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by Foxie & Kathy Mills....
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Mabee, William Ernest, Dentist; Galesburg; born March 2, 1867 in Norfolk Co, Canada; educated in the Iowa State University.
He was married to Grace E. Widney at Alpha, Illinois, June 3, 1897.
Doctor Mabee’s father was born in Norfolk Co, Canada; his mother was born in Ohio; his paternal grandfather was born in St. Johns, New Brunswick; his paternal grandmother was a native of the State of New York; his paternal great-grandfather was a native of Holland; his paternal great-grandmother was born in New York City; his maternal grandfather was born in England; his maternal grandmother was born in the State of New York; his maternal great-grandmother was a native of New York State.
In religion, Dr. Mabee is a Baptist. He is a republican.
Mackay, John Jr.: Farmer; Truro Township; born in Jackson Co, Maryland, Oct. 24, 1869; educated at Lombard University. His father, John Mackey, and his mother, Janet (McFadyen), were born in Ayrshire, Scotland, the former in 1826, the latter in 1828. John Mackey’s father and paternal grandfather were named Mathuew and were born in Ayrshire. His mother’s name was Janie Mackey. Janet (McFadyen) Mackey’s mother, Janet (Anderson) was born in Scotland.
Sept. 27, 1887, John Mackey Jr. was married to Eva C. McDowell in Galesburg; she was born May 2, 1866, and is the daughter of William B. and Caroline (McCoy) McDowell. There are three children, two boys and one girl: Eldrid W., born April 23, 1889; Earl E., born Dec. 30, 1890; and Irma, born April 3, 1899. Mrs. Mackey’s father is living; her mother died in 1894.
Mr. Mackey took a scientific course at Lombard University and was a member of the Phi Delta Theta Fraternity. He has a farm of 360 acres three and one half miles north of Williamsfield, and is an extensive dealer in cattle and hogs. Of the latter he raises about 250 head yearly. In politics he is a democrat.
Mackie, Ezekiel D., Farmer; Truro Township; born in Knox Co, IL., Aug. 22, 1868; educated in Truro Township. His parents, John and Janet Mackie, were natives of Ayrshire, Scotland.
Sept. 10, 1891, he was married in Galesburg to Etta M. Stephens, who was born Nov. 2, 1873, and is a daughter of D.W. and Nancie E. Stevens. They have one child living: Jessie M., born Dec. 9, 1895; on child died in infancy. Mrs. Mackie’s parents are living in Victoria.
In his younger days, Mr. Mackie traveled through Kansas and Iowa. He is now School Director of District No. 1 in the township of Truro. In politics he is a democrat.
Mackintosh, George Donald, Farmer; Ontario Township; born Feb. 27, 1831, in Edinburgh, Scotland; educated in Edinburgh. His father, James Mackintosh, and his grandparents, Donald and Elspeth (Forbes) Mackintosh, came from Scotland.
In religious faith, Mr. Mackintosh was a Swedenborgian. He was a republican.
Mahar, James, Farmer; Truro Township; born Oct. 1, 1866; educated in the common schools. His parents, James and Anna Mahar, were born in Ireland.
Dec. 12, 1889, he was married in Galva, Henry Co, IL. to Anna, daughter of Augustus and Matilda Peterson; Mrs. Mahar was born Oct. 30, 1867. There are two children: Francion Blanch, born Aug. 10, 1892; and James, born Aug. 14, 1896.
Mrs. Mahar’s father is dead, but her mother is living in Victoria Township.
Mr. Mahar’s father once owned all the land where the village of Williamsfield now stands. Mr. Mahar has a farm of 80 acres, one half mile east of the village. In religion he is a Catholic; in politics a democrat.
Main, C. A., Farmer; Galesburg Township; born Nov. 19, 1833, in Otsego Co, NY. He was married to Harriet Mosher in New York, March 16, 1880. They have three children: Earl T., Harry E., and Frances M.
Mr. Main came with his father to Knox County in 1854 and lived in Oneida three years before coming to Galesburg where he worked as brakeman for eighteen months. He was freight conductor for the Chicago, Burlington, and Quincy Railroad Company for ten years and passenger conductor twelve years. In 1869 he bought the farm on which he now lives and for a time combined farming with road work.
Mr. Main is a republican and has held several township offices. He was Highway Commissioner for seventeen years, School Director for twenty years, and is a member of the Board of Directors of Knox County Agricultural Society. He is an Odd Fellow and a Charter Member of the Lodge. In religion he is a Methodist.
Main, William B., Retired Farmer and Merchant; Abingdon; born in Otsego Co, NY, Dec. 7, 1835; educated in the common schools of New York State. His parents, Thomas P. and Laura (Allen) Main, were both natives of Otsego Co, NY. His paternal grandparents were Joseph and Jane (Blanchard) Main. Peter Main, who settled in Connecticut in 1680, was a native of Scotland.
W. B. Main came to Knox Co., IL. in 1857 and located at Altona. In 1861 he enlisted in Company I, Seventeenth Illinois Volunteers, and served until 1862, when he was discharged for disability, having been wounded at Fort Donelson. Later he settled at Galesburg, and was a conductor on the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad until 1879, when he removed to Abingdon, where he engaged in the hardware business, in which he was successful from the beginning, and soon controlled the largest business of its kind in this section of the State. He also bought several farms which he managed for some years. He retired from the hardware business in 1897.
Jan. 17, 1865, Mr. Main married Miss Harriet M. Bill in Bainbridge, NY; they have had two children: Carrie E. (now Mrs. Claude Byram), born June 20, 1870; and George W., born Aug. 19, 1875.
Mr. Main is a prominent member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, is a trustee of Hedding College and treasurer of its endowment fund. In politics he is a republican. He was Mayor of Abingdon in 1882. He is looked up to as one of the most prominent men of the city.
Maine, Elias B., Farmer; Altona, Walnut Grove Township; born in Otsego Co, NY, May 4, 1815. He was the son of Joseph and Jane (Blanchard) Maine, who was of Scotch descent.
When a boy, he learned the wagon-maker’s trade, which he followed for twenty years after his arrival in Knox County. He came west in 1853, and bought land in Walnut Grove Township; he afterwards laid out fourteen acres in village lots, the business center of Altona.
In 1835, Mr. Maine was married to Mary A. Huntington, of Burlington, NY. There were six children: David E., Rev. Delos S., Mrs. Ella Stockdale, Mrs. Emma Wisegarver, Joseph T., and Charles.
Mrs. Mary Maine died in 1887, and in the following year, Mr. Maine married her sister, Mrs. Lavinia Butler, who is the mother of three children by her former marriage.
Mr. Maine is a Methodist. In politics he is a republican and a prohibitionist, and holds local offices.
Maple, Augustus Melville, Farmer and Merchant; born at Cabin Creek, Louis Co, Kentucky, April 9, 1819. His father, David Maple, and his grandfather, John Maple, were born in New Jersey, where the latter was married to Miss Thompson. Mr. David Maple was married to Mary Buchanan of Pennsylvania, a first cousin of President James Buchanan. He engaged in farming in Kentucky until his death; his wife died at her son’s home in Maquon in 1856. Mr. A. M. Maple’s grandparents lived to be very old, Mr. John Maple reaching the age of 86, and Mrs. Buchanan, who was a Pennsylvanian, that of 85 years.
Mr. Maple was educated in a log school house, and until twenty-eight years of age managed the old Maple farm and a large sugar camp in Kentucky. He sold out, went to Canton, Illinois, where he clerked for his brother, A.T. Maple for a year, when he and John Morton bought out his brother’s interest. After a partnership of three years, Mr. Maple purchased Mr. Morton’s interest and moved to Maquon, where, until selling his store to his son in 1896, he was successfully engaged in a general mercantile business.
April 4, 1851, he married Mary Sheaff, of Canton; they had three children: Harriett Louise, now Mrs. Hayden of Henry County; Charles Fremont, of Maquon, and Abraham Lincoln of Hulls, Illinois.
Mrs. Maple’s parents were Phillip and Harriett (Foreman) Sheaff; her grandparents were William and Mary (Miller) Sheaff of Pennsylvania, and her great-grandparents, who as children came from Germany on the same ship, were Phillip and Mary Sheaff.
Mr. Maple and his wife belonged to the Christian Church and for twenty years he was Superintendent of the Sunday school. They have been leaders in church and social work and he has energetically opposed the liquor element for fifty years. He is a republican in politics, and has held nearly all local offices.
Maple, Charles Fremont, Merchant; Maquon, Illinois; born in Maquon, July 1857, where he was educated. His father, A. M. Maple, was a native of Kentucky; his mother, Mary (Sheaff), of Pennsylvania. His paternal grandfather David Maple, and also the paternal great-grandfather, John Maple, were natives of New Jersey. His paternal grandmother, Mary (Buchanan) was born in PA. His maternal grandparents, Phillip and Harriett Sheaff, were born in Pennsylvania and Delaware. Mr. Maple’s maternal great-grandparents, William and Mary Sheaff, were natives of PA.
March, 1897, in Knoxville, Mr. Maple was married to Eva J. Chapin.
In religion, Mr. Maple is a Protestant; in politics he is a republican.
Marks, William Pleasant: Farmer and Stock-raiser; Cedar Township, where he was born June 19, 1841. His parents were Benjamin and Mary E. (Bishop) Marks, the former a native of Kentucky. His paternal grandfather was a cousin of Daniel Boone and David Crockett, and located in Kentucky at a very early date. He was once shot through the body by Indians, the ball passing also through a hymn-book in his pocket, after which he lived about twenty years. Mr. Marks has this book, which is now about 125 years old. His father came here in 1835 and died in 1845, leaving seven children, three sons and four daughters.
Feb. 8, 1866 in Knoxville, Mr. Marks married Mary McCoy; nine children were born to them: Wilbert Franklin, William Melvin, Mary Ida, Levina Alta, Walden Arthur, Warren Pleasant, Wilbur Ernest, Wilson Harley, and Fern.
Mrs. Marks was born in Ohio, June 14, 1847, and died June 17, 1894.
Mr. Marks now owns three hundred and twenty-seven acres of very fine tillable land and two hundred acres of tame pasture, adjoining Saluda, a station on the Quincy branch of the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad. He was once a very extensive breeder of Aberdeen Polled Angus cattle. In politics Mr. Marks is a democrat. He was Constable and School Director for many years.
Mars, Hiram, born in Oldham County, near Louisville, Jan 7, 1829. He was the son of Andrew and Elizabeth P. (Whips) Mars and was reared on a farm. His father was a farmer and a planter, and both parents died when he was quite young. After their decease, his home was with his maternal grandfather, and under his care and watchfulness, young Mars was raised to manhood.
His early educational advantages were of the poorer sort; for at that early day, the modern school system of that State was not as yet established. He attended private schools during his boyhood and became proficient in the various studies pursued. He came to Illinois when about seventeen years of age, and entered Illinois College at Jacksonville, remaining there three years. After leaving college, he went to Quincy and remained there until 1856, when he came to Galesburg. His first occupation here was in connection with a planing-mill and sash factory, in which business he was engaged for two years. Then for two years, he worked in the lumber yard of Mr. Edwin Post. In 1863 he was connected with the Revenue Department on the Mississippi and was located at Memphis, Tennessee, and served for two years, when he returned to Galesburg.
In the spring of 1865, he again entered the lumber yard of Mr. Post and served for the period of six years in the capacity of bookkeeper and salesman. At the end of this service, he purchased the lumber yard and was associated with Mr. Norman Anthony as his first partner. Afterwards, he was associated with Stanley and Hitchcock, and two or three years later, he again formed a co-partnership with Mr. Anthony, which continued for several years, or until Mr. Anthony withdrew. Then Mr. Mars took as a partner Mr. Hamilton of Chicago, and the firm was known under the name of Hamilton and Mars. This firm continued its existence until 1888, when it was dissolved by mutual consent. Since that time, Mr. Mars has carried on the business alone.
Mr. Mars has earned for himself the name of a trustworthy man. By fair dealing and strict integrity he has won the confidence of his fellow citizens. He has never sought office, but has been called to several places of public trust. He has been on the Board of Park Commissioners for fifteen years, and his knowledge in this department has made him a most valuable member. He was a member of the Public Library Board for nine years; was Treasurer of Veritas Lodge of Odd Fellows for twelve years; was Trustee of the Presbyterian Church about the same length of time; was a member of the Building Committee, when the late, new church was erected; and has served as one of the City Aldermen for two years.
Mr. Mars has lived an uneventful but industrious life. He has shown praiseworthy diligence in business and the work of his hands has been crowned with success. The essential elements of his nature can be expressed in three words—temperance, frugality, economy. He has always shown himself to be a public spirited citizen and an honest man.
Mr. Mars’ religious creed is rather broad than otherwise. From childhood, he has attended the Presbyterian Church, though not a member. His political convictions are republican. With that party he has acted since its organization. He was formerly a whig and cast his first vote for Zachary Taylor.
Mr. Mars was first married in 1852 to Louisa Barr of Quincy, IL. One daughter was born to them, Nettie L., now the wife of F. H. Holmes, of this city. His first wife died in 1864. His second marriage took place in 1873, to Elizabeth H. Smith of Wellsburg, West Virginia. To them were born three children: Katie M.; James A.; and Mary Elizabeth.
Massey, Anson, (deceased); Farmer; Orange Township; born in May 1817, at Wilmington, Ohio, where he was educated. His parents were James and Elizabeth (Hale) Massey of North Carolina; his grandfathers were Francis Massey of N.C. and Jacob Hale of PA.
He was married to Elizabeth Hill, Feb. 7, 1838 in Clinton Co, Ohio. Their children are: Louisa, Isaac, Frank, Mary, Eli, Katharine E., Julia Martha, and Alfred. Isaac and Frank served in the Civil War. Katharine E. was married to William McCleary; their children are: George S., Nancy J., Lena C., Frank A, Elmer E, William M., Cora Edith, and Mary Elizabeth.
Mr. Massey came to Knox County in June 1844 with his wife and three children. They spent one winter in Knoxville and then removed to Abingdon, where he worked at his trade of harness-maker until he began to farm in Orange Township. He died in Feb. 1894.
Mrs. Massey was the daughter of Ephriam R. and Content (Haynes) Hill. The father of E. R. Hill was Isaac Hill, who was born at Newberg, NY. Mrs. E.R. Hill was born in Dutchess Co, NY, and was the daughter of Enoch and Elizabeth (Birdsell) Haynes. Enoch Haynes was a son of Asa Haynes, a native of Scotland, who bought land on the Croton River, NY, which is still owned by his descendants.
Robert E. Hill, brother of Mrs. Massey, came to Knox County in the spring of 1838. In 1839 he bought the farm of 165 acres where Mrs. Massey now lives. He was highly respected by all. The great-great-grandfather, Asa Haynes, had a brother, William, who settled in South Carolina, and who was the ancestor of the Haynes family of the South.
In politics, Mr. Anson Massey was a republican.
Masters, David, Knoxville; Contractor and builder; born in Maryland, July 15, 1845; educated in Maryland and Pennsylvania. His parents, Conrad Masters and Sarah C. Shenburger, were natives of Germany. They had eight children: Henrietta, William, John, Henry, Kate and David (twins), Elizabeth, and George. Conrad Masters died in 1891, but his widow survives.
The ancestry of the family is German on both sides. Dec. 24, 1874, David Masters was married to Mary J. Haner in Knoxville; they have had four children: Cora E.; Harvey D.; L. Myrtle, who died in her twentieth year; and Edna M.
Mr. Masters is a Presbyterian. In politics he is a democrat.
Masters, Henry, Farmer; Knox Township; born in Maryland, July 26, 1843; educated in the common schools. His father, Conrad Masters, was a native of Germany, and his mother, Catherine Shenberger, was born in York Co, PA.
Jan. 14, 1873, Henry Masters was married in Knox Township to Martha D. Lindsey. They have had seven children: Charles, who died at the age of eight; Mary K.; Emma F.; Harley C.; Henry C.; and two who died in infancy.
Mrs. Masters’ father, Charles R. Lindsey, was born in Virginia; he was married to Mary Post. They had ten children. Mrs. Lindsey is still living. The ancestry of the family is German, Scotch, Welsh and Irish.
Mr. Masters is a member of Knoxville Lodge, No 66, A.F. and A.M. In politics he is an independent democrat, and has held the office of School Director.
Masters, William, Farmer; Sparta Township; born in Ontario Township, March 5, 1855; educated in Oneida. His parents were Joseph and Phebe (Fookes) Masters; they were born in Somerton, Somersetshire, England.
Mr. Masters was married to Lida Nation, in Wataga, Dec. 27, 1883. Their children are: Fred N.; and Don C., who died May 22, 1896.
Mr. Masters is a republican. He has been School director for thirteen years.
Mather, L. R., Farmer; Chestnut Township; born in Orange Township, Nov. 30, 1862; where he was educated. His parents, R. L. and Mary (Allen) Mather, were born in Illinois; his paternal grandfather, Samuel Mather, was a native of New York.
Feb. 24, 1885, Mr. Mather was married, in Knoxville, to Alie Grim. They have four children: Stella M., born Nov 28, 1885; George E., born Sept 8, 1887; Arthur C., born Feb 11, 1891; and Marie J., born June 19, 1894.
Mrs. Mather was born Jan. 21, 1861; her parents were J. S. and Elemina Grim, who are now living at Knoxville. She is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church at Hermon. She was for seven years a teacher in the public schools.
Mr. Mather is Road Commissioner for Chestnut Township and has been School Director for two terms. He is a member of the Modern Woodmen of America, Mine Shaft, of Knoxville. In politics he is a republican. He has a farm of 160 acres and raises considerable stock.
May, Samuel Wells, Farmer and manufacturer; Rio Township; born March 20, 1838 in New York; educated in Knox College. His parents were Harvey Henry and Delia Duane (Ray) May of Washington Co, NY; his grandparents were Ellis Nathaniel and Mary (Wells) May of NY.
Mr. May was married to Elizabeth Hanan, in Fayette Co, PA, Nov. 27, 1870.
Mr. May has held the office of Supervisor. He is an independent in politics. In religion he is a Presbyterian.
McCall, Ida Marissa, Teacher; Galesburg; born near Galesburg, May 22, 1857; educated at Knox College. Her father, Henry Scott McCall, son of Daniel and Jane Scott McCall, was born at Philadelphia, PA, Daniel McCall being the son of Ozias and Elizabeth (Williams) McCall of Lebanon, CT. Her mother, Sarah M. (Miller) McCall, was a daughter of Elbert A. and Martha S. (Lounsbury) Miller, was born in Stamford, CT; graduated at Mt. Holyoke in 1851, afterwards teaching in Philadelphia, Connecticut, and Mississippi; married (1856) to Henry Scott McCall, a teacher, who died in 1863. An infant brother of Miss McCall, George Scott, died in 1863 and her sister, Rosa May in 1894.
From 1865 to 1876, Mrs. McCall taught in the Galesburg schools, being Principal of the High School from 1869. Since then she has been connected with Knox College most of the time, at present being Instructor of Latin and Algebra in Knox Academy.
Miss McCall’s maternal great-grandparents were James and Anna White Miller, both of Connecticut. In religion, Miss McCall is a Presbyterian.
McClure, John D., is a native of Lawrence County, Illinois, where he was born Aug 13, 1854. His grandparents were John A. and Louisa (Hadden) McClure, the former born in Kentucky. His father, Thornton Scott McClure, is a Presbyterian minister at Oaktown, Indiana, and was born in that State. His mother, Lucinda (Ennons) McClure, was born in Lawrence Co, IL.
John D. McClure was educated in the common schools, and at Howe’s Academy, Mt. Pleasant, Iowa. Upon attaining his majority, he went to Fort Worth, Texas, where for several years he engaged in the grocery and general merchandise business. Owing to ill health, he disposed of his interests in Texas and in 1890, moved to Knoxville, IL. For some months he was not actively interested in business, but in 1892, having regained his health, he bought property on the square, opposite the Court House in Knoxville, where he engaged in the restaurant and confectionery business. In the pursuit of this occupation he has met with pronounced and gratifying success.
Mr. McClure was married at Fort Worth, Texas, April 21, 1881, to Edith Adelia Chapin, a daughter of Burrell N. and C. Jane (Culver) Chapin. They have one daughter, Edith Maurie. Mrs. McClure comes of distinguished Mayflower and Revolutionary ancestry, many of whom rendered conspicuous service to their country. Her grandparents were Moses Bascomb and Irenia (de Maranville) Chapin, the former a lineal descendant of Willam White, the eleventh signer of the Mayflower compact of 1620. Mrs. McClure was educated at Knox College, Galesburg.
Mr. McClure is a man of quiet, unassuming manner, whose good judgment and reliability are thoroughly appreciated by his friends and business associates.
In politics he adheres strictly to republican principles, but has never sought official recognition. In the spring of 1899, he was elected a member of the Board of Education of Knoxville.
McElrea, William C., Farmer, and former merchant; Indian Point Township; born Feb. 10, 1839; educated in the common schools. His father was born in Ireland and his mother in Pennsylvania.
In 1846, Mr. McElrea came to Indian Point Township with his father, and, after farming some years, engaged in the mercantile business at St. Augustine for nineteen years. He then conducted a store in Hermon, and in 1887, went to London Mills, where he was a merchant for eleven years. In 1898, he returned to the homestead where he is now a farmer.
Mr. McElrea has been married three times: his present wife was Lottie (Pierce), whom he married in 1891. By a former marriage he has one daughter, Emma, who is now Mrs. Frank Shover. In religion Mr. McElrea is a Methodist. In politics he is a republican.
McGaan, Hugh, Farmer; Walnut Grove Township; born Jan. 1858 in Walnut Grove Township. He is a son of William McGaan, who came from Scotland to Knox County in 1857. He was a very successful farmer, and had three sons: William, James, and Hugh.
Hugh was married in Nov. 1885 to Lottie Arnold of Galesburg; their children are: Agnes, Sarah, Susie, Grace, and William.
Mr. Hugh McGaan settled on a part of the homestead, and is a leading farmer in the township.
McGaan, James, Farmer; Walnut Grove Township; born in Scotland March 22, 1849; educated in the seminary in Scotland and in the Altona High School. He is the son of William McGaan, of Scotland, who came to Altona in 1857, and settled in Walnut Grove Township in 1859. James McGaan lives on the old homestead.
He was married in Walnut Grove, Jan 1, 1874, to Susan Collinson, a daughter of S. L. Collinson. Their children are: Harry, Henry and Simon. Mr. McGaan is a member of the Presbyterian Church. In politics he is a republican, and has always taken keen interest in town affairs. He is one of the leading farmers in Walnut Grove Township.
McGirr, Thomas Leslie, son of Mahlon and Sarah Lodema (Barbero) McGirr, was born in Maquon, IL., Jan. 12, 1854.
His father was born in Stark Co, Ohio, afterwards moving to Washington County, and then in 1851 to Maquon. For a while, he worked at the carpenter’s trade, and later, in company with his brother, established a general store of merchandise, continuing in the business until his brother’s death in 1855. He then engaged in farming.
His mother, a native of New York, came to Illinois at a very early date, 1839.
The McGirrs are of Scotch descent. Arthur M. McGirr, Leslie’s great-grandfather, was born near Glasgow, Scotland. He was a linen draper, and on a visit to Ireland, became acquainted with Nancy McClintic, whom he married Oct. 22, 1783, in the County Tyrone. They then came to Dover, Delaware, and of their numerous family of children, the seventh, Thomas McGirr, was the grandfather of the subject of this sketch. He married Ann Wileman in Stark County, Ohio, Dec. 12, 1821. They were Quakers, and in language, simplicity of manners, and style of dress, they adhered strictly to their faith.
On account of the newness of the country and a want of proper facilities, Leslie’s educational advantages were somewhat circumscribed. He attended the public schools of several different townships and received what instruction they were able to give. Besides the branches pursued in school, he studied chemistry, physics, botany and history. He began teaching in Elba Township in Dec. 1873. Afterwards he taught in Haw Creek and Maquon townships—was principal of school at St. Augustine, taught a summer school at Greenbush, and was principal at Prairie City for several years. For some time he was a student in the college at Abingdon, but left in 1876.
After leaving college, he made a tour of some of the western states—Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri—and visited the Centennial at Philadelphia. He then became a law student under the late Judge Douglas, of the Knox County Bar, and was admitted to general practice in all the Courts of the State, Nov. 13, 1882. He first opened a law office at Maquon, and practiced there until he moved to Galesburg Aug. 4, 1887; he afterwards visited New Mexico, Arizona and Mexico.
March 14, 1891, he was elected Captain of Company C, Sixth Illinois National Guards, re-elected in March 1894, and again in March 1897.
Captain McGirr has always shown a patriotic spirit. At his country’s call, he has never hesitated or wavered. On June 10, 1894, he was ordered by the Governor to Pekin to guard and protect the town against mob violence and mob rule. He was ordered to Spring Valley, July 8, 1894, to enforce the law and maintain order against the striking miners. Here he had command of Company A, of Rock Island and Company C, of Galesburg. He also entered the United States Volunteer service in the late war with Spain and marched to the front. Sept. 1, 1899 he received notice of his appointment to a captaincy in the Fortieth Regiment, United States Volunteer Infantry, to rank from Aug. 17, 1899. The appointment was accepted by him, and he was assigned to recruiting service for his regiment on Sept. 8.
Captain McGirr has been an honored member of the following societies: Has passed through all the chairs in the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, Past Grand; A.F. and A.M.; Sachem of Tribe two terms, Improved Order of Red Men; Great Keeper of the Wampum two years; and Great Sachem one term for States of Illinois, Wisconsin, and Minnesota.
Captain McGirr is a man of commanding presence and of a genial disposition. In personal relations, he is affable and agreeable, and meets all with the warmth of friendship and the impressiveness of sincerity. In his religious views, he is not connected with any organization. He believes more in good works than in creeds. He is an unwavering adherent of the republican party.
Captain McGirr was never married.
McHale, John J., Engineer; Galesburg; born Dec. 3, 1862, in the Island of Jersey, to which place his mother was carried during the Rebellion while on a trip from Kentucky to New York by boat. He was educated in Michigan and the United States Naval Academy.
His parents were Anthony J. McHale, born in Chicago, and Ellen Rose (Kane) McHale, of Frankfort, Kentucky; his paternal grandparents were John J. McHale, of Detroit, Michigan, and Eliza E. (Kane) McHale of Ireland, his great-grandfather was Anthony J. McHale, of Ireland; his maternal grandparents were Thomas Kane of Charleston, S. C. and Anna (Ratchford) Kane of Kentucky.
He was married June 28, 1886 at St. Louis, Missouri, to Elizabeth Grace, daughter of J.T. and Mary (McAleer) Ryan of Belfast, Ireland, and Canada, respectively.
Mr. McHale’s great-grandfather came to America in 1811 to take up arms against England. He settled in Boston, MA, and served in the navy in the War of 1812; after the war he was assigned to the Division of the Lakes and settled at Detroit, MI, where he died.
Mr. McHale’s grandfather was engaged in the land surveys of Wisconsin and Michigan, and lived in Chicago, where Anthony J. was born. They moved to Detroit in 1846. Anthony J. entered the navy at the age of 16, and retired in 1865. He took up railroad work with the Canada and Great Western till 1882, and died in 1897.
John J. began his education in Michigan, and was an appointee at Annapolis, Maryland, where he took a course in the Construction Department. He spent much time in the Brooklyn Navy Yard, and took a trip around the Horn to Alaska and the Aleutian Islands. He left the Navy Department in 1880 and entered the Revenue service on the lakes. After a year, he served on a merchant vessel, and then began as engineer with the Saginaw and North Western Railroad, and took charge of the engines of that line till it was absorbed by the Michigan Central Railroad. He came to Galesburg in 1887, and in 1888, became engineer on the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad, a position which he now holds. In religion he is a Catholic. He is a democrat.
McKee, Lewis Cass; Conductor; Galesburg; bron January 29, 1851, in Lehigh County, Pennsylvania. His father was Richmond McKee, who died in 1871. Richmond McKee's father came from Scotland to Pennsylvania at an early day. L. Cass McKee was educated in the common schools. He was married to Charlotte Richardson at Savannah, Illinois, February 24, 1876. Their children are: Robert R., Bertha, and Mildred. Mr. McKee came to Bureau County, in 1857.,
McKeighan, James: son of John and Lillie (Gault) McKeighan, was born in Antrim County, Ireland, June 9, 1803. He was the second son, and had seven brothers and three sisters; those of the children who reached maturity, save one lost at sea, came to America and settled in Pennsylvania, Illinois, and Missouri. James learned the trade of linen weaving, at which he worked till he was 32 years of age, when he emigrated to the United States, landing at Philadelphia in the year 1835. He brought with him but a small amount of property, but he had what was far better, the integrity, perseverance and strong faith so often seen in the descendants of the old Scotch Covenanters. This rich inheritance from his ancestors he brought to Pennsylvania and it was the solid foundation of all the work of his subsequent life. He arrived at Farmington, Fulton Co, IL. in Dec. 1838, and in a few years was the owner of an 80 acre farm.
Mr. McKeighan returned to Ireland in the fall of 1847, and there, in 1848, married Elizabeth, daughter of Robert and Rachel Cunningham. Soon after his marriage he returned to Farmington and built a log house on his farm, which he soon replaced with a comfortable frame dwelling. A few years later he sold his property in Fulton County for two thousand four hundred dollars, and removed to Salem Township, Knox County, where he purchased 160 acres of unbroken prairie land on Section 22. Here, with the canny skill of the Scotch-Irishman, he made for himself and family a splendid farm. He endured all the trials of the pioneer: he “broke” prairie and built sod fences, and tried to hasten the good time by helping to grade the track for a railroad. Finally, as a result of labor well applied, special care in raising stock and in disposing of the products of his farm, he became wealthy, and was able to give good farms to his children.
Mr. McKeighan and his wife had six children, two of whom died in infancy: the names of the remaining four are Robert J., Rachel, Mary Elizabeth, and Emma.
In politics Mr. McKeighan was a whig, but when the republican party was organized he entered its ranks and stood for liberty and the union during the Civil War. He assisted in organizing, and was a member of the Presbyterian Church at Farmington, and gave twelve hundred dollars toward the erection of a church edifice, and when he became a member of the church in Yates City, he was in a similar manner beneficent to that organization. Those who were in want found in him a friend; those who needed advice could rely upon his judgment, and, whether in public or private life, he was ever ready to assist those in need of help. He died Nov. 15, 1885, mourned, not only by his own family, but by the whole community in which he lived.
McKie, John Miller: born in Copley Township, Knox Co, IL. June 4, 1844. He is of Scottish descent, and the son of William and Margaret (Miller) McKie, who came from Scotland about the year 1840, and settled in Copley. His parents were an industrious and frugal people, and brought up their children with correct habits and right ideas of economy.
His father was a farmer, and it was on the farm that the son had his first experience in earning a living. His early educational advantages were somewhat limited; but by close application in the common schools, by reading books and the general literature of the day, he acquired a thorough practical education.
His first occupation on leaving school was teaching. He pursued this but a short time, when he engaged in farming until the year 1876. He then became a dry goods merchant at Altona, Illinois, and continued in that business for two years. He then took the position as bookkeeper for a large grocery firm, which place he held for eight years. For the next two years, he became a member of a firm dealing in groceries and hardware, which ended on account of a fire which swept through the town, Jan. 2, 1888.
During all these years, Mr. McKie was diligent in business, and success seemed to crown his efforts. He possessed the power to turn even misfortune to his advantage. In 1889, he aided in organizing the Bank of Altona, and was elected its first Assistant Cashier. Afterwards, he was elected Cashier, which position he still holds. For four years, from Dec. 1894 to Dec. 1898, he held the office of County Treasurer of Knox County, being elected on the republican ticket. He has also held at Altona several other minor offices—such as School Treasurer, School Director, Village Clerk, and Tax Collector.
Into whatever position Mr. McKie has been called by the confidence and suffrages of his fellow citizens, he has filled it most acceptably and with high commendations. The office has been honored by his official connection. As a citizen, he has shown himself worthy of the friendship of others and worthy of public trust. In all his public and private relations, he is honest, faithful, and true, and is a good exemplar for others to follow. He is kind in his intercourse with others, benevolent in disposition, and wears in his countenance and demeanor the marks of a Christian gentleman.
In religious faith, Mr. McKie is a Presbyterian. He belongs to the republican party and is a constant and ardent supporter of republican principles.
Mr. McKie was united in marriage, Feb. 22, 1872, to Jeannette Gordon McDowell. Her parents came from Scotland and were early settlers in Knox County.
Mr. and Mrs. McKie were the parents of two children: Margaret, born Jan 30, 1873, died March 7, 1880; and Mary, born Oct. 9, 1880, died Sept. 15, 1882.
McKown, Charles Wesley: Apiarist; Haw Creek Township; born March 14, 1840, in Fulton Co, IL; educated in the common schools. His parents were William McKown of Ireland, who was born Nov. 22, 1785, and died April 6, 1865, and Sarah Davis of Hamilton Co, Ohio, born Dec. 8, 1796, and died Jan. 24, 1888.
Mr. McKown was married in Gilson March 11, 1866 to Sarah W. Ward. His second marriage was with Rebecca C. Traxler, March 24, 1885. Three of their children are living: Frank T., Henry C., and Daisy.
Mr. McKown came with his parents to Knox County in the fall of 1858, and settled in Haw Creek Township, where he farmed until 1862. He enlisted in Company F, Eighty-sixth Illinois Volunteer Infantry, under Captain J. L. Burkhalter. He fought in the following battles: Perryville, Chickamaugua, Kenasaw Mountains, Mission Ridge, through the Atlanta campaign, at Jonesburg, and with Sherman in his famous “March to the Sea”. He participated in the Grand Review at Washington at the close of the war, and was honorably discharged June 6, 1865. After his return to Knox County he taught school, and, after his second marriage, settled on a farm for two years. He then became a merchant in Gilson, and in 1876 sold out and became an apiarist.
In 1889, his ability and success was recognized by his appointment to the position of United States Gauger at Peoria, which he held for five years. He then returned to Gilson and continued his work as an apiarist, often producing as many as ten thousand pounds of honey in a season.
Mr. McKown is a Royal Arch Mason. He has also been Adjutant and Quartermaster of the Eighty-sixth Regiment, Illinois Volunteer Infantry Reunion Association since its organization in 1887. In politics he is a republican.
McMaster, Chauncy J., Merchant; Altona, Walnut Grove Township; born May 19, 1861, in Walnut Grove Township. He is a son of John McMaster. He was educated in the common schools and Galesburg Business College.
He married in Walnut Grove Township, in 1889, to Ida M., daughter of S. S. Stukey, who died Aug. 13, 1890. His second marriage was Sept. 1, 1892, to Ida E., daughter of G. W. Sawyer.
In 1887, Mr. McMaster with J. M. McKie as partner, bought the grocery business of J. T. Main at Altona. In 1889, the building and stock was burned, and the partnership was dissolved. Mr. McMaster erected another building upon the same site, where he has conducted a grocery and hardware business.
In 1897, he was appointed Postmaster. He has been Township Treasurer; has held other minor offices, and takes an active part in township affairs. He is a member of the Masonic Order. In politics he is a republican.
McMaster, Thomas, Farmer, Walnut Grove Township; born April 13, 1843, in Ayrshire, Scotland. He is the son of John and Ann McMaster. He was educated in the common schools.
March 19, 1878, he was married to Sarah E. Hank in Galesburg. There are three children: Ida, George and William. Mrs. McMaster is a daughter of Joseph Hank, of Victoria Township.
Mr. McMaster settled in Copley Township in 1852, and began farming in company with his brothers. He had but little property in early life, but he is now one of the wealthiest farmers in Walnut Grove Township. He is a republican.
McMurtry, Harriet, Henderson Township, where she was born, Feb. 12, 1854, and where she was educated. Her parents were James McMurtry, born in Hardin Co, Kentucky, died March 1893, and Eliza (Rice) McMurtry, born in Indiana, died Sept 23, 1879; her grandparents were James McMurtry of North Carolina, and Margaret (Lucas) McMurtry of Kentucky; her maternal grandparents were Jacob Rice, and Margaret (Edwards) Rice of Kentucky.
In religion Harriet McMurtry is a Universalist.
McMurtry, William, was born in Mercer Co., Kentucky, Feb. 20, 1801. He removed, with his parents, to Crawford Co., Indiana, where he married Ruth Champion, by whom he had five children: Mary E., James C., Nancy, Francis M., and Cynthia. Mrs. McMurtry died Feb. 10, 1864.
In 1829 he came, with his family, to Henderson Grove, where he lived until his death, from dropsy, April 11, 1875. He was a democrat in politics, and was elected to the legislature in 1836, and again in 1838. In 1844 he was sent to the State Senate, and in 1848 was made Lieutenant Governor. He was comparatively uneducated, but his sociability, his strong, good sense, and his inimitable energy made him one of the most influential men of his day in Illinois politics.
In 1862 he was commissioned Colonel of the One Hundred and Second Illinois Volunteer Infantry, but ill health compelled his resignation in Feb. 1863.
He was a man of powerful physique and great vitality, but his rough life in the early frontier days left him broken down in constitution during the later years of his life.
McWilliams, David, Knoxville; Retired Farmer; born in Knox County, April 7, 1846; educated in the common schools. His parents, Robert and Margaret (Thurman) McWilliams, were natives of Ohio. His paternal grandfather, Samuel McWilliams, was from Pennsylvania; his maternal grandfather, John Thurman, was from Virginia. His ancestry is Scotch, French and Swedish.
Jan. 11, 1866, in Knox County, Mr. McWilliams was married to Mary E. Rambo; they have five children: Flora M., Frank E., C. Elmer, Lodema A., and Hattie L. Flora M. married Leonard Stegall; they have one son, Floyd G. Frank E. married Ollie West; they have one daughter, Alma E. Hattie L. married Andrew F. Peterson; they have one son, Francis L. Lodema A. is a teacher in the graded schools of Knoxville.
Sept. 13, 1862, Mr. McWilliams enlisted in Company A, Fourteenth Illinois Cavalry, and was honorably discharged July 18, 1865, upon a surgeon’s certificate of disability.
He is a member of G. W. Trafton Post, G.A.R., No. 239, Knoxville. Mr. McWilliams is a republican.
McWilliams, Seymour, Merchant; Abingdon; born March 14, 1861, in Mercer Co., Pennsylvania; educated in the common schools. His father, John McWilliams, was a native of Pennsylvania, and his paternal grandfather was Robert C. McWilliams.
Mr. McWilliams was married to Jennie Bell, April 8, 1885, in Lawrence Co., PA. Four of their five children are living: Jennie O., John R., Mark D., and Luke S.
Mr. McWilliams came to Galesburg in 1883, and in 1885 began a grocery business in Abingdon, which he continued from 1885 to 1892.
In religion he is a Methodist. In politics he is a democrat, and in 1894 was appointed Postmaster for four years. He was elected Supervisor in 1890, 1892, and again in 1899. In 1899, he was Collector. Mr. McWilliams has always taken a keen interest in town affairs.
Mead, H. F., Dairyman; Galesburg; born Dec. 31, 1870, at Hiresboro, Vermont; educated in Vermont and at Galesburg, Illinois.
His parents, Seth and Celia J. (Ferguson) Mead, his paternal grandparents, Orrin and Rodie (Willer) Mead; and his maternal grandfather, David Ferguson, were born in Vermont.
Mr. Mead is a republican. Father's bio below:
Mead, Seth Weller, son of Orrin and Rhoda (Weller) Mead, was born in the town of Hinsburg, Vermont, April 13, 1835.
His father was a farmer, and it was in cultivating the sterile and unyielding soil of the home farm that Seth spent his boyhood. His mother, in the maternal line, was a direct descendant of General Green of Revolutionary fame.
Seth Mead was educated in the public schools and academies of his native State. His early life was not blessed with superior educational advantages. Like other New England boys, he worked on the farm summers and attended school winters. But he improved every opportunity and made even necessity a means of improvement. He became a teacher in the public schools, and in them took his first lessons in discipline and command. Afterwards, he became a country merchant—a line of business which he pursued for many years.
For several years his prospects for success in his native State were not bright, and he resolved to try his fortunes in the west. In 1875, he came to Illinois, and in the following year, to Galesburg. For the first five years, he was engaged as clerk in the Union Hotel and in Brown’s Hotel. In 1882, under the clerkship of Mr. A. J. Perry, he was appointed Deputy County Clerk, which office he held until the time of his death, July 10, 1898.
Mr. Mead had no great fellowship for societies, whether secret, religious, or political. When a young man at Hinsburg, Vermont, he joined the fraternity of Free Masons, but never removed his membership from that lodge. He belonged to no church; he had no creed but that of kindness and mercy towards his fellow beings. He was uncompromisingly republican and was thoroughly conversant with the party organization and party measures. He believed in right living and right doing, and lived a most exemplary life. He was known for his kindness of heart and gentleness of disposition, and possessed the innate power of drawing around him a host of friends. He was loved and beloved by all who knew him. In his daily labors, and especially in the office which he held, he was intelligent, kind, and affable; and it may be said that no Deputy County Clerk ever performed the duties of that office more acceptably than he. So conversant was he in county matters that he was regarded as an authority. He filled every station in life well, and his memory is cherished for the good he has done.
Mr. Mead was twice married. He was first married in 1851, to Celia J. Furguson. There were born to them three children, one daughter and two sons, Abbie H., Seth Earnest, and Herbert Furguson.
His second marriage was Oct. 27, 1873 to Sarah M. Gregg. The issue of this union was two children, Frank L. and Mabel L.
Meadows, Clinton H., Cedar Township; Stockman; born May 11, 1859, in Floyd Township, Warren County, IL. His father, Martin Meadows, was born in Kentucky; his mother, Catherine (Reynolds) was a native of Indiana. His paternal grandfather was Henry Meadows.
In 1884 Mr. Clinton H. Meadows married Mary K. Lambin in South Bend, Indiana. They have two children: Ralph Martin, and Forrest Lambin.
Mr. Meadows is a republican. He received his education in the public schools.
Meeks, D. E., Farmer; Chestnut Township; born in Knox County, Mary 23, 1861; educated in the common schools. His father, Abram W. Meeks, was a native of Virginia; his mother, Martha E. (Bonner), was born in Missouri.
In Chestnut Township, Sept. 1, 1886, Mr. Meeks was married to Netta Burnside. They have two children, William B., born in April 1888, and Fay, born March 12, 1891.
Mrs. Meeks was born in Chestnut Township, Dec. 25, 1864, and is the daughter of William and Julian (Terry) Burnside, who are now living in Galesburg.
Mr. Meeks’ father, Abraham W. Meeks, came from Ohio to Knox County about forty-nine years ago and is now living at Knoxville.
Mr. Meeks’ farm of 240 acres is located on Section 21. He is a dealer in horses, cattle, and hogs, and has a fine house and out-buildings. The house is heated by a furnace. In politics Mr. Meeks is a republican.
Melton, Elvira Lee, Oneida, Ontario Township; daughter of George W. Melton; educated in the common schools. She was reared on the homestead in Knox County and moved to Oneida in 1892. Since January, 1894, she has taken the place of mother to a nephew and three nieces named Melton: Albert R., Bessie A., Catharine N., and Grace A.
George W. Melton was born Sept. 5, 1811, and was a son of David and Catherine (Phrimmer) Melton, who settled in Henderson Township in May 1834. He was married March 26, 1836 to Mary Ann Riley, the daughter of William and Ellen (Jewel) Riley. In 1837 he settled on Section 31, Ontario Township, where he died in 1891, aged 80 years. His wife died in Oneida at the age of 79. Ten of their eleven children reached maturity: Elizabeth; Henry; William; Lucinda; Elvira; Catherine, deceased; Medora; Ella; Loraine; Lillian; and George.
Mr. Melton is remembered as a generous and kind man. He was a prosperous farmer, and reputed to be worth $100,000. In politics he was a staunch republican. Mr. and Mrs. Melton were members of the Congregational Church. They celebrated their golden wedding in 1886. Mrs. Melton was an excellent manager and to her Mr. Melton attributed much of his success in life.
Melton, Frank A., Farmer; Rio Township; born April 20, 1875, in Rio, Illinois; educated in Rio, Wataga, and Galesburg. His parents were W. J. Melton, born in Ontario Township, Knox County, and Mary (Knox) Melton, born in Connecticut; his grandfather was George W. Melton.
He was married to Alice N. Coziahr, at Rio, Oct. 20, 1897. Mr. Melton is in religion a Protestant. In politics he is a democrat.
Merricks, William A., Merchant, and Farmer; Abingdon; born Dec.7, 1828, in Cabell County, West Virginia; educated in the common schools of Knox County, IL.
Mr. Merricks came to Knox County in 1839, and after living with different farmers spent some years as a clerk. In 1880, he went into the grocery and farming business which he conducted until 1885. He now keeps a diary, but has retired from active business life.
April 15, 1852, Mr. Merricks was married in Abingdon to Hannah E. (Chesney). They have four children: Clayton O., Jesse J., Blanch E., and Fannie E.
Mrs. Merricks is a daughter of Kent M. Chesney, who came to Knox County in 1836, and died in Topeka, Kansas.
After his marriage Mr. Merricks settled in Abingdon and from there managed his farm for many years. He was the first City Marshal of Abingdon, and is now serving his tenth term as Alderman of the Fourth Ward, his election having met with very little opposition. He was Collector for some years.
Mr. Merricks is a Christian in religion. In politics he is a republican.
Merrill, Charles C. was born in Orwell, Vermont, Sept. 10, 1833. His father was Horace Merrill and his mother’s maiden name was Deborah Paine. After their marriage, they resided in Amherst, MA until about 1830, when they removed to Orwell. About the year 1836, they went west, settling in Chardon, Geauga Co, Ohio, where they continued to reside until their death. They came from good New England stock, and had all the sterling qualities of that industrious and thrifty people. In their natures, they were quiet and retiring, but were tenacious and unwavering in their religious opinions, which were Presbyterian. To their neighbors and friends, they were always kind, sympathetic, and generous, and spent their lives in doing good. The son has embalmed their memory in the following words: “A happy, well mated couple, taking great delight in each other, and rearing a large family, who will ever revere their memory. They both died at a good old age.”
C. C. Merrill’s father was the son of Captain Calvin Merrill, and was born in Amherst, MA, Aug 31, 1789. He died Sept. 6, 1873, at the advanced age of 84 years. His mother was born in Vernon, CT., Aug 31, 1788 and died in Kingsville, Ohio, Aug. 5, 1874, at the age of 86. They were married in Amherst, Oct. 19, 1809, and had nine children, four sons and five daughters. Two daughters and three sons are deceased.
C. C. Merrill received an excellent common school education at Chardon, Ohio. At fifteen years of age, he attended the Western Reserve Teachers’ Seminary at Kirtland and became well qualified to give instruction in those branches usually taught in the common schools. Mr. Merrill’s experience as a teacher is not a long one. He taught for a short time in the seminary at Kirtland, and one term in a district school.
The boyhood of Mr. Merrill was spent at the paternal homestead in Chardon, Ohio. His older sisters were teachers, and this circumstance gave him a most excellent opportunity for study, for which he had a strong desire. His father was not a man of affluence. Consequently young Merrill was obliged to “shift for himself” and earn in part his own support.
In the fall of 1853, when he was only twenty years of age, Mr. Merrill came to Illinois. He spent a few days in Galesburg with his uncle, Roswell Paine, who was one of the original Galesburg Colony. He then went to Oquawka, IL, and took a position as clerk in the store of James McKinney. He remained here from the spring of 1854 to Sept. of the same year, when he went to Greenbush, IL. Here he formed a partnership with his brother, F. H. Merrill, and Alfred Osborn in a general store, under the firm name of Merrill, Osborn and Merrill. In the fall of 1860 he came to Galesburg and was first employed as a clerk in the dry goods store of E. F. Thomas. In the fall of 1863, he engaged in the clothing business for himself, and continued in that business at the same place, 136 Main Street, for the long period of nearly thirty-six years. April 27, 1899, he disposed of his stock of goods and retired.
Honor does not always come to the deserving, or merited praise to the public benefactor. By a consistent and conscientious life, Mr. Merrill has won both praise and honor from his fellow townsmen. In 1873-4, he was elected to an aldermanship from the Second Ward of the city and served his constituents faithfully and honorably. From 1885 to 1894, he served as a member of the Board of Education, and in 1898 he was again elected, which position he still holds.
As a citizen, Mr. Merrill is a good example of a just and honorable man. He is patriotic in spirit, has great decision of character, and has always been known for his fair dealings in business. He is possessed of kindly feelings towards all, is charitable towards the failings of others, and does not believe in temporizing where principle is concerned. He has lived an upright life, faithful to duty, and his example is worthy of imitation.
Mr. Merrill joined the Methodist Episcopal Church in 1867, and has since been a reliable and consistent member. In political faith, he is a republican. He says: “I cast my first vote for John C. Fremont, in 1856. I have never changed my views, and am a firm believer in the political platform of the republican party and in William McKinley as President of the United States.”
Mr. Merrill was married Aug. 27, 1855 at North Bloomfield, Trumbull Co, Ohio to Cornelia Converse Osborn. Her father was a farmer and one of the earliest settlers in that part of Ohio. The family came from Connecticut, with ox teams, requiring many weeks to perform the journey. There were nine children. Mrs. Merrill’s brother, Dr. R. H. Osborn, now living in Detroit, Michigan, was for about forty years, the resident physician for the Hecla and Calumet Mining Company, located at Calumet, Michigan. Her older sister, Mrs. David Parscus, was for many years a prominent teacher and was the first woman elected on the Board of Education at Detroit, where she still resides.
Metcalf, Albert Dwight, Banker and hardware merchant; born in Orange Township, Oct. 20, 1852. His parents were Samuel and Elizabeth (Bruce) Metcalf, of Vermont and New York respectively. The ancestry of the family is English, the first Metcalf settlers coming to America before the Revolutionary War. His grandfather Samuel was born in NY and was a soldier in the War of 1812. He settled in Orange Township, and died at the age of 70, his wife living to be 81 years old. He was a Congregationalist, and a deacon in the church for many years.
Albert D. Metcalf was educated in the common schools, and at Knox College, from which he graduated in 1875. At that time he owned an interest in the lumber and grain business at Oneida, which was operated under the firm name of Jones and Metcalf. He afterwards sold out and engaged in the lumber business with his brother until 1890. They then went into the hardware business with A. W. Jones, whose interest they afterwards purchased. The firm of Metcalf Brothers have greatly enlarged their stock, and carry farm implements, harness and buggies. In 1891, Mr. Metcalf became President of the Oneida State Bank.
He was married May 4, 1876 to Eva J. Muzzy, who was born in PA, and was a daughter of John and Saloma (Chittenden) Muzzy, of MA. Mr. Muzzy died during the Civil War.
In politics Mr. Metcalf is a prohibitionist. He is a Deacon in the Congregationalist Church, and has been Superintendent of the Sunday school for twenty-three years.
Miles, Joseph W., Farmer; Persifer Township, where he was born March 6, 1864; educated in the common schools and at Knox College. His parents were Rufus W. Miles, of Newark, Ohio, and Mary Jane (Bruce) Miles, of Wallingford, Vermont. His paternal grandparents were Rev. Solomon S. Miles, born in Belpre, Ohio, in 1794, and Eliza Ann (Gilmore) Miles, of Rutland, Vermont; his maternal grandparents were Silas and Hannah D. (Scott) Bruce of Vermont; his paternal great-grandparents were Captain Benjamin and Hannah (Buckminster) Miles of Massachusetts, the former of Rutland.
Mr. Joseph Miles was married in Persifer Township, Section 28, Sept. 6, 1896, to Mary E. Derham. Their two children are deceased.
Miles, Rufus W., Farmer; born Sept. 21, 1822, at Newark, Ohio; educated in the common schools of Ohio, and at Knox College, Galesburg, IL. His parents were Rev. S. S. Miles of Belpre, Ohio and Eliza Ann (Gilmore) Miles of Rutland, Vermont. His paternal grandparents were Benjamin and Hannah (Buckminster) Miles of Massachusetts, the former of Rutland. His maternal grandfather was John Gilmore; his paternal great-grandparents were Captain Benjamin Miles and Mary (Hubbard) Miles of Concord, MA.
Rufus W. Miles came to Illinois in 1836, when fourteen years old. He crossed the plains in 1850, returning in 1851 by way of Panama and New York.
Mr. Miles was married near Knoxville Jan. 18, 1849, to Mary J. Bruce. Their children are: Lucy W., Hannah E., Emma M., James H., Rufus H., Joseph W., and M. Jennie.
Mr. Miles was a member of the Presbyterian Church. In politics he was a republican, and during the last forty years of his life he was almost constantly in public office. The public service that he liked best to remember was that rendered as a member of the building committee of the Knox County Alms House.
Miller, Charles, Contractor and Builder; Galesburg; born Nov. 3, 1862 in Kent County, England, where he learned the carpenter’s trade.
He was married to Elizabeth Lass Spinner in England in 1884. They have four children, Harry W., Herbert L., Clement G., and Ethel L.
Mr. Miller came to Galesburg in 1887, with his family, and found employment for a time in the coach department of the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad. He afterwards engaged in contracting and building.
Miller, John B., Gilson, Haw Creek Township; Physician; born in Delavan, Tazewell Co, IL., Oct. 22, 1852; educated in the High Schools of Illinois. Dr. Miller’s paternal grandfather, William Miller, was of Scotch descent. His son, George W. Miller, father of Dr. Miller, was born in New Albany, Indiana, and soon after his birth, the family moved to Kentucky and from there to Lawrence Co, IL. He became a Methodist minister and married Elizabeth Westfall, a native of Lawrence County, and the daughter of Isaac Westfall.
Dr. Miller studied medicine one year with Drs. Wright and Laney in Canton, IL, and after moving with his father to Gilson, he studied two years with Dr. D. W. Aldrich in that place, and then attended the College of Physicians and Surgeons at Keokuk, Iowa, where he graduated in 1873. He settled immediately in Bonaparte, Iowa, but after nine months, returned to Gilson, where he married and then settled in Orion, Henry Co, IL. After a short time he returned to Gilson, where he conducted a drug store for about a year and a half. After practicing three years in Eugene, he returned to Gilson, where he built up a good practice.
Dr. Miller has been twice married. His first wife was Cordelia A. Ward, whom he married in Gilson, where she died, leaving two children: Pearl, wife of George Robertson; and Ward.
His second wife was Virginia E., daughter of John D. Moore, an old settler of Orange Township. Of this union there are four children living: Settie May, Joy McC, Bettie, and Lucy Lavon. George B., a twin brother of Bettie, died at the age of eight months.
Dr. Miller is a free religionist. In politics he is a republican. His official positions have been school offices. He is a member of the Masonic fraternity, and of the Modern Woodmen of America. He is a popular and intelligent physician, honored and loved by all who know him.
Mitchell, Hugh M., was a native of Ohio, and was born in Harrison County, May 25, 1820. His father was John Mitchell, who lived in his early years in Washington County, PA. He was a man of strong intellect and was educated in the common schools of his native State. At an early date, he went to Ohio, and married Margaret McGee, a native of Jefferson Co, OH. Both parents were of Irish descent, and after marriage settled in Harrison County, when it was almost an unbroken wilderness. Here they lived long and industrious lives, and at last, transformed the wild land on which they had settled into a fine farm. They raised a family of eleven children. Mr. Mitchell was a soldier in the War of 1812.
Hugh M. Mitchell partook of some of the marked characteristics of his father. He was endowed with a good intellect and a sound judgment. He was educated in the common schools, showing the same perseverance there as was exhibited in the business affairs of his after life. He remained on the home farm until he was twenty-four years of age, when he married and settled on a 40 acre tract of broken, hilly land. By his industry and economy, he prospered, and saved a sufficient amount of means to purchase a large farm, on which he moved in 1847. To his farming, he added, in 1853, the business of keeping a tavern for the accommodation of travelers, which proved to be very lucrative. Here a small village sprang up, and after the Post office was established, he was appointed Post-master, holding the office for twelve years.
Mr. Mitchell was not pleased with this double-headed business of keeping an inn and farming. He had a great fondness for the farm. So he resolved to engage wholly in that occupation. He sold out and came to Knox County in the fall of 1864. He bought a farm in Sparta Township, where he lived until 1871, when he removed to Ontario Township. Here he purchased a farm of about 300 acres, making his landed possessions in the two townships of Sparta and Ontario about 600 acres. At the same time he owned a nice residence in Oneida. Thus from small beginnings, he became one of the wealthiest farmers in Knox County.
Mr. Mitchell was no ordinary man. Endowed with a good intellect and trained in the habits of industry and economy, he soon rose to a condition of affluence. His business judgment was unerring and his attention to duty never flagged. The path of rectitude he saw before him, and from it, he never turned aside. He was just and generous, and lived a life that becomes a man. His religious faith was Presbyterian. Both he and his wife were members of that church. Politically he was a Jeffersonian democrat. He firmly believed in the principles of that party.
Mr. Mitchell married March 19, 1844 to Nancy Nash. Her parents were farmers in Pennsylvania, and when she was but a child, removed to Harrison Co, OH., where they lived and died. They had a family of seven children, consisting of two sons and five daughters. The wife of Hugh M. Mitchell, was a most estimable woman and was born Aug. 9, 1820.
To Mr. and Mrs. Mitchell were born six children, five sons and one daughter. Three sons and the daughter are deceased. John R. is a resident of Oneida and owns a farm in Ontario Township; Samuel P. resides on a farm north of Oneida; Hugh Parks was a farmer in Gage Co, Nebraska for a number of years, but later was in the employ of the Iowa Central Railroad Company; and J. Calvin was the founder and editor of the Keithburg Times. The greatest legacy that Mr. Mitchell left his children was a good education. They attended either Knox or Monmouth College. He died Nov. 2, 1898.
Mitchell, John Raymond, son of Hugh M. and Nancy A. (Nash) Mitchell, was born Aug. 13, 1847 in Harrison Co., Ohio. The Mitchell family were emigrants from the North of Ireland, and of Scotch descent. Hugh M. Mitchell was born in Harrison County, May 26, 1820, and was married March 14, 1844 to Nancy A. Nash, born in the same county, and daughter of William and Hannah (Drummond) Nash of Pennsylvania. He came to Knox County in the fall of 1864, and located in Sparta Township, a mile and a half east of Wataga. He resided there from 1864 to 1871, and then moved to Section 23, Ontario Township, where he had a large farm. He afterwards went to Oneida, where his death occurred Nov. 2, 1898. The paternal grandparents of John R. Mitchell were John and Margaret (McKie) Mitchell, both born in Westmoreland Co, PA. He was a soldier in the War of 1812, and settled in Harrison County, Ohio, when the country was a wilderness.
The education of John R. Mitchell was begun in the common schools of Ohio, and completed in Wataga, IL, to which State he came with his father in the year 1864. He was brought up a practical farmer, and owns a very fine farm of 320 acres in Ontario Township.
He was married in Oneida, March 23, 1876, to Anna Jennett Muir, daughter of Thomas and Martha J. Finley (Heagy) Muir. They have four children: Vida May, Maurice Finley, Anna Myrtle, and Nannie Grace.
Mr. Muir was born in Creeton, Scotland, Dec. 12, 1826 and emigrated to Knox County in 1839 with his mother and stepfather, Samuel McCornack. The family settled first near Knoxville, where they had a saw mill. Mr. Muir was a clerk in the store of John Johnston, a well known merchant of Knoxville. He was married Oct. 24, 1853, lived in Nebraska City, Nebraska, a year, and returned to Oneida, where, after an active and useful life, he died, aged 58 years. He was an elder in the Presbyterian Church at the age of twenty-five; a Sunday school superintendent, and leader of the choir many years. His children by his first marriage were Anna Jennett and Thomas F. By a second marriage to Mrs. Sarah Hutchinson, there were two children, Sarah Louisa and Mary Ella.
In politics, Mr. Mitchell has been a republican since 1869, casting his first vote for General Grant, and is a firm believer in republican principles. For many years he has been an active member of the Presbyterian Church, and has, for a number of years, taken especial interest in educational matters in Oneida. At present Mr. Mitchell rents his farm and quietly enjoys the results of his previous labor.
Mitchell, Samuel P., Farmer and Real Estate Dealer; Ontario Township; born March 30, 1855 in Cassville, Ohio; educated in the common schools and Monmouth Academy. His father was born May 26, 1829 and was married March 19, 1844; he died Nov. 2, 1898. His mother, Nancy Ann (Nash) Mitchell, was born Aug. 9, 1820. She is now living in Oneida.
Mr. Mitchell married Sept. 2, 1880 to Mary E. Allen. Their children are: Newton Wright; William Arthur, deceased; Frederick, deceased; Lula Mabel; and Irma Ann.
Mr. Mitchell came to Sparta Township when ten years of age. He became a practical and successful farmer. In 1884, he went to Columbus, Kansas, where for three years he was an extensive dealer in farm lands. He also spent a winter at Pasadena, California, and for a year engaged in the milling business at Columbus, Kansas. He returned to Oneida, Knox County, and located on a farm of 80 acres. He is now managing his father’s estate.
Mr. Mitchell is an Elder in the Presbyterian Church, and is also Sunday School Superintendent. In politics he is a republican. He has served as School Director of his township.
Montgomery, Harvey is a thrifty farmer and was born in Knox Township, on the place where he now lives, Jan. 14, 1834. John Montgomery was his father, whose occupation was that of a farmer. He was a native of Kentucky and was born in Nelson County, Oct. 27, 1801. When he was ten years of age, his parents bought a home in Indiana and lived in that State until they removed to Henderson, Illinois. They arrived in Henderson on May 10, 1830, living there and engaging in farming for a period of eighteen months. They then removed to the farm in Knox Township where Harvey Montgomery now lives.
Harvey’s mother was a Kentuckian by birth and was born in Barren County. This county takes its name from Little Barren River, which drains this section of country. The origin of the name is traceable to sparsely wooded tracts, called in the West, “Barrens”.
His parents were married in 1825, and there were born to them seven children: three boys and four girls—three of whom are still living. The following is the order of their births: Robert, Rebecca, Minerva Jane, Eliza, Harvey, Sarah S. and John W. One of the daughters became the wife of Jacob D. Gum, a familiar name in Knox Co., and another is the wife of C. N. Butt, who lives near Knoxville.
Harvey Montgomery’s grandfather, Robert, was a Pennsylvanian, and was born in Mifflin County, which took its name from Governor Mifflin. His grandmother was Rebecca Brown, a native of Pennsylvania. Harvey’s great-grandfather was killed in an Indian engagement on Pickaway Plains in the eastern part of Ohio, when the State was but a wilderness, inhabited by tribes of wandering and ferocious Indians. The name Pickaway comes from the misspelling of “Piqua”, the name of an Indian tribe, inhabiting this region.
Harvey Montgomery, during his school age, had no easy task to perform. He had to labor almost incessantly on the farm while attending school. It was a true example of pursuing “knowledge under difficulties”. Making use of what time was spared him, he attended the district school at what is known as the “Hague Schoolhouse”, and acquired there the rudiments of his education.
When his meager school-days were ended, he continued the avocation of farming, which he had pursued, more or less, during his boyhood. And during these many years of his life, his business has been farming and stock-raising. His aim is to cultivate the best of stock, which he regards as more profitable than keeping an inferior sort. His horses, his short-horns, and his sheep have been considered among the best, and he has been reckoned among our most thrifty and reliable farmers. His home farm is well situated and covers an area of 800 acres—the larger portion of which is tillable land, the smaller portion is covered with native forests. His homestead does not comprise all of his real estate. A short distance south of the city of Galesburg, he owns a farm of 160 acres; he owns another farm of 80 acres; and still another of 80 acres more. His landed possessions in all comprise 1120 acres. The land is rich and valuable.
Mr. Montgomery has no particular love for office. He seeks to do his duty as a citizen, and leaves to others the trials, troubles, bickerings, honors, and emoluments of office-seeking and office-holding. For the long period of 25 years, he had been a member of the Knox County Agricultural Board, and served for a term or two as an Assistant Supervisor. He is a member of the Old Settlers’ Association, whose meetings he never fails to attend. He wears a gold medal presented by them on which is the following inscription: “Harvey Montgomery, 1834-1898, Oldest Person Born in Knox County”.
Mr. Montgomery has no church affiliations, but believes it to be a religious duty to live an upright and moral life. He has no sympathy with cant for fustian, whether practiced by Christian or infidel. He has lived a plain, unaffected life, and is regarded by the community as an estimable and worthy citizen. He is guided by moral principle, kind and affectionate, and he bestows his charities where his sound discretion and judgment dictate. Politically, he has always been a stanch democrat, with unswerving faith in Jeffersonian principles. He is not radical, and is ever willing to listen to the views of his opponents.
Mr. Montgomery was married in Henderson Township, Nov. 15, 1864, to Louisa Maxwell. She was born in Henderson Township, Feb. 28, 1842, and was the daughter of Harvey and Sarah Maxwell. Her father came to Knox Co. in 1829 and located near Henderson Grove.
To Mr. and Mrs. Montgomery were born three children: Sarah J., born Nov. 18, 1865; John, born Dec. 2, 1866; and Henry, born Nov. 22, 1870.
Sarah J. married John G. Hayes, and has one child Harry M. They live in Galesburg Township. John married Grace Dunlap, and to them has been born one child, Marie. They lived in Knox Township. Harry married Mary Bowers. They have one child, Jennie, and live in Knox Township.
Moor, Angus, Farmer; Rio Township; born in Anson, Maine, Feb. 8, 1835. His parents, Eber S. and Lydia T. (Daggett) Moor, were natives of Maine; his paternal grandparents were John and Susan Moor; his maternal grandparents were George and Mary Daggett.
Mr. Moor came to Knox County with his parents in 1844 and received his education here. In 1859, he crossed the plains, and for seven years mined in California, Idaho, and Montana, returning in 1866. On the journey he came in a row boat down the Missouri River and from Fort Benson to St. Joseph’s. After his father’s death in 1879, Mr. Moor purchased the home farm where he still resides.
Dec. 23, 1882, Mr. Moor was married at Galesburg to Lydia F. Daggett Stevens, who was born in Atkinson, Piscataqua Co, Maine, June 17, 1844. Mrs. Moor has, by an earlier marriage, six children: Conrad, Jessie, George, Howard, Harry, and J. Fred. Mr. and Mrs. Moor have one son, Don A. Mr. Moor is a republican.
Morrissey, Patrick Henry, Grand Master of the Brotherhood of Railway Trainmen of the United States and Canada; Cleveland, Ohio; born in Bloomington, IL, Sept. 11, 1862; a graduate of the High School in that city, class of 1878.
His father, John Morrissey, was a farmer in County Clare, Ireland; his mother, Mary Thornton, was born in County Limerick. His parents came to this country in 1856, and settled in Bloomington, IL.
When sixteen years of age, Mr. Morrissey entered the employ of a grocer in Chicago, but soon returned to Bloomington to accept a position as clerk for the foreman of the roundhouse of the Chicago and Alton Railroad, and after one year, he entered the Alton train service as a brakeman. In 1896, he obtained a clerkship in the office of the Brotherhood of Railway Trainmen in Galesburg, where he remained three years. He then resumed service as brakeman for one year. In 1890, Mr. Morrissey was elected First Vice Grand Master of the Brotherhood of Railway Trainmen, an important office which he faithfully filled for six years. The duties of this position brought Mr. Morrissey in contact with railway employees all over the United States and Canada. His popularity and efficiency soon opened the way to higher honors, and in May 1895, he was elected to his present office, having been twice re-elected in 1897 and 1899. Under Mr. Morrissey’s careful and business-like administration, the organization has been perfected in all its branches, and is now the largest organization of railway employees in the United States.
Mr. Morrissey was married in Galesburg, Oct. 5, 1887 to Anna Breechwald. He is a charter member of College City Lodge, Knights of Pythias. In politics he is a democrat.
Mosher, William J., son of S. Emerson and Mary (Crane) Mosher, was born in Paris, Oneida Co, NY, Aug. 9, 1841. His paternal great-grandparents were John Mosher, born in New London, CT., and Elizabeth (Lawrence) Mosher, born in Groton, MA, and on his mother’s side, Henry and Jerusha (Parmalee) Crane, born in Durham, CT. His grandparents were Josiah Mosher, born in Pepperel, MA, and Rebecca (Doolittle) Mosher, born in New London, CT, and on his mother’s side, Henry and Octavia (Hungerford) Crane, the former born in Durham, CT, the latter in Litchfield, NY.
His parents, S. Emerson and Mary Crane Mosher, were born in Oneida Co, NY. They were married in Paris, Oneida County, where they resided till 1851. He was a carpenter, and was also interested in a saw mill and grist mill. He was a school teacher twenty years, a captain in the militia, and was always known as Captain S. E. Mosher. He was a man greatly respected for his integrity. His father, Josiah, was a soldier in the Revolutionary War, and served in his brother John Mosher’s company. Captain S. E. Mosher removed to Illinois, the family arriving in Galesburg, May 6, 1851, where many of the pioneers were known to them. They soon settled in Ontario Township, locating on Section 32, and brought under cultivation the farm now owned by William J. Mosher. S. E. Mosher was Justice of the Peace many years, holding that office to the close of his life. He died in Galesburg, Feb. 23, 1867, aged 59 years. His wife died March 10, 1857, aged 42 years.
Mr. William J. Mosher was educated at Knox College and at the Business College of Galesburg, and of the latter institution he was the first graduate. He was married in Ontario Township, Nov. 26, 1868, to Sarah E. Wetmore, daughter of Theodore P. Wetmore. Three children have been born to them: Grace Eveline, Cornelia Alice, and George Emerson. Grace E. graduated from Knox Conservatory in 1898.
Mr. Mosher is a republican, and has been School Trustee 21 years. He is owner and manager of the factory of the Ontario Cheese Company, located on his farm, which was established by Samuel Chapman, who sold out to the present company.
Moshier, Timothy, was a prominent man in every sphere of life. He was born in Wsshington Co, NY, May 18, 1812. His father, whose name was also Timothy, was a farmer and a Canadian by birth. The mother’s maiden name was Rachel Curtis, a native of Washington Co, NY. Here they were married, and five sons and four daughters were born to them. At the early age of 47 years, the father died in Cayuga County, Aug. 4, 1828. The mother died in the same county at the age of 69, having outlived her husband 23 years.
Of the five sons, Timothy was the eldest. He lived at the paternal home, and was engaged in the routine of the farm until he was 16 years of age. His early educational advantages were limited; but the spirit of the boy, which is the index of the man, was shown in his ability and sound judgment to make the best use possible of the means at his command. In a scholarly sense, he was not educated; but the great lessons of experience and of life were so impressed upon him that he became better educated than many a graduate of the college.
At 23 years of age, he left Cayuga County, NY for Cass Co, Michigan, where he remained for three years. In 1838, he went to the Platte Purchase in Missouri, remaining there for five years, and then came to Warren Co, IL. Here for ten consecutive years, he was a successful farmer. Here he laid the foundation of that financial prosperity that seemed to lie along his pathway. In 1852, he removed to Galesburg and was engaged in farming, stock-raising, and trading. In 1864, he became greatly interested in the establishment of the First National Bank of Galesburg. He was the largest stockholder, and a director, from its organization until the day of his death—a period of nearly thirty years.
In whatever occupation Mr. Moshier was engaged, he was eminently successful. He seemed to possess the wizard’s power of transmuting even the clods of earth into gold. He started poor and died rich. He was a man of great natural ability and was blessed with an almost unerring judgment. He was courageous and self-poised, and was not easily betrayed into false positions. He was practically a lawyer, well versed in the intricacies of the law, and could manage cases at court shrewdly and wisely. He was a great reader, a thorough historian, and a critical scholar in the history of our country. He was a good talker, full of information, and on political history and governmental topics, could make a most effective and impressive speech.
Physically, he was a man of fine figure, tall and commanding. His manners were pleasing but not finical. He was fond of horses and was a good horseman. He sat in the saddle with stateliness and elegance, winning the admiration of every beholder. He was gentle and kind towards his fellow citizens, and a lover of friends and home. He wore the dignity of manhood, possessed unswerving honesty and integrity, and had the intellectual power and keen foresight that is necessary for a successful life.
In religion, Mr. Moshier was not narrow or bigoted. He had very decided views on religion and a future life. He did not belong to any church, but favored the Universalist faith. He gave for the support of the Gospel as he thought best. He believed that a good act was better than burnt offerings or any such sacrifice.
Mr. Moshier was naturally a politician. The political history of this country and of men was to him like the alphabet. He could repeat it without an effort. He was an ardent and staunch republican. His views of currency, tariff, and government were of the Websterian kind—a name that he held in the highest veneration. He was a party man, because he believed his party was right.
Mr. Moshier was twice married. He was married in Michigan, Nov. 7, 1837, to Sarah Garwood, daughter of William and Mary (Thatcher) Garwood. She died in Warren Co., IL., Feb. 22, 1851. There were born to them six children: Perry, who died in Michigan; David H., of Denver, Colorado; George S.; Henry Clay; Ada M., who married D. H. Pankey, of this city; and William Weston, who died in infancy.
His second marriage was at Knoxville, Dec. 27, 1854, to Adelia Gardner, daughter of Richard and Mary (Bronson) Gardner. The issue of this marriage was one daughter, Cora, who married Fred Seacord.
Mosser, Corliss Glenn, Merchant and Banker; Abingdon; born in Abingdon Feb. 24, 1870; educated in Hedding College. Mr. Mosser’s parents are John Mosser, a prominent merchant and banker of Abingdon, and Sarah J. (Carroll), daughter of William and Sarah Carroll.
Jan. 14, 1896, at Grand Ridge, La Salle Co, IL., Mr. Mosser married Elizabeth Snedaker. Mr. Mosser was for two years, 1896 & 1897, Mayor of Abingdon, and is now President of the Library Board.
Mosser, John, Merchant and Banker; Abingdon; born Jan 1, 1832, in Preston Co, W. V. His father, also John Mosser, was born in Maryland, and his mother, Susan (Frankhauser), was a native of Virginia; both parents were of German descent. The paternal grandparents settled in Maryland, where they died.
Mr. Mosser’s first wife was Mary, daughter of William and Sarah Carroll, who was born in Fayette Co, PA. The marriage took place in McDonough Co. IL, in 1860; they had two children: Samuel T.; and Ida L, wife of J. W. Reed, a druggist in Quincy, IL. Mrs. Mosser died Oct. 21, 1866.
Mr. Mosser was married to Sarah J. Carroll, sister of his first wife, Nov. 24, 1867; three children were born to them: Corliss G., Stacy C., and Lloyd L. The Carrolls were an old and prominent family in Fayette Co, PA. Stacy C. Mosser is a graduate of the University of Chicago, class of ’97, and is now a reporter for the Chicago Herald.
John Mosser was reared to manhood in the old Virginia homestead, the only one of six sons who remained with the parents until reaching majority, and he left home without a dollar, but with the conviction that he had done his filial duty. He found employment at $13.00 per month, the largest wages paid in that locality, the fact causing considerable talk in the neighborhood. In 1855, he came to Illinois and settled in McDonough County, where he followed the blacksmith trade with his brother Jacob. After a partnership of nine years, they started a general store in Abingdon, Feb. 1864, which John Mosser and a third partner, John Reed, conducted eleven years, Jacob Mosser remaining a partner only five years. The business is now devoted exclusively to dry goods, and boots and shoes, under the firm name of John Mosser and Son; they also conduct a private bank.
Mr. Mosser owns a fine farm of 240 acres in Cedar Township, and a quarter section of land in Coffee County, Kansas. He owns the Post Office building in Abingdon, and the buildings where his dry goods and banking business is conducted. He is a member of the I.O. of O.F. and of the A.O.U.W. In politics, he was formerly a democrat, but is now a prohibitionist. He was Mayor of the city of Abingdon four terms, and Supervisor two terms. Mr. Mosser is the oldest merchant in Abingdon, and one of the most respected citizens.
Mosser, Samuel Theodore, Merchant and Manufacturer; Abingdon; born Nov. 2, 1861, in Industry, McDonough Co, IL; educated in the public schools of Abingdon and in Hedding College, graduating in 1884. His father, John Mosser, is a prominent merchant and banker of Abingdon, and his mother was Mary (Carroll) Mosser, who died Oct 21, 1866.
Samuel T. Mosser had, during the time of his education, assisted his father in the dry goods business, and in 1885, he became a partner and its successful general manager, materially increasing the business during a period of seven years. In Aug, 1889, in company with J. W. Cox and J.W. McCown, he organized the Globe Manufacturing Company, for the manufacture of workingmen’s clothing, the first manufacturing industry in the city, which proved a boon to Abingdon. They rented an old building and started ten machines, and engaged a first-class cutter. Their business was successful from the start, and increased rapidly, and the following year, 1890, a two-story building was erected, one hundred feet long by forty feet wide, which was occupied in July. Later, an addition, fifty feet by forty, was added, and in this large building one hundred machines are operated, employing one hundred and twenty-five people through out the year. In this establishment, good wages are paid, better than in most similar concerns in the State. Jan.1, 1892, J. W. McCown retired from the business. Of this business, unique in the county, if not in the State, Mr. Mosser is the practical manager, while Mr. Cox travels on the road as one of the salesmen.
Jan. 26, 1887, Mr. Mosser married Kate E. Newell, daughter of Thomas Newell, president of the First National Bank of Abingdon; one daughter was born to them: Leigh Marie Mosser, born Feb. 14, 1893, died Jan. 27, 1899.
Mr. Mosser was Secretary of the Building Committee of the Methodist Episcopal Church, whose house of worship would be a credit to a much larger city than Abingdon. It was he who induced the people to adopt stone as a material, and the present magnificent proportions of the edifice are largely due to his energy. He raised a subscription of $2,000. for the organ, and he has led the choir for fifteen years. Mr. Mosser has proved a useful citizen in many ways, and is held in high esteem in the community.
Mount, William, Farmer; Cedar Township; born Sept. 23, 1824, and educated in Warren Co, Ohio. His father, Ralph Mount, was a native of New Jersey; his mother, Lucy (Barber), came from Ohio; his paternal grandmother’s maiden name was Barber.
Feb. 5, 1851, in Cedar Township, Mr. Mount was married to Mary Mahon; they have had six children; Robert M. and James O., deceased; George F.; Lucy, deceased; Jennie, deceased; and Lillie E. Robert has one son, Earl. Mrs. Mount was the daughter of Robert Mahon, who came from Virginia; she died Dec. 14, 1893.
Mr. Mount came to Cedar Township in 1843, and in 1855, settled on the farm two and one-half miles from Abingdon, where he now resides. He was one of a family of eleven children, seven sons and four daughters. In religion, Mr. Mount is a Congregationalist. He is a democrat, and has always taken a lively interest in school and county affairs.
Multer, Josiah, Broker; Walnut Grove Township; born in Worcester, Otsego Co, NY, April 22, 1824; educated in the common schools.
He was married at Harpersfield, Delaware Co, NY, Feb. 17, 1869, to Anna M. Titus; they had one adopted daughter, Lucile.
Mr. Multer was for many years a prominent citizen of Altona, and for eight years was Police Magistrate. He was a republican.
Mr. Multer was a prominent member of the Methodist Church. He died Dec. 16, 1897.
Munson, Charles J., Assistant Postmaster; Galesburg; born in Sweden, May 15, 1855; educated in Illinois. His parents, John M. and Olivia C., were born in Sweden.
Mr. Munson was married to Lottie C. Anderson in Galesburg, IL, June 21, 1893. He is a member of the First Lutheran Church. In politics, he is a republican.
Mr. Munson, in 1875, entered the service of the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad Company, and continued in their employ until 1897. In 1885 he was appointed Assistant Train Master, which position he filled for twelve years, to the entire satisfaction of the company. Oct. 1, 1897, he was appointed Assistant Postmaster at Galesburg, in which capacity he has rendered faithful and satisfactory service.
Murdoch, Frank, Banker: Ontario Township; born Sept. 2, 1842, in Ayrshire, Scotland; educated in Ohio and Illinois. His parents Thomas D. and Janet (Snithers) Murdoch, and his maternal grandparents, James and Mary (Watson) Struthers, came from Scotland, as did his paternal grandparents, Francis and Janet (Nimo) Murdoch. His parents came to Trumbull Co, Ohio, in 1852, and to Knox Co, IL, in 1857. They bought land in Sparta Township, and died in Oneida, aged 82 and 72 years, respectively.
Mr. Murdoch was married to Alta, daughter of Alvah and Jerusha (Stevens) Wheeler. His second marriage was with Mary Ellis in Oneida, June 1877. Their children are: Myrtle, Alta, Maud, and a nephew, William B. Hurst, whom Mr. Murdock has adopted.
Mr. Murdoch came to this country with his parents, and was a farmer until 1873 when he became Cashier of the Oneida Exchange Bank. In 1876, he became sole owner of the bank, and formed the now existing partnership with A. B. Anderson.
Mr. Murdoch is a Mason and a member of the Oneida Lodge, No. 337, and of the Galesburg Commandery, No 8 K. T. He served three years as Eminent Commander, is a member of Oriental Consistory and the Mystic Shrine, Chicago, IL. Mr. Murdoch is a republican, and was elected to the Legislature in the years 1892-94-96; during these three terms he served on many important committees. Mr. Murdoch was for four years a member of the Knox County Central Committee, and for two years was its Chairman; he served eight years in the National Guard; was Brigade Commissary of Subsistance with rank of Captain on the staff of J.N. Reece, of Springfield. Mr. Murdoch is a Presbyterian.
Murphy, Daniel C., Plumber; Galesburg; born April 8, 1867 at Bellefontaine, Ohio, where he was educated. His parents were Patrick and Bridget (Brennan) Murphy, of Ireland.
Mr. Murphy was married to Emma Torticell June 15, 1897, in Galesburg, IL. He is a democrat.
Murphy, John, Farmer; Haw Creek Township; born Aug. 20, 1820, in County Kilkenny, Ireland. His parents were Nicholas and Ellen (Hearn) Murphy, natives of Ireland, where they died.
Mr. Murphy came to the United States at the age of 28, and was a pioneer of the Murphy family in this country. He landed at New Orleans and from there came by boat to St. Louis, where he worked in a warehouse from March till Sept. 1849. He then came to Peoria, and afterwards, with some Knox County farmers, Joshua Davis, John Walter, and son, Thomas, and Milo Preston, came to Knox County. For ten years he worked by the month for P. B. Selby, after which he bought a farm of 160 acres, which he improved and upon which he now lives.
Mr. Murphy was married to Catharine (Cullinane), of Ireland. They had a large family of children, seven of whom are living: Nellie: Molly; Julia, wife of Levi McGirr; Dennis; James; Michael, and Daniel. Mr. and Mrs. Murphy are members of the Roman Catholic Church. In politics Mr. Murphy is a democrat, and has been School Director for seven years.
Myers, Hiram, Farmer and Nurseryman; Galesburg; born Sept. 16, 1833, in Marshall Co, IL; educated at the Liberal Institute, Galesburg, and the college at Mount Palatine, Putnam Co, IL. His parents, David Myers, born in 1792, and Drusilla (Simpson) Myers, born in 1795, came from Pennsylvania, as did his paternal grandparents, John and Elizabeth Myers, and his maternal grandparents, J. D. and Mary (Rose) Simpson.
Mr. Myers was married June 8, 1858, in Marshall Co, IL, to Celia H. Hamilton. Their children are: Oliney H., deceased; Lenora (Bower); David Samuel; Alvia, and Iva Dell.
Mr. Myers is a prohibitionist, and was School Treasurer in Roberts Township, Marshall County for twenty years, and Justice of the Peace for several terms. In religion, he is a Universalist.
Myers, Jacob W. , Engineer; Galesburg; born Sept. 30, 1851, in Des Moines, Iowa; his father, George Myers, was born in Cleveland, Ohio.
Mr. J. W. Myers was educated in the common schools of Iowa. In politics he is a republican. He married Emma Petre, in Iowa, Oct. 11, 1874; they have four children, Mentor; Charles; Wilbur; and Ada, now the wife of Orson Judson.
Mrs. Myers was a daughter of Joseph and Eliza (Wilson) Petre, and granddaughter of John Petre of Tennessee, who, with his family, settled at an early date in Warren Co, Iowa.
Mr. Myers was reared on a farm in Iowa. In 1877 he was a station agent on the Rhode Island Railroad and afterward an engineer. He came to Galesburg in 1882 and entered the service of the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad.
Nance, Burton F., Farmer; Lynn Township; born Feb. 11, 1864, in Wethersfield, IL.; educated in Kewanee and Quincy. His father was Hiram Nance, M.D. of New Albany, IN; his mother was Sarah R. (Smith) Nance of Batavia, Ohio. Mr. Nance’s paternal grandparents were William and Nancy Nance of Virginia; his maternal grandparents, George and Martha Smith of Ohio.
Mr. Nance was married to Eva M. Cowden, in Burns Township, Henry Co, IL., Oct. 15, 1889. Mr. and Mrs. Nance have one child, Daisy A., born Jan. 13, 1891.
Mr. Nance is liberal in his religious belief. In politics he is a republican. He holds the office of School Director.
Nance, John Webb, son of William and Nancy (Lowe) Nance, was born in Rockingham Co, NC, May 15, 1814. His father was a native of North Carolina, as were his grandfathers, John Nance and Thomas Lowe. The name is French, and the family is of Huguenot descent.
Mr. J. W. Nance’s boyhood was passed in Tennessee. For a while he worked at farming in Henry County of that State, and at odd times found employment as a carpenter. In the spring of 1845, John Nance came to Warren County, IL., and purchased 100 acres of land, which he cultivated till 1878. The following year he removed to Abingdon, where he now resides.
Mr. Nance is a member of the religious body known as Missionary Baptists. He is well thought of in the community, and is honest and upright in his dealings with his fellow men. In politics he was originally a whig, and since 1856 has been a democrat. He became a Mason in 1850 and was admitted to membership in the Monmouth Lodge, Number 37.
Mr. Nance was married May 24, 1836 to Nancy Simmons, in Calaway Co., Kentucky. There were ten children: Rufus D.; Francis M.; Susan A.; Mary J.; Sarah E.; Charles W., deceased; Nancy C; Martha W; John A.; and Robert H. His second marriage was with Mrs. Harriet E. Brooks, Jan. 11, 1874. His present wife was Mrs. Mary (Lucas) Crawford to whom Mr. Nance was married April 20, 1879. She is the daughter of Daniel and Jane (McKenzie) Lucas, and was born March 18, 1822 in Ross Co, Ohio.
Nash, Timothy, Galesburg; born in Ellington, Connecticut, Feb. 12, 1825. He went to California in 1848, and in 1853 came to Galesburg. He was connected with the construction of the Abingdon Branch of the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad.
He has held important municipal offices; was for several years Alderman, and was appointed Mayor to fill a vacancy. In 1871, he was elected Mayor of Galesburg. He was for a number of years Superintendent of Streets.
Mr. Nash was married October 20, 1868 to Lucy Gilbert. They have one son, William S. Nash.
Neifert, Edward, Engineer; Galesburg; born Aug. 15, 1862, in Rush Township, Schuylkill Co, PA., where he was educated. His parents were Henry and Sarah (Ripple) Neifert of Pennsylvania; his grandfather was Jacob Neifert.
He was married in Chicago, IL., Feb. 28, 1889, to Carolina C., daughter of Jacob and Sophia Louisa (Eberhart) Hechler, of Germany. They have two children, Anna Elizabeth, deceased; and Ira E.
Mr. Neifert’s father was a sawyer by trade. He enlisted in the Civil War and came out without a wound, but with impaired hearing. For six years after the war, he was proprietor of a hotel at Quakake Junction, PA, and after his death his wife continued the business; she now lives at Tamaquak PA. Mr. Edward Neifert’s parents were married in Pennsylvania.
At thirteen years of age Mr. Edward Neifert began making powder kegs for the Dupont Powder Company, and after four years he began work in the powder mill, filling different positions till he became master of the art. In 1884, he went to Nevada and worked in a lumber camp, afterward going to California, where he drove a stage between Grass Valley and Nevada City. For a time he worked in a dynamite mill at Pinole, CA. He returned to Pennsylvania, and entered the employ of the Philadelphia and Reading Railroad Company as brakeman; he afterwards became conductor and fireman. In 1888 he took a position as fireman for the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad, and for nearly eight years has been an engineer. He is a member of A.O.U. W.
Mr. and Mrs. Neifert have a pleasant home on East Knox Street. In religion, Mr. Neifert is a Congregationalist. In politics, he is independent.
Nelson, Charles Henry, Farmer; Henderson Township; born in Monson, Hampden Co, MA, June 2, 1830; educated in the common schools of Knox County. His parents, Andrew and Susan (Hawley) Nelson, were born in MA., the former in the town of Wales, the latter in Amherst. His paternal grandparents were George and Susan Nelson, the former having been born in Wales. His maternal grandparents were Philip and Roxanna Hawley, the former a native of MA. The Nelson family was of English descent.
Mr. Nelson was married in Henderson, Nov. 8, 1882, to Ruth Cook; they have two children: Frank A. and John T. Mrs. Nelson is a daughter of James Cook, who came to Knox County in 1862 and died in 1891; he was a farmer.
Mr. Nelson came to Knox County with his father and step-mother, Barbara (Hamilton). His own mother died in Pennsylvania, Nov 9, 1839. For ten years he was a merchant; he then studied law in Chicago (1862) with George Ford, since which time he has practiced in Knox County.
He owns 965 acres of land, chiefly in Knox County. He is a self-made man, his financial success being entirely due to his own efforts. In politics he is a democrat, and is a free and independent citizen; he is not a member of any society. He was supervisor for three terms.
Nelson, Frank, Farmer; Walnut Grove Township; born in Galesburg, IL, Sept 17, 1865; educated in the common schools. He is a son of Swan Nelson, a farmer who came from Sweden to Galesburg in Oct. 1851, and settled in Walnut Grove Township in 1867. He had four sons: Henry, living in Oneida; Frank; Fannie; and Alfred, who is living on the old homestead.
Frank Nelson began farming in 1890 on Section 1 in Walnut Grove Township. He was married in Walnut Grove Jan. 14, 1891 to Johanna Matilda, a daughter of Carl A. Jacobson. Their children are: Oliver Phillis, born May 24, 1893; Clarence Reynolds, born June 16, 1895; and Evan Frank Eldred, born Sept. 20, 1898.
Mr. Nelson attends the Lutheran Church, and was Superintendent of Fort Sumpter Sunday School for a year and a half. In politics he is a republican.
Nelson, Nels, son of Nels and Hanna (Johnson) Bengtson, is a self-reliant and self-made man. He was born in Ebbared, Weinge Parish, Halland, Sweden, July 13, 1840.
His father lived on a small farm which he tilled, and worked also at carpentry in order to secure the necessary means of subsistence for his family. June 1854, he left Sweden for America, leaving for lack of funds the oldest son, Nels, behind, who was then fourteen years of age. Shortly after the arrival of the family in Chicago, the father and youngest son contracted the cholera, which was epidemic there, and died of that disease. His mother, with her three children, then went to Andover, Henry Co, IL., and soon after to Galesburg, where they have lived ever since.
Young Nelson had no schooling in Sweden, but he learned to read at the paternal fireside. When only eight years of age, it seemed necessary that he should earn his own living, and for that purpose he secured employment in herding stock. In that manner, he supported himself until he was fourteen. Afterwards, the burden was lighter, but no time was given him for study or recreation.
At sixteen years of age, an opportunity to go to America came to him, which he most joyfully embraced. It was here that he received his first instructions in the public schools. He arrived in America, July 15, 1856, and immediately joined the broken family of his mother, two sisters and a brother. His first work, was farming in Mercer and Henry counties, until he had earned enough to pay his fare from Sweden, which had been advanced by a friend, Bengt Nelson, to whom he yet feels indebted for his great kindness. He next found employment at the round house of the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad at Galesburg, working during the summers and attending school winters. In the fall of 1860, he went into the furniture factory of Bartlett and Judson, and in the following year, he enlisted in a company of Swedish Americans, organized at Galesburg, in Aug. 1861. He served as sergeant until Mar 3, 1865, and then, for meritorious service in the field was promoted to the First Lieutenancy. He not only took part in many skirmishes, but was in the battles of Shiloh (Pittsburg Landing), siege of Corinth, and Vicksburg. He was mustered out of service, Nov. 30, 1865, arriving home in December.
He then commenced clerking in the grocery of Bancroft and Lanstrum, and also for a short time for O. T. Johnson and Brother at Altona. On Jan. 1, 1867, he started the grocery firm of Bengtson, Nelson and Company at Galesburg and soon built up a prosperous business. But owing to failing health, from the effects of his army life, he was compelled to retire from that business in Jan. 1871. From this time until Nov. 1875, he held the position of City Treasurer. Again failing health necessitated his retirement from all active duties. After recuperating, he again embarked in the mercantile business, which was continued until Oct. 1883, when he was elected secretary of the Scandinavian Mutual Aid Association.
Mr. Nelson has filled other important positions and offices, and always with great credit. He served four years as a member of the Board of Education, served seven years on the Library Board, acting as its President for one term, and as Secretary four years; has been a member of the County Board of Supervisors for many years; and is at present Chairman of the Committee on Judiciary and Clerk’s Offices in the Board; was a Director in the Cottage Hospital four years; and has also served on many committees appointed to act in the advancement of public enterprises.
Mr. Nelson’s benevolent sympathies are broad and charitable. In every worthy enterprise, he has always aided to the extent of his limited means. His ruling desire has always been to be useful; aiding those in distress, cheering and encouraging the despondent and giving counsel to those asking advice. For thirty years a wide field of work has been open to him in assisting the many emigrants coming here from the Old Country. Much he has done to initiate them into the American ways of life.
In religious faith, Mr. Nelson is Lutheran. He was confirmed by the minister of the Lutheran Church of Weinge Parish, Sweden, when fifteen years of age. He is a member of the Swedish Evangelical Lutheran Church of Galesburg, and a teacher in the Sabbath school. He has served as Trustee and Treasurer of the church for thirteen years.
In politics he is a thorough-going republican. A firm believer in republican principles, he has always taken active interest in the success and welfare of the party.
He was married May 19, 1868, to Sarah Nelson, who died Dec. 1898. To them were born two children: Arthur U., born July 29, 1869; and Edmund L., born March 1880, died in infancy.
Mrs. Nelson’s parents died in Sweden. She came to this country in 1862. All her brothers and sisters were here, and all died before her.
Nelson, Nels X., Farmer; Galesburg Township; born in Sweden in 1840, where he was educated. He was married to Benta Palm in 1863, in Sweden. Their children are: John X., David E., Frans Joseph and Nels W.
Mr. Nelson came from Sweden to Galesburg in 1872, and for some time worked by the month. In 1880 he began farming for himself, and is now a thrifty farmer on Section 33, Galesburg Township.
In religion Mr. Nelson is a Lutheran. He is a republican.
Nelson, Swan, Farmer; Walnut Grove Township; born in Sweden May 13, 1828. He came to Galesburg in 1851. He married Bengta Carlson May 26, 1855. Ten children were born to them: Henry; Frank; Tannie C.; Alfred; Hannah, who married P.P. Nelson; Mary; Josephine (wife of Rev. John Dahlberg); Olivia; Amanda; and Emma (Mrs. Frank Gustafson), who died in 1892.
In 1857, Mr. Nelson located in Henderson Township; and in 1868 removed to Walnut Grove Township, where he died April 10, 1896. Since his death the farm has been managed by his sons, Tannie C. and Alfred.
Mr. Nelson was a prominent member of the Lutheran Church in Altona, of which all the family are members. In politics he was a republican.
Nelson, Swan I, Farmer; Cedar Township; born in Sweden Nov. 18, 1828, where he was educated. His parents were Nels and Nellie (Peterson) Nelson.
Feb. 23, 1854, Swan Nelson was married in Knoxville to Pernellia Nelson; they have seven children: Frank O., Nels A., Edwin C., Nellie, Mary, Emma, and Hannah. The three sons are farmers.
Mr. Nelson came to Knox County in 1852, and bought land. He began farming in 1854, married, and settled in Knoxville. In 1866, he moved to Cedar Township, and in 1877 located upon his present farm. His farm contains 180 acres of land. He is one of the wealthy and prosperous farmers of Cedar Township. In religion he is a Congregationalist. He is a republican.
Newell, Thomas, was born in Brown Co., Ohio, Sept. 19, 1821. His parents, Thomas and Margaret (Taylor) Newell, were natives of Ohio, the former of Brown County; he was a soldier in the War of 1812; they died in Park Co, Indiana. His paternal grandfather was a native of Ireland.
Mr. Newell was reared a practical farmer on the homestead in Indiana. He was married in Park County to Louise M. Smith, Sept. 14, 1843. They have six children, all of whom are married; Mrs. Sarah A. Burnside; John W.; William H.; Mrs. Julia M. McFarland; Mrs. Emma Leigh; and Kate E., the wife of Samuel T. Mosser.
Mr. Newell came to Knox County in 1847 and purchased 80 acres of land near Herman. He afterwards purchased 160 acres, making 240 acres in Chestnut Township, which he eventually sold and bought 200 acres in Indian Point Township. He came to Abingdon in 1877, still attending to his farming interests. The money received from the sale of his land he invested in the Union Bank, and later in the People’s Bank, which in 1885 was changed to the First National Bank of Abingdon, of which he is President.
Mr. Newell has been a conservative business man and has always avoided speculation. He is a substantial and representative citizen; temperate in all his habits; has always taken an active part in educational affairs, and has labored for the best interests of the community. When, in 1889, Hedding College became involved financially, he bid in the property at sheriff’s sale and paid the debts; and when, two years later, there was a failure in redeeming the obligation, he received the deed of the property, but deeded it back to the college, with the provision that it should never be burdened again nor sold on account of debt, thus enabling the institution to continue its good work. He also induced friends of the college to raise an endowment fund of $50,000.
Mr. Newell is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and of its official board. He has been Supervisor of Chestnut Township for eight years, and has held other local offices. In politics he is a republican.
Nicholson, James Hasbrouck, son of Nicholas and Mary (Washburn) Nicholson, was born Aug. 8, 1808, on the “Hasbrouck Farm”, Middletown, Delaware Co, NY. The father was born in New York, the mother in Connecticut. They were married and settled in Middletown, and afterward removed to Alleghany County, on the Genesee River, where they died. Six children were born to them: Edward, Sarah, Elizabeth, James Hasbrouck, Hannah and Abel S. The father of J. H. Nicholson was of Irish extraction, his great-great-grandfather having been stolen from Ireland by a sea captain and brought to Canada. His son, Robert, was a royalist during the Revolution, and, going to Canada, settled in Walford Township, Leeds County, and died at Nicholson’s Falls.
Mr. J. H. Nicholson was brought up on a farm, and attended the common schools. He removed to Illinois in 1842, and was a farmer by occupation; in politics, a democrat; in religion, a Universalist. He married Catherine King. Their daughter, Mary S., was born in Knox County, Dec. 22, 1852, and was married to Charles D. North (see separate bio of Charles D. North) in Knox Co, Dec. 22, 1875.
James H. Nicholson was one of the prominent Free Masons of Yates City. He was initiated in Elmwood Lodge, and was a charter member of the Scottish Rite, thirty-second degree, in Peoria, IL. He died May 31, 1893, and “Over his remains were repeated the beautiful ceremony of the order he loved so well”.
Niles, David Pratt, Sparta Township; Farmer; born in Columbia Co, NY, Oct. 20, 1824; educated in New York.
He was married July 9, 1870 in Knox County, IL. to Helen C. Johnson; she was born in Smalland, Sweden, and is a daughter of John Swanson and Helen Johnson. His parents were land-owners whose ancestors had for several centuries, lived on the same farm. The family were Lutheran in religious belief. Mrs. Niles was educated in Sweden and came to the United States in 1869.
Mr. Niles worked on the home farm in New York till in 1856, he came west with his brother, George F., and they bought a mill in Wataga. They made a fine quality of flour, and had a large patronage from the surrounding country. They traded their mill for land in Henry County, IL, and engaged in farming near Wataga, where David Niles owned 300 acres of land which he bought in 1862 or 63. He continued farming and stock raising and in 1874 entered into partnership with his brother with a herd of 75 short-horns. They conducted a large and profitable business until 1893, when the partnership was dissolved so far as stock and lands in Sparta Township were concerned; they retained, however, over 1000 acres of land south of Villisca, Iowa, and a quarter section of land in Henderson Township, Knox Co, IL.
In politics Mr. Niles is a republican.
Niles, George F., son of Sill and Louisa (Olmsted) Niles, was born at Hillsdale, Columbia Co, NY, Aug. 25, 1827. He received a common school education, which was supplemented by an academic course. His father was born at Spencertown, NY, in 1795, and died there, March 7, 1872; his mother was the daughter of Stephen Olmsted, of New England. Eight children were born to them, six of whom lived to the age of maturity. His grandfather, Thomas Niles, was born in Connecticut in 1760, and died at Spencertown, NY, Dec. 25, 1844. His grandmother, Rhoda (Phelps) Niles, was born in CT in 1765, and died at Spencertown Nov. 21, 1819. The Niles family is of English descent.
Mr. Niles arrived in Wataga, Knox County, IL. in May 1857, and with his brother, David P. Niles, bought the Wataga Flouring Mill. They did an extensive business, and their brand of flour was well known and popular. Much of their business was from the surrounding country to a distance of twenty-five miles. In 1864, they exchanged the mill for three hundred and sixty acres of land in Henry County, which they soon sold. From 1867 to 1871 they were in the mercantile business at Altona. The business interests of the brothers have been largely conducted under the firm name of Niles Brothers. They came to Knox County with very little money, but they had youth and energy, they were honest and industrious, and soon had the good will of the community.
In 1862, they bought one hundred and sixty acres of land in Sparta Township, Section 19, where David P. Niles now resides. They owned 840 acres of land in Sparta and Henderson Townships, which remained undivided until 1893. They also own 1092 acres of land in one tract, in Page County, Iowa, which is known as the Niles Stock Farm, and is located three miles south of Villisca, on the Nodaway River. Never did two brothers plan and work together in greater harmony.
The principal business of Mr. George F. Niles was farming and the raising of stock, and his herd of short-horn cattle was one of the best in the county. In 1866 he bought three hundred and twenty acres of land in Sparta Township, Section 21, where, in 1871, he built a fine residence which he has since greatly improved and now occupies.
Mr. Niles was married in Wataga, April 4, 1866, to Ella Josephine Wood. Two children were born to them: Charles W., born May 15, 1867, died Jan. 15, 1883; and Marian Ella, born April 8, 1873. Marian Ella graduated at Knox College in June 1894. Oct. 2, 1895, she was married to George W. Hayden, of Oak Park, IL., and they have one son, George Niles Hayden, born July 24, 1897.
Mrs. George F. Niles was born at Westford Hollow, Crittenden Co, VT., May 19, 1846, and was educated at Knox College, Galesburg, IL. She was the daughter of William S. and Phylena (Smith) Wood. Her maternal ancestors were English. Two of her ancestors, Colonel Seabody and his son, were in the Revolutionary War, and gave largely of their property to the cause of independence.
Nisley, John M. is of German descent and was born in Franklin Co, PA., Nov. 26, 1840. His father was Joseph Nisley, who was born in the same county. His mother was Mary (Schwartz) Nisley, a native also of Pennsylvania.
Joseph Nisley, the father, had the misfortune or good fortune of not inheriting riches. He was bereft of parents when only about six years of age, and was left almost alone to battle with the storms and vicissitudes of life. For a term of years, he was bound out to a cabinet-maker, which occupation he followed until he came to Knox County in the spring of 1843. He settled on a farm near the city of Knoxville, where he became a successful farmer, and where he lived the remainder of his days. He died Jan. 2, 1861.
Mary Nisley, the mother, was a kind, neighborly woman and performed the duties of the household in a wise and acceptable manner. She was the daughter of Daniel and Catharine Schwartz, both of whom were natives of Pennsylvania.
John M. Nisley was brought up on a farm and had some of the experiences and struggles of the pioneer farmer of Illinois. He relinquished this pursuit in 1873 and took up his residence in Knoxville. He received his education in the country schools and at Knoxville. He never had the advantages that the college affords; but in the public schools, he received such instruction as would thoroughly fit him for the duties and practical business of life. In education and in every sphere of life, “not how much, but how well”, has been the ruling characteristic of his mind.
From the business of a successful farmer, Mr. Nisley passed to that of a banker. In 1890, he started a private bank in Knoxville, which he has since conducted. This bank has always been regarded as a popular financial institution.
As a man and citizen, Mr. Nisley has disclosed traits of character that have made him popular. He is mild in disposition, agreeable in manner, and has an air of sincerity and honesty that draws around him many friends. He possesses sound discretion, is endowed with a good judgment, and never gets entangled or meddles with the affairs of others. He has a cool, reflecting mind, and always reaches his conclusions after mature deliberation. He is kind and charitable, and believes in helping those who will make an effort to help themselves. He is a republican in politics, but not an offensive partisan. He is liberal-minded in his religious views, and believes that the science of true living is above creed and doctrine.
Mr. Nisley was married in Newton, Kansas, to Kate C. Runkle, Dec. 19, 1889. She is a niece of Cornelius Runkle, of Knoxville.
North, Charles D, was born in Pendleton Co, VA, Oct. 8, 1844; his father was Thomas Jefferson North, of Fairfax Co, VA, and his mother was Eliza (Henkle) North of Pendleton Co, VA; his grandparents on the father’s side were George North of England, and Eliza (Keyes) North, and on the mother’s side, Jesse and Margaret (Mosier) Henkle.
Charles D. North married Mary S. Nicholson, daughter of James Hasbrouck and Catherine (King) Nicholson, in Knox County, Dec. 22, 1875. The children of Mr. and Mrs. North are: Ada H., born Sept 15, 1877; Ralph M., born Aug 20, 1879; Earl J. H., born Jan 25, 1881; Carl C., born May 25, 1882; Harold E., born July 25, 1884; and Elsie L, born June 9, 1889.
Mr. North came to Yates City in 1866, and followed carpentering for several years. He has also been a banker about 12 years. He is a member of Yates City Lodge, No. 448, F. and A.M.; Eureka Chapter No 98 R.A.M.; O.E.S. No 256; and Galesburg Commandery No. 8. He was initiated into Lodge No. 448 in 1868, and for three years filled the office of Worshipful Master, each year representing his lodge in the Grand Lodge of the State. The Royal Arch degree he received at Eureka Chapter No. 98, in which, for fourteen years, he served as Royal Arch Captain. He is also a member of Council and Commandery, the former at Yates City, the latter at Galesburg, IL., having been made a Knight Templar at Galesburg Commandery, No. 8 in 1892. Both Mr. And Mrs. North are charter members of the Order of the Eastern Star at Yates City, instituted in 1893, in which they have served in prominent positions.
Mr. North has a home farm of 400 acres, and has an orange grove in Florida. He was a soldier in the Confederate Army under Fitz Hugh Lee, Company F, Sixty-second Virginia Cavalry. George North, grandfather of Charles D., was colonel in the Revolutionary War. He had a family of four sons and six daughters. Thomas Jefferson North, one of the sons, and father of Charles D., was born at Charleston, Virginia, and was a millwright by occupation. He came to Illinois in 1870 and settled in Yates City, where he died Dec. 5, 1891, aged 93 years and five months. Mrs. Thomas Jefferson North is now living (1899), being 94 years of age.
Norton, Isaac Price, Funeral Director; Galesburg; born in Gloucester Co, New Jersey, April 9, 1859; educated in the country school at Nortonville, N.J. His father, Henry W., and his mother, Lavina (Price) Norton, were natives of New Jersey. His grandfather and grandmother on the paternal side, John D. and Sarah (Davison) Norton, and his grandparents on the maternal side, Thomas Price and Lavina (Sumeral) Price, were all born in New Jersey. His great-grandfather, John D. Norton, was born in Wales, and his great-grandfather, Thomas T. Price, was born in Scotland, and his wife Lavina, was born in New Jersey. One of Mr. Norton’s great-grandfathers came to Boston in about 1675.
Dec. 2, 1879, Mr. Norton was married in Woodstown, N.J., to Hannah B. Jones. There are two children, Albert H. and Marie A. In religion, he is a Congregationalist. In politics, he is a republican.
Noyes, Arthur Hamilton, son of George S. and Mary S. (Murdock) Noyes, was born in Boston, MA, June 23, 1867.
His father was a clergyman, and for ten years officiated at the Seaman’s Bethel in Boston, as the successor of that remarkable man, Father Taylor. He had a fine presence and was extensively known for his ability and eloquence.
The Noyes family reaches back to an early period in the history of this country. Nicholas and the Rev. James Noyes came from England in 1834 and settled in Newbury, MA, the following year. This family is represented in many departments of American history. The name appears in the Continental Congress of 1774-75, in the Revolutionary struggle and other wars, and lastly, in the War of the Rebellion. A large number of the men were clergymen and army officers, and one became Speaker of the House of Representatives.
Arthur H. Noyes had superior educational advantages. He first received instruction in the public schools of Nahant, MA. Afterwards, he entered, for a short time, Boston University, and lastly, matriculated at Trinity College in Hartford, CT. From Trinity, he graduated with high honors, receiving the degree of Bachelor of Arts.
In childhood, young Noyes was blessed with good surroundings and an ideal home. His parents were intelligent, and gave him that moral and religious instruction, which guided his footsteps in after years. The seeds of his manhood were sown at the paternal hearth. Early he disclosed a fondness for reading and study, and a strong desire for education was manifest.
Before completing his course and during the intervals of college work, he engaged in teaching at the early age of seventeen. He also did some newspaper work and engaged in other occupations for his support. He graduated in 1889, and came to Knoxville in 1890.
President Noyes first entered St. Albans Academy as Master in Greek and Latin in 1890. He was promoted to be head master in 1892. In 1894, he leased the school, acting at the same time as its Superintendent. When the institution was incorporated in 1896, he became its President. Under his management, St. Albans has acquired a good reputation for thoroughness of instruction. It is doubtful whether any western school of a similar grade can make a better showing. Her graduates have attained a uniformly high standing.
President Noyes, in his early years, lived in a country of the best schools and colleges. He was surrounded with classic literature and had the companionship of educated men. He embraced all his opportunities for learning and has become a thorough scholar. He is not forward in his address, but rather retiring. He dislikes large social functions, and never courts popularity.
His dignity of manhood is such that he makes friends that are lasting. He is kind and affable, and is endowed with warm feelings and generous sympathies. He is thoroughly conversant with the duties of his profession, and is not unmindful of home duties, or the duties of citizenship.
Societies, religious or political, secret or social, have but little attraction for him. While in college, he was a member of only two fraternities: I.K.A. and O.A.X. By virtue of his position as head of St. Albans, he holds a commission as Colonel in the Illinois National Guard.
In religious faith, he is connected with the Episcopal Church. At present, he is Junior Warden of St. John’s Parish, Knoxville.
He was married June 6, 1892, to Eunice Alice Phelps, daughter of Judge Charles H. Phelps, of Burlington, Iowa, niece of Hon. E. J. Phelps, late minister to England.
They have had born to them three children: Dorothy Louise; Arthur Phelps, deceased; and Virginia Murdock.
Oberg, John C., Conductor; Galesburg; born Oct 19, 1849 in Sweden; came to Knox County in 1855. He was educated in the common schools. In 1871, he was employed as brakeman by the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad Company, and was afterwards made conductor of a construction train.
Mr. Oberg was married to Miss Matilda Jacobson, Sept. 24, 1879. They have two children: Lillie and Sophia. In 1893 Mr. Oberg was made passenger conductor.
Oberholtzer, Jacob M., was born in Elba Township, Knox Co, IL., March 14, 1845. His paternal grandfather, Samuel, came from Germany to Ohio, where he was a farmer. He was married three times, and had a family of 21 children. He died near Findlay, Hancock Co, Ohio. His son Henry, father of Jacob M., was born in Ohio, and came with Samuel Tucker to Elba Township. Soon afterward, having married Mr. Tucker’s daughter Martha, and being a farmer, he settled on a farm of 68 acres in Section 3, and purchased 40 acres in an adjoining township. He was a good neighbor, a democrat, and a member of the Presbyterian Church. He died in the spring of 1865. His widow resides in Yates City.
Jacob M., the son of Henry and Martha (Tucker) Oberholtzer, received his education in the country schools. He was married Oct. 28, 1869 to Laura A., daughter of Moses and Cynthia (Walker) Wheeler, who came to Knox County in 1856; they were prominent members of the Baptist Church; they died at the home farm in Elba Township, at the age of 76 and 67 years, respectively. Laura A. was born Sept. 15, 1849.
Mr. and Mrs. Oberholtzer have six children: Eliza W., born Feb. 22, 1872; Lloyd H., born Feb 4, 1874; Oliver T., born Aug. 21, 1876; Blanche B., born Sept. 19, 1878; Forest E., born Aug. 19, 1881, died Sept. 8, 1883, and Hubert W., born June 14, 1886.
Following the vocation of his father and grandfather, Mr. Oberholtzer became a farmer. After his marriage he rented farms in different places, but finally located on the old Wheeler homestead, which he improved, and now has a fine farm of 457 acres in the northwestern part of the township on which he raises stock extensively.
Mr. and Mrs. Oberholtzer are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church. He is a democrat, and has been Collector of Taxes three years, Assessor two years, and is Supervisor of Elba Township at the present time.
Oleen, N. J. (picture only p. 726)
Olmstead, Aaron W., Liveryman; Victoria; born July 5, 1851, in Otsego County, New York; educated in the common schools. His parents were Henry B. and Catherine (Wilder) Olmsted.
He was married to Etta Robbins in Oneida March 24, 1874. Their children were: Lester; Claud, deceased; Harry; Paul; Hazel; Rex; and Don, deceased.
Mr. Olmstead moved with his family to Marceline, Missouri, in September 1892. They returned to Galesburg in December 1893, where his wife died January 24, 1894. Her parents were Rubin and Mary (Mayo) Robbins.
His second marriage was with Lone E. Sornberger, June 15, 1895; they have one son, Winthrop A., born March 8, 1896. Her parents were Anson and Catherine (Wilbur) Sornberger, of New York.
Mr. Olmstead followed farming until 1895, since which time he has been engaged in the livery business. In politics, he is a republican.
Olson, Alfred, Merchant; Galesburg; born at Galesburg Jan. 31, 1858; educated in the Galesburg schools. His parents, Lewis J. and Elsie, were born in Sweden.
Oct. 14, 1886 he was married to Ella Fleming at Monmouth, Illinois. They have two children: Arthur Gregg and Mary Gertrude. He is a member of the firm of Kellogg, Drake and Olson, the partnership having been formed in October 1889. He is a Trustee of the Galesburg Cottage Hospital Association. In politics, Mr. Olson is a democrat.
Olson, Charles W., Carpenter and farmer; Rio Township; born Dec. 23, 1846 in Molmohus Land, Sweden; educated at Hersef Soken, Sweden; his parents were Ola and Elsie (Anderson) Person of Sweden.
Mr. Olson was married March 1, 1884, to Emma Christine Selberg, in Woodhull, IL. They have eight children: Emil Gotfred, Hattie Melinda, Carl Harmon, Minnie Alvera, Esther Madena, Hilma Clarence, Hartwick Albin, and Walter William.
Mr. Olson is a member of the Lutheran Church. He is a republican.
Olson, Jonas, Farmer; Sparta Township; born Jefleborg Lan, Sweden, Dec. 31, 1841, where he was educated. His parents were Olaf and Elizabeth (Larson) Nelson; his grandfathers were Nels Olson and Jonas Larson.
Mr. Jonas Olson was married in Knox County, Feb. 5, 1869, to Anna C. Donaldson. Their children are: Elizabeth L. (Mrs. Williamson); Ansfried (deceased); William C.; Alvin Arthur; and Andrew E.
Mr. Olson came from Sweden with his parents at the age of fifteen and settled on a small farm, afterwards moving to a farm of 62 acres. The father died within a year, leaving seven children largely dependent upon Jonas. He bought his farm before his marriage, and has greatly improved it.
Mr. Olson is a man of good standing in the community. He has been a member of the Lutheran Church for 41 years. He is a republican.
Olson, M. W., Dentist; Galesburg; born June 23, 1873, at Dover, New Jersey; educated at Moline, Illinois. His father, Magnus Olson, was born in Stockholm, Sweden; his mother, Hannah (Soderstrom), was born in Upsala, Sweden.
Doctor Olson came with his parents from New Jersey to Illinois when he was one year old. He received his professional education in Illinois, and took a special course in anatomy, and in dentistry, in Chicago and in Philadelphia, having passed with honors in each institution. Doctor Olson’s office is at 326 East Main Street, Galesburg.
In religion he is a Methodist. In politics he is a republican.
Olson, Peter T., was born Feb. 10, 1860, at Hastveda, Christianstads Lan, Sweden. His first impetus to his successful life work, that of builder and contractor, was his father, Trued Olson, who was a carpenter and natural mechanic, and constructed his own tools and farm implements out of wood. His mother, Kerstin Truedson Olson, was a woman of strong character, and a devoted wife and mother. Her son, Peter Olson, was a capable and ambitious boy, who saw beyond the rim of his surroundings. His duties or pastimes on the farm were not allowed to interfere with his fortunate educational advantages, and in 1875, at the age of fifteen, he graduated at the High School at Hastveda, ranking third in a class of 150 members. Thus equipped, he longed for broader fields, which seemed to him to be America, but, yielding to the solicitations of his parents, he postponed his journey to this country until May 1879.
In 1882, Mr. Olson settled in Galesburg and desiring to learn the bricklayer’s trade, entered the employ of contractor T. E. Smith, to whom he rendered faithful and efficient service until 1890. Appreciating the benefits of an independent line of work, he started in business for himself as a contracting mason and plasterer. Considering the breadth and excellence of Mr. Olson’s work, the amount accomplished by him is remarkable for a man of his years, and the city of his adoption contains many evidences of his skill. Among the buildings erected by him may be mentioned the following: The Hitchcock School building, the Commercial and Triola blocks, the Young Men’s Christian Association building, Lombard Gymnasium building, the Galesburg High School building, the Galesburg National Bank building, the Scott and Jordan block, the Bateman School building, and numerous handsome residences.
One of the fine traits of Mr. Olson’s character is his open acknowledgment and appreciation of the good work of those upon whose efficiency and co-operation he is more or less dependent. He employs only skilled labor, and pays good prices, believing that to his employees, he owes much of his success in life. The greatest good fellowship exists between employer and employees, many of whom have been with him since he started in business. Through the medium of periodicals and correspondence, Mr. Olson keeps in touch with the progress in his line in all parts of the world, and tries at all times to obtain the most convenient, substantial and artistic results.
Mr. Olson was married Nov. 1, 1888, to Caroline C. Edoff, who was born in Sweden, and came to America in early childhood. She is an exemplary wife and mother, and presides over a pleasant home on the corner of Bateman and Dudley streets. To her, Mr. Olson attributes much of his good fortune in life. Mr. and Mrs. Olson have five children: Oscar Mauritz, Agnes Mildred, Karl Natan, Helen Marie, and Earnest Joshua.
Olson, Swan H., Grocer; Galesburg; born Aug. 4, 1844, at Blaking Sweden; educated in the common schools of Illinois. His parents, Peter and Celia (Martin) Olson, as well as his grandparents, were born in Sweden.
Oct. 20, 1872, he was married to Clara M. Burke. They have three children, Clarence; Grace, deceased; and Irene.
Mr. Olson came to Illinois in 1854, and farmed eight years. He enlisted in Company A., One Hundred and Second Illinois Infantry, and served three years in the Civil War. Coming back, he engaged in the grocery business, and has been on the corner of Chambers and Berrien streets for 35 years. He holds the office of Supervisor.
In religion he is a Methodist. In politics he is republican.
Ostrander, Albert J., Merchant; Galesburg; born in Indiana, March 6, 1846; educated in the common schools. His father, Harry B., and his mother, Mary A. (Woodworth), were born in New York State. His fathers’ family were of German descent, and his mother’s ancestors came from England. In 1855 the family moved to Missouri, and in 1862, to Iowa; they came to Galesburg in 1871.
Mr. Ostrander began his business career as a clerk, alternating between the hotel office and the store. He entered his present business as a dealer in hides and wool in 1877.
April 12, 1877, he was united in marriage to Susie V. Ulmer, of Monmouth, IL. There are three children: Eugene Claud, Frederick Earl, and Ethel Pearl.
Mr. Ostrander has been a successful business man, and has been prominent in politics. For ten years he was Chairman of the Knox County Democratic Central Committee. He filled the place of Postmaster at Galesburg for four and one-half years, having been appointed by President Cleveland, May 9, 1891. He has been a leading member of the Odd Fellows for 25 years, and for many years a member of the Masonic Order. In religion he is a Universalist. He is a democrat.
Ouderkirk, Harvey, Farmer; Maquon Township; born at Maquon, Dec. 15, 1838; educated in Knox County. His parents, Jacob and Nancy (Waffel) Ouderkirk, were born in New York, and came to Maquon in the fall of 1835, accompanied by his father and their oldest daughter. After settling on a farm south of Maquon, they moved to Haw Creek Township, where he died in 1882, aged 70 years. His wife died in Missouri in 1892, aged 75. Their children were: Polly Ann, deceased; Mary J., widow of George Thurman; Harvey; Charles S.; Salinda, deceased; Welman J.; Emily E., wife of Dwight Joiner; Mrs. Harriet Barbero, deceased; and Martha, deceased.
Jacob Ouderkirk’s parents, Frederick, a farmer in New York, and Elizabeth (Bond) were natives of New York. Nancy Waffel’s parents were Henry and Elizabeth Waffel.
Harvey Ouderkirk was raised on a farm and had few advantages, but by improving his opportunities has acquired a fair education. He was married to Sarah E. Cook, Dec. 13, 1862 in Haw Creek Township. They have four children: Henry J.; Clara E., wife of Frank Briggs; Oscar B.; and Elnora E. The last two are at home. After his marriage he settled in a log cabin in Maquon Township, and though his farm was a rented one and corn selling at eight cents a bushel delivered, he succeeded in buying land in Chestnut Township. He now owns four farms, aggregating 417 acres. Nov. 2, 1880 he moved to a fine farm one and a half miles west of Maquon. He has dealt successfully in stock.
Mrs. Ouderkirk is a daughter of John and Hattie (Holloway) Cook, who came to Knox Co. in 1848. They were members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, but he afterwards joined the United Brethren. He died in Kansas.
Mr. Ouderkirk, though poor, contributed corn to the Kansas sufferers in 1860. In politics he is a republican and has held minor offices.
Overstreet, John Lowry, Farmer; Henderson Township; born Nov. 13, 1859 at Galesburg, where he was educated in the district school, and at Knox College. His parents were Milton Lowrey Overstreet of Nicholasville, Jefferson Co, KY, and Catherine (Martin) Overstreet of CT; his grandparents were Robert S. and Jane (Lowrey) Overstreet of Kentucky; his maternal grandparents were Joel and Phoebe Martin of Connecticut; his great-grandparents were James Overstreet of England and Susan (Daves) Overstreet of Kentucky.
He was married to Nannie A. Brown in Galesburg, Dec. 26, 1882.
Mr. Overstreet is a member of the Congregational Church and is a republican
Paden, James, Farmer and Stockman; Galesburg Township; born June 17, 1827, in Crawford County, PA; educated in the common schools. His parents were Isaac Paden of Pennsylvania and Celia (Fish) Paden of New York.
Mr. Paden was married to Martha Edgar in Galesburg in 1851. They have one child, Alonzo F., living in Galesburg Township.
Mr. Paden is a republican and was Supervisor for several years.
Palmer, George W., Conductor; Galesburg; born at Center Point, Knox Co, IL, July 20, 1847; educated in the common schools. His father was John B. Palmer of England; his mother was Arta M., daughter of Crolus Churchill of New York.
He was married in Victoria, Dec. 18, 1873, to Harriet M., daughter of Christopher LeValley, an old settler of Victoria Township. Their children are: Frank, Arthur C., Chauncey W., and Mabel G.
Mr. Palmer was reared on a farm. In May 1872, he was employed as brakeman by the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad Company, and became a conductor in 1875, a position which he now holds. He is a republican, and in 1894, was elected Alderman of the First Ward, holding the office for three years. In religion he is a Protestant.
Palmgren, C. A., Conductor; Galesburg; born March 5, 1863, in Sweden, where he was educated. His parents were John and Bengta (Johndater) Palm, of Sweden.
He was married to Anna Matson, in Galesburg, May 1, 1889. They have two children, Ethel Elvira and Elmer Sidney.
Mr. Palmgren is a conductor on the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad. He is a member of the Lutheran Church. In politics he is a republican, and is Alderman of the Seventh Ward.
Parmenter, Allen Moore, is a native of Knoxville, Illinois, and was born Dec. 21, 1846. He is the son of Theophilus Talcott and Roxanna (Warren) Parmenter, who were an industrious couple, and scrupulous in the moral training of their children. His father was an exemplary man, honest and upright in all his dealings. He was born near Greenfield, Franklin Co, MA. in 1809. His mother died when he was only seven years old, leaving a family of three boys, of which he was the oldest. He was bound for a term of years to his uncle, who resided near Hartford, CT, to learn the tanner’s trade.
He was married in Pepperell, MA., where for a short time he made his home. He then moved to Albion, Erie Co, PA. and after remaining there a few years, started for Knoxville, Illinois. His conveyance was the usual emigrant wagon drawn by a span of horses, which he drove the entire distance, reaching Knoxville in 1837. His business was that of a boot and shoe merchant. Here he lived the remainder of his days, and died March 20, 1897, in his 87th year.
Mr. Parmenter’s mother was a native of Massachusetts, born in Pepperell, June 17, 1810. She was a spirited woman, domestic in her family relations, and was proud of her ancestry. One of her ancestors, John Farrer, was one of the Pilgrims of the Mayflower. She lived to an advanced age, universally respected, and died in Knoxville March 13, 1894.
Allen M. Parmenter is, in a great measure, a self-educated man. The rudiments of his education were obtained in the Public Schools of Knoxville. This instruction was supplemented by attending night-schools, when he was working at his trade in Peoria. Although his opportunities for education were limited, yet by his reading and his intercourse with the world, he has become well posted for the duties and practical business of life. He first learned the tinner’s trade of Thomas C. Moore, who was appointed Assessor, of what was then the Fifth District of Illinois, by President Lincoln. He next went to Boston and was employed for five months by the Eastern Railroad Company. He then was engaged by the Boston Stamping and Manufacturing Company, where he worked for three years. He next served for a period of three years, at Troy, New York, as a tinner for Tibbits and Butler.
While here he was engaged by J. B. Wilkerson to build perfect working models of the different makes of cook stoves, manufactured in Troy and Albany, some of the models costing thirty dollars each. He then returned to Knoxville, the home of his childhood. He first engaged in the boot and shoe business with his father and continued therein until 1874. Then he launched into the hardware business, connecting there with the sale of carriages and farm implements, which is his present occupation. His first bill of hardware amounted to eight dollars and fifty cents, for which R. A. Culter of Peoria, went security.
Mr. Parmenter, by his probity and honesty of purpose, has earned the respect and good-will of his fellow citizens. He is Chairman of Knox Township Republican Committee; has served nine years as Alderman of the City of Knoxville; has been elected twice to the office of mayor, his last election being without a dissenting vote. His second term of office is not yet completed and he is still working for the general good of his native city. He was instrumental in establishing St. Albans—a school which is looked upon by every Knoxvillian with pleasure and pride. The street-car line between Galesburg and Knoxville received his hearty commendation and support.
Mr. Parmenter has confined his travels to the United States and Canada. He has journeyed eastward several times, over different routes, and has learned much of the physical features and development of the Eastern States and the States of the Mississippi Valley. He was once a member of the Methodist Church and for seven years was Superintendent of the Sabbath School. At present he is connected with the Presbyterians, having joined that organization about fifteen years ago. Politically he is an unswerving republican and a firm adherent of this party’s principles and policies.
Mr. Parmenter is connected with the following societies: Knoxville Lodge, No. 66, Royal Arch Masons; Illinois Council, No. 1, serving as its present Secretary; Raboni Chapter, No. 95; the Order of Redmen; A.O.U.W.; Select Knights of America, being the present Chancellor Commander of the same; member of the Knights of Pythias; Venerable Council of Modern Woodmen of America; member of Miner of Honor.
Mr. Parmenter is a working man. He discharges his public and private duties with zeal and discretion. He is known for his honesty of purpose, his uprightness in action, and for his adherence to principle. He is not fastidious but frank and open-hearted. He is entertaining in conversation and his apparent brusqueness of manner is more pleasing than otherwise.
Mr. Parmenter was married in Knoxville, IL., Dec. 25, 1872, to Catharine Elizabeth Rosenberg, a daughter of Henry Rosenberg, a native of Pennsylvania, and a practicing physician at Knoxville for many years.
Mr. and Mrs. Parmenter have had four children: Willie R., born Sept 23, 1874, died Dec. 25, 1880; J. Harvey, born June 7, 1876, died June 14, 1881; Henry A., born Aug. 8, 1882, a graduate of the High School at Knoxville, an excellent performer on the piano, now clerking in his father’s store; Maurice, born Feb. 16, 1884, at present a member of the High School at Knoxville.
Parry, S. J., Carpenter and Builder; Galesburg; born in Pennsylvania in 1825. He came to Illinois in 1850, and to Galesburg in 1865, where he formed a partnership with J. R. Stevens. Mr. Parry began business as a contractor in 1868. Among the important buildings constructed by him are two school buildings; the County Jail; the Smith Block; the Triole Block, and many fine residences. Mr. Parry was Superintendent of Construction for the Court House, and for the Central Congregational Church.
Mr. Parry is a Congregationalist. In politics he is a republican.
Parsons, Franklin, Farmer; Section 25, Henderson Township; born Jan. 9, 1826, in Agawam, West Springfield, Hampden Co, MA.; educated in New York and Ohio. His parents were David Hastings and Lydia T. (Warren) Parsons of Massachusetts; his paternal grandparents were Hosea Parsons, born Oct. 25, 1778, and Sallie (Upham) Parsons, born Oct. 25, 1778, the latter of Springfield, MA.
Mr. Franklin Parsons first married Sarah Bullard at Knoxville, IL., March 1, 1848. His second marriage was with Actus Baxter, in Henderson, Sept. 5, 1871. His children are Leonard U., Edatha E., Frank D., Ellen A., John R., Lincoln E., Sarah L., M. Emma, and Effa M.
Mr. Parsons is a member of the Universalist Church. In politics he is a republican.
Patterson, William Stevenson, Sparta Township; Farmer and stockman; born near Columbus, Ohio, Dec. 13, 1825. His parents, John S. and Mary (Stevenson) Patterson, were natives of Washington Co, PA, and were married March 8, 1824.
Mr. Patterson was reared in Ohio and came to Knox County Nov. 7, 1838, with his father and stepmother. They settled at Henderson where he learned the cooper’s trade, which he worked at until he went on a farm.
Sept. 30, 1846, in Henderson, he married Matilda Miller, after which he bought 320 acres on Section 18, where James Barry now lives. He was prosperous and owned a large tract of land. He was one of the best known men in Knox County, where he bought and sold and shipped stock on a large scale. He finally moved to Stockham, Hamilton County, where he engaged in the same business with his usual success. His children received most of their education in Galesburg.
His accomplished and talented daughter, Jennie May, was educated at St. Mary’s, Knoxville, and has decided artistic talent. She is a devoted mother and is an influential member of society.
Mr. and Mrs. Patterson had four children who reached maturity: Edwin W., Mrs. Clara Smith, Mrs. Wm. A. Lee, Jr. (Jennie May), and Fred A. With the exception of Mrs. Lee all are residents of Nebraska.
Mr. Patterson received his education in Ohio and in Knox County. In politics he is a democrat.
Pendergast, Thomas, Coal Operator; Henderson Township; born Dec. 22, 1846, in County Kilkenny, Ireland. He was married to Rosanna Sharkey, Dec. 28, 1869, at Galesburg. They have five children: John, Mary, James, Katharine, and Johanna.
John Pendergast, the father of Thomas, was born in Ireland, as was also his mother, whose maiden name was Catherine Gorman. His paternal grandfather was Patrick Pendergast; his maternal grandfather was Michael Gorman, and his maternal grandmother was Mary Cady, all of whom were natives of Ireland. In the spring of 1863, Mr. Pendergast came to Knox County where his father had located in 1855. He engaged in farming until 1889, when he sunk a shaft and began to mine coal on his own farm in Soperville, IL. He is a self-made man, and his success in life is due solely to his tireless energy and industry.
Tragic circumstances attended the removal of his father’s family to America. Mr. John Pendergast came to New York in 1848, and one year later, sent for his family. Upon landing at Quebec they were seized with cholera, and before the father could reach them from New York, the mother, one daughter and a son had died. His surviving daughter was taken to the home in New York, which the father had provided for his family. He is a member of the Catholic Church. In politics he is a republican.
Pennington, Riggs: Mr. Pennington was one of the first County Commissioners. He was a keen, shrewd man, of medium size, dark complexion, having piercing eyes, straight black hair, a full forehead, and a general appearance that gave him the air of a thoroughly wide-awake business man.
Not much can now be learned of him, but he deserves mention herein, for in his day he was one of the wealthiest and most influential men in Northern Illinois. When he left this state for Texas in 1837, he carried nearly fifteen thousand dollars with him.
He was a native of North Carolina and was the first white settler in McDonough County, Illinois. He came to Knox County in 1828, and returned here once for a short visit in 1840.
It is said that he remained in Texas until his death in 1869, but perhaps a more trustworthy report is that he shortly left Texas and went to Mexico where he amassed a large fortune.
Perkins, Isaac Stiles, son of Walter and Harriet Perkins, was born in Southwick, MA, June 4, 1832. He received all the advantages of a New England farmer’s son, and obtained his early education at the public schools of his native town. He also attended the Southwick and Westfield academies. After he became of age, he resolved to seek his fortune in the great west. His first residence was at Terre Haute, Indiana, where he was employed in teaching a district school for one year. Preferring a more active life to the confinement of the schoolroom, he engaged himself as a commercial traveler for a period of five years. He then returned to Massachusetts, continuing in the same business until 1863, when he came to Jacksonville, IL., where he was connected with a hardware firm for one year.
In 1864 Mr. Perkins came to Galesburg, and was employed as the traveling salesman for George W. Brown. By the geniality of his nature and his personal address, he was peculiarly fitted for this work, and the business prospered greatly under his efforts. In a short time Mr. Brown had learned to place so much confidence in his integrity and ability, that he made him general manager of his large and increasing manufacturing interest. As head of the factory, he labored for the company for 22 years, until ill health compelled him to retire. He was instant in season in all his work. He labored not for himself, but for the great good and the best interest of his employer.
In 1880, the company was reorganized and incorporated under the firm name of George W. Brown and Company, and Mr. Perkins was elected vice-president, which position he held until his retirement. By his untiring energy and shrewd management, the patent litigation and the demand for royalties were carried through to a successful issue.
His efficiency was shown in every department in which he was engaged, and on account of the success that attended his efforts, he received the hearty commendations of his employers.
Mr. Perkins had a decided talent for business. He had quick perceptions, and his affability and gentility of manners especially fitted him to deal with men. Two characteristics were always manifested in his life and dealings with others—honesty and integrity. These shone out so conspicuously as to inspire confidence in all with whom he came in contact.
On all moral questions, Mr. Perkins was ever on the side of right. He had high ideals, and for the better in both church and state. Although he never sought or held any public office, yet he was interested in and actively identified with the affairs of the city of his adoption. For fourteen years he was a member of the city Library Board, giving his services freely without compensation. For nearly five years he was a member of the Park Commission, and his service in this capacity were always considered most valuable. He was also, for a short time, a Director in the City Hospital. In a like capacity, he served the Galesburg Printing Company. For more than twenty years he was a Director in the Second National Bank, and it may be truly said that in all these positions he was called to fill, he acquitted himself as a man of large experience and of excellent judgment. His associates always regarded him not only sociable and companionable, but of keen insight and wise in counsel.
Mr. Perkins, in his political faith, was a republican, having been identified with that party from its organization. In religious belief, he was a Congregationalist, having united with the Old First Church during the pastorate of Dr. A. R. Thain. And it may be said that during these many years of his connection, he kept the laws and ordinances blameless, and walked and demeaned himself as becomes a Christian gentleman. For several years he was a member and President of the Board of Trustees, and with the same untiring energy that was displayed in his business relations, he labored for the interests and up-building of the church.
Mr. Perkins’ father died several years ago in Massachusetts. His mother was once a member of his household, living in Galesburg, but died in Tuscola, IL, in July 1885, while visiting her son.
Mr. Perkins was married in Westfield, MA., July 31, 1866 to Miss Eliza Clark, who was a graduate of the State Normal School and a teacher in the public schools of her native state for several years. To them were born, in Galesburg, Nov. 24, 1873, one son, Clayton Clark Perkins.
Mr. Perkins died in Galesburg on the 21st day of April, 1898.
Perry, Albert James, President Second National Bank; Galesburg; born Dec. 10, 1841 at Alden, New York. His parents were James Perry of MA and Sophronia (Pengra) Perry of western New York. His paternal grandparents were Isaac and Mary (Tiffany) Perry of Massachusetts. James Perry was a soldier in the Revolutionary War, and when he entered the army, was presented with a sword by the people of his town. His maternal great-grandfather, Stephen Hopkins, was Colonial Governor of Rhode Island from 1757 until 1767, and was one of the Congressmen who signed the Declaration of Independence.
Mr. A. J. Perry entered the sophomore class of Rochester University in 1857, and remained until 1861. He took the classical course and paid his tuition with his earnings as a telegraph operator. The death of his father in 1860, and the subsequent necessity for supporting his mother and invalid sister, compelled him to relinquish his intention of finishing the University course. As a means of support, he taught school for a time, and also acted in the capacity of railroad agent.
In 1865, he came to Galesburg, and until 1873, was employed by the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad as bookkeeper. During the winter of 1873, he again taught school. In 1874 he was appointed Deputy Circuit Clerk, serving until 1882, when he became County Clerk, which position he filled for eight years. He was then elected President of the Second National Bank. Mr. Perry is a republican, and has served two terms in the City Council. He is Vice-President of the Hospital Board, President of the Library Board of the Galesburg Public Library, and Treasurer of Knox College. Mr. Perry’s principal business is investments, and for the past eleven years he has been extensively engaged in selling real estate securities. Albert also wrote in 1912 his own history of Knox county, IL.
Peterka, William L., Engineer; Galesburg; born Nov. 14, 1856 at Collinsville, Illinois. His parents were John and Catharine Peterka of Germany. They came to America in 1849, and settled at Collinsville, where for many years his father carried freight on the National plank road from Greenville to St. Louis. He died in 1887. His mother died in 1862.
He was married in Peoria, IL., in 1887 to Frances T. Bachtold, daughter of Matthias and Stephania (Haunghs) Bachtold, who were old settlers in that part of the State. Six children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Peterka: Ada R.; Clara V.; Blanche, deceased; William; John, deceased; and Willis Howard.
Upon the death of his mother, William L. lived with a farmer who sent him to school. At the age of twelve, he began to work at the top of a coal mine, and later became foreman for the engineer of the mine; he was afterward given charge of the pumping works at night. At the age of seventeen, he became engineer of the Abby, No 4 mine, where he remained a year and a half. He first began train service on the Illinois and Midland Railroad; afterwards entered the employ of the Indianapolis and St. Louis Railroad, and later the Wabash Railroad. In 1888 he began with the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy as engineer, which position he still holds.
Mr. Peterka is a republican. He is a member of Alpha Lodge, No. 155, Masonic. He is a Protestant.
Peterson, John L., Engineer; Galesburg; born in 1859, in Champaign County, Ohio. His father was John W. Peterson, who came to Ohio from New York; his grandfather was T. W. Peterson; his great-grandfather came from Holland. Mr. Peterson was formerly foreman of the carpenter shops and had charge of the wrecking train for the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad Company, as an engineer.
He was married to Alfaretta Wilson in 1879. There were two children, Blanche and Clarence. Mr. Peterson’s second marriage was with Sarah E. Tuthill, at Huntington, Indiana, March 30, 1887. Their children are: Jessie, Bessie, Grace, Clausie, and Gray.
Mr. Peterson is a republican. He is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church.
Peterson, Peter, Clergyman; Galesburg; born in Sweden, Nov. 21, 1866; educated in Gustavus Adolphus College at St. Peter, Minnesota, and in Augustana Theological Seminary at Rock Island, IL. His parents were Peter and Mary (Bengsten) Peterson of Sweden.
He was married to Matilda Johnson in 1894, at Vermilion, South Dakota. They have two children, Elmer Petri Theodor and Mildred Matilda Ingeborg.
Mr. Peterson’s parents went to Meeker County, MN., when he was two years of age. Six weeks later his father was drowned by the capsizing of a boat while fishing in Collinwood Lake, leaving the mother and seven children without means of support. When very young, Peter worked on the farm for his board while attending the public school. By constant labor and economy he had, at the age of nineteen, acquired $140.00, with which he started for college. He taught during vacations, and while a freshman, began preaching to aid in completing his college and theological course. He was ordained in 1894, and entered upon missionary work in Ogden, Utah. After a year he went to St. John’s Lutheran Church in Essex, Iowa, and after three years, removed to Galesburg, where he is now pastor of the First Lutheran Church.
Phelps, William Irvin, Wood Machinist; Galesburg; born in Henderson, Knox County, March 29, 1851. Attended the Galesburg High School and Knox Academy until the age of fourteen, when his parents removed to Wheaton, IL, where he took a business course at Wheaton College. He learned the carpenter trade with Charles Miller, of Wheaton, and in 1871, was employed by the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad Company as bridge carpenter. In 1883 he returned to Galesburg and entered the service of the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad Company, where he is now foreman of the wood machine shop, a position he has held for fourteen years.
June 27, 1876, he was married to Martha Jane Roe of Abingdon, IL. Her father, Silas Roe settled at Abingdon in 1841, being one of the early settlers of Knox County.
Mr. Phelps is a republican, and in 1898 was elected Supervisor on the republican ticket. In 1896 he ran for Alderman in the Sixth Ward, being defeated by but two votes. He is a member of Ezel Lodge, Knights of Pythias, of which order he was Deputy Grand Chancellor for six years, during which time he instituted four lodges in Knox County. He was one of the organizers of the Railroad McKinley Marching Club, which was 800 strong. In 1897 he, with Professor J. A. Newman, organized the now well known and popular Burlington Route Band of 30 musicians. Mr. Phelps takes a great interest in the advancement of musical organizations, and is at present manager of the College City and the Central Church orchestras.
Phillips, W. M., Farmer and Stock Dealer; Truro Township; born Nov 3, 1862 in Oskaloosa, Iowa. His parents were Anson D. Phillips, born in Ohio in 1830, and Mary (Mowery), born in Illinois. His paternal grandparents were Robert and Jane (Elder) Phillips. His maternal grandmother was Nellie (Burton).
He was married to Della Maxey, Dec. 31, 1890, in Gilson, Knox Co. She was born in Knox County Nov. 9, 1869, and is the daughter of Clayborn and Martha Carlotte Maxey. Of this union there were four children: a boy born April 20, 1895, who lived five months; Velma, born Oct 30, 1891; Eugene, born Jan. 27, 1893; and Cecil, born Dec. 24, 1896, died Nov. 25, 1897. Mrs. Phillip’s parents are dead.
Mr. Phillips has a farm of 160 acres three and one-half miles southwest of Williamsfield and is a dealer in stock. In religion he is a Methodist; in politics he is a republican.
Pickrel, Jesse, Farmer; Maquon Township; born in Jackson County, Ohio, Dec. 23, 1811; educated in the common schools. His parents were Solomon and Anna (Griffith) Pickrel of Virginia. They had seven sons and seven daughters.
Jesse Pickrel was married Nov. 2, 1834 in Athens Co, OH., to Miss Rosa Johnson, who was born Aug. 30, 1816. Their children are: Mrs. Sarah Ward (deceased); Mrs. Caroline Davis; Jesse, of Knoxville; Mrs. Ann Austin; Mrs. Melissa Baird; Milton, of Knoxville, and Douglas, who lives on the homestead, in Haw Creek Township.
Mr. Pickrel was reared on a farm in Ohio, and came to Haw Creek Township in 1847 where he bought 160 acres of land. At the time of his death he had 460 acres. He left the management of the farm largely to his wife, who was a woman of rare gifts, good judgment, and kind heart. She brought up a family of sons who are exceptionally good business men, and she takes a deep interest in the welfare of those with whom she comes in contact.
She is a member of the United Brethren Church. Mr. Pickrel was a democrat.
Pittard, William J., son of Job and Mary (Thomas) Pittard, was born in Ontario Township, March 14, 1850. His parents were born in Summerton, England, and came to the United States in 1847 arriving at Chicago, May 22. After having lived two years in Chicago they settled on a farm in Knox County, where they became prosperous farmers. They made additions to the 80 acres of land first purchased, until they owned 320 acres of farm land, and several town lots in Oneida. They moved to Oneida, and after residing there about two years, went to the home of their son, William J., where they both died, aged 72 and 71 years respectively. Politically, Mr. Job Pittard was a republican. He was a Congregationalist, and a deacon in the church of which he was a worthy member. He became paralyzed, and was for several years attended by his daughter-in-law, Mrs. Mary A. Pittard, who nursed him most faithfully through all his suffering. Her own parents also died at her home, and were ministered to by her with loving care.
Mr. William J. Pittard was educated in the common schools of Knox County. He was married in Knox County, March 29, 1879, to Mary A. Green, daughter of Daniel and Amy (Dewitt) Green. Mr. Green was a native of the State of New York. Mrs. Pittard was born in Henry Co, IL., March 4, 1854. They have three children: Josie A. (who married Charles Brown), Frank C., and Edith Leona.
Mr. Pittard was a man of remarkable honor, and highly respected by all. In religion he was a Presbyterian. He was a member of the I.O.O. F. In politics he was a republican. He died in Jan. 2, 1893.
Since the death of her husband, Mrs. Pittard, with the assistance of her son, has managed the farm consisting of about 110 acres; she owns another farm of 160 acres in Ontario Township.
Plank, Robert M., Farmer; Galesburg; born in Gettysburg, Adams Co, PA., Aug. 5, 1864. His parents, William and Mary (Shultz) Plank, were natives of Pennsylvania.
In religion Mr. Plank is a Presbyterian. In politics he is a republican.
Poplett, Frances, Farmer; Henderson Township; born in Sparta Township May 28, 1851; educated in Knox County. His father, John Poplett, was born in Indiana, Sept. 12, 1826, and died March 30, 1852; his mother Sophia (Davis) Poplett, was born in Indiana Nov. 2, 1829; his grandfather, Thompson Poplett came from Kentucky; his maternal grandfather, Peter Davis, was born in Kentucky in Dec. 1801, and died March 15, 1871; his maternal grandmother, Harriet (Cannon) Davis, was born in Kentucky March 4, 1811, and died Nov. 8, 1891. John Poplett and Sophia Davis were married Nov. 16, 1848; a son, Henry Thompson, was born in 1849, and died June 16, 1850.
Francis Poplett was married to Laura L. Rowe in Sparta Township July 3, 1872. Their children are: Nellie Harriet, born July 10, 1873, died Aug. 11, 1873; Laura Ella, born Jan 12, 1875, married to Jacob M. Findley, Jan 9, 1896; Mary Alice, born Aug 19, 1876, died Feb 8, 1880, and Elmer Frank, born April 20, 1884.
Laura Lorrania, wife of Francis Poplett, was born February 22, 1849, and died March 31, 1890.
Mr. Poplett is a Protestant. In politics he is a republican, and has held the office of Road Commissioner.
Post, Philip S., Lawyer; born in Vienna, Austria, Nov. 10, 1869; educated at Knox College and National Law School, Washington, District of Columbia. His father, General Philip Sidney Post, was born in Florida, New York; his mother, Cornelia A. Post, was born in Elmira, New York. On the paternal side, his grandfather, General Peter Schuyler Post, was born in Warwick, Orange County, New York; his grandmother, Mary D. (Coe) Post, was born in Rochland Co, NY. His great-grandfather, Colonel Garrett Post, and his great-grandmother, Martinche (Bertolf) Post, were born in Orange Co, NY. On the maternal side, his grandfather was William Townsend Post and Catherine C. (Hathorn) Post, were born in Orange County.
P. S. Post was admitted to the Bar in 1892. He was elected County Judge of Knox County in 1898. In politics Judge Post is a republican.
Potter, C. B., Engineer; Galesburg; born June 29, 1839, in Luzerne Co, PA. His father, Brookins Potter, was born in Vermont; his grandfather, William Potter was a soldier in the Revolutionary War.
Mr. C. B. Potter was educated in the common schools. In politics he is a republican; in religious belief, a Baptist.
He married Eunice House, in Kewanee, IL., Jan 1, 1868. Three children have been born to them: Ella; Albert; and Etta, who died in infancy; Albert died in 1886.
Mr. Potter came to Galesburg in 1865 and entered the service of the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad, working in the roundhouse two weeks, when he began firing an engine on the road. He moved to Galva in 1878. In 1895 he returned to Galesburg and bought a residence on West Tompkins Street.
Potter, George W., Farmer; Lynn Township; born in May 1843, in Washington Co, OH. His father, Joseph Potter, was born May 19, 1797 in Providence, Rhode Island; his mother, Sarah Potter, was born June 9, 1898 near Parkersburg, West Virginia. George W. Potter was educated in Ohio.
He was married to Luna J. Jackson in Toulon, IL. Oct. 28, 1869. Their children are: Edgar S., born Nov. 10, 1870; Fred A., born April 22, 1874; Eva Jane, born Aug. 6, 1876; Ada May, born Nov. 22, 1879; Inez L., born Feb 5, 1884; Sarah E., born Feb. 7, 1886; George O., born Dec. 14, 1888; and Glen A., born may 21, 1892. Edgar S. and Eva J. are married and live near Galva, IL.
Mrs. Potter is President of the W. R. C. Corps, No. 19, Galva, IL. Mr. Potter was a resident of Stark County, during which time he served on the School Board. During the Civil War he enlisted in Company G, One Hundred and thirty-second Regiment Illinois Volunteers. He has been Commander of the G. A. R. Post No. 33 for a number of years. Mr. Potter is a republican.
Potts, Julia E. (Wheeler), Farmer; Elba Township; born Jan. 19, 1835 in Tioga Co, PA.; educated in the common schools. She was married June 7, 1854 in Bradford Co, PA to H.H. Potts, who was born in Pennsylvania in 1828 and came to Elba Township in 1858 and located on Section 8. He was Tax Collector, Road Commissioner and School Director. He was a Knight Templar. He died Dec. 16, 1895.
Mrs. Pott’s parents were Moses and Cynthia (Walker) Wheeler; the father was born in Tioga Co, PA, the mother in New Hampshire. They are deceased. Her paternal grandparents were Moses Wheeler of Tioga Co, and Elizabeth (Taylor) Wheeler of New York; her maternal grandparents were Isaac and Polly Walker.
Mr. and Mrs. Pott’s children are: Willis N.; Isaac J.; Nellie J.; Flora A.; Frank E.; Walter S.; Effie B.; Fred W.; and Jessie M, deceased. There are four children at home. Mrs. Potts has an excellent farm of 325 acres, and a fine residence. She raises much stock.
Purington, William Sidney, Vice President and General Manager of the Purington Paving Brick Company, Galesburg; born Feb. 22, 1860 in Amesbury, MA; educated in Friends Boarding School, Providence, Rhode Island. His parents were Daniel S. Purington of Vassalbon, Maine, and Sarah (Varney) Purington of New Hampshire.
He was married at Porter, Indiana in 1884 to Nellie M., daughter of John K. and Sarah J. (Gill) Caldwell of Pennsylvania. They have three children, William C., Helen, and D. Stewart.
Mr. Purington’s ancestors were of early New England stock. His father was a farmer, and spent most of his life at Newburyport, MA, where Mr. W. S. Purington lived until 1880, when he came west to superintend the Purington-Kimball Brick Company’s works at Chicago, IL, and at Porter, IN. For three years he was Vice President and Secretary of the St. Paul and Minneapolis Pressed Brick Company. In 1890 he removed to Galesburg, where he established the plant now owned and operated by the Purington Paving Brick Company.
Mr. Purington is a member of the Royal Arcanum; was Vice President and is a Director of the Galesburg Business Men’s Club, which position he has held for seven years. In religion, Mr. Purington is a Presbyterian. In politics he is a republican.
Ramp, Asa, Retired Farmer; Knoxville; born in Knox County, Jan. 24, 1855; educated in the common schools. His parents, Benjamin and Sarah (Maps) Ramp, were born in PA; the former, Nov. 20, 1815, the latter, in 1819. They died in March 1891.
March 15, 1879, Asa Ramp was married to Deborah Wesner in Knox Co.; they had three children: Electa M., born Jan. 1, 1880; Florence B., born Jan. 7, 1885; and Waldo L., born Aug. 10, 1886.
Mrs. Ramp was born in Somerset Co, PA., March 28, 1859; she was the daughter of Anthony and Julia Ann Wesner; the former born in Germany, Jan. 16, 1823, and died in Knox Co. Oct. 22, 1876; the latter born in Northumberland Co, PA, Dec. 3, 1819, and died in Knox Co. March 4, 1885. Mrs. Ramp’s parents were members of the Methodist Church. Mrs. Ramp is a member of the Royal Neighbors of America.
Mr. Ramp lived in Ford Co, IL. for five years; he then moved to Truro Township, and after a nine years’ residence moved to Knoxville, where they have lived for six years. He is a member of the M. W. A., No. 411, Knoxville Camp. Mr. Ramp owns about 440 acres of land in Elba and the adjoining township. In politics he is a republican.
Ramp, Benjamin, Farmer; Haw Creek Township; born in Cumberland Co, PA, Nov. 20, 1815. The family is of German descent. Mr. Ramp moved to Miami Co, OH in 1844 and thence to Knox Co, IL. in 1848, and settled on Section 3, Haw Creek Township.
Oct. 26, 1837, Mr. Ramp was married to Sarah Mapps. They have had thirteen children: Elizabeth, wife of John W. Cook, died Jan. 14, 1862; William; Mary Jane, wife of Henry Bell; John, died Aug. 11, 1842; David; Aaron, died Jan. 14, 1854; Benjamin, died June 5, 1850; Samuel; Jesse M., died Oct. 31, 1853; Asa M.; Cephas A.; James W.; and Charles A. Mr. Ramp’s second daughter was first married to Mr. Epperson; there was one son, William B. Epperson. Her second marriage was to Henry R. Bell. Six children were born to them: Milton; Lawrence; Estella, now Mrs. Evans; Arthur; Lillie; and Luetta Ella. Henry R. Bell’s father was Henry Bell, an old settler, and ex-Sheriff of Knox County. Mr. Bell was born in Knox County, and is a farmer in Haw Creek Township. In politics he is a democrat.
Mr. Ramp owned two thousand acres of land in Haw Creek, Truro, and Persifer Townships, all, except three hundred acres of pasture, being under cultivation. All this he accumulated in spite of successive accidents by which he lost first a leg and then an arm. After recovering from the first accident he had but little property, and was in debt for treatment.
Mr. and Mrs. Ramp were members of the Presbyterian Church. Mr. Ramp was a republican. He held several local offices and was for four years Justice of the Peace.
Ramp, Samuel, Farmer, Yates City, Salem Township; born Nov. 11, 1850 in Knoxville; educated in Haw Creek Township. His parents, Benjamin and Sarah (Mapps) Ramp, were born in Hopewell, Lancaster Co, PA, the former, Nov. 20, 1815; the latter, Sept. 18, 1819; Benjamin died March 17, 1891; Sarah died March 25, 1891.
March 30, 1873 Mr. Samuel Ramp married in Knoxville, Sarah A., daughter of J.T. and Cyntha Ferguson Jacobs; there were six children: Benjamin Franklin, born Jan. 17, 1874, died Jan. 18, 1878; Cyntha May, born June 3, 1877; Thomas L. born April 19, 1879; Lena Grace, born Dec. 15, 1881; Laura Agnes, born March 10, 1885; and Fred Earnest, born Jan. 10, 1891. The surviving children are all at home. Mrs. Jacobs, Mrs. Ramp’s mother, died April 10, 1876; and Mr. Jacobs lives in Ionia, Kansas.
Mr. Ramp lived in Truro Township twenty years, then came to Yates City, Nov. 1, 1893. He owns 470 acres of land in Truro Township (Section 32 and 33) and 80 acres east of Yates City, with very fine buildings. He also owns a fine brick dwelling and seven building lots in Yates City, and a modern residence and three lots in Elmwood. Mr. Ramp’s parents came to Illinois in 1848. In politics he is a republican. Foxie's Note: Brother's bio is below.
Ramp, William, Farmer; Yates City, Salem Township; born Oct 4, 1841, in Cumberland Co, PA.; educated in the common schools. His parents, Benjamin and Sarah (Mapps) Ramp were born in Cumberland Co, PA, the former, Nov. 20, 1815; the latter, Sept. 18, 1819. The father died March 17, 1891; the mother, March 25, 1891. Benjamin Ramp’s parents, William and Elizabeth (Herbling) Ramp were natives of Germany. Sarah Mapp’s father, John, was born in New Jersey.
William Ramp’s first wife was Hannah Jane Richmond, born in 1842, died June 28, 1868. Her parents were Edward and Clarissa (Cook) Richmond. She was a member of the M.E. Church. Of this union there were three children: Alice Jane, born March 30, 1861; David E., born July 26, 1865; and Hattie Ella, born Feb. 6, 1868.
His second wife was Susan Welty, daughter of Henry Welty of Knoxville. She died in 1879; she was a member of the Presbyterian Church. Of this union there were three children: Cora and Clarence, born June 27, 1871; Luie, born Jan. 10, 1875.
He married his present wife, Octava L. Fravel, in Knoxville, April 6, 1881; four children were born to them: Herbert L., born April 3, 1882; Mary Agnes, born Nov. 8, 1883; Willie D., born July 14, 1887; and Carrie Maud, born April 12, 1889. The present Mrs. Ramp, daughter of James and Mary (Hendricks) Fravel, was born in Louisiana, Jan. 31, 1853. She is a member of the Presbyterian Church. Both the parents are dead.
Mr. Ramp came to Illinois with his parents in the fall of 1848. His father settled in Haw Creek Township, where he accumulated a large property, about 2000 acres of land, valued at $100,000. Mr. William Ramp lived for a time in Persifer and Truro Townships; he spent two years in Kansas, and resided for a time in Louisiana. He now lives on his 80 acres in Salem Township, and has 114 acres in Elba Township. He is a member of Masonic Lodge, No. 448, Yates City, and has been School Director a number of years. In religion he is a Presbyterian. In politics he is an independent.
Read, Henry Ware, Teacher; born Dec. 31, 1849, at Newtown, Illinois. His father, Josiah, was born at Keene, New Hampshire, and his mother, Caroline A. (Strong), at Elmira, New York. His grandfather on the paternal side was David Read, and on the maternal side Samuel Strong. Professor Read was educated at Knox College, in which institution he is instructor in Latin and Greek.
June 24, 1876, he was united in marriage to Martha E. A. Hastings, of Galesburg. They are the parents of three children: Mary Amelia, Henry Hastings, and Robert Strong. Mr. Read is a successful teacher, and an influential member of the faculty of Knox College. He is closely connected with the Sunday school work of Knox County. He is an aggressive temperance advocate, having acted as Vice President and a member of the Executive Committee in the memorable campaign of 1899. He is a man of rare judgment and careful scholarship, and a devoted Christian. He is a member of the Congregational Church. In politics he is a republican.
Rebstock, James, Farmer, Haw Creek Township, born in Tuscarawas Co., OH., April 14, 1839; educated in the county schools. His father, Emanuel Rebstock, was born in Maryland, while his mother, Mary (Rolanbaugh), was a native of Germany, as were also her parents, John and Emily Rolanbaugh. Emanuel Rebstock died in Ohio at the age of 35, when James was only 9 years old; the boy lived among strangers, who did not send him to school nor properly clothe him. When he was fifteen years old he was earning six dollars a month with a farmer in Pulaski Co, IN.; the following year he received eight dollars a month. At the age of sixteen he entered forty acres of land for fifty dollars. In the winter of 1858, he came to Knox County, and at the age of nineteen, he was earning fourteen dollars a month. In 1861 he traded his forty acres, and in 1867 bought property in Haw Creek Township.
In 1862 Mr. Rebstock enlisted in Company G, Eighty-third Illinois Volunteers, and after serving two years as a private, was commissioned by Abraham Lincoln as First Lieutenant in the Eighth Colored Heavy Artillery. He was not mustered out until March 1866, when he returned to Knox County and settled on a farm near Gilson.
In Gilson, July 26, 1866 Mr. Rebstock was married to Mrs. Salinda Pickrel, daughter of Isaac Lotts. In religion he is a Methodist. He is a republican. He has held many offices, and is now Supervisor, having been elected in 1880, holding the office continuously, with the exception of four years. In his official capacity he has rendered the county valuable service. Mr. Rebstock is a member of the Grand Army of the Republic and of the A. F. and A. M. He has been prosperous in his business enterprises.
Redd, Walter, son of John and Elizabeth (Barber) Redd, was born in Shenandoah Co, VA., March 27, 1820. His father was a farmer and had served his country as a soldier in the War of 1812. His parents died while he was a lad of seven or eight years of age. The early struggle for a livelihood was a severe one, and the youth was glad to make a living as best he could.
In Feb. 1842, Mr. Redd, in his twenty-second year, came to Knox County. He had no capital, and for a year and a half worked here and there as he found opportunity. He then went to Knoxville and secured employment in a flour-mill, where he remained eight years and thoroughly learned the miller’s trade. Having accumulated a little money, he purchased 160 acres of land on Section 11 in Orange Township, where he lived until his death, improving his land and adding thereto until he had a farm of about 300 acres. Mr. Redd was a member of Knoxville Lodge, No. 66, A.F. and A.M. He was a republican.
Sept. 12, 1844, Mr. Redd was married to Frances Allen, daughter of William and Nancy (Wilkins) Allen. She was born in Jefferson Co. IN, April 5, 1826. Her father was a native of Kentucky; her mother was born in PA. The Allen family came to Knox County about 1836 and took up land in Persifer Township, where Mr. and Mrs. Allen remained until their death.
Mr. and Mrs. Redd are the parents of twelve children: Benjamin F., deceased; Robert H.; John W.; Julia and Julius, twins, both deceased; Lorena; Blanch; Frank; and Ida M., deceased. Robert married Melissa McDowell and is a farmer in Iowa; John married Clara Barnett and is a farmer in Colorado; Julia married John F. Fink and lived in Nebraska; Lorena is the wife of Peter Hawley, and lives in Knoxville; Blanch is the wife of Julius J. Maxey, and lived in Knox Township; Ida married Park Garwood and her home was in Nebraska; Grace married James Mowry and lived in Iowa; Etta is the wife of Frank Motter and lives in Persifer Township, Knox County.
Redfield, Henry J., Liveryman; Galesburg; born Dec. 31, 1860 in Galesburg, where he was educated. His parents were A. C. Redfield, of Connecticut; and Mary M. (Onderdouk) Redfield of Long Island. Mr. Redfield is proprietor of the Union Livery Stable. In politics he is a republican.
Redington, Patrick, Farmer; Cedar Township; born in Ireland March 14, 1831; his parents, Philip and Mary (Hobon) Redington, were natives of Ireland. In 1851 Mr. Redington came to this country and spent seven years in Massachusetts, after which he moved to Galesburg, where he worked some years by the month. His first farm was a small one in Cedar Township, and he later bought a large farm where he now lives. He is one of the wealthy farmers of Cedar Township.
Jan. 9, 1859, in Galesburg, Mr. Redington was married to Mary Dolphin; they have three children: James P.; Anthony P.; and Rose, now Mrs. T. E. Creen. In religion Mr. Redington is a Catholic. He is a democrat.
Reece, Henry M., Farmer; Chestnut Township, born Aug. 2, 1837 in Highland Co, OH; educated in the common schools and in Abingdon College. His parents, Aquilla L. and Susanna (Smith) Reece, were born in Randolph Co, NC. His paternal grandfather was William Reece.
Mr. H. M. Reece was married first to Nancy Carter; they had four children: Caroline, Clarence, William and John. His second marriage was with Emma Owens; they had two children: Harriet and Frank.
Mr. Reece came to Illinois in 1850 and to Chestnut Township, Knox County, in 1854, and worked on his father’s farm. In 1862 he enlisted in the Civil War and was discharged from service July 3, 1865. After leaving the army he lived in Ohio for six months, and in Illinois for a year. In 1868 he went to Kansas, and at the end of five years returned to Chestnut Township. In politics he is a republican, and has served as Commissioner of Highways, Supervisor, and Justice of the Peace. In 1898 he was elected Treasurer of Knox County.
Reed, James Durham, Farmer; Sparta Township; born in Kentucky, June 27, 1825; died in Wataga, Dec. 8, 1883; his parents, Jonathan and Polly (Newell) Reed, came from Kentucky to Knox County at an early day, and died at an advanced age in Henderson Grove.
He was married in Knox County, Aug. 22, 1847 to Martha A. Duval. She was born April 27, 1831. Their children are: Mary S., deceased; Mrs. Nancy E. Haver; Mrs. Helen M. Andrews; Mrs. Sarah E. Langless; Frances A.; Mrs. Rosalla A. Temple, deceased; Mrs. Polly E. Slabaugh; James A. I.; and Dora E.
After his marriage Mr. Reed lived in Henderson Grove. For fifty years he worked a farm of 220 acres near Wataga, where Mrs. Reed now lives. He greatly improved his farm and had fine out houses. He built a fine residence in 1888. Mrs. Reed is a member of the Christian Church. Mr. Reed was a democrat.
Reinmund, Bowman Franklin, Secretary of the Covenant Mutual Life Association; Galesburg; born at Lancaster, Ohio, Nov. 11, 1857, where he was educated. His father, Benjamin F., was born at Bethlehem, PA; his mother, Isabel C. (Arnold) at Hagerstown, Maryland. His paternal grandfather, Joseph, was born in Prussia, and his paternal grandmother, Sarah (Wilhelm) at Reading, PA. His maternal grandfather, Henry Arnold, was born in Holland; his maternal grandmother Maria (Bowman) in Maryland.
Mr. Reinmund was married Dec. 4, 1877, at Lancaster, Ohio, to Ida B. Jackson. They have two children, Elizabeth S. and Bowman F. In religion he is a Presbyterian. In politics he is a republican.
Reynolds, Alvah, born in Bedford, New York, May 22, 1830. His father, Enoch Reynolds, was born in Lewisboro, NY. in 1794, and removed to Somers in 1811. He was married in 1819 and in 1827 removed to Bedford, where he died at the age of 84 years. His paternal grandfather, James Reynolds, was a soldier in the Revolution, and drew a pension. After the war he was a farmer in New York State, and died at Crossriver (now known as Lewisboro), New York. Maria Reynolds, the mother of Alvah, was born near the east line of Westchester Co, NY, and died in Bedford, NY, aged 45 years. Her father, Nathaniel Reynolds, was a soldier in the Revolution, and drew a pension. He was a prisoner on Long Island. He died at Crossriver (now Lewisboro).
Mr. Alvah Reynolds was brought up on a farm, but was apprenticed to a carpenter at the age of sixteen, and followed the trade thirteen years. He was married in Henry Co, IL. May 10, 1859 to Susannah Hayden, daughter of Jonathan and Hulda (Reeves) Hayden, pioneers of Henry Co, where they settled in 1853. Mr. Hayden now lives at Blairstown, Iowa, and is 91 years of age. The children of Mr. and Mrs. Reynolds are: Mrs. Orlena F. Tracy, Mrs. Ida A. Crandall, Arthur A., Charley C., Anna A., and Jennie May.
In politics Mr. Reynolds is a republican, and in religion a Christian. He has been a school director thirty-six years. He bought 160 acres of land in Ontario Township, Knox County, which is now in a high state of cultivation. He has been very successful and added to his farm from time to time until he owned 720 acres of land in Ontario Township, and in 1893 gave each of his six children an 80-acre farm, and has a good farm left for himself. His farm was excellent for stock raising, and Mr. Reynolds is considered one of the most successful stock raisers in the county; his success may doubtless be attributed to industry and strict economy. He is progressive, and has a wide influence in the church and in the community.
Reynolds, Edward B., Retired Farmer; Blain Avenue, Galesburg; born in Hart County, Kentucky, Feb. 20, 1825; educated in his native state. His parents, Edward and Celia (Fuqua) Reynolds, were natives of Bedford Co, VA. They had eleven children, Willis, Jesse, Pamelia, Eliza, Jane, William, Mary, Celia, Edward B., Elizabeth, and Loren. The father died in 1848, and the mother in 1875. The paternal grandfather, Jesse Reynolds, was a native of England; his wife, Mary (Bright) of Scotland. Mr. Reynolds married Mary W. Gose, Jan. 25, 1849, in Knox Township; there were eight children, Lorenzo D., Josephine A., Laura V., Peter G., George E., Henry C., John, and Kate. Lorenzo D. married Frances Reynolds; they have seven children. Josephine was twice married; first, to Newton Callison, with whom she had one son, Ray. Her second marriage was with L. Judson Smith. Laura V. was first married to Benjamin Dermier; her second husband is Clarence Jones. Peter married Jennie Higgins; they had two sons, Ralph J. & John E. Peter Reynolds died Aug. 3, 1898. George was twice married; first to Sarah McNeil; they had three children, Clarence, Alice, and Mary. His second marriage was with Mrs. Ida (Smith) Moore; they have on daughter, Josephine. Henry C. married May Adams; they have two children, Irene and Edward.
The ancestry of the family is English, Scotch, French and German. Mr. and Mrs. E. B. Reynolds are members of the Christian Church. In politics Mr. Reynolds is a prohibitionist.
Reynolds, George E., Farmer; Orange Township; born 1857 in Knox Township; educated at Lombard University, Galesburg. He is a son of Edward Reynolds. He went to Wood County in 1880.
In 1882 Mr. Reynolds was married to Sarah McNeal, who died, leaving three children: Clarence, Aline, and Mary. His second marriage was with Mrs. Ida Moore, in 1890, daughter of Thomas Smith of Knoxville. They have one daughter, Josephine.
Mr. Reynolds came to Orange Township in 1885, where he has since lived. He is a member of the Christian Church. He is a republican.
Reynolds, William H., was born in Park Co, IN., Dec. 23, 1839. His parents were Samuel and Ann Jane (Reed) Reynolds of English and Scotch descent. Samuel Reynolds was the son of William Reynolds, a native of England, who came to America before the Revolutionary War. The family settled on a farm in South Carolina, where William Reynolds died when his son Samuel was ten years of age. The widow emigrated to Kentucky with her nine children: William, Samuel, John, Robert, Nancy, Rebecca, Elsie, Jane, and Sarah Ann. They all reached maturity, and with the exception of John, married. Some of the children went to Park Co, IN, and were followed by their mother, who died near Indianapolis.
Samuel was married at the age of 22 years, and settled on a timber farm of 160 acres which he cleared. He afterwards sold his farm, and in 1836, moved near Berwick, Warren Co, IL., and bought a farm of 160 acres which is now owned by his son James. He accumulated a large property, and at one time owned 2,000 acres of land in Warren County. He had few educational advantages, but was a man of clear head and remarkably strong muscular development. His wife, Ann Jane Reed, a daughter of John Reed, was of Scotch descent and was born near Louisville, Kentucky. He died at the homestead at the age of 88, and his wife died in Abingdon at the age of 84. They had twelve children, nine of whom reached maturity: Katherine B., William H., John R., James A., Jemima, Jennie S., Marion, Sarah, and Louise.
William H. Reynolds was brought up on the home farm, and at the age of 26 ran in debt for a farm of 360 acres in Warren County, which he afterwards sold, and bought the farm of 1000 acres in Orange Township, near Knoxville, which he now owns. He owns, in addition, 600 acres of land in Knox Township, and a model stock farm of 400 acres in Norton Co., Kansas. He was educated in the common schools and at Abingdon College. He also studied law and practiced his profession four or five years, but soon turned his attention to the more congenial pursuit of farming. He came to Knox County in 1857, and lived for many years on his farm near Knoxville. In 1883 he moved to Galesburg, and in 1892 bought a farm near Abingdon.
June 24, 1855 Mr. Reynolds was married to Martha M. Bundy in Orange Township. She died Feb. 1, 1873 leaving three children: Nellie J., who married Mr. Peterson; William M.; and Minnie, wife of James Rogers. Mr. Reynolds’ second marriage occurred Nov. 25, 1873 at Knoxville to Margaret Wallace, who is a native of Scotland. Four children have been born to them: Nellie H., wife of A. E. Werts; Frank W.; Harry Earnest; and Mabel E.
Captain Reynolds has a notable military record. In July 1861 he assisted in raising a company, and secured most of the volunteers from among his friends and acquaintances in Knox and Warren Counties. The company thus formed was called Company D, of the Seventh Illinois Cavalry, and was mustered into service at Springfield Oct. 13, 1861. Mr. Reynolds, who had enlisted as a private, was at the time elected First Lieutenant, and was promoted to the rank of Captain at the battle of Corinth, Mississippi. The Seventh rendered valuable service during the war. It was under Pope at Island No. 10, and New Madrid; ascended the Tennessee River in 1862; led at Corinth and in the pursuit of May 30; was the first to march into Tuscumbia, Alabama; withstood the entire rebel force at Iuka, and in Sept., Oct., and Nov. made a series of movements in which they marched 800 miles, destroying railroads and bridges. May 2, they entered Baton Rouge, after traveling another 800 miles, capturing one thousand prisoners, and assisting at the capture of Fort Hudson. Altogether the Seventh marched about 5000 miles and captured 3000 prisoners. At one time an order was given by General Grant to General Rosecrans, to have all horses branded and turned over to the United States government. Captain Reynolds succeeded in preventing the breaking of their special contract, and the men of the Seventh rode their horses unbranded throughout the war. It was the Seventh that led and chased General Jeff Thompson sixteen miles through the swamps into a rebel fort, and that met at terrific pace a charging, over-whelming force, checked their advance, and extricated themselves, after seven hours of fighting.
In the fall of 1864 Captain Reynolds acted for several months in the capacity of special detective at Memphis, under General Washburn, a position requiring the utmost nerve and courage. It is needless to say that he fulfilled the expectations of those who had honored him with their confidence. He also won at all times the trust and unswerving devotion of the men who served under him.
In politics Captain Reynolds is independent, and has served as Supervisor, School Director, and Road Commissioner.
Rice, F. C., Superintendent of the Illinois lines of the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad, Galesburg; born in Wayne County, New York, Jan. 10, 1844. His father, William A., and his grandfather, Chester E. Rice, went to Beloit, Wisconsin, where F. C. Rice received his education in the common schools and learned telegraphy.
In 1861 he enlisted in the Thirteenth Illinois Cavalry and served until 1863. In the spring of the same year he assumed charge of the telegraph station at Monmouth for the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad Company, and was soon transferred to Mendota as Station Agent and Operator, where he remained until 1866 when he came to Galesburg and was given the position of Chief Operator. He was then appointed Chief Train Dispatcher, and Train Master. In 1881 he was made Superintendent of the Galesburg Division, and in 1888 General Superintendent of the Illinois lines, which position he still holds. Mr. Rice is a Trustee of Knox College; member of the Library Board; member of the Business Men’s club, and is prominently identified with religious matters.
In 1867 he was married to Harriet A., daughter of L. Knox, a grandson of General Henry Knox, the first Secretary of War and of the Navy. Mr. and Mrs. Rice have one son, Robert, and one daughter, Carrie E., who is now Mrs. F. J. Bentley.
Richey, James, Mayor of Abingdon; born Jan. 22, 1842 in Ireland; educated in Abingdon. His parents were William and Jane (Scott) Richey of Ireland. The family on both sides are of Scotch-Irish descent.
Mr. Richey was married to Sarelda Haney in Abingdon in 1871. Their children are: K. M. Buttler, and Haney.
Mr. Richey came with his parents from Columbiana Co, OH in 1853 and settled in Abingdon, where his father died July 6, 1876, at the age of 65. His father was a democrat; he was successful in business and well known in the county; his wife died Sept. 28, 1899; eight of their children reached maturity.
James Richey is a republican. He was City Marshal in Abingdon for nine years, and then went to Galesburg, where he was Deputy Sheriff for eight years and Chief of Police in Galesburg for one year. He returned to Abingdon, and served three years as City Marshal, and is now Mayor of the city, having been elected in April 1899. He is also Deputy Sheriff of Knox County. He has a good farm of 189 acres. Mr. Richey is a member of I.O.O. F. He has always been faithful and cheerful in the discharge of duty. He is a Methodist.
Ridgley, Vincent, Retired; Galesburg; born in Baltimore, Maryland, Sept. 20, 1825. He received his education in Illinois.
He was married June 7, 1855 to Adelaide J. Long of Adams Co., IL. They have had nine children, of whom six are living; Charles N., Vincent N., O. L., R. W., Clarence M., and Roy R.
In politics Mr. Ridgley is a democrat.
Riordan, John C., (deceased); Knoxville; Farmer; born in Ireland May 29, 1827; educated in the common schools. Feb. 14, 1854, he was married to Mary A. Richmond in Haw Creek Township. They had two children: L. Riley and Alice. Alice married Edward Schwartz; they have one daughter, Louise F.
Mrs. Riordon’s father, Linus Richmond, was born in Connecticut Oct. 4, 1801. He married Sarah Pickrel. They had eight children; Mary A., David, Jesse, John C., Emily, Eliza, Guy H., and Solomon. The family came from Ohio to Illinois in 1834. Mr. Richmond died Dec. 12, 1887; his wife died Oct. 9, 1853.
In politics he was a democrat. He died March 26, 1877.
Rippetoe, William Robert, Conductor; Galesburg; born Sept 20, 1853, at Colchester, Illinois, where he was educated. His parents were C. H. Rippetoe of Kentucky, and Mary C. (Barber) Rippetoe of McDonough Co, IL. The father died in 1882; his mother is still living in Galesburg; his grandfathers were John P. Rippetoe and John Barber of Kentucky.
He was married in Colchester, Dec. 26, 1873 to Mary A. Polonus. They have three children, William H., Mabel, and Jane.
William H. is an employee of the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad. From the age of ten to twenty-six, Mr. Rippetoe was a coal miner. In 1879 he began as brakeman on the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad, and was promoted to the position of Conductor in 1884. He is faithful and alert in his business, and has never met with an accident. In religion, Mr. Rippetoe is a Baptist. He is a republican.
Robbins, Henry M., son of Cyrus and Polly Maria Robbins, was born in Sparta Township, Knox Co, IL., Aug. 28, 1842. His parents, actuated by a sincere missionary motive, left their home in Eastern New York and came in 1836 to this western country, which was then almost a wilderness. Their children, growing up in such an atmosphere of self-sacrifice and devotion, became men and women of faith and unselfishness.
Henry’s first months in school were in an old shop on the Churchill place, West Main Street, Galesburg, and in the Robbins District School in Sparta Township. Here Miss Mary Allen West, who was prepared for Knox College, but who was too young to be admitted, was spending the waiting time in teaching. Later, Mr. Robbins attended Knox College for several years, and afterwards Bryant and Stratton’s Commercial College in Chicago.
In early manhood, the spirit of adventure took possession of him and he left the farm and went to California and Idaho, by way of New York and the Isthmus, where he spent some time in mining, prospecting and teaching. Some of his prospecting trips took him for months into the wildest portions of the west. But the unsettled condition of the country was not congenial to him, and he decided to return east. There was no railroad in that section of the country, the Union Pacific reaching only to the Missouri River, and the journey was a dangerous one. Mr. Robbins started with only one companion, but was soon joined by others until there was a company of about 100. In those days whole trains of travelers were sometimes annihilated, and they saw along their route traces of ruined goods, and sometimes the dead bodies of men. He returned to Knox County in December 1865, and settled on the old homestead in Sparta Township. In 1888 he came to Galesburg.
In early life Mr. Robbins united with the Baptist Church in Ontario Township, but later became a member of the Advent Christian Church.
In politics he was for many years a firm republican, but when that party would not declare itself against the liquor traffic, he voted with the prohibition party as a protest, hoping that the republican party would embody the issue in its platform.
In 1867 Mr. Robbins was married to Louisa Babcock, daughter of Ransom and Mary (Miller) Babcock, who were among the earliest settlers of “Old Henderson”. Three children were born to them: Jennie M., wife of W. T. Smith; Mary M.; and Frances Zilpha. Jennie and Mary are students at Knox College.
Mr. Robbins is Treasurer of the Galesburg Brick and Terra Cotta Company. He has served for two years as Supervisor for the City of Galesburg. He is an upright man, a fearless citizen, and enjoys the confidence and respect of all who know him.
Robbins, William A., Grocer; Galesburg; born April 10, 1851 in Henry County, Illinois. His parents were Edward S. and Temperance (Allen) Robbins of New York.
He was married in Galesburg, Oct. 13, 1874, to Nettie E., daughter of Marvin S. Carr of Saratoga Co, NY, and Susan M. (Espy) Carr of PA. They have two children, Bessie A., and Elmer A. (deceased).
Mr. Robbins’ parents were among the early settlers in Illinois, living first in Knox Co., and then in Henry Co. His father retired from business in 1866 and resided in Galesburg. Mr. W. A. Robbins lived on the farm until 1866 and he attended public school for two years. He was employed for a year by Dunn and Kingsberry, grocers. He then began work for the Frost Manufacturing Company as core-maker, and after three months became foreman of that department. A year later he re-entered the employ of Dunn and Kingsberry. December 22, 1871 he took a position as clerk in the grocery store of G. D. Crocker, and in 1878, bought a half interest in the business, under the firm name of Crocker and Robbins. After two years Mr. Robbins assumed the entire management of the business. In 1895 the firm built the Arlington Hotel, opposite the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy passenger depot. They use the first floor of the building for their extensive grocery business.
Mr. Robbins is a member of the Baptist Church. In politics he is a republican.
Robertson, Harbin Crawford, Farmer; Henderson Township; born in the old log homestead May 5, 1850; educated in Knox County. His father, Daniel Robertson, was born June 12, 1804, in Blair, Perthshire, Scotland, and came to this country with his father, Alexander Robertson, also a native of Scotland, when he was but six months old. Alexander Robertson settled first in New York State, but in 1817 removed to Illinois, finally settling in Morgan County, where he died. Daniel Robertson moved in 1822, to Sugar Creek near Rushville, and in 1828 to Knox County, where he died April 6, 1890. Daniel Robertson’s wife, Hopey Jan (Riddle) was born in Kentucky, Feb. 25, 1812, and died Nov. 29, 1895.
Dec. 27, 1877 in Henderson, Mr. H. C. Robertson was married to Lida McKee; they have three children: Fannie Maud, Mary Elener, and Millard Allen. Mrs. Robertson is a daughter of Allen and Harriet (Biggerstaff) McKee, natives of Athens Co, OH, and of Scotch-Irish descent. Her parents moved to Iowa in 1873 where her father died; her mother is still living.
Mr. Robertson owns the old homestead and has, altogether, 201 acres of land, 84 acres of which are in section 28, where he resides, and where he settled when he was married. He is the only one of the family in the township. From April 1871 till Sept. 1873 he lived in Kansas and Missouri, where he still owns 160 acres of land. In politics he is a democrat.
Robinson, Charles S., Merchant; Victoria; born June 4, 1845, at Victoria, IL; educated in the Business College of Davenport, Iowa. He was married to Emily Bristol in Galesburg in 1869. Their children are: Grace E. and Gertrude.
Mr. Charles S. Robinson is a son of Moses Robinson, a farmer, who came to Victoria Township in 1836, and engaged in the mercantile business in 1866. Moses Robinson died Jan. 2, 1898 at the age of 93. Charles S. Robinson began business with his father in 1867. He was afterwards in business in Beatrice, Nebraska, and Greenfield, Iowa. He returned to Victoria in 1883 and engaged in the same business with George M. Sornborger. Mr. Robinson is a democrat and was the first President of the village.
Robson, John, born in Whittington, Northumberland Co, England, March 5, 1827. His father, John Robson, was a farmer and raiser of stock. His mother, Mary (Brown) Robson, was of Scotch descent. He received his education in the English common schools, and spent his youth upon the farm. As a young man, he found employment for a time in a railroad office in the vicinity of his birthplace; but in 1850 he came to America and settled in Knox County, not far from Galesburg. Two brothers, Robert and William, joined him here in the spring of 1851, and together they purchased land and engaged in farming. Three years later, John bought a farm for himself, just north of Henderson, where he continued to reside until his removal to Galesburg in 1889. This farm is still the property of Mr. Robson. As an agriculturist, Mr. Robson has met with notable success, and, like his brother Richard, has conducted his operations on a generous scale. For many years he has been a prominent stockman, buying, feeding, and shipping cattle for the Chicago market.
Lack of time and taste have kept Mr. Robson from an active participation in politics. He is an independent republican, and was elected County Supervisor in 1873.
He is a stockholder in the Galesburg National Bank, and is President of the Glenwood Ice Company. He is a member of the Business Men’s Association of Galesburg. He is an attendant on the services of the Congregational Church.
In Oct. 1873, Mr. Robson was married to Pamela Davis. They have no children living.
Robson, William, son of John and Mary (Brown) Robson, was born near Newcastle, Durham County, England, Sept. 5, 1831. His parents were born near Newcastle, his father in Northumberland County. His paternal grandparents were John and Elizabeth (Stobart) Robson, the former having been born near Manchester England. On the mother’s side, his grandfather was James Brown, and his grandmother’s maiden name was Armstrong.
Mr. Robson received his education—and a very practical education it was—in a select school in England, and also in the cattle business in Newcastle. He came to the United States with his parents, and lived first at Beaver Point, Beaver Co, PA. The family arrived in Knox County early in the spring of 1850 and lived on a farm south of Galesburg till the year 1854, when they removed to Rio Township, where some members of the family still reside. His mother died in 1853, and his father died in Galesburg, aged 87 years. Mr. John Robson was a thoroughly trained English farmer, and reared his children in the most practical manner; he lived a retired life; politically he was a republican.
Mr. Robson remained in Galesburg several years, where he learned the building trade. He was first married in April 1857 to Miss Jane Goff, daughter of Mr. Louis Goff, who was one of the early settlers of Knox County, and held the office of Justice of the Peace in Rio Township for many years. There are two children born of this marriage, Cora Alice and John L. John L. married Miss Jessie Murdock of Galesburg, and resides in Omaha, Nebraska. Mrs. Robson died in 1867.
In November 1871 Mr. Robson was married to Miss Elizabeth Gordon, daughter of Mr. Peter Gordon of Copley Township, who, although yet living (1899) was one of the early settlers, and became one of the largest land owners and most influential farmers of the county. Of this marriage three children were born: Gordon, who died in Oct. 1881, at eight years of age; Edward Percy, and Henry Stewart, now living.
Mr. Robson has been actively engaged in farming most of his life. His first farm of 190 acres was located in Rio Township on Section 11, on which he erected buildings with materials hewed and sawed from native timber. He moved to this farm in the spring of 1857, and resided there till 1864, where he bought 320 acres of prairie land of the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad Company at Wataga. This tract he improved, making it his home, and being very successful, added to it 580 acres and he now has a farm of about 900 acres, lying in one body near Wataga. Between Galesburg and Henderson he owns another farm, thought by some to be the oldest in the county, a part of it having been cultivated by the Indians. Roundtree, a Kentucky farmer, located upon the tract and was undoubtedly one of the first white settlers in this part of the country. As a feeder of cattle for profit, Mr. Robson is perhaps the most successful in Knox and Mercer counties.
A remarkable instance of fraternal confidence is the fact that Mr. Robson and his brother John were associated for twenty-one years in raising stock and in large farming operations with never the “scratch of a pen” between them by way of keeping accounts. About the year 1884 they determined to divide their property which consisted of nearly two thousand acres of land, in different farms in Knox and Mercer counties, with hundreds of cattle and hogs at various feeding yards. Starting out on horse back one morning, they “finished at noon”, giving each other “quit claim” deeds in connection with which no dissatisfaction has ever arisen.
Though a very public-spirited citizen, Mr. Robson has shown no ambition to hold office. Possessing the confidence of the citizens of his town, which his success in business and strict integrity in public matters naturally created, he was called to fill the useful office which afford remuneration only in the credit for having well performed their important and sometimes difficult duties. As School Director and Highway Commissioner, he rendered valuable services. He was year after year an influential representative of his town, and often of his county, in political connections. The County Board of Knox County ranks among the very first in the State for able and honest administration. In creating and sustaining that character the Town of Sparta has done its full share, and more, in the choice of its representatives, but never did better, if so well, as when in 1878 it elected Mr. Robson supervisor and retained him till 1899, when, justified by the condition of his health, he declined to serve longer. Bringing to the discharge of his duties the business habits and the methods with which his own business had been so successfully conducted, with a thorough knowledge of the county, and the character and habits of its people, his services were at all times valuable. On all questions his influence was profitably felt. In all building construction during his official service, including the Court House and the Alms House, he had a prominent part, his knowledge of the building trade giving him especial qualifications. But most important were his services on the Committee having charge of the Alms House, and all public charities, of which he was twenty years chairman. On no other committee rests greater responsibility; nowhere else is so much required of sound judgment and careful, laborious, painstaking consideration. To his firmness, integrity, impartiality and adherence to correct business methods, the admirable management of those interests is to a great extent due. He assisted in the organization of the Galesburg National Bank, has been a Director ever since, and the Vice President for several years. Indeed, it may be said that William Robson is one of the most useful citizens of Knox County.
Roe, Truman H., born in Norwich, Chenango Co, NY, May 19, 1839; educated in the common schools; Farmer; Indian Point Township. In 1842, Mr. Roe came to Knox County with his father, Silas Roe, and settled in Indian Point on Section 21, where his father died in 1865, leaving four sons: Silas, Daniel, Eli and Truman H.
Truman H. Roe enlisted in 1861 in Company B, First Illinois, and served until 1862, then returned and in 1864 settled on Section 20. He was married Sept. 22, 1864 in Galesburg, to Lucinda Stephens. Mr. and Mrs. Roe have three sons and two daughters: Oliver, Charles M., Perry, Eva, and Della. Mr. Roe is a republican, and was for several years a member of the Central Committee. For many years he was School Director, and has been Road Commissioner. In religion he is a Christian.
Ross, Robert Alexander, Carpenter, Builder and Millwright; Galesburg; born at St. Albans, Vermont, Jan. 7, 1850. His father, Robert Ross, of Belfast, Ireland, was of Scotch descent; his mother, Mary A. (Brison) Ross came from Londonderry, Ireland.
He was married to Nellie J. Turner at St. Albans, Vermont, May 22, 1875. Their children are: May, deceased; Edward James; Frank; Robert A.; and Anna May.
Mr. Ross learned his trade in St. Albans where he became a prosperous contractor. He came to Galesburg in May 1885, and became foreman of the firm of Dawson and Anderson, and to a large extent, had charge of the construction of the Knox County Court House. He had previously erected many imposing structures, including court houses in Michigan, at Kalkaska, Saginaw City, and Pontiac. He was foreman of the carpenter work in the high school building, Galesburg, and as millwright, had charge of remodeling the buildings of the Galesburg Brick and Terra Cotta Company; he had charge of the machinery and his services extended over a period of three years. In 1895 he became Superintendent of the Galesburg Vitrified Brick Company, and has satisfactorily conducted the plant, which has a capacity of 25,000 paving brick per day. In politics Mr. Ross is a republican.
Routh, Charles E., Farmer; Chestnut Township; born in Fulton Co, OH., Dec. 11, 1848; educated in Abingdon. His father, J.D. Routh, was born in Clinton Co, OH, May 6, 1819; his mother Jane A. (Smith), in Frederick Co, VA., Jan. 28, 1816. His maternal grandparents, John S. and Susan (Crouse) Smith, were natives of Virginia, the former of Loudoun County. His paternal grandparents were John and Jane Routh, the former from North Carolina, the latter from Tennessee. The paternal great-grandparents, Joseph and Molly (Redferson) Routh, were natives of NC, while the great-great-grandparents were Edward and Hannah (Redferson); the husband was born in Wales in 1776, and was of Scotch-Irish descent.
Jan. 25, 1876, in Hermon, Mr. Routh was married to Catharine J. Martin; they have had two children: Francis E., born Aug. 1, 1879; and John W., born July 3, 1888. Mrs. Routh was born in Ohio March 8, 1858, being the daughter of Francis and Eliza (Jones) Martin. She is a member of the Christian Church.
Mr. Routh came to Knox County with his parents in 1851, and settled on Section 22, Chestnut Township, where he now lives. His mother died March 3, 1888, but his father, who has been Supervisor for five years, School Treasurer twenty-eight years, School Trustee eight years, Commissioner of Highways, Assessor and Collector, is living with him.
Mr. Routh enlisted in Company K, Seventh Illinois Cavalry in the Civil War. He is Supervisor for Chestnut Township, and has been Town Clerk and Collector. In politics he is a republican. He is a member of the Christian Church. His farm is on Section 22, two and one-half miles east, and one-half mile south of Herman.
Rowe, C. B. Jr., Engineer; Galesburg; born Jan. 4, 1858 in Portland, Maine; educated in Massachusetts. His parents were C. B. Rowe, born in 1832 at Rockport, Massachusetts, and Clara (Morse) Rowe; his grandparents were Isaac Rowe of MA., and Martha (Abbott) Rowe; his great-grandfather was John Rowe of MA; his maternal grandfather, Captain Thomas Morse, was killed by Indians in Maine.
Mr. Rowe was married to Rose Ann Cavanaugh Nov. 21, 1879 at Fall River, MA; their children are: Hearlbert Henry; William Francis; Charles Buck; George Edward; John Zahn; Theodore Harwood; and Irene May, deceased.
Mrs. Rowe was the daughter of Michael J. Cavanaugh of Ireland, and Mary (Shannon) Cavanaugh of England. Mr. Rowe’s ancestors were Puritans; his great-grandfather, John Rowe, was a captain in the Revolutionary War, and five of his sons fought in his company at the battle of Bunker Hill; his grandfather, who was in the War of 1812, was made a prisoner, taken to England, and confined in the Dartmoor prison for eight months; he died at the age of 68 years. Mr. Rowe’s father was a railroad engineer for 33 years; he was injured in a wreck, and now has a position in the shops of the New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad Company.
During 1872, Mr. C. B. Rowe fired for his father on the Hartford and Erie, was employed on the Old Colony, running out of Boston, and after a year and a half he went to California. He was with the Southern Pacific from 1875-78; the Old Colony from 1878-80; and the Mexican Central for two years. His other engagements were with the Reading Railroad; Texas and Pacific; Little Rock and Fort Smith; New York, Pennsylvania and Ohio; Chicago, Burlington & Quincy (1888); Lehigh Valley (1894); and the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy (1895), where he is now an engineer.
Mr. Rowe is a Master Mason, Alpha Lodge, Galesburg.
Rundquist, Charles E., Carpenter; Galesburg; born in 1858 in Sweden, where he learned the trade of carpenter and mason; he came to Galesburg in 1885. For several years Mr. Rundquist has been a prominent carpenter and builder, and has erected many of the handsome dwellings and fine business blocks of Galesburg.
He was married in 1885 to Emma Johnson. They have one daughter, Olga.
Runkle, Cornelius, is one of the few survivors of the pioneers of Knoxville and Knox County. He has watched the growth of city and town, and has marked the onward march of civilization. The venerable man, who is now in his ninetieth year, has been a co-worker here with others for nearly two generations, and has borne a conspicuous part in every good work and improvement.
Mr. Runkle was born in Watervliet, Albany Co, NY, Jan. 19, 1810. His father, John Runkle, and his mother, Helen Van Wert, were natives of the same State, though of Holland descent. Mr. Runkle was left fatherless when only three years old; but he had the tender care of a loving mother until he reached the age of fifteen, when she died, leaving a family of four sons and two daughters. The children remained at the old homestead, until Aug. 1833 when the two elder brothers, John and Henry, came to Illinois. John settled at Hanna City, Peoria County, and resided there until his death at a very advanced age. Henry located at Knoxville.
Cornelius started westward in August 1834, seeking his fortune and a home in this almost unexplored region. He reached Knoxville in 1834, and engaged in the mercantile business with his brother for a year and a half. He then went to Mt. Pleasant, Henry Co, Iowa, where he was engaged in trade until 1847. He then returned to Knoxville, accepting a clerkship for his brother, until he was elected Sheriff in 1854. He held this office for two years, and then engaged in the banking business with his brother under the firm name of Runkle and Company. This co-partnership lasted for eight years, when a National bank was established, which led eventually to the founding of the First National Bank of Knoxville, with Cornelius Runkle as its President.
Mr. Runkle conducted the affairs of the bank as its chief head until January 1885, when he resigned that position to a younger man. In all his business relations as a banker, Mr. Runkle showed a marked ability and a peculiar fitness for his vocation. He exhibited a keen financial sagacity and a gentleness of manners towards his customers that was observable by everyone. His probity, genial character, and unswerving honesty won for him friends and fame.
As a banker, Mr. Runkle had one experience which shocked the community far and near. It happened on the night of Feb. 6, 1880, and is told in the following language: “His private sleeping room was in his bank building. After he had retired and gone to sleep, he was awakened by three men in his room. They blindfolded and gagged him, after which they took him to the safe and ordered him to unlock it. Not having the combination, he could not do so, and he says that he would not, even if he had known the combination. In order to compel him to acquiesce in their demands, they hung him up by the neck, then let him down; he still refused. Then they laid him in bed, drew his feet over the footboard, and held the lamp underneath them, burning and torturing him in a most fearful manner. They left about three o’clock in the morning; but before going, they tied Mr. Runkle securely in bed, as they thought; but he succeeded after a couple of hours in releasing himself, and when he went to breakfast, he gave the alarm. The thieves, however, secured three thousand five hundred dollars, which they found in a small, old-fashioned safe, the key of which was in Mr. Runkle’s pocket. It was about two months before he fully recovered from the shock to his system, and the effects of the burning. The thieves were never caught.”
What courage, what purpose Mr. Runkle displayed in an hour like this. What thoughts, what emotions must have disturbed the usual quietude of his being. Threats may intimidate, but they had no power to destroy his manhood. Torture also was powerless. As a citizen, Mr. Runkle has always shown the same manly character. Firm in the principles of justice and right, kind in disposition, benevolent in his sympathies, and full of charity and good deeds, he has lived a long life above reproach.
In politics, Mr. Runkle in early years was a whig. Afterwards he became affiliated with the republican party. He has never been a politician, but has exercised the right of suffrage as his conscience dictated. He is not a member of any church, but has contributed largely to the support of the Christian religion.
Mr. Runkle never married. Foxie's Note: Is somehow related to James Runkle below
Runkle, James, Farmer; Knox Township, where he was born Jan. 22, 1836; educated in Knoxville. Mr. Runkle’s parents, Eldert and Nancy (Bowen) Runkle, were natives of New York, the former of Albany County, the latter of Rensselaer County. His paternal grandfather, John Runkle, was born near the Hudson River, south of Albany, while his paternal grandmother, Helen (Van Woort), was born on the Mohawk River in Saratoga County, New York. His maternal grandfather, Nathan Bowen, was a native of New England. The ancestry of Mr. Runkle’s family on his father’s side was German and Scotch, on his mother’s Welsh. Eldert Runkle has six children: Elizabeth, James, Mary E., Lucy G., George, and Franklin. He died in 1865; his wife in 1888.
Dec. 4, 1872, James Runkle was married to Mehitabel Calwell in Persifer Township. They have four children, Daisy E., Lucy, Elroy, and Bessie. Daisy E. married William Lotts. Lucy married Oscar Molter; they have one son, Archibald. In politics Mr. Runkle is a democrat.
Runyon, F. J., Farmer; Salem Township; born June 22, 1858, in Milbrook Township, Peoria Co; educated in the common schools. His father, J. C. Runyon, was born in Indiana, Nov. 28, 1825, and lives with him; his mother, Nancy S., was born April 22, 1829 in Preble Co, Ohio; died in 1884. Her parents, Joseph and Rachel (Hull) Smith, were born in Rockbridge, VA. J.C. Runyon’s parents, Finus and Dorcas Runyon, were born in Kentucky.
Nov. 22, 1822, Mr. F. J. Runyon was married in Peoria to Ethel, daughter of John and Merilla (Krisler) Bridson; she was born in Milbrook Township, Peoria County, Jan. 22, 1863; her mother lives at Laura. Mrs. Runyon is a member of the Presbyterian Church. There are three children: Pearl M. and Earl B., born May 3, 1884; Alwilda, born May 20, 1890, died Dec. 27, 1893.
Mr. Runyon is a member of the I.O. of O.F.
Lodge No. 102, Elmwood; Knox Encampment, No 163; A.F.
& A.M. Lodge No. 448, Yates City; Eastern Star,
Yates City; Modern Woodmen of America, and Alpine
Camp, at Elmwood. He went to Kansas where he lived
about four years, and was engaged in the
agricultural implement business. Nov. 25, 1887, he
came to Salem Township and settled on Section 12,
where he has a good farm of 97 acres, between
Elmwood and Yates City. He is a breeder of pure
Chester white hogs, and has taken a number of first
premiums. In politics he is a republican.
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