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CAULKINS, SAMUEL, prominent among the public men of Knoxville, and holding the office of Justice of the Peace, is the subject of this brief personal sketch. He ranks high in educational circles, which enlist his sympathies and attention in a marked degree. He is also a deep thinker on matters of public and private good, and is an important factor in the Republican party as represented in his locality.
Mr. Caulkins was born in Washington County, Indiana, Oct. 28,1821, and his father was a native of New York, being born in Onondaga County in 1782. His grandfather, who, like his son, bore the name of Joel, was a native of New York, and a soldier of Revolutionary fame, claiming Washington as a commander, and drawing a pension all the later years of his life. He departed this life in Onondaga County, N.Y., in which part of the State the father of the subject grew to manhood. Early in life he made the acquaintance of and subsequently married Desire Barnard, also a native of that county. The newly wedded pair lived in that county until 1819, at which time they removed to Washington County, in which section of the country they were pioneers. Buying a tract of timber, he laid out his farm, locating its boundaries and making that their home until 1857, when he sold out and came to Illinois, settling in Iroquois County. Here he bought a farm and commenced to work it, which he continued the remainder of his life. His death occurred May 5, 1879, and that of his wife in 1858. In their family Samuel was the 7th child in order of birth.
Mr. Caulkins reached maturity in the county which gave him birth, and during the years of his boyhood and younger manhood assisted his father on the home farm and attended the district school for the purpose of cultivating himself and adding to his education. He had a keen appreciation of advantages of this character and improved them assiduously. He continued at home up to the date of his marriage, which was celebrated Dec. 8, 1842, with Sarah Ann Stewart, a native of Ohio. Near the old homestead he bought land, which he worked until 1855, and then sold it and came to Knox County, where he bought 200 acres of land, on which a log cabin stood, and this, with the14 acres of broken land, constituted all the improvements on the place. Nevertheless he began the cultivation of the same undiscouraged, hedged it with osage orange, erected a neat frame house, commodious and durable, and planted fruit and shade trees. His efforts were to his credit, and the results were soon plainly apparent. He continued on his farm until 1882, when he sold and came to Knoxville, buying his present residence on North street, and a little farm of 58 acres inside the corporate limits of Knoxville.
Mr. and Mrs. Caulkins have calmly and unitedly trodden the path of life together, one in interest, affection and purpose, and their home has been brightened by the advent of seven children, viz: Elizabeth, wife of Samuel Harper, living in Knox Township; William , whose home is in Orange Township; Henry, who also resides in Knox Township; John, living in Knoxville; Martha, wife of Frank Peterson, whose home is in Orange Township; and Mary, wife of Perry Harper, a resident of Knoxville. Mr. Caulkins and wife are devoted working members of the Presbyterian Church, and support by their help and presence all philanthropic, charitable and worthy enterprises, and are highly esteemed as true friends and desirable neighbors.
CLARK, CHARLES S., engaged as an agriculturist on section 7 of Victoria Township, where he is enjoying success in his vocation and is regarded as one of Knox County’s respected citizens, was born in Roxbury, Delaware Co, N.Y., June 4, 1835. He is a son of Job W. and Hepsey (Wood) Clark, natives of the Empire State, who were married in Delaware County in 1833. The family of the senior Mr. Clark and wife numbered six children, four of whom are still living and bear the names of Charles S., William P., Sarah E. (Mrs. Powell) and Luman R. Those dead are Marion, who married C.D. Sornborger and left two children named Clifford and Clyde. The. Judson died in infancy. Upon arrival in Illinois, in 1855, they first located at Victoria Township, remaining there for two years, when they removed to Copley Township, purchasing 160 acres on section 13, and lived upon the same for one year. Thence they removed to the village of Victoria. By subsequent purchase Mr. Clark, Sr. added to his already accumulated possessions 240 acres. Mr. Job W. Clark died January 24, 1884. His widow still survives him and is residing at Victoria village, aged 70 years.
Charles S. Clark, at the age of 21 years, commenced to clerk for Whiting & Copley, with whom he remained for two years. He then engaged with his father in farming on shares on section 13, in Copley. He worked in this way for three years, when in 1860, he visited Pike’s Peak and mined there for about nine months. On returning to Illinois, he resumed farming on section 13, where he remained for four years. In 1865, Mr. C. purchased 160 acres on section 8, Victoria Township, and followed farming there for one year, at the expiration of which time he launched into the mercantile business at Victoria, in company with Homer Gaines, the partnership existing for one year. He then purchased 110 acres where he now lives, adding to the same by subsequent purchases until he is now the owner of 710 acres of highly cultivated land, the greater portion of which is valued at $75. per acre. Upon his fine farm he has erected a handsome dwelling with surrounding improvements, costing, together with other necessary and substantial buildings, $2,500. He is extensively engaged in the breeding of Short-horn cattle and the raising of cereals.
March 21, 1861, he was married to Miss Almina Hedstrom. She was born at Farmington, October 12, 1840, and is a daughter of Jonas J. and Diantha (Sornborger) Hedstrom, natives of Sweden and New York respectively. The parents came to Illinois in 1835, and the father engaged in blacksmithing at Farmington, Fulton County, and lived at that place for four years. In 1843 he purchased 60 acres on section 18, Victoria Township, and with others joined in laying out the village of Victoria, May 11, 1849, one-third of the village plat being located on his land. At that place he also engaged in blacksmithing and followed the trade for some years. Mr. Hedstrom was ordained minister in 1840, and was the organizer of the Methodist Episcopal Church (American) in 1847, and the Methodist Episcopal Church (Swedish), at Galesburg, in 1852, and the Swedish Church of Victoria in 1850. Jonas J. Hedstrom continued to preach and organize churches until his death, May 11, 1859; his wife died July 6, 1874. The family of Mr. and Mrs. H. consisted of five children, three of whom survive, and are named Almina, wife of our subject; Jane, who married a Mr. Becker, and George L.
The names of the children born to Mr. and Mrs. Clark are Irwin J., Mary L., who became Mrs. N.C. Robbins; Charles D., Jennie B., and John P. In political principles, our subject is a Greenbacker. He has held the offices of Road Commissioner, School Trustee, and Director, and is the present incumbent of the office of Supervisor of this town.
CLAY, HIGHLAND H., MAJOR, is a prominent citizen and farmer, residing on section 29, Galesburg Township. He was born in Windsor County, in the town of Chester, Vermont, in 1838. His parents moved to Illinois in 1840 and located in this section. Here he remained with his parents, working on the farm and at the same time attending the district school, until he was 14 years old, when for two years from that time he attended the Lombard College, Galesburg.
His father’s name was John L. and his mother’s Louisa M. (Balch) Clay, both natives of Vermont, the former being born on the 3rd of October 1802, and the latter on April 13, 1804. They were married in March 1837, and 13 years subsequently came westward. They had a family of five children—A.C. Clay, William L., a daughter who died in infancy, Warren W., and Highland H.
The subject of this history and the youngest of his parents’ children, married Miss Jennie E. Clay on the 14th of October 1878. The service was performed by Rev. William Copland, of the Universalist Church of Gaysville, Vt. They have four interesting children—Don Scott, born July 21, 1879; Emma, born June 22, 1880; John L., born June 1, 1882; and Walter T., April 26, 1884. Mrs. Clay is the daughter of James M. and Charlotte (Orcutt) Clay, both natives of Vermont. Her father was born Aug. 22, 1825 in Windsor County, and her mother in Bridgeport, on the 19th of April 1827.
These excellent people were married on the 24th of March, 1847, and still reside in Windsor County, Vt., where they keep a hotel, and have a family of four children—Emma A. (Mrs. Highland H. Clay), born Oct. 17, 1848; Cassius M., Sept. 14, 1850; Jennie E., Jan. 12, 1854; and Effie L., May 13, 1861. The paternal parent of Mrs. Clay is a Republican in principle, and he always voted that ticket in its thorough and unadulterated form. Cassius M. Clay, their son, is now residing in Nebraska . The father of our subject died on the 7th of November 1877, but his mother still survives, and is living in the city of Galesburg, in her 83rd year.
Mr. Highland H. Clay enlisted in the 102nd Reg. IL. Vol. Inf. and was created First Lieutenant of Co. D. of said regiment, previous to his leaving Galesburg. He held the office for five months and was promoted to Captain of the same company, which position he held for two years. At the end of that time he was promoted to Major of the same regiment, which position he held until the close of the war. He was in the Army of the Cumberland with Sherman and took part in the Atlanta campaign. He also participated in the battles of Resaca, Ga.; New Hope Church, Cassville, Kenesaw Mountain, Marietta, Peach Tree Creek and the siege of Atlanta, besides many smaller battles and skirmishes.
From that date he took command of the regiment and marched with Sherman from Atlanta to the sea. On the 6th of June, 1865, at the close of the war, he was mustered out at the city of Washington. During his whole career as a soldier he escaped from receiving the slightest wound. Being thoroughly patriotic, he made an excellent soldier and fine officer. He was held in high esteem by his comrades in arms, and by his genial disposition, natural strength of character and general upright bearing, won to himself an extended respect with his regiment and from all outside who knew him.
Mr. Clay is now the owner of 320 acres of improved land, thoroughly cultivated. His beautiful dwelling-house is surrounded by a grove of fine forest trees, and his out-buildings are of the substantial kind. In theology his views are liberal. He is a member of the G.A.R., No. 45 at Galesburg. In politics he is a stanch Democrat and a firm supporter of that school of thought. The grandparents of Mrs. Clay were Leonard Orcutt, born July 1, 1791, and Miss Sallie Breed, Aug. 8, 1791; they were natives of Vermont and had a family of six children—Tirzah, born July 28, 1816; Clarissa, Nov. 29, 1813; Willard, June 14, 1820; George, Feb. 5, 1834; Melinda and Charlotte. The present Mr. Clay’s grandfather was Timothy Clay, a native of Taunton, Mass., where he was born in 1760, and died in 1832. He married Miss Rhoda Lawson, a lady of very amiable character and high mental attainments.
COLLINS, EDWARD M., in 1848 there came from Pickaway County, Ohio, Michael Collins and his family, and located in Knox Township. He was a native of Ireland, and had chosen for his wife Miss Margaret Griffith. Early in life she came to this country, and in the year stated had become one of the pioneers of this beautiful county. The family later moved into Copley Township, where the husband and father died in 1861, and the widow and mother in the autumn of 1864. They had reared a family of 8 children, of whom Edward M. was the 5th in order of birth. He was born April 29, 1839, while his parents were residents of Pickaway County.
Our subject was only 9 years of age when he was brought to this county with his parents. Here he was reared, spending his youth in assisting his father in cultivating the farm, and attending such schools as the neighborhood afforded. When he grew to manhood he embarked on the uncertain sea of life, himself alone at the helm. He has steered his craft free of the breakers upon which so many go down, and today is recognized as one of the well-to-do and leading agriculturists in his township. He is the possessor of 290 acres of land, 200 of which are tillable.
Dec. 29, 1868, Mr. Collins and Miss Hannah E. Young united their fortunes in the holy bonds of matrimony. Mrs. Collins was the daughter of Robert and Mary (Johnston) Young. (a sketch of the former is given in this volume). She was born in Persifer, Feb. 10, 1850. The names of the five children born to them are Katie M., Robert R., Ella G., Rollin E., and Jessie M.
Mr. Collins takes considerable interest in the public affairs of his community, and lends his assistance toward the progress and welfare of the neighborhood. He is especially interested in educational matters, and at present is serving as School Director. He is a member of the Masonic fraternity, and politically is a Democrat. He and his wife and eldest daughter, Katie, are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church.
COLLINSON, SIMEON L., among the most substantial business men and best known farmers of Walnut Grove Township is Mr. Collinson, who has always maintained a position entitling him to the confidence and good will of the community. He is now retired and resides on section 25 in this township. He was born in Yorkshire, England, July 7, 1806. His father was a farmer in the same county and died at the age of 82 years, at that place, after the son was grown to manhood.
The gentleman whose name graces this history spent his early days in farm life in England until his 25th year, when he emigrated to the United States, embarking Nov. 4, 1831. He was seven weeks and five days crossing the Atlantic, and landed at New York City. In January of the following year he proceeded to Luzerne County, Pa., and took up his abode in Wilkesbarre. In 1838 he first came to Knox County where he has remained ever since, becoming one of the wealthiest land-owners in the district. At a period not long ago he owned not less than 2,400 acres of good land, and gave to each of his children by his first wife 200 acres of this, improved. To one child by his last wife he deeded 300 acres. His farm at present consists of 200 acres of improved property. Much of his land has been worked up to its present state of cultivation from originally unbroken prairie land, indicating an energy and perseverance in Mr. Collinson not often met with.
He was first married in Pennsylvania to Mary M. Craver. She was a German lady and born in that State. After a short illness she died at her home in this township, April 18, 1874, aged 61 years and 28 days. She was an earnest and thorough helpmate to Mr. C., a careful mother, and respected near and far by those who knew her best. Mr. Collinson’s family consists of 8 children, who evince to the observer the good bringing up and careful Christian training of devoted parents.
His marriage with Mrs. Jane McClure, nee Carnahan, in Victoria Township, was an event of much interest and took place Nov.1, 1874. This amiable lady was born in Scotland, Sept. 17, 1837, and arrived in the United States in July 1867, and at once settled at Altona, Knox County. She is the mother of one child by the latter union, named Ernest T., born October 17, 1875. By her first marriage she has had three children, one deceased. The two now living are named Robert and Thomas. The family are attendants of the Methodist Episcopal Church, where they are held in high esteem. Almost all the offices in connection with the township have been ably filled from time to time by Mr. Collinson. He was Assessor during the first two years after the organization of the township of Walnut Grove. His political convictions are in the fullest sense Democrat, his consistent attachment to principle in this regard winning him the good will of the party.
COVER, JOHN C., HON., is the present Mayor of the city of Knoxville. He is a stanch Republican and takes an active interest in local politics. Mayor Cover was born eight miles from Gettysburg, Adams Co, Pa, on the 9th of March 1829, and is the son of Jacob and Mary (Jones) Cover, both natives of Maryland. He grew up from boyhood in the county of his birth, and his father, who was a tanner by trade, took him as an apprentice to learn the same when he was 14 years of age. Learning the trade, John followed it until 1854, at which time, being a young man of 25, with an earnest wish to get on in the world, and sturdy business principles, he launched his little boat on the wide sea of commerce, and purchased for himself a general store in Adams Co, Pa., at a point known as Flohr’s Church. His efforts being prospered, he sold out after a successful trade which lasted until 1856, and at this time, having disposed of his property to his satisfaction, he came to Galesburg, where he bought out a clothing store and commenced in this line of trade. This store he retained but a short time, coming to Knoxville in 1857, and opening a provision store. At the end of one year devoted to this business he was elected City Marshal and appointed Deputy Sheriff at the same time. These offices he held four years, and in 1862 was elected Sheriff for a term of two years, afterward appointed Deputy Sheriff, and in 1866, he, with William Armstrong, took a contract for the erection of an almshouse for the county. This was completed in 1867, and in the fall of that year he opened a book and stationary store, in which he continued up to 1883, when he disposed of the same and changed to the druggist’s business. This he followed only one year, at the expiration of which time he sold out to his son, who still carries on the business.
In the year 1866-67, Mr. Cover was elected Alderman, and in 1869-70 Mayor, which office he has filled in a manner reflecting much credit upon him and his many friends, by his just and equitable manner of dispensing public affairs. He holds the office of Justice of the Peace, to which he was appointed in 1885, the date of his re-election to the Mayoralty.
The subject of our sketch formed a matrimonial alliance with Isabella Mary L. Cooper, who was born at Gettysburg, Pa., Aug. 30, 1831. This happy event was celebrated Nov. 16, 1852. Mrs. Cover is the only daughter of Thomas J. and Margaret (Barr) Cooper. To Mr. and Mrs. Cover have been born one son and three daughters, as follows: Margaret E., wife of Frederick Smith, whose home is in Corning, Iowa; John F.; Mary Alice, who wedded Orton B. Arms, and who resided in Knoxville; and Mabel L., the youngest daughter, at home with her parents. Mr. Cover has given his children the benefit of a thorough education, the two older daughters being graduates of St. Mary’s School.
As previously stated, our subject is a public worker in all that has for its object the advancement of the moral and material welfare of the community in which he resides. He comes of the old line Whigs and entered the Republican party as one of its charter members, being one of the very first to join it at the time of its founding. He cast his first presidential vote for Gen. Scott and his second for John C. Fremont, and has upheld the doctrines of the party represented by the latter since that time. Mrs. Cover came of a direct line of Scotch ancestry, although her father and mother were both American-born, the latter entering life in Pennsylvania and the former in Maryland.
EDGAR, LOWRY J., is one of the enterprising farmers of Knox County, and resides on section 25 in Galesburg Township. He was born in Hart County, Ky., in 1827, and came to Illinois in 1835, with his parents, who located on the above section. He is the son of James and Sarah (Trowbridge) Edgar. The father was born in Iredell County, N.C., Jan. 5, 1781, and died Jan. 17, 1863, in this county. The mother was born in Essex County, N.J., April 10, 1787, and died Jan. 11, 1877, in Knox County.
They were married in Kentucky in the year 1807 or 1808, and were the parents of 11 children, born and named as follows: Thomas, born Jan. 19, 1809; David, May 27, 1810; William, Jan 15, 1812; Jane, March 11, 1814; Job, May 5, 1816; James, Feb 1, 1818; Martha , Jan. 4, 1820; John, Sept 12, 1822; Sarah, Oct. 5, 1824; Emma, Sept 12, 1829; and Lowry J. as above stated.
Lowry J. the 10th child, married Miss Martha A. Brown, March 6, 1859; she was born in June 1833, in Hart County, Ky. Her parents, Armsted and Sarah (Ferguson) Brown, were also natives of Kentucky, the father being born Dec. 18, 1808, and dying Dec. 17, 1851 in Knox Co, and the mother was born Nov. 23, 1808, and died Feb. 25, 1874, also in Illinois. They were married March 3, 1831 in Kentucky, and had 6 children—Martha A., born June 18, 1833; David M, Nov. 15, 1835; Mary J., May 9 1838; William T., March 12, 1841; John H., Sept. 23, 1843; and James L., April 1, 1848. Mrs. Edgar’s father belonged to the Democratic party, and both father and mother were members of the Baptist Church. All of these children were born in this county except Martha. She is the only surviving member of her family, all the others having died in this county. Mary J. died Aug. 17, 1851, aged 13 years 3 months and 8 days; William died Aug. 4, 1851, aged 10 years 5 months; John H., Aug. 23, 1851, aged 7 years and 11 months; James L., Aug. 5, 1851, aged 3 years 4 months and 5 days.
Mr. and Mrs. Edgar have four children, one of whom is deceased: Willett S., born Dec. 27, 1859; Lillian J., born Sept 23, 1861, now deceased; Frank L., born Aug. 30, 1865; and Charlie C., born Jan 16, 1869. The following obituary of Lillian J. is copied from a local paper: “Lillian J., only daughter of L.J. and Martha Edgar, died Sept. 12, 1880, of consumption, at her father’s residence in Galesburg Township, three miles west of Knoxville, aged 18 years 11 months and 11 days. She was a young lady of unusual promise, and was dearly beloved by a large circle of acquaintances, and her sorrowing parents have the sympathy of the community in this sore bereavement.”
Mr. Edgar has 180 acres of fine land, on which is an elegant residence 35X35 feet in size, and two stories high. His barn is 30x44. He is doing a general farming business. Nov. 20, 1849 he started for California, going via New Orleans and the Isthmus of Panama, landing at San Francisco and going into the gold mines. Remaining on the Pacific slope four years and a half, having accumulated a little stock in the world, in the spring of 1854 he returned to Illinois, where he has ever since remained.
Mr. Edgar is a member of the A.F.& A.M. and was made a Mason in Pacific Lodge, No. 400, Knoxville, IL, in 1864. In politics he is a Democrat. Coming of pioneer parentage, and growing up with the country, he has well kept pace with the advance of his time and has carved out for himself in his adopted county and State not only a competency, but a character for rigid honesty, and has secured the confidence and respect of his neighbors.
JUDD, HERBERT, M.D., a distinguished physician and surgeon, residing at Galesburg, was born at Franklin, N.Y., Dec. 22, 1843. He graduated at Auburn, N.Y., in 1867, and came to this city in 1868.
OLMSTED, HENRY B., a gentleman who is closely identified with the agricultural progress of Knox County, is a retired farmer, residing on his beautiful farm, located in the township of Victoria. He was born Dec. 18, 1809, in Schoharie County, N.Y. His parents were Stephen and Cornelia (Van Buren) Olmsted, natives of Connecticut and New York respectively. The father departed for the better land in 1834, his demise occurring in N.Y. State. The mother came to Illinois in 1832 and settled near Alton, Madison County, and her death occurred about 1850. The parental family of Mr. Olmsted consisted of 11 children, five now living—Henry B., Stephen, John, Sarah, and Eunice. Stephen Olmsted and wife were devout members of the Baptist Church. Mr. O. was a Jacksonian Democrat, and professionally a teacher, giving instruction at the district schools; he was also a teacher of vocal music of considerable talent.
Our subject remained under the parental roof until 16 years of age, when he engaged with a merchant as traveling salesman. This he followed up to the age of 21. Then, with the money saved from his earnings, Mr. Olmsted purchased an 80 acre farm, to which he subsequently added 100 acres. This farm was located in Otsego County, N.Y. He remained upon this purchase, cultivating the same, until 1857, the date of his arrival and settlement in Copley Township, Knox County, upon 80 acres of land. Here he remained for the space of six years, when he came to Victoria village. In Victoria he engaged in the mercantile business for a period of three years. He then removed to the place where he now lives, which consists of 40 acres. He is also the owner of village property.
The gentleman whose biography we write was married Sept 16, 1831, to Miss Sarah Bemis, daughter of Zacheus and Susanah (Farnham) Bemis. They are the parents of three children, only one of whom is living, named Susanah, and now Mrs. William G. Carnes. She is the mother of one child, a son, Amos. Mrs O. died in 1838, and our subject was the second time married, to Catherine Wilder, Aug. 4, 1838. She was the accomplished daughter of Charles and Leah (Romans) Wilder, natives of N.Y., who died in Otsego County, the mother in December 1831, and the father in October 1836. Their family consisted of 8 children, five of whom are living and bear the names of Catherine, wife of our subject; Bernard, the second in order of birth; Jane, now Mrs. Osman; John L., second son, and Rachel, now Mrs. James Marshall.
The result of the union of Mr. and Mrs. Olmsted was ten children: Charles W. married Mary V. Wetmore, and they have become the parents of five children—Edgar, Arthur, Cora, Pearl, and Harry G. Sarah Olmsted became the wife of William M. Woolsey, and four children have been born to them, by name Harriet H., Henry B., Bert, and Catherine (Harriet Woolsey married Enoch Robinson and is the mother of one little girl, Mildred). Mahlon M. became the husband of Annie Ostrander, and to them have been born four children, viz: Jennie, Elroy, Mertia, and Charles. Milton Z. Olmsted took to wife Luna Foster, and they have one child—Jack. Henry K. married Agnes Ross; he had previously married Charlotte Tripp; she died, leaving no issue. Will O. Olmsted is the husband of Ora Whitman, and their children are Maud, Susie, Lucy, and Robert. Aaron W. Olmsted is the husband of Ettie Robbins and their family circle numbers four children, namely, Lester, Harry, Paul, and Blanche; Mary C. Olmsted became the wife of Alexander Harry Gordon, and to them four children have been born—Arthur, Effie, John and James P., Stephen Edgar Olmsted was an orderly in the 7th IL. Cav. in the War of the Rebellion. He was taken ill, and died at the age of 25 years, in 1862, from typhoid fever contracted while in Camp Butler, Springfield, IL. Reuben died at the age of 6 years, and Osman died when an infant of 9 weeks.
Our subject and wife are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, in which denomination he is Trustee and Steward. In politics the entire family adheres to the principles of the Republican party. Mr. Olmsted has served Copley Township as Assessor for four consecutive years, and is one of the prominent men of Victoria Township.
OVERLANDER, WILLIAM, one of Knox County’s prominent and successful farmers, residing on section 30, Victoria Township, was born in Richland County, Ohio, April 17, 1835. He was a son of William and Mary (Neal) Overlander, natives of Pennsylvania and Ohio respectively. The parents were married in Ohio, where they remained until 1835, the date of their removal to Illinois and to Victoria Township in the following year, locating on section 30, their present home, where the father had purchased some 400 acres of land. Upon this place they remained until their death, Dec. 10, 1847, and in 1877 respectively. Their family consisted of 8 children, five of whom still survive and of whom we give the following brief memoranda: Rebecca Overlander, now Mrs. Wilcox; William; Nancy, now Mrs. Wilson; Sarah Ann, now Mrs. Gillaspi, and Mary J. Hawkinson.
The subject of this biographical notice came to Victoria Township with his parents when but one year of age. At this place he attended the district schools, and when a lad of 17 years emigrated to California, in search of gold, and remained there two years, when he returned to Victoria Township and made it his home until 1855. We next hear of him in the States of Iowa, Nebraska, Missouri, and Kansas, looking for a location in which to invest his means in productive land. He afterward purchased 200 acres in Nebraska, in 1858, 14 miles from the city of Omaha., and lived on the same for two years, when he again returned to Victoria Township and made a purchase of 67 acres on section 30, to which he has subsequently added until at present he is the owner of 180 acres. He has always followed farming pursuits and is at present engaged in the raising of cereals and also the breeding of stock.
In 1860 occurred the marriage of Mr. Overlander, at which time Miss Lucy J. Olmstead became his wife. She is the daughter of Stephen and Clarissa (McMorris) Olmstead, natives of the Empire State. The parents emigrated to the Prairie State in 1856, and located in Victoria Township. Their family circle numbers ten members, nine of whom still survive. The record is as follows: Phoebe A., now Mrs. Harrington; William H., John R.; Lucy J., wife of our subject; James L., Stephen A.; Elmer D.; Sarah J., now Mrs. Waffle; and Walter M.
Mr. and Mrs. Overlander have a family of nine children, of whom we give the following: Ellen M., Lillie V., William S., Effie N., Katie, Eveline, Lucy, Reuben, and Clara.
Our subject is a Democrat, and has held the office of Pathmaster and also that of School Director, and is considered one of the solid and substantial men of Victoria Township.
REES, JOHN, a general farmer, residing on section 19, Walnut Grove Township, is the owner of 76 acres, mostly improved land. He came to the county in 1866, from Armstrong County, Pa. of which place he was a native, being born where Parker City now stands, on March 3, 1825. His father, Jenkins J. was a farmer and miner and lived and died in Pennsylvania.
This latter gentleman was born in South Wales, but came to the United States soon after his marriage. His wife, Catherine Jenkins, was also a native of South Wales. They were both of Welsh parentage. Her decease took place in Armstrong County, Pa.
The subject of this history was the youngest but two of seven children. He lived with his parents until he came to Illinois, in 1866, and was married in Oneida, January 1, of the following year, to Miss Elizabeth Finch, born in Ontario County, N.Y. April 8, 1838. In her 16th year she came to Illinois with her parents. They were prominent farmers, who had lived in Altona most of their lives, since 1855, and they lie buried there now. Her father, Benjamin, died in 1858, and the mother in September, 1884. This lady’s maiden name was Matilda Rennett, and she descended of old American parentage. The present Mrs. R. has eight interesting children now living—Charles E., Walter F., John, Arthur, Ida, Edith, Carrie, and Jenkins B.
Mr. Rees was formerly identified with the Republican party, but in recent years he has become a Democrat and a consistent supporter of Democratic measures.
SMITH, EDMUND, of the names among the records of Knox County there stands out in bold relief that of Edmund Smith, who entered its precincts in 1844, settling on section 31, Persifer Township, in which township he now owns 55 acres. He has watched the gradual growth of this section of country, and feels that keen interest in its progress known only to those who first knew it in its lonely primitive state, dotted here and there with the humble log cabins which constituted the homes of its residents in the early days.
Our subject first saw the light of day in Granby, Mass., June 9, 1809, and had attained the age of 23 years when he came to Ohio. In that State he resided until moving to Knox County; he had followed the vocation of clerk in a store, after which he pursued mercantile business for himself a short time. On coming to Knox County he bought a farm in Haw Creek Township, where he lived for seven years. Accompanied by his wife and four children, in 1844, he settled in Persifer Township, renting land, soon after which he purchased 40 acres in the same township, upon which he remained four years. The third year of Mr. Smith’s residence upon this little farm, his dog went mad, and attacking his master, bit him severely. Mr. Smith heard of a madstone at Liverpool, a little town on the Illinois River, and immediately repaired there to test its efficacy. To his great joy, it proved all that had been claimed for it; his life was saved, and he has since felt no discomfort from the wound. Mr. Smith naturally recommends the madstone to all who may meet with the misfortune which he did. He states that the animal was raving mad and chewed its own tongue off.
Mr. Smith subsequently sold this land and engaged in the grocery business at Gilson. He was married in Gallia County, Ohio, August 15, 1837, to Sarah P. Rambo, who was born in the same county, June 9, 1818. Their family was large, consisting of 12 children, as follows: Benjamin, Reuben and Henry are deceased, Louisa is the wife of Lewis F. Roe and resides in Adams Co, IL; Charles makes his home in Haw Creek Township; Abraham is under the parental roof; William resides in Iowa; Rachel has a home in Knoxville; Cynthia is the wife of John Hughes, and resides in Haw Creek Township; Edmund’s home is in Texas; Sarah is the wife of John Lindsey, and lives in Haw Creek Township, and Maggie still continues at home. Two sons were in the Union Army, in the 77th ILL. Vol. Inf.—Charles and William; the latter was for a time in a Texas prison, and both served until the close of the war.
In politics Mr. Smith is a Republican, which party he supports with voice and vote, and is an energetic worker in public affairs. He is also intelligent and interested in educational matters.
STEPHENSON, SAMUEL G., as we have previously explained, in Knox County remarkable changes have been made since Daniel Robertson located here. Many men have felt an interest in this, not wholly selfish. They are of reliability and substantial worth of character, and among these may be reckoned the subject of our sketch, whose perseverance in a good cause and his foresight in making his home just when and where he did, as well as his uprightness and integrity of character, have all tended to retain for him the high position which he now occupies.
Mr. Stephenson’s home is situated on section 8, Lynn Township, and he was born in Eastern Sweden, May 20, 1834. He was the third child in a family of six, and the son of a Swedish farmer who lived and died in his native country, and whose name was Stephenson Johnson. The mother, Sarah (Orinson) Johnson, also died in the country of her nativity.
Our subject lived at home until he was reared to manhood, and was married at that time, in April, 1853; his wife, Anna Larson, was born Aug. 10, 1828. She was born in Eastern Sweden, and her parents were farmers who lived and died in their native country. After marriage our subject lived and worked at general labor in his native Sweden, and in June, 1868, he and his wife and five children came to the west. They came directly to Henry County, where they lived for nine years. They left that place, and, removing to Knox County, have since resided here, in Lynn Township. Their farm they have beautified and improved, having held it since 1882. He owns 160 acres in his present homestead, and they have raised a family of ten children, five of whom are deceased. The following are their names: Matilda, wife of John Farmander, who resides in Phelps County, Neb., and is a farmer; Charles G. is married to Carrie Yden, and lives in Polk County, Neb., and is also a farmer; Alfred J., now residing in Polk County, Neb; Louis and Annie L. both reside at home.
Mr. and Mrs. Stephenson are agreeable and congenial people, who occupy a wide sphere of usefulness, and belong to the Swedish Lutheran Church. Mr. Stephenson is an earnest Republican, and seldom fails to vote for his party.
STUCKEY, JOHN A., Sheriff of Knox County and one of the most faithful officials the county was ever favored with, is the son of George W. and Mary (Compher) Stuckey, natives of Pennsylvania and of German and English extraction respectively. He was born in Bedford County, Pa., Nov. 29, 1835. The senior Mr. Stuckey was a farmer in earlier life, and still resides in his native county at the age of 73 years. His wife’s death occurred in 1861. They reared three sons and three daughters, the subject of our sketch being the eldest of the family.
John A. Stuckey grew to manhood upon his father’s farm, alternating the duties thereon with attendance at the common schools, where he acquired the rudiments of an English education. He came to Knox County in the fall of 1856, locating first at Altona. He removed from there in 1862, to a farm near Knoxville, but returned in 1865 to Altona and there was engaged in the hardware and agricultural implement business up to 1873. From the year 1873 to 1877, he devoted his time to ditching and ditching machines, and in 1877-80, he was Deputy Sheriff under A. W. Berggren. In the fall of 1880 he was elected Sheriff on the Republican ticket, and served two years, at which time, the law increasing the tenure of the office having gone into effect, he was re-elected in 1882 for the ensuing four years.
Mr. Stuckey was united in marriage at Knoxville, in 1860, with Miss Margaret Norris, a native of Maryland and the four children born to them are George N., a bookkeeper; Samuel B., Deputy Sheriff; Nellie and Johnnie. Mr. Stuckey is known as an active Republican; has filled many minor offices of the township in which he so long resided; is a member of the I .O .O. F.., identified with no particular church, and enjoys the friendship and confidence of all the better elements of the community. Though not wealthy, he is in comfortable circumstances, and like a majority of the men worthy of a place in this volume, what of this world’s goods he has have been acquired by his own individual effort and industry. It is gratifying to the publishers to present a portrait of this gentleman in connection with this brief outline of his life, and we know his friends, who are found in all parts of the county, will be highly pleased. Mr. Stuckey is a stern, matter-of-fact sort of a man and admirably fitted for the responsible position he holds.
BARNETT, JOHN T., resides on section 18 in Galesburg Township, and is a prominent farmer in his vicinity. He was born in Sullivan County, Tenn., on the 20th of October 1809, and remained at his parent’s home up to his 21st year. His father, James H., was born on the Oconee River, in the State of Georgia, on the 27th of September, 1788. He moved however, at a later date, to East Tennessee, and there entered into mercantile pursuits. He subsequently taught school for some years, and died on the 22nd of September 1822. His wife was Miss Mary A. Tipton, whom he married about the year 1808. She was born on the 3rd of March 1793, in Shenandoah County, Virginia. She died on her birthday, March 3, 1869 in Sangamon County, IL. By the marriage four children were born—John T., William, Joseph H., and Nancy. John T. and Joseph are the only survivors of the family. The former, the subject of this notice, married Miss Melinda Robinson on the 22nd of Nov. 1831 in Sangamon Co, IL. This good lady was born on the 11th of November, 1806 in Oneida County, N.Y. By the union there were born as follows: James R., Sept. 22, 1832; Charles M., Dec 24, 1833; Elkan, Feb. 2, 1834; William, Jan. 8, 1836; Mary E., April 1, 1838; Emily J., Aug.7, 1840; Martha J., Aug.7, 1842; and Joseph A., June 29, 1846.
The father of Mrs. Barnett was Charles Robinson, born in New York on the 5th of June 1785. He married Miss Jerusha Kellogg, who was born Nov. 15, 1785, the ceremony taking place on June 22, 1804. Her demise occurred on the 23rd of August, 1836. Charles, her husband, died on the 4th of October 1840. They were both from Oneida Co, N.Y., and had the following children: Chauncy, born March 27, 1805; Melinda, Nov. 11, 1806; John K., Oct. 2, 1808; James, Sept. 11, 1810; Lucinda, July 20, 1814; Louis, Oct. 28, 1816; Maria, Jan. 10, 1819; Eliza R., June 4, 1820; Julia A., Feb. 14, 1822; Charles, Feb. 15, 1824; and Seth K., Dec. 7, 1827. Of the above family Seth and Charles were born in Illinois, and Chauncy and Melinda in New York. The parents first arrived in Illinois in 1822. The subject of this biography, accompanied by his mother and stepfather, Mr. Richard Dunlap, came in 1829. He is now the possessor of 143 acres of prime land, on which is erected a comfortable residence and suitable out-buildings. On the 22nd of November, 1881, Mr. Barnett had the great pleasure of celebrating his golden wedding. This was a great event in his and his wife’s life, and drew around the family a large circle of warm sympathizers and old acquaintances. He has been elected Justice of the Peace, and for 20 years has served in that office with special distinction. In the office of County Commissioner for several years he has acted with untiring energy and credit to himself. This latter post he has held in Hancock County. He has also filled the position of Assessor of Galesburg Township for five years, as well as filling the office of Town Clerk for four years. Politically he has always been a Democrat, and voted for Andrew Jackson for President, in 1832, and has voted for President at each presidential election since then. Now, at the age of 77, we find him hale and hearty. He has always been regarded as public-spirited, and enterprising. He is a fair type of the pioneer settlers of the State who are fast passing away.
BARTON, THOMAS M., is a farmer, a resident on section 16 in Knox Township, and is one of the most solid and substantial men in that vicinity. He is well known and popular in his county and township, and has been very prosperous in his chosen vocation. He was born in Chestnut Township, Nov. 3, 1840, and is the son of Ozias and Rachel (Massie) Barton. He assisted his father on the farm during boyhood and was educated in the district schools.
He made his home under the parental roof until his marriage, March 6, 1862. This was celebrated with Amelia Humphrey as the other contracting party. She was born in Tuscarawas County, Ohio, Feb. 17, 1845, and is the daughter of Elder Cyrus and Henrietta (Baughman) Humphrey. At the time of his marriage, Mr. Barton located in Chestnut Township, where he rented land two years; was then in Knox Township two years, and subsequently bought the farm he now occupies. Seven children were born of their union—George H., Rachel L., John Q., Mary Henrietta, Cyrus A., Almond E., and Phebe Arizona.
Mr. Barton is a member of Pacific Lodge, No. 400, A.F.& A.M., and Wataga Lodge, I.O.O. F., and Knoxville Lodge, K.of L. George H. Barton is also a member of Pacific Lodge, No. 400.
Mr. B. has always been a Republican in politics and takes considerable interest in the affairs of the nation, and has so long been an actor in political affairs that he knows much of the growth and progress of the Republican party. He cast his first vote for Abraham Lincoln.
In the main Mr. Barton has been successful in life, but was the recipient of a heavy blow in the loss of his home in 1875. His house was a two-story frame building, and at six o’clock in the evening, on the 5th of August, in that year, the family being all at home, they were rendered almost entirely helpless with terror by a cyclone striking the house. It came upon them with tremendous force, tearing the house by atoms, yet, by some miracle, or other intervention of God’s providence, no lives were lost, although all the family were more or less hurt, Mr. Barton having six ribs broken. Parts of the house were carried in every direction and for long distances. It was an hour of the greatest fear and trouble, yet so thankful were they to a protecting God for His goodness in saving their lives that the loss of their home, though heavy, seemed to them as of minor consequence. The husband and wife were laid up for several months, and cared for with the utmost kindness and brotherly sympathy by the Masonic fraternity of Knoxville. All through his illness they paid the bills and made good his loss by rebuilding the house, which now stands where the old one was torn down, a monument of that charity which teaches us to do unto others as we would be done by.
Bro. E.T. Eads was a Worshipful Master of Pacific Lodge, No. 400, at the time of the cyclone. He and his wife were as a father and mother to the stricken family. They left nothing undone that they could do. Their kindness the family will never forget.
CROCKER, FRANCIS ORMAN, after an active business life covering full half a century, Mr. Crocker finally retired to private life in Galesburg in 1883. His parents, John and Rebecca (Tibbetts) Crocker, natives of Maine, where they were married, emigrated to Dearborn County, Indiana in 1818, and Mr. C. lived there until 1836, when the senior Mr. C died at the age of 55 years. His widow survived him nearly a quarter of a century, and died in St. Joseph County, Indiana in 1872.
Our subject was born in Exeter, Maine, Aug. 20, 1815 and was the 3rd child and first son born in the family that reared 6 sons and 3 daughters. The paternal ancestor was a farmer by occupation, and the 6 sons were brought up to that honorable vocation, and received such learning as was readily attainable at the log-cabin schoolhouse at that day in a State famous for its primitiveness even unto this time. In 1841 the subject of this sketch came to Illinois, and for 12 years farmed in Henderson County. In 1855 he became a resident of Galesburg and entered soon afterward in the grocery business, from which he retired in 1883 with a handsome competency, the result of his individual effort and industry. He has held no offices, figured not in politics, joined no secret order, and proclaimed no sanctification at the shrine of any church.
He was married in Dearborn Co, IN., Sept. 26, 1840, to Miss Mary Brimhall, and their three children are: Oricy Villa, born April 3, 1843, married George Nead, and on January 23, 1880, she died at Galesburg. She left an infant son, Benjamin, who resides with his grandparents. George D., born July 12, 1845, engaged in the grocery business at Galesburg. Emeline, born Aug. 28, 1848, married LeRoy Bates and she died June 12, 1882 at Galesburg, leaving a son—Nealy Bates.
EKINS, GEORGE, one of the most highly esteemed citizens of Knox County, enjoys the distinction of having, by the voice of the people, retained the office of Assessor of the city of Galesburg for 24 consecutive years. He was born in the town of Deal, County of Kent, England, Aug. 6, 1829. His father, George Ekins, was a native of Scotland, and his mother, whose name was Sarah Brown before her marriage, though of Scotch parentage, traced her ancestry to Spain.
The senior Mr. Ekins was a merchant tailor at Deal, where he died in 1851. Our subject, when but 11 years of age, was put at the tailor’s trade under his father, and when 16 years old was foreman of the shop, in which were employed six workmen and four apprentices. It was about that time that the senior Mr. Ekins failed in business, and despite his every effort the debtors’ prison stared him in the face. The principal creditor was known to young George, and the lad went and asked that the business be for a time turned over to him, that he be allowed to manage and direct it, that he might pay his father’s indebtedness and so save him from the fate that so surely awaited him. The creditor happened to be a man not only with some heart, but of judgment, and he saw in the youth before him a determination, an honesty and sincerity of purpose that warranted him in granting the request.
At the age of 21 years, when ready to leave the paternal roof and to go forth into the world and fight the battles that should confront him, young George Ekins, after five years of the most arduous labor, having never slept over four or five hours of any 24 that transpired, turned over to his father the merchant tailoring establishment, free from debt, stocked with the choicest line of goods, and yielding an income amounting to a competency. He was 21 ½ years of age, in the spring of 1848, and possessed of 112 pounds sterling when he came to America. He was accompanied by his wife and four other persons from Deal. In New York City they met Mr. Olmstead Ferris, from Galesburg, and were by him persuaded to come west. Arriving here, Mr. Ekins engaged at once in the tailoring business, which he followed till 1861. In the spring of that year he was elected City Marshal, and held the office for two years, when he was elected to the position he has since continued to hold, and in which he has made a reputation unparalleled in the history of cities.
For some years during the war, our subject was employed as United States Deputy Marshal under A. Martin, of Knoxville. Jan. 1, 1875, to April 1885, he was in the United States Revenue Service as Gauger, of the Fifth District of Illinois. He has always been a Republican in his political convictions, and was a Radical in England, while his father was a Tory. He came to this country fully imbued with the old-line Abolition spirit.
Mr. Ekins was married in his native town, Feb. 28, 1849, to Miss Mary Ann Foster, who has borne to him three children—Adelia, now Mrs. Charles Hasbrook; Frederick, who died at the age of seven years, and Ethelbert, who is a student at Swarthmore College, near Philadelphia. Mr. Ekins is a member of the Knights of Pythias. He has been an extensive real estate dealer, and is now in the insurance business with Ed Clark, the firm being Ekins & Clark, and is in every respect regarded as one of Galesburg’s most enterprising and valued citizens.
Perhaps no man in the county is more widely or favorably known than Mr. Ekins, and as one of its truly representative men, the publishers are pleased to include his portrait in the galaxy of those of leading men of the county given in this Album.
FIFIELD, DR. JOHN L., residing at Victoria village, was born in Salisbury, Merrimac Co, N.H. His parents were Peter and Lydia (Eaton) Fifield, natives of New Hampshire, who came there from Scotland, to which the parents trace back their ancestry. The parental family consisted of six members, all of whom grew up to attain the age of man and womanhood. The record is as follows: John L., Peter, Samuel E., Hiram, Silas C., and Lucy J. The parents died in 1856 and 1880 respectively.
The subject of this sketch remained at home until 17 years of age and then engaged as a teacher and attended school at times until 1830. He commenced to study medicine in 1826, and began the practice of his profession in the same year he left Dartmouth College, at Boscawen, where he remained two years. Then he went to Sutton, in his native State, and there lived seven years. One year later he came to the Prairie State and settled in Rochester, Peoria Co. At this place he continued the practice of medicine for ten years and then removed to Victoria village, and was in active practice until 1870, when he retired from his medical labors. He had often to ride a distance of 40 or 50 miles when he first came to Illinois, before the country was fairly settled, and never refused to go when duty called. In 1850 he made a purchase of 53 acres of desirable land, located on section 17, Victoria Township, subsequently adding to his acreage an additional 160, upon which he has since lived. Dr. Fifield entered the matrimonial state in 1836, at which time he was married to Laura, the accomplished daughter of Joshua Cushman. Her parents are residents of Lebanon, N.H. The family of Dr. Fifield numbers five members: Laura A., now Mrs. G.S. Smith, who is the mother of 4 children—Herbert, Clifton, Franklin, and Nellie. Lydia E. married E.S. Brooks and their union has been blest by the birth of 8 children—Lora, Frank, Sherman, Etta, Lulu, Elliottena, and two others not named. Marie Fifield became the wife of Charles Foster, and to them have been born 5 children—May, Lillie, Carrie, Katie, and an infant unnamed. Mary H. has for a husband J.N. Woolsey, and they are the happy parents of 4 children—Ralph, Ross, Laura, and Robert. John L, Jr. married Miss Emily Hammond and they had two children—Roy and Otis, and he departed this life in 1877. Mrs. Dr. John Fifield died in 1865.
Our subject affiliates with the Democratic party, and has been honored with the office of Justice of the Peace, and is considered one of the prominent and substantial men of his village.
FINCH, OSCAR, follows general farming upon section 20, in Walnut Grove Township. He was born in Ontario County, N.Y., Jan. 21, 1840. His father, Benjamin Finch, was a mechanic and farmer by calling, and a native of the same State. In Ontario, he married Matilda Bennett, of his own State, and came west to Illinois in 1855, bringing with him four of his children, one having preceded him some years before. Twelve children were born to them. Four died in infancy and one at the age of 18. A married daughter came to Illinois in 1854. He followed with his wife and six children, two of whom afterward died.
Mr. Finch remained with his parents until his father’s death, which took place in 1859, when he at once commenced on his own account to face life and win a competency. The farm which he now owns consists of 192 acres, well improved. On the 29th of September, 1884, his mother died at his home, beloved by her surviving relatives and mourned by many who had known her integrity and steadfastness in duty during life.
Our subject was married in Ashtabula County, Ohio, Oct. 18, 1870 to Miss Sarah J. Allyn. This lady was a native of Hart’s Grove, in that county, and her father still lives in that county, where he follows the occupation of farmer. Mrs. F. was reared at home with her parents up to the date of her marriage. By this union she has become the mother of seven children, one of whom is deceased. There are living Dean L., Ettie R., Clarke E., May T., Lee, and Jay, Twins. The name of the deceased was Winnie D.
Since the arrival of our subject in Walnut Grove Township, he has made this vicinity his home, and will probably close here a very useful life. In politics Mr. Finch is of the Independent school, and by the soundness of his judgment and adherence to those principles which he deems most favorable to the country’s good has won to himself the good will and alliance of his political friends.
HOPKINS, CHARLES A., junior member of the firm of Hopkins Bros., liverymen, of Altona, also figures prominently as grain-buyer for George W. Barnett, of Galesburg, he being engaged in grain buying and shipping. He entered the livery business in the year 1865 and was joined by his brother, John W., senior member of the firm, in the year 1876, which was at that time styled and has since been known as Hopkins Bros. Their business is conducted on first-class principles, and their stables are fully equipped with some of the most creditable turnouts in the village.
Mr. Hopkins possesses undisputed ability in all questions relative to business. He is an able financier, keen, wide-awake and shrewd in all moneyed transactions. He commenced business as Mr. Barnett’s grain-buyer in July 1885, to which branch he has given marked attention ever since, carrying it on, however, in connection with his livery business.
Mr. Hopkins was born in Oswego, Kendall Co, IL., Aug. 19, 1846. His father, Samuel B. Hopkins, by vocation a merchant, was born with a New England record, coming of a long line of Eastern ancestors, whose history includes many interesting reminiscences. He lives at Altona. His wife, whose maiden name was Sarah A. Kingman, was born in Fulton County, N.Y., and departed this life at Exira, Iowa in 1855. She was of American parentage and a lady of many physical and mental endowments and graces.
Charles, our subject, was educated in the Kendall County schools, and passed his boyish years and the earlier part of his young manhood at home. In the year 1869, he went to Chicago and engaged with Parrish & Bryden, grocers, as clerk. He afterward entered the employ of C. Grunewald. A short time later he passed one year in the vicinity of Memphis, Tenn. He held the position of collector for Rice Bros. of Memphis, and in 1870 again returned to Chicago, figuring as a clerk, this time with Hopkins & Rogers, stationers and book-dealers. Soon after the great Chicago fire of 1871, which caused such wide-spread financial havoc and panic, he left the city, and during that autumn went prospecting to Portland, Oregon. Returning from his western trip, he again headed for Chicago, and entered the grocery house of J.J. Dwyer, 427 State Street. Here he served as confidential clerk. In 1873 he left their employ, and with a vague desire of seeing more of the country, went this time to San Francisco, later to Los Angeles County, California. Here he remained somewhat longer than he had originally intended, lengthening his stay to three years. It was here that he exercised his mechanical ability in the running of a stationary engine. In 1876 he entered the business in which he is now engaged, as before stated. Mr. Hopkins occupies a wide sphere of usefulness, and is prominent in public affairs. He has held the office of President of the village Board of Trustees for the past two years. He is a member of the Masonic fraternity and has been for 12 years, and is Secretary of that organization. Politically he is a stanch and liberal Republican.
JONES, WALTER N., Lynwood Farm, located on sections 10, 11 and 14, Lynn Township, and comprising 320 acres, is the property of the gentleman whose short biographical sketch we here give. Walter N. Jones was born in Portage County, Ohio, May 7, 1838, of English parentage. His father, Charles H. Jones, was born in 1790, in Herefordshire, England, and was an active business man and extensively engaged in the malting business.
The father of our subject was quite a noted horseman, his forte being in the saddle. He continued to reside in his native land, developing into manhood, and about 1820 was united in marriage with Caroline A. Pickering, the youngest daughter of Sir William Pickering, of Gloucester City. She was a very highly educated lady, and a devout and loving Christian mother and faithful wife until her death, which occurred Feb. 19, 1872, at Rootstown, Ohio. After six children had been born to them, and after sustaining heavy financial losses, the parents determined to emigrate to the United States. They consequently set sail in 1835, and arriving in this country located in Portage County, Ohio, where they followed the occupation of farming. When the father first settled there the country was new, and the laborious toil which is one of the requisites of a successful farmer, especially in a new country, was telling on him, as he had performed no manual labor of any consequence prior to that time. Living there for awhile, the father with his family moved from his original purchase to near Rootstown, Portage County, where he bought a farm and continued actively in his calling until his death in 1856. They were both buried in the old cemetery at Rootstown. After the parents’ arrival in this country four more children were born to them, the subject of this sketch being next to the youngest.
Walter N. Jones resided on the old farm with his parents, until 16 years of age. His life, even prior to that date, was a busy one, the major portion of it being passed on the farm, plowing, clearing out stumps and piling up the stones, as well as chopping and clearing the land. He nevertheless found time to attend the schools during the winter season, being compelled to walk two and a half miles night and morning for that purpose. In 1853 Mr. Jones went to Wooster, Wayne Co, Ohio to learn daguerreotypy, with his brother-in-law, J.W. Wykes, and afterward learned ambrotypy and photography. Buying out Mr. Wykes, our subject continued to follow the business until 1863, meeting with success, and in the meanwhile producing some of the first life-sized photographs made in that section of Ohio, also oil paintings.
Jan. 17, 1860, Mr. Jones was united in marriage with Miss Addie E. James, eldest daughter of J.C. James, of Wooster, Ohio. Her parents were English and among the early settlers of Wooster. In 1866 they removed to Aurora, IL, where her father was engaged in mercantile pursuits and followed the same until within a few years of his death, which occurred June 13, 1879.
Mr. and Mrs. Jones’ first child, Carrie A., was born Nov. 10, 1860, and died May 7, 1861, and is buried in the cemetery at Wooster; Mary Edith was born June 15, 1862; Charles H., Aug. 8, 1864; James W., Oct. 27, 1866; Lottie A., Jan. 29, 1869; George W., Aug. 17, 1873; Emma Hortense, Oct. 16, 1874; and William P., Aug. 19, 1883. Nettie J., Jessie M., and Howard S. died when young, and are buried in the family cemetery on Lynnwood Farm.
In 1863 Mr. Jones sold all of his property in Wooster, Ohio, and made settlement in Lynn Township, on his present fine farm of 240 acres, which he purchased from John Hester. He has since added to his original purchase 80 acres, and the place at this writing comprises 320 acres of good land, under an advanced state of cultivation, and is one of the very best stock and grain farms in Knox County. It is three and a half miles southeast of the pleasant little city of Galva, on sections 10, 11 and 14, in Lynn Township. It has a commanding view of the surrounding country, and standing upon the highest eminence of his land, one can see six towns scattered throughout the county. On this place our subject is living, engaged in the raising of the cereals, together with breeding and raising fine stock. His specialty in stock is Short-horn cattle, fine sheep and Poland-China swine, together with road and trotting horses. In the different branches of his vocation he is meeting with far more than ordinary success.
NELSON, ADOLPH F., Mr. Nelson is a native of Sweden, where he was born in February 1839. He may be numbered among those who have carved out for themselves, by perseverance and steadily adhering to duty, a position in life only attainable by self-made men. He is now engaged in general farming, on section 23, in Walnut Grove Township. His father, Nels P. Johnson, is still residing in his native country, with his wife, Joanna (Stinson) Johnson.
The gentleman whose name heads this notice lived with his parents up to the date of his marriage, June 24, 1864. His wife, Miss Christina C. Freid, was born in Sweden, June 11, 1837, and lived with her parents up to the date of their demise. By her union with Mr. Nelson she has become the happy mother of four children, two of whom are now deceased. Carl G. was born in Sweden, Nov. 1, 1865, and Anna C. June 11, 1868, while her parents were on their way to the United States. In 1868 Mr. Nelson took up his residence in the State of Illinois, first locating in Altona, where he began work as a general laborer on a farm. His first land was purchased in Walnut Grove Township, in the year 1874. This, however, he had rented for some years. He is now the owner of two farms, in all consisting of 280 acres, and this in a highly improved condition. One of these farms lies in Lynn Township, and includes 124 acres. His Walnut Grove farm has upon it some very fine farm buildings.
The family are all members of the Swedish Lutheran Church at Altona, where Mr. and Mrs. Nelson are held in the best of esteem by their community. Politically Mr. Nelson is a sound Republican and keeps himself well informed upon all matters associated with the body politic.
NEWBURG, ERIC, a retired farmer, is the subject of this historical sketch, whose home lies on section 28 of Copley Township. He may be cited as one of the most progressive and prosperous men in Knox County and one of her representative citizens. He is a vigorous factor in public affairs, and is considered one of the wealthiest men of that section.
Mr. Newburg was born in Sweden, Dec. 24, 1814. His parents, Jonas and Anna (Erickerson) Erickerson, were both natives of Sweden, in which country they departed this life. A family of four children grew up about them, of whom our subject was the eldest. He remained at home until he reached the age of 17, and up to that time assisted on the farm, attending school a good share of the time. By his prompt attention to his studies, coupled with native intelligence, he became well informed and fairly educated. When he left home he worked out on a farm until 1846, at which time he purchased a small place and commenced to the furniture business. His beginning was humble, and the outgrowth of his plans has been a success far exceeding his expectations. He came to America in 1850, and entered Henry County, working at Bishop Hill. Here he would not remain any length of time, owing to his indignation at a story imposed on his too credulous wife. He had married, in Sweden, in 1846, a Miss Lena Larson, and by persuasions and threats of the dire consequences that would come upon her if she left the place, they succeeded in detaining her, so far as Mr. Newburg knows, for he left Bishop Hill and came to Copley Township. He labored in Knox County until he obtained funds to purchase a team. He then began to work on a railroad, and burning lime, sold the same and took land to clear of wood and stumps. He labored at this until 1860, and then purchased 160 acres where he now lives. He has built on his homestead a good residence and other necessary buildings, barns, sheds, fences, etc., and broken and improved the land to the highest degree. Here he has carried on mixed farming and paid some attention to the raising of grain and stock.
He received a divorce from the wife, who remained at Bishop Hill, refusing to go with him out of fear of the Prophet, and after this, in 1859, he took to himself a second wife, Martha Lawson by name, a native of Sweden likewise. Five children are the result of this union, four of whom are still living—Matilda, George, Johanna, and Christina. Frank died in 1882, aged 16. Mrs. Newburg died in 1875, and his third wife, whom he married in 1884, was Johanna Johnson, also a Swedish lady. She came to America in 1880, having lost her father in her native country in 1841. Her mother remarried, her second husband being Peter Peterson; they came to America and settled in Copley Township, where they still live. Mrs. Newburg by her former husband, Andrew Johnson, had five children, by name Johanna F., Andrew, Albertina, Hanson, and Ida. His third wife left him in March, 1886 and is now living in Copley Township with her son.
Mr. Newburg is an upright Christian gentleman, and is unsurpassed in solid worth and the attributes that constitute nobility of soul. His wife is also an estimable member of the society to which she belongs, and they are united by profession of faith to the Methodist Episcopal Swedish Church. In politics our subject is independent.
POTTER, COL. LEANDER H., deceased, was born at Midland, N.Y., March 15, 1829, and died at Galesburg July 11, 1879. Thus briefly we chronicle the beginning and ending of a noble life. A life devoted more to the interest of humanity than to self is always noble. Such a life, in the latter part of the 19th century, has become so rare that he who lives it is isolated from the rest of mankind to an extent that involves sacrifices, often of the most serious and trying character.
If the wealthiest man in the United States were to plant himself squarely upon the Golden Rule, he could not live up to it a decade without impoverishing his family. And yet there are unselfish men; there are men who sacrifice golden opportunities for worldly advancement in devotion to a principle, the basis whereof is a desire to benefit mankind. Once in awhile you find a man who is ambitious and feels that the world is better for his having lived in it.
Col. Potter left little in this world’s goods, but he scattered his bread upon the waters in the faith that it would return at a future day. At his home in Rockford, IL., whither his parents had removed, he fitted himself for college, and in 1854 graduated from Yale. Leaving Yale College, he taught school awhile in Maryland; later on he had charge of the High School in Chicago, and in 1859 he went to Bloomington, IL., as Professor of Languages at the State Normal University. He was at Bloomington when the Rebellion broke out, and on Sept. 4, 1861, he enrolled at Camp Butler, IL, as a private soldier, and upon the organization of the 33rd IL. Vol. Inf. (“Normal”) he became Captain of Co. A. Sept. 15, 1862, he was promoted to Major of the 33rd, and May 29, 1863, to Lieutenant-Colonel; the order of promotion showing that it was conferred as a reward of valor. Sept. 12, 1864 he left the army, by resignation, at Cotton Plant, Arkansas. He was several times wounded while in the service, which led to the disability that caused his death.
Soon after leaving the army he was called to Beloit, Wis., as Principal of a high school, and from there he went to Fulton, IL., as President of a State military institution. From Fulton, in 1876, he came to Galesburg, where he held a professorship in Knox College two years, making for himself a name and reputation for sociability, intellectuality and merit as an educator that should cause him to be remembered in the hearts of the people who appreciate true worth under all circumstances.
Prof. Potter was first married at New Haven, Conn., July 26, 1858, to Miss Mary A. Josephine Bartlett, who died at Lowden, Iowa Oct. 15, 1869. She buried one child and left four living; Charles A. a teacher in Colorado; Alice Sherman, a teacher in Galesburg; Theodore Bartlett, a druggist at Chicago; and Harry B. Gray, a student. The deceased, Ella Gertrude, was three years and eight months old when she died, Jan. 25, 1863. May 22, 1871, Col. Potter was again married, his second wife being named Martha Irwin, at Clinton, Iowa. The children born to her and her husband are Leander Irwin and Herman Hubbel. Col. Potter was a member of the G.A.R. and for many years identified with the Congregational Church, as is also his wife.
SCHWARTZ, EDWIN, M.D., one of the principal citizens and more important physicians of Knoxville, Dr. Schwartz is made the subject of this historical notice, the principal points in his life being herein recorded. He is a member of the Military Tract Medical Society, and is Medical Examiner of Knox Lodge, No. 126, A.O.U.W. He was appointed Physician to the Knox County Almshouse in April 1886. He is considered proficient in his knowledge of medicine and receives the confidence and patronage of the people of his town.
Dr. Schwartz first saw the light of day in Knox County, March 31, 1854. He is the son of Daniel and Elizabeth (Williamson) Schwartz (see sketch), and was educated in the district school during his boyish years. Showing actual talent, keen intelligence and a strong inclination to devote himself arduously to his studies, larger advantages were bestowed upon him. He entered Knox College, and in 1878 began the study of medicine with Dr. Madison Reese of Abingdon. Here he continued working untiringly for a period of two years, when he went into Rush Medical College in Chicago, the better to perfect himself in the pursuit of his profession. From this institution he graduated Feb. 22, 1881, and in the ensuing May began his practice, receiving, as previously stated, a substantial patronage and flattering confidence from his old friends and neighbors.
On the 7th of December, 1882, he took to wife Miss Alice Raridon, who was born in Haw Creek Township, and who was the daughter of John and Mary (Richmond) Raridon. Resulting from this union has been the birth of one child—Louise Fenimore. The Doctor and his wife are considered desirable neighbors, and are heartily esteemed and liked in the community of which they are members. The Doctor takes an interest in politics and is a Democrat in sentiment and belief. He is a useful man in local and public affairs and belongs to Knoxville Lodge, No. 66, A.F.& A.M. He fills a wide field of usefulness, and may be considered one of the most solid and substantial men in that section of country.
SEACORD, WILKINS, Superintendent of the C., B.& Q. R.R. stockyards at Galesburg and Quincy, resident on South Broad Street, Galesburg, IL, traces the blood of his paternal ancestors to the Huguenots of France. His grandfather was a subordinate officer under Marquis de La Fayette, and coming to American with the gallant hero, decided to remain. His son, Wilkins, the immediate ancestor of the subject of this notice, married Hulda J. Morris. Both were natives of New York and of the two sons and three daughters reared by them, Wilkins, Jr. was next to the youngest. Wilkins, Sr. was for many years a member of the General Assembly of New York, in which State he spent his entire life, dying in 1862, at the age of 61 years. His widow survived him some 15 or 16 years, and died at the age of 71 or 72 years.
The subject of this sketch was educated at the common schools; learned something of the blacksmith’s trade, worked at farming awhile; left home when about 22 years of age; drifted about through Ohio, Michigan and Indiana, and finally on October 10 1855, landed at Galesburg. Here he taught school awhile, broke prairie, and in the spring of 1857 engaged in business at Oneida. From the spring of 1862 to 1868, he was engaged in the meat and live stock business, which he abandoned in the latter year and removed to Knoxville, then the county seat of Knox County, and there filled the office of Sheriff during the two years for which he was elected. In 1870 he returned to Galesburg and took charge of the stockyards. In 1876, the Superintendency of the Quincy yards was added to his duties, and the two places have since been under his care. In connection with his stockyard labors, his extensive rendering establishment, his three large farms, his banking interests, etc., it is safe to say that Mr. Seacord has quite enough to keep him busy.
Our subject was born in Orange County, N.Y., Sept. 20, 1833; he was married in Knox County, Oct. 1, 1857, to Miss Keren L. Courtright, who died November 1869, leaving three children—Fred, now a prominent stock-grower and farmer; Louisa (Mrs. John Wilcox); and D.F., an importer and breeder of thoroughbred horses. Mr. Seacord married his present wife, Mrs. Fannie M. Hollowell, nee Turner, at Kansas City, Sept. 20, 1883. He is Republican in politics, and a member of the A.F.& A.M. He is liberal in religion, and at one time took an interest in the Universalist Church.
, M.D., the subject of this historical sketch is station and express agent of the C., B.& Q. R.R. Co., at Oneida, and became connected with the company during the year 1868, operating in different places on the main line and its branches ever since. While occupying a situation on the Keithsburg branch of this line of road, he began the study of medicine, giving to it a small share of his time. After pursuing it during his spare hours, he in the winter of 1881-82, went to Hahnemann Medical College, in Chicago, from which he graduated Feb. 20, 1883. After returning to his home in Oneida, his medical practice, in which he was largely successful, engrossed a fair share of his time, and at this he continued for six months, but, owing to a vacancy in the office of station agent of that place, which was tendered him, he at once assumed its duties, which he has from that time successfully discharged, continuing in the practice of his profession a small share of his time.
Dr. Whitcomb was born in Oxford, Henry Co, IL., Jan 18, 1848. His father, Henry Whitcomb, a farmer, resides in Montgomery County, Kansas, where he owns a valuable and productive farm, and is highly esteemed as an industrious man and a worthy citizen. He claims the Empire State as his place of birth, and though of American parentage, is of English ancestry and blood. His marriage to Miss Fally Woodman, who was born in Hamilton, Madison Co, N.Y., was celebrated in Hamilton. Mrs. Whitcomb lived, previous to her marriage, in New York, and was reared on a farm. Her father was a hero of Revolutionary fame, and claimed Washington as a commander. He died a few years after that never-to-be-forgotten struggle for American liberty that stands out with such distinctness on the records of the nation. He closed his life in Madison County, N.Y., having attained to a hale old age. The family ancestry was similar in origin to that of the Whitcomb line.
Dr. Whitcomb was the youngest of a family of seven children, consisting of five sons and two daughters, of whom three of the former and one of the latter yet survive. His parents, with their little family, came to Illinois, purchasing new land, from which they hoped to create a home for future years, in Oxford, Henry County, after having first lived one year in Knox County, which was at that day an unbroken expanse of prairie land. Locating on this wild tract, in Oxford Township, the father and sons began cultivating and improving the land, which they continued to reside upon till 1866, when they removed to Altona, Knox County. From this time the father took no specially active part in farm work, but operated land through the agency of others, and finally closed his business in this State by removing to Kansas, as before noted, in the year 1871. The death of the mother occurred at Coffeyville, Kansas, Sept. 10, 1885, which was the 56th anniversary of her marriage to Mr. Whitcomb. She had reached the advanced age of 80 years.
Dr. Whitcomb grew to manhood on his father’s farm, and was educated in the public schools of Oxford and Altona. At the age of 20 years, naturally being bright and intelligent, with promising mind and an intellectual bearing, he entered the C., B. & Q. R.R. office and began the study of telegraphy. Completing his knowledge of this art, he soon after assumed the duties connected with the office and discharged them skillfully and to the entire satisfaction of his employers.
In March, 1865, he enlisted and entered the Civil War as a Union soldier, in the 83rd Reg. IL. Vol. Inf., Co D, Capt. Snyder, of the Cumberland Division of the Federal Army. He participated in no active engagements, but did garrison duty, at which he continued till he received an honorable discharge at the cessation of hostilities, in September 1865, at Springfield, IL. At Altona, Knox County, March 11, 1871, he was united in marriage to Miss Mary E. Hill, daughter of O.B. Hill, who was born in Ohio, and who, having lost her mother early in childhood, was reared by her father and friends, with the former of whom she made her home until her marriage.
To Dr. Whitcomb and wife have been born three children, as follows: Bertie E., born Jan 25, 1872; Mabel V., May 1, 1873; and Silas C., Nov. 22, 1878. While at Altona, the Doctor was Village Clerk one term; at New Windsor he held the same office two terms, and though far from being an office-seeker, he is eminently well-fitted to fill any official position to which he may be elected. In politics he is an independent Republican, and takes a lively interest in the workings of that party.
S 4 KNOX COUNTY
ADAMS, ANDREW, deceased. In tracing the history of Knox County and looking out the origin of many points in its growth, we find as its support and help the many influential, good and worthy men, who aided its foundation and who helped along its progress. Among these stands prominently the name of our subject, who resided on section 34, Maquon Township, and who was one of the important factors in its prosperity.
He came to Knox County in the spring of 1857, from Rome, N.Y., being accompanied by his wife and five children. His first purchase was made on section 34, Maquon Township, where he resided until his demise, which occurred July 25, 1885.
Our subject was born in Ireland, and crossed the briny waters of the Atlantic when ten years of age. Upon his arrival here he located in New York State, where he remained until his removal to Knox County in 1857. His marriage occurred Dec. 25, 1835, at Rome, N.Y., at which time Sarah Conradt became his wife. She was born April 13, 1809, at Rome, N.Y. The issue of the union of Mr. and Mrs. Adams has been six children, bearing the following names: Charlotte, Mary, William, Benjamin, Andrew, and Martha. William and Benjamin are the only surviving children. The former married Elizabeth Jacobs and they make Maquon Township their home. Benjamin Adams became the husband of Sophia Walters, daughter of L.J. Walters (see his sketch), and they are residents of Peoria. Mr. Andrew Adams adhered to the faith of the Episcopalian Church, of which denomination he was a member.
Since the death of her husband, Mrs. Adams has become the possessor of 160 acres of land, upon which she is passing the remainder of her days in peace and in the full enjoyment of a life well spent.
ALEXANDER, WILLIAM P., prominent among the able men and representative citizens of Knox County may be named the subject of this biographical narrative, a summary of whose life is herein recorded. He is a farmer in Sparta Township and his homestead is situated on section 31 and is known as one of the most desirable in the neighborhood. His handsome residence, which was erected in 1883, is worthy of notice, and his home has been the field of labor to which he has devoted his heartiest energies. Mr. Alexander was born in Greene County, Ohio, Nov. 26, 1834, and his parents are Joseph and Mary (Pollock) Alexander, natives of Kentucky and Nova Scotia. In the year of 1809 they came to Ohio, and there continued until 1845, when the father died. A family of six children grew up about them, by name as follows: Hosea Y., William P., Mary A., Theodore C., John S., and Cynthia J. The mother of this family still survives and lives at Aledo, IL. She came to Illinois with her family in 1850, settling in Warren County, from which she moved subsequently to Mercer County.
Our subject remained under the parental roof until he was 16 years of age, and while in Ohio attended school. The first day of his commencing school he was thrown into the society of Whitelaw Reid, who is now an editor in New York City and famed throughout the entire country.
After William left home he drove a team of six yoke of oxen for the breaking of prairie land. At this hard labor he continued for five years, and in 1861 rented a farm in Mercer County, IL., where he remained until 1868. He then moved to Knox County, purchasing the 80 acres of land on which he now lives. This he has cultivated, beautified and adorned until it is indeed a home in the truest sense, and an abiding place “To the stranger within the gates.”
In the year 1864, he united his heart and fortune with those of Miss Elizabeth Stuart, a native of West Virginia. Mrs. Alexander was blessed with those qualities that go to make up a true woman, and has proved a devoted and valued companion—“A perfect woman, nobly planned.” They have four living children, by name, Evan, Harrie E., Mary Z., and Floyd E.
Mr. Alexander is a Republican in politics, taking great interest in national affairs, and devotes himself more or less to educational interests, holding the position of School Director in his district.
McGIRR, LESLIE, attorney at law, Maquon, is the eldest son of the family of Mahlon and Sarah L. (Barbero) McGirr. (See sketch of Mahlon McGirr and also of Nathan Barbero, deceased). Our subject was born in Maquon. His early life was spent at home after the usual manner of boys of his period. His father followed the peaceful and independent calling of farming, and young McGirr assisted him in the duties thereof until 1873, when he engaged as a pedagogue.
He taught for the first time in Elba Township. He was classed among the most successful teachers and we find him engaged as Principal of the school at St. Augustine, and later on he held the same office in a school at Prairie City, McDonough Co, this State. His teaching covered a period of 63 months, not, however, without interruption.
During this time he also attended school, having in mind the profession which was his choice and which has been his life work. He attended the Abingdon College for three years. While engaged in teaching and attending school, he took up the study of law and studied three years under the supervision of Leander Douglas, of Galesburg, and was duly admitted to the Bar, Nov. 13, 1882.
In May, the following year, he located in Maquon, where he still remains in the practice of his profession. He is a Notary Public and with a fast increasing business, his prospects for studying and gaining a place in his profession is indeed flattering.
Our subject takes an active interest in all the affairs of the day, and being of a genial disposition has a host of friends. We find him prominently connected with the Masonic Fraternity and also that of the I.O.O. F.
BEHRINGER, MRS. ELLEN, the lady of this personal narration is the relict of Michael Behringer, who departed this life October 30, 1870. She is one who has occupied a wife’s sphere of usefulness, and has known the hardships of a pioneer’s life. She came to Galesburg at an early day, and recollects the time, when that now pleasant and populous little city, was sparsely inhabited, and the inconveniences of which were neither few nor far between. From what was almost a wilderness, she has watched the growth and advancement of a section of country that has veritably “Blossomed as a rose.”
Mr. Behringer was born April 4, 1824, and was a native of Germany. His parents were George and Susan Behringer, who were both natives of Germany. Michael emigrated to America, May 31, 1853, and settled in Chicago. From this point he engaged in railroading, which occupation he followed until his death.
His marriage occurred Dec. 8, 1854, with Miss Ellen, daughter of Daniel and Christine (Hutman) Smith. Her parents were natives of Germany, as was also Mrs. Behringer. They died in Germany, the dates of their deaths being 1861 and 1853, respectively. In the year that chronicles her mother’s death, the daughter came to America, and coming west to Illinois, located in Chicago. In that city she was united in marriage as before mentioned. Following this event they removed to Galesburg, Knox County, where Mr. Behringer followed his occupation as a railroad man. He had purchased 100 acres of land in Sparta Township, in 1865, on which the widow at present resides.
Mrs. Behringer is the mother of four children living, by name—George, Daniel, William, and Ellen.
The home place is still worked by Mrs. Behringer, and she has shown an undaunted spirit of persevering energy. She and her family are members of the Lutheran Church of Galesburg, and work heartily and unitedly for the good of their fellowmen.
Mr. Behringer, during his life was a stanch Democrat, adhering to the doctrines of that party. He, in addition to his ordinary work, took charge of the repairing of cars, and was a man so diligent in business that he won the entire confidence of the community and was respected by all who knew him.
DAWDY, LANSING J., but a few short years ago the fine productive farms which can now be seen in almost any direction in the county, were wild and uncultivated tracts of prairie land. They have been brought to an advanced condition through the energy and perseverance of men who came here to establish permanent homes and who have labored industriously to that end. Yet, not alone to the agriculturist is the advancement and growth of Knox County attributable. The business men—the merchants and the professional men—were alike necessary to develop the county to the magnificent position it occupies today in comparison with other counties of the State. As one of Knox County’s most honored and respected citizens, and a gentleman who has been identified with its past growth and development as a farmer and merchant, we take pleasure in mentioning the name of Lansing J. Dawdy.
The parents of Mr. Dawdy, Howell and Elizabeth (Ralston) Dawdy, were natives of Kentucky. They were married in that State and continued to reside there until they came to Marshall County, IL. From the latter county they removed hither in 1838, locating in Indian Point Township. There the father followed farming for a livelihood for about five years, when, with his family, he removed to Chestnut Township, and there his good wife, mother of our subject, died in 1845. The father afterward broke up house-keeping and concluded to live with his children in McDonough County, IL., until his demise in 1864. He and his wife were the parents of nine children, named: Alfred R., James H., William R., John A., Margaret M., Lansing j., Joseph M., Andrew J., and Henry C.
Lansing J. Dawdy was born while his parents lived in Marshall County, this State, June 16, 1837, and was about one year of age when his parents came to this county. Having lived here continuously since that time, Mr. Dawdy may be said to have been identified with the best interests of Knox County during his life. He spent his early years on a farm, and attended school, alternating the two until 20 years of age. He then spent one season in Kansas, and after returning to this State, entered Abingdon College, and was there engaged in study for about a year.
At the breaking out of the late Civil War, our subject was engaged in the work of a pedagogue, but abandoned the same, and August 1, 1862, enlisted in the 86th Illinois Volunteer Infantry, and served his country bravely and well for two years and nine months. He enlisted as a private and was promoted to Adjutant of the Regiment. In the battle of Kenesaw Mountain, June 27, 1864, he was wounded by a shot through the body, and at the same time taken prisoner. He was confined at Atlanta and during the time made many friends among the enemy. He was about to be taken to the residence of a private family, by consent of the surgeon in charge, and a room and bed was prepared for him in the domicile spoken of, but just as he was on the point of being removed a shell from Sherman’s guns came crashing through the house and completely demolished the bed in which he was to lie. He was also confined at Macon, Savannah, and Charleston and was paroled at the latter place, and came from there to Annapolis, Md., and two weeks later he was sufficiently recovered to travel. After convalescing he went to Camp Chase, early in January, 1865, near Columbus, Ohio, and took charge of the paroled forces, and continued there until March, when he was transferred to St. Louis, and from there sent to the Officer’s Hospital, Cincinnati, Ohio, where, on the 1st day of May, 1865, he received an honorable discharge. During the time Mr. D was in the service, he passed through a good many engagements; among the most noteworthy was Perryville, Ky., Mission Ridge, Sheppard’s Run, Buzzard’s Roost and that of Kenesaw Mountain.
Receiving his discharge from the army, our subject at once returned to his home in this county and again entered upon the peaceful pursuits of life. He engaged as merchant’s clerk in a dry-goods store in Maquon village, the firm being D. Housh & Sons, and was in their employ, off and on, for three years. In the fall of 1868, Mr. Dawdy removed to Iowa, where he embarked in the nursery business, and continuing at the same for six years met with signal success. At the end of this time he disposed of his stock, returned to Maquon and there resided until 1878, in the meanwhile speculating in whatever offered him a chance to increase his exchequer.
In 1878, he entered the employ of G.D. Crocker at Maquon, and had charge of the store which he soon afterward bought, and which business he conducts at the present time. He carries a good stock of general merchandise and by fair and honest dealing with his patrons has established a constantly increasing trade. He owns village property at that place and also a farm in Iowa.
Mr. Dawdy was married in Maquon village, Feb. 8, 1866, to Alice E. Huber, daughter of S.A. and Ruth (Barrett) Huber. Her parents were among the pioneers of this county and made their settlement in Haw Creek Township. They are now residents of Maquon, and the children born to them were three in number; Alice E., Catherine, and Belle. Mrs. Dawdy was born in Haw Creek Township, Jan. 21, 1849. She and her husband are the parents of three children: Lansing J., Jr.; Callista L., and Emma H.
Mr. Dawdy has been Township Clerk, Assessor, and also a member of the Village Board. Socially, he is a prominent member of the order of Masonry, and likewise belongs to Post 552, G. A. R.
Religiously, Mrs. Dawdy is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. In politics Mr. D. votes with the Democrats
SHUMAKER, HARRISON, the records of Knox County include the names of many worthy citizens and industrious, able men, and among them may be noted the subject of this biographical narrative, a summary of whose life is herein given. He is a farmer and stock-grower of Indian Point Township, the place being familiarly known as Box-elder Grover Herd Farm, and is located one and a half miles northwest of Hermon and five miles southeast of Abingdon. He makes a specialty of stock-growing in addition to his agricultural pursuits and usually owns about 75 head of hogs, and a number of Clydesdale horses and Short-horn cattle. His dwelling is a two-story structure, commodious and convenient, the estimated cost being $2,000. His barn, 36 X 46 feet is large and fully adapted to the purposes for which it is required.
Mr. Shumaker was born in Knox County April 9, 1848, and is the son of John and Abigail (Leigh) Shumaker, both natives of Ohio, and who became the parents of 17 children.
Harrison was united in marriage with Miss Sophia Shoemaker, in February, 1875, who was born in 1850 in Knox County. She was the daughter of John B. Shoemaker, a native of Ohio, born near Columbus, July 5, 1815; he married Miss Sophia Rager, who was born in 1824, and who died in August 1873. They had six children, the first of whom died in infancy: Sarah E. married James Redwood, and she died in June 1878; Jeremiah C. married Miss Clara Anderson, and is living in Abingdon; Mahala J. is the wife of Robert Shumaker and their home is in Knox County; John L. died at the age of four years.
Mr. Shumaker of this sketch has two children, one deceased--Artie L., born Jan 17, 1876; and Elmer, born June 29, 1880, and died Jan 30, 1883.
The brothers and sisters of our subject are as follows:
Mr. S. is a man that takes considerable interest in educational matters and has been School Director for a short time. In politics he is a Republican.
HALL, AMOS, prominent among the well-to-do and successful farmers, stock-raisers and breeders of Knox County, is the subject of this biographical notice, who resides on section 2, Indian Point Township. Mr. Hall was born in Delaware County, Ohio, Sept. 9, 1839. His father was David and his mother Sarah (Sutton) Hall. The father was born in New Jersey, Feb. 8, 1804, and the mother in the same State April 5, 1803, and both are living. They emigrated to this State in 1866, and located in Abingdon, where they are at present residing. The issue of their union was five children: Perry I., Mercer, Rebecca, Amos and Stephen, the latter dying when three years of age. Mr. Hall of this notice, was united in marriage with Miss Mary Platt, Dec. 7, 1865, at Cardington, Morrow Co, Ohio. She was born Aug. 18, 1843, in Delaware Co, Ohio, and is the intelligent and accomplished daughter of Alanson and Rachael (White) Platt, natives of Clinton Co, N.Y., where her father was born, Sept. 7, 1807, and who died in June 1879, in Wisconsin. Her mother was born May 20, 1813 and died in 1848, Delaware Co, OH. Of the children born to the parents of Mrs. Hall, there were eight in number and named: Helen, Ruth & Rhoda (twins), Edward, Charles, Margaret, Mary W. and John B.
The household of our subject has been brightened by the birth of four children and saddened by the death of three. The record is as follows: Frank A., was born Sept. 27, 1866; Rosa, Feb. 1, 1872 and died Sept. 1, 1872; Elsie T., born Sept 16, 1873, died Dec. 18.1878 of diphtheria; John C. born Sept 8, 1877, died Dec. 30 1878 with diphtheria. They also adopted a little girl in 1885, whom they have named Nellie, her birth having occurred Sept. 2, 1883; and our subject has likewise taken into his household a boy, by name of Charlie Baker, to raise to the age of maturity, and who is the son of a widow of that name.
Mr. Hall, in addition to the raising of the cereals, has, during the past, devoted considerable time to the breeding and raising of stock, his specialty of cattle being Polled-Angus. In 1883, he and his son purchased Baron Balgarshaw, a full-blooded Polled-Angus bull. He was imported by J.J. Rogers of Cedar Township, in 1880, and was raised from a calf by Thomas Ferguson, of Kinnochtry Couper, Scotland. The farm of Mr. Hall is known as the Mound Farm, and consists of 360 acres of land under an advanced state of cultivation. It is said to be the highest tract of elevated ground in Knox County, and he has on the place15 head of full-blooded Polled-Angus cattle and 50 head of partially blooded Angus cattle. His bull, Balgarshaw, is one of the best breeders in the country and his daughters have sold for $1,000 a piece. His present weight is 2,000 pounds. The father and son, Iso have another, Prince Harry, also imported from Scotland. He is but two years old, weighs 1,500 pounds and is a pure-blooded Princess. They had still another animal, Lena, now dead, and for whom they paid, together with her calf, young Lena, No. 1761, $1,200. Again, the Princess Beatrice, No. 1695, purchased at a cost of $1,000: Coota comes next and cost $550. Last, but not least among their fine herd, is Princess Maude, No. 5520; she cost $2,000. Mr. Hall and son have no trouble in finding ready sale for all their blooded calves at high prices, for the reason that the record of purity is clear.
As a farmer and stock-raiser, and a gentleman closely identified with the interests of the community in which he resides, in an agricultural as well as a social sense, the subject of this notice is certainly the peer of any. His success in life is the outgrowth of his own individual effort, together with his good judgment and indomitable perseverance.
STEPHENSON, G. L., one of the principal merchants, and one of the most widely known auctioneers of Knox County, is Mr. G.L. Stephenson, of Oneida. He came to this place from an adjoining township in the fall of 1862, but had come into the county in 1850.
He was born in Kirkcudbrightshire, Scotland, Oct. 20, 1838. His father, George, was a native of Aberdeenshire, and of an old Scottish family who for many generations, were located on the same tract of land. The father was married in Ayershire to Isabella McMillen, who was also of Scottish ancestry and parentage. Both families were usually engaged in farming for many years in their respective shires.
The family, consisting of eight children, of whom Mr. S. was the 6th in order of birth, were all born in Kirkcudbrightshire, and all sailed for America in September 1850, landing 5 weeks later at New Orleans. Proceeding up the river to St. Louis, by the advice of an acquaintance they located in Knox County a month later, settling on unbroken prairie in Copley Township. The father at once set about to establish a home and improve his farm, which he successfully managed until his death, Jan. 1, 1883, dying at the venerable age of 83 years. In religion he was a Presbyterian, and in politics a Republican. His first wife died in June 1862, and he was again married, two children being born to him by his second wife, by name of John and Adam.
G. L. was about 13 years of age when the family landed in this county, and he set about to earn his own living three years after reaching his majority. He first began to farm, and also to operate a threshing machine, at which he continued three years successfully.
In 1863 he came to Oneida and established himself in the grocery business in partnership with Mr. Shimer, continuing two years, when he sold to Mr. S., going out of business for one year, when he opened a clothing store with Mr. C. F. Mettson, this firm lasting three years, and after an interval of two years, Mr. S. engaged in this pleasant place, and in the business which he has successfully conducted, and has not only done well, but achieved a good reputation for fair dealing.
In or about the year 1865, he engaged in the calling of an auctioneer for the people of this county, and has since achieved great popularity and success therein. His services are constantly in demand, both for stock selling and other classes of public property, and he has made not only a local but a general reputation throughout this part of the State. Although not an avaricious man, being always fair and liberal in his charges, he has acquired by his industry a pleasant home on Center Street, and also owns four acres of valuable land within the city limits.
October 26th, 1865, he was married in Copley Township, to Miss Grace L. Stewart, who was born in Glasgow, Scotland, in or about the year 1839. Her parents being deceased, she came to America with her uncle, at the age of 12 years, with whom she continued to make her home until marriage. She is the mother of five children, Frank, Milton, Grace, Jessie and George H.
The parents are members of the Presbyterian Church, walking worthily in the precepts of religion, happy in their home life and respected by their friends and neighbors for those sterling virtues which have always distinguished the rugged nationality to which they belong by birth.
Mr. Stephenson shirks no public or private duty, and has served his township four years as Supervisor, the city two years as its Mayor, and is now a member of the City Council. He also stands high in the benevolent orders, being a member of Oneida Lodge No. 337, A. F. & A.M. Oneida Chapter 173, R.A.M. and Galesburg Commandary No. 8, and also I. O. O. F. He is the master of his Masonic Lodge, and served as High Priest of the Chapter for many years.
He is one of the solid Republicans of the county, and has taken an active part in local politics, as every good citizen should. Intelligent, genial, honest and enterprising, new fields of duty and usefulness doubtless await him, and it is of all such citizens that any community may justly be proud, fortunate indeed to possess many like him.
WILSON, FRANCIS, among the most prominent gentlemen who have adorned Knox County and are resident within her boundaries, it is not too much to say that as one, typical and noteworthy for native ability and substantial worth, no better can be named than the subject of this personal narration. He is a farmer, residing on section 30, Persifer Township, and ranks among the foremost of the pioneers of that section, having entered its boundaries in November, 1836. He came from Champaign County, Ohio, and passed a brief time in Knoxville, where he followed blacksmithing as a vocation. In the fall of 1837, owing to the illness of his wife, he moved out of Knoxville to his farm and immediately after the death of his life-long and faithful companion, in the spring of 1838, he removed to Persifer Township, where he settled on section 30. Here he established his home and has ever since remained.
Mr. Wilson was born in Butler County, Pa., March 1, 1809. While he was still young, his parents moved to Champaign County, Ohio, where he engaged himself to learn the blacksmithing trade. When quite young he followed his calling with success, which he also did for about a year after coming to Knoxville.
Locating on section 30, his present home (his introductory purchase being 96 acres), he began his struggle for prosperity and success, and today may be counted as one of the most extensive land owners in Knox County, his possessions including 1,384 acres. He also owns 160 acres in Chariton County, in the State of Missouri. On his homestead he has erected a handsome and commodious set of buildings, complete with every modern convenience and at once attractive, desirable, and lasting.
Mr. Wilson’s unremitting efforts and arduous toil are very marked and stand out in the history of his life with vivid distinctness, as proving beyond question the immense successes to be gained from self-reliance. He is an example to every American youth of patience and persistence of purpose. Following his business in the shop, he united with it his agricultural pursuits, often laboring until midnight and going into the timber during the day. The results of his labors prove that he has been far from a drone in the hive of life.
His first matrimonial alliance was solemnized in Champaign County, Ohio, Jan. 17, 1833, Miss Nancy McPherrin being the other contracting party. She was a native of Ohio and bore him three children: George W., Thomas, and Elizabeth. George W. is deceased; Thomas resides with his father; and Elizabeth is the wife of Martin Brooks, whose home is in Aledo, IL.
Elizabeth had previously married Daniel Anderson, and had by her first marriage five children, two of whom are deceased, and three living. The latter are as follows: James, Archibald, and Francis. By her second marriage she has four children: Lucian, Lena, Emma and one unnamed. Mrs. Wilson died in Knox Township, Jan. 3, 1838.
Mr. Wilson re-married in Knox Township in September 1840, to Elizabeth McPherrin, a sister of his first wife. By this union there were five children: John, James A., Francis M., Drucilla J., and Mary E. Drucilla and Mary are deceased.
Drucilla was the wife of Peter Collins and resided in the Township at the time of her death. She left four children, as follows: John, Ralph, Bessie and Francis B.
John and James A. both live in Galesburg Township.
Francis W. is married to Clara Thomas and resides in Persifer Township with his father, on the home place.
Mr. Wilson’s broad and observant intellect has naturally marked him to be one of the best citizens of this section of country. He is noteworthy for his keen foresight, his untiring energy of purpose and his prompt and active execution. No less is this power and ability shown in his financial prudence. He has engaged largely in stock-raising and has some of the finest thorough-bred animals in the United States. Among them are pure-bred polled Aberdeen or Angus cattle that vary in value all the way from $500 to $2,000 and $3,000. He takes especial pride in this particular breed. His great success is in the department of extensive stock-raising. His horses are among the finest in the vicinity, and of these he has 50 head on hand. They are the Clydesdale breed, and of which stock he has recently purchased a thorough-bred stallion. For many years he has been interested in this department and is one of the pioneers in that branch of industry in his county, probably doing more than any other one man to bring up the grade of stock to its present high standard in his neighborhood.
His stables are among the most convenient and neatly arranged buildings in the county. The care and attention shown in his breeding department has won the praise and caused the surprise of many who have hitherto thought themselves experts in attention to the wants of high-bred animals.
His residence is also considered as handsome, commodious and finely located as any in this section of country, and it is with pleasure that we present a view of it, with its delightful surroundings and some of his fine stock in this volume. He has proved that he “Meant to do much for the honor of God and for all mankind.” He is a Director in the schools and was the first School Treasurer in Persifer Township. A most useful man politically, he is found always ready and has never ceased to identify himself with the Democratic party, whether working for the good of his country or for that organization.
He was unfortunately deprived of a life companion, his second wife dying on Aug. 15, 1882. She was an excellent and trusted member of the Presbyterian Church. The portraits of Mr. Wilson and wife appear on another page.
YOUNG, ROBERT, is a farmer whose home is situated on section 30, Persifer Township, and whose name and history are identified with the pioneers of this section, as he came here in 1844 from Warren County, Ohio, and passed that winter in Knoxville. In the spring of 1845 he came to this township, and settled on section 30, this laying the foundation for his present prosperous and desirable home. With him, to attempt was to succeed, and though his beginning was comparatively humble, being endowed with a large degree of energy and pertinacity of purpose, he has gained beyond his highest expectations, the largest degree of success. This may be awarded that mead of prosperity which is the reward of industry and perseverance.
Mr. Young was born in Warren County, Ohio, March 10, 1821 and moderate advantages were granted him in an educational way. He attended the common school receiving a fair degree of mental cultivation. His parents were Jacob and Elizabeth Young, the former a native of Germany, and the latter an American, and a native of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Most of their lives were passed in Warren County, Ohio, where the father died in 1853. After a short period, succeeding his death, the mother came to Knox County to live with her children, but was spared to them only a brief time, dying in Abingdon, in 1859.
Mr. Young, of this writing, has engaged actively in agricultural pursuits and stock-raising. His landed possessions are extensive and desirable, including 380 acres of land, 260 of which are tillable. His “Barns are filled with plenty”, and his land is beneficently productive.
He lived in his native county until the year 1844, at which time he came to Knox County. He was united in marriage with Mary F. Johnston, who was born in that county June 5, 1826. She was the daughter of Edward C. and Hannah (Rusling) Johnston. They came to Knox County in the fall of 1844, and settled in Knoxville, in which city they departed this life, the father dying in 1851, and the mother in 1882.
The family circle of Mr. and Mrs. Young has been enlarged by the admission of seven children, but three childish faces have been taken away. The four children who survive are: Edward J., Hannah E., John R., and Robert I., and those gone before are Clarisa, Jeanette, and Ella. A summary of the principal events in the lives of the living are given:
Mr. Young has held many of the minor offices in his township, and is treasurer of the Farmers’ Mutual Fire and Life Insurance Company. Both himself and his worthy wife are respected and esteemed throughout the community, and aid by their presence and support, all noble and good enterprises calculated to forward and advance the interests of their fellow men. They are members of the Methodist Church, in which organization they are a prominent factor. Politically he is a Republican.
Foxie's Note: eventually My 3rd great Uncle George Washington Brown will have his web page. Anyone related to this man please email. I'm searching for his descendants. Thanks.
BROWN, GEORGE W., distinguished as the inventor and manufacturer of the famous corn-planter bearing his name, is a native of Saratoga County, N.Y., where he was born Oct. 29, 1815. His parents, Valentine and Bethany (Spink) Brown, were New Englanders, and moved west to York State when the latter place was comparatively a new country. Valentine Brown was a farmer by occupation, and had he lived would probably have trained his sons up to that vocation. He died when the subject of this sketch was about two and a half years of age.
One of the elder sons of Valentine Brown became a carpenter, and at the age of 14 years George W. left the farm and began with his brother to learn the trade of a carpenter and joiner. When about 21 years of age, or in 1836, after having assisted in the construction of the second line of railroad in New York, viz., the line between Albany and Schenectady, of which road he was for a time Track-master, he came west. He located first in Warren County, where he carried on farming and carpentering up to 1855. In 1848 he conceived the idea of a machine for planting corn, and his first effort at such a construction was an attempt to combine the planter with the corn cultivator, which he had previously invented. The idea was to plant three rows at a time. The shovels of the cultivator were placed a proper distance apart for the separate rows; a man walked in the rear and manipulated the “dropper” and three sections of a saw-log took their respective places immediately behind the plows to press the dirt over the grain. The roller principle is the same to the present day.
The spring of 1851 arrived, and with it Mr. Brown’s “two-wheeled corn—planter”, which was to revolutionize the planting of the principal cereals of the world; this brought the unknown Warren County farmer forth from obscurity, elevated him to the top-most rung in the ladder of local invention, and made him one of the wealthiest men in the vicinity where he resided. Mr. Brown has added to the planter of 1851 hundreds of minor appliances, all tending in the direction of real improvements, but the essential features of the first machine remain unchanged. In 1855 Mr. Brown removed to Galesburg and began the manufacture of planters in earnest. The demand for them increased according as their merits became known to the people, and the success attained in a financial way was fully commensurate with the great value of the invention to the corn-belt of the country. From 1861 to 1864, inclusive, George W. Brown reaped a harvest. By this time dealers in farm implements began to exhibit a lively interest in the great enterprise, and contrary to Mr. Brown’s better judgment, a large number of machines, almost doubling that of any previous year, were ordered and built for the market of 1865. As is known, the spring of that year saw the close of the war, consequent upon which agricultural commerce came to a standstill. Mr. Brown had thus scattered throughout the entire country over 2,500 planters, and his balance sheet the following spring showed that the accumulations of ten years were about swept away. However, with credit unimpaired, and with a brave heart and a strong arm, he borrowed in the summer of 1866 $25,000, and proceeded to build 3,000 more machines, which he threw upon the market and realized upon, and closed the year with a handsome profit. And so it has since been. To meet an increasing market the capacity was increased from time to time, and the product has yielded proportionate results.
In 1880 Mr. Brown re-organized his business and converted it into a stock company, of which he is not only the President, but the head and front, and it is his great ability, his unswerving integrity and his genius more than all else that has given character to the firm, and ranks its transactions among the leading industries of the Great West, placing it pre-eminently at the head of Knox County enterprises. (see history of the Brown Corn Planter works, this volume).
George W. Brown is purely a self-made man. The sum of his inheritance did not exceed $150, and he brought with him to Illinois, aside from his family, a wagon and a span of horses, and on arriving here had only $28 left. His schooling was meager indeed, but his good common sense, sound judgment and determination (without ostentation) to succeed were more than equivalent to academic accomplishment.
His inventive genius from time to time has found outlet in various agricultural implements, but the things to which his attention is most directed are the planter, cultivator and check-rower. Public spirited at all times and liberal to a fault, Galesburg will find it difficult, if not impossible; to replace this man when in time he shall be gathered unto his fathers. At no time in his life a politician or office-seeker (his only official experience being limited to one term as Mayor of Galesburg), Mr. Brown has found plenty of time to attend to his own business. He has never been a man for “dress parade” but is quiet and unassuming in his demeanor, consistent alike in his pretensions and his actions. Such was George W. Brown as Roadmaster, as farmer, as manufacturer, and now as capitalist.
Mr. Brown was married at Clifton Park, Saratoga County, N.Y., Sept. 1, 1835, to Miss Maria Turpening. His son, James E. Brown, is Treasurer of the G.W. Brown & Co. Corn-Planter Works; one of his daughters is married to M.T. Perrin, and another to W.S. Cowan, both of Galesburg.
Mr. Brown and wife have been members of the Methodist Episcopal Church since 1835, and during the early days as a farmer his house was frequently made a temporary home by the clergyman. He has contributed very largely to the erection of the handsome church building owned by the congregation in Galesburg of which he is a member, and the church and the cause of Christ have always found in him a most earnest and pious supporter, and the missionary and Sunday-school cause a devoted friend and liberal patron. His residence is about two miles from the center of Galesburg, on his handsome and well-improved farm which consists of 400 acres, all well tilled. There is a beautiful lake of five acres, situated about a quarter of a mile from his residence. There is a pumping house, with large boilers and pumps that force water up to his residence and barns through a series of water mains, which are tapped at short intervals, and water plugs placed in position. He has several hundred feet of rubber hose for watering his gardens and for fire purposes. Taking it all together, it is one of the model farms in this State. His city residence, corner of Kellogg and Tompkins streets, is one of the most attractive in the city. The lawn is beautifully laid out with walks…..cont p 645 missing
BROWN, HARMON G., among the thoroughly representative men of Knox County the name of Harmon G. Brown stands out prominently. He is a farmer on section 30, of Henderson Township, and first arrived in this county in November 1830, from Mead County, Ky. Settling in Henderson Township, he had resided there since that date. He owns 175 acres of excellent and mostly tillable land. He is a native of Kentucky, where he was born on the 20th of Dec. 1803. In this latter place he resided up to the date of his coming to Knox County. Since first starting in life he has invariably allied himself with agricultural pursuits. For the first time he married in Mead Co, Ky. On the 7th of Feb. 1828, Hannah M. Hascall, who was herself a native of Kentucky. In eight months after her marriage she died, on the 17th of Oct. 1828.
He was for the second time married in Warren Co, IL, in September 1840, to Nancy Hogan, a native of Harrison Co, Indiana. This good lady was born on the 23rd of June, 1820. By this union twelve children were born, viz: John, Henry C., Margaret, Alfred, Joshua, Frank, Laura, Freeman, Samuel, Ben, Harmon, and Mary. Henry C., Margaret, Joshua and Harmon are deceased. John was married to Ellen Cox, and resides in Warren Co. Henry C. was a member of Co. C, 17th IL Vol. Inf. This gentleman was accidentally killed by the explosion of a shell while seated at breakfast, shortly after the surrender of Vicksburg. He was a gallant soldier and a loyal patriot, and one of the very first numbering among the volunteers. Alfred was married to Irena McLaughlin, and resides in Kansas, where he follows the occupation of a farmer. Frank was married to Hannah Ramage, and resides in Kansas, where he also follows farming. Laura is the wife of James C. Heflin, and lives in Kansas. Freeman was married to Annie C. Coolidge, and is now residing in Warren Co. Samuel married a lady of Kansas, in which State he resides. Ben became the husband of Dora F. Allen, and resides in Henderson Township, where he carried on the old home farm. Mary is the wife of E. Bonesteel, and also resides in Henderson.
The subject of this history was elected at one time Justice of the Peace, but soon resigned the office. In their religious belief Mr. and Mrs. Brown are Universalists and in excellent standing in their community. This gentleman’s six sons as well as the father are thorough-going Republicans. Mr. Brown himself has always watched the interest of his party, and never permits any public measure to escape his notice without carefully calculating its issues for the good or evil of his country. He has, with the exception of two elections, voted at Henderson ever since it was made a precinct.
BROWN, JAMES E., treasurer of the G.W. Brown Corn-Planter Co, of Galesburg, was born in Warren County, IL., April 12, 1837. He is the son of G.W. Brown (see biography), was reared on the farm and at the age of 19 was sent to Galesburg, and was in the shop up to 1862; he then returned to farming at which he continued for 12 years, but eventually went back to his shop work. He has continued in the works since 1874, and at the organization of the company, in 1880, was appointed its Treasurer.
Mr. Brown was united in marriage at Galesburg, May 2, 1859, with Mary E. Musser, a native of Portsmouth, Ohio, and is the father of three children—Jennie E. (Mrs. M.J. Dougherty), George E., Director of G.W. Brown & Co, and Flora M. Their family circle is a pleasant and agreeable one, and he is a solid and substantial citizen. He belongs to no secret order, but is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. He was one of the organizers of the First National Bank of Galesburg, and has been a member of its Board of Directors since that time.
BROWN, LEONARD B., this gentleman was one of the most highly respected citizens of Walnut Grove Township. He was formerly a resident on section 13, in Walnut Grove Township, where his widow now lives. Mr. Brown was born in Cheshire County, N.H., Dec. 6, 1825. His father, Squire Brown, was a farmer and a native of the same State, and of New England ancestry. Here he lived and died. Leonard B. Brown was the only child of his parents. His mother’s maiden name was Irene Blanchard; she was a Vermont lady, of New England parentage, who lived and married in her native State. Subsequently she went to New Hampshire, but returned to Vermont, where she died in June 1875.
Mr. Brown’s early education was obtained in the State of his nativity, where he lived up to the date of his arrival in Illinois, in 1855. He had prior to this time lived in Boston, and in 1849 went from there to California. He was 205 days making the trip via Cape Horn, and remained there two years, when he returned to Boston. He located in this township, purchasing his first land in January 1858, which embraced 160 acres on section 13, and is now the home of his wife. This was worked into a high state of cultivation from the rough, unbroken prairie. The residence and buildings on the farm are well erected and desirably situated. He married at the home of his bride’s uncle, A.W. Buckley, on June 1, 1856, in Copley Township. His bride was Miss Isabel Williams, born Feb. 11, 1858, at Rahway, N.J. She was the daughter of Elijah and Sarah M. (Couenhoven) Williams, natives of New York City, where they were brought up and educated. The father was of English and the mother of Dutch parentage. Soon after their marriage they proceeded to New Jersey, and after the birth of their daughter, the present Mrs. Brown, they returned again to New York City, where they remained until this lady reached her 16th year, when, in 1854, the whole family, with the exception of two sons, came to Illinois and took up their abode in Copley Township. They subsequently went to Altona, where the mother died Sept. 7, 1862. The father afterward lived with the daughter, Mrs. Brown, up to his death, Jan. 16, 1870. After Mr. Brown’s marriage he at once settled in the home where his widow now resides. This good gentleman’s demise took place April 24, 1880.
Mr. Brown was held in the highest esteem by those in his township who had the good fortune to be thoroughly acquainted with his nobility of nature. He was an excellent and loving husband, whose death caused a severe blank in one of the happiest of homes. Mrs. Brown is the mother of 11 interesting children, four of whom are dead. The list is as follows: Irena A. is the wife of Charles D. Sornborger, now residing on her husband’s farm in Victoria Township; Sarah M., who died at the age of three years; Mary F., residing at home; George L. who now resides in Nebraska, and follows the occupation of farmer; Hattie B., residing at home; Elbridge Ingalls, deceased; Sumner B., Horatio Seymour, Ira L., Nellie O., deceased, and Squire W. All these children were educated at the public schools and show the thorough training of the careful mother and father.
Mr. B., in politics, was a Democrat in good standing and a strong supporter of the principles held most dear by that party. He was a member of Altona Lodge, A.F. & A.M., of Altona, IL.
The publishers of this Album take pleasure in presenting a view of the comfortable homestead founded by the excellent man and citizen whose name stands at the head of this brief history.
BROWN, LUCIUS A., a farmer and blacksmith, residing on section 9, in Galesburg Township. He is the owner of a ten-acre lot, No. 477 West Main Street. This gentleman was born in Tioga County, N.Y., in 1831, and came to Illinois in 1863, locating in Galesburg. He learned his trade as blacksmith in New York State, where he successfully worked for some time before emigrating westward. He is now engaged extensively in horseshoeing and general repairing.
In March 1859, he married Miss Sarah Peck, who was born near Horseneck, Conn, the famous spot where Gen. Israel Putnam rode down the precipice on horseback. This lady was born in 1827. Accompanied by her parents, she arrived in New York State and settled in Cayuga County in 1845. Here the subject of this sketch first became acquainted with his wife. Her parents are now deceased, but members of the family still reside in Connecticut, where they occupy a good social standing. By the marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Brown there has been no issue. A brother of our subject, Leveret B. Brown, lives at Little Rock, Ark., and fills the position of postal clerk between St. Louis and Little Rock.
The subject of this sketch and his wife are members of the First Congregational Church of Galesburg, where they are both held in high esteem by the congregation. Mr. C is a good Republican.
BYRAM, ROBERT, foremost in the ranks of prominent men identified with the growth of Knox County, may be named Robert Byram, who is widely known and distinguished as one of the most eminently successful citizens and notable men of Central Illinois. He is a farmer by occupation and leads in his chosen field of labor the agriculturists of this section of the country. His patronymic is a household word, and he is conspicuous as a substantial, worthy man, and a desirable friend and neighbor.
Mr. Byram’s homestead is situated on section 7 of Indian Point Township, and his decided liking for pursuits of this character—farming—has won him success and prosperity. In conjunction with the tillage of the soil he is interested in stock-raising, being one of the most widely known in this direction of any man in his section of the country. He raises Short-horn cattle and heavy draft horses, besides large numbers of blooded swine. His cattle number 13 head, among which is a fine bull of the Victor stock, who bears the name of Vinnie Duke. This animal is two years of age and weighs 1,400 pounds. He is also the possessor of 12 full-blooded females of the celebrated White Rose family. He also imported a herd for Mrs. Motts.
Mr. Byram was born in Fayette and reared in Highland Co., Oh. Here he passed ten years. The date of his birth was June 4, 1843, and he is the son of Lewis and Mary (Lucas) Byram, natives of Ohio. His father was born April 23, 1821, and departed this life Aug. 22, 1862, dying in the State of Illinois. He came to this State in 1853, locating where our subject lives. In 1842, the elder Byram took as his life companion Miss Mary Lucas, who was born in 1822, on the 16th of March. Much celebrity is attached to the name of Mrs. Byram, and her ancestors date back, in point of family history, to the Pilgrim Fathers, who so long since, leaving home and country in search of that grand liberty of conscience which is the birthright of Americans, came in the Mayflower and landed at Plymouth on that historical December day of storm. How nobly they succeeded, we who have enjoyed the fruits of their struggles with poverty and pain can tell, and we have proved that.
“They have left unstained what there they found, Freedom to worship God.”
They were the parents of seven children, two of whom died in infancy. Those living are as follows: Robert; Emma J., who married Mr. A.J. Duncan, and is living in this township; Daniel, who married Miss Josephine Vandercar, and who resides at Ellisville, Fulton Co.; Cordelia A., who wedded Mr. A.J. Spencer, and who is now living in Nevada Territory; Charles C., who married Miss Christiana, and whose home is in Chantauqua Co, Ks.
Mr. Robert Byram, of this biography, united hand and fortune with Miss Teenie Nance, the date of this event being Jan. 18, 1867. She was born Jan. 16, 1847, and is the daughter of John W. and Nancy (Simmons) Nance, who were natives respectively of South Carolina and Tennessee. Her father was born May 15, 1814, while Mrs. Nance was born Feb. 2, 1815, and died Nov. 13, 1872. The date of their marriage was May 24, 1836, and they became the parents of 11 children, namely: Rufus D., born Feb. 20, 1837; Francis M., Feb. 20, 1838; Susan A., April 3, 1839; Mary J., Nov. 27.,1840; Sarah E., July 16, 1842; Charles W., Aug. 11, 1844; Nancy C., Jan. 16, 1847; Martha W., Dec. 4, 1848; Harriet M., April 1, 1851; John A., Feb 10, 1853; and Robert H., Jan. 20, 1856. Mr. Nance is now living in Abingdon and is a farmer, besides understanding the carpenter’s trade.
Mr. Byram, of this sketch, is the father of five children, as follows: Pearl L, born Nov. 4, 1870; Lewis M., Sept. 10, 1893; George R., March 16, 1875; Frank G., Jan. 21, 1879; and Lon R., May 29, 1884. He is the owner of 85 acres of land and is engaged in stock-raising as already referred to. He is a useful man in a public way and has filled the office of Commissioner of Highways for one year. He is a member of the A.O.U.W. Lodge, No. 125, of Abingdon, which organization he joined in 1882. He holds the position of Guide in that body. Religiously, he is liberal and large-minded, possessed of warm-hearted, sympathies and that rare principle of manhood which “in honor prefers one another”. Both himself and wife are working members of the Christian Church, she being helpful in all works of philanthropy and kindness. Politically, he is a wide-awake, keen, discerning thinker and a fearless spokesman when he believes himself right. He is a stanch Republican, the principles of which party he supports by voice and vote.
DOAK, JOHN, is a farmer, residing on section 16 of Copley Township, and was born in Scotland, May 22, 1822. His parents were William and Helen (McKie) Doak. They were natives of Scotland, and were the parents of nine children, eight of whom are still living—Mary, Jane, John, Jennette, William, Helen, Meron, and Agnes. The parents died in their native land in 1878-79.
Our subject remained at home until he attained the age of 25, and received a common school education. In 1848 he came to America and, proceeding to Illinois, settled in Knox County. Here he engaged to work on a farm, and besides this occupied himself in the joint pursuit of running a saw mill, engaging by the month for three years. Subsequent to this he rented in Copley Township, for a year, and afterward purchased 80 acres of land on section 17. He subsequently added to his original purchase, and is now the owner of 290 acres. He lived ten years on the land originally bought, in a log cabin; he has now a pleasant and desirable home, into which he moved after leaving the former lowly dwelling.
Mr. Doak was married on the 10th day of October 1855, to Miss Jane, the daughter of James and Jane (Hamilton) Morrison, who came from Scotland. They reared a family of ten children—nine attaining man and womanhood, and being still alive: Jane, Margaret, Christ, James, William, Isabelle, Elizabeth, Jessie, and John. The parents are deceased and buried in their native land, the father in 1881 and the mother in 1885.
Mr. and Mrs. Doak are the parents of eight children, as follows: Helen K., Agnes C., Mary J., William S., Nettie E., John T., Annie H., and James A.
Mr. Doak is a Republican in belief and supports his political party with much zeal and energy. With his wife he is a member of the Presbyterian Church, of which he is a very useful and helpful factor. He is one of the solid and substantial men of this vicinity, and by every means in his power helps every good work brought forward for the benefit of the people.
FUQUA, DANIEL, Knox County includes some notable and eminently worthy men within her borders, among whom may be named the subject of this recital, the details of whose history are herein recorded. He is a pioneer of this section, and after many useful years of life, spent in forwarding the interests and growth of the county, is living retired in Knoxville.
Mr. F. was born on the banks of James River, in Bedford County, Va., on the 18th day of Oct., 1814. His father, Joseph Fuqua, was also a native of Virginia, and the maiden name of this mother was Martha Reynolds. The State of her nativity was also Virginia, and when our subject was in his third year his parents removed to Kentucky and settled in Hart County. Here his father bought a farm and engaged in the culture of tobacco, and here they continued until the fall of 1829, when he sold out and emigrated to Illinois. With him were his wife and eight children, and with both horse and ox teams they pursued their journey as far as Indiana, where they spent the winter, and in the spring pushed forward to Knox County. Here they located at Henderson Grove, and finding a vacant cabin, of logs, on the south side of the Grove, they moved into it on the 10th of May and resided there until the following fall. He, at this time, took up a claim in the heart of Henderson Grove and there built a log cabin of his own. He covered the roof with split clapboards, making puncheons for the floor, and splitting the boards for the doors. Just in the midst of his preparations, when both were most hopeful, he was cut down by death, dying in June 1831, leaving his bereaved widow to continue the struggle of life alone, in a new and unsettled country, with a family of eight children. Of their large family, consisting of 13, five were married and living in Kentucky. However, undismayed, this pioneer wife and mother “took up the burden of life again,” and, calling to her assistance all the latent energy and perseverance of her nature, went on with her work. She carried on the farm with what assistance could be rendered her by the two older children until 1833, when they removed to what is now Orange Township, staked a claim and erected a log cabin. Here they lived for about three years, at the expiration of which time the mother sold out and removed to Hendersonville. Here she lived for many years, crowned with the reward of virtue and goodness, and, at the home of her daughter, Mrs. John Roundtree, in 1856, peacefully passed from earth.
The subject of this history was the 7th child in order of birth. At the age of 16 years, Mr. Fuqua came to Knox County, and in consequence of so early a settlement well remembers all the incidents of their removal here. He assisted his father and mother in the improvement of the farm, and after his father’s death, being the eldest, naturally took the lead in its management. When they lived in Henderson Grove they were obliged to leave the county to go to mill, and the first year the family lived here they had to buy corn, which they ground in a hand-mill. Up to the time of his marriage, Feb. 20, 1834, he remained with his mother, dutifully caring for and assisting her, but with the natural desire of a young man to seek “the shadow of his own vine and fig tree”, he entered the bonds of holy matrimony with Rosanna Bomar. Miss Bomar was born in Hart County, July 4, 1818, and was the daughter of Dr. Wilson and Elizabeth (Freeman) Bomar. Her father was a native of Virginia and a practicing physician, who came to this county from Kentucky in 1833, making the entire journey overland. His family consisted at that time of his wife and 11 children. Bringing household goods with him, he worked and camped along the way, and on reaching Knox County located in Orange Township in a deserted cabin, where they spent the winter. The following spring the family went to Knox Township, and taking up a claim worked it for two years, when, selling out, they removed to Truro Township. Here they lived for five or six years, then returned to Knox Township, where they spent the intervening time until 1848. At this date they removed to the State of Missouri, where the father died a few years later. He had practiced his profession and superintended the improvements on his farm up to this time.
The spring succeeding his marriage, Mr. Fuqua, of this sketch, took up a claim in Orange Township, and lived on it nearly one year, at the end of which time he sold it and removed to Knox Township, where he bought a claim in sections 4 and 9. On this piece of property he lived for several years, adding to it all the modern improvements and highly cultivating it. Since that time he spent two and one-half years in Abingdon, going there for the purpose of giving his children the benefits of an education, but with that exception he has lived in the vicinity of Knoxville, in Knox Township, ever since entering it. The farm of 200 acres is managed at the present time by renters.
Mr. and Mrs. Fuqua are the parents of eight children, viz: Martha E., wife of A.A. Lynde, living in California; Charles W., whose home is in Decatur County, Iowa; Eliza, wife of A.O. Temple, living in Knox Township; Mary F., wife of W.P. Carlton, whose home is in Cass County, Dakota; Celia, wife of T.W. McGill, living in Knox Township; Maria, wife of J.M. Woods, whose home is in Orange Township; Emma G., wife of C.S. Russell, who lives in Knox Township; and Ella D., resides at home; Andrew died at the age of five years; and a son died in infancy.
Mr. and Mrs. Fugua both worship in the Baptist Church, to which they are united as members by profession of faith, and to which they have belonged ever since they were young. Mr. F. is a wide-awake man and a good, logical thinker on the questions of the day, and once supported the Democratic party in sentiment and vote, but lately gives the Prohibition party much attention. He and his good wife encountered the sunshine and storm of 52 years of married life and are the grandparents to 59 children, and great-grandparents to 7.
Mr. Fuqua assisted in the building of the fort to protect the settlers from the Indians during the trying times of the Black Hawk War in 1831 and 1832, and has figured prominently in the early struggles of the county. He joined the Rangers under Captain McMurtry, and was in two engagements, once after Stillman’s defeat. Himself and wife were married at the residence of Maj. Ferguson, by the Rev. Jacob Gum, constituting part of a double wedding party, a daughter of Mr. Ferguson and Alex Robinson being united at the same time. Mr. Fuqua’s wife died at their residence, Feb. 21, 1886, and is buried in the cemetery at Knoxville.
In presenting the portraits of leading and representative citizens, none are more worthy of a place than that of Daniel Fuqua, both as a pioneer and leading citizen. We are pleased to give as a companion picture his esteemed and lamented companion. Both are given in connection with this sketch.
JONES, FRANKLIN, deceased, was a general farmer, residing on section 6, Lynn Township, and during his life was successful in his vocation. He was born in Erie County, N.Y., Feb. 20, 1816. He lived in his native county, working at the vocation which he followed during his lifetime and receiving an education in the common schools. He was married in Chautauqua County, June 10, 1844, to Miss Martha N. Carpenter. Miss Carpenter was born in Windham County, Conn., July 19, 1826, of New England parentage and of English extraction. Her father was a farmer in Connecticut, was there reared, married and followed his calling until his death, which occurred in New York State, whither they had removed some years prior, and where his good wife also died.
Mrs. Jones, of this notice, by her union became the mother of seven children, four of whom are deceased; Franklin W., third son, but eldest living, first saw light in Erie County, N.Y., Sept. 25, 1851, and was there reared to manhood and married Bertha P. Welch. Miss Welch was born in Galva, and they now reside on 80 acres of the old homestead of our subject. Alfred B. Jones married Bessie H. Welch, and is engaged in farming in Stark County, IL. Jacob Henry lives with his mother on the old homestead, in Lynn Township, and was born March 8, 1864.
Mr. Jones and his family, consisting of his wife and four children, came to this State in 1855, and immediately located on section 6, Lynn Township, where he purchased 160 acres of good farm land, but which at that time was unbroken. Like many others, he settled here determined to make it a future abiding place for himself and children, and succeeded to the extent that at the date of his demise he left a handsome property, his land having been brought to a high state of cultivation and good and substantial improvements having been erected upon it. His demise occurred Oct. 21, 1867. He was an active anti-slavery man in politics, and he and his wife were both members of the Congregational Church. Mrs. Jones survives her husband and resides on 80 acres of the original homestead, which, with the assistance of her son, she cultivates, and is there passing the sunset of life in peace and the quiet enjoyment of her competency.
JONES, ISAAC, foreman of the coppersmith shop of C., B. & Q. R.R. Co., at Galesburg, was born in Chester, Cheshire Co, England, Aug. 27, 1844. He is the son of Robert and Elizabeth (Davis) Jones, who removed to Wolverhampton, where the subject of our sketch was reared and educated.
At the age of 14 years, Isaac Jones became apprenticed to learn the coppersmith’s trade, and completed the same in his 20th year. He then followed this vocation in Wolverhampton for four years, and in 1868, he set sail for the United States, coming directly west, where he spent a short time in the city of Chicago, subsequently coming to Galesburg, where he accepted the position which he has since so creditably filled.
The gentleman of whom we write was married at Galesburg, to Mrs. Hannah Elliott (nee Barry), who has borne him three children—two sons, Isaac and Robert, and a daughter, Maggie, who died in infancy.
Mr. Jones is a skilled workman, and, although coming a stranger to our shores, has through his professional ability and persistent industry secured for himself a worthy place among his fellow-craftsmen, and a high position with the corporation which he represents.
THOMPSON, JOHN, one of Knox County’s promising, pleasant and genial young men, is a resident of section 17, Lynn Township. For one of his years, he has gained prominence and made his vocation a success. He makes a specialty of raising cereals and takes a large and deep interest in the breeding of fine blooded animals. His property includes 160 acres, ample room in which to prosecute his vocation.
Mr. Thompson was born in Ayrshire, Scotland, July 23, 1853, and was but a small child when his parents moved to County Antrim, Ireland. There he received a good common-school education, and there his father, William Thompson, died in August 1874. His mother, Effie Thompson, still resides in County Antrim.
Our subject was reared as a farmer boy, lived at home most of the time until he removed to the United States in 1873, and for three years previous to his coming to Knox County he lived in Montgomery County, Pa. On coming here he began to work as a farm laborer. He was married, Sept. 21, 1882, to Miss Belle Stanton, who was born in Ohio, Dec. 13, 1855. Her parents came to Illinois, and settled in Lynn Township. She received her education in the public schools, and is the mother of three children, as follows: William G., born Sept. 20, 1883; Harry S., Nov. 18, 1884, and an infant unnamed, Jan. 5, 1886.
Mr. Thompson has the hardihood and conscious integrity of his nation, while his persevering industry and strength of character give him a high place among the best citizens of this section. In politics he is a leader in and a supporter of the principles advocated by the Republican party.
THOMPSON, ROBERT, of Galesburg Township, is a farmer, residing on Section 4. He was born in Yorkshire, England, on the 23rd of September, 1819, and came to Canada in 1845, where he remained until 1872, when he emigrated to the United States and took up residence in Knox County. Purchasing 160 acres of good land in Henderson Township, he lived there until 1882, and then came to his present residence on the section already named, and resolved to devote most of his time to farming.
He is the son of George Thompson, of Durham, Eng., who was born in 1773, and died Sept. 20, 1854, near London, in Canada. He married a Miss Alice Dunn, a native of Yorkshire, Eng., who died in 1870, leaving eight children, viz: John, George, William, Robert, James, Margaret, Thomas, and Jane.
Mr. Robert Thompson married Miss Theresa Lee, on the 25th of Dec. 1847. The ceremony took place in Canada and the marriage has proved a happy one. She was born in Yorkshire, Jan. 14, 1825, and her parents were Paul and Ann (Barner) Lee, both natives of Yorkshire, England, where he was born in 1794. His demise took place in 1864. Her birth was in 1802 and her death in the month of Nov. 1866. There were seven children by the marriage, viz: George, Mathias, Theresa, James, John, Joseph, and Ann.
Robert Thompson and his wife have an interesting family of six children—George W., John G., Robert P., Joseph T., Albert, and Mary. Our subject is at present engaged and deeply interested in breeding fine stock. He has 320 acres of land, and his dwelling, a two-story building, is nicely located and homelike in every respect. His horses are of the Clydesdale stock and among them he has a number of first-class animals.
Mr. Thompson and family are highly respected members of the Episcopal Church. In politics Mr. Thompson is a consistent Democrat and keeps himself well posted in all measures affecting public interest. He deservedly bears a high reputation among his numerous friends and neighbors, whose respect for him is only equaled by their affection.
A fine lithographic view of Mr. Thompson’s home place appears on another page of this work.
WILLIAMSON, L .O., of the firm L. O. Williamson & Co., prominent dry goods merchants, of Galesburg, is a son of William and Kate (Olson) Williamson, natives of Sweden, and was born at Wataga, IL., Dec. 20, 1862. The subject of this sketch spent the first 15 years of his life upon his father’s farm and in attendance at the public schools. In February, 1879, he graduated from the Galesburg Business College, and in March following engaged in the mercantile business. For four years he had an associate in the business, but since that time he has been sole manager and director, the “company” of the concern being in no way actively engaged in the business. The house of L.O. Williamson & Co., is one of the largest and most successful dry goods establishments in the city of Galesburg, and gives employment to from 14 to 18 people the year round, and the discipline and order of the place show the skill of a master manager.
Parenthetically the writer desires to call attention to the fact that the head of this house was reared upon a farm, from which, when only 17 years of age, he stepped at once into the position of a first-class merchant. Mr. Williamson was married at Center Point, Knox County, Sept, 17, 1885, to Miss Mary C. Swanson, an accomplished young lady graduate of Knox College.
WILLIAMSON, M. O., one of the proprietors of the Wataga Custom Mills, was born on the Atlantic Ocean, July 14, 1850. His parents were William and Margaret Williamson, and were natives of Sweden, and it was while coming to America the subject of this sketch was born. His parents settled in Sparta Township, Knox County. His father bought a small farm, on section 22, and remained there until his death, in 1854; the mother is still living in Wataga. They had a family of six children, who lived to man and womanhood.
M. O. Williamson remained at home until 12 years old, when he went to work on a farm, and continued until 14 years of age. He then came to the village of Wataga to learn the harness trade, and served three years, then worked one year as journeyman. He then bought out one of the partners in the harness business, and was in company with William C. Olson from 1867 to 1879. He then bought out his partner and has since carried on the business. In 1844 he purchased one-third interest in the Custom Mill at Wataga village, and at the present owns one-half interest in the mill. He built a house in 1875, on Faulkner Street, where he now lives.
Mr. W. was married, Oct. 18, 1871, to Mary Driggs, a native of Oneida County, N.Y., and daughter of William M. and Millicent (Housted) Driggs. They have two children living—Nellie and Ada.
Mr. Williamson is a Republican, and he belongs to the I.O.O. F. He has held the office of Councilman, Justice of the Peace, Village and Town Clerk, and is one of the solid and substantial men of Knox County. He was Secretary of the Republican Central Committee in 1884.
JONAS F. ANDERSON, fashionable restaurateur and confectioner, Galesburg, came to America from Sweden in 1855 and to this city in 1856. His mother, who accompanied him hither, spent her last days in Galesburg. Jonas F. Anderson was born Sept 7, 1841; his boyhood in Sweden was spent principally in school, and since coming here, like his industrious people, he has gathered a pretty fair knowledge of English. After several years’ experience in biographical work, covering all classes and nationalities, the writer unreservedly pronounces the Swede as the most apt of all foreigners who come to our shores in gathering an English education and adapting himself to American ideas. The industry and good citizenship of these people are marked, and their loyalty in the discharge of every obligation incumbent upon them makes their patronage in commerce and traffic of the highest worth.
Mr. Anderson farmed for three years after coming to Knox County. He then removed to Monmouth and engaged in the restaurant and confectionary business. In the fall of 1862 he went out with the 14th IL. Cav. as sutler for H.H. Mayo, of Peoria, and remained about a year and a half. In February 1864, he opened a restaurant on Cherry Street, this city; was there about a year, when he removed to 128 East Main Street, and from there in 1876 to his present elegant quarters, 140 East Main Street. He is a consistent member of the Methodist Episcopal Church and is a Mason and an Odd Fellow. At Princeton, IL., Sept. 26, 1865, he married Miss Christina Spaka, a native of Sweden, and their children are named respectively Fred H., Lillie V., and Walter R.
ZACCHEUS BEATTY, editor of the Republican-Register, a daily and weekly paper, published at Galesburg, was born Nov. 11 1819. His parents, Cyrus P. and Nancy (Sarchet) Beatty, were married at Cambridge, Guernsey Co., Ohio, where their four sons and five daughters were born. Cyrus P. Beatty was a native of Maryland, and the Sarchet family came to the United States from the island of Guernsey, in 1809, and settled in Ohio, and gave the name to Guernsey County. C. P. Beatty was a Captain in the War of 1812, and subsequently served 20 years as Clerk of the Common Pleas and Supreme Courts of Ohio. He was also a member of the Ohio Legislature for a number of years.
The subject of this sketch was educated at his native town, and there began to learn the art of printing, which he finished in the State Printing Office, at Columbus. In 1857 he came to Peoria, IL, and worked one year on the Daily Union, and in 1858, in company with a Mr. Robinson, purchased the Knoxville Republican and published it until 1866. From here he went to Watseka, IL. where he was connected with the Republican up to 1874, at which time he came to Galesburg, where he has since been in the newspaper business. During his residence at Knoxville he held the position of Assistant United States Assessor for two years, and was afterward appointed Postmaster at Watseka, which position he held several years. He has always been an ardent Republican, and during the war was prominently identified with the Union League. He is a man of wide range of information, the result of persistent reading and extensive travel. He is also an active member of the Galesburg Lodge, No. 142, I.O.O. F., and of Colfax Encampment, No. 28. He was married at Cambridge, Ohio, Christmas Day, in 1843, to Margaret C. Fesler, a native of Pennsylvania. His family consists of himself, wife and two daughters.
JOHN C. BURT, prominent among the successful farmers of Ontario Township, and one of the honored and respected citizens of Knox County, is John C. Burt, the details of whose personal history are herein given, and is a pioneer farmer, having come to this county in 1840. He was born in Medina County, Ohio, from which place he came to Knox County under the guardianship of his parents, locating in Rio Township, and working the farm, for the space of six years. The father, whose name was John also, was born in Taunton, Mass. In 1794, and possessed the energy and inherent strength of character of the old New England stock. In 1846 he purchased 160 acres of land in Ontario Township, the northwest quarter of section 28. This was raw prairie soil, which he cultivated and improved till 1855. He next spent one year in Galesburg, which city he left and came to Oneida in the spring of 1856, and died the following year at the age of 63 years. He was of New England birth and of Scotch-Irish descent, and came to Ohio from Massachusetts when a young man. From that State he went to Bristol, Ontario Co., N.Y., and there entered the holy bonds of wedlock with Hannah Danielson, whom he lost by death a few months after marriage, in August 1822.
His second matrimonial alliance was contracted with Miss Lucinda Hammond, and took place March 1824, and who has borne him five children, two of whom are married and living in pleasant homes of their own; Mary R. lives with her brother, John C., our subject; Nancy, wife of George D. Camp, resides on a farm in Gage County, Neb.; Lewis, a single man, lives at the home of his brother, John C., and his sister, Mary R.; Daniel W., husband of Bertha Leonard, of Dickinson County, Kan., is a grain buyer and shipper and a prominent business man of that place.
The father of our subject settled in Medina County, Ohio, in 1818. He was left in charge of the family, being the eldest son and the confident and help of his mother, who looked to and leaned upon him at the death of his father. The children, five in number, were young and in a degree helpless, but he acted his part nobly, and they lacked no kindness or attentive care that he could supply. He located in Medina County when it was still new, and returning to Massachusetts brought out west his mother and the children, for whom he tenderly cared until her death, which occurred in the spring of 1837. Following this event was his removal to this county, in which he has shown himself successful in agricultural pursuits, living ever since in the township of which he was the first Assessor and to which he gave its name at its organization. At the time of his death he was Treasurer of the township and of the Board of Road Commissioners. In political belief he was a Republican, but he was formerly an old-line Whig.
The brother and sister of Mr. Burt, who were young at the date of his mother’s death, in February, 1840, grew up under his advice and by his strong efforts in that direction, one and all received a good common-school education. The father of this family was an active member of the Congregational Church, and morally and religiously stood high in the community. Their son, John C., who has proved himself so amply fitted for the vocation he pursues, purchased his first land, consisting of 160 acres, on section 28, and to it added many improvements, cultivating it highly. He also owns a pleasant residence, handsome and convenient, within the limits of the town of Oneida. Three of the children are members of the Congregational Church in good and regular standing, one a Methodist and one a Presbyterian. Mr. B. is himself Deacon and has been for the past 30 years in his church. He has held many of the local offices of his township, and has been Commissioner and Treasurer of the Board of the same for 18 years, and is in politics a Prohibitionist.
JAMES WEED COTHREN, Freight Agent of the C., B. & Q. R.R. Co., at Galesburg, was born in Jamestown, Chautauqua Co., N.Y., Oct 19, 1817. He is the son of Dr. Nathaniel and Clarinda (Weed) Cothren, the former a native of Cape Cod, Mass., a son of David, and a grandson of William Cothren, a native of Plymouth, England, and who in turn was a son of William Cothren, a native of Scotland, where the name Cothren properly belongs. The Weeds were of Welsh extraction and pioneers in the State of New York, but the descent in this country and the date of settlement here are not known.
The subject of our sketch was reared in Detroit, Mich., where as a young man he applied himself to mercantile pursuits, and spent about ten years of his life following the business throughout that State. In 1845 he accepted a position at Galesburg, Mich., in the freight department of the Michigan Central Railroad Company, and after a reputable connection of nine years with that company he accepted his present position, with which he has been worthily identified ever since.
Mr. James Weed Cothren was married in Detroit, Mich., to Christina Mackie, daughter of John Mackie, deceased, of that city. The union of our subject and wife was blest by the birth of a son and two daughters—Charles F., who is engaged in the freight department of the C., B.& Q.R.R. Co.; Mary Isabella Cothren, wife of Henry P. Ayers, banker, at Peoria; and Clara Cothren, wife of C. L. Westerman, mining operator at Breckenridge, Colo.
Mr. Cothren takes a prominent rank among those respected pioneers who have made Galesburg what it is, and who have lived to see the infant village they first located in grow to be a queenly city. He was a member of the first Councils, and has been more or less active in its political growth during all these years. He is a worthy member of the Masonic fraternity, and both he and his wife are devoted members of the Congregational Church. They are respected members of society, and have the pleasure of seeing their family occupying leading positions in the social and industrial life of their respective localities.
GEORGE ENGLAND, ~ Civil War Vet ~ respected as a citizen and honored for his sterling worth and integrity, as well as being a successful farmer of Knox County, residing on section 4, Persifer Township, is the subject of this notice. He came here in 1854 from Vinton County, Ohio, but remained only a short time, when he went to Marshall County, this State, and there resided for two years. At the expiration of that time Mr. England returned to this county and four years later removed to Copley Township, where for 16 years he was occupied in agricultural pursuits, and then moved to the township in which he is at present residing.
Mr. England is at present the proprietor of 300 acres of land in Persifer Township, 200 of which is in a tillable condition. He was born in Bedford County, Pa., May 4, 1826, and at Oneida, this State, on the 17th day of October 1861, he was united in marriage with Miss Susannah Webb, the accomplished and intelligent daughter of Simon A. and Catherine (Dempsey) Webb. Her parents came to this county in 1849, and settled in Haw Creek Township. Her father died in Warren County, and her mother is yet living. Mrs. England was born in Warren County, May 17, 1840, and has born her husband eight children, with records as follows: William W. was born Aug. 7, 1862; Anna C., May 1 1864; Edward W., May 31, 1866; Mary A., May 6, 1868; Emma E., June 16, 1870; Madison W., Sept 23, 1872, died Feb. 28, 1873; John D., June 2, 1874; and Jacob H., March 16, 1876.
Mr. England enlisted in the 36th IL. Vol. Inf., Co. A, Capt. Wm. A. Mitchell, Sept. 27, 1864, and received an honorable discharge June 15, 1865, at Nashville, Tenn. While in the service Mr. E. participated in the battles of Franklin and Nashville and a great number of skirmishes.
Mr. and Mrs. England are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Politically Mr. England votes with the Republican party, and in his chosen vocation is meeting with that success which energy and perseverance are sure to bring.
Mrs. England has one sister, who married William Cherrington, now deceased; she was again married to Charles Crouch. By the first marriage five children were born—Mary A., Emma A., John A., James S., and Dennis W. By the second marriage two children—Jasper E. and Elizabeth C. She is now living in Copley Township.
CHARLES A. ERICSON, the subject of this biographical notice is a solid and substantial citizen, well known for his energy of purpose and his unvarying industry. He holds the position of foreman of the round-house of the C., B.& Q.R.R. at Galesburg, and leaves no labor unfinished or poorly executed into which he enters.
Mr. E. was born in Hulsbre, Sweden in 1844, and is a son of Nels P. and Lena Ericson, who came to America in 1852, and settled in Galesburg, and of their eight sons and one daughter but three survive: Charlie A.; A. W., assistant foreman of the machine shop of the C. B.& Q. R. R., and John W., a farmer in Union County, Iowa.
The subject of our sketch completed his time as an apprentice to the trade of machinist in the machine shop of the railroad here, and has steadily followed it for nine years, leaving the shops to accept his present position. This he has filled to the satisfaction of all concerned, and is considered a mechanic of the highest ability. He is genial and kindly in manner, of pleasing address and fine physique, and although an admirer of the opposite sex and a favorite among ladies, has hitherto resisted all the darts of the blind god, and still treads the paths of single blessedness. He is well thought of socially, and is respected for his integrity of character and his worthy manhood. He is a member of the Masonic Lodge and of the I. O. G. T. Also, has a bio on the 1899 Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois - Knox County, IL - Page.
CHARLES H. FULLER, Chief Train Dispatcher and Chief Operator and Car Distributor of the Galesburg Division of the C. B. Q. R. R., is a native of Rhode Island. He was born at Providence, April 18, 1835. His parents were Ebenezer and Charlotte Scott (Babcock) Fuller, both of them descended from a long line of worthy pioneers of that State.
In 1849 Ebenezer Fuller moved west with his family and settled in La Fayette, Stark County, IL., where he kept hotel for about six years. He then became the agent of the C. B.& Q .R. R. Co., at Galva, where he remained until his demise in 1869. He had become the father of two sons—C. H. and John Cope Fuller, the latter of whom is a prosperous merchant at Cincinnati. In 1856 Charles H. engaged in the railway business at Galva, as clerk in a freight office, and in 1861, completing a course of telegraphy, he received the position of operator in the office of Galva. In August 1865 he was transferred to Galesburg, and took the position of Train Dispatcher, which he has filled acceptably. In 1881 he became the chief of that department, also being assigned to the chief operator-ship of that office. Subsequently he was appointed to the office of Car Distributor, all of which offices he has filled with credit and efficiency.
Mr. Fuller was married at La Fayette, IL. Jan 10, 1858 to Theda, the daughter of Gideon B. and Sarah A. (Dixon) Gillette, natives of the State of New York. The father died in 1849; the mother is still living at La Fayette. Mrs. Fuller is one of a family of four daughters born to her parents, two of whom are deceased. The one now living besides Mrs. F. became the wife of Frank J. Bush, and is living at Clear Lake, Iowa.
The result of Mr. Fuller’s alliance with Miss Gillette is a son, Fred. C., a young man of clever attainments and holding a good position in the machinery department in the Chicago & Alton Railway Company’s shops at Bloomington, IL. Fred C. is married and has a family of two girls. Mr. and Mrs. Fuller, of this notice, have besides an adopted daughter, Blanche Ballentine Fuller, to whom they are giving their kind parental care, rearing and educating her as one of their own. She is a bright little gem in their domestic circle. Our subject and wife attend worship at the Congregational Church. Mr. Fuller is a member of the Masonic fraternity, having been a Mason since 1857. He is a worthy citizen and both he and his amiable wife enjoy a merited respect from all who know them.
ANDREW C. HOUSH, banker, Maquon, is the son of David and Elizabeth (Thornbrough) Housh. His father was a native of Kentucky and of Dutch ancestry, his mother of French and Irish. They settled in Putnam County, Ind., where they lived until 1836, when they removed to Knox County. They made a settlement in Haw Creek Township, where the father engaged in farming and became one of its leading men. Here his demise occurred in the latter part of May 1879. His widow still survives and resides at Maquon. Their family consisted of 12 children—Joseph M., Mary, James O., Rebecca, Jacob C., Barbara, Joshua, Lilly A., Elizabeth, Daniel M., Eveline, and Amanda.
Andrew C. Housh, of whom we write, was born in Putnam County, Ind., Oct. 16, 1834, and was therefore in the second year of his age when his parents came to this county, in 1836. He remained at home, assisting his father on the farm until he attained the age of 17 years, after which he was employed by his father in teaming and in the distillery. He had learned the trade of distilling, at which occupation he worked for 12 years, at the same time following the occupation of teamster. His education was very limited, being acquired in the common schools. In the year 1863 he, in company with his father and two brothers, bought out the mercantile interest of Alfred Thurman, Maquon Township. They continued together in this branch of business for ten years, when our subject bought out the entire concern. He conducted it for about four years, when he disposed of it and soon afterward engaged in the banking business, and also in the handling of stock, in which branches of business he is still engaged.
Mr. Housh is the proprietor of 530 acres of fertile land, located in Maquon Township, and which is under a very high state of cultivation. He is also the owner of village property in Maquon, besides 500 acres of fine farm land in Nebraska. He is an extensive dealer in stock, and is numbered among the most successful and prosperous agriculturists and business men in the county of Knox.
At Knoxville, Nov 11, 1857, our subject was married to Adeline Ouderkirk, daughter of Peter F. and Elizabeth (Fink) Ouderkirk. Her parents were natives of New York State and of Dutch ancestry. They arrived in Knox County in 1835, and settled in Maquon, afterward removing to Haw Creek Township, at which place their demise occurred. The father died in 1846 and the mother in 1863. The family consisted of six children—John, Samuel, Adeline, Caroline, Polly, and La Fayette. Adeline E. Ouderkirk, wife of our subject, was born in Onondaga County, N.Y., Feb. 28, 1835, and was an infant of eight months when her parents came to Knox County. Samuel Ouderkirk enlisted in the 86th IL. Vol. Inf., and served three years. He was in several engagements, the most important being the battle of Shiloh.
Mr. and Mrs. Housh have been blest by the birth of two children—Emma F. and E. La Fayette. Emma is the wife of Frank P. Hurd, the present Supervisor of Maquon Township, being elected April 6, 1886. Mrs. Hurd has become the mother of two children—J. Clinton and Addie L. La Fayette Housh is the husband of Leonia Libolt, also residents of Maquon, and is associated with his father in the banking business. The senior Mr. Housh has been Township Clerk, Commissioner of Highways and School Director. He has also been a member of the Town Council. He is a prominent member of the Masonic fraternity, and in politics is a Douglas Democrat. He belongs to Maquon Lodge, No. 530, A.F.& A.M. The father of Mr. Housh was in the War of 1812.
As one of the leading and representative men of Knox County we place the portrait of Mr. Housh in this Album.
JOHN N. IRWIN, a successful farmer on section 1, Galesburg Township, was born in Venango County, Pa., in 1847, and came with his parents to Illinois in 1855. They located in Whiteside County, where they remained one year, when they moved to Peoria and lived there some eight years, and then came to Galesburg in November 1864. His parents were John and Emily (Newton) Irwin, natives of Pennsylvania, the father being born in 1808, and still living in Galesburg. The mother was born in November 1816. They were married in 1844 and had four children, two boys and two girls, as follows—Lucy A., who married Rev. Isaac Cary; Sarah J. married Rev. R. G. McNiece; Albert B., and John N., the subject of this sketch, married Miss Angie McMaster, Feb. 21, 1872.
Mrs. Irwin was born Feb. 21 1848 and was therefore married on her 24th birthday. They have five sons, as follows: Walter M., born Nov. 9, 1872; Herbert E., born April 19, 1875; Lynn N., born June 19, 1877; J. Paul, born Nov 22, 1879, and Keith G., born March 13, 1885. The parents of Mrs. Irwin were John and Rosetta (Hobbs) McMaster. The father is a native of Mercer County, Pa., where he was born Oct. 6, 1815. Her mother was born in England, Oct. 8, 1818, and came to America with her parents when a small girl. They were married in Rochester, N.Y., in July 1845, where they remained some two years, and then moved to Western Pennsylvania, where he has been preaching in different Presbyterian churches for over 40 years. Mrs. McMaster died in Erie, Pa., Jan. 17, 1877. Of their three children, Mrs. Irwin is the only one now living.
Mr. Irwin has 107 acres of good land, 80 acres in Galesburg Township and the balance in Knox Township, and has a fine residence. They are both members of the Presbyterian Church of Galesburg, and he has been School Director for a great many years. In politics he is a Republican. Like many of the public-spirited citizens of Knox County, Mr. Irwin has contributed a large share of effort in promoting the material and social welfare of the community, never falling behind in the performance of those public duties which constitute the obligations of the good citizens. These good people, while having provided liberally for their own household, are known as kind and obliging neighbors, ready to lend a hand whenever and wherever needed.
CAPT. C. E. LANSTRUM was born in Sweden, March 2, 1837, and came to America in the early fall of 1852. His parents were John and Sophia Lanstrum, who came over in 1853, and settled in Knox County, from which point, in December 1861, the elder Mr. Lanstrum entered the United States Army. He was a member of the ad IL. Art., and, while at Shiloh, where his command was actively engaged, he contracted a disease which led to his death. This occurred on board the hospital boat City of Memphis in 1862.
The subject of our sketch, on landing in the United States, came direct to Knoxville where he procured employment from a farmer, with whom he staid about three months. He was 15 years of age when he left Sweden, therefore, under their system of education, had already received several years of schooling. This, though in a language so wholly different from the English, taught him the value of learning, and he at once set himself about mastering the English and advancing himself in the various studies. In March 1853 he went to Abingdon, and there worked a few months at wagon-making. His next move was to Knoxville, where he found employment as clerk in a dry goods house.
In 1856 he removed to Red Wing, Minn., engaging in the real estate business to some extent. The fall of 1858 found him again in Galesburg, where he clerked in a grocery house, until April 1861 transferring thence to Des Moines, Iowa. In September of that year he assisted in organizing a company of volunteers for the United States Army. The company, B, mustered Nov. 9, 1861, into the 15th Iowa Vol. Inf. with Mr. Lanstrum as the Second Lieutenant. He received a merited promotion to First Lieutenant, May 24 1862, and to that of Captain, Feb. 19, 1863. With this rank he left the army May 16, 1865, after a continuous service of nearly four years. During the siege of Vicksburg, he did picket duty for Crocker’s Iowa Brigade. In the ensuing September he filled a similar position with the 4th Division, 17th Army Corps, and in October 1863 was assigned to the duty of Commissary of Muster at the military quarters, district of Natchez, Miss., by order of the Secretary of War. In this latter position he remained until ordered to Vicksburg, for final mustering out. While with his command he participated in the following battles: Shiloh, siege of Corinth, Bolivar, Tenn., Iuka, Corinth, Holly Springs, Port Gibson, Raymond, Jackson, Champion Hills, Big Black, siege of Vicksburg, siege of Jackson, Vidalia, La., etc.
The close of the war brought him again to Galesburg where he clerked for O. T. Johnson, then formed a partnership with Mr. Bancroft in the grocery business which lasted from 1866 to 1879. In the latter year he formed a business connection which has since received his attention. Capt. Lanstrum was one of the organizers of the Covenant Mutual Benefit Association, of which he was one of the Directors, and at present is Treasurer. He is prominent in the I.O.O.F., member of the Encampment and Grand Lodge in that Order, a Knight Templar in Masonry, member of the Army of Tennessee, of the Grand Army of the Republic and of Crocker’s Iowa Brigade Association.
At Des Moines, Iowa, Dec. 9, 1861, he was united in marriage with Miss Susan E. Crocker, sister of Gen. Crocker, and they have a family of seven children, all living.
JAMES W. McCUTCHEN, prominent among the agricultural class of Knox County, who have themselves made what they have of this world’s goods, is he of whom these few biographical facts are related. He is a prominent and successful farmer, of Scotch nationality, residing on section 4, Lynn Township, and is there industriously engaged in his independent calling.
He is the son of Rev. Robert and Rebecca (Adams) McCutchen. The father of our subject was born and reared in Armstrong County, Pa., and there lived until a young man. He then went to Venango County, Pa., and was there married, May 10, 1831. His father, Robert, grandfather of our subject, was born in the North of Ireland and was of Scotch ancestry and parentage. He came to this country when a young man and located in Armstrong County, Pa., and was there married to a Miss Dixon; she was also of Scotch ancestry, and died when Robert, father of our subject, was but four years of age; Robert’s father dying when he, Robert Jr. was but eight years of age. Thus we see that the father of our subject was orphaned when but a lad of 8 years of age. He afterward lived with his oldest sister, Elizabeth, until he had attained the age of 16 years, in the meantime earning his own living. It was about this time that he went to Venango County, Pa., and there lived with his widowed sister, Margaret, occupied in various vocations. After living with her for awhile he became connected with the charcoal works of the county and continued in the same for 16 years, and during that time purchased and carried on a farm. When 20 years of age Robert McCutchen united with the Methodist Episcopal Church and was soon after ordained as a local minister of the Gospel. He subsequently became one of the most active ministerial laborers of that church, and during the entire remaining portion of his life was engaged in the good work. His labors in the ministry were well rewarded, and in 1851 he moved to Peoria, settling on a farm in the vicinity of that city and a few miles north of it. He was one of the most successful ministers in that part of the State, and many denominations owe to him the honor of having increased their membership. In 1864 he sold his farm near Peoria and moved to Freeport, where he took charge of a congregation, consisting at that time of 22 members, but during the two years of his labors increased the same to 120 and built the Embury Church of Freeport. Later he went to Indianola, Iowa, and some years afterward moved to Lyons, that State, and was there laboring in the cause, when, May 19, 1881, he was called to receive his reward in the land beyond, and having been born Jan. 4, 1810, was consequently 71 years of age at the date of his demise. Ten days prior to his death he celebrated his golden wedding. He was the younger of his father’s family and survived all the children. His wife was born May 13, 1811, in Venango County, Pa., and was there reared to womanhood and there married. Her father, Weldon Adams, was born in Eastern Pennsylvania, and her grandfather, James Adams, was from the North of Ireland. Her grandparents died in Eastern Pennsylvania. Weldon Adams had a family of five boys and five girls, of whom Mrs. McCutchen is yet living in Lyons, Iowa, having attained the venerable age of 75 years. She was the mother of nine children, of whom James W. is the eldest living, and one of whom died in infancy. Five of the children yet survive—two sons and three daughters.
James W. McCutchen was born in Venango County, Pa., Feb. 21, 1833, came to Illinois in 1851, and settled in Peoria County. He was married Jan. 4, 1855 in Venango County, Pa., to Miss C. Rosetta Byers, a native of Mercer County, Pa., and born Aug. 27, 1833. She is a daughter of James and Elizabeth (Piper) Byers, natives of Mercer County, Pa., and who now reside in that county. They have lived together as man and wife for 60 years. The father was born June 12, 1800, and the mother Oct. 10, 1807; the former was of French extraction and the latter of German, and in their united efforts in life they have met with far more than ordinary success.
Mrs. J. W. McCutchen was well educated in the common schools and lived with her parents until her marriage. Of the union of Mr. and Mrs. McCutchen six children have been born, four of whom are deceased. The record is as follows: Charlie M., born June 27, 1862, is a fireman on the C., B.& Q.R.R.; Frank F., born Oct. 9, 1866, is attending Commercial College at Davenport; Almira, born Dec. 7, 1855, died April 13, 1865; Laura A., born Aug. 28, 1857, died Feb. 19, 1858; Ada B., born Sept 27, 1859, died Aug. 29, 1860; Freddie E., born July 24, 1872, died Aug. 31 of the same year.
After marriage, Mr. and Mrs. McCutchen lived in Peoria County, where he followed agricultural pursuits for ten years. He then moved to Freeport and from there to Marshall County, this State, where he purchased 120 acres of land, on which he lived for 12 years, engaged in farming. From the latter place he came to this county and purchased his present fine farm of 160 acres, one mile south of Galva. Since that time he has continued to reside upon the farm, devoting his time and attention to its cultivation and improvement, together with the raising of stock. He and his wife are consistent, active members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and have been for many years, and of which denomination he has been Steward for about 30 years, Class Leader for many years and Sunday-school Superintendent. He has been Justice of the Peace and Supervisor and held many other offices of minor import. In politics he always casts his vote for the success of the Rupublican party.
ERNEST SMITH MOULTON, Ticket Agent at the C.B.& Q. R.R. Co.’s office at Galesburg, is a noteworthy representative of his profession and of the young men who have grown up with this fair city. He is the youngest son of the family of Billings Moulton, Esq. a native to the manor born, the advent of his arrival here being dated Jan. 3, 1859.
Our subject was well-reared and educated, attended Knox College up to the Senior year after having completed a good English education in the public schools of Galesburg. He clerked for awhile in the post office, and 1878 accepted a clerkship in Master Mechanic Colville’s office, which he reputably filled for about three years. Subsequently he spent a year in the ticket office of this corporation at Chicago, after which he accepted his present position at Galesburg.
Ernest Smith Moulton was united in the holy bonds of matrimony at Riverside, Cal., with Julia C., daughter of Sylvanus H. Ferris, Esq. She is a lady of estimable attainments, and has borne her husband a bright little girl named Stella Florence. Mr. Moulton is an active and energetic official and a public-spirited citizen, and we predict for him a successful official career and a useful citizenship.
HENRY REAM, ~ Civil War Vet ~ freight engineer on the C. B.& Q. R. R., was born in Richland County, Ohio, Oct. 14, 1841. His parents were Henry and Elizabeth (Doermire) Ream, the father being a native of Pennsylvania and of German ancestry, and the mother of English descent. In 1851 his parents moved to Grundy County, Mo. where our subject grew to manhood on this father’s farm.
Upon the outbreak of the Civil War our subject declared himself for the Union, and enlisted his services first in the defense of the State and latterly for the United States. He enrolled with Co. B, 23rd Mo. Vol. Inf., receiving an honorable discharge at the end of the war. At the close of the war he began railroading with the C. B. & Q. R. R. at Quincy, IL., as fireman. In 1871 he was given charge of an engine and has very acceptably and meritoriously filled the position since.
Mr. Ream was married at Quincy, IL. on July 22, 1867, to Elizabeth Ann, daughter of Michael Roley, Esq., who was a native of Westmoreland County, Pa. Their home circle has been blest by the birth of seven children, three sons and four daughters; Joseph Albert Ream, a young man of 18 (the eldest of the family), is completing his academic studies; the names of the others are Lydia Annetta, Christian, Rosa and Daniel (twins), Ethel Anne, and Grace Victoria. Christian, Rosa and Daniel are dead. Mr. Ream and wife, together with their eldest son and daughter, are members in full standing with the First Baptist Church. He is a worthy member of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers, Division No. 62, of Galesburg; is a worthy citizen, a clever gentleman and kind husband and father.
FLETCHER CALDWELL RICE, Superintendent of the Galesburg Division of the C., B.& Q. R. R., is an example of what may be attained by steady and persistent industry in a chosen vocation. He has risen from a subordinate clerkship, through steady, meritorious gradations to this present incumbency. He was born at Palmyra, N.Y., Jan. 10, 1844. His parents, Dr. William A. and Helen M. (Galloway) Rice, were likewise natives of that State. The grandparents of our subject were from Amherst, Mass., and belong to a worthy line of ancestry in that State. On both sides of the parentage of our subject, we find a reputable record of their having served with credit in the War of the Revolution. In the War of 1812, Capt. James Archer Galloway, grandfather of Mr. Rice, served with marked distinction, and during the late War of the Rebellion, although ripe in years, the old gentleman organized a regiment of soldiers from Hillsdale County, Mich. This regiment was made up of men over 45 years of age, which was tendered to Gen. Scott and Secretary Stanton. They were highly complimented and thanked for the patriotism displayed, but Gen. Scott and Secretary Stanton declined to accept them on the ground that there were so many younger men volunteering that their quota was full.
Dr. William Rice settled in Beloit, Wis., about 1854, where he had moved from the State of Michigan. It was in Beloit and here that the subject of this notice developed into manhood and chose the railway business as his vocation. He completed the study of telegraphy in the office of the Illinois & Mississippi Telegraph Company, at Beloit. The late Civil War breaking out, young Rice, with the characteristic traits of his ancestors, longed to do something for his country. His sympathies and instincts were for the Union his ancestors had so bravely fought to maintain, but his youth prevented his immediate acceptance. However, in 1862, he was accepted and became a member of the 13th IL. Cavalry, doing good service until he was honorably discharged in 1863. Returning from the field of strife, Mr. Rice was appointed clerk and operator in the office of the C., B.& Q., at Monmouth, which was the first position of trust he ever held in the employ of that company. He held places of similar trust at different points on the line of that road until 1867, when he was sent to Galesburg and appointed Train Dispatcher, a position he reputably filled for several years. In 1877 he was made Chief Train Dispatcher and Chief Operator, and in 1878, the position of Trainmaster was added to his duties, all of which he filled with marked ability and competency until August 1881 when he received his present appointment, which he has acceptably filled.
Mr. Rice has filled all his numerous appointments to the entire satisfaction of the company and to his credit be it said, he never suffered an accident to occur through neglect of duty. He has always stuck strictly to his professional pursuits and never allowed himself to become a candidate before the people for public honors or private benefit. He is pronounced in his views on all matters pertaining to the welfare of the city and locality, and is a liberal contributor to all projects he considers worthy. He holds and deserves the highest respect as a citizen. He is an active member of the Galesburg Club, of which he was one of the organizers, and is a member of its Board of Directors. He was married in Poughkeepsie, N.Y. to Hattie A. Leeson, a lady of estimable attainments and a great-granddaughter of General Knox of Revolutionary fame. Their happy union has been blest with a son and a daughter—Carrie E. and Robert. The family attends and worships at the Congregational Church.
GEORGE W. SAWYER, among the truly representative men in Walnut Grove Township there are few who have held positions of trust and at the same time have had large business transactions who could so adequately perform the duties of both, with credit to themselves and profit to others, as the gentleman whose name heads this history. He may be pronounced as one of the many representative men of his district. In business he is a Notary Public, general collector, insurance and real estate agent and a farmer. His residence is on section 9, Walnut Grove Township, while his office is at Altona. He first came to this county in the spring of 1856, from Delaware Co, N.Y. He was born in Fergusonville, of that county, on the 5th of August 1828. His father, Henry Sawyer, was formerly a carpenter but later a farmer, and lived and died in Fergusonville. He was of English extraction and married in his native county to Miss Margaret Multer. She was a native of Schoharie Co, N.Y., and of German descent. After the death of her husband she came to Illinois and died at her son’s home Oct. 26, 1885, in her 80th year.
Mr. Sawyer, the subject of this biography, was the second of five children born to his parents. Two of these are now living in this State, one in Nebraska and one in Massachusetts; the latter, Joseph H., is the Principal of Williston Seminary, of East Hampton, Mass. He graduated at Amherst and was Professor of the Higher Mathamatics for many years. The present gentleman was educated in the public schools. He was a bright boy and secured his education chiefly by his own efforts. At first he learned the trade of his father, that of a carpenter, which he followed for some time. This he acquired when he was 16 years old and soon afterward set out on his own account, coming West in April 1856. Locating in Galesburg he followed his trade for one year and then proceeded to Minneapolis, Minn., where he remained one year. After spending some months in Wisconsin he came again to Galesburg and engaged in teaching, a profession which he had more or less cultivated in his native county. His first income from this was only ten dollars per month. In 1859 he became connected with the nursery business, and after working at this the best portion of two years began again to pursue his trade for a short time. Going to Quincy, Adams Co., IL., he was there married, Dec. 9, 1860, to Miss Sarah Cleveland, a native of Schoharie Co, N.Y. She came, when only four years old, with her parents, to Quincy, IL. Here she was educated and resided up to the date of her marriage. By her union she was blest with five children, two of whom are deceased. There are living at home Ida E., now a teacher in the public schools of this county, Charles C. and Henry J.
After their marriage Mr. and Mrs. S. went East, and in the following spring returned again to this township. After he had farmed for four years, he sold out and proceeded to Quincy, IL. Later he came to Altona and erected a desirable home in this vicinity. Having bought a lumber yard here, he operated the same for two years. Finally he was engaged as a Notary Public and in 1875 purchased a cattle ranch in Nebraska. In the course of a few years he traded the ranch for his present farm of 240 acres. Here he has become, as already stated, one of the most successful farmers of his district. Mrs. Sawyer and her daughter are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church at Altona and stand high in that community.
Mr. Sawyer has been Justice of the Peace and Township Treasurer, as well as filling other minor offices. In him the Republican party have one of the strongest adherents and one of the most conscientious workers.
HON. JOHN C. STEWART, claim agent and dealer in real estate at Galesburg, was born in Mercer County, Pa., Oct. 24, 1822. His grandfather came from the North of Ireland, settled near Fort Duquesne, now Pittsburg, and from there removed to Mercer County in 1800. His oldest son, James, father of the subject of our sketch, was born in 1797, and married Nancy McKee, in Butler County, Pa., in 1821, and by her had born to him four sons and three daughters, John C. being the oldest. The father married a second time, thereby adding to the progeny three sons and one daughter. He was a hotel-keeper and mail-contractor and died Oct. 3, 1876.
The subject of this sketch was educated at the Mercer County Academy, and taught school a number of winters in that vicinity, and from 1845 to 1852 he was superintending a blast-furnace in his native county. From early boyhood he clerked off and on in a general store, prior to engaging in the iron-works, at his native place, and in 1855 came to Galesburg, where dealing in real estate has since formed his principal business. In the newer Western States he entered Government land, bought some improved land, sold, traded and in all cases handled his own property. It is not the province of this biographer to speak of the financial success of the subject, but in this case we feel warranted in saying that Mr. Stewart’s returns have been commensurate in a reasonable degree with his efforts. Aside from his landed interest, he is a stockholder in the two leading banks in the city and Director of the Galesburg Brick and Tile Company. He has been three times elected Mayor of the city, to wit: 1859, 1877 and 1883. On the 5th of November, 1885, he was appointed by Judge Blodgett Receiver of the Galesburg Water-Works Company, and still has the property in charge.
John C. Stewart, our subject, was married at Westchester, Pa., Oct. 18, 1853, to Carrie M. McFarland, and the names of their daughters are Maud M. and Alice. The life of Mr. John C. Stewart really forms an important part of the history of Galesburg, and we refer our readers to the records of his various administrations as the chief executive officer of the city, for much that cannot be here treated, as it belongs to another department. In his political belief he is a firm adherent to the principles of the Republican party, but when in office he represented the people irrespective of party. He with his family attends the Presbyterian Church.
COL. HORACE H. WILLSIE ~ Civil War Vet ~ was born in Lower Canada, Jan. 27, 1827, and was the second son of John and Sabra (Hudson) Willsie, who reared a family of five boys and four girls. The senior Mr. Willsie removed from Canada to the State of Minnesota, in 1856, and died there in 1879, in his 80th year. His widow yet survives him. She resides in Fillmore County, Minn., and is in the 81st year of her age.
The subject of our sketch spent the first 14 years of his life upon his father’s farm. He was then apprenticed to the tanning and currying trade at Moore’s Junction, N. Y., which he followed until about 25 years of age. In 1853 he left Canada and came into the States to make his home, railroading while in Missouri, spent a year in Iowa, and reached Galesburg in the fall of 1854. Here he clerked awhile in a dry goods establishment, was appointed Deputy Sheriff in the fall of 1855, and held the position for two years. The following year he engaged in the livery business, which he abandoned to again accept the appointment of Deputy Sheriff, a position he was filling when the war broke out.
In July 1862, he entered the service of the United States as Captain of Co. D., 102nd IL. Vol. Inf., and served about one year, with the rank of major, then resigning on account of poor health. The following spring (1864) he recruited a company for the 139th IL. Vol. Inf. and at the organization of that regiment became its Lieutenant-Colonel. He was out only about five months with the command. In February 1865, he recruited a company for the 148th IL. Vol. Inf., and was tendered the colonelcy of that regiment, with which rank he left the service in the following September. While with the 102nd, he was in Kentucky and Tennessee; with the 139th in Kentucky and Missouri; and with the 148th in Tennessee and Alabama. During the entire service his only injury, aside from disease, was accidental. At Tullahoma, Ala., his skull was fractured by the fall of his horse.
At four different times during the war, Col. Willsie is credited with having, by his own personal influence, filled Galesburg’s quota to the army. Altogether he has been six years Marshal of the city, which, aside from his Deputy Sheriffship, constitutes the sum of his civil office services. Col. Willsie has worked his way through life, and his successes are attributable only to the efforts of himself. In 1876 he engaged in his present business, that of a livery and sale stable, and his establishment is one of the best in the city.
June 5, 1855, he was married in Galesburg to Betsey A. Nichols, a native of Earlville, N.Y., who has borne to him five children, viz: Wilbur F., United States Mail Service; Horace M., storekeeper’s department C., B. & Q. R.R.; Alfred N., clerk in Master Mechanic’s office C. B. & Q. R.R.; John, machinist, and one daughter, Daisy A., resides at home. In politics he has always been identified with the Republican party. Col. Willsie is a genial whole-souled, affable gentleman, and has won hosts of friends.
JOHN T. WILSON, M. D., a prominent physician and surgeon, resident at Galesburg, IL, is a native of Sweden, where he was born Sept 10 1857. His parents, Mathias and Christina (Lindquist) Wilson, spent their lives in the old country. The subject of our sketch came to America in 1870, and at Lowell, Mass., finished an education begun in Sweden.
The parents of our subject left him no fortune, and like a majority of his countrymen who have come to our shores, he was compelled to earn by his own labor a support and his school tuition. Immediately upon leaving school, he entered the office of Dr. Colby, at Lowell, and under the instructions of that eminent physician, devoted a year and a half to the study of medicine. From Dr. Colby's office, he began a course at the Howard Medical College, D. C. and from that institution graduated with the degree of M.D. in the spring of 1881. Leaving college, he spent a few months at Lowell, Mass., whence he came direct to Galesburg, landing here in August 1881. Depending entirely upon his individual industry for a livelihood, Dr. Wilson was not long in locating an office and offering his services to the afflicted. From the very beginning of his practice in Galesburg, fortune seems to have favored him. While almost an entire stranger, an opportunity offered for the display of his skill in surgery, the successful results whereof attracted to him the better class of the community and of the profession as well. From that day his success was assured and he has steadily grown in favor until it may be truthfully said that no physician of his age in the county of Knox occupies a higher position in the profession than he.
The Doctor is a member of the I. O. O. F. and the A. O. U. W.; Associate Medical Director of the C. M. B. A., and Medical Director of the Scandinavian Mutual Aid Association, and has yet a brilliant future before him
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Monday, May 22, 2006 06:12:41 AM updated & uploaded
Created Saturday September 24, 2005 11a in the morning.