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             Knox County Illinois Biographies           These biographies are taken from the 1886 Pictorial & Biographical Album of Knox County, Published by the Chapman Bros.  These were typed by my daughter, Kate, who helps me out an awful lot doing this genealogy research for myself and for others.  She has dug up tombstones in cemeteries so we can take better photos of the tombstones for the ones people have requested.  In some of the cemetery photos on this Knox County, Illinois, website and my Warren County, Illinois, website you might see her... She is quite a dear to have around...   


Thomas McMaster

        It requires very little comment or special notice to point out that the above-named gentleman is one of the most successful farmers of Walnut Grove Townships, owing 465 acres in this and Copley Townships.  He has a delightful residence on section 34, with all the necessary modern building improvements.  He is a native of Ayrshire, Scotland, where he was born April 14,1843.  He was only eight years old when, with his father's family, he entered the United States.  He is the youngest member of his family, and noted for his great industry and thoroughness of purpose.  The subject of this sketch received a good common-school education, and, though beginning life as a hard-working boy, made such progress that even in his early years he was enabled to save money and purchase property, and, joining his brother, James they together bought 800 acres.  This they rapidly improved, plowing together, to the amount of 360 acres, continuing in the partnership up to 1878, when they dissolved.  Subsequently the gentleman whose name graces this history commenced the purchase of land on his own account.   In his neighborhood he is considered one of the most successful growers of Poland-China swine and Shorthorn cattle.

            He was married on the 19th of March 1878, at Galesburg, ILL, to Miss Sarah E. Hawk, who was born in Ohio, Aug. 4,1852. This lady was a descendant of Jacob and Lavina Garland, who were themselves natives of Ohio and Virginia respectively. These parents were of German extraction. Mrs. McMaster was the oldest of four children and the only one born in Ohio.   She first came to Illinois with her parents when an infant only one year old, her father settling in Copley Township.   Her mother is still living, having married the second time.   She, with Mr. David Simpson, her husband, now resides in Walnut Grove Township.

            By the happy union of Mr. And Mrs. McMaster there are three children—Ida, born in Aug. 26,1879; George R., Dec.19, 1883, but now deceased, and an infant also deceased.  Mrs. McMaster is a regular and prominent member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and well deserving of the high esteem in which that body holds her.  Politically, Mr. McMaster is a firm Republican, advocating the principles of the party without fear, and is highly esteemed by those holding similar convictions.  Source: Portrait & Biographical Album of Knox County, IL, published by the Chapman Brothers, page #771,  typed by Kate Hagerty

 Michael O’Shea

            Whose portrait appears on the opposite page, was born in the county of Limerick, Ireland, in the year of 1828.  His father was Timothy O’Shea, who married Miss Honora Fitzgerald.  Our subject immigrated to this country in the year 1850, and located in Albany, N. Y., where he remained for five years.  He came west in November 1855, and located on a farm near Galesburg, where he remained for about five years.  At the end of that time he accepted a position on the C.B.&Q.R.R. where he has been continuously for a period of more than a quarter of a century, and is now one of the old landmarks of the “Q.”  In his long service he has made many friends, and in the city he is well known as one of its representative men.

            Mr. O’Shea was married in Albany, New York July 2, 1853, to Miss Ellen Nash, who was also born in the county of Limerick, Ireland, in 1828.  She came to this county with her parents in 1850; they were John and Mary (Hourigan) Nash.   Her grandfather was John Nash, who married Mary Hogan On the maternal side her grandfather’s name was Conor Hourigan, who married Eleanor Fitzgerald.  A family of seven boys and two girls has blessed the union of Mr. and Mrs. O’Shea, they are: John L. who is a passenger conductor on the Denver &Rio Grande Railroad; William, yardmaster for the C.B.&Q.R.R. at Galesburg.   The third son, Ed. F. O’Shea, who is Grand Secretary and Treasure of the Brotherhood of Railroad Brakemen, was born near Galesburg, ILL, Sept. 12, 1860.   He attended the public schools until his 16th year, and then took a thorough course in the Western Business College in that city, where he graduated June 8, 1877.   He immediately entered the service of the C.B.&Q.R.R., in the shops at Galesburg, where he remained one year.   Tiring of this, he commenced active service in the train department, where he served as brakeman, yard-foreman, until October 1882, when he entered the service of the M. &St.L.Ry, at Minneapolis, Minn., as yard-foreman where he remained for one whole year.   Returning to the C.B.&Q.R.R. he served as brakeman until Jan. 1, 1885, when he was called to Chicago to take charge of the affairs of this great brotherhood.

            Mr. Ed. O’Shea was a charter member of “C.E. Judge” Lodge, No 24, of the brotherhood, which was organized at Galesburg, Aug.11, 1884, and was their delegate to the first convention of the order held at Oneonta, N.Y., in October of that same year.   It was here that he became prominently identified with the brotherhood; and was elected Secretary of the Executive Committee.  When he assumed charge of the affairs of this brotherhood, organization deeply in debt, owing to the dishonesty of his predecessor in office, and its affairs in very bad shape generally.  By close attention and hard word he has brought order out of chaos and set the brotherhood on a solid financial basis.

            Since his appointment the order up the present time, June 24, 1886, has paid over 100,000 to the families of dead and disabled members, and is rapidly increasing in favor and membership.   At the second convention of the brotherhood, held by Burlington, Iowa, in October 1885, Mr. O’Shea was unanimously re-elected to his present position to serve for three years, and as a testimonial of his services the Grand Lodge was moved from Chicago to his home at Galesburg.

            The fourth son, Thomas, is employed by the C.B.&Q.R.R. Co. at Chicago, as locomotive engineer. The fifth son, Michael, Jr., is employed as locomotive fireman at the same place. Joseph and Henry are employed by the C.B.&Q.R.R. Co. at Galesburg.   Ella resides at home, and Mary died in infancy.

            The entire family is members of the Roman Catholic Church. The men vote the Democratic ticket, but take no active part in politics. Source: Portrait & Biographical Album of Knox County, IL, published by the Chapman Brothers, page #771,  typed by Kate Hagerty

R. J. Wilber

Of  Victoria Township, is one of the leading agriculturists of Knox County, where his farm is located on section 11.  He is the son of Briggs and Rachel (Jones) Wilber, and was born in Otsego County, N.Y. April 15,1829.   His parents were natives of New York and had a family of 13 children, six of whom are deceased.  Those living are Sallie A. who became Mrs. Sornborger; Eliza, now Mrs. Fairchilds; Ferris, third child; Susan, now Mrs. Hoag; Rachel, who married a Mr. Snyder; Robinson J. the subject of this sketch, and Deborah A. at present Mrs. Spencer.   The father of out subject followed the calling of a farmer until his demise, in 1831.   His widow came west with her daughter, Mrs. Spencer, and located at Victoria, where her death occurred Dec.6, 1873.

R. J. Wilber, of whom we write, remained at home until 21 years of age, in the meantime assisting in the farm duties and attending school.  In 1852 he came to Illinois, making settlement in Victoria Township, where he engaged with Alexander Sornborger in the stock business.  He crossed the plains to California in 1853, and on October9 of that year arrived at a place called Hangtown; from there he went to Coloma, and thence to a place bearing the name of Dry Diggings, where for three years he was engaged in gold mining.   In 1857 he returned to Victoria Township, where he engaged in breaking prairie the first year, and in the year following worked out by the month.   For three years, until 1860, he rented land in Victoria Township, subsequently purchasing his present farm, which contains 80 acres, only half of which at that time was broken.  He has improved his farm by erecting a comfortable residence and convenient and commodious barn.  His place is well fenced and beautified by shade and ornamental trees. He has been extensively engaged in the raising of grain and stock, and is meeting with much success in his chosen vocation.  Miss Almina Lyons, born in Block Rock, N.Y. April 21, 1842, and is the daughter of David and Jane (Sornborger) Lyons, was the lady chosen by R.J. Wilber to be his companion through life.  The marriage ceremony was celebrated Sept 29, 1859.  The parents of Mrs. Wilber came to Illinois in 1844, and located on section7, Victoria Township, at which place the father died two years later.  His widow followed him to the land of the hereafter in 1852.  The family of Mr. and Mrs. Lyons numbered ten children, five of whom are deceased.  Those living are Catherine, who became Mrs. Sansbury; David, Edward, Charles and Almina, wife of our subject.

Our subject and wife have become the parents of four children, concerning whom we give the following: Willis became the husband of Sarah Lafferty, and to them have been born three children—Arthur, Charles, and Belle.  The next in order of birth are Olive, Ferris J. and Earl.

Mr. Wilber affiliates with the Greenback party. He has held the offices of Road Commissioner, School Director and Pathmaster, and is a prominent member of the I.O.O.F.

We have in the life of this gentleman an excellent illustration of how many of the wealthy and influential men of Knox County began their business careers.  Coming here without means, and surrounded by obstacles that would discourage the young men of today, we find Mr. Wilber has not only accumulated a good property and wielded and influence for the welfare and good of the community, but has won and retained the respect of all who know him. Source: Portrait & Biographical Album of Knox County, IL, published by the Chapman Brothers, page #772,  typed by Kate Hagerty

 Marshall Bruner

Marshall of the city of Galesburg, is the son of Henry and Elizabeth (Bearers) Bruner, natives of the State of Pennsylvania and of German descent, was born in Morris Co. N.J. May 15, 1842.  He was educated at the common schools and in early life learned the carpenter’s trade.  In June 1862, he enrolled in his native county as a private soldier in Co. H, 15th N.J. Vol. Inf, and served three years with the Army of the Potomac.  During the entire term of his service he was never absent from duty.  He participated with his regiment in the battles of Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, Wilderness, Spotsylvania, Cold Harbor, Petersburg, Winchester, Fisher’s Hill and Cedar Creek, through all of which, together with many other minor engagements not dignified in history with the name of battles, he passed without injury.  He had been in the service for about one year when he was promoted for bravery to the rank of Sergeant.

            At the close of the war our subject returned to New Jersey, whence he came, in the spring of 1866, to Chicago, where the Fairbank Scale Co. employed him as traveling salesman for 19 consecutive years, making his headquarters, since 1868, at Galesburg.  Since the beginning of 1885 he has held by appointment the office of City Marshall.

            Our subject was married in Fulton Co. Ill. On New Year’s Day, 1869, to Miss Melissa Todd, and they have become the parents of two children, both daughters.  Mr. Bruner is a Mason and a prominent member of the G.A.R. Source: Portrait & Biographical Album of Knox County, IL, published by the Chapman Brothers, page #773,  typed by Kate Hagerty

Edwin A. Cooley

        Of Galesburg Township, resides on section 3, where he is engaged in operating a well-cultivated farm.  He was born in Sunderland, Franklin Co. Mass. Feb. 2, 1831.  This gentleman’s father, Charles Cooley, was a native of the same place, where he was born on the 1st of Sept. 1790.  He was a prominent farmer in his vicinity and filled the office of Supervisor for many, besides being Justice of the Peace for a long period.  He filled other minor offices with credit, and he was universally acknowledged to be a man of considerable tact and judgment.  His demise took place on the 10th of November 1870.  On February 16th, 1815 he married a most estimable lady, Miss Mary Stowell, born in Petersham, Mass. Dec 17, 1795.  Before her demise, in 1844, she was the mother of 11children –Eliza A. born Nov. 18, 1815; Simon F. Oct.28, 1817; Charles A. Aug.3, 1819; Dexter Sept. 19,1821; P. Maria, Nov.24, 1823; Avery W. Nov 1, 1825; Fanny Oct.29, 1827 an infant daughter, May 18,1829, who died early; Edwin A. Feb.2, 1831; Clara C. Jan.17, 1833, and George, Nov.6, 1839.  Of these only four children are now living--- George, Edwin, Clara, and Eliza.

            Edwin A. Cooley married Nellie Davis, Aug.30, 1857, in Madison, Wis.  She was a native of Rockingham, Vt. Where she was born June 20,1834. They have one child living – Louise, who was born Dec.11, 1878; George L. born March 1,1876, died on July 18,1879.  The parents of Mrs. Cooley were John and Susan (Billings) Davis.  Mr. Davis was born Aug. 30,1797, in Vermont, and died a Gallipolis, Ohio, June 19, 1861.  May 2, 1823, he married his wife Susan, whose death took place on July 30,1879, at Galesburg, Ill.  They had seven children, they are: Harriet, who died in infancy; Louise, born July 13,1826; Susan, Nov. 18,1827; Nathaniel, Oct.14, 1830; Sarah, Sept. 26,1832; Nellie, June 20,1834, and Flora, March 22,1838.  Of these children five are still surviving.  Mr. Cooley of this sketch, together with his wife, is and old and accomplished teacher.   She first gave instruction in Vermont, then in Massachusetts and Ohio.  Altogether she has had twenty years’ professional experience.  Mr. Cooley has taught in Massachusetts, Ohio and Iowa, and during one year was engaged in the State of Georgia.  He has taught about the same time as his wife.  Having graduated at Amherst College in 1854, he at first proceeded to Ohio and taught one year in the Academy, then studied at Yale for another year in the scientific department.  This gentleman and his wife are both Sunday-School workers in the Congregational Church, in which they are prominent members.  In politics he is a consistent and prominent Republican and takes a deep interest in all leading questions of the hour.  For two years he was connected with the Geological Surveys of Iowa.  During his Georgia experience he was Superintendent of Schools at Savannah, and office that he filled with becoming merit.

            His home in Galesburg is among the prettiest in the township, and situated on 80 acres of good land.  It is of some moment to note here the Benjamin Cooley, the first of the name in this country, came very early and settled in Springfield, Mass.  He was an Ensign in the army, and was the father of eight children.  He died Aug.23, 1684.  Daniel was his fourth child, and married Elizabeth Wolcott, daughter of Hon. Henry Wolcott, of Connecticut, on the 8th of December 1680.  There were five children by this union, and Simon, one of the issues, moved later as one of the first colony that settled Sunderland, Mass., in 1717, and was the father of eleven children.   Abner, his second child, was bornJan.23, 1712, and was the father of seven children.  The grandfather, Simon Cooley, next in the line of descent, commissioned by Gov. Hancock as Lieutenant in the Revolutionary Army, had five children born to his marriage; Feb9, 1797.   Charles, the father, was the fourth child of Simon, and the father of eleven children.  George, the eleventh, the brother of Edwin Cooley, served three years in the Civil War, in the Army of Potomac, and now occupies the same old farm that five generations of the Cooley family have dwelt on.  Source: Portrait & Biographical Album of Knox County, IL, published by the Chapman Brothers, page #773 typed by Kate Hagerty

 Josiah Multer

         Real estate agent and capitalist, owns a fine and commodious residence on Wall street, one of the principal thorough fares of Altona, which is considered one of the handsomest and most attractive homes in that town.  He occupies the position of Police Magistrate, and is and active worker in all public affairs.  His birthplace is Worcester, Otsego Co. N.Y. where he first saw the light April 22,1825.  His father, Joseph Multer, of pure German ancestry, was born in Schoharie County, N.J where he was reared and educated and grew to manhood.  His father, Josiah’s grandfather, a native German, whose name was Philip, accompanied by his wife, Catherine (Hart) Multer, left his fatherland and located in the United States, purposing to build up a new home, in the year of 1786.  At this period the name was spelled Moller.  He was by profession a German physician of no mean skill and ability, holding fair rank in his own country.  He was, as well, keeper in the king’s hunting park.  Soon after entering Schoharie County, he caused to be erecter the first glass-manufactory in the United States.  This was situated near the city of Albany.  He continued his medical practice in the United States up to the time of his death, which occurred in the beginning of the eighteenth century, resulting from epidemic fever, which was then prevalent in Otsego, N.Y.

            Like the noted Pasteur, he entertained a firm belief that he had discovered a sure antidote for hydrophobia, but he never disclosed his knowledge, so that his discovery, if indeed valuable, was a “talent” hidden in a napkin”.  His life companion, the grandmother of Josiah, is buried at South Worcester, N.Y.  The results of this marriage, three sons and four daughters, are as follows: Christian J., Joseph (Josiah’s father), John, Betsey, Susan, Mary and Margaret.  Of the entire family circle but one survives—John, who has attained the age of 87 years, and who resides at Painesville, Ohio.  Margaret, who recently departed this life, was 80 years of age.  Joseph Multer, the father of our subject, united in the bonds of holy matrimony with Susan Becker, a young lady of German parentage, like his own.  Her family history contains many points of interest, dating far back in the annals of German history.   Immediately after their union her husband engaged in farming.  Success crowned his active efforts, and he became one of the wealthiest and most influential farmers of Otsego County.  Many valuable improvements were made and eventually a most desirable home was established.  They occupied the Multer homestead, at which place he died.  Several years later the mother followed him to her long home; the date of her death was 1871.  Both lived to a grand old age.  Their family was large, comprising 13 children, seven sons and six daughters.  Three of the former were buried in Otsego County.  Josiah, the fourth in order of birth, attended school and remained in the family, a dutiful and helpful son, up to the slate of his marriage with Anna M; Titus, daughter of a farmer, at Harpersville, N.Y., Feb.17, 1868.  His wife’s birthplace was Delaware County, and the date of her birth was Sept.8, 1846.  She was the daughter of Isaac B. and Jediah B. (Tiffany) Titus, both of English origin, who first settled in Delaware County during the last century, and who owned hundreds of acres of land, much of which has since fallen into the hands of railroad companies.  Mrs. Multer’s father lived and eventually died in the county and township in which he began his married life, Aug. 26,1872.  His wife survives him and lives with her daughter.   Mrs. Multer received liberal educational advantages, and was a graduate of the New York Conference Seminary.  She entered the ranks as teacher and successfully taught three years in the public schools of Stark and Tuscarawas Counties, Ohio.  Soon after marriage she and her husband removed to Altona, where they have up to the present writing.  Mr. Multer entered Knox County in February 1856, and bought and marked out the boundaries of his first farm, in Galesburg Township, consisting of 177acres, 17of that were timberland.   Here he began active labor, which he continued for five years; from here he went to Walnut Grove Township and purchased 240 acres.   He sold this farm and purchased 170 acres on the same township and 80 in Copley Township.  All his landed possessions are finely improved and highly cultivated.   He rents his farms, turning his personal attention to real estate sales, money loans, etc.    He carries on a co-operative business as dealer in band stock at Creston, Iowa.  He was unanimously elected to his present office, which he has acceptably filled to the entire and marked satisfaction of his constituents.  He is popular, genial and well liked, personally and as a businessman.   He is Republican in politics, and both he and his wife are members of the Methodist Church, he being Class Leader, President of the Board of Trustees and Steward in that body. Source: Portrait & Biographical Album of Knox County, IL, published by the Chapman Brothers, page #774,  typed by Kate Hagerty

 George M. Collinson

A prominent and successful farmer and breeder of Poland-China swine and Short-horn cattle, residing on section 30, Lynn Township, is the fifth in order of birth of a family of ten children, equally divided as to gender.

            Mr. Collinson was but six years of age when his father, Thomas Collinson—of whom a biographical sketch is given in this work, in connection with that of Charles Collinson—came to this county.   The parents located in Lynn Township, and it was there that our subject spent his early days on his father’s farm.   His education was acquired at the common schools, and he continued to reside with the old folds until his marriage, which event took place on the farm on which he is at present residing, March 22,1868, at which time Miss Mary, daughter of C.W. and Eliza (Thompson) Murray, became his wife.   Her parents were natives of Ohio, were married in Belmont County, and came to this State in the fall of 1851, and located near Abingdon, where her father was engaged in farming for some time.   Later he moved to Lynn Township, and was there occupied in his vocation until after the breaking out of the late war, when he enlisted in Co. G, 89th Ill. Vol. Inf., and was assigned with his regiment to the Army of the Cumberland.   In the beginning of the battle of Stone River Mr. Murry was shot through the neck and instantly expired.   This was his first engagement and just at the beginning of the action.   His widow, mother of Mr. Collinson, afterward married F.L. Rice, and they now reside on a farm in Walnut Grove Township.  It was while the parents were living near Abingdon that Mrs. Collinson was born, the date being March 14,1852.   She received her education in this county, and continued to reside with her mother until her marriage.   Mrs. Collinson is a very intelligent and accomplished lady, affable and winning in her social life.   She was borne her husband four children—Nettie B., born Oct.20, 1869; Myrtie M., July 4,1871; Isabella, Oct.16, 1874; Nellie E., July 18,1879.

            Since his marriage Mr. Collinson has made his home on the farm on which he is at present residing.  His place consists of 200 acres of good farm land, on which he lives, actively and energetically engaged in the prosecution of his vocation, surrounded by a happy family and all that goes to make up a happy life.  In addition to the cultivation of the cereals he is devoting considerable of his time to stock-raising.   He is at present Justice of the Peace, and has held the office of Assesssor and others of minor import.  In politics he is a strong supporter of the Democratic Party, and never fails to cast his vote for the same when opportunity affords. Source: Portrait & Biographical Album of Knox County, IL, published by the Chapman Brothers, page #774,  typed by Kate Hagerty

 Mrs. Mary A. Coleman

She is a widow of Samuel Coleman, Jr., is residing on section 13, Victoria Township.  Samuel Coleman was born April 29,1832.   His demise occurred June 2,1884.  His parents were Samuel and Sarah (Alvin) Coleman, natives of Pennsylvania, and came to Illinois in 1855, locating in Victoria Township.   On section 13,in that township, the father purchased 160 acres and there lived until his demise, in 1875.   His wife still survives and resides on the old farm.

            Samuel Coleman, Jr., resided at home until 33 years of age, and was marred in July, 1865, to Mrs. Mary A. Nelson, the daughter of John and Mary A. (Jobe) Thomson, natives of Ireland.   Her parents moved to Ohio at an early day, locating in Belmont County, where their demise occurred.

            Mrs. Samuel Coleman, Jr., the subject of our notice, has a family of four children living, namely: George W., Charles, Emma, Sarah B. and May.

            The husband of Mrs. Coleman was a Republican in politics, and both he and his wife belonged to the Congregational Church.   He held the office of School Director and also that of Roadmaster, and was liberal and always ready to assist in any good cause.   His farm consists of 160 acres, and during life he was engaged in mixed farming.  Since his death his widow retains and manages his farm.   He was considered one of the representative citizens of Victoria Township. Source: Portrait & Biographical Album of Knox County, IL, published by the Chapman Brothers, page #776,  typed by Kate Hagerty

 M. L. Overstreet

          A retired farmer, resident at Galesburg, was born at Nicholasville, Jessamine Co., Ky., Jan. 16, 1819.   His parents, Robert D. and Jane (Lowrey) Overstreet, traced their ancestry back to England and the Scotch-Irish, they themselves being born in old Virginia and Kentucky respectively.

            Mr. O. was the second of six sons and had four sisters, all of whom grew to attain the age of man and womanhood on a farm.  From Nicholasville the family removed to Mercer County, Ky. where the senior Mr. Overstreet afterward died.

            The subject of out sketch came to Knox County in 1841, and here he has since lived and accumulated sufficient of this world’s goods to enable him to retire handsomely to private life and spend his old age in the enjoyment of the fruits of correct living.  He owns two large farms in the immediate vicinity of the city; is an extensive stockholder in some of the great banks of the place; is President of the Knox County Agricultural Society, and a member of the Galesburg City Council. Source: Portrait & Biographical Album of Knox County, IL, published by the Chapman Brothers, page #776,  typed by Kate Hagerty


Isaac Q. Armstrong, a farmer, residing on section 18, Knox township, is the subject of this biographical sketch, and is noteworthy as being a substantial citizen, and successful in his chosen field of labor.  His farm is in a good state of cultivation, highly improved and supplied with a first-class set of farm buildings, furnished with all modern conveniences.  The farm is well stocked with blooded animals, and nothing is lacking to complete and perfect his possessions.  Mr. Armstrong was born in Adams County, Pennsylvania, June 21, 1831, and his father, Isaac Armstrong, Sr., was also born in Adams County, April 6, 1797.  The grandfather of our subject also bore the Christian name of Isaac, and was a resident of the same county as the son and grandson at the time of his death.  He was born of English progenitors, but was of American adoption.

The father of our subject grew to manhood in his native county, and was married there to Miss Mary Campbell.  She was born in Adams County in 1808, and was of Scotch-Irish ancestry.  In 1835 he removed to Franklin County, Pennsylvania and there rented land.  He lived there 19 years, and in 1854, accompanied by his wife and eight children, emigrated to Illinois.  They started on the 4th day of May with horses, covered wagons and a rockaway carriage, and drove overland to their destination.  They landed in Knoxville, June 12, where the father rented a house for his family in the village, and started out to find a suitable and permanent location.  He purchased 307 acres on section 18, Knox Township.  There was a log house and stable on it, and the land was partly under cultivation; the family lived in the cabin for a few years, then erected a frame house and added other improvements.  He died on this place in June 1878, and his wife in May, 1879.

Eight children were born to Isaac Armstrong; Alexander lives in Nemaha County, Nebraska; Isaac, of whom we write; James, who lives in Knox Township; Agnes, whose home is in Orange Township; Jane, wife of D. H. Stewart, lives in Jefferson County, Iowa; Rebecca, wife of Wilson Wood, lives in Cheyenne, Wyoming territory; Thomas resides on the old homestead in Knox Township; Mary is the wife of Webb Sipherd, and lives in Polk County, Nebraska.

The subject of this history was but four years of age when he removed to Franklin County, Pennsylvania.  He grew to manhood there, and educated in the district schools.  He came to Illinois with his parents, and remained with them until his marriage in 1862.  At that time he united with Margaret Saddler who was born in Adams County, Pennsylvania.  Eighteen months afterward she died, leaving one child, a son named Harry.  His second marriage was contracted November 13, 1866, with Elizabeth Rogers .  She was born in Trumbull County, Ohio, and is the daughter of Charles and Eliza (Phillips) Rogers, the father a native of Connecticut and her mother of England.  One child was the result of this latter union, a daughter named Lottie.  At the time of marriage, they settled on that part of their homestead which Mr. Armstrong now owns and occupies.

In the spring of 1865, Mr. Armstrong, with others, engaged in the employ of the Government, and went South to Chattanooga and to different parts of East Tennessee.  There he continued until the close of the war.  At the present time he is engaged in the joint business of farming and stock-raising.  Mr. Armstrong is a valued member of the community, an alert thinker, and wide-awake to the political situation.  He is a Republican in politics, and warmly supports that party in sentiment and vote.  His wife is an enrolled member of the Presbyterian Church and he is liberal in religious sentiment, though connected with no special organization.

Ole Anderson.  The little kingdom of Norway has contributed her quota of sturdy, energetic men who have done their part toward the development of this country.  In Sparta Township that country is well represented, and as one of the representatives of that country, and in fact we might say, one of the foremost men in the county, is the subject of this notice.

Ole Anderson, who is at present residing on his fine farm on section 12, Sparta Township, was born in Norway, in 1820.  His parents were Andrew and Harriet (Christian) Olaf Anderson, natives of that country.  Our subject lived there with his parents until 16 years of age, after which he worked out for four years.  His ambitious spirit at this age of life prompted him to engage in other than hard labor, and he turned his attention to the buying and selling of stock, which he followed for four years.  In 1846 he purchased a farm in his native country and for three years was occupied in its cultivation.  He then sold his place, and, expecting to better his financial condition in the land beyond the salty waters of the Atlantic, he concluded to emigrate.  He set sail for this country, and in 1849, after disembarking at an Eastern seaport, he came almost directly to this county.  On arriving here, his funds being exhausted, he commenced work for Mr. B. Leighton.  He remained with the latter gentleman but a short time when he purchased 80 acres of land and once more engaged in farming.

The judgment of Mr. Anderson, on first coming to the country, was that the broad, uncultivated prairie lands were not only productive, but would in a short time rapidly increase in value.  He consequently has been engaged in the buying and selling of land ever since he came here, together with the raising of stock.  At the present time he is the proprietor of 1,400 acres of land in the State, and on his fine farm, on section 12, has some splendid improvements, his residence and barn costing him about $5,000.  On his home farm he has a herd of about 180 head of cattle, 150 head of hogs and 30 head of horses.  In addition to his real possessions in the State, he owns a large tract of land in Texas, which he is improving.  His Texas land amounts to 12,500 acres, which he intends to make a stock ranch.  It is all under fence, and 2,500 of it joins the town of Big Springs.

The marriage of our subject took place in Norway.  A short time after coming to this state his wife died of cholera; she lies buried at Ottawa.  By their union, one child was born - Mary, now Mrs. H. Mitchell.  The second matrimonial alliance of Mr. Anderson was with Betsy Anderson  born in Norway.  The issue of the latter union was 11 children, named Willie, Henry, Andrew, Alfred, Christian, Arthur, Harriet, Annie, Jennie, Sophia and Emil.

Ole Anderson is a self made man in every sense the word implies.  His motto has always been, "Never put off until to-morrow what can be done to-day."  He is independent in politics, and has held the office of Roadmaster and School Trustee, and is one of the well-known and respected citizens as well as an energetic and successful farmer of Sparta Township.

Jonas F. Anderson, fashionable restaurateur and confectioner, Galesburg, came to America from Sweden in 1855 and to this city in 1856.  His mother, who accompanied him hither, spent her last days in Galesburg.  Jonas F. Anderson was born Sept 7, 1841; his boyhood in Sweden was spent principally in school, and since coming here, like his industrious people, he has gathered a pretty fair knowledge of English.  After several years in biographical work, covering all classes and nationalities, the writer unreservedly pronounces the Swede as the most apt of all foreigners who come to our shores in gathering an English education and adapting himself to American ideas.  The industry and good citizenship of these people are marked, and their loyalty in the discharge of every obligation incumbent upon them makes their patronage in commerce and traffic of the highest worth.

Mr. Anderson farmed for three years after coming to Knox County.  He then removed to Monmouth and engaged in the restaurant and confectionery business.  In the fall of 1862 he went out with the 14th Ill. Cav., as Sutler for H. H. Mayo, of Peoria, and remained about a year and a half.  In February, 1864, he opened a restaurant on Cherry Street, this city; was there about a year, when he removed to 128 East Main street, and from there in 1876 to his present elegant quarters, 140 East Main street.  He is a consistent member of the Methodist Episcopal Church and is a Mason and an Odd Fellow.  At Princeton, Ill., Sept. 26, 1865, he married Miss Christina Spaka, a native of Sweden, and their children are named respectively Fred H., Lillie V. and Walter R.  Source  page 793. 

James Allen, one of the leading citizens and most successful farmers of Chestnut Township, owning a large and finely-cultivated farm of 200 acres, situated on section 4, is the subject of this personal history.  He is engaged not only in farming, but in the raising of Short-horn cattle and Poland-China hogs, and owns a blooded bull five years old, weighing 2,000 lb., by name "Judge Willetts."

Mr. Allen entered life in Jefferson County, Ind., April 19, 1825.  He is the son of Josiah and Jane W. (McDowell) Allen, natives of Kentucky, in which State they were wedded, removing to Indiana in 1810.  From that State they emigrated to Illinois in 1838, at which time the subject of this sketch was a boy of 13 years.  The mother departed this life in the year 1852, and his father in 1863.  Of this matrimonial alliance there were born nine children, six girls and three boys, namely: Rosanna, who married John Moore, and lives in the State of Indiana; Margaret, wife of Alkana Moore, resident of Knoxville, Ill.; Sarah married Jonathon Minor, both deceased; William took to wife America A. Maxey, and lives in Orange Township; Nancy married John Carico, a resident of Bureau County, Ill., and is deceased; Matilda married Alfred Carico, and lives in the State of Iowa; James espoused Miss Sarah M. Bragg, and lives in Chestnut Township; John married Miss Lydia Eperson, and lives in Bureau County, Ill.; Mary N. died at the early age of 16 years.

Mr. Allen the elder settled in Orange Township in 1838.  James remained at home on his father's place until after his marriage, when he purchased land in 1862 on section 4, in Chestnut Township, and where he has since remained.

Mr. Allen of this notice, early in manhood, took to wife Miss Sarah M. Bragg, March 16, 1848.  She was born Nov. 30, 1828; she is the daughter of Elias and Mary (Bryant) Bragg, natives of Virginia, who came to Illinois in 1836.  They settled in Orange Township, and two years later removed to Chestnut Township.  Her father was born in September, 1784, and departed this life Jan 20, 1861, in the State of Illinois.  He was a soldier in the War of 1812.  The date of her mother's birth was 1789, and she closed her eyes to this existence Sept. 14, 1865.  Both she and her husband were of both English and Scottish lineage, and upon them were bestowed 15 children, viz.: Jane, wife of Benjamin Mc Cort; James, who wedded Nancy M. Carter; Elizabeth, who wedded a Mr. Moore; Mary, wife of E. Hall; Abner, who formed a matrimonial alliance with Miss Julia Carpenter; Frances, who married Mr. John Hendricks; John, husband of Miss Sarah Hurley; Harriet, wife of D. Moores; Matthew died at the early age of 18 years; Mark, at the time of the California gold fever, went to that state and no word has been received from him for a number of years; Joseph married Miss Nancy Happenstall; Sarah, wife of James Allen, of this sketch; Eliza died at the early age of five years; Andrew, in infancy, was removed from this earth, and there was an infant unnamed.

About the parental hearth of Mr. and Mrs. Allen have grown up three children, although seven were born to them - Francis, born Aug. 24, 1847; Harry, Sept. 30, 1851; Darius, Sept. 7, 1855; Julius, born Aug. 20, 1864; James, Sept. 7, 1867; Frank, Sept., 1872.  Four children of the family were deceased in infancy, viz.: Harry, Darius, and two unnamed.

Although the possessor of a handsome property, Mr. Allen has suffered loss through the agency of fire, being once burned out, at which time all the family records were destroyed, and also the records of his farm; the entire detriment to his possessions he estimated at $2000.  He began work work in this section of the county in 1861, since which time he has been remarkably successful in his particular line of labor.  He is in character moral and upright, and his wife is a member of the United Brethren Church.  His parents were, politically, of the old-line Whigs, but Mr. Allen is Democratic in sentiment and belief.  Source page page 475

ZIBA H. ADAMS.  Everywhere throughout the boundaries of Knox County, look which way you will from its center, one can see as fine farms as are to be found in any county in the state.  But a few short years ago, where we now behold beautiful houses and splendid improvements, it was all one broad uncultivated tract of prairie land.  It is therefore to the agricultural class mainly that the wonderful advancement which the county has made during the last 50 years is due.  As a representative of the class spoken of and a large land-owner in the county, as well as a respected and honored citizen and energetic follower in his chosen vocation, we take pleasure in mentioning the name of Mr. Adams, who resides on section 17, of Elba Township.

Ziba H. Adams is the son of Hazard and Elizabeth (Wort) Adams, natives of the New England States.  The parents settled in Ohio, where the father followed the calling of farmer and where both heads of the family died.  The children were nine in number, and Ziba was the third in order of birth.  He was born in Luzerne County, Pa., Sept. 20, 1820.

Ziba Adams was quite young when his parents removed from Pennsylvania to Ohio.  There he lived, attending the common schools, developing into manhood and working on the farm until about 1846.  He then came to this county and made a settlement in Persifer Township, where he was occupied in agricultural pursuits for about eight years.  From the latter township he removed to Elba and settled on a tract of land on section 17, where he has since made his home.  He is the proprietor of 746 1/2 acres of land in this county, and on his home farm has a fine residence, barn and other necessary out-buildings, and surrounded by a happy family he is enjoying the fruits of a laborious and honorable past.

Mr. Adams was married in Persifer Township, April 8, 1847, to Delilah Gullett  daughter of Joshua and Barbara (Housh) Gullett, natives of North Carolina and Kentucky respectively.  Her parents came to this county in 1844, and first made settlement in Maquon Township, from whence they removed to Persifer Township, where their lives on earth were ended.  They had seven children, and Mrs. Adams of this notice was the sixth in order of birth.  She was born in Putnam County, Indiana, Dec. 17, 1835, and their children have likewise been seven in number, named Barbara E., Mary A., Angeline, Villa M., John A., Austin and Clara M.  Angeline died when four years of age; Barbara is the wife of Enoch Dalton, a farmer of Elba Township; Mary married Henry Perkins, a resident of Nebraska; Villa became Mrs. Jacob Gray, and resides in Maquon Township; John, Austin and Clara live on the old homestead.  Mr. Adams has held the office of Constable eight years, and other minor offices.  In politics he is a stanch and active Republican.  He is a man of far more than ordinary ability as an agriculturalist, and what he has of this world's goods he has acquired through his own perseverance and not as the recipient of any legacy.   Source page 489

Anthony W. Caldwell is a successful farmer and a representative citizen of Knox County, whose homestead lies on section 30 and who is the son of John and Mary (Baird) Caldwell, both natives of Pennsylvania. They came to Knox County from Pennsylvania in 1839 and settled in Persifer Township among other pioneers, and from its infancy have watched the growth of the county as it assumed larger and larger proportions and its boundaries extended farther, until she stands to-day one of the most populous and prosperous counties of Illinois.
     Mr. Caldwell is the third child in order of birth of a family of nine, and was born in Lycoming County, Pennsylvania, 30 August 1824. He was 15 years of age when he came to Knox County with his parents, and attending the common schools, gained a moderately good education. He remained at home until he attained the age of 24 years, when he made up his mind to take a trip to California, and in 1850 started across the plains. He was absent from home almost two years, and returning to Knox County, remained only a short time and again went back to the land of gold. In the fall of 1856, his heart again sought the familiar scenes of his youth, and he set his face eastward, this time remaining contentedly at home until 1862, when he again went to the Golden State, and tarried for a period of 15 months. After this interval had elapsed he came back to Persifer Township, where he has since been engaged in farming and stock-raising. He was a miner while in California and met with moderate success. He is now the owner of 159 acres in Persifer Township, in which section of the country he was married 10 December 1857, to Sarah M. Manley, daughter of George W. and Lucretia (Weed) Manley, natives of Massachusetts and New York, respectively. They came to Knox County in 1838 from Chautauqua County, New York, and settled in Persifer Township, where they passed the remainder of their days and were there buried. They were the parents of seven children, of whom Mrs. C. was the youngest. She was born in Chautauqua County on 16 August 1831 and is the mother of five children, two of whom died in infancy. Those living are John W., William, residing in Knox County, where he is engaged in farming, and Charles A. still under the paternal roof.
     Mr. Caldwell takes some interest in pubic matters and casts his vote with the Democratic party. 

Rev. Thomas Camp, third son and seventh child of Sterling and Anna Camp, was born in McMinn County, Tenn., Jan. 21, 1814, and died at Abingdon, this county, Nov. 26, 1856.  His parents were born in South Carolina, and in their youth witnessed the stirring and often distressing scenes that occurred in that section during the Revolutionary War.

In early life they accompanied the first emigrants who crossed the mountains and sought settlement in East Tennessee, amid the wilds of nature and the still wilder Indians, and there shared the hardships and perils encountered by the early settlers of that region.  Pushing on in the van of emigration, they at length acquired a body of valuable land, then in the territory of the Cherokees, now embraced in McMinn County, where they made final settlement.  There their children were born and reared, and there their ashes now rest.  Shut in by formidable mountain ranges, communication with the outer world was both difficult and rare.  Few books, fewer letters, and still fewer newspapers reached these land-locked pioneers. Business, moral, social and religious standards took quality largely from individuals, who, by common consent, gave laws on these questions, by the power of their opinions and example.

Among those uncrowned, non-elected givers of laws to their fellows, were Sterling and Anna Camp - he, in the morals, methods and habits of successful business - she, in the domestic, social and religious virtues.  Such was the parentage of the subject of this sketch, and such the conditions to which he was born, and which, with small modifications, surrounded him to the age of manhood.  He had small opportunity for obtaining an education, other than he found or could make within his own home.  However, a native thirst for knowledge led him to employ all his available time in study, and while still young he evinced a strong desire for a liberal education, which grew to be the one ambition of his earlier years.  Circumstances compelled him to abandon this cherished purpose, which through all subsequent life was a source of deepest regret.  At the town of White Plains, Ala., Dec. 20, 1835, he was married to Charity Teague Neal, fourth daughter of Dr. John Neal, a physician then widely known through the new Southern States.  Returning with his bride, he was soon established in a home on land situate on the Hiawassee River, one and a quarter miles above Charleston.  This land was put under cultivation, and large grain and saw mills, workshops, etc. were erected at the river side.  Here was his home and the principal scene of his labors, till the autumn of 1848, when, in company with his brother-in-law, Rev. John M. Courtney, and two other families, he emigrated to Western Illinois - proceeding the entire distance by road wagons - reaching his temporary destination in Warren County, after six weeks' traveling.  In the spring of 1849 he purchased and located upon a tract of land, situated where the town of Good Hope, McDonough County, now stands, a point then separated by many miles in some directions from the nearest settler.  This property he improved, and upon it  resided with his family till the spring of 1856, when he removed to Abingdon, which has been the home of a portion of his family during the past 30 years.  His sole purpose in this removal was to give his children such opportunity for an education as he had so ardently desired for himself, but which had been denied him.  Thomas Camp was the son of a Puritan mother, and partook largely of her physical and mental characteristics.

Mrs. Anna Camp, nee Helm, was tall, lithe and sinewy, of body - clear, vigorous and courageous of mind, with moral and religious convictions as well defined as a geometric figure.  She possessed much of that force of character which has made several of her name conspicuous figures in different Southern communities.  Though of purely Carolina stock, she was as essentially Puritan in heroic endurance for and in defense of truth, right, liberty and conscience as any who ever went out from Plymouth Colony.  These qualities contributed much to make her the authority and power she was among the people and amid the perils of her border home.  Among the things that came to be approved by people of influence about her, which fell under condemnation by her fixed standards, were rum and slavery - to both of which she was unalterably opposed.  In these views of the mother the son shared from boyhood, with all the intensity of a strong nature.  He felt the wrong of slavery as strongly as did any New England Abolitionist, and in addition thereto he knew, by actual contact with that institution, its blighting influence upon the better nature of both the white and black races, and early determined to place his children beyond its immediate contagion.  It was to effect this object that he sacrificed his comfortable home in the South, and accepted the stern conditions of an early settler in Illinois - a step he never regretted.  When, after a painful struggle, he abandoned his cherished purpose of suitably preparing for a learned profession, he turned to his plantation, mills and shops, with much energy, perseverance and fair success; at the same time prosecuting such course of reading and study as his limited leisure would permit.  This line of life, however, did not prove satisfying.  He was possessed by an uncontrollable impulse toward a sphere of broader usefulness among men.  At length he became convinced that it was his duty to enter the Gospel ministry, and to allot a portion of his time to that work, while the remainder should be employed in conducting his ordinary business affairs.  Very many of the most effective preachers of that country and period so divided their time.  Accordingly, on the 18th of May, 1845, he was ordained to the ministry of the Baptist Church, and from that date to the close of his life a portion of his time was set apart for that work, and with such allotment he allowed no requirement of other business to interfere.  He never accepted the pastorate of any church, though repeatedly urged to do so - choosing rather to labor in the unoccupied or irreligious fields.  He never accepted compensation for ministerial labor, but always gave liberally of his own private means to the support of the Gospel, and insisted that Christians to whom he preached should do likewise.

Mr. Camp had little of the mannerism and minor methods of popular preachers, and was therefore not a universal favorite.  However, among more thoughtful people, of various shades of belief and unbelief, his ministry was ever acceptable, commanding their attendance and profound attention.  In his pulpit service he attempted no mere verbal ornamentation or rhetorical effect.  His discourses - clear, logical and practical, enforced by scriptural quotations, and illustrated by facts gleaned from a wide range of reading - were directed to the minds and consciences of men with great power.  He held that, under our form of government, the duties of citizenship take rank as high moral and religious obligations, and, therefore, took deep interest in the politics of his country.  He was a stanch Whig until that party was disbanded, when he naturally affiliated with the Republican party with zeal and enthusiasm.  It is remembered that he felled with his own hands, and with his teams conveyed to the spot on Main street, Abingdon, where it was erected, the young tree out of which was wrought the great pole from which the large Fremont and Dayton flag floated during the campaign of 1856.  He felt the defeat of the Republican party in that year, with all the poignancy of a personal bereavement.  The principles for which he had contended for a lifetime achieved a political triumph four years later, but ere then he had been "gathered to his fathers."

He placed an exaggerated estimate upon the advantages conferred by a classical education, and, though a man of rare attainments, he always felt at a disadvantage among men whose opportunities for education had been such as had been denied to him.  This, added to a native modesty approaching diffidence, caused him to shrink from prominence among his fellows, and resulted frequently in his not being placed in those stations of responsibility for which he was so eminently fitted by superior natural and acquired abilities.

A devoted husband and father, consistent in character, a model of probity, ardent and tenacious in friendship, wise and sympathetic in counsel, generous to a fault, and a lover of his kind, Thomas Camp was, altogether, such a manly man as good men, everywhere, cherish in association and in memory.

Orange Lowell Campbell, whose authority and influence constitute that chief factors that shape the policy of the Knox County Republican, and who is the subject of this sketch, was born in Knoxville, March 7, 1852.  His father, Elisha Campbell, was a native of Gallipolis, Ohio, where he was born the 1st of August, 1822.  His grandfather was second cousin to Campbell, the poet.

As a prominent physician the grandfather of the present representative of the Campbell family won for himself, during the time of his practice, a name that is still remembered.  First coming to Illinois, in 1850, and locating in Quincy, where he lived up until the time of his demise, he attracted very general attention by the devotion shown to his profession.  The father of the present subject attained to manhood in Ohio, and in his 16th year commenced to face the world on his own account.  He learned the trade of a plasterer, and followed this occupation in Ohio, up to 1850, when he came to Illinois.  He had been previously well educated, and on his arrival at the last-named place engaged in teaching both in Quincy and Peoria.  In 1852 he came to Knoxville, and here employed his time in teaching school during the winter, while for the remainder of the year he worked in his trade.  At the breaking out of the War of the Rebellion (1861) he shouldered his musket and went forth to battle for the defense of his county, enlisting in the 83rd Regiment Illinois Voluntary Infantry.  He was a brave soldier and held in high esteem by his comrades in arms, being promoted four different times.  He assisted largely in raising a company of colored soldiers, by whom he was greatly beloved, but through the chicanery of others he was deprived of any pecuniary reward for the untiring and intelligent labors whereby he might have had something with which to support his family in comfort through the balance of a life prematurely broken down by the disease-breeding districts of the South.  While hunting for guerillas near Fort Donelson, Tenn., he was injured in attempting to remove a gun carriage from a ditch, and from the effects of this he is slightly though permanently crippled.  Aside from this, and a slight wound in the hand from a rebel bullet, he was mustered out at the close of the war without further injuries.

In 1872 he removed to Red Oak, Iowa, and resumed his trade, working continuously, with the spirit of a man broken down, for the next few years, when he removed to Emerson, Mills County, where he still resides.  In 1851 his life was destined to experience a change and he married Mary A. Lowell [the Illinois Statewide Marriage Index lists a Elisah Campbell marrying a Mary Lowell in Peoria County on May 20, 1851], the lady being a native of Maryland, and the marriage resulting in the birth of ten children, of which Orange Lowell was the eldest.

The subject of our sketch received his earliest education in the public schools of Knoxville, until, at the age of 13, he entered the office of the Knox County Republican, where he became acquainted with all the necessary routine of printing and publishing a local journal, at the same time supporting his father's family, while the latter was fighting for his country.  He afterward entered the office of the Quincy Herald, and remained there for one year.  He became proprietor, February 24, 1876, of the journal of which he is now editor-in-chief, enlarging it from four to eight pages, only issuing in all two numbers of the four-page paper that had been.  He married Augusta S. Bull [the Illinois Statewide Marriage Index lists a Orange Campbell marrying a Augusta Bull in Knox County on June 19, 1873], the daughter of William and Phoeba (Stowe) Bull.  This lady was a native of Milford, Conn., and became the mother of two children - Sterling H. and Lottie W.

It is almost needless to say that Mr. Campbell in politics is a true representative of the Republican party, and while maintaining his principles with all the vigor and eloquence necessary to present them to public notice, he is sufficiently just to fairly investigate opposing views and opinions.  At the present date he olds the positions of City and Township Clerk.  As members of the Presbyterian Church, himself and wife take a decided interest in the welfare of that body, beside being recognized members of the Knox County Bible Society.  He is also a member of the Knox County Agricultural Society, and Secretary and Treasurer of the Old Settler's Association.  In him the Illinois Press Association has found an exceedingly active member.  No measure likely to promote the advancement of that body escapes his notice, or is passed without his having a voice for or against its adoption.  He is a member of Knoxville Lodge, No. 66, A. F. & A. M., and Knox Lodge, No. 126, A. O. U. W.  Of this latter he is a charter member, being one of the earliest to organize.

This gentleman has created for himself so numerous a body of personal friends that it is not likely that his name or influence will soon pass out of the community in which he has so long been recognized as a directing spirit.

J. V. R. Carley.  Lying within the limits of Knox County are many beautiful and homelike farms, owned by those men who only by diligent perseverance and untiring energy have won their homes.  Among these, conspicuous as being a substantial man and a good citizen, may be found the subject of this historical notice, whose handsome home lies on section 5, of Sparta Township.  He is characterized for his thrift and prudence, no less than his ability as a financier, and may be pointed out to the coming generations as an example worthy of imitation.

Mr. Carley was born in Montgomery County, N. Y., Aug. 4, 1819, and his parents were Brookins and Rachel (Bennett) Carley.  They were natives of New York State, where the father was proprietor of a hotel.  He departed this life in Schoharie County, N. Y., in 1853; the mother passed to the life beyond from Tompkins County, N. Y., in 1865.  To them were given seven children, all of whom lived to reach man and womanhood.  They were named as follows: Eliza, now Mrs. Lanphere; James V. R.; David W.; Mary, Abraham, Helen and Adelia.  The deceased are Adelia, Abraham, Helen and Mary.  James V. R., of this narrative, was the second child in order of birth, and remained at home after his father's death.  He then, with his sister Eliza, whose capability proved to be remarkable, took charge of the bereaved little family, sent them to school and cared for them until they reached years of maturity.  Each and all are possessed of intelligence and talent and reflect credit upon the brave pair who took such a responsibility upon their young shoulders.  All the daughters became teachers, and two of the brothers have adopted the medical profession.

James, our subject, entered upon the life of a pedagogue at the age of 22 and followed it for five years.  In 1846 he was united in marriage with Miranda Phelps, and the result of this union was two children - Elnora and Warren M., which latter died at the age of three years.  Elnora became Mrs. Gaddis, and departed this life in 1882, at the age of 35.  Mrs. Carley died in the year 1863.  Soon after his marriage Mr. Carley and his sister Eliza provided a home for their aged mother, so that she was able to pass her declining years without care or anxiety.

The second marriage of Mr. Carley was with Mary Armstrong, in 1864 [the Illinois Statewide Marriage Index lists a James V. R. Carley marrying a Mary E. Armstrong in Knox County on November 24, 1864], and the result of their union was three children, two of whom survive - Lester E. and James M.  Ozro W. died in 1870.  The second Mrs. Carley was born in Cumberland County, Eng., March 29, 1840, and died in 1872.  His third wife's maiden name was Clara E. Wicks, and five children have been born to them - Edna E., Jay V. R., Arthur B., Mabel and Clara E.

Mr. Carley came to Illinois in 1850 and settled where he now lives, purchasing 77 acres of land.  He afterward sold 25 acres of it, and to the 52 he has since added 108 1/2 acres.  Since coming here he has made all modern improvements, building a house and barn and setting out trees, until he may be pardoned for taking a just pride in his beautiful surroundings.  He values his land at $75 per acre, and it is fruitful and productive in the extreme.

In politics Mr. Carley is a firm Republican, advocating and voting for the doctrines of that organization.  With his two sons, Lester E. and James M. he belongs to the Congregational Church, living out the principles of a noble Christian faith.

James R. Catterton  The gentleman whose name we give in connection with this notice came to Knox County in 1854, from Lawrence County, Ill., and settled in Truro Township, where he lived for something over a year, and then moved to Elba Township.  There he purchased 200 acres of land on section 8, where he has since lived.  He has erected a fine residence on his farm to take the place of one which was destroyed by fire Dec. 6, 1882.  At this writing he is the owner of 203 acres, 120 of which is under an advanced state of cultivation.

Mr. Catterton was born in Bullitt County, Ky., Aug. 19, 1819.  In 1820, when he was quite young, his parents moved to Lawrence County, Ill., and settled on the Wabash River, where our subject lived until he came to this county.  His early life was spent in attending the common schools, and working at shoe-making and harness-making, which he followed for a livelihood until after reaching maturity.  He then engaged in the vocation of agriculturalist.  In February, 1848, Mr. Catterton entered the regular army, enlisting in the 3d U. S. Dragoons, and served in the Mexican War till July of the same year, when the war ceased and he was discharged at Jefferson Barracks, Mo., nothing of importance occurring during his enlistment.

Mr. Catterton was married in Lawrence County, Ill., Feb 18, 1849, to Sarah A. Organ, daughter of Daniel A. and Lucinda (Rowland) Organ, natives of Virginia and Kentucky respectively.  Her father was a Captain in the Black Hawk War in 1832.  Her parents settled in Lawrence County, Ill., where her father followed farming and where both parents died.  They had three children who lived to attain the age of man and womanhood, and were named Sarah, Mary J., and John P.  Sarah A., the wife of our subject, was born in Lawrence County, Ill., Sept. 28, 1830, and has born her husband (Mr. Catterton) seven children, of whom three survive, namely: Aurora A., Mary F. and Lura B.; the deceased are Sylvester, Martha J., Sarah A., and Edward M.  Aurora is the wife of Samuel McKee, a farmer who resides in Summit, Ill., and they have three children - Adam E., Samuel G., and James C.; Mary Catterton is the wife of John H. Johnson, a druggist, and resides in London Mills, Fulton County; they have one child - Stella F.; Lura is the wife of Peter Norton, a farmer of Elba Township, and their daughter's name is Meda Rosalia, born Sept 13, 1885.

The Organ family were originally from England.  Enoch Organ, the grandfather of Mrs. Catterton, was born in Virginia, and was a soldier in the War of the Revolution.  Mr. Catterton's ancestry is Scotch, and his grandfather war was a soldier in the War of the Revolution.  Dilar F. Catterton, the father of the subject of this sketch, was a soldier in the War of 1812, serving five years; a portion of the time he was in the command under Gen. Harrison and was in Jackson's army in the South, and at New Orleans when the English army was defeated.

The parents of Mr. Catterton were Dilar F. and Anna (Robinson) Catterton, natives of Maryland and Kentucky respectively.  They were married and settled in the latter state, from whence they removed to Lawrence County, Ill., where the father followed the trade of shoemaker, and where both parents resided until their demise; the mother died about 1832, and the father in 1867.  Six children were born to them, named John, Nancy, James, Mary, Martha and Isaac.

James Catterton has been Overseer of Highways and School Director in his township, and is a respected and honored citizen of the same.

He enlisted, in July, 1862, in Co. H, of the 102d Ill. Vol. Inf., and served his country faithfully and well until July 7, 1865.  He enlisted as a private, and in November, 1862, met with a serious accident near Green River, Ky., by a mule falling upon him.  This injury incapacitated him from active duty until the fall of 1863.  He was detached and assigned to the 2d Bat. of Invalids or Veteran Reserve, and was discharged at Rock Island, Ill., at the date above mentioned, when he returned to this county and once more entered upon the peaceful pursuits of life.  He and his wife, together with their children, are members of the Christian Church.  In politics Mr. Catterton is a stanch and active Republican.

A view of the fine residence of Mr. Catterton appears in connection with this sketch.

Foxie's Note: James Catterton and his family are buried in The Catterton Family Cemetery information on this web site.

Andrew Adams Andrew Adams, deceased. In tracing the history of Knox County and looking out the origin of many points in its growth, we find as its support and help the many influential, good and worthy men, who aided its foundation and who helped along its progress. Among these stands prominently the name of our subject, who resided on section 34, Maquon Township, and who was one of the important factors in its prosperity.

He came to Knox County in the spring of 1857, from Rome, N.Y. being accompanied by his wife and five children. His first purchase was made on section 34, Maquon Township, where he resided until his demise, which occurred July 25, 1885. Our subject was born in Ireland, and crossed the briny waters of the Atlantic when ten years of age. Upon his arrival here he located in New York State, where he remained until his removal to Knox County, in 1857.

His marriage occurred Dec. 25, 1835, at Rome, N.Y., at which time Sarah Conradt became his wife. She was born April 13, 1809, at Rome, N.Y. The issue of the union of Mr. and Mrs. Adams has been six children, bearing the following names: Charlotte, Mary, William, Benjamin, Andrew and Martha. William and Benjamin are the only surviving children. The former married Elizabeth Jacobs and they make Maquon Township their home; Benjamin Adams became the husband of Sophia Walter, daughter of L.J. (sic, T.R.) Walter (see sketch), and they are residents of Peoria.

Mr. Andrew Adams adhered to the faith of the Episcopalian Church, of which denomination he was a member. Since the death of her husband, Mrs. Adams has become the possessor of 160 acres of land, upon which she is passing the remainder of her days in peace and in the full enjoyment of a life well spent.


James W. Davis is one of the respected and honored citizens of this county, and a well-to-do farmer of Maquon Township, residing on Section 16.  He came here in June, 1837, and consequently is one of the pioneer settlers.  Living here since that date continuously, and having been engaged in agricultural pursuits for that long period of time, he must certainly be acknowledged as one who has contributed his full allotment to the agricultural development of the county.  He came here with his parents, Joshua and Martha (Walter) Davis, from Highland County, Ohio, when eight years of age.  They settled in Maquon Township, where our subject has since lived, and where the mother died, Oct. 12, 1881.  They were the parents of two children - James W. and Martha E.  The latter died in 1865.

James W. Davis was born in Highland County, Ohio, Nov. 10, 1828.  He received his education in the common schools, and has devoted his life to agricultural pursuits.  He and his father are the owners of 830 acres of land, and in this independent calling Mr. D. is meeting with that success which energy and perseverance are sure to bring.

Mr. Davis was married in Haw Creek Township, Sept. 13, 1855, to Caroline Pickrel daughter of Jesse and Rosanna (Johnson) Pickrel.  Her parents were among the pioneers of the county.  They came here in 1839, and settled in Haw Creek Township, where her father died Dec. 27, 1881.  Her mother is still living.  Of their union nine children were born, named as follows: Sarah, Caroline, Anna, Melissa, Jackson, Jesse, Milton, Rosetta and Douglas.  Caroline was born in Athens County, Ohio, Dec. 23, 1838, and continued to reside with her parents until her marriage with the subject of this notice.  Mr. Davis has held the office of Road Commissioner and School Trustee, and in politics votes with the Republican party

Cornelius Dempsey.  One of the pioneer citizens of Orange Township, and an old and reliable resident of that section, was Cornelius Dempsey, deceased, the particulars of whose personal history are herein given.  He was one of the most prominent in local affairs.  He held the office of Justice of the Peace and was for a number of years Director in the School District where he resided.  In addition to this, he figured among the leaders of a few people, members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, who, uniting their efforts erected a church building on his farm and called it Dempsey Chapel.

Mr. D., of whom we write, was born in Cumberland County, Pa., Oct. 31, 1804.  His father, James Dempsey, also a native of Pennsylvania, was reared in his native county, and his grandfather, Cornelius Dempsey, Sr., also lived and died there.  The father of Cornelius, Jr., married in his native county, Miss Susie Piper, who came from Germany in the year 1810.  He emigrated to the State of Ohio, and in Jackson County bought a tract of timber land and laid out a farm, which he worked until 1837, and then, coming to Illinois, settled in Orange Township on section 2.  Here he resided until his death, which occurred Nov. 21, 1859 and his wife's death took place Sept. 20, 1865.

The fruits of the union of Mr. and Mrs. Dempsey are as follows: Jonathan, Cornelius, Catherine, Annie, James, Isaac, Susie and Polly, five of whom survive at the present time.  Catherine, widow of Matteson Maxey, lives near Wataga; Annie has a home in Gilson; James and Isaac reside in Oregon; and Susie, widow of Booker Pickerel, lives in Gilson.

Cornelius, our subject, was six years of age when, under the guardianship of his parents, he came to Ohio.  He grew up on the farm, which he assisted his father to work, and made his home with his parents until Dec. 24, 1835, which was the date of his marriage with Julia A. Brown.  Miss Brown was born in Meigs County, Ohio, on the 28th of March, 1813, and was the daughter of John V. and Margaret (Lowther) Brown.  The young husband had bought a farm in Jackson County, and on this they lived until 1837, when, deciding that they must have "fresh fields and pastures new" in which to labor, they emigrated to the then Far West.  The journey was made overland with four horses and several wagons, and the party, which was a merry one, comprised the father and family of Mr. Dempsey, and Isaac Lott and family.  With them they brought live stock of various kinds, and this mode of travel gave them an unobscured view of the country to which they were going to seek their fortunes.  Their trip lasted one month and they arrived in Knox County, where Mr. D. and father bought 160 acres of land on section 2, Orange Township, which he worked with his father and subsequently added to.  There was a double log cabin on the place, with a sod chimney, and in this humble abode they took quarters and there remained for a few months, after which Mr. Dempsey built another long cabin near by, where he and his wife commenced housekeeping.  The market for the first few years, as well as the depot for supplies, was at Peoria, 45 miles distant.  To his original property Mr. D. added land adjoining him till at one time he was in possession of over 500 acres.  He erected a brick house and a frame barn and continued in his pleasant home up to Aug. 5, 1883, the date of his death.

To himself and wife were born ten children, but five only survive, as follows: Mary, wife of Kenner Brent, who lives in Warren County; Eliza, wife of Charles Parmenter, who lives in Knoxville; Julia, wife of John Wilson, whose home is in Orange Township on the old homestead; Lucinda and Albert C.  Mrs. Dempsey with her two youngest children, lives in Knoxville, to which town they removed in December 1883, where her son Albert C. is engaged in merchandising and has the best store in Knoxville.  Both herself and deceased husband were consistent and devoted members of the Methodist Episcopal Church and ranked high in religious work.  Mr. Dempsey was a class leader in the Church, and in politics of the Democratic stamp.  Source page 342. 

Thomas C. Duval.  Among the early comers to this county, who by their own indomitable energy and perseverance have acquired sufficient to enable them, in the evening of life, to retire from its active labor, is the gentleman of whom this brief biographical notice is written.  He is to-day passing the sunset of life in peace and quiet retirement in the village of Wataga.  Coming here in 1835, prior to the organization of the county into townships, and at a time when the hand of civilization was hardly visible, he has here continued to reside for upward of 51 years, winning the respect of his fellow citizens by his straightforward and manly dealings, and slowly acquiring a competency. 

Mr. Duval was born in Virginia, Feb. 28, 1802.  His parents were James T. and Judah (Jennings) Duval, natives of Culpepper County, Va..  His father was a farmer by occupation and also a slave-owner, and came to this state in 1835, settling at Appanoose, opposite Fort Madison, in Hancock County, where he died about the year 1838.  He was a soldier in the War of 1812, under the command of Colonel Thomas D. Owens.  The mother died in Arkansas.

 The subject of this notice was the oldest of a family of eight children, Thomas C., Sarah A., Elizabeth, Lucinda, James W. T., Daniel J., Judith A. and Nancy J., all of whom reached mature years and all were married and raised families.

Our subject received a common-school education and worked on his father's farm until his coming to this State.  Arriving here, he worked a season in Warren County, where for one year he rented a farm.  He then came to this county and located four miles north of Galesburg, in Henderson Township, where he purchased a claim of a quarter-section of land, giving therefore $150.  He subsequently perfected the title to his land by paying an additional sum of $450.  On this claim he settled and there laid the foundation of his present competency, and there continued to reside until 1855.  He then moved to Henderson village, where he purchased another farm and there lived, energetically engaged in the vocation of an agriculturist, until 1863.  It was during that year that Mr. Duval came to Wataga, where, in close proximity to the village, he had previously, in 1850, purchased 240 acres.  This purchase was made long prior to the establishment of the present village of Wataga or even before the idea originated in the mind of man that a village was to be established at that place.  On this 240 acres of land, which Mr. Duval had disposed of by sale, the present thriving little village of Wataga now stands.  On coming to the village in 1863, Mr. Duval purchased a residence and lot and has there lived until this writing.

Our subject at one time was the proprietor of 2,000 acres of land in this county.  He has given the major portion of his land to his children, and at present is the proprietor of only 200 acres.  Success seems to have attended his every effort in life.  When he first came to this state, he had but $100, and through his own energy and perseverance, coupled with the active co-operation of his good helpmeet, together with his children, his success may be attributable.

 Mr. Duval was united in marriage April 2, 1823, with Miss Nancy Shumate, a native of Virginia, where she was born August 19, 1805.  She is the daughter of Berryman and Elizabeth (Nelson) Shumate, natives of Virginia.  Mr. Shumate was a soldier in the War of 1812.  Mrs. Duval was one of a family of six children, Polly, Nancy, Eliza, Lydia, William and Hiram, all of whom grew to man and womanhood. 

Of the union of Mr. Duval and Miss Shumate, a family of ten children, have been born: Elizabeth (Mrs. Lewis) has borne her husband 11 children, nine of whom are living -William, Hiram, James, Melvina, Thomas, Aaron, Benjamin, Nancy and Albert; William Duval married Minerva Browner, and their children are Thomas, Elizabeth, Clara, James, John C., Lewis, George, Alice, Frederick and Berryman; Martha Duval who is at present Mrs. Reed, has borne her husband the following children, Nancy, Helen, Sarah, Frances, Polly, Albert and Dora; Mary Duval became Mrs. Eli, and she and her husband have three children, Nancy, Nellie and Willie; Helen Duval married Mr. Vaughn, and their children are Lydia, Sarah L., James, John, Elmo, Dora and Benjamin; Eleanor Duval became Mrs. Gray, and their children are Frank, George, May, Septer, Edwin and Nettie; Nancy A. Duval is the wife of James Roundtree.

 Mr. Duval of this notice is the grandfather of 43 children and the great-grandfather of 41.  The coming generation of his kinsmen, when they read the life of our subject, cannot but appreciate the energy with which he has passed through so many trials and come out so successfully.

 In his politics, Mr. Duval is a believer in and a supporter of the principles of the Republican party, and is one of the citizens of Knox county respected and honored for what he is as well as for what he has been.

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