
Mr. Mount is a member of the Protestant Methodist Episcopal Church, in which institution his interest has steadily grown. At present he is engaged in breeding some fine Short-horns, as well as 5 Polo Angus cattle.
By her first husband, Mr. Furman M. Carson, Mrs. Mount had 4 children: Norton W., born July 11, 1854, and died July 25, 1855; Ida D, born Jan 1, 1856, died Nov. 12, 1863; Albert, born Jan 1, 1858; and Ella May, May 15, 1868.
Of these children, Albert Carson married Miss Ella Humiston, and lives in Iroquois County, IL, and by the union one child has been born.
Mr. Mount is a very genial gentleman and solid friend with all those who have won his confidence.
His brother, William Mount became a soldier in the last war, having entered the 55th regiment, but was killed Aug. 4, 1864.
STEADMAN, VOLNEY C., may be quoted as one of the most active and successful farmers of this county, and is now residing on section 8, Ontario Township, where he has made his home since the year 1855. At that time he entered the county and began a series of earnest efforts toward the founding of a homestead. He has been so far successful as to have accumulated a large and desirable property of 300 acres, a portion of which is situated on section 1, and at the time of its first occupation by the present owner, it was largely wild and unbroken.
Mr. Steadman was born in Jefferson County, N.Y. March 16, 1825. His father, Nathan Steadman, was a farmer, and came of New England ancestry and of English extraction. He lived the larger part of his life in Oswego County, N.Y., where he settled after his marriage to Lucy Chapin, a young lady from Oswego Co, N.Y. They lived on a farm in that county till the death of the father, which occurred while Volney was yet a youth. The mother removed to Illinois in the year 1878, and entered the home of her son, where she remained till 1880, during which year she died, at the mature age of 80.
Nine children were the result of her marriage with Mr. Steadman, of whom the subject and Chaley are the only two now surviving. The latter lives in York County, Neb., where he has proven extremely successful in agricultural pursuits. After the death of his father, Volney was supplied with employment by many of the neighbors, and for some time remained in that section. In the year 1855, he resolved to “Go West”, and in pursuance thereof he came to Illinois, and purchased 80 acres, which is now his home.
Mr. Steadman returned to his own county for the purpose of uniting with the lady of his choice, Miss Amanda J. Prescott, to whom he was married Feb. 4, 1856. She was born in New Hartford, Oneida Co, in 1832. There she passed her childhood years in the home of her parents, who were farmers and early settlers in that section. Her union with Mr. Steadman has resulted in the birth of four children, they having lost one: Ida, wife of B.F. Ely, has a pleasant home in Van Buren Co, Iowa. Her husband is a farmer and successful in his vocation; Clara remains at home with her parents; Lester P., also lives at home. Their youngest child, Ada, whom they lost by death, was five years of age.
In addition to his landed possessions in the State of Illinois, Mr. Steadman has, by perseverance, economy, and thrift, secured land in the State of Iowa, as well as in Dakota Territory. He has held the office of Road Commissioner for ten years, and is an active an alert thinker on political topics. He is a Republican in belief, and both he and his wife are members, regularly enrolled on the records of the Baptist Church. He has held many of the offices in the Church and is now Trustee and Treasurer of that congregation.
YATES, WILLIAM A., an old and respected citizen of Ontario Township, is a bright and pleasing example of a successful farmer. His home is located on section 22. He is the son of John Yates, a farmer, and a native of the State of Virginia. He was of Irish descent and his marriage with Nancy Shields, who was of the same ancestry, took place in that State, and they began life in Berkly County, in which their son, William A., was born March 12, 1814. He was about eight years of age when his parents came to Delaware, Ohio, where they passed the remaining years of life.
Mr. Yates was the oldest son of a family of 8 children. He remained under the family rood up to the time of his marriage with Mary Finley, Nov. 9, 1848. She died at her home in Ontario Township, June 16, 1859. She was born on a farm in Delaware Co, OH. Her parents were native Virginians. She was the mother of 5 children, as follows: Emily, deceased; John, Elizabeth, Mary, and Margaret. The latter is deceased.
Mr. Yates, on first coming to this State, remained but a few months and then returned to Ohio. Coming west the second time, he settled in Knox County, and went back to bring his wife to his new home. He purchased land in Ontario Township, consisting of 160 acres. He afterward purchased 20 acres in Sparta Township, and 16 in Henderson Township. In 1855, he purchased the farm which is his present home. He now has 160 acres of land in a high state of cultivation.
Mr. Yates married Miss Marcia Gaston for his second wife, in Delaware County, Ohio. She was born in Delaware Co., June 14, 1830, and in that section was reared and educated. Her parents lived on a farm and her father, James Gaston, was of Scotch origin, and her mother, Lois (Jones) Gaston, a native of the State of New Hampshire. They established a home in Delaware Co, OH, where they lived out their remaining years. The grandfather of Mrs. Yates, on her mother’s side, was Solomon Jones, a noble old warrior and an officer in the Revolutionary War.
The union of Mr. and Mrs. Yates, of this notice, has been blessed with two children: Nancy C., who lives with her parents; and Electa, a most successful and popular teacher. They are both Presbyterians in belief. Mr. Yates has held many of the minor offices, and is one of the most enterprising citizens of the township. He is a solid Republican and takes a lively interest in politics and affairs of the State.
DAWDY, JEFFERSON M., Resident within the borders of Knox County may be found many men whose good citizenship and practical ability entitles them to a high place on her records. Among the more prominent of these may be reckoned the subject of this personal narrative, a farmer residing on section 17, of Indian Point Township, and who is the possessor of 330 acres of land in a high state of cultivation. His predilection for agricultural pursuits has caused him to be especially successful in his chosen line of labor.
Mr. Dawdy was born in Hart County, Ky., in 1812, on the 24th of January, and at the age of 20, in the year 1832 he came to the State of Illinois. Here he continued for months, and at the expiration of that time returned to the State of his nativity. In 1847 he removed here with his family, this being the third trip he made to Illinois.
The father of our subject, James Dawdy, and his mother, Margaret (Morse) Dawdy, were both natives of the State of South Carolina, he being born in 1776, and she in 1775. They both died in the State of Illinois, the former in 1851 and the latter in 1855. They were devoted and worthy members of the Baptist Church, and lived the doctrines of its faith in their daily lives. In political belief, Mr. Dawdy was a Democrat, and supported that party in sentiment and by vote.
The fruits of this union were 9 children, as follows: John, Jane, Phoebe, Isabelle, Mary, Elizabeth, wife of Isaac Atterbury, and lives in Missouri; Howell, Jefferson, of this personal sketch, and Nancy, who died at twenty-five years of age.
Jefferson was united in marriage with Miss Elizabeth Amos, their nuptials being celebrated May 7, 1834. Mrs. Dawdy was born Oct. 15, 1815 in Kentucky, and was the daughter of Erasmus and Nancy (Smith) Amos, both natives of Kentucky. Her father entered this life in 1785, and passed to the life beyond Aug. 7, 1830. Her mother first saw the light of day in 1802, and departed this life in 1852, having lived half a century.
Howell Dawdy, the grandfather of the Dawdy family, was in the War of the Revolution. James Monroe, his brother-in-law, was in the War of 1812.
Mr. and Mrs. Dawdy of this writing have a large family circle, which includes 11 children of whose lives the following brief summary is given: Cassandria was born May 5, 1835, and united in marriage with E. Meadows , who died in 1858, and she remarried, this time to James Cooper, June 17, 1860; Mary J. was born April 13, 1837, and Feb 16, 1858, at the age of 21, married R. Bell, now of the Chicago & Alton Railroad; James was born Nov. 1, 1838, and wedded Adelia Hampton, Nov. 15, 1859; John W. was born Mar. 25, 1840, and united in the holy bonds of matrimony with Miss Jane Latimer on Mar. 25, 1867; Samuel M. was born Mar. 17, 1842, and united in marriage with Kittie Cooper Nov. 15, 1863; Sarah E. was born Feb. 27, 1844 and united in wedlock with Frank M. Hampton, Dec. 3, 1861; Harriet was born April 16, 1846, and married Matthew Allen Sept. 10, 1865, and losing her husband by death, again wedded, her second matrimonial connection being formed with Mr. Frank Stubbs, March 8, 1876; Louisa was born May 28, 1851, and died at the early age of seven, April 25, 1858; Angeline, born April 3, 1853, died after attaining five years, at the most interesting period of childhood; Adelina F., born Aug, 8, 1855, died May 8, 1858, having barely passed infancy; Althea R. Bell was born June 16, 1857, and united in marriage with Horace Morse, Nov. 26, 1875; Samuel M. died in 1865 in California, in the first flush of manhood, having attained only to the age of 23. They have 29 grandchildren and 3 great-grandchildren.
Mr. Dawdy, as previously stated, has a large and finely cultivated farm, and to his vocation he has added the raising of Short-horn cattle, all of which are registered, and of which he has a herd of 65 head. Among these is a splendid bull called Young Mary.
Mr. and Mrs. Dawdy are helpful and kindly friends and neighbors, and hospitable in the extreme, and good cheer is always found within their well-ordered household. They are active members of the Christian Church, of Abingdon, IL. And show forth the noble principles of love and faith as taught by the life of Jesus. Mr. Dawdy has had an opportunity of watching the fluctuation in politics, as he cast his first vote for Jackson in 1832. He is a Democrat of the Jeffersonian school.
He bought land here where he now lives in 1847. He came out in 1832 to join the forces to put down the Black Hawk War. He and William Atterbury came from Kentucky, on horseback, a distance of 400 miles, but on their arrival here were too late. Black Hawk was captured and his forced driven over the river—the war was over. Young Dawdy had but $5. when he started, and had to go to work for John Strum, mowing grass at 50 cents per acre, and afterwards worked for a man by the name of Dorsey; then went to McClean County, where he had a brother, and shelled corn for him and then returned home. He has been here 46 years.
Mr. Dawdy is certainly deserving of great credit for the splendid results of his life-work. He came here in an early day possessing no other legacy than a warm heart, willing hands, good judgment and an excellent faithful helpmeet. By these, encouraged, and strengthened by an abiding faith in the future development and greatness of this section of the country; by an affectionate and dutiful family of children which sprang up around him, and wearing, above all and through all the trials and labors a love for the world’s “Great Teacher” and “Burden Bearer” he felt strong. What a blessing to a community such examples of Christian love, faith and fortitude are, as displayed in the lives of Mr. and Mrs. Dawdy, with all their influence for good! Eternity can only tell.
We feel that in presenting the portraits in this volume of these excellent people, their numerous friends will be gratified in thus possessing such mementos of two of the best and most highly respected husband and wife, father and mother, and friends in Knox County.
NEILL, WILLIAM A., One of the wealthiest and most influential farmers of Cedar Township, owning an extensive property on section 27, is William A. Neill, spoken of at the head of this notice. He is a breeder of fine stock, including Polled Angus cattle, and among them 29 thorough-breds and grades. He makes a specialty of fine blooded-stock, and paid $1,600 for two calves, the finest of their breed, with which to start this branch of business. He owns 150 acres of land in a high state of cultivation, on which stands a handsome residence, convenient and attractive. Every improvement has been devised to make Pleasant View Farm, by which his place is known, a desirable home.
Mr. Neill was born in Morrow County, Ohio, March 13, 1847, and is the son of Josiah and Justine A. (Ashton) Neill. The former parent was born in Washington County, Pa., in 1812, and his demise occurred Jan. 21, 1872, the birth of the later occurred in Columbia County, Ohio, July 23, 1818. The mother still lives, making her home in the State of Ohio. Her marriage with Mr. Neill occurred in 1840, in that State, the issue of which was 7 children: Phebe E., Richard T., Omar D., William A., Darak, Jonathan W., and Mary W., all of whom are living at the present writing.
The union of Mr. William A. Neill, our subject, with Lucy T., daughter of Thomas Mount, occurred March 26, 1874. She was born in 1854, and after entering her new home and enjoying for a short season the pleasant associations that clustered around the fire side of the newly married pair, she departed this life June 12, 1876, leaving in the care of the bereaved husband one child, a son, who was born May 2, 1875, and who passed away from earth the September following his mother’s death. Two years previously, to a day, occurred the death of Mrs. Neill’s sister, of the same dread disease, consumption, which so early deprived her of life and home. When a little girl Mrs. Neill was converted to the Christian religion, and received as a member of the Church in good and regular standing, but during the interval between that age and womanhood, she let slip some of the strong faith of her early profession. Possessed of a true and loving disposition, and noble, unselfish attributes, she endeared herself to friends and neighbors, and before passing from earth regained the unquestioning confidence and love of childish years, closing her eyes to things of earth without a fear, her last words being “Tell father to meet me in Heaven.”
On the 4th of July 1877, Mr. Neill contracted a second matrimonial alliance. Miss Harriet M. Whitaker, of Indian Point Township, Knox County, being the other party. She was born in Clinton County, Ohio, and died May 14, 1878, 13 days after the birth of her son, Emis Omar, born April 26, 1878. She was a devoted member of the Christian Church at Abingdon, was in disposition extremely affectionate and confiding, and the pet of the neighborhood as well as a devoted faithful wife. She was a daughter of Ephraim and Mary Whitaker, into whose home Mr. Neill removed in the hour of his great bereavement. He closed his own house and placed his child under the guardianship of her parents, who by devoted care and attention brought the little boy to the years of healthful childhood. He remained with them 17 months.
Mr. Neill’s union with Miss Cornelia J. Hurshaw, of McDonough County, occurred Aug. 22, 1880, and to him she has borne three children, namely: Catherine J., born May 23, 1881; Mary E., March 9, 1883; and Samuel J. April 21, 1885. She is the daughter of Samuel and Catherine (Bottenburg) Hurshaw, both natives of Ohio. The parents of the former removed to Indiana when he was a small boy, from which place they removed to McDonough County when he was 13 years of age. His wife was born in the State of Illinois; the union being productive of six children, namely: Jacob, A., Nancy J., Sarah E. T., Mary E., Henry L., and Neely, the present wife of Mr. Neill. Mr. Hurshaw lived near Prairie City 23 years; then removed to Industry Township, McDonough County, where he now lives.
Mr. Neill experienced religion at the age of 24 years, and his wife accepting the Word of Life as found in Christ Jesus, identified herself with the Free Methodist Episcopal Church, of which she is a consistent member.
Of educational advantages Mr. Neill has been deprived in no way; he attended school at Mt. Hesper, Ohio, and Central College for several years, and Nov. 19, 1870, came to Abingdon and began his labors as a pedagogue in District No. 6, Cedar Township, where he continued six months, removing next to an adjoining district in Warren County, where he labored nine months. At the end of this time his services were re-engaged, and he remained there five years, returning subsequently to District No. 6, where he again taught 16 months, closing his labors in school work, he turned his attention to agricultural pursuits, at which he has since continued.
He is a clear-minded, thinking man, formerly a Republican, but at the present time a supporter of the Prohibition party. He claims his first religious impression was received while reading his morning lesson in the day school, but he was formerly educated in the Quaker religion. Later he joined the Methodist Episcopal Church, but is at this time an active member and class-leader of the Free Methodist Episcopal Church.
COCHRUN, ALBERT B., Late Postmaster of Abingdon, also Notary Public and served as Police Magistrate from 1867 till 1871; is the gentleman, the outlines of whose personal history are herein given. He is an active public worker, and politically, a wide-awake Republican. Mr. Cochrun was born in Putnam County, Ohio, June 9, 1838, and is the son of Josiah C. and Sarah A. (Capron) Cochrun. His father was born near Lexington, Ky., and his mother is a native of the State of Rhode Island. They claim, respectively, Scotch and English lineage. His mother was descended in a direct line from Banfield Capron, who emigrated from England to America prior to the Revolutionary struggle.
When a child of three years, Mr. Cochrun of this sketch, moved to Southern Indiana, under the guardianship of his parents, and when grown to a boy of 12 years, a second removal on the part of his parents brought him to Abingdon.
Albert B. engaged at work upon a farm until he attained to the age of 18 years. He received his earlier education in the common schools, and subsequently attended Hedding College, after which he taught one year. His next business movement was collecting and insurance work, which he followed until his appointment to the office of Postmaster, by the Postmaster General, in 1869, under the Presidency of Grant; he entered upon his duties in April 1869. He has since been appointed by Presidents Grant, Hayes, and Arthur, holding this position through subsequent years up to recent a date. He has discharged all duties resulting from his position in the most creditable manner, and by his affable and courteous treatment of the public has gained many friends. He sent in his resignation as Postmaster and is about to remove to Scott County, Kansas.
ACKERMAN, JACOB, among the more important business men and influential citizens of Knoxville, stands the gentleman whose name heads this biographical sketch and the principal points of whose personal history are herein detailed. He is identified as an active, working member of society, and is popular in consequence of his strictly upright dealing and his courteous and affable treatment of all with whom he comes in contact. He was born in Germany, Feb. 1, 1829, and is the son of Lorenzo and Rachael Ackerman, both natives of Germany. In the year 1830, his father came with his wife and family to America, and settled in Columbiana County, Ohio. By trade, he was a tanner, and at his occupation he continued working in the State of Pennsylvania, the place where he pursued his vocation being but a short distance from his home in Ohio. After a brief time spent at this work, he went to Youngstown, Ohio where he continued until he was called from earth to cross the River of Death. This occurred in 1839, when our subject, Jacob, was but ten years of age, and the mother was left with a large family on her hands. To lighten the domestic burden, Jacob went into the home of a farmer in Columbiana County, receiving for his boyish labor the mere pittance of $2.50 per month, through the summer months. In the winter he attended the district school and continued at farming until he reached the age of 16, when he was apprenticed to a shoemaker at Poland, Ohio, whom he served faithfully for three and a half years. Working as journeyman until 1851, in May he came to Illinois, landing at Rock Island, and from there going to Davenport, Iowa, he followed his trade till October, 1851, when he came to Knoxville. In this town he worked as a shoemaker until the spring of 1852, when, attacked with the “gold fever”, that mirage that proved the destruction and downfall of so many mistaken mortals, he started overland to California with ox teams, landing in Sacramento, September 7, after a journey of five months.
After working at gardening in Sacramento for one month, he started for the mines in Calaveras County, in which he labored with but moderately fair success and finally grew extremely restricted in the matter of finances. Whenever this occurred, he went back to the city, worked for a time, replenished his pocketbook, and returned to the mines.
In 1854 he came to Knoxville, via Panama and New York, and on the 25th of December of that year, united in the holy bonds of matrimony with Jane Tingle, who was born in Marion County, Ohio, and was a daughter of Henry and Harriet (Parker) Tingle. Following his marriage he engaged in journeyman work, which he continued up to Dec. 1855, at which time he opened a shop with C.L. Stewart as associate partner. These two continued in business together for 12 months, when an interest was bought in it by James Boyd, he purchasing half the stock. This firm lasted till 1861, when Mr. Ackerman sold out his interest and engaged with Stewart & Bassett, shoe manufacturers, remaining with them as their employee for 12 months. At the end of this time he purchased the entire business from his employers and has continued in it ever since, showing himself to possess rare business tact and ability.
Mr. Ackerman and his wife have been given as the fruits of their union, eight children, five of whom are living at the present time and who are by name: George W., John J., Fred L., Mabel H., and May J., and their family circle is a happy and pleasant one. Mr. Ackerman has ably demonstrated what unremitting and persevering labor will accomplish, and has shown forth the good old fashioned plan, “That he may gain who will, and he must keep who can.” Mrs. Ackerman is a member of the Methodist Church. Mr. A. is a Republican.
RUNKLE, JAMES, is one of the most prosperous farmers in this county, and one of the leading citizens of Knox Township. His home, which he now occupies, is located on section 26, and includes a handsome set of substantial frame buildings with all modern conveniences. He gives his attention to the raising of the cereals, and also to the breeding of stock, more especially of horses. He has been markedly successful in his business, and his prudence and enterprise have given him a rank among the financiers and able men of the community.
Mr. Runkle was born in the city of Knoxville, Jan. 22, 1836, and is the eldest son of E. and Nancy (Bowen) Runkle. His father was one of the oldest settlers in Knoxville, and was born in Watervleit Centre, N.Y., Aug. 19, 1802, and was the second son of his parents.
When a young man the father learned the trade of a millwright, at which he worked in Albany and Renssalaer Counties, until his removal to Knoxville. His first visit to this city was in 1834, but he returned from that trip, and in 1835, removed here, and in that year, accompanied by his brother Henry, he built a steam saw-mill, the first in Knox County. They soon after added a flouring-mill, and about this time his brother was elected County Clerk. Mr. Runkle managed the mill alone until 1845, when he sold out and turned his attention to farming. It was in this year that he settled on land which had previously been entered for him by his brother, and was located on the east half of section 26. He attended to the improving of the land, had it broken and fenced, and a set of frame buildings erected; all this being done before he went on the place.
In 1854 he sold this most desirable home to Thomas R. Glisson, and moved to a farm inside the corporate limits of the city of Knoxville, which he had purchased several years before. This he made his home up to the time of his death, which took place in 1865. He was widely mourned for his most estimable qualities and noble characteristics; and he left to sorrow for him his children and a widow, now resident in Knoxville. These children were six in number, and are as follows: Elizabeth, whose home is with her mother; James, our subject; Mary H., wife of William Jones; Lucy, who wedded Capt. G.G. Sterns, whose home is on section 26, Knox Township; George who lives in Galesburg Township; and Frank, deceased.
The subject of this personal narrative was reared on a farm until after he was 9 years of age, and allowed the educational privileges of the city schools. His marriage to Mahitable Caldwell took place Dec. 4, 1872. She was born in Knox County—Persifer Township—and was the daughter of Oliver and Desire (Manly) Caldwell, the former a native of Pennsylvania, and the latter a native of York State. Three children were born to them, Daisy E., Lucy O.E., and Elroy.
At the time of his marriage, he settled on the farm which he now owns and occupies on section 26, to which he has added all the improvements previously spoken of. He has been extremely prosperous in his undertakings, proving beyond doubt the good results of industry and economy. He is wide-awake in political matters, and votes with the Democratic party.
HUNTER, ISAAC, one of the most prominent citizens of Cedar Township and a pioneer farmer, living on section 23, came to the State of Illinois in the year 1839 and stopped in Peoria. He moved to the tract of land which is his present finely improved farm in 1841.
Mr. Hunter was born in Berkshire County, Massachusetts, Feb. 25, 1812, and is the son of Isaac and Rebecca (Brown) Hunter, both of New England. Isaac Hunter, Sr. was born in Massachusetts, Feb. 26, 1766. He was by occupation a farmer and died in the year 1845, at the age of 79 years. Rebecca Hunter, his wife, native of the same State, was born in March 1768, and died in 1856, having survived her husband 11 years, she attaining to the ripe age of 88 years. Their pleasant family circle included six children, three sons and three daughters: Robert, John and Isaac, Rebecca, Betsey and Sarah, of whom only three now survive, viz: Rebecca, Betsey and Isaac.
Isaac Hunter, Jr. while in the early vigor of manhood, wedded Miss Julia A. Jordan, Nov. 14, 1837, who was a native of Mass., and the date of her birth 1811. She lived to attain middle age only, dying in the prime of life, at 42 years of age, in the year 1853. One child, an only son, Kirk J., was born to them July 9, 1838. He still survives and was married to Miss Elizabeth Andrews, March 28, 1861. By this marriage Kirk J. is the father of 11 children, namely: John, born Jan. 19, 1862; Julia L, Jan 12, 1846; Benjamin D., April 8, 1866; Mary J., April 12, 1868; Isaac T., July 28, 1870; Kirk, Aug. 22, 1872; Samantha J., Nov 8, 1874; Henry F, July 3, 1877; Almina E., Dec. 30, 1879; Madison R., July 27, 1883; and Jessie E., Oct. 20, 1885.
The second matrimonial alliance of our subject was with Miss Jane Johnson, Dec. 14, 1855, a native of Ireland, and who died Aug. 15, 1882.
Mr. Hunter was then united in marriage to Mrs. Lucinda Andrews, relict of Thomas Andrews, who died July 10, 1883. She was born April 15, 1812, in Jefferson County, Ohio, and her marriage to Thomas Andrews took place June 9, 1831. He was a native of Chenango County, N.Y., and the year of his birth was 1808. He came to the State of Illinois in 1841, and was identified as one of the early settlers of Knox County. To him and his wife were born 11 children, as follows: Mary, born April 18, 1832; Henrietta, May 10, 1834; James in 1836; Benjamin, June 1, 1838; Almina, Sept. 4, 1840; Elizabeth in 1842; Martin, Feb. 12, 1845; Harriet, March 21, 1847; Wesley, March 13, 1850; Samantha, Jan. 30, 1852; and Albert , May 31, 1855. Elizabeth married Kirk J. Hunter, March 17, 1859. He is the son of Isaac Hunter, Jr.; Mary Andrews married Jan. 15, 1852; Benjamin married Emily Twitchell, March 17, 1859; Almina married Joseph Moore; the marriage of James took place Dec. 10, 1874; Elizabeth and James are the only two surviving members of this family of children.
The landed possessions of Mr. Hunter of this sketch include 277 acres of highly cultivated land. In the fall of 1841, he, with his brother, Jordan, drove 1,000 sheep across the country from Massachusetts to Knox County, IL, taking 122 days to make the trip. He is estimated by his neighbors as possessing that energetic enterprise characteristic of the pioneer, as he entered the county while the country at large was still a wilderness and erected a small log house, in which he lived for two years, and there laid the foundation of his present desirable home. Success has crowned his efforts towards prosperity, and he is one of the leading members of the neighborhood in which he lives. He has served on the Agricultural Board for a number of years and is a useful and worthy man. He is a member of the Congregational Church, while Mrs. Hunter worships under the Methodist Episcopal faith. Her name is enrolled on the records of this Church at Abingdon. Politically, Mr. Hunter is a Republican, the sentiments of which party he has upheld many years. He has a keen appreciation of the growth and advancement of the country at large, and recollects the time when Peoria numbered only 750 and Chicago 7,000 inhabitants.
ANDERSON, ANDREW B., senior member of the banking firm of Anderson & Murdock, is one of the most active and prominent citizens of Oneida. He came to Knox County from the Province of Ontario, Canada, late in the month of May 1852, first stopping in the village of Victoria, where he engaged in blacksmithing, a trade he had learned from his father, James. The father was born, raised and also learned his trade, and was married, in his native Ayershire, Scotland, espousing Mary Borland, both being of old Scottish ancestry and parentage. The result of the above marriage was six daughters and three sons, Andrew being the third child; one of the daughters died in Scotland, and four in Knox County; the eldest son, John, never came to America, but becoming an eminent mechanic and operating extensively in his own country, went to Russia, where he was employed as master mechanic, and located in St. Petersburg, where he now resides, one of the most successful of mechanics. James, another brother, is a prominent farmer in Page County, Iowa.
Mr. Anderson’s parents, after raising their family, left Scotland and came to America in the summer of 1860, and commenced living with their son in Copley Township, where they both died, the father in 1866 and the mother in 1870, having both been prominent and active members of the Presbyterian Church all their lives. They were brought up within two or three miles of the home of Robert Burns, the grandfather, Andrew Borland, having been a very aged man when he died, was most likely acquainted with the Scottish bard, living, as they did, no near to each other.
Mr. A. of this sketch was born in the parish of Sorn, Ayershire, Sept. 10, 1832, his early education being such as was given young Scottish students of that period, usually limited. When strong enough, he assisted his father in his shop till 18 years of age, when he sailed with an acquaintance for Canada, stopping two years in Paris, Ontario, working at his trade till leaving for Knox County. He came from Victoria to Oneida in the summer of 1857, following his calling as a blacksmith till 1864.
He was married Dec. 21, 1860, in this city, to Miss Mary McQuie, a native of Scotland, where her father, Alexander, died when she was quite young, and in 1857, with her mother and other members of the family, she came to America and to Knox County, where the mother died some years later. Mrs. Anderson was educated in the public schools and under the excellent discipline of a Presbyterian mother. She is now herself mother of five children, three living: William H., John H., and Mary Ella, all at home. Charlie and Anna passed away when quite young.
In 1864 Mr. Anderson entered into partnership with Mr. H. Wright, in the hardware business, which they conducted for some years, in the meantime engaging considerably in other enterprises, earning money and prospering. In 1874 he engaged in the banking business alone, till the winter of 1876, when he and Mr. Murdock, who separately conducted the same business, combined their interests under the firm name of Anderson & Murdock, styling their business “The Oneida Exchange Bank”.
Both Mr. and Mrs. Anderson worship in the Presbyterian Church. In politics he is a firm Democrat. He has been a member of the City Council and is now Township Treasurer, having held the latter office for eight years. There is in the brief history of Mr. Anderson’s life, a mine of example and instruction for the youth who may chance to read this sketch, which they might study and imitate with the best results. Since his very boyhood he has been a model of industry, sobriety and integrity, constantly and usefully employed traits for which so many of the prosperous citizens of Knox County are noted. And it will be a fortunate circumstance for the youth of America and for their country when they shall come to learn more generally and practice more assiduously the sterling virtues to which so many whose lives are portrayed in these pages are indebted for their prosperity, success, and happiness, and among whom there is no more striking example than that to be found in the career of Andrew B. Anderson. Surrounded by wife, children and hosts of friends, he is indeed a fortunate man, and the result of character and habits as above mentioned.
Socially he is a member of the Oneida Lodge, No. 337, A.F. & A.M.; also of Oneida Chapter, No 173. He is besides a member of Oneida Lodge, No 228, I.O.O. F.
BAILEY, WALTER, among the successful farmers of Elba Township is the gentleman whose name heads this notice, and who resides on his fine farm on section 26. He came to this county in October 1849, from Delaware County, Ohio, and some few years later purchased the 160 acres of land where he is at present residing. He has subsequently increased his landed interest, and at this writing is the owner of 860 acres, 80 of which are timber. On his fine place he erected a good residence in 1871, barn and other necessary out-buildings, and the farm in indicative of that push and energy characteristic of its proprietor. Mr. Bailey was born in St. Lawrence County, N.Y., Jan, 9, 1827, and is the son of James and Eve (Kitts) Bailey. They were natives of St. Lawrence County, N.Y. James Bailey was a farmer, surveyor and mechanic, and was engaged in various other occupations, but farming was his chief business in life. When he was ten years of age his parents removed to Ohio, and there lived until they came to Galva, in Henry County, where the good mother and loving wife passed away Sept. 11, 1873. The father afterward returned to Delaware Co, OH, where his demise occurred in June 1875. Walter, however, came direct to Knox County from Ohio.
Walter Bailey married in Elmwood Township, Peoria County, this State, Feb. 14, 1855, to Harriet L. Parsell, daughter of Joseph and Hetty A. (Ralston) Parsell. Her parents came to Fulton County, IL., from Hamilton Co, OH., and lived in the former county for about one year. In 1840 they moved to Elmwood Township, Peoria County, where the mother died April 17, 1850. The father was again married, and in 1864 removed to the village of Elmwood, that county, where he lived for 11 years, and until 1875, when he came to Elba Township and lived with his daughter, Mrs. Bailey, of this notice, until Jan. 3, 1880, the date of his demise.
Mrs. Bailey was born in Sycamore Township, Hamilton Co, OH, July 30, 1835, and has borne her husband five children, named Edith A., Lura D., Bertha B., Addie G., and Nena H. Edith is the wife of W.D. Ware, a resident of Summit, IL, and to them three children have been born—Catherine S., Winfield B., and Edna D. Lura married George F. Hughes, who lives at Table Grove, Fulton Co, IL. The remaining children reside at home. Mr. Bailey has held the office of Justice of the Peace four years, and also various school offices within the gift of the people of his township. In politics he is a stanch and active Republican. When Mr. B. came here, his land was uncultivated and the improvements now to be seen are due to his own thrift and energy. He had but little means, and what he now possesses has been the accumulation of his own toil and economy. Click here to see a view of his residence.
BALE, JAMES, resident within the borders of Knox County are many men of native worth and force of character, whose perseverance and patience have won them a high place upon her records, and foremost among these may be found the subject of this biographical recital, and the principal events of whose career are narrated in the subsequent paragraphs. His home is located on section 29, of Haw Creek Township, and by vocation he is a farmer and stock-raiser, to which united occupation he gives his most earnest attention.
Mr. Bale was born in Devonshire, England, Oct. 15, 1829, and is the son of John and Charlotte (England) Bale. The father of Mr. Bale came to America in 1841, and one year later James and John came to join their father, the mother dying in England when James was but four years of age. On first arriving in America he stopped in New Jersey; remained there a few months, then went to Pennsylvania, where he tarried for four years. From that State he removed to the northern part of Ohio, where he continued until 1854, and in 1862 he enlisted in the 10th IL. Vol. Inf. in Saline County. He had been in the army six to eight months when his health gave way, he being at the time 65 years of age, and susceptible to diseases. He was sent to the hospital, but undertook to evade his duty and go home, and was captured by some rebel guerrillas and shot—at least this was the report of his fate which reached his sons.
In 1850 Mr. Bale took a trip to California, which he made with a team in company with Oliver Ulan. In California he remained nine years, working in the mines, and while in that State was married to Lydia Bartlett. She was a native of Illinois, and died about ten months after her marriage, this being in 1854. In 1858-9 he left that section of the country and went to Ohio, where he staid a short time, then went to Saline County, IL, and bought a farm of 240 acres. On this he labored for four years, and at that date moved to Knox County, settling in Haw Creek Township. Here he has lived up to the present time. He was married a second time to Matilda P. Parke, Dec. 18, 1860. She is the daughter of David and Matilda (Taliaferro) Parke, and was born in Clermont County, Ohio, July 9, 1832. The mother of Mrs. Bale is a cousin of Gen. Zachary Taylor. They have one son by adoption, who was born July 26, 1878. Mr. Bale owns 254 acres of good land under fine cultivation and well improved, on which are erected first-class buildings. In politics he is a Democrat, supporting and voting with that party. Mrs. Bale is a member of the Baptist Church.
BARBERO, NATHAN, deceased, came to Knox County in the fall of 1839, with his wife and three children, from Oneida County, N.Y., and made settlement in the village of Maquon. In 1872, Mr. Barbero left the village and moved to Haw Creek Township, where he was a sturdy tiller of the soil until his demise, which took place Jan. 1, 1885. He was a farmer and engaged quite extensively in agricultural pursuits, and at the date of his death was the proprietor of 1,000 acres of land.
Mr. Barbero was born in Montgomery County, N.Y., April 13, 1805. His life was spent in York State until he came to Illinois, and he was married in Oneida County, the former State, March 1, 1832, to Calista W. Loomis. She was born in Oneida County, Aug. 9, 1809, and bore him four children—Anna M., Sarah L., Nathan H. and John J. Anna M. is the widow of Alexander O. Donason, and resides in Maquon Township. (see sketch). Sarah L. is the wife of M. McGirr, (see sketch). Nathan H. married Eliza Bird and resides in Haw Creek Township. John J. married Clara Will and is a farmer of Haw Creek Township. Mrs. Barbero was formerly a member of the Christian Church. Her parents were Jeremiah E. and Sallie (Higbee) Loomis, he of Irish and Welsh extraction, and she of English ancestry. Mrs. Barbero was the 2nd in order of birth of a family of 6 children, viz: Sally, Nathaniel S., Lucinda, Lorinda, and Celestia. Sally became the wife of John Ennis, who in their turn became the parents of 11 children, five of whom are now living. Nathaniel S. married Betsy Ennis, by the union four children were born to them. He is now deceased. Lucinda married Leonard Rogers, but is now dead. Lorinda married Lot Webster, and both are numbered with the departed. Celestia died when young.
Mr. Barbero was the 5th child in order of birth of a family of 9 children, viz: Margaret, Nellie, Matthais, John, Aaron, Nathan *our subject, Frederick, and Rebecca. Margaret became the wife of Abraham Van Horn. Nellie married George Castler. Matthais married Catherine Fink. Aaron left home at the age of 28 or 29, and was never heard from. John is now deceased. Frederick married Malinda Bartell. Rebecca became the wife of Harry Libolt. Mr. Barbero’s father was born in Connecticut and the mother in New York, and his parents were John and Sallie (Van Pattent) Barbero. There were of German and Holland extraction.
BARTLETT, ERASMUS A., one of the most progressive and conspicuous citizens and public men of Knox County, through whose enterprise and vim matters pertaining to the public good are carried on, is proposed as the subject of our sketch. He is one of the representative farmers of Rio Township, and resides on section 16, a home that his energetic labors have made beautiful and attractive.
Mr. Bartlett came to Knox County in 1844, from Genesee County, N.Y., when he was 14 years of age. He has since made this section of the country his home, and is looked up to as one of the most substantial men of the community to which he belongs. His birthplace was Alexander, N.Y., and the date of his birth Dec. 24, 1830. He received a common-school education up to the time he was 14 years of age, when he came to Illinois. He has a greater part of his life been engaged in agricultural pursuits, for which he entertains an honest liking. He is at the present time owner of 116 acres of good farming land, tillable and under a high state of cultivation.
He was married in Henderson Township in 1855, to Helen Sears, who was a native of Cortland County, N.Y., and who was an estimable lady and devoted wife. To him she has borne five children, by name: Frank S., Mary A., Harry C., Nellie B., Carrie A., of whom Frank and Carrie survive. Mrs. B. died Nov. 12, 1869. Frank has a home in Galesburg. He was married to Sarah Fleahearty, and they are the parents of three children—Alice H., John D., and William A. Carrie is a teacher of much success and popularity in the State of Iowa.
Mr. Bartlett formed a second matrimonial alliance in Oneida, Aug. 17, 1870, with Elizabeth (Slocum) Edwards. She was the daughter of Michael and Deborah (LeValley) Slocum. On the paternal side, as far as can be traced, Mrs. B. is of American origin. On the maternal side she dates back to French ancestry. She has one brother, and by the second marriage of her father she has four brothers and two sisters. Two of the brothers are now deceased. Mrs. Bartlett was the widow of John Edwards, who died in Nashville, Tenn. during the war.
He was a member of the 102nd IL. Vol. Inf., Div.18, which he entered in the year 1862. By this marriage there are two children, Charlie E. and Sarah M. Mr. Bartlett is in politics a member of the Republican Party, which he staunchly upholds. His parents, John D. and Sarah (Pryor) Bartlett, were natives of Vermont and England, respectively. They came to Knox County in 1844, settling in Rio Township, and may be properly called pioneers. In this part of the country they died, he on March 20, 1883, and she followed him Feb. 12, 1885. They were estimable and highly respected old people, standing alone with whitened heads and diminished vigor, and the highest praise they needed and received, for the usefulness of their lives, was the respect and reverence of dutiful children and affectionate friends.
They were the parents of five children, viz: Livonia A., Loamma M., E.A. (see sketch) the subject of this notice, Sarah M., and John D. Jr. Livonia A. married Elisha C. Field. They have had three children, all deceased. Sarah M. became the wife of Edwin R. Rhodes. The husband and wife are both dead. They left one child, Edwin B., to mourn their loss. John D. Jr. married Miss Mary A. Chatterdon.
BLOOMFIELD, JOHN L., standing in the foremost ranks of busy workers and among the enterprising and industrious men of Knox County, may be named the subject of this detailed personal narration. He is a farmer, living on section 34, Rio Township. He may be reckoned with the early settlers of this section of country, as he emigrated from Montgomery County, Indiana to his present home in the fall of 1845.
The subject of this biography was born in Butler County, Oh, June 9, 1836, and was nine years of age when his parents came to Knox County. He attended school in his native State, receiving a good, practical education, and improving his opportunities, unlike many in young America of that date. In consequence of his persevering efforts, he found his drill and discipline during these years of immense advantage to him in later life. He has always taken an interest in educational matters and has been School Director for some length of time, being always ready to promote the best interests of schools and scholars.
His matrimonial alliance was formed on April 1, 1858 with Elizabeth Coziah, a native of Knox County, who has borne him two children: Edwin D. and Francis M. On the 25th of June 1868, he united in marriage (having lost his first companion, in Henderson Township), with Miss Hannah C. Gritton. She was born in Knox County, Jan. 25, 1850.
Resulting from this marriage there have been six children: LeVerne A., George E., William E., Ellis J., Videlli, and Etheleni F. William died in infancy. The parents of the subject were Isaac and Mary (Hahn) Bloomfield, natives of Ohio and Indiana respectively. They settled in Knox County in 1845, and there made a home, in which they continued until the day of their death, that of the father occurring in 1878 and the mother’s in 1884. The parents of Mrs. Bloomfield were George and Lucy (Nation) Gritton, both natives of Kentucky. They came to Knox County when quite young and were married in that section of country, where they began life and were attended by prosperity in their honest efforts to gain sustenance. The mother departed this life in Henderson Township in 1866, while the father died in Missouri in 1882.
Mr. Bloomfield is one of the most useful men that the county includes, and is keen, quick and accurate in his opinions and decisions. Locally he is helpful and often fills some minor office. He is an active politician, and a Democrat in voice and vote. In religious belief he is liberal and large minded and is a believer in the Universalist faith, with which denomination he worships.
BRAINARD, EDWIN, a farmer of Knox County, may be cited as one of our most successful and prosperous men. He came to Illinois in the year 1855, and purchased a new, uncultivated farm of 160 acres. He erected a small house and there commenced what has since become his home. During the subsequent years he has added many improvements and fertilized his farm to such an extent that is now ranks among the best farms in the State. His land is in a high state of cultivation and his home is an attractive and pleasant one. His farm buildings and adjacent out-houses are first-class. He owns large numbers of blooded stock, which he has been successful in raising.
Mr. Brainard is the son of Jephtha and Catherine (Comstock) Brainard, who were formerly of New England. They afterward removed from that section of the country and settled on what has long been known as Webster Hill, Oneida County, N.Y, where Edwin was born Nov. 9, 1809. Some time later his parents went to Whitestown, a small village situated in the same county. Here the subject of our writing passed the years of his boyhood with his parents (see sketch of Jephtha Brainard of Oneida), up to the date of his marriage, which happy event took place in Western Oneida County, Dec. 21, 1842, Miss Mercy White being the other contracting party. Mercy (White) Brainard was born in Westernville, Oneida Co, N.Y., Oct 7, 1820. She was the daughter of Moses T. and Phebe (Philips) White, natives of New York and Massachusetts, respectively. Mrs. Brainard’s father was by occupation a farmer. He was married in Oneida County, and both himself and wife lived and died there. He was a prominent actor in local affairs, and, relating to his township, energetic and enterprising. They both lived to attain advanced years, the mother being 53 and the father 80 years at the date of their demise. Mrs. Brainard was the eldest daughter of a large family, comprising 11 bothers and sisters. She was the valued companion and assistant of both father and mother, up to the date of her marriage. She is herself the mother of five children, having lost one by death. Anna, residing at home, was formerly a teacher in the public school. Everett, the second, married Anna E. Osborne, and at this writing resided in Seward County, Nebraska, where he is engaged in farming. They are the parents of three children. Carrie, the third, is a graduate of Lombard University of Galesburg, and is a young lady of fine mental endowments. After leaving the University at Galesburg she graduated a second time from St. Lawrence College, Canton, New York State. She has devoted her entire time and talents thus far in her life to her studies, with marked industry and ardor. Since the year 1880 she has preached the doctrines of the Universalist Church, and given much time and thought to religious points of belief. Four years of her pastorate she spent at Leroy, IL, and is at present preaching at Girard, IL. She is frequently designated as strong-minded, and is in character an interesting and highly cultivated lady, as well as a fluent and eloquent speaker. George W., fourth in order of birth, married Carrie S. Cummings, who was……end of page, next page missing..
CASHMAN, JAMES L., the subject of this brief personal narrative is one of the most important citizens and enterprising men resident in Knox County. He is engaged in agricultural pursuits and has been since he first came to Illinois, which was at a date far back, so early that he might be reckoned as one of the pioneers of this section of the country.
Mr. Cashman, who is a farmer residing on section 11 of Indian Point Township, came to Illinois in 1848, and settled in Knox County. He was a native of Clinton County, Ohio, near Wilmington, which is the county-seat of Clinton County. He was born Jan. 6, 1836, and is the son of George and Rebecca J. (Murphy) Cashman, natives of Virginia. The father of our subject was born Oct. 10, 1798, and died Feb. 11, 1881. The mother was born Aug. 1, 1816, and died Sept. 27, 1885.
To them were born 13 children, three of whom died. Their names are here given: Elizabeth lives in Tazewell Co, IL; Mary J., wife of J.J.Laws, has a home at Bedford, Iowa; Harvey R. and James L., twins, of whom Harvey was united in marriage with Rebecca Crawford and is living in Knox County, he holding a high position in the Revenue Department at Peoria, IL,; Susan, who is the wife of Henry Bond, lives in Knox Co.; William M. married Miss Imogene Monroe and their home is at Corning, Iowa; David M. married Mary E. Moore, and her home was in Weldon, Iowa up to the time of her death; Isaiah wedded Annie Bridson, and their home is in Clarke County, Iowa; George E. married Miss Estella Hall and lives near Corning, Iowa; Sarah E. married P.D. Crawford and lives near Weldon, Iowa; Henry, husband of Sarah E. Thompson, lives near Weldon, Iowa.
James L. of this writing, one of the twins, married Miss Matilda E. Bond, Dec. 31, 1857. She was born Oct. 10, 1844, in Clinton Co, OH., and was the daughter of Walter and Eleanor (Moon) Bond. The father was born in October 1800 and died in 1877. The mother was born in 1809 and still survives him, living at Herman, Knox County.
Thirteen children were born to this pair, as follows: John, who married Miss Ann McFarland and died in June 1884; Henry, who united with Miss Susan Cashman; Lucy J., wife of Mr. Sam Davis; Elemanda married Miss Sarah Cramer; Jasper was united with Amanda Callison; Levi took to wife Miss Sarah Drum; Cynthia E. wife of William Headly; Sini, living at home with her mother; and Frank, who married Miss Emma Headly.
Mr. and Mrs. Cashman have two children: Ella B., born Sept 28, 1858, who married W.H. Shumaker, and lives in Knox County; and Oscar B., who was born July 23, 1866, and is now attending the Commercial College at Quincy, Illinois.
Our subject is the possessor of 134 acres of highly cultivated land, upon which he erected, in 1866, fine buildings, a dwelling house and convenient out-buildings. His large stock of domestic animals is complete and he makes a business of breeding blooded stock. He owns a thorough-bred Short-horn bull and is carrying on the business of breeding Short-horn animals. He also raises Poland-China pigs, and has for the past 25 years, which he sells to other breeders. He also handles horses, having two very expensive stallions of imported stock, deep bay in color and five and three years old respectively. The older one weighs over 2,000 and the younger 1,460 pounds. They were imported by Cress Bros., of Tazewell County, IL.
Mr. and Mrs. Cashman are members in good and regular standing in the Christian Church at Herman, of which congregation Mr. C. has been Deacon for several years. He is also School Director, which position he has held for 19 years, and is a helpful, able man in all enterprises affecting public good. His wife is an amiable Christian lady, and well liked for her ready sympathy and willingness to respond to any call of duty made upon her. Her husband is a wide-awake man in a political sense, and watches the workings of National affairs, and is Democratic in politics. He has been Treasurer of the township three years and Commissioner for five.
CUNNINGHAM, NELSON, one of Knox County’s successful farmers, and a gentleman who has followed that vocation more or less all of his life, is at present residing upon section 21, Salem Township. Mr. Cunningham was born in Indiana County, Pa., Jan.7, 1834. His father was Joseph Cunningham, born in August, 1808, in the same county. His father, grandfather of our subject, Thomas Cunningham, was also a native of the Keystone State.
The father of our subject grew to manhood in his native state and was there married to Sarah Harbison. He purchased a farm in Indiana County and there engaged in the cultivation of the soil. He also purchased land in Westmoreland County, in the same State, remaining there until 1865, when he disposed of his farm and came to Knox County, locating in Salem Township. In this township he purchased land situated on the southwest quarter of section 21, upon which he resided until Oct. 28, 1873, when he died. The parental family consisted of five children, two now surviving, with whom his widow resides. The subject of our sketch was the eldest of the family. His brother, Thomas, now lives in Johnson County, Kansas.
He of whom we write was reared on a farm and educated in the common schools of his native State, and removed with his parents to Westmoreland County in 1854, remaining at home until 1857. Nelson Cunningham, in March 1857, was united in marriage with Elizabeth Buchanan, who was born in Westmoreland County, Pa. After marriage Mr. C. rented land in 1864, when he purchased a farm in Westmoreland County. In 1865 he had an opportunity to sell out at an advanced price, which he did. Soon after he came to Illinois and located in Peoria County, where he purchased a farm, on which he resided one year. This he sold and removed to Elba Township, remaining there for eight years. After the death of his father he removed to the old homestead, which he farmed and improved. He is extensively engaged in the breeding of stock and the cultivation of the soil. They are the parents of five children living: John T. is in Vermont, Fulton County; Ed. F. is a teacher in Yates City; Jennie M. is also a teacher; and the others are Sadie and Flora. Two died in infancy. Mr. and Mrs. C. are members of the Presbyterian Church in Yates City. In politics Mr. C. affiliates with the Republican Party.
DICKERSON, W.W., deceased. The subject of this biographical sketch was a leading citizen of Knox County, and was noteworthy for his particular success in his chosen field of labor, that of a farmer; his home was located on section 21, Haw Creek Township. He was born Aug. 3, 1821, in Southern Illinois—White County—and was married in 1843. To him were born seven children, as follows: Mary Ann, Phoebe, James T. Elizabeth J., Eliza, W.W., and Martha.
He came to Knox County in 1840, and may be reckoned among the pioneers of this section, as he bought land at that time and laid the foundation of his late home. He watched the gradual progress of the county, and was identified with its early history as a factor, and here he remained until his death, which occurred Aug. 11, 1885. He had been married twice, his second alliance being with Elizabeth Highfield, nee Connor. This union was crowned by the advent of two children: John L. and Frank W.; the former is deceased.
By her first union there were three children born—Milvina, Charles F. and Gilbert H. Melvina married James Dickenson and lives on the old homestead; Charles F. married Charlotte Westfall and they reside in LaHarpe; Gilbert H. married Matilda Westfall and is now residing in Hancock County, this State. Mrs. Dickerson is the owner of 40 acres of land, on which is erected a good house, neat and convenient, with all needed out-buildings. She is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, a lady of high attainments, of many graces of mind and character, and is esteemed and respected by the entire community.
FLEMING, JAMES M., was one of the early settlers of Oneida and of Knox County, coming to the former place in 1856, when it was a mere hamlet and when the county was yet sparsely peopled. He was a native of Muskingum County, Ohio, where he was born June 22, 1811, his parents being Virginia people. He was a farmer, and after enjoying to a limited extent the meager educational advantages of that early date, was married in his native county to Emily Wells, who was born in Licking County, Ohio, Oct. 18, 1815. Her parents, William and Susan Wells (her mother’s maiden name was Bigelow), were natives of Connecticut, of New England ancestry and of English descent. They came to Ohio before their marriage, were pioneers in that State, living after their marriage in Licking County till the death of the father, after which the mother re-married, going to Muskingum County, where she died. Mrs. Fleming was five years old at the time of the death of her father, and when 12 years old went to live in the family of Rev. Solomon S. Miles, then a resident of Newark, Ohio, and with whom she remained till within a few years prior to her marriage to Mr. Fleming, which took place March 10, 1836. They continued to reside in Licking and Muskingum Counties till they moved to Oneida, in 1856, where they partly improved a farm of 160 acres in Ontario Township, which is owned by Mrs. Fleming and to whom it was bequeathed by her father at his death.
Mrs. Fleming is the mother of three children only one of whom is living—Mrs. Susan M. Barnes, wife of P.J. Barnes, of Del Rio, Texas, where they own a comfortable home; Clay died in Ohio, aged 2 years; and Emily A. became the wife of F.M.B. Scott, died in Oneida after a few years of married life, Sept, 1, 1876, leaving one child and losing one before her own demise. The name of the child living is Ira J.
Mr. Fleming was an active temperance worker and a stanch Republican, took considerable interest in local politics, and after a long and happy married life, a life of usefulness and devotion to friends, family and duty, he rests in peace beyond the turmoil of earth and its cares, mingling now with the great majority in a “land that is fairer than day”. His death occurred April 26, 1867.
FOLTZ, FREDERICK P., among the prosperous business men of Abingdon, and who has long been closely identified with the best interests of the city, is the gentleman whose name heads this notice. He embarked in the drug business there in 1865, but to this line subsequently added groceries and farm implements. Since 1879, however, he has dealt exclusively in drugs, paints, oils, books, stationery, wall-paper and farm implements, and carries an average stock of about $4,000.
Mr. Foltz was born in Franklin County, Pa., Nov. 15, 1830, and is the son of Christian and Hannah (Kieffer) Foltz. He was reared and educated in his native county and there served a regular apprenticeship to the carpenter trade, after which he was continuously occupied in that work during the year he remained a resident of that State. He was married at Waynesboro, Pa., Oct. 8, 1855, to Miss Melinda C., the accomplished daughter of George and Susan Jacobs. Mrs. Foltz was born at Waynesboro, Pa., Dec. 7, 1833. In 1857 our subject, with his family, moved to Kansas and was there engaged in agricultural pursuits until 1860, when ,on account of the unsettled condition of affairs at that time, it being just prior to the war, he returned to his native State. There he worked at his trade until the close of the war, in 1865, when he again came to Kansas. Not being favorably impressed with the portion of that State which he visited, he came to Abingdon and engaged in the mercantile business, and has been prominently identified with the growth, not only of Abingdon, but of Knox County, since that time. He took an active part in aid of the construction of the Peoria & Farmington, now the Central Iowa Railroad, and was a member of its Board of Directors. He was an earnest worker in securing local aid in the interest of the road. He has been a member of the Board of Directors of the Union Bank, of Abingdon, and has been its Vice-President since 1880. In addition to his drug and stationery business, he is extensively engaged in the sale of agricultural implements, together with wagons and buggies. He is also a farmer and stock-raiser, having a fine farm of 310 acres, lying on the west line of Cedar Township. On this splendid place he keeps an average herd of 40 head of full-blooded Short-horn cattle and also a herd of 75 head of high grades. He is a gentleman of more than ordinary ability as a business man, and what he possesses of this world’s goods, which is an abundance, he has acquired through his own energy and perseverance.
Mr. and Mrs. Foltz are the parents of six children, two sons and four daughters: Louisa Belle was born at Chambersburg, Pa., July 17, 1856, and died Sept. 22, 1857; Jennie Augusta was born in Shawnee County, Kansas, March 20, 1858; George F.J., was also born in that county, Nov. 5, 1859, and died April 18, 1864; Frederick Luther was born in Waynesboro, Pa, Feb. 25, 1862, and died April 18, 1964 in Kansas. Linnie M. was born Nov. 23, 1867, in Abingdon; Lillie M. and Helen D. (twins) were born at Abingdon, Aug. 25, 1870; the former died Sept. 15, 1870.
Mrs. Foltz united with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in June 1849, and Mr. Foltz, Nov. 23, 1850. On coming to Abingdon and finding no church of their denomination, they united with the Cumberland Presbyterian, with which they have since held fellowship. This, however, is now known as the Congregationalist.
HUDSON, GEORGE C., is a farmer residing on section 12, Cedar Township. This gentleman was born in Oneida County, N.Y., Nov. 8, 1833, and is the son of Isaiah and Fannie (Burrell) Hudson, natives of England. His father was born in 1805 in Lincolnshire, England, and died Nov. 7, 1882, in Knox County, where George C. now resides. His mother was born Oct. 24, 1808, and on her birth day, 1832, the marriage of herself and husband took place in New York State. She is now a resident of Knoxville. By this happy union there were ten children: George C., Charles J., Robert, Isaiah W., Samentha, Louise, Mary Ann, Cornelious, Jane, and Henry.
The gentleman whose name heads this history, married Miss Angeline Carter, Nov. 21, 1855. This lady was born May 31, 1839. She was the daughter of David and Melinda (Riddle) Carter. They were both natives of Indiana, his birth taking place April 3, 1814. She was born March 7, 1816. Her decease taking place Nov.8, 1839; only one child, Angeline, is now living. The children born to Mr. Hudson are: Charles M., Feb. 3, 1857; George C., Oct. 25, 1858; Robert J., Sept. 21, 1860; Clara J., April 5, 1863; Fannie M., Oct. 8, 1865; Eva, Dec. 8, 1867; Lewis C., April 7, 1870; Lennie A., June 1, 1872; Mary E., Oct. 3, 1874; and Oliver B., Feb. 24, 1879. None of these children are yet married. Oliver and Lewis are deceased.
Mr. Hudson has 118 ½ acres of good land on section 12, of this township, where he has erected a fine dwelling, 28 X 28 feet, one and one-half story high. And on the place he has a very suitable barn, 32 X 42 feet. This is substantial in structure and well finished inside. There is also a wagon shed 14 X 32 feet.
The wife of this gentleman was born in Henderson Township, Knox Co, IL. Mr. H. first came to Illinois with his father in the fall of 1837, and located in Warren County. In 1839 he arrived where he at present resides. He is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church of Knoxville, and an Independent in his political views. In 1864 he came to where he now lives and bought the residence which he is at present occupying. Cornelius was a soldier during the late war. The family are pioneers in Knox County, having come here in 1839.
JUNK, SAMUEL, conspicuous among the more influential and worthy citizens of Knox County, and characterized for his sterling worth and upright character, is the subject of this brief personal history, the principal items in whose record are here given. He is a resident of a farm situated on section 18, Rio Township, and is a useful member of society, occupying many of the local offices, among them that of Road Commissioner.
Mr. Junk came to Knox County at the same time that his brother, Thomas, took up his abode there (see sketch of Thomas, Henderson Township). He had a predilection for agricultural pursuits and settled in Henderson Township, where he lived until the spring of 1866. Tarrying there for a brief season, he later came to Rio Township, where he took up a farm on section 18, which land he had bought two years previously. Here was begun the improvement and cultivation which has since produced such admirable results. At this time were laid the foundations of his present handsome home. All modern additions have been made; his land has been enriched by tilling, and new and substantial buildings have been erected thereon and this house may be truly called one of the most desirable and attractive in the county. Two hundred acres of land in Knox County and 160 in Mercer County are the property of Mr. Junk and are an acquisition of no mean value.
The subject of this narration was born in Fayette County, Pa., Dec. 19, 1832. The parents of Mr. Junk were James and Elizabeth (Lincoln) Junk. Mr. Junk was the 2nd in order of birth of a family of 7 children, viz: John, Samuel, Thomas, Sarah, Henry, Jackson, and Robert. John married Elizabeth Robertson and they are the parents of two children: Stephen D. (deceased), and Alexander R. Thomas married Maria Kilgore. This union has been blessed by seven children: Jessie, Frank, Alvin, William, Minnie, David, and Edith. Sarah is living on the old homestead in Pennsylvania. Henry is married and has two children: James and an infant not named. Jackson and Robert are deceased. The paternal side of the Junk family is of Irish origin and from the mother’s side it comes of Dutch stock.
Mr. Junk has but just reached the meridian of life, having attained the age of 54, and being hale and vigorous, may live to attain the three score and ten years allotted to man. In his earlier years he attended the common schools, receiving an ordinary education. Feeling that honest labor dignifies a man, he learned the carpenter trade, which he followed in Pennsylvania and at which he worked for two years after coming to Knox County. At Knoxville, May 20, 1858, he completed his happiness by choosing a life companion in the person of Ann, daughter of Thomas and Hannah (Dunlap) Henderson , both natives of Fayette County, Pa. The parents of Mrs. Junk came to Knox County in 1855 and settled in Henderson Township, where they passed the remainder of their days, departing this life in the same county, the mother in 1870 and the father in 1874. Mrs. Junk was born in Fayette Co, Pa., March 8, 1839, and there lived until she came to this county, under the guardianship of her parents.
Mrs. Junk is the 1st child of a family of seven, viz: Hannah, Mary, Stewart, Martha J.; those deceased are Lizzie and Cynthia. Hannah became the wife of H.G. Shinn. They have four children living: Francis, Libbie E., Nellie and Wallace. Mary is the wife of Samuel Rankin, and they are the parents of four children: William, Mary E., Samuel and Horace. Stewart has been married, but is now single. He has a family of five children: Ada, Luella, Annie, Eva, and Belle. Martha became the wife of Alexander Ritenhouse, and they have three children now living: Mamie, Jacob H. and Edna. Libbie (now deceased) was married to Taylor Lynn and had one child, Almond. On the paternal side of the house Mrs. J. is of Irish origin.
To the house of Mr. and Mrs. Junk has been added four children, viz: Lizzie H., James H., Myrtie E., and Edwin T. Lizzie is the wife of Taylor Lynn and resides in Rio Township, while the other children are still inmates of the parental home. They have also taken the entire charge of Annie Henderson since she was an infant of ten months, and the little one has grown up in their midst, a source of much pride and pleasure to one and all. Mr. Junk takes an active part in educational matters and has been a School Director in his district for a number of years. He is a keen, alert thinker to political matters, and is identified with the Democratic party, whose sentiments he voices and whose principles he upholds.
MACKAY, JAMES B., among the prominent and influential citizens of Abingdon, whose interests have been closely connected with that place since his locating there in 1879, is the gentleman whose name heads this notice. The First National Bank of Abingdon, of which Mr. Mackay is President, was established in August 1885, and opened its doors for business on the 1st day of September of that year, its officers being J.B. Mackay, President; M.C. Kimball, Vice-President; and W.A. Latimer, Cashier. Its capital stock was $50,000. It was an outgrowth of the People’s Bank, of Abingdon, which was established in 1879, and of which M.O. Bates was President and the subject of this notice Cashier.
James B. Mackay was born in Edinburgh, Scotland, June 24, 1845, and is a son of John and Jessie (Ross) Mackay, natives of that country. Young Mackay was reared to manhood in his native land, where he received a good education. Subsequent to his attaining the age of manhood, he engaged in the banking business in Scotland, and was thus occupied for 15 years. In 1878 he set sail for the United States, and in July of that year we find him at Galesburg. Remaining there for about a year, he removed to Abingdon, where he accepted an appointment as Cashier of the People’s Bank. Serving in that capacity until 1883, he was elected President of the bank, which position he held until its re-organization and until it was merged into the First National Bank. He was then elected President and has held that position until the present time. He is one of the most popular business men of Abingdon, and is well known throughout the entire county. He and his wife are members of the Congregational Church.
Mr. Mackay was married in Brooklyn, N.Y. in April 1881, to Miss Anna G., daughter of Patrick R. Ramsay. She was born in Scotland, and arrived in this country April 18, 1881.
RUSSELL, EDMUND, there were a few sturdy pioneers to be found here and there throughout Knox County as early as 1837, but the number was few. The great railroads that opened up this fair section, and made it possible to be cultivated as a garden, had not yet been planned nor dreamed of by those of the most vivid imagination. Among the number of these hardy people, to whom the present generation owe so much, was Mr. Edmund Russell, Sr. He was a native of Chautauqua County, N.Y., where he married Miss Elizabeth Weed. They settled there and remained for a time, but soon removed to Gallia County, Ohio. In the autumn of 1837 they came to this county, and located on section 31, where they passed the remainder of their lives, and upon which section our subject continues to reside. The wife and mother was the first to be called to the future world, her demise occurring June 11, 1877. Mr. Russell survived until Dec. 27, 1884. To this union were born 11 children—Chas. M., David, Lusenia, William, George W., Louisa, Mary J., Edmund, Lucretia M., Olive A. and Melissa D.
Edmund Russell, our subject, was born in Gallia County, Ohio, Nov. 15, 1836, and was an infant of a year old when he was brought to Knox County by his parents. Here he grew up to manhood, receiving a good common-school education, and has continued to make his home in Persifer Township, with the exception of six years passed in Oregon and Idaho. He has devoted his time while in Knox County to agricultural pursuits, and today is the owner of a good farm of 127 acres, 100 of which are tillable. He has taken no little interest in the public affairs of the township, and has served as Road Commissioner, School Director and Overseer of Highways. In his political connection he is identified with the Republican party.
Mr. Russell was united in marriage at Knoxville, April 6, 1875, with Miss Emma Risor, daughter of William and Sarah (Lawrence) Risor, natives of Ohio. They were also early pioneers of Knox County, having settled in Knoxville as early as 1839, where they at present reside. They were the parents of seven children, namely: Caroline, Samuel B., Ann, Haney, Emma, Ella, and Ada. Mrs. Russell was the 5th in order of birth of the family, and was born in Orange Township, Jan. 13, 1851. Almond C., the only child of Mr. and Mrs. Russell, was born Oct. 2, 1879.
The following family record, 180 years old, was furnished by Mr. Ed. Russell:
Joseph and Mary Russell, both natives of Massachusetts; no record of their age, marriage or death. William, son of Joseph and Mary Russell, born at Dartmouth or New Bedford, Mass., Oct. 20 1706, and died March 6, 1793, in Dutchess County, N.Y. in the 87th year of his age. Elizabeth, his wife, died in Dutchess County, N.Y., aged 67 years. Samuel Russell, son of William and Elizabeth Russell, born in Dutchess Co, N.Y., June 10, 1736, and died in Saratoga Co, N.Y., Nov. 5, 1824, aged 88 years; Margaret his wife, died in 1829, at the age of 84 years. William, their first son, born Jan. 27, 1773, in Dutchess Co, N.Y., married Patience Duel, Feb. 13, 1794; she died in Knox Co, IL, June 23, 1841, in the 73rd year of her age; he was married the second time when he was 80 years old. He died in the city of Galesburg, IL, Oct 17, 1856, in the 85th year of his age. At the time of his death he was as smart and spry as a man of 40, and could walk 18 or 20 miles in a day. He was standing on the railroad track in Galesburg, when an engine ran over him and killed him almost instantly. The old grandfather was a strange old man, and our subject states that he saw him dig and wall up his own grave and cut and letter his own tombstone. He also helped him erect his tombstone at his grave, several years before he died.
WOOD, JOHN W., hardware merchant of Yates City, IL, a prosperous and progressive citizen, is the subject of this personal sketch. Previously the business was conducted with S.S. Stone as associate partner, from 1877 to 1879, when Mr. Wood purchased his partner’s interest and conducted the business alone until December, 1883, when he took his son into the store as partner; the firm is now John W. Wood & Son.
Our subject was born in Mason County, Ky., July 18, 1827. His father, William Wood, was a native of Kentucky, born in the same county. His grandfather, Jesse Wood, was a native of Virginia, and his great-grandfather, Christopher Wood, was originally from England, and came to America previous to the Revolution, under the auspices of the Baptist Association. He was a minister of that denomination, and one of the Kentucky pioneers. He was the first Baptist minister of that State, and with his family resided in Daniel Boone’s fort in Mason County. He built the first grist-mill in Kentucky, which was located on Lee’s Creek, built of stone and wood, and furnished with two sets of stone buhrs. The stone part of the mill is still standing, and is preserved as a relic in Mason County. It is situated five or six miles from Maysville. Christopher Wood and Jesse, his son, were both in the fort built by Simon Kenton and Daniel Boone, as mentioned above.
The father of our subject grew to manhood in his native county, learning the carpenter’s trade when young and later becoming an engineer. In that capacity he was employed for about 30 years on a river steamer, thus visiting the different trading posts on the Illinois and Mississippi Rivers long before the country was settled by white men. He died in Mason County, Ky., Dec. 25, 1853. His marriage was with Ann Field, daughter of Thomas and Charlotte (Stark) Shelton, of Virginia. Thomas Shelton, the maternal grandfather, was an officer of the Government, and arrested Aaron Burr after he had conspired against it. To the parents of W. Wood were born 7 children, of whom our subject was 3rd in order of birth. He lived in Mason County until he attained the age of 16 years, when he went to Pike County, Ohio, engaging in a blacksmith shop. There he served four years; he then returned to Mason County and obtained employment at his trade in a railroad shop, working for the Lexington & Maysville Railroad. With them he continued for one year, then went to New Orleans for one season, visiting Vicksburg and Memphis, and in 1853 came to Baltimore, Md., as agent for a patent right. In the fall of the same year he went to New Orleans and traded in Northern produce until the spring of 1854. In March of that year he went back to his old home, and on April 6 entered the State of Iowa, traveled over its unsettled plains until the following May, when he came to Illinois, spent one month in Fulton County, then, coming to Knox County, opened a blacksmith ship in Maquon Township, and did general work for five years.
Mr. Wood was united in marriage in 1859, with Emma Ruth Kay, a native of England, born in Lancashire. Accompanied by his bride, he returned to Fulton County and opened a shop, where he worked at Blacksmithing for eight years, and in September, 1867, came to Yates City, again establishing himself at his trade, and continued thus until 1877, when he engaged in the hardware business, which he still continues.
Mr. Wood has two children living, who bear the following names: John W., with whom he is associated in business, was born in November, 1852, married Mary Balcom, of New York State; Lula V., born July 16, 1868, became the wife of J.W. Dixon, and lives in Yates City. Mr. Wood is a member of Yates City Lodge, No. 370, I.O.O. F., and in politics is a Prohibitionist, supporting that party by example and vote.
ANDERSON, A. G., is senior partner of the firm of Anderson & Johnson, proprietors of the “City Mills”, Galesburg, IL. (see biography of N. O. G. Johnson). These mills are located at 123 South Kellogg Street, and have a capacity of about 40 barrels per day; they were built in 1870 or 1871, and came into the hands of their present owners in 1880; from 1882 to 1885 A. R. Stover was interested with them. The mill produces an extra fine quality of flour, the entire product for home consumption. Mill and property are all owned by Anderson & Johnson.
Mr. Anderson was born near Falkoping, Sweden, Oct. 26, 1844, and came to America with his parents, Andrew and Anne Mary Anderson, in 1864. They came directly to Galesburg, where the father died in 1869, and where Mrs. A. yet lives. They reared a family of two sons and four daughters, A. G. being the eldest. He was educated in Sweden and brought up to the milling business under his father. His first employment here was as brakeman for the C., B.& Q.R.R. Co. He followed railroading for 15 years, the last 13 being in the capacity of freight conductor. He was elected to the Galesburg City Council from the Second Ward in 1881, and re-elected twice thereafter.
Nov. 13, 1870, at Galesburg, Mr. Anderson was married to Miss Kate Lundquist, a native of Sweden, and they have become the parents of two children, Estella Luvina and an infant deceased. Mr. and Mrs. Anderson are members of the Lutheran Church, and Mr. A. is a Master Mason.
CARDIFF, EDWARD A., --Civil War Vet from PA--is a general farmer on section 2, Lynn Township, and has been in this vicinity since December 1865. He was born in Fulton County, Pa., July 7, 1845, and his father, William F., was also a native of that State and county. William F. Cardiff was a merchant by vocation, and was married in Fulton County, Pa., to Catherine Sipes (see sketch of J.M. Sipes). They came to Illinois, in April 1864, locating near Galva, where the mother died in March 1869. The father is still living, in Galva. In politics he is a Republican, and in religion a Methodist.
The subject of our sketch lived at home up to the time he enlisted as a soldier, going from Fulton County, Pa. Feb. 28, 1864, into the 22nd Pa. Vol. Cav., Co. H. under the command of Capt. Jolly. He took an active part in the engagements under Gen. Sheridan, through the Shenandoah Valley and at the battles of Winchester, Fisher’s Hill, and Cedar Creek, Va. He was never excused from duty on account of sickness and participated in every engagement of his regiment—24 in all—and was honorably discharged at the end of the war at Harrisburg, Pa., Nov. 25, 1865.
Shortly after the close of the war Mr. Cardiff came to Illinois, where his parents had arrived the year before. His father was Captain of Co. B, 3rd Md. Vol. Inf. He was out two and one-half years and at no time wounded, but was taken prisoner at Harper’s Ferry. He held his commission during the whole time, being paroled when captured, and was honorably discharged. This was before he came to Illinois.
Mr. Cardiff was married March 13, 1872, at Lynn Township, to Miss Latrode R. Sellon, born in Lynn Township, Aug. 6, 1849. Her parents are both dead. Her father was for many years a minister of the Protestant Methodist Church, and lived on his farm. They came from England to this country prior to their marriage, and made settlement at an early day in Knox County. The father, whose name was Edward Sellon, departed this life Dec. 23, 1883, in Galva, and the mother, whose maiden name was Elizabeth Charles, died Oct. 3, 1873. Mrs. Cardiff lived at home until her marriage with our subject. She is the mother of five children—Ira D., Bessie C., Ada J., Nellie I., and William E.
Mr. Cardiff has lived at his present residence since 1874. He and his wife are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church at Galva, attending it when convenient. Mr. Cardiff is Republican in politics.
CARR, CLARK E., sometime in the first half of the 17th century, Rev. John Clark, for alleged heresy, consisting in the advocacy of a doctrine objectionable to some of those Puritans whom Mrs. Hemans said “left unstained what there they found, freedom to worship God,” considered it necessary for him to leave Massachusetts, and he joined Roger Williams in Rhode Island, where he was Acting Governor of the Province in 1669. About the same time Caleb Carr also took up his abode in Rhode Island, where he died while Governor of that colony, Dec. 17, 1695. (See Arnold’s History of Rhode Island.) The son of one and a daughter of the other of these two gentlemen, Carr and Clark, intermarried, hence the union of the Carrs and Clarks, the two names whereof have since been handed down from generation to generation, and hence the name of the subject of our sketch, Clark E. Carr, great-great-grandson of the two old colonial Governors of Rhode Island. His father was Clark M. Carr, and his mother before marriage was Delia A. Torrey. One of her ancestors, Samuel Torrey, was for many years a Presbyterian pastor at Salem, Mass., in the early part of the 17th century, and it is more than probably that he took a hand in the persecutions which resulted in driving the Clarks and Carrs out of Massachusetts. Clark M. and Delia A. (Torrey) Carr, natives respectively of New York and Connecticut, were united in marriage in Erie County, N.Y., where their four sons, now Gen. E. A. Carr, a prominent citizen of California; Rev. H.M. Carr, of the Baptist Church, and Clark E. Carr, were born, and where Mrs. Carr, their mother, died in 1839. The father remarried in Erie County, and by his second wife, nee Fannie L. Yaw, reared a son, Capt. George P. Carr, deceased, and a daughter, now Mrs. J.C. Fahnnestock, of Galesburg. The family came west in 1850, spent some time in Henry County, and located at Galesburg, in the fall of 1851, where the father, Clark M. Carr, was for many years a prominent and honored citizen. He died in 1876, at the age of 72 years.
Clark E. Carr was born at Boston Corners, Erie Co, N.Y., May 20, 1836. From the age of five years he was kept quite regularly at school, and after coming to Galesburg went through the Sophomore year in Knox College. From here he went to Poughkeepsie (N.Y.) Law School, where he remained a year, subsequently entering the Albany Law School, from which institution he graduated in 1857, with the degree of LL.B. Returning to Galesburg, he at once formed a partnership with Mr. Thomas Harrison in the practice of the law, and three years later with Hon. O.F. Price as Carr & Price, the latter partnership lasting about two years. He subsequently purchased the Galesburg Republican, and for four years, as editor, made it a red-hot political paper (see Republican Register, this volume). In March 1861, soon after the inauguration of President Lincoln, Mr. Carr was appointed Postmaster at Galesburg. He held this position six full terms –24 years—under Presidents Lincoln, Johnson, Grant, Hayes, Garfield and Arthur, all the time the Republican party was in power. He was a faithful and conscientious officer, and during this entire administration he was never censured by the department, and scarcely ever criticized. He always surrounded himself with worthy and capable assistants, and it is his boast that, with scarcely an exception, the young men who have grown up in the post office have taken high rank as worthy and honorable citizens.
Col. Carr has labored actively in politics since he was 20 years of age, during all of which time the Republican party has been the recipient of his best efforts. He stumped his county for Fremont and Dayton, in 1856, and in the various campaigns since that date his voice has been heard in almost every State in the Union. He is regarded as one of the most powerful and effective stump speakers in the United States, and has a rare faculty of not only entertaining his audiences, but convincing them. During the last four or five great presidential campaigns few men have been of greater service to his party on the stump than Col. Clark E. Carr. He has been a power felt in the East as well as the West, and in the largest cities of the country. He is graphic in his description of both men and measures, and no man in the nation has greater use of the powerful weapons of wit and sarcasm than he. He is a speaker of force and ability, and many of his addresses, other than purely political, have been published, republished and favorably commented upon by the leading papers of the country. At the great Union mass meeting of all political parties, held at Chicago, Sept. 23, 1863, called together for the purpose of sustaining President Lincoln and encouraging him in his purpose of issuing his great Emancipation Proclamation, Mr. Carr was one of the principal speakers. We are permitted to make a few extracts from his address on that occasion. In the course of his address he said: “We are assembled here, citizens of this great republic, for the purpose of taking counsel together upon questions of the greatest importance. Let no man call himself a Democrat tonight, or a Republican, or a Whig, but let us all, without party trammels or partisan interest, turn our attention to our beloved country and ask how we can best assist her in this hour of her great adversity. Let none fear that he will lose his political party. When the proper time comes, when the country is saved, when the breakers are past and the ship of state shall once more reach the open sea, then we can call into existence parties. But at this time, when treason raises its head in our very midst, let us not talk of party.”…
After paying a glowing tribute to the memory of Stephen A. Douglas, Mr. Carr continued: “I am for the Emancipation Proclamation. I believe it is just and right and constitutional. The Constitution gives the President authority to put down insurrection, and it follows that he has the right to make use of all necessary power to do so. If confiscation or emancipation, the President is authorized to proclaim confiscation or emancipation. It is our duty to use everything in our power to weaken the rebels and strengthen ourselves. In the language that fell from the inspired lips of Patrick Henry: “We are not weak if we make the proper use of the means which God and nature have placed in our power”. At this time God has place emancipation in our power, as a means to put down rebellion, and it is our duty to make a “proper use of it”…..Is it possible that a loyal man can think the proclamation unjust?”….(A Voice---“You are an Abolitionist”) “You may call me an Abolitionist or anything if you do not call me a traitor or a sympathizer with traitors. What loyal man can object to the proclamation? If you are in favor of making use of all other means to put down the rebellion, why not make use of this? Certainly we have the right, under the rules of war, to cripple the enemy in every way in our power……Soldiers in the Rebel Army have slaves in their places on the plantation. Free the slaves and the soldiers must go home…..I am for the Constitution which gives the President authority to put down insurrection. It is the watchword of the enemies of the Government that they are for the Union as it was. I am not for the ‘Union as it was’ when James Buchanan was President—a union that would allow a member of the Cabinet to steal the arms and money of the Government for the traitors; a union that would allow State after State to secede, without an effort to restrain; a union that would quietly see batteries planted against the fort on which waved the banner of the Republic. No, I am not for the Union as it was in those degenerate times. But I am for the Union as it was in the days of the Fathers, when the power of the Government was respected, when pure and wise men occupied high positions, when plunder of the public property was regarded as a crime, when insurrection and rebellion were put down, when the genius of liberty presided at the capital. I am for ‘the Union as it was’.
Of an address delivered by Mr. Carr at a Fourth-of-July picnic in 1878, the Chicago Times editorially says: “Among the public speeches on the recent Fourth of July, one of the most sensible and timely was the plain talk of Col. Clark E. Carr, of Galesburg. It was one of the best Fourth-of-July orations ever delivered, because, in the first place, the speaker did not say one word about the “glorious Fourth’ or “the day we celebrate”; or “the Nations’ birthday” (which it is not), or rehearse any of the other cheap claptrap with which for the whole century Americans have been supplied by conceited asses, ad nauseam.” It was a plain talk by a plain man, addressing himself to an ordinary, plain, common-sense people in relation to one of the most contemptible of all the colossal shams of the times.”
This address was very generally copied by the press of the country. Almost every leading journal upon the continent copied it with favorable comments, as did also the leading periodicals for the instruction of the youth of the land.
It was delivered at a time when the country was agitated by the socialistic elements then threatening the disruption of our internal system of commerce, and arrested general attention because it was a conclusive contradiction of the claim that the laboring classes were mercilessly ground to the earth, and without hope of relief other than in revolution. After a vivid comparison of the hardships and privations endured by the pioneers of Knox County with the opportunities now opened by other Western and Southern States, Col. Carr continues: “If those men who shouted themselves hoarse in applause of the speakers at the socialistic meeting, recently held in Chicago, would make half the sacrifices and go through half of the hardships, and practice half the self-denial practiced by the men who came 1,500 miles through the wilderness forty-two years ago to locate this Galesburg colony, they would in a very few years be settled in life with such comforts as our pioneers in this community enjoy. What a difference there is between emigrating now to the west and that of coming when those two boys, Abraham Lincoln and Stephen A. Douglas, made their way to Illinois. Now in Nebraska and Kansas and Texas, and in most of the new States you can have a railroad running to your very door. Talk about hard times now. The young man who came to Illinois and started a farm when Galesburg was settled had to give half a bushel of wheat or a whole ham to pay the postage on a letter to his sweetheart.”
So, throughout, the entire address is replete with shining and striking parallels and irrefutable argument, and we repeat our regret that our lack of space forbids us to reproduce it in full.
Glancing over a scrap-book filled with Mr. Carr’s speeches and treating upon every subject with which the people are familiar, and all worthy of reproduction, the writer is so struck with the concluding remarks uttered in his memorial address upon Gen. Grant, delivered at Galesburg, Aug. 8, 1885, that he gives them place in this sketch:
“It is now too early to properly estimate Gen. Grant. We are too near him. We are still in the shadow. As, drawn by the inexorable drive-wheels of time, humanity moves away from the rocky mountain defiles of war, in which so many were overwhelmed, down the foot-hills and out upon the wide plains of ordinary, commonplace history and experience, men and women will pause again and again at each passing station, and contemplate the sublime heights from which they are regretfully receding. Then the great character of Gen. Grant, in all its majesty and grandeur, will stand out before them, sublime, eternal, and they will appreciate, as we cannot today, the life which has just been rounded up. They will see the rugged inequalities, the clouds and darkness, and the sunlit glories, and they will in some degree comprehend its height and depth, its length and breadth…….”How loth we are to leave this sacred dust to mix forever with the elements, to be brother to the insensible rock and to the sluggish clod! How with fond, earnest look a whole great Nation lingers around the bier of this man, who “Taught us how to live and Oh! Too high, The price of Knowledge, taught us how to die”.
“This is no hero worship. His was not mere military glory. There is no path, however weary and sorrowful, which he has not trod. He drank to the dregs the bitter cups of poverty and want, of humiliation, of sorrow. He stood before kings, and was himself a ruler mightier than they. Without brilliant personal endowments such as arrest the attention and dazzle the eye, by the quiet force of persistent efforts, directed by sound discretion and constant devotion to duty, he performed where so many failed.
“The record of his extraordinary life is all made up. His courage, his fortitude, his gentleness, his simple, unaffected devotion, his patience, his constancy will be themes of encomium and panegyric so long as men think and act and labor and love.
“Farewell, great leader, illustrious citizen, noble benefactor, generous, faithful friend. Rest forever in that peace which your own deeds achieved, and your own voice commended. Rest forever upon the bosom of humanity, close to that gentle Master in whose service you never faltered. ‘The whole earth is your sepulcher’. ‘All time is the millennium of your glory’.”
In publishing here part of the several addresses delivered upon widely different occasions by the subject of this sketch, we do so purely on the merits of the matter reproduced, and wholly disconnected with any purpose of either pro or con influencing any one of the thousands of readers whose eyes will scan these pages, both within and without the State of Illinois. In writing of a living man it is not the province of the biographer to state many conclusions, but it is his duty to publish such facts as will tend to present fairly, even to strangers, something approximating, if possible, the worth and merit of the subject treated.
After the breaking out of the war Gov. Yates appointed Mr. Carr upon his staff, with the rank of Colonel, and from that time to the close of the war we find that much of his attention was given to the organization of regiments at Springfield; visiting the army in the field upon special service; carrying orders; bringing home the sick and wounded; and, in short, as expressed by letter written by Gov. Yates at the close of the war, “No man not directly in the army did more for the service”. He was a delegate to the National Convention at Baltimore, which met in 1864, and re-nominated our martyred President, Lincoln, and was also a delegate-at-large in 1884 and assisted in the nomination of J.G. Blaine. He was one of the Board of Commissioners of Illinois of the National Cemetery at Gettsysburg. It may not be generally known that it was this Board that invited Mr. Lincoln to be present upon that memorable occasion.
Col. Carr was united in matrimonial bonds with Miss Grace Mills, a native of Oneida County, N.Y. Their nuptials were celebrated Dec. 31, 1873, at Mount Carroll, IL. She was a daughter of the late Hon. Henry A. Mills. The two children of Col. And Mrs. Carr are by name Julia C. and Clark M.
KING, HIRAM R., prominent among the leading citizens and general farmers residing in this section may be named the subject of this biography, who resides in the vicinity of Galva, on section 28, Lynn Township. He came to this county in 1854 from Crawford County, Indiana, having been born in Summit, IL, Jan 21, 1839. His father, Ambrose King, was a farmer and a native of New York State, and went to Luzerne County, Pa., when young and was married in Summit County, Ohio, where he had gone. His bride was Sallie Root, who was born and reared in Ohio. A family of five children, four sons and one daughter (three of the former now living), were born to them. The mother’s health failed and her death occurred in Summit County in 1840. The father was again married, this time to Harriet Porter, and afterward, after the birth of three children in Crawford County, Ohio, the family came to Illinois in 1854, settling on a partly improved farm, which, however, became the father’s home until his death, in January 1878. He was 78 years old. Mr. King was a solid Republican all his life, and his convictions of liberty and stout efforts toward reform were manifest and creditable. His second wife died in Victoria Township, Knox County, in December 1885 at the age of 66.
The parents of our subject were all Baptists, and he was the eldest but two in the family of five children. On the coming of his father to the State of Illinois, he set out to earn his own livelihood, farming and operating a thrashing-machine. He has broken many acres of the prairies of Victoria Township. He purchased a quarter-section of new land in 1867, in Victoria Township, and Feb. 13, 1862, he was married in Walnut Grove, to Lydia Collinson, daughter of Simeon L. Collinson. (see sketch of the same). She was born in Wilkesbarre, Luzerne Co, Pa., Aug. 12, 1837, and came with her parents when they emigrated to Knox County, with whom she lived until her marriage. She is the mother of six children, one deceased—Stephen A., Susan L., Hattie M., Simeon H., Royal M., and Nina J. all at home. One daughter is married.
Mr. King lived in Victoria Township. He then went to California and settled in Santa Clara County, where he conducted a dairy for one year. Before marriage he spent nearly three years in the same county; was there in 1859, remaining until 1862, most of the time in the dairy business, in which he met with fair success, but finally returned to Illinois in 1864. He there began to farm, and in 1866 he settled where he now resides, on his wife’s farm of 160 acres. He owns 120 acres in Lynn Township, 40 acres of which is timber. In politics Mr. King is a Greenbacker. In religious belief he and his wife are Adventists.
McCORNACK, WILLIAM, is a farmer living on section 8 of Copley Township, Knox County, and was born in Creetown village, on the Cree River, Scotland, March 22, 1832. His parents were Samuel and Jenette (Tait) McCornack. They were natives of Scotland; the father by trade was a carpenter, and, also owning a saw-mill, had a good source of income. They came to America in 1839, and settled four miles east of Knoxville. There they purchased 40 acres of land, on which they remained until 1852. They then removed into Copley Township and purchased 160 acres on section 8, on which they lived until 1872. He then moved into Oneida village and erected a house, living there until the death of the husband and father, in 1878. The mother followed him in 1880. Their family consisted of four children, as follows: William, Margaret, James, and Andrew. James died in 1874.
The subject of our sketch remained at home until he reached the age of 29 years. He studied two years at Monmouth College, and was a well-informed and intelligent youth. His general knowledge of things and his worldly experience were fairly good, and he was liked and respected by those he met during these years.
He was married on the 4th of March, 1861, to Miss Angeline Bacon, daughter of Jirah and Maria (Reeves) Bacon. Five boys and one girl were the result of this union—Jirah S., Edwin B., Ivan W., Willard H., and James L. The little girl died in less than a year after birth. Mrs. McCornack died the 22nd of July 1880, and Mr. McCornack remarried Sept. 27, 1883, the second lady of his choice being Miss Ellen Doak, daughter of William and Helen (McKee) Doak, native of Scotland. They died in the land of their birth Sept. 8, 1878, and Feb 6, 1879, respectively.
Mr. McCornack moved onto the place he now occupies in 1861, and at that time laid the foundation of his present home. He is now the owner of 640 acres, 320 in Knox County and 320 in Iowa. He devotes his attention chiefly to the raising of grain, hogs, and cattle, and is very successful. He values his land at $40. per acre. In politics Mr. McCornack is a Republican, and has held some of the minor offices of his county, being Collector and School Treasurer for several years. He takes a deep interest in education and the prosperity of the schools of his county. He and his wife, hand in hand a Christian bond of union, are enrolled as members of the Presbyterian Church.
McILRAVY, ROBERT, is one of Knox County’s successful farmers, residing on section 8, Victoria Township. He was born in Harrison County, Ohio, March 1, 1835, and is the son of Hugh and Ellen (Quigley) McIlravy. The father was a native of Ireland, and arrived in New York June 17, 1812. The mother was a native of the Keystone State. They were the parents of seven children, three of whom survive and who bear the names of David, Nancy, and Robert. The mother of our subject died in Ohio in 1852. The senior Mr. McIlravy came to Illinois June 11, 1866 and located at Victoria, where he purchased a half interest in 80 acres of fertile land. In 1877 he disposed of this property and made his home with his son, Robert, until his demise, which occurred March 20, 1878, at the venerable age of 88 years and 8 days.
The gentleman of whom this brief personal sketch is given remained at home with his parents until 26 years of age, in the interim assisting his father upon the farm and attending the common school. In the year 1863 our subject came to Illinois, settling in Piatt County, where with his brother, David, he purchased 217 acres of good farm land, and engaged extensively in farming and stock-raising. After a stay of one year upon this, he disposed of it and came to Knox County, making his home in Victoria Township, where he had purchased 160 acres on section 8, in partnership with his brother David. Three years later, Mr. McIlravy bought his brother’s interest in the property, of which he has since been the sole owner, and where he has since been occupied in the joint business of stock raising and grain raising. When our subject came to this county he was penniless, and what he has of this world’s goods, and a goodly portion it is, he has attained through unflinching perseverance and by practicing the closest economy. As a result of these admirable traits of character, he has known no such word as fail, and may truly be called a self-made man. He erected the store in Victoria now occupied by Mr. Coleman and put in the same a stock of goods valued at $3,500. This business he carried on about three months, when he sold out to Messrs. Coleman & Robinson.
Our subject was married June 20, 1861 to Miss Sarah West, who died on the 20th of August one year later, and for his second wife he chose Miss Mary E., the accomplished daughter of John and Matilda (Robinson) Garrett, to whom he was married Oct. 11, 1866. Her parents were natives of Indiana and came to the Prairie State in 1840, making settlement in this county. Mrs. Garrett died in 1870. She was the mother of ten children, four of whom are living—Fannie E., Mary E., Leah A., and Ora M. Four children have been born to Mr. McIlravy, and are Jesse O., Chauncy D., Fannie M., and Fred.
Mr. McIlravy in politics votes with the Republican party. He has held the office of Township Assessor four terms, and also that of School Trustee, and is one of the respected and honored citizens of this county and a good representative of the agricultural class.
NELSON, PETER, the subject of this brief personal history, ranks among the successful business men of Galesburg. He was born in Christianstadt Gualof, Sweden, 1840, and is the son of Nels Anderson and Betsey (Truakson) Nelson. Our subject had learned the cabinet-making trade from his father, and, being anxious to apply his talents in the New World, in 1860 set sail for America. Upon his arrival on the American shores he came almost immediately to Galesburg. Here he applied himself to his trade, which he followed for 16 years and then embarked in the grocery business, which he has very successfully carried on since that time, doing an annual business of $50,000. In 1884 he joined Mr. McChesney, and added the ice business to his already extensive operations.
Peter Nelson was married at Galesburg to Miss Anne Maria, daughter of August Nelson, a native of Sweden, and who departed this life in 1864, after having become the mother of a daughter, Hilma R. Our subject was again married to Mrs. Ella Edvall, nee Nelson. Mrs. Edvall was a daughter of Sebe Nelson, also a native of Sweden. This union was blest with a son and daughter, who bear the names of Harry and Jennie.
Mr. Nelson and family attend worship at the First Lutheran Church. He is a liberal contributor to all measures tending toward the advancement of his adopted city, and although averse to holding public office, he gives considerable attention to the placing of worthy men in public positions, regardless of party. Click here to see a view of his homestead.
NORINE, OLOF P., is a native of Sulvetsburg, Sweden. He was born Jan. 13, 1837, and came to America in 1856. His parents lived upon a farm in Sweden, where they both died since Olof came to this country. They reared five sons and a daughter. Three of the sons came to America, where one of them subsequently died.
Olof Norine, our subject, was brought up to the farm life, which he followed in the old country, when not attending school. The first work that he performed after arriving here was for the C., B.& Q. Railroad, for which company he worked one year. Leaving the railroad, he tried his hand at teaming a few months, and then in the city of Galesburg settled himself down to the trade of a blacksmith. This he followed as a journeyman up to 1865, when he established a shop for himself. In 1879, he took into partnership Mr. Lindquist, and the firm is now widely known throughout Knox County as one of the most reliable and deserving. Their merited reputation brings them much work; their work brings them money, and upon their money they support themselves and families and have something left to lay by for a rainy day.
Mr. Norine was married at Galesburg in 1864 to Catherine Stoneburg, a native of Sweden, and by whom he has had borne to him five children, viz: Oscar, George, Eda, Nellie, and Bertha. The eldest son is a clerk in a bank, and the second one a blacksmith.
PERRIN, M.T., superintendent of the George W. Brown & Co. Corn-Planter Works, of Galesburg, IL, was born in Massachusetts, June 29, 1832, and came to Illinois in 1854. Here he began work for this company, and with the exception of the intervals between 1857 and 1863, and from 1864 to 1869, has remained with them ever since. He was, during those years, farming in Iowa.
The parents of our subject, Horace and Clarissa (Richardson) Perrin, were natives of Connecticut, and of French and English descent, and the father was a woolen-manufacturer. Mr. Perrin was the recipient of a good education in the Massachusetts public schools, attending at Lee, and as he early showed perseverance and an application to his books that accomplished good results, he soon ranked high among the most advanced pupils. He accepted the superintendency of Brown & Co’s business house in 1880, and discharging in an able and worthy manner the duties in hand, he soon won the good will of his employers and the respect of his patrons. He takes a marked degree of interest in agricultural pursuits, and conducts farming to a considerable extent.
In 1858 Mr. Perrin was united in marriage with Miss Elizabeth Brown, the daughter of G.W. Brown, of the firm of G.W. Brown & Co., and they are the parents of four children—George, with the Brown Company; Arthur, a student; Myra and Jennie. Mr. Perrin may be called a self-made man, as he started in life with only $15. He was among the first salesmen for G.W. Brown, traveling in a wagon from farm to farm, and by his courtesy and honorable dealing soon won a large circle of patrons. He has in charge from 150 to 300 men.
PETERSON, NELS, manufacturer of snuff, Galesburg, was born in Southern Sweden, near Christianstadt, June 11, 1834. His parents were Peter and Olle (Olson) Nelson. In 1863, Mr. Peterson came to America, and on July 1 of that year landed at Galesburg. He learned the art of snuff-making thereafter, while on a visit to his native country, but did not utilize his knowledge until 1869.
To the energetic foreigner landing on our shores, and without employment of the kind to which he has been accustomed, it proves a great trial, more especially as he must not only acquire the language spoken here, but must adopt the different customs and habits peculiar to our people. These difficulties Mr. Peterson resolved to overcome, and bent himself to the Herculean task. After working for two years in the railway service he engaged with George W. Brown & Co., with which company he worked for eleven winters. In 1867 he brought his widowed mother to this country, where she died in 1881, and was buried here with a son’s kind care. He also brought a sister, Celia, who was afterward married to Frank Lilliedahl, and they are now residing in Nebraska. In 1869 Mr. Peterson built a small factory for the purpose of snuff-making, and began business, working at it in the summer seasons and in the George W. Brown & Co. factory in the winter. He gradually kept increasing his business as his circumstances would permit, and today he has an extensive trade, his last year sales amounting to 64,000 pounds of snuff, or in value over $20,000. He has built himself a comfortable residence, and owns and controls a valuable property.
Mr. Peterson was married, at Galesburg, to Ellen Monson, also born in Sweden in 1830. Their union was blest with two daughters, now estimable and intelligent young ladies. Esther Othelia, the eldest, is a graduate of the High School, and has passed a full commercial course of study in the Business College at Galesburg. She is a young lady of many accomplishments. The younger daughter, Annie Nathalia, is very bright in her studies and will graduate from the High School this year (1886). The family are all members of the Lutheran Church. Our subject is a worthy example of what may be attained by diligence and persistent industry. He is a much respected citizen, and contributes liberally in all measures pertaining to the public good.
ROSS, A.J., owning 70 acres of land in Victoria Township, upon which he resides, is engaged in the calling of an agriculturist and also to some extent in the raising of fine stock. His farm is located on section 10. Our subject was born in New Jersey, April 14, 1835, and is the son of Benjamin and Nancy (Norcross) Ross, natives of New Jersey. The parents were farmers and had a family of 11 children, nine of whom survive, namely: Joseph, Roxana, Samuel, Andrew J., Patience, Benjamin, William, Edward, and Hannah. The elder Mr. Ross died in 1856. His widow is still living and makes her home with her daughter Patience.
The subject of our sketch received a good common-school education and remained upon the home farm until 22 years of age. After leaving home he engaged to work out by the month on the farm for three years, and in 1858 came to Illinois, locating in Knox County. At Walnut Creek he rented a farm, upon which he remained for two years, removing thence to near Galva, where he rented another farm for one year. He then removed to Henry County, where he again rented a farm two miles north of Galva. From there he returned to Walnut Creek, where he remained for two years, and in 1864 removed to New Jersey, and there lived for 18 months. Six months of this time he worked in the saw-mill and the remainder of the time on the farm. In 1866 he returned to Walnut Creek and rented until 1870, when he purchased 70 acres of land, upon which is his present home, and where he is engaged in farming and the breeding of stock. He has made all the necessary improvements on his farm, and has beautified the same by setting out shade, fruit, and ornamental trees. Sept. 5, 1858, our subject was married to Miss Mary A., daughter of Charles and Patience (Chew) Downs, natives of New Jersey. Her parents were farmers in their native State. Mary A. was the youngest of a family of ten children, only three of whom survive. The record is as follows: Bennijah, Charity, and Mary A., now Mrs. Ross. Mr. Downs died in 1865. His widow is still surviving and resides with her son, Bennijah.
The union of Mr. and Mrs. Ross has been blest by the birth of two children—Ella and Lizzie, the latter of whom became the wife of John Goff, Sept. 3, 1885. Mr. Ross is a Greenbacker in politics.
WHITE, REV. NEHEMIAH, Ph.D., President of Lombard University, Galesburg, in which institution he is also Professor of Theology, was born at Wallingford, Rutland County, Vermont, Jan. 25, 1835. His father, Justin M. White, was a farmer by occupation and was born in the same town and county in Vermont, Jan. 20, 1802, and died at Danby, in that State, March 17, 1875. The Whites came originally from England. William and Sarah White were among the Pilgrims who came over in the Mayflower. Peregrine, their son, was born on the Mayflower, November 20, while the vessel was in the bay of Cape Cod, and from Peregrine White the present family is descended. At Clarendon, Vt., March 5, 1829, Mr. Justin M. White was married to Lydia Eddy, also a native of the Green Mountain State, probably of Scotch extraction, and descended from one of the pioneer families of New England. They reared but two children—J.E. White, who is a resident of Danby, Vt., and the subject of this sketch.
President White is largely a self-educated man. He laid the foundation for his learning at the district and select schools of his native town, where he began teaching when 16 years of age. Determined upon the acquirement of a thorough education, if possible, he taught at this time no longer than was necessary to enable him to prosecute his studies in higher schools. From Green Mountain Institute, a preparatory school at South Woodstock, Vt., he entered Middlebury (Vt.) College in 1853, and graduated therefrom in the class of 1857. Immediately following graduation, he was made Associate Principal of the Green Mountain Institute for one year. From here he went to Clinton, Oneida County, N.Y., where, during the years 1859-60, he was in charge of Clinton Liberal Institute, where his young wife was also employed as a teacher. Mrs. White’s health failing her, they retired from professional labor to the farm of Mr. White’s father, where they spent a few years in recuperation. In 1864 Prof. White was called to Pulaski (Oswego County, N.Y.) Academy, as Principal of that institution. He was here one year, when he accepted the Professorship of Mathematics and the Natural Sciences of St. Lawrence University, Canton, N.Y. He held this position for six years. In 1871 he went on the farm for recuration, and in September 1872, became Professor of Ancient Languages of Buchtel College, Akron, Ohio, from which place he came to Galesburg in 1875 to accept the Presidency of Lombard University, and here he has remained to the present time. In 1876 he received the degree of Ph. D. from St. Lawrence University.
Dr. White is devoted to his work as a professional educator. He was ordained at Columbus, Ohio, in June 1875, to preach the Gospel, but the duties imposed upon him by the position he occupied with the Buchtel College required so much of his time that he was not able to fill the pulpit, except upon rare occasions. Our subject was married at South Woodstock, Vt., the scene of his first efforts at teaching school, May 11, 1858, to Miss Frances M. White, and educated and accomplished young lady of extraordinary endowments and attainments. In the various institutions of learning where she taught mathematics and languages her name is written and remembered among the most honored of an honored profession. Mrs. White was born at Wallingford, Vt., July 27, 1838, and there died April 29, 1864, leaving an only daughter, Lois M., who was born July 17, 1861, and died at Galesburg, Jan. 1, 1882. She was a member of the Sophomore Class of Lombard University when she died. Possessing the ennobling traits and many of the superior natural qualities of her mother, Miss White was beloved by all who knew her, and her death left a void in many a heart that was not again to be filled.
President White was the second time married, in Oswego County, N.Y., May 29, 1871, to Miss Inez Ling, of Pulaski, N.Y., a native of Portland, Maine, where she was born Aug. 8, 1851. Prof. and Mrs. White have two children—Willard J. and Frances Cora. The family are all members of the Universalist Church.
CAREY, BENJAMIN, in the vicinity of Galesburg few men stand more highly respected than the subject of this biography. He is a farmer, residing on section 28, in that township, and was born in the town of Castile, Wyoming Co, N.Y., on the 13th of August, 1828. He remained at his parents’ home until his 21st year, meanwhile working on the farm and attending the district schools. By this means he obtained the only education he ever received outside that resulting from his own personal efforts in after life.
He first came to Illinois in 1855 and took up his location at Galesburg, where he remained several years. Here he kept a large warehouse at Saluda, five miles south of Galesburg. In this occupation he continued for nine years, and bought large quantities of grain from Mr. Belding, of Galesburg. From this point in one year he has been known to ship 70,000 bushels of grain.
He married Miss Mary A. Marks on the 17th of September, 1863, the ceremony being performed by Rev. C.P. West of Galesburg. This lady was born in Cedar Township, near Saluda, on the 17th of July 1827. Her parents were Benjamin and Mary M. (Bishop) Marks, both of whom were natives of Kentucky, where her father was born in 1800, and her mother about the year 1808. His death took place in Knox County, IL., in 1844. These parents had seven children—Lavina E., Benjamin C., Mary A., Sarilda E., William P., Wayne D., and Penelope A. Two of these children are now deceased. The parents of Mr. Carey of this history were George and Adaline (Burlingham) Carey. They were both natives and prominent citizens of New York State. The fathers’ birthplace was in Washington County, and the date 1804. In 1844 he died in his native place. His wife was born in Saratoga County in 1802, and died in her native State in 1865. By this happy marriage there were two children—John and Benjamin, our subject. Mr. Carey’s brother John still resides on the home farm in New York. He has a family of three girls, viz: Adeline, Ida and Alice. The former two are now married; the latter is still single and lives at home. To our subjects’ desirable union were born a daughter, Addie, Aug. 17, 1864, and William Norman, April 24, 1867. The latter’s decease took place on the 22nd of Feb. 1882, his ailment being sciatic rheumatism, with which he lay ill for four months. This death was a great sorrow to the parents, as he was a most promising youth. Mr. Carey took possession of his present beautiful farm of 120 acres in the year 1866, and upon it he has made such substantial improvements in fencing and other important particulars that it is now a valuable property. His out-buildings measure 26X36 feet. Mr. Carey has 800 rods of tile on his farm, which is distributed in such manner as to put the place in a good, tillable condition.
In a political sense Mr. Carey is a thorough-going Republican, and is always anxious to learn and know the best means and most practical way of supporting the party to which he belongs. He is a highly respected member of his township, and one of its representative men.
CRAIG, WILLIAM, deceased, a farmer who resided on section 15, Victoria Township, and one of Knox County’s prominent and progressive citizens, is the subject of this historical sketch. He was born in Ayrshire, Scotland, Feb. 11, 1823, and his parents, James and Agnes (Crawford) Craig were natives of that country.
Mr. Craig, Sr. was by occupation a stone-dresser, and also mined and followed farming as a vocation. He died in 1854, in Scotland, aged 67 years and 3 months. His family consisted of 12 children, seven of whom survive, as follows: John, Robert, Archibald, James, Margaret, Mary, and Agnes.
Mrs. Craig came to America in 1855, and settled in Allegheny County, Pa. where she lived until 1862. She then came to Illinois, locating in Victoria Township, where she purchased 40 acres of land and there resided for three years. Leaving this, she again removed to the vicinity of Knoxville, remaining three years, and then moved to Galva, where she continued until her demise in 1872.
Our subject remained at home until he attained the age of 19, receiving, in the intervening years a common-school education. He then entered the ironstone mines, and owing to his superior ability, was at 20 appointed foreman over 49 men working in the shaft. Remaining one year, he resigned his position and contracted to work the ironstone mines for the Glen Gardner Company, following the same until he came to America, in 1847. Locating in Pennsylvania, he engaged in Schuylkill County in mining, contracting, sinking shafts, furnishing supplies, and lastly in running a tunnel under the Sweet Arrow Creek above the Fall known by the same name. This tunnel was 400 feet in length, and 5 X 7 feet in dimensions. On its completion he went to Allegheny County, where he re-engaged in mining, opening the Maryland Coal Mine, remaining eight years. He first came to Illinois in 1858, and staid only one year, which he spent in the coal mines at Abingdon. He then returned to Pennsylvania, and after staying seven months came back to Illinois and spent one month at Abingdon, from which city he moved to Oneida. Working in the shop for one year, he bought out Robert McCormack’s interest in the coal mine in Copley Township, and there worked one year. At the end of that time he moved into Victoria Township, buying three coal banks and 214 acres of land, upon which he remained for 20 years. By this time prosperity had smiled upon him, and selling his land he purchased the home where his widow now lives, including 320 acres on sections 14 and 15, in Victoria Township, where in addition to his agricultural pursuits, he was engaged in the raising of stock.
Mr. Craig was united in marriage with Miss Isabelle, daughter of John and Margaret (Garner) Martin, in 1845. Her parents were born in Scotland, and her father was by trade a weaver of Paisley shawls, which business he followed in his own country. They were the parents of six children, three surviving, to wit: Isabelle, now Mrs. Craig; William and Mathew. The parents of these children died in Scotland, both in the same year, 1873.
The union of Mr. and Mrs. Craig has been productive of a family of 12 children, nine still living: Agnes, Mrs. James Daniels, is the mother of 7 children—William, John, James, Belle, Bird, David, and Nellie. Belle, Mrs. Obed Beadle, is the mother of 4 children—Leon, Bruce, Amanda, and Crawford. Margaret, now Mrs. David Webster, is the mother of 3 children—Robert, Frank, and Maud. Mary, Mrs. James Webster, has borne her husband 3 children—Homer, Mary, and Keith. James married Amanda Adkin, and they are the parents of 1 child—William. The remaining children are William D., Mattie, Joseph, and Jeanie. Mr. Craig also adopted a boy with whom he came in contact in Pennsylvania, and who was eventually given into his protection. He bore the name of Samuel Skimmes Craig, and went into the Union army in 1863, at the age of 17. When the war closed, possessing a keen desire to see the country, he went to Arizona and nothing has been heard of him since.
Politically Mr. Craig was a Republican, supporting that party firmly and honorably. In theological belief he accepted the religion of the Christian Church, of which he was a member from his 16th year. His wife belongs to the same church, and they were united in purpose, inspired by the noble precepts of Christianity, as they were one in heart and name. Mr. C. figured actively as a man of large usefulness in his own community, his fitness for the local offices frequently giving him place. He had been Supervisor and School Director, and he may be reckoned as having been one of the most substantial men in this section of the country. There being no church of his denomination in this vicinity, both he and his wife were at the time of his death associated with the Methodist Episcopal Church. He was a Free and Accepted Mason, and held membership with Altona Lodge, and was buried by that lodge with due and appropriate Masonic ceremony.
FAULKNER, I. B., prominent among the well-to-do agriculturists of Sparta Township who have been deservedly successful in their chosen vocation is the gentleman whose biographical sketch is here indited. He is at present residing on section 29, where his accumulations enable him to pass the sunset of life retired from active labor. He was born in Orange County, N.Y., Jan 17, 1819, his father being William J., and his mother Isabelle (Bushfield) Faulkner, both natives of New York.
The parents of our subject went to Michigan in 1829, and were residents of that State for ten years, his father being engaged in the occupation of farming near Pontiac, Oakland County. In 1839 they sold their interest in Michigan and came to this State, settling in Warren County, where they resided for seven years. In 1848 the parents made a third remove, this time coming to Knox County, and located on section 19, Sparta Township, where the father of our subject purchased 160 acres of land, and on which the two old folks lived until their death, that of the father occurring May 15, 1875, and the mother Feb. 17, 1863. Their children were eight in number—William J., Catherine Ann, Thomas B., Gardner S., Esther Eliza, George W., Mary J., and our subject.
The subject of this biographical notice remained an inmate of the parental household and shared the joys which clustered around the family hearthstone as long as his good parents lived. His younger days were spent in attending the common schools and assisting in farming, which vocation he has followed all his life. He is today the proprietor of 170 acres of good, tillable land, where he resides, having met with that success which energy and perseverance are sure to bring. He now devotes the major portion of his time to the raising of stock. The place on which he resides, and on which he first made settlement, was a tract of wild, unbroken prairie land, which he has brought to a high state of cultivation. He has a fine residence upon his place, together with a good barn, and an orchard equal to any in the county.
Mr. Faulkner was united in marriage June 21, 1855, with Miss Sarah F. Goff, a native of Kentucky, and their home has been brightened, as well as their hearts gladdened, by the birth of five children, whom they named Laura O., James L., Charles L., Saddie A., and Henry F. Saddie married Miles A. Buffum, March 5, 1884; she died in California, Jan. 8, 1885, and is buried in this county. J.L. Faulkner married Sarah, the accomplished daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Kane, of Iowa, Dec. 31, 1885. The mother of these five children died June 1, 1864, and Mr. Faulkner formed a second matrimonial alliance, with Mrs. Paulina (Anderson) Shannon. She was the widow of Harrison Shannon, a native of Kentucky, and was the daughter of Edwin and Beersheba (Payne) Anderson.
Mr. Faulkner is an ardent and active supporter of the principles advocated by the Republican party. He has held the offices of Road Commissioner and Constable, and is a gentleman whose word is considered as good as his bond.
GORDON, ALEXANDER H., a farmer, residing on section 12 of Copley Township, Knox County, was born in that township Oct. 18, 1851. His parents, Peter and Mary A. (McDowell) Gordon, were natives of Scotland and came to America in 1840. They settled in Copley Township, locating on section 10. Here they lived and reared a family of six children, four of whom are still living—James, Mary E., Alexander H., and Albinus M.
The subject of this biographical notice remained at home until he was 22 years of age, assisting on the farm and receiving a limited education. He then took up a part of the homestead for two years. At the end of that time, in 1876, he moved onto 160 acres of land, where he has since resided, raising stock and grain. He was married Oct. 19, 1873, to Miss Mary C. Olmsted, daughter of Henry and Catherine (Wilder) Olmsted. Her parents were natives of New York, and she was born Sept, 17, 1855, her birthplace being Delaware Co., N.Y.
Mr. and Mrs. Gordon have four children, by name: Arthur O., Eva L., John H., and James P. Arthur O. was born Aug. 8, 1874; Eva L. was born Jan. 5, 1877; John H., Dec. 31, 1878, and James P., May 24, 1882.
Mr. Gordon is in politics a stanch Republican, zealously supporting and voting for that party. He is School Director and has a keen interest in educational matters. Both himself and wife are earnest members of the Presbyterian Church, worshiping under its doctrines of faith and showing forth the noble principles of a Christian religion in their daily lives. Mr. Gordon is one of the representative men of Knox County, and for solid and substantial traits of character and nobility of purpose has no superior in this section of country.
HARVEY, BENJAMIN M., one of the brightest examples of industry and enterprise may be found in the person of Benjamin M. Harvey, a partial account of whose personal history is herein recorded. He is one of the leading citizens of Knox County, and was, during the administration of President Buchanan, appointed Postmaster of Rio, which office he held for six years, discharging the numerous duties devolving upon him with a promptness and hearty interest that won the approbation of the people among whom he labored.
The subject of this writing came to Knox County in 1845, from Utica, N.Y., and settled on section 21, Rio Township, where he lived almost four years, and then returned to New York, where he passed an interval of two or three years. At the expiration of that time he returned to Knox County, and has since been a resident here. His first purchase was 80 acres of land on section 21, to which he has added 45 acres. All his land is tillable, and the humble beginning of many years ago has resulted in his present residence and home so desirable and convenient.
Mr. Harvey claims as his birthplace Norwich, England, and the date of his birth is Feb. 11, 1822. At the age of 6 years he was brought by his parents to America, and here the little family took up their abode, residing at or near Utica, where they continued, he remaining under the parental roof until he came to Knox County. He received all the educational advantages that a common school could supply, and while still quite a young man, learned the trade of shoemaker, but although good at this special line of work, his life has been spent at agricultural pursuits.
He entered into the matrimonial state at New York Mills, N.Y., on the 19th of July 1851, and the lady who became his wife was Alice Smith, daughter of William and Ellen (Thorpe) Smith, both natives of England. His wife was but 13 years of age when her parents came to America, and with them she resided up to the date of her marriage. To Mr. and Mrs. Harvey have been given three children, as follows: William H., John A., and Agnes M. William H. and John A. are deceased, leaving but one child of this happy little family. William died Sept. 19, 1880 when 28 years of age, a young man in the full bloom and vigor of early life, cut down by the reaper, Death. John A. was also just entering young manhood, being 23 years of age, and the possessor of high hopes and ambitious aims which death ended, and the bereaved parents were compelled to bow to the dispensations of Providence and try to believe in full Christian faith that “He doeth all things well.” Agnes wedded Charles Weir and resides in Rio Township. Her nuptials were celebrated April 28, 1885. Mr. Harvey, as previously stated, has occupied many local offices, and takes an interest in educational affairs. He has been Director of his home school district.
Both Mr. and Mrs. Harvey are active members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and are useful and desirable workers in society, supporting all good and worthy institutions. In politics he is a Republican.
HENDERSON, ALEXANDER, conspicuous among the leading farmers and the more influential residents of Knox County may be named the subject of this historical narration, one of the most enterprising business men and able financiers in that section of country.
Mr. Henderson came to Knox County in the spring of 1883 from Henry County, and settled in Rio Township, buying 160 acres, where he now resides. He was born in Fayette County, Pa., July 2l, 1846, and removed to Henry County at the age of 30, arriving here in the fall of 1876. In that county he has lived ever since, with the exception of eight months which he spent in Mercer County, until the date of his coming to Knox County.
Mr. Henderson was united in marriage Dec.7, 1876, to Sarah A. White, daughter of Thomas and Almira (Hamilton) White. Her father was a native of England, but Mrs. H. was born in Henry County, Jan. 15, 1860. Mr. and Mrs. Henderson are the parents of two children—Mary E. and Flora E. In the spring of 1885 Mr. Henderson was elected Assessor of Rio Township. Mrs. Henderson is a worthy member of the Presbyterian Church, and a most estimable Christian lady, whose gentleness and large sympathies win her many friends. Mr. H. is a young man of good judgment, is wide-awake to the political interests of the country, and is in voice and vote a Republican.
HODGMAN, RANSOM B., hardware merchant in Victoria village, was born in Saratoga County, N.Y., Jan. 19, 1832. He is the son of William and Mary (Blood) Hodgman, natives of the Green Mountain State. The father of our subject was a farmer, who emigrated to Medina County, Ohio where he resided until 1857. His first purchase was a 25 acre farm, which he disposed of and went to Pepin County, Wis., purchasing at that place 40 acres of land. On leaving Wisconsin in 1875, he came to the Prairie State, locating at Victoria village, where he spent the remainder of his days with his children, his demise occurring in March 1880. The mother died in Ohio in 1845. The family of the senior Mr. Hodgeman and wife consisted of eight children, five of whom are living—Eunice (now Mrs. Jennings), Caroline (Mrs. Britton), William, Leonard, and Ransom B.
The father of our subject lived to attain the venerable age of 98 years. His younger days were spent in the lumber regions of the Green Mountains, but during the latter period of life he was engaged in agriculture. In 1812 he was called into the field, together with many others, who were given the name of Minute Men. Their duty was to stop the smuggling of goods, and for his share William Hodgeman received a cow and steer. Being a Yankee, he took his stock home and same night, while his comrades enclosed their stock in a yard and the next morning found to their sorrow that the cattle had been stolen. He was strictly a temperate man, not even indulging in the use of tobacco in any form. He was a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. He cast his vote with the Democratic party in 1848, but since that time has been a Republican.
R. B. Hodgman of this sketch left home at the age of 14 years. Up to this time he attended the district schools. His first removal was to Buffalo, where he learned the copper, tin and sheet-iron business, remaining here for six years. He then worked as a “jour” for 18 months, when in 1854 he came to Illinois and carried on a tin-shop for seven years at Victoria village. We next find him at Wataga, whither he had removed with his stock of goods, remaining there five years, and selling out, went to Taylor County, Iowa, where he purchased 50 acres of land and engaged in farming for nearly three years. He then returned to Victoria, and engaged in the tin and hardware business, his establishment being the only one of the kind in the village.
The maiden name of Mrs. Hodgman was Alsina D. Ray, to whom he was married in 1856. She was a native of Medina County, Ohio, and daughter of Ephraim and Abigail (Low) Ray, natives respectively of Pennsylvania and Ohio. The parents of Miss Ray settled at Victoria Township in 1845, where they purchased a farm of 50 acres on section 16, and upon which they are at present residing. Their family numbered three children, two of whom survive—Alsina, wife of our subject, and Cassius.
Our subject and his wife are the parents of five children: Isabella (now Mrs. Hammond) became the mother of two children—Julia A. and Mabel; Alvin R. Hodgman married Miss Ida M. Heaton, and they are the parents of a son—Earl B; Alvin is engaged with his father in the hardware business; the remaining children are Ira E., Carl W. and Raymond. In political faith our subject is Republican and has served his township in the office of School Director for 12 years. He is a member of the Masonic fraternity and is a strong temperance man.
JARVIS, SAMUEL G., is of more than ordinary reputation as a farmer, and is a resident on section 8, Victoria Township. He was born Dec. 5, 1828, in Suffolk County, Long Island, and is the son of Jonas and Mary A. (Gould) Jarvis, also natives of Long Island, where the father died when our subject was a lad of six years. The mother still survives and came to Illinois in 1865, and one year later to Knox County. At Victoria village, in 1869, the mother was again married, this time to Moses Robinson.
Samuel G. is the only surviving member of his parents’ family of four children. He remained at home until 16 years of age, when he went to live with an uncle, remaining with him for two years. Subsequently he learned the carpenter’s trade in New York City, followed the same in New York State until 1855, the date of his removal to Illinois and to Knox County. Here he followed the same business until his enlistment in October 1862, in the 9th ILL. Cav., and was in the service until October of the following year. He was on detached service most of the time, but being confined in the hospital at Keokuk, Iowa for six months, from August 1862 until July 1863, he was then sent to his regiment and received an honorable discharge Oct. 12, 1863. Returning to Illinois, he re-engaged at his trade, which he followed until 1870. At Galva he embarked in the retail grocery business, which he carried on for seven years, at which time he lost his entire stock by fire. Subsequent to that disaster he was chosen Marshal of the city of Galva for one year. He then settled in Victoria Township, where he purchased the place where he at present resides and which contains 160 acres. Mr. Jarvis has a finely improved farm and is chiefly interested in raising grain. He values his land at $50. per acre.
Miss Mary E. Dean was the maiden name of the wife of our subject, to whom he was married in 1857. She is the daughter of David D. and Mary A. (Smith) Dean, natives of the Empire State. Her father died the year of their removal to Ohio (1837). Her mother was again married to a gentleman by the name of Nathaniel Marshall. After marriage Mr. and Mrs. M. removed to Winnebago County, IL., and thence, in 1853, to Knox County. They resided in Victoria until their deaths, in 1868 and 1867 respectively.
Mr. and Mrs. Jarvis are the parents of three children—Fannie, Jennie, and Hattie. Our subject is a prominent member of the Masonic fraternity, which he joined in 1865, at Altona, and afterward affiliated with the lodge at Galva, in 1869, and in which he was Worshipful Master for four years, then dimitted and in March, 1871, connected himself with the Altona Lodge. In January, 1883, he was elected Worshipful Master of Altona Lodge, and in July 1874, took capitular degrees in Kewanee Chapter. In 1883 he was created Knight Templar in Galesburg Commandery, No. 8. He is also a member of the G.A.R. Mr. J. votes for the Republican ticket, and together with his wife and daughter, Fannie, attends worship at the Methodist Episcopal Church. Our subject has served his community in the capacity of School Director.
LAFFERTY, J. G., of the firm Lass, Larson & Lafferty, wall-paper merchants, hangers and decorators, of Galesburg, IL., was born at Ottawa, IL. Nov. 25, 1850. His parents, James and Mary (Bassnette) Lafferty, natives respectively of Ireland and England, reared two sons and five daughters, J.G. being the eldest of the sons. He was taught at the public schools of his native place, where he also learned the trade of a paper-hanger and painter, at each of which he early became recognized as quite skillful, if not an expert.
He came to Galesburg in 1876, and in 1884 became a member of the present firm. He was married in Lewistown, Fulton Co, IL, in May 1883 to Miss Mary Shugart, a native of Ohio.
MILLER, JOHN M. A., the elegant home and highly cultivated farm of this gentleman show very plainly that he has not spent a life of idleness. His 240 acres of improved land on section 1, Walnut Grove Township, Knox Co, IL, are only equaled by the best farms in the county. He first came from Peoria to this county March 12, 1856, first settling there in 1836. He originally came from Cortland County, N.Y., on the 1st of October 1836. His father, Benjamin, was a farmer of prominence from Otsego County, N.Y., his ancestry being of English and French extraction. He married, in the last-named State and county, Miss Julia O. Garrett, a native of Connecticut and of New England ancestry. Her people were old settlers of the east, members of the family tracing back their parentage for more than 200 years. Many of their men took prominent parts in the Revolutionary and Indian Wars. The grandfather on the Miller side, whose name was Benjamin, was prominent in the Revolution and the War of 1812. His decease took place in Otsego County, N.Y. , when he had attained the age of 100 years, less four months. During one of the Indian wars the Garrett family were burned out, at Cherry Valley, Conn. The grandfather, Mr. Mills Garrett, who was a prominent merchant of his time, was taken prisoner and his body quartered after the burning of the town. After his head had been severed, the four quarters of his body were placed on the corners of the principal streets, while his head was exhibited on a pole in the center. Around this the Indians assembled, dancing and singing their characteristic songs.
The parents of our subject came to Illinois in October 1836, and settled in Rosefield Township, near Peoria, IL., where the father owned nearly 900 acres of prime land and on which they lived up to the date of his death, in March 1875. His demise took place at the age of 77. The mother died in January, 1868, beloved by a large circle of friends. The father was a prominent Democrat and held many of the local offices, which he discharged with credit. Among these were Justice of the Peace and Postmaster. The parents were members of the Christian Church, a community in which they won the good will of the humblest as well as the highest.
Our subject, Mr. Miller, was educated at Knox College, Galesburg, which he left in 1849. The same year he, with his brother, Dr. Hiram, and 150 others, formed a company in Peoria and proceeded to California via the Santa Fe route, arriving in San Diego about the 20th of December, 1849. Thence they proceeded to San Francisco and on to Marysville, and thence to the Yuba and Feather Rivers, in Nevada County. Here they devoted their attention entirely to gold-mining. At the close of one year, in December, 1850, they set out by vessel via the Panama route and Mississippi River for home. The privations and sufferings incident to such a trip were neither few nor light. They, however, secured a fair competency in return for their efforts. Subsequently our subject was married on the 17th of March 1852, in Trivoli, Peoria Co, IL. to Miss Harriet Robinson, who was born in Otsego County, N.Y., April 15, 1830. She was the daughter of George and Maria (Gaylord) Robinson, natives of New York and Connecticut respectively, but at the date of their marriage residents of Otsego County. On June 2, 1836, they arrived in Trivoli, Peoria Co, IL, and there lived and died. The father died Nov. 7, 1873, and the mother March 4, 1881, in her 77th year. They were active members of society and had won the good will and general respect of all with whom they came in contact. Mrs. Miller was the fifth child of a family of 12. She was well educated, and engaged in school-teaching shortly before her marriage. She has been the mother of 13 children, three now deceased: Fannie R. M. is the wife of J.T. Newland, a farmer, residing near Galva, Ida Co, Iowa; Benjamin M. married Margaret Nolan, and is farming in the same town and county in Iowa; Joseph A. married Agnes Quinn, and resides in Galva, IL, where he is a news-dealer and bookseller; Leroy A. resides at Galva, Iowa, and is a teacher by profession; Mary A. resides at Galva, Iowa; Julia A. is teaching and residing at home; Almanda E. resides at home; Emma J. lives at home, also William W.; Charles T. died in his 10th year; George D., died at two and a half years; Marion, when five months old; Herman J., the youngest of the children, aged 12 years, is also residing at home. For four years after their marriage, Mr. and Mrs. Miller had their residence in Peoria County, where they engaged in farming. On the 12th of March, 1856, they came to this county and purchased their present home on section 1, Walnut Grove Township, and have since owned and operated their delightful farm of 240 acres. Our subject’s children are now being educated in the High Schools of Galva. The parents are prominent members of the Baptist Church, in which connection Mr. Miller has held the joint office of Deacon and Trustee for 20 years. Politically he is a thorough-going Democrat and warm supporter of any measure likely to promote the Democratic cause. He enjoys keeping himself well posted in the movements of not only local politics, but those of the nation. He is a member of the I.O.O. F. Lodge No. 408, Galva, IL. and Galva Grange, No. 1591, and is the Master and has been for the past seven years. He has been the Representative to the Grand Lodge of I.O.O. F. since 1872, except for four years, and is at present.
NORVAL, OLIVER, noteworthy among the substantial citizens and men of industry of Fulton County, and who is identified with it as one active in all enterprises calculated to advance and benefit the county, is the subject of this notice. He is engaged in the occupation of a farmer, and largely interested in the growing and breeding of stock, Short-horn cattle being among the better grades. His present homestead is on section 1, in Young Hickory Township, and its attractive and pleasant appearance indicates that good fortune has smiled upon his efforts.
Oliver Norval was born in North Carolina, Feb. 26, 1807, and came to Illinois April 26, 1836, locating in Knox County. There he remained for one year, then moved across the line to Fulton County, his present home. His marriage, which was celebrated with Miss Pollie Dunn, a native of North Carolina, Feb. 15, 1829, was blest with seven children, as follows: Charity, Betsy A., James H., John H., Cornelius, Drusilla, and Oliver, who died in infancy. Mrs. Norval was born in 1809, and died May 29, 1842, in early womanhood, departing this life at the early age of 33.
His second matrimonial connection was with Mary J. Sampson, a native of Maryland, and was celebrated Feb. 29, 1844. She came with her parents to Illinois in 1835, at the age of 11, the date of her birth being Nov. 14, 1824. She was the oldest child of her father’s family, consisting of 11, one of whom died in infancy. The children of Mrs. Norval bear the following names: Samuel, born June 14, 1845; Theophilius, Aug. 26, 1847; Richard S. Oct 18, 1849; William O. Sept. 15, 1851; Mary J. and Joseph (twins), April 15, 1853; Enoch, April 23, 1855; Benjamin F., Dec. 2, 1857; Jesse C., July 21, 1859; Rebecca, April 10, 1861; Haney, May 2, 1862; Julia A., May 2, 1864; and Margaret E., Sept. 5, 1866. Those deceased are Samuel, Rebecca, Joseph, Haney and Julia A.
Mrs. Norval is of English ancestry, and her husband is of Scotch lineage. He has been prospered in his worldly undertakings and is at the present time in possession of 385 acres of land, all of which is in a high state of cultivation, well improved and valuable. He owns a herd of 40 head of Short-horn cattle, his favorite breed of stock. He has given undivided attention to their improvement and has continued in that branch of industry for a period of 25 years. He bought his first male of Peter Godfrey, of Knox County, which is a handsome and valuable animal.
Mr. Norval and family are active workers in every good cause and are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, adopting veritably the “good old religion”. They are warm admirers of the doctrines of faith as held up to the people by the old pioneer minister of that time, Richard Haney of Monmouth, Mr. Norval being baptized by him, together with five of his children. He is a man who figures actively in church work, has been Class Leader for about 40 years and also Steward in the church to which he belongs. He always speaks when moved by that emotion which bids him honor the Master to whom he has rendered loving allegiance an entire lifetime, and his efforts are always for good. In politics he is a stanch Republican, and is true to his principles as strongly in the minor duties of life as in the greater ones. He is the grandfather of 27 children and has three great-grandchildren. William, one of the sons, is a minister of the Methodist Episcopal denomination, his labors being in the state of Nebraska; Theophilus, another son, is District Judge in the same State. Richard is counselor at law, and Benjamin F. follows the same profession. They graduated at Ann Arbor, Mich., and have shown themselves worthy of both the father and mother they honor by those attributes which constitute nobility of soul and true manhood. They have proven that “a dutiful son is a crown to this father”. The father of Oliver Norval, by name Theophilus, and his grandfather, Solomon Norval, were born in Scotland.
CARLEY, JAMES V. R., lying within the limits of Knox County are many beautiful and homelike farms, owned by those men who only by diligent perseverance and untiring energy have won their homes. Among these, conspicuous as being a substantial man and a good citizen, may be found the subject of this historical notice, whose handsome home lies on section 5, of Sparta Township. He is characterized for his thrift and prudence, no less than his ability as a financier, and may be pointed out to the coming generation as an example worthy of imitation.
Mr. Carley was born in Montgomery County, N.Y., Aug. 4, 1819, and his parents were Brookings and Rachel (Bennett) Carley. They were natives of New York State, where the father was proprietor of a hotel. He departed this life in Schoharie County, N.Y., in 1853; the mother passed to the life beyond from Tompkins Co, N.Y. in 1865. To them were given seven children, all of whom lived to reach man and womanhood. They were named as follows: Eliza, now Mrs. Lanphere; James V.R.; David W.; Mary; Abraham; Helen; and Adelia. The deceased are Adelia, Abraham, Helen and Mary. James V.R., of this narrative, was the 2nd child in order of birth and remained at home after his father’s death. He then, with his sister Eliza, whose capability proved to be remarkable, took charge of the bereaved little family, sent them to school and cared for them until they reached years of maturity. Each and all are possessed of intelligence and talent and reflect credit upon the brave pair who took such responsibility upon their young shoulders. All the daughters became teachers, and two of the brothers have adopted the medical profession.
James, our subject, entered upon the life of a pedagogue at the age of 22 and followed it for five years. In 1846 he was united in marriage with Miranda Phelps, and the result of this union was two children—Elnora and Warren M., which latter died at the age of three years. Elnora became Mrs. Gaddis, and departed this life in 1882, at the age of 35. Mrs. Miranda Carley died in the year 1863. Soon after his marriage Mr. Carley and his sister Eliza provided a home for their aged mother, so that she was enabled to pass her declining years without care or anxiety.
The second marriage of Mr. Carley was with Mary Armstrong, in 1864, and the result of their union was three children, two of whom survive—Lester E. and James M. Ozro W. died in 1870. The second Mrs. Carley was born in Cumberland County, England, March 29, 1840, and died in 1872. His third wife’s maiden name was Clara E. Wicks, and five children have been born to them—Edna E., Jay V.R., Arthur B., Mabel, and Clara E.
Mr. Carley came to Illinois in 1850 and settled where he now lives, purchasing 77 acres of land. He afterward sold 25 acres of it, and to the 52 he has since added 108 ½ acres. Since coming here he has made all modern improvements, building a house and barn and setting out trees, until he may be pardoned for taking a just pride in his beautiful surroundings. He values his land at $75. per acre, and it is fruitful and productive in the extreme.
In politics Mr. Carley is a firm Republican, advocating and voting for the doctrines of that organization. With his two sons, Lester E. and James M., he belongs to the Congregational Church, living out the principles of a noble Christian faith.
COLLINS, PETER, dealer in stock, residing at Knoxville, is a native of Ohio, having been born in Pickaway County, June 6, 1844. For a brief notice of his parents, see sketch of M.H. Collins, in this work. Peter Collins was but four years of age when, in company with his parents, he came to Knox County. His younger days were passed on his father’s farm and in attendance at the common schools, the latter being supplemented by a course at Lombard University, Galesburg. Mr. Collins was married Aug. 30, 1870 to Miss Drusilla J. Wilson, daughter of Francis and Elizabeth Wilson. She died Oct. 15, 1879, aged 27 years 11 months and 23 days, leaving four children to the care of her husband—John W., Ralph E., Bessie, and Francis B. Mr. Collins has been engaged in buying and selling stock for the past 18 years, and has proven himself to be one of the most successful shippers of Knox County.
CRANE, JAMES W., one of the most influential and best known farmers of Ontario Township, residing on section 32, came to this county during the year 1837, in the month of June. He was at that time a child of nine years; was born in Oneida County, N.Y., April 20, 1828, his father being a native of Connecticut, a resident of New England, and of English ancestry. The family dates back to some time in the 16th century, and was first represented in this country by three brothers, who came from England. The family took great interest in agricultural pursuits. The father of Mr. Crane, of this notice, was married to Harriet Hall, also a native of Connecticut. Immediately after their marriage they removed to Oneida County, N.Y. James was the fourth child, and the second son of the family, consisting of six children. His parents came to this county, as before stated, in June 1837, settling near Ontario, on a farm. The land consisted of unbroken prairie, on which place the father lived up to the time of his death, which occurred in 1848. The mother died in 1854. They were active, industrious, energetic people, possessed of a fair amount of this world’s goods.
Mr. Crane was educated in the public schools of Knox County, remaining at home till the death of his father. He was married in Ontario Township, May 29, 1854, to Miss Cornelia L. Wetmore. She was born in Oneida County, N.Y., Sept. 8, 1836. Her parents lived and died in the Empire State, the father having been a successful merchant there. The daughter, Cornelia, was a young lady of high attainments and many personal attractions, and came to the State of Illinois, and settled in Knox County about two years before her marriage. She is the mother of three children: Henry, the eldest, married to Miss Carrie Stickney, and resides in Ontario Township, on a farm; Frank, the second son, lives in Red River Valley, Dakota; and Carl, the youngest, lives at home.
Immediately after marriage Mr. Crane began farming, making a purchase of 160 acres of land, upon which he settled and where he resides at the present time. He has been successful as a farmer, and now owns 240 acres of land in a high state of cultivation. His home and surrounding farm buildings are considered among the finest in the township. He is successful as a stock-raiser.
Mrs. Crane is a working member of the Baptist Church. Mr. Crane is independent in politics.
ENGLAND, HENRY, prominent among those belonging to the agricultural class of this county, and who have attained success through energetic efforts and perseverance, and not as the recipients of a legacy, is Henry England, following his chosen vocation on section 8 of Persifer Township, in which occupation he is meeting with more than ordinary success. Mr. England came to this county in 1854, from Vinton County, Ohio, and settled in Persifer Township, where he has since lived, a period of upward of 32 years. On first coming here he purchased 160 acres of land, which he increased by a subsequent purchase until at the present time his landed interest in the township comprises 255 acres, of which 150 are in good, tillable condition.
The subject of this notice was born in Bedford County, Pa., April 30, 1830, and was quite young when his parents moved to Vinton, Co, OH. In the latter county he continued to reside with the old folks until coming here. He formed a matrimonial alliance in Persifer Township, Aug. 7, 1856, with Miss Orpha Pratt. She is a daughter of Ephraim B. and Electa (Lane) Pratt, natives of the Keystone State. Her parents came to this county in 1855, settling in Persifer Township, where they lived and labored until their demise, her father being a farmer by calling.
Mrs. England was born in Vinton County, Ohio, Jan. 25, 1832. Of her union with Mr. England five children have been born, and named Alice E., born Jan 10, 1858; George W., Dec. 30, 1859; Elihu J., Aug, 2, 1862; Albert P., Dec. 24, 1865; Harvey E., Nov 3, 1869; Ida May, Dec 7, 1872, died Dec. 29, 1872. George W. married Emma Cherrington and also lives in that township, and their union has been blessed by the birth of one child—Clarence H. Mr. and Mrs. England are members of the United Brethren Church. Politically he votes with the Republican party. Agriculture has been the business of his life and the energy with which he has devoted himself to his calling has brought him success.
FOSTER, RICHARD P., is one of the early settlers in Maquon Township, and a gentleman highly respected as a citizen and farmer, and is at present residing on his homestead, located on section 33. He is the son of Richard and Nancy (Shrives) Foster, natives of Pennsylvania. They came to Knox County in 1852, settling in Maquon Township, where he has since lived, engaged in the independent calling of an agriculturist. Here the wife and mother died. They had been blest with 11 children, two of whom died in infancy. Those living are Emanuel, Elvira, Sylvester, Wealthy, Charity, James M., Asenath, Richard P, and Samantha.
The subject of our sketch was born in Highland County, Ohio, June 22, 1842, and was nine years of age when his parents removed to Knox County. He had received a common-school education, and since that time has been engaged in agriculture. He was united in the holy bonds of matrimony at Knoxville, Jan.20 1872, with Amanda E., daughter of Samuel and Nancy Plummer (see sketch of Samuel Plummer). Mrs. Foster was born in Fulton Co, IL, July 26, 1854, and has borne her husband five children, namely: Albert O., Samuel B., Selden G., Norman and Lena A.
Mr. Foster has been School Director of his township, and politically votes with the Democratic party. He is one of the most successful stock-raisers of his township and keeps a herd of 40 cattle and 25 head of horse, and fattens from 50 to 75 head of hogs annually. He is the owner of 160 acres of prime land, the major portion of which is tillable. He is one of Knox County’s solid and substantial men.
GARWOOD, JONATHAN C., is a farmer on section 21, of Galesburg Township. He is a native of Warren County, Ohio, being born in that State in 1826, in the town of Lebanon, and is the son of William and Mary (Thatcher) Garwood, natives respectively of Pennsylvania and Kentucky. The father died in 1866, the mother’s death taking place in 1872. By this union four children were born, viz: Sarah, Precilla, J.C. and Amos. Mr. Jonathan C. Garwood of this sketch married Miss Mary C. Weeks, a native of New York State, where she was born in 1831. They were married in 1852, in Galesburg, IL, and have one child, a daughter, living. The name of this latter is Mamie, born in 1862.
Mr. Garwood is the owner of 240 acres of prime land, all in a state of thorough cultivation. He resides in a very comfortable house, but is now erecting a fine family residence on his southeast farm on section 20, about a quarter of a mile west of his present residence. When he first came to Galesburg in 1838, he was but 12 years old, so that he may be ranked among the earliest pioneers of this and adjoining townships. His parents first moved from Ohio to the State of Michigan, and settling near Niles, remained located there for some 40 years. From there they removed to Galesburg, where they both died. The subject of this notice has been extensively engaged in cattle-breeding. Twice he has visited California, once accompanied by his family. The first time, in 1852, he made the trip overland with a drove of cattle, upon which he realized a snug sum of money. In life Mr. Garwood had to fight his own battles unaided, but, notwithstanding, has accumulated a good competency. He thoroughly appreciates the enjoyments of life and has a disposition to make those around him contented with their lot. He is a man of well-balanced judgment.
The religious views of Mr. Garwood are liberal, he being a stanch believer in the doctrine that every man’s conscience should be his own guide. Politically he is a stanch Republican, and in all likelihood will continue to present the consistency both in his life and works of the best principles and views of that party.
KIMLER, JOHN H., as a representative of the energetic portion of the agricultural class of this county, the subject of this sketch deserves mention. He is pleasantly located on his fine farm of 195 acres of rich and productive land on section 1, Elba Township, and is there industriously engaged in the prosecution of his independent calling and meeting with success.
Mr. Kimler came to this county in the spring of 1852, from Tazewell County, this State, and has since been closely identified with its agricultural development. On his arrival here he first made settlement in Truro Township, and there resided for about four years, when he sold out and moved to Iowa. In the latter State he resided for a little over six years, then returned to this county and purchased the farm on which he is at present residing, and where he has since lived.
John H. Kimler was born in Montgomery County, Indiana, Dec. 2, 1824; the name of his father was Evan Kimler; the maiden name of his mother was Love Walker. He lived in his native county until his removal to Tazewell County in 1850. He lived in the latter county for two years and then came to Knox County, and his entire life has been passed in agricultural pursuits. Mr. Kimler was married in Montgomery County, Ind., June 17, 1847, to Mary J. Lane, a native of Kentucky, and they have been blessed by the birth of 12 children and their household saddened by the death of six. Those living are Benjamin F., Douglas, Evan, Walker, Otis L., and Preston; the deceased are Viola, Marena, Mary E., Marilla, Lillian and Percy.
Mr. Kimler has held the office of Road Commissioner and in politics is a Democrat. He and his wife are members of the Baptist Church.
LATIMER, ALEXANDER, the subject of this sketch, formerly a pioneer of Knox County, was born in Tennessee, Sept. 7, 1807. He is a son of Elder Joseph Latimer, born in New London, Conn., in 1766, and grandson of Col. Latimer, of Revolutionary fame. (see sketch of Elder Joseph Latimer). The Latimer family are descended from English stock. They originally settled in Connecticut at a period long before the Revolutionary War. The grandfather of Alexander, and great-grandfather of the present family of Latimers in Knox County, was a Colonel in the War for Independence, and his 12 sons served under him.
The Latimer family removed to the Territory of Tennessee in 1790, where Alexander was born, as above stated. In 1828 he married Miss Eunice Guthrie, a native of Robinson Co, TN; she was born in 1808 and departed this life in 1842. Soon after his marriage Alexander removed to Illinois and stopped in Sangamon County. The Black Hawk War was in progress at this time, and he joined the forces under Col. G.G. Latimer, and continued in the service until the Indians were driven across the river. Soon after the settlement of the Indian difficulty he was joined by his wife and they came to this county in 1834, locating in Indian Point Township, and two years later settled on section 21, Cedar Township. In 1851 he engaged in mercantile pursuits in the village of Abingdon, in which he continued for a number of years. In 1860 he removed to Minnesota, and there engaged in agricultural pursuits, and is still a resident of that State.
By the union of our subject and Eunice Guthrie there were six children born. The following is the record: Elizabeth, born in 1834, died in 1842; Wm. G., is a resident of Washington Territory; Mary Louisa is the wife of Henderson Ritchie, a native of Henderson County, this State, and the first white child born in that county; he now resides in Council Grove, Kansas; James S., is a resident of Knox County; Robert A. and Joseph M. died in infancy. After the death of his first wife, Mr. Latimer married Miss Julia Hart, a native of Indiana. She died in 1850, leaving four children, whose record is as follows: Washington K., Pleasant H.; Sarah J., wife of John W. Dawdy; and Cora A., wife of C.M. Phipps, a resident of Minnesota. In 1852 Mr. Latimer contracted a third marriage, Miss Sarah Chesney, a native of Indiana, becoming his wife. By this union there are five children, named as follows: Narcissa L., who is a teacher in the High School of Seattle, Washington Territory; Alice, who occupies a similar position in Minnesota; Harriet E., wife of Charles Stephens, a farmer and resident of this county; Clara C., a teacher in Minnesota; Emma C., wife of Charles B. Reynolds, telegrapher, Lanesboro, Minn.
As intimated before, the Latimers came from a patriotic race. During the late war all the sons of Alexander Latimer were in the service. William G. enlisted in Co. G, 83rd IL. Vol. Inf, and upon the organization of the company was elected Second Lieutenant. He was soon after promoted to First Lieutenant and then to Brigade Inspector, and served in that capacity until the close of the war. After his three years’ enlistment had expired he veteranized. He distinguished himself at the battle and capture of Fort Donelson, and the sword he captured there from a Confederate officer still remains in his possession as a trophy of his prowess. Washington K. was a private in Co. K, 9th Reg. Minn. Vol. Inf. He was in the command under Gen. Sturgis, in his ill-fated expedition and disaster in 1863, and was captured, taken to Andersonville, and there died………next page missing
LATIMER, JAMES S., the subject of this sketch is a prominent farmer, Short-horn breeder and stock shipper of this county, having his location in Cedar Township, on section 21. He was born in the township in which he now lives, Nov. 27, 1836, and is the son of Alexander and Eunice (Guthrie) Latimer (see sketch and portrait of Alexander Latimer). He was reared upon the farm and received his education in the district schools of his neighborhood. His opportunities were limited to three months’ attendance in the winter season. This, however, was further supplemented by one year’s attendance at the Academy at Cherry Grove. He remained at home until 1854, when he married and then rented land for one year, after which he determined to go to the northwest. He accordingly loaded up his household effects in a wagon, and with an ox team started for Faribault County, Minn., where he preempted 160 acres of land, built a cabin and remained for ten years. When he first settled there his nearest neighbors were five miles away. He was in the midst of the Indians, who afterward became hostile and committed depredations of the most atrocious kind. The Spirit Lake and New Ulm massacres will long be remembered by the settlers of the northwest. During the Indian troubles, Mr. Latimer volunteered and assisted in subduing the hostiles.
In 1867 Mr. Latimer returned to Knox County, and purchased the farm where he now resides. He is the owner of 250 acres where he lives, and 500 in Mercer Co, IL. About ten years ago he embarked in the breeding of Short-horn cattle, and in this department is recognized as being among the leading breeders in the State. Since engaging in the business he has shipped over 8,000 head to the Southwestern and Northwestern States and Territories. His cattle are more extensively known than those of any other breeder in the west. He also has been an extensive shipper of fat stock to Chicago and other markets.
In 1854, Mr. Latimer was united in marriage to Miss Sarah A. Beard, the ceremony being performed by Rev. J.P. Roach. Mrs. Latimer was born in Sumner County, Tenn., June 17, 1834, and is the daughter of Joseph and Larena (Neal) Beard, natives of Tennessee. Mr. Beard was born Nov. 16, 1802, and died Sept. 5, 1864; his wife, the mother of Mrs. Latimer, was born Nov. 17, 1825. She died Oct. 2, 1838, leaving seven children, viz: William, David, James W., Samuel H., Sarah A., John S., and E.J. Beard. After the death of his wife, Mr. Beard contracted a second marriage with Miss Hannah Sloan, the date of which was Feb. 22.1842. By the latter union there were three children, viz: Nancy L., Margaret and Hezekiah G. By the union of James S. and Sarah A. Latimer, there are six children—Ida E., born Sept. 2, 1855, and the wife of W. B. Dunlap, an extensive farmer of Chestnut Township; Ellura, born April 28, 1857, died Feb.18, 1862; Walter, born April 24, 1859, married Miss Jessie Brook and resides at Garnett, Kan.; William A., born July 23, 1861, married Miss Annie Dunlap; he is at present Cashier in the First National Bank of Abingdon; Orion, born Nov. 23, 1863, and Washington D., born Feb. 22, 1866, are yet under the parental roof.
NEELY, MANDIVILLE, among the prominent citizens we find Mr. Mandiville Neely, a farmer residing on section 29 and 30 of Sparta Township, and one on whom the sun of prosperity has freely shone. His untiring struggle for success has met with ample reward, and he is now the possessor of a home of peace and plenty, and Knox County has no better representative citizen. Mr. Neely was born in Cayuga County, N.Y., April 3, 1830, and is the son of James and Sabina (Arnold) Neely, natives of New York. They came from Cayuga County to Illinois in 1838, settled in Knox County, and in 1847 again moved from Henderson Township to Sparta, where they now live on section 30.
Mandiville remained under the parental roof until Feb. 20, 1853, working on the farm and attending the common school. He then took a pleasure trip to California, choosing the route via the Island of Jamaica and thence to Greytown, up the river to Del Norte, to Lake Nicaragua, which he crossed, entering Virgin Bay. Crossing the Isthmus of Panama, he reached San Juan, and from there went to San Francisco. Like many others, he was in search of gold, and so sanguine were his expectations that nothing would have seemed unreasonable. Although not quite equal to the fabled Midas, he was still successful in his enterprise, and returned home in high spirits. On his return he worked for his father for four years; then in 1861 his happiness was crowned by winning a good wife.
His bride’s maiden name was Jennie A. Armstrong. She was an English girl and their nuptials were celebrated April 23, 1861. In 1862 he purchased a farm situated on section 19, consisting of 80 acres. Here the young couple lived one year, then sold out and moved to Watago. With the enterprise which has characterized his career he engaged in buying grain on commission; this business he continued but eight months. In November, 1865, he purchased 80 acres in Clover Township, Henry County. On this he moved and devoted the subsequent ten years to its cultivation. At the end of that time he sold the place and moved to his present home. Here he carries on mixed farming.
The family of Mr. and Mrs. Neely consists of four sons, by name: Fred A., born Feb 20, 1863; he is running an engine on the C., B. & Q. Railroad. William M., born Jan 2, 1867. Bertrand J., born March 19, 1869. Mortimer D., born Nov. 5, 1872. The three latter are at home.
Mr. Neely is a Republican in politics, and an active, wide-awake man. While in Henry County he was elected on the Republican ticket as Supervisor of Clover Township. After his term expired he was again elected to fill the same position.
SMITH, JOHN R., one of the successful farmers and respected citizens whose interests have been identified with this county since 1850, and who is at present residing on section 34, Sparta Township, where he is actively engaged in the honorable calling which he has chosen, is the subject of this notice. Mr. Smith was born in Clinton County, Ohio, April 17, 1829. His parents, Stephen and Hannah (Rannells) Smith, were likewise natives of that State, the former being born in 1806, and the latter in 1808. The mother died in her native State in 1848. Seven children were born of the parent’s union, all of whom lived to attain the age of maturity. They were John R., Elizabeth, Mary L., William, Stephen, Nancy, and Sarah E., and all are yet living, except Elizabeth, Mary L. and William.
The father of Mr. Smith came to this State in 1850, and made settlement on section 31, Sparta Township, where he purchased 80 acres of land, and there lived, engaged in its improvement and cultivation, until 1858. He then went to Fremont, Iowa, where he lived until his death, in 1878. His son, John R., of whom we write, was an inmate of the parental household until he was 22 years of age. He was reared on the farm, received a rudimentary education in the common schools and supplemented the same by attendance in the Academical Department of Knox College. He was the first pupil to recite a lesson in anatomy, physiology, and hygiene in the Illinois Liberal Institute, now known as Lombard University, which was in 1852. Prof. P.R. Kendall was then President of this institution.
Mr. Smith was an industrious scholar and soon fitted himself for a teacher. In 1851, he taught his first term of school, and continued in that vocation until he had taught 15 terms. He was married April 9, 1856, to Miss Elizabeth Conlee, a native of Putnam County, IL., and a daughter of Levi and Jane (Gillock) Conlee. Her parents were natives of North Carolina and Virginia respectively. They came to this State in 1830, and made settlement in Tazewell County, where the father died in 1870, and the mother in 1864. Mr. Smith, after his marriage with Miss Conlee, erected a residence in Wataga village, where he resided for one year, engaged in teaching. In April 1857, he purchased the farm on which he is at present residing, moved on it with his family and engaged actively in agricultural pursuits, and has there lived until the present time. His place consists of 106 acres, and he has erected a good residence thereon, together with substantial out-buildings, and has the land under an advanced state of cultivation. Mr. and Mrs. Smith have taken into their household three orphan children. The eldest is Amanda Smith, and the other two Olive and Sidney H. Munden, twins.
In politics Mr. Smith votes with the Republican party. He is liberal in his religious views, being a member of no denomination. He has held the office of School Director and Road Commissioner, and is one of the Directors of the Knox Co. Mutual Fire and Lightning Insurance Co. He is also among the first gentlemen who introduced Short-horn cattle into this part of Sparta Township. Mr. Smith is a great reader, is the possessor of a fine library, thoroughly posted on all the issues of the day, and is a worthy representative of the agricultural class of Sparta Township. The publishers of this Album take pleasure in presenting a view of the house of Mr. Smith, in connection with this sketch.
SORNBORGER, B. W., one of the most extensive farmers and large land-owners of this county is B.W. Sornborger, residing upon section 9, Victoria Township. He is a native of the township in which he is at present residing, the date of his birth being May 22, 1829. His parents were Peter and Phelia (Wilber) Sornborger. They were natives of New York, and in 1836 came to this State, where the father secured 126 acres of land located on section 7, Victoria Township. Upon this farm he resided until his demise in 1845. The marriage of the senior Mr. Sornborger was the first wedding celebrated in this township, and took place April 16 (Easter Sunday), 1838. Both Mr. and Mrs. S. were members of the Methodist Church. The family of Peter Sornborger remained upon the old farm on section 7 until the year 1878, when, selling it, they purchased the place where the subject of this sketch now resides, and where the mother died in 1879, one year later. Of the parental family of our subject, B.W. is the only one who lived to attain the age of majority.
Briggs W. Sornborger, of this personal notice, spent his earlier days upon the farm, and in acquiring a good English education. He has had the entire management of the farm since 16 years of age, with the exception of one year when he worked out. He is at present extensively engaged in stock and grain-raising, and is meeting with success in his chosen vocation. Besides possessing the old homestead, he also owns 251 acres of well-cultivated land in Truro Township.
The marriage of Mr. Sornborger with Miss Helen A. Cadwell was celebrated March 6, 1859. She was a native of Pennsylvania and a daughter of John P. and Mary E. (Porter) Cadwell. Her parents came to Illinois in 1840 and purchased a large tract of land upon sections 10 and 11, Truro Township. They remained upon this farm until 1866, and then removed to the village of Altona, where they lived for six years, at the end of which time they returned to the old farm in Truro Township, where the mother died in 1874. Two years later the father returned to Altona, residing there until his death in 1880. We give the following brief memoranda of the seven surviving children of Mr. and Mrs. Cadwell: Sarah A. married S.S. Seward, and they reside in Missouri; James M., next in order of birth; Mary J., at present Mrs. J.W. Stanley, with her husband makes Kansas her home; Helen A., the wife of our subject; Sylvia is the wife of D.A. Pierce, and resides at Altona; Nancy E. married J.W. Hopkins, and also resides at Altona; Malinda married Nehemiah Gale, and they are residing in the State of Nebraska.
Our subject and wife have been blessed by a family of seven children as follows: Sarah N. married Alfred Williams, and they have a son, Earnest B., and are at present residing on section 4; Peter A. Sornborger, third in order of birth; Mary L. became Mrs. Edgar Conner, and Clarence is the name of their only child. The remaining four children are Cora A., Lucy M., John B., and Jessie B.
Politically Mr. S. affiliates with the Greenback party, and has served his district in the capacity of School Director. He is a prominent member of the Masonic fraternity, and together with his wife holds membership in the Methodist Episcopal Church.
SORNBORGER, GEORGE M., a gentleman of push and energy among the numerous citizens of his community, resides on section 9, Victoria Township. He was born in Knox County, April 1, 1841, and is the son of Anson and Catherine (Wilbur) Sornborger. His parents were natives of New York and came to this State in 1838, locating on section 7, Victoria Township, where they purchased 60 acres of land. They are at present living in Copley Township, on section 11. The family of Mr. and Mrs. Anson Sornborger numbered ten children. Those living are six in number and bear the names of George M., Charles D., Ford W., Alexander, Cass, and Loue E.
Mr. George Sornborger worked upon his father’s farm until 21 years of his life had passed, and also in the interim attended the district school. After leaving home he enlisted in Co. C, 83rd IL. Vol. Inf., for three years, and participated in the battle of Fort Donelson and numerous skirmishes. He was taken ill and confined in the hospital at Fort Donelson for two months, receiving an honorable discharge July 17, 1863. Upon returning home he, in 1865, engaged in farming on section 12, Copley Township, where for two years he rented land, when he removed to section 17, Victoria Township, which place he also rented for a period of three years. From that place, in 1868, he removed to his present fine farm on section 9, which contains 160 acres, and the same year he secured 80 acres on section 17, Victoria Township. Mr. Sornborger is extensively engaged in grain and stock-raising and also buys and sells cattle and hogs.
In 1865, Mr. Sornborger was married to the lady of his choice, Miss Frances Sydan. She was born Dec. 17, 1848, and is the daughter of John T. and Henrietta (Sholett) Sydan, natives of the Empire State, whence they came to Victoria Township, Knox Co, in 1852. Mr. Sydan enlisted in 1862, in Co K, 83d IL Vol. Inf. He is now deceased. His wife is still living and residing at Galva with her son, William O. Of the seven children born to Mr. and Mrs. Sydan, two still survive, Frances E., wife of our subject, and William O.
The children of Mr. and Mrs. Sornborger of this notice are Clarence T., born Sept 20, 1866; George A., Dec. 29, 1868; Lolette K, Sept. 1, 1872; Mary E., Oct 28, 1876; Claude, May 25, 1878; Floyd, Sept 10, 1881; Gracie F. April 45, 1884. Our subject is a supporter of the Greenback party, and has served his township as Assessor.
WERTMAN, LLOYD F., banker, of Yates City, and one of Knox County’s most able and worthy citizens, is the subject of this personal sketch. He stands high in the community of which he is a member, not only as a man of influence, but of sterling integrity. He is essentially a self-made man and is an instance of what may be attained by the average youth of America by a life of courage, self-denial, and enterprise.
Mr. W. was born in Bloomsburg, Pa., Nov. 7, 1845. His father, Elias Wertman, was born in the same State, Feb. 3, 1809. The grandfather was Daniel Wertman, a native of Pennsylvania, who was born in 1788, and died in New York State. His great-grandfather, Michael Wertman, was born in 1742, in Northampton County, Pa. The maiden name of our subject’s mother was Mary Kistler, of Lehigh County, Pa. The maternal great-grandmother was an Everett, a native of Connecticut, who came of the old Puritan stock. She removed to Pennsylvania when quite young, in which State she was a pioneer, and where she lived to a good old age. It is said that she made a journey of 150 miles on horseback, unaccompanied, at the age of 80 years, carrying a child with her on her lap.
Mr. Wertman’s father learned the tanner’s trade, continuing at it a time in Columbia County, Pa., and in 1843 engaged in mercantile business in Bloomsburg. Prosecuting his vocation there a few years, he removed to Rohrsburg, and continued in the same business until 1863. At that date he sold out and came west, settling in Persifer Township, Knox County. He there rented a farm for three years, and at the close of that time bought a farm in Elba Township, and removing there, engaged in agriculture, which he pursued up to the date of his wife’s death. Since then he has made his home with his son Lloyd.
Eight children were born to Mr. and Mrs. W., five of whom are living: Daniel is a resident of Pittsburg, Pa.; Sarah, wife of S.L. Finney, a merchant, lives at Milton, Pa.; Mary E. is the wife of Samuel Chester, a farmer, of Lenox, Iowa; Lloyd, our subject: Martha, wife of J.A. Wilson, is a resident of Galesburg, IL.; and Charles, deceased; two died in infancy.
Mr. Lloyd F. Wertman grew to manhood in his native county, receiving his early education in the public schools. This was supplemented by two years’ attendance at Orangeville Academy and two at Missionary Institute, Selin’s Grove, Pa. He developed considerable taste for mercantile pursuits, and exhibited exceptionally bright and keen faculties and the power of concentration and application to his studies. When not at school he assisted his father in the store. He came with him, in 1864, to Knox County, and engaged in farming with him, continuing in that branch of industry until his marriage, which occurred Jan. 11, 1870, choosing for his life’s companion Isabelle J. Oberholtzer, of Elba Township. She is the daughter of Henry and Martha (Tucker) Oberholtzer, and was born Nov. 22, 1848. Mr. and Mrs. W. are the parents of four children, namely: Mary, Martha Leora, Maud S., and Norma.
He then rented a farm of 120 acres in Elba Township for three years. At the close of that period he removed to his father’s farm, renting it until he bought on the same section (16), in Elba Township. In 1878 he hired his farm work done and accepted a book-keeper’s position in the co-operative store in Yates City. In 1880 he rented his farm and removed his family to Yates City, where he continued until Aug. 12, 1880, when he became a member of the firm of J.H. Nicholson & Co., bankers, and was elected Cashier. This position he has since held, performing creditably all the duties incident to it.
In politics Mr. W. is a Republican, and holds strong and worthy ideas regarding principle rather than party. He has filled the office of Township Clerk, in Elba, for ten years, that of Collector for two years, and has been a member of the Board of Supervisors, and represented Salem Township for two years. He takes a hearty interest in education and progress, and has been for some time a member of the Board of City Schools.
WOODMANSEE, THOMAS, one of the leading farmers and representative citizens of Knox Township is herein named, and the principal points in his life history are made the substance of this biography. His handsome home includes a substantial farmhouse, with neat and commodious out-buildings, and he has planted a large number of ornamental shade-trees. His home farm includes 120 acres of the very best land in the county.
The subject of this writing was born in Clinton County, Ohio, March 2, 1832, and is the oldest of the children of George and Eliza (Holcraft) Woodmansee (see sketch). His boyish years were passed in the place of his birth, and he was educated in the public schools. Quite early in life, Aug. 18, 1853, he took to wife Miss Elizabeth Howard, a native of Clinton County, Ohio, born July 29, 1834. She is the daughter of Elisha P. and Mahala (Brown) Howard. Elisha T. Howard, Sr. was the son of Joseph and Mary (Smith) Howard. They reared a family of nine children to man and womanhood. Joseph Howard died when his son Elisha T. was eight years old, and his father, Gordon Howard, was a native of Ireland. His wife’s name was Elizabeth, and they emigrated to America prior to the Revolutionary War. He was a soldier in the memorable conflict, and first settled in Pennsylvania, in Greene County, about the year 1810, removing with his family to Clinton Co, OH, where he became a farmer and lived to the extreme old age of 97 years. His wife died when she was about 50 years old. They had but one child—Joseph Howard, the grandfather of Mrs. Woodmansee. Two of Mrs. W.’s uncles, the eldest and the youngest brothers of her father, were on board a steamer on the Mississippi River, between St. Louis and Cairo, when the boat was blown up and they were both killed.
Mr. Howard was elected Associate Judge of De Kalb County and held the office for several years. While residing in Ohio he was Lieutenant-Colonel of the militia, and was always a leading man in public affairs, not only in Ohio, but in Missouri. At the breaking out of the late Rebellion he promptly volunteered in aid of the Union cause, raised a company of cavalry in De Kalb County, and was elected Captain. The hard marches and exposure incident to camp life so told upon his health that he was stricken down with disease, and while the army was stationed at Springfield, MO, he died, in Sept. 1862, in camp. He left a widow and two children—Mrs. Woodmansee and one son, George Howard, now a resident of St. Joseph, Mo. He was also a soldier in the late war. The maiden name of Mrs. Howard, the mother of Mrs. Woodmansee, was Mahala Brown. She was the daughter of James and Polly Brown. James Brown was a native of the New England States and when a boy removed to Kentucky with his parents. He was a soldier in the War of 1812, and after his marriage moved to Clinton County, Ohio, where he and his wife continued to reside up to the date of their demise. Mrs. Howard is now living in Stewartville. She subsequently married William D. Totten, and with her husband is a member of the Christian Church.
Elisha T. Howard, Jr., was a farmer, born in Clinton County, Ohio, Aug. 15, 1815. In 1855 he sold his property there and came to Knox County, the same year with Mr. Woodmansee. He spent the winter with his family in Abingdon, and moved to his farm in De Kalb County, MO, which is situated on the line of the Hannibal & St. Jo Railroad, and he engaged in agriculture and stock-raising. Stewartville, now quite a flourishing place, was laid out on a portion of his farm. He owned a large tract of land. In politics Mr. Howard was a Democrat.
Mrs. Woodmansee had presided over her husband’s home with grace and dignity, and has borne him four children, three of whom are living: S. Frances is the wife of John Scott; they reside with her grandparents and carry on the farm. Martha O. and Nellie May are the remaining children. Martha married William Kriegh; they live in Orange Township, following farming pursuits, and have two children—Charlie and Lelia May. Both Mr. and Mrs. Woodmansee are useful and respected members of the neighborhood in which they live, and are connected with the Methodist Church at Knoxville, of which he has been for many years Steward and Trustee. Mr. and Mrs. W. lost one child, a son, by name of Grafton H., who died at the age of a year and a half.
Mr. W. has watched the advance of political interests for some time, and cast his first vote for Fremont. He is a Republican and is a live man, both physically and mentally. He has for some time held the office of Assistant Supervisor, and has figured prominently in educational matters. He has held the position of Township Trustee 20 years.
Mr. Woodmansee has been engaged in the breeding of Short-horn cattle about three years. A view of the family residence is given on another page.
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