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researches of science, whose course is ever onward and progressive. In his domestic relations he is peculiarly blessed, having a very interesting and intelligent family, composed of a wife and six children, the latter comprising a group of which the parents have reason to be proud.
The marriage of Ernest Bossemeyer and Miss Anna Ackerman was celebrated at the home of the bride, in Sterling, Ill., Dec. 25, 1863. Mrs. B., like her husband, was born in Germany, her early home having been in Hesse-Cassel, where she first opened her eyes to the light Aug. 12, 1846. Her parents were Paul and Christine Ackerman, natives of Germany. The mother has long since been dead, and the father is living in Whiteside County. Ill. Mrs. Bossemeyer came to the United States with her father in 1850, and until her marriage was a resident of Illinois. This union resulted in the birth of eight children, two of whom, John and Clara, died at the ages of nine months and five years respectively. Those surviving are: Elizabeth, Henry, Frank, Ernest, Harry and Paul; the eldest is twenty-four years of age. Elizabeth is the wife of George Marshall. Amidst the surroundings of such a home as theirs, it is but natural they should grow up possessing all the qualities of good citizenship, an honor to their parents and useful members of the community. Mrs. Bossemeyer is a lady of more than ordinary intelligence, the suitable companion in all respects of such a man as her husband. In polities Mr. Bossemeyer supports the principles of the Republican party.
ANIEL FREEMAN, who is one of the best known citizens of this county, has been a prominent character here since the close of the war, and as a farmer and stock-raiser has accumulated quite a fortune. His home is located on section 26, Blakely Township, the ground being well adapted to general farming and stock-raising, lying as it does along Cub Creek, which supplies it with water, and at the same time furnishes an abundance of timber. The farm at present embraces about 1,480 acres of land, 160 acres of which formed the original homestead, the first one taken in the United States, and which has a history of national interest.
Mr. Freeman was born in Preble County, Ohio, on the 26th of April. 1826, and was of a fine family, most of the members of which have been. engaged in agricultural pursuits. His father, Samuel Freeman (who died on the 6th of February, in the year 1887, at Abingdon, Knox Co., Ill., at the advanced age of eighty-four years), was born in Vermont in the early part of the present century, and came of a hardy, old New England ancestry. While yet a single man he went to Ohio, where he married after a time a Miss Phoebe Willis, who is a native of that State, and is yet living at her home in Abingdon, at the good old age of eighty-four years, still in possession of her mental faculties, and cheerful and happy as is her natural disposition. In 1835 the parents of our subject had moved to the above-named city, where they were among the early pioneers of Knox County, and for many years prominent citizens and successful farmers, the father being prominent as a politician in behalf of the old Whig and Republican principles for many years.Our subject is the eldest but one of a family of six sons and one daughter, all his brothers now being deceased, while the sister, who is the eldest of the family, is yet living on a farm near Abingdon, the wife of Walter Richmond. Four of the brothers of our subject died when young and single men, one of them, James H., having served as a private in the 83d Illinois Infantry during the Rebellion, and dying from exposure and sickness at Ft. Donelson, He was a graduate from Abingdon College, and had a bright future before him. Our subject was not quite ten years old when his father moved from Preble County, Ohio, to Illinois, and he grew to manhood in the latter State, and about the time of the war became connected with the interests of the Government, and was sent West and Southwest. While thus engaged he traveled over a large portion of the undeveloped Western country, becoming one of the most familiar characters of this section. He was peculiarly adapted for coming in contact with unruly frontiersmen and the native Indians, nature having endowed him with an unusually commanding physique, whose nobility was heightened by his military air, and his keen black
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eye seemed to penetrate through hidden things. He has ridden over the wilds of the West acting as a watch against the wary Indians, for weeks at a time, leaving his saddle only to gain refreshment by sleep, and then making it his pillow as he lay on the hard ground. Such has been the character of his experience that he has a wide range of information and unlimited knowledge of the country in which he took up his permanent residence before the close of the war.
Mr. Freeman has been interested in the promotion of the welfare of his county, and while he is a prominent figure in local politics, he is classed among the independent Republicans. He was married in Illinois to Miss Elizabeth Wilber, who was born in Ohio, and came to Illinois when she was young. She was a true helpmate to her husband, and sympathized with him in his labors until the time of her death, which occurred in Rock Island, Ill., in 1861. She left three children, of whom we have the following record: J. F. makes his home in Des Moines, Iowa; Charles lives in Hoxie, Kan.; Loretta, the wife of Martin Rich, also makes her home in Hoxie. Our subject was a second time married, in Scott County, Iowa, on the 8th of February, 1865, to Miss Agnes Suiter, who was born in Le Claire, that county, on the 16th of November, 1843, and is the daughter of John and Eliza (Wright) Suiter, who are natives of Ohio. The father was a rapids pilot on the Mississippi River, and his father was also engaged in a like business. The grandfather of Mrs. Freeman, Philip Suiter, was an early settler in Ohio, where he spent a number of years, and afterward came to this State, making his home in DeWitt, Saline County. There he lived a retired life for some time, and died on the 25th of November, 1884, at the age of eighty-five years. He had been four times married, his last wife surviving him but a short time, she having died since 1884. John Suiter moved to Iowa when the State was in the beginning of its development, while he was yet a young and single man, and he became engaged as a pilot for boats over the rapids between Le Claire, Davenport and Rock Island. He has since made his home in the first-named city, and having retired from river life, he devotes some attention to farming, his place on the river now being supplied by his two sons. He is now sixty-six years old, and is living in Le Claire with his wife, whom he married in Iowa.
Mrs. Freeman was reared to womanhood in her native county, entering Abingdon College when she was fourteen years old, and after completing her education she taught school for some time, one term of which labor was spent in this county, she being the first teacher in Blakely Township, and her school taught in a private house. She is the mother of seven children, one of whom, named Daniel, died when he was three years old, and of the remaining six, Samuel, James, John, Frank and Le Claire, are at home; Eliza is the wife of Webster Carre, and resides in Beatrice. Mr. and Mrs. Freeman are highly esteemed as old settlers, and are influential and enterprising citizens. The following extract from the Beatrice Daily and Weekly Express describes the manner in which our subject secured his homestead in this county: "One of the events connected with the early settlement of Gage County, which will eventually form a page of national history, is the taking up of the homestead of Daniel Freeman, the first under the Homestead Act. The securing of the first homestead, or the filing of the first application by Mr. Freeman, was more by accident than design. The "Homestead Act" was approved on the 20th of May, 1862, and took effect Jan. 1, 1863. In July, 1862, Mr. Freeman purchased a "squatter's right," which he held until the 31st day of December following. The rights of a squatter consisted in his possession of the land by actual settlement thereon, and whatever improvements he had made, in this case the improvements being a log cabin, a log stable and a little breaking. The Government land-office was located at Brownville, and on December 31 Mr. Freeman went to that place to make an entry and file his application under the homestead laws. At this time he had been regularly enlisted in the United States Army, and was in Nebraska upon special duty. He was under orders to report to headquarters, and was therefore in some haste to file his application, for which purpose he had gone to Brownville. At the hotel where Mr. Freeman put up there was a ball, and upon invitation he joined the party. Balls at that time were not as frequent as now, and places
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large enough to hold a ball in were still scarcer than balls. During the evening's entertainment Mr. Freeman was introduced to a young man who was to be clerk or assistant to the land-office receiver. By this young man Mr. Freeman was informed that the next day being New Year's, and consequently a holiday, the office would not be open. Mr. Freeman stated the urgency of his business, and that he was ordered to report to the army headquarters without delay, and said it would be a great accommodation to him if he could file his application before leaving for the army. Upon this representation of the state of affairs, the clerk sent for the Register, and at midnight the office was opened, and before 12:05 o'clock on the morning of January 1, Mr. Freeman had made his filing upon the first homestead ever taken under the Homestead Act. Herewith is a verbatim copy of the record, so far as it relates to the homestead in question:
The United States of America to Daniel Freeman.
Homestead Certificate No. 1, Application No. 1.
The United States of America, to all whom these presents shall come. Greeting: WHEREAS-There has been deposited in the General Land Office of the United States a certificate of the Register of the Land Office at Brownville, Nebraska, whereby it appears that pursuant to the Act of Congress approved the 20th of May. A. D., 1862, "to secure homesteads to actual settlers on the public domain," and the acts supplemental thereto, the claim of Daniel Freeman has been established and duly consummated in conformity to the law for the south half of the northeast quarter, and the northeast quarter of the northwest quarter, and the southwest quarter of the northeast quarter, of section twenty-six, in township 4, north of range 5 east, in the district of lands formerly subject to sale at Brownville (now Beatrice, Neb.), containing one hundred and sixty (160) acres, according to the official plat of the survey of the said land returned to the General Land Office by the Surveyor General;
Now Know Ye: That there is therefore granted by the United States unto the said Daniel Freeman the tracts of land above described, to have and to hold the said tracts of land with the appurtenances thereof, unto the said Daniel Freeman and his heirs and assigns forever.
In Testimony Whereof: I, Ulysses S. Grant, President of the United States of America, have caused these letters to be made Patent and the Seal of the General Land Office to be hereunto affixed.
Given under my hand at the city of Washington the first day of September, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-nine, and of the Independence of the United States, the ninety-fourth.
U. S. GRANT, President. I. BARRETT, Secretary. I. W. GRANGER, Recorder of the
General Land Office.
Recorded Volume 1, Page 1.
Filed for record at the office of the County Clerk, January 5th, A. D., 1870, at 4 o'clock P. M., and recorded in Deed Record "F." at Page 114. Recorded January 6th. A. D., 1870.
Mrs. W. C. Strohm, of this city, is now painting a large picture of the old homestead, and the new and comfortable mansion in which Mr. Freeman now resides, which will be forwarded to Mrs. John A. Logan, at her request, and placed among her great collection of antiquities and relics. Mr. Freeman has certainly complied with the spirit and letter of the law in taking this piece of land, having made it his continuous home ever since his discharge from the army. It is located just four miles from this city. A view of it, engraved from a photograph, is presented in this volume. We are the more gratified, however, to present to our readers the portrait of the distinguished owner of this property. This may be found on an adjoining page.
Mr. Freeman has been prominently identified with the public affairs of this county, having been Sheriff and Coroner of the county, and Justice of the Peace of his township for twelve years, and he justly merits a commendatory notice in this work.
AWRENCE SHEEN, who is operating the farm of his father in Grant Township, has been a resident of this county only since the spring of 1887, but has already established himself as an enterprising and industrious citizen, eminently fitted to rank among the Members of a
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community more than ordinarily intelligent. He is the youngest son and child of Peter and Melissa (Robinson) Sheen, who are now living retired in Peoria County, Ill., where they settled during its pioneer days. The elder Sheen, it is believed, represents property to the amount of $100,000. He was for a time a resident of this county, and purchased a section of land in Grant Township, of which he still retains ownership.
The father of our subject is a native of Ireland, but crossed the Atlantic with his parents when a mere child, the latter settling in Peoria County. Ill., where Peter was reared to manhood. There also his son, our subject, was born, Nov. 14, 1869. The parental household included fifteen children, and one of the sisters married J. R. Higgins, of Grant Township, this county, a sketch of whom appears elsewhere in this volume, and in which mention is made more fully of the parents. Mr. Sheen is a young man energetic and capable, takes pride in his farming, and is a general favorite among the people of his community, who during his brief sojourn here have learned to value him at his true worth, he operates 160 acres on section 26.
ON. SOLON M. HAZEN, late a member of the Nebraska Legislature, is now engaged as a general merchant, and also gives a large share of his attention to farming and stock-raising. He is a man of means and prominence, and one who has contributed materially to the business and agricultural interests of Southern Nebraska. His farm lies just outside the corporation, on Mud Creek, in Rockford Township, and comprises 160 acres of fertile laud, which has been brought to a fine state of cultivation. Within the city also he owns quite a number of unimproved building lots, which will in due time undoubtedly realize for him a snug sum of money. He is industrious, energetic and enterprising, just such a man as is needed in the progress and advancement of a growing town.
The subject of this sketch is the son of Suel Hazen, who was a native of Fonda County, Vt., whence he removed early in life to Little Falls, N. Y. There he completed his education. His father having died when he was but a little lad two years of age, he was taken into the home of his brothers, with whom he lived until fifteen. He then went up into the Black River Country, in the Empire State.
Solon M. Hazen was born in Denmark, N. Y., Aug. 11, 1829, and continued there under the parental roof until reaching manhood, he received a common-school education, and when of suitable years and attainments adopted the profession of a teacher, and thereafter for some years taught and studied alternately until approaching the thirtieth year of his age. Then, desirous of a change of scene and occupation, he migrated across the Mississippi in 1857 to Brown County, Kan., where he spent one winter, and whence the following April he came to this county.
Mr. Hazen, upon taking up his abode in Southern Nebraska, found himself among the earliest pioneers, there being then but a few families in this region, viz: that of Mr. Marlin, Henry Elliot, three other families, Jacob Toff, the son-in-law of Elliot James, and a Mr. Johnson and family. There were also Rankin Johnson and Pat Geary, who occupied log houses north of the present site of Blue Springs. They had settled upon wild land, and were doing their best to make a living and cultivate the soil. Of those early settlers only Mrs. James M. Johnson and our subject are living, besides some of the children of the former. Mr. Hazen found a log house on the land he purchased containing three rooms, and occupied his claim until the fall of 1861. Then, returning to Lewis County, N. Y., he engaged in teaching until 1867. A few months later he purchased the Journal and Republican at Lowville, which he conducted three years. In 1868 he removed with his family to the West, taking up his abode at Blue Springs, this county, and has since been a resident of this locality.
The marriage of our subject and Miss Prissa A. Vary, of Harrisburg, N. Y., was celebrated at the home of the bride, Dec. 24, 1863. This lady is the daughter of Deacon Willett Vary, and was born Oct. 27, 1837, in New York. Mr. and Mrs. Hazen became the parents of eight children, seven of whom
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are living, viz: Nellie, Anna, Grant and Grace (twins), Bessie, Lulu P. and George. Clarence died when six years old; Nellie, the eldest daughter, is the wife of Omer J. Deland, and Anna the wife of James Shields, both of Blue Springs. The other children are at home with their parents. The family residence is pleasantly located just outside the city, and in all its appointments is indicative of fine taste and ample means.
Mr. Hazen in 1884 was elected to the Nebraska Legislature, on the Republican ticket, and was soon placed on various important committees, including that of Ways and Means, and Cities and Villages, and was also Chairman of the Penitentiary Committee. In this position, as in all others which he has been called on to fill, Mr. Hazen exhibited the same industry and efficiency which have been the most leading traits of his character. Among other good works which have been placed to his credit was the introduction of the bill perfecting the title to property in the city of Wymore, which he engineered safely through until it became law. He also entered a bill to compel railroads to establish depots in towns of 500 population. His vote was always recorded on the side of the people and in behalf of their best interests.
Besides his legislative labors Mr. Hazen has held the office of County Commissioner, two years at one time and one year at another time, he was Justice of the Peace at Blue Springs, and incumbent of the post-office at Blue Springs from 1869 to 1878, there having been very few holding this office previously at this point. He was the second Surveyor of Gage County, and has been one of its most industrious and efficient men.
The genealogy of the Hazen family is found to be as follows: Suet Hazen was born at Denniston, Vt., April 25, 1793, and married Betsey Graves, of Copenhagen, N. Y., Jan. 7, 1815. They resided at Denmark, and became the parents of seven children. Suet, the son of Edward, was born at Groton, Mass., May 21, 1738, and was twice married, first to Sarah Willard, of Lancaster, Jan. 10, 1758. After her death he was united in marriage to Mrs. Bathrick, of Lunenburg. Mr. Hazen resided in Shirley until 1790, then moved to Swansea, and from there, in 1794, to Little Falls, N. Y., where his death took place in 1796. Samuel Hazen, his father, was born July 20, 1699, and married Sarah Harriman, of Rowley, Oct. 1, 1723. They lived there until 1736, and removed thence to Groton in 1749, when he purchased a farm. Afterward this was annexed to Shirley, forming its entire southern boundary line. The estate remained in the family for five generations. He was Selectman of Sterling in 1753, when the town was organized, and afterward held the same office several years. Says the Record of Shirley : "Few families pass through four generations like the Hazens, of Shirley, maintaining such a general good character, and sustaining such invariable thrift." His father was the Rev. Edward Hazen, the immediate ancestor of the family who first represented it on this side the Atlantic. He was born in 1660, and died in 1748. He married Jane Prichard. His father, Edward, was born Sept. 18, 1649, and also came to Rowley.
ILLIAM TOWNSEND has for a number of years creditably served in the employment of the Government as Postmaster in Hanover Township, the post office having been located at his residence in 1874. He was one of the appraisers of the land when securing a right of way for the Union Pacific Railroad, and has been prominently identified in public affairs in this county since 1870. He was born on the 1st of February, 1829, in Delaware County, N. Y., and is a son of Moorehouse and Anna (Johnson) Townsend, who were natives of Fairfield County, Conn., and New York State, respectively. The father was a boy nine years old when, in 1812, his family moved from Connecticut to New York, and having all his life lived in close proximity to the great ocean, he grew up with a desire to try his fortune on the water. He became a sailor and followed the life of a "jolly tar" until he was about thirty years old, when he quit his roving life and engaged in farming.
The father of our subject resided in his native State until the year 1864, when he went to LaSalle County, Ill., and remained until the time of his coming to Nebraska in 1870. He settled on a farm in Hanover Township, on which he lived for eight
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years, his death occurring in 1878. The mother of our subject is still living, and although she is eighty-three years old she enjoys good health, and is in possession of all her faculties. She makes her home with her children, who are glad to have with them the mother who has done so much for them, and besides our subject they are: Eunice, the wife of Daniel Griffin; Caroline, the wife of William Barrett, and Wallace.
Our subject was early initiated into the duties of farm life, of which he was expected to assume his share, and he received his education from the common schools under some disadvantages, the greatest of which was the distance which he was compelled to walk in order to reach the schoolhouse. The nearest school was held at a distance of four miles from his home, in order to reach which he had to cross a mountain. We can imagine that the journey to and fro was not altogether devoid of pleasure, since our subject had presented to him the varied beautiful scenery of a mountainous country, and inhaled the fresh, invigorating air.
On the 24th of November, 1851, our subject was married in Bradford County, Pa., to Miss Mary Denton, who was a native of Delaware County, N. Y., and in about the year 1850 had removed with her parents to the first-named State, whither our subject went to claim her as his wife. Our subject sold his property for $5,500, and invested the amount of $5,000 in land in Connecticut, whither he went in 1864, to Fairfield County. He subsequently found that other parties had a life lease on the same land, and he was obliged to vacate it, but still holds the deed, and will come into possession of the land upon the death of the present occupants. In 1866 he went to Illinois and rented some land in LaSalle County, and while living there his house was destroyed by fire, he concluded to go further West, and thus came to Nebraska, and purchased 160 acres of raw prairie land at $7 per acre, and has added to that amount until now he is the owner of 320 acres of land devoted to farming and stock-raising.
On the 11th of March, 1874, our subject was called to mourn the death of his wife, who left eight children to his care, namely; Robert, Paulina, Daniel (deceased), Duwane, Emma, James, John and Mary E. Two years later our subject married Mrs. Mary Jane Post, nee Shearer, who was a native of Pennsylvania. and was born in Perry County on the 6th of October, 1842. By this marriage they have one child, named Cora Belle. Mr. Townsend is an able advocate of the Republican party, and has taken an active part in the public affairs of his township, having served as Justice of the Peace for several years. He is a public-spirited and enterprising citizen, and for many years has been an honored and influential member of the Methodist Episcopal Church.
HARLES E. VAN PELT, whose beautiful farm is situated on section 7 of Sherman Township, has brought into his daily farm occupations and duties all that vim, enterprise, nervous energy, ambitious progressiveness and shrewd common sense which are the characteristics by which the Western American is chiefly endowed in the mind of the foreigner, who reads or speaks about him. His father, R. H. Van Pelt, was born in New Jersey, in 1808. He left that State when twenty-two years of age, and went to Jersey County, Ill., and entered heartily into agricultural work, continuing in the same until the year 1858, when he died.
The maiden name of the mother of our subject was Penelope Stout, who was born in New Jersey, in the year 1810. She married Mr. Van Pelt previous to his removal from their native State to Illinois. Their family came to include seven children, all of whom were bright, naturally healthy sons. Of these five attained man's estate and entered the ranks of honorable citizenship. The names borne by them are as here appended; Alexander, a farmer of Jersey County, Ill.; Clark, a resident of Macon County, Mo., and the proprietor of a first-class harness-making establishment; Winfield S., of Jersey County, Ill., who is following the trade of a carpenter; our subject, and Wilbur F., a furrier of Macon County, Mo.
The subject of this sketch was born upon the Jersey County homestead, on the 22d of December, 1846, and continued to reside with his parents un-
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til he attained his majority. There was little room in his life, filled as it was with farm duties and labor from boyhood, for the educational process, although this might have been changed had the opportunity for obtaining an education been more complete, but there was very little chance for such profitable investment of time and mental power, and the result was that his education, by force of circumstances, was somewhat neglected; but upon the more practical subjects of labor he was more at home, and entered the years of manhood fully equipped for the conflict.
The removal of our subject to Nebraska occurred in 1869, when he came to this county and purchased a quarter-section of land at the rate of $2 per acre. It was, of course, in a virgin state, and he immediately set to work to bring about a more complete and useful order of things, bestowing much thought and labor upon it. It was not long before smiling fields, waving grain and tasseled corn took the place of the tall, waving, wiry prairie grass. His claim shanty was removed after the lapse of a few years, and a more commodious and beautiful residence took its place, but it lacked attractive power and comfort to him. Sept. 27, 1877, he supplied the "one thing needful" to transform the house into a home. That year he entered into wedlock with Carrie Linscott, the attractive and accomplished daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Jeremiah Linscott, natives of Indiana, but subsequently residents of Ohio, where, in Greene County, their daughter Carrie was born upon the 1st of October, 1852. Her father still resides at the old home, which was sanctified to him by the birth of his child, and made more sacred in subsequent years as the scene of the last hours of his wife, who died Oct. 8, 1881, aged fifty-eight years and six months. The home of our subject and his wife has been illuminated, and its felicity enhanced, by the birth of five children, to whom have been given the following names; Linscott S., Wilbur F., Fannie L., Richard F. and Carrie.
Mr. Van Pelt was among the early pioneers of this State, and settled when neighbors were few and far between, when Nebraska City was the depot of import and export, and the only market. He experienced all the trials, difficulties, hardships, privations and pleasures of pioneer life, and has watched with keen interest the phenomenal development and brilliant advance of this State, that has just passed the point in number of years between minority and majority. Our subject's political sympathies are with the Republican party, and always have been. He has held with much honor and credit the most important offices of the township, including that of Justice of the Peace for a term of four years, of Assessor for ten years in succcession (sic), and member of the School Board for six years. Socially, he is connected with the ancient fraternity of Free Masonry, and is a true and faithful frater of the lodge at Beatrice. His working tools are not allowed to he by in idleness, but each and every one are used after their own order and in their several works, with the result, necessary and natural, that he is honored and respected, not merely within the mystic circle of his Masonic home, but also wherever true manhood and high character are admired and esteemed. This sentiment is likewise shared in by his wife and family.
LBRIDGE H. BURINGTON, real-estate agent. Notary Public and Police Magistrate for the city of Blue Springs, is numbered among its prominent and well-to-do citizens. He is the owner of a fine home on Washington street, between Broad and Main, and has other improved real estate in this city.
Our subject is the offspring of an excellent family who trace their ancestry back to the early settlers of Vermont and New Hampshire. His father, Rensselaer Burington, was born in the State of Vermont, in 1812, where he was reared and educated, and learned the trades of carpenter and millwright. These trades he followed until about twenty-five years of age, then leaving New England, established himself as a boot and shoe manufacturer in Springfield, Pa. He operated thus successfully for a period of fifteen years, then disposing of his interests in the Keystone State, migrated to Lee County, Ill., and purchasing a tract of land, built up a fine farm. He sojourned there also fifteen years, then crossed the Mississippi into Tama County, Iowa, where he kept a confectionery store.
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Later he returned to Illinois, establishing a similar store and adding to it a stock of groceries. In 1879 he sold out, and coming to this county took up his residence in Blue Springs, where he spent the remainder of his life.
The father of our subject was a very industrious and enterprising man, and during his early manhood greatly interested in public affairs, and served as a Captain of Militia until the repeal of the law relating to military affairs. Religiously, he was first connected with the Christian Church, and later with the First-Day Adventists. He was married, in Vermont, in 1833, to Miss Lucy Pike, a native of New Hampshire, and they became the parents of six children, all of whom lived to mature years, and of whom four still survive. Mrs. B. was the daughter of John and Clarissa (Parker) Pike, and was born April 12, 1813. She continued at home during her childhood and youth and is still living, making her home with her son, our subject. Rensselaer Burington departed this life Jan. 17, 1881.
The paternal grandfather of our subject, Ami Burington by name, and a native of Connecticut, was a millwright by trade, and also carried on farming. Upon removing from his native State he located first in Vermont, and thence removed to Erie County, Pa., where he spent the remainder of his life. Elbridge H., the subject of this sketch, was born in Springfield, Erie Co., Pa., Feb. 8, 1837, where he remained with his parents until reaching his majority. He was educated in the common schools and worked with his father on the farm until leaving Pennsylvania in 1859, and settling in Lee County, Ill. He preceded the family to the latter place, they following the next year. He was a resident there for a period of twenty-seven years, working on his farm in Amboy and also engaging in carpentering.
In 1863 Mr. Burington, who had always given much attention to religious subjects, and who unquestionably possessed fine talents as a speaker, entered the ministry and thus labored in the Master's vineyard for a period of ten years. In the meantime he was also employed at his trade and carried on his farm. At the expiration of this time he abandoned manual labor and accepted the pastorate of both the Advent and Christian Churches at different points, continuing in the ministry thereafter, and being located six years in Genoa, De Kalb County. Subsequently he spent one year as an evangelist, and then returned to his former charge, remaining another year. He was held in high esteem by the people among whom he labored, and withdrew from the ministry only when failing health compelled the step.
Mr. Burington came to this county in the spring of 1880, and after a season of rest and quietude resumed his trade of carpentering, and finally operated as a contractor and builder. He assisted in the erection of many of the important buildings of Blue Springs, including Rice Bros.' Block, the Baringer Block, and indeed most of the brick blocks now standing. He also purchased ground which he built upon, and is now the possessor of valuable property. He worked industriously during a season when many others, discouraged, left the place. He was finally compelled to abandon his contract business and take up something less laborious; giving his attention wholly to real estate, he is now in the enjoyment of a handsome income.
The marriage of Elbridge H. Burington and Miss Mary A. Aldrich was celebrated at Inlet, Lee Co., Ill., May 1, 1858. This union resulted in the birth of four children, one of whom died in infancy. Those surviving are: Orin E., Eva M. and Alice B. Mrs. B. is the daughter of Joseph and Zilpha Aldrich, and was born in the State of Vermont, on the 27th of November, 1836. While she was still a child her parents removed to Pennsylvania, where they lived eighteen years, then migrated to Illinois, settling in Lee County, where the mother died in the spring of 1858. She was a lady possessing all the womanly virtues, and was regarded with the utmost affection by her children and all who knew her.
Mr. Burington is a man positive in his ideas, well educated and liberal minded, and while differing with many upon the important questions of the day, possesses that high-bred courtesy which is careful not to give offense. While warmly and conscientiously attached to the principles of his peculiar faith, he still treats with respect the opinions of others, and his rare conversational powers make him a most interesting companion. He is deeply at-
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