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Warren County Illinois

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Alexander  Willard

Alexander Willard was born in Virginia, October 26, 1795. He was a son of William and Jane (Cook) Willard. Jane Cook was born in Ireland. Alexander Willard left Virginia in his younger days and went to Overton County, Tennessee; from there he moved to the state of Missouri. His next move was to Morgan County, Illinois; from there he moved to Greenbush, Illinois, in 1837. He was married in Tennessee to Lucy Liles. She was born July 7, 1796.

To them the following-named children were born:

Mary, born November 24, 1814; married William Foster. She died January 16, 1893. He died September 7, 1862.

William, born August 11, 1816; married Jane Hodge. She was born October 17, 1818; and died October 24, 1879. He died March 5, 1901.

Lucinda, born August 3, 1822; married Ezekiel M. Snapp, October 19, 1839. He died October 1, 1842. Her second marriage was to Thomas Darneille, February 9, 1847. He died May 24, 1870. Lucinda died January 21, 1899.

Thomas Joiner, born April 10, 1824; married Mary Simmons, daughter of Rowland and Julia A. Simmons. Both died in Kansas.

Jane, born August 31, 1826; married Henzie Darneille, January 6, 1847. She died September 27, 1905.

Margaret, born March 18, 1829; married Charles S. Holeman.

John, born February 25, 1831; married Martha A. Summers, in July, 1850. She was born August 15, 1831. His second marriage was to Mrs. Elizabeth McClurg, whose maiden name was Elizabeth Hutton. She was born in Ohio, October 10, 1843.

Annis, born July 11, 1833; married Porter J. Jack. She died at Meedoc, Jasper County, Missouri, February 21, 1876. He died at Arcadia, Crawford county, Kansas, July 14, 1897.

Alexander, born December 17, 1837; married Emily Simmons. She was a daughter of Rowland and Julia A. Simmons, who came to Greenbush in 1830. Mr. Willard, the subject of this sketch, was by occupation a farmer. In politics he was a democrat. In religion he and his wife were members of the Methodist Episcopal church for many years before their death. He died February 21, 1849. His wife Lucy died at the residence of her son-in-law Henzie Darneille, in Bushnell, Illinois, May 15, 1879. She was blind for many years before her death.

Ebenezer Wilford Woods

     E. W. Woods was born in Sullivan, Madison County, New York, September 16, 1818. He was a son of Asa and Mary (WILFORD) Woods and a grandson of Samuel and Phebe (Holten) Woods. His maternal grandparents were John and Anna (Blackstone) Wilford, both natives of England. Mr. Woods came with his father from New York to what is now known as Avon, in Fulton county, Illinois, in 1836. He says when they arrived they found David Young and James Simmons digging a well for Ira Woods. Mr. Woods, the subject of this sketch, was married in Greenbush township, Warren County, Illinois, to Rhoda M. Butler, January 6, 1853. She was born in Gallia County, Ohio, January 6, 1830, and was a daughter of Col. John and Mary (Adney) Butler.

 To Mr. and Mrs. Woods were born the following-named children:

Mary, born October 25, 1853; died October 4, 1854.

Ezra B., born November 27, 1854; married Carrie Lovejoy, who died March 4, 1897. His second marriage was to Kate Lester, October 14, 1899.

Willis R., born March 9, 1857; married Priscilla Van Velsor, December 25, 1885.

Amelia A., born March 13, 1859; married John E. Meitchel, April 4, 1877. She died March 8, 1892.

Olevia E., born February 22, 1861.

John A., born March 7, 1863; married Dora Simmons, August 14, 1886.

Edwin S., born March 19, 1865; married Nettie Austin, January 19, 1887.

Sarah B., born May 4, 1867; married Artie Lincoln, August 26, 1885.

Minnie C., born November 11, 1869; married John E. Meitchel, July 8, 1894.

 By occupation Mr. Woods is a farmer. In his younger days he worked some at the carpenter trade; he also made the first woodwork of a wagon in the country. This wagon was ironed by his cousin and traded to McMahon who then kept store in Greenbush. Politically Mr. Woods votes the republican ticket.

 

John Web Nance

John W. Nance was born in Rockingham county, North Carolina, May 15, 1814. He was a son of William H. and Nancy Lowe Nance. His father and grandfather, John Nance, were natives of North Carolina.

     His boyhood days were passed in middle and west Tennessee. He was married May 24, 1836, to Nancy Simmons in Calaway County, Kentucky, near Paris, Tennessee. She was a daughter of Charles Simmons, who came to Greenbush in 1845. In January, 1845, John W. Nance moved from Tennessee to Stoddard County, Missouri. In April 1845, he moved from Missouri to Illinois, and settled in the town of Greenbush, April 27, 1845. On April 27, 1857, he moved to his farm five miles northeast of the village of Greenbush, where his wife Nancy Died November 13, 1872. To them were born the following-named children:

Rufus Dodds, born February 20, 1838; married Alice M. Sorter, December 19, 1861. She died February 13, 1866. His second marriage was to Josie Thurman.

Francis Marion, born February 20, 1838. He was enrolled in Co H. 83rd regiment, Illinois Vol Infantry, August 09, 1862 at Greenbush, Illinois, and was mustered in the service at Monmouth, Illinois, August 11, 1862.

In the formation of the company he was elected second sergeant. On the 14th day of March, 1863, he was promoted to the office of second lieutenant. This regiment went into camp at Fort Heiman, Tenn. September 05, 1862, within fifteen miles of where Francis M. was born. During the greater part of the time he was in service he was in command of the mounted infantry, whose duty was to hunt guerillas, repair telegraph lines, and protect foraging parties. On one of these trips Egbert Bostwick was killed; he was a comrade who had the love and respect of all who knew him. This company had many exciting skirmishes with the guerillas. February 03, 1863, at Fort Donelson, Tennessee, nine companies of the 83rd regiment with company C, second Illinois light artillery, successfully resisted the attack of Forest and Wheeler with 8000 men. The 83rd regiment moved to Clarksville, Tennessee, where they were mustered out June 26, 1865. This mounted infantry, while out with scouting parties, became familiar with most of the people living between the Cumberland and Tennessee rivers from Paducah to Nashville. They will be remembered by some of those people, no doubt, to this day. While at Clarksville, Tennessee, F. M. Nance became acquainted with Miss Georgia Alwell. After he was mustered out of the service, he returned to Clarksville, where they were married October 26, 1865.

 Susan Alabama, born April 03, 1839; married Levi Lincoln, (has biography also click on link) December 03, 1857. He died March 30, 1901.

Mary Jane, born November 27, 1840; married Josiah Smith, March 16, 1865.

Sarah Elizabeth, born July 16, 1847; married James F. Mings.  He died November 28, 1898.

Charles William, born August 11, 1844; married Eliza A. Wright, January 15, 1873. He died February 18, 1881.

Nancy Chinthela, born January 16, 1847; married Robert Byram, January 18, 1870.

Martha Washington, born December 04, 1848; marries Dr. Emory Stone, February 24, 1876. Her second marriage was to Knox R. Marks, June 01, 1893.

John Alonzo, born February 10, 1853; married Eliza Smith, October 28, 1877.

Robert Henry, born January 20, 1856; First marriage to Melinda J. Shirley, August 16, 1875; shed died September 10, 1879. Second marriage to Ann Shirley; third marriage to Tessie Meadows, June 08, 1904.

Harriet Missouri, born April 01, 1851; died August 11, 1852.

John W. Nance was married three times. His second wife was Mrs. Harriet E. Brooks. This marriage occurred January 11, 1874. She died March 22, 1878.

John Matthews

John Matthews was born in Indiana county, Pennsylvania, January 11, 1801. He was a son of James and Elizabeth Coleman Matthews. When he was ten years old he went with his parents to Miami county, Ohio; after living there two or three years, they removed to Jefferson county, Indiana.

 He was married to Mary A. Craven at Bethlehem, Indiana, November 11, 1829. Here he was engaged in farming. On October 17, 1854, they started for Illinois, moving by wagon; and after a journey of thirty days, they arrived in Fulton county, Illinois, and located on a farm known as the Dunley Farm. Here they resided until the spring of 1860, when they moved to Greenbush, Warren county, Illinois, and for a time occupied a house near Pumpkin Hollow.

Mr. Matthew purchased the west half of the southeast quarter of section 34. Here he built his house and made some other improvements during the summer and fall of 1860, and moved on the premises in the fall of that year, where he engaged in farming up to the time of his death, which occurred August 19, 1869. His wife died April 25, 1898, at the age of eighty-eight years.

To John Matthews and wife were born the following-named children:

Jane, born October 11, 1830; married A. W. Higbee, February 25, 1851. She died March 30, 1804.

James, born July 06, 1834; married Georgetta Darneille, February 17, 1870; He died October 24, 1901.

Samuel, born August 07, 1832; died July 20, 1834.

John C., born February 19, 1836; married Melissa Rhodes, March 28, 1867.

Mary Elizabeth, born June 27, 1838.

Martha A. born September 01, 1840; married John Willard, August 31, 1864.

Robert E., born January 31, 1844; married Sarah Bond, March 15, 1868. She died November 17, 1873. His second marriage was to Louisa F. Libby, October 06, 1878.

Minerva E., born December 23, 1847; married J. H. Snook, January 18, 1884. She died December 17, 1899.

Margaret C., born September 28, 1849; married William Alexander, February 10, 1876.

In religion Mr. Matthews and his wife were members of the Presbyterian church. In politics he was a democrat.

James F. Harford

James F. Hartford was born in Beaver county, Pennsylvania, May 19, 1824. His father, James Hartford, was a descendant of Scotch-Irish parentage who had settled in the state of Pennsylvania in the early years of colonial occupation. His mother, Ann Nicholson, was of Irish descent, her parents also coming from their native land to try the fortunes of the new world and settling in Beaver county, Pennsylvania, in early times. Here they were untied in marriage; and of a family of ten children, James F. Harford was the eldest.

From  his father, who was a contractor and builder, he learned the carpenter trade, at which he worked for many years in the pioneer days when the labor of hewing the rough timbers of the forest into building material was accomplished by the hand of man, and the rude log-houses was the home alike of the prosperous and those in less-favored circumstances.

With the advancement of settlement, the times demanded laborers more skilled in the architectural art; and he studied his trade to meet the demand, until his work which yet stands in Greenbush and Swan Townships of Warren county, Illinois, testify to his ability as a builder of worth in the years which he spent at this work,

As a child, James F. Hartford, was of a studious disposition; and although often compelled by ill-health to abandon his studies under a teacher, he availed himself of every possible opportunity to become educated, and at the age of sixteen years he was chosen as teacher for the winter term in a school not far distant from his home.  From that time until the spring of 1851, he taught school during the winter months, working with his father through the vacation times.

In the schoolroom, he labored during the first years of his work as a teacher for the sum of $10 per month, boarding with the patrons of the school. His wages were afterwards raised to $15 per month, and finally he was paid the sum of $18 per month, that being the highest wages ever paid to a teacher in that vicinity at that time.

He was especially strong in the studies of arithmetic and grammar, and so completely had he mastered the principles of those branches that his services were sought as assistant to teachers in the schools for miles around his home and he had charge of those classes in several schools long before he had undertaken the responsibility of the schoolroom.

In the spring of 1851, he left his home with four associates he traveled by water from Pittsburgh, Pa, to Vicksburg, Miss. The journey way one of hardships; and the climatic conditions, being so vastly different from that which they were accustomed to, brought on an epidemic of malarial fever from which all suffered and one of their number died. After working four months in the lumber camps near Vicksburg, they started for the north, locating at Fairview, Ill., where Mr. Hartford

At the close of the term, he again began working at the trade which he had mastered in his father's workshop and for several years he followed the carpenter trade during the season of the year in Which he could work at it, teaching school in the winter months.

In the year of 1853, he came to Swan Creek, Ill., and several landmarks of his labors are still to be seen throughout that section among which are a house in Swan Creek owned at present by Mr. William Clark, a house owned by Mr. Ratekin, and a barn on the Austin Cornell farm south of Swan Creek. During the winter months he again engaged in teaching, in what was known as the Union School-house west of the McMahill corner.

June 13, 1856, he was united in marriage with Ann Eliza Hands, daughter of Moses T. and Elizabeth Hand, who were among the earliest settlers of Greenbush township.

Moses T. Hand and family were moving that fall to Prairie City, Ill., there to engage in the mercantile business, and Mr. Hartford and his wife were left on the farm, residing there until spring of 1858, when they moved to Prairie City, Ill., and until the following spring Mr. Hartford clerked in the store owned by M. T. Hand.

In the spring of '58, he began buying grain from the old elevator in Prairie City. For ten years he followed that business sin Prairie City, his family residing just across the county line in Greenbush township. Then field for greater business  activities being opened for him in Macomb, Ill, in the fall of 1868, he moved with his family to that city and for three years he continued buying grain from the elevator in that place.

In 1871, he accepted a position in the telegraph office and baggage-room at the C B & Q depot at Macomb, and soon after being given the office at Eubanks, Ill., his family removed to the old home in Greenbush township, Warren county, and Mr. Hartford took up his work at Eubanks, where he labored but for a few months when ill health caused him to abandon his work and return home.

After his recovery, he was again engaged in the grain office at Prairie City for several years, but poor health again caused him to give up his p9stion, and the remaining years of his life were given up to the quiet pursuits of home life, gardening and fruit raising being the occupations which claimed most of his attention.

To James and Eliza Hartford nine children were born, three of whom died in infancy; those remaining are residents of Greenbush township, Warren county, Illinois.

In politics Mr. Hartford, was a life-long republican, advocating earnestly and firmly teaching the principles of the party which he believed to be in the right. For eight years he child the office of justice of the peace in Greenbush township, was once the assessor; and in the years of 1880, and ten years later (1890) he was census officer of the township. As school director in District No. 7, he for many years faithfully performed the duties of that office, being always interested in the education of the youth and recognizing he great advancement that was being made in the public-school system since the time in which he labored in the schoolroom.

His early religious training was that of a Presbyterian home, but with the erection of the Methodist church in Prairie City, Illinois, he became a member of that denomination.

As a reader and student of all questions of interest and research, he became more active as age began to tell upon his physical powers. Endowed with a mind capable of retaining much that he read, he enjoyed the quiet perusal of the topics of the day, or the deeper study of subjects upon which public interest centered, and was well-posted on all the happenings.

After a serious illness of but a few short days, James F. Hartman died February 27, 1902, at his home in Greenbush township, Warren county, Illinois, and March first, he was lovingly laid to rest, near the old home, in the cemetery in Prairie City, Illinois.

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