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Portrait and biograph cal record,, of Lee 

3 1924 028 805 542 

olin Overs 

Cornell University 

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the Cornell University Library. 

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Biographical Sketches of Prominent and Representative Citizens, 
Together with Biographies of all the 

^overiiors of the itate, and of the Iresideiits 








iHE greatest of English historians, Macaulat, and one of the most brilliant writers of 
the present century, has said: "The history of a country is best told in a record of the 
lives of its people." In conformity with this idea the Portrait and Biographical 
Album of tj^jg county has been prepared. Instead of going to musty records, and 
taking therefrom dry statistical matter that can be appreciated by but few, our 
corps of writers have gone to the people, the men and women who have, by their 
enterprise and industry, brought the county to rank second to none among those 
comprising this great and noble State, and from their lips have the story of their life 
struggles. No more interesting or instructive matter could be presented to an intelli- 
gent public. In this volume will be found a record of many whose lives are worthy the 
imitation of coming generations. It tells how some, commencing life in poverty, by 
industry and economy have accumulated wealth. It tells how others, with limited 
advantages for securing an education, have become learned men and women, with an 
influence extending throughout the length and breadth of the land. It tells of men who 
have risen from the lower walks of life to eminence as statesmen, and whose names have 
become famous. It tells of those in every walk in life who have striven to succeed, and 
records how that success has usually crowned their efforts. It tells also of many, very 
many, who, not seeking the applause of the world, have pursued "the even tenor of their way," content 
to have it said of them as Christ said of the woman performing a deed of mercy — "they have done what 
they could." It tells how that many in the pride and strength of young manhood left the plow and the 
anvil, the lawyer's ofHce and the counting-room, left every trade and profession, and at their country's 
call went forth valiantly "to do or die," and how through their efforts the Union was restored and peace 
once more reigned in the land. In the life of every man and of every woman is a lesson that should not 
be lost upon those who follow after. 

Coming generations will appreciate this volume and preserve it as a sacred treasure, from the fact 
that it contains so much that would never find its way into public records, and which would otherwise be 
inaccessible. Great care has been taken in the compilation of the work and every opportunity possible 
given to those represented to insure' correctness in what has been written, and the publishers flatter them- 
selves that they give to their readers a work with few errors of consequence. In addition to the biograph- 
ical sketches, portraits of a number of representative citizens are given. 

The faces of some, and biographical sketches of many, will be missed in this volume. For this the 
publishers are not to blame. Not having a proper conception of the work, some refused to give the 
information necessary to compile a sketch, while others were indifferent. - Occasionally some member of 
the family would oppose the enterprise, and on account of such opposition the support of the interested 
one would be withheld. In a few instances men could never be found, though repeated calls were made 
at their residence or place of business. 

April, 1892. Biographical Publishing Co. 


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Governors of Illinois, 


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HE Father of our Country was 
born in Westmorland Co., Va., 
Feb. 22, 1732. His parents 
were Augustine and Mary 
(Ball) Washington. The family 
to which he belonged has not 
been satisfactorily traced in 
England. His great-grand- 
father, John Washington, em- 
igrated to Virginia about 1657, 
and became a prosperous 
planter. He had two sons, 
Lawrence arid John. The 
former married Mildred Warner 
and had three children, John, 
Augustine and Mildred. Augus- 
tine, the father of George, first 
married Jane Butler, who bore 
him four children, two of whom, 
Lawrence and Augustine, reached 
maturity. Of six children by his 
second marriage, George was the 
eldest, the others being Betty, 
Saniuel, John Augustine, Charles 
and Mildred. 
Augustine Washington, the father of George, died 
in 1743, leaving a large landed property. To his 
eldest son, Lawrence, he bequeathed an estate on 
the Patomac, afterwards known as Mount Vernon, 
and to George he left the parental residence. George 
received only such education as the neighborhood 
schools afforded, save for a short time after he left 
school, when he received private instruction in 
mathemat'cs. His spelling was rather defective. 

Remarkable stories are told of his great physica, 
strength and development at an early age. He was 
an acknowledged leader among his companions, and 
was early noted for that nobleness of character, fair- 
ness and veracity which characterized his whole life. 

When George was 14 years old he had a desire to go to 
sea, and a midshipman's warrant was secured for him, 
but through the opposition of his mother the idea was 
abandoned. Two years later he was appointed 
surveyor to the immense estate of Lord Fairfax. In 
this business he spent three years in a rough frontier 
life, gaining experience which afterwards proved very 
essential to him. In 1751, though only 19 years of 
age, he was aiJpointed adjutant with the rank of 
major in the Virginia miliua, then being trained for 
active service against the French and Indians. Soon 
after this he sailed to the West Indies with his brother 
Lawrence, who went there to restore his health They 
soon returned, and in the summer of 1752 Lawrence 
died, leaving a large fortune to an infant daughter 
who did not long survive him. On her demise the 
estate of Mount Vernon was given to George. 

Upon the arrival of Robert Dinwiddle, as Lieuten- 
ant-Governor of Virginia, in 1752, the militia was 
reorganized, and the province divided into four mili- 
tary districts, of which the northern was assigned to 
Washington as adjutant general. Shortly after this 
a very perilous mission was assigned him and ac- 
cepted, which others had refused. This was to pro- 
ceed to the French post near Lake Erie in North- 
western Pennsylvania. The distance to be traversed 
was between 500 and 600 miles. Winter was at hand, 
and the journey was to be made without military 
escort, through a territory occupied by Indians. The 


irip was a perilous one, and several limes lie came near 
losing his life, yet he returned in safety and furnished 
,a full and useful report of his expedition. A regiment 
of 300 men was raised in Virginia and put in com- 
mand of Col. Joshua Fry, and Major Washington was 
commissioned lieutenant-colonel. Active war was 
then begun against the French and Indians, in which 
Washington took a most important part. In the 
memorable event of July 9, 1755, known as Brad- 
dock's defeat, Washington was almost the only ofificer 
of distinction who escaped from the calamities of the 
day with life and honor. The other aids of Braddock 
were disabled early in the action, and Washington 
alone was left in that capacity on the field. In a letter 
to his brother he says : " I had four bullets through 
my coat, and two horses shot under me, yet I escaped 
unhurt, though death was levelino my companions 
on every side." An Indian sharpshooter said he was 
not born to be killed by a bullet, for he had taken 
direct aim at him seventeen times, and failed to hit 

' After having been five years in the military service, 
and vainly sought promotion in the royal army, he 
took advantage of the fall of Fort Duquesne and the 
expulsion of the French from the v-alley of the Ohio, 
to resign his commission. Soon after he entered the 
Legislature, where, although not a leader, he took an 
active and important ^art. January 17, 1759, he 
married Mrs. Martha (Dandridge) Custis, the wealthy 
widow of John Parke Custis. 

When the British Parliament had closed the port 
if Boston, the cry went up throughout the provinces 
that "The cause of Boston is the cause of us all." 
tt was then, at the suggestion. of Virginia, that a Con 
gress of all the colonies was called to meet at Phila- 
dblphia.Sept. 5, r774, to secure their common liberties, 
peaceably if possible. To this Congress Col. Wash- 
ington was sent as a delegate. On May 10, 1775, the 
Copgress re-assembled^when the hostile intentions of 
' England .were plainly apparent. The battles of Coii- 
to'rid and Lexington had been fought. Among the 
first acts of this Congress was the electioji of a com- 
mander-in-chief of the colonial forces. This high and 
responsible office was conferred upon Washington, 
who was still a memberof the Congress. He accepted 
it on June 19, but upon the express condition that he 
receive no salary. He would keep an exact account 
of expenses and expect Congress lo pay them and 
nothingmore. It is not- the object of this sketch to 
trace the military acts of Washington, to whom the 
fortunes and liberties of the people of this country 
were so long confided. The war was conducted' by 
him under everj- possible disadvantage, 'and while his 
forces often met with reverses, yet he oVercatae every 
obstacle, aiid after seven years of •■ heroic devotion 
and matchless skill he gained liberty for the greatest 
lation of earth. On Dec. 23, 1783, -Washington, in 
1 parting address of surpassing beauty, resigned -his 

commission as commander-in-chief of the army ij 
to the Continental Congress sitting at Annapolis. He 
retired immediately to Mount Vernon and resumed 
his occupation as a farmer and planter, shunning all 
connection with public life. 

In February, 1 7 89, Washington was unartimously 
elected President. In his_presidential career he was 
subject to the peculiar trials incidental to, a new 
government ; trials from lack of confidence on the part 
of other governments; trials from want of harmony 
between the different sections of our own country; 
trials from the impoverished condition of the country, 
owing'to-the war and want of credit; trials from the 
beginnings of party strife. He wasmo pa-ttisan. His 
clear judgment could discern the golden mean ; arid 
while perhaps this alone kept our government from 
sinking at the very outset, it left him exposed to 
attacks from both sides, which were often bitter and 
very annoying. 

At the expiration of his first term he was unani- 
mously re-elected. At the end of this term many 
were anxious that he be re-elected, but he absolutely 
refused a third nomination. On the fourth of March, 
1797, at the expiraton of his second term as Presi- 
dent, he returned to his home, hoping to pass there 
his few remaining years free from the annoyances of 
public life. Later in the year, however, his repose 
seemed hkely to be interrupted by war with' France. 
At the prospect of such a war he was again urged to 
take command of the armies. He chose his sub- 
ordinate officers and left to them the charge of mat- 
ters in the field, which he superintended from his 
home. In accepting the command he made the 
reservation that he was not to be in the field until 
it was necessary. In the midst of these preparations 
his life was suddenly cut off. December 12, he took 
a seveie cold from a ride in the rain, which, settling 
in h's throat, produced inflammation, and terminated 
fatally on the night of the fourteenth. Oti the eigh- 
teenth- his body was borne wi'h military honors to its 
final resting place, and interred m the famhy vault at 

.Of the character of Washington it iS. impossible to 
speak but in terms of the highest respect and ad- 
miration. The more we see of the, operations of 
<am government, and the more .deeply, we feel the 
difficulty of uniting all opinionsin a common interest, 
the more highly we must estimatethe force of his tal- 
ent and character, which have be^n able to challenge 
the reverence of all parties, and principles, and na- 
tions, and to win a fame as extended as the limits 
of the globe, and which We cannot but believe will 
be as lasting as the existence of man. 

The person of Washington was unusally tan, erect 
and well proportioned. His muscular strength was 
great. His features were of a beautiful symmetrv. 
He commanded respect without any appearance o< 
haiightiness, and evef serious without Vieing; dull. " 

^^^^ Ja:mid 

SECOND president: 




OHN ADAMS, the second 
.President and the first Vice- 
' President of the United States, 
was born in Braintree ( now 
Quincy ),Mass., and about ten 
miles from Boston, Oct. 19, 
1735. His great-grandfather, Henry 
Adams, emigrated from England 
about 1640, with a family of eight 
sons, and settled at Braintree. The 
parerits of John were John and 
Susannah (Boylston) Adams. His 
father was a farmer of limited 
means, to which he added the bus- 
iness of shoemaking. He gave his 
eldest son, John, a classical educa- 
tion at Harvard Qillege. John 
graduated in 1755, and at once took charge of the 
school in Worcester, Mass. This he found but a 
'scliool of afHictiori," from which he endeavored to 
gain relief by devoting himself, in addit.ion, to the 
study of law. For this purpose he placed himself 
under the tuition of the only lawyer in the town. He 
had thought seriously of the clerical profession 
but seems to have been turned from this by what he 
termed " the frightful engines of ecclesiastical coun- 
jils, of diabolical malice, and Calvanistic good nature," 
of the operations of which he had been a witness in 
his native town. He was well fitted for the legal 
profession, possessing a clear, sonorous voice, being 
ready and fluent of speech, and having quick percep- 
tive powers. He gradually gained practice, and in 
1764 married Abigail Smith, a daughter Of a minister, 
and a lady of superior intelligence. Shortly after his 
marriage, (17^5), the attempt of Parliamentary taxa- 
'Uon turned him from law to politics. He took initial 
steps toward holdip.j, a town meeting, and the resolu- 

tions he offered on the subject became very populai 
throughout the Province, and were adopted word foi 
word by over forty different towns. He moved to Bos- 
ton in 1768, and became one of the most courageous 
and prominent advocatesof the popular cause, and 
was chosen a member of the General Court (the Leg- 
lislature) in 1770. 

Mr. Adams was chosen one of the first delegates 
from Massachusetts to the first Continental Congress, 
which met ill 1774. Here he distinguished himselt 
by his capacity for business and for debate, and ad- 
vocated the movement for independence against the 
majority of the members. In May, 1776, he moved 
and carried a resolution in Congress that the Colonies 
should assume the duties of self-government. He 
was a prominent member of the committee of iive 
appointed June 11, to prepare a declaration of inde- 
pendence. This article was drawn by Jefferson, but 
on Adams devolved the task of battling it through 
Congress in a three days debate. 

On the day after the Declaration of Independence 
was passed, while his soul was yet warm with the 
glow of excited feeling, he wrote a letter to his wife 
which, as we read it now, seems to have been dictated, 
by the-spirit of prophecy. "Yesterday," he says, "the 
greatest question was decided that ever was debated 
in America; and greater, perhaps, never was or wil 
be decided among men. A resolution ^\as passed 
without one dissenting colony, ' that these United 
States are, and of right ought to be, free ahd inde- 
pendent states.' The day is passed. The fourth of 
July, 1776, will be a memorable e[)Och in the history 
of America. I am apt to believe it will be celebrated 
by succeeding generations, as the great anniversary 
festival. It ought to be commemorated as the day of 
deliverance by solemn acts of devotion to Almighty 
God. It ought to be solemnized with pomp, shows. 



games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations 
from one end of the continent to the other, from this 
time forward for ever. You will think me transported 
with enthusiasm, but I am not. I am well aware of 
the toil, and blood and treasure, that it will cost to 
maintaipilthis declaration, and support and defend 
these State's; yet, through all the gloom, I can see the 
rays of light and glory. I can see that the end is 
wurth more than all the means; and that posterity 
will triumph, although you and I may rue, which I 
hope we shall not." 

In November, 1777, Mr. Adams was appointed a 
ddegate to France and to co-operate with Bemjamin 
Franklin and Arthinr Lee, who were then in Paris, in 
the endeavor to obtain assistance in arms and money 
from the French Government. This was a severe trial 
to his patriotism, as it separated him from his home, 
compelled him to cross the ocean in winter, and ex- 
posed him to great peril of capture by the British cruis- 
ers, who were seeking him. He left France June 17, 
r7'79. In September of the same year he was again 
chosen to go to Paris, and there hold himself in readi- 
ness to iiegotiate a treaty of peace and of commerce 
with Great Britian, as soon as the British Cabinet 
might be found willing to listen to such pioposels. He 
sailed for France in November, from there he went to 
Holland, where -'he negotiated important loans and 
formed important commercial treaties 

Finally a treaty of peace with England was signed 
Jan. 2r, 1783. The re-action from the excitement, 
toil and anxiety through which Mr. Adams had passed 
threw him into a' fever. After suffering from a con- 
tinued fever and becoming feeble and emaciated he 
was advised to go to England to drink the waters of 
Bath. While in England, still drooping and despond- 
ing, he received dispatches from his own government 
urging the necessity of his going to Amsterdam to 
negotiate another loan. It was winter, his health was 
delicate, -yet he immediately set out, and through 
storm, on sea, on horseback and foot,he made the trip. 

February 24, 1785, Congress appointed Mr. Adams ' 
envoy to the Court of St. James. Here he met face 
to face the King of England, who had so long re- 
garded him ' as a traitor. As England did not 
condescend to appoint a minister to the United 
States, and as Mr. Adams felt that he was accom- 
plishing but little, he sought permission to return to 
nis own country, where he arrived in June, 1788. 

"\Yhen Washington was first chosen President, John 
Adains, rendered illustiious by his signal services at 
home and abroad, was chosen Vice President, .Again 
It the second election of Washington as President, 
Adams was chosen Vice President. In 1796, Wash- 
ington retired from public life, and Mr. Adams was 
elected Presi_dent,though not without much opposition. 
Serving in this office four years,he was succeeded by 
Mr. Jefferson, his opponent in politics. 
While Mr. Adams was Vice President the great 

French Revolution shook the continent of Europe, 
and it was upon this point which he was at issue wiih 
the majority of his countrymen led by Mr. Jefferson. 
Mr. Adams felt no sympathy with the Fretjch people 
in their struggle, for he had no confidence in their 
power of self-government, and he utterly abhored the 
class of atheist philosophers who he claimed caused it. 
On the other hand Jefferson's sympathies were strongly 
enlisted in behalf of the French people. Hence or- 
iginated the alienation between these distinguished 
men, and two powerful parties were thus soon organ- 
ized, Adams at the head of the one whose syifipathies 
were with England and Jefferson led the other in 
sympathy with France. 

The world has seldom seen a sjjectacle of more 
moral beauty and grandeur, than was presented by the 
old age of Mr. Adams. The violence of party feeling 
had died away, and he had begun to receive that just 
appreciation which, to most men, is not accorded till 
after death. No one could look upon his venerable 
form, and think of what he had done and suffered, 
and how he had given up all the prime and strenjjth 
of his life to the public good, without the deepest 
emotion of gratitude and respect. It was his peculiar 
good fortune to witness the complete success of the 
institution which he had been so active in creating and 
supportirig. In 1824, his cup of happiness'was filled 
to the brim, by seeing his son elevated to the highest 
station in the gift of the people 

The fourth of July, 1826, which completed the half 
century since the signing of the Declaration of Inde- 
pendence, arrived, and there were but three of the 
signers of that immortal instrument left upon the 
earth to hail its morning light. And, as it is 
well known, on that day two of these finished their 
earthly pilgrimage, a coincidence so remarkable as 
to seem miraculous. For a few days before Mr. 
Adams had been rapidly failing, and on the morning 
of the fourth he found himself too weak to rise from 
his bed. On being requested to name a toast for the 
customary celebration of the day, he exclaimed " In- 
dependence FOREVER." When the day was ushered 
in, by the ringing of bells and the firing of cannons, 
he was asked by one of his attendants if he knew 
what day it was? He replied, " O yes ; it is the glor- 
ious fourth of July— God bless it — God bless you all." 
In the course of the day he said, "It is a great and 
glorious day." The last words he uttered were, 
"Jefferson survives." But he had, at one o'clock, re- 
signed his spirit into the hands of his God. 

The personal appearance and manners of Mr. 
Adams were not particularly prepossessinf. His face, 
as his portrait manifests.was intellectual aVd expres 
sive, bvit his figure was low and ungraceful, and h-s 
manners were frequently abrupt and unconrteous. 
He had neither the lofty dignity of Washington, not 
the engaging elegance and gracefulness which marked 
the manners and address of Jefferson. 




born April 2, 1743, at Shad- 
^well, Alberraarle county, Va. 
His parents were Peter and 
Jane ( Randolph ) Jefferson, 
the former a native of Wales, 
and the latter born in Lon- 
don. To them were born six 
daughters and two sons, of 
whom Thomas was the elder. 
When 14 years of age his 
father died. He received a 
most liberal education, hav- 
ing been kept diligently at school 
from the time he was five years of 
age. In 1760 he entered William 
end Mary College. Williamsburg was then the seat 
of the Colonial Court, and it was the obodeof fashion 
and splendor. Young Jefferson, who was then 17 
years old, lived somewhat expensively, keeping fine 
horses, and njuch caressed by gay society, yet he 
was earnestly devoted to his studies, and irreproacha- 
able in his morals. It is strange, however, under 
such influences,that he was not ruined. In the sec- 
ond year of his college course, moved by some un- 
explained inward impulse, he discarded his horses, 
society, and even his favorite violin, to which he had 
previously given much time. He often devoted fifteen 
hours a day to hard study, allowing himself for ex- 
ercise only a run in the evening twilight of a mile out 
of tTie city and back again. He thus attained very 
high intellectual culture, alike excellence in philoso- 
phy and the languages. The most difficult Latin and 
Greek authors he read with facility. A more finished 
scholar has seldom gone forth from college halls; and 

there was not to be found, perhaps, in all Virginia, a 
more pureminded, upright, gentlemanly young man. 

Immediately upon leaving college he began the 
study of law. For the short time he continued in the 
practice of his profession he rose rapidly and distin- 
guished himself by his energy and accuteness as a 
lawyer. But the times called for greater action. 
The policy of England had awakened the spirit of 
resistance of the American Colonies, and the enlarged 
views which Jefferson had ever entertained, soon led 
him into active political life. In 1769 he was choser 
a member of the Virginia House of Burgesses, In 
1772 he married Mrs. Martha Skelton, a very beauti- 
ful, wealthy and highly accomplished young widow 

Upon Mr. Jeffersbn's large estate atShadwell, there 
was a majestic swell of land, called Monticello, which 
commanded a prospect of wonderful extent and 
beauty. This spot Mr. Jefferson selected for his new 
home; and here he reared a mansion of modest yet 
elegant architecture, which, next to Mount Vernon 
became the most distinguished resort in our land. 

In 1775 he was sent to the Colonial Congress,, 
where, though a silent member, his abilities as a 
writer and a reasoner soon become known, and 'he 
was placed upon a number of important committees, 
and was chairman of the one appointed for the draw- 
ing up of a declaration of independence. This com- 
mittee consisted of Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, 
Benjamin Franklin, Roger Sherman and Robert R. 
Livingston. Jefferson, as chairman, was appointed 
to draw up the paper. Franklin and Adams suggested 
a few verbal changes before it was submitted to Con- 
gress. On June 28, a few slight changes were made 
in it by Congress, and it was passed and signed July 
4, 1776, What must have been the feelir<gs of ithat 



man — what the emotions that swelled his breast — 
frho was charged with the preparation of that Dec- 
laration, which, while it made known the wrongs of 
America, was also to publish her to the world, free, 
Boverign and independent. It is one of the most re- 
markable papers ever written ; and did no other effort 
of the mind of its author exist, that alone would be 
sufficient to stamp his name with immortality. 

In 1779 Mr. Jefferson was elected successor to 
Patrick Henry, as Governor of Virginia. At one time 
the British officer, Tarleton, sent a secret expedition to 
Moniicello, to capture the Governor. Scarcely five 
minutes elapsed after the hurried escape of Mr. Jef- 
ferson and his family, ere his mansion was in posses- 
sion of the British troops. His wife's health, never 
very good, was much injured by this excitement, and 
in the summer of 1782 she died. 

Mr. Jefferson was elected to Congress in 1783. 
Two years later he was appointed Minister Plenipo- 
tentiary to France. Returning to the United States 
in September, 1789, he became Secretary of State 
in Washington's cabinet. This position he resigned 
Jan. r, 1794. In 1797, he was chosen Vice Presi- 
dent, and four years later was elected President over 
Mr. Adams, with Aaron Burr as Vice President. In 
1804 he was re-elected with wonderful unanimity, 
and George Clinton, Vice President. 

The early part of Mr. Jefferson's second adminstra- 
tion was disturbed by an event which threatened the 
tranquility and peace of the Union ; this was the con- 
spiracy of Aaron Burr. Defeated in the late election 
to the Vice Presidency, and led on by an unprincipled 
ambition, this extraordinary man formed the plan of a 
military expedition into the Spanish territories on our 
southwestern frontier, for the purpose of forming there 
a new republic. This has been generally supposed 
was a mere pretext; and although it has not been 
generally known what his real plans were, there is no 
doubt that they were of a far more dangerous 

In 1809, at the expiration of the second term for 
which Mr. Jefferson had been elected, he determined 
to retire from political life. For a period of nearly 
forty years, he had been continually before the pub- 
lic, and all that time had been employed in offices of 
the greatest trust and responsibility. Having thus de- 
voted the best part of his life to the service of his 
country, he now felt desirous of that rest which his 
declining years required, and upon the organization of 
the new administration, in March, 1809, he bid fare- 
well forever to public life, and retired to Monticello. 

Mr. Jefferson was profuse in his hospitality. Whole 
families came in their coaches with their horses, — 
fathers and mothers, boys and girls, babies and 
nurses, — and remained three and even six months. 
Life at Monticello, for years, resembled that at a 
fashionable watering-place. 
The fourth of July, 1826, being the fiftieth anniver- 

sary of the Declaration of American Independence, 
great preparations were made in every part of the 
Union for its celebration, as the nation's jubilee, and 
the citizens of Washington, to add to the solemnity 
of the occasion, invited Mr. Jefferson, as the framer. 
and one of the few surviving signers of the Declara- 
tion, to participate in their testivitie.s. But an ill- 
ness, which had been of several weeks duration, and 
had been continually increasing, compelled him to 
decline the invitation. 

On the second of July, the disease under which 
he was laboring left him, but in such a reduced 
state that his medical attendants, entertained nc 
hope of his recovery. From this time he was perfectly 
sensible that his last hour was at hand. On the next 
day, which was Monday, he asked of those around 
him, the day of the month, and on being told it was 
the third of July, he expressed the earnest wish tha; 
he might be permitted to breathe the air of the fiftieth 
anniversary. His prayer was heard — that day, whose 
dawn was hailed with such rapture through our land, 
burst upon his eyes, and then they were closed for- 
ever. And what a noble consummation of a noble 
life ! To die on that day, — the birthday of a nation,- - 
the day which his own name and his own act had 
rendered glorious; to die amidst the rejoicings and 
festivities of a whole nation, who looked up to him, 
as the author, under God, of their greatest blessings, 
was all that was wanting to fill up the record his life. 

Almost at the same hour of his death, the kin- 
dred spirit of the venerable Adams, as if to bear 
him company, left the scene of his earthly honors. 
Hand in hand they had stood forth, the champions of 
freedom ; hand in hand, during the dark and desper- 
ate struggle of the Revolution, they had cheered and 
animated their desponding countrymen; for half a 
century they had labored together for the good of 
the country; and now hand in hand they depart. 
In their lives they had been united in the same great 
cause of liberty, and in their deaths they were not 

In person Mr. Jefferson was tall and thin, rather 
above six feet in height, but well formed; his eyes 
were light, his hair originally red, in after life became 
white and silvery; his complexion was fair, his fore 
head broad, and his whole countenance intelligent and 
thoughtful. He possessed great fortitude of mind as 
well as personal courage ; and his command of tem- 
per was such that his oldest and most intimate friends 
never recollected to have seen him in a passion. 
His manners, though dignified, were simple and un- 
affected, and his hospitality was so unbounded that 
all found at his house a ready welcome. In conver- 
sation he was fluent, eloquent and enthusiastic ; and 
his language was remarkably pure and correct. He 
was a finished classical scholar, and in his writings is 
discernable the care with which he formed his style 
upon the best models of antiquity. 

/■ (2A^<^^^ -ot^ it<~M-^-( £: 




of the Constitution," and fourth 
President of the United States, 
was born March i6, 1757, and 
died at his home in Virginia, 
June 28, 1836. The name of 
James Madison is inseparably con- 
nected with most of the important 
events in that heroic period of our 
country during which the founda- 
tions of this great republic were 
laid- He was the last of the founders 
of the Constitution of the United 
States to be called to his eternal 

The Madison family were among 
the early emigrants to the New World, 
landing upon the shores of the Chesa- 
.peake but '15 years after the settle- 
ment of Jamestown. The father of 
James Madison was an opulent 
glanter, residing upon a very fine es- 
tate called " Montpelier," Oxange Co., 
Va. The mansion was situated in 
the midst of scenery highly pictur- 
esque and romantic, oh the west side 
of South-west Mountain, at the foot of 
Blue Ridge. It was but 25 miles from the home of 
Jefferson at Monticello. The closest personal and 
political attachment existed between these illustrious 
men, from their early youth until death. 

The early education of Mr. Madison was conducteii 
mostly at home under a private tutor. At the age of 
18 he was sent to Princeton College, in New Jersey. 
Here he applied himself to study with the most im- 

prudent zeal; allowing himself, for months, but three 
hours' sleep out of the 24. His health thus became so 
seriously impaired that he never recovered any vigor 
of constitution. He graduated in 177 1. with a feeble 
body, with a character of utmost purity, and with a 
mind highly disciplined and richly stored with learning 
which embellished and gave proficiency to his subsf 
quent career. 

Returning to Virginia, he commenced the study of 
law and a course of extensive and systematic reading. 
. This educational course, the spirit of the times in 
which he lived, and the society with which he asso- 
ciated, all combined to inspire him with a strong, 
love of liberty, and to train him for his life-work ot 
a statesman. Being naturally of a religious turn of 
mind, and his frail health leading him to think that 
his life was not to be long, he directed especial atten- 
tion to theological studies. Endowed with a mind 
singularly free from passion and prejudice, and with 
almost unequalled powers of reasoning, he weighed 
all the arguments for and against revealed religion, 
until his faith became so established as rlever to 
be shaken. 

In the spring (if 1776, when 26 years of age, he 
was elected a member of the Virginia Convention, to 
frame the constitution of the State. The next year 
(1777), he was a candidate for the General Assembly. 
He refused to treat the whisky-loving voters, and 
consequently lost his election ; but those who had 
witnessed the talent, energy and public spirit of the 
modest young man, enlisted themselves in his behalf, 
and he was appointed to the Executive Council. 

Both Patrick Henry and Thomas Jefferson were 
Governors of Virginia while Mr. Madison remained 
member of the Council ; and their appreciation of his 



intellectual, social and moral worth, contributed not 
a little to his subsequent eminence. In the year 
1780, he was elected a member of the Continental 
Congress. Here he met the most illustrious men in 
our land, and he was immediately assigned to one of 
the most conspicuous positions among them. 

For three years Mr. Madison continued in Con- 
gress, one of its most active and influential members. 
In the year 1784, his term having expired, he was 
elected a member of the Virginia Legislature. 

No man felt more deeply than Mr. Madison the 
utter inefficiency of the old confederacy, with no na- 
tional government, with no power to form treaties 
which would be binding, or to enforce law. There 
was not any State more prominent than Virginia in 
the declaration, that an efficient national government 
must be formed. In January, 1786, Mr. Madison 
carried a resolution through the General Assembly of 
Virginia, inviting the other States to appoint commis- 
sioners to meet in convention at Annapolis to discuss 
this subject. Five States only were represented. The 
convention, however, issued another call, drawn up 
by Mr. Madison, urging all the States to send their 
delegates to Philadelphia, in May, 1787, to draft 
a Constitution for the United States, to take the place 
of that Confederate League. The delegates met at 
the time appointed. Every State but Rhode Island 
•^as represented. George Washington was chosen 
president of the convention ; and the present Consti- 
tution of the United States was then and there formed. 
There was, perhaps, no mind and no pen more ac- 
tive in framing this immortal document than the mind 
and the pen of James Madison. 

The Constitution, adopted by a vote 81 to 79, was 
to be presented to the several States for acceptance. 
But grave solicitude was felt. Should it be rejected 
we should be left but a conglomeration of independent 
States, with but little power at home and little respect 
abroad. Mr. Madison was selected by ttie conven- 
tion to draw up an address to the people of the United 
States, expounding the principles of the Constitution, 
and urging its adoption. There was great opposition 
to it at first, but it at length triumphed over all, and 
went into effect in 1789. 

Mr. Madison was elected to the House of Repre- 
sentatives in the first Congress, and soon became the 
avowed leader of the Republican party. While in 
New York attending Congress, he met Mrs Todd, a 
young widow of remarkable power of fascination, 
whom he married. She was in person and character 
queenly, and probably no lady has thus far occupied 
so prominent a position in the very peculiar society 
which has constituted our republican court as Mrs. 

Mr. Madison served as Secretary of State under 
Jefferson, and at the close of his administration 
was chosen President. At this time the encroach- 
ments of England had brought us to the verge of war. 

British orders in council destioyed our commerce, and 
our flag was exposed to constant insult. Mr. Madison 
was a man of peace. Scholarly in his taste, retiring 
in his disposition, war had no charms for liim. But the 
meekest spirit can be roused. It makes one's blood 
boil, even now, to think of an American ship brought 
to, upon the ocean, by the guns of an English cruiser. 
A young lieutenant steps on board and orders the 
crew to be paraded before him. With great nonchal- 
ance he selects any number whom he may please to 
designate as British subjects ; orders them down the 
ship's side into his boat; and places them on the gun- 
deck of his man-of-war, to fight, by compulsion, the 
battles of England. This right of search and im- 
pressment, no efforts of our Government could induce 
the British cabinet to relinquish. 

On the 1 8th of June, i8r2. President Madison gave 
his approval to an act of Congress declaring war 
against Great Britain. Notwithstanding the bitter 
hostility of the Federal party to the war, the country 
in general approved; and Mr. Madison, on the 4th 
of March, r8i3, was re-elected by a large majority, 
and entered upon his second term of office. This is 
not the place to describe the various adventures of 
this war on the land and on the water. Our infan'. 
navy then laid the foundations of its renown in grap- 
pling v.'ith the most formidable power which ever 
swept the seas. The contest commenced in earnest 
by the appearance of a British fleet, early in February, 
18 13, in Chesapeake Bay, declaring nearly the whole 
coast of the United States under blockade. 

The Emperor of Russia offered his services as me 
ditator. America accepted ; England refused. A Brit- 
ish force of five thousand men landed on the banks 
of the Patuxet River, near its entrance into Chesa- 
peake Bay, and marched rapidly, by way of Bladens- 
burg, upon Washington. 

The straggling littl^ city.of Washington was thrown 
into consternation. The cannon of the brief conflict 
at Bladensburg echoed through the streets of the 
metropolis. The whole population fled from the city. 
The President, leaving Mrs. Madison in the White 
House, with her carriage drawn up at the doer to 
await his speedy return, hurried to meet the officers 
m a council of war He met our troops utterly routed, 
and he could not go back without danger of being 
captured. But few hours elapsed ere the Presidential 
Mansion, the Capitol, and all the public buildings in 
Washington were in flames. 

The war closed after two years of fighting, and on 
Feb. 13, i8i5,the treaty of peace was signed atGhent. 

On the 4th of March, 1817, his second term of 
office expired, and he resigned the Presidenrial chair 
to his friend, James Monroe. He retired to his beau- 
tiful home at Montpelier, and there passed the re- 
mainder of his days. On June 28, 1836, then at the 
age of 85 years, he fell asleep in death. Mrs. Madi- 
son died July 12, 1849. 

' .%^- 


7 /-^ 

''^ > C'^^ 



1JW& wmm- 

AMES MONROE, the fifth 
President of The United States, 
was born in Westmoreland Co., 
Va., April 28, 1758. His early 
life was passed at the place of 
nativity. His ancestors had for 
many years resided in the prov- 
ince in which he was born. When, 
,, at 17 years of age, in the process 
P*> of completing his education at 
William and Mary College, the Co- 
lonial Congress assembled at Phila- 
delphia to deliberate upon the un- 
just and manifold oppressions of 
Great Britian, declared the separa- 
tion of the Colonies, and promul- 
gated the Declaration of Indepen- 
dence. Had he been born ten years before it is highly 
probable that he would have been one of the signers 
of that celebrated instrument. At this time he left 
schpol and enlisted among tlie patriots. 

He joined the army when everything looked hope- 
less and gloomy. The number of deserters increased 
from day to day. The invading armies came pouring 
in ; and the tories not only favored the cause of the 
mother country, but disheartened the new recruits, 
who were sufficiently terrified at the prospect of con- 
tending with an enemy whom they had been taught 
to deem invincible. To such brave spirits as James 
Monroe, who went right onward, undismayed through 
difficulty and danger, the United States owe their 
political emancipation. The young cadet joined the 
ranks, and espoused the cause of his injured country, 
with a firm determination to live or die with her strife 

for liberty. Firmly yet sadly he shared in the mel- 
ancholy retreat from Harleam Heights and White 
Plains, and accompanied the dispirited army as it fled 
before its foes through New Jersey. In four months 
after the Declaration of Independence, the patriots 
had been beaten in seven battles. At the battle of 
Trenton he led the vanguard, and, in the act of charg- 
ing upon the enemy he received a wound in tlie left 

As a reward for his bravery, Mr. Monroe was pro- 
moted a captain of infantry ; and, having recovered 
from his wound, he rejoined the army. He, however, 
receded from the line of promotion, by becoming an 
officer in the staff of Lord Sterling. During the cam- 
paigns of t777 and 1778, in the actions of r>randy 
wine, Germantown and Monmouth, he continued 
aid-de-camp ; but becoming desirous to regain his 
position in the army, he exerted himself to collect a 
regiment for the Virginia line. This scheme failed 
owing to the exhausted condition of the State. Upon 
this failure he entered the office of Mr. Jefferson, at 
that period Governor, and pursued, with considerable 
ardor, the study of common law. He did not, however, 
entirely lay aside the knapsack for the green bag ; 
but on the invasions of the enemy, served as avolun 
teer, during the two years of his legal pursuits. 

In 1782, he was elected from King George county, 
a member of the Leglislature of Virginia, and by that 
body he was elevated to a seat in the Executive 
Council. Pie was thus honored with the confidence 
of his fellow citizens at 23 years of age ; and having 
at this early period displayed some of that ability 
and aptitude for legislation, which were afterwards 
employed with unremitting energy for the public good, 



lie was in the succeeding year chosen a member of 
ihe Congress of the United States. 
Deeply as Mr. Monroe felt the imperfections of the old 
Confederacy, he was opposed to the new Constitution, 
ihinkiug, with many others of "ihe Republican party, 
^hat it gave too much power to the Central Government, 
and not enough to the individual States. Still he re- 
tained the esteem of his friends who were its warm 
supporters, and who, notwithstanding his opposition 
■ secured its adoption. In 1789, he became a member 
of the United States Senate ; which office he held for 
four years. Every month the line of distinction be- 
tween the two great parties which divided the nation, 
the Federal and the Republican, was growing more 
distinct. The two prominent ideas which now sep- 
arated them were, that the Republican party was in 
sympathy with France, and also in favor of such a 
strict construction of the Constitution as to give the 
Central Government as little power, and the State 
Governments as much power, as the Constitution would 
warrant. The Federalists sympathized with England, 
and were in favor of a liberal construction of the Con- 
stitution, which would give as much power to the 
Central Government as that document could possibly 

The leading Federalists and Republicans were 
alike noble men, consecrating all their energies to the 
good of the nation. Two more honest men or more 
pure patriots than John Adams the Federalist, and 
James Monroe the Republican, never breathed. In 
building up this majestic nation, which is destined 
to eclipse all Grecian and Assyrian greatness, the com- 
bination of their antagonism was needed to create the 
light equilibrium. And yet each in his day was de- 
nounced as almost a demon. 

Washington was then President. England had es- 
poused the cause of the Bourbons against the princi- 
ples of the French Revolution. All Europe was drawn 
into the conflict. We were feeble and far away. 
Washington issued a proclamation of neutrality be- 
tween these contending powers. France had helped 
us in the struggle for our liberties. All the despotisms 
of Europe were now combined to prevent the French 
from escaping from a tyranny a thousand-fold worse 
than that which we had endured Col. Monroe, more 
magnanimous than prudent, was anxious that, at 
whatever hazard, we should help our old allies in 
their extremity. It was the impulse of a generous 
and noble nature. He violently opposed the Pres- 
ident's proclamation as ungrateful and wanting in 

Washington, who could appreciate such a character, 
developed his calm, serene, almost divine greatness 
by appointing that very James Monroe, who was de- 
nouncing the policy of the Government, as the minister 
of that Government to the Republic of France. Mr. 
Monroe was welcomed by the National Convention 
in France with the most enthusiastic demonstr/>.tions. 

Shortly after his return to this country, Mr. Mon- 
roe was elected Governor of Virginia, and held the 
office for three yeais. He was again sent to France to 
co-operate with Chancellor Livingston in obtaining 
the vast territory then known as the Province of 
Louisiana, which France had but shortly before ob- 
tained from Spain. Their united efforts were suc- 
cessful. For the comparatively small sum of fifteen 
millions of dollars, the entire territory of Orleans and 
district of Louisiana .were added to the United States, 
This was probably the largest transfer of real estate 
which was ever made in all the history of the world. 
From France Mr. Monroe went to England to ob- 
tain from that country some recognition of our 
rights as neutrals, and to remonstrate against those 
odious impressments of our seamen. But Eng- 
land was unrelenting. He again returned to Eng- 
land on the same mission, but could receive no 
redress. He returned to his home and was again 
chosen Governor of Virginia. This he soon resigned 
to accept the position of Secretary of State undei' 
Madison. While in this office war with England was 
declared, the Secretary of War resigned, and during 
these trying times, the duties of the War Departmen; 
were also put upon him. He was truly the armor- 
bearer of President Madison, and the most efficient 
business man in his cabinet. Upon the return of 
peace he resigned the Department of War, but con- 
tinued in the office of Secretary of State until' the ex- 
piration of Mr. Madison's adminstration. At the elec- 
tion l\eld the previous autumn Mr. Monroe himself had 
been chosen President with but Uttle opposition, and 
upon March 4, 1817, was inaugurated. Four years 
later he was elected for a second term. 

Among the important measures of his Presidency 
were the cession of Florida to the United States ; the 
Missouri Compromise, and the " Monroe doctrine.' 
This famous doctrine, since Ifnown as the " Monroe 
doctrine," was enunciated by him in 1823. At that 
time the United States had recognized the independ- 
ence of the South American states, and did not wish 
to have European powers longer attempting to sub 
due portions of the American Continent. The doctrine 
is as follows: "That we should consider any attempt 
on the part of European powers to extend their sys-. 
tem to any portion of this hemisphere as dangerous 
to our peace and safety," and "that we could not 
view any interposition for the purpose of oppressing 
or controlling American governments or provinces in 
any other light than as a manifestation by Europear. 
powers of an unfriendly disposition toward the United 
States." This doctrine immediately afTected the course 
of foreign governments, and has become the approved 
sentiment of the United States. 

At the end of his fecond term Mr. Monroe retired 
to his home in Virginia, where he lived uniil 1830 
when he went to New York to live with his son-in 
law. In that city he died.on the 4th of July; 1831 ■ 

I ^-t-^JSV^fJV^ 

X 5, At 




sixth President of the United 
'States, was born in the rural 
home of his honored father, 
John Adams, in Quincy, Mass., 
on the I ith cf July, 1767. His 
mother, a woman of exalted 
worth, watched over his childhood 
during the almost constant ab- 
sence of his father. When but 
eight years of age, he stood with 
his mother on an eminence, listen- 
ing to the booming of the great bat- 
tle on Bunker's Hill, and gazing on 
upon the smoke and flames billow- 
ing up from the conflagration of 

When but eleven years old he 
took a tearful adieu of his mother, 
to sail with his fainer for Europe, 
through a fleet ol hostile British cruisers. The bright, 
animated boy spent a year and a half in Paris, where 
his father was associated with Franklin and Lee as 
minister plenipotentiary. His intelligence attracted 
the notice of these distinguished men, and he received 
from them flattering marks of attention. 

Mr. John Adams had scarcely returned to this 
cour.try, in 1779, ere he was again sent abroad. Again 
John Quincy accompanied his father. At Paris he 
applied himself with great diligence, for six months, 
to 3tudy; then accompained his father to Holland, 
where he entered, first a school in Amsterdam, then 
the University at Leyden. About a year from this 
time, in i78r, when the manly boy was but fourteen 
vea's of age, he was selected by Mr. Dana, our min- 
ister to the Russian court, as his private secretary. 

In' this school of incessant labor and of enobling 
culture he spent fourteen months, and then returned 
to Holland through Sweden, Denmark, Hamburg and 
Bremen. This long journey he took alone, in the 
wnter, when in his sixteenth year. Again he resumed 
MS studies, under a pp"ate tutor, at Hague. Thence, 

in the spring of r782, he accompanied his father tj 
Paris, traveling leisurely, and forming acquaintanct 
with the most distinguished men on the Continent 
examining architectural remains, galleries of paintings 
and all renowned works of art. At Paris he again 
became associated with the most illustrious men of 
all lands in the contemplations of the loftiest temporal 
themes which can engross the human mind. After 
a short visit to England he returned to Paris, and 
consecrated all his energies to study until May, 1785, 
when he returned to America. To a brilliant young 
man of eighteen, who had seen much of the world, 
and who was familiar with the etiquette of courts, a 
residence with his father in London, under such cir- 
cumstances, must have been extremely attractive 
but with judgment very rare in one of his age, he pre- 
ferred to return to America to complete his education 
in an American college. He wished then to study 
law, that with an honorable profession, he might be 
able to obtain an independent support. 

Upon leaving Harvard College, at the age of twenty 
he studied law for three years. In June, 1794, be- 
ing then but twenty-seven years of age, he was ap- 
pointed by Washington, resident minister at the 
Netherlands. Sailing from Boston in July, he reached 
London in October, where he was immediately admit- 
ted to the deliberations of Messrs. Jay and Pinckney. 
assisting them in negotiating a commercial treaty with 
Great Brilian. After thus spending a fortnight i, 
London, he proceeded to the Hague. 

In July, 1797, he left the Hague to go to Portugal as 
minister plenipotentiary. On his way to Portugal, 
upon arriving in London, he met with despatches 
directing him to the court of Berlin, but requesring 
him to remain in London unril he should receive his 
instructions. While waiting he was married to ar 
American lady to whom he had been previously en- 
gaged, — Miss Louisa Catherine Johnson, daughte 
of Mr. Joshua Johnson, American consul in London 
a lady endownd with that beauty and those accom- 
plishment which eminently fitted her to move in fiit 
elevated sphere for which she w»a i^^ss^ioed 



He reached Berlin with his wife in November, 1797 ; 
where he remained until July, 1799, when, havingful- 
fiUed all the purposes of his mission, he soHcited his 

Soon after his return, in 1802, he was chosen to 
(he Senate of Massachusetts, from Boston, and then 
was elected Senator of the United States for six years, 
from the 4th of March, 1804. His reputation, his 
ability and his experience, placed him immediately 
among the most prominent and influential members 
of that body. Especially did he sustain the Govern- 
ment in its measures of resistance to the encroach- 
ments of England, destroying our commerce and in- 
sulting our flag. There was no man in America more 
familiar with the arrogance of the British court upon 
these points, and no one more resolved to present 
a firm resistance. 

In rSog, Madison succeeded Jefferson in the Pres- 
idential chair, and he immediately nominated John 
Qiiincy Adams minister to St. -Petersburg. Resign- 
ing his professorship in Harvard College, he embarked 
at Boston, in August, 1809. 

While in Russia, Mr. Adams was an intense stu- 
dent. He devoted his attention to the language and 
history of Russia; to the Chinese trade; to the 
European system of weights, measures, and coins ; to 
the climate and astronomical observations ; while he 
Kept up a familiar acquaintance with the Greek and 
Latin classics. In all the universities of Europe, a 
more accomplished scholar could scarcely be found. 
All through hfe the Bible constituted an important 
-part of his studies. It was his rule to read five 
chapters every day. 

On the 4th of March, 1817, Mr. Monroe took the 
Presidential chair, and immediately appointed Mr. 
Adams Secretary of State. Taking leave of his num- 
erous friends in public and private life in Europe, he 
sailed in June, rSrg, for the United States. On the 
1 8th of August, he again crossed the threshold of his 
home in Quincy. During the eight years of Mr. Mon- 
roe's administration, Mr, Adams continued Secretary 
of State. 

Some time before the close of Mr. Monroe's second 
term of dffice, new candidates began to be presented 
for the Presidency. The friends of Mr. Adams brought 
forward his name. It was an exciting campaign. 
Party spirit was never more bitter. Two hundred and 
sixty electoral votes were cast. Andrew Jackson re- 
ceived ninety-nine ; John Quincy Adams, eighty-four; 
William H. Crawford, forty -one ; Henry Clay, thirty- 
seven. As there was no choice by the people, the 
question went to the House of Representatives. Mr. 
Clay gave the vote of Kentucky to Mr. Adams, and 
he was elected. 

The friends of all the disappointed candidates now 
iombined in a venomous and persistent assault upon 
Mr. Adams. There is nothing more disgraceful in 
"he pa-st history of our country than the abuse which 

tvas poured in one uninterrupted stream, upon this 
high-minded, upright, patriotic man. There never was 
an administration more pure in principles, more con- 
scientiously devoted to the best interests of the coun- 
try, than that of John Quincy Adams ; and never, per- 
haps, was there an administration more unscrupu- 
lously and outrageously assailed. 

Mr. Adams was, to a very remarkable degree, ab- 
stemious and temperate in his habits; always rising 
early, and taking much exercise. When at his homein 
Quincy, he has been known to walk, before breakfast, 
seven miles to Boston. In Washington, it was said 
that he was the first man up in the city, lighting his 
own fire and applying himself to work in his library 
often long before dawn. 

On the 4th of March, rSzg, Mr. Adams retired 
from the Presidency, and was succeeded by Andrew 
Jackson. John C. Calhoun was elected Vice Presi- 
dent. The slavery question row began to assunae 
portentous magnitude. Mr. Adams returned to 
Quincy and to his studies, which he pursued with un- 
abated zeal. But he was not long permitted to re- 
main in retirement. In November, 1830, he was 
elected representative to Congress. For seventeen 
years, until his death, he occupied the post as repre- 
sentative, towering above all his peers, ever ready to 
do brave battle' for freedom, and winning the title of 
"the old man eloquent." Upon taking his seat in 
the House, he announced that he should hold him- 
self bound to no party. Probably there never was a 
member more devoted to his duties. He was usually 
the first in his place in the morning, and the last to 
leave his seat in the evening. Not a measure could 
be brought forward and escape his scrutiny. '1 he 
battle which Mr. Adams fought, almost singly, against 
the proslavery party in the Government, was sublime 
in Its moral dating and heroism. For persisting in 
presenting petitions for ihe abolition of slavery, he 
was threatened with indictment by the grand jury 
with expulsion from the House, with assassination 
but no threats could intimidate him, and his final 
triumph was complete. 

It has been said of President Adams, that when his 
body was bent and his hair silvered by the lapse of 
fourscore years, yielding to the- simple faith of a little 
child, he was accustomed to repeat every night, before 
he slept, the prajer which his mother taught him in 
his infant years. 

On the 2istof February, r848, he rose on the floor 
of Congress, with a paper in his hand, to address the 
speaker. Suddenly he fell, again stricken by paraly 
sis, and was caught in the arms of those around him. 
For a time he was senseless, as he was conveyed to 
the sofa in the rotunda. With reviving conscious- 
ness, he opened his eyes, looked calmly around and 
said " This is the end of earth ;"then after a monient's 
pause he added, "■ I am content" These were the 
last words of the grand "Old Man Eloquent' 





-\aa££/®^'*^ "'siti 

seventh President of the 
"United States, was born in 
Waxhaw settlement, N. C, 
March 15, 1767, a few days 
after his father's death. His 
parents were poor emigrants 
from Ireland, and took up 
their abode in Waxhaw set- 
tlement, where they lived in 
deepest poverty. 
Andrew, or Andy, as he was 
universally called, grew up a very 
rough, rude, turbulent boy. His 
features were coarse, his form un- 
gainly, and there was but very 
little in his character, made visible, which was at- 

When only thirteen years old he joined the volun- 
teers of Carolina against the British invasion. In 
1781, he andhis brother Robert were captured and 
imprisoned for a time at Camden. A British officer 
ordered' him to brush his mud-spattered boots. " I am 
a prisoner of war, not your servant," was the reply of 
the dauntless boy. 
, The brute drew his sword, and aimed a desperate 
Dlow at the head of the helpless young prisoner. 
Andre* raised his hand, and thus received two fear- 
ful gashes, — one on the hand and the other upon the 
head. The officer then turned to his brother Robert 
'OTth the sarrie demand. He also refused, and re- 
ceived a blow from the keen-edged sabre, which quite 
disabled him, and which probably soon after caused 
his death. They suffered much other ill-treatment, and 
were finally ■ stricken with the small-pox. Their 
mother was successful 'f> x'otaining their exchange, 

and took her sick boys home. After a long illn JSi. 
Andrew recovered, and the death of his mother «oon 
left him entirely friendless. 

Andrew supported himself in various ways, s i;h as 
working at the saddler's trade, teaching school and 
clerking in a general store, until 1784, when he 
entered a law office at Salisbury, N. C. He, however, 
gave more attention to the wild amusements of the 
times than to his studies. In 1788, he was appointed 
solicitor for the western district of North Carolina, of 
which Tennessee was then a part. This involved 
many long and tedious journeys amid dangers of 
every kind, but Andrew Jackson never knew fear, 
and the Indians had no desire to repeat a skirmish 
witn the Sharp Knife. 

In 1791, Mr. Jackson was married to a woman who 
supposed herself divorced from her former husband. 
Great was the surprise of both parties, two years later, 
to find that the conditions of the divorce had just been 
definitely settled by the first husband. The marriage 
ceremony was performed a second time, but the occur- 
rence was often used by his enemies to bring Mr. 
Jackson into disfavor. 

During these years he worked hard at his profes 
sion, and frequently had one or mote duels on hand, 
one of which, when he killed Dickenson, was espec- 
ially disgraceful. 

In January, 1796, the Territory of Tennessee then 
containing nearly eighty thousand inhabitants, the 
people met in convention at Knoxville to frame a con- 
stitution. Five were sent from each of the eleven 
counties. Andrew Jackson was one of the delegates. 
The new State was entitled to but one member is 
the National House of Representatives. Andrew JacTc- 
son was chosen that member. Mounting his horse he 
rode to Philedelphia, where Congress then held its 



sessions, — a distance of about eight liLindred miles. 

Jackson was an earnest advocate of the Demo- 
cratic party. Jefferson was his idol. He admired 
Bonaparte, loved France and hated England. As Mr. 
Jackson took his seal, Gjn. Washington, whose 
second term of office was then expiring, delivered his 
last speech to Congress. A committee drew up a 
complimentary address in reply. Andrew Jackson 
did not approve of the address, and was one of the 
twelve who voted against it. He was not willing to 
say that Gen. Washington's admlnstration had been 
" wise, firm and patriotic." 

Mr. Jackson was elected to the United States 
Senate in 1797, but soon resigned and returned home. 
Soon after he was chosen Judge of the Supreme Court 
of his State, which position he held for six years. 

When the war of 1812 with Great Britian com- 
menced, Madison occupied the Presidential chair. 
Aaron Burr sent word to the President that there was 
an unknown man in the West, Andrew Jackson, who 
would do credit to a commission if one were con- 
ferred upon him. Just at that time Gen. Jackson 
jffeied his services and those of twenty-five hundred 
volunteers. His offer was accepted, and the troops 
were assembled at Nashville. 

As the British were hourly expected to make an at- 
tack upon New Orleans, where Gen Wilkinson was 
in command, he was ordered to descend the river 
with fifteen hundred troops to aid Wilkinson. The 
expedition reached Natchez; and after a delay of sev 
era] weeks there, without accomplishing anything, 
the men were ordered back to their homes. But the 
'energy Gen. Jackson had displayed, and his entire 
devotion to the comrfort of his soldiers, won him 
golden opinions; and he became the most popular 
man in the State. It was in this expedition that his 
toughness gave him the nickname of "Old Hickory." 
Soon after this, while attempting to horsewhip Col. 
Thomas H. Benton, for a remark that gentleman 
made about his taking a part as second in a duel, in 
which a younger brother of Benton's was engaged^ 
he received two severe pistol wounds. While he was 
lingering upon a bed of suffering news came that the 
Indians, who had combined under Tecumseh from 
Florida to the Lakes, to exterminate the white set- 
lers, were committing the most awful ravages. De- 
cisive action became necessary. Gen. Jackson, with 
his fractured bone just beginning to heal, his arm in 
a sling, and unable to mount his horse without assis- 
tance, gave his amazing energies to the raising of an 
army to rendezvous at Fayettesyille, Alabama. 

The Creek Indians had established a strong fort on 
one of the bends of the Tallapoosa River, near the cen- 
ter of Alabama, about fifty miles below Fort Strother. 
"With an army of two tho'isand men, Gen. Jackson 
traversed the pathless wilderness in a march of eleven 
days. He reached their fort, called Tohopeka or 
Horse-shoe, on the 27th of March. 1814. The bend 

of the river enclosed nearly one hundred acres of 
tangled forest and wild ravine. Across the narrow > 
neck the Indians hadconsiructed a formidable breast- 
work of logs and brush. Here nine hundred warriors, 
with an ample suplyof arn.s were assembled. 

The fort was stormed. 'l"he fight was utterly des- 
perate. Not an Indian would accept of quarter. When 
bleeding and dying, they would fight those who en- 
deavored to spare their lives. From ten in the morn- 
ing until dark, the battle raged. The carnage was 
awful and revolting. Some threw themselves into the 
river; but the unerring bullet struck their heads as 
they swam. Nearly everyone of the ninehundred war- 
rios were killed A few probably, in the night, swam 
the river and escaped. This ended the war. The 
power of the Creeks was broken forever. This bold 
plunge into the wilderness, with its terriffic slaughter, 
so appalled the savages, that the haggard remnants 
of the bands came to the camp, begging for peace. 

This closing of the Creek war enabled us to con- 
centrate all our militia upon the British, who were the 
allies of the Indians No man of less resolute will 
than Gen. Jackson could have conducted this Indian 
campaign to so successful an issue Immediately he 
was appointed major-general. 

Late in August, with an army of two thousand 
men, on a rushing march. Gen. Jacksoii came to 
Mobile. A British fleet came from Pen sacola, landed 
a force upon the beach, anchored near the little fort, 
and from both ship and shore commenced a furious 
assault The battle was long and doubtful. At length 
one of the ships was blown up and the rest retired. 
Garrisoning Mobile, where he had taken his little 
army, he moved his troops to New Orleans, 
And the battle of New Orleans which soon enshed, 
was in reality a very arduous campaign. This won 
for Gen. Jackson an imperishable name. Here his 
troops, which numbered about four thousand men, 
won a signal victory over the British army of about 
nine thousand. His loss was but thirteen, while the 
loss of the British was two thousand six hundred; 

The name of Gen. Jackson soon began to be men- 
tioned in connection with the Presidency, but, in 1824, 
he was defeated by Mr. Adams. He was, however, 
successful in the election of 1828, and was re-elected 
for a second term in 1832. In r829, just before he 
assumed the reins of the government, he met with 
the most terrible affliction of his life in the death of 
his wife, whom he had loved with a devotion which has 
perhaps never been surpassed. From the shock of 
her death he never recovered. 

_ His administration was one of the most rac-morabie 
m the annals of our country; appiaude/d oyone party, 
condemned by the other. No man had more bitter 
enemies or warmer friends. At the expiration of his 
two terms of office he retiretj to the Hermitage, where 
he died June 8, r845. The last years of Mr. Jack- 
son s life were that of a devoted Christian maii. 

•^s^"- '■n^... 

y 7 'i-z^a^,. ^^-i^yu^c.^ 


eighth President of the 
United States, was born at 
Kinderhook, N. Y., Dec. 5, 
1782. He died at the same 
place, July 24, 1862. His 
body rests in the cemetery 
at Kinderhook. Above it is 
a plain granite shaft fifteen feet 
high, bearing a simple inscription 
about half way up on one face. 
The lot is unfenced, unbordered 
or unbounded by shrub or flower. 

There is but Uttle in the life of Martin Van Buren 
,of romantic interest. He fought no battles, engaged 
; in no wild adventures. Though his life was stormy in 
' political and intellectual conflicts, and he gained many 
signal victories, his day? passed uneventful in those 
incidents which give zest to biography. His an- 
. cestors, as his name indicates, were of Dutch origin, 
, and were among the earUest emigrants from Holland 
to the banks of the Hudson. His father was a farmer, 
residing in the old town of Kinderhook. His mother, 
also of Dutch lineage, was a woman of superior intel- 
ligence and exemplary piety. 

A& was decidedly a precocious boy, developing un- 
rusual activity, vigor and strength of mind. At the 
"age of fourteen, he had finished his academic studies 
■<n his native village, and commenced the study of 
law. As he had not a collegiate education, seven 
years of study in a law-office were required of him 
•■^ioK he could be admitted to the bar. Inspired with 
^ lofty ambition, and conscious of his powers, he pur- 
sued his studies with indefatigable industry. After 
spending .six ye;ir-; in an office in Hs native village,- 

he went to the city of New York, and prosecuted hi^ 
studies for the seventh year. 

In 1803, Mr. Van Buren, then twenty-one years 0I 
age, commenced the practice of law in his native vil- 
lage. The great conflict between the Federal and 
Republican party was then at its height. Mr. Van 
Buren was from the beginning a politician. He 4iad, 
perhaps, imbibed that spirit while listening to the 
many discussions which had been carried on in his 
father's hotel. He was in cordial sympathy with 
Jefferson, and earnestly and eloquently espoused the 
cause of State Rights ; though at thai time the Fed- 
eral party held the supremacy, both in his town 
and State. 

His success and increasing ruputation led him 
after six years of practice, to remove to -Hudson, th<' 
county seat of his county. Here he spent seven years 
constantly gaining strength by contending in thft 
courts with some of the ablest men who have adorned 
the bar of his State. 

Just before leaving Kinderhook for Hudson, Mi. 
Van Buren married a lady alike distinguished for 
beauty and accompUshments. After twelve short 
years she sank into the grave, the victim of consump- 
tion, leaving her husband and four sons to weep over 
her loss. For twenty-five years, Mr. Van Buren was 
an earnest, successful, assiduous lawyer. The record 
of those years is barren in items of public interest. 
In t8i 2, when thirty years of age, he was chosen to 
the State Senate, and gave his strenuous support to 
Mr. Madison's adminstration. In 1815, he was ap- 
pointed Attorney-General, and the next year moved 
to Albany, the capital of the State. 

While he was acknow'ledged as one of the most 
piominent leaders of ths Democratic party, he had 



the moral courage to avow that true democracy did 
not require that '' universal suffrage" which admits 
the vile, the degraded, the ignorant, to the right of 
governing the State. In true consistency with his 
democratic principles, he contended that, while the 
path leading to the privilege of voting should be open 
to every man without distinction, no one should be 
invested with that sacred prerogative, unless he were 
in some degree qualified for it by intelligence, virtue 
and some property interests in the welfare of the 

In 182 1 he was elected ;. member of the JJnited 
States Senate; and in the same year, he took a seat 
in the convention to revise the constitution of his 
/lative State. His course in this convention secured 
the approval of men of all parties. No one could 
doubt the singleness of his endeavors to promote the 
interests of all classes in the community. In the 
Senate of the United States, he rose at once to a 
conspicuous position as an active and useful legislator. 
In 1827, John Quincy Adams being then in the 
Presidential chair, Mr. Van Buren was re-elected to 
.he Senate. He had been from the beginning a de- 
lermined opposer of the Administration, adopting the 
'State Rights" view in opposition to what was 
deemed the Federal proclivities of Mr. Adams. 

Soon after this, in 1828, he was chosen Governorof 
the State of New York, and accordingly resigned his 
seat in the Senate. Probably no one in the United 
States contributed so much towards ejecting John Q. 
Adams from the Presidential chair, and placing in it 
Andrew Jackson, as did Martin Van Buren. Whether 
entitled to the reputation or not, he certainly was re- 
garded throughout the United States as one of the 
'.nost skillful, sagacious and cunning of politicians 
It was supposed that no one knew so well as he how 
to touch the secret springs of action; how to pull all 
;he wires to put his machinery in motion ; and how to 
organize a political army which would, secretly and 
;tepUhily accomplish the most gigantic results. By 
these powers it is said tliat he outwitted Mr. Adams, 
Mr. Clay, Mr. Webster, and secured results which 
few thought then could be accomplished. 

When Andrew Jackson was elected President he 
appointed Mr. Van Buren Secretary of State. This 
position he resigned in 1831, a^id was immediately 
appointed Minister to England, where he went the 
s;ime autumn. The Senate, however, when it met 
refn.~,ed to ratify the nomination, and he returned 

home, apparently untroubled; was nominated Vice 
President in the place of Calhoun, at the re-election 
of President Jackson ; and with smiles for all and 
fiowns for none, he took his place at the head of thai 
Senate which had refused to confirm his nomination 
as ambassador. 

His rejection by the Senate roused all the zeal of 
President Jackson in behalf of his repudiated favor- 
ite ; and this, probably more than any other cause, 
secured his elevation to the chair of the Chief Execu 
tive. On the 20th of May, 1836, Mr. Van Buren re- 
ceived the Democratic nomination to succeed Gen. 
Jackson as President of the United States. He was 
elected by a handsome majority, to the delight of the 
retiring President. " Leaving New York out of the 
canvass," says Mr. Parton, "the election of .Mr. Van 
Buren to the Presidency was as much the act of Gen. 
Jackson as though the Constitution had conferred 
upon him the power to appoint a successor." 

His administration was filled with exciting events. 
The insurrection in Canada, which threatened to in- 
volve this country in war with England, the agitation 
of the slavery question, and finally the great commer- 
cial panic which spread over the country, all were 
trials to his wisdom. The financial distress was at- 
tributed to the management of the Democratic party, 
and brought the President into such disfavor that he 
failed of re-election. 

With the exception of being nominated for the 
Presidency by the " Free Soil " Democrats, in 1848, 
Mr. Van Buren lived quietly upon his estate until 
his death. 

He had ever been a prudent man, of frugal habits, 
and living within his income, had now fortunately a 
competence for his declining years. His unblemished 
character, his commanding abilities, his unquestioned 
patriotism, and the distinguished positions which he 
had occupied in the government of our country, se- 
cured to him not only l;he homage of his party, but 
the respect ot the wljole community. It was on the 
4th of March, 1841, that Mr. Van Buren retired from 
the presidency. From his fine estate at Lindenwald 
he still exerted a powerful influence upon the politics 
of the country. From this time until his death, on 
the 24th of July, 1862, at the age of eighty years, he 
resided at Lindenwald, a gentleman of leisure, of 
culture and of wealth; enjoying in a healthy old 
age, probably far more happiness than he had before 
experienced amid the stormy scenes of his active life- 

/j^. /5f /T^-z-?,^^ 



SON, the ninth President of 
the United States, was born 
at Berkeley, Va., Feb. 9, 1773. 
His father, Benjamin Harri- 
son, was in comparatively op- 
ulent circumstances, and was 
one of the most distinguished 
men of his day. He was an 
intimate friend of George 
Washington, was early elected 
a member of the Continental 
Congress, and was conspicuous 
among the patriots of Virginia in 
resisting the encroachments of the 
British crown. In the celebrated 
Congress of 1775, Benjamin Har- 
rison and John Hancock were 
both candidates for the office of 

Mr Harrison was subsequently 
chosen Governor of Virginia, and 
was twice re-elected. His son, 
William Henry, of course enjoyed 
in childhood all the advantages which wealth and 
intellectual and cultivated society could give. Hav- 
ing received a thorough common-school education, he 
entered Hampden Sidney College, where he graduated 
with honor soon after the death of his father. He 
then repaired to Philadelphia to study medicine under 
the instructions of Dr. Rush and the guardianship of 
lobert Morris, both of whom were, with his father, 
ligners of the Declaration of Independence. 

iJpon the outbreak of the Indian troubles, and not- 
withstanding the remonstrances of his friends, he 
abandoned his medical studies and entered the army, 
.laving ^^ commission of Ensign from Presi- 

dent Washington. He was then but 19 years old, 
From that time he passed gradually upward in rank 
until he became aid to General Wayne, after whose 
death he resigned his commission. He was then ap- 
pointed Secretary of the North-western Territory. This 
Territory was then entitled to but one member in 
Congress and Capt. Harrison was chosen to fill that 

In the spring of 1800 the North-western Territory 
was divided by Congress into two portions. The 
eastern portion, comprising the region now embraced 
in the State of Ohio, was called '' The Territory 
north-west of the Ohio." The western portion, which 
included what is now called Indiana, Illinois and 
Wisconsin, was called the "Indiana Territory." Wil- 
liam Henry Harrison, then 27 years of age, was ap ■• 
lX)inted by John Adams, Governor of the Indiana 
Territory, and immediately after, also Governor of 
Upper Louisiana. He was thus ruler over almost as 
extehsive a realm as any sovereign upon the globe. He 
was Superintendent of Indian Affairs, and was in- 
vested with powers nearly dictatorial over the now 
rapidly increasing white population. The ability and 
fidelity with which he discharged these responsible 
duties may be inferred from the fact that he was four 
times appointed to this office — first by John Adams, 
twice by Thomas Jefferson and afterwards by Presi- 
dent Madison. 

When he began his adminstration there were but 
three white settlements in that almost boundless region, 
now crowded with cities and resounding with all the 
tumult of wealth and traffic. One of these settlements 
was on the Ohio, nearly opposite I^uisville; one at 
Vincennes, on the Wabash, and the third a French 

The vast wilderness over which Gov. Harrison 
reigned was filled with many tribes of Indians. Abo"< 



the year 1806, two extraordinary men, twin brothers, 
of the Sliawnese tribe, rose among them. Or.eof 
ihese was called Tecumseh, or " The Croaching 
Panther;" the other, Olliwacheca, or "The Prophet." 
Tecumseh was not only an Indian warrior, but a man 
of great sagacity, far-reaching foresight and indomit- 
able perseverance in any enterprise in which he might 
engage. He was inspired with the highest enthusiasm, 
and had long regarded with dread and with hatred 
the encroaclinient of the whites upon the hunting- 
grounds of his fathers. His brother, the Prophet, was 
anorator, who could sway the feelings of the untutored 
Indian as the gale tossed the tree-tops beneath which 
ihey dwelt. 

But the Prophet was not merely an orator: he was, 
in the superstitious minds of the Indians, invested 
with the superhuman dignity of a medicine-man or a 
magician. With an enthusiasm unsurpassed by Peter 
the Hermit rousing Europe to the crusades, he went 
from tribe to tribe, assuming that he was specially sent 
by the Great Spirit, 

Gov. Harrison made many attempts to conciliate 
the Indians, but at last the war came, and at Tippe- 
canoe the Indians were routed with great slaughter. 
October 28, 1812, his army began its march. When 
near the Prophet's town three Indians of rank made 
their appearance and inquired why Gov. Harrison was 
approaching them in so hostile an attitude. After a 
short conference, arrangements were made for a meet- 
ing the next day, to agree upon terms of peace. 

But Gov. Harrison was too well acquainted with 
the Indian character to be deceived by such protes- 
tations Selecting a favorable spot for his night's en- 
campment, he took every precaution against surprise 
His troops were posted in a hollow square, and slept 
upon their arms. 

The troops threw themselves upon the ground for 
rest; but every man had his accourtrements on, his 
loaded musket by his side, and his bayonet fixed. The 
wakeful Governor, between three and four o'clock in 
the morning, had risen, and was sitting in conversa- 
tion with his aids by the embers of a waning fire. It 
was a chill, cloudy morning with a drizzling rain. In 
the darkness, the Indians had crept as near as possi- 
ble, and j'-.3t then, with a savage yell, rushed, with all 
the desperation which superstition and passion most 
highly inflamed could give, upon the left flank of the 
little army. The savages had been amply provided 
with guns and ammunition by the English. Their 
war-whoop was accompained by a shower of bullets. 

The camp-fires were instantly extinguished, as the 
light aided the Indians in their aim. With hide- 
fus yells, the Indian bands rushed on, not doubting a 
speedy and an entire victory. But Gen. Harrison's 
iroojjs stood as immovable as the rocks around them 
ur.til day dawned: they then made a simultaneous 
pharge with the bayonet, and swept every thing be- 
fore them, and completely routing thi» foe. 

Gov. Harrison now had all his energies tasked 
to the utmost. The British descending from the Can ■ 
adas, were of themselves a very formidable force ; but 
with their savage allies, rushing like wolves from the 
forest, sear-hing out every remote farm-house, burn- 
ing, plundering, scalping, torturing, the wide frontier 
was plunged into a state of consternation which even 
the most vivid imagination can but faintly conceive. 
The war-whoop was resounding everywhere in the 
forest. The horizon was illuminated with the conflagra- 
tion of the cabins of the settlers. Gen Hull had made 
the ignominious surrender of his forces at Detroit. 
Under these despairing circumstances, Gov. Harrison 
was appointed by President Madison commander-in- 
chief of the North-western army, with orders to retake 
Detroit, and to protect the frontiers. 

It would be difficult to place a man in a situation 
demanding more energy, sagacity and courage; but 
General Harrison was found equal to the position, 
and nobly and triumphantly did he meet all the re 

He won the love of his soldiers by always sharing 
with them their fatigue. His whole baggage, while 
pursuing the foe up the Thames, was carried in a 
valise; and his bedding consisted of a single blanket 
lashed over his saddle Thirty-five British officers, 
his prisoners of war, supped with him after the battle. 
The only fare he could give them was beef roasted 
before the fire, without bread or salt. 

In 1816, Gen. Harrison was chosen a member of 
the National House of Representatives, to represent 
the District of Ohio. In Congress he proved an 
active member; and whenever he spoke,' it was with 
force of reason and power of eloquence, which arrested 
the attention of all the members. 

In 1819, Harrison was elected to the Senate of 
Ohio; and in 1824, as one of the presidential electors 
of that State, he gave his vote for Henry Clay. The 
same year he was chosen to the United States Senate. 

In 1836, the friends of Gen. Harrison brought him 
forward as a candidate for the Presidency against 
Van Buren, but he was defeated. At the close of 
Mr. Van Buren's term, he was re-nominated by his 
party, and Mr. Harrison was unanimously nominated 
by the Whigs, with John Tyler forthe Vice Presidency. 
The contest was very animated. Gen Jackson gave 
all his influence to prevent Harrison's election ; but 
his triumph was signal. 

The cabinet which be formed, with Daniel Webster 
at its head as Secretary of State, was one of the most 
brilliant with which anv President had ever been 
surrounded. Never were the prospects of an admin- 
istration more flattering, or the hopes of the country 
more sanguine. In the midst of these bright and 
joyous prospects. Gen. Harrison was seized by a 
pleurisy-fever and after a few days of violent sick- 
ness, died on the 4th of April ; just one month after 
his inauguration as President of the United States. 




OHN TYLER, the tenth 
Sft Presidentof the United States. 
He was born in Charles-city 
Co., Va., March 29, 1790. He 
was the favored child of af- 
fluence and high social po- 
sition. At the early age of 
twelve, John entered WiUiam 
and Mary College and grad- 
uated with much honor when 
but seventeen years old. After 
graduating, he devoted him- 
self with great assiduity to the 
study of law, partly with his 
father and partly with Edmund 
Randolph, one of the most distin- 
guished lawyers of "Virginia. 

At nineteen years of age, ne 
commenced the practice of law. 
His success was rapid and aston- 
ishing. It is said that three 
months had not elapsed ere there 
was scarcely a case on the dock- 
et of the court in which he was 
». ot retained. When but twenty-one years of age, he 
was almost unanimously elected to a seat in the State 
Legislature. He connected himself with the Demo- 
cratic party, and warmly advocated the measures of 
Jefferson and Madison. For five successive years he 
was elected to the Legislature, receiving nearly the 
unanimous vote or his county. 

When but twenty-six years of age, he was elected 
a member of Congress. Here he acted earnestly and 
ably with the Democratic party, opposing a national 
b>nk, internal improvements by the General <^vsrn- 

ment, a protective tariff, and advocatmg a strict con- 
struction of the Constitution, and the most careful 
vigilance over State rights. His labors in Congress 
were so arduous that before the close of his second 
term h; found it necessary to resign and retire to his 
estate in Charles-city Co., to recruit his health. He, 
however, soon after consented to take his seat in the 
State Legislature, where his influence was powerful 
in promoting public works of great utility. With a 
reputation thus canstantly increasing, he was chosen 
by a very large majority of votes, Governor of his 
native State. His administration was signally a suc- 
cessful one. His popularity secured his re-election. 

John Randolph, a brilliant, erratic, half-crazed 
man, then represented Virginia in the Senate of the 
United States. A portion of the Democratic party 
was displeased with Mr. Randolph's wayward course, 
and brought forward John Tyler as his opponent, 
considering him the only man in Virginia of sufficient 
popularity to succeed against the renowned orator of 
Roanoke. Mr. Tyler was the victor. 

\\\ accordance with his professions, upon taking his 
seat in the Senate, he joined thi ranks of the opposi- 
tion. He opposed the tariff; he spoke against and 
voted against the bank as unconstitutional ; he stren- 
uously opposed all restrictions upon slavery, resist- 
ing all projects of internal improvements by the Gen- 
eral Government, and avowed his sympathy with Mr. 
Calhoun's view of nullification ; he declared that Gen. 
Jackson, by his opposition to the nullifiers, had 
abandoned the principles of the Democratic party. 
Such was Mr. Tyler's record in Congress, — a record 
in perfect accordance with the principles which he 
had always avowed. 

Returning to Virginia, he resumed the practice of 
his profession. There was a cplh in the Democratic 



J,arty. His friends still regarded him as a true Jef- 
fersonian, gave him a dinner, and siiowered compli- 
ments" upon him. He had now attained the age of 
forty-six. His career had been very brilliant. In con- 
sequence of his devotion to public business, his pri- 
vate affairs had fallen into some disorder; audit was 
not without satisfaction that he resumed the practice 
of law, and devoted himself to the culture of his plan- 
tation. Soon after this he removed to Williamsburg, 
for the better education of his children ; and he again 
took his seat in the Legislature of Virginia. 

By the Southern Whigs, he was sent to the national 
convention at Harrisburg to nominate a President in 
T839. The majority of votes were given to Gen. Har- 
rison, a genuine Whig, much to the disappointment of 
the South, who wished for Henry Clay. To concili- 
ate the Southern Whigs and to secure their vote, the 
convention then nominated John Tyler for Vice Pres- 
ident. It was well known that he was not in sympa- 
thy with the Whig party in the No:th: but the Vice 
President has but very little power in the Govern- 
ment, his main and almost only duty being to pre- 
side over the meetings of the Senate. Thus it hap- 
pened that a Whig President, and, in reality, a 
Democratic Vice President were chosen. 

In r84i, Mr. Tyler was inaugurated Vice Presi- 
dent of the United States. In one short month from 
that time, President Harrison died, and Mr. Tyler 
thus -cund himself, to his own surprise and that of 
the whole Nation, an occupant of the Presidential 
chair. This was a nevv test of the stability of our 
institutions, as it was the first time in the history of our 
country that such an event had occured. Mr. Tyler 
was at home in Williamsburg when he received the 
unexpected tidings of the death of President Harri- 
son^ He hastened to Washington, and on the 6th of 
April v/as inaugurated to the high and responsible 
office. He was placed in a position of exceeding 
delicacy and difficulty. All his long life he had been 
opposed tc the main principles of the party which bad 
brought him into power. He had ever been a con- 
sistent, hont;:t man, with an unblemished record. 
Gen. Harrison had selected a Whig cabinet. Should 
he retain them, and thus surround himself with coun- 
sellors whose views were antagonistic to his own ? or, 
on the other hand, should he turn against the party 
which had elected him and select a cabinet in har- 
mony with himself, and which would oppose all those 
views which the Whigs deemed essential to the pub- 
lic welfare? This was his fearful dilemma. He in- 
vited the cabinet which President Harrison had 
selected to retain their seats. He reccomm:nded a 
day of fasting and prayer, that Gcrd would guide and 
bless us. 

The Whigs carried through Congress a bill for the 
incorporation of a fiscal bank of the United States. 
The President, after ten days' delay, returned it with 
nis veto. He suggested, however, that he would 

approve ol a bill drawn up upon such a plan as he 
proposed. Such a bill was accordingly prepared, and 
privately submitted to him. He gave it his approval. 
It was passed without alteration, and he sent it back 
with his veto. Here commenced the open rupture. 
It is said that Mr. Tyler was provoked to this meas- 
ure by a published letter from the Hon. John M. 
Botts, a distinguished Virginia Whig, who severely 
touched the pride of the President. 

The opposition now exultingly received the Presi- 
dent into their arms. The party which elected him 
denounced him bitterly. All the members of his 
cabinet, excepting Mr. Webster, resigned. The Whigs 
of Congress, both the Senate and the House, held a 
meeting and issued an address to the people of the 
United States, proclaiming that all pplitical alliance 
between the Whigs and President Tyler were at 
an end. 

Still the President attempted to conciliate. He 
appointed a new cabinet of distinguished Whigs and 
Conservatives, carefully leaving out all strong party 
men. Mr. Webster soon found it necessary to resign, 
forced out by the pressure of his Whig friends. Thus 
the four years of Mr. Tyler's unfortunate administra- 
tion passed sadly away. No one was satisfied. The 
land was filled with murmurs and vituperation. Whigs 
and Democrats alike assailed him. More and more, 
however, he brought himself into sympathy with his 
old friends, the Democrats, until atthe close of his term, 
he gave his whole influence to the support of Mr. 
Polk, the Democratie candidate for his successor. 

On the 4th of March, 1845, he retired from the 
harassments of office, to the regret of neither party, and 
probably to his own unspeakable relief. His first wife. 
Miss Letitia Christian, died in Washington, in 1842; 
and in June, 1844, President Tyler was again married, 
at New York, to Miss Julia Gardiner, a young lady of 
many personal and intellectual accomplishments.' 

The remainder of his days Mr. Tyler passed mainly 
in retirement at his beautiful home, — Sherwood For- 
est, Charles city Co., Va. A polished gentleman in 
his manners, richly furnished with information from 
books and experience in the world, and possessing 
brilliant powers of conversation, his family circle was 
the scene of unusual attractions. With sufficient 
means for the exercise of a generous hospitality, he 
might have enjoyed a serene old age with the few 
friends who gathered around him, were it not for the 
storms of civil war which his own principles and 
policy had helped to introduce. 

When the great Rebellion rose, which the State, 
rights and nullifying doctrines of Mr. John C. Ca\- 
houn had inaugurated. President Tyler renounced his 
allegiance to the United States, and joined the Confed- 
erates. He was chosen a member of their Congress; 
and while engaged in active measures to destroy, by 
force of arms, the Government over which he hai 
once presided, he was taken sick and soon died. 



AMES K. POLK, the eleventh 
aPresident of the United States, 
was born in Mecklenburg Co., 
N. C, Nov. 2, 1795. His par- 
ents were Samuel and Jane 
(Knox) Polk, the former a son 
of Col. Thomas Polk, who located 
at the above place, as one of the 
first pioneers, in 1735. 

In the year i3o6, with his wife 
and children, and soon after fol- 
lowed by most of the members of 
the Polk famly, Samuel Polk emi- 
grated some two or three hundred 
miles farther west, to the rich valley 
of the Duck River. Here in the 
midst of the wilderness, in a region 
which was subsequently called Mau- 
ry Co., they reared their log huts, 
and established their homes. In the 
hard toil of a new farm in the wil- 
derness, James K. Polk spent the 
early years of his childhood and 
youth. His father, adding the pur- 
suit of a surveyor to that of a farmer, 
gradually increased in wealth until 
he became one of the leading men of the region. His 
mother was a superior woman, of strong common 
sense and earnest piety. 

Very early in life, James developed a taste for 
reading and expressed the strongest desire to obtain 
a liberal education. His mother's training had made 
him methodical iti his habits, had taught him punct- 
uality and industry, and had inspired him with lofty 
principles of morality. His health was frail ; and his 
fether, fearing that he might not be able to endure a 

sedentary life, got a situation for him behind the 
counter, hoping to fit him for commercial pursuits. 

This was to James a bitter disappointment. He 
had no taste for these duties, and his daily tasks 
were irksome in the extreme. He remained in this 
uncongenial occupation but a few weeks, when at his 
earnest solicitation his father removed him, and made 
arrangements for him to prosecute his studies. Soon 
after he sent him to Murfreesboro Academy. With 
ardor which could scarcely be surpassed, he pressed 
forward in his studies, and in less than two and a half 
years, in the autumn of 1815, entered the sophomore 
class in the University of North Carolina, at Chapel 
Hill. Here he was one of the most exemplary of 
scholars, punctual in every exercise, never allowing 
himself to be absent from a recitation or a religious 

He graduated in 1818, with the highest honors, be- 
ing deemed the best scholar of his class, both in 
mathematics and the classics. He was then twenty-, 
three years of age. Mr. Polk's health was at this 
time much impaired by the assiduity with which he 
had prosecuted his studies. After a short season of 
relaxation he went to Nashville, and entered the 
office of Felix Grundy, to study law. Here Mr. Polk 
renewed his acquaintance with Andrew Jackson, who 
resided on his plantation, the Hermitage, but a few 
miles from Nashville. They had probably beer' 
slightly acquainted before. 

Mr. Polk's father was a Jeffersonian Republican 
and James K. Polk ever adhered to the same politi-. 
cal faith. He was a popular public speaker, and was 
constantly called upon to address the meetings of his 
party friends. His skill as a speaker was such that 
he was popularly called the Napoleon of the stump.' 
He was a man of unblemished morals, genial and 



courterus in his bearing, and with that sympathetic 
nature in the joy s and griefs of others which ever gave 
him troops of friends. In 1823, Mr. Polk was elected 
to the Legislature of Tennessee. Here he gave his 
strong influence towards the election of his friend, 
Mr. Jackson, to the Presidency of the United States. 
In January, 1824, Mr. Polk married Miss Sarah 
Childress, of Rutherford Co., Tenn. His bride was 
altogether worthy of him, — a lady of beauty and cul- 
ture. In the fall of 1825, Mr. Polk was chosen a 
member of Congress. The satisfaction which he gave 
to his constituents may be inferred from the fact, that 
for fourteen successive years, until 1839, he was con- 
tinue(?^ in that oflfice. He then voluntarily withdrew, 
only l^iat he might accept the Gubernatorial chair 
of Tennessee. In Congress he was a laborious 
member, a frequent and a popular speaker. He was 
always in his seat, always courteous ; and whenever 
he spoke it was always to the point, and without any 
ambitious rhetorical display. 

During five sessions of Congress, Mr. Polk was 
Speaker of the House Strong passions were roused, 
and stormy scenes were witnessed ; but Mr. Polk per- 
formed his arduous duties to a very general satisfac- 
tion, and a unanimous vote of thanks to him was 
passed by the House as he withdrew on the 4th of 
March, 1839. 

In accordance with Southern usage, Mr. Polk, as a 
candidate for Governor, canvassed the State. He was 
elected by a large majority, and on the 14th of Octo- 
ber, 1839, took the oath of office at Nashville. In 1841, 
his term of office expired, and he was again the can- 
didate of the Democratic party, but was defeated. 

On the 4th of March, 1845, Mr. Polk was inaugur- 
ated President of the United States. The verdict of 
the countryin favor of the annexation of Texas, exerted 
its influence upon Congress ; and the last act of the 
administration of President Tyler was to affix his sig- 
nature to a joint resolution of Congress, passed on the 
3d of March, approving of the annexation of Texas to 
the American Union. As Mexico still claimed Texas 
as one of her provinces, the Mexican minister, 
Almonte, immediately demanded his passports and 
left the country, declaring the act of the annexation 
to be an act hostile to Mexico. 

In his first message; President Polk urged that 
Texas should immediately, by act of Congress, be re- 
ceived into the Union on the same footing wi'th the 
Other States. In the meantime. Gen. Taylor was sent 

with an army into Texas to hold the country. He was 
sent first to Nueces, which the Mexicans said was the 
western boundary of Texas. Then he was sent :nearly 
two hundred miles further west, to the Rio Grande, 
where he erected batteries which commanded the 
Mexican city of Matamoras, which was situated on 
the western banks. 

The anticipated collision soon took place, and wa: 
was declared against Mexico by President Polk. The 
war was pushed forward by Mr. Polk's administration 
with great vigor. Gen. Taylor, whose army was first 
called one of "observation," then of "occupation,' 
then of " in vasion, " was sent forward to Monterey. The 
feeble Mexicans, in every encounter, were hopelessly 
and awfully slaughtered. The day of judgement 
alone can reveal the misery which this war caused. 
It v/as by the ingenuity of Mr. Polk's administration 
that the war was brought on. 

'To the victors belong the spoils." Mexico was 
prostrate before us. Her capital was in our hands. 
We now consented to peace upon the condition that 
Mexico should surrender to us, in addition to Texas, 
all of New Mexico, and all of Upper and Lower Cal- 
ifornia. This new demand embraced, exclusive of 
Texas, eight hundred thousand square miles. This 
was an extent of territory equal to nine States of the 
size of New York. Thus slavery was securing eighteen 
majestic States t6 be added to the Union. There were 
some Americans who thought it all right : there were 
others who thought it all wrong. In the prosecution 
of this war, we expended twenty thousand lives and 
more than a hundred million of dollars. Of this 
money fifteen millions were paid to Mexico. 

On the 3d of March, r849, Mr. Polk retired from 
office, having served one term. The next day was 
Sunday. On the 5th, Gen. Taylor was inaugurated 
as his successor. Mr. Polk rode to the Capitol in the 
same carriage with Gen. Taylor; and the same even- 
ing, with Mrs. Polk, he commenced his return to 
Tennessee. He was then but fifty-four years of age. 
He had ever been strictly temperate in all his habits, 
and his health was good. With an ample fortune, 
a choice library, a cultivated mind, and domestic ties 
of the dearest nature, it seemed as though long years 
of tranquility and happiness were before him. But the 
cholera— that fearful scourge— was then sweeping up 
the Valley of the Mississippi. This he contracted, 
and died on the isth of June, 1849, in the fiftv-fourth 
year of his age, greatly mourned by his countrymen. 




%^%n.^%^ f^inf 1. 

President of the United States, 
was born on the 24th of Nov., 
1784, in Orange Co., Va. His 
father. Colonel Taylor, was 
a Virginian of note, and a dis- 
tinguished patriot and soldier of 
the Revolution. When Zachary 
was an infant, his father with his 
wife and two children, emigrated 
to Kentucky, where he settled in 
the pathless wilderness, a few 
miles from Louisville. In this front- 
ier home, away from civilization and 
all its refinements, young Zachary 
could enjoy but few social and educational advan- 
tages. When six years of age he attended a common 
school, and was then regarded as a bright, active boy, 
father remarkable for blunlness and decision of char- 
acter He was strong, feailess and self-reliant, and 
manifested a strong desire to enter the army to fight 
tTie Indians who were ravaging the frontiers. There 
is little to be recorded of the uneventful years of his 
childhood 0:1 his father's large but lonely plantation. 
In 1808, his father succeeded in obtaining for him 
the commission of lieutenant in the United States 
army ; and he joined the troops which Were stationed 
at New Orleans under Gen. Wilkinson. Soon after 
this he married Miss Margaret Smith, a young lady 
from one of the first families of Maryland. 

Immediately after the declaration of war with Eng- 
land, in 18 r 2, Capt. Taylor (for he had then been 
promoted to that rank) was put in command of Fort 
Harrison, on the Wabash, about fifty miles above 
Vincennes. This fort had been built in the wilder- 
ness by Gen. Harrison,on his march to Tippecanoe. 
It was one of the first points of attack by the Indians, 
led by Tecumseh. Its garrison consisted of a broken 

company of infantry numbering fifty men, many of 
whom were sick. 

Early in the autumn of 1812, the Indians, stealthily, 
and in large numbers, moved upon the fort. Their 
approach was first indicated by the murder of two' 
soldiers just outside of the stockade. Capt. Taylor 
made every possible preparation to meet the antici- 
pated assault. On the 4th of September, a band of 
forty painted and plumed savages came to the fort, 
waving a white flag, and informed Capt. Taylor that 
in the morning their chief would come to have a talk 
with him. It was evident that their object was merely 
to ascertain the state of things at the fort, and Capt/ 
Taylor, well versed in the wiles of the savages, kept 
them at a distance. 

The sun went down ; the savages disappeared, the 
garrison slept upon their arms. One hour before, 
midnight the war whoop burst from a thousand lips 
in the forest around, followed by the discharge of 
musketry, and the rush of the foe. Every man, sick 
and well, sprang to his post. Every man knew that 
defeat was not merely death, but in the case of cap- 
ture, death by the most agonizing and prolonged tor- 
ture. No pen can describe, no immagination can 
conceive the scenes which ensued. The savages suc- 
ceeded in setting lire to one of the block-houses- 
Until six o'clock in the morning, this awful conflict 
continued. The savages then, baffled at every point, 
and gnashing their teeth with rage, retired. Capt. 
Taylor, for this gallant defence, was promoted to the 
rank of major by brevet. 

Until the close of the war. Major Taylor was placed 
in such situations that he saw but little more of active 
service. He was sent far away into the depths of the, 
wilderness, to Fort Crawford, on Fox River, which 
empties into Green Bay. Here there was but littlfe 
to be done but to wear away the tedious hours as one 
best could. There were no books, no society, no in- 



tellectual stimulus. Thus with him the uneventful 
years rolled on Gradually he rose to the rank of 
colonel. In the Black-Hawk war, which resulted in 
the capture of that renowned chieftain, Col Tayl6r 
took a subordinate but a brave and eflScient part. 

For twenty-four years Col. Taylor was engaged in 
the defence of the frontiers, in scenes so remote, and in 
employments so obscure, that his name was unknown 
beyond the limits of his own immediate acquaintance. 
In the year 1836, he was sent to Florida to compel 
the Seminole Indians to vacate that region and re- 
tire beyond the Mississippi, as their chiefs by treaty, 
iiac" promised they should do. The services rendered 
heie secured for Col. Taylor the high appreciation of 
the Government; and as a reward, he was elevated 
tc ohe rank of brigadier-general by brevet ; and soon 
after, in May, 1838, was appointed to the chief com- 
mand of the United States troops in Florida. 

.After tv/o years of such wearisome employment 
amidst the everglades of the peninsula. Gen. Taylor 
obtained, at his own request, a change of command, 
and was stationed over the Department of the South- 
west. This field embraced Louisiana, Mississippi, 
Alabama and Georgia. Establishing his headquarters 
?t Fort Jessup, in Louisiana, he removed his family 
to a plantation which he purchased, near Baton Rogue. 
Here he remained for five years, buried, as it were, 
from the world, but faithfully discharging every duty 
imposed upon him. 

In 1846, Gen. Taylor was sent to guard the land 
-between the Nueces and Rio Grande, the latter river 
being the boundary of Texas, which was then claimed 
by the United States. Soon the war with Mexico 
was brought on, and at Palo Alto and Resaca de la 
Palma, Gen. Taylor won brilliant victories over the 
Mexicans. The rank of major-general by brevet 
was then conferred upon Gen. Taylor, and his name 
was received with enthusiasm almgst everywhere in 
the Nation. Then came the battles of Monterey and 
Buena Vista in which he won signal victories over 
forces much larger than he commanded. 

_ His careless habits of dress and his unaffected 
simplicity, secured for Gen. Taylor among his troops, 
the sobriquet of " Old Rough and Ready.' 

The tidings of the brilliant victory of Buena Vista 
spread the wildest enthusiasm over the country. The 
nanie of Gen. Taylor was on every one's lips. The 
Whig party decided to take advantage of this wonder- 
ful popularity in bringing forward the unpolished, un- 

" :^red, honest soldier as their candidate for the 
Presidency. Gen. Taylor was astonished at the an- 
nouncement, and for a time would not listen to it; de- 
claring that he was notatal! qualified for such an 
office. So litrie interest had he taken in politics that, 
for forty years, he had not cast a vote. It was not 
without chagrin that several distinguished statesmen 
who had been long years in the public service found 
their claims set aside in behalf of one whose name 

had never been heard of, save in connection with Palo 
Alto, Resaca de la Palma, Monterey and Buena 
Vista. It is said that Daniel Webster, in his haste re- 
marked, "It is a nomination not fit to be made." 

Gen. Taylor was not an eloquent speaker nor a fine 
writer His friends took possession of him, and pre- 
pared such few communications as it was needful 
should be present-ed to the public. The popularity of 
the successful warrior swept the land. He was tri- 
umphantly elected over two opposing candidates, — 
Gen. Cass and Ex-President Martin Van Buren. 
Though he selected an excellent cabinet, the good 
old man found himself in a very uncongenial position, 
and was, at times, sorely perplexed and harassed. 
His mental sufferings were very severe, and probably 
tended to hasten his death. The pro-slavery party 
was pushing its claims with tireless energy ; expedi- 
tions were fitting out to capture Cuba ; California was 
pleading for admission to the Union, while slavery 
stood at the door to bar her out. Gen. Taylor found 
the political conflicts in Washington to be far more 
trying to the nerves than batdes with Mexicans or 

In the midst of all these troubles. Gen. Taylor, 
after he had occupied the Presidential chair but little 
over a year, took cold, and after a brief sickness of 
but little over five days, died on the 9th of July, 1850. 
His last words were, " I am not afraid to die. I am 
ready. I have endeavored to do my duty." He died 
universally respected and beloved. An honest, un- 
pretending man, he had been steadily growing in the 
aff'ections of the people ; and the Nation bitterly la- 
mented his death. 

Gen. Scott, who was thoroughly acquainted with 
Gen. Taylor, gave the following graphic and truthful 
description of his character: — " With a good store of 
common sense. Gen. Taylor's mind had not been en- 
larged and refreshed by reading, or much converse 
with the world. Rigidity of ideas was the conse- 
quence. The frontiers and small military posts had 
been his hortie. Hence he was quite ignorant for his' 
rank, and quite bigoted in his ignorance. His sim- 
plicity was child-like, and with innumerable prejur 
dices, amusing and incorrigible, well suited to the 
tender age. Thus, if a man, however respectable, 
chanced to wear a coat of an unusual color, or his hat 
a little on one side of his head ; or an officer to leave 
a corner of his handkerchief dangling from an out- 
side pocket, — in any such case, this critic held the 
offender to be a coxcomb (perhaps something worse), 
whom he_ would not, to use his oft repeated phrase, 
' touch with a pair of tongs.' 

"Any allusion to literature beyond good old Dil- 
worth's spelling-book, on the part of one wearing a 
sword, was e\?idence, with the same judge, of utter 
unfitness for heavy marchings and combats. In shori- 
few men have ever had a more comfortabie, '"^iAt. 
saving contempt for learning of every kind.'' 





111,. , ^ s!4 

^' ffllLLflHn FILLfflnHE, <^ 






t(?enth President of the United 
States, was born at Summer 
Hill, Cayuga Co., N. Y ., on 
the 7th of January, 1800. His 
father was a farmer, and ow- 
ing to misfortune, in humble cir- 
cumstances. Of his mother, the 
daughter of Dr. Abiathar Millard, 
of Pittsfield, Mass., it has been 
said that she possessed an intellect 
of very high order, united with much 
personal loveliness, sweetness of dis- 
position, graceful manners and ex- 
quisite sensibilities. She died in 
1831 ; having lived to see her son a 
young man of distinguished prom- 
ise, though she was not permitted to witness the high 
dignity which he finally attained. 

In consequence of the secluded home and limited 
means of his father, Millard enjoyed but slender ad- 
vantages for education in his early years. The com- 
mon schools, which he occasionally attended were 
very imperfect institutions ; and books were scarce 
and expensive. There was nothing then in his char- 
acter to indicate the brilliant career upon which he 
was about to enter. He was a plain fanner's boy ; 
intelligent, gaod-looking, kind-hearted. The sacred 
influences of home had taught him to revere the Bible, 
and had laid the fourdations of an upright character. 
When fourteen years of age, his father sent him 
some hundred miles from home, to the then wilds of 
Livingston County, to learn the trade of a clothier. 
Near the mill there was a small villiage, where some 

enterprising man had commenced the collection of a 
village library. This proved an inestimable blessing 
to young Fillmore. His evenings were spent in read- 
ing. Soon every leisure moment was occupied with 
books. His thirst for knowledge became insatiate 
and the selections which he made were continually 
more elevating and instructive. He read history, 
biography, oratory , and thus gradually there was en- 
kindled in his heart a desire to be something more 
than a mere worker with his hands; and he was be- 
coming, almost unknown to himself, a well-informed, 
educated man. 

The young clothier had now attained the age of 
nineteen years, and was of fine personal appearance 
and of gentlemanly demeanor. It so happened that 
there was a gentleman in the neighborhood of ample 
pecuniary means and of benevolence, — Judge Walter 
Wood, — who was struck with the prepossessing ap- 
pearance of young Fillmore. He made his acquaint- 
ance, and was so much impressed with his ability and 
attainments that he advfeed him to abandon his 
trade and devote himself to the study of the law. The 
young man replied, that he had no means of his own, 
r.o friends to help him and that his previous educa- 
tion had been very imperfect. But Judge Wood had 
so much confidence in him that he kindly offered to 
take him into his own office, and to loan him such 
money as he needed. Most gratefully the generous 
offer was accepted. 

There is in many minds a strange delusion about 
a collegiate education. A young man is supposed to 
be liberally educated if he has graduated at some col- 
lege. But many a boy loiters through university hall -, 
«ind then enters a law office, who is by no means as 



well prepared to prosecute his legal studies as was 
Millard Fillmore when he graduated at the clothing- 
mill at the end of four years of manual labor, during 
which every leisure moment had been devoted to in- 
tense mental culture. 

In 1823, when twenty-three years of age, he v;as 
admitted to the Court of Common Pleas. He then 
went to the village of Aurora, and commenced the 
practice of law. In this secluded, peaceful region, 
his practice of course was limited, and there was no 
opportunity for" a sudden rise in fortune or in fame. 
Here, in the year 1826, he married a lady of great 
moral worth, and one capable of adorning any station 
she might be called to fill, — Miss Abigail Powers. 

His elevation of character, his untiring industry, 
his legal acquirements, and his skill as an advocate, 
gradually attracted attention ; and he was invited to 
enter into partnership under highly advantageous 
circumstances, with an elder member of the bar in 
Buffalo. Just before removing to Buffalo, in 1829, 
he took his seat in the House of Assembly, of the 
State of New York, as a representative from Erie 
COiinty. Though he had never taken a very active 
part in politics, his vote and his sympathies were with 
the Whig party. The State was then Democratic, 
and he found himself in a helpless minority in the 
LegislatuVe , still the testimony comes from all parties, 
that his courtesy, ability and integrity, won, to a very 
unusual degn e the respect of his associates. 

In the autumn of 1832, he was elected to a seat in 
the United States Congress He entered that troubled 
arena in some of the most tumultuous hours of our 
national history. The great conflict respecting the 
national bank and the removal of the deposits, was 
then raging. 

His tettn of two years closed; and he returned to 
his profession, which he pursued with increasing rep- 
utation and success. After a lapse of two years 
he again became a candidate for Congress ; was re- 
elected, and took his seat in 1837. His past expe- 
rience as a representative gave him stiength and 
confidence. The first term'of service in Congress to 
any man can be but little more than an introduction. 
He was now prepared for active duty. All his ener- 
gies were brought to bear upon the public good. Every 
measure received his impress. 

Mr. Fillmore was now a man of wide repute, and 
his popularity filled the State, and in the year 1847, 
he was elected Comptroller of the State. 

Mr. Fillmore had attained the age of forty-seven 
years. His labors at the bar, in the Legislature, in 
Congress and as Comptroller, had given him very con- 
siderable fame. The Whigs were casting about to 
find suitable candidates for President and Vice-Presi- 
dent at the approaching election. Far away, on the 
waters of the Rio Grande, there was a rough old 
soldier, who had fought one or two successful battles 
with the Mexicans, which had caused his name to be 
proclaimed in tiumpet-tones all over the land. But 
it was necessary to associate with him on the same 
ticket some man of reputation as a statesman. 

Under the influence of these considerations, the 
namesofZachary Taylor and Millard Fillmore became 
the rallying-cry of the Whigs, as their candidates for 
President and Vice-Peesident. The Whig ticket was 
signally triumphant. On tlie 4th of March, 1849, 
Gen. Taylor was inaugurated President, and Millard 
Fillmore Vice-President, of the United States. 

On the 9th of July, 1850, President Taylor, but 
about one year and four months after his iriaugura 
tion, was suddenly taken sick and died. By the Con- 
stitution, Vice-President Fillmore thus becanje Presi- 
dent. He appointed a very able cabinet, rf which 
the illustrious Daniel Webster was Secretary of State. 

Mr. Fillniore had very serious difficulties to contend 
with, since the opposition had a majority in both 
Houses. He did everything in his power to conciliate 
the South; but the pro-slavery party in the South felt 
the inadequacy of all measuresof transient conciliation. 
The population of the free States was so rapidly in- 
creasing over that of the slave States that it was in- 
evitable that the power of the Government should 
soon pass into the hands of the free States. The 
famous compromise measures were adopted under Mr. 
Fillmcre's adminstration, and the Japan 'Expeditiort' 
was sent out. On the 4th of March, 1853, Mr. Fill- 
more, having served one term, retired. 

In 1856, Mr. Fillmore was nominated for the Pres- 
idency by the " Know Nothing " party, but was beateii 
by Mr. Buchanan. After that Mr. Fillmore lived in 
retirement. During the terrible conflict of civil war,' 
he was mostly silent. It was generally supposed that 
his sympathies were rather with those who were ■ en- 
deavoring to overthrow our institutions. President 
Fillmore kept aloof from the conflict, without any 
cordial words of cheer to the one party or the other. 
He was thus forgotten by both. He lived to a ripe 
old age, and died in Buffalo. N. Y., March 8, 18J4. 


^- c>Z^f , 



fcrifiaa^^ ~>^S: 

.-^aL^^ iflj 




=5^— ' "^4'i"^^( 

fourteenth President of the 
^ United States, was born in 
Hillsborough, N. H., Nov. 
23, 1804. His father was a 
Revolutionary soldier, who, 
with his own strong arm, 
hewed out a home in the. 
wilderness. He was a man 
of inflexible integrity; of 
strong, though uncultivated 
mind, and an uncompromis- 
ing Democrat. The mother of 
Franklin Pierce was all that a son 
could desire, — an intelligent, pru- 
dent, affectionate. Christian wom- 
an. Franklin was the sixth of eight children. 

■Franklin was a very bright.and handsome boy, gen- 
erous, waim-hearted and brave. He won alike the 
love of old aHd young. The boys on the play ground 
loved him. His teachers loved him. The neighbors 
looked upon him with pride and affection. He was 
by instinct a gentleman; always speaking kind words, 
doing kind deeds, with a peculiar unstudied tact 
which taught him what was agreeable. Without de- 
veloping any precocity of genius, or any unnatural 
devotion to books, he was a good scholar; in body, 
iii mind, in affections, a finely-developed boy. 

When sixteen years of age, in the year 1820, he 
entered Bowdoin College, at Brunswick, Me He was 
one of the most popular young men in the college. 
The purity of his moral character, the unvarying 
courtesy of his demeaner, his rank as a scholar, and 

genial nature, rendered him a universal favorite, 
There was something very peculiarly winning in his 
address, and it was evidently not in the slightest de- 
gree studied : it was the simple outgushing of his 
own magnanimous and loving nature. 

Upon graduating, in the year 1824, FrankUn Pierce 
commenced the study of law in the office of Judge 
Woodbury, one of the most distinguished lawyers of 
the State, and a man of great private worth. The 
eminent social qualities of the young lawyer, his 
father's prominence as a public man, and the brilliant 
political career into which Judge Woodbury, 'was en- 
tering, all tended to entipe Mr. Pierce into the faci- 
nating yet perilous path of political life. With all 
the ardor of his nature he espoused the cause of Gen. 
Jackson for the Presidency. He commenced the 
practice of law in Hillsborough, and was soon elected 
to represent the town in the State Legislature. Here 
he served for four years. The last two years he was 
chosen speaker of the house by a very large vote. 

In 1833, at the age of twenty-nine, he was elected ' 
a member of Congress. Without taking an active 
part in debates, he was faithful and laborious in duty 
and ever rising in the estimation of those with whom 
he was associatad. 

In 1837, being then but thirty-three years pf age, 
he was elected to the Senate of the United States; 
taking his seat just as Mr. Van Buren commenced , 
his administration. He was the youngest member in 
the Senate. In the year 1834, he married Miss Jane 
■ Means Appleton, a lady of rare beauty 'and accom- 
plishments, and one admirably fitted to adorn every 
station with which her husband was honoied, Of the' 



three sons who were born to them, all now sleep with 
their parents in the grave. 

In the year 1838, Mr. Pierce, with growing fame 
and increasing business as a lawyer, took up his 
residence in Concord, the capital of New Hampshire. 
President Polk, upon his accession to office, appointed 
Mr. Pierce attorney-general of the United States; but 
the offer was declined, in consequence of numerous 
professional engagements at home, and the precariuos 
state of Mrs. Pierce's health. Fie also, about the 
same time declined the nomination for governor by the 
Democratic party. The war with Mexico called Mr. 
Pierce in the army. Receiving the appointment of 
brigadier-general, he embarked, with a portion of his 
troops, at Newport, R. I., on the 27th of May, 1847. 
He took an important part in this war, proving him- 
self a brave and true soldier. 

When Gen. Pierce reached his home in his native 
State, he was received enthusiastically by the advo- 
cates of the Mexican war, and coldly by his oppo- 
nents. He resumed the practice of his profession, 
very frequently taking an active part in political ques- 
tions, giving his cordial support to the pro-slavery 
wing of the Democratic party. The compromise 
measures met cordially with his approval ; and he 
strenuously advocated the enforcement of the infa- 
mous fugitive-slave law, which so shocked the religious 
sensibilities of the North. He thus became distin- 
guished as a " Northern man with Southern principles.'' 
The strong partisans of slavery in the South conse- 
quently regarded him as a man whom they could 
iafely trust in office to carry out their plans. 

On the i2th of June, 1852, the Democratic conven- 
tion met in Baltimore to nominate a candidate for the 
Presidency. For four days they continued in session, 
and in thirty-five ballotings no one had obtained a 
two-thirds vote. Not a vote thus far had been thrown 
for Gen. Pierce. Then the Virginia delegation 
brought forward his name. There were fourteen 
more ballotings, during which Gen. Pierce constantly 
gained strength, until, at the forty-ninth ballot, he 
received two hundred and eighty-two votes, and all 
other candidates eleven. Gen. Winfield Scott was 
the Whig candidate. Gen. Pierce was chosen with 
great unanimity. Only four States — Vermont, Mas- 
sachusetts, Kentucky and Tennessee — cast their 
electoral votes against him Gen. Franklin Pieice 
was therefore inaugurated President of the United 
States on the 4th of March, 1853. 

His administration proved one of the most stormy our 
country had ever experienced. The controversy be 
tween slavery and freedom was then approaching its 
culminating point It became evident that there was 
an " irrepressible conflict " between them, and that 
this Nation could not long exist " half slave and half 
free." President Pierce, during the whole of his ad- 
ministration, did every thing he could to conciliate 
the South ; but it was all in vain. The conflict every 
year grew more violent, and threats of the dissolution 
of the Union were borne to the North on every South- 
ern breeze. 

Such was the condition of affairs when President 
Pierce approached the close of his four-years' term 
of office. The North had become thoroughly alien- 
ated from him. The anti-slavery sentiment, goaded 
by great outrages, had been rapidly increasing; all 
the intellectual ability and social worth of President 
Pierce were forgotten in deep reprehension of his ad- 
ministrative acts. The slaveholders of the South, also, 
unmindful of the fidelity with which he had advo- 
cated those measures of Government which they ap- 
proved, and perhaps, also, feeling that he had 
rendered himself so unpopular as no longer to be 
able acceptably to serve them, ungratefully dropped 
him, and nominated James Buchanan to succeed him. 

On the 4th of March, 1857, President Pierce re- 
tired to his home in Concord. Of three children, -two 
had died, and his only surviving child had been 
killed before his eyes by a railroad accident ; and his 
wife, one of the most estimable and accomplished of 
ladies, was rapidly sinking in consumption. The 
hour of dreadful gloom soon came, and he was left 
alone in the world, without wife or child. 

When the terrible Rebellion burst forth, which di- 
vided our country into two parties, and two only, Mr. 
Pierce remained steadfast in the principles which he 
had always cherished, and gave his sympathies to 
that pro-slavery party with which he had ever been 
aUied. He declined to do anything, either by voice 
or pen, to strengthen the hand of the National Gov- 
ernment. He continued to reside in Concord until 
the time of his death, which occurred in October, 
1869. He was one of the most genial and social of 
men, an honored communicant of the Episcopal 
Church, and one of the kindest of neighbors. Gen- 
erous to a fault, he contributed liberally for the al- 
leviation of suff'eringand want, and many of his towiis 
people were often gladened by his material bounty 

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raw«\=«f^i^ Ilk 


•-< »^- 

AMES BUCHANAN, the fif- 
teenth President of the United 
States, was born in a small 
frontier town, at the foot of the 
eastern ridge of the Allegha- 
nies, in Franklin Co., Penn., on 
the 23d of April, 1791. The place 
where the humble cabin of his 
father stood was called Stony 
Batter. It was a wild and ro- 
mantic spot in a gorge of the moun- 
tains, with towering summits rising 
grandly all around. His father 
was a native of the north of Ireland ; 
a poor man, who had emigrated in 
1783, with little property save his 
own strong arms. Five years afterwards he married 
Elizabeth Spebr, the daughter of a respectable farmer, 
and, with his young bride, plunged into the wilder- 
ness, staked his claim, reared his log-hut, opened a 
clearing with his axe, and settled down there to per- 
form his obscure part in the drama of life. In this se- 
cluded home, where James was born, he remained 
for eight years, enjoying but few social or intellectual 
advantages. When James was eight years of age, his 
father removed to the village of Mercersburg, where 
his son was placed at school, and commenced a 
course of study in English, Latin and Greek. His 
progress was rapid, and at the age of fourteen, he 
entered Dickinson College, at Carlisle. Here he de- 
veloped remarkable talent, and took his stand among 
the first scholars in the institution. His application 
to study was intense, and yet his native powers en- 

abled him to master the most abstruse subjects wi ' 

In the year 1809, he graduated with tlie highes\ 
honors of his clast. He was then eighteen years of 
age; tall and graceful, vigorous in health, fond of 
athletic sport, an unerring shot, and enlivened- with 
an exuberant flow of animal spirits. He immediately 
commenced the study of law in the city of Lancaster, 
and was admitted to the bar in 1812, when he was 
but twenty-one years of age. Very rapidly he rose 
in his profession, and at once took undisputed stand 
with the ablest lawyers of the State. When but 
twenty-six years of age, unaided by counsel, he suc- 
cessfully defended before the State Senate 01 e of the 
judges of the State, who was tried upon articles of 
impeachment. At the age of thirty it was generally 
admitted that he stood at the head of the bar; and 
there was no lawyer in the State who had a more lu- 
crative practice. 

In 1820, he reluctantly consented to run as a 
candidate for Congress. He was elected, and for 
ten years he remained a member of the Lower House. 
During the vacations of Congress, he occasionally 
tried some important case. In 1831, he retired 
altogether from the toils of his profession, having ac- 
quired an ample fortune. 

Gen. Jackson, upon his elevation to the Presidency, 
appointed Mr. Buchanan minister to Russia. The 
duties of his mission he performed with ability, which 
gave satisfaction to all parties. Upon his return, in 
1833, he was elected to a seat in the United States 
Senate. He there met, as his associates, Webster. 
Clay, Wright and Calhoun. He advocated the meas- 
ures proposed by President Jackson, of mrtUng repri- 



sals against France, to enforce the payment of our 
claims against that country ; and defended the course 
of the President in his unprecedented and wholesale 
removal from office of those who were not the sup- 
porters of his administration. Upon this question he 
was brought into direct collision with Henry Clay. 
He also, with voice and vote, advocated expunging 
from the journal of the Senate the vote of censure 
against Gen. Jackson for removing the deposits. 
Earnestly he opposed the abolition of slavery in the 
District of Columbia, and urged the prohibition of the 
circulation of anti-slavery documents by the United 
States mails. 

As to petitions on the subject of slavery, he advo- 
cated that they should be respectfully received; and 
that the reply should be returned, that Congress had 
no power to legislate upon the subject. ' Congress," 
said he, " might as well undertake to interfere with 
slavery under a foreign government as in any of the 
States where it now exists." 

Upon Mr. Polk's accession to the Presidency, Mr. 
Buchanan became Secretary of State, and as such, 
took his share of the responsibihty in the conduct of 
the Mexican War. Mr. Polk assumed that crossing 
the Nueces by the American troops into the disputed 
territory was not wroirg, but for the Mexicans to cross 
the Rio Grande into that territory was a declaration 
of war. No candid man can read with pleasure the 
account of the course our Government pursued in that 

Mr. Buchanan identified himself thoroughly with 
the party devoted to the perpetuation and extension 
of slavery, and brought all the energies of his mind 
to bear agdinst the Wilmot Proviso. He gave his 
cordial approval to the compromise measures of 1S50, 
which included the fugidve-slave law. Mr. Pierce, 
upon his election to the Presidency, honored Mr.' 
Buchanan with the mission to England. 

In the year 1856, a national Democratic conven- 
tion nominated Mr. Buchanan forthe Presidency. The 
political conflict was one of the most severe in which 
our country has ever engaged. All the friends of 
slavery were on one side; all the advocates of its re- 
striction and final abolition, on the other. Mr. Fre- 
mont, the candidate of the enemies of slavery, re- 
;;-eived 114 electoral votes. Mr. Buchanan received 
174, and was elected. The popular vote stood 
1,340,618, for Fremont, 1,224,750 for Buchanan. On 
March 4th, 1857, Mr. Buchanan was inaugurated. 

Mr. Buchanan was farr advanced in life. Only four 
vears were wanting to fill up his threescore years and 
-ten. Hisovyn friends, those with whom he had been 
allied in political principles and action for years, were 
seeking the destruction of the Government, that they 
' might rear upon the ruins of our- free institutions a 
nation whose corner-stone should be human slavery 
In this emergency, Mr. Buchanan was hopelessly be- 
wildered He could not, with his long-avowed prin- 

ciples, consistently oppose the State-rights party in 
theii" assumptions. As President of the United States, 
bound by his oath faithfully to administer the laws. 
he could not, without perjury of the grossest kind, 
unite with those endeavoring to overthrow the repub- 
lic. He therefore did nothing. 

The opponents of Mr. Buchanan's administration 
nominal ed Abraham Lincoln as their standard bearer 
in the next Presidential canvass. The pro-slavery 
party declared, that if he were elected, and the con- 
trol of the Government were thus taken from their 
hands, they would secede from the Union, taking 
with them, as they jetired, the National Capitol at 
Washington, and the lion's share of the territory of 
the United States. 

Mr. Buchanan's sympathy with the pro-slaverj' 
party was such, that he had been willing to offefthem 
far more than they had ventured to claim. All the 
South had professed to ask of the North was nor»- 
intervention upon the subject of slavery. Mr. Bu- 
chanan had been ready to offer them the active co- 
operation of the Government to defend and extend 
the institution. 

As the storm increased in violence, the slaveholders 
claiming the right to secede, and Mr. Buchanan avow- 
ing that Congress had no power to prevent it, one of 
the most pitiable exhibitions of governmental im- 
becility was exhibited the world has ever seen. He 
declared that Congress had no power to enforce its 
laws in any State which had withdrawn, or which 
was attempting to withdraw from the Union. Thif 
was not the doctrine of Andrew Jackson, when, with 
his hand upon his sword hilt, he exclaimed. "The 
Union must and shall be preserved!" 

South Carolina seceded in December, i86o; nearly 
three months before the inauguration of President 
Lincoln. Mr. Buchanan looked on in listless despair. 
The rebel flag was raised in Charieslon; Fort Sumpter 
was besieged; our forts, navy -yards and arsenals 
were seized ; our depots of military stores were plun- 
dered ; and our custom-houses and post-offices were 
appropriated by the rebels. 

The energy of the rebels, and the imbecility of our 
Executive, were alike marvelous. The Nation looked 
on in agony, waiting for the slow weeks to glide away, 
and close the administration, so terrible in its weak- 
ness At length the long-looked-for hour of deliver- 
ance came, when Abraham Lincoln was to receive the 

The administration of President Buchanan was 
certainly the most calamitous our country has ex ■ 
penenced. His best friends cannot recall if with 
pleasure. And still more deplorable it is for his fame, 
that in that dreadful conflict which rolled its billows 
of flame and blood over our whole land, no word came 
from his lips to indicale his wish that our country.'s 
banner should triumph over the flag rf the rebellion 
He died at his Wheailand retreat, June i. 1868. 


<»-r (2-1- 





^ti D^tXilEi 

< ABRAHAM > gi^f^ J LINCOLN. ! > 


sixteenth President of the 
United States, was born in 
Hardin Co., Ky., Feb. 12, 
i8og. About the year 1780, a 
man by the name of Abraham 
Lincohi left Virginia with his 
family and moved into the then 
wilds of Kentucky. Only two years 
after this emigration, still a young 
man, while working one day in a 
field, was stealthily approached by 
an Indian and shot dead. His widow 
was left in extreme poverty with five 
little children, three boys and two 
girls. Thomas, the youngest of the 
boys, was four years of age at his 
father's death. This Thomas was 
the father of Abraham Lincoln, the 
President of the United States 
must henceforth fo'-ever be enrolled 

whose name 

with the most prominent in the annals of our world. 

Of course no record has been kept of the life 
of one so lowly as Thomas Lincoln. He was among 
the poorest of the poor. His home was a wretched 
log-cabin; his food the coarsest and the meanest. 
Education he had none; he could never either read 
or write. As soon as he was able to do anything for 
. himself, he was compelled to leave the cabin of his 
starving mother, and push out into the world, a friend- 
.ess, wandering boy, seeking work. He hired him- 
self out, and thus spent the whole of his youth as a 
)iborer in the fields of others. 

When twenty-eight years of age he buill a log- 
cabin of his own, and married Nancy Hanks, the 
daughter of another family of poor Kentucky emi- 
grants, who had also come from Virginia. Then- 
second child was Abraham Lincoln, the subject of 
this sketch. The mother of Abraham was a noble 
woman, gentle, loving, pensive, created to adorn 
a palace, doomed to toil and pine, and die in a hovel. 
"All 'hat I am, or hope to be," exclaims the grate- 
ful son " I owe to my angel-mother. " 

When he was eight years of age, his father sold his 

cabin and small farm, and moved to Indiana. Wher- 
two years later his mother died. 

Abraham soon became the scribe of the uneducated 
community around him. He could not have had a 
better school than this to teach him to put thoughts 
into words. He also became an eager reader. The 
books he could obtain were few ; but these he ead 
and re-read until they were almost committf^ tc 

As the years rolled on, the lot of this lowly familj 
was the usual lot of humanity. There were joys anfl 
griefs, weddings and funerals. Abraham's sisto* 
Sarah, to whom he was tenderly attached, was mai 
ried when a child of but fourteen years of age, and 
soon died. The family was gradually-scattered. Mr 
Thomas Lincoln sold out his squatter's claim in 1830 
and emigrated to Macon Co., 111. 

Abraham Lincoln was then twenty-one years of age. 
With vigorous hands he aided his father in . rearing 
another log-cabin. Abraham worked diligently at this 
until he saw the family comfortably settled, and theii 
small lot of enclosed prairie planted with corn, when 
he announced to his father his intention to le^ve 
home, and to go out into the world and seek his for- 
tune. Little did he or his friends imagine how bril- 
liant that fortune was to be. He saw the value oi 
education and was intensely earnest to improve his 
mind to the utmost of his power He saw the ruin 
which ardent spirits were causing, and becam^e 
strictly temperate; refusing to allow a drop of intoxi- 
cating liquor to pass his lips. And he had read in 
God's word, "Thou shalt not take the name of th& 
Lord thy God in vain ;" and a profane expression ha 
was never heard to utter. Religion he revered. Hisi 
morals were pure, and he was uncontaminated by a 
single vice. 

Young Abraham worked for a time as a hired laborei 
among the farmers. Then he went to Springfield, 
where he was employed in building a large flat-boat 
In this he took a herd of swine, floated them down 
(he Sangamon to the IlHnois, and thence by the Mis- 
sissippi to New Orleans. Whatever Abraham Lin- 
coln undertook, he performed so faithfully as to give 
great satisfacticn to his employers. In this adven 



ture his employers were so well pleased, that upon 
his return tiiey placed a store and mill under his care. 
In 1832, at the outbreak of the Black Hawk war, he 
enlisted and was chosen captain of a company. He 
returned to Sangamon County, and although only 23 
years of age, was a caudidate for the Legislature, but 
was defeated. He soon after received from Andrew 
Jackson the appointment of Postmaster of New Salem, 
His only post-office was his hat. All the letters he 
received he carried there ready to deliver to those 
he chanced to meet. He studied surveying, and soon 
made this his business. In 1834 he again became a 
candidate for the Legislature, and was elected Mr. 
Stuart, of Springfield, advised him to study law. He 
walked from New Salem to Springfield, borrowed of 
Mr. Stuart a load of books, carried them back and 
began his legal studies. When the Legislature as- 
sembled he trudged on foot with his pack on his back 
one hundred miles to Vandalia, then the capital. In 
1836 he was re-elected to the Legislature. Here it 
was he first met Stephen A. Douglas. In 1839 he re- 
moved to Springfield and began the practice of law. 
His success with the jury was so great that he was 
soon engaged in almost every noted case in the circuit. 
In 1854 the great discussion began between Mr. 
Lincoln and Mr, Douglas, on the slavery question. 
\\\ the organization of the Republican party in Illinois, 
in 1856, he took an active part, and at once became 
one of the leaders in that party. Mr. Lincoln's 
speeches in opposition to Senator Douglas in the con- 
test in 1858 for a seat in the Senate, form a most 
notable part of his history. The issue was on the 
ilavery question, and he took the broad ground of 
:he Declaration of Independence, that all men are 
created equal. Mr. Lincoln was defeated in this con- 
test, but won a far higher prize. 

The great Republican Convention met at Chicago 
on the i6th of June, i860. The delegates and 
strangers who crowded the city amounted to twenty- 
five thousand. An immense building called "The 
Wigwam," was reared to accommodate the Conven- 
tion. There were eleven candidates for whom votes 
were thrown. William H, Seward, a man whose fame 
as a statesman had long filled the land, was the most 
orominent. It was generally supposed he would be 
the nominee. Abraham Lincoln, however, received 
the nomination on the third ballot. Little did he then 
dream of the weary years of toil and care, and the 
bloody death, to which that nomination doomed him : 
and as little did he dream that he was to render services 
to his country, which would fix upon him the eyes of 
the whole civilized world, and which would give him 
a place in the affections of his countrymen, second 
cnly, if second, to that of Washington. 

Election day came and Mr. Lincoln received 180 
electoral votes out of 203 cast, and was, therefore, 
constitutionally elected President of the United States! 
The tirade of abuse that was poured upon this good 

and merciful man, especially by the slaveholders, was 
greater than upon any other man ever elected to this 
high position. In February, 186 1, Mr. Lincoln started 
for Washington, stop[)ing in all the large cities on his 
way making speeches. The whole journey was frought 
with much danger. Many of the Southern States had 
already seceded, and several attempts at assassination 
were afterwards brought to light. A gang in Balti- 
more had arranged, upon his arrival to "get up a row," 
and in the confusion to make .sure of his death with 
revolvers and hand-grenades. A detective unravelled 
the plot. A secret and special train was provided to 
take him from Harrisburg, through Baltimore, at an 
unexpected hour of the night. The train started at 
half-past ten ; and to prevent any possible communi- 
cation on the part ot the Secessionists with their Con- 
federate gang in Baltimore, as soon as the train haa 
started the telegraph-wires were cut. Mr. Lincoln 
reached Washington in safety and was inaugurated, 
although great anxiety was felt by all loyal people 

In the selection of his cabinet Mr. Lincoln gave 
to Mr. Seward the Department of State, and to other 
prominent opponents before the convention he gave 
important positions. 

During no other administration have the duties 
devolving upon the President been so manifold, and 
the responsibilities so great, as those which fell to 
the lot of President Lincoln. Knowing this, and 
feeling his own weakness and inability to meet, and in 
his own strength to cope with, the difficulties, he 
learned early to seek Divine wisdom and guidance in 
determining his plans, and Divine comfort in all his 
trial?, bo'-.h personal and national Contrary to his 
own estimate of himself, Mr. Lincoln was one of the 
most courageous of men. He went directly into the 
rebel capital just as the retreating foe was leaving, 
with no guard but a few sailors. From the time he 
had left Springfield, in 1861, however, plans had been 
made for his assassination.and he at last fell a victim 
to one of them. April 14, 1865, he, with Gen. Grant, 
was urgently invited to attend Fords' Theater. It 
was announced that they would Le present. Gen. 
Grant, however, left the city. President Lincoln, feel- 
ing, witii his characteristic kindliness of heart, that 
It would be a disappointment if he should fail them, 
very reluctantly consented to go. While listening to 
the play an actor by the name of John Wilkes Booth 
entered the box where the President and family were 
seated, and fired a bullet into his brains. He died the 
next morning at seven o'clock. 

Never before, in the history of the world was a nation 
plunged into such deep grief by the death of its ruler. 
Strong men niet in the streets and wept in speechless 
anguish. It is not too much to say that a nation was 
in tears. His was a life which will fitly bfecome a 
model. His name as the savior of his country w:ll 
hve with that of Washington's, its father; hiscf-untry- 
men being unable to decide whi. h Is tKe ereatet 




teenth President of the United 
States. The early life of 
Andrew Johnson contains but 
the record of poverty, destitu- 
tion and friendlessness. He 
was born December 29, 1808, 
in Raleigh, N. C. His parents, 
belonging to the class of the 
"poor whites " of the South, -were 
in such circumstances, that they 
could not c?nf;r _ .-ei'i the slight- 
est advantages of education upon 
their child. When Andrew was five 
years of age, his father accidentally 
lost his life while herorically endeavoring to save a 
friend from drowning. ''Jnui teii years of age, Andrew 
was a ragged boy about the streets, supported by the 
labor of his feiother, who obtained her living with 
her own hands. 

He then, having never attended a school one day, 
and being unable either to read or write, was ap- 
prenticed to a tailor in his native town. A gentleman 
was in the habit of going to the tailor's shop occasion- 
ally, and reading to the boys at work there. He often 
read from the speeches of distinguished British states- 
men. Andrew, who was endowed with a mind of more 
than ordinary native ability, became much interested 
in these speeches ; his ambition was roused, and he 
was inspired with a strong desire to learn to read. 

He accordingly applied himself to the alphabet, and 
with the assistance of some of his fellow-workmen, 
iearned his letters. Jle then called upon the gentle- 
naan to borrpw the book of speeches. The owner. 

pleased with his zeal, not only gave him the book 
but assisted him in learning to combine the letters 
into words. Under such difficulties he pressed o\- 
ward laboriously, spending usually ten or twelve hours 
at work in the shop, and then robbing himself of rest 
and recreation to devote such time as he could to 

He went to Tennessee in 1826, and located at 
Greenville, where he married a young lady who pos 
sessed some education. Under her instructions he 
learned to write and cipher. He became prominent 
in the village debating society, and a favorite with 
the students of Greenville College. In 1828, he or- 
ganized a working man's party, which elected him 
alderman, and in 1830 elected him mayor, which 
position he held three years. 

He now began to take a lively interest in political 
affairs ; identifying himself with the working-classes, 
to which he belonged. In 1835, he was elected a 
member of the House of Representatives of Tennes- 
see. He was then just twenty-seven years of age. 
He-became a very active member of the legislature 
gave his adhesion to the Democratic party, and iti 
1840 "stumped the State," advocating Martin 1"at] 
Buren's claims to the Presidency, in opposition to thosv. 
of Gen. Harrison. In this campaign he acquired much 
readiness as a speaker, and extended and increased 
his reputation. 

In 1841, he was elected State Senator; in r843, he 
was elected a member of Congress, and by successive 
elections, held that important post for ten years. In 
1853, he was elected Governor of Tennessee, and 
was re-elected in 1855. In all these resiionsible posi- 
tions, he discharged his duties with distinguished abi. 



ity, and proved himself the warm friend of the work- 
ing classes. In 1857, Mr. Johnson was elected 
United States Senator. 

Years before, in 1845, he had warmly advocated 
the annexation of Texas, stating however, as his 
reason, that he thought this annexation would prob- 
ably prove " to be the gateway out of which the sable 
50ns of Africa are to pass from bondage to freedom, 
jmd become merged in a population congenial to 
themselves." In 1850, he also supported the com- 
promise measures, the two essential features of which 
were, that the white people of the Territories should 
be permitted to decide for themselves whether they 
would enslave the colored people or not, and that 
the ^'ree States of the North should return to the 
South persons who attempted to escape from slavery. 

Mr. Johnson was neverashamedof his lowly origin: 
on the contrary, he often took pride in avowing that 
he owed his distinction to his own exertions. " Sir," 
said he on the floor of the Senate, " I do not forget 
that I am a mechanic ; neither do I forget that Adam 
was a tailor and sewed fig-leaves, and that our Sav- 
ior was the son of a carpenter." 

In the Charleston-Baltimore convention of i8i«3, ne 
was the choice of the Tennessee Democrats for the 
Presidency. In i86r, when the purpose of the South- 
irn Democracy became apparent, he took a decided 
•stand in favor of the Union, and held that " slavery 
must be held subordinate to the Union at whatever 
cost." He returned to Tennessee, and repeatedly 
imperiled his own life to protect the Unionists of 
Tennesee. Tennessee having seceded from the 
Union, President Lincoln, on March 4th, r862, ap- 
pointed him Military Governor of the State, and he 
established the most stringent military rule. His 
numerous proclamations attracted wide attention. In 
t864, he was elected Vice-President of the United 
States, and upon the death of Mr. Lincoln, April 15, 
1865, became Presideat. In a speech two days later 
he said, " The American people must be taught, if 
fhey do not already feel, that treason is a crime and 
must be i;unished; that the Government will not 
always bear with its enemies ; that it is strong not 
only to protect, but to punish. * * The people 
must understand that it (treason) is the blackest of 
crimes, and will surely be punished." Yet his whole 
administration, the history of which is so well known, 
was in utter inconsistency with, and the most violent 

opposition to, the principles laid down in that speech. 
In his loose policy of reconstruction and general 
amnesty, he was opposed by Congress ; and he char^ 
acterized Congress as a new rebellion, and lawlessly 
defied it, in everything possible, to the utmost. In 
the beginning of 1868, on account of "high crimes 
and misdemeanors," the principal of which was the 
removal of Secretary Stanton, in violation of the Ten- 
ure of Office Act, articles of impeachment were pre- 
ferred against him, and the trial began March 23. 
It was very tedious, continuing for nearly three 
months. A test article of the impeachment was at 
length submitted to the court for its action. It was 
certain that as the court voted upon that article so 
would it vote upon all. Thirty-four voices pronounced 
the President guilty. As a two-thirds vote was neces- 
sary to his condemnation, he was pronounced ac- 
quitted, notwithstanding the great majority against 
him. The change of one vote from the not guilty 
side would have sustained the impeachment. 

The President, for the remainder of his term, was 
but little regarded. He continued, though impotent!--, 
his conflict with Congress. His own party did not 
think it expedient to renominate him for the Presi- 
dency. The Nation rallied, with enthusiasm unpar- 
alleled since the days of Washington, around the name 
of Gen. Grant. Andrew Johnson was forgotten. 
The bullet of the assassin introduced him to the 
President's chair. Notwithstanding this, never was 
there presented to a man a better opportunity to im- 
mortalize his name, and to win the gratitude of a 
nation. He failed utterly. He retired to his home 
in Greenville, Tenn., taking no very active part in 
politics until r 87 5. On Jan. 26, after an exciting 
struggle, he was chosen by the Legislature of Ten- 
nessee, United States Senator in the forty-fourth Con- 
gress, and took his seat in that body, at the special 
session convened by President Grant, on the 5th of 
March. On the 27th of July, 1875, the ex-President 
made a visit to his daughter's home, near Carter 
Station, Tenn. When he started on his journey, he was 
apparently in his usual vigorous health, but on reach; 
ing the residence of his child the following day, was 
stricken with paralysis, rendering him unconscious; 
He rallied occasionally, but finally passed away at 
2 A.M., July 3T, aged sixty-seven years. His fun- 
eral was attended at Geenville, on the 3d of August, 
with every demonstration of respect. 

'/- c^ .- J^ 



eighteenth President of the 
'United States, was born on 
the 29th of April, 1822, of 
Christian parents, in a humble 
home, at Point Pleasant,. on the 
baftks of the Ohio. Shortly after 
his father moved to George- 
town, Brown Co., O. In this re- 
mote frontier hamlet, Ulysses 
received a common-school edu- 
cation. At the age of seven- 
teen, in the year 1839, he entered 
the Military Academy at West 
Point. H!ere he was regarded as a 
solid, sensible young man of fair abilities, and of 
sturdy, honest character. He took respectable rank 
as a scholar. In June, 1843, he graduated, about the 
middle in his clasSj and was sent as lieutenant of in- 
fantry to one of the distant military posts in the Mis- 
souri Territory. Two years he past in these dreary 
solitudes, watching the vagabond and exasperating 

The war with Mexico came. Lieut. Grant was 
sent with his regiment to Corpus Christi. His first 
battle was at Palo Alto. There was no chance here 
for the exhibition of either skill or heroism, nor at 
Resaca de la Palma, his second battle. At the battle 
of Monterey, his third engagement, it is said that 
lie performed a signal service of daring and skillful 
horsemanship. His brigade had exhausted its am- 
munition. A messenger must be sent for more, along 
a route exposed to the bullets of the foe. Lieut. 
Grant, adopting an expedient learned of the Indians, 
grasped the mane of his horse, and hanging upon one 
sfde of the anjpvil, ran the gauntlet in entire safety. 

From Monterey he was sent, with the fourth infantry, 
10 aid Gen. Scott, at the siege of Vera Cruz. In 
preparation for the march to the city of Mexico, he 
was appointed quartermaster of his regiment. At the 
battle of Molino del Rey, he was promoted to a 
first lieutenancy, and was brevetted captain at Cha- 

At the close of the Mexican War, Capt. Grant re- 
turned with his regiment to New York, and was again 
sent to one of the military posts on the frontier. The 
discovery of gold in California causing an immense 
tide of emigration to flow to the Pacific shores, Capt. 
Grant was sent with a battalion to Fort Dallas, in 
Oregon, for the protection of the interests of the im- 
migrants. Life was wearisome in those wilds. Capt. 
Grant resigned his commission and returned to the 
States ; and having married, entered upon the cultiva- 
tion of a small farm near St.' Louis, Mo. He had but 
little skill as a farmer. Finding his toil not re- 
rhunerative, he turned to mercantile life, entering into 
the leather business, with a younger brother, at Ga- 
lena, 111. This was in the year i860. As the tidings 
of the rebels firing on Fort Sumpter reached the ears 
of Capt. Grant in his counting-room, he said, — 
"Uncle Sam has educated me for the army: though 
I have served him through one war, I do not fee(that 
I have yet repaid the debt. I am still ready to discharge 
my obligations. I shall therefore buckle on my tword 
and see Uncle Sam through this war too." 

He went into the streets, raised a company of vol- 
unteers, and led them as their captain to Springfield, 
the capital of the State, where their services were 
offered to Gov. Yates. The Governor, impressed by 
the zeal and straightforward executive ability of Capt. 
Grant, gave him a desk in his office, to assist in the 
volunteer organization that was being formed in the 
State in behalf of the Government. On the isth of 



June, 1 86 1, Capt. Grant received a commission as 
Colonel of the Twenty-first Regiment of Illinois Vol- 
unteers. His merits as a West Point graduate, who 
had served for 15 years in the regular army, were.such 
that he was soon promoted to the rank of Brigadier- 
General and was placed in command at Cairo. The 
rebels raised their banner at Paducah, near the mouth 
of the Tennessee River. Scarcely had its folds ap- 
peared in the breeze ere Gen. Grant was there. The 
rebels fled. Their banner fell, and the star and 
stripes were unfurled in its stead. 

He entered the service with great determination 
and immediately began active duty. This was the be- 
ginning, and until the surrender of Lee at Richmond 
he was ever pushing the enemy with great vigor and 
effectiveness. At Belmont, a few days later, he sur- 
prised and routed the rebels, then at Fort Henry 
won another victory. Then came the brilliant fight 
at Fort Donelson. The nation was electrified by the 
victory, and the brave leader of the boys in blue was 
immediately made a Major-General, and the miHtary 
iistrict of Tennessee was assigned to him. 

Like all great captains. Gen. Grant knew well how 
to secure the results of victory. He immediately 
pushed on to the enemies' lines. Then came the 
terrible battles of Pittsburg Landing, Corinth, and the 
siege of Vicksburg, where Gen. Pemberton made an 
unconditional surrender of the city with over thirty 
thousand men and one-hundred and seventy-two can- 
non. The fall of Vicksburg was by far the most 
severe blow which the rebels had thus far encountered, 
and opened up the Mississippi from Cairo to the Gulf! 
Gen. Grant was next ordered to co-operate with 
Gen. Banks in a movement upon Texas, and pro- 
treeded to New Orieans, where he was thrown from 
his horse, and received severe injuries, from which he 
was laid up for months. He then rushed tj> the aid 
of Gens. Rosecrans and Thomas at Chattanooga, and 
by a wonderful series of strategic and technical meas- 
ures put the Union Army in fighring condition Then 
followed the bioody battles at Chattanooga, Lockout 
Mountam and Missionary Ridge, in which the rebels 
were routed with great loss. This won for him un- 
bounded praise in the North. On the 4th of Febru- 
ary, 1864, Congress revived the grade of lieutenant- 
general, and the rank was conferred on Gen Grant 
He repaired to Washington to receive his credentials 
:nd enter upon '.bp duties of his new office 

Gen. Grant decided as soon as he took charge of 
the army to concentrate the widely-dispersed National 
troops for an attack upon Richmond, the nominal 
capital of the Rebellion, and endeavor there to de- 
stroy the rebel armies which would be promptly as- 
sembled from all quarters for its defence. The whole 
conrinent seemed to tremble under the tramp of these 
majestic armies, rushing to the decisive battle field. 
Steamers were crowded with troops. Railway trains 
were burdened with closely packed thousands. His 
plans were comprehensive and involved a series of 
campaigns, which were executed with remarkable en- 
ergy and ability, and were consummated at the sur- 
render of Lee, April 9, 1865. 

The war was ended. The Union was saved. The 
almost unanimous voice of the Nation declared Gen. 
Grant to be the most prominent instrument in its sal- 
vation. The eminent services he had thus rendered 
the country brought him conspicuously forward as the 
Republican candidate for the Presidential chair. 

At the Republican Convention held at Chicago. 
May 21, 1868, he was unanimously nominated for the 
Presidency, and at the autumn election received a 
majority of the popular vote, and 2r4 out of 294 
electpral votes. 

The National Convention of the Republican party 
which met at Philadelphia on the 5th of June, 1872, 
placed Gen. Grant in nomination for a second term' 
by a unanimous vote. The selecrion was emphati- 
cally indorsed by the people five months later, 292 
electoral votes being cast for him. 

Soon after the close of his second term, Gen. Grant 
started upon his famous trip around the world. He 
visited almost every country of the civilized world, 
and was everywhere received with such ovations 
and demonstrations of respect and honor, private 
as well as public and official, as were never before 
bestowed upon any citizen of the United States. 

He was the most prominent candidate before the 
Republican National Convention in 1880 for a re- 
nominatiori for President. He went to New York and 
embarked in the brokerage business under the firm 
nameof Grant & Ward. The latter proved a villain, 
wrecked Grants fortune, and for larceny was sent to 
the penitentiary. The General was attacked with 
cancer m the throat, but suffered in his stoic-like 
manner, never complaining. He was re-instated as 
General of the Army and retired by Congress. The 
cancer soon finished its deadly work, and July 23, 
1885, the nation wenf in mourning over the death of 
the illustrious General. 










the nineteenth President of 
the United States, was born in 
Delaware, O., Oct. 4, 1822, al- 
most three months after the 
death of his father, Rutherford 
Hayes. His ancestry on. both 
the paternal and maternal sides, 
was of the most honorable char- 
acter. It can be traced, it is said, 
as far back as 1280, when Hayes and 
Rutherford were two Scottish chief- 
tains, fighting side by side with 
Baliol, William Wallace and Robert 
Bruce. Both families belonged to the 
nobility, owned extensive estates, 
and had a large following. Misfor- 
tane ovfertaking the family, George Hayes left Scot- 
land in 1680, and settled in Windsor, Conn. His son 
George was; born in Windsor, and remained there 
during his life. Daniel Hayes, son of the latter, mar- 
ried Sarah Lee, and lived from the time of his mar- 
riage until hJs death in Simsbury, Conn. Ezekiel, 
son of Daniel, was born in 1724, and was a manufac- 
turer of scythcij at Bradford, Conn. Rutherford Hayes, 
son of Ezekiel and grandfather of President Hayes, was 
born in New Haven, in August, 1756. He was a farmer, 
blacksmith and tavern-keeper. He emigrated to 
Vermont at an unknown date, settling in Erattleboro, 
where he established a hotel. Here his son Ruth- 
erford Hayes the father of President Hayes, was 

bom. He was married, in September, 18 13, to Sophia 
Birchard, of Wilmington, Vt., whose ancestors emi- 
grated thither from Connecticut, tliey having beeri 
among the wealthiest and best famlies of Norwich. 
Her ancestry on the male side are traced back to 
1635, to John Birchard, one of the principal founders 
of Norwich. Both of her grandfathers were soldiers 
in the Revolutionary War. 

The father of President Hayes was an industrious 
frugal and opened-hearted man. He was of a me. 
chanical turn, and could mend a plow, knit a stock- 
ing, or do almost anything else that he choose to 
undertake. He was a member of the Church, active 
in all the benevolent enterprises of the town, and con- 
ducted his business on Christian principles. After 
the close of the war of 181 2, for reasons inexplicable 
to his neighbors, he resolved to emigrate to Ohio. 

The journey from Vermont to Ohio in that day 
when there were no canals, steamers, nor railways, 
was a very serious affair. A tour of inspection was 
first made, occupying four months. Mr. Hayes deter 
mined to move to -Delaware, where the family arrived 
in i8t7. He died July 22, 1822, a victim of malarial 
fever, less than three months before the birth of the 
son, of whom we now write. Mrs. Hayes, in her sore be- 
reavement, fo.und the support she so much needed in 
her brother Sardis, who had been a member of the 
household from the day of its departure from Ver- 
mont, and in an orphan girl whom she had adopted 
some time before as an act of charity. 

Mrs. Hayes at this period was very weak, and the 



subject of this sketch was so feeble at birth that he 
was not expected to live beyond a month or two at 
most. As the months went by he grew weaker and 
weaker, so that the neighbors were in the habit of in- 
quiring from time to time " if Mrs. Hayes' baby died 
last night." On one occasion a neighbor, who was on 
fimiliar terms with the family, after alluding to the 
boy's big head, and the mother's assiduous care of 
nim, said in a bantering way, " That's right ! Stick to 
him. You have got him along so far, and I shouldn't 
wonder if he would really come to something yet." 

" You need not laugh," said Mrs. Hayes. "You 
vait and see. You can't tell but I shall make him 
President of the United States yet." The boy lived, 
in spite of the universal predictions of his speedy 
death; and when, in 1825, his older brother was 
drowned, he became, if possible, still dearer to his 

The boy was seven years old before he w^nt to 
school. His education, however, was not neglected. 
He probably learned as much from his mother and 
fister as he would have done at school. His sports 
were almost wholly within doors, his playmates being 
his sister and her associates. These circumstances 
tended, no doubt, to foster that gentleness of dispo- 
sition, and that delicate consideration for the feelings 
of others, which are marked traits of his character. 
His uncle Sardis Birchard took the deepest interest 
in his education ; and as the boy's health had im- 
proved, and he was making good progress in his 
studies, he proposed to send him to college. His pre- 
paration commenced with a tutor at home; but he 
was afterwards sent for one year to a professor in the 
Wesleyan University, in Middletown, Conn. He en- 
tered Kenyon College in 1838, at the age of sixteen, 
and was graduated at the head of his class in 1842. 
Immediately after his graduation he began the 
study of law in the office of Thomas Sparrow, Esq., 
in Columbus. Finding his opportunities for study in 
Columbus somewhat limited, he determined to enter 
the Law School at Cambridge, Mass., where he re- 
mained two years. 

In 1845, after graduatmg at the Law School, he was 
admitted to the bar at Marietta, Ohio, and shortly 
afterward went into practice as an attorney-at-law 
with Ralph P. Buckland, of Fremont. Here he re- 
mained three years, acquiring but a limited practice, 
and apparently unambitious of distinction in his pro- 

""oi 1849 he mdved to Cincumati, where his ambi- 
tion found a new stimulus. For several years, how- 
ever, his progress was slow. Two events, occurring at 
this period, had a powerful influence upon his subse- 
quent 'ife. One of these was his marrage with Miss 
Lucy Ware Webb, daughter of Dr. James Webb, of 
Chilicothe ; the other was his introduction to the Cin- 
cinnati Literary Club, a body embracing among its 
members such men as'^hief Justice Salmon P. Chase, 

Gen. John Pope, Gov. Edward F. Noyes, and many 
others hardly less distinguished in after life. The 
marriage was a fortunate one in every respect, as 
everybody knows. Not one of all the wives of our 
Presidents was more universally admired, reverenced 
and beloved than was Mrs. Hayes, and no one did 
more than she to reflect honor upon American woman 
hood. The Literary Cluo brought Mr. Hayes into 
constant association with young men of high char- 
acter and noble aims, and lured him to display the 
qualities so long hidden by his bashfulness and 

In 1856 he was nominated to the office of .Judge of 
the Court of Common Pleas ; but he declined to ac- 
cept the nomination. Two years later, the office ot 
city solicitor becoming vacant, the City Council 
elected him for the unexpired teim. 

In 1 861, when the Rebellion broke out, he was at 
tne zenith of his professional Iff,. His rank at the 
bar was among the the first. But the news of the 
attack on Fort Sumpter found him eager to take ud 
arms for the defense of his country. 

His military record was bright and illustrious. In 
October, 186 1, he was made Lieutenant-Colonel, and 
in August, 1862, promoted Colonel of the 79th Ohio 
regiment, but he refused to leave his old comrades 
and go among strangers. Subsequently, however, he 
was made Colonel of his old regiment. At the battle 
of South Mountain he received a wound, and while 
faint and bleeding displayed courage and fortitude 
that won admiration from all. 

Col. Hayes was detached from his regiment, after 
his recovery, to act as Brigadier-General, and placed 
in command of the celebrated Kanawha division, 
and for gallant and meritorious services in the battles 
of Winchester, Fisher's Hill and Cedar Creek, he was 
promoted Brigadier-General. He was also brevetted 
Major-General, "forgallant and distinguished services 
during the campaigns of 1864, in West Virginia." In 
the course of his arduous services, four horses were 
shot from under him, and he was wounded four times. 
In 1864, Gen. Hayes was elected to Congress, from 
the Second Ohio District, which had long been Dem- 
ocratic. He was not present during the campaign, 
and after his election was importuned to resign his 
commission in the army ; but he finally declared, " I 
shall never come to Washington until I can come by 
the way of Richmond." He was re-elected in 1866. 

In 1867, Gen Hayes was elected Governor of Ohio, 
over Hon. Allen G. Thunnan, a popular Democrat. 
In 1869 was re-eleoted over George H. Pendleton. 
He was elected Governor for the third term in 1875. 
In 1876 he was the standard bearer of the Repub- 
lican Pnrty in the Presidential contest, and after a 
hard long contest was chosen President, and was in 
aui;urated Monday, March 5, 1875. He served his 
lull term, not, hcwever, with satisfaction to his partyi 
but his admiiristration was an average o.-ys 




Mi^il 1, ©411111,1, i i 

•ifeZ V^B* V ^^v W -*lS^ 

tieth President of the United 
States, was born Nov. ig, 
1831, in the woods of Orange, 
Cuyahoga Co., O His par- 
ents were Abram and Eliza 
(Ballou) Garfield, both of New 
England ancestry aiid from fami- 
lies well known in the early his- 
tory of that section of our coun- 
try, but had moved to the Western 
Reserve, in Ohio, early in its settle- 

The house in which James A. was 
bom was not unlike the houses of 
poor Ohio farmers of that day. It 
.ds about 20x30 feet, built of logs, with the spaces be- 
.veen the logs filled with clay. His father was a 
;iard working farmer, and he soon had his fields 
cleared, an orchard planted, and a log barn built. 
J"he household, comprised the father and mother and . 
jheir four children — Mehetabel, Thomas, Mary and 
'ames. In May, I823^ the father, from a cold con- 
.racted in helping to put out a forest fire, died. At 
this time James was about eighteen months old, and 
Thomas about ten years old. No one, perhaps, can 
fell how much James was indebted to his brother's 
coil and self-sacrifice during the twenty years suc- 
ceeding his father's death, but undoubtedly very 
much. He now lives in Michigan, and the two sis- 
ters live in Solon, O., near their birthplace. 

The early educational advantages young Garfield 
enjoyed were very limited, yet he made the most of 
them. He labored at farm work for others, did car- 
penter work, chopped wood, or did anythirig that 
would bring in a few dollars to aid his widowed 
mother in he' struggles to keep the little fatmly to- 

gether. Nor was Gen. Garfield ever ashamed of his 
origin, and he never forgot the friends of his strug- 
gling childhood, youth and manhood, neither did they 
ever forget him. When in the highest seats of honor 
the humblest fiiend of his boyhood was as kindly 
greeted as ever. The poorest laborer was sureof the 
sympathy of one who had known all the bitterness 
of want and the sweetness of bread earned by the 
sweat of the brow. He was ever the simple, plain, 
modest gentleman. 

The highest ambition of young Garfield until h-i 
was about sixteen years old was to be a captain oi 
a vessel on Lake Erie. He was anxious to go aboard 
a vessel, which his mother strongly opposed. She 
finally consented to his going to Cleveland, with the 
understanding, however, that he should try to obtair 
some other kind of employment. He walked all the 
way to Cleveland. This was his first visit to the city 
After making many applications for work, and trying 
to get aboard a lake vessel, and not meeting with 
success, he engaged as a driver for his cousin, Amos 
Letcher, on the Ohio & Pennsylvania Canal. He re- 
mained at this work but a short time when he wen'; 
home, and attended the seminary at Chester for 
about three years, when he entered Hiram and the 
Eclectic Institute, teaching a few terms of school in 
the meantime, and doing other work. This school 
was started by the Disciples of Christ in 1850, of 
which church he was then a member. He became 
janitor and bell-ringer in order to help pay his way 
He then became both teacher and pupil. He soon 
" exhausted Hiram " and needed more ; hence, in the 
fall of 1854, he entered Williams College, from which 
he graduated in 1856, taking one of the highest hr*.- 
ors of his class. He afterwards returned to Hiram 
College as its President. As above stated, he early 
united with the Christian or Diciples Church at 
Hiram, and was ever after a devoted, zealous mem- 
ber, often preaching in its pulpit and places where 
he happened to be. Dr. Noah Porter, President of 
Yale College, says of him in reference to his religion ; 



" President Garfield was more than a man of 
strong moral and religious convictions. His whole 
history, from boyhood to the last, shows that duty to 
man and to God, and devotion to Christ and life and 
faith and spiritual commission were controlling springs 
of his being, and to a more than usual degree. In 
.ny judgmeuL there is no more interesting feature of 
iiis character than his loyal allegiance to the body of 
Christians in which he was trained, and the fervent 
sympathy which he ever showed in their Christian 
communion. Not many of the few 'wise and mighty 
and noble who are called' show a similar loyalty to 
the less stately and cultured Christian communions 
in which they have been reared. Too often it is true 
that as they step upward in social and political sig- 
nificance they step upward from one degree to 
another in some of the many types of fashionable 
Christianity. President Garfield adhered to the 
church of his mother, the church in which he was 
trained, and in which he served as a pillar and an 
evangelist, and yet with the largest and most unsec- 
tarian charity for all 'who loveour Lord in sincerity.'" 
Mr. Garfield was united in marriage with Miss 
Lucretia Rudolph, Nov. ii, 1858, who proved herself 
worthy as the wife of one whom all the world loved and 
mourned. To them were born seven children, five of 
whom are still living, four boys and one girl. 

Mr. Garfield made his first political speeches in 1856, 
in Hiram and the neighboring villages, and three 
years later he began to speak at county mass-meet- 
ings, and became the favorite speaker wherever he 
was. During this year he was elected to the Ohio 
Senate. He also began to study law at Cleveland, 
andin r86i was admitted to the bar. The great 
Rebellion broke out in the early part of this year, 
and Mr. Garfield at once resolved to fight as he had' 
talked, and enlisted to defend the old flag. He re- 
ceived his commission as Lieut.-Colonel of the Forty- 
second Regiment of Ohio Volunteer Infantry, Aug. 
r4, 1861. He was immediately put into active ser- 
vice, and before he had ever seen a gun fired in action, 
was placed in command of four regiments of infantry 
and eight companies of cavalry, charged with the 
work of driving out of his native State the officer 
[Humphrey Marshall) reputed to be the ablest of 
those, not educated to war whom Kentucky had given 
to the Rebellion. This work was bravely and speed- 
ily accornplished, although against great odds. Pres- 
ident Lincoln, on his success commissioned him 
Brigadier-General, Jan. 10, 1862; and as "he had 
been the youngest man in the Ohio Senate two years 
before, so now he was the youngest General in the 
army." He was with Gen. Buell's army at Shiloh 
in us operations around Corinth and its march through 
Alabama. He was then detailed as a member of the 
General Court-Martial for the trial of Gen. Fitz-Tohn 
Porter. He was then ordered to report to Gen Rose- 
crans, and was assigned to the "Chief of Staff." 
The military l«"story of Gen. Garfield closed with 

his brilliant services at Chickamauga, where he won 
the stars or the Major-General. 

Without an effort on his part Ge? Garfield wa» 
elected to Congress in the fall of 1862 from the 
Nineteenth District of Ohio. This section of Ohio 
had been represented in Congress for sixty year* 
mainly by two men — Elisha Whittlesey and Joshui, 
R. Giddings. It was not without a struggle that he 
resigned his place in the army. At the time he en- 
tered Congress he was the youngest member in that 
body. There he remained by successive re- 
elections until he was elected President in 1880. 
Of his labors in Congress Senator Hoar says : " Since 
the year 1864 you cannot think of a question which 
has been debated in Congress, or discussed before a 
tribunel of the American people, in regard to whict 
you will not find, if you wish instruction, the argu» 
ment on one side stated, in almost every instance 
better than by anybody else, in some speech made in 
the House of Representatives or on the hustings by 
Mr. Garfield." 

Upon Jan. 14, 1880, Gen. Garfield was elected to 
the U. S. Senate, and on the eighth of June, of the 
same year, was nominated as the candidate of his 
party for President at the great Chicago Convention. 
He was elected in the following November, and on 
March 4, 1881, was inaugurated. Probably no ad- 
ministration ever opened its existence under brighter 
auspices than that of President Garfield, and every 
day it grew in favo.- with the people, and by the first 
of July he had completed all the initiatory and pre- 
liminary work of his administration and was prepar- 
ing to leave the city to meet his friends at Williams 
College. While on his way and at the depot, in com- 
pany with Secretary Blaine, .a man stepped behind 
him, drew a revolver, and fired directly at his back. 
The President tottered and fell, and as he did so the 
assassin fired a second shot, the bullet cutting the 
left coat sleeve of his victim, but in.licting no farther 
injury. It has been very truthfully said that this was 
" the shot that was heard round the world " Never 
before in the history of the Nation had anything oc- 
curred which so nearly froze the blood of the peopl; 
for the moment, as this awful deed. He was smit- 
ten on the brightest, gladdest day of all his life, and 
was at the summit of his power and hope. Foreighty 
days, all during the hot months of July and August, 
he lingered and suffered. He, however, remained 
master of himself till the last, and by his magnificent 
bearing was teaching the country and the world the 
noblest of human lessons — how to live grandly in the 
very clutch of death. Great in life, he was surpass- 
ingly great in death. He passed serenely away Sept. 
19, 1883, at Elberon, N. J , on the very bank of the 
ocean, where he had-been taken shortly previous. The 
world wept at his death, as it never had done on the 
death of any other man who had ever lived upon it. 
The murderer was duly tried, found guilty and exe- 
cuted, in one year after he comm^itt«d the foul deed. 




twenty-first PresH^-m of the 

United States, was born in 

Franklin Cour.ty, Vermont, on 

thefifthofOdober, 1830, andis 

the oldest of a family of two 

sons and five daughters. His 

father was the Rev. Dr. William 

A'rthur, aBaptistd',rgyman,who 

emigrated to tb'.s countr)' from 

the county Antrim, Ireland, in 

his 1 8th year, and died in 1875, in 

Newtopville, neai Albany, after a 

long apd successful ministry. 

Young Arthur was educated at 
Union College, S( henectady, where 
he excelled in all his studies. Af- 
ter his graduation he taught school 
in Vermont for two years, and at 
the expiration of that time came to 
Nevf^York, with $500 in his pocket, 
and entered the office of ex- Judge 
E. D. Culver as student. After 
being admitted to the bar he formed 
1 partnership with his intimate friend and room-mate, 
Henry D. Gardiner, with the intention of practicing 
in the West, and for three months they roamed about 
In the Western States in search of an eligible site. 
Out in the end returned to New York, where they 
hung out their shingle, and entered upon a success^ 
ful career almost from the start. General Arthur 
soon afterward rt»rr''d the daughter of Lieutenant 

Herndon, of the United States Navy, who was lost at 
sea. Congress voted a gold medal to his widow in 
recognition of the bravery he displayed on that occa- 
sion. Mrs. Arthur died shortly before Mr. Arthur's 
nomination to the Vice Presidency, leaving two 

Gen. Arthur obtained considerable legal celebrity 
in his first great case, the famous Lemmon suit, 
brought to recover possession of eight slaves who had 
been declared free by Judge Paine, of the Superior 
Court of New York City. It was in 1852 that Jon.i 
athan Lemmon, of Virginia, went to New York with 
his slaves, intending to ship them to Texas, when 
they were discovered and freed. The Judge decided 
that they could not be held by the owner under the 
Fugitive Slave Law. A howl of rage went up from 
the South, and the Virginia Legislature authorized the 
Attorney General of that State to assist in an appeal. 
Wm. M. Evarts and Chester A. Arthur were employed- 
to represent the People, and they won their case, 
which then went to the Supreme Court of the United 
States. Charles O'Conor here espoused the cause 
of the slave-holders, but he too was beaten by Messrs 
Evarts and Arthur, and a long step was taken toward 
the emancipation of the black race. 

Another great service was rendered by General 
Arthur in the same cause in 1856. Lizzie Jennings, 
a respectable colored woman, was put off a Fourth 
Avenue car with violence after she had paid her fare. 
General Arthur sued on her behalf, and secured a 
verdict of $500 damages. The next day the compa- 
ny issued an order to admit colored persons to ride 
on their cars, and the other car companies quickly 



followed their example. Before that the Sixth Ave- 
nue Company ran a few special cars for colored per- 
sons and the other lines refused to let them ride at all. 
General Arthur was a delegate to the Convention 
at Saratoga that founded the Republican party. 
Previous to the war he was Judge-Advocate of the 
Second Brigade of the State of New York, and Gov- 
ernor Morgan, of that State, appointed hmi Engineer- 
in-Chief of his staff. In 1861, he was made Inspec- 
tor General, and soon afterward became Quartermas- 
ter-General. In each of these offices he rendered 
great service to the Government during the war. At 
the end of Governor Morgan's term he resumed the 
practice of the law, forming a partnership with Mr. 
. Ransom, and then Mr. Phelps, the District Attorney 
of New York, was added to the firm. The legal prac- 
tice of this well-known firm was very large and lucra- 
tive, each of the gentlemen composing it were able 
lawyers, and possessed a splendid local reputation, if 
not indeed one of national extent. 

He always took a leading part in State and city 
politics. He was appointed Collector of the Port of 
New York by President Grant, Nov. 21 1872, to suc- 
ceed Thomas Murphy, and held the office until July, 
■JO, 1878, when he was succeeded by Collector Merritt. 
Mr. - Arthur was nominated on the Presidential 
ticket, with Gen. James A. Garfield, at the famous 
National Republican Convention held at Chicago in 
June, 1880. This was perhaps the greatest political 
convention that ever assembled on the continent. It 
was composed of the heading politicians of the Re- 
publican party, all able men, and each stood firm and 
fought vigorously and with signal tenacity for their 
respective candidates that were before the conven- 
tion for the nomination. Finally Gen. Garfield re- 
ceived the nomination for President and Gen. Arthur 
for Vice-President. The campaign which followed 
was one of the most animated known in the history of 
our country. Gen. Hancock, the standard-bearer of 
the Democratic party, was a popular man, and his 
party made a valiant fight for his election. 

Finally the election came and the country's choice 
,vas Garfield and Arthur. They were inaugurated 
vvlarch 4, r88x, as President and Vice-President. 
k few months only had passed ere the newly chosen 
President was the victim of the assassin's bullet. Then 
came terrible weeks of suffering, — those moments of 
anxious suspense, wher the hearts of all civilized na- 

tions were throbbing in unison, longing for the re- 
covery of the noble, the good President. The remark- 
able patience that he manifested during those hours 
and weeks, and even months, of the most terrible suf- 
fering man has often been called upon to endure, was 
seemingly more than human. It was certainly God- 
like. During all this period of deepest anxiety Mr. 
Arthur's every move was watched, and be it said to his 
credit that his every action displayed only an earnest 
desire that the suffering Garfield might recover, to 
serve the remainder of the term he had so auspi- 
ciously begun. Not a selfish feeling was manifested 
in deed or look of this man, even though the most 
honored position in the world was at any moment 
likely to fall to him. 

At last God in his mercy relieved President Gar- 
field from further suffering, and the world, as never 
before in its history over the death of any other 
man, wept at his bier. Then it became the dutyof 
the Vice President to jcSsume the responsibilities of 
the high office, and he took the oath in New York, 
Sept. 20, 1881. The position was an embarrassing 
one to him, made doubly so from the facts that all 
eyes were on him, anxious to know what he would do, 
what policy he would pursue, and who he would se- 
lect as advisers. The duties of the office had been 
greatly neglected during the President's long illness, 
and many important measures were to be immediately 
decided by him ; and still farther to embarrass him he 
did not fail to realize under what circumstances he 
became President, and knew the feelings of many on 
this point. Under these trying circumstances President 
Arthur took the reins of the Government in his own 
hands ; and, as embarrassing as were the condition of 
affairs, he happily surprised the nation, acting sc 
wisely Jhat but few criticised his administration. 
He served the nation well and faithfully, until the 
close of his administration, March 4, 1885, and was 
a popular candidate before his party for a second 
term. His name was ably presented before the con- 
vention at Chicago, and was received with great 
favor, and doubtless but for the personal popularity 
of one of the opposing candidates, he would have 
been selected as the standard-bearer of his party 
for another campaign. He retired to private life car- 
tying with him the best wishes of the American peo- 
ple, whom he had served in a manner satisfactory 
to them and with credit to himself. 









LANDjthe twenty-second Pres- 
ident of the United States, was 
born in 1837, in the obscure 
'}!■ 7b^.dV\y^'t, town of Caldwell, Essex Co., 
'"t *^*.r " ' ' N. J., and in a little two-and-a- 
half-story white house which is still 
standing, characteristically to mark 
the humble birth-place of one of 
America's great men in striking con- 
trast with the Old World, where all 
men high in oflSce must be high in 
origin and born in the cradle of 
wealth. When the subject of this 
sketch was three years of agfe, his 
father, who was a Presbyterian min- 
ister, with a large family and a small salary, moved, 
by way of the Hudson River and Erie Canal, to 
Fayetteville, in search of an increased income and a 
larger field of work. Fayetteville was then the most 
straggling of country villages, about five miles from 
Pompey Hill, where Governor Seymour was born. 

At the last mentioned place young Grover com- 
menced going to school in the " good, old-fashioned 
way," and presumably distinguished himself after the 
manner of all village boys, in doing the things he 
ought not to do. Such is the distinguishing trait of 
all geniuses and independent thinkers. When he 
arrived at the age of 14 years, he had outgrown the 
capacity of the village school and expressed a most 

emphatic desire to be sent to an academy. To this 
his father decidedly objected. Academies in those 
days cost money; besides, his father wanted him. to 
become self-supporting by the quickest possible 
means, and this at that time in Fayette/ille seemed 
to be a position in a country store, where his father 
and the large family on his hands had considerable 
influence; Grover was to be paid $50 for his services 
the first year, and if he proved trustworthy he was to 
receive $100 the second year. Here the lad com- 
menced his career as salesman, and in two years he 
had earned so good a reputation for trustworthiness 
that his employers desired to retain him for an in- 
definite length of time. Otherwise he did not ex- 
hibit as yet any particular " flashes of genius " or 
eccentricities of talent. He was simply a good boy. 
But instead of remaining with this firm in Fayette- 
ville, he went with the family in their removal to 
Clinton, where he had an opportunity of attending a 
high school. Here he industriously pursued his 
studies until the family removed with him to a point 
on Black River known as the " Holland Patent," a 
village of 500 or 600 people, r5 miles north of Utica, 
N. Y. At this place his father died, after preaching 
but three Sundays. This event broke up the family, 
and Grover set out for New York City to accept, at a 
small salary, the position of " under-teacher " in an 
asylum for the blind. He taught faithfully for two 
years, and although he obtained a good reputation in 
this capacity, he concluded that teaching was not his 



calling for life, and, reversing the traditional order, 
he left the city to seek his fortune, inste^t? o*' eoing 
to a city. He first tnougnr oi Cleveland, Ohio, as 
there was some charm in that name for him; but 
before proceeding to that place he went to Buffalo to 
isk the advice of his uncle, Lewis F. Allan, a noted 
stock-breeder of that place. The latter did not 
speak enthusiastically. " What is it you want to do, 
my boy ? " he asked. " Well, sir, I want to study 
lav," was the reply, " Good gracious ! " remarked 
ih« old gentleman ; " do you, indeed .' What ever put 
that into your head? How much money have you 
got?" "Well, sir, to tell the truth, I haven't got 

After a long consultation, his uncle offered him a 
p!a.ce temporarily as assistant herd-keeper, at $50 a 
year, while lie could "look around." One day soon 
jifterward he boldly walked into the office of Rogers, 
Bowen & Rogers, of Buffalo, and told ;;hem what he 
wanted. A number of young men were already en- 
gaged in the office, but Grover's persistency won, and 
he was finally permitted to come as an office boy and 
aave the use of the law library, for the nominal sum 
of $3 or $4 a week. Out of tliis he had to pay for 
his board and washing. The walk to and from his 
uncle's was a long and rugged one; and, although 
the first winter was a memorably severe one, his 
shoes were out of repair and his overcoat — he had 
none — yet he was nevertheless prompt and regular. 
On the first day of his service here, his senior em- 
ployer threw down a copy of Blackstone before him 
with a bang that made the dust fly, saying "That's 
where they all begin." A titter ran around the little 
circle of clerks and students, as they thought that 
was enough to scare young Grover out of his plans ; 
Out in due time he mastered that cumbersome volume. 
Then, aS ever afterward, however, Mr. Cleveland 
exhibited a talent for executiveness rather than for 
chasing principles through all their metaphysical 
possibilities. " Let us quit talking and go and do 
it," was practically his motto. 

The first public office to which Mr. Cleveland was 
elected was that of Sheriff of Erie Co., N. Y., in 
which Buffalo is situated; and in such capacity it fell 
to his duty to inflict capital py'-.ishment upon two 
cainiinals. In 1881 he was elected Mayor of the 
City of Buffalo, on the Democratic ticket, with es- 
pecial reference to the bringing about certain reforms 

in the administration of the municipal affairs of that 
c-'t" Tr. this office, as well as that of Sheriff, his 
penormance of duty has generally been considered 
fair, with possibly a few exceptions which were fer- 
reted out and magnified during the last Presidential 
campaign. As a specimen of his plain language in 
a veto message, we quote from one vetoing an iniqui. 
tons street-cleaning contract : " This is a time fot 
plain speech, and my objection to your action shall 
be plainly stated. I regard it as the culmination of 
a mos bare-faced, impudent and shameless scheme 
to betray the interests of the people and to worse 
than squander the people's money." The New York 
Sun afterward very highly commended Mr. Cleve- 
land's administration as Mayor of BuflFalo, and there- 
upon recommended him for Governor of the Empire 
State. To the latter office he was elected in 1882, 
and his administration of the affairs of State was 
generally satisfactory. The mistakes he madCj if 
any, were made very public throughout the nation 
after he was nominated for President of the United 
States. -sSox this high office he was nominated July 
It, i884,.J)y the National Democratic Convention at 
Chicago, ' when other competitors were Thomas F, 
Bayard, Roswell P. Flower, Thomas A. Hendricks, 
Benjamin F. Butler, Allen G. Thurman, etc.; and he 
was elected by the people, by a majority of about a 
thousand, over the brilliant and long-tried Repub- 
lican statesman, James G. Blaine. President Cleve- 
land resigned his office as Governor of New York in 
January, 1885, in order to prepare for his duties as 
the Chief Executive of the United States, in which 
capacity his term commenced at noon on the 4th of 
March, 1885. For his Cabinet officers he selected 
the following gentlemen: For Secretary of State, 
Thomas F. Bayard, of Delaware ; Secretary of the 
Treasury, Daniel Manning, of New York ; Secretary 
of War, William C. Endicott, of Massachusetts ; 
Secretary of the Navy, William C. Whitney, of New 
York ; Secretary of the Interior, L. Q. C. Lamar, of 
Mississippi; Postmaster-General, William F. Vilas, 
of Wisconsin ; Attorney-General, A. H. Garland, of 

The silver question precipitated a controversy be- 
tween those who were in favor of the continuance of 
silver coinage and those who were opposed, Mr. 
Cleveland answering for the latter, even before his 

^cdi2yoc/ C^^ 




Benjamin harrison, the 

uwenty-third President, is 
the descendant of one of the 
historical families of this 
country. The head of tlie 
family was a Wnjor General 
Harrison, one of Oliver 
Cromwell's trusted follow- 
ers and fighters. In tlio zenith of Crom- 
well's power it became the duty of this 
Harrison to participate m tne trial of 
Charles I, and afterward to sign the 
death warrant of the king. He subse- 
quently paid for this with his life, being 
hungOct. 13, 16G0. His descendants 
came to America, and the next of the 
family that appears in history is Benja- 
n;in Harrison, of Virginia, great-grand- 
father of the subject of this sketch, and 
after wliom he was named. Benjamin Harrison 
was a member of the Continental Congress during 
the years j. 774-5-6, and was one of the original 
signers of the Declaration of Independence. He 
wa- three times elected Governor of Virginia, 
Gen William Henry Harrison, the son of the 

distinguished patriot of the Revolution, after a suo- 
cessful career as a soldier during the War of 1812, 
and with -a clean record as Governor of the North- 
western Territory, was elected President of the 
United States in 1840. His carser was cut short 
by death within one month :ifter .lis inauguration. 
President Harrison war. bcrn at ^Toutl^ Bond, 
Hamilton Co., Ohio, Aug. TO, 18a3. His life up to 
the time of his graduation by the Miami University, 
at Oxford, Ohio, was the uneventful one of a coun- 
try lad of a family of small means. His father was 
able to give him a good education, and nothing 
more. He became engaged while at college to tho 
daughter of Dr. Scott, Principal of a female schoo 
at Oxford. After graduating he determined to en- 
ter upon the study of the law. He went to Cin 
cinnati and then read law for two years. At tht 
expiration of that time young Harrison received tb'. 
only inheritance of his life ; his aunt dying left iiim 
a lot valued at 1800. He regarded this legacy as s 
fortune, and decided to get married at once, talis 
this money and go to some Eastern town an ', be- 
gin the practice of law. He sold his lot, and with 
the money in his pocket, he started out witu his 
young wife to fight for a place in the world. 




decided to go to Indianapolis, which was even at 
that time a town of promise. He met with slight 
encouragement at first, making scarcely anything 
the first year. He worked diligently, applying him- 
self closely to his calling, built up an extensive 
practice and took a leading rank in the legal pro- 
ression. He is the father of two children. 

In 1860 Mr. Harrison was nominated for the 
position of Supreme Court Reporter, and then be- 
gan his experience as a stiiimp speakei He can- 
vassed the State thoroughly, and was elected by a 
handsome majority. In 1862 he raised the 17th 
Indiana Infantry, and was chosen its Colonel. His 
regiment was composed of the rawest of material, 
Dut Col. Harrison employed all his time at first 
mastering military tactics and drilling his men, 
when he therefore came to move toward the East 
with Sherman his regiment was one of the best 
drilled and organized in the army. At Resaca he 
especially distinguished himself, and for his bravery 
at Peachtree Creek he was made a Brigadier Gen- 
eral, Gen. Hooker speaking of him in the most 
somplimentary terms. 

During the absence of Gen. Harrison in the field 
he Supreme Court declared the ofHce of the Su- 
preme Court Reporter vacant, and another person 
was elected to the position. From the time of leav- 
ing Indiana with his regiment until the fall of 1864 
he had taken no leave of absence, but having been 
nominated that year for the same office, he got a 
thirty-day leave of absence, and during that time 
made a brilliant canvass of the State, and was elected 
for another term. He then started to rejoin Sher- 
man, but on the way was stricken down with scarlet 
fever, and after a most trying siege made his way 
to the front in time to participate in the closing 
incidents of the war. 

In 1868 Gen. Harrison declined -. re-election as 
reporter, and resumed the practice of law. In 1876 
he was a candidate for Governor. Although de- 
feated, the brilliant campaign he made won i'or him 
a National reputation, and he was much sought, es- 
peciaLy in the East, to make speeches. In 1880, 
as usual, he took an active part in the campaio-n, 
and was elected to the United States Senate. Here 
ue sei-ved six years, an(! was known as one of the 
*blest men, best lawyers and strongest debaters in 

that body. With the expiration of his Senatorial 
term he returned to the practice of his profession, 
becoming the head of one of the strongest firms in 
the State. 

The political campaign of 1 888 was one of the 
most memorable in the history of our country. The 
convention which assembled in Chicago in June and 
named Mr. Harrison as the chief standard bearer 
of the Republican party, was great in every partic- 
ular, and on this account, and the attitude it as- 
sumed upon the vital questions of the day, chief 
among which was the tariff, awoke a deep interest 
in the campaign throughout the Nation. Shortly 
after the nomination delegations began to visit Mr. 
Harrison at Indianapolis, his home. This move- 
ment became popular, and from all sections of the 
country societies, clubs and delegations journeyed 
thither to pay their respects to the distinguished 
statesman. The popularity of these was greatly 
increased on account of the remarkable speeches 
made by Mr. Harrison. He spoke daily all through 
the summer and autumn to these visiting delega- 
tions, and so varied, masterly and eloquent were 
his speeches that they at once placed him in the 
foremost rank of American orators and statesmen. 

On account of his eloquence as a speaker and hir 
power as a debater, he was called upon at an un- 
commonly early age to take part in the discussion 
of the great questions that then began to agitate 
the country. He was an uncompromising anti 
slavery man, and was matched against some of tl^e 
most eminent Democratic speakers of his State. 
No man who felt the touch of his blade decired tc 
be pitted with him again. With all his eloq^'ence 
as an orator he never spoke for oratorical effect, 
but his words always went like bullets to the mark 
He is purely American in his ideas and is a splec 
did type of the American statesman. Gifted witii 
quick perception, a logical mind and a ready tongue, 
he is one of the most distinguished impromptu 
speakers in the Nation. Many of these speeches 
sparlded with the rarest of eloquence and contained 
arguments of greatest weight. Many of Ms terse 
statements have already become aphorisms. Origi- 
nal in thought, precise in logic, terse in statement, 
yet withal faultless in eloquence, he is recognized as 
the sound statesman and brilUan*; orator o" tnc day 



HADRACH BOND, the first 
Governor of Illinois after its 
organization as a State, serving 
from 1818 to 1822, was born in 
Frederick County, Maryland, 
in the year 1773, and was 
raised a farmer on his father's 
plantation, receiving only a plain 
English education. He emigrated 
to this State in 1794, when it was a 
part of the "Northwest Territory," 
continuing in the vocation in which 
he had been brought up in his native 
State, in the " New Design," near 
Eagle Creek, in what is now Monroe 
County. He served several terms as 
a member of the General Assembly 
of Indiana Territory, after it was organized as such, 
and in 18 12-14 he was a Delegate to the Twelfth 
and Thirteenth Congresses, taking his seat Dec. 3, 
r8r2, and serving until Oct. 3, 1814. These were 
the times, the reader will recollect, when this Gov- 
ernment had its last struggle with Great Britain. 
The year 181 2 is aiso noted in the history of this 
State as that in which the first Territorial Legislature 
was held. It convened at Kaskaskia, Nov. 25, and 
adjourned Dec. 26, following. 

While serving as Delegate to Congress, Mr. Bond 
was instrumental in procuring the right of pre-emp- 
tion on the public domain. On the expiration of his 
term at Washington he was appointed Receiver of 
Public Moneys at Kaskaskia, then the capital of the 
Territory. In company with John G. Comyges, 

Thomas H. Harris, Charles Slade, Michael Jonae, 
Warren Brown. Edward Humphries and Charles W. 
Hunter, he became a proprietor of the site of the 
initial city of Cairo, which they hoped, from its favor- 
able location at the junction of the two great 
rivers near the center of the Great West, would 
rapidly develop into a metropolis. To aid the enter- 
prise, they obtained a special charter from'the Legis- 
lature, incorporating both the City and the Bank of 

In 1818 Mr. Bond was elected the first Governor 
of the State of Illinois, being inaugurated Oct. 6 
that year, which was several weeks before Illinois 
was actually admitted. The facts are these: In 
January, r8i8, the Territorial Legislature sent a peti- 
tion to Congress for the admission of Illinois as a 
State, Nathaniel Pope being then Delegate. The 
petition was granted, fixing the northern line of the 
State on the latitude of the southern extremity of 
Lake Michigan; but the bill was afterward so amend- 
ed as to extend this line to its present latitude. In 
July a convention was called at Kaskaskia to draft a 
constiturion, which, however, was not submitted to 
the people. By its provisions, supreme judges, pros 
ecuring attorneys, county and circuit judges, record- 
ers and justices of the peace were all to be appointed 
by the Governor or elected by the Legislature. This 
constitution was accepted by Congress Dec. 30. At 
that time Illinois comprised but eleven counties, 
namely, Randolph, Madison, Gallatin, Johnson, 
Pope, Jackson, Crawford, Bond, Union, Washington 
and Franklin, the northern portion of the State be- 
ing mainly in Madison County. Thus it appears 
that Mr. Bond was honored by the naming of a 



county before he was elected Governor. The present 
county of Bond is of small limitations, about 60 to 80 
miles south of Springfield. For Lieutenant Governor 
the people chose Pierre Menard, a prominent and 
worthy Frenchman, after whom a county in this Stat6 
is named.' In this election there were no opposition 
candidates, as the popularity of these men had made 
their promotion to the chief offices of the Slate, even 
before the constitution was drafted, a foregone con- 

The principal points that excited the people in 
reference to political issues at this period were local 
or "internal improvements," as they were called. 
State banks, location of the capital, slavery and the 
personal characteristics of the proposed candidates. 
Mr. Bond represented the " Convention party," for 
introducing slavery into the State, supported by Elias 
Kent Kane, his Secretary of State, and John Mc- 
Lean, while Nathaniel Pope and John P. Cook led 
the anti-slavery element. The people, however, did 
not become very much excited over this issue until 
1820, when -the famous Missouri Compromise was 
adopted by Congress, limiting slavery to the south 
of the parallel of 36° 30' except in Missouri. While 
this measure settled the great slavery controversy, 
so far as the average pubUc sentiment was tempor- 
arily concerned, until 1854, when it 'was repealed 
under the leadership of Stephen A. Douglas, the issue 
as considered locally in this State was not decided 
until 1824, after a most furious campaign. (See 
sketch of Gov. Coles.) The ticket of 1818 was a 
compromise one, Bond representing (moderately) the 
pro-slavery sentiment and Menard the anti-slavery. 

An awkward element in the State government 
under Gov. Bond's administration, was the imperfec- 
tion of the State constitution. The Convention 
wished to have Elijah C. Berry for the first Auditor 
of Public Accounts, but, as it was believed that the 
new Governor would not appoint him to the office, 
the Convention declared in a schedule that " an 
auditor of public accounts, an attorney general and 
such other officers of the State as may be necessary, 
may be appointed by the General Assembly." The 
Constitution, as it stood, vested a very large appoiiit- 
ing power in the Governor ; but for the purpose of 
getting one man into office, a total change was made, 
and the power vested in the Legislature. Of , this 
provision the Legislature took advantage, and de- 

clared that State's attorneys, canal commissioners, 
bank directors, etc., were .all " officers of the State" 
and must therefore be appointed by itself independ- 
ently of the Governor. 

During Gov. Bond's administration a general law 
was passed for the incorporation of academies and 
towns, and one authorizing lotteries. The session of 
1822 authorized the Governor to appoint commis- 
sioners, to act in conjunction with like commissioners 
appointed by the State of Indiana, to report on the 
practicability and expediency of improving the navi- 
gation of the Wabash River ; also inland navigation 
generally. Many improvements were recommended, 
some of which have been feebly worked at even till 
the present day, those along the Wabash being of no 
value. Also, during Gov. Bond's term of office, the 
capital of the State was removed from Kaskaskia to 
Vandalia. In 1820 a law was passed by Congress 
authorizing this State to open a canal through the 
public lands. The State appointed commissioners 
fo explore the route and prepare the necessary sur- 
veys and estimates, preparatory to its execution; 
but, being unable out of its own resources to defray 
the expenses of the undertaking, it was abandoned 
until -some time after Congress made the grant of 
land for the purpose of its construction. 

On the whole. Gov. Bond's administration was 
fairly good, not being open to severe criticism from 
any party. In 1824, two years after the expiration 
of his term of office, he was brought out as a candi- 
date for Congress against the formidable John P. 
Cook, but received only 4,374 votes to 7,460 for the 
latter. Gov. Bond was no orator, but had made 
many fast friends by a judicious bettowment of his 
gubernatorial patronage, and these worked zealously 
for him in the campaign. 

In 1827 ex-Gov. Bond was appointed by the Leg- 
islature, with Wm. P. McKee and Dr. Gershom 
Jayne, as Commissioners to locate a site for a peni- 
tentiary on the Mississippi at or near Alton. 

Mr. Bond was of a benevolent and convivial dis- 
position, a man of shrewd observation and clear ap- 
preciation of events. His person was erect, stand- 
ing six feet in height, and after middle life became 
portly, weighing 200 pounds. His features were 
strongly masculine, complexion dark, hair jet and 
eyes hazel ; was a favorite with the ladies. He died 
April II, 1830, in peace and contentment. 


h/y^ r^y-u:) (x/\J^ 



]£t)war& Coles* 

^^WiM®-^^^— ■•- 

DWARD COLES, second 
Governor of Illinois, 1823- 
6, was born Dec. 15, 1786, 
in Albemarle Co., Va., on 
the old family estate called 
"Enniscorthy," on the 
Green Mountain. His fath- 
er, John Coles, was a Colonel in the 
Revolutionary War. Having been fit- 
ted for college by private tutors, he 
was sent to Hampden Sidney, where 
he remained until the autumn of 1805, 
when he was removed to William and 
Mary College, at Williamsburg, Va. 
This college he left in the summer of 
1807, a short time before the final and graduating 
examination. Among his classmates were Lieut. 
Gen. Scott, President John Tyler, Wm. S. Archer, 
United States Senator from Virginia, and Justice 
Baldwin, of the United States Supreme Court. The 
President of the latter college. Bishop Madison, was 
a cousin of President James Madison, and that cir- 
cumstance was the occasion of Mr. Coles becoming 
personally acquainted with the President and re- 
ceiving a position as his private secretary, 1809-15. 
The family of Coles was a prominent one in Vir- 
ginia, and their mansion was the seat of the old- 
fashioned Virginian hospitality. It was visited by 
such notables as Patrick Henry, Jefferson, Madison, 
Monroe, the Randolphs, Tazewell, Wirt, etc. At the 
age of 23, young Coles founa himself heir to a plant- 
ation and a considerable number of slaves. Ever 
since his earlier college days his attention had been 
drawn to the question of slavery. He read every- 

thing on the subject that came in his way, and 
listened to lectures on the rights of man. The more 
he reflected upon the subject, the more impossible 
was it for him to reconcile the immortal declaration 
"that all men are born free and equal " with the 
practice of slave-holding. He resolved, therefore, to 
free his slaves the first opportunity, and even remove 
his residence to a free State. One reason which de- 
termined him to accept the appointment as private 
secretary to Mr. Madison was because he believed 
that through the acquaintances he could make at 
Washington he could better determine in what part 
of the non-slaveholding portion of the Union he woulc 
prefer to settle. 

The relations between Mr. Coles and President 
Madison, as well as Jefferson and other distinguished 
men, were of a very friendly character, arising from 
the similarity of their views on the question of slavery 
and their sympathy for each other in holding doc- 
trines so much at variance with the prevailing senti- 
ment in their own State. 

In 1857, he resigned his secretaryship and spent a 
portion of the following autumn in exploring the 
Northwest Territory, for the purpose of finding a lo- 
cation and purchasing lands on which to settle his 
negroes. He traveled with a horse and buggy, with 
an extra man and horse for emergencies, through 
many parts of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and Missouri, 
determining finally to settle in Illinois. At this time, 
however, a misunderstanding arose between our 
Government and Russia, and Mr. Coles was selected 
to repair to St. Petersburg on a special mission, bear- 
ing important papers concerning the matter at issue 
The result was a conviction of the Emperor (Alex- 



ander) of the error committed by his minister at 
Washington, and the consequent withdrawal of the 
the latter from the post. On his return, Mr. Coles 
visited other parts of Europe, especially Paris, where 
he was introduced to Gen. Lafayette. 

In the spring of 1819, he removed with all his 
negroes from Virginia to Ed wards ville, 111., with the 
intention of giving them their liberty. He did not 
make known to them his intention until one beautiful 
morning in April, as they were descending the Ohio 
River. He lashed all the boats together and called 
all the negroes on deck and made them a short ad- 
dress, concluding his remarks by so expressing him- 
self that by a turn of a sentence he proclaimed in 
the shortest and fullest manner that they were no 
longer slaves, but free as he was and were at liberty 
to proceed with him or go ashore at their pleas- 
ure. A description of the eifect upon the negroes is 
best described in his own language : 

" The effect upon them was electrical. They stared 
at me and then at each other, as if doubting the ac- 
curacy or reality of what they heard. In breathless 
silence they stood before me, unable to utter a word, 
but with countenances beaming with expression which 
no words could convey, and which no language 
can describe. As they began to see the truth of 
what they had heard, and realize their situation, there 
came on a kind of hysterical, giggling laugh. After 
a pause of intense and unutterable emotion, bathed 
in tears, and with tremulous voices, they gave vent to 
their gratitude and implored the blessing of God 
on me." 

Before landing he gave them a general certificate 
of freedom, and afterward conformed more particu- 
larly with the law of this State requiring that each 
individual should have a certificate. This act of 
Mr. Coles, all the more noble and heroic considering 
the overwhelming pro-slavery influences surrounding 
him, has challenged the admiration of every philan- 
thropist of modern times. 

March 5, iSrg, President Monroe appointed Mr. 
Coles Registrar of the Land Office at Edwardsvihe, 
at that time one of the principal land offices in the 
State. While acting in this capacity and gaining 
many friends by his politeness and general intelli- 
gence, the greatest struggle that ever occurred in 
Illinois on the slavery question culminated in the 
furious contest characterizing the campaigns and 
elections of 1822-4. In the summer of 1823, when a 
new Governor was to be elected to succeed Mr. 
Bond, the pro-slavery element divided into factions, 
putting forward for the executive office Joseph 
Phillips, Chief Justice of the State, Thomas C. 
Browne and Gen. James B. Moore, of the State Mil- 
itia. The anti-slavery element united upon Mr. 
Coles, and,_ after one of the most bitter campaigns, 
succeeded in electing him as Governor. His plural- 
ity over Judge Phillips was only 59 in a total vote of 

over 8,000. The Lieutenant Governor was elected 
by the slavery men. Mr. Coles' inauguration speech 
was marked by calmness, deliberation and such a 
wise expression of appropriate suggestions as to 
elicit the sanction of all judicious politicians. But 
he compromised not with evil. In his message to 
the Legislature, the seat of Government being then 
at Vandalia, he strongly urged the abrogation of the 
modified form of slavery which then existed in this 
State, contrary to the Ordinance of 1787. His posi- 
tion on this subject seems the more remarkable, when 
it is considered that he was a minority Governor, the 
population of Illinois being at that time almost ex- 
clusively from slave-holding States and by a large 
majority in favor of the perpetuation of that old relic 
of barbarism. The Legislature itself was, of course, 
a reflex of the popular sentiment, and a majority of 
them were led on by fiery men in denunciations of 
the conscientious Governor, and in curses loud and 
deep upon him and all his friends. Some of the 
public men, indeed, went so far as to head a sort of 
mob, or " shiveree " party, who visited the residence 
of the Governor and others at Vandalia and yelled 
and groaned and spat fire. 

The Constitution, not establishing or permitting 
slavery in this State, was thought therefore to be 
defective by the slavery politicians, and they desired 
a State Convention to be elected, to devise and sub- 
mit a new Constitution ; and the dominant politics 
of the day was " Convention " and "anti-Conven- 
tion." Both parties issued addresses to the people. 
Gov. Coles himself being the author of the address 
published by the latter party. This address revealed 
the schemes of the conspirators in a masterly man- 
ner. It is difficult for us at this distant day to esti- 
mate the critical and extremely delicate situation in 
which the Governor was placed at that time. 

Our hero maintained himself honorably and with 
supreme dignity throughout his administration, and 
m his honor a county in this State is named. He 
was truly a great man, and those who lived in 
this State during his sojourn here, like those who 
live at the base of the mountain, were too near to see 
and recognize the greatness that overshadowed them. 
Mr. Coles was married Nov. 28, r833, by Bishop 
De Lancey, to Miss Sally Logan Roberts, a daughter 
of Hugh Roberts, a descendant of Welsh ancestry, 
who came to this country with Wm. Penn in 1682. 
After the expiration of his term of service. Gov. 
Coles continued his residence in Edwardsville, sup- 
ermtendmg his farm in the vicinity. He was fond 
of agriculture, and was the founder of the first agri- 
cultural society in the State. On account of ill 
health, however, and having no family to tie him 
down, he spent much of his time in Eastern cities. 
About r832 he changed his residence to Philadel- 
phia where he died July 7, 1868, and is buried at 
Woodland, near that city. 




from 1827 to 1830, was a son 
of Benjamin Edwards, and 
was born in Montgomery 
County, Maryland, in March, 
1775. His domestic train- 
ing was well fitted to give 
his mind strength, firmness and 
honorable principles, and a good 
foundation was laid for the elevated 
character to which he afterwards 
attained. His parents were Bap- 
tists, and very strict in their moral 
principles. His education in early 
youth was in company with and 
partly under the tuition of Hon. Wm. 
Wirt, whom his father patronized^ 
and who was more than two years 
older. An intimacy was thus 
formed between them which was lasting for life. He 
was further educated at Dickinson College, at Car- 
lisle, Pa. He next commenced the study of law, but 
before completing his course he moved to Nelson 
County, Ky., to open a farm for his father and to 
purchase homes and locate lands for his brothers and 
sisters. Here he fell in the company of dissolute 
companions, and for several years led the life of a 
spendthrift. He was, however, elected to the Legis- 
lature of Kentucky as the Representative of Nelson 
•County before he was 21 years of age, and was re- 
jected by an almost unanimous vote. 

In 1798 he was licensed to practice law, and the 
folio wirtg year was admitted to the Courts of Tennes- 
see. About this time he left Nelson County for 
Russellville, in Logan County, broke away from his 
dissolute companions, commenced a reformation and 
devoted himself to severe and laborious study. He 
then began to rise rapidly in his profession, and soon 
became an eminent lawyer, and inside of four years 
he filled in succession the offices of Presiding Judge 
of the General Court, Circuit Judge, fourth Judge of 
the Court of Appeals and Chief Justice of the State, 
— all before he was 32 years of age! In addition, in 
1802, he received a commission as Major of a battal- 
ion of Kentucky militia, and in 1804 was chosen a 
Presidential Elector, on the Jefferson and Clinton 
ticket. In 1806 he was a candidate for Congress, 
but withdrew on being promoted to the Court of 

Illinois was organized as a separate Territory in 
the spring of rSog, when Mr. Edwards, then Chief 
Justice of the Court of Appeals in Kentucky, received 
from President Madison the appointment as Gover- 
nor of the new Territory, his commission bearing date 
April 24, 1809. Edwards arrived at Kaskaskia in 
June," and on the i ith of that month took the oath of 
office. At the same time he was appointed Superin- 
tendent of the United States Saline, this Government 
interest then developing into considerable proportions 
in Southern Illinois. Although during the first three 
years of his administration he had the power to make 
new counties and appoint all the officers, yet he always 
allowed the people of each county, by an informal 


vote, to select their own officers, both civil and mili- 
tary. The noted John J. Crittenden, afterward 
United States Senator from Kentucky, was appointed 
by Gev. Edwards to the office of Attorney General of 
the Territory, which office was accepted for a short 
time only. 

The Indians in i8io committing sundry depreda- 
tions in the Territory, crossing the Mississippi from 
the Territory of Louisiana, a long correspondence fol- 
lowed between the respective Governors concerning 
the remedies, which ended in a council with the sav- 
ages at Peoria in 1812, and a fresh interpretation of 
the treaties. Peoria was depopulated by these de- 
predations, and was not re-settled for many years 

As Gov. Edwards' term of office expired by law in 
i8r2, he was re-appointed for another term of three 
years, and again in 18 15 for a third term, serving 
until the organization of the State in the fall of 18 r 8 
and the inauguration of Gov. Bond. At -this time 
ex-Gov. Edwards was sent to the United States 
Senate, his colleague being Jesse B. Thomas. As 
Senator, Mr. Edwards took a conspicuous part, and 
acquitted himself honorably in all the measures that 
came up in that body, being well posted, an able de- 
bater and a conscientious statesman. He thought 
seriously of resigning this situation in 1821, but was 
persuaded by his old friend, Wm. Wirt, and others to 
continue in office, which he did to the end of the 

He was then appointed Minister to Mexico by 
President Monroe. About this time, it appears that 
Mr. Edwards saw suspicious signs in the conduct of 
Wm. H. Crawford, Secretary of the United States 
Treasury, and an ambitious candidate for the Presi- 
dency, and being implicated by the latter in some of 
his statements, he resigned his Mexican mission in 
order fully to investigate the charges. The result 
was the exculpation of Mr. Edwards. 

Pro-slavery regulations, often termed "Black Laws," 
disgraced the statute books of both the Territory and 
±6 State of Illinois during the whole of his career in 
ihis commonwealth, and Mr. Edwards always main- 
tained the doctrines of freedom, and was an important 
actor in the great struggle which ended in a victory 
for his party in 1824. 

In 1826-7 the Winnebago and other Indians com- 
mitted some depredations in the northern part of the 

State, and the white settlers, who desired the lands 
and wished to exasperate the savages into an evacu-. 
ation of the country, magnified the misdemeanors of 
the aborigines and thereby produced a hostility be- 
tween the races so great as to precipitate a little war, 
known in history as the " Winnebago War." A few 
chases and skirmishes were had, when Gen. Atkinson 
succeeded in capturing Red Bird, the Indian chief, 
and putting him to death, thus ending the contest, at 
least until the troubles commenced which ended in 
the " Black Hawk War " of 1832. In the interpre- 
tation of treaties and execution of their provisions 
Gov. Edwards had much vexatious work to do. The 
Indians kept themselves generally within the juris- 
diction of Michigan Territory, and its Governor, 
Lewis Cass, was at a point so remote that ready cor- 
respondence with him was difficult or impossible. 
Gov. Edwards' administration, however, in regard to 
the protection of the Illinois frontier, seems to have 
been very efficient and satisfactory. 

For a considerable portion of his time after his re- 
moval to Illinois, Gov. Edwards resided upon his 
farm near Kaskaskia, which he had well stocked with 
horses, cattle and sheep from Kentucky, also with 
fruit-trees, grape-vines and shrubbery. He estab- 
lished saw and grist-mills, and engaged extensively 
in mercantile business, ha ving no less than eight or ten 
stores in this State and Missouri. Notwithstanding 
the arduous duties of his office, he nearly always pur- 
chased the goods himself with which to supply the 
stores. Although not a regular practitioner of medi- 
cine, he studied the healing art to a considerable ex- 
tent, and took great pleasure in prescribing for, and 
taking care of, the sick, generally without charge. 
He was also liberal to the poor, several widows and 
ministers of the gospel becoming indebted to hira 
even for their homes. 

He married Miss Elvira Lane, of Maryland, in 
1803, and they became the affectionate parents of 
several children, one of whom, especially, is well' 
known to the people of the " Prairie State," namely, 
Ninian Wirt Edwards, once the Superintendent c< 
Public Instruction and still a resident of Springfield 
Gov. Edwards resided at and in the vicinity of Kas- 
kaskia from i8o9tor8i8; in Edwardsville (named 
after hira) from that time to 1824; and from the lat- 
ter date at Belleville, St. Clair County, until his 
death, July 20, 1833, of Asiatic cliolera. Edwards 
County is also named in his honor. 



jjOHN REYNOLDS, Governor 1831- 
4, was born in Montgomery Coun- 
ty, Pennsylvania, Feb. 26, 1788. 
His father, Robert Reynolds and 
his mother, nee Margaret Moore, 
were both natives of Ireland, from 
which country they emigrated to 
the United States in 1785, land- 
ing at Philadelphia. The senior 
Reynolds entertained an undying 
hostility to the British Govern- 
ment. When the subject of this 
sketch was about six months old, 
his parents emigrated with him to 
Tennessee, where" many of their 
relatives had already located, at the base of the 
Copper Ridge Mountain, about 14 miles northeast of 
the present city of Knoxville. There they were ex- 
Dosed to Indian depredations, and were much molest- 
ed by them. In 1794 they moved into the interior 
of the State. They were poor, and brought up their 
children to habits of manual industry. 

In 1800 the family removed to Kaskaskia, 111,, with 
eight horses and two wagons, encountering many 
Hardships on the way. Here young Reynolds passed 
the most of his childhood, while his character began 
to develop, the most prominent traits of which were 
ambition and energy. He also adopted the principle 
and practice of total abstinence from intoxicating 
liquors. In 1807 the family made another removal, 

this time to the " Goshen Settlement," at the foot of 
the Mississippi bluffs three or four miles southwest 
of Edwardsville. 

On arriving at his 20th year, Mr. Reynolds, seeing 
that he must look about for his own livelihood and 
not yet having determined what calling to pursue, 
concluded first to attend college, and he accordingly 
went to such an institution of learning, near Knox- 
ville, Tenn., where he had relatives. Imagine his 
diffidence, when, after passing the first 20 years of 
his life without ever having seen a carpet, a papered 
wall or a Windsor chair, and never haying lived in a 
shingle-roofed house, he suddenly ushered himself 
into the society of the wealthy in the vicinity of 
Knoxville! He attended college nearly two years, 
going through the principal Latin authors; but it 
seems that he, like the rest: of the world in modern 
times, had but very little use for his Latin in after 
life. He always failed, indeed, to exhibit any good 
degree of literary discipline. He commenced the 
"Study of law in Knoxville, but a pulmonary trouble 
came on and compelled him to change his mode 
of life. Accordingly he returned home and re- 
cuperated, and in 18 12 resumed his college and 
law studies at Knoxville. In the fall of 181 2 he was 
admitted to the Bar at Kaskaskia. About this time 
he also learned the French language, which he 
practiced with pleasure in conversation with his 
family for many years. He regarded this language 
as being superior to all others for social intercourse. 


From his services in the West, in the war of i8i 2, 
he obtained the sobriquet of the " Old Rangen" He 
was Orderly Sergeant, then Judge Advocate. 

Mr. Reynolds opened his, first law office in the 
winter and spring of 1814, in the French village of 
Cahokia, then the capital of St. Clair County. 

In the fall of 1818 he was elected an Associate 
Justice upon the Supreme Bench by the General 
Assembly. In 1825 he entered more earnestly than 
ever into tlie practice of law, and the very next year 
was elected a member of the Legislature, where he 
acted independently of all cliques and private inter- 
ests. In 1828 the Whigs and Democrats were for 
the first time distinctively organized as such in Illi- 
nois, and the usual party bitterness grew up and 
raged on all sjdes, while Mr. Reynolds preserved a 
mdicial calmness and moderation. The real animus 
jf the campaign was " Jackson " and " anti- Jackson," 
'he former party carrying the State. 

In August, 1830, Mr. Reynolds was elected Gov- 
anor, amid great excitement. Installed in office, he 
did all within his power to advance the cause of edu- 
cation, internal improvements, the Illinois & Mich- 
igan Canal, the harbor at Chicago, setding the coun- 
try, etc.; also reccmmended the winding up of the 
State Bank, as its affairs had become dangerously 
complicated. In his national politics, hf was a 
moderate supporter of General Jackson. But the 
most celebrated event of his gubernatorial admin- 
istration was the Black Hawk War, which occurred 
in 1832. He called out the militia and prosecuted 
the contest with commendable diligence, appearing 
in person on the battle-grounds during the most 
critical periods. He was recognized by the President 
as Major-General, and authorized by him to make 
treaties with the Indians. By the assistance of the 
general Government the war was terminated without 
much bloodshed, but after many serious fights. This 
war, as well as everything else, was materially re- 
tarded by the occurrence of Asiatic cholera in the 
West. This was its first appearance here, and was 
the next event in prominence during Gov. Reynolds' 

South Carolina nullification coming up at this time, 
t was heartily condemned by both President Jackson 
t.nd Gov. Reynolds, who took precisely the same 
grounds as the Unionists in the last war. 

On the termination of his gubernatorial term in 
,834, Gov. Reynolds was elected a Member of Con- 
gress, still coiisidering himself a backwoodsman, as 
^e had scarcely been outside of the State since he 
became of age, and had spent nearly all his youthful 
iays in the wildest region of the frontier. His first 
move in Congress was to adopt a resolution that in 
all elections made by the House for officers the votes 
should be given viva voce, each member in his place 
naming aloud the person for whom he votes. This 
created considerable heated discussion, but was es- 

sentially adopted, and remained the controlling prin- 
ciple for many years. The ex-Governor was scarcely 
absent from his seat a single day, during ei^ht ses- 
sions of Congress, covering a period of seven years, 
and he never vacillated in a party vote; but he failed 
to get the Democratic party to foster his " National 
Road " scheme. He says, in " My Own Times " (a 
large autobiography he published), that it was only 
by rigid economy that he avoided insolvency while in 
Washington. During his sojourn in that city he was 
married, to a lady of the place. 

In 1837, while out of Congress, and in company 
with a few others, he built the first railroad in the 
Mississippi Valley, namely, one about six miles long, 
leading from his coal mine in the Mississippi bluff to 
the bank of the river opposite St. Louis. Having not 
the means to purchase a locomotive, they operated it 
by horse-power. The next spring, however, the com- 
pany sold out, at great sacrifice. 

In 1839 the ex-Governor was appointed one of the 
Canal Commissioners, and authorized to borrow 
money to prosecute the enterprise. Accord' ngly, he 
repaired to Philadelphia and succeeding in obtaining 
a million dollars, which, however, was only a fourth 
of what was wanted. The same year he and his 
■wife made at our of Europe. This year, also, Mr. 
Reynolds had the rather awkward little responsibility 
of introducing to President Van Buren the noted 
Mormon Prophet, Joseph Smith, as a " Latter-Day 

In 1846 Gov. Reynolds was elected a member of 
the Legislature from St. Clair County, more particu 
larly for the purpose of obtaining a feasible charter 
for a macadamized road from Belleville to St. Louis, 
a distance of nearly 14 miles. This was immediately 
built, and was the first road of the kind in the State. 
He was again elected to the Legislature in 1852, when 
he was chosen Speaker of the House. In i860, aged 
and infirm, he attended the National Democratic 
Convention at Charleston, S. C , as an anti-Douglas 
Delegate, where he received more attention from the 
Southern Delegates than any other member. He 
supported Breckenridge for the Presidency. After 
the October elections foreshadowed the success of 
Lincoln, he published an address urging the Demo- 
crats to rally to the support of Douglas. Immedi- 
ately preceding and during the late war, his corre- 
spondence evinced a clear sympathy for the Southern 
secession, and about the first of March, 1861, he 
urged upon the Buchanan officials the seizure of the 
treasure and arms in the custom-house and arsenal 
at St. Louis. Mr. Reynolds was a rather talkative 
man, and apt in all the Western phrases and catch- 
words that ever gained currency, besides many cun- 
ning and odd ones of his own manufacture. 

He was married twice, but had no children. He 
died in Belleville, in May, 1865, just after the close 
of the war. 



it. '%. ®, 


(^ Governor of Illinois Nov. 3 
to 17, 1834, was a native 
of Kentucky, and probably 
of Scotch ancestry. He had 
a fine education, was a gentle- 
man of polished manners and 
refined sentiment. In 1830 John Rey- 
nolds was elected Governor of the State, 
and Zadok Casey Lieutenant Governor, 
and for the principal events that followed, 
and the characteristics of the times, see 
sketch of Gov. Reynolds. The first we 
see in history concerning Mr. Ewing, in- 
forms us that he was a Receiver of Public 
Moneys at Vandalia soon after the organization of 
tftib State, and that the public moneys in his hands 
v;ere deposited in various banks, as they are usually 
St the present day. In 1823 the State Bank was 
obbed, by which disaster Mr. Ewing lost a thousand- 
dollar deposit. 

The subject of this sketch had a commission as 
(olonelin the Black Hawk War, and in emergencies 
ne acted also as Major. In the summer of 1832, 
^'/hen L Tras rumored among the whites that Black 
Hawk and jiis men had encamped somewhere on 
Rock River, Gen. Henry was sent on a tour of 
reconnoisance, and with orders to drive the Indians 
from the State. After some opposition from his 
;ubordinate officers, Henry resolved to proceed up 
Rock River in search of the enemy. On the 19th of 
iuly, early in the morning, five baggage wagons, 

camp equipage and all heavy and cumbersome arti- 
cles were piled up and left, so that the army might 
make speedy and forced marches. For some miles 
the travel was exceedingly bad, crossing swamps 
and the worst thickets; but the large, fresh trail 
gave life and animation to the Americans. Gen. 
Dodge and Col. Ewing were both actmg as Majors, 
and composed the " spy corps " or vanguard of the 
army. It is supposed the army marched nearly 50 
miles this day, and the Indian trail they followed 
became fresher, and was strewed with much property 
and trinkets of the red-skin-; that they had lost or 
thrown away to hasten their march. During the 
following night there was a terrific thunder-storm, and 
the soldiery, with all their appurtenances, were thor- 
oughly drenched. 

On approaching nearer the Indians the next day. 
Gen. Dodge and Major Ewing, each commanding a 
battalion of men, were placed in front to bring on the 
battle, but the savages were not overtaken this day 
Forced marches were continued until they reached. 
Wisconsin River, where a veritable battle ensued, 
resulting in the death of about 68 of Black Hawk's 
men. The next day they continued the chase, and 
as soon as he discovered the trail of the Indians 
leading toward the Mississippi, Maj. Ewing formed 
his battalion in order of battle and awaited the order 
of Gen. Henry. The latter soon appeared on the 
ground and ordered a charge, which directly resulted 
in chasing the red warriors across the great river. 
Maj. Ewing and his command proved particularly 
efficient in war, as it seems they were the chief actors 
in driving the main body of the Sacs and Foxes, in- 



eluding Black Hawk himself, across the Mississippi, 
while Gen. Atkinson, commander-in-chief of the ex- 
pedition, with a body of the army, was hunting for 
them in another direction. 

In the above affair Maj. Ewing is often referred to 
as a " General," which title he had derived from his 
connection with the militia. 

It was in the latter part of the same year (1832) 
that Lieutenant Governor Casey was elected to Con- 
gress and Gen. Ewing, who had been elected to the 
Senate, was chosen to preside over that body. At 
the August election of r834. Gov. Reynolds was also 
elected to Congress, more than a year ahead of the 
time at which he could actually take his seat, as was 
then the law. His predecessor, Charles Slade, had 
just died of Asiatic cholera, soon after the elec- 
tion, and Gov. Reynolds was chosen to serve out his 
unexpired term. Accordingly he set out for Wash- 
ington in November of that year to take his seat irl 
Congress, and Gen. Ewing, by virtue of his office as 
President of the Senate, became Governor of the 
State of Illinois, his term covering only a period of 
15 daySj namely, from the 3d to the 17th days, in- 
clusive, of November. On the 17th the Legislature 
met, and Gov. Ewing transmitted to that body his 
message, giving a statement of the condition of the 
affairs of the State at that time, and urging a contin- 
uance of the policy adopted by his predecessor ; and 
on the same day Governor elect Joseph Duncan 
was sworn into office, thus relieving Mr. Ewing from 

the responsible situation. This is the only time that 
such a juncture has happened in the history of IIH- 

On the 29th of December, 1835, Gen. Ewing was 
elected a .United States Senator to serve out the 
unexpired term of Elias Kent Kane, deceased. The 
latter gentleman was a very prominent figure in the 
early politics of Illinois, and a county in this State is 
named in his honor. The election of Gen. Ewing to 
the Senate was a protracted struggle. His competi- 
tors were James Semple, who afterwards held several 
important offices in this State, and Richard M. 
Young, afterward a United States Senator and a 
Supreme Judge and a man of vast influence. On 
the first ballot Mr. Semple had 25 votes, Young 19 
and Ewing 18. On the eighth ballot Young was 
dropped ; the ninth afid tenth stood a tie ; but on 
the 1 2th Ewing received 40, to Semple 37, and was 
accordingly declared elected. In 1837 Mr. Ewing 
received some votes for a continuance of his term in 
Congress, when Mr. Young, just referred to, was 
elected. In 1842 Mr. Ewing was elected State 
Auditor on the ticket with Gov. Ford. 

Gen. Ewing was a gentleman of culture, a lawyer 
by profession, and was much in public life. In person 
he was above medium height and of heavy build, 
with auburn hair, blue eyes, large-sized head and 
short face. He was genial, social, friendly and 
affable, with fair talent, though of no high degree of 
originality. He died March 25, 1846. 



1834-8, was born at Paris, 
Ky., Feb. 23, 1794. At the 
tender age of 1 9 years he en- 
listed in the war against Great 
Britain, and as a soldier he 
acquitted himself with credit. He 
was an Ensign under the daunt- 
less Croghan at Lower Sandusky, 
or Fort Stephenson. In Illinois 
he first appeared in a public capa- 
city as Major-General of the Militia, 
a position which his military fame 
had procured him. Subsequently 
he became a State Senator from 
i Jackson County, and is honorably 
mentioned for introducing the first bill providing for 
a free-school system. In 1826, when the redoubt- 
able John P. Cook, who had previously beaten such 
men as John McLean, Elias Kent Kane and ex- 
Gov. Bond, came up for the fourth time for Congress, 
Mr. Duncan was brought forward against him by his 
friends, greatly to the surprise of all the politicians. 
\s yet he was but little known in the State. He was 
an original Jackson man at that time, being attached 
to his political fortune in admiration of the glory of 
his military achievements. His chances of success 
against Cook were generally regarded as hopeless, 
but he entered upon the campaign undaunted. His 
speeches, though short and devoid of ornament, were 
full of good sense. He made a diligent canvass of 
the State, Mr. Cook being hindered by the condition of 
his health. The most that was expected of Mr. 
Duncan, under the circumstances, was that he would 

obtain a respectable vote, but without defeating Mr 
Cook. The result of the campaign, however, was a 
source of surprise and amazement to both friends 
and foes, as Mr. Duncan came out 641 votes ahead! 
He received 6,321 votes, and Mr. Cook 5,680. Un- 
til this denouement, the violence of party feeling 
smoldering in the breasts of the people on account 
of the defeat of Jackson, was not duly appreciated. 
Aside from the great convention struggle of 1824, no 
other than mere local and pergonal considerations 
had ever before controlled an election in Illinois. 

From the above date Mr. Duncan retained his 
seat in Congress until his election as Governor in 
.\ugust, 1834. The first and bloodless year of the 
Black Hawk War he was appointed by Gov. Rey- 
nolds to the position of Brigadier-General of the 
volunteers, and he conducted his brigade to Rock 
Island. But he was absent from the State, in Wash- 
ington, during the gubernatorial campaign, and did 
not personally parricipate in it, but addressed circu- 
lars to his constituents. His election was, indeed, 
attributed to the circumstance of his absence, be- 
cause his estrangement from Jackson, formerly his 
political idol, and also from the Democracy, largely 
in ascendency in the State, was complete; but while 
his defection was well known to his Whig friends, 
and even to the leading Jackson men of this State, 
the latter were unable to carry conviction of that fact 
to the masses, as mail and newspaper facilities at 
that day were far inferior to those of the present 
time. Of course the Governor was much abused 
afterward by the fossilized Jackson men who re- 
garded party ties and affiliations as above all 
other issues that could arise; but he was doubtless 



sincere in his opposition to the old hero, as the latter 
had vetoed several important western measures 
which were dear to Mr. Duncan, In his inaugural 
message he threw off the mask and took a bold stand 
against the course of the President. The measures 
•le recommended in his message, however, were so 
desirable that the Legislature, although by a large 
majority consisting of Jackson men, could not refrain 
from endorsing them. These measures related 
mainly to banks and internal improvements. 

It was while Mr. Duncan was Governor that the 
people of Illinois went whirling on with bank. and in- 
ternal improvement schemes that well nigh bank- 
"upted the State. The hard times of 1837 came on, 
and the disasters that attended the inl.uguration of 
Ihese plans and the operation of the banks were mu- 
tually charged upon the two political parties. Had 
any one man autocratic power to introduce and 
carry on any one of these measures, he would proba- 
bly have succeeded to the satisfaction of the public ; 
t)ut as many jealous men had hold of the same plow 
Handle, no success followed and each blamed the other 
for the failure. In this great vortex Gov. Duncan 
was carried along, suffering the like derogation of 
character with his fellow citizens. 

At the height of the excitement the Legislature 
" provided for " railroads from Galena to Cairo, Alton 
to Shawneetown, Alton to Mount Carmel, Alton to the 
eastern boundary of the State in the direction of 
Terre Haute, Quincy via Springfield to the Wabash, 
Bloomington to Pekin, and Peoria to Warsaw, — in all 
about 1,300 miles of road. It also provided for the 
improvement of the navigation of the Kaskaskia, 
Illinois, Great and Little Wabash and Rock Rivers ; 
also as a placebo, $200,000 in money were to be dis- 
tributed to the various counties wherein no improve- 
ments were ordered to be made as above. The 
estimate for the expenses for all these projects was 
jlaced at a little over $10,000,000, which was not 
more man half enough ! That would now be equal to 
saddling upon the State a debt of $225,000,000 ! It 
was sufificient to bankrupt the State several times 
over, even counting all the possible benefits. 

One of the most exciting events that ever occurred 
in this fair State was the murder of Elijah P. Love- 
ioy in the fall of 1837, at Alton, during Mr. Duncan's 
term as Governor. Lovejoy was an " Abolitionist," 
editing the Observer at that place, and the pro- 
slavery slums there formed themselves into a mob, 

and after destroying successively three presses be- 
longing to Mr. Lovejoy, surrounded the warehouse 
where the fourth press was stored away, endeavoring 
to destroy it, and where Lovejoy and his friends 
were entrenching themselves, and shot and killed the 
brave reformer ! 

About this time, also, the question of removing the 
State capital again came up, as the 20 years' limit for 
its existence at Vandalia was drawing to a close. 
There was, of course, considerable excitement over 
the matter, the two main points competing for it be- 
ing Springfield and. Peoria. The jealousy of the lat- 
ter place is not even yet, 45 years afterward, fully 

Gov. Duncans term expired in 1838. In 1842 
he was again proposed as a candidate for the Execu- 
tive chair, this time by the Whig party, against Adam 
W. Snyder, of St. Clair County, the nominee of the 
Democrats. Charles W. Hunter was a third candi- 
date for the same position. Mr. Snyder, however, died 
before the campaign had advanced very far, and his 
party substituted Thomas Ford, who was elected 
receiving 46,901 votes, to 38,584 for Duncan, and 
909 for Hunter. The cause of Democratic success 
at this time is mainly attributed to the temporary 
support of the Mormons which they enjoyed, and the 
want of any knowledge, on the part of the masses, 
that Mr. Ford was opposed to any given policy en- 
tertained in the respective localities. 

Gov. Duncan was a man of rather limited educa- 
tion, but with naturally fine abilities he profited 
greatly by his various public services, and gathered 
a store of knowledge regarding public affairs which 
served him a ready purpose. He possessed a clear 
judgment, decision, confidence in himself and moral 
courage to carry out his convictions of right. In his 
deportment he was well adapted to gain the admira- 
tion of the people. His intercourse with them was 
both affable and dignified. His portrait at the Gov- 
ernor's mansion, from which the accompanying was 
made, represents him as having a swarthy complex- 
ion, high cheek bones, broad forehead, piercing black 
eyes and straight black hair. 

He was a liberal patron of the Illinois College at 
Jacksonville, a member of its Board of Trustees, and 
died, after a short illness, Jan. 15, 1844, a devoted 
member of the Presbyterian Church, leaving a wife 
but no children. Two children, born to them, had 
died in infancy. 




4^f^^#_]> m|; 


IHOMAS CARLIN, the sixth 
Governor of the State of 
Illinois, serving from 1838 
to 1842, was also a Ken- 
tuckian, being born near 
Frankfort, that State, July 
18, 1789, of Irish paternity. 
The opportunities for an education 
being very meager in his native 
place, he, on approaching years of 
judoment and maturity, applied 
himself to those branches of learn- 
ing that seemed most important, 
and thus became a self-made man ; 
and his taste for reading and 
study remained with him through 
life. In 1803 his father removed 
(0 Missouri, then a part of " New Spain," where he 
died in 1810. 

In 1812 young Carlin came to Illinois and partici- 
pated in all the "ranging" service incident to the 
war of that period, proving himself a soldier of un- 
daunted bravery. In 1814 he married Rebecca 
Huitt, and lived for four years on the bank of the 
Mississippi River, opposite the mouth of the Mis- 
souri, where he followed farming, and then removed 
to Greene County. He located the town site of Car- 
rot 'ton, in that county, and in 1825 made a liberal 
donation of land for county building purposes. He 
was the first Sheriff of that county after its separate 
organization, and afterward was twice elected, as a 
Jackson Democrat, to the Illinois Senate. In the 
Black Hawk War he commanded a spy battalion, a 
post of considerable danger. In 1834 he was ap- 
pointed by President Jackson to the position of 
Receiver of Public Moneys, and to fulfill the office 

more conveniently he removed to the city of Quincy. 

While, in 1838, the unwieldy internal improvement 
system of the State was in full operation, with all its 
expensive machinery, amidst bank suspensions 
throughout the United States, a great stringency in 
the money market everywhere, and Illinois bonds 
forced to sale at a heavy discount, and the " hardest 
times" existing that the people of the Prairie State 
ever saw, the general election of State officers was 
approaching. Discreet men who had cherished the 
hope of a speedy subsidence of the public infatua- 
tion, met with disappointment. A Governor and 
Legislature were to be elected, and these were now 
looked forward to for a repeal of the ruinous State 
policy. But the grand scheme had not yet lost its 
dazzling influence upon the minds of the people. 
Time and experience had not yet fully demonstrated 
its utter absurdity. Hence the question of arresting 
its career of profligate expenditures did not become 
a leading one with the dominant party during the 
campaign, and most of the old members of the Leg 
islature were returned at this election. 

Under these circumstances the Democrats, in State 
Convention assembled, nominated Mr. Carlin for the 
office of Governor, and S. H. Anderson for Lieuten- 
ant" Governor, while the Whigs nominated Cyrus Ed- 
wards, brother of Ninian Edwards, formerly Governor, 
and W. H. Davidson. Edwards came out strongly 
for a continuance of the State policy, while Carlic 
remained non-committal. This was the first time 
that the two main political parties in this State were 
unembarrassed by any third party in the field. The 
result of the election was: Carlin, 35,573 ; Ander- 
son, 30,33s ; Edwards, 29,629 ; and Davidson, 28,- 


Upon the meeting of the subsequent Legislature 

(1839), the retiring Governor CDuncan) in his mes- 



sage spoke in emphatic terms of the impolicy of the 
internal improvement system, presaging the evils 
threatened, and uiged that body to do their utmost 
to correct the great error ; yet, on the contrary, the 
Legislature not only decided to continue the policy 
but also-'added to' its burden by voting more appro- 
priations and ordering more improvements. Although 
the money market was still stringent, a further loan 
of $4,000,000 was ordered for the Illinois & Mich- 
-gan Canal alone. Ctiicago at that time began to 
loom up and promise to be an important city, even 
the great emporium of the West, as it has since in- 
deed came to be. Ex-Gov. Reynolds, an incompe- 
tent financier, was commissioned to effect the loan, 
and accordingly hastened to the East on this respons- 
ible errand, and negotiated the loans, at considera- 
ble sacrifice to the State. Besides this embarrassment 
ic Carlin's administration, the Legislature also de- 
clared that he had no authority to appoint a Secretary 
of State until a vacancy existed, and A. P. Field, a 
Whig, who had already held the post by appointment 
through three administrations, was determined to 
keep the place a while longer, in spite of Gov. Car- 
lin's preferences. The course of the Legislature in 
this regard, however, was finally sustained by the 
Supreme Court, in a quo warranto case brought up 
before it by John A. McClernand, whom the Gov- 
ernor had nominated for the office. Thereupon that 
dignified body was denounced as a "Whig Court!" 
endeavoring to estabhsh the principle of life-tenure 
of office. 

A new law was adopted re-organizing the Judici- 
ary, and under it five additional Supreme Judges 
were elected by the Legislature, namely, Thomas 
Ford (afterward Governor), Sidney Breese, Walter B. 
Scales, Samuel H. Treat and Stephen A. Douglas — 
all Democrats. 

It was during Cov. Carlin's administration that the 
noisy campaign of " Tippecanoe and Tyler too " oc- 
curred, resulting in a Whig victory. This, however, 
did not affect Illinois politics very seriously. 

Another prominent event in the West during Gov. 
Carlin's^term of office was the excitement caused by 
the Mormons and their removal from Independence 
Mo., to Nauvoo, 111., in 1840. At the same time 
they began to figure somewhat in State politics. On 
account of their believing — as they thought, accord- 
■ ing to the New Testament— that they should have 

"all things common," and that consequently "all 
the earth " and all that is upon it were the" Lord's " 
and therefore the property of his " saints," they 
were suspected, and correctly, too, of committing 
many of the deeds of larceny, robbery, etc., that 
were so rife throughout this country in those days. 
Hence a feeling of violence grew up between the 
Mormons and "anti-Mormons." In the State of 
Missouri the Mormons always supported the Dem- 
ocracy until they were driven out by the Democratic 
government, when they turned their support to the 
Whigs. They were becoming numerous, and in the 
Legislatureofi84o-i, therefore, it became a matter 
of great interest with both parries to conciliate these 
people. Through the agency of one John C. Ben- 
nett, a scamp, the Mormons succeeded in rushing 
through the Legislature (both parties not daring to 
oppose) a charter for the city of Nauvoo which Ax- 
tually erected a hierarchy co-ordinate with the Fed- 
eral Government itself. In the fall of 184 1 the 
Governor of Missouri made a demand upon Gov. 
Carlin for the body of Joe Smith, the Mormon leader, 
as a fugirive from justice. Gov. Carlin issued th 3 
writ, but for some reason it was returned unserved. 
It was again issued in 1842, and Smith was arrested, 
but was either rescued by bis followers or discharged 
by the municipal court on a writ of habeas corpus. 

In December, 1841, the Democratic Convention 
nominated Adam W. Snyder, of Belleville, for Gov- 
ernor. As he had been, as a member of the Legisla- 
ture, rather friendly to the Mormons, the latter 
naturally turned their support to the Democraric 
party. The next spring the Whigs nominated Ex- 
Gov. Duncan for the same office. In the meanrime 
the Mormons began to grow more odious to the 
masses of the people, and the comparative prospects 
of the respective parties for success became very 
problematical. Mr. Snyder died in May, and 
Thomas Ford, a Supreme Judge, was subsrituted as 
a candidate, and was elected. 

At the close of his gubernatorial term, Mr. Carlin 
removed back to his old home at Carrollton, where 
he spent the remainder of his life, as before his ele- 
vation to office, in agricultural pursuits. In iS/.g 
he served out the unexpired term of J. D. Fry in the 
Illinois House of Representatives, and died Feb. 4. 
1852, at his residence at Carrollton, leaving a wife 
and seven children. 






;=5fr— ''^«'*w.i^i 




5H0MAS FORD, Governor 
from 1842 to 1846, and au- 
thor of a very interesting 
history of Illinois, was born 
at Uniontown, Pa., in the 
year 1 800. His mother, after 
the death of her first hus- 
band (Mr. Forquer), married Rob- 
ert Ford, who was killed in 1802, 
by the Indians in the mountains 
of Pennsylvania. She was conse- 
quently left in indigent circum- 
stances, with a large family, mostly 
girls. With a view to better her 
condition, she, in 1804, removed to 
Missouri, where it had been cus- 
tomary by the Spanish Govern- 
ment to give land to actual settlers ; but upon her 
arrival at St. Louis she found the country ceded to 
the United States, and the liberal policy toward set- 
tlers changed by the new ownership. After some 
sickness to herself and family, she finally removed to 
Illinois, and settled some three miles south of Water- 
loo, but the following year moved nearer the Missis- 
sippi bluffs. Here young Ford received his first 

schooling, under the instructions of a Mr. Humphrey, 
for which he had to walk three miles. His mother, 
though lacking a thorough education, was a woman 
of superior mental endowments, joined to energy 
and determination of character. She inculcated in 
her children those high-toned principles which dis- 
tinguished her sons in public life. She exercised a 
rigid economy to provide her children an education ; 
but George Forquer, her oldest son (six years older 
than Thomas Ford), at an early age had to quit 
school to aid by his labor in the support of the family. 
He afterward became an eminent man in Illinois 
affairs, and but for his early death would probably 
have been elected to the United States Senate. 

Young Ford, with somewhat better opportunitiesr, 
received a better education, though limited to the 
curriculum of the common school of those pioneer 
times. His mind gave early promise of superior en- 
dowments, with an inclination for mathematics. His 
proficiency attracted the attention of Hon. Daniel P. 
Cook, who became his efficient patron and friend. 
The latter gentleman was an eminent liiinois states- 
man who, as a Member of Congress, oDtained a grant 
of 300,000 acres of land to aid in completing the 
Illinois & Michigan Canal, and after whom the 
county of Cook was named. Through the advice of 



this gentleman, Mr. Ford turned his attention to the 
study of law; but Forquer, then merchandising, re- 
garding his education defective, sent him to Transyl- 
vania University, where, however, he remained but 
one term, owing to Forquer's failure in business. On 
his return he alternated his law reading with teach- 
ing school for support. 

In 1829 Gov. Edwards appointed him Prosecuting 
Attorney, and in 1831 he was re-appomted by Gov. 
Reynolds, and after that he was four times elected a 
Judge by the Legislature, without opposition, twice a 
Circuit Judge, once a Judge of Chicago, and as As- 
sociate Judge of the Supreme Court, when, in 1841, 
the latter tribunal was re-organized by the addition 
of five Judges, all Democrats. Ford was assigned to 
the Ninth Judicial Circuit, and while in this capacity 
he was holding Court in Ogle County he received a 
notice of his nomination by the Democratic Conven- 
tion for the office of Governor. He immediately re- 
signed his place and entered upon the canvass. In 
August, 1842, he was elected, and on the 8th of De- 
cember following he was inaugurated. 

All the offices which he had held were unsolicited 
by him. He received them upon the true Jefferson- 
Jan principle, — Never to ask ,ind never to refuse 
office. Both as a lawyer and as a Judge he stood 
deservedly high, but his cast of intellect fitted him 
rather for a writer upon law than a practicing advo- 
cate in the courts. In the latter capacity he was void 
of the moving power of eloquence, so necessary to 
success with juries. As a Judge his opinions were 
<^ound, lucid and able expositions of the law. In 
(practice, he was a stranger to the tact, skill and in- 
•inuating address of the politician, but he saw through 
;he arts of demagogues as well as any man. He was 
plain in his demeanor, so much so, indeed, that at 
one time after the expiration of his term of office, 
during a session of the Legislature, he was taken by 
a stranger to be a seeker for the position of door- 
keeper, and was waited upon at his hotel near mid- 
night by a knot of small office-seekers with the view 
of effecting a " combination ! " 

Mr. Ford had not the "brass" of the ordinary 
politician, nor that impetuosity which characterizes a 
political leader. He cared little for money, and 
hardly enough for a decent support. In person he 
was of small stature, slender, of dark complexion, 
with black hair, sharp features, deep-set eyes, a 
pointed, aquiline nose having a decided twist to one 
side, and a small mouth. 

The three most important events in Gov. Ford's 
administration were the establishment of the high 
financial credit of the State, the " Mormon War "and 
;he Mexican War. 

In the first of these the Governor proved himself 
to be eminently wise. On coming into office he found 
the State badly paralyzed by the ruiaous effects of 
me notorious " internal improvement " schemes of 

the preceding decade, with scarcely anything to 
show by way of "improvement." The enterprise 
that seemed to be getting ahead more than all the 
rest was the Illinois & Michigan Canal. As this 
promised to be the most important thoroughfare, 
feasible to the people, it was well under headway in 
its construction. Therefore the State policy was 
almost concentrated upon it, in order to rush it on tc 
completion. The bonded indebtedness of the State 
was growing so large as to frighten the people, and 
they were about ready to entertain a proposition for 
repudiation. But the Governor had the foresight to 
recommend such measures as would maintain the 
public credit, for which every citizen to-day feels 

But perhaps the Governor is remembered more for 
his connection with the Mormon troubles than for 
anything else; for it was during his term of office 
that the " Latter-Day Saints " became so strong at 
Nauvoo, built their temple there, increased their num- 
bers throughout the country, committed misdemean- 
ors, taught dangerous doctrines, suffered the loss of 
theirleader, Jo Smith, by a violent death, were driven 
out of Nauvoo to the far West, etc. Having been a 
Judge for so many years previously, Mr. Ford of 
course was noi-committal concerning Mormon affairs, 
and was ilierefore claimed by both parties and also 
accused by each of sympathizing too greatly with the 
other side. Mormoiiism claiming to be a system of 
rehgion, the Governor no doubt was "between two 
fires," and felt compelled to touch the matter rather 
" gingerly," and doubtless felt greatly relieved when 
that pestilential people left the State. Such compli- 
cated matters, especially when religion is mixed up 
with them, expose every person participating in 
them to criticism from all parties. 

The Mexican War was begun in the spring of 
1845, and was continued into the gubernatorial term 
of Mr. Ford's successor. The Governors connection 
with this war, however, was not conspicuous, as it 
was only administrative, commissioning officers, etc. 

Ford's " History of Illinois " is a very readable and 
entertaining work, of 450 small octavo pages, and is 
destined to increase in value with the lapse of time. 
It exhibits a natural flow of compact and forcible 
thought, never failing to convey the nicest sense. In 
tracing with his trenchant pen the devious operations 
of the professional politician, in which he is inimit- 
able, his account is open, perhaps, to the objection 
that all his contemporaries are treated as mere place- 
seekers, while many of them have since been judged 
by the people to be worthy statesmen. His writings 
seem slightly open to the criticism that they exhibit 
a little splenetic partiality against those of his con- 
temporaries who were prominent during his term of 
office as Governor. 

The death of Gov. Ford took place at Peoria, 111., 
Nov. 2, 1850. 





Governor of Illinois from 
1846 to 1852, was born in 
the town of Hill, in the 
State of New Hampshire, 
Aug. 2, 1808. He was a 
descendant in the fourth 
generation of Nathaniel 
French, who emigrated from England 
in 1687 and settled in Saybury, Mass. 
In early life young French lost his 
father, but continued to receive in- 
struction from an exemplary and 
Christian mother until he was 1 9 years 
old, when she also died, confiding to 
his care and trust four younger broth- 
ers and one sister. He discharged his trust with 
parental devotion. His education in early life was 
such mainly as a common school afforded. For a 
brief period he attended Dartmouth College, but 
from pecuniary causes and the care of his brothers 
and sister, he did not graduate. He subsequently 
read law, and was admitted to the Bar in 183 1, and 
shortly afterward removed to Illinois, settling first at 
Albion, Edwards County, where he established him- 
self in the practice of law. The following year he 
removed to Paris, Edgar County. Here he attained 
eminence in his profession, and entered public life 
by representing that county in the Legislature. A 
strong attachment sprang up between him and Ste- 
phen A. Douglas. 

In 1839, Mr. French was appointed Receiver of 
the United States Land Office at Palestine, Craw- 
ford County, at which place he was a resident when 

elevated to the gubernatorial chair. In 1844 he was 
a Presidential Elector, and as such he voted for 
James K. Polk. 

The Democratic State Convention of 1846, meet- 
ing at Springfield Feb. 10, nominated Mr. French 
for Governor. Other Democratic candidates were 
Lyman Trumbull, John Calhoun (subsequently of 
Lecompton Constitution notoriety), Walter B. Scales, 
Richard M. Young and A. W. Cavarly, — an array of 
very able and prominent names. Trumbull was per- 
haps defeated in the Convention by the rumor that 
he was opposed to the Illinois and Michigan Canal, 
as he had been a year previously. For Lieutenant 
Governor J. B. Wells was chosen, while other candi- 
dates were Lewis Ross, Wm. McMurtry, Newton 
Cloud, J. B. Hamilton and W. W. Thompson. The 
resolutions declared strongly against the resuscita- 
tion of the old State Banks. 

The Whigs, who were in a hopeless minority, held 
their convention June 8, at Peoria, and selected 
Thomas M. Kilpatrick, of Scott County, for Governor, 
and Gen. Nathaniel G. Wilcox, of Schuyler, for 
Lieutenant Governor. 

In the campaign the latter exposed Mr. French's 
record and connection with the passage of the in- 
ternal improvement system, urging it against his 
election ; but in the me-^ntime the war with Mexico 
broke out, regarding which the Whig record was un- 
popular in this State. The war was the absorbing 
and dominating question of the period, sweeping 
every other political issue in its course. The elec- 
tion in August gave Mr. French 58,700 votes, and 
Kilpatrick only 36,775. Richard Eells, Abolitionist 
candidate for the same office, received 5,152 vot«». 



By the new Constitution of 1848, a new election for 
State officers was ordered in November of that year, 
before Gov. French's term was half out, and he was 
re-elected for the term of four years. He was there- 
fore the incumbent for six consecutive years, the 
only Governor of this State who has ever served in 
that capacity so long at one time. As there was no 
organized opposition to his election, he received 67,- 
453 votes, to 5,639 for Pierre Menard (son of the 
first Lieutenant Governor), 4,748 for Charles V. 
Dyer, 3,834 for W. L. D. Morrison, and 1,361 for 
James L. D. Morrison. But Wm. McMurtry, of 
Knox County, was elected Lieutenant Governor, in 
place of Joseph B. Wells, who was before elected 
and did not run again. 

Governor French was inaugurated into office dur- 
ing the progress of the Mexican War, which closed 
during the summer of 1847, although the treaty of 
Guadalupe Hidalgo was not made until Feb. 2, 
1848. The policy of Gov. French's party was com- 
mitted to that war^ but in connection with that affair 
he was, of course, only an administrative officer. 
During his term of office, Feb. 19, 1847, the Legisla- 
ture, by special permission of Congress, declared that 
all Government lands sold to settlers should be im- 
mediately subject to State taxation; before this they 
were exempt for five years after sale. By this ar- 
rangement the revenue was materially increased. 
About the same time, the distribution of Government 
jand warrants among the Mexican soldiers as bounty 
threw upon the market a great quantity of good 
lands, and this enhanced the settlement of the State. 
The same Legislature authorized, with the recom- 
mendation of the Governor, the sale of the Northern 
Cross Railroad (from Springfield to Meredosia, the 
first in the State and now a section of the Wabash, 
St. Louis 8z: Pacific). It sold for $100,000 in bonds, 
although it had cost the State not less than a million. 
The salt wells and canal lands in the Saline reserve 
in Gallatin County, granted by the general Govern- 
ment to the State, were also authorized by the 
Governor to be sold, to apply on the State debt. In 
T850, for the first time since 1839, the accruing State 
revenue, exclusive of specific appropriations, was 
sufficient to meet the current demands upon the 
treasury. The aggregate taxable property of the 
State at this time was over $too,ooo,ooo, and the 
population 851,470. 

In 1849 the Legisiature adopted the township or^ 
ganization law, which, however, proved defective, 
and was properly amended in r 851. At its session 
in the latter year, the General Assembly also passed 
a law to exempt homesteads from sale on executions 
This beneficent measure had been repeatedly urget] 
upon that body by Gov. French: 

In 1850 some business men in St. Louis com- 
menced to build a dike opposite the lower part of 
their city on the Illinois side, to keep the Mississippi 
in its channel near St. Louis, instead of breaking 
away from them as it sometimes threatened to do. 
This they undertook without permission from the 
Legislature or Executive authority of this State ; and 
as many of the inhabitants thera complained that 
the scheme would inundate and ruin much valuable 
land, there was a slight conflict of jurisdictions, re- 
sulting in favor of the St. Louis project; and since 
then a good site has existed there for a city (East St. 
Louis), and now a score of railroads center there. 

It was in September, 1850, that Congress granted 
to this State nearly 3,000,000 acres of land in aid of 
the completion of the Illinois Central' Railroad, 
which constituted the most important epoch in the 
railroad — we might say internal improvement — his- 
tory of the State. The road was rushed on to com- 
pletion, which accelerated the settlement of the in- 
terior of the State by a good class of industrious citi- 
zens, and by the charter a good income to the State 
Treasury is paid in from the earnings of the road. 

In 185 1 the Legislature passed a law authorizing 
free stock banks, which was the source of much leg- 
islative discussion for a number of years. 

But we have not space further to particularize 
concerning legislation. Gov. French's administra- 
tion was not marked by any feature to be criticised, 
while the country was settling up as never before. 

In stature, Gov. French was of medium height, 
squarely built, light complexioned, with ruddy face 
and pleasant countenance. In manners he was 
plain and agreeable. By nature he was somewhat 
diffident, but he was often very outspoken in his con- 
victions of duty. In public speech he was not an 
orator, but was chaste, earnest and persuasive. In 
business he was accurate and methodical, and in his 
administration he kept up the credit of the State. 

He died in r86s, at his home in Lebanon, St 
Qair Co., HI. 



liOEL A. MATTESON, Governor 
1853-6, was born Aug. 8, 1808, 
in Jefferson County, New York, 
to which place his father had re- 
moved from Vermont three years 
before. His father was a farmer 
in fair circumstances, but a com- 
mon English education was all 
that his only son received. Young 
Joel first tempted fortune as a 
small tradesman in Prescott, 
Canada, before he was of age. 
He returned from that place to 
his home, entered an academy, 
taught school, visited the prin- 
cipal Eastern cities, improved a farm his father had 
given him, made a tour in the South, worked there 
in building railroads, experienced a storm on the 
Gulf of Mexico, visited the gold diggings of Northern 
Georgia, and returned via Nashville to St. Louis and 
through Illinois to his father's home, when he mar- 
ried. In 1833, having sold his farm, he removed, 
with his wife and one child, to Illinois, and entered 
a claim on Government land near the head of Au 
Sable River, in what is now Kendall County. At 
that time there were not more than two neighbors 
within a range of ten miles of his place, and only 
three or four houses between him and Chicago. He 
opened a large farm. His family was boarded 12 

miles away while he erected a house on his claim, 

sleeping, during this time, under a rude pole shed. 
Here his life was once placed in imminent peril by 
a huge prairie rattlesnake sharing his bed. 

In 1835 he bought largely at the Government land 
sales. During the speculative real-estate mania which 
broke out in Chicago in 1836 and spread over the State, 
he sold his lands under the inflation of that period 
and removed to Joliet. In 1838 he became a heavy 
contractor on the Illinois & Michigan Canal. Upon 
the completion of his job in 1841, when hard times 
prevailed, business at a stand, contracts paid in State 
scrip ; when all the public works except the canal 
were abandoned, the State offered for sale 700 tons 
of railroad iron, which was purchased by Mr. Mat- 
teson at a bargain. This he accepted, shipped and 
sold at Detroit, realizing a very handsome profit, 
enough to pay off all his canal debts and leave him a 
surplus of several thousand dollars. His enterprise 
next prompted him to start a woolen mill at Joliet, 
in which he prospered, and which, after successive 
enlargements, became an enormous establishment. 

In 1842 he was first elected a State Senator, but, 
by a bungling apportionment, joiSn Pearson, a Senator 
holding over, was found to be in the same district, 
and decided to be entitled to represent it. Mat- 
teson's seat was declared vacant. Pearson, howevet 
with a nobleness diflScult to appreciate in this day of 



greed for office, unwilling to represent his district 
under the circumstances, immediately resigned his 
unexpired term of two )rears. A bill was passed in a 
few hours ordering a new election, and in ten days' 
time Mr. Matteson was returned re-elected and took 
his seat as Senator. From his well-known capacity 
as a business man, he was made Chairman of the 
Committee on Finance, a position he held during 
this half and two full succeeding Senatorial terms, 
discharging its important duties with ability and faith- 
fulness. Besides his extensive woolen-mill interest, 
when work was resumed on the canal under the new 
2oan of $r, 600,000 he again became a heavy con- 
tractor, and also subsequently operated largely in 
building railroads. Thus he showed himself a most 
energetic and thorough business man. 

He was nominated for Governor by the Demo- 
cratic State Convention which met at Springfield 
April 20, 1852. Other candidates before the Con- 
vention were D. L. Gregg and F. C. Sherman, of 
Cook ; John Dement, of Lee ; Thomas L. Harris, of 
Menard; Lewis W. Ross, of Fulton ; and D. P. Bush, 
of Pike. Gustavus Koerner, of St. Clair, was nom- 
inated for Lieutenant Governor. For the same offices 
the Whigs nominated Edwin B. Webb and Dexter A. 
Knowlton. Mr. Matteson received 80,645 votes at 
the election, while Mr. Webb received 64,408. Mat- 
teson's forte was not on the stump; he had not cul- 
tivated the art of oily flattery, or the faculty of being 
all things ta all men. His intellectual qualities took 
rather the direction of efficient executive ability. His 
turn consisted not so much in the adroit manage- 
ment of party, or the powerful advocacy of great gov- 
ernmental principles, as in those more solid and 
enduring operations which cause the physical devel- 
opment and advancement of a State, — of commerce 
and business enterprise, into which he labored with 
success to lead the people. As a politician he was 
just and liberal in his views, and both in official and 
private life he then stood untainted and free from 
blemish. As a man, in active benevolence, social 
rirtues and all the amiable qualities of neighbor or 
citizen, he had k-^ superiors. His messages present 
a perspicuous array of facts as to the condition of the 
State, and are often couched in forcible and elegant 

The greatest excitement during his term of office 
was the repeal of the Missouri Compromise, by Con- 

gress, under the leadership of Stephen A. Douglas in 
1854, when the bill was passed organizing the Tern- 
tory of Kansas and Nebraska. A large portion of 
the Whig party of the North, through their bitter op- 
position to the Democratic party, naturally drifted 
into the doctrine of anti-slavery, and thus led to what 
was temporarily called the " And- Nebraska " party, 
while the followers of Douglas were known as " Ne- 
braska or Douglas Democrats." It was during this 
embryo stage of the Republican party that Abraham 
Lincoln was brought forward as the " Anti-Nebraska '' 
candidate for the United States Senatorship, while 
Gen. James Shields, the incumbent, was re-nom- 
inated by the Democrats. But after a few ballotings 
in the Legislature (1855), these men were dropped, 
and Lyman Trumbull, an Anti-Nebraska Democrat, 
was brought up by the former, and Mr. Matteson, 
then Governor, by the latter. On the nth ballot 
Mr. Trumbull obtained one majority, and was ac- 
cordingly declared elected. Before Gov. Matteson's 
term expired, the Repubhcans were fully organized 
as a national party, and in 1856 put into the field a 
full national and State ticket, carrying the State, but 
not the nation. 

The Legislature of 1855 passed two very import- 
ant measures, — the present free-school system and a 
submission of the Maine liquor law to a vote of the 
people. The latter was defeated by a small majority 
of the popular vote. 

During the four years of Gov. Matteson's admin- 
istration the taxable wealth of the State was about 
trebled, from $137,818,079 to $349,951,272; the pub- 
lic debt was reduced from $17,398,985 to $12,843,- 
144; taxation was at the same rime reduced, and the 
State resumed paying interest on its debt in New 
York as ,fast as it fell due ; railroads were increased 
in their mileage from something less than 400 to 
about 3,000; and the population of Chicago was 
nearly doubled, and its commerce more than quad- 

Before closing this account, we regret that we have 
to say that Mr. Matteson, in all other respects an 
upright man and a good Governor, was implicated 
m a false re-issue of redeemed canal scrip, amount- 
ing to $224,182.66. By a suit in the Sangamon Cir- 
cuit Court the State recovered the principal and all 
the interest excepting $27,500. 

He died in the winter of 1873-3, at Chicago. 





. Bi^^f 11. 


ernor 1857-60, was born 
April 25, 1811, in the 
State of New York, near 
Painted Post, Yates County. 
His parents were obscure, 
honest. God-fearing people, 
who reared their children under the daily 
example of industry and frugality, accord- 
ing to the custom of that class of Eastern 
society. Mr. Bissell received a respecta- 
ble but not thorough academical education. 
By assiduous application he acquired a 
knowledge of medicine, and in his early 
manhood came West and located va. Mon- 
roe County, this State, where he engaged in the 
practiceof that profession. But he was not enam- 
ored of his calling; he was swayed by a broader 
ambition, to such an extent that the mysteries of the 
healing art and its arduous duties failed to yield him 
further any charms. In a few years he discovered 
his choice of a profession to be a mistake, and when 
he approached the age of 30 he sought to begin 
anew. Dr. Bissell, no doubt unexpectedly to him- 
self, discovered a singular facility and charm of 
speech, the exercise of which acquired for him a 
ready local notoriety. It soon came to be under- 

stood that he desired to abandon his profession and 
take up that of the law. During terms of Court he 
would spend his time at the county seat among the 
members of the Bar, who extended to him a ready 

It was not strange, therefore, that he should drift 
into public life. In 1840 he was elected as a Dem- 
ocrat to the Legislature from Monroe County, and 
was an efficient member of that body. On his re- 
turn home he qualified himself for admission to the 
Bar and speedily rose to the front rank as an advo- 
cate. His powers of oratory were captivating. With a 
pure diction, charming and inimitable gestures, 
clearness of statement, and a remarkable vein of sly 
humor, his efforts before a jury told with irresistible 
effect. He was chosen by the Legislature Prosecut- 
ing Attorney for the Circuit in which he lived, and 
in that position he fully discharged his duty to the 
State, gained the esteem of the Bar, and seldom 
failed to convict the offender of the law. 

In stature he was somewhat tall and slender, and 
with a straight, military bearing, he presented a dis- 
tinguished appearance. His complexion was dark, 
his head well poised, though not large, his address 
pleasant and manner winning. He was exemplary 
in his habits, a devoted husband and kind parent. 
I He was twice married, the first time to Miss James, 



of Monroe County, by whom he had two children, 
both daughters. She died soon after the year 1840, 
and Mr. B. married for his second wife a daughter 
of Elias K. Kane, previously a United States Senator 
from this State. She survived him but a short time, 
and died without issue. 

When the war with Mexico was declared in 1 846, 
Mr. Bissell enhsted and was elected Colonel of his 
regiment, over Hon. Don Morrison, by an almost 
unanimous vote, — 807 to 6. Considering the limited 
opportunities he had had, he evinced a high order of 
military talent. On the bloody field of Buena Vista 
he acquitted himself with intrepid and distinguished 
ability, contributing with his regiment, the Second 
Illinois, in no small degree toward saving the waver- 
ing fortunes of our arms during that long and fiercely 
contested battle. 

After his return home, at the close of the war, he 
was elected to Congress, his opponents being the 
Hons. P. B. Fouke and Joseph Gillespie. He served 
two terms in Congress. He was an ardent politician. 
During the great contest of 1850 he voted in favor 
of the adjustment measures; but in 1854 he opposed 
the repeal of the Missouri Compromise act and 
therefore the Kansas-Nebraska bill of Douglas, and 
thus became identified with the nascent Republican 

During his first Congressional term, while the 
Southern members were following their old practice 
of intimidating the North by bullying language, 
and claiming most of the credit for victories in the 
Mexican War, and Jefferson Davis claiming for the 
Mississippi troops all the credit for success at Buena 
Vista, Mr. Bissell bravely defended the Northern 
troops ; whereupon Davis challenged Bissell to a duel, 
which was accepted. This matter was brought up 
against Bissell when he was candidate for Governor 
and during his term of office, as the Constitution of 
this State forbade any duelist from holding a State 

In 1856, when the Republican party first put forth 
a candidate, John C. Fremont, for President of the 
United States, the same party nominated Mr. Bissell 
for Governor of Illinois, and John Wood, of Quincy, 
for Lieutenant Governor, while the Democrats nomi- 
nated Hon. W. A. Richardson, of Adams County, 
for Governor, and Col. R. J. Hamilton, of Cook 
County, for Lieutenant Governor. The result of the 

election was a plurality of 4,729 votes over Richard- 
son. The American, or Know-Nothing, party had a 
ticket in the field. The Legislature was nearly bal- 
anced, but was politically opposed to the Governor. 
His message to the Legislature was short and rather 
ordinary, and was criticised for expressing the sup- 
posed obligations of the people to the incorporators 
of the Illinois Central Railroad Company and for re- 
opening the slavery question by allusions to the 
Kansas troubles. Late in the session an apportion- 
ment bill, based upon the State census of 1855, was 
passed, amid much partisan strife. The Governor 
at first signed the bill and then vetoed it. A furious 
debate followed, and the question whether the Gov- 
ernor had the authority to recall a signature was 
referred to the Courts, that of last resort deciding in 
favor of the Governor. Two years afterward another 
outrageous attempt was made for a re-apportionment 
and to gerrymander the State, but the Legislature 
failed to pass the bill over the veto of the Governor. 

It was during Gov. Bissell's administration that 
the notorious canal scrip fraud was brought to light 
implicating ex-Gov. Matteson and other prominent 
State officials. The principal and interest, aggregat- 
ing $255,500, was all recovered by the State except- 
ing $27,500. (See sketch of Gov. Matteson.) 

In 1859 an attempt was discovered to fraudu- 
lently refund the Macalister and Stebbins bonds and 
thus rob the State Treasury of nearly a quarter of a 
million dollars. The State Government was impli- 
cated in this affair, and to this day remains unex- 
plained or unatoned for. For the above, and other 
matters previously mentioned. Gov. Bissell has been 
severely criticised, and he has also been most shame- 
fully libelled and slandered. 

On account of exposure in the army, the remote 
cause of a nervous form of disease gained entrance 
into his system and eventually developed paraplegia, 
affecting his lower extremities, which, while it left 
his body in comparative health, deprived him of loco- 
motion except by the aid of crutches. While he was 
generally hopeful of ultimate recovery, this myste- 
rious disease pursued him, without once relaxing its 
stealthy hold, to the close of his life, March 18, 
i860, over nine months before the expiration of his 
gubernatorial term, at the eariy age of 48 years. He 
died in the faith of the Roman Catholic Church, of 
which he hart been a member since 1854. 






j:OHN WOOD, Governor 1 860-1, and 
the first settler of Quincy, III., 
was born in the town of Sempro- 
nius (now Moravia), Cayuga Co., 
N. Y., Dec. 20, 1798. He was 
the second child and only son of 
Dr. Daniel Wood. His mother, 
nee Catherine Crause, was of 
German parentage, and died 
while he was an infant. Dr. 
Wood was a learned and skillful 
physician, of classical attain- 
ments and proficient in several 
modern laiiguages, who, after 
serving throughout the Revolu- 
tionary War as a Surgeon, settled on the land granted 
him by the Government, and resided there a re- 
spected and leading influence in his section until his 
death, at the ripe age of 92 years. 

The subject of this sketch, impelled by the spirit 
of Western adventure then pervading everywhere, 
left his home, Nov. 2, 18 18, and passed the succeed- 
ing winter in Cincinnati, Ohio. The following sum- 
mer he pushed on to Illinois, landing at Shawneetown, 
and spent the fall and following winter in Calhoun 
County. In 1820, in company with Willard Keyes, 
he settled in Pike County, about 30 miles southeast 
of Quincy, where for the next two years he pursued 
farming. In 182 1 he visited " the Bluffs " (as the 
present site of Quincy was called, then uninhabited) 
and, pleased with its prospects, soon after purchased 
a quarter-section of land near by, and in the follow- 
ing fall (1822) erected near the river a small cabin. 

18 X 20 feet, the first building in Quincy, of which 
he then became the first and for some months the 
only occupant. 

About this time he visited his old friends in Pike 
County, chief of whom was William Ross, the lead- 
ing man in building up the village of Atlas, of that 
county, which was thought then to be the possible 
commencement of a city. One day they and others 
were traveling together over the country between the 
two points named, making observations on the com- 
parative merits of the respective localities. On ap.. 
preaching the Mississippi near Mr. Wood's place, 
the latter told his companions to follow him and he 
would show them where he was going to build a city. 
They went about a mile off the main trail, to a high 
point, from which the view in every direction was 
most magnificent, as it had been for ages and as yet- 
untouched by the hand of man. Before them swept 
by the majestic Father of Waters, yet unburdened by 
navigation. After Mr. Wood had expatiated at 
length on the advantages of the situation, Mr. Ross 
replied, " But it's too near Atlas ever to amount to 

Atlas is still a cultivated farm, and Quincy is » 
city of over 30,000 population. 

In 1824 Mr. vC'ood gave a newspaper notice, 
as the law then prescribed, of his intention to apply 
to the General Assembly for the formation of a new 
county. This was done the following winter, result- 
ing in the estabhshment of the present Adams 
County. During the next summer Quincy was se- 
lected as the county seat, it and the vicinity then 
containing but four adult male residents and half 



that number of females. Sinoe that period Mr. 
Wood resided at the place of his early adoption un- 
til his death, and far more than any other man was 
he identified with every measure of its progress and 
history, and almost continuously kept in public posi- 

He was one of the early town Trustees, and after 
the place became a city he was often a member of 
the City Council, many times elected Mayor, in the 
face of a constant large opposition political majority. 
In 1850 he was elected to the State Senate. In 1856, 
on the organization of the Republican party, he was 
chosen Lieutenant Governor of the State, on the 
ticket with Wm. H. Bissell for Governor, and on the 
death of the latter, March 18, i860, he succeeded to 
the Chief Executive chair, which he occupied until 
Gov. Yates was inaugurated nearly ten months after- 

Nothing very marked characterized the adminis- 
tration of Gov. Wood. The great anti-slavery cam- 
paign of i860, resulting in the election of the honest 
Illinoisan, Abraham Lincoln, to the Presidency of the 
United States, occurred during the short period 
while Mr. Wood was Governor, and the excitement 
and issues of that struggle dominated over every 
other consideration,^ndeed, supplanted them in a 
great measure. The people of Illinois, during all 
that time, were passing the comparatively petty strifes 
under Bissell's administration to the overwhelming 
issue of preserving the whole nation from destruction. 

In 186 1 ex-Gov. Wood was one of the five Dele- 
gates from Illinois to the " Peace Convention " at 
Washington, and in April of the same year, on the 
breaking out of the Rebellion, he was appointed 

Quartermaster-General of the State, which position 
he held throughout the war. In 1864 he took com- 
mand as Colonel of the 137th 111. Vol. Inf., with 
whom he served until the period of enlistment ex- 

Politically, Gov. Wood was always actively identi- 
fied with the Whig and Republican parties. Few 
men have in personal experience comprehended so 
many surprising and advancing local changes as 
vested in the more than half century recollections- of 
Gov. Wood. Sixty-four years ago a solitary settler 
on the "Bluffs," with no family, and no neighbor 
within a score of miles, the world of civilization away 
behind him, and the strolling almost his 
only visitant, he lived to see growing around him, 
and under his auspices and aid, overspreading the 
wild hills and scraggy forest a teaming city, second 
only in size in the State, and surpassed nowhere in 
beauty, prosperity and promise ; whose people recog- 
nize as with a single voice the proverbial honor and 
liberality that attach to the name and lengthened 
life of their pioneer settler, "the old Governor." 

Gov. Wood was twice married, — first in January, 
1826, to Ann M. Streeter, daughter of Joshua Streeter, 
formerly of Salem, Washington Co., N. Y. They had 
eight children. Mrs. W. died Oct. 8, 1863, and in 
June, 1865, Gov. Wood married Mrs. Mary A., widow 
of Rev. Joseph T. Holmes. Gov. Wood died June 4, 
1880, at his residence in Quincy. Four of his eight 
children are now living, namely: Ann E., wife of 
Gen. John Tillson; Daniel C, who married Mary J. 
Abernethy; John, Jr., who married Josephine Skinner, 
and Joshua S., who married Annie Bradley. The 
last mentioned now resides at Atchison, Kansas, and 
all the rest are still at Quincy. 


Governor," 1861-4, was born 
Jan. 18, 1818, on the banks of 
the Ohio River, at Warsaw, 
Gallatin Co., Ky. His lather 
moved in 1831 to Illinois, and 
after stopping for a time in 
Springfield, settled at Island 
Grove, Sangamon County. Here, 
after attending school, Richard joined 
the family. Subsequently he entered 
Illinois College at Jacksonville, 
where, in 1837, he graduated with 
first honors. He chose for his pro- 
fession the law, the Hon. J. J. Har- 
din being his instructor. After ad- 
mission to the Bar he soon rose to distinction as an 

Gifted with a fluent and ready oratory, he soon 
appeared in the political hustings, and, being a 
passionate admirer of the great Whig leader of the 
West. Henry Clay, he joined his political fortunes to 
..he party of his idol. In 1840 he engaged with great 
irdor in the exciting " hard cider " campaign for 
iiarrison. Two years later he was elected to the 
Legislature from Morgan County, a Democratic 
stronghold. He served three or four terms in the 
Legislature, and such was the fascination of his ora- 
-nry that by 1850 his large Congressional District, 
extending from Morgan and Sangamon Counties 
i.orth to include LaSalle, unanimously tendered him 
tne Whig nomination for Congress. His Democratic 
opponent was Maj. Thomas L. Harris, a very pop- 
ular man who had won distinction at the battle of 
Cerro Gordo, in the Mexican War, and who had 
aeaten Hon. Stephen T. Logan for the same position, 

two years before, by a large majority. Yates way 
elected. Two years later he was re-elected, over 
John Calhoun. 

It was during Yates second term in Congress that 
the great question of the repeal of the Missouri Com- 
promise was agitated, and the bars laid down for re- 
opening the dreaded anti-slavery question. He took 
strong grounds against the repeal, and thus became 
identified with the rising Republican party. Conse- 
quently he fell into the minority in his district, which 
was pro-slavery. Even then, in a third contest, he 
fell behind Major Harris only 200 votes, after the 
district had two years before given Pierce 2,000 
majority for President. 

The Republican State Convention of i860 met at 
Decatur May 9, and nominated for the office of Gov- 
ernor Mr. Yates, in preference to Hon. Norman B. 
Judd, of Chicago, and Leonard Swett, of Blooming- 
ton, two of the ablest men of the State, who were 
also candidates before the Convention. Francis A. 
Hoffman, of DuPage County, was nominated for 
Lieutenant Governor. This was the year when Mr. 
Lincoln was a candidate for President, a period re- 
membered as characterized by the great whirlpool 
which precipitated the bloody War of the Rebellion. 
The Douglas Democrats nominated J. C. Allen cf 
Crawford County, for Governor, and Lewis W. Ro?s, 
of Fulton County, for Lieutenant Governor. The 
Breckenridge Democrats and the Bell-Everett party 
had also full tickets in the field. After a most fear- 
ful campaign, the result of the election gave Mr. 
Yates 172,196 votes, and Mr, Allen 159,253. Mr. 
Yates received over a thousand more votes than did 
Mr. Lincoln himself. 

Gov. Yates occupied the chair of State during the 



most critical period of our country's history. In the 
fate of the nation was involved that of each State. 
The life struggle of the former derived its sustenance 
from the loyalty of the latter; and Gov. Yates 
seemed to realize the situation, and proved himself 
both loyal and wise in upholding the Government. 
He had a deep hold upon the affections of the 
people, won by his moving eloquence and genial 
manners. Erect and symmetrical in person, of pre- 
possessing appearance, with a winning address and a 
magnetic power, few men possessed more of the ele- 
ments of popularity. His oratory was scholarly and 
captivating, his hearers hardly knowing why they 
were transported. He was social and convivial. In 
the latter respect he was ultimately carried too far. 

The very creditable military efforts of this State 
during the War of the Rebellion, in putting into the 
field the enormous number of about 200,000 soldiers, 
were ever promptly and ably seconded by his excel- 
lency ; and the was ambitious to deserve the title of 
"the soldier's friend." Immediately after the battle of 
Shiloh he repaired to the field of carnage to look 
after the wounded, and his appeals for aid were 
promptly responded to by the people. His procla- 
mations calling for volunteers were impassionate 
appeals, urging upon the people the duties and re- 
quirements of patriotism ; and his special message 
in 1863 to the Democratic Legislature of this State 
pleading for material aid for the sick and wounded 
soldiers of Illinois regiments, breathes a deep fervor 
of noble sendment and feeling rarely equaled in 
beauty or felicity of expression. Generally his mes- 
sages on political and civil affairs were able and com- 
prehensive. During his administradon, however, 
there were no civil events of an engrossing character, 
although two years of his dme were replete with 
partisan quarrels of great bitterness. Military ar- 
rests, Knights of the Golden Circle, riot in Fulton 
County, attempted suppression of the Chicago Times 
and the usurping State Constitutional Convention of 
1862, were the chief local topics that were excidng 
during the Governor's terra. This Convention assem- 
bled Jan. 7, and at once took the high position that 
he law calling it was no longer binding, and that it 
-ad supreme power; that it represented a virtual 
assemblage of the whole people of the State, and was 
sovereign in the exercise of all power necessary to 
effect a peaceable revolution of the State Government 

and to the re-establishment of one for the "happiness, 
prosperity and freedom of the citizens," limited only 
by the Federal Constitution. Notwithstanding the 
law calling the Convention required its members to 
take an oath to support the Constitution of the State 
as well as that of the general Government, they 
utterly refused to take such oath. They .also as- 
sumed legislative powers and passed several import- 
ant " laws ! " Interfering with the (then) present 
executive duties, Gov. Yates was provoked to tell 
them plainly that " he did not acknowledge the right 
of the Convention to instruct him in the performance 
of his duty." 

In 1863 the Governor astonished the Democrats 
by " proroguing " their Legislature. This body, after 
a recess, met June 2, that year, and soon began to 
waste timt upon various partisan resolutions ; and, 
while the two houses were disagreeing upon the 
question of adjourning sine die, the Governor, having 
the authority in such cases, surprised them all by 
adjourning them " to the Saturday next preceding the 
first Monday in January, 1865 ! " This led to great 
excitement and confusion, and to a reference of the 
Governor's act to the Supreme Court, who decided in 
his favor. Then it was the Court's turn to receive 
abuse for weeks and months afterward. 

During the autumn of 1864 a conspiracy was de- 
tected at Chicago which had for its object the liber- 
ation of the prisoners of war at Camp Douglas, the 
burning of the city and the inauguration of rebellion 
in the North. Gen. Sweet, who had charge of the 
camp at the time, first had his suspicions of danger 
aroused by a number of enigmatically worded letters 
which passed through the Camp postoffice. A de- 
tective afterward discovered that the rebel Gen. 
Marmaduke was in the city, under an assumed 
name, and he, with other rebel ofEcers— Gfenfell, 
Morgan, Cantrell, Buckner Morris, and Charles 
Walsh— was arrested, most of whom were convicted 
by a court-martial at Cincinnati and sentenced to 
imprisonment,— Grenfell to be hung. The sentence 
of the latter was afterward commuted to imprison- 
ment for life, and all the others, after nine months' 
imprisonment, were pardoned. 

In March, 1873, Gov. Yates was appointed a Gov- 
ernment Director of the Union Pacific Railroad, in 
which office he continued until his decease, at St. 
Louis, Mo., on the 27th of November following. 




Michard J. Ogles 



ernor 1865-8, and re-elected 
in 1872 and 1884, was born 
July 25, 1824, in Oldham Co., 
Ky., — the State which might 
be considered the " mother of 
Illinois Governors." Bereft of 
his parents at the tender age 
of eight years, his early education 
was neglected. When 12 years of 
age, and after he had worked a year 
and a half at the carpenter's trade, 
he removed with an uncle, Willis 
Oglesby, into whose care he had 
been committed, to Decatur, this 
State, where he continued his ap- 
l>renticeship as a mechanic, working six months for 
Hon. E. O. Smith. 

In 1844 he commenced studying law at Spring- 
field, with Judge Silas Robbins, and read with him 
one year. He was admitted to the Bar in 1845, and 
commenced the practice of his chosen profession at 
Sullivan, the county seat of Moultrie County. 

The next year the war with Mexico was com- 
menced, and in June, 1846, Mr. Oglesby volunteered, 
was elected First Lieutenant of Co. C, Fourth Illinois 
Regiment of Volunteers, and participated in the bat- 
tles of Vera Cruz and Cerro Gordo. 

On his return he sought to perfect his law studies 
by attending a course of lectures at Louisville, but 
on the breaking out of the California "gold fever " in 
1849, 'is crossed the plains and mountains to the 
new Eldoraiio, driving a six-mule team, with a com- 

pany of eight men, Henry Prather being the leader. 

In 1852 he returned home to Macon County, and 
was placed that year by the Whig party on the ticket 
of Presidential Electors. In 1856 he visited Europe, 
Asia and Africa, being absent 20 months. On his 
return home he resumed the practice of law, as a 
member of the firm of Gallagher, Wait & Oglesby. 
In 1858 he was the Republican no.ninee for the 
Lower House of Congress, but was defeated by the 
Hon. James C. Robinson, Democrat. In i860 he 
was elected to the Illinois State Senate ; and on the 
evening the returns of this election were coming in, 
Mr. Oglesby had a fisticuff encounter with " Cerro 
Gordo Williams," in which he came out victorious, 
and which was regarded as " the first fight of the 
Rebellion." The following spring, when the war 
had commenced in earnest, his ardent nature 
quickly responded to the demands of patriotism and 
he enHsted. The extra session of the Legislature 
elected him Colonel of the Eighth Illinois Infantry, 
the second one in the State raised to suppress the 
great Rebellion. 

He was shortly entrusted with important com- 
mands. For a time he was stationed at Bird's Point 
and Cairo; in April he was promoted Brigadier Gen- 
eral ; at Fort Donelson his brigade was in the van, 
being stationed on the right of General Grant's army 
and the first brigade to be attacked. He lost 5 00 
men before re-inforcements arrived. Many of these 
men were from Macon County. He was engaged in 
the battle of Corinth, and, in a brave charge at this 
place, was shot in the left lung with an ounce ball, 
and was carried from the field in expectation of im- 



mediate death. That rebel ball he carries to this 
day. On his partial recovery he was promoted as 
Major General, for gallantry, his commission to rank 
from November, 1862. In the spring of 1863 he 
was assigned to the command of the i6th Army 
Corps, but, owing to inability from the effects of his 
wound, he relinquished this command in July, that 
year. Gen. Grant, however, refused to accept his 
resignation, and he was detailed, in December follow- 
ing, to court-martial and try the Surgeon General of 
the Army at Washington, where he remained until 
May, 1864, when he returned home. 

The Republican, or Union, State Convention of 

1864 was held at Springfield, May 25, when Mr. 
Oglesby was nominated for the office of Governor, 
while other candidates before the Convention were 
Allen C. Fuller, of Boone, Jesse K. Dubois, of Sanga- 
mon, and John M. Palmer, of Macoupin. Wm. 
Bross, of Chicago, was nominated for Lieutenant 
Governor. On the Democratic State ticket were 
James C. Robinson, of Clark, for Governor, and S. 
Corning Judd, qf Fulton, for Lieutenant Governor. 
The general election gave Gen. Oglesby a majority 
of about 31,000 votes. The Republicans had also a 
majority in both the Legislature and in the repre- 
sentation in Congress. 

Gov. Oglesby was duly inaugurated Jan. 17, 1865. 
The day before the first time set for his installation 
death visited his home at Decatur, and look from it 
his only son, an intelligent and sprightly lad of six 
years, a great favorite of the bereaved parents. This 
caused the inauguration to be postponed a week. 

The political events of the Legislative session of 

1865 were the election of ex-Gov. Yates to the 
United States Senate, and the ratification of the 13th 
amendment to the Constitution of the United States, 
abolishing slavery. This session also signalized 
itself by repealing t'13 notorious " black laws," part 
of which, although a dead letter, had held their place 
upon the statute books since 1819. Also, laws re- 
quiring the registration of voters, and establishing a 
State Board of Equalization, were passed by this Leg- 
islature. But the same body evinced that it was cor- 
ruptly influenced by a mercenary lobby, as it adopted 
some bad legislation, over the Governor's veto, nota- 
bly an amendment to a charter for a Chicago horse 
railway, granted in 1859 for 25 years, and now 
sought to be extended 99 years. As this measure 
was promptly passed over his veto by both branches 
of the Legislature, he deemed it useless further to 
attempt to check their headlong career. At this 
session no law of a general useful character or public 
interest was perfected, unless we count such the 
turning oyer of the canal to Chicago to be deepened. 
The session of 1867 was still more productive of 
private and special acts. Many omnibus bills were 
proposed, and some passed. The contests over the 
location of the Industrial College, the Capital, the 

Southern Penitentiary, and the canal enlargement 
and Illinois River improvement, dominated every- 
thing else. 

During the year 1872, it became evident that if 
the Republicans could re-elect Mi:. Oglesby to the 
office of Governor, they could also elect him to the 
United States Senate, which they desired to do. 
Accordingly they re-nominated him for the Execu- 
tive chair, and placed upon the ticket with him for 
Lieutenant Governor, John L. Beveridge, of Cook 
County. On the other side the Democrats put into 
the field Gastavus Koerner for Governor and John 
C. Black for Lieutenant Governor. The election 
gave the Republican ticket majorities ranging from 
35>334 to 56,174, — the Democratic defection being 
caused mainly by their having an old-time Whig and 
Abolitionist, Horace Greeley, on the national ticket 
for President. According to the general understand- 
ing had beforehand, as soon as the Legislature met 
it elected Gov. Oglesby to the United States Senate, 
whereupon Mr. Beveridge became Governor. Sena- 
tor Oglesby 's term expired March 4, 1879, having 
served his party faithfully and exhibited an order of 
statesmanship beyond criticism. 

During the campaign of 1884 Mr. Oglesby was 
nominated for a "third term" as Executive of the 
State of IlUnois, against Carter H. Harrison, Mayor 
of Chicago, nominated by the Democrats. Both 
gentlemen !' stumped " the State, and while the peo- 
ple elected a Legislature which was a tie on a joint 
ballot, as between the two parties, they gave the 
jovial " Dick" Oglesby a majority of 15,018 for Gov- 
ernor, and he was inaugurated Jan. 30, 1885. The 
Legislature did not fully organize until this date, on 
account of its equal division between the two main 
parties and the consequent desperate tacrics of each 
party to checkmate the latter in the organization of 
the House. 

Gov. Oglesby is a fine-appearing, affable man, with 
regular, well defined features and rotund face. In 
stature he is a little above medium height, of a large 
frame and somewhat fleshy. His physical appear- 
ance is striking and prepossessing, while his straight- 
out, not to say bluff, manner and speech are well 
calculated favorably to impress the average masses. 
Ardent In feeling and strongly committed to the pol- 
icies of his party, he intensifies Republicanism 
among Republicans, while at the same time his joviaL 
and liberal manner prevents those of the opposite 
party from hating him. 

He is quite an effective stump orator. With vehe- 
ment, passionate and scornful tone and gestures, 
tremendous physical power, which in speaking he 
exercises to the utmost ; with frequent descents to 
the grotesque; and with abundant homely compari- 
sons or frontier figures, expressed in the broadest 
vernacular and enforced with stentorian emphasis, 
he delights a promiscuous aidience beyond measure. 




John M. Pal mem 

ernor 1869-72, was born on 
Eagle Creek, Scott Co., Ky., 
Sept. 13, 1817. During his in- 
fancy, his father, who had been 
a soldier in the war of 181 2, re- 
moved to Christian Co., Ky., 
where lands were cheap. Here 
the future Governor of the great 
Prairie State spent his childhood 
and received such meager school- 
ing as the new and sparsely set- 
tled country afforded. To this 
he added materially by diligent 
reading, for which he evinced an 
eaily aptitude. His father, an ardent Jackson man, 
was also noted for his anti-slavery sentiments, which 
he thoroughly impressed upon his children. In 1831 
he emigrated to Illinois, setriing in Madison County. 
Here the labor of improving a farm was pursued for 
about two years, when the death of Mr. Palmer's 
mother broke up the family. About this time Alton 
College was opened, on the "manual labor " system, 
and in the spring of 1834 young Palmer, with his 
elder brother, Elihu, entered this school and remained 
18 months. Next, for over three years, he tried 
variously coopering, peddling and school-teaching. 

During the summer of 1838 he formed the ac- 
quaintance of Stephen A. Douglas, then making his 

first canyass for Congress. Young, eloquent and in 
political accord with Mr. Palmer, he won his confi- 
dence, fired his ambition and fixed his purpose. The 
following winter, while teaching near Canton, he be- 
gan to devote his spare time to a desultory reading 
of law, and in the spring entered a law office at Car- 
linville, making his home with his elder brother, 
Elihu. (The latter was a learned clergyman, of con- 
siderable orginality of thought and doctrine.) On 
the next meeting of the Supreme Court he was ad- 
mitted to the Bar, Douglas being one of his examiners. 
He was not immediately successful in his profession, 
and would have located elsewhere than Carlinville 
had he the requisite means. Thus his early poverty 
was a blessing in disguise, for to it he now attributes 
the success of his life. 

From 1839 on, while he diligently pursued his 
profession, he participated more or less in local 
politics. In 1843 he became Probate Judge. In 
1847 he was elected to the State Constitutional Con 
vention, where he took a leading part. In 1852 hd 
was elected to the State Senate, and at the special 
session of February, 1854, true to the anti-slaverj 
sentiments bred in him, he took a firm stand in op- 
position to the repeal of the Missouri Compromise, 
and when the Nebraska question became a partj 
issue he refused to receive a re-nomination for th( 
Senatorship at the hands of the Democracy, issuin| 
a circular to that effect. A few weeks afterward, 



however, hesitating to break with his party, he par- 
ticipated in a Congressional Convention which nomi- 
T. L. Harris against Richard Yates, and which 
unqualifiedly approved the principles of the Kansas- 
Nebraska act. But later in the campaign he made 
the plunge, ran for the Senate as an Anti-Nebraska 
Democrat, and was elected. The following winter 
ne put in nomination for the ],United States Senate 
Mr. Trumbull, and was one of the five steadfast men 
who voted for him until all the Whigs came to their 
support and elected their man. 

In 1856 he was Chairman of the Republican State 
Convention at Bloomington. He ran for Congress in 
1859, but was defeated. In i860 he was Republican 
Presidential Elector for the State at large. In 1861 
Ae was appointed one of the five Delegates (all Re- 
publicans) sent by Illinois to the peace congress at 

When the civil conflict broke out, he offered his 
services to his country, and was elected Colonel of the 
J4th 111. Vol. Inf , and participated in the engagements 
at Island No. 10 ; at Farmington, where he skillfully 
extricated his command from a dangerous position ; 
at Stone River, where his division for several hours, 
Dec. 31, 1862, held the advance and stood like a 
rock, and for his gallantry there he was made Major 
General; at Chickamauga, where his and Van Cleve's 
divisions for two hours maintained their position 
when they were cut off by overpowering numbers. 
Under Gen, Sherman, he was assigned to the 14th 
Army Corps and participated in the Atlanta campaign. 
At Peach-Tree Creek his prudence did much to avert 
disaster. In February, 1865, Gen. Palmer was as- 
signed to the military administration of Kentucky, 
which was a delicate post. That State was about 
half rebel and half Union, and those of the latter 
element were daily fretted by the loss of their slaves. 
He, who had been bred to the rules of common law, 
trembled at the contemplation of his extraordinary 
power over the persons and property of his fellow 
men, with which he was vested in his capacity as 
military Governor ; and he exhibited great caution in 
the execution of the duties of his post. 

Gen. Palmer was nominated for Governor of Illi- 
nois by the Republican State Convention which met 
at Peoria May 6, 1868, and his nomination would 
probably have been made by acclamation had he not 
oersistently declared that he could not accept a can- 

didature for the office. The result of the ensuing 
election gave Mr. Palmer a majority of 44,707 over 
John R. Eden, the Democratic nominee. 

On the meeting of the Legislature in January, 
1869, the first thing to arrest public attention was 
that portion of the Governor's message which took 
broad Slate's rights ground. This and some minor 
points, which were more in keeping with the Demo- 
cratic sentiment, constituted the entering wedge f jr 
the criticisms and reproofs he afterward received 
from the Republican party, and ultimately resulted 
in his entire aleniation from the latter element. The 
Legislature just referred to was noted for the intro- 
duction of numerous bills in the interest of private 
parties, which were embarrassing to the Governor. 
Among the public acts passed was that which limited 
railroad charges for passenger travel to a maximum 
of three cents per mile ; and it was passed over the 
Governor's veto. Also, they passed, over his veto, 
the " tax-grabbing law " to pay r^ilroed subscriptions, 
the Chicago Lake Front bill, etc. The new State 
Constitution of 1870, far superior to the old, was a 
peaceful " revolution " which took place during Gov. 
Palmer's term of office. The suffering caused by the 
great Chicago Fire of October, 1871, was greatly 
alleviated by the prompt responses of his excellency. 
Since the expiration of Gov. Palmers 's term, he has 
been somewhat prominent in Illinois politics, and 
has been talked of by many, especially in the Dem- 
ocratic party, as the best man in the State for a 
United States Senator. His business during life has 
been that of the law. Few excel him in an accurate 
appreciation of the depth and scope of its principles- 
The great number of his able veto messages abun- 
dantly testify not only this but also a rare capacity to 
pomt them out. He is a logical and cogent reasoner 
and an interesting, forcible and convincing speaker, 
though not fluent or ornate. Without brilliancy, his 
dealings are rather with facts and ideas than with 
appeals to passions and prejudices. He is a patriot 
and a statesman of very high order. Physically he is 
above the medium height, of robust frame, ruddy 
complexion and sanguine-nervous temperament. He 
has a large cranial development, is vivacious, social 
in disposition, easy of approach, unostentatious in his 
habits of life, democratic in his habits and manners 
and IS a true American in his fundamental principle- 
of statesmanship. 





(f¥f iifidgif , 


IDGE, Governor 1 87 3-6, was 
born in the town of Green- 
wich, Washington Co., N. Y., 
July 6, 1824. His parents 
were George and Ann Bever- 
idge. His father's parents, An- 
drew and Isabel Boveridge, be- 
fore their marriage emigrated 
from Scotland just before the 
Revolutionary War, settling in 
Washington County. His father 
was the eldest ofeight brothers, the 
youngest of whom was 60 years of 
age when the first one of the num- 
ber died. His mother's parents, 
James and Agnes Hoy, emigrated 
from Scotland at the close of the 
Revolutionary War, settling also in 
Washington Co., N. Y., with their 
first-born, whose " native land " was 
the wild ocean. His parents and 
grandparents lived beyond the time 
allotted to man, their average age 
over 80 years. They belonged to the " Asso- 
Church," a seceding Presbyterian body of 

America from the old Scotch school ; and so rigid 
was the training of young Beveridge that he never 
heard a sermon from any other minister except that 
of his own denomination until he was in his 19th 
year. Later in life he became a member of the 
Methodist Episcopal Church, which relation he still 

Mr. Beveridge received a good common-school ed- 
ucation, but his parents, who could obtain a livelihood 
only by rigid economy and industry, could not send 
him away to college. He was raised upon a farm, 
and was in his i8th year when the family removed 
to De Kalb County, this State, when that section was 
very sparsely settled. Chicago had less than 7,000 
inhabitants. In this wild West he continued as a 
farm laborer, teaching school during the winter 
months to supply the means of an education. In the 
fall of 1842 he attended one term at the academy at 
Granville, Putnam Co., 111., and subsequently several 
terms at the Rock River Seminary at Mount Morris, 
Ogle Co., 111., completing the academic course. At 
this time, the fall of 1845, his parents and brothers 
were anxious to have him go to college, even though 
he had not money sufficient; but, njt willing to bur- 
den the family, he packed his trunk and with only 
$40 in money started South to seek his fortune 



Poor, alone, without friends and influence, he thus 
entered upon the battle of life. 

First, he taught school in Wilson, Overton and 
Jackson Cos., Tenn., in which experience he under- 
went considerable mental drill, both in book studies 
and in the ways of the world. He read law and was 
admitted to the Bar, in the South, but did not learn 
to love the institution of slavery, although he ad- 
mired many features of Southern character. In De- 
cember, 1847, he returned North, and Jan. 20, 1848, 
he married Miss Helen M. Judson, in the old Clark- 
Street M. E. church in Chicago, her father at that 
time being Pastor of the society there. In the spring 
of 1848 he returned with his wife to Tennessee, 
where his two children, Alia May and Philo Judson, 
were born. 

In the fall of 1849, through the mismanagement 
of an associate, he lost what little he had accumu- 
lated and was left in debt. He soon managed to 
earn means to pay his debts, returned to De Kalb 
Co., 111., and entered upon the practice of his pro- 
fession at Sycamore, the county seat. On arrival 
from the South he had but one-quarter of a dollar in 
money, and scanty clothing and bedding for himself 
and family. He borrowed a little money, practiced 
^aw, worked in public offices, kept books for some of 
the business men of the town, and some railroad en- 
gineering, till the spring of 1854, when he removed 
to Evanston, 12 miles north of Chicago, a place then 
but recently laid out, under the supervision of the 
Northwestern University, a Methodist institution. 
Of the latter his father-in-law was then financial 
agent and business manager. Here Mr. Beveridge 
prospered, and the next year (1855) opened a law 
office in Chicago, where he found the battle some- 
what hard; but he persevered with encouragement 
and increasing success. 

Aug. 12, 1861, his law partner. Gen. John F. 
Farnsworth, secured authority to raise a regiment of 
cavalry, and authorized Mr. Beveridge to raise a 
company for it. He succeeded in a few days in rais- 
ing the company, of course enlisting himself along 
with it. The regiment rendezvoused at St. Charles, 
111., was mustered in Sept. 18, and on its organiza- 
tion Mr. B. was elected Second Major. It was at- 
tached, Oct. II, to the Eighth Cavalry and to the 
Army of the Potomac. He served with the regiment 
until November, 1863, participating in some 40 bat- 

tles and skirmishes : was at Fair Oaks, the seven days' 
fight around Richmond, Fredericksburg, Chancellors- 
ville and Gettysburg. He commanded the regiment 
the greater part of the summer of 1863, and it was while 
lying in camp this year that he originated the policy 
of encouraging recruits as well as the fighting capac- 
ity of the soldiery, by the wholesale furlough system 
It worked so well that many other officers adopted 
it. In the fall of this year he recruited another cora- 
pany, against heavy odds, in January, 1864, was 
commissioned Colonel of the 17 th 111. Cav., and 
skirmished around in Missouri, concluding with the 
reception of the surrender of Gen. Kirby Smith's 
army in Arkansas. In 1865 he commanded various 
sub-districts in the Southwest. He was mustered 
out Feb. 6, 1866, safe from the casualties of war and 
a stouter man than when he first enlisted. His men 
idolized him. 

He then returned to Chicago, to practice law, with 
no library and no clientage, and no political experi- 
ence except to help others into office. In the fall of 
1866 he was elected Sheriff of Cook County, serving 
one term; next, until November, 1870, he practiced 
law and closed up the unfinished business of his 
office. He was then elected State Senator ; in No- 
vember, 187 1, he was elected Congressman at large; 
in November, 1872, he was elected Lieutenant Gov- 
ernor on the ticket with Gov. Oglesby ; the latter be- 
ing elected to the U. S. Senate, Mr. Beveridge became 
Governor, Jan. 21, 1873. Thus, inside of a few 
weeks, he was Congressman at large. Lieutenant 
Governor and Governor. The principal events oc- 
curring during Gov. Beveridge's administration were: 
The completion of the revision of the statutes, begun 
in 1869; the partial success of the "farmers' move- 
ment;" " Haines' Legislature " and Illinois' exhibit at 
the Centennial. 

Since the close of his gubernatorial term ex-Gov. 
Beveridge has been a member of the firm of Bever- 
idge & Dewey, bankers and dealers in commercial 
paper at 71 Dearborn Street (McCormick Block), 
Chicago, and since November, 1 881, he has also been 
Assistant United States Treasurer: office in the 
Government Building. His residence is still at Ev- 

He has a brother and two sisters yet residing in 
De Kalb County — James H. Beveridge, Mrs. Jennet 
Henry and Mrs. Isabel French. 




nor 1877-83,13 the sixth child 
of the late Richard N. CuUom, 
and was born Nov. 22, 1829,111 
Wayne Co., Ky., where his fa- 
ther then resided, and whence 
both the Illinois and Tennessee 
branches of the family originated. In 
the following year the family emi- 
grated to the vicinity of Washington, 
Tazewell Co., 111., when that section 
was very sparsely settled. They lo- 
cated on Deer Creek, in a grove at 
the time occupied by a party of In- 
dians, attracted there by the superior 
hunting and fishing afforded in that 
vicinity. The following winter was 
known as the " hard winter," the snow 'being very 
deep and lasting and the weather severely cold; and 
the family had to subsist mainly on boiled corn or 
hominy, and some wild game, for several weeks. In 
the course of time Mr. R. N. Culloro became a prom- 
inent citizen and was several times elected to the 
Legislature, both before and after the removal of the 
capital from Vandalia to Springfield. He died about 


Until about rg years of age young Cullom grew up 

to agricultural pursuits, attending school as he had 

'>ppoTtunity during the winter. Within this time, 

i)v/?ver, he spent several months teachin" =f.hool. 

and in the following summer he "broke prairie "with 
an ox team for the neighbors. With the money ob- 
tained by these various ventures, he undertook a 
course of study at the Rock River Seminary, a 
Methodist institution at Mt. Morris, Ogle County; 
but the sudden change to the in-door life of a stu- 
dent told severely upon his health, and he was taken 
home, being considered in a hopeless condition. While 
at Mt. Morris he heard Hon. E. B. Washburne mate 
his first speech. 

On recovering health, Mr. Cullom concluded to 
study law, under the instruction of Abraham Lincoln, 
at Springfield, who had by this time attained some 
notoriety as an able lawyer ; but the latter, being ab- 
sent from his office most of the time, advised Mr. 
Cullom to enter the office of Stuart & Edwards. 
After about a year of study there, however, his health 
failed again, and he was obliged to return once more 
to out-door Ufe. Accordingly he bought hogs for 
packing, for A. G. Tyng, in Peoria, and while he re- 
gained his health he gained in purse, netting $400 in 
a few weeks. Having been admitted to the Bar, he 
went to Springfield, where he was soon elected City 
Attorney, on the Anti-Nebraska ticket. 

In 1856 he ran on the Fillmore ticket as a Presi- 
dential Elector, and, although failing to be elected as 
such, he was at the same time elected a Representa- 
tive in the Legislature from Sangamon County, by a 
local coalition of the American and RepubUcan par- 
ties. On the organization of the House, he received 
the vote of the Fillmore men for Speaker. Practicing 



law until 1 860, he was again elected to the Legisla- 
ture, as a Republican, while the county went Demo- 
cratic on the Presidential ticket. In January follow- 
ing he was elected Speaker, pjrobably the youngest 
man who had ever presided over an Illinois Legis- 
lature. After the session of 186 1, he was a candidate 
for the State Constitutional Convention called for 
that year, but was defeated, and thus escaped the 
disgrace of being connected with that abortive parly 
scheme to revolutionize the State Government. In 
1862 he was a candidate for the State Senate, but 
was defeated. The same year, however, he was ap- 
pointed by President Lincoln on a Government 
Commission, in company with Gov. Boutwell of 
Massachusetts and Cnarles A. Dana, since of the 
New York Sun, to investigate the affairs of the 
Quartermaster's and Commissary Departments at 
Cairo. He devoted several months to this duty. 

In 1864 he entered upon a larger political field, 
being nominated as the Republican candidate for 
Congress from the Eighth (Springfield) District, in 
opposition to the incumbent, John T. Stuart, who had 
been elected in 1862 by about 1,500 majority over 
Lepnard Swett, then of Bloomington, now of Chicago. 
The result was the election of Mr. Cullom in Novem- 
ber following by a majority of 1,785. In 1866 he 
was re-elected to Congress, over Dr. E. S. Fowler, by 
the magnificent majority of 4,103! In i868 he was 
again a candidate, defeating the Hon. B. S. Edwards, 
another of his old preceptors, by 2,884 votes. 

During his first term in Congress he served on the 
Committee on Foreign Affairs and Expenditures in 
the Treasury Department; in his second term, on 
the Committees on Foreign Affairs and on Territories ■ 
and in his third term he succeeded Mr. Ashley, of 
Ohio, to the Chairmanship of the latter. He intro- 
duced a bill in the House, to aid in the execution of 
law in Utah, which caused more consternation among 
the Mormons than any measure had previously, but 
which, though it passed the House, failed to pas's the 

The Republican Convention which met May 2 c 
1876, nominated Mr. Cullom for Governor, while the 
other contestant was Gov. Beveridge. For Lieuten- 
ant-Governor they nominated Andrew Shuman, editor 
of the Chicago Journal. For the same offices the 
Democrats, combining with the Anti-Monopolists, 
placed in nomination Lewis Steward, a wealthy 

farmer and manufacturer, and A. A. Glenn. The 
result of the election was rather close, Mr. Cullom 
obtaining only 6,800 majority. He was inaugurated 
Jan. 8, 1877. 

Great depression prevailed in financial circles at 
this time, as a consequence of the heavy failures of 
1873 and afterward, the effect of which had seemed 
to gather force from that time to the end of Gov. 
Cullom's first administration. This unspeculative 
period was not calculated to call forth any new 
issues, but the Governor's energies were at one time 
put to task to quell a spirit of insubordination that 
had been begun in Pittsburg, Pa., among the laboring 
classes, and transferred to Illinois at Chicago, East 
St. Louis and Braidwood, at which places laboring 
men for a short time refused to work*or allow others 
to work. These disturbances were soon quelled and 
the wheels of industry again set in motion. 

In May, 1880, Gov. Cullom was re-nominated by 
the Republicans, against Lyman Trumbull, by the 
Democrats; and although the former party was some- 
what handicapped in the campaign by a zealous 
faction opposed to Grant for President and to Grant 
men for office generally, Mr. Cullom was re-elected 
by about 314.565. to 277,532 for the Democratic State 
ticket. The Greenback vote at the same tmie was 
about 27,000. Both Houses of the Legislature again 
became Republican, and no representative of the 
Greenback or Socialist parties were elected. Gov. 
Cullom was inaugurated Jan. 10, 1S81. In his mes- 
sage he announced that the last dollar of the State 
debt had been provided for. 

March 4, r883, the term of David Davis as United 
States Senator from lUinois expired, and Gov. Cul- 
lon was chosen to succeed him. This promoted 
Lieutenant-Governor John M. Hamilton to the Gov- 
ernorship. Senator Cullom's term in the United 
States Senate will expire March 4, 1889. 

As a practitioner of law Mr. C. has been a member 
of the firm of Cullom, Scholes & Mather, al Spring- 
field ; and he has also been President of the State 
National Bank. 

He has been married twice,— the first time Dec. 
II!, 1855, to Miss Hannah Fisher, by whom he had 
tv*o daughters; and the second time May 5, 1863, 
to Julia Fisher. Mrs. C is a member of the Method- 
isl Episcopal Church, with which religious body Mr. 
C. is also in sympathy. 

' f--! 



TON, Governor 1883-5, was 
born May 28, 1847, in a log 
house upon a farm about two 
miles from Richwood, Union 
County, Ohio. His father was 
Samuel Hamilton, the eldest son 
of Rev. Wm. Hamilton, who, to- 
gether with his brother, the Rev. 
Samuel Hamilton, was among the 
early pioneer Methodist preachers in 
Ohio. The mother of the subject of 
this sketch was, before her marriage, 
Mrs. Nancy McMoiris, who was 
born and raised in Fauquier or Lou- 
1 doun County, Va., and related to the 
two large families of Youngs and Marshalls, well 
known in that commonwealth ; and from the latter 
family name was derived the middle name of Gov. 

In March, 1854, Mr. Hamilton's father sold out 
his little pioneer forest home in Union County, O., 
and, loading his few household effects and family 
(of six children) into two emigrant covered wagons, 
moved to Roberts Township, Marshall Co., Ill, being 
21 days on the route. Swamps, unbridged streams 
and innumerable hardships and privations met them 
1)11 their way. Their new home had been previously 
■elected by the father. Here, 3,fter many long years 
af toil, they succeeded in paying for the land and 
•making a comiorfa^'i'' home. John was, of cpurse. 

brought up to hard manual labors with no schooling 
except three or four months in the year at a common 
country school. However, he evinced a capacity 
and taste for a high order of self-education, by 
studying or reading what books be could borrow, as 
the family had but very few in the house. Much of 
his study he prosecuted by the light of a log fire in 
the old-fashioned chimney place. The financial 
panic of 1857 caused the family to come near losing 
their home, to pay debts ; but the father and two 
sons, William and John, "buckled to'' and perse 
vered in hard labor and economy until they redeemed 
their place from the mortgage. 

When the tremendous excitement of the political 
campaign of i860 reached the neighborhood of Rob- 
erts Township, young Hamilton, who had been 
brought up in the doctrine of anti-slavery, took a zeal- 
ous part in favor of Lincoln's election. Making special 
efforts to procure a little money to buy a uniform, he 
joined a company of Lincoln Wide- Awakes at Mag- 
nolia, a village not far away. Dijrectly after the 
ensuing election it became evident that trouble 
would ensue with the South, and this Wide-Awake 
company, like many others throughout the country, 
kept up its organization and transforrned itself into a 
military company. During the ensuing summer they 
met often for drill and became proficient ; but when 
they offerecj themselves for the war, young Hamilton 
was rejected on account of his youth, he being then 
but 14 years of age. During the winter of 1863-4 he 
attended an academy at Henry, Marshy.!} County. 



and in the following May he again enlisted, for the 
fourth time, when he was placed in the 141st 111. 
Vol.. Inf., a regiment then being raised at Elgin, 111., 
for the 100-day service. He took with him 13 other 
lads from his neighborhood, for enlistment in the 
service. This regiment operated in Southwestern 
Kentucky, for about five months, under Gen. Paine. 

The following winter, 1864-5, ^''- Hamilton taught 
school, and during the two college years 1865-7, he 
went through three years of the curriculum of the 
Ohio Wesleyan University at Delaware, Ohio. The 
third year he graduated, the fourth in a class of 46, 
in the classical department. In due time he received 
the degree of M. A. For a few months he was the 
Principal of Marshall " College " at Henry, an acad- 
emy under the auspices of the M. E. Church. By 
this time he had commenced the study of law, and 
after earning some money as a temporary Professor 
of Latin at the Illinois Wesleyan University at 
Bloomington, he entered the law office of Weldon, 
Tipton & Benjamin, of that city. Each member of 
this firm has since been distinguished as a Judge. 
Admitted to the Bar in May, 1870, Mr. Hamilton 
was given an interest in the same firm, Tipton hav- 
ing been elected Judge. In October following he 
formed a partnership with J. H. Rowell, at that time 
Prosecuting Attorney. Their business was then 
small, but they increased it to very large proportions, 
practicing in all grades of courts, including even the 
U. S. Supreme Court, and this partnership continued 
.1.:; broken until Feb. 6, 1883, when Jtlr. Hamilton 
was sworn in as Exacitive of Illinois. On the 4th 
of March following Mr. Rowell took his seat in Con- 

In July, 187 I, Mr. Hamilton married Miss Helen 
M. Williams, the daughter of Prof Wni. G. Williams, 
Professor of Greek in the Ohio Wesleyan University. 
Mr. and Mrs. H. have two daughters and one son. 

In 1876 Mr. Hamilton was nominated by the Re- 
publicans for the State Senate, over other and older 
competitors. He took an active pau '■ on the stump " 
in the campaign, for the success of his party, and was 
elected by a majority of 1,640 over his Democratic- 
Greenback opponent. In the Senate he served on 
the Committees on Judiciary, Revenue, State Insti- 
tutions, Appropriations, Education, and on Miscel- 
lany ; and during the contest for the election of a 
U. S. Senator, the Republicans endeavoring to re- 

elect John A. Logan, he voted for the war chief on 
every ballot, even alone when all the other Republi- 
cans had gone over to the Hon. E. B. Lawrence and 
the Democrats and Independents elected Judg? 
David Davis. At this session, also, was passed the 
first Board of Health and Medical Practice act, of 
which Mr. Hamilton was a champion, again:'; lo 
much opposition that the bill was several times 
"laid on the table." Also, this session authorized 
the location and establishment of a southern peni- 
tentiary, which was fixed at Chester. In the sessioc 
of 1879 Mr. Hamilton was elected President /wi'^»?. 
of the Senate, and was a zealous supporter of John 
A. Logan for the U. S. Senate, who was this time 
elected without any trouble. 

In May, 1880, Mr. Hamilton was nominated on 
the Republican ticket for Lieutenant Governor, his 
principal competitors before the Convention being 
Hon. Wm. A. James, ex- Speaker of the House of 
Representatives, Judge Robert Bell, of Wabash 
County, Hon. T. T. Fountain, of Perry County, and 
Hon. M. M. Saddler, of Marion County. He engaged 
actively in the campaign, and his ticket was elected 
by a majority of 41,200. As Lieutenant Governor, 
he presided almost continuously over the Senate in . 
the 32d General Assembly and during the early days 
of the 33d, until he succeeded to the Governorship. 
When the Legislature of 1883 elected Gov. Cullom 
to the United States Senate, Lieut. Gov. Hamilton 
succeeded him, under the Constitution, taking the 
oath of office Feb. 6, 1883. He bravely met all the 
annoyances and embarrassments incidental upon 
taking up another's administration. The principal 
events with which Gov. Hamilton was connected as 
the Chief Executive of the State were, the mine dis- 
aster at Braidwood, the riots in St. Clair and Madison 
Counties in May, 1883, the appropriations for the 
State militia, the adoption of the Harper high-license 
liquor law, the veto of a dangerous railroad bill, etc. 

The Governor was a Delegate at large to the 
National Republican Convention at Chicago in June,. 
1884, where his first choice for President was John 
A. Logan, and second choice Chester A. Arthur; but 
he afterward zealously worked for the election of Mr. 
Blaine, true to his party. 

Mr. Hamilton's term as Governor expired Jan. 30, 
r885, when the great favorite "Dick" Oglesby was 




oc ^^^ 


9 i^ife^. 



distinguished gentleman was 
elected Governor of Illinois 
November 6, 1888. He was 
popularly known during the 
campaign as "Private Joe." He 
had served with great devotion 
to his country during the Re- 
bellion, in the Thirty-third 
Illinois Infantry. A native of 
Virginia, he was born in 1840. 
His parents, John and Mary 
(Daniels) Fifer, were American 
born, though of German de- 
scent. His father was a brick 
and stone mason, and an old 
Henry Clay Whig in politics. John and Mary 
Fifer had nine children, of whom Joseph was tlie 
sixth, and naturally, with so large a family, it was 
all tlie father could do to keep the wolf from the 
door, to say nothing of giving his children any- 
thing like good educational advantages. 

Joseph attended school for a while in Virgina, 
but it was not a good school, and when his father 
removed to the West, in 1857, Joseph had not ad- 
vanced much further than the "First Reader." 
Our subject was sixteen then and suffered a great 
misfortune in the loss of his mother. After the 

death of Mrs. Fifer, which occurred in Missouri, 
the family returned to Virgina, but remained only 
a short time, as during the same year Mr. Fifer 
came to Illinois. He settled in McLean County 
and started a brickyard. Here Joseph and his 
brothers were put to work. The elder Mr. Fifer soon 
bought a farm near Bloomington and began life 
as an agriculturist. Here Joe worked and attended 
the neighboring school. He alternated farm- work, 
and brick-laying, going to the district school for 
the succeeding few years. It was all work and no 
play for Joe, yet it by no means made a dull boy 
of him. All the time he was thinking of the great 
world outside, of which he had caught a glimpse 
when coming from Virginia, yet he did not know 
just how he was going to get out into it. He 
could not feel that the woods around the new farm 
and the log cabin, in which the family lived, were 
to hold him. 

The opportunitj' to get out into the world was 
soon offered to young Joe. He traveled a dozen 
miles barefoot, in company with his brother George, 
and enlisted in Company C, Thirty-third Illinois 
Infantry, he being then twenty years old. In a 
few days, the regiment was sent to Camp Butler, 
and then over into Missouri, and saw some vigor- 
ous service there. After a second time helping to 
chase Price out of Missouri, the Thirty-third Regi- 



ment went down to Milliken 's Bend, and for several 
weeks "Private Joe" worked on Grant's famous 
ditch. The regiment then joined the forces oper- 
ating against Port Gibson and Vicksburg. Joe 
was on guard dutj^ in the front ditches when the 
flag of surrender was run up on the 4th of July, 
and stuck tlie bayonet of his gun into the embank- 
ment and went into the city with the vanguard of 
Union soldiers. 

The next da^', July 5, the Thirty-third joined 
the force after Johnston, who had been threatening 
Grant's rear; and finally an assault was made on him 
at Jackson, Miss. In this charge "Private Joe" fell, 
terribly wounded. He was loading his gun, when 
a minie-ball struck him and passed entirely 
through his body. He was regarded as mortally 
wounded. His brother, George, who had been 
made a Lieutenant, proved to be the means of sav- 
ing his life. The Surgeon told him that unless he 
had ice his brother could not live. It was fifty miles 
to the nearest point where ice could be obtained, 
and the roads were rough. A comrade, a McLean 
County man, who had been wounded, offered to 
make the trip. An ambulance was secured and 
the brother soldier started on the journey. He re- 
turned with the ice, but the trip, owing to the 
roughness of the road, was very hard on him. Af- 
ter a few montlis' cardf ul nursing, Mr. Fifer was able 
to come home. The Thirty-third came home on a 
furlough, and when the boys were ready to return 
to the tented field, young Fifer was ready to go 
with them, for he was determined to finish his 
term of three years. He was mustered out in Oct- 
ober, 1864, having been in the service three years 
and two months. 

"Private Joe" came out of the army a tall, tan- 
ned, and awkward young man of twenty-four. 
About all he possessed was ambition to be some- 
body — and pluck. Though at an age when most 
men liave finished their college course, the young 
soldier saw that if he was to be anybody Ue must 
have an education. Yet he had no means to ena- 
ble him to enter school as most young men do. 
He was determined to have an education, however, 
and that to him meant success. For the following 
four years he struggled with his books. He en- 

tered Wesleyan University January 1, 1865. He 
was not a brilliant student, being neither at the 
head nor at the foot of his class. He was in great 
earnest, however, studied hard and came forth with 
a well-stored and disciplined mind. 

Immediately after being graduated, he entered 
an office at Bloomington as a law student. He 
had previously read law a little, and as he continued 
to work hard, with the spur of poverty and prompt- 
ings of ambition ever with him, he was ready to 
hang out his professional shingle in 1869. Being 
trustworthy, he soon gathered about him some in- 
fluential friends. In 1871 he was elected Corpora- 
tion Counsel of Bloomington. In 1872 he was 
elected State's Attorney of McLean Count}-. This 
office he held eight years, when he took his seat in 
the State Senate. He served for four yeai-s. His 
ability to perform abundance of hard work made 
him a most valued member of the Legislature. 

Mr. Fifer was married in 1870 to Gertie, daugh- 
ter of William J. Lewis, of Bloomington. Mr. Fifer 
is six feet in height and is spare, weighing only one 
hundred and fifty pounds. He has a swarthy com- 
plexion, keen black eyes, quick movement, and pos- 
sesses a frank and sympathetic nature, and natur- 
lly makes friends wherever he goes. During the 
late gubernatorial campaign his visits throughout 
the State proved a great power in his behalf. His 
faculty of winning the confidence and good wishes 
of those with whom he comes in personal contact 
is a source of great popularity, especially during a 
political battle. As a speaker he is fluent, his lan- 
guage is good, voice clear and agreeable, and man- 
ner forcible. His manifest earnestness in what he 
says, as well as his tact as a public speaker, and his 
eloquent and forceful language, make him a most 
valuable campaign orator and a powerful pleader 
at the bar. At the Republican State Convention, 
held in May, 1888, Mr. Fifer was chosen as its 
candidate for Governor. He proved a popular 
nominee, and the name of "Private Joe" became 
familiar to everyone throughout the State. He 
waged a vigorous campaign, was elected by a good 
majority, and in due time assumed the duties of 
the Chief Executive of Illinois. 






JHE time has arrived when it 
becomes the duty of the 
people of this county to per- 
petuate the names of their 
pioneers, to furnish a record 
of their early settlement, 
and relate the story of their 
progress. The civilization of our 
day, the enlightenment of the age 
and the duty that men of the pres- 
ent time owe to their ancestors, to 
themselves and to their posterity, 
demand that a record of their lives 
and deeds should be made. In bio- 
graphical history is found a power 
to instruct man by precedent, to 
enliven the mental faculties, and 
to waft down the river of time a 
safe vessel in which the names and actions of the 
people who contributed to raise this country from its 
primitive state may be preserviid. Surely and rapidly 
the great and aged men, who in their prime entered 
the wilderness and claimed the virgin soil as their 
heritage, are passing to their graves. The number re- 
maining who can relate the incidents of the first days 
jf settlement is becoming small indeed, so that an 
actual necessity exists for the collection and preser- 
vation of events without delay, before all the early 
settlers are cut down by the scythe of Time. 

To be forgotten has been the great dread of mankind 
from remotest ages. All will be forgotten soon enough, 
in spite of their best works and the most earnest 
efforts of their friends to perserve the memory of 
their lives. The means employed to prevent oblivion 
and to perpetuate their memory has been in propor- 
tion to the amount of intelligence they possessed. 
ThT pyramids of Egypt were built to perpetuate the 
names and deeds of their great rulers. - The exhu- 
mations made by the archeologists of Egypt from 
buried Memphis indicate a desire of those people 

to perpetuate the memory of their achievements 
The erection of the great obelisks were for tl:;e same 
purpose. Coming down to a later period, we find the 
Greeks and Romans erecting mausoleums and monu- 
ments, and carving _out statues to chronicle their 
great achievements and carry them down the ages. 
It is also evident that the Mound-builders, in piling 
up their great mounds of earth, had but this idea — 
to leave something to show that they had lived. All 
these works, though many of them costly in the ex- 
treme, give but a faint idea of the lives and charac- 
ters of those whose memory they were intended to 
perpetuate, and scarcely anything of the masses of 
the people that then lived. The great pyramids and 
some of the obelisks remain objects only of curiosity; 
the mausoleums, monuments and statues are crum- 
bling into dust. 

It was left to modern ages to establish an intelli- 
gent, undecaying, immutable method of perpetuating 
a full history — immutable in that it is almost un- 
limited in extent and perpetual in its action ; and 
this is through the art of printing. 

To the present generation, however, we are in- 
debted for the introduction of the admirable systeii) 
of local biography. By this system every man, thougV 
he has not achieved what the world calls greatness, 
has the means to perpetuate his life, his history, 
through the coming ages. 

The scythe of Time cuts down all ; nothing of the 
physical man is left. The monument which his chil- 
dren or friends may erect to his memory in the ceme- 
tery will crumble into dust and pass away; but his 
life, his achievements, the work he has accomplished, 
which otherwise would be forgotten, is perpetuated 
by a record of this kind. 

To preserve the hneaments of pur companions we 
engrave their portraits, for the same reason we col- 
lect the attainable facts of their history. Nor do we 
think it necessary, a j we speak only truth of them, to 
wait until they are dead, or until those who know 
them are gone: to do this we are ashamed only to 
publish to the world the history of those whose Uve? 
are unworthy of public record. 


World's Fair Commission- 
er, representing the Sev- 
enth Congressional Dis- 
trict of Illinois, and Vice- 
, President of the Illinois 
State Board of Agricul- 
ture, is one of Lee County's most 
, eminent citizens, whom she delights 
to honor. For many years he has 
done conspicuous service in promot- 
ing her progress, and is a well-known 
figure in her public, political and 
social life, as well as one of her fore- 
most agriculturists and stockmen. 
He was one of the first to introduce 
thoroughbred stock in Lee County, and is con- 
ducting an extensive business as a breeder of 
horses, cattle and swine of the highest standards 
on his finely appointed stock farm on section 14, 
China Township. 

A native of Huntingdon County, Pa., our sub- 
ject was born September 14, 1834. His father, 
James Dysart, was also a Pennsylvanian by birth, 
and was born in Lancaster County, in 1788. He 
was married to Elizabeth Roller in Huntingdon 
County, of which she was a native, and they passed 
many years of their wedded life there. In 1855 
they came to Illinois and settled among the pio- 
neers of Lee County in the vicinity of Franklin 
Grove, where they lived greatly respected until 
they passed from life. They were th6 parents of 

ten children, eight sons and two daughters, and 
our subject was their seventh child in order of 
birth. The father was a man of forceful charac- 
ter, who had decided opinions of his own, and was 
strongly imbued with the principles of right, 
truthfulness and honesty. His face was set against 
oppression of any kind; he championed all good 
causes, and was one of the pioneer abolitionists of 
his day. With other leaders in the anti-slavery 
moveihent he organized the Free Soil convention 
at Buffalo, N. Y., in 1848, and nominated John 
Van Buren for the Presidency. 

Our subject is of mingled German and Irish an- 
cestry, and comes of a long-lived, vigorous race, 
from whom he inlierits a strong constitution and a 
fine physique. He passed the first twenty years of 
his life in his native State, whence he came to Lee 
County in the spring of 1855, and has ever since 
been closely identified with its highest interests. 
He has made farming and stock-raising his chief 
occupation. Always a great admirer of fine stock, 
he early learned to distinguish the good points of 
a horse and to judge of the merits of cattle and 
swine, and even in boyhood had a keen desire to 
raise thoroughbred stock. In 1855 he settled on 
section 14, China Township, where he has devel- 
oped a farm of four hundred acres, widely known 
as the "Pines Stock Farm." The improvements 
that he has made are of a high order and include 
a well-arranged set of buildings, of an appropriate 
and handsome style of architecture. 

Mr. Dysart has had a wide exi)erience in breed- 



ing stock of all kinds, has made a careful study of 
the subject, and perhaps no man in this section is 
more thoroughlj^ posted in regard to stock matters 
than be. To him and other leading stockmen Lee 
County is indebted for raising the standard of 
horses, cattle and hogs now grown within its limits, 
as he was among the first to introduce thorough- 
breds here. He has given much attention to the 
breeding of Berkshire and Poland China swine 
and Short-horn cattle, and has a fine herd of Short- 
horns, from which he derives a neat income. From 
one cow and her descendants of that breed, which 
cost him 1250, he sold $11,000 worth of stock in 
fifteen years. Mr. Dysart has always been \cry 
much interested in forestry, and is an enthusiastic 
advocate of preserving the forests now standing 
as far as possible, and of extending the area of 
growing timber by constantly i)lanting trees. He 
has carried out that idea in his own domains, and 
beautiful ornamental, shade and fruit trees, singly, 
in groups, or in groves, adorn his farm, and furnish 
more wood and timber than he can use. 

The first two or three years after !Mr. Dysart 
came to this county he lived in single blessedness, 
but at the end of that time he returned to Ills na- 
tive State to claim his promised bride. Miss Mar- 
garet J. Henderson, and on the 24th of February, 
1858, they were wedded. They were friends of 
long standing, their parents being neighbors. In 
babyhood they liad often been rocked in the same 
cradle, had played together as boy and girl, and as 
they grew up side by side had learned tlie old, old 
story which resulted for them in a true marriage. 
Among its blessings are the nine children born to 
them as follows: Harry W., who married JNIiss 
Etta Crirton; Lilly V., who died when twelve years 
old; Lola W., who died at the age of three 3'eais; 
U. Grant, who married Miss Eliza Xclles; Drusilla 
D.; Horace II.; Jesse R.; Birdie B.; and Mary 
Jeanette. Mrs. Dysart was born in Huntingdon 
County, Pa., September 11, 1834, the seventii of 
the nine children, five sons and four daughters of 
David and Margaret (Conrad) Henderson. Her 
father was born in Center County, Pa, .June 30, 
1797, and died October 7, 1882. Her mother was 
born in Huntingdon County, I'a,., in 1800, and 
died in April, 1878. 

His frank and genial manner and courteous 
treatment of all with whom he comes in contact 
lender Mr. Dysart very popular, and be numbers 
among his friends men in all walks in life. He is 
a man of progressive spirit, practical mind, keen 
and critical knowledge of men and affairs, and his 
business tact, administrative and executive ability 
have gained him prominence both as a civic official 
and as a private citizen. Although from time to 
time he has accepted important public positions, he 
is not an office seeker, and has refused legislative 
honors, as well as nominations to various other offi- 
ces. From the first he identified himself with the 
educational interests of China Township, and dur- 
ing thirtj-five of the thirty -seven years that he has 
lived here has held some school office, as that of 
director or trustee. 

We have referred to Mr. Dysart's activity in 
advancing the farming interests of Lee County, 
and we find that he was one of the first members 
of the Lee County Agricultural Association, which 
he has also served as President. In 1874 he was 
elected ^'ice-President of the State Board of Agri- 
culture, and has been a continuous member of the 
Board since that date. In the fall of 1886 he was 
elected President of the Board, acted in that ca- 
pacity two years, 1889 and 1890 served as ex-Pres- 
ident, and in the fall of 1890 he was again made 
its Vice-President, which position he still holds. His 
influence and zeal have been potent in making this 
organization useful in advancing the interests of the 
farmers of Illinois by diffusing a more scientific 
knowledge of agriculture among the people and en 
couraging the adoption of the most approved mod 
em methods of tilling tlie soil and raising stock. In 
the summer of 1888, as President of the Board of 
Agriculture, he visited Europe in its interesst, and 
was absent about four months, his time being spent 
mostly in France investigating the breeding of 
French draft horses. He had previously gone 
thither as Live-stock Commissioner to the Paris 
Exposition of 1878. having been appointed by 
President Hayes in Feliruary of that year, and 
sailing m the month of May, spent six months 
\cry profitably in various European countries. 

Besides attending to his numerous interests, pub- 
lic and private, Mv. Dysart has been Secretary of 



the Bradford Mutual Fire Insurance Company, for 
twenty years, and has enhanced the prosperity of 
the company by his connection with it. He has a 
thorough knowledge of the political issues of the 
day and has followed the fortunes of the Republi- 
can party since its organization, steadfastly sup- 
porting its principles by voice and vote. He is a 
leading member of the Masonic fraternity, having 
joined that order July 2, 1858. He has served as 
Master Mason, has been a Chapter Mason for twenty 
years, and High Priest of Franklin Grove Chapter 
and has belonged to the Scottish Rite Consistory 
since li'ebruary 22, 1867. He has been a member 
of the Dixon Commandery, Knight Templars, since 

July 1, 1891, Governor Fifer appointed Mr. Dy- 
sart one of the Illinois World's Fair Commissioners 
for the Seventh Congressional District. His friends 
and constituents are highly gratified at his selec- 
tion for this important office, for which they deem 
him eminently fitted, and they know that he will 
devote his whole energies to the work before him, 
sparing neither time or labor to insure a successful 
representation of the varied interests of this sec- 
tion at the Columbian Exposition of 1893. Since 
receiving his commission he has been made Chair- 
man of the Committee on Architecture, Drawings, 
Topograpical Surveys, Maps, etc. He is also one 
of the Committee on Grounds and Exterior Orna- 
mentation, the Printing Committee, and the Com- 
mittee for Collecting Exhibits for the Seventh 
Congressional District. 

The lithographic portrait of Mr. Dysart accom- 
panies this sketch. 

THOMAS J. BUCKALOO, who owns and 
operates one hundred and forty-one acres 
_ of land on section 15, Dixon Township, is a 
worthy representative of one of the honored pio- 
neer families of the county. His parents here lo- 
cated in an early day, more than half a century 
having passed since they became residents of Dixon 
Township. His father, Joseph Buckaloo, was born 
in the Keystone State, Pennsylvania, of Dutch 

parentage, and after attaining to mature years, 
wedded Miss Eliza Kerr, who was born in the same 
locality as iier husband, but was of Irish descent. 
In 1889, with their two children, they emigrated 
Westward by way of the water route to Savanna, 
111., and from thence came to Lee County. A few 
years after their arrival Mr. Buckaloo purchased 
the farm on which our subject now resides, and it 
continued to be his home until his death in 1852, 
at the age of forty years. His widow died Janu- 
ary 11, 1892, being seventy-six years of age. She 
was a member of the Presbyterian Church. The 
surviving members of the family are T. J., of this 
sketch; and Amanda H. and George W., who are 
living in Dixon. 

Mr. Buckaloo, whose name heads this sketch, has 
spent las entire life in this locality. He was born 
near his present farm on the 17th of March, 1842, 
and has ever followed agricultural pursuits with 
the exception of two years, when he worked at the 
trade of a carpenter. He was only ten years old 
when his father died, but with his mother he re- 
mained until his marriage. In Ogle County he 
formed a matrimonial alliance with Miss Maggie 
A. Craddock, a native of Hagerstown, Washing- 
ton County, Md., and a daughter of John and 
Amelia Craddock, the former born in England, and 
the latter in Maryland. About tlie time he at- 
tained his majority, her father crossed the briny 
deep to this country, and as a farmer began life in 
America. After his marriage he determined to try 
his fortune in the West, and with his family located 
in Ogle County, III., settling in Pine Creek Town- 
ship, where he established one of the first mills in 
that section. He was doing a good business when 
he went to Peru, where he contracted the cholera, 
which was then epidemic. He had barely time to 
reach liome before his death occurred. Mr. Crad- 
dock was an industrious and. energetic man, and 
had tlie respect of all who knew him. His wife 
survived him some time, and died about the close 
of the war in^July, 1865, in Buffalo Grove'Town- 
ship. Her only son that lived to be grown, was a 
soldier of the late war, and died in Cliicago, in 
July, 1890. Three daughters are yet living, one 
of the number being the wife of our subject. 

Five children have been born unto Mr. and Mrs. 



Buckaloo, Clinton C, who was educated in the 
Dixon schools and the Nonrial College, and is now- 
teaching; Mabel E., who is successfully engaged in 
teaching; Grace A., Libby and Allen T., are at 
home. Mr. Buckaloo and his wife have many 
friends throughout the community, who esteem 
them highly for their sterling worth, knowing 
them to be upright people, possessing man}' excel- 
lencies of character. In politics he is a Repub- 
lican, but takes no active part in public affairs, 
preferring to give his entire attention to his busi- 
ness. He has made of his life-work a signal suc- 
cess, and is now the owner of a fine farm of one 
hundred and forty-one acres, improved with all the 
necessary buildings, and stocked with good horses 
and cattle, while its fields are well tilled and yield 
to him a golden tribute. 

j^^ CHUYLER RANSOM located in the town- 
^^^ ship of Nelson more than a quarter of a 
|jl/_jj) century ago, and since that time has 
worked his way up to a leading position 
among its farmers and stock -raisers. Coming here 
in poverty, and by his untiring labors, conducted 
systematically, with business tact and foresight, 
gathering together a valuable property, the pos- 
session of which makes him one of the solid mon- 
eyed men of this vicinity. He owns a quarter of 
section of land that he has transformed into one 
of the finest and best appointed farms in the 

Mr. Rausom was born .June 25, 1H22, in Meuna 
Township, Oneida County, N. Y., a son of Elijah 
Ransom, who was a native of Washington County, 
that State. His father was reared to the life of a 
farmer, and when a young man went to Oneida 
County, where he was married to Miss jMary 
Dunton, a native of Massachussetts. She was of 
Massachusetts parentage, while he was of ^\'elsli 
descent. After marriage they began life on a 
small farm in that county, living for many years 
in Camden Township, and when elderly peoi)le 
came to Illinois, settling in Ogle Cuunty, where 
the wife died a few years later when a little past 

fifty years old. Her husband afterwards went to 
Kansas, and died there when upwards of eighty 
years of age in the home of his son, Bradley V., 
who had resided in the Sunflower State since the 
days of the excitement over the discovery of gold 
on Pike's Peak. The parents of our subject were 
strong Presbyterians in their religious faith and 
members of the church. 

Schuyler Ransom early became acquainted with 
the pioneer life of Northern Illinois, as he left 
home when twenty years old to seek fortune's 
favors in what was then regarded as the " Wild 
West." He was by no means a capitalist at that 
time, as he did not have money enough to leave the 
State. But his cousin kindly made up the defic- 
iency by lending him some cash. He arrived in 
Chicago September 26, 1842, and from there went 
to Rockford with a teamster. Fifty cents was all 
the money that he had left when he got there. 
He, however, made his way to Byron, in Ogle 
County, nothing discouraged by his lack of funds, 
and there worked for a j-ear at $10.00 a month. 
He managed to get together a team of oxen, with 
which he began to break raw prairie, and he turned 
many hundred acres of sod, working hard to 
obtain the means to get a good start as a farmer. 
He also drove a team all over the northern part 
of the State, his principal route being from Chicago 
to Galena and to Dubuque, Iowa. He thus had a 
good opportunitj' to see the country while much 
of it was still in its primitive wildness, with but 
few signs of the coming civilization, and he can 
compare its past with its present condition as a 
witness of the wonderful change that has been 
effected by the hand of man since he first trod 
tliese prairies. The land over which he rode when 
engaged as a teamster was then wild and often 
swampj', where are now smiling farms and thriving 
cities. Frequently on his journeys the roads would 
be so bad that he would get stuck in some mud 
hole, and at times would have to work two Iroui-s 
to extricate his team. 

Our subject experienced all the hardships and 
trials of pioneer life in a newly settled country, 
but his struggles with the advei-se forces of nature 
were at length crowned with success. In 1863 he 
rented a farm in Nelson Township, and by cai-eful 



economy was able, in a few j'-ears, to purchase the 
farm that he had rented, but did not have cash 
CHOUgh to pay the whole price at once. IK- now 
has nearly the whole of it under a high state of 
cultivation, has cleared off the encumbrance, free- 
ing himself entirely from debt, and has made many 
line improvements, including a very large barn, 
built in 1885, and a handsome residence, erected 
in 1883. His farm is one of the most attractive 
places in this vicinit}^, everything about it being 
kept up to a high standard, showing tlie presence 
of a master mind and hand. 

y>ILLIAM H. ACItER, one of the farmers 
whose place, by virtue of its well-tilled 
acres, its neat buildings and general 
appearance of prosperity, proclaims him to be a 
man who is not satisfied with mere existence, is the 
gentleman whose name heads this sketch, and who 
is at the present time making his home on section 
11, Amboy Township. He was born in Rens- 
selaer County, N. Y., January 2, 1832, where he 
remained until reaching his fifth year, when his 
parents removed to Orleans County. In the latter 
named place our subject received his education 
and grew to man's estate, being of great help to 
his father while remaining under the parental 

When reaching his majority William II. Acker 
determined to see what fortune would do for him 
in the West, and accordingly came to Fayette 
County, Ind., where he made his home for the 
succeeding three years, and thinking that he could 
still better his prospects, made his advent into the 
Prairie State and located in this county, choosing 
May Township as his abiding place. This was in 
1857, and he remained in that township for four- 
teen years when ho made another removal, this 
time moving into Amboy Township, where he has 
been a resident since the spring of 1871. 

The gentleman whoso ^ name heads this sketch 
was united in marriage March 27, 1871, soon after 
his removal into this township, the lady of his 

choice bearing the maiden name of Miss Mary 
Calkins, a native of Palmer, Mass., her birth occur- 
ring there February 23, 1^19. Iler union with 
Mr. Acker has been prtiductive of four children, 
only two of whom are living, namely: — GeOrge II. 
and Maiy Eunice. Those deceased are Bertha and 
Emma, both of whom died in childhood. IMrs. 
Acker is a very worthy ladj^ and is much esteemed 
in her neighborhood. 

William H. Acker has always been interested in 
educational affairs, which fact is manifested by his 
having been elected to serve his township on the 
School Board for several years. In politics the 
Republican party considers him as one of its 
most active members. Mrs. Acker worships with 
the members of the Baptist Church where she is a 
regular attendant. 

Our subject's father was Frederick Acker and a 
native of the Empire .State, while the mother, who 
bore the maiden name of Miss Hannah Green, was 
born in Rhode Island. The former passed from 
this life in Fayette County, Ind., and the mother 
died in May Township, this county. They were 
aged respectively seventy-iive and sixty years. 
The father of Mrs. ]Mary Calkins, bore the name 
of Dudley Calkins and claimed Massachusetts as 
his native State. Her mother was Marj' E. (Shaw) 
Calkins, also a native of Massachusetts. On com- 
ing West her parents first located in Will County, 
this State, but later came to this county, settling 
in 1865 in May Township, which they made their 
home until 1871, when they came to Amboy 
Township. 'In the spring of 1882 they wont to 
Holt County, Neb., and there spent their last days, 
dying greatly esteemed by all who were honored 
with their acquaintance. 



ON. GEORGE RYON, M. D., of Amboy, 
was born at Elkland, Tioga County, Pa., 
June 5, 1827. • He traces his ancestry to 
^ Ireland, whence his great-grandfather, John 
Ryon, emigrated to the United States and settled 
in New England. His grandfather, also named 
John, was born in Coiiiieciicut and was a soldier in 



the Revolutionarjr Wfir, serving during the entire 
eight years of the conaict and being mustered out 
with the ranlc of Orderly Sergeant of his company. 
James Ryon, fatlier of our subject, was born in 
Luzerne County, Pa., and was a farmer by occupa- 
tion. In his native State he was married to Miss 
Sarah Place, and in 1837 with his young wife re- 
moved to Illinois, settling in that part of La Salle 
County which now forms Kendall County, and 
there improved a farm. In the home he there 
made his wife died in 1848. 

In 1861 James Ryon removed to Woodland, in 
the Sacramento Valley, Cal.,and there resided with 
a son until 1866 when he returned to this State 
and passed his remaining years with his children 
at Streator. His death occurred August 8, 1872, 
when he was seventy years of age. In early life 
he was a Democrat in his political principles, but 
when the Republican party was formed he became 
its stanch supporter. He and his wife had a fam- 
ily comprising ten children, all of whom attained 
to years of maturity. Our subject, who was the 
fifth in order of birth, was a mere lad when he ac- 
companied his parents to Illinois; lie assisted on 
the farm during the summer season, while in the 
winter he was a pupil at an acadeiiiy in Kendall 
County. Later he utilized his excellent education as 
a te.acher in the district schools during one winter. 

The profession of medicine earlj' engaged the 
attention of Mr. Ryon, who, having made it his 
choice for a life work, studied with Dr. Isaac Ives, 
of Pavilion, 111., as preceptor, and later read with 
Drs. Wheeler and Holden, also of Kendall County. 
He took two courses of lectures at Rush Medical 
College, Chicago, after which, his funds being ex- 
hausted, he engaged in teaching school one win- 
ter to replenish his depleted account and then com- 
menced the practice of his profession in Paw Paw, 
this county. Subsequently' he was graduated from 
the Rush Medical College and thus thoroughly 
equipped for his profession, engaged in the prac- 
tice of the same with considerable success. 

Six or seven years after Gommencing the prac- 
tice of medicine, the Doctor was seized with a de- 
sire to become a lawyer and, in pursuance of that 
wish, he took up the study of Coke and Black- 
stone. In 185.S he was admitted to the bar at 

Dixon and while engaged in legal practice was 
drawn into politics. In 1860 he was chosen to 
represent Lee and Whiteside Counties in the Leg- 
islature, and in that responsible position did all in 
his power to advance the interest of his constitu- 
ents. After the breaking out of tiie Civil War, he 
raised a company of volunteers, in August, 1862, 
for the Seventy-fifth Illinois Infantry and at its 
organization was elected Colonel. However, he 
had served but a short time when on account of 
ill health he was obliged to resign his commission 
after the battle of Perryville. 

On his return to Paw Paw, the Doctor resumed 
the practice of medicine which he continued until 
1866. At that time he was again elected to the 
State Legislature, his district embracing Lee County 
alone, and he served with credit to himself and 
constituents. The year 1869 marked his arrival in 
Amboy and the organization of a private bank 
which he continued to manage until 1873. Remov- 
ing then to Streator, he formed a partnership with 
his two brothers, Hiram N. and Francis M., and or- 
ganized the Streator Coal Company, with a capital 
stock of 1200,000. The company developed the 
coal business of that city and maintained a credit- 
able reputation as reliable and successful financiers. 
The Doctor removed from Streator to Chicago in 
1876 and, associated with Dr. F. B. Ives, resumed 
the practice of medicine. Three years later he re- 
turned to Amboy where he has since continued to 
reside, engaged in the practice of his first chosen 
profession — medicine. 

The Doctor was married in 1852 to Ruth A., the 
daughter of Isaac and Mehetable Ives, of whom 
further mention will be found in the sketch of W. 
E. Ives, on another page. Dr. and Mrs. Ryon were 
blessed in their union bj' the birth of one daughtar, 
named Carrie S., who early gave promise of an un- 
usually brilliant womanhood. Her parents spared 
no pains in giving her good advantages and at the 
age of nineteen, in the Class of '80, she was grad- 
uated from the Chicago University. She died 
August 31, 1886, greatly mourned by the host of 
warm friends to whom she had been deeply at- 
tached, but especially is her loss mourned by the 
loving and devoted parents who idolized their 
only child. 



In his political belief the Doctor is a thorough 
Republican, using his influence in behalf of that 
party. Besides the ofBces above mentioned, he lias 
served on the Board of Supervisors several years 
and has been Mayor of Amboy several terms. His 
wife is a member of the Baptist Church, and he 
gives liberally of his means to the support of wor- 
thy measures. He has written occasional articles 
for meihcal periodicals, reporting such cases as 
come under Iiis notice which he deems of interest 
to the fraternity. Besides his pleasant home in 
Amboy he own two fine farms, comprising three 
hundred acres, all of which represent his unaided 
efforts since he came to this State. 

■ ^ ■* i * i > i 

/^ ORXELIUS VROOM is contributing to the 
(li n continued prosperity of Nelson Township 
^^:/' as an industrious farmer, who is profitably 
carrying on his calling on his well-tilled farm of 
eighty acres of land, which is provided with good 
improvements, and is in a pleasant locality, ad- 
vantageously situated just east of Nelson Station, 
on sections 16, 17 and 20, his residence being on 
the first mentioned section. 

Mr. Vroom was born on Staten Island, April 28, 
1840, coming of the old Dutch stock that peopled 
New York in Colonial times. His father, Henry 
Vroom, was a native of New York, and spent the 
most of his long life on Staten Island, dying thei-e 
in 1889, at the age of eighty-five years. He was 
a shoemaker and a farmer, devoting his latter 
years to agricultural pursuits. His wife, whose 
maiden name was Elizabeth Christopher, survives 
him, and is still living on the old homestead. 
She is now eighty-three years of age, and her life 
has been wholly spent on the island where she was 
born. She is a devoted member of tiie Methodist 
Episcopal Church, as was her husband. He was 
an old-line Whig in his politics until the formation 
of the Republican party, when he transferred 
his allegiance to that great political organiza- 

The paternal grandfather of our subject, Henry 
Vroom, Sr., was a native of the Empire State, and 

the blood of Holland ancestry ran in his veins. 
He always lived in the State of his nativity, the 
most of his life being passed as a small farmer on 
Staten Island, where he died at the home of his 
son Henry, at the age of eighty-three years. His 
wife was also a native of New York, and she died 
on Staten Island when very old. Both were 
strong Methodists in religion, and he was a Whig 
in politics. > 

Oar subject is the third child of a family of 
four sons and a like number of daughters, of whom 
seven are yet living, and are all married. He is 
the only one residing in Illinois. He was reared 
under wholesome home influences, principles of 
right doing being early instilled into his mind, 
and when he went forth into the world, a youth 
of nineteen years, he was well-equipped for life's 
battles. It was then, in 1859, that he came to this 
county, and has since lived in Nelson Township. 
He was poor in purse, but his sturdy spirit, 
ability to work, and thrifty habits have placed 
him in an independent position. In 1869 he had 
sufficient means to purchase his present farm, and 
then began farming and stock-raising on his own 
account. He has placed every foot of his land 
under a high state of cultivation, and has his 
place fitted up with every convenience for carry- 
ing on his operations successfully. He is a man of 
steady habits and stable character, always strictly 
honest in money matters, and his neighbors and 
associates have a high opinion of him. He and 
his wife are attendants at the Methodist Church, 
giving liberally of their means to its support, and 
heartily co-operating with its pastor and other 
members of the congregation in promoting all 
plans for social or moral improvement of the com- 
munity. In politics, he is a Republican. 

By his marriage in Union City, Branch County, 
Mich., with Miss Libby, daughter of Henry and 
Harriet (Swift) Trear, our subject secured a wife 
who is devoted to his interests, and is a cheerful 
and capable helpmate. She was born in Erie 
County, Ohio, April 27, 1840, but she was mostly 
reared and educated in Branch County, Mich., 
whither her parents removed when she was a child 
of six years. Her father was born in Germany, and 
came to the United States when twenty-seven 



yeai-s of age. He was married after coming to 
this country, his wife being a native of New York. 
After the birth of all their children, they left the 
home that they had established in Ohio, and set- 
tled on a farm in Branch County, Mich., where 
they lived until death removed them from tlie 
scene of their labors at a ripe age, he being seventy- 
one and she seventy-four when they passed away. 
They were members of the Methodist Episcopal 
Church, and were truly good people. He was a 
Republican in his politics. Mrs. A^room is the 
fifth of the family- of four sons and three daugh- 
ters born to her parents, of whom but one, the 
youngest son is dead, all the others, with the ex- 
ception of Mrs. Vroom, still living in Michigan. 

/p^EORGE E. STAI.XBROOK, the efficient 
(if '^ County Sheriff of Lee County, is one of 
^^^ the wide-awake and ambitious young men 
of Dixon who will undoubtedly make of life a 
success, as he is possessed of energy, industry and 
a perseverance that overcomes all obstacles. He 
claims the honor of being a native of the county, 
his birth having occurred in Viola Township, Sep- 
tetfiber 11, 1858. His father, Isaiah Stainbrook, a 
native of Meadville, Crawford County, Pa., comes 
of an old Pennsylvanian family of German origin. 
His grandfather, Fred Stainbrook, was born and 
reared in the Keystone State, and is yet living in 
PawPaw, 111., at the advanced age of ninety years. 
The infirmities of age, however, rest lightly upon 
him, he still retaining much of the physical and 
mental vigor of middle life. His father, the great- 
grandfather of our subject, a Revolutionary hero, 
lived and died in Pennsylvania, and was a son of 
the fonnder of the family in America, a German 
emigrant who on leaving the Fatherland crossed 
the Atlantic and settled in Crawford County, Pa. 
where his descendants have now lived for several 
generations. The family have been a farming 

In the usual manner of farmer lads, Isaiah 
Stainbrook was reared to manhood, and in an 

early day accompanied his parents to Illinois, the 
family locating in Willow Creek Township, Lee 
County where he attained his majority. In Viola 
Township, ho fornled a matrimonial alliance with 
Isabel Davidson, who was born in Canada. On 
her father's side she was of Scotch descent, and on 
her mother's side was of Scotch-Irish lineaffe. . 
During her girlhood she accompanied her parents 
to New York, and from thence the family came 
to Illinois, locating on a farm in Viola Township, 
where both her father and mother spent their 
remaining days. They were members of the Pres- 
byterian Church. After his marriage Isaiah Stain- 
brook enlisted for the late war in August, 1864, 
as a member of the Seventy-fifth Illinois Infantrj', 
and was assigned to Company F. The regiment 
served with the armies of the Cumberland and 
Tennessee, and Mr. Stainbrook was with his com- 
mand in all the engagements in which it partici- 
pated, lie was never wounded or taken prisoner, 
but still suffers from rheumatism caused by 
exposure. When the war was over he was hon- 
orably discharged, and at once returned to his 
home in Viola Township, where he has since 
engaged m agricultural pursuits. He is one of the 
successful farmers and well-known citizens of that 
community, and exercises his right of franchise in 
support of the Republican party. His parents 
were members of the Methodist Church, and he 
and his wife attend its services. Our subject is 
the eldest of their four children, two sons and 
two daughters. The second son, William, wedded 
Rosa Johnson and is a resident farmer of A'iola 
Township; Mary is the wife of Charles Stout, 
also a farmer of that township; and Jennie mar- 
ried William Phillips, an agriculturist of Viola 

George F. Stainbrook acquired a good practical 
education in the public schools, and early became 
acquainted with the labors of the farm from whence 
his experiences of life in early yeai-s were all 
obtained. He possesses a nature extremely practi- 
cal yet progressive, and is ambitious. To farm 
work he devoted his energies until a little more 
than eight years ago when he was made Deputy 
Sheriff of Lee County, and removed to Dixon. 
He i)roved one of the most faithful and efficient 



public servants, and for eight years iilled that 
oflOiee. In 1890 he was elected Sheriff, and is now 
discharging the duties of that position with prompt- 
ness and fidelity. He is the j'oungest Sheriff that 
Lee County ever had, a fact which spealis well foi- 
the confidence reposed in him by his fellow citizens 
and also for his personal popularity. 

A man-iage ceremony, performed in Dixon on 
tUe 16th of October, 1890, united the destinies of 
Mr. Stainbrook and ]Miss Anna B. jMulkins. Her 
parents, Lemuel and Helen Mulkins, are residents 
of this city, where their daughter was born on the 
6th of September, 1863. She is an intelligent and 
cultured lady and possesses no small artistic skill, 
her landscape and portrait paintings both being 
worthy of high commendation. Mr. and Mrs. 
Stainbrook attend the Methodist Church. He is 
connected with several civic societies, being a 
member of the United Workmen, the Modern 
Woodmen, and the Illini Tribe of Red Men. -In 
politics he is a stalwart Republican, and takes 
considerable interest in political affairs, keeping 
himself well informed on the. issues of the day. 


]i^ENNIS C. HARDEN farms, raises stock 
I Jj) and carries on a profitable dairy business 
(aJ^ in Nelson Township, of which he is a 
leading citizen. His farm comprises a 
quarter of a section of land, which is well im- 
proved, is supplied with a good set of buildings, 
convenient in their arrangements and roomy in 
dimensions, and it is fully stocked with cattle, 
horses and swine of excellent breeds. 

Bom October 4, 1849, our subject first took up 
the burden of life in the State of Pennsylvania. 
His father, Jacob Harden, a well-known pioneer 
and honored citizen of Nelson Township, is like- 
wise a Pennsylvanian by birth, born and reared in 
Somerset County, his parents being also natives of 
Pennsylvania. After attaining manhood Jacob 
Harden selected a wife in the person of Miss Cath- 
erine Cook, who has since shared his fortunes and 
has been of real help to him in securing the com- 
fortable competency which they are now enjoying 

together, in the declining years of lives well spent. 
Catherine Cook was a daughter of one of the re- 
spected old families of the Keystone State, where 
she had her birth and up-bringing. After four 
children had been born unto them, of whom our 
subject is the eldest, Mr. and Mrs. Harden emi- 
grated to this State to begin life anew on its wild 
prairies. They located on a tract of Government 
land on section 23, Nelson Township, and Mr. 
Harden labored long and hard to transform it into 
the fine farm that it is to-day. He and his good 
wife still make ii their home and are surrounded 
bj' every comfort that heart can desire. They are 
Christians of the stanch Lutheran type and are 
members of that clairch. 

Dennis C. Harden was a child of four years when 
his parents brought him to this county in 1853, 
and he has ever since lived in Lee County. His 
boyhood days were passed on his father's farm, 
where he learned many a useful lesson that after- 
ward helped him to success when lie began the life 
of a farmer on his own account. In 1873 he pur- 
chased the farm which is still his home, and has 
greatly increased its value by the fine improve- 
ments he is constantly making. He is systematic 
in carrying on his work, eraploj^s the methods of 
cultivation best adapted to the soil, wherein lies 
the secret of his success in a great measure, and he 
understands how to handle his stock to the best 
advantage. He is well fitted out for the dairy bus- 
iness, which is a source of profit as he conducts it. 

Mr. Harden was married in this township to 
Miss Kate McCleary, a native of Pennsylvania 
and a daughter of William and Sal in da (More- 
head) McCleary,who were pioneers of Lee County. 
Her parents were born in Pennsylvania but were 
of Scotch lineage. They came hither when she was 
young, and at first lived on a farm in Nacliusa 
Township. Later the father purchased a farm in 
Nelson Township, to which he removed his family 
and here he died in 1884 at the age of three-score 
years and ten. Religiously, he was a Presbyterian 
and, politically, he was a Democrat. Mrs. Harden 
was fourteen years old when the family came to 
this State, and she remained one of the parental 
household until her marriage. She died here in 
the home in whose upbuilding she had assisted her 



husband, December 3, 1889, at the age of thirty- 
eight, and was mourned far beyond the home cir- 
cle, as she was a woman of rare merit, of a sweet 
and wholesome nature, and all who came under her 
influence found her to be kind and true.' By her 
death the Lutheran Church lost one of its most 
esteemed members. She was a devoted wife and 
fond mother, and her happy marriage with our sub- 
ject that was saddened only by herdeath,was blessed 
to them by three children: Eva J., at home with 
her father; William J., and Lawrence D., who is 
being reared by an aunt. 

Mr. Harden is a whole-souled, warm-hearted, 
genial man, of generous impulses and frank, even 
temper, who is a general favorite throughout the 
township where he is well known; and not only 
this but he is honorable and manly, and irreproach- 
able in his personal habits. He has held the vari- 
ous local offices, and always manifested proper 
public spirit in regard to all feasible plans for the 
improvement of township or countJ^ In religion 
he is a Lutheran. His political S3'mpathies are 
with the Republican party. 

j^^ TEWART WILSON, who is engaged in 
^^^ general farming and stock-raising on sec- 
(fl/^j tions 29 and 30, Palmyra Township, is a 
native of the Keystone State. Blair 
County was the place of his birth and the date 
January 14, 1849. His paternal grandfather, James 
Wilson, was also born in Pennsylvania, and was 
of Scotch lineage. He became a well-to-do farmer 
and spent his entire life in Blair County, reaching 
the allotted years of three-score and ten. His wife 
died when Franklin Wilson, father of our subject, 
was born. There were only two sons in the family, 
and the brother died in Pennsylvania. In the 
county of his nativity Franklin Wilson was reared 
to manhood and married Miss Susan, daughter of 
Philip and Mary Bridenbaugh. Her parents were 
of German descent and were members of the Ger- 
man Reformed Church. The Wilsons were Presby- 
terians in religious faith. 

Five children, three sons and two daughters, were 

born unto Franklin Wilson and his wife during 
their residence in Altona Township, Blair County, 
Pa. They left the East in 1856, and- with their 
family came to Lee County, HI., spending the first 
two years after their arrival in Dixon Township 
The father then purchased a farm in Palmyra 
Township, which is now the property of our sub- 
ject, and began its development. By his labors, 
the once barren tract was transformed into rich and 
fertile fields, which yielded to him a golden tribute. 
In politics, he was a supporter of Democratic prin- 
ciples, and was a member of the Presbyterian 
Church. He passed from this life November 4, 
1870, at the age of forty-six yeai-s. His widow 
still survives him and is now living with her 
daughter, Mrs. C. C. Fisk. of Sterling, at the 
age of sixty-three years. She, too, is a mem- 
ber of the Presbyterian Church and is a lady 
whose upright and consistent life has won her the 
warm regard of all with whom she has come in con- 

The first eleven years of his life, Stewart Wilson 
spent in the county of his nativity. It was in 
1860 that he came with his parents to Illinois, 
since which time he has made his home in Lee ^ 
County. In 1870, on attaining his majority, he 
purchased his present farm, which comprises one 
hundred and eighty-eight acres of productive land. 
The entire amount is under a high state of cultiva- 
tion, with the exception of about twenty-eight 
acres, and bounteous harvests reward the care and 
labor he bestows upon it. In many respects this is 
a model farm. The home is a comfortable brick 
residence, and good barns and outbuildings afford 
shelter for his stock which is all of superior grades. 
He is now engaged quite extensively in the breed- 
ing of Shetland ponies and m.any fine specimens 
niaj' be seen in his stables. 

In Palmyra Township, Mr. Wilson formed a 
matrimonial alliance with ]MissEmma A. Fisk, one 
of Lee County's fair daughters, born in that town- 
ship in 185:'). Her parents were E. 11. and Amelia 
(Sprout) Fisk, natives of Alassachusetts, where the 
days of tluir childhood were passed and their mar- 
riage was celebrated. On coming to Illinois, they 
took up their residence on a farm in Palmyra 
Township, where Mr. Fisk passed away in 1888, at 



the age of sixty-six years. His widow, now sixty- 
three years, is living with her (laughters. Both 
were well known people in this community, being 
highly respected by their many friends and ac- 

The home of Mr. and Mrs. "Wilson has been 
brightened bj?^ the presence of a daughter, Lorena 
A., who is now fourteen years of age. The parents 
are both members of the Presbyterian Church in 
Sterling. In politics, our subject is a Democrat 
and is now filling the office of Road Commissioner. 
Fair and honest in all his dealings, he has not only 
won the confidence of those with whom business 
relations have brought him in contact, but has also 
made a handsome property and is ranked among 
the well-to-do citizens of the community. 


ACOB ASCHENBRENNER, who is a dealer 
in coal in Amboy, dates his residence in 
this county from July, 1855. He was born 
in Hesse-Cassel, Germany, August 6, 1825. 
His parents, Jacob and Caroline Aschenbrenner, 
were natives of Germany, and spent their entire 
lives in their native country. They had a family 
of four children as follows: Conrad, who died in 
Bradford Township, this county, leaving a family; 
Carl died in Germany; Mena, who became the wife 
of George Schaffer, died in this county; and our 
subject, Jacob, who is the only survivor. The 
father was married a second time by which union 
six children were born, namely: John, George, 
Elizabeth, Eliza, Frederick and William, all of 
whom came to the United States and settled m 
Iowa, where the eldest, John, is a clergyman in the 
Evangelical Church. Our subject learned the trade 
of a plasterer in his native land, and served in the 
German army for ten years, four years in active 
service, and six on the reserve force. During this 
time he participated in engagements in the Revo- 
lution of 1848, and in the year 1849 in IIol- 
stein. He came to the United States in the year 
1855, settling in Lee County, in July of that 
year, in which place he rented land and carried on 

farming until 1862, then removing to Amboy, 
where he worked two years for the Illinois Central 
* Railroad. After this he followed draying for two 
years, since which time he has been engaged in his 
present business. 

Our subject has been twice married, his first wife 
being Miss Elizabeth Dehnhalt, to whom he was 
united in 1853. She died in 1860, leaving three 
children: Christina was married to Jacob Thiel, of 
Amboy; Conrad married Miss Bertha Fickensher, 
and resides in Amboy; Elizabeth was married to 
Frank Estie, and died at Amboy. 

Mr. Aschenbrenner was a second time married 
in 1861, the maiden name of his wife being Frede- 
ricka Hess. She was born in Baden, Germany. 
She emigrated to the United States in 1856, and 
resided in Chicago until her marriage. No chil- 
dren have been born to this union. Mr. Aschen- 
brenner is a Democrat, and has held a prominent 
place in local politics. His fellow-citizens have 
shown their confidence in him by the gift of vari- 
ous offices, he having served as Alderman two 
terms, and for nine years as a member of the Board 
of Education. The family attend the Lutheran 
Church, of which he was one of the organizers, and 
are highly respected members of society. 

"^ ACOB HEPPERLIN left the German Father- 
land in the prime of early manhood to seek 
a new home in America, and after journey- 
ing thousands of miles over sea and land, 
found himself in the heart of a strange country, 
among an unknown people, with but little in this 
world that he could call his own. He, however, 
had that within him that would overcome all diffi- 
culties in his pathway, as was proved by liis subse- 
quent career, and to-day he is living retired from 
farming or other active business in his comfortable 
home in Paw Paw. 

Mr. Hepperlin was born in the village of Neid- 
lingen, near Wurtemberg, Germany, July 26, 
1827. His father, John Hepperlin, was also 
born in that place [and was the son of an- 
other John Hepperlin, who was a farmer 



and a life-long resident, of that locality. Tiie 
father of onr subject wns lired to the life of a^ 
farmer and always followed that occupation, with 
the exception of the time when he was serving in 
the German army, in accordance with the laws of 
the land. He accompanied Napoleon in the cam- 
paign agamst ]Moscf)w, and suffered some of the 
terrible horrors of the retreat from that Russian 
city. He died in the land of his nativity in 1856. 
He was the father of seven children, of whom only 
two came to America, his daughter Katherine Gsel- 
ler and our subject, and three of his grandsons and 
two of his granddaughters. 

The subject of this sketch passed his early life 
in his native land and received a very good edu- 
cation in its schools. He at last decided to emi- 
grate to America, whither so many of his country- 
men had gone to seek the competence denied them 
at home, and in 'SLa.y, iwr)4, he set sail from Havre, 
and thirty-seven days later disembarked in New 
York CitJ^ He came directly to Illinois, and at 
Princeton found work on a farm, being employed 
by the month. He had but little spare cash when 
he went there, but he worked hard, and in time 
saved money enough to buy a farm seven miles 
northwest of that town. In 1«74 he sold that 
place, and coming to Paw Paw, bought village 
property and established himself in the furniture 
business. He was thus engaged until 1877, when 
he resumed farming. Six years later he abandoned 
agricultural pursuits, and has since lived retired, 
in the enjoyment of an income amply sufficing for 
all his wants. He has a comfortable property, iji- 
cluding a double brick block in Paw Paw, which 
came into his possession in 1882, through his ex- 
changing land that he owned in Iowa for it, and 
he has a farm of two hundred and thirty-four acres 
in Willow Creek Township, that is well improved. 

Mr. Hepperlin was first married in Bureau County 
in 1859, to Miss Rebecca Duestin, a native of 
Ohio. She departed this life in 1865. His second 
marriage was in 1867 to Miss Maggie Mercer, a na- 
tive of Bureau County. She died in 1868. In 
1869 our subject was wedded to Mrs. Cynthia 
(Mercer) Baker, widow of the Rev. D. S. Baker, 
and unto them has been born one son, Jesse Ellis. 
Mrs. Hepperlin by her former marriage had one 

daughter, l^eonora. She married J. A. jMcCuUoch, 
and they have one child, Ada C. Mr. and Mrs. 
Heppeilin are among the most worthy members of 
the Methodist Episcopal Church, and are held in 
high consideration in the community. 

Mis. Hepperlin comes of the pioneer stock of 
this State. Slie is a native of Belmont County, 
Ohio, and a daughter of Ellis Mercer, who was 
born in Yiiginia, and was a son of the Rev. Ed- 
ward ]\rei'cer, who was also a Virginian. The father 
of the latter, who was of Sctjttish birth and ances- 
try, came to America at the time of the Revolution 
and secured quite a large tract of land near Will- 
iamsport, Va., and ended his days there. He was 
a Quaker in religion. Mrs. Hepperlin 's grand- 
father was reared and married in the Old Domin- 
ion, and subsequently went from there to Greene 
County, Pa., and a few years later went to Bel- 
mont County, Ohio, making the removal with a 
team. He was a millwright and carpenter by trade, 
but after marriage he studied medicine, and became 
a practicing physician. He was also somewhat 
noted as a preacher of the Methodist Protestant 
Church, and did good service as a missionary in 
Belmont County. After his arrival in, that section 
he had bought land ten miles from Clavesville, and 
lived there until 1836, when he again became a 
pioneer, journeying to Illinois through tlie inter- 
vening wilderness, and locating at Princeton, where 
death found him at a ripe age. 

Mrs. Hepperlin s father was very young when 
his parents went tol'ennsylvania,and he was four- 
teen years of age when he accompanied them on 
their migration to Ohio. He worked at the trades 
of millwright and carpenter in that State until he 
came to this one in 1836. He was accompanied 
by his wife and four children, and thej^ traveled to 
their destination on the waters of the Ohio, Missis- 
sippi and Illinois Rivers to Hennepin, and thence 
by team to Bureau County. At that time North- 
ern Illinois was sparsely settled, and the greater 
part of the land was owned by the Government, 
and has since been sold at $1.25 an acre. Mr. 
Mercer entered two hundred and forty acres of 
land three miles southwest of Princeton, and he 
bought a s(iuatter's claim to a part of a grove, in 
which there was a set of log buildings and wig- 






warns still standing tliei-c, showed the recent pres- 
ence of the Indians, wliile deer and other kinds of 
game denoted that the country' but little ad- 
vanced in civilization. Mr. Mercer improved his 
land, and after living on it a quarter of a century 
he sold it, and passed his remaining years in Web- 
ster County, Iowa. The maiden name of his wife 
was Nancy Busli, and she was a native of Penn- 
sylvania. Her father, William Bush, was a native 
of Eugland; and her mother, Mary (Larwood) 
Bush, was born of English parents in the State of 
Delaware. Mr. Mercer died in Bureau County. 

Mrs. Hepperlin was nine years old when she 
came to Illinois with her parents, and she made 
her home.with them until her first marriage in her 
twenty-first j'ear to the Rev. Dennis Stephen 
Baker. Mr. Baker was a native of New York, and 
was educated for the ministry of the Methodist 
Protestant Church. On account of ill health he 
had to abandon his profession, and he turned his 
attention to farming in Bureau County, where he 
died in 186.5. 

ABIJAH POWERS, was for many 
''^ years one of the most prominent citizens of 
Palmyra Township. He died at his home 
on the 24th of July, 1891, aged seventy-six 
years, and no death in the community has been 
more deeply regretted on the part of many friends, 
for he was widely and favorably known throughout 
the entire county. He has here resided since the 
spring of 18.S8, and in the long years had formed 
an extensive acquaintance and secured the regard 
of all with whom he came in contact. 

Born in Greenwich, Hampshire County, Mass., 
December 16, 1814, Mr. Powers belonged to that 
family of which Hiram Powers, the sculptor, is a 
member. His grandfather, Col. Thomas Powers, 
was also born in the Bay State and was quite 
prominent in public affairs in Hampshire County. 
He lived and died in Massachusetts, passing away 
at the advanced age of four score years. His busi- 
ness through much of his life was that of the con- 
structton of turnpikes. He married n Massachu- 

setts lady, Miss Ilines, who was of Irish descent, 
although her parents were born in America. She 
died in Massachusetts at an advanced age. 

The father of our subject, Joseph Powers, was 
one of the 3'ounger members of a large family, and 
in the usual manner of farmer lads was reared to 
manhood. While residing in Hampshire Count}', 
]Mass., he had the misfortune to lose his property 
bj' signing notes for supposed friends and this led 
him to seek a home in the West. In the county 
of his nativity he married Sallie Powers, who was 
descended from the same family as her husband, al- 
though the relationship was not very near. In the 
spring of 1838, .Toseph Powers, and his son, Abijali, 
our subject, started to the West together, and the 
expenses of the journey were paid with the money 
which the latter had earned as a day laborer. His 
father having lost his property, it was in the hope 
of retrieving in a measure his lost possessions that 
they left their old home. 

Together they traveled to Milwaukee, Wis., and 
then separated, the father going to Chicago with 
their baggage, while the son traveled through 
vSouthern Wisconsin and down the Rock River. 
The}' later met in Rock Island, and thence came 
up the river to Dixon's Ferry, now the city of 
Dixon, where they decided to locate. In the wilds 
of Palmyra Township they took up their residence 
and with their sou, Josepli Powers and his wife re- 
sided until called to their final rest. His death 
occurred April 28, 18.5.3, at the age of sixty seven 
years. His wife survived him some time and died 
•at the age of seventj'-six. They were industri- 
ous people, upright and honorable in all things, 
but in later life misfortune overtook them. With 
the Congregational Church they held membership, 
and in the early d.iys, Mr. Powers was a ^^'hig. 
Ever a strong opponent of slavery, on its organiza- 
tion he joined the Republican party, which was 
formed to prevent the further extension of that 
institution. Generous and kind-hearted, he was 
a friend to the poor and needy and wherever 
known was held in warm regard, lie made friends 
wherever he went, and few indeed were his 
enemies. The last of the family, a son, who re- 
sided in Worcester, Mass., died in February, 1892. 

Abijah Powers had only $5 in his pocket when 



he reached Luo County. He thus hegaxi life in the 
West a very poor man, and for some time worked 
by the month as a farm hand. He entered land in 
the fall of 1838, and when it came into market 
was enabled to purchase it, having by his industry 
and economy acquired a sufficient sum, but it was 
some time afterward ere he located upon it. All 
unbroken was the tract, not a furrow having been 
turned or an improvement made, but with charac- 
teristic energy he began its development and in 
course of time had one of the finest farms in the 
connty. It is situated on section 31, ralm3'^ra 
Township, and comprises three hundred acres of 
valuable land, whereon might be found the im- 
provements of a model farm. At the time of his 
death he also owned five hundred and sixty acres 
in Jordan Township, Whiteside County, whicli 
yielded to him a golden tribute. 

After making some preparations for securing a 
home, Mr. Powers returned to his native county in 
the fall of 1839, and in September wedded Miss 
Amanda M. Sprout, who was bom in Greenwich, 
Mass., in 1819, and is a daughter of Ezra and 
Dency (Newland) Sprout, who were farming peo- 
ple of the Bay State. Her father died in Green- 
wich, Mass., after which Mrs. Sprout came to Illi- 
nois and died at the home of her daughter in 
Sterling at the age of nearlj' ninety years. She 
was a member of the Baptist Church and lier hus- 
band held membership with the Congregational 
Church. In politics, he was a Whig, and after- 
ward a Republican with strong anti-slavery views. 
Two of his sons served in the War of the Rebellion 
and Elmer was killed at the battle of the Wilder- 
ness. Three others are still living in Massachusetts. 

Mrs. Powers spent the days of her maidenhood 
in her parent's home, and has become one of the 
faithful and noble wives and mothers whom all de- 
light to honor. In the familj' were six children, 
but two are now deceased — Alfred A., who died at 
the age of six years; Helen became the wife of 
Anson Thummel, of Palmyra Township, and died 
in 1889, leaving five children. Of the survivino- 
members of the family, Elvira is the wife of Capt. 
Charles Eckles, who wore the blue in the late war 
and is now a prominent farmer near Marshalltown 
Iowa; Mary is the wife of J. C. Nickerson, a com- 

mission merchant at No. 91 South Water Street, 
Chicago; Warren F., who wedded Mary Miller, of 
Whiteside County, now operates the farm in that 
county which was owned by his father; Austin, 
who married Adella Tallman, operates the home 
farm and completes the family. 

In politics, Mr. Powers was a Re[)ubliean and 
held a number of local offices, including that of 
Town Supervisor, which he filled for five years. In 
1876, he was elected to represent his district in the 
Tliirtieth General Assembly of Illinois, where he 
proved an able officer, discharging his duties with 
promptness and fidelity. His public .and private 
life were alike above reproach. Genial by nature 
and kindly in disposition he easily won friends 
and their high regard was never forfeited by an 
unworthy act. He was a faithful member of the 
Congregational Church, of Prairieville, and was its 
Deacon at the time of his death, having filled the 
office for some years previous. Mrs. Powers is also 
a member of that church. She still resides ui)on 
the farm where she has made her home for more 
than half a century since she was brought there a 
bride by her honored husband. 

Our readers will be pleased to notice in connec- 
tion with this sketch the lithographic portraits of 
the late Mr. Powers and his estimable wife, as well 
as a view of the pleasant homestead where Mrs. 
Powers is quietly passing the twilight of her life. 


^ILLIAM H. HILLES, deceased, was born 
in Western Pennsylvania, and died at his 
home in Dixon, on the 7th of November, 
1882, at the age of seventy-three years. His 
father, Hugh Hilles, came of a very intelligent 
Quaker family of the Keystone State. He followed 
the trade of milling throughout the greater part 
of his life. From Pennsylvania he removed to 
Ohio, and in later j-ears was a resident of Jay 
County, Ind., where he owned large tracts of land. 
His death occurred in that county when past the 
age of sixty years. His life had been a busy and 
useful one and his efforts met with a just reward in 
the shape of a handsome competence. Hi# wife, 



who was also descended from a highly respected 
family belonging to the Friends Society, also died 
in Indiana. 

Our subject was an infant when, with his parents, 
he removed from the Keystone State to Colum- 
biana, Ohio, where he was reared to manhood and 
acquired his education. ]\Iost of his life was spent 
in his father's mill, and in the early '40s he emi- 
grated westward, locating in LaSalle County, 111., 
where he improved a good farm, making it his 
home for about ten years. _ He was there residing 
at the time of the great storai, never to be for- 
gotten, which visited that section. The storm con- 
tinned for about two months and was a blizzard the 
greater part of the time. As many people in the 
community had built only temporary houses, ex- 
pecting to erect better ones later on, they w^ere ill 
protected from the cold and there was considerable 
loss of life. Much stock was also frozen, and that 
long period of stormy weather was one which will 
never be effaced from memory by those who exper- 
ienced it. 

Returning to the State of Ohio, Mr. Hilles 
wedded Miss Mary A. French, who was born among 
the beautiful hills surrounding Gillhampton, N. 
H. She came of one of the old and highly 
respected New England families. Her parents 
were .Toseph and Mary (Stewart) French, also na- 
tives of New Hampshire. The grandmother of 
Mi-s. French was a sister of President John Adams, 
but her father was of Scotch descent. Amidst the 
hills of their native State, Joseph French and his 
wife were reared to manhood and womanhood, and ' 
in the vicinity of Newburyport their marriage was 
celebrated. Tliere, and at Concord, X. H. 
they spent the greater part of their lives but in 
their declining years followed their children to the 
West and passed their last days in the town of 
Painesville, Ohio. Throughout his life, Mr. French 
was a member and an active worker in the Con- 
gregational Church, and for many years filled its 
offices. The upright, honorable lives of himself 
and wife won them the highest regard of all with 
whom they came in contact and, when called to 
their final home, their loss was sincerely mourned 
by many friends. 

Mrs. Hilles, wife of our subject, received good 

practical educational advantages and is a lady of 
marked individuality. She inherits some of the best 
characteristics of her New England ancestors and is 
a refined and accomplished lady- In early years slie 
was zealous in church work and her labors in its 
behalf have been productive of much good. But 
on account of conflicting views she withdrew from 
the church in 1835, and since that time has been 
connected with no religious organization. In her 
early life, she was much interested in the cause of 
abolition and bent her whole energies to aid in the 
work. When onlj' eighteen years of age, she be- 
came identified with the movement, although it was 
in opposition to the stand which her church had 
taken, and from that time forward worked untir- 
ingly in the Interest of tiie slaves until their free- 
dom was declared. She possesses a remarkable 
memory and can recall manj' incidents of early 
history in tliis community which are very enter- 
taining. Out of the kindness of her heart she has 
reared and educated several children and aided 
others in starting in life. Kindness, generosity 
and warm-heartedness have won her many friends 
whose high regard she will retain to the last. 

In 1853, Mr. Hilles sold his farm in LaSalle 
County and came to Lee County, where he pur- 
chased the farm he owned at his death. In every 
instance he set out good orchards as he was a lover 
of horticultural work. At the time of his death, 
he owned four hundred acres, highly cultivated 
land, and was quite well-to-do. Although he be- 
gan life empty-handed, he worked his way upward, 
overcoming all obstacles until he had gained a 
competencj-. Mr. Hilles was a man of superior 
intelligence and was always well informed on the 
questions of the day. He was reared under the 
auspices of the Society of Friends and in accord- 
ance with its teachings lived an honest, upright 
life. His influence was great and he exerted it 
ever in the cause of right. During slave days, he 
spent many hundred dollars in the cause of free- 
dom, and when the war broke out, in every pos- 
sible way supported the cause of the Union and the 
administration. He lived to see much improve- 
ment in Lee County and not a little of the 
growth and development was due to his efforts. 
His life was well and worthily spent and he left 



behind hiin many friends to mourn lii.s deatli. 
At tlie age of seventy-three, wishing to live re- 
tired, he removed to Dixon and on the following 
daj' died from a stroke of paralysis. 

\i] RA S. SMITH. Were mention to be made of 
|! the farmers of Amboy Township without giv- 
/t ing a prominent place to this gentleman, cer 
tainly an injustice would be done both to himself 
and the community. His fine farm, comprising 
one hundred and sixtj'-three acres, is located on 
section 26, and contains a fine set of farm buildings, 
well adapted to their varied uses. Although he 
has resided on the place but a short time, he lias 
already introduced many improvements, and evi- 
dences of his thrifty management may be seen on 
every hand. 

A native of New Hampshire, Mr. Smith was born 
in Enfield, Grafton County, March 11, 1829. His 
parents, Clement and Lucy (Farnham) Smith, were 
natives of the Granite State, where both died in 
Enfield. Their family consisted of eleven children, 
of whom Ira S. was the eighth in order of birth. 
He was reared to manhood upon a farm in Grafton 
County, where he resided until 1848. At that 
date he removed to Boston, Mass.; and secured 
employment as a clerk in a grocery store, where he 
remained several years. When the gold fever was 
raging at its height, he. went to the Pacific Slope, in 
the fall of 1851, and engaged in mining in Cali- 
fornia. After an absence of about one year, he 
returned to Boston, having met with fair success 
in his mining operations. 

Soon after his return to the East, Mr. Smith 
once more started on a prospecting tour, this time 
coming to Illinois, where in Springfield he found 
employment as a. fireman on what is now the 
Wabash Railroad, eighteen miles east of the city. 
While thus engaged, on December 21, 1854, the 
boiler exploded and he was blown into the air, 
alighting two hundred feet in the rear of the place 
where the explosion occurred. He was badly 
scalded and injured, his left shoulder and the ribs 

on his right side being broken. It was some time 
before he recovered from the effects of that terri- 
ble accident, and when he did so he removed to 
Iowa and purchased a farm in Madison County, 
there engaging in agricultural pursuits for six 

Then selling the place, which he had greatly im- 
proved, Mr. Smith returned to Illinois and for 
nearly a year lived in Bureau County, whence, in 
the spring of 1863, he removed to Amboy, and 
procured employment jn the machine shop of the 
Illinois Central Railroad. After following that 
business ten years, he next opened a meat market 
in Amboy and continued thus engaged for six 
years. His fellow-citizens about that time elected 
him City Marshal and retained him in that place 
three years, after which he sold his interests in the 
city and removed to Morton County, Kan., there 
engaging in farming. For a time he was also em- 
ployed as a machinist in the St. Louis & San Fran- 
cisco shops in Anthony, Harper County, Kan., 
where he resided two years. 

In June, 189( , Mr. Smith returned to Lee County, 
purchased his present estate and has since engaged 
exclusively in farming pursuits. During his resi- 
dence in Springfield, 111., he was married, April 19, 
1853, to Miss Elizabeth Pearl. This lady was born 
in Oxford County, Me., July 8, 1831, and is the 
daughter of Benjamin and Susan (Otis) Pearl, na- 
tives respectively of Maine and Now Hampshire, 
both of whom died in Porter, Me. They had a 
family of seven children, Mrs. Smith being the 
* youngest. Of the union of Mr. and Mrs. Smith, 
two children have been born: Winslow C. and 
Edgar Otis. The former married Ella Spencer 
and they have five children: Pearl E., Henry W., 
Carrie D., Hollis S. and Edna B. The latter mar- 
ried Julia Duffey, and three children have been 
born of their union: Ada I., Minnie E. and Hazel 

In the public life of the community Mr. Smith 
has always been greatly interested and has con- 
tributed as much as possible toward its success. 
For several terms he served as Collector, and while 
a member of the School Board for nine years, pro- 
moted the educational interests of the district. 
As a member of the Amboy City Council, he aided 



in its deliberations and assisted in the plans for 
promoting the progress of the place. He has 
talten considerable interest in political affairs 
and is adecided Republican. His wife is a mem- 
ber of the Advent Church, while he contributes in 
that direction liberally of his means. Socially he 
holds membership in the Masonic fraternity. 


are profitably engaged in business as dairy- 
men and farmers, and each has a well- 
stocked and finely equipped dairy farm in Nelson 
Township. These gentlemen are natives of Law- 
rence County, Pa., the first-mentioned born Feb- 
ruary 15, 1848. George McCleary's farming inter- 
ests are centered on section 13, where he owns one 
hundred and thirty-eight acres of excellent farm- 
ing land, that is finely adapted to stock-raising 
purposes, and is one of the best dairy farms of the 
neighborhood. It is stocked to its fullest capacity 
with cattle of good breeds, and for the past two 
years Mr. McCleary has kept a herd of thirty dairy- 
cows and by his able management has made this 
branch of agriculture a paying business. He and 
his brother came to this countj- with their parents 
and other members of the family in the. spring of 
1865 and have since been numbered among its 
most desirable citizens. He spent the first eigh- 
teen months aft«r his arrival in Dixon Township, 
and since then has been a resident of Nelson Town- 
ship, becoming the owner of his present farm in 

The marriage of George McCleary with Miss 
Mary A. Alcorn was solemnized in his native 
county. She was also a Pennsy] vanian by birth, 
born in Beaver County, in 1855, and was ten 
years old when her parents, Henry and Catherine 
(Baker) Alcorn, removed to Lawrence County, 
where they now live retired, having formerly been 
engaged in farming. May 29, 1889, death crossed 
the threshold of the home of our subject and took 
from him his beloved wife, who had filled in a per- 
fect measure her position as daughter, wife and 
mother, and was truly a home-maker. She was a 

member of the Presbyterian Church, and her 
Christian spirit was evinced in her daily life. Four 
children were born of her marriage with our sub- 
ject, all of whom are with him and are named as 
follows: Edna, Iva P., Charles N. and Frances C. 
Elliott S. McCleary has won a fine reputation as 
a farmer of much ability, who employs modern 
methods in conducting his operations, keeps his 
farm up to a high standard in point of cultiva- 
tion and improvement, and is raising first-class 
stock. His homestead lies on sections 12 and 13, 
Nelson Township, and here he and his family live 
very pleasantly. He gives much attcsntion to the 
dairy business and has thirty-five cows of the 
finest breed for that purpose, which net him a good 
yearly income. 

He has found in his wife, formerly Miss Melinda 
Gruver, a capable coadjutor in the making of a 
home. Their marriage was celebrated in Nelson 
Township, where Mrs. McCleary was reared and 
educated, coming here with her parents when a 
child. She, like her husband, is a native of Penn- 
sylvania, born in Columbia County in 1853, and 
is a daughter of Uriah Gruver, a wealthy farmer, 
living in Dixon. 

Our subjects are sons of William McCleary, who 
was a native of the same Pennsylvania county in 
which they were born. He in turn was a son of 
Samuel McCleary, who was a native of the North 
of Ireland, and came to this country when he was 
twelve years old, with his parents, who were of ^ 
Scotch-Irish stock. The family first settled in 
Westmoreland County, Pa., and when Samuel was 
a young man removed from there to what is now 
New Castle, the county seat of Lawrence County, 
that city now being built upon the farm that the 
grandfather of our subjects developed from the 
dense growth of primeval forest that then pre- 
vailed in that section of the country. Samuel Mc- 
Cleary spent his remaining days in the home that 
he made there, dying at the age of fifty-six. He 
was prominent in promoting the growth of New 
Castle and lived to see it a flourishing town. He 
was one of its pioneer merchants and one of its 
principal business men in his day. Besides run- 
ning a mercantile establishment he did an exten- 
sive business as a drover, taking stock to Philadel- 



phia, and with the pi-oceeds of the sales buying 
goods to sell at home. He and his wife were great 
workers in church matters, and they helped to or- 
ganize the Presbyterian Clmrch in their town. 

Samuel McCleary was married in New Castle to 
Nancy frorden, who was born on the Atlantic 
Ocean when her parents were emigrating to this 
country from tlieir ancestral home in Scotland. 
They were a branch of the celebrated Gorden fam- 
ily so well known in the history of .Scotland. 
Tliey settled first in Westmoreland County, Pa., 
after their ariival in America, and thence removed 
to Mercer County in the early days -of its settle- 
ment, and were pioneers of the country around 
New Castle, where they hewed out a farm from the 
wilderness. Some of them served as privates in 
the War of 1812. They were stanch Presbyterians 
in religion and were Whigs in politics, while the 
old stock of McClearys were Democrats. Mrs. 
Samuel McCleary survived her husband many 
years and died during the Rebellion when nearly 
eighty years of age. She was a large woman, of 
fine physique, and retained her bodily and mental 
faculties to the last. 

William McCleary, as the eldest of ten children, 
looked after the large farm, owned by his father, 
after he attained manhood. He was married in 
New Castle to Miss Selinda Moorehead, who was 
born and reared at that place, her parents, who 
were of Pennsylvania birth and of Scotch-Irish 
blood, having been early settlers of Lawrence 
County, moving there from Westmoreland County. 
Mr. and Mrs. McCleary lived in New Castle many 
years after their marriage, and there all tlieir chil- 
dren were bom. In 1865 they came to Illinois 
and established a new home in Lee County, in 
which the father passed the rest of his days. He 
died in the fall of 1880, at the age of sixty-seven, 
leaving behind him the record of a well-filled life 
and the legacy of a good name, which his children 
and children's children hold in reverence. He 
was an active member ^f the Presbyterian Church 
and was deeply interested in every movement for 
the moral uplifting of the community. In politics 
he was thoroughly in sympathy with the Demo- 
cratic party. His wife, who survives him and 
makes her home with her children, was born June 

30, 1816, yet old age has not dimmed her faculties. 
She is a noble Christiah woman and is a member of 
the Presbyterian Church. 

Of the seven daughters and two sons born to the 
McClearys, one daughter and two sons are now 
dead. .Tames enlisted in October, 1861 in Com- 
pany B, of the famous Cooper's Battery, in the 
First Pennsylvania Artillery, and fell while bravely 
fighting for his country at the battle of Gettys- 
burg; John C, the eldest son, a farmer in Palmyra 
Township, married .Alary Gruver, of Nelson; Mary 
is the wife of Jerry Iletler, a farmer of Dixon 
Township; George S. is the third son of the fam- 
ily; Kate, now deceased, was the former wife of 
D. C. Harden, of whom a biography appears in this 
work; William, a farmer in Carroll County, mar- 
lied Amanda Mason; Elliott S. is the next in order 
of birth; .Toseph, who married Ida Long, is a mem- 
ber of the firm of McCleary & Long, boot and shoe 
merchants of Dixon. All the brothers are very 
successful in business. All but two of them are 
Presbyterians, and all of them are stalwart Demo- 
crats in politics. 

ylLLIAM BURD, though not one of the 
earliest settlers of Lee County, may well 
WW be classed among its pioneei-s, as he has 
done valuable work in helping his fellow-farmers 
to redeem the rich, virgin soil of this part of Illi- 
nois from its former wild condition, since he set- 
tled within its precincts not far from forty years 
ago, and he has a farm that compares with the 
best in its equipments and improvements, its fer- 
tile fields neatly fenced, its buildings well-kept 
and conveniently arranged, and its surroundings 
made attractive by the beautiful shade and choice 
fruit trees carefully planted by his own hands. 

Our subject was born May 17, 1827, in Hamp- 
shire County, W. Va. His father, whose name is 
Peter Burd, was born in Hunterdon County, N. J., 
and when a young man went from his native 
Stale to that part of Virginia now included in 
Hampshire County, W. Xa. He bought a tract of 
wild land seven or eight miles from Romney, 



built a log cabin on his place and entered lieartilj- 
into the hard pioneer task of improving his land, 
on which he made his home until his untimely 
death, in 1839, when his community lost a 
good citizen, the people among whom he had lived 
a kind neighbor, and his familj' a good husband 
and father. His widow, whose maiden name was 
Julia Ann Willard, and who was born in Bucks 
County, Pa., a daughter of Jacob Willard, was left 
with seven children to care for. Nobly did she 
perform her duty, and kept her offspring together 
on the old homestead until they were grown to 
manhood and womanhood, and then came to Illi- 
nois and spent her last years a welcome inmate of 
their homes. Four of her children are still liv- 

Our subject was a strong, self-reliant lad of 
twelve years when his father died, and was al- 
ready of much use on the farm. At the age of 
fourteen he was bound out to learn the trade of a 
tanner, and received his board and clothes in rec- 
ompense for his services. At the end of seven 
years he was given $50, and with that, and a good 
knowledge of his trade, he began life on his own 
account. He went to Bucks County, Pa., and car- 
ried on the tannery business there the ensuing 
three years. He then went back to- his native 
State, and was a resident of West A'^irginia until 
the fall of 1852, when he came to Illinois, travel- 
ing by the most convenient route at that time, 
and journeying by rail, by stage, or on foot. After 
ievHn days ho arrived at Twin Grove, in what is 
now Willow Creek Townsiiip. At tliat time Nature 
had it pretty nearly her own way in this part of the 
country, as but few settlers had ventured here. 
There was no railway in this part of the State for 
two years after he came here, and deer and other 
kinds of wild game were plentiful, and furnished 
an agreeable addition to the fare of the pioneers. 

Mr. Burd began life here on a farm in some one's 
else employ for a year, and then bought a land 
warrant for a quarter of a section of land, which 
comprises his present farm in Willow Creek Town- 
ship. The warrant cost him $150, and there was 
an additional expense of $4, making the total cost 
of the homestead $154. Buying the land ex- 
hausted his finances, so he was obliged to resort to 

renting improved land for the next two years in 
order to earn his livelihood. At the expiration of 
that time he entered vigorously upon the work 
before him of reclaiming a farm from the wilder- 
ness, and tlie success that has met bis efforts has 
been recorded in the first part of this biography. 

Our subject is eminently a self-made man, and 
through the sheer force of industrious habits, close 
attention to his work, and by exercising close cal- 
culation in the management of his affairs, no less 
than by fair and honest dealings in all his transac- 
tions, he has risen to be one of the substantial 
farmers of the township with whose interests his 
own have so long been identified. 

Since 1867, when he was united in marriage 
with Miss Mary Frances Thompson, he has had the 
active co-operation of a wife who is a true help- 
mate. Mrs. Burd is also a native of Hampshire 
County, W. Va., and is a daughter of Robert and 
Zulirama Thompson, of whom an account appears 
in the biography of R. J. Thompson. Three chil- 
dren have blessed the union of our subject and his 
wife: Mary F., .James W. and Nettie May. 




The life of Mr.Kreiter 

Jjj affords a splendid illustration of the power 
of patience and perseverance in promoting 

Jl\ the prosperity of the individual and crown- 
ing his labors with complete success. He is one of 
the most influential citizens of Amboy Tow^nship 
and the owner of one hundred and seventy-five 
acres in this county. His farm, with its neat build- 
ings, well-kept fences and cultivated fields, pre- 
sents an air of thrift and prosperity. The super- 
vision and cultivation of the place devolves 
largely upon Mr. Kreiter's sons, for his attention 
has been principally occupied as a machinist and 

The native home of Mr. Kreiter was on the 
Riiine in Germany, and the date of his birth Nov- 
ember 4, ] 824. He was reared to mature years m 
the Fatherland and after the good old custom of 
that country, which renders it necessary for every 



lad to leam a trade, he served an apprenticesliip 
at tlie trade of a machinist, following it until lie 
came to America in 1847. When about twenty- 
three years old, having decided to seek a home in 
the United (States, he loft his native land, and 
crossing the ocean, landed in New Orleans. 

Thence Mr. Kreiter proceeded up the Mississippi 
to Memphis, Tenn., where for one year he was em- 
ploj'ed in a machine shop. From that place he re- 
moved to St. Louis and carried on business in a 
machine shop and brass foundry between five and 
six years. Then coming to Illinois, he followed his 
trade in Peoria about a year and for perhaps the 
same length of time was employed in a small place 
in Tazewell County on the Mackinaw River. Next 
he was employed in Bloomington, this State, and 
there worked at his trade. After being unable for 
two years to engage in business on account of ill 
health, he entered the employ of the Chicago A' 
Alton Railway Company and was for nineteen years 
in their employ as a machinist. 

Upon leaving Bloomington, Mr. Kreitjr came to 
Lee County and purchased a farm in Atnboy Town- 
ship, on section 25, where he has since resided. 
However, he has not engaged in farming pursuits, 
but has always followed his trade of a machinist, 
and the farm has been operated by his sons. Mr. 
Kreiter was married in St. Louis to Miss Augusta 
Wenzel, who was born in Germany, October 22, 
1830. They have become the parents of eight 
children, namely: Amila, who was the wife of 
Frank Moellex and died in Chicago; Louis, who 
mai-ried Louisa Bach and resides in Chicago; Anna, 
wife of James Guard; Gussie, who is the wife of 
John Stilz; Theodore, a member of the lirm of 
Kreiter Bros., millers in Binghampton; William, 
who married Carrie Naglesmith and Ijelongs to the 
firm of Kreiter Bros.; Minnie, the wife of A. 
Tuttle; and Edwin, who is one of the firm. 

In politics, Mr. Kreiter and his sons maintain an 
independence of belief and cast their ballots for the 
candidates whom they believe best fitted for the 
office in question, irrespective of party ties. Mr. 
Kreiter and his wife are members of the Kvanoelical 
Chuich, but their children are identified with the 
Metiiodist Church. When the mills were started 
at Binghampton, they were operated by Kreiter lVt 

Sons for one year, after which they were given in 
charge of Kreiter Bros., who have operated them 
since March, 1889. >Ir. Kreiter has filled the office 
of School Director, as well as other positions of lo- 
cal importance, and has contributed his quota to- 
ward the progress of the community. 


rLIJAH WALKER enjoys a good reputation 
as an honorable, hard-working farmer, who 
1^^ — ^ is profitably engaged in agriculture, and 
the fine condition of his farm on sections 24 and 
25, Nelson Township, with its substantial build- 
ings and • well-tilled acres, gives ample proof of 
his thorough acquaintance with the best methods 
of carrying on his calling. He is a Pennsylvanian 
by birth, and in the township of Summit, .Somer- 
set County, he was born March 19, 1832, a scion 
of the old stock of that vicinity, the old farm 
upon which he first opened his eyes to the light 
of the world having been the native place of his 
father, Peter P. H. Walker, and of his grand- 
father, Philip Walker, his great-grandfather, Henry 
Walker, a native of the Keystone State, having 
purchased it from the Government in Colonial 
times, when it was a part of the primeval forest. 
He died thereon when an old man, having spent 
his life as a frugal, thrift}- farmer. His father 
was a German who had come to this country and 
had located in Pennsylvania in the earlj- days of 
its settlement. The old homestead is still in pos- 
session of the family, a brother of our subject 
being its present owner. Philip Walker spent his 
entire life on the old home farm, dying at the age 
of sixty-six, his wife, who was a Somerset County 
lady, also dying there when past seventy years of 
age. Both were Lutherans in religion, and he was a 
Democrat in politics. They were the parents of 
six children, four sons and two daughters, all of 
whom are now deceased. Their son Peter inher- 
ited the old homestead, and lived on it until he 
closed his eyes in death eighty-one years after 
his liirth thereon. He was a very successful farmer, 
a prominent man in his community, to whom his 
felloM'-citizens often looked for guidance and 



counsel. He was a sturdy Democrat in his poli- 
tics, and a sound Lutheran in his religion. His 
wife, whose maiden name was Sarah Will, and who 
was born in Somerset Township in October, 1800, 
died on the old farm May 11, 1889, their wedded 
life having been of more than half a century's 
duration. " She, too, was a faithful Lutheran. 

Our subject is one of a family of eight sons 
and three daughters, of whom six sons and one 
daughter are still living, and all married and 
prospering. He was educated in the common 
schools, grew to a stalwart manhood in the place 
of his birth, and in due time selected a wife to help 
liira in the making of a home, marrying in his 
native township Miss Joanna Frickey. She was 
born in the Kingdom of Hanover, Germany, July 
29, 1832, and was ten years old when she came to 
this country with her mother and stepfather, Fred 
Haupt. They settled first in Somerset County, 
Pa., living on a farm there for some years, and 
then came to Lee County, locating in Nelson 
Township, where Mr. Haupt died December 29, 
1863, aged sixty-seven years. He was a Lutheran 
in religion. His wife, whose maiden name was 
Doretta Just, died in this, township November 5, 
1875, when past sixty-eight years old. She was a 
truly good woman, a kind wife and loving mother, 
a sincere Christian, and a member of the Ijuttieran 
Church. Her father was Frederick Just, who 
died in the Kingdom of Hanover while yet in 
life's prime. Mr. and Mrs. Walker are blessed in 
their happy marriage by these three children: 
Hiram P., a farmer in York County, Neb., who 
married Miss Ella Troutman; Sadie E., wife of 
J. G. Winter, an expressman in Davenport, Neb.; 
and Minerva, who is the comfort and stay of her 
parents at iiome. 

Mr. Walker made his first purchase of land in 
. this county in 1860, buying at that time eighty 
acres of his present farm, to which he has since 
added more land, and now has two hundred and 
forty acres, or which nearly the whole is highly 
improved. It is supplied with a good class of 
buildings and fine farming machinery, and has all 
the facilities for carrying on farming advanta- 
geously, and besides is well stocked with cattle, 
horses and hogs, which are the source of a com- 

fortable income. Our subject has not only con- 
tributed to tiie material well-being of his adopted 
township by his good work as a farmer during the 
last thirty and more years, but he has taken a 
keen interest in its welfare in other directions. 
He has been Assessor for over twelve years, and 
has held other local offices. In politics he is an 
intelligent follower of the Democratic party. In 
religion he has not departed from the faith of 
his ancestors, and both he and his wife are valued 
members of the Lntheran Church. 


fc ••• <. ^*l*- 


■^IJ OHN L. GEIGER has played an important 
part in the development of the agricultural . 
resources of this county, and while thus add- 
ing to its wealth has acquired a handsome 
property, whereby he is enabled to live retired, 
although he still retains his beautiful and well- 
ordered farm, on section 14, Nelson Township, and 
makes it his home. Mr. Geiger was born in 
Somerset County, Pa., January 21, 1826, coming of 
the old Dutch stock of that State. His father, 
Richard Geiger, spent his whole life in, Pennsyl- 
vania, dying there on the farm on which he had 
settled after attaining manhood, and which he 
had improved, his age at the time of his death be- 
ing sixty-six years. He was sound in his religion 
and in his politics, a true Lutheran as regards the 
former, and a Republican in respect to the latter. 
He married a Somerset County lady, Mary Hess by 
name, who was descended from some of the early 
settlers of that part of Pennsylvania. Shesurvived 
her husband some years, rounding out a useful life 
at the age of three-score years and ten.. She too 
was a member of the Lutheran Church. 

Our subject is one of eleven children, all but 
one of whom grew to maturity, and six of whom 
are still living. He lived on his father's farm 
until he became of age, and the experience that he 
gained, in all kinds of farm work was of value 
to him in his after career. He was ambitious and 
energetic by nature, with a faculty for hard and 
unremitting work, and wisely thinking that the 
broad prairies of Illinois, with their rich virgin 



soil, would afforci an excellent field for his labors, 
he came hither in the fall of 1853 and identified 
himself with the pioneers who had previously 
settled in Lee County. He entered eighty acres of 
wild, uncultivated land, improved it and sold it 
advantageously, and then purchased his present 
farm, or a portion of it, afterward increasing it to 
its present size by buying additional land. In 
the busy years that followed, he made it into one of 
the best landed estates in Nelson County. It has 
an area of two hundred and eighty acres, but very 
little of which is not under the plow, and two 
good sets of comfortable and roomy farm buildings ' 
adorn the place. 

Mr. Geiger has gained his wealth since he came 
to this county, and has earned for himself a place 
. among our moneyed men. Besides his farm he 
has a valuable property on the corner of Henne- 
pin and Ninth Streets, in Dixon, and recently spent 
four years in his residence in that pleasant localit3^ 
lie is looked up to with great respect by his 
neighbors and all who know him, as his whole life 
bespeaks him to be a man of steadfast purpose, of 
good principles, and one who has kept his reputa- 
tion unspotted in all his financial transactions. 
The Republicans of this section claim him as 
one of their number, while his religious alHli- 
ations are with the Lutheran Church, whicli he 
and his wife attend regularly. 

Mr. Geiger was married after coining to this 
vState in the town of Sterling to Miss Anna Greg- 
ory, and in her he has a wife who fills in a perfect 
measure the office of helpmate, companion and 
friend. Three children have added to their 
wedded happiness and make their home attractive 
by their presence, namely: Nellie E., a bright and 
well educated young lady; and two sons, Thomas 
L., and Walter W. 

Mrs. Geiger was born in Sullivan County, N. Y., 
March 9, 1852, a daughter of Ives and Mar>' 
(Davidge) Gregory, natives respectively of Hart- 
ford, Conn., and of England. Her mother had 
come to the United States when five years of age 
with her parents, who settled in Sullivan County, 
where she grew to womanhood and married. 
After marriage Mr. and Mrs. Gregory lived in 
that county on a farm near Lihei'ty for thirt>- 

five years. At the end of that time, in 1869,. 
they migrated to Illinois, and lived in Whiteside 
County, near Rock Falls, and there the father 
died February 21, 1881, when nearly seventy-five 
yeare of age. He was a Democrat in politics, and 
a Baptist in religion, as was his wife who survived 
him, dying in November,1891, and notwithstanding 
her advanced age, still took a deep interest in the 
affairs of the church. She was eighty years old 
March 31, 1891, and was at the time of her death 
quite sound physically and mentally. She made 
her home with her daughter, Mrs. Winfleld Cone, 
at Thompson, Whiteside County. Mrs. Geiger is 
the youngest of nine children, of whom six are 
living, and all are married. She has four sisters, 
all of whom have been teachers, and one sistei-, 
Avho is a graduate of the Illinois State Normal 
School, was prominent in her profession in this 
State some years prior to her marriage. Mrs. 
Geiger was finely educated in the New York Nor- 
mal School at Liberty, near her birthplace, and is a 
woman of superior culture. She,too,was successfully 
engaged in teaching before her marriage, entering 
upon her professional career at the age of seven- 
teen yeai's. 


ERRITT MILLER, of the firm of Miller 
A Emmett, dealers in grain and agricul- 
|\ tural implements in the village of Steward, 
is not only prominent as a business man, 
but he has a high record as one of the successful 
farmers of Lee County, and the proprietor of one 
of its finely improved farms. He is also honored as 
one of the liravo citizen-soldiers of the late war, 
who devoted the opening years of his manhood to . 
his country's service. 

Our subject was born in Lackawanna Township, 
Luzerne County, Pa., October 4, 1842, and is the 
oldest son of Adam and Mary (Neyhart) Miller, 
of whom a sketch appears elsewhere in this volume. 
His early education was conducted in the public 
schools of Wyoming County, in his native State. 
Ho was reared to habits of industry, commencing 



when very young to be self-supporting, working 
out by the month on a farm, and hiter assisting 
his father in the mill. He came to Lee County 
with his parents in 1857, and resided with them 
until 1862. He watched with eager interest the 
course of the Rebellion, and August 14, of that 
year, though he had not then attained his major- 
ity, he was allowed to enlist, and he became a 
member of Company K, Seventy-fifth Illinois In- 
fantry. He served faithfully until after the close 
of the war, and in the engagements in which he 
fought he showed that he had in him the stuff of 
which true soldiers are made. He took an active 
part in the battles of Perry ville and Stone River, and 
soon after the latter was placed in detached service 
as head clerk to the Assistant Adjutant-General, a 
position for which he was peeuliarlj- fitted by rea- 
son of his quick insight into business, despatch in 
the discharge of his duties, and promptness in 
obeying orders. He went with the command in 
Sherman's Atlanta campaign, and after the fall of 
Atlanta returned to Nashville, where he became 
clerk at headquarters in the Quartermaster's depart- 
ment. He was honorably discharged with his reg- 
iment at Chicago, in June, 1865. 

After he left the army, Mr. Miller returned to 
this county and purchased two hundred and forty 
acres of prairie land on sections 16 and 2 1 , of Alto 
Township. The place was but very little improved, 
but he wrought a great change in a few years, 
placing the land in a high state of cultivation, 
planting choice fruit and shade trees, and erecting 
a fine set of frame buildings; he has added to his 
landed estate, and his farm now contains three 
hundred and twenty acres of land, constituting 
one of the best places in this part of the county. 
Our subject continued to carry on general farming 
and stock-raising until 1886, when he formed a 
partnership with W. H. Emmett, and thej' have 
since engaged in the grain business together, and 
also in the sale of agricultural implements, and are 
conducting a large and profitable trade in both 

In 1866 Mr. Miller married Miss Carrie Norton, 
a native of Conneaut, Ohio, and a daughter of 
Sprowell Norton. Mrs. Miller is a member of the 
Congregational Church, and is one of its most ear- 

nest Christian workers. She is a true homemaker, 
and coziness and comfort reign in the 'home over 
which she presides. 

Mr. Miller is well known and popular, as he 
is frank, generous and manly in his intercourse 
with others, and always ready to do any one a 
kindness or to help any one in trouble. He is a 
member of the following organizations: Horicon 
Lodge, No. 244, A. F. & A. M.; Rochelle Chapter, 
No. 158, R. A. M.; Crusader Commandery, No. 17, 
K. T.; Steward Camp, No. 294, M. W. A.; Garrison 
Lodge, No. 16, Knights of the Globe; and of Ro- 
chelle Post No. 546, G. A. R. He joined the Inde- 
pendent Order of Odd Fellows at Rochelle, and 
was demitted to Steward Lodge, of which he re- 
mained a member until it was dissolved. In poli- 
tics, he is a Republican and is unswerving in his 
allegiance to his party. 


AMUEL A. BENDER, who is engaged in 
general farming on section 25, Nachusa 
Township, where he has made his home 
since 1874, although he has been a resident 
of the county since 1861, claims Pennsylvania as 
the State of his nativity. Franklin County is the 
place of his birth and the date is June 5, 1843. 
His paternal grandfather, Henry Bender, was a na- 
tive of Germany, and when a young man bade 
good-by to the Fatherland. He sailed for America 
and settled in Franklin County, Pa., where he im- 
proved a large farm of two hundred and forty 
acres. In the Keystone State he was married, and 
himself and wife spent the remainder of their 
lives upon the farm which he purchased. Mr. 
Bender died at the age of seventy-four years, and 
his wife was also well advanced in life. They 
were botli members of the Lutheran Church and 
had a family of eleven children, all of whom are 
yet living, with the exception of John Bender, the 
father of our subject. 

John Bender was the second child and Penn- 
sylvania was the State of his nativity. He be- 
came a carpenter by trade and followed that occu- 
pation throughout his life. His death occurred in 



Gilford Townshii), P'ranklin County, August 15, 
1876, at the age of sixty-four years. His widow, 
whose maiden name was Margaret Miller, was born, 
reared, and is yet living in Franklin County, and 
also came of German lineage. She makes her 
home with her daugliter, Mrs. Lotta Mull, and is 
eighty years of age. Slic is a member of the Ger- 
man Baptist Church, to which Mr. Bender also be- 
longed. Five cliildren graced the union of this 
worthy couple and all are yet living, have married 
and are at the head of families. 

Samuel Bender, whose name heads this sketch, 
gained his experience of life, prior to 1861, in 
Franklin County, Pa., where he was reared and ed- 
ucated. In the year above mentioned he came to 
Illinois, locating in Lee County. The Civil 
War was then in progress and in August, 1862, he 
became one of the boys in blue of Company G, 
Severitj'-fifth Illinois Infantry. The regiment was 
assigned to the Army of the Cumberland and at 
once marched to (he front. The first battle in 
which it participated was at Prairieville, where it 
sustained heavy losses. This was followed by the 
battle of Murfreesboro and from this time on the 
regiment saw much hard fighting'. Among the 
battles in which Mr. Bender participated were 
those of Chattanooga, Mission Ridge, Lookout 
Mountain, Franklin, Tenn., and those of the siege 
of Atlanta. He was very fortunate in that he es- 
caped all injury. A faithful soldier, he was ever 
found at his post and was never absent from his 
regiment except on special duty. He enlisted as 
a private and was honorably discharged from the 
service as Sergeant of his company at the close of 
the war. 

Mr. Bender at opce returned to Lee County, 
and was united in marriage with Miss Millie Hart, 
a native of Luzerne County, Pa., and a sister of 
Levi Hart, in whose sketch, on another page of 
this work, is given her family history. She died 
at her home in Nachusa Township, in 1886, in the 
faith of the United Brethren Church, of which she 
was a consistent member. She left four children : 
Frank, Bessie, Mabel and Effle, all of whom are 
yet at home, and three children preceded her to 
the land beyond — Ruth, Pearl and William', all of 
whom died in early childhood. Mr. Bender was 

again married in Dixon, his second union being 
with Miss Mary Blackmau, a native of England, 
who, in her early girlhood, came to the United 
States with her father, J. F. Blackman, who was 
also born in England. Her father died in this 
county some years ago, but his widow still sur- 
vives him and is yet living on the old home- 

Mr. and Mrs. Bender are members of the Metho- 
dist Church. They are held in high regard by all 
who know them, and their home is a hospitable one, 
where their many friends delight to congregate. 
It is situated on section 25, Nachusa Township, in 
the midst of a highly improved farm of eighty 
acres, whose neat appearance indicates the thrift 
and enterprise of the owner. In political senti- 
ment, Mr. Bender is a stanch Republican, and so- 
cially is a member of the Grand Army Post of 

jICHARD F. MILLER has already won a 
r' good record as an enterprising farmer and 
'l^V stock-raiser, although he is yet a young 
man, and his farm in China Township com- 
pares favorably in point of importance and tillage 
with others of its size in Lee County. Our sub- 
ject is the eleventh of the twelve children of Moses 
W. and Catherine (Livengood) Miller, and he was 
born in Somerset County, Pa., Juno 22, 1860. He 
was eight years old when he came to Lee County 
in 1868 with his father, and the most of his life 
has been passed here. 

He was reared to agricultural pursuits on the 
old homestead in China Township, and when he 
.'irrived at years of discretion selected farming as 
his life-work. When he entered upon his career, 
he was well grounded in the principles of agricul- 
ture, and has shown by what he has accomplished 
that he selected his occupation wisely, as none of 
the young farmers of this vicinity has been more 
successful than he in tilling the soil. His farm 
comprises two hundred acres of very productive 
land, neatly divided into convenient fields by good 
fences, amply supplied with roomy and substantial 



buildings for all necessary purposes, and the best 
modern machinery is used in cultivating and 
harvesting the crops. 

Mr. Miller was happily married in China Town- 
ship December 5, 1879, to Miss Anna R. Hartzell, a 
daughter of J. C. W. and Catherine J. (Trostle) 
Hartzell, natives of Pennsylvania, and now well- 
known residents of Nachusa Township. Mrs. 
Miller is the eldest of five children, and was born 
in Nachusa Township April 3, 1857. She is the 
mother of five children: Rosa F., Alfred T., Clif- 
ford B., Kate B. and Cora Ety. She understands 
well how to make home cozy and attractive, and 
cordially seconds her husband's genial hospitality, 
so that all who cross their threshold are sure of a 
pleasant welcome. 

Our subject is a wide-awake, active young man, 
prompt in carrying out whatever he undertakes, 
and quick to take advantage of all honorable 
means of increasing his possessions. His habits 
are good, and his standing is of the best. He is 
somewhat prominent in local political affairs, and 
gives his allegiance to the Republican party. He 
has been School Director, and while an incumbent 
of that office acted for the best interests of his 
township in educational matters. 

/^^EORGE STENGER is one of the substantial 
//[ (_, and highly respected citizens of Sublette 
^^j( Township, where he is engaged in farming. 
He is a native of Bavaria, frermany, and was born 
near Frankfort April 23,1825,his parents being John 
A. and Agnes Stenger. The latter died in Ger- 
many in 1834. She was the mother of eight chil- 
dren, of whom only two grew to maturity, our 
subject and his sister Agnes. Agnes came to the 
United States, married Micliael Shilling, and died 
in Peoria, 111. The father of our subject had one 
son by a former mari-iage, Frank, who died in 
Peoria. By a third marriage he had a son named 
John, who now resides in Utah. 

The father of our subject came to this country 
in 1886, landed at Baltimore, and from there made 

his way to Zanesville, Ohio, where he at once took 
legal steps to become a citizen of the United States 
so as to share in tiie defense as well as in the pro- 
tection of his chosen country. In 1838 he returned 
to Germany to receive some money which he had 
inherited, and after he came back to America he 
continued to live in Ohio until 1841, when he 
came to Illinois and settled in Woodford County, 
where he died the following year, thus depriving 
that section of the services of a loyal citizen in its 

He of whom this biography is written was a 
stalwart lad of eleven years when he crossed the 
ocean with his father in 1836 to become a citizen 
of the United States of America in due time. His 
father's death a few years later left him almost 
alone in the world, and thus early thrown on his 
own resources lie sought and found work as a farm 
hand. He was thus engaged in "Woodford, Peoria 
and McLean Counties until 1845, when he went to 
Princeton and for five years was engaged in a 
brickyard. He saved his earnings, and in 1851 was 
enabled to purchase eighty acres of land and estab- 
lish himself in the manufacture of bnck, which 
business he carried on successfully the ensuing 
seven years. In 1858 he purchased his present 
farm on section 28, Sublette Township. It was 
then merely a tract of wild prairie, and though he 
made some improvements on it, he did not then 
locate there, not moving his family to their new 
home until 1860. He has erected neat buildings, 
has had his land under the best of tillage and 
amply supplied with good farming machinery and 
every convenience for carrying on agricnlture. 

Mr. Stenger and Miss Elizabeth Gosse were 
united in marriage in 1851, and five children have 
blessed their wedded life, named as follows: An- 
drew, Elizabeth J., Mary, Joseph and Frank. Mrs. 
Stenger was born April 19; 1825, in Alsace, Ger- 
many, when it was under French dominion. In 
1831 she came to this country with her parents, 
Frank nnd Mary Gosse, who first settled near De- 
troit, Mich., and later removed to Princeton, 111., 
where Mrs. Stenger first met her future husband. 

In our subject the Democratic party has a faith- 
ful follower. In religion he is a firm adherent of 
the Roman Catholic Church. He has been School 



Director and lias done what he can for the educa- 
tional interests of his adopted township, as well 
as in other matters, and is one of the public-spirited 
men of his community. 

^J DOLPHUS FISHER, who is a farmer of 
LUl much enterprise and ability, is prosper- 
' ously pursuing his calling in Wyoming 
Township, where he owns a well-ordered 
and well-managed farm. He was born October 2, 
1847, six miles west of the State House at Colum- 
bus, Ohio, coming of one of the early pioneer 
families of that part of the country. His father, 
Jacob Fisher, was born in Pennsylvania, and it is 
supposed that his father, Thomas Fisher, who was 
of German ancestry, was also born in that State. 
He removed from there to Ohio in the early days 
of its settlement, and was one of the first settlers 
in Franklin County. He bought one hundred acres 
of forest-covered land and erected a log cabin as 
a dwelling-place for his family, splitting boards to 
cover the roof and for the floor, and using 
wooden pins instead of nails in the construction 
of the building. For a time there was no door, 
but a blanket was hung over the entrance to keep 
out the wolves, for they were plentiful, as well as 
deer and other wild animals. In one instance the 
grandfather of our subject was caught out after 
dark, and being pursued by timber wolves, he 
took refuge in a vacant cabin, and clambering 
onto the sleepers overhead, had to stay there 
until morning dawned, as the wolves howled at 
him beneath all night. Indians still inhabited 
that section of the country and were frequent 
callers at his house, and he had but few white 
neighbors. He struggled with the hardships of 
pioneer life, worked at his trade a part of the 
time, and cleared his land when not otherwise 
engaged, so that by years of hard toil he evolved 
a farm from the wilderness, upon which he re- 
sided until 18.56. In that year the old man came 
to Illinois to spend the remainder of his life with 

his children at Jefferson Grove, Ogle County, 
and there death found him in the fullness of 

Jacob Fisher passed his early years in Penn- 
sylvania, and when his father removed to Ohio 
he accompanied him to the new home in the 
forest wilds. He bought one hundred acres of 
timber land, cleared quite a tract of it, and then 
sold it at an advance and bought other land, 
upon which he erected the substantial double log 
house which was the birthplace of our subject. 
In 1852 he sold that place, and coming to Illinois, 
was a pioneer of this county. He was accompanied 
by his wife and ten children, and by his brother 
and his wife and three children, the entire jour- 
ney across the intervening country being made 
wholly by land. He stopped a short time at Jef- 
ferson Grove, and then bought land at Twin 
Grove, in what is now Willow Creek Township, 
this county. His purchase i»cluded two hundred 
and fort}^ acres of land, of which thirty-five acres 
were timber and the remainder open prairie. There 
was a small frame house on the place, also a small 
log stable, and seventj' acres of the land were 
under cultivation. At that time there were no 
railway's in the county, and but little improve- 
ment had been made throughout the length and 
breadth of this beautiful farming region that is 
to-da_v the scene of so many smiling homes and 
highly developed farms. Mr. Fisher soon showed 
himself to be a practical, capable pioneer, but he 
was not destined to tarry long in this promised 
land, where he sought to build up a new home, as 
death removed him from the scenes of his labors 
three years after his settlement here. His widow, 
who was a native of Pennsylvania, her maiden 
name Ruth Carleton, continued to live ou the 
farm at Twin Grove many years, until her death 
at a venerable age in 1889. At her husband's 
death she was left with a family of ten children, 
whom she reared carefully. 

Adolphus Fisher was but a. child when his par- 
ents came to this county, and here he grew up to 
a self-reliant, energetic manhood. He attended 
school in his youth, and when not so doing as- 
sisted in caiTving on the farm. He lived with 
his mother until he was twenty-two years old. 



and then began his independent career as a farmer 
on rented land in Ogle County. He farmed as a 
renter six years, and at the expiration of that 
time was enabled to invest in land of his own, 
and bought one hundred and thirty-eight acres at 
Jefferson Grove. He was busily engaged in its 
improvement until 1882, when he sold that and 
bought the farm where he now resides in Wyoming 
Township. He has one hundred and seventy-five 
acres of fine land, of exceptional fertility and 
under excellent tillage, and provided with a sub- 
stantial set of frame buildings and all the neces- 
sary farming machinery for carrying on agricul- 
ture after the best methods. 

Mr. Fisher was married, in 1873, to IMiss Dolly 
Siglin, a native of Pennsylvania and a daughter 
of Amos and Catherine Siglin, of whom a sketch 
appears on another page of this volume. Mr. and 
Mrs. Fisher enjoy life in a cozy home, which is 
the seat of an abundant hospitality, which they 
dispense with a free hand to friend or stranger 
who may cross their threshold. Thej^ have two 
children living, Elsie and Amos. 



^vnHARLES JONES came to Lee County with 
(if^ his parents more than forty years ago, who 
^^' were,among its pioneers, and since he enter- 
ed upon his career as a farmer he has had a hand 
in its development, inasmucli as he has improved 
a good farm in Wyoming Township. He is a 
Pennsylvanian by birth, born in Exeter Township, 
Luzerne County, May 17, 1832. His father. Lord 
Jones, was born in the same township July 5, 1805, 
a son of Lewis Jones, who was a native of the 
State of New York. When a young man, the lat- 
ter had taken up his residence in Luzerne County, 
and was married at Pittston to Sarah Benedict,who, 
so far as known, was bom in Pennsylvania. He 
bought a partly improved farm in Exeter, and his 
remaining days were passed upon it. 

The father of subject grew up on the farm which 
was his birthplace. He worked with an elder brother 
and became a carpenter under his instruction. 
He pursued his trade in Exeter until 1848, and 

then determined to avail himself of the larger 
opportunities offered by what was at that time 
considered the "Far West." In his migration to 
Illinois he was accompanied by his wife and seven 
children, and he founded his new home on a tract 
of Government land on what is now section 8, 
Wyoming Township. He was one of its early set- 
tlers and did an important work as a pioneer in 
advancing its growth. He erected a small frame 
building on his land as a temporary shelter, and 
some years later he replaced it by a more substan- 
tial brick residence. He devoted the most of his 
time to the improvement of his farm, and lived 
upon it until 1877, when he sold it at a good price, 
and from that time until his death, September 21, 
1887, lived in honorable retirement. . He was mar- 
ried in Exeter, his native town, January 6, 1830, 
to Phebe Goblo, and their wedded life was of un- 
usual duration, extending over a period of more 
than fifty-seven years. It was a felicitous union, 
and was blessed with children,of whom they reared 
eight to useful lives, namely: Theodore S., 
Charles, Orlando B., Ira D., Ann Elizabeth (wife 
of William Eddy) , Benjamin A., Gilbert W., and 
Sarah (wife of J. W. McHale). Early in their 
married life, Mr. and Mrs. Jones united with the 
Baptist Church, she joining in April, 1834, and he 
in January, 1835. She survives her husband, and 
though in her eighty-third year, is sound of mind 
and body. She was born in Kingston, Luzerne 
County, Pa., July 29, 1809, a daughter of Ezekiel 

The maternal grandfather of our subject was a 
native of New Jersey, and was a son of Ezekiel 
Goble, who, for aught tliat is known to the con- 
trary .was also boi-n in that State, and was a descend- 
ant of early English ancestry. He removed from 
New Jersey to Kingston, Penn., with his family in 
1795 and there his life was brought to a close in 
1811 on the farm that he purchased when he first 
located in that place. The maiden name of his 
wife, whose death occurred on the farm in 1809, 
was Phebe Peck. The grandfather of our subject 
was nineteen years of age when the family went to 
Pennsylvania, and he was married in that State to 
Margaret Thompson, a native of Bucks County, 
and a daughter of James and Susanna Beck. He 



bought a farm in Kingston and lived there until 
1815, when he sold it and took up his abode in 
Exeter Township, whence he came in 1847 to Illi- 
nois. He made his home thereafter with his sons 
Ezekieland Charles, and departed tliis life May 2, 
1849. His wife survived him until September 12, 
1859, when she too passed away. 

The subject of this biographical record was ed- 
ucated in his native State. He was a youth of six- 
teen years when the family left the old home to 
begin life anew on the frontier. That memorable 
journey across the intervening country was made 
with teams, and they were four weeks on the way. 
A tent and sheet iron stove formed part of their 
equipment, and at night they camped by the way- 
side and cooked their food. Upon their arrival at 
the scene of tlieir new home, they found a wild, 
sparsely settled country, where deer and other 
kinds of game flourished, and there were no rail- 
ways or means of communication with the outside 
world, except over rough roads, or no roads at all, 
Chicago, many miles dlstant,was the nearest market 
for the sale of produce or where supplies could be 
obtained. The greater part of the land was still 
in the hands of the Government, and was held for 
sale at $1.25 an acre. 

Mr. Jones resided with his father imtil he mar- 
ried and established a home of his own on the 
farm in Wyoming Township, where he still resides. 
He has not onlj"^ been a witness of the wonderful 
transformation that has taken place in this section 
since he came here, but he has helped to bring it 
about. His farm is highly productive, and com- 
pares favorably with the others in Its vicinity in 
all respects. 

Our subject was married February 14, 1854, to 
Miss Martha E. Harris, who is to him all that the 
word wife implies. Mrs. Jones was born In the 
town of Summer Hill, Cayuga County, N. Y. , Sep- 
tember 15, 1833, to Daniel and Miriam (Page) 
Harris. For her parental history see sketch of 1^. 
M. Harris. Mr. and Mrs. Jones have four children 
living, of whom the following is the record: La- 
verne Fountain, was born April 17,1855, Ada Eve- 
line, June 14, 1858; Loren E., October 23, 
1860; Maud Albertie, May 13, 1862. Laverne 
married Miss Minnie Berkland,and they have one 

daughter, whose name is Mattie. Ada married 
Frank B. Bryant, and they have four children — 
Tessie, Emma, Carl and Wilson. Maud married 
John Adrian, of Viola Township, and they have 
three children: Ethel, Robert S. and Ada. 

This lady, who is the owner of one of tlie 
'^ finest places in Bradford Township, and 
which is situated on section 30, is an old set- 
tler inthis county, and is highly esteemed In thecom- 
munity in which she has so long made her home. 
Her maiden name was Catherine E. Relnhart, and 
she was born in Germany, October 24, 1832. AVhen 
she was twelve years of age her parents Christian 
and Christina (Denhardt) Relnhart, emigrated to 
America, coming to Illinois and settling In China 
Township, this county, in 1845 where they 
both died. 

( )ur subject was reared to womanhood in China 
Township and lived there until her marriage with 
Oman Hillison. Mr. Hllllson was a native of Nor- 
way and emigrated to America when he was nine- 
teen years old, being one of the earliest settlers In 
Lee County. He built the first farm house be- 
tween Melugon's Grove and Dixon, and which 
was a favorite stopping place for many of the 
pioneers on their journey to their new homes in 
the Western States. By this marriage our subject 
became the mother of two children, Henry W.,and 
Betsey J., tlie latter being the wife of C. Bran- 

After the death of the first husband which took 
place in Bradford Township, our subject was mar- 
ried to John J. Aschenbrenner, of which union three 
children were l)orn,Christian, Relnhart and Andrew. 
Mrs. Aschenbrenner is an intelligent, go-ahead 
woman, and is in possession of an excellent prop- 
erty, comprising four hundred and eleven acres of 
land, improved with first-class buildings and all 
the conveniences so essential to rural life. She is an 
estimable woman and conducts her extensive 
estates in an admirable manner. 

l^yvy ffi^^^. 





?)HOMAS II. STETLER, M. D., of Paw Paw, 
is not only one of the leading physicians 
of Lee County, whose reputation for skill 
and success in his profession is very higii, but ho 
is prominent in its social and political life, and 
his public-spirited and enterprise have been potent 
agents in its progress since he became a citizen of 
this section of Illinois. 

The Doctor, whose portrait is presented on the 
opposite page, is a native of Pennsjdvania, and 
was born in Wilkesbarre, Luzerne County. His 
father, John Stetler, was also a native of the Key- 
stone State, his birthplace in Columbia County. 
He married Julia Lazarus, a native of Pennsyl- 
vania, and they settled in Wilkesbarre, and spent 
their remaining days in that place, he being en- 
gaged in teaming and boating. 

A thorough student, our subject laid the foun- 
dation of a good education in the public schools of 
his native town, and at the age of eighteen, when 
he commenced to teach, he was well equipped for 
that vocation, to which he devoted himself the 
ensuing five years. When twenty-three years old, 
he turned his attention to the study of medicine 
with T. D. Palmer, of Paw Paw. He made rapid 
progress in his studies, and afterward entered the 
Chicago Medical College, from which he graduated 
March 21, 1876. He immediately opened an office 
at Paw Paw, and in the course of time has built up 
an excellent practice in the village and surround- 
ing country, early winning the confidence of the 
people, as in his treatment of the vai-ious diseases 
with which he has had to cope, he has displayed 
an accurate knowledge of jnedicine, has always 
given his patients every needed attention, and 
has shown himself to be a sagacious and careful 
physician, who keeps well abreast of the times in 
his profession. 

Dr. Stetler by no means confines his attention 
solely to his profession, but, as he is wide-awake 
and progressive, endowed with an active mind, a 
forceful character, and an enterprising sjjirit, he 
interests himself in what concerns his adopted 
county, as a true citizen should, and is a promi- 
nent member of various social organizations. He 
is one of the foremost leaders of the Republican 
party in this section, standing high in its council 

as Chairman of the County Central Committee. 
He is a valued member of the North Central Illi- 
nois Medical Society, and has been appointed del- 
egate to the State and National Medical Society. 
He belongs to Corinthian Lodge, No. 20.5, F. & A. 
M.; Mendota Chapter, No. 79, R. A. M., and 
Bethany Commandery, K. T. The l^octor has an 
inherent love for a horse, and is the fortunate 
possessor of several higli-bred animals. 

In 1870 Dr. Stetler was married to Miss Libbie 
Rosenkrans, a native of Luzerne Covmty, Pa., and 
a daughter of Abram and Betsy Rosenkrans, of 
whom mention is made in the sketch of Andrew J. 
Rosenkrans on another page of this volume. The 
Doctor and his amiable wife have a pleasant home, 
whose attractiveness is enhanced by their charm- 
ing hospitality, which is often enjoyed by their 
friends, of whom they have many. Their house- 
hold is completed by their one cliild, Orla Nettie. 





^ILLIAM H. FISCEL, deceased, is numbered 
among the early settlers of Lee County, 
of 1849, and here he made his Jiome for 
j'ears or xmtil his death April 23, 1889. A 
native of Adams County, Pa., he was born May 
14, 1832, and came of old families of the Keystone 
State. His ancestors were farming people who re- 
sided in York and Adams Counties. His parents 
were David and Mary A. (Herbst) Fiscel, natives 
of Adams County, where after their marriage they 
resided for some years. Later they removed to 
Washington County, Md., and in 1849, with teams, 
started overland for Lee County, 111. The three 
years succeeding their arrival w^ere spent in China 
Township, after which Mr. Fiscel purch;i,sed a tract 
of land from the Government on section 32, Na- 
chusa Townsliip, where, devoting his attention to 
agricultural pursuits, he spent the remainder of 
his days. His death occurred in ISB.'i, at the age 
of forty-nine j'ears. He was a successful farmer, 
who by his industry, perseverance and good man- 
ao-ement accumulated a handsome property. In 
his political views he was a Democrat and with 



the German Baptist Church lie held membership. 
Since the death of her husband Mrs. Fiscel has re- 
sided with her children and is now living with the 
wife of our subject. Although she has reached the 
allotted age of three-score years and ten, she yet 
retains her health in a remarkable degree and her 
mental faculties are little impaired. 

William H. Fiscel was the eldest in a family of 
four sons and three daughters, and his brother and 
sisters are all yet living, five being residents of 
Iowa. With his parents he came to Lee County, 
in 1849, and with them removed from China 
Township to Nachusa Township in 1852. He aided 
in the laborious task of developing a new farm and 
at length became the owner of one hundred and 
sixty acres of land on section 32, where he had a 
comfortable home. The many improvements there 
to be seen stand as monuments to his thrift and 
enterprise, for he was an energetic and progressive 
man who labored untiringly in whatever line of 
work he undertook. 

In the township where his widow still resides, 
Mr. Fiscel was united in the holy bonds of matri- 
mony with Miss Elizabeth Stambaugh, a native of 
Adams County, Pa., born December 25, 1846. She 
was a young maiden when she came West with 
her parents, George and Christina (Wolf) Statn- 
baugh, the family settling in Nachusa Township, 
Lee County, where the father and mother spent 
the remainder of their days. They were only a 
little past middle life when calle<i to their final 
rest. In politics Mr. Stambaugh was a Democrat 
and his wife was a member of the German Baptist 
Church. Their union was blessed with six sons 
and four daughters, and the family circle is yet 
unbroken. The children are now all married and 
have families. 

Unto Mr. and Fiscel were born three children, 
E. Franklin, Bay W. and Leroy, who are still at 
home with their mother. Our subject was a life- 
long member of the German Baptist Church, and in 
politics was a stalwart supporter of the Republican 
party. He lived a quiet, unassuming life, taking 
no prominent part in public affairs, content rather 
to devote his energies to his business and spent 
his leisure time in the enjoyment of home. In 
his death the county lost one of its best citizens 

and his family a loving and faithful husband and 
father. Mrs. Fiscel manages the farm which is 
located on section 32, Nachusa Township, and in 
its care displa3's considerable executive ability. 
She is a lady of high social standing and, like her 
husband, has been a member of the German Bap- 
tist Church from her childhood. 

11/ ENRY C. BROOKNER was a master me- 
chanic and builder of more than usual abil- 
ity, and in that capacity occupied important 
positions in the employ of the Illinois Cen- 
tral and the Big Four railways at different times. 
During the latter part of his life he settled on his 
farm in the vicinity of the city of DixoJi, which 
he had owned for many years, and superintended 
iis improvement. 

Mr. Brookner was born in Osnabruck, Hanover, 
German}', June 15, 1827, a son of George and 
Maria (Engle) Brookner. His father was a re- 
nowned contractor and builder, and was architect 
to the king. He and his wife spent their entire 
lives in the German Fatherland. They reared a 
family of six sons of whom these three came to 
America: Henry C, Edward H., who settled in 
Dixon, but he and his wife are now in Hamburg, 
Germany, educating their two children, and Charles 
J., a resident Of Rochester, Minn., who is married, 
and has two children. 

Our subject attended school constantly in his 
native town during his boyhood. At the age of 
nineteen, ambitious to see something of the world, 
and to try his fortunes in America, he left the 
parental home, and crossing the Atlantic on a sail- 
ing vessel, six weeks later he landed at New Orleans. 
His outlook was not very encouraging as lie was in 
ill health, and the expenses of the voyage had left 
him but $4. With true manliness he at once 
sought employment whereby he could turn an 
honest penny, and found a situation in a hotel in 
the Crescent City. He remained there a few months 
and then made his way to St. Louis, and became a 
clerk in a hardware store in that city, continuing 
in that occupation until 1847. In the month of 



August, that year, he came to Dixon, and com- 
menced work with his uncle Christopher Brook- 
ner, who was a carpenter. He evinced great apti- 
tude for the trade, quiolvl^^ mastering it in everj^ 
detail, and in no very long time became a builder 
on his own account. The Illinois Central Railway 
Company engaged him to superintend the construc- 
tion of bridges, and he remained with them nine 
years, resigning at the end of that time to accept 
the position of roadmaster an(i master builder 
with the Indiana & St. Loviis Railroad Company, 
now known as the "Big Four." He retained that 
situation ten years, making his headquarters at 
Litchfield. In 1879 he retired to Lee County and 
located on his farm, which he had bought in 1856, 
which is a mile and a half south of Dixon. He 
busied himself with its improvement during the 
remainder of his life, which was brought to a close 
January 10, 1889. In dying he left behind him a 
high reputation as a man whose conduct at all 
times and in all places showed that his life was 
guided by Christian principles, and the Methodist 
Episcopal Church, with which he connected him- 
self early in life, found in him an exemplary mem- 
ber, who was esteemed for his unswerving honesty 
and veracity. 

During his residence in Litchfield Mr. Brookner 
was married to Miss Emma R. Keithlej^, their union 
being solemnized April 4, 1875. She was tenderly 
watchful of his interests and comfort, made his 
last years the best, and reverently cherished his 
memory. She is a woman of sterling worth, and is 
a devoted member of the Methodist Episcopal 
( 'hurch, with which she united when she was young. 
Her marriage with our subject brought them these 
three children — Mae Adella, Paul, and George 

Mrs. Brookner, who was born in Greenville, Ind., 
is a daughter of Seth M. Keithley, who was born 
at Elizabethtown, Ky., in 1812. His father was 
John Keithley, and he was a native of Maryland 
coming of German ancestry. He removed from 
that State to Kentucky in the early days of its set- 
tlement, and thence to the Territory of Indiana, 
where he became one of the early settlers of Floj^d 
County, locating in the primeval foi'ests near Green- 
ville. He bought a tract of heavily timbered land. 

elected a log house on it, and before his death had 
cleared a good farm. The maiden name of his 
wife was Phebe McCollum. She was a native of 
Rlnryl.nnd, and of Scotch ancestry. Both she and 
her husband are quietlj^ sleeping their last sleep in 
a churchyard near Greenville. 

Mrs. Brookner's father was very young when 
his parents removed to Indiana, and there he grew 
to manhood under pioneer influences. He learned 
the trade of a carriage maker and followed it in 
Greenville some years. In 1857 became to Illinois 
with his family, and settled in Litchfield, where he 
W.1S engaged in manufacturing carriages until 1878 
when he retired from active business, making his 
home with his children in that place until his death 
March 28, 1887. The maiden name of his wife 
was Theresa JNIiller. She was born near Elizabeth- 
town, Ky., was reared in Floyd County, Ind., and 
died in Litchfield in 1872. 


OSEPH TAIT. Following the maxim that 
"whatever is worth doing at all, is worth 
doing well," in the truth of which he has 
always believed, Mr. Tait has been remark- 
ably successful in life and is a man of note in 
Amboy and the surrounding country. Besides 
the considerable amount of real estate which he 
holds in the city, he is the owner of five hundred 
acres of valuable farming land and is an extensive 
dealer in live stock. His solid reputation has been 
gained by strenuous application and continuous 
labor, and he has always been most conscientious 
in the faithful discharge of every duty which 
faces him. 

Mr. Tait was born in County Durham, England, 
December 15, 1820, and is the son of .John and 
Mary (Gibson) Tait. The following is noted of 
the remaining members of the family of eight sons 
and two daughters, of which he was a member: 
Mnry married Robert Kirk and died in 1890 at 
Buffalo, N. Y.; John remained in England and 
died in 1889 in the house in which he was born; 
Thomas came to the United States and returning 
to his native land, now resides in Northumberland; 



Margaret married and remained in England until 
her death in 1854; William resides in Bismarck; 
Iowa; James and Ralph are located in Denver, 
Col., while George lives in Akron, Ohio. 

The son of poor parents, our subject was early 
in life thrown upon his own resources and com- 
menced to learn a trade. He became a millwright 
and engaged at his trade until he emigrated in 
1841 to the ]Tnited States. In this country he 
he traveled over several of the States and worked 
on the building of the college at Iowa City, Iowa. 
After spending one year on this side of the Atlan- 
tic he returned to England, where he learned the 
trade of pattern-maker with Jonathan Robinson 
and the trade of a machinist with George Steven- 
son, tlie originator of the locomotive. In 1849 he 
again came to the United States and on the Hud- 
son River, opposite Newbuiy, built two locomo- 
tives, the "Erie" and the "Mohawk," both of 
which were in use for many years. 

Next Mr. Tait removed to Schenectady, N. Y., 
wliere he worked at his trade of a machinist for a 
few months but he was never paid for the work he 
did, and thus without money he went to Cleve- 
land, Ohio, where he worked for the Cleveland, 
Columbus & Cincinnati Railway Company. In 
1855 he came to Amboy and was the first machin- 
ist in the employ of the Illinois Central Railroad 
Company, with whom he continued for twenty- 
one years as foreman of the round house or gang 
foreman. Later he proceeded Westward to Lar- 
amie, Wyo., from which place after a sojourn 
of four years, he returned to Amboy and again 
entered the employ of the Illinois Central Rail- 
road. After continuing with the company eight 
years he began to engage in the live stock busi- 
ness and still operates in this way with consider- 
able success. 

The marriage of Mr. Tait to Miss Caroline Gas- 
goine took place December 31, 1840, and brought 
them mutual happiness until death removed the 
loving wife, September 27, 1880. Seven children 
were born of the union: Mary, who married W. 
Coleman and died in 1873, leaving one daughter, 
Carrie, now the wife of Frank Calkins; John, a 
machinist on the Pacific Slope; Thomas G., a ma- 
chinist and locomotive engineer on the Missouri 

Kansas A: Texas Railroad; Joseph R., who has 
charge of his father's large farm in this county; 
Ann, who is tlie wife of Samuel • Adams; Carrie, 
now Mrs. William Gasgoine and Sarah, the wife of 
Asa Dresbach, of New Louisville, Ark. In poli- 
tical belief Mr. Tait is not a strict partisan, but is 
a friend of protective tariff, and socially belongs 
to the Masonic fraternity. 

\ij LOYD BURGER is a general farmer owning 
I (f^ a fine tract of one hundred and fifty-seven 


;'^^Vv acres, on section 16, Palmyra Township, 
this county. He has here been a resident since 
1881, purchasing land in 1882, and operating 
the farm on which he now resides since 1888. He 
was born April 11, 1853, in Columbia County, 
Pa., and removed to Illinois in 1855, first settling 
in Whiteside County. 

The father of our subject, Isaac Burger, was 
born in the Blue Mountains in Pennsylvania, but 
was reared in Columbia County. He came of 
Pennsylvania parents who were of German descent, 
and in his native State learned the trades of a 
cabinet-maker and carpenter, following them for 
some twenty-two years. After coming to Illinois 
with his family he settled on a farm in Jordan 
Township, Whiteside County, where he carried on 
farming and also worked in his trade as a mechanic 
until his death, April 9, 1887, when seventy-eight 
years of age. He was a thorough-going Demo- 
crat, and a member of the Presbyterian Church. 
His wife, the mother of our subject, was a native of 
Columbia County, Pa., also bom of parents of 
German descent. She was a most excellent woman, 
and a true wife to her good husband. This 
worthy couple spent forty-nine years in harmony 
together, and were separated for only a short 
time by death, she soon following her husband, 
her death occurring August 23, in the same year 
as his, 1887. She was then seventy-six years and 
six months old. Like her husband, she was an 
earnest member of the Lutheran Church. 

Our subject was the youngest, but one, in a 



family of four sons and five daughters. He was 
reared and educated in Jordan Township, White- 
side County, where he came with his parents when 
only two years old. He was married near Free- 
port, Stephenson County, this State, to Miss Han- 
nah M. Swartz, who was born in Center County, 
Pa., May 21, 1850. She came to Stephenson 
County when a child with her parents, Michael 
and Esther (Mensch) Swartz, natives of Pennsyl- 
vania. After coming to Illinois with their family 
of three sons and three daughters, they located in 
the northern part of Stephenson County, and 
there purchased and improved a fine farm, where 
they still reside, both being past seven tj* years of 
age. They are members of the Lutheran Church. 
Mrs. Bur'ger, the wife of our subject, is the third 
child of this worthy couple. 

Our subject and his wife have been the parents 
of six children, of whom two, Jesse and an infant, 
are deceased. Those living are Sarah E., Maggie 
M., Bessie M., Clinton E., all at home. Mr. Burger 
is an energetic and hard working man and owes 
much of his success to the assistance of his estima- 
ble wife. For nineteen years he operated a 
thresher in this and Whiteside Counties, and is 
well known as one of the oldest men in this busi- 
ness in this part of the State. Mrs. Burger is a 
worthy member of the Lutheran Church. Mr. 
Burger is a Democrat in politics, and has held 
local offices in his township. 



VILLIAM T. TUTTLE, editor and proprietor 
of the Franklin Grove Reporter and Prin- 
cipal of the Franklin Grove schools, is a 
scholar and a gentleman, whose reputation is that 
of an educator of marked intelligence and pro- 
gressive views. He is a native of New York, born 
at Corning, May 9, 1846, a son of Hiram B. and 
Amanda (Skinner) Tuttle, who were natives of 
Camden, Oneida County, N. Y. 

Hiram B. Tuttle was an experienced lumberman 
in his early days, and in the '50s was Superin- 
tendent of the largest lumber interests in the \ 
United States, those of the firm of Laugdon, Divin 

& Co., of Williamsport, Pa., who at that time 
owned the largest sawmill in the world. Later in 
life Mr. Tuttle turned his attention to farming, 
and was engaged at that occupation in Steuben 
County, N. Y., until failing health obliged him to 
abandon it in 1866, and he sought the West in the 
vain hope of recovery. He located at Grand 
Mound, Iowa, and there death came to him with 
its healing balm for all the ills of life. His wife 
survives him and is a respected resident of New 
Hampton, Iowa. Ten children were born of their 
marriage, Ave sons and five daughters, as follows: 
Mary, wife of Daniel Sunderlin, a farmer of New 
Hampton, Iowa; Harriet, wife of William F. Geise, 
of Jaiteon, Mich.; Hiram B., now a prosperous 
merchant at Little Falls, JMinn., who was a member 
of the Fiftieth New York Engineers, and did noble 
service during the Civil War; William T., our sub- 
ject; Henry S., manager of St. Louis Furniture 
Board of Trade, St. Louis, Mo.; PhineasC.,a farmer 
at New Hampton, Iowa; Ella, who lives with her 
mother at New Hampton; Charles N., a merchant 
of that town and two who died in infancy. 

William T. Tuttle attended school until he was 
fourteen years old, and then the family moved 
onto a farm, and his school days were over except 
two winters in the public school, but his education 
did not stop there by any means, as he was a bright, 
thoughtful boy, eager to learn, and having already 
become well grounded in the common branches, 
had a good foundation for the knowledge^ he has 
since obtained by hard study, by close observation, 
and by careful reading, and man}' a college-bred 
man may envy him his culture. 

In 1867 our subject left his native State with 
his young wife, and after a short stay at Grand 
Mound, Iowa, came to Illinois, of which he has 
since, been a resident. He worked at the carpen- 
ter's trade in and about Sterling for twelve years, 
and occasionally during that time taught a country 
school. He was so successful in that line he 
decided in 1879 to give his attention entirely to 
school work. He threw his whole energies into 
his new profession, and wherever he taught his 
manner and methods of teaching were highly com- 
mended. He liad charge of a school at Coleta, in 
Whiteside County, at one time; from there he was 



called to Praiiieville, Lee County, .lud thence to the 
"Mound" school, also in this county, whither liis 
reputation had proceeded him, and during the last 
year that he taught there his school had the highest 
marking of any m Lee County in country school 
gradation. From there he returned to Whiteside 
County to accept the principalship of the Tampico 
schools, and held that position until he came to 
Franklin Grove to take charge of the village school 
here. This institution of learning is graded, has 
four departments, and over two hundred pupils 
are enrolled, and a high standard is maintained 
under our subject's excellent system of instruction. 

March 1, 1891, Mr. Tuttle added to the profes- 
sion of teacher that of editor, bujdng on that date 
the paper known as the Franklin RpportiT, to- 
gether with the office in which it is published, and 
all its appurtenances. He was at first assisted in 
his editorial work by Miss Rose Kreitzer, an exper- 
ienced printer. On January 1st, 1892, Mr. Tuttle 
formed a partnership with (reorge W. Gaver^ a 
gentleman of large experience, and who has charge 
of the paper and is fully competent to carry it on 
in all its departments. The Reporiei- is a bright, 
newsy sheet, with plenty of space devoted to 
matters of local import that are well written up, 
and the editorials, which are often trenchant and 
always to the point, indicate a thorough grasp of 
the subjects which are of popular interest to-da.\'. 

The marriage of our subject with ]\Iiss Loretta 
T. Towsley, took place in' 1866, and theirs is a 
charming home, tasteful and neat in its appoint- 
ments. One daughter, Mary A., completes their 
pleasant Jionsehold. Their other child, Cora E. 
early exchanged this life for immortalitA^ :\Irs. 
Tuttle was born in Steuben County, K. Y., in 1847 
and is a daughter of the late William 11. and Roxa 
(Tubbs) Towsley, who were also natives of Steuben 
County. Her father was a gallant soldier in a 
New York regiment during the war, .serving under 
Gen. Sherman. His death occurred in Beloit, Wis., 
in 1889. 

Mr. Tattle's culture, high-toned character and 
his pleasing personality have made a favorable 
impression upon the people in whose midst he is 
carrying on his professional labors, and he exerts 
a wholesome influence in the community. He is 

an ardent Republican, as was his father before him, 
and his party find in him an able champion. 
Socially, he is a prominent member of the Modern 
Woodmen of America, and occupies the Chair of 
Council of that society. He has an earnest religious 
nature, which finds expression in the faith of the 
Methodist Episcopal Church, of which he and his 
wife and daughter are members. 

x^*\ HARLES A. MORRIS, editor and proprietor 
(if^-''^ of the Paw Paw Herald, a bright and well- 
^^^ conducted paper, has already won an hon- 
orable position in his profession, although one of 
its younger members. He comes of good old 
Revolutionarj' ancestry en one side, and on the 
other of a family that was well represented in the 
late Civil W^ar, both his father and father's father, 
and others of his kin doing gallant service in the 
Union ranks. 

Our subject is a representative native citizen of 
the county, born in Wyoming Township, April 10, 
1863. He is a son of Stephen J. Morris, a well-to- 
do farmer of Lee County, residing on his farm in 
AVj'oming Township. He was born near Lock 
Haven, Pa., August 29, 1834, and is a son of Will- 
iam A. Morris, who was a native of Greene 
County, N. Y. The father of the latter, whose 
given name was Stephen, was born in that same 
county, and removed from there to Allegany 
County in 1834. He bought a tract of timber 
land in West Almond, and dwelt there upon the 
fine farm that he cleared from the wilderness until 
old age compelled him to retire, and he then lived 
with his son, Jot;iah, in the same county, and died 
at his home at the age of ninetj'-three years. 
The maiden name of his wife was Phebe Utter. 
She was born near Boston, IMass., and died at the 
home of her son Josiah at the advanced age of 
ninety years. She was a daughter of Josiah Utter, 
who was a patriotic soldier in the Continental 
Army, fought in the battle of Bunker Hill, and 
served with fidelity throughout the entire struggle 
of the colonists for freedom until the surrender of 
Cornwall at Yorktown brought the long conflict 
to an end. 



The grandfather of our subject passed his early 
life in his native State, but when he became a young 
man he crossed the border into Pennsylvania, and 
in Clinton County found himself a wife in the 
person of Elizabeth < Juay, a native of that county, 
and a daughter of John Quay. "William Morris 
continued to live in Clinton County until 1842, 
when he i-eturned to New York, and renting land 
in Allegany County, resided there until 1866. In 
the meantime the rebellion broke out, and not only 
did the brave old man go to the front to help fight 
his country's battles, as a member of the 85th New 
York Infantry, but four of his sons showed that 
they inherited the patriotism of their sire by en- 
listing in the Union Army. He served faithfully 
for two j-ears, and was honorably discharged with 
a good military record. In 1866 he removed to 
Kansas with his wife, and they spent their remain- 
ing days in Pawnee County, that State. 

The father of our subject was a small boy when his 
father returned to New York, and he grew to a 
vigorous manhood in Allegany County. He re- 
mained with his parents until he attained his 
majority, and in that year, 1855, came to Illinois. 
He resided in McHenry County until 1861, and 
then coming to Lee County, took up his residence 
here permanently, buying the farm on which he 
makes his home two years later. He is a good 
farmer, having a sound knowledge of agriculture, 
and has done well in the pursuit of his occupation, 
becoming one of the substantial men of- his neigh- 
borhood. He took part in the war, enlisting in 
March, 1865, in Company G, Fifteenth Illinois In- 
fantry. He joined his regiment in North Carolina, 
marched with it from Richmond to Washington, 
participated in the Grand Review, and was hon- 
orably discharged with his regiment in September, 
1865, at Fort Leavenworth, having shown himself 
to be an efficient soldier during the term of his 
service. Mr. Morris was married in August, 1861, 
to Mrs. Rachel (Clark) Hawley, a native of Ohio, 
daughter of Alexander Clark, and widow of 
Adolphus Hawley. Their pleasant wedded life 
has been blessed to them by these three children — 
Charles A.; Rachel Emma, wife of Harrj' Strader; 
and Ida, wife of Elmer D. Holton. 

Charles A. Morris, the subject of this brief 

biography, began his education in the district 
school, and subsequently pursued a good course of 
study in the East Paw Paw Seminary, wheie he 
ranked well for scholarship. At the age of eigh- 
teen he commenced to learn the art preservative 
in the ofHce of the Lee County Times. Having 
become quite an expert type-setter, he entered the 
office of the Paw Paw Mej-ald a year later as a 
compositor. In 1866 he bought the office, its ap- 
purtenances, and the good will of the former 
proprietor, and has since conducted a good busi- 
ness as job printer, as well as an editor and pub- 
lisher. The Herald is doing well under his 
management, is a neatly gotten up, well -printed 
sheet, in which the local news are set forth in an 
interesting manner, the editorials on topics of 
common interest sensible and sound, and the 
general tenor of the paper shows that the editor 
s desirous of pushing forward whatever will be 
of benefit to his native county. 

[p^RANK KING, who is one of the famous 
IM(g> '49ers who sought wealth in the gold fields 
[\ of California after the discovery of the 
piecious metal in that State, and who afterwards 
made his fortune as a lumberman in tlie forests of 
Washington, near Puget Sound, where he formerly 
carried on an extensive business in his line, has 
been identified with the farmers and stockmen of 
this county since 1881. In that year he purchased 
a tract of more than two hundred acres of valua- 
farming land on section 16, Nelson Township, and 
has placed upon it substantial modern improve- 
ments, and stocked it with fine herds of horses, 
cattle and swine of standard breeds. 

Our subject was born on Staten Island, in New 
York Harbor and passed the early years of his life 
amid its pleasant scenes. His father, William King, 
was a native of England, and was reared and mar- 
ried in the land of his birth, Miss C^atherine Sim- 
mons becoming his wife. In his youth he becaue 
a mechanic, and acquired great skill in his voca- 
tion. He was in the prime and vigor of a stalwart 



manhood when he decided that the United States 
promised to be a better field of labor than his old 
home, and he migrated to this country with his 
wife and the two children that liad previously 
been born to them. He settled on Staten Island, 
where he found employment at his ti'adc, and 
there he passed the remainder of his life in peace 
and contentment. His wife survived him some 
years, and was quite aged at the time of her death. 
She was a woman of true Christian character, and a 
devoted member of the Church of England. 

Our subject is one of twelve children, seven of 
whom are living, and all are well-to-do, although 
their sole inheritance from their parents was an 
untarnished name and thrifty habits. He of whom 
we write was young when his fatlier died and he 
has since made his own way in the world. He was 
a bright manly lad full of spirit and resolution, 
and though thus early thrown on his own resources 
made a brave struggle against heavj* odds, and ere 
long was independent. He was but a boy when he 
left his island home to join the adventurers who 
were going to cruise to Cahforuia in search of 
gold. He secured passage on a vessel bound 
around Cape Horn to the Golden State, obtaining 
a situation as cabin boj', and on August 8, 1849, 
entered the Golden Gate at San Francisco. After 
landing he accepted a good ofiice to go to the gold 
fields as a driver of an ox-team up the valley of the 
Yuba River. He mined some, and afterwards drove 
team for some time. He had a full experience of 
all the various phases of frontier life in the min- 
ing camp and elsewhere, and during his residence 
on the Pacilic coast occasionally revisited the J^ast 
returning once by the Isthmus, and making three 
trips across the plains. He eventually went into 
the lumber regions in Kitsap County, Wash., near 
Puget Sound, and for twenty-two years was in the 
lumber business in that and other counties. He 
made money by his transactions, and desirous of 
locating permanently in some more eastward lo- 
cality, he came to Illinois, and selecting Lee 
County as the seat of his future home, bought the 
fine farm that he now occupies in Nelson Town- 
ship, and IS very pleasantly situated lu're. His 
farm consists of moi'e than two hundred acres of 
land that is exceedingly fertile, and under his able 

management it has become one of the most valua- 
ble estates in the vicinity, and it is also a fine stock 
farm. Mr. King is a man of high personal stand- 
ing, and his many genial social qualities have 
gained him the good will and friendship of the 
people among whom he come to make his 
home. He is a Republican of no uncertain tone, 
who takes a genuine interest in local politics and 
he is regarded by his fellow-townsmen as a decided 
acquisition to the citizenship of this locality. 


^/OSIAH L. GRAY, Deputy Sheriff of Lee 
County, is now a resident of Dixon, and 
has made his residence here since December, 

^ 1890, when he came here to serve in his 
piesent position. He had been living in Lee 
Center for forty-two years, and was only five 
years old when he went with his parents to that 
place. He was born at Leaf River, Ogle County, 
this State, October 24, 1844, to John and Mary 
(Powell) Grajr, natives of Ireland and "Wales 
respectively. He was variously engaged as a 
farmer and mechanic at Lee Center, and was a 
successful house building mechanic for a good 
many years. 

The gentleman of whom we write enlisted in 
the War of the Rebellion in Company D, Fifteenth 
Illinois Infantry, and fought with his regiment in 
Sherman's Army and was with him when he was 
driving Johnson's Array North and was with him 
at the Grand Review at Washington City. He was 
then sent West to Kansas and Nebraska to sup- 
press the Indian troubles, the regiment being 
stationed at Kearney, and on September 26, 1865, 
was honorably discharged at Leavenworth, Kan. 
Since that time he has lived in this county, with 
the exception of a four 3'ears' residence in Iowa. 

Mr. Gray is the youngest of ten children, born 
to his worthy parents, all of whom are yet living 
but two. The father although born in Ireland, 
came of English parents, his father, Henry Gray, 
having been sent there from England as a col- 
lecting agent and died there. John Gray had 
come to Canada when a young man and there 





married his wife and helpmate. In 1841 they 
came to Ogle County, this State, and in 1849 
came to Lee County and bought a farm in Lee 
Center Township, and there the father passed 
away in 1889, at the age of ninety-eight j^ears, and 
the wife died in 1868 at the age of sixty-two 
years. They were valued and consistent members 
of the Baptist Church. Mr. Gray served in the 
War of the Canadian Rebellion while in Canada, 
and in politics was a sound Republican. The 
subject of this notice was a stalwart adherent to the 
Republican party, as were also his five brothers, 
three of whom served bravely in the late war. 
John C, of the Seventy-fifth Illinois Infantry, 
served about one year; William II. was in the 
Seventh Illinois Cavalry for the same length of 
time; and James was in the Thirteenth Illinois 
Infantry, in which he served for three years and 
four months, re-enlisting in the Seventh Illinois 
Cavalry for one year more. He was badly 
wounded by a bursting shell and left on the field 
for dead. He was found and taken care of, and 
is at present Postmaster at Lee Center. Our sub- 
ject is one of the prominent and leading members 
of the Grand Army of the Republic, No. 229, of 
Dixon, a society in which all old soldiers like to 
meet their comrades. 

eOL. ALEX. P. DYSART, who resides on the 
outskirts of the village of Nachusa, is one 
of the most widely and favorably known 
men of this part of the State. His public life as a 
military ofHcer and a legislator has gained him a 
wide acquaintance among some of the best and 
most prominent men of our country. We there- 
fore append his sketch and present his portrait, 
knowing they will be received with interest by 
our readers. 

The Colonel was born in Huntingdon County, 
Pa., February 3, 1826, and there resided until his 
removal to Illinois in 1845. His paternal grand- 
father, Joseph Dysart, was born in Londonderry 
Ireland, of Scotch-Irish parentage, and came of a 
family that figured prominently in public affairs, 

members of which are yet associated with the poli- 
tics of that country. His ancestors belonged to 
the nobility of France and Scotland. When a 
young man, Joseph Dysart came to America, lo- 
cating in Lancaster County, Pa., were he married. 
A few years later he went to Mifflin County, 
and improved a farm at Newton Hamilton, 
where he and his wife spent their last days. 
They were Presbyterians in religious belief. 

Of the four children left to mourn their loss, 
James, the father of our subject was the eldest. A 
native of J^ancaster County, he was reared in 
Mifflin County, Pa. When a young man he went 
to Huntingdon County, where he wooed and won 
Elizabeth Roler, a native of the Keystone State, 
and a daughter of Philip Roler, who was born in 
Berks County, of German descent. He married a 
Scotch lady and they settled in Huntington 
County in an earlj' day, ere the Indians had left 
that region. In fact, two of the brothers of 
Philip Roler were killed by the red men. He and 
his wife continued to reside in Huntingdon County 
until called to their final home. They too, were 

During the residence of James Dysart and his 
wife in that county seven sons and two daughters 
were boin unto them and were there reared to 
mature years. In 1858, the parents followed their 
children to Illinois and spent their last days in 
Franklin Grove, Lee County, where Mr. Dysart 
died at the age of eighty-four years and his wife 
in her seventy-ninth year. She was a Presbyter- 
ian in religious belief and i\Ir. Dysart was a stanch 
Whig in politics. He entertained strong abolition 
principles, and when the Republican party sprang 
into existence to prevent the further extension of 
slavery, joined its ranks. He had an uncle who 
served as colonel in the War of 1812, and three of 
his sons were numbered among the boys in blue, 
namely: our subject; Lieut. B. F., who is now Post- 
master at Franklin Grove; and Corporal James, 
who died from disease contracted in the service. 
Another brother, Joseph, now living in Dysart, 
Tama County, Iowa, is ex-Lieutenant Governor 
of that State. Samuel, ex-Commissioner to Paris, 
is a member of the State Board of Agriculture and 
resides in China Township. 



Col. Dysart was nineteen years of age when lie 
came to Illinois. Fanning he has made his life 
work and has been most successful as an agricul- 
turist and stock-raiser. His first land he pur- 
chased from the Government on section 7, Nachusa 
Township, and thirty acres of this was platted into 
the village of that name in 1852. He had entered 
the north half and the southwest quarter of section 
6, upon which his home is also located, he having 
there resided since 1847. Mr. Dysart lias also 
been prominent in official life. He has held all 
the local offices and for some years prior to the 
war was Supervisor of China Township, before the 
town of Nachusa was set off from it. Since the di- 
vision he has been Supervisor ot the latter for 
. about ten years. He was also Justice of the Peace 
for some years and for two years has been Assessor 
of his town. 

In 1879, he was nominated and elected on the 
Republican ticket as Representative from the 
Twelfth District to tlie Thirty-First General As- 
sembly, and in 1881, was re-elected at which time 
Lee and Ogle Counties comprised the district. 
During the former term he was made Chairman of 
the committee on agriculture, and during the latter 
was Chairman of the committee on continued ex- 
penses, also serving on several other important 
committees. The drainage law was passed during 
his first term. So well did he demonstrate his 
ability as a legislator that the people returned him 
to office where be faithfully served his constituents 
and labored earnestly for the best interests of the 
people in general. 

Of his war record Col. Dysart may be justly 
proud. He had watched with interest the progress 
of events in the South, and when the blow was 
struck against the Government in '1861, he raised 
a company of volunteers, which was mustered into 
service September 7, 1861, as Company C, of the 
Thirty-Fourth Illinois Infantry. He was commis- 
sioned Captain by the War Governor, Dick Yates, 
and went at once to the front, joining the com- 
mand of Gen. Buell, of the Army of the Cumber- 
land. With his troops he participated in the battle 
of Pittsburg Landing, April 7, 1862, and when 
the Major was killed early in the day he filled the 
place of that officer. After the engagement he 

was commissioned to that rank and as the result of 
his efficient service and courage displayed at the 
battle of Stone River in January, 1863, was pro- 
moted to the rank of Colonel, serving as sucli 
until the ninth of August following. A special 
order had been issued requiring a reduction of 
some of the commissioned officers and it fell upon 
Col. Dysart to change his place. He was offered a 
cavelry regiment by Gov. Yates, but not wishing to 
be stationed where no active interests were looked 
for, he declined and was honorably discharged. 
Returning home, he then aided all he could in 
a local way to further the progress of the war and 
bring it to a successful termination. He had won 
for himself much honor and credit as a brave 
soldier, prompt and fearless m the discharge of 

In Huntingdon Count}', Pa.,Col. Dysart married 
Catherine Grazier, who was born and reared in 
county, her birth occurring in July, 1826. Her 
parents were Henry and Margaret (Beck) Grazier, 
who spent their entire lives in Huntingdon County 
as farming people. They were members of the 
German Baptist Church and her brother was a 
preacher of that society. In the family were four 
sons and six daughters, five of whom are yet living 
and are married. 

Unto Mr. and Mrs. Dj'sart were born seven 
children, one of whom is now deceased — Dr. 
Joseph W., who died in the prime of life in 
Omaha, Neb., where he had gained a position in 
the front ranks of the medical profession. James 
H.. who wedded Emma Bender, is a well-known 
passenger engineer on the Chicago ct Northwestern 
Railroad and resides in Chicago; Allison A., mar- 
ried Amanda Miller and their home is in Belvi- 
dere. 111.; he is engineer on the Chicago & North- 
western Railroad; Ida M., is the wife of Jesse R. 
Whitney, a real-estate dealer of Carroll County, 
Iowa; Carrie J., is the wife of Frank Miller, of 
Chicago, an engineer on the Northwestern Rail- 
road; Frank E., who wedded Carrie Thorp, is also 
employed as an engineer on that road, and himself 
and wife make their home in Chicago; Emma C, 
the youngest, presides over her father's home. 

The Colonel was called upon to mourn the loss 
of his wife in 1877, her death occurring at her 



hora6 in Nacliusa Township. He still resides on 
section 6, where ho located so long ago and where 
lie has one of the flnest homes in the oount\-. A 
commodious and substantial residence, supplied 
with all the comforts and many of the luxuries of 
life, is situated in the midst of a beautiful ever- 
green grove, containing more than one thousand 
trees, all of which were planted by Mr. Dysart. 
The effect is most beautiful and renders tlie home 
one of the most attractive places in this part of 
the State. In summing up the life of our subject 
we would say that it has been an honorable one of 
which he may well be proud. His public and 
private record are alike above reproach, and in his 
military career he displayed many of the best 
qualities of his character. Wherever known he is 
held in high regard. His intelligence and ability 
well (it him to be a leader of the people, yet he 
never assumes that arbitrary power which so often 
rests upon those who have command of others. 

-=1^+^P— -=^' 

^^ HARLE8 F. PRESTON, President of the 
(if Village Board of Trustees of Paw Paw, is 
^^^ a young man of talent and energy who has 
already won a fine reputation as a lawyer, and is 
prominent in the public life of the community. 
He is a representative of the native-born citizens 
of this county, who, as professional or business 
men, and in the various walks of life, have come 
to the front of late years and given a new impetus 
to its growth,adding to its wealth and elevating 
its status. 

He was born in Marion Township, January 20, 
1860, and is a son of James H. Preston, the well- 
known editor of the Amboy News. His father was 
born in New York, grew to manhood in his native 
State, and was there married to IMiss Nancy A. 
Maydole, who was also born in the State of New 
York. He was well educated, and began teaching 
when quite young. In 1855 he left his early home 
and coming to Illinois, located at Amboy in the 
early years of its settlement. He was for a time 
manager of a corporation store, but having n taste 
for agricultural pursuits, he soon rented a farm in 

Marion Township, and engaged in farming there 
for four or five years. Removing to Sublette 
Township, he carried on the same occupation there 
until IHGf), and then bought an improved farm two 
and one-half miles from Amboy. In 1879 he took 
up his residence in Amboy, and has ever since made 
that city his homo. In 1884 he bought the Amboy 
News, and still owns and edits the paper, which 
under his able management has become one of the 
leading papers of the county. He and his wife 
are pleasantly situated in a cozy home. Sorrow 
has come to them in their wedded life in the death 
of two of their children, Albert W. and Frances 
A. Two children remain to bless their declining 
years — their daughter Addie M., wife of William 
F. Wolcott, of China Township, and our subject. 

Charles F. Preston was given every advantage 
to secure a liberal education, of which he laid the 
foundation in the district schools of this, his na 
tive count3^ He attended the State Normal School, 
at Normal, 111., pursuing a thorough course of 
study in that one of the most excellent and practi- 
cal institutions of learning in this State, of which 
he was a student two years. After leaving the 
Normal he did as so many others have done from 
time immemorial who are now famous as lawyers, 
doctors, statesmen, etc., began teaching, making 
that a stepping stone to the profession of law. He 
taught in Marion Township two years, and then 
commenced his legal studies in the Weslej'an Law 
School at Bloomington, 111., where he remained 
three months. At the end of the term he entered 
the office of Charles H. Wooster, of Amboy, and 
under his instruction made rapid progress, and 
was admitted to the bar in May, 1882. In June, 
1883 he opened an office at Paw Paw, and has 
gradually built up a lucrative practice, that is by no 
means confined to the village. He has won the 
confidence of his clients by his careful attention to 
affairs entrusted to his hands, by his skill in con- 
ducting their law suits, and because they know him 
to be a man of scrupulous honor. 

A good wife and true has much to do with a 
young man's success in life, and our subject has 
been fortunate enough to secure such an one in his 
marriage October fi, 1886, to Miss Ida A. Hender- 
schott, a native of Lee County, and a daughter of 



Jacob and Jane M. Henderschott. Two children 
complete tlieiv charming home circle, Frances II. 
and Hazel J. 

Mr. Preston's energies and well-known capacity 
for affairs have been called into requisition by his 
fellow-citizens to help administer the local govern- 
ment, and he is recognized as one of our best 
equipped civic officials. He was appointed Post- 
master of Paw Paw by President Cleveland, and 
served until after the change of administration. 
As before mentioned, he is President of the Vil- 
lage Board of Trustees, and in that position, and 
as a citizen of true public spirit, he loses no op- 
portunity to do all that he can to push forward all 
schemes for the benefit of Paw Paw or the county 
at large. He is actively interested in politics, and is 
a leading spirit among the young Democrats of 
this part of the State. 


'\f| OHN SHANK, one of the most extensive 
I landowners of Lee County, now living a 
retired life in the village of Nachusa where 
he has made his home for the past sixteen 
j'ears, came to Illinois from Pennsylvania, his na- 
tive State. Lebanon County was the place of his 
birth and the date was 1835. The Shank family is 
of German origin and in Colonial days was estab- 
lished in America. Joseph Shank, the grandfather 
of our subject, was born in Lebanon Count}', Pa., 
of German parentage and became one of the early 
settlers of Heidelberg Township, that county, where 
he spent the remainder of his life, dying at about 
thd age of eighty years. His wife, whose maiden 
name was Fannie Over, was also born in Lebanon 
County and was of German descent. Both were 
members of the Mennonite Church. Their familv 
numbered eighteen children, two sons and sixteen 
daughters, all of whom reached very advanced 
ages, while one son and five daughters are still resi- 
dents of the Keystone State. 

One of this family, Jacob Shank, became the 
father of our subject. He was born in Heidelberg 
Township, where he was i-eared tf> farm life and 

after reaching manhood married Miss Mollie Miller, 
also a native of that locality. Her parents were 
Henry and Susan (Troutman) Miller, who were 
born and spent theii- entire lives in Lebanon Coun- 
ty, passing away when well advanced in years. 
They died on the same day and wore buried in 
the same grave. They had lived upright lives as 
farming people and were members of the German 
Reformed Church. Their families were both of Ger- 
man origin and located in Lebanon County at an 
earlj' day. After his marriage Jacob Shank and 
his wife began their domestic life upon a farm near 
the old homestead, to which they afterward re- 
moved and there spent tlieir last da3'S. Both were 
about three-score years of age when they passed 
away. jMrs. Shank was a life-long member of 
the German Reformed Church, and won friends 
wherever she went by her goodness of heart. In 
politics Mr. Shank was first a Whig and afterward 
a Republican. 

Our subject is the fourth in order of birtJi of 
their six sons and two daughters, all of whom are 
married, with the exception of the eldest daughter. 
In their various careers they have been successful 
and the sons of the family have generally engaged 
in merchandising in Pennsylvania. John Shank, 
however, has followed the occupation to which he 
was reared. In the usual manner of farmer lads 
he spent the daj's of his boyhood and youth and 
his education was acquired in the common schools. 
In the township of his birth he was united in mar- 
riage with jNIissMalinda Grove, who was also born 
in Heidelberg Township, Lebanon Countj-, Pa., and 
is the seventh in a family of four sons and four 
daughters. The children were all married and with 
one exception are all yet living. Their parents, 
Abraham and Sarah (Strickler) Grove, were natives 
of Lebanon County, as were their parents before 
them, and doubtless the ancestry had there resided 
for many years previous. Farming was the occu- 
pation of both families and that pursuit Mr. Grove 
followed. Himself and wife were membere of the 
Lutheran Church and were quite prominent in that 
community. His death occurred at the age of 
eighty-one years and his wife was called to her 
final rest when seventy-three years of age. 

Mr. and Mrs. Shank continued to make their 



home in Pennsylvania until 1867, which year wit- 
nessed their emigration to the West. They located 
in Illinois and a few years later came to Lee Coun- 
ty, where they have since resided. Their home 
has been blessed by the presence of five children: 
Mary A., Sarah Y., Ida jNL, Minnie M., and John, 
Jr. The family circle \ et remains unbroken and 
all are still under the parental roof. They are in- 
telligent and well educated and the family is one 
of which the parents may well be proud. They 
now reside in Nachusa and Mrs. Shank is a mem- 
ber of the Lutlieran Church. 

For many years after coming to this county, 
Mr. Shank engaged in agricultural pursuits and in 
his undertakings met with most excellent success. 
He is one of the large landowners of the com- 
munity, his landed possessions aggregating eight 
himdred and thirty acres. Of this amount five 
hundred and fifty-four acres lay in Nachusa Town- 
ship, one hundred and sixty acres in Nelson Town- 
ship and a one hundred and twenty acre tract is 
located in Cherokee County, Iowa. All of this 
land is improved. It is divided into five farms, 
each of which is well supplied with good farm 
buildings and all other necessary accessories. In- 
dustry and enterprise have characterized Mr. Shank 
throughout life and have been potent factors in 
his successful career. Fair and honorable in all 
his dealings he has won the confidence of all with 
whom he comes in contact and has secured their 
warm regard. In politics he is a stalwart Republi- 
can, and has held a number of local offices of honor 
and trnst. 

^^nHARLES a. BP:CKER, now deceased, was 
(l(^ one of the honored pioneer settlers of Pal- 
^^i' myra Township, where he located in 1839. 
Upon the farm which lie there developed he con- 
tinued to make his home until his death, which 
occurred February 27, 1859. He was born m 
Nordhausen, Prussia, Germany, January 7, 1810, 
the city being that to which Martin Luther once 
fled to escape from his enemies. There Charles 
was reared to manhood and learned the jeweler's 

trade under his father, John Becker, a jeweler 
who was also born, reared, lived and died in Nord- 
hausen. Our subject was the second child of the 
family numbering four sons and two daughters. 
He had acquired an excellent collegiate education 
and just before attaining his majority, knowing 
that he would have to enter the German Army or 
escape to this country, he decided on the latter 
step, and after securing the consent of his parents, 
bade them adieu and sailed from Bremen to 
Philadelphia, Pa. He first located in what was 
then New Holland, Lancaster County, Pa., from 
whence he removed to Reading, that State, where 
he followed his trade as a jeweler and clock-maker. 

It was while in Reading that Mr. Becker was 
joined in wedlock with Miss Mary Kessler, a native 
of that city, born January 30, 1813. Her parents, 
Charles A. and Catherine (Ritter) Kessler, were 
natives of Saxony, Germany, and Berks County, 
Pa., respectively. The father .acquired a university 
education in his native land and when a young 
man crossed the Atlantic to the United States. He 
traveled through the South for some time and 
after locating in Reading married Miss Ritter. In 
the War of 1812 he fought for the flag of his 
adopted country. In connection with his brother- 
in-law, John Ritter, he established the first German 
newspaper in Reading, known as the Reading Adler, 
which paper is still in existence, being now carried 
on by a kinsman. For sixty-five years it was con- 
ducted under the firm title of Ritter & Co. Both 
Mr. and Mrs. Kessler died in Reading, Pa., the 
former when his daughter, Mrs. Becker was only 
ten years old. His wife reached a very advanced 
age and died in the faith of the Lutheran Church, 
to which Mr. Kessler also belonged. 

On leaving the East, Charles Becker located in 
Cleveland, Ohio, where he engaged in business as 
a jeweler and watch-maker for some time. Many 
of the watches which he sold in those days were 
imported from Switzerland. He came to Lee 
County in 1839, and made a claim of one hundred 
and sixty acres on section 9, Palmyra Township, 
for which he paid $650. The land was in its prim- 
itive condition but the site which He selected was 
a favorable one and is bordered on the south by 
the Rock River. With characteristic energy he 



began tlie development of the land and at the time 
of his death had a fine farm, well cultivated and 
improved, and a comfortable and commodious resi- 
dence. He had brought with him to the county 
7nany of the appliances of his trade and in the 
early days followed that vocation for some time. 
For two years he engaged in business in Dixon. 
He was the first watch-maker and jeweler west of 
Chicago and as he had no competition all work in 
his line was brought to him, his income thereby 
being materially increased. He was a successful 
business man, enterprising and progressive, and 
won a well deserved prosperity. With his fellow- 
townsmen he became quite popular and at his 
death left many warm friends. He took an active 
interest in all public affairs and the community 
found in him a valued citizen. 

Mrs. Becker acquired hei- education in her native 
city and is a lad}' of much force of character, 
capable and energetic. Since the death of her 
husband she has carried on the farm successfully 
with the aid of her children and has also increased 
it in extent bj' the additional purchase of a sixty- 
four acre tract. She is a consistent member of the 
Lutheran Church, to which Mr. Becker also be- 
longed. Their family numbered eleven children 
but Francis and Elizabeth are now deceased. 
Charles has also passed away. He was a Corporal 
in the service during the late war and at the first 
attack on Vicksburg was shot. A few days later 
he died on the 8th of January, 1862, at the age of 
twenty-three years and was buried opposite White 
River on ■ the bank of the Mississippi. He was a 
brave young soldier and his death was sincerely 
mourned by many friends. The other members of 
the family are Mary, wife of James McGinnis, a 
farmer of Palmyra Township; vSarah, widow of 
William Briner, who served in the late war as a 
Major and was an insurance agent of Reading, Pa., 
where he died in 1891, and where his widow still 
resides; Julia, wife of Christian Kauffman, a drug- 
gist of Avoca, Neb.; Cecelia, wife of Patrick Hall, 
a farmer of Cass County, Neb.; Francis, who mar- 
ried Ella Heaton and operates the home farm; 
Fannie, wife. of James BrooliS, a grain merchant of 
Avoca, Neb.; Pauline, who lives with her mother, 
and Lizzie, wife of Dr. David Meesp, a })hysician 

j of Xorth Auburn, Neb. The Becker family is one 
of the worthy families of Lee County, its members 
being hold in high regard by all who know them 
for they are men and women of sterling worth and 
integrity of character. 



^^EORGE \V. HILL, Postmaster at Hai-mon, 
//[ is the oldest settled merchant in the town, 

^0[) carrying on a well-conducted general mer- 
chandise business, and is a prominent figure in the 
political and public life of the place. He is a na- 
tive of JNIassachusetts, Fall River his birthplace, 
his father's residence being on the State line of 
Rhode Island, and he was born October 18, 1848, 
to George and Margaret (Whittle) Hill. His ances- 
tors were originally from the North of Ireland and 
settled in New England in earl 3- Colonial da\s. His 
father was a soap manufacturer and pursued that 
occupation .all his life. He was twice married.- 
His first wife, mother of our subject, died in 1850, 
leaving these three children — William J., a resi- 
dent of Belfast, Ireland, where he represents a 
wholesale hardware firm as general salesman; 
Thomas, who is a postal clerk at Frostburg, Md.; 
and our subject, who is the youngest of the three. 
The father married a second time and reared a 

Our subject was less than three years old when 
he suffered the sad loss of his mother. He contin- 
ued to live in his native city until he was twelve 
years old, and .at that early age went out into the 
world to fight the battle of life single-h.anded. He 
accompanied his brother Thomas to Monongahela 
City, Pa., and there his brother subsequentl}^ en- 
listed as a soldier to help fight for the preservation 
of the LTnion in the Civil War. George, who had 
previously worked in the coal mines of that city, 
then went to Frostburg, Md., whence he came to 
Illinois at a later date. He first stopped near El- 
dena, where ho worked as a farm hand two seasons. 
The following two seasons he was employed in the 
same capacity near Harmon. After that he worked 
at tiic trade of a carpenter until 1877. In the 
month of April, that year, he took a new dep.arture 



by establishing himself as a general merchant at 
Harmon, and is still carrying on a ttourishing busi- 
ness at this point, which has contributed in no 
small degree to the good fortune of the village in 
its steady growth. 

Mr. Hill, although he began life with no mon- 
eyed capital, is one of the substantial men of this 
section. He has besides a goodly amount of prop- 
erty in the village, including his store building 
and residence, one hundred and sixty acres of fine 
land on section 25, and eighty acres on section 23, 
Harmon Township, and all this he has accumulated 
since he entered business in 1877, scarcely fourteen 
years ago. He is likewise self-educated principally, 
as his school-days were limited in his boyhood, but 
he subsequently made up for his early deficiencies 
in that line bj' studying sedulously at evening 
schools. Besides his present business, he was at 
one time partner in a hardware concern at Har- 

Mr. Hill was married November 1, 1871, to Miss 
Gula Elma, daughter of James Porter, Jr., one of 
the early settlers of Lee County. She was born at 
Dixon February 9, 1850. The following is the 
record of the six children that have blessed her 
marriage with our subject — Elmer, who was born 
October 6, 1872, was graduated from the business 
college at Dixon, in 1889, and is now in the store 
with his father; George M. was born Febi'uary 26, 
1874; Gertrude I., June 17,1876; Arthur, July 
31, 1880; Clarence, January 29, 1882; and Gula 
Elma, born October 19, 1891. 

Our subject's fellow-citizens, rightly judging 
that a man of his metal possesses sound qualifica- 
tions for responsible offices, have often called him 
to assist in the management of public affairs. Thus 
he has been Secretary of the Committee of Harmon 
Township; he has been Collector three terms, and 
one term represented his township on the County 
Board of Supervisors. He has always been a stead- 
fast advocate of the policy of the Republican 
party and has frequently taken part in the coun- 
cils of his fellow Republicans as a delegate to 
county, district and State conventions. He was 
Postmaster at Harmon during the administrations 
of Haj'es, Garfield and Arthur, stepped out when 
Cleveland was in the Presidential chair, but was 

I'e-instated when Harrison became the head of the 
Government aud is now and has been since 1889, 
Notary Public, receiving the appointment from 
Gov. Fifer. He is a man of correct habits and up- 
right principles, but is not a member of any relig- 
ious denomination, and neither is he connected 
with any secret society. Mrs. Ilill, who shares the 
respect in which her husband is held, is a member 
of the Methodist Episcopal Church. 

e HESTER HARRINGTON, who resides on 
section 13, Nachusa Township, is numbered 
among the honored pioneers of the county 
where he has made his home since 1837, or for a 
period of about fifty-five consecutive years. At the 
time of his arrival here the county was but sparsely 
settled, in fact it was an almost unbroken wilder- 
ness and gave little promise of the transformation 
and change which would occur and make it what 
it is to-day. He had come to Illinois from Chau- 
tauqua County, N. Y., but .was a native of Wash- 
ington County, that State, where his birth occurred 
August 22, 1813. His father. Rev. Ebenezer Har- 
rington, a prominent Baptist preacher and a well- 
known man in the Empire St.ate, was born in 
the village of Adams, Mass. 

The grandfather of our subject, Jeremiah Har- 
rington, was also a native of the Bay State and 
was descended from English ancestors who came 
to America in Colonial days and were prominent 
in public affairs in Massachusetts during the earlier 
history of our country. Members of the family 
also aided the colonies in their struggle for inde- 
pendence. The grandfather wedded a Massa- 
chusetts lady, and when their son Ebenezer was 
nine years old they removed to Warren Countj', 
N. Y., where they spent the remainder of their 
lives. By occupation Mr. Harrington was a farmer 
and in poHtics he was a Whig. Ebenezer Harring- 
ton spent liis boyhood days under the parental 
roof and after attaining to mature years entered 
the ministry of the Baptist Church. He married 
Paulina Doolin of vSaratoga, N. Y., wlio was also 



born in the Empire State and came of a respected 
family among the early settlers of the Butternut 
Valley. Rev. Mr. Harrington died in Washington 
Grove, Ogle County, 111., at the age of sixty-five 
years, having taken up his residence in that locality 
some years previous. He was a man of strong 
character, possessed superior intelligence, was 
gifted as a preacher and his life work was one of 
good. His wife, who was also a consistent member 
of the Baptist Church, died at the age of sixty 
years, while visiting in Ohio. There were eight 
children in their family, of whom two sisters are 
now liviug in Wisconsin. 

The only other surviving member is Chester 
Harrington of this sketch. He was the fifth in 
order of birth. In his youth he acquired a good 
education and when he made choice of a life work 
he determined to follow the occupation to which 
he was reared, that of farming. When a young 
man he started Westward and cast his lot with the 
pioneer settlers of Lee County, 111., which has since 
been the' scene of his labors. Before leaving New 
York, however, he had engaged for some four years 
in the lumber business and had also taught school 
for many years during the winter season. He 
followed the same profession for one term in Lee 
County but his energies have mainly been devoted 
to agriculture. He entered land from the Govern- 
ment which lies near the junction of Franklin 
Creek and Rock River and at once began its de- 
velopment. It was all wild prairie, not a furrow 
having been turned or an improvement made, but 
he plowed and planted it and in course of time 
abundant harvests were garnered as the fruit of his 
labors. He now owns three hundred and twenty 
acres, most of which was improved by himself, but 
as he has laid aside business cares and is now living 
a retired life, his children operate the farm. 

In this county Mr. Harrington was united in 
marriage with Miss Zerna Chamberlain, who was 
born in Eva Township, Genesee County, N. Y., 
in 1821, and came West in 1836 with her parents, 
Silas and Pluma (Burton) Harrington. They were 
farming people and died in tliis locality, the father 
being eighty-one years of age at the time of his 
death. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Harrington were born 
three children, but Cyrus died when about twontv- 

one years of age. Inez I. resides in Ogle County 
and Chester wedded Emma Brautigan, of Dixon, 
and operates the old homestead. The young 
couple have two children — Claude J. and Pearl E. 
The mother of this family was called to her final 
rest in March, 1891, and left behind her many 
friends who sincerely mourned her loss. 

In politics ^Ir. Harrington and his son are stanch 
Republicans and inflexible adherents of the party 
principles. He has been honored with a number 
of local offices, having served as Supervisor, Asses- 
sor, Road Commissioner, etc. Every trust reposed 
in him has been faithfully executed and in his 
official career he won the commendation of all con- 
cerned. A self-made man, by his own efforts he 
attained a handsome competence and he is now 
spending his declining years in the enjoyment of 
a rest which he has so well earned and richly de- 

OSES C. WEYBURN, represents the Amer- 
ican Express Company at Dixon, having 
been its agent at this place since 1869. His 
connection with the company covers a 
period of more than twenty-two years, he being 
one of its trusted employes. A native of Geneva, 
N. Y., he was born in 1845, and is descended from 
an old and highly respected family of the Empire 
State, of Scottish origin. His paternal grand- 
father, Samuel Weyburn, was a native of Tomp- 
kins County, N. Y., where he engaged in farming 
for many years. He was a highly educated man 
and also followed the profession of teaching. 
During the time the British made their raid into 
the State in the War of 1812, he was a member of 
the home militia. 

Dr. Edward Weyburn, father of our subject was 
born on the shores of Seneca Lake, in New York, 
in 1817, and became a physician and surgeon of 
prominence, extensively engaging in practice in 
Geneva. He died in that city' from injuries sus- 
tained by falling from a horse when sixty-two 
years of age. Near the home of his childhood he 

/ \ 

?f / 



had married Elsie Wooden, who was also born in 
that locality, and was descended from a New 
Jersey family that in an early day became pioneers 
of Central New York. Its members there resided 
for several generations and were generally farming- 
people. Mrs. Weyburn, mother of our subject, 
died in Geneva, at the age of flfly-three years. 
She held membership with the Baptist Church, and 
was an untiring worker in its interests. The family 
of the Doctor and his wife numbered eight chil- 
dren, five of whom are yet living and are married. 
They are intelligent and prosperous people who 
occupy prominent positions and move in the best 
circles of societ}" in the various communities 
where they reside. 

Moses "Weyburn, the subject of this notice, was 
the third in order of birth. Under the parental 
roo^ the days of his childhood were passed, and in 
Gepeva he began his school life, his education be- 
ing completed in New Haven, Conn. His advan. 
feiges in this direction were liberal and he was 
J;hus well fitted for the practical duties of life. 
On attaining his majority he started out for him- 
self, and the autumn of 1866 witnessed his ar- 
rival in Illinois. The following year he was 
engaged by the American Express Company in 
Rockford, where he remained for two years, when 
in 1869, he was transfeired to Dixon and has since 
represented the company in this place. His long 
service in the one employ is the highest testimonial 
of his fidelity and faithfulness that could be given. 
We know that he has been a trusted employe and 
that the interests of the company have not suffered 
at his hands, else he would liave long since been 

Mr. Weyburn was first married to Mrs.Mary Broom 
nee Noble. By her first union she had one child, 
Charles A. Broom, who is now living in Norwich, 
Conn. Her death occurred at her home in Dixon, 
at the age of thirty-seven years and Mr. Weyburn 
was a second time married, the lady of his choice 
being Miss Eva Dunning. Again he was called 
npon to mourn the loss of his wife, who at her 
death left two children to mourn her loss — Elsie 
and Florence. The present wife of Mr. Weyburn 
W!is in her maidenhood Miss Minnie Weibezahn. 
She was born in Akron, Ohio, and with her parents, 

when a child, came to Dixon, where she grew to 
womanhood and was married. One son graces 
this union, Edward. 

Mr. Weyburn is a member of the Methodist 
Church and also takes considerable interest in civic 
societies. He belongs to Dixon Lodge, No. 139, 
I. O. O. F., in which he has filled all the offices, 
and is also a member of the Encampment, in which 
he likewise served in the variovis official positions. 
Of the Ignited Workmen Lodge of Dixon, he is a 
charter member and was its first presiding officer, 
and is also connected with tlie Modern Woodmen. 
Among his lodge associates and business acquaint- 
ances he is held in high esteem for his sterling 
worth, and both he and his estimable wife have a 
host of friends throughout this gommunity. 




THIEL A. HORTON, of Reynolds Township, 
has acquired a goodly amount of property by 
years of hard labor, notwithstanding the many 
discouragements that he had to encounter in the 
early years of his settlement in Northern Illinois. 
He is now enjoying the fruits of his labor in his 
comfortable home in company with his wife, who 
was so helpful in its upbuilding. In connection 
with the following biographical outline, his por- 
trait is presented on the opposite page. 

Mr. Horton was born in Sheshequin Township, 
Bradford County, Pa., April 17, 1817. His father, 
Joshua Horton, was born in a settlement ^on the 
Jersey side of the Delaware River, and located in 
Pennsylvania before marriage. He had been reared 
on a farm and made farming his occupation. He 
bought a tract of timber land in Sheshequin Town- 
ship, and the log cabin that he built in the forests 
was the birthplace of his son, of whom we write. 
There were no railways for many years, and before 
there were any public roads the father used to go 
in a canoe to Tanquelianie, on the Susquehanna 
River, which wg,s the nearest market. He cleared 
a good farm, and made it his home until his death 
in 1870, in his nmetieth year. Tlie maiden name 
of his second wife, mother of our subject, was Lu- 
cinda Ellis. She was a native of Massachusetts, a 



daughter of Eleazev Ellis, and died on the old 
homestead in 1850. 

The early years of our subject were spent amid 
the pleasant scenes of his birth, and his education 
was obtained in the subscription schools of that 
day, each family paying according to the number 
of scholars sent. Tlie schools were held in primi- 
tive log houses, furnished with slab benches that 
were supported by wooden pins for legs. Our 
subject commenced to help in the labors of the 
farm when quite young, and continued to give his 
father the benefit of his services until he attained 
his majority. He then started out in the world 
with no other capital than brawn and muscle, re- 
enforced by sound sense and excellent habits. 

After working out by the month for two years, 
with the earnings which resulted from his steady 
industry, our subject purchased a farm of one hun- 
dred acres, in company with his brother I'lysses. 
They farmed together for 'a time and then our sub- 
ject sold his share of that place and Iwught sixty 
acres of land near by in his native township. He 
was busily engaged in its cultivation until 1854, 
and then disposed of that farm at a good price in 
order to avail himself of the many privileges of- 
fered to a farmer by the rich soil of this (State. 
After his arrival in Illinois he purchased one hun- 
dred and twenty acres of wild prairie, located in 
Ogle County five miles northwest of Rochelle, pay- 
ing for it at the rate of $5 an acre. He built 
upon the place and lived there three j'ears, at the 
expiration of which time he sold it at $20 an acre, 
and invested the money thus made in adjoining 

This investment did not prove a fortunate one, 
as on account of poor crops and other misfortunes 
Mr. Ilorton lost that farm. He did not, however, 
despair, but came to Reynolds Township to begin 
life anew on rented land. He did well by that 
venture, and a year later bought eighty acres of 
prairie land in the same township and occupied it 
twenty years. Then selling that farm, he bought 
the one upon which he now resides, which com- 
prises two hundred acres of land of exceeding fer- 
tility, under fine cultivation, and supplied with 
good modern improvements. Since settling here 
he has sold one hundred and sixty acres of the 

farm to his son, I'ctaining forty acres for his own 

April 22, 1840, was the date of the marriage of 
our subject to Miss Polly Brink, who was born in 
the same Pennsylvania township as himself, and is 
a daughter of Daniel and Rachel Brink. Their 
wedded life has been of unusual duration, having 
already passed the golden milestone that marked 
its fiftieth anniversary. It has not been without 
its sorrows, but it has held many joys for them, and 
among their blessings may be counted the six chil- 
dren spared to comfort their declining years, 
namely — Alonzo, Rachel, Albert, Theodore, Daniel 
and Emma. Mr. and Mrs. Horton are people of 
sincere practical piety and are valued members of 
the Free-will Baptist Church, which they joined 
some years ago. In [)olitics he is a Republican, 
and stands stanchly by his party. 

WIULES BRECHON. Lee County has a 
large percentage of citizens of foreign 
.-^ . birth among her population, who arc potent 
^^^^' in developing, sustaining and carrying for- 
ward the great industries that flourish within her 
borders. Our subject, although reared and educa- 
ted in this country, and has known no other home, 
is one of this class. His business is that of a far- 
mer and stock raiser, and his farm of eighty acres 
on section 33, South Dixon Township, gives 
abundant evidence of the skill and intelligence 
with which everything about the premises is 

Our subject is of French extraction and birth, 
born February 20, 1862, in the province of 
Alsace when it formed a part of France. He is a 
son of Joseph and Margaret (Blanc) Brechon, the 
father late a prosperous farmer of this section who 
was for many years closely identified with the ag- 
ricultural interests of this county, which lost in 
his death a valuable citizen. Both he and his wife 
were of pure French blood, and they were natives 
of Alsace. After the birth of all their children, 
they decided to emigrate to this country in 1864, 



and took i^assage from Havre do Grace on a ship 
bound for New York, where they landed twenty 
days later. They came direct to Lee Coimty, and 
settling in Bradford Township on a farm that was 
mostly improved, began life there as farmers. 
They made further improvements, and nine years 
later sold the place in order to remove to South 
Dixon Township, there Mr. Brechon had pur- 
chased a quarter of section .33, which was then only 
slightly improved. After he had made it into a 
pleasant home with the assistance of his wife and 
children, he rested from his labors in the sleep of 
death, which fell to him October 4, 1886, sixty- 
one years having passed since his birth in the land 
of his fathers across the sea. He was ever a con- 
sistent Christian, and the Catholic Church under 
whose teachings he had been reared found in him a 
worthy member. In politics he was a Democrat. 
His good wife survives him, making her home 
with her children. Three score years and ten 
mark her age, but in her activity and retention of 
all her faculties she gives but little sign of being 
elderly. She too has been a life-long member of 
the Catholic Church. 

Our subject is the second child and the second 
son of the three children born to his parents. His 
brother Gustave, owns and occupies eighty acres 
ot the parental homestead. The sister, Mary, is 
the wife of Thomas Ford, a thrifty young farmer 
pccupying the Dan McKenney farm in Dixon 
Township. Jules Brechon received the benefit of 
a common-school education in the district schools 
of this county, where he has lived ever since he 
was two years old, nine years of his boyhood bc- 
mg passed in Bradford Township, and the remain- 
der of his life he has been a resident of South Dix- 
on Township. He has devoted himself to farming 
from his youth to good purpose, and has owned 
his present farm two years. It is well supplied 
with buildings and with modern machinery for 
carrying on the various operations of farming, and 
it is well stocked with fine breeds of cattle, horses 
and hogs, which bring him a good yearly income. 

The marriage of Mr. Brechon with Miss Marga- 
ret Dlrich was duly celebrated in Marion Town- 
ship. Among the blessings it has brought them is 
the little daughter, born August L5, 1890, to whom 

they have given the sweet, old-fashioned name of 
Mary Margaret. Mrs. Brechon is a native of this 
State, having been born at Sandwich, in De Kalb 
C'ounty, April 20, 1869. She was chiefly reared, 
however,^ in this county, her parents, Joseph and 
Margaret (Hunt) Ulrich, removing to Marion Town- 
ship and settling there on a farm when she was a 
child. They are yet living in that place, and 
have a comfortable home. They are members in 
high standing of the Roman Catholic Church. 
Mr. Ulrich was born in Alsace, and came to this 
country when a young man. In De Kalb County 
he met and married his wife. Mr. and Mrs. Brech- 
on are connected with the Catholic Church at 
Dixon, and are generous in their contributions to 
its support. In his political affiliations Mr. 
Brechon is a Democrat. 




?OHN M. STERLING. The name of Ster- 
ling has been connected with the rise and 
^^1 progress of Lee County since the early 
^^f/ years of its settlement. Maj. Sterling fig- 
ured prominently as a pioneer merchant and 
farmer and as a public- spirited citizen, and in later 
years, his son, of whom we write, has come to the 
front as one of the foremost men of this section. 
He is an enterprising and successful farmer and 
dairyman of Nelson Township, his farming inter- 
ests and home lying on section 15, and he is one 
of our most valued civic officials, representing said 
township as a member of the County Board of 

Our subject is a native of this county, his fath- 
er's old homestead in Palmyra Township being the 
place of his birth, and November 26, 1849 the date 
on which he first opened his eyes to its pioneer 
surroundings. His father, ISIaj. James Sterling, was 
born in Braintrim, Luzerne County, Pa., in May, 
1805, and came from an old family that had lived 
in America since early Colonial times, being promi- 
nent in the annals of Pennsylvania and New York, 
especially of the latter State, embraced in Wyoming 
County, in whose early history much mention is 
made of them, as well as of the Suttons, who were 



kinsmen of theirs, both families bearing a gallant 
part in the Indian wars of this section of the 
country. Maj. Sterling was a son of Daniel Ster- 
ling, who was a native of Wyoming County, but 
became a resident of Luzerne County, Pa., where 
he was prominent in various capacities. He was 
a public man, active in business, managed a hotel, 
sold goods and did farming. In his last years he 
came to Illinois and a short time afterward died in 
Rock Island at an advanced age. He had visited 
the new State of Illinois soon after its admission to 
the Union, and had seen the country when it was 
for the most part a literal wilderness. 

Maj. Sterling passed his boyhood amid the [Aorm- 
aut scenes of his birth. He inherited in a remark- 
able degree the active temperament of his father, 
together with his versatile talent and business 
acumen. He had scarcely attained manhood when 
he achieved prominence in various directions, as 
his executive ability and genius for affairs were 
early recognized bj' his fellow-citizens who pushed 
him to th3 front. He obtained his title of Major 
through his being an officer of the State Militia. 
While a resident of Pennsylvania he took a promi- 
nent part in public works, and he afterward be- 
came interested in the improvement of the Rock 
River. This was what first led him to Illinois in 
1838, whither he came to attend to the letting of 
contracts by the State Commission, for carrying 
on the said improvements, which were to be con- 
ducted under what was known as the Internal 
Improvement System. The Major was in partner- 
ship with Smith Gilbraith for the purpose of im- 
proving the navigation of the aforementioned 
river, but the State failed to carry through this 
gigantic scheme of internal improvements, and 
Maj. Sterling returned to Pennsylvania, and was 
engaged partly there and partly in the West for 
some years after that. 

In 1847, became here with his family to locate 
permanently, and for a few years had a mercantile 
establishment at Dixon. Later he removed to a 
large tract of land in Palmyra Township, which 
was in all its original wildness when it came into 
his possession, but under his supervision it became 
a well-improved farm. He erected substantial 
buildings, drawing the lumber from Chicago for 

the purpose, and in other ways he made of It a val- 
uable place and attractive home. Here death 
rounded out his life November 15, 1860, when it 
was scarcely past the noon-tide, although it was 
one of unusual completeness as regards what he 
had accomplished. This county then lost a citizen 
whom it held in high honor, and who had been 
noted for his public spirit, push and enterprise in 
matters of moment that concerned the welfare of 
the community at large. He was a man of de- 
cided moral character who was always to be found 
on the side of the right in all the great questions 
of his day. He was a strong Whig and anti-slavery 
man, and was ever ready to champion the cause of 
the weak and oppressed. 

Maj. Sterling's first wife, to Whom he was mar- 
ried in Luzerne County, Pa., was Kezia M. Can- 
field. She was born and reared in Pennsylvania, 
and died in Luzerne County in the prime of life, 
leaving three children — a daughter, Amanda, who 
died after her marriage; and Edward and Edwin, 
twins, the former a farmer in Huron,8. Dak. ; and the 
latter now a resident of San Francisco, who went 
to California in 1849, and was a miner for some 
years. The Major was a second time married in 
Luzerne Counter, Pa., Miss Eliza Passmore be- 
coming his wife. She was born in Auburn, that 
State, and was there reared and educated. Her 
father was a Rhode Island man, who spent the lat- 
ter days of his life in the Keystone State. Mrs. 
Sterling accompanied her husband to Illinois when 
he came here to locate, and she helped him to make 
a good home, in which she reared a family of five 
children, of whom our subject is the youngest and 
is now the only survivor. The mother was a 
prominent member of the Methodist Episcopal 
Church and was a conscientious Christian to the last. 
She died at the home of her son, our subject, Oc- 
tober 13, 1889, aged eighty years, she having been 
born August 14, 1809. 

John M. Sterling received his education in the 
pioneer schools of this and his native county, where 
his entire life has been passed thus far, and he has 
risen to a position of prominence among his fellow- 
citizens, as he is progressive in his views, is saga- 
cious and politic in council, and is discriminating 
and clear-sighted in his judgment of men and 



affairs. These traits have made him successful in 
business and brought him into public life. Thus 
he has held civic offices with great credit to him- 
self and to the benefit of the community. He has 
been Assessor for four years, and has represented 
Nelson Township as a member of the County 
Board of Supervisors for the last two terms. He 
has lived in Nelson Township since 1870, and he 
has here a good farm, which is equal in its appoint- 
ments and improvements to any in its vicinity, 
and he devotes it to general farming and dairj"^ 
purposes, having a fine, well-kept herd of milch 
cows on the place. 

Our subject was happilj' married in Nelson 
Township to Miss Dora Rickey Fassmore, who is to 
him all that a wife can be to her husband. She 
manages the affairs of her liousehold intelligently, 
and so as to make its inmates contented nnd com- 
fortable, and cordially seconds her husband in ex- 
tending hospitality to all who enter their door. 
Three children complete their home circle — John, 
Robert and James. Mrs. Sterling was born in Penn- 
sylvania in 1851, and received her education in 
that State. She had attained womanhood when 
she came to Lee County. In her the Presbyterian 
Church has an earnest, working member. 

' > ' ) ' I ' j 

m* m *\ '- 

ylLLIAM S. BRIERTON. In the early days 
of the settlement of Lee County there 
came hither from his old home in Penn- 
sylvania one Joseph Brierton, who was among the 
first to settle in Nachusa Township, and from that 
time the name of Brierton has been linked with 
the history of the development and welfare of 
this section of Illinois. The gentleman who is the 
subject of this biographical review is a son of that 
honored pioneer of whom mention has just been 
made, and he has risen to an honorable place 
among the intelligent, progressive farmers of his 
native county, his agricultural interests being com- 
prised in a well stocked, finely improved farm, ly- 
ing on sections 16 and 17, Nelson Township. 

Our subject was born November 25, 1839, on his 
father's homestead in Nachusa Township, and 

reared and educated under the pioneer conditions 
that prevailed in this counter during his youth. 
He early adopted the calling to which he lias been 
bred, and at first engaged in it in his native town- 
ship, of which he remained a resident until 1874. 
He purchased his present farm in Nelson Town- 
ship sixteen years ago, and has since busied himself 
with its cultivation and improvement. He owns 
nearly a quarter of a section of land, which is 
finely tilled, and is amply supplied with modern 
improvements, neat and well appointed buildings 
adding to the attractiveness as well as to the value 
of the place, and on all sides are evidences of well- 
considered and systematic arrangements for con- 
ducting agriculture in an enlightened manner, 
thoroughly in keeping with the advanced methods 
of farming in use by the most progressive and 
thoughtful farmers of to-daj'. 

Joseph Brierton, the father of our subject, was 
born in Luzerne County, Pa., of foreign parent- 
age. His father was a native of England, who had 
come to this country when a young man, had mar- 
ried a Pennsylvania lady of Dutch descent, and 
they had lived and died in Luzerne County when 
past middle life. The father of our subject grew up 
in the county of his nativity, and learned the trade 
of a brewer, which he followed for a time, and 
then abandoned that to fit himself for a black- 
smith, which calling he pursued for awhile in the 
county where he was born. He was in the prime 
and vigor of -a stalwart, active manhood, when he 
decided to improve his fortunes by migration to 
the wilderness of Illinois, where land was cheap, 
and there were other advantages to compensate for 
the rough, rude life on the frontier, with which he 
was well fitted to cope. He set forth from his old 
home with his family in 1836 or 1837, and traveled 
over the intervening country to his destinatson. 
with teams. 

After Joseph's arrival here, he purchased a 
squatter's claim on section 26, Nachusa Township, 
and was one of the original settlers of that place. 
He at once began to improve his land, and also es- 
tablished a smithy, which he operated in connection 
with farming for some years. He built up a com- 
fortable home, in wliich he rounded out a life of 
unusual length, he being past ninety-six years of 



age when lie died, and the eldest but one man in 
the county. He was of a quiet, thoughtful dispo- 
sition, of an even temperament and irrei)roachable 
habits, and was reverenced by all who knew him. 
He was a strong Methodist in religion, and in poli- 
tics he was a downright Republican to the day of 
his death. As one who witnessed almost the en- 
tire growth of this county, actively aiding his fel- 
low-pioneers in their great work of redeeming it 
from the hand of nature; and as one of the origi- 
nal settlers of Nachusa Township his memory will 
always be cherished by all who take an interest in 
this section of the State. 

Mr. Brierton's wife died in 1872, at the age of 
three-score years and ten. She too was a native 
of Luzerne County, her parents also being of Penn- 
sylvanian birth, and living and dying in that 
county, and her maiden name was Elizabeth Gar- 
rison. She was a noble tj'pe of the pioneer women 
who assisted their fathers, brothers and husbands 
in the making of comfortable homes and in the 
upbuilding of Lee County, where she liad many 
warm friends. She was a consistent Christian 
and a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. 

Our subject is one of twelve children, five of 
whom are living, all married and residing within 
the borders of this county. After attaining his 
majority he was first married in Nachusa, his na- 
tive township, to Miss Mar^- E. Stetler, a native of 
Pennsylvania, who came to this county when a 
child with her parents. Her death occurred in Nel- 
son Township, August :^, 1886, when she was still 
in life's prime, and she left behind her a beautiful 
memory as a daughter, wife and mother. Four chil- 
dren were born to our subject by that marriage, 
namely: .Joseph, a farmer in Amboy Township, 
who married Miss Silvie Collins; Charles, a farmer 
in Nelson Township, who married Miss ]\I ay Poor- 
baugh; Alva and Rhoda A., who are at home. The 
second marriage of our subject, which took place 
in Taylor Township, Ogle County, was with jNIiss 
Anna Hewitt. Mrs. Brierton was born in Ireland, 
in the County of Downe, March 24, 1860. Her 
parents are yet living at their old home in that 
Irish county. She came to the United States in 
December, 1885, ambitious to make nuire of her 
life than was possible in her native land. Our 

subject has in her a true wife, and the Presbyterian 
Church a good working member. Mr. Brierton is 
an earnest thinker, with a mind well stored with 
facts, and with opinions of his own on all subjects 
with which he is familiar. He has no faith in re- 
ligious creeds, but his principles are high, and his 
conduct in all the affairs of life is irreproachable. 
He cast his first vote for Abraham Lincoln, and 
has ever since been loyal to the Republican party. 
Mr. Joseph Brierton left an estate of over llOO,- 
000, and the division of the estate was made with- 
out an administrator, with the help of one man 
outside the family — Jason C. Ayers — and each heir 
was entirely satisfied with the division, and the 
whole cost amounted to $100 only; something re- 
markable in the history of settling up large estates. 





VMLLIAM B. PAGE, a son of one of the 
III earliest pioneer settlers of Lee County, 
{i represents the Anglo-Swiss Condensed 
]MilkCo., which is of world-wide fame, having 
several branch establishments in Europe as well as 
the United States, and its products are sold in 
various countries. The manufactur* of this ar- 
ticle at Dixon is one of the most important in- 
dustries in Northern Illinois, and under our sub- 
ject's able management the works are in a perfect 

Mr. Pago is a native of this countj-, born in the 
pioneer home of his parents in the township of 
Palmyra, in 1854. His father, John H. Page, was 
one of the first to settle in this part of the State, 
and was well known here for many ^ears. He 
was born in the town of Rochester, Stafford Coun- 
ty, N.H., in 1806, a son of David Page,, and a 
grand son of Joseph Page. He was reared on a 
farm in the town of Sandwich, and was educated 
in the common schools. He early acquired a taste 
for farming, and in due time adopted that honor- 
able calling for his life-work, engaging in agricul- 
ture on the rugged soil of his native State imtil 
1 83 1. In the spring of that year he boldly set his 
face Westward, determining to brave the unknown 
perils of life in the wilderness on the frontier so 



as to profit by the cheap and rich lands of tlie 
great State of Illinois, wliieh was still in the hands 
of the pioneers, with bnt little of its wonderful 
resources developed. He located in what is 
now Palmyra Township, Lee County, where but 
two or three had ventured to make a settlement 
before his arrival, the land being still held by the 
Government, and the survey incomplete. Mr. 
Page made a claim to a tract of land, and the log 
house that he erected upon it was the second or 
third dwelling built in the township. At that 
time deer, wolves and other wild animals were 
numerous, and were often troublesome to the set- 
tlers. There were no railways and the farmers had 
to carry their grain and other produce way to 
Chicago to obtain a market, and to get needed sup- 
plies. Mr. Page resided on the farm that he im- 
proved by hard and persistent labor until 1869, 
when he sold it and made his home at Menlo, 
Iowa, the few remaining years that were left to 
him, his death occurring there in 1870. He was 
first married in 1830 to Miss Julia M. Fellows,daugh- 
ter of Stephen Fellows. She died in Palmyra in 
1856. He was married a second time in 1858, Mrs. 
Sarah (Jenness) Wiggin becoming his wife. By the 
first marriage there were eight children, of wliom 
these five are now living, — George H., Charles A., 
David S., William B. and Julia M. 

As the foundation of the industry with which 
our subjjct is connected was due to the far-reacli- 
ing enterprise and wonderful executive ability of 
his brothers, a brief resume of their lives will not 
be out of place in this biographical sketch. The 
eldest George H. Page, was born in Palmyra 
Township, May 16, 1836. He received a liberal 
education at Iowa City College, of which his 
uncle Stephen N. Fellows was one of the 
founders and the first principaL After leaving 
he engaged in farming for a time, but soon 
after the war broke he was appointed to a clerk- 
ship in the War department at Washington, and 
did good service for the Government the ensuing 
three years. In 1866 he went to Switzerland, and 
in company with his brothers Charles S. and David 
S., emb.nrked in the business of condensing milk, 
the first undertaking of the kind in Europe, and 
under their skillful manaarement it has grown to 

immense proportions. The business proved such a 
success that a stock company was eventually 
formed, with a capital of 12,000,000 and now 
eight factories are in operation — three in 
England, two in Switzerland, one in Germany, 
and two in the United States. In 1868 the plant 
at Dixon was started, and upwards of a half 
million dollars expended on the grounds, buildings, 
fixtures, etc. One hundred and thirty five hands 
are employed in the factory, and the milk of three 
thousand cows is consumed each day. Mr. 
George Page is the general manager of the busi- 
ness, and resides at New York City. He was mar- 
ried in 1875 to Miss Adelheid Schwerzmann, of 
Zug, Switzerland, and they have one child. 

Charles A. Page, the second son of the family, 
was born in Palmyra Township May 22, 1838. He 
was graduated from Cornell College, at Mt. Ver- 
non, Iowa, and after that he edited a paper in that 
town for one year. He was then appointed clerk 
in the fifth auditor's office in the Treasury Depart- 
ment at Washington. He held that position, for 
three or four years, and during the war turned his 
attention to journalism, and became famous as a 
war correspondent of the New York Tribune. He 
accompanied the aim}' of the Potomac in its var- 
ious campaigns, and his vivid descriptions and 
graphic delineations of the marches and battles, 
and the defeats and triumphs of that heroic armj', 
published in the Tribune over the initials C. A. P., 
were read with intense interest by thousands of 
anxious ones at home all over our broad land 
wherever that newspaper circulated, and are re- 
membered to this day by the old readers of the 
Tribune. He was one of the party that had the 
honor of accompanying the remains of President 
Lincoln to their last resting place at Springfield. 
In 1866 he was appointed Consul of Zurich, Swit- 
zerland, in recognition of his services as war cor- 
respondent, and he held that office four years. 
At the expiration of that time he became the man- 
ager of the London office of the Anglo-Swiss Con- 
densed Milk Co., of which he was one of the ori- 
ginators. He resided in that city until his un- 
timely death May 26, 1873, deprived tlie company 
of his valuable services, and closed a career in 
which he had already accomplished much though 



still in the prime of life, and which had given 
every promise of a brilliant future as a business 
man of more than ordinary talent, lie liad been 
married in 1868 to Miss Grace D. Cowes, of Wash- 
ington, D. C, who now makes her home in Boston, 
Mass. By their marriage were four children. 
David S., tlie fourth brother of our subject, was 
born on the old family homestead in Palmyra 
Township. He was given excellent educational 
advantages, and in his career has displayed the 
same energy and genius for business that marks his 
brothers. He is the assistant general manager of 
the company, and resides in Europe. He married 
Miss Martha Stulz, a native of Cham, Switzerland, 
and they h.ive four children. 

William B. Page, tlie ))rincipal subject of this 
biography,passed his early years in his native town- 
ship, and in the local schools laid the solid foun- 
dation of his education which he completed at 
Cornell College in Iowa. His connection with the 
business founded by his brothers began in 1872, 
when lie went to England to enter their employ 
in their factory at Chippenham Village, Wiltshire. 
During the eight years that he remained there he- 
became thoroughly conversant with the art of 
manufacturing condensed milk, and at the end of 
that time he went to the Canton of Zug,Switzerland, 
and was connected with the management of the 
factory there until 1888. In that year he returned 
to America to take cliarge of the works at Dixon, 
which under his energetic management is in a 
flourishing condition. He is certainly "the right 
man in the right place," as no detail of this large 
business escapes liis watchful eye, and under 
his careful supervision everything is kept in good 
order, and the enormous amount of condensed 
milk turned out daily by this establishment lias 
no superior for excellence of quality in any 
country. This is one of the institutions of which 
Dixon is justly proud, as not only has it brought 
much capital into the city, and has increased 
materially the wealth of city and countj^, but its 
fine buildings, of a pleasing and appropriate style 
of architecture, and its handsome, well-laid out 
grounds are an ornament to the locality, an air of 
exquisite neatness and cleanliness pervading the 
whole place, adding greatly to its attractiveness. 

Mr. Page was married during his residence in 
England to Miss Catherine Buckle, of London, 
their marriage being celebrated in 1876. They 
have established a handsome home in Dixon, the 
centre of a charming hospitality, and whoever 
crosses its threshold is sure of a pleasant welcome 
from courteous host and amiable hostess. Their 
household circle is coiBpleted by the four children 
born unto them, whose names are Carl, Roland, 
Henry and Walter. 

rMRICH WEISHAAR. The qualities of 
thrift of perseverance which almost invari- 
Jks^ ably characterize the Germans, have crowned 
their efforts with prosperity in whatever portion of 
the world their lot may be cast. Nor does the life 
of Mr. Weishaar furnish an exception to the usual 
rule, for he is numbered among the most prosper- 
ous citizens of this county. For many years he 
devoted his attention assiduously to agricultural 
pursuits, but has now retired from the active duties 
of life and makes his home in Ashton, where in 
tranquil and cheerful intercourse with his family 
and friends he hopes to pass his declining years. 

As has already' been indicated, the native home 
of Mr. Weishaar is in Germany and the date of his 
birth February 3, 1834. During his childhood 
he was given excellent advantages in the schools 
of the Fatherland and upon starting out in life 
for himself, secured employment as a laborer in the 
vicinity of his early home. Having resolved to 
seek a home in the New World, he emigrated to 
this country in the fall of 1856 and landed in 
New York, whence he came direct to this county. 
At first he worked out as a laborer in Bradford 
Township, where he was married March 9, 1861, to 
Miss Anna B. Merbach. Mrs. Weishaar, who was 
a native of Germany, died in Bradford Township. 
She was the mother of ten children, four of whom 
are now living, namely— Ernest,.John, Henry and 

On January 10, 1884, Mr. Weishaar- was again 
married, choosing as his wife Miss Anna Bech, an 

5 'v X^ Mk 

H. oJ. %:/^^Mnj<n^ 



excellent lady, who, like himself, was born in Ger- 
many. Mr. and Mrs. Weishaar are the parents of 
one child, a son — Frederick. They occupy a prom- 
inent position, socially, and are highly esteemed 
for their many worthy and upright qualities. The 
labors of Mr. Weishaar have met with more than 
ordinary success, for bv the exercise of sound 
judgment and excellent business tact, he is now 
the owner of four hundred and nineteen acres, 
most of which is under high cultivation and-all 
valuable farming land. After actively engaging 
in farming pursuits for many years, he came to 
Ashton in the spring of 1891, and here is quietly 
living, surrounded by the comforts which his un- 
aided efforts have accumulated. He takes great in- 
terest in the public affairs of the community and 
contributes his share to the development of the in- 
terests of the village. Before he came here to live 
he served as Highway Commissioner in Bradford 

SJ,.,.^ARLOW A. WILLIAMSON. The gentleman 
i*^^*^ whose portrait is presented on the opposite 

/L^^ page and whose biography is here given in 
(^ outline, is a retired farmer residing in 
Ashton. He is the son of Samuel B. and Sybil 
(Belong) Williamson, natives respectively of Corn- 
wall and Shoreham, Vt. The father died in his 
native place and the mother passed from this life 
in Cook County, this State. 

Harlow A. Williamson was one of a family of 
seven children, and was born in Cornwall, Vt., 
January 8, 1830. He was reared on a farm in his 
native place and received a good education, but 
appreciating the value of knowledge he has been 
a constant reader and to-day is a man of intelli- 
gence and culture. In 1850, when twenty years 
of age, he started out in life for himself and came 
to Illinois, choosing Lee County as his abiding- 
place. He had nothing with which to begin the 
battle of life but his strong hands and a determina- 
tion to win, and on locating here worked out by 
the month on a farm for four years. At the ex- 
piration of that time he was enabled to purchase 

a farm of his own, having been very economical 
and industrious and saving his earnings. His tract 
of land was located in Bradford Township and 
upon this he settled and continued its improve- 
ment until when ready to dispose of it, he had 
brought it to a fine state of cultivation. 

January 1, 1857, was the date of our subject's 
marriage to Miss Emeline, daughter of Charles 
and Sarah (Pratt) Starks, the father a native of 
Poughkeepsie, N. Y., and the mother born in Brad- 
ford County, Pa. They were among the very 
earliest settlers of Illinois, having made Lee County 
their home as earlj' as 1838. Thus pioneer life in 
this State is a familiar tale to Mrs. Williamson, as 
its hardships as well as its adventures have made 
a lasting impression upon her. Her parents re- 
mained in Lee Center Township for a few years 
and later went to Bradford Township, where they 
lived honored and useful lives and died after hav- 
ing reared a large family of children, eleven in 
number. Mrs. Williamson was the seventh child 
and was born, February 14, 1835, in Bradford 
County, Pa. 

After his marriage, our subject located in Brad- 
ford Township and there he worked industriously, 
cultivating the soil until the fall of 1889, when 
he and his wife came to Ashton, where they now 
reside. Having no children of their own they 
have acted the part of parents to three little ones — 
Nellie, Harry and Katie, on whom they have 
bestowed a wealth of affection and have trained to 
become useful in whatever position in life they 
may be placed. 

Mr. Williamson was elected to the positions of 
Collector of his township, Constable and School 
Director and gave perfect satisfaction to his fel- 
low-townsmen while the incumbent of those posi- 
tions. He is a true-blue. Republican and has always 
been since the organization of the party. With 
his estimable wife, he is active in all good works 
and is a member of the Presbyterian Church. 
They are now living retired from the active duties 
of life and entertain their host of friends in their 
beautiful new home which has just been completed 
and which in elegance of appointments is in keep- 
ing with its cultured inmates. Mrs. Williamson is 
an excellent lady and presides witli grace and 



dignity over their new home, beloved and respected 
by all who have the honor to know her, and indeed 
that is saying a great deal, for they arc pioneers 
of this section, hence have an extended acqnaint- 


r^ICHARD (iOOCH. Among the prominent 

Lsir and inflnental residents of Lee Center 
Ji \\\ Township, may be classed the subject of 
^^ this sketch who came to this county at 
an ea.v\y day and has aided much in its develop- 
msnt and progress. He was born at Somersetshire, 
Kugland, December 7, 184H and was only fifteen 
months old when brought by his parents to Amer- 
ica, settling in Ogle County, this State, where the 
father was employed on public works and also on 
the Illinois Central Railroad as construction fore- 
man. From Ogle County, they removed to .To 
Daviess County where they remained for some 
two years soon after coming to Bradford Town- 
ship, this county, where our subject grew to man- 

Edgar Gooch, the father of our subject, was 
born in England, May 10, 1821. His wife, whose 
maiden name was Eliza Hann, was also a native of 
England, being born in Lancastershire, ^Slarch 22, 
1826. They came to America in the spring of 
1850 and after living in various places as has 
been stated, they finally settled in the village of 
Ashton in the spring of 1889. They had a family 
of nine children of whom our subject was the eld- 
est. The_y were excellent people who brought up 
their children in the most careful manner and 
were highly esteemed by their many friends and 

Richard Gooch was reared to manhood on his 
father's farm and remained at home until his mar- 
riage January 14, 1872, which took place at Sub- 
lette to Miss Sarah Hodges a native of Lee Center 
Township, her birth occurring August 19, 1851. 
The young couple settled near Ashton, in the 
township of the same name, where they lived for 
seven years, at the end of that time removing to Center Township, where they lia\e ever since 

resided, making their home since 1883 at Shaw 
Station. The father of Mrs. Gooch, Joseph A. 
Hodges, was born in Indiana, and her mother, 
whose maiden name was Olive Tourtillott, was 
born near Bangor, Me. Thej- were married in 
Bureau County, 111., and settled in Lee Center 
Townsliip, this county, where they lived until liie 
spring of 1889 when they removed to Mendota, 
this State. There they are spending the evening 
of tlieir lives in quiet retirement, happy in the 
consciousness of a well-spent life. This worthy 
couple were the parents of eleven children, of 
wliom Jlrs. Gooch is the eldest. 

Our subject and his wife have two children, 
Eva E. and Roy ^^^ In politics Mr. Goocli 
is a througli Republican, although he has never 
taken an active part in political affairs. He has 
held several of the school offices and is interested 
in educational and religious progress. He and his 
wife are members of the Methodist Episcopal 
Church and give their aid to all enterprises which 
tend toward the welfare of their community. Mr. 
Gooch is the owner of four hundred and thirty 
acres of land, his farm being highly cultivated and 
containing a line line of improvements. He has a 
pleasant residence in which are liospitabl3' enter- 
tained the many friends of his refined and cul- 
tured familv. 


AAID B. SENGER is carrying on a large 
// and profitable business at Franklin Grove 
as manufacturer of "Dr. "Wrightsman s 
Sovereign Balm of Life." Mr. Senger 
was born near the town of Waynesboro, Pa., July 
8, 1849, coming of one of the old families of that 
State, wliich has been represented there for several 
generations. He is a son of Daniel aud Elizabeth 
(Bayer) Senger, who removed to Iowa in 1865 and 
settled near the city of Cedar Rapids, where the 
father carried on his trade as a shoemaker for some 
years. He is now a resident of Ogle County, this 
State. His wife, the mother of our subject, 
died in Iowa, in December, 1887, in the seventy- 



first year of her age. They had a family of four 
.children, of whom David B. is the eldest. The 
others are Mary, wife of James B. Jlentzer, of Linn 
.County, Iowa; George, a resident of Linn County, 
Iowa; and Joel, who is with his brother of whom 
we write. 

The subject of this biographical review received 
a substantial education in the common schools and 
in Western College in Iowa, and in early life he 
learned the trade of a shoemaker. After he at- 
tained manhood he entered the profession of a 
teacher' engaging in that vacation in Iowa, and it 
was in that capacity that he came to Lee County 
ill 1873. He taught school near Franklin Grove 
for three winters, and he then tiu-ned his attention 
to still another profession, entering the editorial 
ranks, purchasing theFvanklmBeportei; in August, 
1876, and was successfully engaged in editing and 
publishing it until October, 1886, when the de- 
mands of his business obliged him to abandon 
journalism and confine himself to the manufacture 
of medicine. In November, 1881, he had asso- 
ciated himself with George W. Lipe, a druggist of 
the village, in the purchase of Dr. Wrightsman's 
"Sovereign Balm of Life, "and they had commenced 
its manufacture under the firm style of Senger & 
Lipe. In 1888 Mr. Senger purchased his partner's 
interest in the concern, and has since conducted 
the business alone. His establishment is well fitted 
up with all the appliances and machinery nec'es.-iarjf 
for the most careful and best possible preparation 
of the medicine, and none but the purest ingre- 
dients are used in compounding it. Under our 
subject's energetic and practical mode of carrying 
on the business the sales, which for the first few 
years amounted to only $300, now bring in $10,000 
annually, and the medicine is now sold in over 
twenty States in the Union, the druggists all over 
tiie country being the medium of sale, and an idea 
of the extent of the business, which is all done by 
mail may be gathered by the fact that ^3,400 worth 
of stamps are required every year. 

Mr. Senger was happily married March 18, 1875, 
to Miss Susan Buck, a native of Franklin Grove, 
and a daughter of Henry and Mary Buck. Three 
of the six children born to them are living: Eda 
A., Ray W. and Frank H. Mr. Senger is a mem- 

ber of the German Baptist Cliurch, and he and hi.s 
wife are highly thought of in the community where 
they have established a pleasant home, lie is pub- 
lic-spirited, and encourages all plans for the ijia- 
terial benefit of town and county, as well as using 
his inflvience for their moral and religious ele- 

ICHARD PHILLIPS has been a valuable 
f citizen of Lee County for many years, and, 
ifc \V although not one of its earliest settlers, is 
entitled to an honorable place among its 
pioneers, as during his residence here he has im- 
proved one of the best farms in Viola Township, 
where he has made Ids home for more than thirty 

Mv. Phillips is of Irish birth, his native place 
being in County Cavan, Ireland. His father, 
(reorge Phillips, was also born in that county, and 
was the son of another George Philips who was a 
native of England. He had gone from there to Ire- 
land in early manhood, and spent the remainder of 
his life inCounty Cavan, where he followed farming. 
He married Sarah Howard, a native of England, 
whose last years were passed on her husband's farm 
on tiie Emerald Isle. The father of our subject de- 
voted his entire life to farming in his native ounty. 
He married Sarah Staddard, a native of the 
county, and a daughter of James Staddard. Her 
whole life was passed in County Cavan. The par- 
ents of our subject were both devout members of 
the Episcopal Church, and reared their children in 
the same faith. They had nine children, of whom 
seven came to America, namely: Ann, Hannah, 
jNIargaret, George, Catherine, Richard and Sarah. 
William and Jane remained in Ireland. 

Our subject was reared and educated in the land 
of his nativity, and remained an inmate of the 
paternal home until he was grown to manhood. 
Then, in the prime of vigorous, active life, he em- 
igrated to the United States of America, setting 
sail from IJverpool in the month of May, and 
landing in New York on our national holiday in 
the month of July. He proceeded to Westchester 



County, N. Y., where he was employed on a farm 
by thp month until 1851, when he came to Illinois. 
He started on his momentous journey on a boat, 
bouncj up the Hudson River to Albany, where he 
embarked on a stage for Schenectady, from there 
a cans|,l boat conveyed him to Buffalo, whence he 
voyaged on the Great Lakes to Chicago, thence 
by cajial to La Salle; a stage then took him to his 
destii^ation in Lamoille, Bureau County. He 
worked by the month in that place, being em- 
ployed for nine years by one man, was diligent 
and faithful, his labors giving satisfaction, and, 
with characteristic good sense, he saved his earn- 
ings that he might become a land-holder in his 
own right. He c(mtinued in the employ of one 
man until 1857, and then came to Lee County, 
and the money that he had accumulated went 
partly to purchase eighty acres of land on section 
23, Viola Township, for which he paid 12.50 an 
acre. "When it came into his possession it was a 
tract of wild prairie, and he did not locate on it 
until his marriage two years later. He has been a 
continuous resident here since, and now has one 
hundred and sixty acres of land, which constitutes 
one of the best farms of its size in the township of 
V^ola, as its fields are under admirable tillage, and 
a neat and commodious set of frame buildings 
hftve been erected on the place, which is further 
adorned by beautiful shade and fruit trees planted 
by Mr. Phillips himself. 

Our subject was first married May 2, 1859, to 
Amelia E. Davenport, a native of Harpersfield, N. 
Y., and a daughter of Erastus and Pamelia Daven- 
port. They lived together a quarter of a century, 
and then the tie that bound them was broken by 
the death of Mrs. Phillips, September 7, 1884. 
Two children are living, born of that marriage, 
William and Harry. Mr. Phillips was married to 
his present estimable wife, formerly Mary E. 
Harris, February 18, 1886. She was born in 
Juniata County, Pa., and is a daughter of Alex- 
ander Harris, a native of the same county. His 
father, Thomas Harris, was a blacksmith, and fol- 
lowed that trade in Juniata County, where he 
spent his last years. The maiden name of his wife 
was Jane Baty. She was born near Belfast, Ire- 
land. The father of Mrs. Phillips began work 

with his father at the age of thirteen, and was 
engaged as blacksmitii for upwards of fifty years. 
In 1871 he came to Illinois, and made his home 
in La Salle County during the remainder of his life. 
He married Margaret Kelly, who was born in 
Franklin County, Pa., and was a daughter of 
Joseph and Margaret (Kennedy) Kelly. She now 
resides in Earlville, 111. One child has been torn 
to our subject and his present wife, who died in 

Mr. Phillips is a man of sterling character and 
good principles, and Is well-known for his genial- 
ity and kindness of heart. Soon after coming to 
this country the cause of the slave aroused his 
warmest sympathies, and he became a pronounced 
abolitionist. He was one of the conductors- on 
the celebrated "underground railroad' of ante 
bellum days, and helped several fugitives to free- 
dom. He cast his first vote for Abraham Lincoln, 
and has been a stanch Republican ever since. 



)HOMAS P. McCUNE, who is engaged in 
farming on section 34, Dixon Township, 
claims Pennsylvania as the State of his na- 
tivitv. He was born in Canal Township, Venango 
County, in 1832, and came of an old Pennsj'lvania 
family. His grandfather, William McCune, lived 
and died in Venango County, his occupation being 
farming, which he followed in Canal Township. 
He was of Scotch-Irish descent. He married Eliza- 
beth Paxton, a native of Luzerne County, Pa., and 
she died on the old homestead in Canal Township 
at about the age of eighty years. Religiously she 
was a member of the Seceders' Church. 

William MeCuhe was born on his father's farm 
in Venango County, of which he afterwards be- 
came owner and made it his home until his death, 
which occurred on the 16th of May, 1889, at the 
age of eighty-two years. In Mercer County he 
was joined m wedlock with Keziah Paxton, who 
became a true wife and helpmate to him. She was 
also a member of the Seceders' Church. Unto this 
worthy couple were born only two children, our 
subject and a brother, James, who has been twice 



married and is engaged in farming in Venango 
Count}', Pa. 

Under the parental roof Thomas McCune spent 
the days of his boyhood and youth, and the educa- 
tional advantages afforded him were those of the 
district schools of the neighborhood. In 1858 
he led to the marriage altar Miss Lydia J.Williams, 
a native of Center County, Pa., and a daughter of 
Thomas and Sarah (Smith) Williams, the former 
born iu Center County and the latter in Mercer 
County, Pa. Their union was celebrated in French 
Creek Township, of the last named county, and 
there they began their domestic life. Mr. Williams 
was a millwi-ight by trade. When his daughter, 
Mrs. McCune, was only three years old, he removed 
with his family to Canal Township, Venango 
County, where the family made their home for 
some years and then came to Illinois, the father 
purchasing a farm in Dixon Township, the same 
that is now owned and operated by our subject. 
Here he died on his eighty-third birthday — Janu- 
ary 23, 1885. His wife survived him a few years 
and passed away at the age of eighty. In early 
life they had been members of the Baptist Church, 
but afterwards became connected with the United 
Brethren Church. 

Mrs. McCune is one of five children, three of 
whom are yet living. Her maidenhood days were 
passed in her parents' home, where she remained 
until she gave her hand in marriage to our subject, 
Tlieir union has been blessed with six children — 
S. Miles, who married Minna Martin and is now a 
photographer of Dixon; W. Irven wedded Christ- 
ine Weimer and resides on the old homestead; 
Sarali is the wife of Joseph Atkinson, a resident 
farmer of Dixon Township; Lorinda E. is the wife 
of Bert Swartz, who is engaged in agricultural 
pursuits in Palmyra Township; Maud is at home; 
and Byron died in childhood. 

Mr. and Mrs. McCiine are people of sterling 
worth and are held in high regard by all who know 
them. In politics he is a Democrat, but does not 
take an active part in political affairs, preferring 
to give his time and attention to his business in- 
terests. His fine farm embraces one hundred and 
eighty-three acres of arable land, the greater part 
of which is under a high state of cultivation. 

The improvements, which are many, are both use- 
ful and ornamental, and the neat appearance of the 
place indicates his thrift and enterprise. The farm 
is well stocked and Mr. McCune also has an apiary 
of one hundred and twenty active colonies of bees. 
For the past few years he has engaged in this hne 
of business and has met with good success. 

ENRY BLY, Superintendent of the County 
i) Hospital and Poor Farm, located on section 
26, South Dixon Township, is an intelli- 
gent, progressive aild humane official, and 
a man of marked ability who has long been promi- 
nently known in public life and as a successful 
business man, whose record is without a blemish. 

Mr. Bly is a native of Chenango County, N. Y., 
and was born July 9, 1827. His father, Thomas 
R. Bly, was a native of Rhode Island, and a son of 
Job Bly, who was also born in that State, and was 
of English descent. It is supposed that he spent 
his last years in Oneida County, N. Y., where he 
had been engaged as a farmer. He was twice 
married. His son, Thomas, early became a me- 
chanic, having much natural ability in that line, 
and was married in his native State after he at- 
tained manhood, to Miss Nancy Tanner, a native of 
Connecticut, and of good New England stock. 
After marriage Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Bly removed 
to Richmond, Va., where he followed the trade of 
a carpenter. They subsequently retraced their 
steps Northward and settled in Chenango County, 
N. Y., where the most, if not all, of their children 
were born and reared. The father died there 
when about sixty years of age, and the mother 
afterwards came to Illinois to spend her declining 
years, and died in Ogle County at the age of 
seventy years. 

Henry Bly, of this life review, was not of age 
when he came to this State in 1845, but 
attained his majority some three years later in 
Ogle County, where he first settled in the 
Township of Nashua, but he afterward made 
his mark as a pioneer of Northern lUi- 



nois. Five years later he went out from tliat 
township to join the great caravan that was 
streaming across the continent to the newly dis- 
covered gold fields of California, attaching himself 
to a party with whom he traveled across the plains 
and over the mountains to the Pacific slope, 
journeying over the South Pass by the Sublet cut- 
off route, and finally arriving at Hangtown after a 
trip lasting five and one-half months, from Febru- 
ary 28, to August 17. After sta3'ing for awhile at 
their first stopping place, our subject proceeded to 
the valley of the America River, and later on in 
the spring of 1851 went up the Sacramento River 
to Scott River in Oregon with others, but before 
reaching their destination he and his companions 
found gold at what is now known as Shasta. At 
that place Mr. Ely mined nearly all the precious 
mineral that he obtained while in the Golden 
State during the fifteen months that he remained 
there. There he had full experience of the rough 
life of a frontier mining camp. Excitement ran 
high, and he witnessed the magic growth of the 
town from a lonely, desolate spot to a village of a 
thousand souls in thirty days. Well satisfied with 
his experiences as a miner and frontiersman, Mr. 
Ely resolved to return to more civilized regions, 
and in the fall of 1851, on the 15th day of No- 
vember, he left San P'rancisco for an ocean voyage 
to New York bj^ the way of the Isthmus of 
Panama, and some months later was re-united to 
his family in Illinois. 

After returning to this part of the country Mr. 
Ely continued to live in Ogle County for several 
years, and was actively identified with its business 
and public interests. In the fall of 1865 he came 
to Lee County and took up his residence in the 
city of Ashton, where he soon made his influence 
felt as a man of affairs, far-seeing and enterprising 
in business, and a promoter of all plans likely to 
advance the growth of the city. For several 
years he conducted a grocery, to which he iifter- 
ward added a market for the sale of meat. He 
was one of the leaders in the public and political 
life of his community, the Republican party, to 
which he has belonged since its organization, find- 
ing in him one of its most effective workers and 
steadfast champions in this section of the State. 

For twentv-one years he was a member of the Lee 
County Board of Supervisors, and was Chairman 
of the Board for some time. He was elected to 
the positi(<n of Justice of the Peace, having had 
several years' experience in that line while a resi- 
dent of Ogle County. When he accepted his 
present position he resigned that office and his 
membeiship of the School Board of Ashton, with 
which he had been connected for years. 

In 1887 Mr. Ely was honored by being selected 
to be Superintendent of the County Hospital and 
Poor Farm of Lee County, as it was conceded on 
all sides by men of all parties that he was the man 
most competent to fill the onerous otflce, and he 
assumed the duties of his new position in the 
month of September. Mr. Ely has throWn his 
whole soul into the work here, devoting his time 
and energies to the efficient and conscientious dis- 
charge of his duties. He met with the State Board 
of Charities that convened in Chicago in Novem- 
ber, 1888, and has at all times made a careful study 
of the systems used in conducting sucli institu- 
tions, and has brought the one under his charge 
to such a high standard that it has a reputation of 
beiug one of the best managed in the State. The 
hospital is a good-sized building,very well equipped, 
and is kept nearly filled with insane patients, th6re 
being but comparatively few sane paupers here, as 
the county paupers are for the most part cared for 
outside of the county. The farm embraces one 
hundred acres of tillable land, is supplied with 
good buildings, and improvements are constantly 
being made in that line aiid in the way of adorning 
the grounds with trees and shrubbery under the 
supervision of our subject. 

Mr. Ely and Miss Anna J. Wood were united in 
marriage in Ogle County. She is much interested 
in her husband's work, and he finds in her a wise, 
discreet and able coadjutor. She is a member of 
the Methodist Episcopal Church, and her daily life 
shows her to be a consistent Christian. Her mar- 
riage with our subject has brought them seven 
children, of whom two are dead, Charles W., and 
Almeron, who were smothered to death in a grain 
bin at Ashton when sixtee.; years old. The sur- 
viving children are Egford, an attorney at De 
Land, Fla., who married Miss Samautha Sproul; 



Mina, wife of P. O. Sproul, a teacher and editor at 
DeLand; Leia, wife of Perry Burdick (they being 
with her parentson the poor farm); Grant, who 
married Miss Emma Boeruer, and is connected 
with the Star newspaper office at Dixon; and Eftie, 
at home with her parents. 

Mrs. Bly was born inPrcscotl, Canada, March 7, 
1830, the eldest of a family of ■ eleven children, 
one son and ten daughters, of whom four are j'et 
living. Her parents, Anasa and Lourietta (Nettle- 
ton) Wood, were natives of Canada, and were 
respectively of English and Irish descent. Mrs. 
Bly was only eight years old when they left their 
Canadian home to establisli another in the wilds 
of Ogle Count}', coming hither in 1838, and mak- 
ing the entire journey with teams. They were 
among the early settlers of Light House Point, 
where Mr. Wood secured a tract of Government 
land, which he began to turn into a farm. He 
worked hard and was doing well, when death 
terminated his career in 1846. He was laid 
to rest ill the Light House Cemetery, his bod}' 
being the first to be buried there. He won for 
himself an honorable place among the pioneers of 
Ogle County, and was valued for his good citizen- 
ship. His wife survived him until the summer of 
1885, when she died at the age of seventy-five at 
the home of. her daughter, Mrs., Addie Tarbox, at 
Olive, Iowa, and she now lies sleeping her last 
sleep by the side of her husband in the quiet of 
the peaceful cemetery at Light House Point. Both 
were for many years connected with tlie Methodist 
Episcopal Church, and Mr. Wood served it long 
and honorably as Class-Leader. 


)EV. JAMES TREACr, Pastor of St. Pat- 
rick's Church at Dixon, is one of the most 
i \^ learned, zealous and worthy upholders of 
\0 the Catholic faith in the State of Illinois. 
His birthplace is in County Cork, Ireland, and he 
is a son of John and Bridget (Noonan) Treacy, 
who were also born in County Cork. His paternal 
grandmother died in the city of Cork at the re- 
markably advanced age of one hundred and tlirec 

years. His father was prosperously engaged in the 
mercantile business in hisnative county until 1853, 
when he came to America, and spent the remainder 
of his days in Pittsburg, Pa., where he died at the 
venerable age of ninety-four years. The parents 
of our subject reared ten children, who were given 
liberal educational advantages, and two of the sons 
are doctors and one is an attorney. 

Fatlier Treacy early became a pupil in the schools 
of his native place, and subsequently his education 
was advanced under the supervision of the Lazarist 
Fathers in the city of Cork. He came to the 
United States in 1^49 and entered St. Michael's 
Seminary at Pittsburg, in which institution of 
learning he remained two or three years, prepar- 
ing himself for the sacred office of the priesthood, 
and he then finished his studies in St. Mary's Sem- 
inary at Baltimore, where he was under the in- 
struction of the Rev. Father Varot, later Bishop 
of Florida, and of Father Freddot, the distin- 
guished moral theologian and author. Thus well 
prepared for the duties that lay before him in the 
life that he had chosen, our subject was ordained 
by the late Archbishop Kendrick, of Baltimore, 
and was appointed assistant pastor of St. Patrick's 
Church and Chapel^and of Mercy Hospital afr Pitts- 
burg. He occupied that position one year, and 
then was placed in charge of the building of St. 
Bridget's Church. 

He remained a resident of Pittsburg, until 1878, 
and the church there found in him a noble and 
earnest worker, who threw his whole soul into his 
labors, and was an ardent champion of whatsoever 
tended to elevate the community and the status of 
its citizens, making the cause of the unfortunate 
and the suffering his own. It was while he was at 
Pittsburg that the Bishops and Archbishops of the 
church in council at Baltimore received a dispatch 
from Cardinal Barnabo, of Rome, representing the 
will of the Pope, instructing the assembled council 
in the most emphatic terms to espouse the cause 
of the colored man in the most practical manner. 
This order, promulgated from the head of the 
Church of Rome, found ready response in the 
heart of our subject, and he was one of the first to 
move in the good work of helping the negro to an 
education and to the benefits of the Roman Cath- 



olic religion. He built a church and school for 
the colored people of Pittsburg at a cost of $10,- 
000, the school being taught by the Sisters of 
Mercy. He officiated in the pulpit, and had a 
colored choir and colored altar boys. He was very 
successful in his work in other directions, especially 
among the poorer and more abandoned class, the 
outcasts of a great manufacturing city. Tins work 
was performed by Father Treacy under adverse 
circumstances it not being popular at that time, 
but owing to the vast amount of good resulting 
from it, it has become popular. 

While in Pittsburg Father Treacy was a member 
of the Bishops' Council, and held the offices of 
Chancellor and Secretary. He was also a member 
of the Orphan Seminary and Cemetery Boards. In 
tlie midst of his many arduous duties he found 
some time to devote to literary work as an author 
and as editor of a Catholic journal, first called the 
Hibernian, and later the Catholic Journal, in which 
he had a half interest. He prepared two works for 
publication, which are of great merit, but owing 
to ill health, brought on by a too close application 
to his duties, and to the change of scene necessi- 
tated thereby, he has not yet given them to the 
world. One of them is a poem, containing up- 
wards of fifteen thousand lines, illustrative of the 
glories of the Roman Catholic Church. 

In 1878 our subject was obliged to abandon his 
labors in Pittsburg, as his failing health and flag- 
ging energies warned him that he must seek to re- 
store his physical powers elsewhere. He removed 
to Chicago, where he joined his old-time friend. 
Bishop Fole3^ He was appointed to attend to the 
missions at New Dublin, Lena, Apple River and 
Elizabethtown , and after a short time was sent to 
look after the church at Rochelle. He remained 
there six years, and was then appointed to take 
charge of St. Patrick's Church at Dixon, one of 
the leading churches of the Catholic faith in 
Northern Illinois. By his good works and by the 
example of a pure life guided by lofty principles 
of right, he has gained the sincere respect and 
esteem even of the members of other Christian de- 
nominations, and has been an intluence for mnch 
good in the community. 

Father Treacy looks after the spiritual welfare 

of throe hundred families, including the Catholic 
societies at Harmon and Ashton. His church at 
Dixon was founded more than thirty years ago by 
Fatlier McDermott. In 1887 the original structure 
in whicli services were held was partially 'burned, 
the walls remaining intact, and the present house 
of worship is composed of the walls of the original 
edifice. It is a handsome brick building, of an ap- 
propriate style of architecture, and cost, with its 
rich furnishings, $18,000. 

ylLLIAM W. HECKMAN is a young man 
of much natural ability, and displays an 
enterprising and progressive spirit in the 
management of his farming interests, which com- 
prise eighty acres of land on section 30, South 
Dixon Township, where he makes his home, and a 
tract of the same size on section 25, Nelson Town- 
ship, the whole being under good cultivation, well 
watered and drained, and subject to excellent 

Mr. Heckman was born in Bedford County, Pa., 
July 28, 1854, and was there reared until he was 
eleven years old, when he came to this county with 
his uncle, with whom he lived until of age. His 
mother, wife of Talbot Rose, is now living with 
her husband in the city of Bedford, Pa. She is also 
a native of Bedford Coimty. She has been a kind 
and loving mother to our subject, and carefully 
trained him to a manly and honorable manhood. 
Mr. Rose, a native of Bedford County, where he 
has always lived, is a shoemaker by trade, and he 
and his wife and children have a comfortable 

Our subject has lived in this county since 1866, 
and since attaining man's estate has identified 
himself with its farmers and stockmen. He came 
into possession of his homestead in South Dixon 
in 1877, and since then has put up a good class of 
well-arranged farm buildings, and has all the con- 
veniences for tilling the soil and caring for stock. 
He has excellent facilities for watering his cattle 
and horses, and on that part of his farm in Nelson 
Township is a fine artesian well that throws water 
two feet above the surface. 





The marriage of Ui: Ileckman to Ilannali 
Missman was celebrated in NeLsou Township, and 
her devotion to his interests and cheerfnl co-opera- 
tion in the making of a liouie, has greatly encour- 
aged him in his work. Their family circle is 
completed by the three children born unto them: 
Grace A., C. Eugene and Walter I. jNIrs. Ileckman 
is also of Pennsylvania birth, born in Somerset 
County, April 20, 18;j;l She was but two years 
old when her parents, G&rhardt and Mary (Leydig) 
Missman, came to this countj' and settled in Nel- 
son Township. Mr. Missman improved a fine farm 
of three hundred and twenty acres before he re- 
tired to Dixon in 1886, to enjoy the money that 
he had made by hard work, and he and his good 
wife are now living in that city in quiet and ease, 
enjoying in a full degree the respect of all about 
them. They are the parents of six children, of 
whom Mrs. Heckman is the second in order of 

Our subject is a man of correct habits, has kept 
his reputation unsullied, and is always to be found 
on the side of the right. He and his wife are 
earnest working members of the Evangelical 
Church. Politically, they are in full sympathy 
witli the Prohibition party, and believe in legisla- 
tive measures to suppress the great evil of intem- 
perance. * 




^T NDREW REINHART. The portrait pre- 
wKm sentcd on the opposite page is that of the 
* wealthy farmer and stock-raiser residing 
(jgf on section 24, China Township, where his 
extensive agricultural interests centre. Though 
not a native of Lee County, the most of his life lias 
been passed here as a boy and man, and as one of 
the most able men in his line who has been potent 
in its development his place is among its foremost 

Mr. Reinhart was born in Hesse-Cassel, Germany, 
August 28, 1843. His parents, Christian and Anna 
C. (Denhart) Reinhart, were also Germans by birth, 
and are known in the history of this county as 
among its earlj- pioneer settlers, who for many 

years were valued citizens of China Township, 
where she died October 16, 1870;. and ho in April, 
1865 from the effects of injuries caused by being 
kicked by a horse. They had come to the United 
States from the Fatherland in 1846, and at first 
settled in Lee Centre, whence they removed to 
section 24, China Township. They had a family 
of three sons and three daughters, of whom our 
subject was the fifth in order of birth. 

Andrew Reinhart was nearly three years old 
when the family crossed the waters to found a new 
home on American soil, and his boyhood was 
chiefly passed in China Township where the bus.y 
years of his maturer life have also been spent. He 
grew to an active, energetic manhood on the old 
farm that his father redeemed from the wilderness 
after settling here, and it is now his own. He has 
been remarkably successful in his career, as he has 
bent his whole energies to his business as a farmer 
and stock-raiser, and his wealth is the legitimate 
result of diligent labor well performed, directed 
by an intelligent, thoughtful mind. A promptness 
to take advantage of opportunities to make money 
when the markets were active, as well as an apti- 
tude for business matters also have something to 
do with his good fortune. He has a valuable estate, 
including three hundred and sixty-six acres com- 
prising his homestead and other land in China 
Township, amounting in all to six hundred and 
twenty acres, besides one hundred and sixty acres 
in Lee Centre Township, two hundred acres in Sac 
County, Iowa, and two hundred and forty acres in 
Fayette County, Iowa. His homestead farm is a 
model of its kind, having all the modern facilities 
for conducting agriculture after the most approved 
methods, and its improvements are of a high order, 
including the handsome and conveniently arranged 
set of farm buildings that he has erected. 

Our subject was married June 1, 1868, to Miss 
Catherine Hafenrichter, and she has been all to him 
that is implied in the word wife. Sorrow has not 
passed them by in their wedded life, as four of 
their children have died — Martha and Charlie dy- 
ing in infancy; Theiesa,at the age of seven months; 
and Mabel at the age of two years. They have 
these six children living — Charlotte C, Anna C, 
Henry C, Catherine Elizabeth, .Tohn F. andCathe- 



rine A. Mrs. Reinhait Avas born in Montgomery 
County, ^'. Y., March 7, 18 1;'), find is the eldest of 
the nine children of Henry and Charlotte (Ileise) 
llafenrichter, who were early pioneers of Kane 
County, this State. They were born in Germanj-, 
and came to this country in July, 1839, settling at 
Ft. Plain, Montgomery County, N. Y., whence 
they soon removed to >St. Johnsville, in the same 
county, and dwelt there until they came to this 
State in 1846, and cast in tlieir lot with the early 
settlers of Kane County, of which they are still 

In this life-record of our subject enough has 
been written of what he has accomplished to indi- 
cate that he possesses strength of mind aad char- 
acter and other inherent endowments that are essen- 
tial to true success in any walk in life, and we may 
add that his personal attributes, such as frankness 
and generosity, are such as to make his neighbors 
and all with whom he associates esteem him highly. 
He is liberal in his religious views, cheerfull3' gives 
of his money to support the churches, and, with 
his wife, is a consistent member of the ^Evangelical 
Church. In his political sentiments he is in full 
accord with the principles promulgated by the Re- 
publican party. 




ON. SHERWOOD DIXON, the present Re- 
presentative of the Nineteenth District, 
and a worthy member of one of the most 
^ honored pioneer families of Lee County, is 
now engaged in the practice of the legal profes- 
sion in the city which bears his name, as a member 
of the firm of Dixon & Bethea. He was born in 
the city which is still his home, November 15, 
1847, an honor to which few of his age can lay 
claim. His father, James P. Dixon, was a native 
of New York City, and a son of John Dixon, the 
founder of the county seat of Lee County. The 
latter emigrated with his family to Illinois at an 
early day and amid the wild scenes of pioneer Jife 
James Dixon was reared to manhood. In Buffalo 
Grove, Ogle County, he married Miss Fannie 

Reed, a native of Delaware County, N. Y., where 
her father, Samuel Reed, was also born. After his 
marriage he came with his family to Illinois at a 
very early day and located at Buffalo Grove, upon 
land which he obtained from the Government. 
The Indians were still numerous in the settlement 
and the work of civilization seemed scarcely 
begun. Samuel Reed and his wife there resided 
until death and were prominent people of the 
communit}'. During the Black Hawk War they 
had to flee to the fort at Dixon for protection from 
the red men. 

The parents of our subject began their domestic 
life on a farm near this city, and in public affairs 
James Dixon was quite prominent. He l)ecame 
agent for the Fink <k Walker stage line running 
from Galena to Rock Island and Chicago. 
Throughout this pait of the State lie had a wide 
acquaintance and was a leader in all public affairs. 
Just before his death he engaged in keeping a 
hvery stable. In politics he was a Whig and his 
opinions were much sought in the councils of his 
party. On the 11th of April, 1852, this honored 
pioneer passed away. His widow yet survives 
him and is making her home with her children. 
She was born in 1815. The members of the family 
who still survive are Sherwood and ]\Irs. William 
Barge, residents of Dixon; Henrietta, wife of 
William Richards, of Moline, 111.; Sarah, wife of 
George W. Goodwin, of Sioux City, Iowa; and 
John R., of Chicago, a telegraph operator on the 
Western Indiana road. He marriijd Miss Mattie 
Evans, of Indiana. 

Our subject acquired his literary education in 
the public schools and afterward entered the law 
office of William Barge, whose sketch appears else- 
where in this work. In 1869 he was admitted to 
the bar and soon afterward formed a partnership, 
becoming a member of the firm Ustis, Barge & 
Dixon. The senior member was formerly Circuit 
Judge. This connection continued until 1874, 
when jMr. Dixon went to Chicago and became 
associated in the practice of law with William 
O'Brien and William Barge, the firm title being 
O'Brien, Barge and Dixon. For three years this 
connection continued, after which our subject 
returned to his native city and he formed a part- 



nership witli his present partner. They continued 
together from 1878 until 1884, when for four years 
the firm of Crabtree e^' Dixon carried on practice. 
In 1888, the first named gentleman was elected 
to the bench as Circuit Judge, and INIessrs. Dixon 
i^' Bethea resumed their old business relations. 
Their office is located in the Schuler building,and the 
practice which the firm has built up is an exten- 
sive one. 

Mr. Dixon was united in marriage with Miss 
Melissa C. Mead, their union being celebrated in 
this city, where the lady was born in 1847. Her 
father, Herman Mead, was a native of New York, 
and at an early day came to Lee County locating 
on the farm where he made his home for a number 
of years. In 1855 he removed to Dixon, where 
both he and his wife passed away at an advanced 
age. Mrs. Dixon was one of their eight children. 
She is an intelligent and cultured lady who has a 
host of friends in this community and lier social 
standing is high. Of the Methodist Church she is 
a member. Three sons have been born of their 
marriage, Henry S., who i^ now studying law in 
his father's office; Louis, who is employed in the 
Sun printing office; and George C, who is yet 
attending school. 

The cause of education has ever found in Mr. 
Dixon a warm friend and for seven years he has 
been connected with the School Board, serving as 
its president for three years. From September 
1880 until Sejitember, 1888, he was Master in 
Chancerj^ being appointed by Judge L'stis, Circuit 
Judge. In politics he is a stanch advocate of 
Democratic principles and has been a member of 
every State Convention since 1872, while in 1884 
he was also a delegate to the National Convention. 
As a member of the General Assembly he has 
proved an able representative of his district and is 
quite prominent in the House. During the last 
session he was chairman of the .fudiciary Com- 
mittee and a member of many other committees of 
importance. He took a leading part in drawing 
up the election reform bill and did good service 
as a member of the committee on Municipial Cor- 
porations, Elections, Federal Relations, C'ontingent 
Expenses and Senatorial Appointments. With the 
interests of his constituents ever in his thoughts, 

liis labors for the benefit of the county he repre- 
sented and he proved a most efficient assembly- 
man. His public and private life have been 
alike above reproach. As a lawyer he is gifted, 
possessing more than ordinary ability and his 
success .it the bar has won him a foremost place 
among his professional brethren. He possesses 
great energy and enterprise and whatever lie 
undertakes he carries forward to completion. His 
natural abilities well fit him to be a leader of the 
people and the high place which he holds in the 
regard and esteem of his fellow-townsmen is well 



AMUEL MONG, an influential farmer of 
Bradford Township, Lee County, oper- 
ates a fine estate of one hundred and ten 
acres on section C^, and through unremit- 
ting industry has become well-to-do. He was born 
in Clarion County, Pa., July 26, 1829, and is the 
son of Henry and Sarah (Burket) Mong, natives 
of Maryland and Huntingdon County, Pa., re- 
spectively. Tlie parents passed most of their lives 
in the Keystone State and died in Clarion County 
when past the prime of life. They reared a large 
family of children, our subject being the sixth. 

In his native county our subject passed his boy- 
hood days, attending the district schools and 
gleaning a common-school education from the text 
books then in vogue. However, he enjoyed none 
of the opportunities that are considered essential 
by the youth of to-day, but his habits of observa- 
tion and systematic reading in a large measure 
made up for the defects in his schooling. As soon 
as old enough he began to assist his father in his 
farming operations and gained a practical knowl- 
edge of agriculture when he was still quite 3'oung. 
He was about fifteen years old when he removed to 
Huntingdon CounLy, Pa., where he grew to a stal- 
wart and vigorous manhood. 

At the age of sixteen Mr. Mong commenced to 
learn the trade of a tanner, which he followed 
about seven years with success. In the spring of 
1855 he came to this State, settling in Lee County 



and working' on a farm near Dixon for about two 
years. He was married in Cliina Township, this 
county, in February, 1857, to Miss Margaret K. 
Kelley, daughter of William and Mary (Jacobs) 
Kelley. Mr. Kellej- is deceased, having passed away 
at his home two miles south of Dixon. Mrs. Kelley 
is also deceased. Mrs. Margaret Mong was born in 
Pennsylvania and is the motlier of five living 
cliildren, namely: John; Lucy, the wife of Haber 
.Schmucker; Hattie,who is now Mrs. William Seliren- 
ner; George and Peter. 

After his marriage Mr. Mong engaged in farming 
for about two years in Dixon Township, from which 
place he removed to China Township, and later lo- 
cated on hij present farm on section 6, Bradford 
Township. His industry has been rewarded by 
the possession of one hundred and ten acres,which 
he cultivates. His estate presents a most attractive 
appearance to the passer-by, with its substantial 
set of farm buildings, its commodious residence 
and well-tilled fields. In politics he is a stanch 
Democrat and has served to the general satisfac- 
tion as School Director, having always maintained 
great interest in educational matters. He is a 
consistent member of the Methodist Episcopal 
Church and a man whose daily life proves his 
earnest religious belief. While he has been in the 
main successful, he has met with many losses, per- 
haps the most severe being the destruction of his 
barn by lightning during the spring of 1890. 

fc •••<-•= 


">■" OSHUA E. LAHMAN, who is prosperously 
engaged in agricultural pursuits on section 
12, just south 01 Fianklin Grove, where he 
has a good farm, was a soldier in the late 
war whose bravery and efHciency raised him from 
the ranks to an official position, and it gives us 
pleasure to place the record of the life of this rep- 
resentative of the Grand Army of the Republic on 
these pages. 

Mr. Lahman is a native of Washington County, 
Md., bom June 16, 1839, to Christian and Eliza- 
beth Lahman, who were pioneeis of Illinois. Our 
subject was a child of live years when the family 

came to this State, and here he was reared on a 
farm. He was in the full prime and vigor of man- 
hood when the war broke out, and as soon as he 
could he went to the front to help fight his coun- 
try's battles. He enlisted in September, 1861, and was 
mustered into the service as a member of Company 
C, Thirty-fourth Illinois Infantiy. F'or two years 
he was with his regiment in various battles and 
skirmishes, and at the end of that time he was hon- 
orably discharged on account of disabilitj- caused 
b3' a gun-shot wound received while he was in the 
heat of that fearful battle at Murfreesboro. He 
was also present at the battle of Shiloli and did 
some hard fighting there. He retired from the 
army with a fine military record and with the 
well-earned title of Sergeant. He had displayed 
coolness and daring in the face of the enemy, 
promptness and readiness of resource in emei'gen- 
cies, and his superior officers felt that they could 
rely upon him whether in camp or on the field. 

The suffering that he endured from the wounds 
received for his country's sake incapacitated our 
subject for active work in his calling as a farmer 
and, fearing that he would be permanently crippled 
and not liking to be idle, he learned the trade of 
harness-maker as soon as he was able to do any- 
thing. And in 1865 he went to Guthrie County. 
Iowa, where he was engaged in business as a har- 
ness manufacturer the ensuing three years. 
While there it was his good fortune to secure the 
hand of Miss Hannah M. Batschlett in marriage 
the ceremony that made them one being performed 
December 20, 1867. Of the five children born to 
them four are living, namely: Edgar R,, a resident 
of Rockford, 111.; Clifford, who died when twelve 
years of age; Elizabeth, Clara and George W. Mrs. 
Lahman is a 'daughter of Peter and Eliza Batschlett 
and she is a native of this Stite, born in Knox 

In 1868 Mr. Lahman returned to Franklin Grove 
and having recovered from the wounds 'in his arm 
and leg received in battle, he resumed his old oc- 
cupation, buying at that time eighty acres of his 
present farm. He made excellent improvements, 
including a good class of buildings, stocked his 
farm with good breeds of cattle, horses and hogs, 
and has done well in his enterprise. He has ac- 



cumulated a goodly amount of property, and has 
increased his landed estate to two hundred and 
forty acres of choice land. Ho is energetic and en- 
terprising, has strength of mind enough to carry 
out Ills plans under difliculties, as we have seen, 
always maintains good credit in regard to money 
matters, and the value of his citizenship has been 
proved not only when his country was in need of 
good soldiers, but in less trying times as a member 
of a law-abiding communitj'. In politics, he is 
loyal to the Republican party, and socially he is a 
member of the Grand Army of the Republic. 

'\f?OHN MENSCH was scarcely more than a 
boy when he enlisted in an Illinois regiment 
during the war, but not withstanding his 
youth he did good service as a soldier. He 
is now making himself useful as a general farmer 
and stock-raiser, who holds an honorable place 
among the men of his class in Palmyra Township, 
where he has a good farm of eighty acres of exceed- 
ingly fertile land, lying on section 23. 

Born May 29, 1846, our subject's home during 
the first eight years of his life was in Columbia 
County, Pa. His parents were Cliristian and 
Peggy (Cromley) Mensch. They came to Illinois 
in April, 1854, and located in Jordan Township, 
Whiteside County, on a farm, which they made 
their home until death sealed their eyes in tho 
sleep that knows no waking, the father dying in 
1887 at the age of sixty-four years, the mothei 
having passed away two years previously at thi 
age of three-score. They were firm Christians, and 
devoted members of the Lutheran Church. Oui 
subject was the second of their eight children, all 
of whom are living but one daughter, who died at 
the age of twenty-three. 

tlohn Mensch of this notice was reared to the 
life of a farmer on his father's farm in Whiteside 
County, and every day was adding to his exper- 
ience in that line when the rebellion broke out. 
He was a boy too y<^ung to take up arms in defense 
of his countr3-'s honor, but he longed to do so 

with all the ardent patriotism of youth, and at 
length when he was seventeen years old, he was 
permitted to enroll his name among those of the 
soldiers that formed the One Hundred F'ortieth Illi- 
nois Infantry he being assigned to Company A, 
which was organized at the last call for troops in 
1864. Our subject went with his comrades 
to the front, and served nine months. He saw 
no active fighting, but did full^' as important work 
in keeping guard, for which his regiment was 
detailed .and he was honorably discharged at the 
close of the war, with a good record for fidelity to 
duty and unfaltering devotion to the cause, which 
would well have become a veteran. 

When he left the army Mr. Mensch returned to 
his old home, and was a resident of Whiteside 
County until 1879. In the month of September, 
that year he purchased the farm that he now oc- 
cupies in Palmyra Township, and settled on it in 
the spring of 1880. He is constantly adding to its 
improvements, has it under a high state of tillage, 
and the cattle, horses and hogs that he raises upon 
it are of excellent stock. Our subject is a man of 
sturdy round-about common sense, has an even 
temper, is thoroughlj' reliable in all respects, an up- 
right man, an honorable citizen, a husband kind 
and true, a tender father and a pleasant neighbor. 
His political creed is that of the Democratic party, 
and in religion he is a Lutheran, both he and his 
wife belonging to the church of that denomination 
and they have had their children baptized, dedicat- 
ing them to the church. 

Mr. Mensch and Miss Lydia Clruver were married 
in Nelson Township. She also is a native of Col- 
umbia County, Pa., and a daughter of Uriah Ciruver, 
a Pennsylvanian bj' birth, who was one of the pio- 
neers of Lee County. After living some twelve 
years in Naschusa Township he bought two hun- 
dred and fort}' acres of land in Nelson Township. 
He lived upon that farm some years and then re- 
tired to Dixon to enjoy the competence that he 
had accumulated at his leisure. His first wife, 
mother of Mrs. Mensch, died during their residence 
in Nachusa Township when she was only forty- 
two years old. .She w.i.s a member of the Lutheran 
Clhurch and left behind. her the memory of a true 
Christian womanhood. Mr. Gruver is a faithful 



follower of the Republican party in politics. Re- 
ligiously, he is of the Methodist Episcopal faitli, 
and he and his present wife are members of that 

Mr. and Mrs. Menscli liave been abundantly bles- 
sed in their married life, and eight children add to 
their happiness, named as follows — Charles, Mary, 
Harry, Mabel, Kate, Eidward, Evaline and a ))aby 
named Iva. 


ELI LLOYD is widely known and hon- 
ored as one of the first pioneers in that 
, part of Lee County of which he lias been a 

resident for more than half a century, making his 
home a part of the time in tlie city of Dixon, and 
the remainder of the time on his farm on section 
13, Nelson Township, which he purchased of the 
Government in 1837. On tliis beautiful place 
which has been made attractive by his labors he is 
now serenely passing the declining years of a life 
well spent, in retirement from active business. 

The birth-place of our subject is near the seat of 
the court of justice in the County of Huntingdon, 
Pa., where he first opened his eyes to tlie light on 
the glorious Fourth of July in the year 1823. His 
father, whose given name was Henry, was also a 
native of that county, and was a son of Henry 
Lloyd, Si'., who was of Welsh descent, but was a 
native and life-long resident of Huntingdon 
County, wliere lie died when i^ast eighty years of 
age. His wife, who was also a Pennsylvanian by 
birth, lived to be very old. The elder Lloyds 
were stanch Baptists in religion. Henry Lloyd, Jr. 
grew up on the old Lloyd estate, and was married 
in his native county to Miss Jane Schwapish, who 
was born and reared in the same county as liimself, 
and came of the high Dutch stock that had settled 
in that part of Pennsylvania in Colonial times. 
After their marriage the Lloyds moved to Cambria 
County, and there they spent their remaining days 
on a farm, dying full of years. They were mem- 
bers of the Baptist Cliurch. 

Our subject is the sixth of a family of twelve 
children. He was reared in a good Jiome b\- 

worthy parents, whose instruction, no less than 
their example, led him to form good habits and 
principles of right living early in life. He grew 
to manhood in his native county, but was subse- 
quently married in Blair County. He was in the 
full flush and vigor of the prime of life when he 
came to Lee County in 1837. He was one of the 
first to perceive the fine natural advantages of this 
part of the State and to avail himself of them. 
He saw the country when it was in all its original 
wildness, and has been lost on the praix-ie when it 
was so new that there were no roads to travel by, 
and when there were but verj- few settlements 
within a radius of many miles of the site which he 
selected for his future home on what is now sec- 
tion 13, Nelson Township. He may well be proud 
of the fact that he has done his share of the hard 
labor necessitated in bringing about the wonder- 
fnl change that has been wrought by the hand of 
man within half a century whereby this has become 
one of the richest and best improved farming reg- 
icins in Illinois. It contains two hundred acres of 
arable land, which is now highly cultivated, and 
is complete in its appointments as regards build- 
ings and machinery, and its fertile soil is capable 
of supporting a great deal of stock. Mr. Lloyd 
himself has retired from farming, and his son now 
operates the farm, keeping it up to the same high 
standard it had attained before it came under his 
care. Besides his homestead Mr. Lloj'd owns a 
fine property in Dixon, and is one of the wealthy 
men of the community. He has spent much of 
his time for the last twenty years in that city and 
has done conspicuous service in the line of public 
improvements during his incumbency of the office 
of Street Commissioner and in other civic positions. 
He has also been prominent in the political life of 
the cit3' and township, and has exercised a favor- 
able influence on tlie fortunes of the Republican 
party in this section. 

April r>, 1891, the wife of our subject passed 
away from the home that had been blessed and 
sanctified )>y her presence for so many years, her 
death, which occurred very suddenly at their res- 
idence in Dixon, being caused by the rupture of an 
artery. ^Irs. Lloyd's maiden name wasAdveanna 
Anderson. She was born in 1812 in the town of 



Phoenixville, Chester County, Pa., and was there 
reared to womanhood. Her father, Julius Ander- 
son, lived and died a fanner in Pennsylvania, 
dying in the prime of life of consumption con- 
tracted while serving as a soldier in the War of 
1812. Mrs. Lloyd came to Illinois with her hus- 
band, and was his helpmate, companion, counselor 
and comfort in the hardships of the rough pio- 
neer life that they shared together in the found- 
ing of a new home. She was- a woman of more 
than ordinary intelligence, her mind ripened by 
culture and much reading of the best literature, 
she being well known as a scholar and historian, 
and her death was mourned by many friends she 
and her husband had gathered around them during 
their many years sojourn in this countj'. .She was 
possessed of a lovely Christian spirit, and as one of 
the earnest and active members of the Baptist 
Church she is greatly missed. 

Three children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Lloyd, 
of whom two are deceased, — Anna M., who died at 
the age of six years, and Catherine, who was 
twenty-eight years old when she died. Their son 
Julius, an enterprising and successful farmer, 
residing on and managing the old homestead, mar- 
ried Miss Harriet Goodyear, and they have five 

^^ IMON RHODES. No member of the farm- 
^^^ ing community of this county is more 
1vL3) worthy of representation on these pages 
than Mr. Rhodes, who has shown the value 
of his citizenship, as an intelligent and practical 
farmer; by helping in the great work of carrying 
on the agricultural industries for which this State 
is noted; and as a patriotic and useful soldier during 
the late war who nobly did his part in saving our 
country from disunion and dishonor. 

Our subject was born in Somerset County, Pa., 
January 12, 1839. His father, David Rhodes, was 
also a native of that county, coming of the old 
German stock that were early settlers of that por- 
tion of Pennsylvania, and there his fatlier and 
mother lived and died on their farm. They were 

pious people and members of the Lutheran Church. 
David Rhodes became a farmer himself, and oper- 
ated a small farm in his native county until he 
died, and was gathered to his fathers in 1889, at 
the venerable age of four-score years. He too 
was a Lutheran, and his politics were of the Dem- 
ocratic order. He married Miss Netta Snopsnyder, 
who came of similar parentage, and died in their 
old home in 1886 when full of years. 

Simon Rhodes passed, his boyhood amid the 
scenes of his birth, and as he was early set to 
work, he could not obtain the education for which 
he craved which has afforded him life-long regret. 
He has in a measure made up for it, however, as he 
has an intelligent, receptive mind, and he is very 
well informed on current topics. Being thrown on 
his own resources when he was young, he soon 
acquired self-reliance, steady habits and a manli- 
ness beyond his years that well fitted him to cope 
with the hardships to be encWntered in a hand 
to hand struggle for independence in any walk in 
life. Manhood was just opening before him when 
he first made his appearance in this county 
in 1861. He did not tarry here many months at 
that time, but returned to his native county to 
join Ills old associates who were forming the One 
Hundred and Thirty-third Pennsylvania Infantry, 
and were going forth to help fight their country's 
battles. His name was enrolled in June, 1862, as 
a member of Company E, of that regiment, which 
was commanded by Capt. Bear and Col. Schock, 
and was assigned to the Army of the Potomac. 
Our subject and his comrades did their share of 
the fighting in the hotly contested battles of 
Antietam, Fredericksburg, and in numerous other 
engagements. Our subject had enlisted for nine 
months, but he served faithfully for a year, and 
his military record for soldierly bearing and fidel- 
ity to duty was equal to that of any veteran of 
them all. 

Mr. Rhodes was honorably discharged from the 
army and returned to Pennsylvania, whence he 
again came to Lee County in 1865, and he has 
ever since lived and labored here. Me purchased 
his faim on section 31, South Dixon Township, in 
1868, and applying liimself to its improvement 
early and late, he has brought it into a fine condi- 



tioii, nearly the whole of its one hundi'ed and 
twenty aci-es being under good cultivation; it is 
well provided with suitable buildings, and is com- 
pletely stocked with cattle, horses and swine of 
high grades. He has won for himself an honor- 
able place among our best citizens by keeping his 
credit sound, his reputation unspotted, and by 
fairness and honesty in all his dealings. He and 
his wife attend the Evangelical Church, contri- 
buting liberally of their means toward its support. 
In politics he is a stanch advocate of the Republi- 
can party. 

Our subject was married at the bride's home in 
this township to Miss Mary Moore, who was born 
in Cumberland County, Pa., and was but a child 
when she came to Illinois with her mother and 
step-father, Frederick Bollman, (of whom see 
sketch), who settled in South Dixon Township, 
where she was reared and educated. .Six children 
have been born to our subject and his wife, of 
whom one — George, died young. The others are 
Emma, wife of Thomas Parker, a farmer in this 
township; William, a resident of Wliitesidc 
County, who married Mattie Parker, who is now 
dead; Hatlie, who makes her home with her 
parents, and is a bright and successful teacher, 
having been educated for her profession at Dixon 
College; Fred and Frank, both of whom are at 
home with their parents. 

^OHN D. SITTS, an old resident of Lee 
Count\', has been engaged in the grocery 
business at Franklin Grove many j-ears 
and is numbered among the pioneer mer- 
chants of this section. He was born in (Jneida 
County, N. Y., January 23, 1831, and is of sturdy 
Teutonic and Revolutionary stock, he being one of 
the fourth generation of the American branch of 
the Sitts family that settled in this country 
inolonial times. His grandfather, Henry Sitts, 
was born either in New York or New England, 
and was a gallant soldier of tlie Continental .\rm\- 
throughout the struggk' of the colonists for free- 

dom from the mother country. He died in Mont- 
gomery Count\', N. Y. many years after at the 
venerable age of ninety-three years. 

Tlie parents of our subject were (ieorge and 
Harriet (Bartlett) Sitts, who were natives of the 
Mohawk Valley, in the Empire State. His mother 
died when he was fourteen years old. His father 
was a contractor on the Erie Canal in Ms early 
life. He came to Chicago in 1K49, and was pros- 
perously engaged in the grain and lumber trade in 
tiiat city until his death in 1863 in the midst of 
his busy career at the age of sixty-three years. 
He had six children, four sonsand two daughters, 
who came to Illinois, namely (ieorge, who died in 
Chicago, in April, 1891 ; Joseph, who died in Cleve- 
land, Ohio; Benjamin F., a resident of Chicago; 
Elizabeth A., who married John M. Wandell, of 
Chicago; John D; and ^Margaret H., who married 
Cyrus Thomas, of Columbus, Ohio, and died at 
Franklin Grove in November, 186,5. 

Our subject learned the trade of an iron moulder 
when he was j^oung, and pursued it in Monroe 
County. N. Y., for some years. He came from 
there to Illinois in 1854 and for three years was 
engaged inVailroading. He subsequentU- became 
interested in the lumber trade at Franklin Grove, 
forming a partnership with others under the firm 
name of Sitts, Thomas tt Co., and continued in 
that line six years. At the end of that time he be- 
gan farming in Bradford Township, but four 
years later he abandoned agricultural pui-suits. and 
returning to Franklin Grove, has exor since been 
engaged in the grocery business at this point, and 
is one of the oldest and most experienced Inisiness 
men in this part of the State. He has his store 
well fitted up, and carries a good and varied stock 
of everything that the market affords in his line 
that is demanded by liis custom. He has acquired 
a comfortable property, and liesides his possessions 
in this village owns a farm near by in the southern 
part of Ogle County, llis political sentiments are 
in accord with the policy of the Republican party, 
of which he is a tried and true member. He has 
held several local offices, filling them satisfactorily 
and alw.iys with an eye single to the public good. 
He has been a member of the County Board of 
Sujjer visors, and did all that he could in that 





capacity to push forward all schemes for the 
further development of township, village and 
county, as, indeed, he has always done since he 
became a resident of this«ection. He was at one 
time Justice of the Peace, and was active in pre- 
serving law and order in the community while he 
was an incumbent of that position. 

Mr. Sitts was married in January, 1863, to Mis:, 
Eva E., daughter of John and Lydia (Gifford) 
Lincoln, and a native of Genesee County, N. Y. 
For a quarter of a century they lived together in 
a harmonious and felicitous wedded life, and then 
death invaded their pleasant home, April 11, 1888, 
and removed the devoted wife and loving mother, 
who had filled in a perfect measure those sacred 
offices. She was fifty-four years of age when she 
died. P'our children were born to her and our 
subject: Henry B., an employe of the Chicago & 
Northwestern Railway; Gertie G., wife of W. 8. 
Winter, of Turner, 111.; Bertha - C. and Helen 

ERNEST WERNICK, one of the early set- 
tlers of Dixon Township, who since 1848 
cs;—^/ has resided in the county, now makes his 
home on section 19. It is with pleasure that we 
present to our readers the portrait and biography 
of a self-made man who by his own efforts has 
worked his way upward to a position of affluence. 
In many respects his example is worthy of emula- 
tion and in this sketch there will be much to en- 
courage those who like himself have to begin life 
empty handed, depending only on their own 

Mr. Wernick was born in Prussia, July 8, 1832, 
and came of Saxon parentage. He is a son of 
Andrew and Mary (Bunker) Wernick. His father 
was born in Saxony and served with Napoleon 
throughout tlie Prussian campaign as one of the 
Magtaburg Blue Hussars. He fought at the battle 
of Lipsing and at Waterloo and in many other 
engagements served with valor in the front ranks. 
On one occasion he rescued the horse that was 
secured for (Jen. Blucher, whose steed liud been shot 

from under him. Mr. Wernick was twice wounded 
but did not allow himself to be captured. He 
was a brave and undaunted cavalryman and with 
a comrade, Mr. Comstadt, who was later frozen in 
tlie mountains in the Prussian campaign,succeeded 
in capturing five mounted Cossacks, killing four 
of the number and taking their horses. In after 
years, accompanied by his two sons, our subject 
and Lewis, Mr. Wernick sailed from Bremen and 
after a voyage of fortj'-two days landed at New 
York City, whence he made his waj' to Chicago. 
As their money gave out father and son walked 
from that city to Dixon , where a year later they 
were joined by the mother and other members of 
the family. Mrs. Wernick did not long enjoy her 
new home, her death occurring in 1854. Mr. Wer- 
nick died February 14, 1883, at the advanced age 
of ninety-flvo years. He possessed remarkable 
powers of endurance and phj^sical strength and 
vas never sick a day in his life wliile in the Father- 
land. He and his wife were members of the 
Lutheran Church. 

Our subject was yet a youth when he came to 
this country and in Lee County he attained his 
majority. For some time he worked as a day lab- 
orer and in 1854, purchased thirty-six acres of 
unbroken land with money acquired by his own 
industry and economy. To its improvement he 
devoted his energies for some time and afterwards 
went to Grand Detour, where he enga,ged in team- 
ing for the plow factory for a time. He tlien fol- 
lowed farming pursuits near Amboy for a few 
years, his farm work being done with oxen. In 
the meantime he had wedded Mary Page, whose 
parents were pioneer settlers of this community 
She died in 1861, leaving three children. The 
following year Mr. Wernick enlisted in the service 
of his adopted country as a member of Company 
F, Seventy-fifth Illinois Infantry. He wore tlie 
blue for three years, participating actively in 
twenty-three battles and during the engagement 
at Resaca, he was wounded in the shoulder. 

At the expiration of his term of service, Mr. 
Wernick was honorably discharged and returned 
to his home and his three little children. Soon 
afterward he began farming and that time his cash 
capital consisted of $20(1. He purchased a team 



and then rented forty acres wliero he now lives. 
A few years later he made a partial payment on 
one hundred and sixty acres and l)y his industry, 
good management and perseverance was soon en- 
abled to pay off all indebtedness. As his finan- 
cial resources increased he also extended the 
boundaries of his farm, which now comprises five- 
hundred and fourteen acres of valuable land, well 
improved, highly cultivated and stocked with fine 
horses and cattle. He has one of the best barns in 
the county and recently erected a commodious and 
substantial residence built in modern style and 
supplied with all modern conveniences. A glance 
at the Wernick farm indicates that the owner is a 
man of progressive and practical ideas and a care- 
ful manager. On another page of this volume the 
reader will find a view of this attractive rural 
abode which is complete in all its appointments 
and one of the best homesteads in the county. 

The children born unto Mr. Wernick by his first 
wife are: Henry, who wedded Ida Sheffield and 
resides ni Lake City, Iowa; Anna,wife of (ieorge 
Hickman, a farmer of Sioux County, Neb.; and 
Mar}-, wife of Martin Funk, a farmer of Cass 
County, Iowa. Mr. Wernick was again married in 
New Albany, In d., his second union being with 
Mrs. Catherine Helfrich, who was born in Baden, 
Oermany, in the town of Stein, and came to this 
country during her girlhood, with her parents, 
the family settling in Forreston, Ogle County, 
where her father, John Rupert, is now living. He 
isa stone and brick mason by trade and served 
for three years in the late war, participatiug in 
many battles, but escaped uninjured. In Ogle 
County, Catherine Rupert gave her hand in mar- 
riage to Jacob Helfrich who enlisted with the boys 
in blue in 1862. He took part in some important 
battles and at Chickamauga was taken prisoner. 
He was placed in Anderson ville prison, where he 
died some time later in 1863. At his death he left 
one son, John, who married Jennie Wooley and is 
now a farmer of Ogle County, 111. 

Unto Mr. and Mrs. Wernick have been born 
eight children: George at home, Minnie, wife of 
James Howell, a farmer of Dixon Township; Wes- 
ley, Oscar, Carrie,Yernon, Bert and Stanley, under 
the parental roof. Tlie ^W^rnick liousehold is the 

abode of hospitality and the members of the fam- 
ily rank high in social circles. Their home is one 
of the best in the community and in it their many 
friends delight to congregate. Mr. and Mrs. Wer- 
nick attend the Lutheran Church and he exercises 
his right of franchise in support of the Republican 

\/J// foremost of the enlightened and wide-a- 
\V^ wake farmers and stock-raisers who are 
carrying on the great agricultural interests of Lee 
County. He is an extensive landed proprietor, 
having at least four valuable farms, and upon one 
of these on section 18, South Dixon Township, he 
makes his home. 

Mr. Mossholder was born in Somerset County, 
Pa., March 27, 1841, a son of Jacob and Mary 
(Flamm) Mossholder, natives respectively of 
Pennsylvania and Germany. The father was born 
in Somerset County of parents who were also na- 
tives of the Keystone State, and were of German 
blood. They were prosperous farmers and came to 
this county in 1854 and here died. The mother 
of our subject came to this country from the Ger- 
man Fatherland when she was thirteen years old 
with her parents, who settled in Somerset County, 
and there died when full of years. After their 
marriage and the birth of all their children but one, 
the parents of our subject came to Illinois in 1854, 
and were valued citizens of this county until their 
death several years later, he dying in 1873 when 
past sixty-one years old, and she in 1884, at the 
age of seventy-two. On coming here they had set- 
tled on a new farm of two hundred and forty .acres 
of wild land, located on section 17, and they de- 
veloped it into a finely improved piece of property. 
They were prominent in the moral and religious 
uplifting of their co mm. unity as leading members 
of the Evangelical Association of South Dixon, 
helping to organize the church, and Mr. Mossholder 
gave the land on which the house of worship was 

William Mossholder was a boj' of thirteen years 



when the family came to this county from his 
early home on a Pennsylvania farm, and here lie 
attained manhood. He and his brother, Nicholas, 
and sisters, Eve, now Mrs. fSamnel Allen, and Cath- 
erine, now the wife of Levi Heckman are the only 
survivors of a family of sev^n children, four sons 
and three daughters, of whom he is the third in 
order of birth. He early showed that he was well- 
endowed with the qualifications so necessary to a 
farmer in order to assure success in agricultural 
pursuits. He has a keen, discerning mind, is quick 
to grasp details, and forethought and business acu- 
men are his m a large degree. He entered into 
liis work with zest when he became an independ- 
ent farmer, conducting it with characteristic vigoi' 
unflagging zeal, being careful, prudent and me- 
thodic withal, and these, with a happj' faculty of 
carrying out his plans satisfactorily, have led him 
far on the high road to fortune. As before men- 
tioned he has several farms. The one on which he 
resides on section 18, Soutii Dixon, contains eighty 
acres of land, highly cultivated, and supplied with 
a good set of farm buildings, including a pleasant, 
roomy residence with attractive surroundings. He 
has another farm in the same township of one hun- 
dred and Jlfty-three acres, which is all under the 
plow, and Mr. Mossholder has erected a good barn, 
dwelling and other necessary buildings upon it. 
In Nelson Township, he has a fine farm of eighty 
acres on section 24, upon which is a comfortable 
house and good outbuildings; and he owns a good 
farm of one hundred and twenty acres in Adair 
County, Iowa, which is well improved. Besides 
the income derived from his farms Mr. Mossholder 
makes money by raising fine blooded stock, owning 
some of the best graded cattle, horses and swine in 
South Dixon Township. 

In the accumulation of his propertj', Jlr. Moss- 
holder has not been without the assistance of a 
good wife, who has co-operated with him by her 
able management of the household affairs, and her 
devotion to her family. His marriage with Miss 
Catherine Lievan was celebrated in Soutli Dixon 
Township at the Lutheran parsonage, June 21, 
1874. Mrs. Mossholder is a daughter of Mathias 
Lievan, of whom a biography appears in this book. 
She was born .January 11, 1847, in Somerset 

County, Pa., and was but a girl when she came 
restward with her parents, with whom she lived 
until her mari'iage. The liappy home circle of her- 
self and her husband is completed by the three 
children born unto them, namely: Nora J., aged 
fifteen; Inez G., twelve years old and Clinton E., 
who is five years of age. 

Mr. and Mrs. Mossholder are members of the 
Evangelical Association, and are identified with its 
every good work. They are people of fine social 
qualities, genial, open hearted and charitable, and 
many and warm are the friends that they have 
gathered around them in the community where the 
most of their lives has been spent. Mr. Moss- 
holder tafees a keen interest in politics, although 
he is no office-seeker, and his preference is for the 
Republican part}'. 



\|j OHN HOLD REN, a wealthy farmer residing 
in the village of Compton, is honored as 
^^ one of the pioneers of Lee County, whose 
^^fJ work has helped in making it one of the 
richest and best developed agricultural counties 
of Northern Illinois. He was born February 4, 
1825, in that part of Mt. Pleasant Township, Co- 
lumbia County, Pa., now included in Montour 
Count}'. His father was Edward Holdren, and 
he was a native of New Jersej'^, of which his fa- 
ther was a life-long resident. 

The father of our subject passed his youth in 
his native State, but when he attained manhood 
he wont to Pennsylvania and identified himself 
with the farmers of that State, buying a tract of 
partly improved land in Mt. Pleasant Township. 
That part of the country was then comparatively 
wild, there were no railways for several years 
after Mr. Holdren 's settlement there, and Phila- 
delphia, over one hundred miles away, was the 
nearest market to which the people could take 
their produce and stock to sell and obtain house- 
hold necessities in return. Mr. Holdren made 
many improvements on his farm during his resi- 
dence in Mt. Pleasant Township, and then he sold 
it some years after locating on it, and bought a 



place near White Hall, which was his home there- 
after until death removed him from the scene of 
his usefulness. He had married after going to 
Pennsylvania) taking as his wife Abigail De Mott, 
a native of Columbia County, that State, and a 
daughter of Richard De Mott, and she spent her 
last years with him on the home farm near White 

John Holdren was educated in his native county 
and there grew to man's estate. He was early 
taught to be Qf use on his father's farm, and he 
continued to assist him in its management until 
after his marriage, remaining an inmate of the 
jjarental home until then. In 1851 he determined 
to emigrate to the fertile prairies of Northern 
Illinois, his father having landed interests here, 
and on the 15th of June he arrived in this county 
to make a permanent settlement here, and to ally 
his fortunes with those of the pioneers that had 
preceded him into this then sparsely settled wil- 
derness. He located on a tract of land that his 
father had entered from the Government, situated 
one mile south of the present site of Compton. 
The prairies were then but little vised for agricul- 
tural purposes, as the earl\' settlers had not real- 
ized their value as land of surpassing fertility. 
There were no railways, and Aurora and Peru 
were the nearest market towns, though the farmers 
often took their grain and other products to 

Mr. Holdren erected suitable buildings on his 
land, and busily engaged in its improvement for 
some years. In 1863 he sold it and bought another 
on section 16, Brooklyn Township, upon which he 
lived until 1876, when he took up his residence 
in the village of Compton, and has remained here 
since. He has acquired a handsome property by 
the exercise of those traits of character that mark 
him as a thrifty, sagacious man, with a full under- 
standing of the best way to handle Ins affairs so 
as to make money. He is the owner of four 
hundred acres of fine farming land, conveniently 
divided into three farms, that are amply supplied 
with all the necessary buildings, and are under 
excellent tillage. 

In what he has accomplished our subject has 
been greatly aided by his wife, who has been to 

him all that the term helpmate implies, as it was 
his good fortune to marry, in August, 1849, Miss 
Phebe A. Derr, a native of the same State as him- 
self, her birthplace being in Northumberland 
County. They have five children — William C, 
Eleanora, Edward, Janet and Sherman J. William 
married Miss Ellen Adrian, and they have two chil- 
dren — Fannie and John. Eleanora married Shep- 
ard Mannon, and they have three children — -Emma 
C.,Willard and Laura. Janet is the widow of Alonzo 
Davison and has two children — Gracie P. and 
R. Palmer. Edward married Miss Emma G. Swope, 
and they have two children — Emma C. and Cal- 
vin. Sherman married Miss Ellen N. Kline, and 
they have one child — Rosanna. 


/^ HARLES F. EMERSON, of the well-known 
(l( _ and enterprising firm of the C. F. Emerson 

^^f' Lumber Co., of Dixon, dealers in all kinds 
of dressed and undressed lumber, house building 
sup)>lies and sewer pipes, established his present 
business in 1867. The following year, in February, 
Mr. Anderson was admitted to partnership but the 
present firm title was not assumed until the 1st of 
Januarj', 1891. Business is carried on on Water 
Street between First and Second Streets and the 
firm has an extensive trade. 

Mr. Emerson was born in the old historical town 
of Castine, Me., on the Penobscot River, August 
28, 1828, and comes of an old Scotch famih- of the 
same clan from which the late Ralph W. Emerson 
was descended. His father, Henry Emerson, a na- 
tive of York, Me., learned the trade of a blacksmith 
in the Navy Yards at Kittery, where he was em- 
ployed between the ages of fourteen and twenty- 
one years, during the time the War of 1812 was 
fought. He afterward established a smithy in 
Castine, where he spent his entire business life and 
died at the age of seventy-six years. Two of his 
sisters, l)oth of whom are Mrs. Thompson, are widow 
ladies residing in Ypsilanti, Mich., and both have 
passed their ninetieth birthdays. The mother of 
our subject was in her maidenhood Nancy Hutch- 



ing, a native of Kenuebunk, Me. She survived her 
husband some fifteen years and died in her ninetieth 
year. Both Mr. and Mrs. Emerson were strong be- 
lievers in the Universalist faith and in early life 
he was a Democrat in politics. On that Licket he 
was elected to the State Legislature of Maine, but 
when the Republican party sprang into existence, 
as the outcome of the slavery question, he joined 
its ranks, being stanch advocate of abolition prin- 
ciples. Hamilton Hampton, late United States 
Senator, was one of the warm personal friends of 
Henry Emerson. 

C. F. Emerson, whose name heads this sketch, 
was the third in a family of five children, four of 
whom are yet living, although he is the only one 
residing in the West. He grew up as did most of 
tlie boys of his day in the Pine Tree State and with 
his father learned the blacksmith's trade. After 
he had attained his majority, he shipped before the 
mast and became engaged in the coasting service 
from Bangor, Me., to the south coast of Florida. 
He also made trips to the West Indies and fished 
from the smacks off the Grand Banks of New- 
foundland. For seven years he followed a sea- 
faring life and then turned his attention to other 
pursuits. He sought a home in the West in 1855, 
and since that time has been a I'esidcnt of Dixon. 

Ere locating in Illinois, however, Mr. Emerson 
was married in Boston, on the 4th of December, 
1855, to Hannah £. Avery, who was born and reared 
in Castine, Me., but when a maiden went to Boston 
where she lived until her marriage. Her parents 
and grandparents were both natives of the Pine 
Tree State, and the home of the latter was occupied 
by the British during the War of 1812. Her father, 
John A. Avery, was a sea-faring man and merchant 
and died in Castine, Me., at an advanced age, hav- 
ing survived his wife some fifteen years. They 
were parents of eleven children, six of whom are 
now living. 

Mr. Emerson brought his bride to Dixon where 
they liave since formed a wide acquaintance and 
won many friends. Their social status is high, and 
in religious belief both Mr. Emerson and his wife 
are Universalists. He embarked in the lumber busi- 
ness in 1867, and carried it on until 1876, when he 
retired but five years later he again resumed oper- 

ations in that line and has since continued to be 
one of the leading lumber merchants of this city. 
By his fair and honest dealing he has won unlim- 
ited confidence and the liberal patronage accorded 
him is but the just reward of his labors. Mr. Emer- 
son is a public spirited and enterprising citizen 
and for four years has served as Alderman. 
He is also one of the Nachusa House directors, and 
in politics supports the Republican party by his 
ballot. Socially, he is a member of the Odd Fel- 
lows Lodge, belonging both to the subordinate 
lodge and encampment. 


^^HOMAS W. BROWN, an old and honored 
ff^^. citizen of Lee County, and one of its pio- 
^^^ neers, is one of the wealthy residents of 
Franklin Grove, where he has a beautiful home, 
and is conducting a good business as a grower of 
small fruits. His native place is the fine old city 
of Newport, R. I., and the date of his birth, Au- 
gust 14, 1820. His parents, Thomas W. and Re- 
becca (Vial) Brown, were also natives of Rhode 
Island, and were life-long residents of that State. 
They reared a family of six children, as follows: 
Louisa, who died unmarried; Mary, who became 
the wife of Thomas H. Kirtly, a banker of Phila- 
delphia, in which city she died; Harriet, the wife 
of R. P. Lee, cashier in a bank at Newport, R. I.; 
Charlotte, now Mrs. Richard E. Hamlin, of Provi- 
dence, R. I.; Elizabeth B., wife of William M. 
Steadman, a wholesale merchant, of Boston, M.ass.; 
and our subject, the only son. 

He of whom we write learned the trade of a mer- 
chant tailor under his father's instruction in his 
youth, and at nineteen years of age started West- 
ward to grow up with the country in some pioneer 
settlement, where he would have a broader field 
for the exercise of his energies, as he did not by 
any means propose to confine himself to his trade 
if he found that he could do better in another di- 
rection. After his arrival in Lee County he took 
up and improved a claim, although the land was 
not then in the market, and subsequently selling 
it at a good price, he removed to Inlet, (a village 



now defunct) and did business as a merchant tailor 
and as a daguerrean. It is worthy of note in con- 
nection with the latter that he made daguerreo- 
types of many of the early settlers, which are now 
probably preserved in many households as precious 

In 1856 Mr. Brown removed to Franklin Grove, 
and in 1860 he settled where he now resides, which 
place had been purchased that year bj^ his brother- 
in-law. He continued in the same business as be- 
fore until 1871, wlien he sold medicme for three 
years. In 1875 he began to engage in the culture 
of small fruits, and in 1885 purchased the place on 
which he resided. He then erected his handsome 
residence, which is finely located at the head of 
Main Street in the south part of the village cif 
Franklin Grove, where he has a home replete with 
nil the comforts and luxuries necessary to the best 
social life. His dwelling is a large brick house, sec- 
ond to none in the village in beauty of architect- 
ure and the convenience of its interior arrange- 
ments. It is supplied witli the modern improve- 
ments, heated by a furnace, and has hot and cold 
water in all parts of the house, besides a well ap- 
pointed bath room. Among the most pleasant 
features of this elegant home is the good cheer 
always to be found within its walls, its inmates un- 
derstanding well the art of true hospitality that 
" welcomes the coming and speeds the parting 

Although Mr. Brown is a man of wealth his act- 
ive temperment is intolerant of a life of leisure, 
and, as before mentioned, he devotes his time to 
the culture of small fruits, for which his forty 
acres of land is well adapted. He is well versed 
in the best methods of fruit culture, having made 
a careful study both from observation and from 
the perusal of the works of the best authorities on 
the subject, and he has a large and constantly 
growing business under his supervision, as he has 
acquired a wide reputation for the superior qual- 
ity of the fruit that he raises, which always finds a 
market and sells at good prices. 

On April 10, 1841, in his native city, Newport, 
R. I., Mr. Brown and Ruth F. Simpson were united 
in marriage. She, too, was born in that beautiful 
seaside resort, her birth ououiring February 12 

1819, and she is a daughter of Samuel and Harriet 
Simpson. P^or fifty years she and our subject have 
shared the vicissitudes of life together, and the 
joys and sorrow that have fallen to their lot dur- 
ing that half century of time have but strength- 
ened the tie that binds them. Nine children have 
been born to them, of whom these four have 
passed from life to death: Matilda, who died at 
the age of sixteen years; Ella, who died when six 
years old; and two who died in infancy. The five 
children living are Thomas W., a resident of Frank- 
lin Grove; Robert, a resident of Sioux Rapids, 
Iowa; !Mary E.; Harriet, now Mrs. Blair; and Lot- 
tie; the three daughters live at home with their 

Mr. Brown was in early life a Whig, but he was 
heartily in sympathy with the movement that led 
to the formation of the Republican party, and from 
its birtli he has been one of the most stanch sup- 
porters of its principles. He was the first Town 
C'lerk of Lee Centre Township, and his record as a 
citizen shows that he has always contributed to lo- 
cal improvements, and all measures to advance the 
growth and well-being of his adopted county have 
met with his cordial approval and material sup- 



who are well-known and prominent citizens 
of this county, are conducting farming 
and stock-raising in partnerehip, owning and 
operating a good-sized, well-equipped farm on 
sections 21 and 22, South Dixon Township, that 
is in all respects one of the finest estates in this 
part of Illinois. 

The Kayinoud brothers are scions of the sturdy 
pioneer stock of Southern ^Michigan. The elder 
brother, liowever, was born in Steuben County, N. 
Y., prior to the removal of the family to the pri- 
meval wilds of that ticction of the country in terri- 
torial days, the date of his birth being May 14, 
1821. Daniel B., the youngest member of the 
household, was born November 2, 1833, in the 
primitive pioneer home of his parents in the town- 



ship of Rfiisin, Leiia^v'oe County, shortly after they 
had made settlement in that region. 

Our subject's ancestors were Englishmen, of the 
same blood as the Pilgrim Fathers of the Mayflow- 
er, and some of them were among the colonists of 
New England, and made their homes in the quaint 
old city of Salem and in the town of "Wareham, 
Mass., and representatives of the family ma}^ still 
be found in that section of the country. The 
first to avail himself of the privileges of religious 
freedom in America was John Raymond, who came 
hither in 1636. F'oUowing him in line of descent 
were William Raymond Sr., William Raymond Jr. 
and then in succession three of the name of 
Daniel, the latter of whom was the father of the 
gentlemen of whom we write. The grandfather 
of our subjects was a native of Richmond Town- 
ship, Greene County, N. Y., whither his father had 
removed after marriage from his old Massachusetts 
home to found a new one in the wilderness. He 
and his wife were also pioneers of Steuben County 
and hewed out a farm in Cohooton Township, 
where they died. He had been a patriotic soldier 
during the Revolution, serving throughout the 
war, and lived. to be nearly ninety years old. The 
father of our subjects was reared in his native 
State, and when the War of 1812 broke out he 
showed himself a worthy son of his sire by enlist- 
ing in the service of his country in a New York regi- 
ment, in which he held the rank of Orderly Sergeant. 
He was married in Steuben County with Miss Lucy 
A. Woodrdff, who was born in Berkshire County, 
Mass., coming of a long line of New England an- 
cestry, and her parents were also of Massachusetts 

After the birth of seven children, Daniel Ray- 
mond and his wife set out for the Territory of 
Michigan in the spring of 1833, traveling with an 
ox-team, and journeying by the lakes and over- 
land until they had penetrated the forest wilds of 
Lenawee County as far as the present site of Rai- 
sin Township, where they determined to found 
their new home. Mr. Raymond selected a suitable 
location in the woods, on section 24, of said town- 
ship, two and one half miles from the Raisin River 
buying a part of it from the Government. He 
toiled hard, and had already hewed out a goodlj^ 

farm, when he was attacked by a malignant epi- 
demic that then prevailed in that section, and 
died at the age of fifty-four years, twelve years 
after settling there. His community was thus de- 
prived of one of its most highly prized citizens, 
who was a man of rare virtue, of force and dignity 
of character, and was associated with all that was 
good in his township. He was a Whig in politics 
and religiously, was a member of the Congrega- 
tional Church, as was his wife, who died on the old 
homestead in Michigan, in 1858, at the age of six- 
ty-five years. She was the mother of eight chil- 
dren, of whom six are yet living, two in Michigan, 
and the others in Illinois. All are married but two, 
Elijah II., of this notice, and Hannah. They have 
all lived together under one roof since thej' came 
to this State in 1865, and settled on the farm 
where they have since made their home, and which 
was purchased the year before they took possession 
of it. Our subjects have made of it a very fine place 
bringing it to a high standard of cultivation and 
improvement, erecting commodious and well fitted 
up buildings of the most approved modern class, 
and stocking its pastures with cattle, horses and 
swine of superior breeds. The farm contains two 
hundred and forty acres of land of exceeding fer- 
tility. The brothers had previously had a good 
training in farming on the old homestead where 
thej' had passed their boj'^hood days, and thej' 
were well educated in the public schools of Adrian 
and Lenawee County. 

Daniel B. Raymond was married at the old 
home in his native State to Miss Maria S. Clark, 
who was born in Berkshire County, Mass., January 
29, 1834. Her parents were also natives of Massa- 
chusetts, and came of some of the old Colonial 
families of New England. Her father died in the 
old Bay State while yet in the prime of life. Her 
mother was middle-aged when she died in Michi- 
gan. Mr. and Mrs. Raymond have been blessed in 
their pleasant wedded life by the birth of three 
children, — Daniel E., Agnes C, and Florence M. 
All- are accomplished and highly educated, having 
attended Dixon College, and the daughters have . 
taught in the South-Side public schools of 
Dixon. The son assists his father and uncle in the 
management of the farm. All the family are mem- 



bers of the First Presbyterian Cliurch of Dixon. 
Mr. Raymond has borne a conspicuous part in the 
management of public affairs in township and 
county for several years. He was the first Cleric of 
the Township, holding that ottice for fourteen 
years and has represented it as a member of the 
County Board of Supervisors. He and his brother 
l<;iijah are representative Republicans, and are 
generous, public-spirited, high-minded men, whose 
citizenship carries weight and influence for good 
in the cominunitv where their lot has been cast. 

'^ OHN F. BOSSEMEYER was a man of intel- 
ligent mind and superior character, exem- 
plary in his habits, manly and straightfor- 
ward in his dealings, and true in the vari- 
ous relations that he sustained towards others as 
son, husband, father, neighbor, and steadfast in his 
friendships. And the death of such an estimable 
citizen was a serious loss to his community. I'or 
several years he had been busily engaged in im- 
proving a farm on section 22, South Dixon Town- 
ship, and in general agricultural operations, and 
there, while yet in life's prime, with a promising 
future before him, his hand was stayed from its 
labors, and he passed from the scenes of earth 
April 1, 1888. 

Mr. Bossemeyer was born in the State of Mary- 
land, May 24, 1849. His father, whose given 
name was Frederick, was of German birth and an- 
cestry. He was a young man when he came to the 
United States and settled in Maryland, where he 
met and married Miss Hannah Gammer, a native 
of that State. Thej^ continued to live in that 
commonwealth until after the birth of their eldest 
children and then they came to Illinois and cast in 
their lot with the pioneers of Lee County. They 
located on a tract of wild, unbroken land on sec- 
tion 24, South Dixon Township, where they estab- 
lished a little home, which was afterward replaced 
by a more commodious dwelling, and in the course 
of time Mr. Bossemeyer opened up a valuable farm 
of two hundred and fifty acres. In 1880, he retired 

from active business with his wife to the city of 
l^ixon, and they quietly passed their remaining 
days in their residence on (Jalena Street, his death 
occurring in 1886, at the age of three-score and ten 
years, and hers in 1889, when she was well ad- 
vanced in 3'ears. She was a woman of many vir- 
tues, of a warm and tender heart, and was re- 
garded with great affection by all about her. Mr. 
Bossemeyer, Sr.. was considered one of the leading 
German farmers of his day, and was well and fav- 
orably known. lie was a prominent Republican, 
taking an active part in local politics, and he was 
a great worker in the church; both he and his wife 
belonged to the Lutheran Church of Dixon. 

A boy of ten or eleven years when his parents 
brought him to this county, our subject grew to 
man's estate on his father's farm, and there re- 
ceived the practical training that was to make him 
successful as a farmer on his own account. He re- 
mained on the paternal homestead until he at- 
tained, his majority, and after his marriage he pur- 
chased a farm of one hundred and seven acres on 
section 22, South Dixon Township, and made many 
improvements in the shape of good farm buildings, 
etc. He was a young man of much ability, was 
remarkably industrious, was progressive in his 
ideas, and was ambitious to make a pleasant home 
for his family, to whom he was devoted. He was 
a student and a thinker, and seemed to have an 
aptitude for inventions, which might have made 
him famous one day had he lived. He was well 
educated, and made his mark as a teacher, engag- 
ing in that profession in this county some three 
years. His religion was that of the Lutheran 
Church, of which he was a member. In pohlics, 
he was a decided Republican. 

, September 4, 1874, the marriage of our subject 
with Miss Fannie A. Smith was duly solemnized in 
Dixon Township,and in her he found an affectionate 
and devoted wife, who made his interests her own, 
and materially added to his success in life and to 
his comfort and happiness. She was born in this 
township on her father's homestead Mareii lo, 
1858. She was carefully reared under wholesome 
home influences, and was educated in the public 
schools. At 1km- husband's death she bravely took 
up the work that he laid down, and is managing 



the farm with consummate skill, (iisplayiug an un- 
doubted talent for business. She is the mother of 
four children, who arc at home with her; their 
names are as follows: Arthur J., EtUi L., Lester O. 
and Nellie H. For Mrs. Bossemeyer's parental his- 
tory see sketch of Joseph Smith on another page. 






'JI/AMES SNEED, whose sketch now invites 
attention, is one of the prominent men of 
Lee County, having in the course of his 
long life witnessed many changes and an 
immense amount of progress in the State, and also 
having accumulated a considerable fortune. He is 
now engaged in general farming on sections 20 
and 29, of Palmyra Township, where he owns and 
operates a large estate of two hundred and thirty- 
seven acres, on which, besides farming, he carries 
on the stock trade. He has lived on this farm since 
1871, having come to the State in 1854. He was 
for a while in Morris County, Kan., and then re- 
moved to Carroll County, where he remained four 
years. Since that time he has lived_ continuously 
on his present homestead. 

Mr. Sneed's birth occurred in Pulaski County, 
Ky., near Somerset, on the 15th of January, 1827, 
being the son of dearies and Elizabeth (Dalton) 
Sneed. When just a small boy our subject moved 
with his parents to Indiana, the family leaving the 
beautiful Blue Grass country for no other reason 
than that the idea of slavery was distasteful to 
them, and as that custom prevailed everywhere 
south of "Mason and Dixon's line", they were 
forced to seek a Northern home. Tliey first located 
in Washington County, and began life there as far- 
mers, and later lived for a time in Jackson County 
soon returning to Washington County, where 
they spent their last years. The father died when 
about seventy and the mother when about sixty 
years of age. They were both born iind. reared in 
Kentucky and were there married. To them were 
born thirteen children, four sons and one daughter 
yet surviving, our subject being the only one of 
the faWiily in Illinois. 

Our subject was reared in Washington County, 

Ind., and while there attained his majority, at 
which time he came to Lee County and was mar- 
ried in this township to IMiss Sarah V, Toliver, who 
wMs born in Lawrence County, Ind. She was yet 
(juite young when her parents removed to Richland 
County, Ind., and a short time afterwards she was 
deprived of a mother's loving care and protection. 
She was taken care of by her grandparents who 
lived in this township, and it was here that she re- 
ceived her education. She was always quite stud- 
ious and gained a good education with what ad- 
vantages she had. She has made our subject a 
true and faithful helpmate, and is held in high re- 
pute for her intellectuality and her many excellent 
traits of character. This lady was called to her 
eternal home the 14th of August, 1891. 

The marriage of our subject and his estimable 
wife has been blessed by the advent of seven chil- 
dren, two of whom are now deceased. The living 
are: Franois j\I., who took to wife Alice Schultz, a 
resident of Dixon; Alice M., wife of E. H. Hughs, 
a farmer in Ogle County, this State; James B., a 
farmer, who resides at home; and William F. and 
Minnie L., who are also at home. Mr. Sneed has 
held several township and county offices, among 
them being the office of County Collector, and is 
at present the incumbent of the office of Justice of 
the Peace, which he holds with satisfaction to his 
constituents. In his politics he affiliates with the 
Republican Party. 




'^1 OHN M. TROSTLE is an enterprising and 
successful business man, the owner and op- 
erator of the East Elevator at Ashton. He 
was born in Frederick County, Md., Nov- 
ember 1, 1855. He was reared on a farm in his 
native county until he was eighteen years of age, 
when he came to Franklin Grove, 111., where he 
learned the carpenters' trade under J. L. Strock 
and J. C. Spangler, working at it for twelve years. 
He then came to Ashton and rented the East Ele- 
vator which he operated for three years, at the end 
of that time becoming its purchaser. It has a capa- 
city of fifteen thousand bushels and has provpd a 



great convenience to the fanneis in tlie ilisposri! of 
tlieii' grain. In tlie hands of such a competent 
beslness man as Mr. Trestle, the business has be- 
come one of importance and has proved a financial 

Mr. Trostle was married in Nachusa, December 
3, 1877, to Miss Minerva A. Brierton, who was 
born in this county, in February, 1856. They 
liave one adopted child, Lottie M. Tlie parents of 
our subject, Jacob D., and Sarah (Pfoutz) Trostle, 
were natives of Adams County, Pa., and are now 
residing in Dickinson County, Kan. They have 
had twelve children, of whom John M. was fifth 
in the order of birth. Mr. Trostle is a stanch 
Republican and has always been very active in 
political affairs and, in fact in whatever relates lO 
the welfare of his community. He is Cliairman of 
the Ashton Township Republican Committee, and 
was for four years a member of the Milage Board 
in Franklin Grove. At present he is serving as 
Mayor of Ashton, which ofHce he has held for two 
terms, being first elected in the spring of 1889, and 
re-elected in the spring of 1891. Under his wise 
supervision the affairs of the town are in a flour- 
ishing condition, he giving much attention to the 
various projects which tend to the upbuilding of 
the community. Socially he is a member of the 
Masonic fraternity. 

ENRY BOLLMAN owns one hundred and 
twenty acres of fine farming land on sec- 
tion 22, Nelson Township, and is conduct- 
ing a profitable business as a general 
farmer. He was born in Prussia, Germany, March 
27, 1833, to Gotlieb and Elizabeth Bollman, who 
were also natives of Prussia, and passed their en- 
tire lives there on a farm, the father dying at the 
age of forty-nine, when scarcely past the prime of 
life, and the mother was not much older when she 
died. They were most excellent people, true 
Christians and members of the Lutheran Church. 
Our subject is one of eight children, of whom 
two are living in the United States, he and his 

hiothei' Fred, tlie latter a prosperous farmer of 
South l-)ixon Township. He came to this country 
ten years before Henry came, being scarcely more 
than a boy when he ventured to try his fortunes 
in a strange land. 

Amid the quiet scenes of his birthplace our 
subject grew apace, and in tlie local schools conned 
his lessons diligently, tlius securing a good prac- 
tical education, and he also received a useful 
training in agriculture on his father's farm. He 
was but fifteen j^ears old when he determined to 
follow his brother Henry to the far-away country 
across the sea, and witli a courageous spirit and 
the high hopes of youth, he set out on the long 
voyage in the good ship "Baltimore," from which 
he disembarked six weeks later in the city of that 
name in the State of Maryland. From there he 
made his way to Pennsylvania, and upon his ar- 
rival in Somerset County, found he had but two 
dollars in money left. He, however, was nothing 
daunted as long as he could secure employment, 
and he worked for different people until he ob- 
tained a good start in life. He then came to' 
Illinois to invest his earnings where he could get 
rich farming land comparatively cheap, and could 
profit by numerous other advantages which this 
region offers to a skillful, industrious farmer. He 
made his first purchase of -realtj'^ in South Dixon 
Township, and while he held it made many good 
improvements upon it. He finally disposed of 
that farm at quite an advance on the cost price, 
and bought the farm that he now occupies in 
Nelson Township. He has the land under ex- 
cellent tillage, the productive soil yielding abund- 
ant harvests in repayment of the care and toil 
expended upon it, and he raises a good class of 
stock. He is verj^ comfortably situated here, keeps 
his place in a good condition, everything about 
it denoting thrifty management. 

Mr. Bollman was wedded to Miss Christina 
Grobe in this township, and their domestic life has 
been productive of much real happiness, among its 
blessings being the six children born to them, of 
whom these five are still inmates of their home — 
Anna, Alvena, William, Henry and Gertie. Their 
eldest daughter, Mary, is the wife of Milt Hax. 
Mrs. Bollman was born in Saxon- Weimar, Germany. 



Her father died when she was very .yoiing, and 
she afterwards came to the United States and to 
Illinois with her mother and four brothers, the 
family locating in Lee County. The mother lived 
to be an old lady, and died in Nelson Township. 
Mi-s. BoUman was seventeen years old when she 
eapie to this country, and here met and married 
our subject a few years later. She shares with 
him the respect accorded to his genuine worth, 
and both are very much liked liy their neighbors 
for their friendliness and readiness to help an^' 
who are suffering or 'needy if it is possible for 
them to do so. In them the Lutheran Church has 
two of its truest Clu-istian members. Mr. Bollmau 
fli-st exercised the right of suffrage by casting liis 
vote for James Buchanan for the Presidency, and 
he has ever since- given the Democratic party- 
sturdy support. 




^1' OHN H. ABBOTT", who is engaged in gen- 
eral farming and stock-raising on sections 
29 and 30, Nachusa Township, is a native 
of Columbia County, Pa. He traces his 
ancestry back to the middle of the eighteenth cen- 
tury, when members of the Abbott family of Eng- 
lish birth came to America in the British service 
to fight in the French and Indian War. Making 
permanent locations in this country their children 
became American citizens and turned against the 
mother cOuntrj'- when the Colonies revolted. Jacob 
Abbott, Sr., the paternal grandfather, was a native 
of New Jersey, and throughout the Revolutionary 
War was a member of Gen. Sullivan's regiment, 
serving through six campaigns and participating 
in the battles of Monmouth and Brandywi'ne and 
muny others of importance. The Abbott family 
lias an excellent military record. In every war in 
which the United States has been engaged, its re})- 
resentatives were found. Jacob Abbott, father of 
our subject, served in the War of 1812, and to the 
War of the Rebellion he sent his son William to 
defend the stars and stripes. In times of peace 
the Abbotts were farming people and were promi- 
nent in the various localities where they resided. 

They weie also usually of a religious turn of mind 
and tlie INIethodist Church received many members 
from ite ranks. 

Jacob Abbott Sr. removed from New Jersey to 
Pennsylvania, being accompanied by his f.imily, 
one of which, .Jacob Jr., became the father of our 
subject. He was then a lad and in Columbia 
County grew to manhood. He there wedded 
Mary Tomlinson, a lady of English descent, born 
and reared in the Keystone State, where her parents 
were early settlers. She died in middle life and 
Jacob Abbott passed away at the age of sixty-four. 

Our subject lost his mother when he was a lad of 
eleven years and by his father and stepmother he 
was reared. In his native county he found a ma- 
trimonial alliance with Miss Ellen Shoemaker, who 
was born in Columbia County, Pa., in November, 
1827. Her parents, however, were natives of New 
Jersey, but spent their last years in Pennsylvania. 
Andrew Shoemaker, the father, carried on a public 
inn for many years and was quite a prominent 
character in the community where he resided. In 
the family were three sons and three daughters. 

Mrs. Abbott spent the days of her maidenhood 
under the jjarental roof until she gave her hand 
in marriage to our subject. Seven children grace 
their union, the eldest of whom, Amzy, wedded 
Martha W. Miller and now resides in Nachusa; 
IClizabeth is the wife of Samuel Becktleheimer, a 
lumber dealer, residing in Polien, Adams County, 
Xeb.^ Robert R. follows the occupation of farming 
and resides at home; William wedded Ida Shoe- 
maker and they reside in Nacliusa Township; 
Martha is tlie wife of M3a-on Trivelpeace and 
their home is in Frontier County, Neb.; Charles is 
a dealer in lumber and coal in Ayers, Neli.; and 
Mary, at home, completes the family. The parents 
are both members of the iMethodist Church and are 
active workers in tlie ISIaster s vineyard. For 
many years Mv. Abbott has been a stalwart sup- 
porter of tlie Republican party and does all in his 
power to promote its growth and insure its Suc- 
cess. He is a well-informed man, both on politi- 
cal questions and otherwise, and is recognized as 
one of the leading citizens of the community. 

To gener.ll farming and stock raising Mr. Abbott 
devotes his energies, his home being in Nachusa 



Township, wliere he located March 28, 1864. Since 
that time he has improved two good farms and is 
also the owner of eighty acres of land in Nebraska. 
The well tilled fields on sections 29 and 30, which 
pay to him a golden tribute, attest the fact of his 
thrift and enterprise and his neighbors add their 
testimony by speaking of him as one of the practi- 
cal and progressive agriculturists of the com- 

^AVID MURRAY, an honored resident of 
Nelson Township, is a noble type of the 
vigorous Scotch race, many of whose sons 
have sought homes in the United States, 
and are to-day among the most valued and loyal 
citizens of this country. Mr. Murray has for a long 
time been counted as one of the most sagacious 
and well-to-do of the general farmers and stock- 
raisers of this section of the county, where he owns 
two fine farms, which are complete in their appoint- 
ments, one located on sections 26 and 27, Nelson 
Township, comprising one hundred and sixty acres 
of land, and the other situated on section 33, 
Harmon Township, consisting of one hundred and 
twenty acres. 

Our subject was born in Ayreshire, Scotland, not 
far from the home of the poet Burns, December 5, 
1838, and is a son of Gilbert and Jennett (Mulrick) 
Murray. His parents were born and bred in Ayre- 
shire, being of pure Scotch blood, and were descen- 
dants of some of the old families of their native 
land. They inherited the superior qualities of 
their race and were earnest, honorable and hard- 
working people. They reared a large family of 
children, but as they shared the poverty of their 
countrymen, much was required of their offspring, 
who were early sent away from home to look alter 
themselves, and never but twice were they alto- 
gether under one roof tree. The first of the fam- 
ily, of whom there were eight sons and five daugh- 
ters, to come to the United States, were the two 
older boys, John and Gilbert. They came hither 
in 1853 and settled in Connecticut, where they 
were joined by their parents and other members of 

the family in 18.55, after a voyage of five weeks 
and four days on the ocean in a sailing vessel. 
The father and mother passed their remaining days 
in that New England State, living to be old peo- 
ple, the former dying in New London County, in 
the town of Norwich, in 1886, at the age of eighty- 
one; and his wife dying in June, 1891, aged 
eighty-two years. They were strong in their re- 
ligious beliefs, clung tenaciously to the Presbyte- 
rian faith, which was so dear to their fathers from 
the days of John Knox, and they were active 
workers in the church. Of their thirteen children 
but one son and one daughter are dead. 

David Murray was but a boy when the family 
came to dwell in the United States, and though 
"Auld Scotia" is still dear to his heart, as it is to 
every true-born son of its rugged soil, he has come 
to love the land of his adoption with an ardor 
scarce surpassed by those native and to the manor 
born, holding its institutions and form of govern- 
ment in profound admiration, and speaking of it 
as "the most glorious country on earth," to quote 
from one of his talks on the subject when he re- 
ferred with pride to the good fortune that had at- 
tended the family since they landed, on these 

Our subject left Connecticut, where he had 
spent the first few years of his life in this country, 
in 1858, with a determination to establish himself 
in the great and growing State of Illinois, and 
since then has lived in the townships of Harmon 
and Nelson, in this county. Good fortune has 
smiled upon his venture, and as we have seen, he 
has acquired a handsome property. He fii'St lo- 
cated in Harmon Township, and in time became 
the proprietor of a well-improved farm of one 
hundred and twentj- acres in that place, upon 
which he lived sixteen years. In the fall of 1888 
he purchased the farm in Nelson Township, which 
has since been his home. 

Mr. Murray- was unmarried when he came to this 
county, but he was subsequently wedded in Dixon 
to Miss Helen Burnham. She is a native of New 
Hampshire, born, reared and educated among the 
beautiful hillsof the old Granite Stale, and she is 
well endowed with the fine virtues of the good 
old New England stock from which she is de- 



seended. She came to Illinois in young woman- 
hood with her parents Samuel and Mary (Godfrey) 
Burnham, who made their home in Dixon until 
they passed from the scene of earth when full of 
years. The household of our subject and his ami- 
able wife is completed by their two children, Frank 
B. and Hattie F., who are bright and well-educated 
young people. Mr. ]Murray is just, fair-minded, 
thoughtful and frank in his disposition, and, with 
his wife, enjoys the cordial good-will and friend- 
ship of the entire community. The}- are atten- 
dants at the Lutheran Church, all good causes 
finding in them generous support. In his politi- 
cal relations our subject is a Republican, who is 
stanch in his fealty to his part^-. He has been 
an incumbent of local offices, and has always en- 
couraged public improvement. 


THOMAS DOLAN, a merchant tailor of 
Dixon, doing business in the Dolan Block, 
on Galena Avenue, located permanently in 
this city in 1871, but had resided here previously, 
the date of his coming being 1841. He was born 
in County Longford, Ireland, Novemi)er, 14, 1827, 
and is a son of Michael and Ellen (Phiney) Do- 
lan, who spent their entire lives in County Long- 
ford, on the farm which had been the family 
homestead for three generations. Tlie death of 
the father resulted from an accident incurred at 
the age of fifty-four years, and his wife only sur- 
vived him about six months. They both adhered 
to the faith of the Roman Catholic Church. Only 
two of their children are yet living — Thomas, of 
this sketch, and Mary, wife of James Carroll, 
who for thirty-seven years has been foreman of 
the water works of Jersey City, N. J. 

Our subject is one of the self-made men of Lee 
County, having made his own way in the world 
from the age of fourteen years. Prior to that 
time .he remained under the parental roof, but in 
the spring of 1841 bade good-by to home and na- 
tive land, and accompanied by a brother as far as 
Liverpool, England, whence he cros.sed the At- 
lantic in the sailing-vessel "Kilber," lauding at 

New Orleans several weeks later. He then pro- 
ceeded up the Mississippi River to Peru, 111., and 
the same year joined another brother, William, 
in Lee County. Empty-handed he began life in 
the New World, and for the success which has 
crowned his efforts be deserves all the credit. Nat 
long after his arrival he met with a sad accident. 
While working in a dye house his right leg was 
scalded and fears were entertained for his life, 
but through the kind treatment he received in the 
Sisters' Hospital, of St. Louis, he ultimately re- 
covered after two years of illness, but was left a 
cripple. In the fall of 1843 he began learning 
the tailor's trade in Joliet, 111., where he remained 
until 1846, when he went to Chicago, and in that 
city spent fourteen years in the line of his chosen 
profession. He was also employed as a journey- 
man in a tailoring establislimcnt in Morrison, III., 
for five years, and for six j'ears engaged as cutter 
with. Wilson Allen in Polo, this State. In the 
meantime he had spent the years 1852 and 1853 "In 
Dixon, and now returned in 1871, making a per- 
manent location. For more than twenty yesh'S 
he has carried on his tailoring establishment in 
Lee County with good success. 

While in Chicago Mr. Dolan wedded Miss RcSse 
Crawford, who was born in Ireland, and in 1851 
came with an uncle to this country. Her mother 
had died in the Emerald Island and subsequently 
her father, Nicholas Crawford, crossed the At- 
lantic to America, joining his daughter in Chi- 
cago. In after years he went to Kankakee, 111., 
where he is still living at an advanced age. He 
belongs to the Catholic Church, as did also his 
wife. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Dolan have been born six- 
teen children, among these being triplets and twins. 
Ten of the number are yet living — Lucy, wife of 
John McBride, a publisher of periodicals in New 
York City; Thomas F., who wedded Maria O'Con- 
ner, is engaged in merchant tailoring in Chicago, 
an a partner with his twin brother, Joseph M.; 
Minnie, Nina and Maggie are all stenographers of 
Chicago, one being employed as a court reporter, 
another in the Leland House, and the third in the 
Palmer House; William, who is a tailor by trade, 
but is now employed as a salesman in a wholesale 
grocery house of Chicago; Agnes, who attends 



the Normal College of Dixon, where she is study- 
ing elocution; and Lizzie and John, both of whom 
are High School students. 

Mr. Dolan, his wife and children are all active 
members of the Roman Catholic Church, and in 
politics he is a supporter of the Democratic party. 
While in Chicago he took quite an active part in 
local military affairs and was First Lieutenant of the 
Emmet Guards from 1856 until the late war broke 
out. With Capt. Pat O'Conner and First Lieut. 
D. M. Ward, he organized a company for service 
in the Rebellion, and out of the eighty-five men 
he was the only one not accepted, his rejection 
being due to his lameness. He has been quite a 
prominent citizen in Dixon for many years, and 
in 1883 and 1884 served as City Alderman. Dur- 
ing this time the city waterworks wei-e put in and 
the cemetery also laid out. Mi'. Dolan acting as 
Chairman of the Cemetery Committee. It was 
largely through his influence that the Protestants 
and Catholics joined in making this burial city 
for their dead. Mr. Dolan has led a busy and 
useful life, and by his industry and perseverance 
has acquired a comfortable property, being now 

ENRY MILLER. The German citizen of 
the United States, as a rule, brings with 
him from the Fatherland tlu-ee traits of 
character which may almost be termed na- 
tional, namely, industry, economy and persever- 
ance, and in the broader flehls of labor, and wider 
opportunities offered him in this countrj^, so uses 
these qualities, as not only to secure for himself 
and family a competency, but also to leave his im- 
press on the community in which he lives, in all 
that tends to the betterment of its institutions and 

The subject of this sketch, who is a good exam- 
ple of the class of men spoken of, is a well-to-do 
farmer, owning a fine tract of two hundred and 
seventy acres on sections 30, 31 and 32, Palmyra 
Township, on the latter of which is situated the 

residence; he at present makes his home in Sterling, 
111., where he is living retired. The land was pur- 
chased from the Government at an early day, and 
he with the assistance of his brothers, improved it 
from the raw prairie into the fine farm which it is 
to-day. He has been eminently successful, as the 
appearance of the place indicates, it being well 
supplied with fine farm buildings and a good brick 

]\Ir. Miller was born in Oldenburg, Germany, 
November 13. 1822, and is the youngest son of 
Pope and Theda (Remmers) Miller, natives of 
Oldenburg, where they were reared and married. 
The family resided in this city until all their fam- 
ily of five sons and two daughters were born and 
reared, when they emigrated to the United States 
in May, 1837, sailing in the vessel "Charlotte" and 
after a voyage of forty days landed in New York 
City. From that place they came to Illinois and 
began life again in the wilds of the Prairie State. 
They were poor in purse, but possessed of true Ger- 
man thrift and energy, and here laid the founda- 
tion of the comfortable fortune which each one at 
present possesses. They first settled in Cass County, 
this State, and about one year later the father died 
there, aged fifty-eight years. In the fall of 1838 the 
widow with her children came to Palmyra Town- 
ship, this county, remaining there until the spring 
of 1850, when she returned to Germany with one 
of her sons, Fred, and about ten years later died 
there in her native town of Oldenburg in the sev- 
enty-third year of her age. She as well as her hue- 
band and children, was a member of the Lutheran 
Church, and was a most estimable woman. 

Henry ^liller was married in this township to 
Miss Fredricka A. Klostermann, also a native of 
Oldenburg, Germany, born in 1832. She is a 
daughter of Ernest E. and Alma Klostermann, na- 
tives respectively of Saxony and Oldenbui-g, who 
were married in that country, and with their fam- 
ily came to the United States in 1845, settling on 
a farm in Palmyra Township. Here both the par- 
ents died, the father in 1890, at the age of eighty- 
four years, and his wife a few years previously, 
aged seventy-eight years. They were worthy mem- 
bers of the Lutheran Church. ]Mrs. Miller was mar- 
ried after coming to this country, and has proved 



a worthy wife, assisting ber husband in every way 
possible. She is the mother of nine children, as 
follows: Mary is the wife of Warren Powers, a 
farmer in "Whiteside County; Charles lives in 
Monte Christo, Tex.; Rena is the wife of Mathias 
Rikert, and they live on a farm in this township; 
Lucy married Henry Lampkin, and they reside on 
a farm in Grundy County, Iowa; Alma married 
David Brightweizer, who is a farmer in Adams 
County, Neb.; Frank married Addie Martin, and 
resides on the old homestead; Nellie is a teacher 
in Sterling and resides with her parents ; Katie is 
the wife of Joseph Crorabie, and they aro farmers 
in Grundy County, Iowa; and Minnie became the 
wife of Frank Snyder, and lives in Hitchcock 
County, Neb. 

Mr. and Mrs. Miller are of the same religious 
faith as their parents and prominent members of 
the Lutheran Church. In politics Mr. Miller is a 
Republican, and has held several local olHces in the 


/p^EORGE L. KLOSTERMANN, a well-to-do 
III g-. farmer i-esiding on section 18, Palmyra 
^^S! Township, is a worthy representative of 
one of the pioneer families of Lee County. His 
father, Ernest F. Klostermann, came to Illinois in 
1845, and settled in this township. He was a na- 
tive of Saxony, Germany, and came of a good 
family, m fact royal blood flowed m his veins. He 
was highly educated and when a young man start- 
ed to make a tour through Germany. During his 
travels he married Miss Alma Klustermann, who 
was below him in social station and for this reason 
he was ostracized by his family. He then went to 
Oldenburg and there began life anew with his 
young bride who proved a true helpmate and 
faithful companion to him. Some years later with 
their children they sailed from Bremen to Amer- 
ica reaching New York City after a voyage of 
six weeks. Thence they came to Dixon 111., and 
the family has since made Lee County their home. 
Mr. Klostermann was then in limited circum- 
stances and they had to endure many of the hard- 

ships and privations of pioneer life. F'or a number 
of years before they got a foothold, they lived in 
a log cabin, but at length the father, as the result 
of his ceaseless activity and industry, was enabled 
to purchase a tract of land in Palmyra Township- 
thesame on which our subject now resides. It con- 
tinued to be the home of hiuiself and wife until 
they were called to their final rest. The mother 
died in 1885, at the age of seventy years and Mr. 
Klostermann passed away April 25, 1890, at the 
advanced age of eighty-four years. They were 
members of the Lutheran Church and were good 
Christian people. Mr. Klostermann was quite 
prominent in this community and was a well-read 
and well informed man. In politics he was a sup- 
porter of the Republican principles. Of the family 
three sons and a daughter are yet living, but one 
child died in Germany and two after coming to 
this country- The daughter, Mrs. Henr3'^ Miller, is 
represented elsewhere in this work; Fred is a stock- 
dealer of Sterling; and Henry is a successful barber 
of Tipton Iowa. 

George L. Klostermann was born in Java, Ger- 
many, March 29, 1845, and was therefore only 
six months old when his parents crossed the Atlan- 
tic to America. Practically, his entire life has been 
passed in this county. Under the parental roof he 
was reared to manhood and his education was ac- 
quired in the public schools. After attaining to 
mature years he chose as a companion on life's 
journey Miss Rebecca Lamcken, the wedding cere- 
mony being performed in Prairieville. The lady 
was born in Blumeuthal, Germany, April 2, 1848, 
and is a daughter of John and Katie (Faler) Lamc- 
ken, natives of Hanover, German J^ In early life 
her father was engaged as manager of a sugar re- 
finery in London. He afterwards returned to 
Oldenburg, where lie married Miss Faler who was 
his second wife. She survived her marriage some 
fifteen years and died at the age of forty-eight in 
the faith (if the Lutheran Church, of which she was 
a member. Some years later Mr. Lamcken departed 
this life near Bremen, at the age of seventy years. 
He was a prominent and successful farmer and was 
a leading member of the Lutheran Church. Mrs. 
Klostermann with her two brothers and two sisters 
came to the United States in 1866, locating in Lee 



County. Her brothers, George and Henry are 
now resident farmers of Grnndy County, lowa;one 
sister is now deceased; and the other returned to 
the Fatherland. 

Mrs. Klostermann was liberally educated in (ier- 
many and in addition to her literary studies at- 
tended a cooking school in Oldenburg. By her 
marriage she has become the mother of seven chil- 
dren but lost two, Fred and Harry. Tiie living 
are P^rnest H., Julia F., Edward W., Herbert L. and 
Nellie A., all yet at home. The children have 
been provided with good educational advantages 
and Miss Julia has attained an enviable reputation 
as a successful school teacher. Mr. Klostermann, 
his wife and children are members of the Lutheran 
Church and in political sentiment he is a Prohibi- 

The home of this family is situated on section 
18, Palmyra Township, where our subject owns 
one hundred and sixty acres of highly improved 
land that constitutes one of the best farms in the 
community. A comfortable and substantial resi- 
dence and good outbuildings arc among the im- 
provements and the place is well stocked with 
high grades of horses and cattle, in fact it is com- 
plete in all its appointments and Mr. Klostermann 
is regarded as a model farmer. He has made of his 
life a success and his prosperitj^ is certainly is cer- 
tainly well deserved. 



EVl KAFEXSPERGER, now living in re- 
rement in one of the attractive homes of 
^ranklin Grove, though not one of the 
earliest settlers of Lee County, may be considered 
one of its pioneers, as his work as a shrewd, prac- 
tical farmer when in active business, was a help in 
developing the soil and making this a prosperous 
agricultural communit3^ 

Our venerable subject was born in Franklin 
County, Pa., April 4, 1818, a son of Jacob and 
Magdalena Rafensberger, who were natives of 
Adams County, Pa. The paternal great-grandfather 
of our subject was a Swiss emigrant wlio settled 
in this country in Colonial times. In early life 

Mr. Rafensperger learned the trade of a shoemaker 
but when he attained the age of twenty-seven 
years he turned his attention to farming, which he 
carried on in his native State for some years. In 
1851 he determined to avail himself of the golden 
opportunities afforded by the rich virgin soil of the 
great Prairie State and came here to locate perma- 
nently, he being the only member of his father's 
family to settle in any part of tha West. 

After his arrival in Illinois Mr. Rafensperger 
selected ninety acres of land that was but little im- 
proved, lying near the village of Nachusa, for 
which he paid |1,000. He had but little money 
with which to begin his new life amid pioneer 
scenes, but he had that within him that .amply 
fitted him to cope successfully- with the hardships 
and privations that are sure to follow settlement 
in a comparativeh- new and not very thickly pop- 
ulated region. He was strong and active, worked 
with vigor, making every stroke tell, and he has 
received ample compensation for his labore. He 
increased the size of his farm by an additional pur- 
chase of one hundred and sixty acres of land near 
by. He continued to cultivate ihe soil assiduously 
and to raise stock until 1883, when he rented his 
farm to his sons and retired from active buaness 
to Franklin Grove where he purchased a fine 
property and has a home replete with all the com- 
forts of life. 

Our subject was married in bis native State to 
^liss Sarah Christman, who was also of Pennsylva- 
nia birth, and in her cheerful co-operation he has 
'.lad needed assistance in the making of a home. 
They are the parents of seven children, of whom 
six are living: Jacob, the eldest son, a farmer in 
Western Iowa; Henry, Lydia, Leah, Ira and Lin- 
coln, the two latter being twins. 

A perusal of this brief biography- of our subject 
will show that he 'is a self-made man and his career 
illustrates what may be accomplished by determin- 
ation, persevei-ance, a capacity for hard work, sec- 
onded by native shrewdness and a good insight 
into business matters. He stands high in his com- 
munity as a man of thorough honesty and unques- 
tioned integrity, as an obliging neighbor, as a true 
husband and faithful fatiier. He is a Christian 
and an active member of the German Baptist 





Church, although he was reared in the Lutheran 
faith. He is independent in his politics, usually, 
however, giving his support to the Republican 

THOMAS CLAYTON, the gentleman whose 
portrait appears on the opposite page was 
for manj' years a leading farmer of Nelson 
Township and improved one of its finest farms. 
He was also prominent in its public life, and his 
memory will ever be held in reverence for his ser- 
vice in its upbuilding, as well as for his good in- 
fluence in promoting the spiritual welfare of the 
community, where he was well known and honored. 

Mr. Clayton was bom in Columbia County, Pa., 
April 19, 1814. His parents were Penns3'lvanians 
by birth, but his grandparents were English, who 
coming to this country in Colonial times, settled in 
his native county on a farm, which was their 
home during their remaining years, the grandfather 
being nearly one hundred years old when he 
died. William Clayton spent his entire life on 
the old homestead as a successful farmer, dying 
when nearly eighty. He married Miss Elizabeth 
Metz, who was a native of New Jersey, her pa- 
rents, who were of Dutch stock, also having 
their birth in that State, going from there to 
Pennsylvania when she was young. After the 
death of her husband she removed with a daugh- 
ter to Ashland, Schuylkill County, Pa., and there 
died at the age of seventy-two. Both she and 
her husband were reared in the Quaker faith, and 
adhered to it all their days. 

Our subject passed his boyhood in his native 
township, Catawissa,and in the village of the same 
name learned the trade of a blacksrrflth, which he 
followed in addition to carpentering until he came 
to Illinois in 1856. He was then in the prime of a 
vigorous life, and had determined to try farming on 
the rich virgin soil of this part of the country. His 
means would not admit of his buying land at first, 
so he farmed as a renter a few years, until he had 
gathered together enough money to purchase the 
farm on section 29, Nelson Township in 1(S59, on 

which he made his home until his untimely death 
February 6, 1885. Devoting himself assiduously 
to the improvement of his farm, Mr. Clayton 
placed its two hundred acres under fine tillage, 
erected good barns and a commodious residence, 
and had a well ordered place entirely free from 
debt. He left a small fortune, and what is better 
than riches, a good name, which will ever be 
honored as belonging to a man who was promi- 
nent in the development of the township and 
county, active in their public life, and devoted to 
the good of his commmiity both materially and 
morally. He was greatly missed, as he had made 
himself useful in various ways as a citizen. He 
was Supervisor for a number of years, represent- 
ing Nelson Township on the County Board, and 
once sat on the United States jury in Chicago for 
one month. He was sensible and sound in Ids \>o- 
litical views, and always stood firmly by the Re- 
publican party. After coming to this State he 
united with tlie Lutheran Church, and died in 
that faith. 

Mr. C'laj^ton was married to Miss Mary Wright 
in Columbia County, Pa., at the bride's home on 
the banks of the beautiful Susquehanna River. 
Mrs. Clayton was born near AUentown, Pa., April 
9, 1817, a daughter of .John and Mary E. (Fry) 
Wright, natives of Pennsylvania, who lived and 
died in that State, spending the most of their 
lives on a farm in Columbia County. JNIr. Wright 
died from injuries received some j'^ears before in 
falling from a loft in his barn when it was dark. 
He was sixty-seven at the time of his demise, 
while his wife, who survived him, lived to the ad- 
vanced age of eighty-eight years. They were botli 
members of the' Lutheran Church, and prominent 
in their community, where they were greatly re- 
spected for their many virtues. Mrs. Clayton's 
grandfather was a Scotchman, who coming to the 
United States when young died on his farm in 
Pennsylvania many years later, at the age of eighty 
years. He is remembered by his granddaughter 
as being a very bright, active man of his year^, 
who took a prominent part in the affairs of his 

Since the deatli of her husband Mrs. Clayton, 
assisted by her son, has had charge of the farm, 



and it is kept up to the same high standard it had 
attained under her liusband's supervision. She is 
a very capable manager, understanding how every- 
thing ought to go on a well-regulated farm, and 
having a clear comprehension of all business mat- 
ters pertaining to it. She is also an excellent 
housewife, and under her supervision her house- 
hold matters always go smoothly-. She is a moth- 
erly, noble-hearted woman, and has many friends 
in Nelson Township. She is a member of the Lu- 
theran Church, in which her husband was promi- 
nent as an official member during his life. Mrs. 
Clayton is the mother of six children, of whom 
but one survives, her son Owen L., who is a fine 
young, man, a hard worker and an intelligent far- 
mer, assisting his motlier in operating his father's 
homestead. He married Miss Mary C. Mensch, who 
was born, reared and educated in Pennsylvania. 
She is a daughter of Michael and Margaret 
Mensch, who were also Pennsylvanians, and 
Michael Mensch died' in his native state some 
years ago. The mother is yet living, at a venera- 
ble age. She is a member of the Lutheran Church, 
as was her husband. Mr. and Mrs. Owen Clayton 
have five children, all at home with them except 
Hattie E. and named as follows: — Hattie E., Thom- 
as, Charles, Clark and Harry A. Hattie E. married 
Alonzo Birdsalland lives m Whiteside County; she 
has one son named Orrin. The children of our 
subject who are deceased are Delilah, John, Lafay- 
ette, and M.Alice, who died in childhood; and 
Charles, who died of diphtheria at the age of 

l!/_^ON. AVH.LIAM ELLERY 1\'ES. The best 
)] biography of an honorable and influential 
man is sure to be his own works. The 
simple recital of prominent events in the 
life of Mr. Ives needs not to be elaborated by the 
biographical writer, and the personality of names, 
places and dates is important only as they enable 
the reader to trace the steps of his mental growth. 
He is -widely known .as an eminent attornev-.nt-law 
and is the pioneer lawyei' of Amboy, where his 

shingle has been hung to the breeze since 1854. 
He has been foremost in all important measures for 
the development of the city, and was the prime 
mover in founding and carrying on the first news- 
paper ever published here. 

Ellery, Chautauqua County, N. Y., was the 
native place of Mr. Ives, and May 24, 1821, the 
dale of his iiirth. His parents, Almon and Nancy 
(Tomblin) Ives, were natives respectively of Ver- 
mont and New York, and the former was engaged 
as a farmer and civil engineer. At Malone, a town 
on the St. Lawrence River in New York, he mar- 
ried, and in 1816 settled in the western part of 
that State when it was an unsettled country. In 
1834 he migrated to Illinois under promise to sur- 
vey the public lands, but when he came West 
Andrew Jackson, then President, concluded that 
to the "victor belongs the spoil," and as Mr. Ives 
was a Whig, his services were not desired. He 
settled in that part of La Salle County which in 
1840 became Kendall County, and improved a 
farm. In the public affairs of the county he be- 
came quite prominent, serving as the first Re- 
corder of Deeds, and afterward becoming Judge 
of the County Court, which office he held several 

In 1854 the father of our subject removed to 
Bloomington, this State, and a year later came to 
Amboy, where he died March 5, 1864, aged 
seventy-five years and eight months. During the 
last years of his life he was a stanch supporter of 
the Republican party, and in his religious senti- 
ments he was an earnest member of the Baptist 
Church. The mother of our subject died at 
Amboy, April 22, 1862. There were nine chil- 
dren in the family , of which our subject was a 
member, as follows: — Almond B., a lawyer at 
Bloomington, 111., where he died; Simeon P., a 
n.inister in the Baptist Church, now residing in 
Missoula, Mon.; William E., of this sketch; Frank- 
lin 1)., a physician, whose home is in Chicago; 
Isaac S., formerly a physician at Oswego, 111., 
where he died in 1852; Sarah M., who married 
Alfred Tucker and resides at Ottawa, 111.; Enos J., ' 
a member of the Board of Trade at Chicago, and a 
resident of Woodlawn; Ruth A., who married 
Willis Haw-thorn, and died in Amboy; and Nancy, 



who became the wife of Warren C. Sears, and 
makes her home in Burlington, Kan. 

When the Ives family moved to Illinois William 
E. was but a boy entering upon his teens. His 
youth was passed upon a farm, and he received a 
good education at Grandville Academy. Having 
resolved to enter upon the practice of law, he 
attended the National Law School at Balston Spa, 
N. Y., where he graduated in 1852. He first 
located for the practice of law in Oswego, 111., 
whence he came to Amboy, becoming first attorney 
here, and now enjoying the distinction of being 
the oldest lawyer in Lee County. Besides attend- 
ing to his large practice, he manages a stock farm 
which he owns, located near Amboy and compris- 
ing one thousand acres. 

On December 8, 1841, occurred the marriage of 
Mr. Ives to Miss Susan R., daughter of James 
Ryon, and sister of Dr. Ryon, of Amboy, whose 
sketch is presented in another portion of this 
volume. Mrs. Ives was born April 17, 1821, in 
Tioga County, Pa., and her union with Mr. Ives 
has been blessed by the birth of Ave children, two 
of whom died in childhood. The survivors are — 
Charles E., a lawyer of Amboy; Esther N., wife of 
Elijah A. Winn, of Amboy; and James R., of 
Denver, Col. The latter is a graduate of Roches- 
ter University, N. Y., and a lawyer by profession, 
having practiced for a time in Dixon, this State. 
Thence he removed to Denver in 1881 and there 
published a paper called the Mining Revimv. He 
has devoted considerable attention to literary 
pursuits, and as a writer possesses more than ordi- 
nary ability, wielding a ready pen and being 
known as a forcible illustrator of truths. Finan- 
cially^ he has been very successful and is now 
devoting his energies mainly to real estate, al- 
though he was recently interested in the Colorado 
Business Director}^ as its publisher. 

During his earlier years Mr. Ives was a stanch 
adherent of the Whig party, but has been a member 
of the Republican party since he served as delegate 
to the convention which organized the party in 
this State. In 1860 he made ''stump" speeches 
for Abraham Lincoln for the Presidency, and has 
contributed his influence to the success of tlie 
party. E'requently he is called upon to serve as 

delegate to District and State conventions, and in 
many positions of trust and responsibility he has 
served, always with distinguished ability. As 
Mayor of the city of Amboy he served creditably 
for four years and contributed no little to the 
development of the resources of the place. He 
was also States Attorney for six years. He is 
serving as Treasurer of the Baptist Church, of 
which he is a consistent member. Socially, he be- 
longs to the Royal Arch Masons. His home is 
one of the most elegant in Amboy and is the only 
i-esidence here which is heated by hot water. His 
success has not been attained without great effort 
on his part, for when he came here he was quite 
poor, and it has been only by the exercise of great 
industry and shrewd judgment that he has become 

1— ^^— ^— 

^^^ ARDI AS VOSBURGH is a prominent mem- 

^^^ ber of the farming comrnunity of this 

%£^ county, who has not only been active in 

its agricultural development, but has borne 

a conspicuous part in its public affairs. He is one 

of the principal men of his calling in Willow 

Creek Township, which he ably represents on the 

County Board of Supervisors. 

Mr. Vosburgh was born in Lackawanna Town- 
ship, Luzerne County, Pa., July 8, 1836. His fa- 
ther was Charles Vosburgh, and he was a native 
of Livingston County, N. Y., a son of Cornelius 
Vosburgh, wlio is supposed to have been born in 
the Empire State, where he carried on business as 
a farmer until his removal to Pennsylvania. He 
became an early settler of Lackawanna Township. 
He bought a large tract of land in the wilderness, 
cleared a farm, and resided there until the fall of 
1854, when he came to Illinois. He purchased a 
farm in La Salle County, a half mile north of the 
village of Earlville, in Earlville Township, and 
made that his home until he closed his eyes in 
death in 1864. The maiden name of his wife was 
Permelia Pulver. She died on the Earlville farm 
in tJie fall of 1877. 

The father of our subject" was young when his 
parents removed to Pennsylvania, and there he 



grew to a vigorous manhood, and in due time 
took unto himself a wife in tiie pei-son of Miss 
Vanluvanee E. Millesant, a native of the State, and 
a daughter of Israel and Rachel Millesant. After 
marriage he settled ou a part of his father's old 
homestead, and resided there until 1854, when he 
sold his property there and took up his abode at 
Clark's Summit, Lackawanna County, the same 
State. He made his home there until his life was 
rounded out in death in February, 1890. His wife 
also died on that farm, her demise occurring in the 
fall of 1881. 

The subject of this biographical review was 
leared in his native county amid its pleasant 
scenes, and obtained a sound, practical education 
in the district school, which was supplemeuted by 
one term's attendance at Kingston Seminarj'. In 
April, 1855j at the age of nineteen, well-equipped 
for the battle of life, and ambitious to make some- 
thing of himself, he left the shelter of the parental 
roof to start out in the world on his own account. 
He turned his face towards the boundless prairies 
of this State, as his father owned land in Shabbona 
Township, DeKalb Covinty, and he shrewdly fore- 
saw that a young man of energy, enterprise and 
tenacity of purpose must of necessity do well in 
tilling the rich soil of this section of the country. 
He rented his father's land until 1867, and did 
well in its cultivation. In that year he invested 
a part of his money in one hundred and twentj' 
acres of wild prairie that is included in his present 
farm in Willow Creek Township. He set to work 
with his customary vigor, and in the years that 
have elapsed has wrought a great change by the 
many substantial improvements that he has made, 
so that he has here one of the linest pieces of prop- 
erty in Ihis locality. He has erected a commo- 
dious set of buildings, has placed his land under 
fine cultivation, has planted an abundance of fruit 
and shade trees, and everything about the place 
betokens the presence of one who fully under- 
stands his business, and carries it out in a systema- 
tic and well-ordered manner, so as to reap the best 
results by applying only the most approved meth- 
ods of conducting agriculture. Mr. N'osbui'gh has 
been fortunate in his farming operations, has made 
them icniuiierativc, and has Ijeen enabled to add 

more land to his original purchase, so that he now 
has two hundred and forty acres of well-improved 

Mr. ^'osblll•gh was married in 1864, U> Miss 
Ellen Atherton. a native of J.,ackawannaTown,«liip, 
Luzerne County, Pa., and a daughter of Joseph 
Atherton. She under.=tands well the art of mak- 
ing a home cozy and cheerful, and co-oi)erates with 
her husband in dispensing a pleasant hospitality 
to whomsoever of their numerous friends crosses 
their threshold, or to any stranger that may liap- 
pen within their gates. They have three children 
— William, Fannie and Ts'ellie. Fannie is the wife 
of William Fleming, of A\^llow Creek Township. 

A man of our subject's calibre, high standing, 
and well-known business tact possesses in an emi- 
nent degree those qualifications that fit one for 
public life, and his fellow-citizens, recognizing 
this fact, have frequentlj- called him to important 
civic stations. Thus in 1883 he was elected Super- 
visor to represent Willow Creek on the County 
Board of Supervisors, was re-elected to that ollice 
in 1884, and in 1885 was elected Assessor, to whicli 
position he was re-elected in 1886. In 1887 he 
was again honored by election to his former otlice 
as Supervisor, and has served continuously since, 
proving to be a valuable official, and his influence 
is felt in the enactment of all measures that have 
accrued to the public good from the time he en- 
tered upon the duties of his position. He has al- 
ways been a Republican in politics, and his party 
has no firmer advocate in the township. 

BARREN DE F. HOLLY, who represents 
f/ the dairy interests of Palmyra Township, 
he being extensively engaged in line, 
as well as in general farming and stock-raising, is 
a native born son of Lee County, coming of one 
of its oldest pioneer families, and the homestead 
that he operates and occupies on section 36, of tl.e 
aforementioned township is his birthplace. Here 
he was born June 22, 1849, and this has always 
been his home. He attended the local schools 



during his boyhood and gained a practical educa- 
tion, and since arriving at years of discretion has 
devoted himself to farming and the dairy business, 
for which the farm is in every way admirably 
adapted. Its two hundred acres of well-tilled 
soil affords ample pasturage for a fine herd of forty 
cows, the farm also being otherwise well stocked, 
and its equipments are complete as regards com- 
modious buildings, etc. 

Our subject is a son of the venerable James N. 
Holly, a retired farmer of this township, whose 
name will always occupy an honorable place in the 
history of Lee County as one of its early settlers 
who did a good work in redeeming a portion of 
its soil from the wilderness. He was born in the 
Province of Ontario, Canada, September 15, 1806. 
His father, Jesse Holly, who was a son of Noah 
Holly, was a native of Orange County, N. Y., 
where he grew to manhood, and was married to 
Miss Anna E. DeSharrar, who is supposed to have 
been a native of York State. Jesse Holly and his 
wife went to the Province of Ontario, Canada, to 
live, and after the birth of their children returned 
to the States, ahd took up their residence in Illi- 
nois, spending their remaining days amid the pio- 
neer scenes of Franklin Grove in this township, 
wliere Mrs. Holly died when about sixty years of 
age, and Jesse Holly when past ninety-six, leaving 
behind them good records as two of our most 
worthy pioneers. 

James N. Holly grew to manhood in his Cana- 
dian birthplace and subsequently crossed the bor- 
der to this country and settled among the pioneers 
of Ohio. He was married in that State to Miss 
Sophronia Harrison, their marriage taking place 
near Bellville. She was a native of Ohio, and was ' 
a daughter of Norman and Deliverance (Standish) 
Harrison, who were also born in that State, coming 
of some of its earliest families, and they were of 
distingnished ancestry, Norman Harrison belong- 
ing to the Harrison family that has figured so con- 
spicuously in the history of this countrj-, he being 
a cousin of General William Henry Harrison, the 
President and grandfather of our present ruler; 
while his wife was a direct descendant of Captain 
Miles Standish, one of the Pilgrim fathers. Nor- 
man Harrison and wife left Ohio several years 

after their marriage and going to Clinton County, 
Iowa, died there when full of years. They were 
farmers by occupation, and were well and favora- 
bl}^ known. 

The parents of our subject lived on a farm in 
Ohio until after the birth of their first two chil- 
dren, and then they came across the intervening 
country with wagon and teams to Illinois. They 
located on a settler's claim in Franklin (irove, Mrs. 
Holly being the first white woman to live there, 
and lier brother Charles Harrison took the first 
claim that was taken in that grove or in that re- 
gion for a distance of many miles. They made 
some slight improvements, but two years later sold 
their claim and moved still further Westward, 
crossing the Mississippi, and taking up a claim on 
the west bank of that river on the site of the 
present city of Clinton, Iowa. Mr. Holly, with a 
man by the name of Murray, and possibly one or 
two others, laid out a town on his claim, and gave 
it the name of New York. The town, however, 
never materialized to any great extent, as during 
the two years that the Hollys remained there its 
population never exceeded fifteen whites. The 
Indians, who were generally peaceable, were nu- 
merous in that region, ranging up and down the 
river at will, and occasionally gave our friends a 
call. One fall night they were roused from their 
slumbers by some fifteen of these dusky visitants 
creeping under the quilts which served as a door 
to their primitive dwelling and arranging them- 
selves comfortably around the fire in the rude fire- 

After some two years* residence in Iowa, the 
father of our subject decided to return to his for- 
mer settlement at Franklin Grove, and locate in 
this county permanently. After a time he came 
into Palmyra Township, and secured a desirable 
tract of land from the Government, which has 
since been transformed into the fine farm which is 
now owned by his- son. After living on it to make 
a home, he went to Dixon to keep a hotel, but was 
very unfortunate in that venture, as the very first 
night that the establishment was opened it was 
burned to the ground. About this time he also 
lost heavily by having to pay a bail bond, which 
amounted to $1,000 for his share, for tlie laud 



office agent at this point. lie afterward devoted 
himself exclusively to farming with good success 
until the infirmities of age obliged him to abandon 
the arduous labors connected with his calling. 
September 15, 1891, was his birthdaj', and marked 
for him a long and honorable life of eighty-five 
j-ears' duration, and during [that time he had wit- 
nessed the wonderful progress of the countr\' at 
large, which has been made through discoveries 
and inventions that have revolutionized the world; 
he had been an eye-witness of that which more 
nearly concerns liim, the remarkable growth of 
this county, which he has aided by his work, and 
which has been his home for so many years. He 
was formerly a Republican in politics, but later a 
Democrat. His first vote was cast for his kinsman. 
Gen. William H. Harrison, and he also supported 
Stephen A. Douglas at the polls, he having been j 
his schoolmate in his boyhood davs. His wife is 
yet living, and is nearly eighty-three years' old, ] 
having been born February 15, 1809. Both have j 
long been connected with the Christian C'liurch. 
James N. Holly died September 16, 1891. i 

Warren Holly is one of eight children, the 
youngest son, and the youngest but one of the 
family, three of whom are now dead. He was 
married in this, his native township, to Miss Mary 
Catherine Carpenter. One daughter. Belle A., a 
l)right and accomplished young lady, completes 
their pleasant home circle. Two other children 
have been born to tliem who are now dead, James 
E., and a child who died in infancy. Mrs. Holly 
is a native of Bradford County, Pa., born October 
4, 1850, and one of the three daughters, all of 
wliom are living, of Edward and Eliza (Goodwin) 
Carpenter. Her parents were natives respectivelj- 
of Pennsylvania and New York, and were married 
in tlie former State. Mr. Carpenter was a carpen- 
ter by trade, and carried on his calling in Pennsyl- 
vania until after the birth of his children, when he 
emigrated with his family to Dixon, in this county, 
in 1854. He pursued carpentering in that city 
until his death in 1864 when only forty-two years' 
old, he having in the meantime spent six years in 
Minnesota. His wife died January 16, 1890, aged 
sixty-four years. Both were consistent christians 
of the Methodist persuasion. In politics, Mr. Car- 

penter was a Republican. Mr. H0II3' and his amia- 
ble wife are progressive people, who occupy a high 
place in theii' community where they are so well 
known, and their cordial, unaffected, hospitable 
manners have won thera the warm regard of all 
with whom they associate. Mr. Holly is a Repub- 
lican, and as a loyal citizen should, has always 
manifested a keen interest in his native township, 
and has done all in his power to promote its wel- 
fare. He has held the office of Township Collector, 
and performed the duties thus devolving upon him" 
to tlie entire satisfaction of all concerned. 

ENRY UIIL. This gentleman is one of the 
well-informed and progressive men of this 
county, who, from a small beginning has 
■jj built up a comfortable fortune, and is now 
enjoying tlie result of his industry and enterprise. 
He resides in Dixon, where he owns a good home 
on Hennepin Avenue, removing to this city in the 
spring of 1882, from his farm on section 12, South 
Dixon Township, on which he had resided for 
many years. 

In 1852 Mr. Dixon took up a tract of raw prai- 
rie land which he cultivated and improved until 
now it is an excellent farm of two hundred and 
sixty acres. He came to this county a poor man, 
and in 1853 began the l)usiness of general farming, 
in which he has since been engaged. He was a na- 
tive of Allegany County, Md., his birth taking 
place November 19, 1827, and continued a resi- 
dent of that county until coming to Illinois in 
•1852. His father, Peter Uhl, was born in 1794, 
and a native of the same county as his son, his 
father, Charles Ihl. having settled there about 
1785. The latter gentleman was born in (Germany 
and was only one year old when his fatiier, Michael 
Uhl, emigrated to tiiis country and in Colonial 
days, and some years prior to llie Revolutionary 
War, settled in Pennsylvania, Somerset County, 
where he and his wife both died when quite aged. 
Tliey were members of the Lutheran Church, and 
weie estimable jjeople. Cliarles Uhl, the grandfa- 
tlier of our subject, one of a family of thuee 



sons and one daughter, and when sixteen years of 
age enlisted in the Revolutionary Army, and 
served during the last year Of that struggle. Af- 
ter his marriag-e in Pennsylvania to a lady of Gor- 
man birth, they settled on a new farm in Allegany 
County, Md., and there lived and died when about 
sixty years old. They were worthy members of the 
Lutheran Church. Their large family consisted of 
twelve sons and three daughters, of wliom Peter 
was one of the elder ones. All are now deceased, 
most of them having lived to maturity, and be- 
coming heads of families. 

Peter Uhl, when a young man, learned the trade 
of a hatter under Mr. Johnson, in Berlin, Somerset 
County, Pa., following that business until in the 
'40s, when trade becoming dull, he quit the busi- 
ness and became a farmer, following that occupa- 
tion until 1852, when he left the East and came 
with his wife and family to Illinois, locating on a 
farm in South- Dixon Township, and there lived 
until his death in 1871, at the age of seventy- 
eight years. He was originally a Whig, and later 
a Republican in politics, and was a good and 
worthy citizen, making many friends in the com- 
munity where he resided. He was for many years 
a Justice of the Peace, and held other local offices. 
His wife died in 1876. She was born in Balti- 
more County, Md., in 1791, her maiden name be- 
ing Hager. Her parents were born in this coun- 
try, and were of German and Scotch aiicestrj'. 
Both she and her -husband were members of the 
Methodist Episcopal Church. 

Henry Uhl, our subject, is the youngest but one 
in a family of five children. One son, Samuel IL, 
was a soldier in the War of the Rebellion, and died 
as a result of his services in that struggle. Oui- 
subject and a sister, Mrs. Susan Beall, now of Alle- 
gany County, Md., are all the children now living. 
Mr. Uhl was married in his native county to Miss 
Susan Wilhelm, who was born in Somerset County, 
Pa. Her father died when she was quite young, 
and her mother spent her last years in Marion, 
where she died in 1872, at a ripe old age. They 
were the parents of three sons and three daughters. 

Mr. Uhl is a prominent man in his community, 
being much interested in polities, and is a stanch 
member of the Republican party. He has hold a 

number of local offices, is well-informed on all the 
issues of the day, and takes a lively interest in 
everything pertaining to the growth and welfare 
of liiis county. 



/^ HARLES TRAINER. All honor is due to 
(l( „ the brave veterans of the late war, who 
^^7 have since done good service in peaceful 
pursuits in various walks of life, and have helped 
to increase the wealth and prosperity of the coun- 
try saved by their valor. Our subject was one of 
that great and glorious army that preserved the 
Union, devoting some of the best years of his 
early manhood to fighting for the Government 
under whose flag he has spent the most of his life. 
He is a farmer by occupation, and has a farm on 
section 22, Ashton Township, that compares in all 
respects with the best in its vicinity. 

Mr. Trainer was born in Lower Canada, July 4, 
1839, a son of .lohn Trainer, who was a native of 
Ireland. After coming to this country, he had set-. 
tied in that part of Canada where his son was 
born, and he subsequently started for California in 
the days of the excitement over the discovery of 
gold, and it is supposed that he died on the way, 
as he was never heard from again. His wife, 
whose maiden name was Ann Hagan, and who was 
also of Irish birth, died in Brandon, Vt. 

Our subject passed his boyhood in his Canadian 
home, whence in 1856 he crossed the border into 
New York, and when the Civil War broke out he 
was living in St. Lawrence County. In October 
of that year he offered his services to his adopted 
country, enlisting in Company H, Sixtieth New 
York Infantry, and he served with credit through- 
Out the remainder of the strife, a period of nearly 
four long and weary years. His efficiency as a 
soldier and his courage were put to the test in the 
big battles of Gettysburg and Chancellorsville, in 
many skirmishes with the enemy, and in the num- 
erous engagements in Gen. Sherman's famous 
"March to the Sea." He was often on detached 
service in the brigade pioneers, and from Atlanta 
to the sea was a brigade forager. 



After his experience of life on Southern battle- 
fields, Mr. Trainer returned to St. Lawrence County, 
N. Y., and after remaining there a few months, 
came to Ogle County, 111., in the spring of 1866. 
A year later he removed to Lee County, and has 
hinee been a resident of Ashton Township, with 
the exception of four years spent in Ogle (Jouiity. 
Ilis hfe-work has always been farming, and he has 
made a success of it. He has two hfindred and 
forty acres of excellent land, which is in a fine con- 
dition .as to tillage, and is amply provided with 
suitable buildings, and all the conveniences for 
carrying on agriculture. He is a Imsy man, is pro- 
licient in his calling, is a good manager, and stands 
well in his township as to his credit in money mat- 
ters and his reputation in general. He has taken 
nn active part in political affairs since he came 
here to make his home, and has thrown his in- 
fluence on the side of the Republican party. His 
war record is commemorated by his connection 
with the Gen. Hewitt Post, G. A. R., of Franklin 
(irove, as one of its most respected members. He 
has taken part in the management of local affairs 
as Highway Commissioner of Ashton Township. 

During his residence in Ogle County, it was Mr. 
Trainer's good fortune to secure a most excellent 
wife by his marriage with Miss Emily L. Plantz, a 
native of Nashua Township, Light House Point, 
Ogle County, 111., and a daughter of one of its 
pioneer families. These five children have been 
l)orn of their pleasant wedded life: John E., Ruth 
E., Frank (who died when about three years old), 
Minnie A. and Nellie A. 


'ifOHN W. WINGERT is one of the enter- 
prising and well-known farmers of the 
count}^ His home is on section 29, Nach- 
usa Township, where he owns a valuable 
farm of two hundred acres under a high state of 
cultivation, well-watered by Franklin Creek and 
complete in all its appointments. There is a good 
residence, (view of which will be noticed on another 

page) as well a,s the necessary outbuildings, and the 
farm is well stocked with horses, cattle and hogs. 
It has been the jiroperty of our subject since 1877, 
but his residence in the county covers a much 
longer period, the date of his arrival being Octo- 
ber 1, 1852. 

Mr. Wingert was born in Greencastle, Pa., July- 
IB, 1831. Record says that the family was of Ger- 
man origin and its members were early settlei-s of 
Franklin County, Pa. Jacob Wingert, the grand- 
father of our subject, was there reared to man- 
hood upon a farm and spent his entire life near 
Greencastle, dying at the ripe old age of eighty- 
seven yeai's. He is one of nature's noblemen and 
the upright life which he lived won him the es- 
teem of all. He was long a minister of the I'nited 
Brethren Church, with which his wife was also 
connected as a faithful member. They had a fam- 
ily of eleven children, nearly all of whom reached 
mature years, were married and left families. Only 
one yet survives — Daniel, who is now living in 
Iowa at the age of seventy-five years. 

• The father of our subject, Henry Wingert, a 
native of Franklin County, Pa., learned the tan- 
ner's trade in liis youth. In the Keystone State he 
married Anna Bentz, who was also born in that 
locality, her parents being natives of Pennsylvania, 
of German lineage. After the birth of three chil- 
dren, Henry Wingert emigrated with his family to 
Preble County, Ohio, where for five years he car- 
ried on a tannery. He then purchased eighty 
acres of land, upon which he made his home until 
1852, when selling out he emigrated to Illinois, 
and cast his lot with the early settlers of Lee 
County, where lie arrived on the 1st of October. 
Upon a farm of one hundred and sixty acres which 
he soon afterward purchased they began life in the 
West and continued to reside there until called to 
their final home. Mr. Wingert, who was born Feb- 
ruary 23, 1804, died on the 24th of August, 1891. 
His wife had previously Keen called home, dying 
suddenly December 24, 1877. Her birth occurred 
May4, 1<S(I5. For years they have been members 
of the Methodist Church and in politics, Mr. Win- 
gert was a stalwart Republican. In their family 
were fifteen children, nine of whom arc yet living 
and all are married with the exception of one 

■ft- fssa >-v- *; -»^ 

« ^■> 





daughter. fSuccess lias* attended them in hfc iind 
they are now well-to-do people. 

John Wingert was the tUird of the family. In 
his youth he was inured to hard labor and his edu- 
cational advantages were those of the common 
schools. After coming to Illinois he became ac- 
quainted with Jliss Hannah M. Hittle and they were 
married in Nachusa Township, .Tanuary 28, 1869. 
The lad}^ is a native of Columbia County, Pa., and 
in lK'42,when a young maiden, accompanied her par- 
ents to I llinois,the family: settling in Nachusa Town- 
ship upon a new farm. Her father, Jacob Ilittle, died 
at the age of sixty-nine yeais, and his wife, whose 
maiden name was Nancy Culp, departed this life 
when seventy years of age. He was a member of. 
the Christian Church and his wife held the religi- 
ous views of the Dunkards. 

After the breaking out of the late war, ]Mr. Win- 
gert responded to the country's call for troops, en- 
listing on the 13th of August, 1862, as a member 
of Company G, Seventy-fifth Illinois Infantr}', 
under Capt. Williams. Col. Ryan commanded the 
regiment, which was assigned to the Array of the 
Tennessee and was first under fire at the battle of 
Prairieville, October 8, 1862. In January, 1863, 
the troops participated in the battle of Stone River, 
where the Seventy-fifth sustained heavy losses; 
later were in the battles of Lookout Mountain and 
luka, and in many other engagements followed 
the stars and stripes. Mr. Wingert was lionorablj^ 
discharged from the service at the close of the war 
June 28, 1865. He went to Washington and at- 
tended the theatre on the night that President 
Lincoln was assassinated and saw the shot fired. 
His health was seriously impaired from exposure 
during the service and the hardships of army life. 

Returning to the North, Mr. Wingert resumed 
farming to which he has since devoted his energies. 
Six children have been born to him and his estim- 
able wife, five yet living — William 1!., Fred A., 
Adelbert G. and Burton B. and Bertha B., twins. 
They lost one son, Charles II. ^Ir. and Mrs. Win- 
gert are members of the Methodist Church, contri- 
bute liberally to its support and in its work take 
an active interest. In politics, he is a Republican, 
but has never sought public office. He is a mem- 
ber of George W. Hewitt Post, No. 398, G. A. R., 

of Franklin (irove. Throughout the community 
he is recognised as a successful farmer and an in- 
rtnential citizen who is true to every duty as he 
was to the country in her hour of peril. ' 


ylLLIAJr LAND AIT. The German-born 
citizens of our country are always in the 
fi-ont ranks of progress and enterprise, 
loyal to their adopted land and forming an intelli- 
gent an industrious class in every community in 
which they make their homes. Among this class 
may be mentioned the subject of this sketch, who 
is a farmer residing on section 6, Lee Center 

Mr. Landau was born in the northern part of 
Germany January 4, 1836. He was. reared to 
manhood in his native country remaining there 
until twent^'-flve years old. He then emigrated to 
America landing in New York City and at once 
came to Illinois, settling in Sterling where he re- 
mained six weeks. He then came to Lee County, 
where he worked out by the month for one year in 
China Township, then removing to Lee Center 
Township where. he worked as a day laborer for 
some four or five years. Afterward he rented 
land ill Lee Center Township for two years and 
having saved sufficient money, became the owner 
of a farm where he lived some twenty years. At 
the expiration of that time, having been prosper- 
ous in his worldlj^ affairs, he purchased his present 
place on section 6, where he has since resided. 
That he has been energetic, industrious and per- 
severing, is evinced l>y the fact that from a very 
small beginning he has acquired his present large 
property of seven hundred and sixteen and a half 
acres, where he is carrying on farming and stock- 
raising to a large extent. 

July 16, 1861, Mr. Landau was married in China 
Township, Lee County, to Martha E. MoUer. Mrs. 
Landau was born in Germany March 30, 1838, and 
departed this life at her residence in Lee Center 
Township, March 25, 1890. To this couple, were 
born a large family comprising eleven children, 
as follows: Christena, deceased; John; Christena; 



Katie; Annn; Ilcnry; William; Lizzie, ALary, Chris- 
tie, JMinuie. 

In politics Mr. Landau is a Republican, but has 
been too nmcli occupied in liis own affairs to become 
an office seeker. He is a member of the Reformed 
Cliurcli to which his wife also belonged. The fam- 
ily are well and favorably known. They occupy 
a comfortable residence, a view of which with its 
rural surroundings is presented on another page. 


|,P:NJAMIN F. SHAW, the well-known edi- 
tor and proprietor of the Telegraph, the 
leading Republican organ of Lee County 
and one of its best newspapers in every 
way, has long exercised a marked influence on the 
affairs of this section of the county, not only pro- 
fessionally but as a citizen of progressive views 
aiid notable public spirit, who has the dearest in- 
terest of his country at heart, is influential in its 
political life and in all that tends to promote the 
social, moral and educational condition of his com- 
munity. In connection with the weekly newspaper 
is the evening Telegraph, a leading daily newspaper 
of this section of the State. 

Mr. Shaw was born in Waverly,]Sf. Y., March 31, 
183L His father, Alanson B. Shaw, was born in 
Bradford County, Pa., in 1801, and was of Scotch 
blood, his father being one of four brothers who 
came to this country from their native Scotland in 
the days before the Revolution and one of the 
brothers, for whom our subject was named, fought 
in that great struggle of the American Colonies for 
freedom. The father of our subject married Phil- 
omela, daughter of Zephon Flower, an early settler 
of Athens, Pa., going there from Connecticut. He 
was a Revolutionary soldier and was one of the 
last on the Revolutionary pension rolls, living to 
the advanced age of ninety-six years. 

When he started out in the world in his youth- 
ful days Benjamin F. Shaw made his way from his 
native State to Iowa,which at that lime was a Ter- 
ritory. He remained there for a period of two 
years, and then recrossing the Mississippi River to 
Rock Island, he took the first steps that have led 

iiim to a liiiili position in the editorial profession 
by acquiring, in that then,village,agoo(i knowledge 
of the printing business. In the fall of 1851 he 
came to Dixon to take charge of the printing of- 
fice of the Dixon Telegraph, of which he subse- 
quently became the owner by purchase, tmd has 
since edited it with marked success, devoting his 
energies to making a newspaper that should edu- 
cate its constituency and be a potent factor in the 
upbuilding of city and county. This he has ac- 
complished and the journal,which owes its strength 
and high reputation to his genius, takes the lead 
in advocating whatever will be for the highest 
good of the community. In all matters pertaining 
to the advancement of society, education and pol- 
itics, our subject takes a keen and discriminating 
interest, and through the columns of his paper, 
which has a wide circulation both in Dixon and 
the neighboring districts, he has many times been 
instrumental in securing for the city various advan- 
tages of a nature more or less important. As be- 
fore mentioned the TfeZeg'T'apTi is one of the accepted 
organs of the Republican party, whose policy is set 
i forth in a clear and able manner in its editorials, 
which are noted for their vigor and independence, 
although they are never offensively partisan. 

Mr. Shaw has by no means confined his talents to 
his profession but he has taken a conspicuous part 
in public life, and has iield various prominent of- 
fices with honor to himself and to his constituency. 
Lie has been a leader in the councils of the Repub- 
licans of this section since the organization of the 
party. He was one of the editors that met at De- 
catur in the winter of 1856, to call the first Re- 
pubhcan State Convention, and on that occasion 
he was in consultation with Abraham Lincoln on 
tiie Committee on Resolutions. In 1860 our sub- 
ject was elected Clerk and Recorder of Lee County 
Circuit Court, was re-elected to the same office in 
1864 and served until 1868, eaiTying the same en- 
ergj' and business acumen into the administration 
of the affairs of that office that have ever charac- 
terized his management of his newspaper. In 1876 
Gov. Cullom appointed him State Canal Commis- 
tioner, and he served six years as one of the 
Board of three Commissioners who had charge of 
the Illinois and Alichigan Canal, the Illinois River 



Improvements and other Illinois public works. Ho 
has always been a warm friend of tlio city of 
Dixon and has been most earnest and liberal in 
advancing its interests, both personally and tlirongh 
his paper. When the late Col. Xoble was appointed 
one of the commissioners to locate a soldier's home 
in Illinois he requested Mr. Shaw to accompany 
him to the meetings of the commissioners in 
Springfield and Chicago to act in behalf of Dixon's 
claims as a suitable site for the proposed building. 
Mr. Shaw has always been an earnest worker in the 
Hennepin Canal enterprise, and was, indeed, the 
Secretary of the first Hennepin Canal meeting ever 
held,whieh was nearly a quarter of a century since 
in Rock Island. Unsolicited on his part he was 
in December, 1891, appointed Postmaster at Dixon. 

of the Thirteenth Judicial Court, has dis 
tinguished himself in various walks of life 
— as a soldier, who obtained militarj' 
honor during the Civil War; as a statesman; and 
as a lawyer of unusual ability, whose legal talents 
have raised him to an important position on the 
bench of this State. He was born m the city of 
Nottingham, England, November 19, 1837. His 
father, Jonathan Hcward C'rabtree, was a native of 
the same city and was a son of Samuel Crabtree, 
who was a solJier in the British army, and with 
the exception of the time when lu was with his 
regiment in the East Indies, he spent his entire 
life in England. The maiden name of his wife 
was Heward. She was born in Yorkshire, and 
passed her last days in Nottingham. 

The father of our subject was one of ten chil- 
dren, and was the only member of the family who 
came to America. He lived in his native land 
until some time after his marriage, and was en- 
gaged as a manufacturer of bone buttons in the 
city of Nottingham. He was a man of an ambi- 
tious, progressive spirit, and believing that he 
could better his fortunes in the New World, he 
resolved to emigrate to these shores, and January 

8, 184 8, witli his wife and five children, he em- 
barked at Liverpool in a sailin^vessel, and after 
a voyage of seven weeks and thi'ee days landed in 
New '^'ork City. The family remained in Troy 
until November of that year, and then came to 
Illinois liy the way of Erie Canal to Buffalo, and 
from there by the lakes to Chicago. Mr. Crab- 
tree bought a tract of Government land nearPeca- 
tonica, and he and his wife and children occupied 
a log house there until 1860, when they went to 
■ Beloit, Wis. In 1852 they removed from that 
i place to Rockford, 111., and the father became a 
I contractor on the Chicago & Galena Railway, 
I now known as the Northwestern. 

In February, 1853, Mr. Crabtree came with his 
family to Dixon and took the contract to grade 
the first three miles of the Illinois Central Rail- 
way, extending north from the river. Later he 
engaged in agricultural pursuits, and was an hon- 
ored resident of Dixon until his death in 1884. 
His faithful wife, wlio had accompanied him across 
the waters to help him build up a new home in a 
strange land, had preceded him to that "'undiscov 
ered country from whose bourne no traveler re- 
turns," dying at Dixon in November, 1878. She 
was also a native of Nottingham, England, and 
her maiden name was Ann Dawson, she being a 
daughter of John Dawson. She was the mother of 
these five children : Eliza, who married E. H. 
Brookner and is now deceased; Jonathan, who 
served his adopted country in the late war for 
three years, and is now a resident of Rogers, Den- 
ton County, Ark.; Henr^^, who resides at Dixon; 
and Lucy (i., the wife of Cja-us Williams, of 
Brookfield, Mo. 

The subject of this biography was in his eleventh 
year when he came to this country with his par- 
ents, and still retains a pleasant recollection of 
his old home and of tlie momentous journey 
across the ocean to the new one. He received his 
early education in the common schools, supple- 
mented by a course at the Dixon High School, and 
finally entered the ofiSce of J. K. Edsall to pre- 
pare himself for the legal profession. His studies 
were interrupted by the breaking out of the Re- 
bellion, and throwing aside his books, he was 
among the first to spruig to the defense of the 



Union in response to the first call for troops, and 
for four long and weary years he nobly served his 
adopted country with all the fervor, self-sacriflcc 
and patriotic devotion of a native-born citizen, 
and won imperishable laurels on a many hard- 
fought battle-field. His name was enrolled as a 
private in Company A, Thirteenth Illinois Infan- 
try, April 17, 1861. He soon began to make a 
record for himself as a valiant and fearless sol- 
dier, and September 25, 1861, he was commis- 
sioned Second Lieutenant of Company D, of 
Bowers Battalion, Missouri Cavalry. 

November 5, 1862, our subject was promoted 
to be Captain of Company II, Ninth Missouri 
Cavalry, which company was afterward transferred 
to tlip Third Rlissouri Cavalry and designated as 
Company M. He was at the fj-ont until he was 
honorably discharged August 16, 1864, and dur- 
ing that time had been brevetted JNIajor for con- 
spicuous merit. In the reports of his superiors to 
the War Department he was several times men- 
tioned in complimentary terms, of which he was 
highly deserving, as his intelligent knowledge of 
military tactics, his firmness in maintaining dis- 
cipline among his men, whom he inspired to fol- 
low wherever he led, and his promptness and 
efficiency in obeying orders made him a valuable 
officer. After he gave up his command on the 
field the Major's services were required at Spring- 
field, 111., in the mustering in of troops and de- 
spatching them to the front, and he remained on 
duty there until the last of October, 1865. 

Returning to Dixon at the close of his niiilitaiy 
career, our subject allowed only a few days to 
elapse before he resumed his studies, November 3, 
in the office of Mr. Edsall. He was admitted to 
the bar in September, 1866, well equipped for his 
work, and the following October formed a part- 
nership with Mr. Edsall, with whom he continued 
to practice until 1869. In that year so rapid was 
his rise in his profession, he was elected County 
Judge, was re-elected in 1873, and served until 
1877, when he refused the renomination. In 1878 
he entered the land office of the Chicago & North- 
western Railroad Company, at Chicago, as Assist- 
ant Land Commissioner, and filled that position 
very acceptably one year. Returning to Dixon 

again, he icsumed his law practice, and only gave 
it up to accept the office of Circuit Judge to suc- 
ceed Judge Bailey in 1888, the latter having been 
elected to the Supreme Bench. 

Our subject was re-elected to his high position 
on the bench in .June, 1891, without opposition, 
so valuable were his services considered in the ad- 
ministration of justice, and so popular is he 
throughout the county and district, and, in fact, 
wherever known, as he possesses in a rare degree 
those pleasing personal traits and fine attributes 
of character that inspire confidence and friend- 
ship. He is fully equal to the weighty responsi- 
bilities that devolve upon him, his whole genius 
and character fitting him for his work. He has a 
generous, even temper, is tolerant and fair-minded, 
and }''et is firm and decided when necessary, hav- 
ing the courage. of his convictions. His rulings 
are sound, sensible and marked by a thorough 
comprehension of the great fundamental princi- 
ples of the law as applicable to all cases coming 
under his jurisdiction. His charges to the jury 
are put in plain, forcible and concise language, 
and there is never a question as to the equity and 
wisdom of his decisions. The Judge is a fine con- 
versationalist, and as a lawyer when practicing be- 
fore the bar his eloquence, ready wit and logical 
arguments won him man\' a ease. 

Judge Crabtree was first married March 4, 1863, 
to Miss Mary C. Huntington. She died in 1872, 
leaving two children — Hariy Huntington and 
Edwin Heward. September 28, 1875, the Judge 
was again married, taking as bis wife Miss Anna 
INI. Fargo, a native of Rockford, 111. They have 
five children — John B., Charles D., Mary C, 
Phoebe M. and Ruth I. 

Politically the Jndge is an uncompromising Re- 
publican, and has been the recipient of oflBce at 
the hands of his party, who honored him and 
themselves by electing him, in 1888, State Sena- 
ator in the Thirty-fifth General Assembly for a 
term of four years, but he resigned the position 
the same year on being elected to the bench. 
While in the Senate he voted for C. B. Farwell 
for United States Senator, being one of his most 
steadfast champions. Our subject is prominent 
sociallj' as a member of Friendship Lodge N. 7, 



A. F. <fe A. M., of which he is Past Master; as a 
member of Nachusa Chapter, No. 56, R. A. M.; 
as Past Commander of Dixon Commandery, No. 
21,K. T.; and as a member of Dixon Post, No. 
299, G. A. R.; and of the Illinois Commandery of 
the Loyal Legion. 

JOHN B. FELKER, M. D. The medical pro- 
fession has at all times attracted to its prac- 
tice men of broad knowledge and excep- 
tional abilities. Within it tliey have found 
a splendid field for experimental research as well 
as an opportunity for relieving the ills to wlirch 
all humanity is heir. The city of Amboy has 
been the home of many able practitioners and 
skillful surgeons, among whom none are remem- 
bered with greater affection than the gentleman 
whose name introduces these paragraphs and who 
passed from the scenes of his former usefulness to 
enter upon his final rest, in May, 1888. 

Not alone in the city which had been his home 
for years prior to his demise, but also in the sur- 
rounding country. Dr. Felker was extensively 
known and universally esteemed. His genial dis- 
position as well as his ability to quickly relieve 
suffering, endeared him to his patients, while in 
social and business life he was a pleasing compan- 
ion and a prominent citizen. At the time of his 
decease he was still in life's prime, having been 
bom in 1838, in Maryland. The surroundings of 
his youth were such as were common to the lads of 
that day and he passed his boyhood days in a com- 
paratively uneventful manner, alternating attend- 
ance at school with the discharge of duties at 

In 1867 Dr. Felker was united in marriage with 
Miss Eliza Jane Miller, a native of Franklin 
County, and the daughter of Henry and Eliza 
Miller, who were likewise born in Frankklin 
County, but are now deceased, their death having 
occurred in Greencastle, that county. Mr. Miller 
and his good wife were worthy people and gave 
to the eleven children of which they were iiarents 
good common-school educations and such training 

as would prepare them for responsible positions in 
the world. Their daughter Eliza was fitted by her 
education to hold a prominent place in society 
while she was also reared to discharge home duties 
efficiently. Dr. Felker brought his bride to Amboy 
December 1,1867, and it remained their home dur- 
ing all their wedded life. The children granted 
to them who survive are May Gertrude, John 
B., Jr., and Abram H. H. Trusie is deceased. 
The two youngest children remain at home with 
their mother; May Gertrude is a pupil in Rock- 
ford Seminary, where she expects to complete her 
seminary course of six years, in June, 1892. 

The political views of Dr. Felker brought him 
into affiliation with the Democratic party, which 
he always supported with his l)allot and influence. 
He was called to occui)\- some of the highest offices 
within the power of his fellow-citizens to bestow 
upon him, serving as Alderman and as Mayor, as 
well as a member of the Legislature to represent 
his district. He also took a prominent part in 
medical societies, being identified with the Amer- 
ican Medical Association, the Illinois State Med- 
ical Societj' and some local medical organizations. 
Mrs. Felker holds membership in the Congrega- 
tional Church and is alady of benevolent impulses, 
to whom the destitute never appeal for aid in vain. 


ILLIAM S. STRAW is one of the progres- 
'/ sive farmers and well-to-do citizens of 

\^^' Palmyra Township. He operates two hun- 
dred and twenty-four acres of valuable land on 
sections 19 and 20, and this farm is recognized as 
one of the finest in the community. It is complete 
in all its appointments, its arrangement has all 
been made with an eye to convenience and it seems 
to be lacking in no particular. Most of the im- 
provements stand as monuments to the thrift and 
enterprise of the owner, and the neat appearance 
of the place and the well tilled fields attest his 
careful supervision. The home is a commodious 
and substantial residence, and the barns and out- 
buildings are models of convenience. 

Mr. Straw, who is so widely and favorably 



known throughout tliis community, was born in 
Dauphin Countj', Pa., but reared in Seward Town- 
ship, Winnebago County, 111., and is a son of N. S. 
Straw, a native of Dauphin County, Pa. Tlic fam- 
ily was founded in the Keystone State in Colonial 
daj'S, and was represented both in the Revolution- 
ary War and the War of 1812. The father of our 
subject became a farmer and lime burner, and in 
following those; pursuits acquired a considerable 
competence. In Pennsylvania he married Miss 
Ann Brubaker, who was born in the Keystone 
State, and came of an old and respected family of 
Dauphin County. In 1855, they turned their faces 
toward the setting sun and traveled Westward un- 
til they arrived in Ulinios, where they located ou 
a large tract of land in Seward Township, Wiune- 
bago County. There Mr. Straw followed farming 
for some years, and at the old home the wife and 
mother died at the age of sixty-.six. She was an 
attendant of the Presbyterian Church, and a lady 
of many excellencies of character. A few yeai-s 
later, in 1887, Mr. Straw retired to Winnebago 
Village, where he is now living, aged seventy-six 
years. Ho is still hale and hearty, and is a highly 
respected citizen of the community. 

Under the parental roof our subject spent the 
days of his childhood, and in the public schools of 
the neigliborhood acquired a good English educa- 
tion, which has been greatly supplemented in the 
subsequent years by reading and observation. A 
marriage ceremonj- performed in McIIenry County 
united the destinies of W. S. Straw and Miss Car- 
rie E. Finch, daughter of John H. and Eliza .7. 
(Uritton) Finch, who are well-to-do fanning people 
of McHenry County. Her father is a native of 
New York, and her mother was born in New Hamp- 
shire. In an earl^' day they came to Illinois, and 
both engaged in teaching in McHenryCounty before 
their marriage. Their home is about two miles east 
of Woodstock, and in the community wliere they re- 
side they are prominent and influential people. In 
rehgious belief both Mr. and Mrs. Finch are Bap- 
tists. Their daughter, the wife of our subject, was 
born in McHenry County, and was educated in 
Wheaton College, Du Page C'ounty. She is a ladv 
of intelligence and culture, and wilii her liusltaud 
moves in the best circles of society. i\[r. Straw is 

a Democrat in jwlitics, and keeps himself well In- 
formed on tlie questions of the day, both political 
and otherwise. Three children have been l)orn 
unto this worthy couple, liut one died in infancy. 
\'erne S. and Carl C. are still under the parental 

TAN WOOD (iUIFFlTH, the popular Super- 
visor of Ashton Township, was bom in 
New Lisbon, Ohio, December 6, 1834. His 
parents were Oliver and Maiy (Hussey) 
(rrifiith, the former born August 8. 1797, in York 
County, Pa., and the mother was born the same 
vear and in the same county as was her honored 
husband. The senior Mr. (Ti-ifBth was an agricul- 
turist during his earl^^ j'ears, but later in life be- 
came engaged in money loaning. Both parents 
died in New Lisbon, Ohio, and belonged to that 
sect known as (Quakers or Friends. 

Our subject was the second son and fifth child 
in his parents' family of seven children. He re- 
ceived a good common-school education, and ap- 
preciating the value of a thorough knowledge of 
books, made the best of his opportunities, and is 
to-day a man of culture and education. He re- 
mained under the parental roof assisting his fatlier 
in performing the farm duties until twentj'-one 
j^ears of age and thus received a tliorough training 
in all those things wiiich go to make a tii-st-class 
agriculturist. When reaching his majority he left 
home and went to Upper Sandusky, Ohio, where 
he engaged in farming on his own account, remain- 
ing thereuntil 1864 when he disposed of his farm 
at a good profit and came to the Prairie State, pur- 
chasing a farm in Ogle County, on which he con- 
tinued to make his home and cultivate until the 
spring of 1868 when he came to Ashton Townsiiip, 
this county, and launched out in the drug business. 
He was exceedingly successful in this undertaking 
as indeed lie was in every branch of work, and two 
yeais later added a fine stock of hardware, formed 
a partnership withcieorge R. Charters, and carried 
on a successful trade in that line for the two sue- 



ceet^ing years. Our subject then disposed of his 
interest in the firm and engaged in the lumber busi- 
ness, which he prosecuted for tlie next seven years. 

He soon disposed of his lumber interests and 
with his sons, O. W. and J. C, again became a hard- 
ware merchant, the firm style being (irifflth it Sons. 
They did a flourishing business, carrying a com- 
plete line of heavy and shelf hardware and by 
their square and fair dealing witli their customersi 
did an extensive business. 

Griffith & Sons continued together in the hard- 
ware business for over five years wlien our subject 
disposed of his interest to his sons and has since 
been engaged in the lumber and stock business. 
He has been engaged in the active operation or 
superintendence of large tracts of land and at tlie 
present writing is the owner of Ave hundred acres 
of beautiful land, lying in Lee and Ogle Counties. 
By a proper rotation of crops his land has been 
brought to a high degree of cultivation, while the 
various buildings have been erected which best 
subserve the purposes of a first-class agriculturist. 
His life has been characterized by an uprightness 
of purpose and an integrity of principle which, 
with his high mental and moral standing, is grate- 
fully recognized by his fellow-men. 

Mr. Griffith of this sketch was married to Miss 
Elizabeth Charters, in New Lisbon, Ohio, October 
25, 1858. Mrs. Griffith was born in New Lisbon 
and is the daughter of John and Elizabeth (Ran- 
kin) Charters, natives of Scotland and both of 
whom died in Ohio. The father was a contractor 
and did an extensive business in that line. The 
family of our subject and his amiable wife numbered 
seven children, namely: Oliver W.,. John C, 
Mary, who died when sixteen years old; Abbey E., 
Anna H., Jennette D., and Catherine. 

Mr. Griffith has been chosen by the people of 
Asliton Township as Supervisor and is the present 
incumbent of the office, fulfilling every duty in an 
acceptable and conscientious maaner. He has also 
been Justice of the Peace and School Director, be- 
ing especially interested in educational matters in 
his section. He was a member of the Village Board 
and in politics occupies a front rank in the Rejiub- 
lican party. In religious affairs he has always been 
very active and is a working member of the 

Presbyterian Church, having been Superintendent 
of the Sunday-school for many years. His wife is 
also connected with that denomination. Mr. Grif- 
fith is a member of the Masonic fraternity. He is 
well-known throughout this section of country and 
the publishers of this volume would fail in their 
purpose of recording lives that have been useful 
and worthy of note were they to omit mention of 
Stanwood Griffith, who is one of the leading busi- 
ness men of the county. 


EBENEZER H. JOHNSON. This gentleman, 
whose death took place at his old home in 
Palmyra Township, this county', August 29, 
1885, was one of the old pioneers whose history is 
coincident with that of the township and county, 
and a sketch of whose life will prove interesting, 
not only to those intimately associated with him 
but to all who love to hear of the early times in the 
Prairie State. 

Mr. Johnson was born in Bainbridge, Chenango 
County, N. Y., July o, 1810. Pis parents were 
Seth JNI.and Mary (Hough) Johnson of English de- 
scent, who removed to New York about 1807. His 
parents were natives of Connecticut, coming of 
good old New England stock and of English ances- 
try. vSeth Johnson was a farmer in his native 
State and after his marriage and the birth of two 
children, emigrated with his family in a very early 
day to Chenango County, N. Y., settling in the 
heavy timber near Bainbridge. There he and 
his wife encountered the hardships of a pio- 
neer life and diligently toiled until they had im- 
proved and cultivated a good farm on which they 
spent the remainder of th(!ir days, the father dying 
at the age of fifty-seven, and his wife living until 
1865, when she too passed away at the venerable 
age of eighty years. He was an active Whig in those 
early days and both he and his wife were consis- 
tent members of the Baptist Church. Their mem- 
ory has been handed down to their descendants as 
an honored couple worthy of all respect and 
kindly remembrance which has been accorded to 



The subject of this sketch was very young when 
his father became a resident of New '^'ork State 
and in order to make a comfortable liome in the 
then unbroken wilderness his assistance was re- 
quired as soon as lie was old enough, to help his 
father in clearing up a farm. He left home before 
attaining his majority, engaging in various pur- 
suits until his marriage, directly after which he 
came to the AVest. His wife, whose maiden name 
was Sarah Johnson, was born in Blanford, Hampton 
County, Mass., August 10, 1808. She was a daugh- 
ter of Jonas and Sallie (McCray) Johnson. At 
the age of nine years she removed, with her father's 
family to Colesville, Broome County, N. Y., 
where she was engaged in teaching quite a number 
of years. She was brought up in the Episcopal 
faith, and for many years was a member of that 
church at Harpersville, N. Y. She was a devoted 
wife and a worthj' helpmate for her husband. She 
w-as upwards of seventy -six years of age at the time 
of her death, which occurred May 1.5, 1885, preced- 
ing that of her husband three months and thirteen 
days. A short sketch of her parents will prove 
interesting in connection with this sketch. 

Capt. Jonas Joljnson was one of the pioneers of 
Lee County, arriving in the fall of 1838, when he 
was near the age of seventy-six jears. He was 
born near Leominster, Mass. November 30, 1762. 
His remotest ancestor is traced back to Hervie Hill, 
County Kent, England, who came to America in 
1630, settling in Charlcstown, Mass. He was the 
son of Edward and Relief (Johnson) Johnson. 
His first wife was Sarah Ferguson, of. Blanford, 
Mass., wlio bore liim five children, bat one of 
whom is now living. The second wife was Sallie 
McCrary of Scotch descent, whose ancestors emi- 
grated from Scotland to the Nortli of Ireland. 
They were both members of the Episcopal Church. 
Mr. Johnson was the parent of three children b\- 
his last marriage, Sarah, William and Morris, none 
of whom survive. His wife left him for the silent 
land three months and thirteen days before his 
own summons came. Mr. Johnson died December 
3, 1842, having just celebrated his eightieth birth- 

Rev. William Y. Johnson, a brother of Sarah and 
a son of Jonas and Sallie .Tohnson, came to Illi- 

nois in 18.S 7, settling at Monmouth. He came to 
Lee County in the fall of 1838, and purchased 
Government land near Sugar Grove, built a house 
and opened up a fai-m. He next removed to China 
Townsliip, where he remained several years, going 
thence to Chicagi), where he was ordained a min- 
ister of the Protestant Episcopal Church in which 
serN'ice he continued until his death. His wife 
was a daughter of Col. Leman Mason, one of the 
first settlers of this county. Three children were 
born to this worthy couple. Mr. Johnson died at 
Fan-field, Iowa. August 29, 1873, aged nearly six- 
ty-four years. He was liuried in Oakwood Ceme- 
tery, Dixon, 111. 

.Jonas Morris, youngest son of Jonas and Sallie 
Johnson, came to Lee County with his fatherinthc 
fall of 1838. He settled near Sugar Grove, pur- 
chasing Government land, building a home and 
developing the farm now occupied by Mrs. J. P. 
Goodrich, of whom see sketch in another part of 
this volume. His first wife was Eienora Stratton, 
of Nineveh, N. Y., who bore him two sons, one 
dying at the age of three years. His wife died 
after a brief illness October 17, 1842, followed 
three weeks later by the death of the son. In 1844, 
he was united in marriage with Calista Mason, 
daughter of Col. Leman and Elizabeth jMason. 
Four children lesulted from this union. About 
1854, Mr. Johnson removed to Dixon, 111., where 
he conducted a hardware store for some time. He 
went West duriiii; (he Pike's Peak gold excitement, 
lieing one of the '5l)ers, and settled at Golden, 
Col., where he kept an hotel for many years, and 
where he died November 8, 1888, aged seventy- 
four years. He was familiarly known as t lie "Judge" 
and held man\' positions of honor and trust in the 
city and coujity, during a residence of thirty 

Ebenezcr II. Johnson, the subject of this sketch, 
came after hi^ marriage to this county in 1838, and 
throughout his life time held a prominent place in 
its history. He became the owner of a fine prop- 
erty and carried on farming extensively, also being 
much interested in politics and taking an active 
pai't in all that related lo the development and 
progress of the county. He was for several years 
the Supervisor of his Township and held other lo-. 






cal offices. He was a stanch. Republican and an 
earnest member of the Melhodist Church. He and 
his wife were the parents of seven children, two of 
whom are deceased, namely: Mary Janette, who 
was the wife of William H. Swigart, a farmer of 
this township and Theodore who met with a violent 
death at the age of twenty-two, being assassinated 
by a robber near Aurora, Hamilton County, Keli. 
The children now living are Thomas H. who mar- 
ried Eliza M. Rodgei-s, of Palmyra Townsliip, this 
county, and is now a farmer in Loveland, Col.; 
Jane A., who resides in Dixon with her brother, 
Mark, and who is the owner of the old homestead 
in Palmj-ra Township, which is well improved- and 
over which she exercises an intelligent supervision. 
Slie Is a well-informed woman of much ability and 
is highly esteemed in the community in which her 
family ha\e played such an important part;Ralph E., 
niariied Abbie Knox, of New York State, and they 
live in Palmyra Township; Howard married AUie 
A. Rogers, of Palmyra Township, and also resides 
in that township; Marcus M. married Miss Emma 
C. Flamm and resides at Seward, Neb., where he is 
carrying on a feed-store. 

11 SAAC EDWARDS. The name of this gentle- 
I man is a familiar one to the resident of Lee 
_ County, and especially to the citizens of Am- 
boy, where he has resided most of the -time since 
1853. His financial ability is proved by the fact 
that, although he came to this county with limited 
means, he is now the owner of five hundred and 
eighty aci'es of farming lands, and ten houses and 
lots in Amboy, besides his livery and sales stables, 
an ice house and an hotel. He possesses the thrift 
and perseverance of a long line of English ancest- 
ors, and to those qualities adds the American charac- 
teristics of push and enterprise, a combination of 
traits which ensure success to the fortunate posses- 

Born July 31, 1828, in Somersetshire, P^ngland, 
Mr. Edwards is the son of Marmaduke and Char- 
lotte (Tavener) Edwards, his father being a shoe- 
maker by trade. He was one of f<ix children, of 

whom five grew to mature years, although none 
but Isaac ever came to the United States. The 
mother of the family died in 1840, and the father 
married again, six children being born of his sec- 
ond union. Two of our subject's half-brothers 
came to this country — Job, who is located at War- 
ren, 111., and William, of Amb03^ Marmaduke 
I<;d wards lived to an advanced age passing away 
when eighty years old. At the time of his mo- 
ther's death, our subject was only twelve years old 
and his subsequent education was somewhat 
limited, but as he has always been a great reader, 
he has become a well-informed man. 

In 1850, Mr. Edwards came to theUnited States, 
proceeding westward to Illinois and stopping at 
Elgin, where he worked on the construction of the 
Chicago & Galena I?ailroad. The following winter 
lie found employment at similar work in Indiana, 
and in the spring of the ensuing year returned to 
this State, working first at Rockford and later at 
Pecatonica. He had three contracts on the con- 
struction of tlie Illinois Central Railroad and 
graded seven miles of tliat road. Next we find 
Mr. Edwards at Forreston whence he came to Am- 
boy and worked on the construction of the Illin- 
ois Central Railroad until its completion. Before 
coming to this city, his work on railroads was 
teaming and he had several teams in constant use. 

After the completion of the railroad, Mr. Ed- 
wards engaged in the livery business, also in gen- 
eral teaming, moving buildings, and as an ice 
dealer. Subesquently, he had contracts on the 
construction of the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific 
Railroad, the Kansas City Branch of the Chicasjo 
& Alton, the Chicago & Pacific, the Chicago, Mil- 
waukee & St. Paul, and also in Iowa, devoting 
some ten j'ears to railroad work. During that 
time his business at Amboy was continued under 
liis supervision. In 1879, he was elected County 
Treasurer, but the Board of Supervisors questioned 
the sufficiency of his bond, although his bonds- 
men were several of the most wealthy farmers of 
Lee County. On referring the case to the State's. 
Attorney, he held that they could not accept a 
new bond after the first of December and as they 
had assembled at the last moment, no time was left 
to make a new bond and thus the office was lost 



In 1882, Mr. Edwards w.-is elected Shei'iff of Lee 
County and during the four yeai-s in which he 
held oflice, resided m Dixon. In the meantime, 
his son conducted the livei y business under the 
direct oversight of Mr. Edwards, who at the expira- 
tion of his term of office returned to Amboj' and 
has resided here since. A faithful member of the 
Republican party, he has always maintained tiie 
greatest interest in the welfare of this country and 
during the late war furnished the Government 
with many horses. Since that time he has been an 
extensive dealer in live stock. He has hold many 
of the highest position.s within the gift of his fel- 
low-citizens, has been Supervisor some ten years. 
Collector of City Taxes, and IMayor of Amboy for 
several terms. 

The lady, who in 18o3 became the wife of Mr. 
Edwards, was Miss Elizabeth, daughter of Thomas 
Saul, of Eorreston, this State. Mrs. Edwards was 
born in the North of Ireland and emigrated to the 
United States with her parents when nineteen years 
old. She has become the mother of eight children, 
four of whom died in childhood, the survivors be- 
ing — William J., John H., Isaac F. and James A. 
Possessing the genial and hospitable dispositions 
which win and retain friends, both Mr. Edwards 
and his wife occupy a high place in the regard of 
the people of Amboy and the surrounding country. 

A lithographic portrait of Mr. Edwards accom- 
panies this sketch. 

V ^*^=*^-5. / 

eHRISTI AN B. CJ.ASSEN. Many years have 
gone by with their chances and changes 
sinpe Christian Classen first set foot within 
the boundaries of this county. He was then a poor 
man who had come here with his young wife to 
build up a home. Tliey have worked long and 
well together and are now very comfortably situ- 
ated on a good farm on section 28, South Dixon 
Township, that is provided with neat buildings 
and all the necessary improvements for carrying 
on agriculture. 

Mr. Cliusseu was ixirn at V:iver, Oklenbur", Ger- 

many, October 4, 1815, a son of Clause and Eliza 
(Varner) Classen, who were also natives of the 
same German village as himself, which is situated 
near the shores of the Nortii Sea. His parents 
were well along in years at the time of his birth, 
and he was early deprived of their watchful care 
by their death, his mother dying when he was seven 
years old, and his father departing this life two 
years later. He was a farm laborer, and both he 
and his wife were upright. God-fearing- jjcople and 
conscientious members of the Lutheran Church. 

Our subject is the only survivor of seven chil- 
dren. His brother John, who died some years ago 
in Palmyra Township, where he had been a well- 
known resident for a long time, had married in 
Oldenburg, and after the death of his wife carae 
to this countiy with his two children, who grew to 
maturity in this county. His daughter, Eliza, sub- 
sequently died in her home in South Dakota, near 
Yankton. His son John, who is married, lives on 
a farm in Marshall Countj--, Iowa. 

He of whom wo write grew up in the town of 
his birth and in due time took unto himself a wife, 
marrying the daughter of a neighbor, Sophia Chris- 
tians, who was born Julj' 14, 1823, in Oldenburg, 
coming of an old German family of that province, 
all of whom lived and died there except herself. 
A short time after marriage Mr. Classen and his 
bride decided to try their fate in the United States 
of America, whither so many of their compatriots 
had betaken themselves for the betterment of their 
fortunes from time immemorial. June 23, 1852, 
they embarked on a sailing-vessel at Bremer 
Haven, and on the 11th of August landed at New 
York r.'ity. They came tlience to this State,where 
they have since lived. He had but little means 
with which to begin life m a strange land, but he 
and his wife had health and strength on their side, 
and patiently and courageously bore the hardships 
that fell to their lot, and which were shared by 
the pioneers in many cases. For some years they 
lived at Sugar Grove, Palmyra Township, and 
then for four years Mr. Classen was engaged in 
farming in Whiteside County. Returning to this 
county he purchased his present farm in South 
Dixon Township in 1869, and now has it in excel- 
lent ciiudition, everything about the place in good 



order and betokening the best of care. The fields 
are under good tillage and the pastures gi\'e sup- 
port to stock of approved grades. 

Mr. and Mrs. Classen are people of true piety, 
consistent members of the Lutheran Church, with 
which they have been connected from their earliest 
days and their Christianity enters into their every- 
day lives, enabling them to bear trouble when it has 
come to them, and making them kind, neighborly 
and obliging to all. Mr. Classen was formerly a 
Republican, but has transferred his allegiance to 
the Democratic party, believing its principles best 
for the guidance of tlie country of his adoption, to 
which he is sincerely attached. 

Death early took from our subject and his wife 
their three children, but they were sustained and 
soothed in their sorrow b}' their firm belief in the 
life immortal when they shall all be gathered to- 
gether in one household never to be separated again. 
Herman died at the age of eight months; Eliza, 
aged nine months and Lena when six years old. 






%-^ UGH FITZPATRICK. May Township is 
j) settled principally by people who were 
bom on the Emerald Isle, and when the 
questiou is asked, who is their leading 
citizen, the answer invariably is, Hugh Fitz- 
patrick. And verily this is so. He is not only 
one of its foremost farmers and stock-raisers, but 
he is first among its ofHce-holders as its represen- 
tative on the Lee County Board of Supervisors. 

Mr. Fitzpatrick was born in County Cavan, Ire- 
land, in tlie month of April, 1823. His parents 
were James and Mary (McBride) P'itzpatrick. 
Both were life-long residents of their native land, 
the former dying in 1848, and the latter in 1835. 
There were three children in the family, and all 
came to the United States. Bernard enlisted dur- 
ing the War to fight for the stars and stripes in 
the Sixteenth New York Heavy Artillery, and 
yielded up his life for his adopted country while 
in the service. Ann came to America in 184;') and 
was married in Ilollidaysburg, Pa., to John Kccfcr. 
She is now a widow and resides in Chicago. 

Our subject is the oldest of the family. He was 
reared to the life of a farmer on his native soil, 
and in the opening years of his manhood sailed 
away from the Old Country to try life in the New 
World. He landed at New Orleans after a voyage 
of several weeks and made a stay of four months 
in the Crescent City. He subsequently wended 
his way to Broome County, N. Y., and for some 
j'ears thereafter was connected with the construc- 
tion of railways in various capacities. He was 
first employed on the New York and Erie Railway 
when that was being built, and later was engaged 
on the Pennsj'lvania Central Railway as foreman 
of a construction gang. 

Nearly ten years of his life was given to that 
kind of work, and then Mr. Fitzpatrick joined the 
pioneer farmers on the prairies of Northern Illi- 
nois, coming to Lee County in 1857 and locating 
in May Township upon the place where he still 
resides. He at first purchased only eighty acres of 
land, but is now the owner of the south half of 
section 29, and has become one of the leading 
stock-raisers of this section, his rich pastures afford- 
ing sustenance for fine herds of cattle and horses 
of the best grades. 

i\Ir. Fitzpatrick was happily married in 1850 to 
Miss Ann DeLacy, and for more than forty years 
they have been together through the sunshine and 
shadows of a wedded life, that lias brought them 
much joy. Grief has also fallen to their lot in the 
death of their two children — James, who was born 
in October, 1850, and died in 1889 in Montana; 
and Bernard, who was born in January, 1852, and 
died in infancy. Mrs. Fitzpatrick is also, like her 
husband, a native of County Cavan, Ireland. Slie 
came to this country when a young woman, brav- 
ing the dangers of the ocean alone. 

Our subject is a good example of our so-called 
self-made, men, as he began life in this country 
under circumstances that would have been de- 
pressing to any of a less buoyant and self-reliant 
nature. When he landed at New Orleans two 
cen ts was all the money that he had in his posses- 
sion. But he had better capital in his strength, 
courage and brain, and has made his way success- 
fully to a competency. His active, enterprising 
spirit, liis good sense and native ability, together 



with his ready tact, and liis geniality, early elicited 
the favor of his fellow-townsmen, who liiive re- 
peatedly called him to fill local olliccs, and he has 
held some of them twenty years. He has been a 
member of the County Board of Supervisors no 
less than ten years, and in that position as in all 
others, has nobly fulfilled his duties as a public- 
spirited citizen. Religiously he is a Roman Cath- 
olic and is an exemplary member of his church. 

^^E0RC4E W. HULBERT. Although death 
III ,_-, has laid its chill hand vipon our subject and 
^^1) has stilled his pulse, there is still an ema- 
nation of his spirit breathing oxit remembrances of 
the good that he has done, and examples that 
might well be emulated by the young. Mr. Hul- 
bert was born in Bradford County, Pa., Januaiy 
24, 183(J, and was six years of age when he was 
brought by his parents, Elias and Hannah Ilulbert 
to this county. He grew to manhood in Bradf<jrd 
Township where the father located on coming to the 
county and engaged in cultivating the soil as his 
life occupation. He devoted his time and atten- 
tion to that pursuit very successfully until his death 
which occurred January f), 1888. Mr. Hulbert was 
married in Dixon, September 29, 1859, the lady of 
his choice being Miss l.oraine L. Evitts. .She was 
the daughter of Ralph B. and Elizabeth (Bosworth) 
Evitts, the father a native of Pennsylvania and 
the mother born in New York. Her parents came 
to this countj' from New York and settled in 
Bradford Township, where they made their home 
until their death. They were the parents of five 
children, three daughters and two sons, of whom 
Mrs. Hulbert was the second in order of birth. 

The wife of our subject was born near Buffalo, 
N. Y., July 28, 1836, and was only six years of 
age at the time her parents removed to this county, 
where she received a good knowledge of books and 
grew to a useful womanhood. She made her home 
under the parental roof, where she received a care- 
ful training by her most excellent mother, until 
her marriage with our subject. To them were born 
three children: Harviy D., who married Ilattic 

Ilegart; Charles M. married Sarah Hegart, and 
Mattie J., who is the wife of Frank E. Frost, well 
known in this section. 

Mr. Hulbert, of this sketch, was honored by his 
fellow-townsmen with many positions of responsi- 
bility and trust, and in all of them gave the utmost 
satisfaction. Among them we mention that of 
Assessor, Collector of his township, etc. In politics 
he was a firm adherent of Republican principles 
and hence always cast his vote in favor of that 
party's candidates. Since the death of her hus- 
band INIrs. Ilullicrt has conducted the estate which 
fell to her and has thus proved her efficiency and 
ability to manage a farm and build up a business 
which is both profitable and pleasant. The farm 
numbers one hundred and twenty acres and is cul- 
tivated in such a manner as to be exceedingly pro- 
ductive. Prior to his death our subject introduced 
the Bradford Mutual Insurance Company in Lee 
County and acted as its Treasurer and agent, hav- 
ing built up a thriving business in that line. 

"^,1 CHARD S. FARRAND, County Judge of 
Lee County, has risen to his present dis- 
tinguished position as a member of the 
judiciary of this .State while yet a compara- 
tively young man, by the force of an invincible 
will, a strong character, and untiring devotion to 
his profes.sion, and through rare personal merit. 
Ho was born in St. Joseph Township, Allen County, 
Ind., October 1, 1852. His father, who beai-s the 
same name as himself, is a native of Oneida County, 
X. Y'. When a young man he left his early home 
and cast his lot with the pioneers of Indiana. He 
bought a tract of partly improved land in St. 
Joseph Township, and lived there some years. He 
then sold that place and bought propertj' in Perry 
Township, of which he is still a resident. In 1888 
he was bereft of the companionship of his wife by 
her death. She was also a native of Oneida 
County, N. Y., and her maiden name was Delilah 

He of whom we write, left the parental home at 



the early age of eleven years, and from that time 
earned his own living, displaying an independence 
of character and a reliance upon self far beyond 
his years. He worked on the farm by the month 
in the summer season, and in winter did chores 
for his board while he attended school and devoted 
all his spare time to his books, as he was ambitious 
to secure an education that would enable him to 
win a name and a place for himself in the world. 
He remained in his native county until he was 
fifteen years old, and he then came to this State, 
and has ever since been a resident of Lee County. 
He continued his old employment as a farm laborer 
in the summer seasons, and devoted his winters to 
attending school until he was eighteen >ears old. 
At that age he began teaching in \'iola Township, 
and taught school seven years. In 1877 he was 
called to public life by his appointment .as Deputy 
Sheriff by J. N. Hill. He came to Dixon to assume 
the duties of his position, and soon commenced 
the study of law with A. C. Bard well. He was 
admitted to the bar in 1879, and formed a partner- 
ship with Mr. Bardwell, with whom he practiced 
until 1882. He rose rapidly in his profession be-. 
coming in a few years a leading lawyer of this 
section of the State, and in 1882 he was elected 
County Judge, was re-elected in 1886, and again 
in 1890, and is now serving liis third term in that 
office. He was selected for this high position, as a 
lawyer possessing an accurate knowledge of the 
common law, and as being richly endowed with 
those elements of character that peculiarly fit him 
to preside over a court of justice. And thus 
when he was scarcely thirty years of age he had 
won his way to the bench, and has since gained 
recognition as one of our ablest judges. Other 
honors have been conferred upon him, and at one 
time he was elected Mayor of Dixon. Politically, 
he is a Republican. In his social relations he is a 
member of Brooklyn Lodge, A. F. •S: A. i\l.; of 
Nachnsa Chapter, No. 56, K. A. M.; Lodge No. 137, 
A.O.U. W.; and of Camp No. 56, M. W. A. 

Judge Farrand and Miss C. J. Marsh were united 
in marriage in 1873. They have an attractive 
home wherein tliey dispense a charming hospitality 
with true courtesy and a kindly consideration for 
others that mark their intercourse with all, whether 

friend or stranger. They have one son living, 
Ernest W. Their son, Wilbur A., died at the age 
of ten years. Mrs. Farrand is, like her husband, a 
native of Indiana, .and she is the daughter of 
Harry Marsh. 

ON ATHAN DEPUy. This well-known and 
highly respected citizen of Nachusa Town- 
^ji^l I ship died at his pleasant home on section 36, 
^^^ June 16, 1891. He made this county his 
home in 1844, hence was one of the very earliest 
settlers and has witnessed the marvelous growth'^ 
of the country from a vast wilderness into beauti- 
ful and productive farms and thriving villages. 
He has improved two good farms and was a hard- 
working and intelligent farmer. 

Mr. Depuy was born October 2, 1816, in Delaware, 
and accompanied liis parents on their removal to 
Luzerne County, Pa., being at that time only four 
years of age. The father engaged in agricultural 
pursuits and with his wife, passed his last days in 
the Keystone State, dying at an advanced age, 
greatlj' respected by all who knew him. 

Our subject was reared to the life of a farmer 
and educated in the common schools of his neigh- 
borhood. When establishing a home of his own, 
he was married in July, 1837, to Miss Sallie A. 
Klintop, a native of Luzerne County, Pa. Mrs. 
Depuy was of German ancestry but of American 
parents, and received a good education in Penn- 
sj'lvania. She became the mother of eight children. 
On their removal to Illinois they settled in Nachusa, 
this county, where they labored industriously until 
November 30, 1866, when Mrs. Depuy was called 
to her long home. She was born January 19, 1816, 
and during her life was an active worker in the 
Lutheran Church. 

Jonathan Depuy was a second time married, 
December 12, 1867, to Miss Tena, who was 
born in Somerset County, Pa., May 9, 1826. Their 
marriage was celebrated in Nachusa Township, 
where they still make their home. Mrs. Depuy 
was the daughter of Daniel and Katie (Poorbaugh) 
Bauman, natives of the Keystone State and of 



German ancestry. They followed the life of far- 
mers in Luzerne County, Pa., and died in Somerset 
C'ounty, near Berlin, when past thrcc-scorc and 
ten years. In their religious connection tliey were 
members of the German Reformed Church. jAIr. 
Bauman was a patriot in the War of 1812, and in 
his death the county lost one of her best citizens. 

]\Irs. TenaDepuy was the ninth in order of birtii 
in a family of twelve children born to her parents, 
all of whom are living with the exception of four, 
and most of them make their homes in .Somerset 
County, Pa. Our subje(!t's wife remained at home 
until her marriage with Mr. Depuy, in the mean- 
time receiving a good education and being trained 
in all those duties which go to make a first-class 
housekeeper. Since the death of her husband she 
has come into possession of the beautiful estate of 
eighty acres where she makes her home. She is a 
member of the Lutheran Church as was also her 

By his former marriage our subject became the 
father of eight children, four of whom were born 
prior to their removal to Illinois. Three are now 
deceased, two dying in infancy unnamed. We 
make the following mention of those living: Alex 
makes his home in Dixon, where he is janitor of 
the courthouse and Presbyterian Church. Remar- 
ried Mary Bittner. a native of Somerset County, 
Pa.; Rosanna is the wife of John Heller, a farmer 
of Ilenson County, S. Dak.; Fidelia is Mrs. RobinsOn, 
and makes her home in Chicago; Jane is the wife 
of Fred Eggert, and they reside on a farm in ]\Iis- 
souri; Miriam is the wife of Charles Hess, and they 
reside in Pennsylvania. 

I^DWARD B. KNIGHT, Jr., has made himself 

a thorough master of his calling as a farmer, 

V conducts his farming interests in a system- 


atic and business like way, and his farm on sections 
l.") and 22, South Dixon Township, compares favor- 
ably with other fine farms in its vicinity. In 
him we have a representative of the vigorous New 
England stock that has done such conspicuous 
service in reclaiming the Western wilds. His ances- 

tors wei-e among the colonists of Massachusetts 
and Connecticut, and the city of Worcester, in the 
old Bay State, is Ids birthplace, December 21, 1850, 
being the date of his birth. 

Our subject's father, who bears the same name 
as himself, was born in Worcester Count}-, Mass., 
and IS a son of John Knight, who was also a native 
of that State, and for many j-ears was a prominent 
citizen of Worcester, where he held a position as 
secretary and clerk of a railway company, and he 
died in that city at an advanced age. Edward B. 
Knight, Sr., grew up in the city of AVorcester, 
wiiere he was given good educational advantages. 
He was married in Woodstock, Conn., to Miss 
Mary A. Stone, who is a native of that State, of 
which her parents were life-long residents, and she 
also traces her ancestry back to some of the old 
Colonial families of New England. After the 
birth of their only two children — our subject and 
his sister, Clara J., widow of Joseph B. Peacock, 
now residing at Dixon — Mr. and Mrs. Knight 
came to this county from their old home in Wor- 
cester in 18,54, and after a short residence in Am- 
boy Township, located in the township of South 
Dixon. Later they removed to Dixon, where they 
are still living an active life, and are well known 
and honored for their sterling merits. They are 
members in high standing of the Presbyterian 
Church, and their names are associated with all 
who are an influence for good in their con) ra unity. 

The first five years of the life of our subject 
were spent in his native city, and in its public 
schools he laid the foundation of a practical edu- 
cation. After the family came to this county he 
acquired that knowledge of farming and that true 
interest in agriculture that led him to adopt it 
for his life-work. In 1884 he bought the farm in 
South Dixon Township upon whlcli he has since 
lived. It has an area of one hundred and thirty 
acres of soil that is very fertile, and produces 
abundantly- all the crops that are commonly 
raised in this climate, besides affording pasturage 
for a goodly amount of stock, and its improve- 
ments are first-class. 

To the lady who presides over his home, for- 
merly Miss Emma B. Woodruff, Mr. Knight was 
married in this township. Mrs. Knight was born 



in Grtuit County, Wis., January 1^, 1855, and is a 
daughter of E. J. and Adaliue (Doty) Woodruff, 
who are highly respected residents of Dixon. Mr. 
Woodruff is a native of New York, born of Massa- 
chusetts parentage, and is a lineal descendant 
of Pilgrims of the "Mayflower. " He and his wife 
were married in Wisconsin, whence they came to 
Illinois in 1865. They lived in Lee County until 
1883, and then spent a few years in South Dakota. 
Returning to this county they have since made 
their home in Dixon, where they are serenely pass- 
ing their old age. Mr. Woodruff is a farmer. He 
holds to the Republican party in politics, as docs 
his son-in-law, of whom we write. 

The pleasant home circle of our subject and his 
wife has not been exempt from the sorrows that 
falls to the lot of all, as death has taken from them 
two of their children, Frank L., and Georgia L. 
Three children still gladden their household by their 
presence- — Lucy E., Laura E., and Olive A. 

^T' OHN F. STAGER. It is sometimes thought 
by superficial people who know nothing of 
agriculture, that no speciaL intelligence is 
required to till the soil, and indeed, if the 
mechanical work were all that is necessary this 
would be so, but, as in every branch of industry, 
the thoughtful and logical carry out theories tliat 
have been proved by experiment and science to be 
advantageous and to the profit of the farmer. He 
of whom we write is of the class who believes in 
progress and advancement. He is the owner of 
a fine farm of three hundred and sixteen acres, 
on section 22, Palmyra Township, where he is 
living a retired life from the active duties of farm 

The estate of Mr. Stager is supplied with all 
needful farm buildings which are the work of his 
own hands, he being a mechanic as well as a 
farmer. He began his active life as an agricultur- 
ist in Palmyra Township in 1861 or 1862, and 
since that time has been wonderfully successful, 
having started for himself a poor man, and his 
possessions are the direct result of his good man- 

agement and perseverance. He came to Dixon in 
1856, and to the State in 1852, locating first at 
Cedarville, Stephenson County, where he learned 
the trade of a carpenter. He worked at his trade 
there until 1855, when he went to Iowa, but only 
remained there a few months, however, when 
he returned to this State and located in Lee 

Our subject was born in Lebanon Countj^, Pa., 
in 1833, and is the son of John and Sarah (Fensler) 
Stager, also natives of the Keystone State, the for- 
mer tracing his ancestry back to Switzerland and 
the mother to England. The parents were far- 
mers by occupation, in Lebanon County, and lived 
and died in Shaffertown, Heidleburg Township, at 
the respective ages of eighty-three and seventy- 
five j'ears. They were active members of the 
German Reformed Church, and were highly es- 
teemed by all who knew them. 

Ten children were included in the parental 
family, of whom John F. was the fourth in order 
of birth. He was married in Palmyra Township, 
this County, in 1859, on the farm he now owns, 
the lady of his choice being Miss Harriet Sesi\ey. 
Mrs. Stager was born in Sandwich Township in 
1839, and was brought by her parents, Jesse and 
Sarah (Norris) Seavey, to this county early in the 
'40s, where they located on an unbroken tract of 
land which had been taken up from the Govern- 
ment, and which the father brought to a good 
state of cultivation. They made that their home 
until 1862, when the father died in middle life. 
The mother is still living at the advanced age 
of seventy -eight years, and makes her home in 
Cedar Rapids, Iowa, with a daughter,' Mrs. Joseph 

Mrs. Harriet Stager passed from this life Decem- 
ber 1, 1887, at Pasadena, Cal., whither she had 
gone hoping to regain her health. Mr. Stager 
realizes that he owes much of his success in life 
to the good management and advice of his faith- 
ful wife. She had become the mother of four 
children, only one of whom is living at the present 
time. Lillian became Mrs. E. B. Smith, and died 
when young; John died when sixteen years of age ; 
Lloyd when two years. Hattie L., who was born 
January 30, 1884, is residing with her father. 



In politics, Mr. Stager is a true-blue Republican, 
and his influence for good is felt in the eommvm- 
ity, where he is respected for his sterling character 
and true kindness. 

ENRY SANDERS is one of the pioneers of 
Lee County, -whose wise forethought, active 
enterprise and practical skill in conducting 

^j the business of farming and stock-raising 
made him a valuable agent in developing the rich 
agricultural resources of this part of Illinois. He 
is now living in honorable retirement at Franklin 
(-irove, although he s'till retains large landed in- 

Mr. Sanders was born in Adams County, Pa., 
March 6, 1826, to Henry and Mary (Buck) Sanders, 
who were also natives of the Kej'stone Stale and 
were of German ancestry. His paternal grand- 
father was wealthy, but his estate was squandered 
by administrators, and the father of our subject 
was left a poor orphan to struggle with adversity 
as best he might.. While yet in the prime of life 
his useful career was cut short by his death in 
Adams County, May 24, 1834. He was tlie father 
of five childi'en, as follows: Peter, who died in 
this county; Frank, who resides in Harrisburg, 
Pa.; Henry; Elizabeth, wife of James Toper, of 
Adams County, Pa., and Christina, wife of Mr. 
Hodeyschell, of Adams County, 111. The mother 
of our subject married a second time, becoming 
the wife of Jesse P. Toper, and she died in Penn- 
sylvania May 24, 1874. She had two children by 
lier second marriage — Mary A., wife of Joseph 
Smith, of Adams County, Pa., and Kate, wife of 
Frank Ackenrode, of Adams County, Pa. 

Our subject was reared on a farm in his native 
State. At the age of nineteen years he set out in 
the world to try life on his own account, beino- 
well-equipped to make his own way, as he was 
active, independent, frugal and prudent, and pos- 
sessed, withal, an enterprising spirit, seconded by 
good habits and a capacity to do well wliatever he 
undertook. It was at that time, in the year 1845 

that he paid his first visit to this State and county, 
lie staid liere a year, and then returned to Penn- 
sylvania whence he went to Washington County, 
JNld., where he worked for a time. Coming back 
to Lee County in the spring of 1848 he took up 
his residence in a cabin at Franklin Grove, and 
when the land carae into market in 1852, he pur- 
chased a quarter of section 29, Ashton Township, 
of which he thus became an early settler, and he 
played an important part in its upbuilding. He 
assiduously tilled the soil and raised stock exten- 
si>ely for manj' years. ^Vs the years passed by his 
property increased both in amount and value, 
and he became one of the wealth}- men of his 
township. In November, 1888, he abandoned farm- 
ing to spend his remaining years in well-earned 
retirement in the enjoyment of a handsome income, 
and since then has made his home in his substan- 
tial, well-appointed residence in the town of Frank- 
lin Grove. During his active business life he in- 
vested his money judiciously, and, still owns over 
six hundred acres of land on which he has made 
good improvements. 

When he was married in 1851 to Rachel C. 
Morgan, it was our subject's good fortune to secure 
one of life's choicest blessings, a true wife, who 
has been to liim a faithful helpmate. She is an 
exemplary Christian, and for thirty years has been 
a consistent member of the ^Methodist Episcopal 
Church. Her marriage with Mr. Sanders has 
brought them six children, of whom the following 
is the record: Win field B., born August 27, 1852, 
is a resident of Ida County, Iowa; Joseph was born 
March 9, 1H55; Alice, bom October 3, 1856, mar- 
ried Wilton Buck, and died August 26, 1879; 
Milton J., born November 11, 1857, died December 
31, 1880; Samantha J., born November 16, 1859, 
is the wife of Cornelius Sanders; John was born 
July 4,1861; Edward, July 27, 1867, and Lucy 
May 29, 1870. 

iNIrs. Sanders comes of one of the old pioneer 
families of Illinois, and is a native of the State, 
born in N^ermilion County. IMarch 12, 1835. Her 
parents, Edward and N.incy (StuU) Morgan, were 
early settlers of that county, where they located 
in 1829, coming to this State from Ohio, of which 
they were natives. In 1836 they removed to Lee 

Jk,&. //.^.^e^z^cM 

Sa^.&^ik^ /^>^w^ 



County and were pioneers of Franklin Grove. 
where Mr. Morgan improved a elioice farm. He 
was yet in life's prime wlien he died November 
2, 1847, at tlie age of forty-two years. His wife 
survived him until April 10, 1863, and then passed 
away at tlie age of fifty-eight years. Of their nine 
children, these six are living — Williomine, Martin, 
Rachel C, John "W.,Mary K. and Sarah J. 

All honor is due to our subject as a self-made 
man, who can point with true pride to what lie has 
accomplished, and it gives us pleasure to place 
this brief record of his life on these pages, as it 
should be preserved for the benefit of liis children 
and children's children unto the latest generation. 
He was but a boy when he began to earn his own 
living, and though his wages were only $7 a month 
by the time he was twenty years old he had 
saved $200. He attained success in his chosen 
career by fair means, and during his many yeais' 
residence in this county has always shown himself 
to be entirely worthy of the high estimation in 
which he is held by his many friends and acquain- 
tances. Mr. Sanders is possessed of an abundance 
of sturdy common sense, his judgment is sound 
and clear, and he is perfectly able to form opinions 
of his own on all subjects, with which he is conver- 
sant. He was formerly a Republican as regards his 
politics, but he is now independent, giving his 
support to whichever party or candidate for offlce 
that he deems best. He is public-spirited, and is 
always heartily in favor of wliatever scheme is ad- 
vanced to promote the interests of his adopted 


i,ATHANIEL G. H. MORRILL. This name 
is widely known and honored throughout 
/iyi^i Lee and adjoining counties as that of a 
prominent pioneer of this part of Illinois, who was 
long and intimately associated with the rise and 
growth of Dixon. E'or nearly half a century 
he made this city his home, and was a conspic- 
uous figure in the annals of the city from that day, 
far back in its past history, when first he settled 
within its borders, until death stayed his busy 

hands and stilled his active brain, while nature all 
around him was awakening into renewed life that 
seemed to whisper in every spring breeze of the 
life immortal, in wliich he had such abiding faith. 

Mr. Morrill wa.s born October 6, 1808, in Massa- 
chusetts, a son of Joseph Morrill, who is supposed 
to have been a native of the old Bay State. He 
was there married, and when our subject was in 
his childhood removed with his family to Contoo- 
cook, N. H., where he and his wife passed his re- 
maining days on a farm, and died when full of 
years. Onr subject grew to manhood on that 
pleasant New England farm set among the eternal 
hills of the Granite State. He earlj' displayed a 
mechanical genius, which was cultivated, and he 
became v^ry skilful in that line. He was in due 
time married, but having the misfortune to lose 
his wife after a brief wedded life of a few years' 
duration, tlie j^ear foUowini;- her death he decided 
to try life on the frontier, and in 1838 came to 
Illinois, which was then regarded as in the far West, 
being accompanied on his journey by his younger 
brother, Jacob, and by the families of John Lord, 
S. S. Growell and Gilbert Messer. 

Dixon was then scarcely more than a hamlet, 
and in the years that followed, Mr. Morrill became 
prominent as a mechanic and contractor who was 
very active in the upbuilding of the city, and there 
are many buildings still standing within the pre- 
cincts that attest to his skill and ability. The old 
stone schooliiouse wherein a generation now -pass- 
ing off the stage of action, received the rudiments 
of an English education fort}' years ago, was the 
joint handiwork of himself and John Brown; and 
nearly all the old residences and public buildings 
in the city bear evidence to his craft. He built 
the first bridge across the river at this point,- and 
did efficient work in the construction of the 

A fine stroke of policy prompted Mr. Morrill to 
build at his own expense a wagon bridge_ connect- 
ing that part of Dixon with the rich agricultural 
districts of Palmyra Township. The bridge is now 
defunct, but for a time it secured the trade of that 
section for that part of the city. One of his me- 
moria's is that portion of Dixon known as Morrill- 
town, which he laid out when the Illinois Central 



Railway was constructed through there. lie also 
built tiie large hotel on Water Street, which has 
been used for other purposes for a good many 
years. In connection with his extensive business 
as a contractor, he ran the North Side saw-mill for 
a number of years, it being the only one then in 
operation in his section of the country. 

For some years in the earl^- history of Dixon, 
Mr. Morrill was Constable, an office that was by no 
means a sinecure in those days, and he vigorously 
aided in bringing outlaws to justice. He was the 
means of suppressing much counterfeiting in this 
section of the country when it was new, and also 
helped run down several noted horse thieves, in- 
cluding the famous trio, Fox, Baker and Rogers. 

Not a/lone with the material welfare of his 
adopted city did our subject concern himself, but 
he was deeply solicitious to advance its moral, ed- 
ucational, and religious status, and was a promoter 
of all schemes that tended to the spiritual uplifting 
of the people. He was generous almost to a fault, 
his benevolent principles being vital with him, and 
his unostentatious benefactions were scattered 
far and wide. His features are said to have borne 
a remarkable semblance to the rugged but benevo- 
lent face of old John Brown, of Harper's Ferrj^ 

For many j'ears Mr. Morrill held strongly to the 
Universalist faith, and was the prime mover in the 
construction of the church of that denomination, 
which is one of the large public edifices of the 
city, and giving liberally of his money toward its 
erection. He afterward, however, renounced Uni- 
versalism, finding himself more in sympathy with 
the doctrines of the Methodist Episcopal. Church, 
with which he connected himself for a time. But change did not satisfy his religious nature, 
and he shortly after embraced the Spiritual philos- 
ophy, and to that he clung with all the fervor of 
his being until death drew aside for him the vail 
that separates the visible from the invisible world, 
and he stepped across the border May 12, 1886, 
into "his Father's house, where there are many 

Mr. Morrill was twice married. His first marri- 
age, which took place before he left New Hamp- 
shire, was with Miss Eliza (iiles, who was born 

and reared in tliat State, as were her parents also. 
Their wedded life was terminated by the untimely 
death of the young wife in 1837. She left two 
children, one a babe that soon followed her. The 
other is Susan, wife of Dr. McKinney, of Deadwood, 
N. Dak. 

The maiden name of our subject's second wife, 
to whom he was married in Dixon, and who sur- 
vives him, was CaroUne Meyers. She was to him 
all that a true wife can be. She assisted and en- 
couraged him in his work, and sympathized with 
him in his religious views, finding strength and 
consolation in Spiritualism, and accepting that faith 
with him while he was in the earth life. Since his 
death she has conducted the business that he left 
with remarkable success, displaying a genuine talent 
for managing affairs. In 1888 she moved to the farm 
on section 17, South Dixon Township, which com- 
prises a quarter-section of well-improved land, and 
which came into Mr. Morrill's possession before his 

Mrs. Morrill was born in the Kingdom of Han- 
over, Germany, December 26, 1818. Her father. 
Christian Meyers, was also a Hanoverian by birth, 
and was of German parentage. He was preparing 
to come to America when death terminated his 
career, when he was only about thirty, years of age. 
He was an active j'oung farmer. He had married 
Miss Dorothea Dunkelmeyer, who was of German 
antecedents, and five children had been born to 
them. After the sad death of the father, the mother 
came to the United States with four of her children 
in 1832, and settled in Chicago before the comple- 
tion of the old Lake House, when the World's Fair 
City was a mere hamlet lying in the mud and 
swamps of the early years of its settlement. She re-- 
moved with her family to Dixon in June, 1838, 
and here died April 15, 1872, when nearly eighty- 
four years old. She was a devoted Christian, and 
all her life was connected with the Lutheran Church, 
in which her husband also held membership while 
he lived. 

Mrs. Morrill is the mother of seven children, of 
whom these five are now dead: Joseph, who married 
Miss Lydia Ilaj'cs, and died leaving one child, who 
is with her in Dixon; Mary, who married Harry 
Meyers, and both died in Leadville, leaving one 

child, Charles M., who now lives in New Mexico- 
Lucy; Jacob, and an infant, all of whom died young. 
The two children remaining to ISIrs. Morrill are 
Elizabeth and Eliza. The former married Setli 
Thomas, a farmer near Dixon, and they have six 
children. Eliza married Everett Post, and they 
live on and manage a farm belonging to her mother. 
They have seven children. The reader will notice 
elsewhere in this volume litiiographic portraits of 
Mr. and Mrs. Morrill. 



^^EORGE W. BRITNER. The farming in- 
Ill <^ terests of this county are conducted by an 
%^( intelligent set of men, who have a full un- 
derstanding of their business, employ the most 
approved methods of carrying it on, and are ex- 
cellent financiers. George W. Bruner is one of 
these. He is engaged in general farming on sec- 
tion 13, South Dixon Township, where he owns a 
verj- good farm of seventy acres, that is linely 
improved, and he also has eighty acres of land on 
section 23, of the same township, which is likewise 
under admirable cultivation and improvement. 

Mr. Bruner was born in the township of Jeff- 
erson, Somerset County, April 23, 1849, the sixth 
of a family of eight children, four sons and four 
daughters, five of whom are living, all married 
but one, and four of them residents of Illinois. 
His parents were Josepli and Mary A. (Mull) 
Bruner, who were natives of the same county as 
himself. His father was a son of John Bruner, 
who was born in Pennsylvania, and passed the 
most of his life in Somerset County, where he died 
at the age of sixty-six. He was of German antece- 
dents. He married a lady of German extraction, 
who lived and died in Somerset Countj'. The 
maternal grandfather of our subject was George 
Mull who was of Pennsj'lvania birth and German 
descent, and died in Somerset County at the 
advanced age of ninety-eight years. His wife, 
who was also a Pennsylvanian, lived to be very old 
too. Joseph Bruner and wife came to Illinois with 
their family m 1865. They began their new life 
on the prairies of Illinois on a farm at Franklin 

Gi-ove, China Township, but after some years re- 
moved to another farm of one hundred twenty 
acres that lay around the village of Eldena. Mr. 
Bruner died April 14, 1887, when nearly seventy 
years old. His wife had preceded him in death, 
dying :May 23, 1885, at the age of nearly sixty- 
flve years. Both were nearly all their lives mem- 
bers of the Lutheran Church, and were consistent 
Christians. Mr. Bruner was a life long Democrat. 
The subject of this biography was sixteeen 
years old when he accompanied the family in 
March, 1865 in their exodus from the State which 
had been the home of themselves and their ances- 
tors for many years. He afforded them valuable 
assistance in establishing the new home at Frank- 
lin Grove, and he remained with them until 
twenty-flve, becoming their stay and support in 
their declining ye.ars. He acquired skill as a far- 
mer, and in 1876 purchased his homestead farm in 
South Dixon Township, which he has made a fine 
piece of property-, and he has since invested in 
another choice tract of land, as before mentioned. 
Besides attending to the management of his farm, 
he has for several 3-ears been engaged profitably 
as a thresher of wheat, etc. He has manifested 
considerable enterprise in the conducting of his 
business, and is deservedly prospering. He is a 
man of true piety, who carries his religion into 
his every-day life, and is strictly honorable and 
upright in his conduct. He has a strong mind, 
and his decided opinions are shown in his political 
sentiments, lie being a straightforward Democrat, 
He is one of the leading Lutherans of this section, 
and is a member of the Board of Directors of the 
Lutheran Assembly at Dixon. 

Our subject was married in the city of 
Dixon to Miss Clara E. Mosely. Their mar- 
riage is an example of a true wedded life, and has 
been blessed to them )iy two children. Their 
daughter Hazel E. died at the age of two and one 
half years. Their daughter Maude M., eleven 
years old, is the sunshine of their home. Mrs. 
Bruner was born at Utica, X. Y., October 3, 1855, 
to William and Jane (Dunlap) Mosely, natives 
respectively of Leicester England and New York. 
Mr. Mosely came from his native isle, to America 
when a young man, and in the State of New York 



he found liii wife, who was of Sfotch cxtractiou. 
They lived in her native Stale some years, Mi'. 
Mosely following his trade as a miller. In !«;')« 
they migrated with their family to Illinois, and 
located at Binghampton, in this county, where 
Mr. Mosely was head miller for Bagger Bros, for 
some years. His health failing, he went to farm- 
ing near that village, and is living there still, at 
the age of nearly three-score and ten. He is very 
well known in the southern part of the connty 
where he has spent so many years and to know him 
is but to respect him. His wife died in Binghamp- 
ton in 1876, at the age of forty-six years. She 
was a sincere Christian and a member of the Ad- 
vent Church. Mrs. Biuner was onlj^ six months 
old when brought to this county, and here she was 
reared to a true womanhood, and is a valued 
member of the same church to which her husband 


F^ X 

' LFRED P. PORTER, who is actively en- 
ji gaged in farming in Harmon Township, 
is a native of Lee County, born in the cit}' 
of Dixon April 16, 1858. He is a son of 
James Porter, Jr., who was a pioneer of the county, 
and for many years a prominent citizen of Harmon 
Township. He was a native of the Empire State, 
his birthplace being near the city of Buffalo. He 
was reared on a farm, and early in manhood was 
married to Miss Paulina Bowman, who was born in 
the same neighborhood. 

In 1845 the parents of our subject emigrated 
to Milwaukee, Wis., which was then a small village, 
and the following year they came from there to 
Lee County and located at Dixon, where Mr. Porter 
was engaged in the construction of railroads and 
in other work as a contractor, employing several 
men and teams, and doing a good business. In 
February, 1859, he removed to Harmon Township 
and turned his attention to farming. He located 
on section 25, purchasing two hundred acres of 
good farming land thereon, which he improved and 
occupied until February, 1880, when he took up 

his residence at Harmon Station. He did not live 
ti) enjoy his new home long, as his death occurred 
the following July. His wife survives him, and 
still resides at Harmon. They reared a family of 
seven children, namely: Salena, who married Al- 
bert Sanborn, and died in Minnesota; George M., 
a grocer in Chicago; Cytha M.; Gulia E., wife of 
George W. Hill, of Harmon; Lane, who was acci- 
dentally shot; Gertrude, who died in childhood; 
Alfred P.; and Arthur, who died at the age of 
eleven years. Mr. Porter was a stanch Republican 
in politics, and he figured in public life as Super- 
visor of Harmon Township and in numerous minor 
olHces, and always displayed commendable public 
spirit on all occasions where his assistance was 
needed in carrying out any scheme for civic im- 

The subject of this sketch was educated in the 
common schools. He was reared to agricultural 
pursuits, and when he arrived at years of discre- 
tion he chose farming as his calling, and has be- 
come an excellent farmer, keeping his harvest 
fields well tilled, taking good care of his stock, 
and having everything about his place in good 

Mr. Porter still resides on the old homestead 
where his boyhood days were passed. To the lady 
who presides over his home he was married Febru- 
ary 4, 1880. Four children complete their house- 
hold, of whom the following is the record: Ferris 
was born May 13, 1882; Lula, October 8, 1883; 
Wayne II., February 4, 1886; and Erma Z., Janu- 
ary 5, 1890. 

Mrs. Porter's name in her maiden days was 
Jemima D. Keith. She is also, like her husband, a 
native of Illinois, born at Rockford, November 14, 
1860, to George and Ann (Eddy) Keith. Her 
parents were natives of Aberdeenshire, Scotland, 
whence they emigrated to Nova Scotia, and subse- 
quently came from there to this State, and were 
early settlers of Winnebago County. They after- 
ward removed from there to this county and set- 
tled in Marion Township, where the mother died 
in 1877. Mr. Keith is still living. Mrs. Porter is 
an active working member of the Methodist Epis- 
copal CKurch, and is a sincere Christian. 

Our subject follows in his father's footsteps in 


politics and gives his allegiance to the Republican 
party, lie has been School Director, and in 1890 
he took the census of Harmon and Nelson Town- 
ships. He is a young man of sound principles, 
bears a good reputation among his associates for 
fairness and strict honesty in money matters, and 
is in every way worthy of the citizenship of his 
native county. 




'"^SAAC EARL. This prominent business man is 
a popular grocer in Ashton, wliere, by his 
/1\ honest and courteous treatment of his custo- 
mers he is carrying on a thriving business, keeping 
in his splendid store a full line of staple and fancy 
groceries and all table delicacies in theii- season. 
He is ambitious and industrious and is bound to 
succeed in all his undertakings. 

Isaac Earl was born May 20, 1830, in Granville 
County, Canada, where he grew to manhood, re- 
ceiving a good education and when starting out 
to battle with the world for himself at the age of 
twenty-one, he was well qualified to bear bravely 
with the discouragements and hardships whicli 
were sure to befall him in a strange and thinly- 
settled region. He came to Ogle County in 1851 
and engaged to work out on a farm by the month, 
having nothing with which to begin life but 
strong and willing hands and a determination to 
succeed. He continued as a farm laborer for two 
years, when learning the trade of a stone mason, 
he worked industriously at that occupation in Lee 
and Ogle Counties for a number of years. 

Our subject resided in Ogle County- for some 
fifteen years, at the end of that time coming to 
Lee County where lie followed his trade in Ashton. 
A few years later he started in tlic coal anii salt 
business, continuing to give his time and attention 
to that occupation for a twelvemonth, then, in 
1872, he started his grocery, and is numbered 
among the prosperous merchants of Asliton. 

Miss Cynthia Hitchcock became the wife of our 
subject, the marriage taking place in Ogle County. 
Mrs. Earl was born in the Buckeye State, and was 
a lady greatly esteeiued in her neighborhood for 

her many excellent traits of character. She be- 
came the mother of two children — P'rancis A., and 
Alice M., who is the wife of Charles Crum. Mrs. 
Cynthia Earl passed from this life in Ogle Cdunty. 
Our subject was a second time married, tlie lady of 
this occasion being Sarah A. Worthington, also a 
native of Ohio, where she was born. This worthy 
couple make their home in a comfortable i-esidence 
wliich indicates that its inmates are people of re- 
finement and education. They have a large circle 
of acquaintances and have the goodwill of all who 
know them. In politics Mr. Earl is a stanch Re- 
publican, hence always votes for the candidates of 
that body. He has served acceptably in the office 
of Township Treasurer and is an active member of 
the Methodist Episcopal Church. All in all he is 
well worthy of the cMimation in which he is held 
by his fellow-townsmen and by his honest and 
upright life is destined to become even more pop- 
ular than he is. 

\T/EREMIAH HETLER. The enterprising 
farmer and good citizen whose name we 
now give is a native of this county, having 
been born in Dixon Township, October ii 
1843. He is engaged in cultivating his beautiful 
tract of one hundred and tweatj^ acres, which he 
has well improved and embellished with all the 
necessary farm buildings. He has his place well 
stocked with cattle of good breeds and in addition 
to his farming interests is carrying on a thriving 
dairy trade. Mr. Hetler located on his present 
■purchase in 1873, having previous to that time 
been engaged in farming in another portion of 
Dixon Township. 

Our subject is a son of Nathan Hetler, a native 
of Pennsylvania, who had come overland to Illi- 
nois some time in the '40s, and on making Lee 
County his home, purchased Government land in 
what is now Nachusa Township which he improved 
and resided upon foi' a number of years. Later 
lie removed to another portion of the township 
where lie spent his last days, his decease occurring 
in .lune, 1877, when sixty-three years of age. At 



the time of his death he left four hundred acres 
of excellent land which he had accumulated by 
his industrjf and good management. For a fuller 
history of Nathan Iletler the reader is referred to 
the sketch of Hiram Hetler to be found elsewhere 
in this volume. 

The gentleman of whom we write was the fourth 
in order of birth of a family of seven children, 
of whom four sons and two daughters are yet liv- 
ing and who are farmers by occupation. Our sub- 
ject received a good education m the common 
schools and remained at home assisting his father 
on the farm until five or six years after reaching 
his majority. He thus received thorough training 
in farm duties which is perhaps the secret of his 
subsequent success in life, 

Jeremiah Hetler was united in marriage in Nel- 
son Township to Miss Mary E. McCleary, the cere- 
mony being solemnized December 25, 1872. Mrs. 
Hetler was born in Pennsylvania, March 4, 1844, 
and is the daughter of William JNIcCleary, also a 
native of the Keystone State, who came to Illinois 
in 1866 and located in Nelson Township, where he 
resided until his death, being one of the promi- 
nent and influential citizens of the county. A 
fuller history of Mr. McCleary will be found in 
the sketch of George McCleary on another page 
in this volume. 

Mrs. Mary Hetler received a thorough education 
in the English branches in Pennsylvania and ac- 
companied her parents to the Prairie State when a 
young woman. She is the onl^- one living m a 
family of five sons and one daughter born to lier 
parents and by her marriage with our subject has 
become the mother of four children, one of whom 
is deceased, and who bore the name of Nettie S., 
dying when fifteen years of age. Those living are 
Grace M., and Kittie M., both of whom are gradu- 
ates of the city schools at Dixon, the former 
taking a course in the Business College at Dixon; 
and Florence A. The three daughters still remain 
under the parental roof where they are receiving 
that training which will make them good and use- 
ful homekeepers. Religiously, our subject and his 
excellent wife are members in good standing of 
the Presbyterian Churcli, are respected members of 
society in this part of the county and ;m' wortln- 

of the esteem which is granted them. The politi- 
cal views of Mr. Hetler have brought him into 
active co-operation with the Republican party, in 
which he has great confidence and for which he is 
fflad to cast his vote. 

<¥! AUREN T. 3IERRIAM. This gentleman, 
I (@ ^''*' ^* *''^'^ proprietor of the City Steam 
jIL^ Laundry, one of the leading enterprises of 
Dixon, has had a varied experience in life, and 
that he has succeeded in building up such a lucra- 
tive business after the many ups and downs of 
fortune to which he has been subjected, does 
credit not only to his good judgment but speaks 
well i'or his enterprise and perseverance. 

Mr. Merriam was born in Connecticut June 22, 
1822, was there reared and educated, and in early 
life engaged in the manufacturing business, at 
which he acquired a comfortable fortune He 
then came West, hoping to still increase his gains 
and at one time was interested in three different 
banks, one in Connecticut and two in Indiana. 
L'nfortunately his partner in whom he had placed 
great confidence, proved dishonest, subjecting him 
to heavy losses. He afterw.ard owned and ran a 
large store in Chicago in 1856. Mr. Merriam 
remembers being in Chicago before any railroad 
was built from that place, and of taking a trip to 
St. Louis by way of the canal and river which 
occupied five days' time. For seventeen yesirs he 
followed the occupation of a commercial traveler, 
being for the most of that time eraplo3-ed by H. 
II. Shvifeldt, and also for Samuel Me3'ers, extensive 
liquor dealers, selling spirituous liquors during 
the whole of that time, but seldom if ever, allow- 
ing himself to touch intoxicating beverages. 

On coining to Dixon, of which city he has been 
a resident for twenty years, JNIr. Merriam opened 
up his present business in a very small way. It, 
however, increased rapidly and in 1888 he felt 
himself warranted in erecting a fine two-story 
brick building, 6(1x24 feet in size, a portion of 
which he uses as a residence. The ground floor 



and basement are fitted up especially for laundry 
work, with every necessary appliance and modern 
improvement in that line. Here he turns out 
first-class work and enjoys the patronage of the 
best people in the town and surrounding country. 
As an example of the growth of his business it 
may be stated that the amount of work done in 
one month at present equals that done in a whole 
year when it was first established. He employs 
from eight to ten assistants and is kept constantly 

Mr. Mcrriam was married in Connecticut, his 
wife being Miss Susan Hubbard, who was born 
and reared in that State. She has been a true help- 
mate to her hard-working husband and a devoted 
mother to her children, of whom she has had four. 
Of these one, Frank H., lived to reach the interest- 
ing age of seventeen years and his death was a 
severe blow to his parents. Of the remaining 
children, Jennie became the wife of Richard South- 
gate, and they resided in Silver Cliff, Col.; Edgar 
H. married Miss Benjamin, and is manager in a 
large warehouse at Council Bluffs, Iowa. Lauren 
B. married Leona Mead, and resides in Dixon. 
He is the civil engineer for the Northwestern 
Railroad and has been eminently successful in his 
calling, having accomplished many signal achieve- 
ments in that line, possessing unusual abilities for 
a man of his years. In politics Mr. Merriam is a 
stanch Democrat. Mrs. Merriam is a member of 
the Presbyterian Church, and the family is highly 
respected and esteemed. 

&ERT1US A. LYMAN. We are pleased to 
present to the consideration of our readers 
an old settler of China Township, who 
stands high in the estimation of his neighbors and 
is justly considered one of the prominent men in 
the county. He is a progressive and successful 
farmer whose beautiful estate of sixty-four and 
one-half acres on section 35, is exceedingly pro- 
ductive and most thorolighly cultivated. 

This gentleman was born in Winchester, Clies- 
shire County, N. H., March 13, 1812. He made 

that place his home until 1846, when with his fam- 
ily he came to Illinois and made location in Lee 
County, wherein Bradford Township he purchased 
a tract of three hundred and twenty acres. He 
continued to live there and cultivate his land in a 
most satisfactory manner until 1869, when he 
came to China Township where he has since made 
his home. 

The subject of this sketch was married in Win- 
chester, N. H., to Miss Sarah P. Codding, the date 
thereof being March 13, 1834. Mrs. Lyman was 
a native of the county in which she was married, 
her birth occurring October 19, 1809. She received 
a good education and has been a helpmate in the 
truest sense of the word to her worthy husband, for 
his removal West was at a time when the country 
was but thinly populated and hardships were every- 
day occurrences. She bore them all bravely, doing 
what she could to make the home bright and com- 
fortable, and now in lier later years can look back 
with pride to what has been accomplished by her 

Mv. and Mrs. Lyman have become the parents 
of five children, of whom we make the following 
mention: Sarah A. is the wife of Charles Wilber; 
George A. married Miss Mary E. Jones and is a 
very intellent young man and is at present edit- 
ing the Amboy Journal; Levi H. married Miss Sa- 
rah F. Bruce and is residing on a line farm in 
China Township; Cyru3 0.,who married Miss Jane 
Evitts, met his death at Dubuque, Iowa, while in 
a sail boat on the Mississippi River; at the time of 
his death he was thirty-one years old; Clymea 0. 
died in infancy. 

In political mattere the gentleman of whom we 
write is independent, reserving the right to vote 
for the man whom he thinks will best fill the ofl3ce 
rather than for party principles. He has always 
taken an interest in local affairs and is liberal in 
his contribution to all good works. Mr. and Mrs. 
Lyman are conscientious and influential members 
of the Congregational Church, having identified 
themselves with that religious denomination when 
twenty years of age. 

When fifteen years old our subject, in choosing 
an occupation for himself, learned the trade of a 
carpenter, working successfully at that calling for 



a number of years in New Hampshire and wielded 
the hammer and saw for two years after coming to 
the Prairie State. But after locating here, feeling 
that he was better fitted to pursue the life of a 
farmer and the duties of that occupation agreeing 
m every way with his tastes, he gave up the car- 
penter trade and became an agriculturist. That 
he chose wisely and well can not be doubted by 
those who have the opportunity to view his beau- 
tiful farm, for in everj^ department is displayed 
the thrift and enterprise of the owner. He has 
placed upon it good and substantial buildings of 
every description which are necessary for the suc- 
cessful prosecution of a first-class estate and is en- 
abled to live comfortably and well in his later 
years. He is well known in Lee County and is 
universally esteemed and honored. 

; JACOB BETZ, Jr. one of thebest known citi- 
zens of Brooklyn Township, where he, re- 
sides on his well appointed farm on section 
^5^^ 25. is a man whose native force of character, 
far-seeing enterprise and practical abilit.v have 
placed him among the foremost farmers and stock- 
raisers of Lee County, where he has acquired ex- 
tensive farming interests, and Become prominent 
in its public and political life. He was born in 
Wayne County, N. Y., .July 11, 1841. His father 
.Jacob Betz, an honored pioneer of Northern Ill- 
inois, has been associated for nearly half a century 
with the rise and growtii of Bureau County, of 
which he is still a resident. 

The father of our subject is a native of the town 
of Mentz, Hesse-Darmstadt, Germany and a son of 
Adam Betz, who was also of German birth and 
antecedents. Tlie latter served in the armj^ eight 
years, and was with Napoleon in his raid on INIos- 
cow, suffering all the terrible hardships and pri- 
vations of the retreat through the winter snows 
from that Russian city. He came to America in 
1843, and spent his last daj's in Bureau County. 
.These six of his children also came to this country; 
.lacob, .John, Mary, George, .Josepliine and Catli- 

Our subject's father grew to man 's estate in the 

land of his nativity, and was there united in mar- 
riage with Gedrich Faubel, who was also a Ger- 
man. Ambitious to make the most of Jiis life, and 
thinking that the New "World offered better oppr- 
tunities of success than the old, he resolved to 
emigrate to these shores, and in 1840 came hither 
with Ills wife. He resided in New York until 1843, 
and after coming here he had the misfortune to be 
bereft of his companion and helpmate, who haci 
cheerfully left the Fatherland to cross the waters 
with him and assist in founding a new home in a 
strange country. In 1843 Mr. Betz came to Illi- 
nois, travelling liy the way of the Lakes to Chi- 
cago. From that city he went with a team to 
Bureau County, where he found a sparsely inhab- 
ited region, with but few settlements, as at that time 
the northern part of the state was almost in its 
original wildness, and the greater part of the land 
was in the hands of the Government. He entered 
a tract and also bought another partly improved 
in C'larion Township. For some yeare there were 
no railroads in the vicinitj'^, and he had to draw 
all his grain to Chicago, more than a hundred miles 
distant. In the course of years he improved a 
flue farm, and has thus contributed materially to 
the development of his adopted county, of which 
he has been a witness almost from the beginning. 
The subject of this biography was onlj- two years 
old when his mother died, and after the death of 
the mother the father married a sister of his first 
wife lilizabeth Faubel. He was two years old 
when his father brought him to this State, and 
here he was reared and educated. He attended 
the pioneer schools of Bureau County, which weic 
taught in log houses, and had seats made of slabs 
without desks or backs. Holes were bored in the 
logs, in which were inserted wooden pins and the 
board laid on them served as a writing desk for 
the older scholars. As soon as Jacob was large 
enough he had to do chores and make himself 
generally useful on the farm, and when he began 
his independent career as a farmer and a stock- 
raiser he had had a good experience in farming to 
serve as the foundation of his furure success. He 
remained with his father until 1865. affording him 
valuable aid in the management of his farm, and 
tlien settled in Wyoming Township on a farm 




which he still owns. In 1875 he removed to the 
farm on which he now resides, whifh is finely 
located on section 25, Brooklyn Township. Tie 
now has four hundred seventy acres of well-im- 
proved land, amply supplied with well-ordered 
andconveniently arranged buildings for every pur- 
pose, and well-stocked with horses, cattle and hogs 
of the besfbreeds. A view of the homestead is 
shown elsewhere in this volume. 

Mr. Betz has been twice married. In 1865 he 
wedded Margaret Kessler, a native of Germany, 
and a daughter of Andrew Kessler. Less than two 
years of wedded hapiness was vouchsafed to them 
ere her death February 28, 1867. She left one 
son, Ezra. The second marriage of our subject 
was to Miss Margaret Pope, a native of Germany, 
and a daughter of Jacob Pope. Their union has 
been blessed by the birth of a son, J. Fred. 

A stalwart Republican in politics, Mr. Betz uses 
his influence to promote partj^ interests. He is a 
member of the Evangelical Association, and earn- 
estly supports all things that tend to the moral 
and religious elevation of the community. Ills 
eminent fitness for public office has been recog- 
nized by his fellow-citizens, and when elected to a 
position of trust he has given his best efforts to 
discharge the duties tli us imposed upon him. He 
has served five terms as a member of the County 
Board of Supervisors, and his township never had 
a better representative, or one who more zealously 
guarded his interests, while at the same time seek- 
ing to promote the general welfare of the county. 


INGLETON W. RII^GLE, one of the lead- 
ing citizens of China Township, has been 
closely connected with the material inter- 
ests of Lee County as a practical, sagacious 
agriculturist for more than thirty j'ears, and is 
the fortunate proprietor of one of the well appoin- 
ted farms for which this region is celebrated. 

Mr. Riegle is a native of the State of ^faryland, 
his birthplace in Carroll County, and November 
11, 1835, the date of his birth. His father, Peter 
Riegle, is thought to iiave been born in that com- 

monwealth also. He married Elizabeth Wilt, who 
was born in Maryland near the Pennsylvania line, 
and during some period of their wedded life they 
settled in Adams County, in the latter State, where 
they died in the fullness of time. 

The parents of our subject had a family of seven 
children, of whom he was the fourth in point of 
birth. He was three years old when they 
sought a new home in Adams County, Pa., in 1838, 
and there his years were passed until he attained 
the age of twenty-four. He, was reared on a farm, 
and besides being well trained in agricultural pur- 
suits, gained an excellent education in the common 
schools and High School Acadamy of York, Pa. 
At the age of eighteen he commenced to teach 
school, and followed that profession during the 
school terms for eight years. In the spring of 
1859 he visited Illinois, and remained in Lee 
County through the following summer. Return- 
ing to Adams County, Pa., he taught school there 
through the ensuing winter, and it was at that 
time he took upon himself the solemn obligations 
of married life. 

JMr. Riegle had been vevy favorably impressed with 
this part of the country during his sojourn here, 
and in the spring of 1860 he came to Lee County 
with his bride, $75 in gold, and plenty of ambition 
as a germ upon which to build a future home; 
b}' economy and industrious perseverance he suc- 
ceeded fairly well. He commenced farming first 
on shares among strangers (but good, true friends) 
on section 13, China Township, owned by B. F. 
Dysart, who had volunteered and enlisted in Com- 
pany C, Thirty-fourth Illinois Infantry, and served 
faithfully until peace was declared in 1865. In 
1866-67 he traveled all over the "West and South- 
west in search of a better location, which he 
failed to find. In 1867 he purchased one hun- 
dred and twenty acres in section 10, China Town- 
ship, to which in 1876 he added forty acres on 
section 16, Nachusa Township, and in 1891 forty 
acres more on section 10, China Township. 

In the years that have since followed he lias 
spared neither time, labor or expense in making 
his farm of two hundred acres of land of surpass- 
ing fertility, into one of the best in its cultiva- 
tion of any in the neighborhood. His fields 



are neatly fenced and admirably tilled ; he has 
erected a commodious and conveniently ai-ranged 
set of farm buildings, of a tasteful style of archi- 
tecture, has good accommodations for his well-keijt, 
finely graded stock, and is conducting his opera- 
tions with financial success, the true test of a prac- 
tical, systematic skillful farmer. 

Our subject and Miss Caroline Matilda Ilermon 
were united in marriage December 29, 1859. Mrs. 
Riegle was born in Adams County, Pa., November 
6, 1838 and was the only daughter of David and 
Anna M. (Moritz) Hermon, who were the parents 
of five children. Tliey were also natives of Adams 
County, Pa. The mother is still living but the 
father died in 1885, in Newton County, Mo., in 
which they had located in 1866. Ten children 
were born to Mr. and Airs. Riegle: Stella Maggie, 
Willis Luther, Charlie Peter, Pavil Singleton, Vir- 
gie Caroline, Hcrmione Elizabeth, and Bertram 
Leroy are still living, Herman Palmer, Mary Lilia 
and David Rudolph died in their youth. 

June 15, 1891, the beloved wife of our subject 
died very suddenlj^ at Table Rock, Adams County, 
Pa., while on a visit with her husband to old friends 
near the scenes of her early home, her death 
being caused by apoplexy. The locality of 
her birth, the place of her marriage, and the 
scene of her death were all within five miles 
of each other. Her wedded life, with the excep- 
tion of a few months, was passed in China Town- 
ship where she had come as a bride, and in the 
thirty j'^ears that she lived here she made many 
warm friends, who were attracted to her by her 
many pleasing attributes and strong personal 
worth. She was a devoted wife and a tender moth- 
er, and her household reverently cherish her mem- 
ory. She was a true "home maker", and mayhap 
beyond "that soundless, sailless, solemn sea" over 
which she has voyaged to some fairer land, she is 
waiting to welcome the loved ones still on this side, 
to a home not made with hands, where there shall 
be no more parting. Mr. Riegle is a man whose rec- 
titude of purpose and actions, firmness of character, 
obliging disposition, and helpfulness in time of 
need, commend him to his fellow-citizens from 
the first, and these traits, together with otheis of a 
more practical nature, liavc made his services nf 

value in the various civic capacities in which he 
has acted since he became a resident of this town- 
shi(). He has been .lustice of the Peace for several 
years, has served as Assessor, and has been School 
Director for twenty years. His political Tviews 
lind expression in the principles promulgated by 
the Republican party. Religiously, he is a believer 
in the tenets of the Lutheran Church, in which he 
was reared. 

^T^ERDINAND W. HEGERT, whose death 
=^hij occurred in Dixon, February 27, 1883, was 
/li, born in Prussia, April 12, 1848. He came 

of German stock and parentage, and had the mis- 
fortune to lose his mother when fifteen years of 
age, she dying when scarcely past middle life. He 
sixteen years old when his father, Carl 



llegert, with the remainder of his family emi- 
grated to the United States, settling in Amboy, 
this State, to which place some of the older sons 
had come some time previously. Here the father 
died in 1882, when about sixty-seven years old, 
having been remai'kably hale and healthy up to the 
time of his death. He was a consistent member of 
the German Lutheran Church. 

After coming to this country our subject ac- 
quired a knowledge of the PInglish language in the 
public schools and then entered the drug store of 
Phinney iV Sanger,of Amboy and was there engaged 
as bead clerk for some years. Later he came to 
Dixon and formed a partnership with Constant 
Wild, a well-known druggist. Upon the death of 
Mr. Wild, jNIr. Hegert continued the business in 
which he was \ery successful and accumulated a 
good property. He was married in Amboy in 1873, 
to Miss Wilhelmina MoUy. She was born in New 
York City in 1852, and was the daughter of 
Charles and Wilhelmina (Blackman) Molly, who 
were natives of Germany, coming of Rhinish- 
Prussian parentage. Her parents emigrated to 
this country and after living for some time in New 
York City, removed to Amboy in 1853, where they 



are still living, Mr. Molly having retired from 

Mrs. Ilegert was carefully reared and given an 
excellent education and is a woman of great in- 
telligence and ability and a devoted wife and 
mother. Mr. and Mrs. Hegert are the parents of 
four children, one of whom, Fred, died when a 
child. The others — Emma M., Charles F. W. and 
Ina W. H. are at home. Mrs. Hegert and all her 
children are members of the Lutheran Church, in 
which she is prominent in all good works. The 
family occupy a prominent position in society 
and are deserving of the esteem in which they are 

iSIr. Hegert during his life was a constant at- 
tendant of the Lutheran Church. In politics, lie 
was a Republican, and was an honorary member of 
the Fire Department at Dixon. He was prominent 
in the order of Odd Fellows of that city, and iiis 
loss was greatly felt in both business and social 


IRAJVI B. BATES. We are gratified to be 
able to place in the hands of our readers a 
sketch of Mr. Bates, who is well known 

^ throughout Ambo}' Township and Lee 
County, and who is most highly esteemed per- 
sonally, as is also his family. He is at present 
residing on his fine tract of land, located on sec- 
tion 11, Amboy Township, and which is improved 
with every needful building that will facilitate his 
active operations as an agriculturist. 

Mr. Bates is a native of the Cxreen IMountain 
State, having been born in Westford, Chittenden 
County,. October 28, 1828, and in which place he 
received his education and grew to manhood, re- 
maining there until 1855, when, with his wife and 
one child, he came West and located in Pierce 
County, Wis., opening up a farm, and residing 
there for the succeeding twelve years. In Novem- 
ber, 1868, however, our subject disposed of his 
property in Wisconsin, having been encouraged 
to make Lee County his home, and on coming 
hither lived for two years in China Township. 

Later he purchased the beautiful tract on section 
11, where he makes his home at the present time. 
He has put his land under a thorough course of 
cultivation, and the result is that he is the pro- 
prietor of one of the finest estates in the town- 
ship, and he has the satisfaction of knowing that 
it has been brought about by his own untiring in- 
dustry and perseverance. 

This gentleman established a hearthstone of his 
own before he came West, having been united in 
marriage May 13, 1851, to Miss Marion E. Brackett, 
the ceremony taking place in Orange County, Vt. 
Mrs. Bates was born in Braintree, Orange County, 
Vt., May 26, 1828, and by her union with our 
subject has become the mother of four children, 
of whom we make the following mention: Ar- 
mina H. died at the interesting age of twelve 
years; Ida J. is the wife of Jayvin Leake; Charles 
A. died when a lad of five years, and George D. 
married Miss Ettie Evitts. 

Mr. Bates has been keenljr alive to all measures 
that would in any way benefit his community, 
and is looked upon as being one of the most 
public-spirited men in the county. He invariably 
gives of his times and means to promote all good 
works and will be greatly missed in this section 
when he shall have passed from earth. lie has 
been especially interested in educational matters, 
and served his fellow-townsmen most satisfactorily 
as a member of the School Board. While a resi- 
dent of Wisconsin his good qualities as a public 
servant were recognized, and he became Super- 
visor of his township, and while in that office 
studied how to best promote the welfare of his 
townsmen. iMrs. Bates is a devoted member of 
the Methodist Episcopal Church, in which society 
she is active in all good works. 

The father of our subject was Hosea B. Bates, 
who was born in Westford, Vt. His mother was 
Mrs. Hannah (Bowman) Bates, also a native of 
the same town and State as her husband. They 
lived honored and useful lives, and when called 
from this life were residing at River Falls, Wis., 
whither they had removed in 1850. The father 
of Mrs. Bates bore the name of Charles Brack- 
ett and claimed \'ermont as his native State, 
his birth taking place in Braintree. Her 



mother was Armenia Parrish, who was born in 
Brinkfield, Vt.; she died in Braintree, same State, 
in 1843. The father, however, came to Lee 
County in 1855, and died in China Township in 

Mr. Bates owns eighty acres of land and is 
numbered among the prominent and successful 
farmers of Amboy Township. Mrs. Bates is a very 
capable and intelligent lady and is noted for her 
skill as a housewife and caretaker. 

^ ONAS BURCER is one of the most success- 
ful farmers in Palmyra Township. He 
owns a very attractive and productive farm 
of one hundred and ten acres on sections 
16 and 17 of the above-named township, every foot 
of which is under the most excellent cultivation. 
He came to this county in 18.54 and landed in 
Dixon with $110 in his pocket and a wife and one 
child to care for. They thus began at the bottom 
of the ladder, erecting on their purchase a log 
cabin, which has since been supplemented liy a 
comfortable and convenient frame dwelling. 

Mr. Burger removed to Crawford County, Mo., 
in 1858, but two years later returned to Lee County, 
and has since made this county his abiding place. 
He was born in Columbia County, Pa., June 1, 
1824, and is the son of Abraham Burger, also a na- 
tive of Columbia County, Pa., and of German an- 
cestry. His mother was Mary Hower, a native 
of the same county and State as was her husband. 
After their marriage the parents located on a farm 
in Columbia County, where they lived good honest 
lives and died, the father when seventy-nine years 
of age and the mother two years younger. They 
were active and influential members of the Presbj'- 
terian and Lutheran Churches, respectively. Mr. 
Burger was a believer in Democratic principles and 
always cast his vote and Influence in favor of the 
candidates of that party. 

The parental family of our subject numbered 
twelve children, five sons and seven daughters of 
whom our subject was the youngest but one in the 
order of birth and llio only son now liviui;-. .Mr. 

Burger has three sisters living, two making their 
home in Pennsylvania and one in Nebraska. He 
was reared to man 's estate in his native county and 
received a good education in the common schools. 
He was married November 23, 1848 to Miss Rebecca 
Loreman, who was born in Columbia County, Pa., 
January 15, 1830, where she was reared and was 
given an excellent education. 

Mrs. Burger was the daughter of Jacob and Lydia 
(Drumm) Loreman, both of whom were natives 
of F'ranklin Township, Columbia County. They 
were well-to-do people and died at the respective 
ages of seventy-nine and seyenty-two years. They 
were of Pennsylvania Dutch stock and very promi 
nent in the work of the Lutheran Church, of which 
denomination they were members. Mr. Loreman 
was a believer in Democracy and took a lively in- 
terest in local politics. 

Mrs. Burger, the wife of our subject, was the 
eldest child of three sons and four daughters born 
to her parents and besides a sister and brother, is 
the only one now living.' Her union with our 
subject has been productive of eight children, two 
of whom are deceased: Lydia A. and Anna M. 
Those living are Alice, who is the wife of Abraham 
Cliets, and makes her home in Mills County, Iowa, 
on a farm; Amanda M., the wife of Jacob Kline, 
now resides in Jordan Township,Whiteside Couut3', 
111.; William, who took to wife Miss Barbara "Wol- 
ford, and who lives on a farm in Ogle County, 
this State; Sarah, the wife of Erastus A. Covert, 
she resides on a farm in this township; Ida M., wife 
of Samuel McGaffy, also making Palmyra Town- 
ship their home; Eldora makes her home under 
the parental roof. Our subject and hlis wife are 
conscientious members of the Presbyterian Church 
and in politics Mr.Burger votes with the Democratic 




^p) APT. WILLIAM S. FROST. This gentle- 

iil !i' ™^^'' ^^^ ^* ^^ extensive landowner, and 
^-i'' also largely engaged in farming and stock- 
raising, is well known throughout the county, not 
only as an intelligent, enterprising business man, 



but as an old soldier who fought bravely during 
the War of the Rebellion, and who carries with 
him the marks of wounds received in tlie service. 
He resides on section 28, Bradford Township, Lee 
County, which he has made liis home for many 

Capt. Frost was born in Windsor, near Augusta, 
Me., October 7, 1832. When five years of age he 
was brought by his parents to Illinois, spending 
the first winter in Morgan County, and in the 
spring of 1838 coming to Lee County and settling 
in what is now Am boy Township, near Lee Center. 
He remained at home until he was eighteen years 
of age, when he went to Mt. Morris, and was for 
two years a student in the seminary at that place. 
After finishing his schooling lie went to California 
by way of the Isthmus, and was there engaged in 
mining and also in hotel keeping for the next six 
years, when he returned to Lee County. A short 
time afterward he purchased a lot of stock, and in 
1859 drove them across the plains to California, 
there disposing of them to good advantage, and 
returning in the fall of 1861 to Lee County. 

When the Civil War broke out, Capt. Frost en- 
tered the service of his country, and in the spring 
of 1862 enlisted in Company E, Sevent^^-fifth Illi- 
nois Regiment, of which he was commissioned 
Captain. He was mustered in, June 14, 1862, and 
continued in command of the company, until July 
23, 1864, when he was severely wounded it At-. 
lanta by a minie ball, after which he was unable to 
• do active service. He was mustered out .January 
23, 1865. Capt. Frost took part in the following 
engagements: Perryville, Stone River, Chicka- 
mauga, Resaca, Lookout Mountain and Kenesaw 
Mountain. He was wounded at Perryville by a 
minie ball which passed through his thigh, and 
was confined in tlie hospital for two months. His 
record through the war was that of a brave soldier 
and one which he can look back uijon with pride. 
After his discharge from the army he returned to 
Lee County, and engaged in farming, also feeding 
and shipping live stock, and has since followed 
that business. He owns a large and finely improved 
farm, on which he has a fine residence and excel- 
lent buildings. 

Capt. Frost was married in Lee Center, October 

25, 1865, to Miss Sophia K. Sliaw. This lady was 
a daughter of the late Sherman Shaw, who with his 
wife, whose maiden name was Melinda DeWolf, 
was among the first settlers of Lee County. The 
father died April 25, 1891, and the mother is still 
living. Mrs. Frost was born in Niles, Mich., March 
31, 1837, and was but five months old when her 
parents came to Lee County, where she grew to 
womanhood. Our subject and his wife are the 
parents of five children, namely: Frank Eels, wiio 
married Martha Hurlbert; Melinda S., who is the 
wife of Andrew Aschenbrenner; S. Donald; Will- 
iam S., Jr.. and Mary A. 

Capt. Frost is a stanch Republican, and has al- 
ways taken an active part in political affairs. His 
good counsel and judgment have been appreciated 
by his fellow citizens, who havebestowed some im- 
portant local offices upon him. He has been Su- 
pervisor for Bradford Township for some fourteen 
or fifteen years, and for some time has held the 
office of Commissioner of Internal Improvement of 
the Drainage District. The commission has spent 
about 1100,000 in draining that section. He is one 
of the prominent and inHuential men of his town- 
ship, and liis many friends will take pleasure in 
reading this brief sketch of his life. 



f •'•^i*^* 

^iRTHUR PHILLIPS, a well-known stock- 
WILm breedej and farmer, who conducts an ex- 
ll (s tensive business in his line on section 17, 
WJ Nelson Township, has here a valuable and 
well arranged stock farm, beautifully located on 
the banks of the Rock River. Mr. PhilUps was 
born in Warren County, Ohio, February 18, 1822, 
coming of the sturdy pioneer stock of that State, 
of which his father, John Phillips, was also a 
native. He in turn was a son of Virginia parents 
who had settled in Ohio in an early day, and died 
in Warren County. He was reared in that county 
near the town of Franklin, and when young 
learned the trade of a carpenter, which he followed 
some years. He then abandoned that calling in 
favor of farming, which lie })Uisued in his native 



county until his life was rounded out b.v liis 
death at the age of seventy years. He was a man 
of remarkable physique, being very stout, hardy 
and rugged, and in personal character he was 
above reproach. He married Miss Elizabeth How- 
ard, who was also a daughter of pioneer parents, 
who died in the Buckeye State when very old. 
She was born and reared in Warren County, and 
her death occurred there about ten years before 
that of her husband. 

Our subject is one of seven children, five sons 
and two daughters, he being the fourth in order of 
birth, and one son and one daughter are now 
dead. Arthur is the only one living in Illinois. 
His brothers, John T., and George, are residents of 
Ft. Wayne, Ind., and his brother Lewis, is a farmer 
in Marshall County, Iowa. A sister, Mrs. Marj' 
Grimes, lives at Dayton, Ohio. 

Mr. Phillips, although not one of the earliest 
settlers of this county, may well be denominated 
one of its pioneers, as he has been such an active 
factor in redeeming the land from the wilderness. 
He came to this county in 1852, and first located 
in China Township, where he improved a small 
farm. In 1865, he sold that place at a good price 
and purchased his present homestead in Nelson 
Township. This comprises two hundred and 
eighty acres of rich alluvium, well watered by the 
beautiful stream that flows by, and admirably 
adapted to stock-raising purposes. The buildings 
are of a good style of architecture, and every con- 
venience is to be found on the place for the nu- 
merous cattle, horses and swine raised here, Mr. 
Phillips making a specialty of Short-Horns, be- 
sides having cattle of other grades. All of the im- 
provements in the way of buildings, etc., have 
been put upon the place by him since it came into 
his possession. 

The marriage of Mr. Phillips with Miss Louisa 
Wingert, took place at Winchester, Ohio: Mrs. 
Phillips was born in Pennsylvania, and was young 
when her parents, Henry and Anna (Bentz) 
Wingert, removed to Ohio, and settled near Win- 
chester, whence in 1852 they came to this county 
with their daughter, Mrs. Phillips, of this notice, 
and located at Franklin Grove, China Township, 
and is now nearly eighty-seven years old. He has 

been a hard-working man and a good citizen, and 
none know him but to respect him. Five children 
have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Phillips, of whom 
all are living but Anna, who died at the age of 
fourteen years. The surviving children are Mary, 
wife of Harry Williams, a farmer of Woosung in 
Ogle County; Laura, wife of George Mooers, of 
Belle Plaine, I owa, who is engaged as a railway 
conductor; Wilbur, who now resides at home, hav- 
ing married Miss Zula Williams, of Walnut, 
Bureau County, 111.; Henry, the youngest son, still 
remains with his parents. 

Mr. Phillips is highly regarded as one of our 
most upright, fair-dealing and conscientious citi- 
zens although no church claims him as a member. 
He has an evenly balanced mind, is independent in 
his opinions, especiallj' so in regard to politics, be- 
ing a strong Democrat, and his successful manage- 
ment of his affairs has placed him among the 
substantial and well-to-do farmers of his township. 

ta ilp tj i W 

I \ < I f ^- 


^ATHAN A. PETRIE is a member of the 
banking firm of Mills <fe Petrie, and is a 
gentleman who enjoys the confidence of 
the business community, where his word is con- 
sidered as good as his bond. Character must 
alwaj-s tell in its effect upon those who meet it, 
and there is no such argument for intelligence and 
uprightness as an intelligent and upright life. 

Nathan A. Petrie was born in Parish, Oswego 
County, N. Y., November 14, 1843, and is the sou 
of Rudolph and Elizabeth (Vrooman) Petrie, the 
former being born in Herkimer County and the 
mother in Schoharie County, N. Y. Mr. Rudolph 
Petrie was an agriculturist by calling and culti- 
vated his estate in such a manner as to bring him 
a handsome income. They both passed from this 
life in Parish, N. Y., after having become the 
parents of seven children, five sons and two 

Our subject was the youngest member of the 
household, and remained under the parental roof 
until reaching his nineteenth year, in the mean- 
time receiving a good education in the schools of 



his neighborhood, and the knowledge of books 
gained therein has been supplemented by thorough 
and systematic reading until to-day he is a man 
of culture and education. "When starting out in 
the world to battle with life for himself he was 
only nineteen years of age, but thinking that the 
advantages offered a young man in his circum- 
stances were better in the Prairie State than in 
New York, he came West to Lee County. For 
the two years succeeding his advent into this 
county our young hero was in the employ of S. F. 
Mills in Ashton engaged in his grain elevator and 
lumber yard, doing all the work given him to per- 
form in such an admirable and conscientious man- 
ner that in a short time Mr. Mills took him in as 
his partner and they have since continued to- 
gether in their various changes of business to the 
present time. That one fact alone speaks volumes 
for the character of our subject. 

In 1865 the firm of Mills & Petrie engaged in 
the mercantile business in Ashlon, carrying a 
complete stock of goods well fitted to supply the 
needs of the village and country household, and 
by their honest and courteous treatment of their 
customers did an extensive business. They con- 
tinued as merchants in Ashton for four years, 
when in 1869, they sold out their store and en- 
gaged in the banking business, the bank being 
known throughout the State as the Ashton Bank, 
and which receives a flattering degree of patronage 
from the people of this section. The firm owns 
two farms in addition to their bank, which they 

Mr. Petrie of this sketch has been Supervisor of 
Ashton Township for two years, and was Notary 
Public for sixteen years. We are thus gratified 
to be able to place in the hands of our readers a 
sketch of Mr. Petrie, who is so well known and 
highly esteemed personal iy. In politics he is a 
stanch Democrat, always casting his vote and 
influence to the support of that body. 

Miss Sarah E. Howard became ^Irs. Petrie in 
1880, their marriage being solemnized in Ashton. 
She was born in Port Clinton, Ohio, and was the 
daughter of William and Mary Howard, the latter 
of whom died in Jefferson Count)', Neb.; the 
father is residing in that county. Mrs. Petrie is 

an estimable lady and is beloved by every one 
who has the pleasure of lier acquaintance. She 
is well fitted to be the wife of a gentleman who is 
so thoroughly esteemed as is hei- worthy husband 
ai.d the subject of this sketch. 

/p^EORGE E. SMITH, a well-known railroad 
(if <^ engineer, is now retired from active life, 
^^4 residing just outside the city limits of 
Dixon, where he has a comfortable home of five 
acres. His place is supplied with good buildings 
and in 1890 he erected a pleasant dwelling. Our 
subject has been enterprising and industrious and 
when only fifteen years of age possessed property 
of his own. He has ever since continued to be a 

Mr. Smith, of this sketch, is prominent in rail- 
road circles, having been connected with the Wa- 
bash Railroad for thirty years and was in the em- 
ploy of the Illinois Central Railroad for one year. 
He began life for himself when fifteen years of 
age by working in the railroads shop of the Boston 
it Lowell Road in the cities of Boston and Lowell, 
Mass. He remained with them until reaching his 
majority when he was given charge of an engine 
in the yards at Cambridge, Mass., and so efficiently 
did he perform his duties as engineer that he was 
soon given charge of an engine in regular service. 

In 1855 our subject came West and located in 
Springfield, 111., where he was given charge of an 
engine on the Great Western Railroad, running 
between Springfield and Naples, a distance of 
about fifty-five miles. That road was later merged 
into what is now the Wabash and our subject re- 
mained in their employ for thirty years, or until 
he retired in 1890. He has passed through all the 
various stages of an engineer's life and during the 
entire period of his service he has never had an 
accident which resulted seriously to his passengers. 
During seven years of that time he never even had 
a wheel off the track and in recognition of that 
fact he was highly complimented by the then 
acting Passenger Superintendent, Robert Andrews. 



He claims that the people at large are jcsponsible 
to a great extent for the many accidents on lail- 
roads as thoy ask and expect trains to be rnii at 
such an enormous speed. 

Mr. Smith looks back with much pleasure to the 
time when he was in active service on the road 
and numbers some of his best friends among the 
highest officials of the company. Beginning at 
an early age the serious business of caring for him- 
self, Mr. Smith has continued through life to be 
prudent and industrious and in his old age is able 
to retire with a comfortable competencj^ that 
insures him immunity from want or care, and 
Dixon may feel proud to have so honorable a 
gentleman among her citizens. 

The subject of this sketch was born at Lowell, 
Mass., December 9, 1833 and was the son of John 
L. Smith, a native of New Hampshire. The father 
made his home for a number of years at Lowell, 
but passed from this life at Dixon, Lee County, 
when sixty-two j^ears of age. Our subject came 
honestly by his love for railroad life, as his father 
was employed for a number of years by the Boston 
cfe Lowell Railroad. The maiden name of Mrs. 
Smith was Miss Alvira Perkins, also a native of 
the Oranite State, who died at Dixon, aged seventy- 
two years, having come West a number of years 
before her decease. Religiously she was a con- 
sistent member of the Baptist Church, and a kind 
and loving wife and mother. 

The gentleman of whom we write was educated 
in the public schools in Boston, Mass., and after he 
became of age was married in Cambridge to Miss 
Eliza Underwood, the date of the ceremony being 
1854. Mrs. Smith was the daughter of Isaac Un- 
derwood, a native of Massachusetts, who lived and 
died at Cambridge, his decease occurring when he 
was seventy-six years of age. He followed the 
trade of a carpenter and was fairly successful in 
that calling. The mother of Mrs. Smith was Miss 
Rebecca Slocum and was the first white child born 
in East Cambridge then known as Craig's Point; 
she died in 187.5 when nearly sixty-two years old. 
The parents were members of the Universalist 
Church and were greatly esteemed in their com- 
munity for their upright and honest lives. 

Mrs. Eliza Smith, wife of our subject received a 

good education in hernative town and by her mar- 
riage with our subject lias become the mother of 
two children, only one of whom is living at the 
present time, Martlia, who remains under the par- 
ental roof. Ella died when fourteen yeai's of age. In 
politics ho is a believer in Republican principles 
and heuco always casts his vote and influence in 
favor of the candidates of that party. 


NDREW VENTLER is another of the 
[©//jII well-to-do citizens of Bradford Township, 
who were born in the Fatherland. His 
industry and frugality have enabled him 
to take a place in the front rank among the far- 
mers who have made a success of their calling. He 
was born in Germany, May 11, 1830 and received 
his education in the model schools of his native 
land, where he learned the principles, which put 
into practice, have made him an intelligent agri- 

Our subject remained in Germanj^ until 1853, 
when, hearing such glowing accounts of the good 
fortune to be met with in the New "World, he em- 
barked from his native country and landed in New 
York in August of the above named year. He 
came directly West and resided for two months in 
Wisconsin being engaged on a railroad. He later 
came to Lee County and was employed by the 
Northwestern Railroad for the succeeding four 
months, at the end of which time he began to work 
out on a farm as a laborer, being thus engaged 
for about four years. 

Mr. Ventler whose name stands at the head of 
this sketch was married April 21, 1860, the lady of 
his choice being Miss Elizabeth Ginnterman, also a 
native of Germany, liaving been born De- 
cember 15, 1836. Our subject began life as a 
farmer by renting a tract of land situated between 
Franklin and Dixon, which he continued to cul- 
tivate for some three years, when by his economy 
and frugality he was enabled to save a sufficient 
sum ^\'ith which to purchase eighty acres. That 
tract was located on section 14, Bradford Town- 
ship, and which is included among his possessions. 



Mr. Yentler is uow the proud poissessor of six hun- 
dred and eighty acres of excellent land which his 
intelligence and good judgment enables him to 
cultivate in a very profitable manner and is thus 
numbered among the wealthy and prominent far- 
mers of Lee County. A stranger in the county, 
not acquainted with ^Mr. Ventler, would know 
that his estate was under the supervision of an in- 
dustrious, ambitious gentleman, as it everywhere 
bears the marks of the care and expense which has 
been lavished upon it. 

Mr. and Mi-s. Ventler have been granted a fam- 
ily of nine children, seven are yet living and bear 
the respective names of Mary, Marcus, Conrad, 
John, Anna, William and Katie. Two children 
died when young. In politics our subject is a 
stanch Democrat and, with his excellent wife, 
is an active member of the Lutheran Church. Mrs. 
"N'entler is a very intelligent and capable lady and 
noted for her skill as a housewife and caretaker. 



<! MLLBOURNE E. PADDOCK. This gentle- 
\jj/l nian is a resident of Ashton, which he has 

'^^^ made his home for a number of years, and 
is highly esteemed as a public-spirited and enter- 
prising citizen. He comes of an excellent family 
and a short sketch of' his father, the late Riley 
Paddock, whose portrait is presented on the oppo- 
site page, will not be out of place in this 

Riley Paddock was bom in Clarke County, 
Ohio, February 3, 1810. AVhen he was nine years 
old he went with his father. Col. Ilbenezer Pad- 
dock, to Vigo County, Ind., where he was reared 
to manhood on a farm. When he was about 
twenty-one years old, he engaged in the mercan- 
tile business in Middletown, that county, which he 
pursued for some five or six years, being the only 
merchant at that time in that section of country, 
lie was obliged to haul most of his goods from 
Louisville, Ky., there being no public means of 

In 1837 Mr. Paddock sold out his stock, and 

removing to Washington Grove, Ogle County, 
111., there purchased a tract of land, comprising 
some five hundred acres. He devoted himself to 
farming on this place until 186(i when he removed 
to Ashton and lived retired, not being actively 
engaged in any business from that time until his 
death which occurred April 28, 1887. He was a man 
who took an active interest in public affairs, being 
a warm advocate of education and the promotion of 
churches and schools. He was for two years Pres- 
ident, of what is now the First National Bank of 
Rochelle. lie was an active member of the Chris- 
tian Ciiurch, of which he was a liberal supporter, 
and also contributed most generously toward the 
erection of churches and the seminaries at Mt. 
Morris and at Wheaton. His influence was cast 
for good wherever he resided, and his memory- 
will long be cherished bj' his fellow-townsmen and 

The wife of Riley Paddock, to whom he was 
married in Vigo County, Ind., March 8, 1836, was 
Miss Eliza Snoddy, who was born in Bourbon 
County, Ky., August 31, 1810. Her parents were 
Fergus and Elizabeth (McNeal) Snoddy, the latter 
of whom was born in Virginia of Scotch paren- 
tage. They died in Vigo County, Ind., where 
they settled on coming from Kentucky in 1825. 
Mrs. Paddock was an intelligent and refined 
woman and a devoted wife and mother. Mi'. 
Paddock, at the time of his death, was the owner 
of one-half section of well-improved land in Cher- 
okee County, Iowa, and two hundred and sixty 
acres in this county. 

To this worthy couple were born four children 
as follows: Burella, who is the wife of Moses D, 
Martin; Mary E., widow of the late J. B. Williams; 
Victoria N., the wife of Capt. W. S. Miller, and 
Wilbourne E. our subject, whose birth took place 
in Ogle County, November 8, 1842. From 1865 
until 1«H2 Mv. Paddock was engaged in the mer- 
cantile business in Ashton, being in partnership 
during that time with the late .1. 15. Williams, with 
the exception of the last five years when he con- 
ducted the business alone. He deals in general 
merchandise, and is looked upon as an enterpris- 
ing and successful business man. He owns seven 
hundred acres of land in Cherokee and Lyon 



Counties, Iowa, all of which is well improved. 
He has a comfortable residence in A.shton, and is 
highly respected by his fellow-citizens. 





* i^ILLIAM II. VAN EPPS is numbered 
among the former merchants and farmers 
of Dixon, but at present is not engaged in 
anj' special line of business. He was born in East 
Bethany, Genesee County, N. Y., December IS, 
1842. He is descended from early Holland ances- 
try who settled in the Empire State in Colonial 
times. His grandparents, John A. and Deborah 
(Housman) Van Epps, removed to Western New 
York in 1813, going to their pioneer home in Gene- 
see County with teams. Grandlather Van Epps 
was a valiant soldier in the War of 1812 and for 
his services received a pension until his death in 

Hon. Wiljiam H. Van Epps, father of our subject, 
was born in Schenectady County, N. Y., August 
12, 1812, and passed the early years of his life in 
Genesee and Monroe Counties. He had an active, 
intelligent mind and made the best of his op- 
portunities for obtaining an education, which was 
completed by a course at Wyoming Academy. 
Thus well equipped for his struggle with life, at 
the age of eighteen he embarl^ed in the mercantile 
business at Brockport, a fine situation for business 
purposes, as it was located on the banks of Erie 
Canal, then the great highway of travel for West- 
ern-bound emigrants. 

Later Mr. Van Epps, Sr. was engaged in busi- 
ness at CaryviUe, where his store was burned. He 
then settled in East Bethany of which he was the 
principal merchant for several years. In 1837, he 
came to Illinois, and was a pioneer of Fulton 
County, engaging in business atBernadotte and as 
there were no railroads in that part of the country 
then, his goods had to be shipped to him by rivers. 
Some years later life returned to New York on ac- 
count of his wife's failing health, and resided in 
Bethanj' until 1854. 

In the year above-mentioned, Mr. Van Epps 
once more became a resident of the Prairie State, 

and for twenty years was a prominent merchant of 
Dixon, where he kept a general store and aided in 
building up the business interests of city and 
county. ^N'hen he first settled here, Rochelle was 
the nearest railroad station, Dixon was but a vil- 
lage and the surrounding country was not very 
thickly settled. He lived to see the wonderful 
development of the county and bore an honorable 
part in bringing it about. He died October 8, 

The maiden name of the mother of our subject 
was Charlotte R. Churchill. She was born in 
Genesee County, N. Y.. in 1813 and died at East 
Bethany in 1848. Afterward Mr. Van Epps was 
again married in 1850, taking as his wife, Mary A. 
Peek, a native of East Bethany, who survived him 
ten years, her death occurring December 27, 1887. 
William H. was the youngest of four children by 
the first marriage, the others being Marion and 
Ellen, who died in Fulton County, 111., and Adelia, 
who died in New York. Of the second marriage 
there were two daughters — Louise P. (]Mrs. George 
Steel), and Katie, who died March 7, 1862, when 
five years old. 

The maternal grandparentsof our subject, Josiah 
and Charlotte (Rumsey) Churchill, were natives of 
Vermont and pioneers of Genesee Count}-, N. Y. 
The Churchills and Rumseys went from their na- 
tive Connecticut to A'ermont.before the Revolution 
and were residing at Hubbardton when the battle 
was fought there. Afterward members of the 
families made their way back to Vermont or Mas- 
sachusetts. In 1783-84, some of them with other 
families returned to the Green Mountain State, 
and from there the grandparents of our subject 
finally removed to the State of New York. Grand- 
father Josiah Churchill was in the small force of 
the American Armj^ which attacked the British 
at Queenstown Heights near Niagara, in October, 
1812, and was wounded. 

William Henri Van Epps laid the foundation of 
his education in the public school of his native 
town. In 1854, he came to Fulton County,- 111., 
and resided with an uncle, James Churchill there 
for one year. Later he attended school in Dixon 
under William Barge and the Gow Brothers, 
eventualljr concluding his etlucation in the Chi- 



cago University. In the intervals of attending 
school he was acquiring excellent business liabits 
as a clerk in his father's store.- 

Ill 1861, onr subject attended the first war meet- 
ing held at the Court House and his name was the 
eighteenth on the roll of volunteers, who after- 
-ward became Company A, Thirteenth Illinois In- 
fantry. For two weeks he was with the company 
every day, drilling under Capt. A. B. Gorgas, but 
he was persuaded by relatives and friends to leave 
the company, a.decision which he afterward had 
good cause for regretting. His father then gave 
him an interest in a dry-goods store at Morrison, 
111., with J. R. Ashley as a partner. He remained 
in that village until August, 1862, and then came 
home to join the Express Battery, a company of 
which William Snyder was Captain. 

Upon going to Chicago and finding the regi- 
ment already filled, Mr. A'an Epps and thirteen 
others enlisted August 12, 1862 in Company B, 
First New York Marine Artillery. In September 
of the same year he went South witli his regiment, 
by way of Ft. Hatteras and Newbern to Roanoke 
Island, and was stationed there on the gunboat 
"Sentinel" until Dejember 1. During that time, 
there was much sickness in that unhealthy locality 
and fifty or one-fifth of the men died. On the 1st 
of December, our subject and twenty-flve others 
were detailed to go on an expedition up thoNeuse 
River on the gunboat "Seymour." The most that 
the "Seymour" accomplished was in helping to 
save the gunboat "Lockwood" from falling into 
the hands of the enemy below Kinston, where the 
battle was fought. 

Returning on the sick list, Mr. Vslu Epps was 
sent to the hospital in Xewbern for treatment. 
The same month he received a medical director's 
discharge, which was later supplemented by his 
regular discharge on account of disability. Ever 
since that ten days trip he has been troubled with 
deafness. After his return from the South at the 
close of his military experience and as soon as his 
health permitted, Mr. Van Epps entered into the 
mercantile business with A. J. Brubaker and Albert 
S. Ferguson, under the firm name of Brubaker, Van 
Epps & Ferguson, succeeding his father. Upon 
the withdrawal of Mr. Ferguson, the title of the 

firm was changed to William H. Van Epps & Co. 

Until 1870 ]\lr. Ytin Epps devoted himself cx- 
clusivelj' to his business aft'airs, and then went to 
California, spending one j'ear there and in Oregon. 
Returning to Dixon, he sold out his interests in 
the mercantile business and afterward carried on 
general farming and stock-raising, making a 
specialty successively of Devon cattle. Merino 
sheep and pure-bred Short-horn cattle. In 1876, 
he bought a lot and built a store in Yankton, 
Dak. and the following year erected the double 
house on the corner of Galena Avenue and Third 
Street, Dixon. In 1878, he built the two-story 
brick store, No. 17 Main Street, and in the summer 
of 1888 erected the fine three-story brick block, 
corner of Galena Avenue and Main Street. In 
1886, he sold part of his farm, retaining sixty- 
seven acres. During the thirty-seven years in 
which he has resided at Dixon he has been closely 
occupied with his business interests and in many 
ways has contributed to the advancement of the 

In December, 1877, Mi. Van Epps was married 
to Miss Leah, daughter of Jacob and Lena Emery, 
and a native of Bedford County. Pa. One daugh- 
ter has blest their wedded life — Charlotte Isabel. 
They have a home replete with those comforts 
which add to the pleasure of living, and made 
pleasant by its tasteful arrangements, and whoever 
crosses its threshold is sure of a cordial reception 
from genial host and gracious hostess. 

!)HEODORE RUST, who is engaged in the 
jewelry business on First Street in Dixon 
was born at Ilelgelen, an island in the 
North Sea. His father, Charles Rust, was born in 
Bavaria, Germany, and was a son of Dr. Peter Van 
Rust, a prominent physician and minister of the 
Lutheran Church. By the members of the family 
who have come to America the title part of the 
name. Van, has been dropped. The Doctor was 
the medical attendant and also the spiritual ad- 
viser and secretary of the Queen of Bavaria. He 



lived during an important epoch in the liist(jrv of 
that country and his counsel was much sought by 
the Queen who renounced the Catholic religion 
and accepted the Lutheran faith. Dr. Van Rust 
spent his entire life in Munich, as one of its most 
prominent citizens, and died at the age of sixty 

Charles or Carl Van Rust, father of our subject, 
was his only son. He was educated for the Luth- 
eran ministrjr, but not wishing to entei- that pio- 
fession, he went to England and became a lieuten- 
ant in the British Array. He fought for seven 
years in the German Wars against Denmark and 
Sweden and throughout his life followed a military 
career. In England he was stationed at a garrison 
and during that time married Eliza Rimus, who 
was born on the island where our subject's birth 
occurred. Some years afterward at about the 
time the late war broke out, Mr. Rust came with 
his family to the United States and aided Gen. 
Black in organizing the cavalry troops of Rhode 
Island. With the cavalry he then went to the 
South and afterward was made Quartermaster 
General with headquarters in New York City and 
Washington. He served in the regular army for 
some time and died from sickness and the effects 
of a wound in New Orleans, at the age of forty- 
two 3'ears. His widow, who is now sixty-five' 
years of age resides in New York, where four of 
her children also make their homes, namely- : Peter, 
a book-keeper; Anna and Charles who are living 
with their mother; and Emma, wife of George 

- Theodore Rust, the member of the family in 
whom the citizens of Lee County are most inter- 
ested, crossed the Atlantic with his parents and in 
1863 came to the West, locating in Dixon. He 
afterward returned, however, to New York, and 
thence went to Hamburg, Germany, where he 
learned the jewelry trade. After mastering the 
business he returned to this country and for some 
time worked as a jeweler in Detroit, Mich., St. Paul, 
Minn., Denver, Col. and New York. He made a 
permanent location in Dixon in 1879, and in the 
years which have since come and gone has built up 
an excellent trade. On the 10th of Avigust, 1886, 
he bought out E. J. Hobart and now has a fine 

store, occii])3Mng tlie east half of a large room, 22x 
72 feet. He does all kind of general repairing in 
tJie jewelry line and carries a large and complete 

In Genesee, N. Y., l\Ir. Rust led to the marriage 
altar Miss Alice Williams, a native of the Empire 
State, born of Sf.'Otch parentage. When she was a 
young maiden her parents removed to Baltimore, 
where she was educated, becoming a cultured lady. 
She holds membership with the Episcopal Church, 
and has a host of warm friends, throughout the 
community. Her home is the abode of hospitality 
and all who know her esteem her highl}'. Mr. 
Rust takes considerable interest in civic societies. 
He is a Knight Templar Mason and belongs to the 
Modern Woodmen and the Independent Order of 
Red Men, of which he is Past Great Prophet. With 
the determination to succeed he entered upon his 
life work and as the result of his industry, good 
management and by the exercise of correct busi- 
ness principles he has worked his way upward to a 
position of affluence. 



OSEPH SHULTZ, who is a retired farmer, 
now living in North Dixon has made this 
his place of residence since the winter of 
1880, at which time he came fi-om South 
Dixon Township, where he had been engaged for 
some years as a successful farmer. He became a 
resident of the latter place in the fall of 1864, 
coming ther« from Somerset County, Pa., in which 
county he was born. May 30, 1819. He lived 
there until forty-five years of age, when he came 
to Illinois. 

The father of onr subject, Conrad Shultz, was 
also a native of Somerset County, and came of 
German parentage on his father's side, his mother 
being of English descent. His paternal grand- 
father, John Shultz, came from Germany when 
young, settling in Somerset County, Pa., in an 
early day before the Revolutionary War, in which 
he served as a soldier. He followed the occupa- 
tion of a farmer and died at a good old age. He 
was a Lutheran in his religious belief. The grand- 



mother, of our subject, whose maiden name was 
Mary Sample, was a native of England, emigrat- 
ing when young to America and settling in Dela- 
ware and from there to Somerset County, Pa., 
where she spent the remainder of her life, surviv- 
ing her husband for some years and dying at the 
advanced age of eighty-five. Slie also was a mem- 
ber of the Lutheran Church. 

Conrad Shultz was one of a family of four sons 
and two daughters. He was born in 1780, and 
followed the calling of a farmer in his native 
county, where he spent his entire life, and died 
when about seventy-three years of age. He was 
married in Somerset County to Miss Catherine 
Kooser, who was born and reared in that county, 
her parents being of German descent. She died 
when seventy-six years of age. She and her hus- 
band were members of the Lutheran Chureli from 
their early childhood. Of the family of this 
worthy couple but two children survive — our sub- 
ject and his sister, Mrs. Henrietta Thaler, who re- 
sides in Somerset County, Pa. 

Joseph Shultz was reared to manhood in his 
native county and was there married to Miss 
Catherine Hannah, who was born and reared in 
that county, where she died at the age of forty- 
two years. She left a family of thirteen children, 
four of whom are living. One daughter, Minerva, 
died after her marriage to Augustus Dorsey, and 
the birth of a family of children, while a resident 
of Nebraska; her husband is now living in Kansas. 
David married Miss Fannie Bagley and they reside 
in Mills County, Iowa; Norman, whose wife was 
Miss Addie McPherron, is a farmer, in Fremont 
County, Iowa; George married Miss Addie Fritz 
and is a hardware dealer in Imogene, Fremont 
County, Iowa; Mary E., who became the wife of 
James Kingston, resides on a farm in York County, 
Neb. The mother of these children was a most 
estimable woman and a worthy member of the 
Methodist Episcopal Church. 

Our subject was again united in marriage to 
Miss Maria McCloskey, who was born in Elk Lick 
Township, Somerset County, Pa., April 10, 1840, 
and was the daughter of Thomas and Alice (John- 
son) McCloskey. Her father was horn in the 
North of Ireland and came of sturdy Scotch-Irish 

stock. His wife was of American birth and of 
Scotch ancestry and their marriage took place in 
Pennsylvania. He was a fuller by trade and died 
ill Somerset County, at the age of seventy-one 
years. His wife, who was many j'ears younger 
than himself, departed this life when sixty-eight 
years old. She was a member of the Methodist 

The present wife of our subject is one of six 
children, who are all that survive of a large family. 
She was carefully reared by her parents and given 
a good home training and an excellent education. 
She was the mother of three children, two of whom 
are deceased, Richard dying at the age of fourteen 
years and William wlien six years old. The daugh- 
ter, Sarah Alice, is the wife of Marion Sneed. They 
reside in Dixon, and are tlie parents of one child, 
named Kathleen L. Mr. Shultz and his family 
are members of the Evangelical Associatian. In 
politics he is a stanch Republican and has for a 
number of years held the office of .lustice of the 

NDREW J. MYERS, who is engaged in 
farming and stock-raising on section 
27, Palmyra Township, has the honor of 
being one of the native-born citizens of 
the county. He first opened his eyes to the light of 
day on the farm which is still his home, March 11, 
1842, being a son of William Myers, an honored 
pioneer of this community. 

The family is of German origin and was estab- 
lished in America by John Myers, the grandfather 
of our subject, who was born in the Fatherland and 
when a young man crossed the briny deep to Amer- 
ica. In Ohio, he married and subsequently re- 
sided in the Keystone State until he came with his 
family to Illinois. Both he and his wife died at a 
ripe old age in Marshall County, this State. 

William Myers, the father of our subject, was 
born in Philadelphia, Pa., where his childhood was 
passed. When a young man he came to the West 
and in Polo, Ogle County, led to the marriage al- 
tar Miss Phcube Hull, a native of the Empire 



State, and a danghter of Stephen Hull, who was 
born in England. Her father was married after 
coming to the United States and in the '30s cast 
his lot with the early settlers of Ogle County, 111. 
Both he and his wife spent their last days in Polo, 
and died wlien well advanced in years. 

A few months after their marriage, William 
Myers and his bride settled upon a new farm in 
Palmyra Township, Lee County, which he had 
purchased about a year previous. They were then 
in limited circumstances but by their united ef- 
forts they won prosperity and the once wild land 
was made to bloom and blossom as the rose. The 
wife and mother died October 26, 1863, in middle 
life and Mr. Myers passed away February 17, 1889, 
when nearly eighty years of age. He had obtained 
an excellent education, possessed superior intel- 
lectual ability and ever continued to be a close 
student. He became a ilethodist minister and 
studied hard to fit himself for that work. His pecu- 
liar insight into the future won him the title of 
"the prophet." Near his home he made a miniature 
garden of Eden, typical of that mentioned in the 
Bible and his plaster casts of the various Bible 
figures were remarkable for their accuracy and 
attracted people for miles around who came to see 
the work of Mr. Myers' genius. Respected by all 
who knew him, his friends were many and his 
enemies few indeed. In business affairs he posses- 
sed excellent judgment and was quite successful 
in his transactions. 

Andrew Myers is the third in order of birth in 
a family of eight children, all of whom are now 
married and winning for themselves success in 
life. He too followed the example of his brothers 
and sisters and chose as a companion Julia E. 
Kentner, their union being celebrated in Palmyra 
Township, December 24, 1864. Mrs. Myers was 
born in Pennsylvania November 21, 1847 and was 
quite young when brought to Lee County by her 
parents, William and Susannah (Heller) Kentner. 
Her father, who was born September 6, 1802, died 
December 30, 1856; her mother, who was born 
September 30, 1805, was married a second time and 
is now living in Nebraska, at the age of eighty- 
five years. 

Liberal educational advantages were afforded to 

Mrs. Myers in her maidenhood and she is a lady 
of culture and refinement, who presides with grace 
over, her home. In her religious connections, she 
is a member of the Methodist Church. The fam- 
ily circle numbers three daughters. Minnie B., 
bom December 12, 1867, was educated in the Dix- 
on schools, and at the college in that city met 
Charles F. Weathei'by, formerly of Indiana. They 
were married March 20, 1889, and are now living 
at Friend, Neb. Phfebe, born December 1, 1870, 
is attending college, and Harriet B., born June 8, 
1876, is at home. 

The entire life of Mr. Myers has been passed on 
the farm which he yet occupies. There he spent 
the days of his boyhood under the sheltering roof 
of his parents' home and since he has arrived at 
man's estate has engaged in the cultivation of 
the old farm. It has been his property since 1872 
and comprises one hundred and twenty acres of 
improved land that yields a golden tribute to his 
care and cultivation. In all business affairs his 
dealings have been upright and honorable, and 
thereby he has secured the confidence of his fel- 
low-men. In politics he is a supporter of Demo- 
cratic principles and keeps himself well informed 
on the issues of the day. 

DAM KOEHLER is a prominent represent- 
ative of the foreign-born population of 
Lee County, which has been his home 
since his early childhood when his 
father located here in pioneer times, and he has 
risen to be one of the most prosperous farmers and 
stock raiser of Sublette Township, where he has two 
good sized, substantially improved farms. 

Our subject was born in Hesse-Darmstadt, Ger- 
many, November 7, 1847, being a son of Franz 
Adam and Sophi Koehler. His parents emigrated 
to the United vStates in 1851, and at once came 
to Illinois, and took up their residence in Lee 
County, although the father began his farming op- 
erations after his arrival in this State in the ad- 



joining county of La Salle, renting land there the 
ensuing two years. After some eight or nine 
years he purchased eighty acres of land in this 
county, which was but little improved, and in- 
dustriously devoted himself to its development, 
making it his home until his death in 1890, at the 
venerable age of eighty-one years. His township 
was thus deprived of a good.citizen, who had con- 
tributed to the advancment of its agricultural 
interests. His wife had preceded him in death, 
dying in 1882, at the age of sixty-six years. They 
were the parents of four children, one of whom 
died in German _y, and the others came with them 
to the United States. Their son Jacob is a resi- 
dent of Odebolt, wSae County, Iowa. Their son 
Adam is our subject; and their daughter Kate is the 
wife of Fred Conrad, of Ohio Station, Illinois. 

Adam Koehler passed his boyhood on a farm, 
and was earlj' inured to agricultural labors. Af- 
ter he attained manhood and became an indepen- 
dent farmer, he carried on his work with untiring 
perseverance, with accurate judgement, was econ- 
omical where economy was wise, spent money 
when needful in carrying out his plans, and made 
bis improvements on a solid basis, so that to-day 
bis farms are among the best in this part of the 
county, both being supplied with a good class of 
buildings and prime farming machinery, including 
a steam threshing machine and corn sheller. His 
homestead is on section 23, Sublette Township, 
and his two farms comprise four hundred and 
seventy-five acres of land. 

Mr. Koehler ' has b}' no means become so pro- 
sperous without the help afforded by a good wife, 
as he was married in 1871 to Miss Josephine, 
daughter of Jacob Baker, of May Township, who 
is, like himself, a native of Germany. Nine chil- 
dren have blessed their marriage to them, whom 
they have named Jacob, John, Fred, William, Kate, 
Peter, Adam, George and Ten a. 

This brief life-record of our subject is sufHcient 
testimony to his ability as a farmer, to his value as 
a citizen, and to his worth as a man, without fur- 
ther comment on the part of the biographer. We 
will simply add that he has served his township 
well in the diverse capacities of Highway Commis- 
sioner and School Director; that in his politics, he 

is a Democrat sound and true; and religiouslj^ 
adheres to the faith of his fathers, who were stanch 
supporters of the Roman Catholic Church. 

g — . — t >-^-^^.^ s-y_ , 2 

ALPH E. JOHNSON. Our subject who is 
a general farmer and dairyman, is the owner 
of one hundred and forty acres of land on 
section 22, Palm3'ra Township, which he 
cultivates to such good purpose that it yields him 
a very comfortable income. He keeps from one 
hundred and twenty to one hundred and twenty- 
five cows and is doing an immense business as a 

Mr. .Johnson was born on tbe old homestead of 
which he is the present owner, January 22, 1847, 
and which has always been his home. He is the 
son of Ebenezer H. Johnson, a native of Chenango 
County, N. Y. and of New England parentage. 
The grandparents of our subject were natives of 
Connecticut, but later went to New York where 
they were among the early settlers in Chenango 
County and where they passed their last days. 
Ebenezer Johnson received a good education in 
his native county and there married the 
mother of our subject, who was a native of 
the same county and State as was her husband 
and soon after their marriage in company 
with a number of other families came West to Ill- 
inois by the overland route, settling On a "squat- 
ter's" claim on section 22, Palmyra Township, this 
county, the same tract on .which our subject makes 
his home. Their removal here was made in 1835 
and the young couple at once set about improving 
their place and at the time of his death Mr. John- 
son left a beautiful farm. He died on the old 
homestead, August 29, 1885, after having reached 
the advanced age of seventy-five years. He was 
a prominent man in his township and one of the 
earliest pioneers. He always took an active inter- 
est in politics and at one time served as Township 
Supervisor, holding the office for a number of 
years. He favored the platform of the Republi- 
can party and was loyal to its principles. 
In religious matters he was a member of 



the Presbyterian Cluirch to the support of which 
body he always gave liberally and cheerfully. 
The wife of Mv. E. TI. Johnson died in Palmyra 
Township, May 15, ]885,when seventy six years of 
age. She was a member of the Episcopal Cliurch. 

Ralph E. Johnson established a hearthstone of his 
own March 10th, 1875, at which date he was mar- 
ried to jNIiss Abbie M. Knox, the ceremony being 
solemnized in Broome County N. Y., which was 
her native State and where she was reared to 
womanhood. Iler parents, George and Jerusha 
(Brown) Knox, and are well-to-do and are residing 
im Broome County N. Y., retired from the active 
duties of life. Mr. and Mrs. Johnson are the parents 
of three children, all of whom are yet under the 
parental roof. The}' bear the names respectively 
of Anna C, Rena E. and Myra. 

In politics, the Republican party claim our sub- 
ject as one of its most efficient workers. He is 
liberal and broad-minded and with his estimable 
wife is highly prized in his community. 

JOHN HETLER, who carries on general 
farming on sections 15 and 22, Dixon 
Township, has the honor of being a native- 
born citizen of Lee County, his birth hav- 
ing occurred in this township, November 25, 1847. 
He is descended from an old Pennsylvanian fam- 
ily of German origin that was founded in America 
at an early day. His patei-nal grandpai-ents lived 
and (lied in Luzerne Coiuity, Pa., where his father, 
Nathan Hetler, was born, In the Keystone State, 
he married Catherine Culp, also a native of 
Pennsylvania, and some years later they started 
with their three children for Illinois, making the 
trip in a covered wagon. 

On the 13th of June, 1837, they arrived in 
Dixon Township, Lee County, and Mr. Hetler se- 
cured a piece of raw prairie land on which he built 
a log cabin. The family began life in the West in 
true pioneer style and the hardships and trials of 
the frontier were not unknown to them. However, 
as the years passed, and financial resources were 
increased, Mr. Hetler was enabled to supply his 

home with the comforts of life and extend the 
boundaries of his farm until it comprised four 
hundred acres. He was an industrious and hard 
working man who labored untiringly in the inter- 
ests of his family. He died on the old homestead, 
where our subject now lesides. May 27, 1877, at 
tlie age of sixty-nine years and his loss was deeply 
regretted liy many friends. His wife is yet living 
and makes her home with her son, John. She is 
now eighty-nine years of age but is yet hale and 
hearty, except that for the past ten years she has 
suffered the complete loss of her eye-sight. She is 
a member of the Lutheran Church to which Mr. 
Hetler also belonged. In politics he was first a 
Whig and afterward a Republican and held a 
number of local offices, the duties of which he dis- 
charged with promptness and fidelity. 

Our subject is one of six children. In the dis- 
trict schools of the neighborhood his education 
was acquired and in the days of his boyhood and 
youth he worked upon his father's farm through- 
out the summer months. When it became time 
for him to engage in business for himself he 
determined to follow the occupation to which he 
was reared and is now recognized as one of the 
successful farmers of the communitj-. He owns 
three hundred and forty-three acres of valuable 
land, which have been his property for twelve years 
and the farm is pleasantly and conveniently situ- 
ated four miles from Dixon. A view of the home- 
stead is shown on another page. All the necessary 
buildings are there found, together with the latest 
improverl machinery and other accessories and the 
place is well stocked, having on hand twenty-five 
milch cows. INIr. Hetler is a man of good business 
abilit}' with a degree of carefulness that insures 

A marriage ceremony performed in Dixon 
Townsliip, united the destinies of Miss Lasetta Mil- 
ler and Mr. Hetler. The lady was born in Frank- 
lin County, Pa., and in 1866, came to Illinois with 
her parents, Samuel and Mary (Munn) Miller, 
who located in Nachusa Township, Lee County, 
where they afterward lived. Mr. Miller died at 
the age of seventy-eight years in 1888. His wife 
is still living in Nachusa Township and is beloved 
by all know her. 

■"'^^'^■^V^^Si?^?^7^^t: trWrV 


S ^E!S.^ 




Vfcj^ d- jlsg 




By the union of Mr. and Mrs. Hetlci- were boru 
six cliildren but only two are now living — Delia 
and Harry. They have lost four — Shelby, Mary, 
Grant and Nora. The parents are quite prominent 
people in Dixon Township and move in the best 
circles of society. Tlieir own home is a hospitable 
one where their friends are warmly welcomed and 
entertained. Mr. Metier exercises his right of 
franchise in support of Republican principles and 
keeps himself well informed on the issues of the 
(lay. Throughout long years he has witnessed the 
growth and development of his native county, has 
taken a just pride in its progress and has ever 
borne his part in the promotion of those enter- 
prises calculated to advance the general welfare. 

ATHAN HILL was during his life closely 
,|l ,.. connected with the leading interests of 
/iv;^) South Dixon Township as an extensive 
farmer and land-holder, and as one of its wealthy 
citizens and in his death this section of the county 
met with a serious loss. He was born in Luzerne 
County, Pa., July 3, 1818, and was a son of Jacob 
Hill, who was also a native of Pennsylvania, and 
passed the most of his life as a farmer in Luzerne 
County. He married Miss Catherine Haight, who 
was born and reared in the Keystone State, and in 
after life they abandoned their farm in tha': sec- 
tion of the county and came to Illinois in 1854 
with their children, including our subject and liis 
wife. The father died in this country when past 
seventy years old, and the mother was over eighty 
years of age when she died in Dixon in 1880. 
Both were members of the Lutheran Church. 

Nathan Hill received his education in the schools 
of his native county, and was caref uU}' instructed 
in all kinds of agricultural work on the farm where 
his boyhood days were profitably and pleasantly 
spent. Some years after marriage he came Iiere 
with other members of his father's family to estab- 
lish a new home on the virgin soil of Lee County, 
greatly aided in his work by his devoted helpmate. 
He had many ditliculties to contend with in his 

pioneer life, but a strong will, a good capacity for 
liard and persistent labor, and excellent business 
tact enabled him to surmount all obstacles, and in 
time he became prominent as a farmer and large 
land-owner. He had passed the meridian of life 
but by no means was an old man when death came 
to him June 10, 1876, in the pleasant home on sec- 
tion 19, South Dixon Township, that was the re- 
sult of the joint labors of himself and wife. Thus 
was brought to a close an honorable career that 
had been beneficial to his adopted county, as he 
had added to its wealth by every acre of his landed 
possessions he had placed under cultivation, nad he 
was valued as a citizen. He was a man of strict 
moral integrity, who never willfully wronged 
another, and was conscientious in the discharge 
of his duties as a husband, father, neighbor and 
friend, and none knew him but to trust and esteem 
him. In politics, he was a straightforward Demo- 

Our subject was eminently happy in his domes- 
tic life with his wife and children. He was mar- 
ried in his native county to Miss Judith Billhei- 
mer, who was also born in that part of Pennsyl- 
vania, her birthplace being in Salem Township, 
and the date'of her birth October 14, 1818. Her 
parents. Christian and Catherine (Hoover) Bill- 
heimor, were born in Northampton County, Pa.; 
but were reared, married and died in Luzerne 
County, her fatlier being past three-score years 
and ten when death summoned him, and her 
mother more than eighty-four j'ears old when she 
died. They were stanch and true in their alle» 
glance to the religious faith in which they were 
bred, that of the Lutheran Church, of which they 
were members. Mrs. Hill is the only survivor of 
the children born to her parents. She attended 
the public school of her native county, and was 
well drilled at home in all that goes to make a 
good housekeeper. Since the death of her hus- 
band she has owned in her own right a \'aluable 
farm of one hundred and twenty-five acres, and is 
managing it in a manner that shows that she is 
sagacious, thrifty and far-sighted, and is perfectly 
capable of conducting her affairs in a business- 
like way, and so as to make the licst of everything. 
Slie is a motherly, large-hearted woman, and her 



neighbors find in her a true friend. Slie is a ten- 
der mother, and her children, of wliom slie has 
eleven, hold her in the warmest regard. Tliey are 
named Esther, Christian, AVilliam Henry, Thomas 
J., John L., Reuben A., Mary C, Anna M., Andrew 
J., Jacob >S. and Lydia E. Mrs. Hill is a devoted 
member of the Lutlieran Church, with which she 
has been connected all her life. 

The attractive residence m which this liospitable 
family entertain their many friends, is among the 
most pleasant in the community and we are pleased 
to present a view of the homestead on another 



y ALTER F. PRESTON, (or as he is famil- 
iar Ij' known, Frank Preston) Assistant 
United States Attorney at Chicago and 
Special Agent of the Inter-State Commerce Com- 
mission, is a talented and distinguished member of 
the bar of Lee County. A leader in local politics, 
he has been the recipient of many honors both 
public and professional. His aptitude for business 
is by no means restricted to the performance of 
legal and official duties, but he has also acquired 
prominence as a practical farmer and successful 
breeder of Hereford stock. He carries on his agri- 
cultural operations in connection with his father, 
and for several years has had control of the latter's 
farm on which he makes his home, which is linely 
located on sections 14 and 15, South Dixon Town- 

Of New England birth, the blood of some of the 
first families of the Colonial and Revolutionary 
period runs in the veins of our subject, and some 
of his ancestors figured extensively in the history 
of the early settlement of that part of the countrv. 
The Preston family originated in England, their 
ancestral home being in the village of Preston 
and since 16 40 they have been represented in 
America. Samuel Preston, born in Lexington 
Mass., had a son James, whose son Isaac was the 
great-grandfather of our subject. Isaac Preston 
was a Minute Man and came from his home in New 
Hampshire to aid in driving away the red-coats 
from Lexington, wliero that "lii'st shot was fired 

heard round the world," in the opening battle of 
that great and glorious struggle for freedom from 
the oppression of British rule, and he served hon- 
orably throughout the Revolution under Gen. 
AVashington. The family were among the early 
settlers of New Hampshire and were active in its 
public life. 

Jeremiah Preston, Sr., grandfather of our sub- 
ject, was born in New Ipswich, N. H., and grew to 
manhood in his native i:)iace. He became promi- 
nently identified with the city of Manchester as 
one of its leading business men and manufacturers 
and was potent in making it a wealthy manufac- 
turing center. He retired in 1868 from the suc- 
cessful business that he had conducted for so many 
years, and removing to Cambridgeport, ]Mass., 
passed the remaining years of his life quietly in the 
home of his daughter, ilrs. John S. A'erity, dying 
in 1879, at the venerable age of eighly-eight years. 

The maiden name of the gi-andmother of our 
subject was Ann Proctor, her family being promi- 
nent in New England during its early settlement. 
She was born and reared in Hollis, N. H., and sur- 
vived her husband only one j'ear, dying at the age 
of eighty-six years. Both husband and wife were 
liberal in their religiou^s views and were identified 
with the Unitarian Church. In politics he was an 
old-line "Whig in earl3- life, but after the formation 
of the Republican party became one of its stanch 
supporters and remained true to his allegiance to 
the day of his death. 

In New Ipswich, X. H., where he was born, Jere- 
miah Preston, Jr., father of our subject, passed his 
boyhood, though he was still quite young when he 
removed to ^lason Village and thence to Manches- 
ter. Xevy early in life he manifested a rare genius 
for mechanics and when only ten years of age 
began his training as a machinist. In his youth 
he helped to build the first steam fire engine made 
in this country, and also the first power loom made 
in the United States. He was identified with the 
political history of Now Hampshire and during the 
war engaged in the manufacture of guns for the 
Government. He has since been connected with 
various railroads in the country in the mechanical 
department and was master mechanic for the 
Northwestern Railway Companj'. An expert in 



his line, his wide experience and thorough knowl- 
edge of the principles of mechanics make his ser- 
vices of inestimable value, and they are held in 
high appreciation by the officials of the company. 

Mr. Preston resides on his homestead in South 
Dixon Township, where, in company with liis son, 
he devotes his leisure to raising high graded 
stock. He purchased that place in 1868. when it 
was in a wild condition, it being the last piece of 
prairie land to be bought in this county, and with 
characteristic prescience he saw its possibilities. 
His investment proved a wise one and to-day he is 
the owner of one of the choicest farms of its size 
in this section of Illinois. Aided by his son, he 
has brought it to a fine state, supplying it with 
the best modern improvements, including a hand- 
some set of buildings of a pleasing style of archi- 
tecture and conveniently arranged for its various 
purposes. Its one hundred and twenty acres of 
land are situated on section 15, and are under ex- 
cellent cultivation. 

The marriage of Jeremiah Preston in Manches- 
ter, N. H., united him with Miss Lucretia M. Han- 
naford, who was born at Alton Bay, on the shores 
of that beautiful lake, which, lying amid the 
rock-ribbed and everlasting hills, is one of the 
picturesque features of the scenery for which the 
old Granite State is noted. Mrs. Preston is of 
English extraction and a descendant of some of 
the old Colonial stock of New England, number- 
ing among her ancestors the Tilton family that 
came to America in 1640. She inherited fine men- 
tal endowments and is a woman of superior char- 
acter and intelligence. 

Every advantage for a liberal education was 
afforded Walter F. Preston, in his native citj' — 
Manchester, and he afterward pursued his studies 
in Chicago. To a young man of his astute, logical 
and comprehensive mind the legal profession pre- 
sented many attractions, and he devoted his whole 
energies to fitting himself for the bar, to which he 
was admitted in due time, with promise of a bril- 
liant career befoi'e him, which has been more than 
fulfilled. He was for some time in the law office 
of Judge Farrand, County Judge of Lee County, 
whose sketch appears elsewhere in this volume. 

After his admission to the bar, iMr. Preston 

easily worked his way to the front. He has been 
Official Reporter of the Circuit Court for several 
terms and has often been honored by high posi- 
tions. He is now Assistant United States Attorney 
at Chicago as well as one of the special agents of 
the Inter-State Commerce Commission, with head- 
quarters at Room 40, Government Building, hav- 
ing been connected with the commission since 
1890. During the last session of the Fiftieth Con- 
gress he was private secretary to Senator Cullom. 
He is a prominent politician of the best type, who 
while working hard for his party is guided by pa- 
triotic motives and has the'dearest interests of his 
country at heart. He takes an active part in local 
and State politics, is prominently identified with 
the progress of the Republic.m party in this sec- 
tion, and has been delegate to State Conventions. 
The marriage of our subject to Miss Ettie Smith 
was solemnized in South Dixon Township and 
their pleasant wedded life has been passed on the 
paternal homestead on section 15, Mr. Preston 
having had control of the farm since 1875. The 
three children born unto them complete their 
household, namely: Lelia F., Clarence G. and 
Ethel jM. Mrs. Preston is a bright and preposses- 
sing lady and was born in South Dixon Township, 
being a daughter of one of its early pi(meers, 
Joseph E. Smith, a native of Germany. Her 
mother was born in Frostburg, Md., whence after 
her marriage she removed with her husband to 
Lee County in 1838, coming among the first set- 
tlers of South Dixon Township. They arc now- 
living in retirement in the village of Nachusa, 
where they are serenely passing the twilight of 
useful and honorable lives. 

' OHN A. ANDRUS, attorney-at-law at Ash- 
ton, was born in Stephentown, Rensselaer 
County, N-. Y., November 30, 1833. He is 
descended from patriotic ancestors, his 
grandfather, Benjamin Andrus, liaving served 
during the Revolutionary War as a member of a 
Green Mountain regiment. (Jrandfather Andrus, 



who was born in Wallingforrl, Conn., was married 
to Miss Annios C!ise,anativeof Hartford, the same 

In the family of Benjamin and Annies Andrus 
was a son, Elam Tilden, (named for the father of 
Samuel .T. Tilden), who was born in New Lebanon, 
Columbia County, N. Y. He grew to manhood in 
in the Empire State and in his youtli learned the 
trade of a tanner and currier, but followed farming 
l)ursuits during most of liis life. His marriage 
united him with Miss Angeline Moouey, who was 
born in Stephentown, Rensselaer County, N. Y., 
and ten children were born unto them, of whom 
our subject was the eldest. The wife and mother 
passed away at her home near Clarendon, Orleans 
County, N. Y., in 1885, her death resulting from 
the accidental breaking of one of her limbs. Elam 
T. Andrus died of la grippe January 20, 1892, at 
the family homestead. Having united with the 
Presbyterian Church at the age of nineteen he had 
been a faithful, consistent member of it for sixty- 
nine years until his death. 

The early years of John A. Andrus were passed 
in his native county, where lie gained a good com- 
mon-school education. In 1852 he removed with 
the family to Orleans County, attending school at 
13rockport,Hollj- and Albion Academies, and teach- 
ing at Pine Hill, Sweden Centre, Clarendon and 
near Brockport. In the fall of 1856 he came West 
to Michigan, where for two terms he followed the 
profession of a teacher near Marshall. At the 
close of his first term he returned to New York 
and attended college at Buffalo, graduating in the 
f.all of 1857. The same fall found him once more 
in Marshall, where he taught another term of 
school and continued the reading of law com- 
menced in New York. 

From Michigan Mr. Andrus came to this State, 
securing employment first in Cliicago and proceed- 
ing from tliere to Rociielle, where he accidentally 
found a relative. Purchasing a yoke of oxen, he 
engaged in farming to some extent for a few 
months, but after the harvest was gathered in he 
sold his wheat and oxen and engaged for one term 
as a teacher in the city. In the fall of 1858 he 
came to Asliton wliere lie taught school the follow- 
ing winter. In the spring of 1859 lie formed a 

partnership with E. B. Clark in the grocery busi- 
ness, but at the expiration of one year purchased 
his partner's interest and continued the business 
alone. After conducting the establishment until 
1864 he sold out and engaged for some time in 
buying and selling cattle. 

In the fall of 1866 Mr. Andrus commenced 
building a store, and the following spring opened 
up a good stock of general merchandise, continuing 
tlius engaged until November, 1870, when he sold 
out, but was unfortunate in losing heavilj' by the 
parties to whom he sold. Next he went West to 
Colorado, there buj'ing cattle, but not meeting 
with success in the enterprise it was abandoned. 
Between tlie ye.-irs of 1871 and 1873 he was in 
partnership with Henry Bly in the grocery busi- 
ness in Ashton, the firm name being Bly & Andrus. 
He had read law both in New York and Michigan 
and had been admitted to the bar to practice law 
both in Michigan and Indiana, and at the expira- 
tion of his four years' term of service as Police 
Magistrate in the fall of 1878, he was admitted to 
practice law at the bar of Illinois. His standing 
at his examination was high as he answered per- 
fectly eighty-five out of one hundred questions. 

Since his admission to the bar Mr. Andrus has 
practiced law continuously,with the exception of the 
three years he was in South Dakota. He went there 
in the spring of 1883 and engaged chiefly in farm- 
ing. He was defeated as candidate (being a Dem- 
ocrat) for County Judge in 1885 and for the Leg- 
islature in 1886, in the fall of which year he 
returned to Ashton. February 18, 1890, he met 
with great misfortune by fire. His office with all 
the furniture, all public and private papei-s, and 
eighty-five volumes of his law library and two 
large two-story store buildings were totally de- 
stroyed, entailing a not loss of at least $5,000 to 
Mr. Andrus. 

Mr. Andrus has one of the most pleasant homes 
in the village, presided over by a lady whose 
maiden name was Rhoda A. Seipel. Mrs. Andrus 
was born in Delaware County, Ohio, and is the 
daughter of John and Harriet (Cox) Seipel. The 
union of Mr. and Mrs. Andrus, which occurred in 
Ashton, has brought them two daughters — Dora 
A., a graduate of the University of Illinois, of the 



Class of '82, the wife of John C. Griffith, and 
Bessie B., a bright school girl. 

In his political belief Mr. Andrus is, like his 
forefathers, in hearty sympathy with the principles 
of the Democratic party, and is interested in local 
politics. Socially, he is a member of the Masonic 
fraternity, and in his religious views is liberal, 
while his wife and daughter are members of the 
Presbyterian Church. As he is thoroughlj^ prac- 
tical, Mr. Andrus is in touch with the people of 
Ashton, working for their welfare with all his 
energies and sounding the depths of human exper- 
ience in his varied labors on their behalf. 




J"^ WESLEY HYDE. No class of men ha* 
contributed more to the substantial pros- 
perity of Lee County than its farmers and 
stock men, among whom the subject of 
this brief life record is well worthy of mention. 
He is conducting his agricultural operations in 
Willow Creek Township, on section 19, which is 
the location of his finely-tilled and well-stocked 

Mr. Hyde was born eleven miles from Mansfield, 
Richland County, Ohio, January 14, 1835. Ben- 
jamin Hyde was liis father, a native of New Jersey, 
and he was the son of another Benjamin Hyde, who 
is supposed to have been a native of the same State, 
and was of English descent. He was a farmer, and 
always carried on his occupation in New Jersey, 
where he died in the fullness of time. The father 
of our subject was reared and educated in his native 
State and when a young man went from there to 
Ohio in the pioneer days of the settlement of that 
State and was engaged in his trade as a cooper in 
Richland County, where he lived until 1853. The 
remainder of his life was passed iu Michigan. 

The maiden name of Mrs. Hyde was Mary Folks. 
She was bom in Pennsylvania, and died in this 
State, in Lee County. She was the mother of nine 
children that grew to maturity, as follows: Saloma, 
wife of O. H. Perry, of Des Moines, Iowa; Margaret, 
wife of John Hough, of Chicago; J. W.; Jonathan, 
a gallant soldier, who served in the Seven ty-fiftli 

Illinois Infantry during the war, and spent his last 
years in Dixon; Barbara E. wife of William Daw- 
son, of Leavenworth, Kan.; Theodore, a resident 
of Lee Count}', who served in the .war as a mem- 
ber of the Thirteenth Illinois Infantry; Francis, 
who was a member of an Illinois infantry regiment 
during the war, and now lives at Harvey, 111.; 
Rhoda, who resides in Milwaukee; and Samuel Me 
Clure, a resident of Malugin's Grove, who was in 
the Fifteenth Illinois Infantry during the war. As 
will be seen by the foregoing, the family was well 
represented in the army when the great conflict 
between the North and South was being waged, 
and proved the value of their citizenship by their 
loyalty and devotion to the cause on many a bloody 
battle-field. Our subject was one of the five sons 
that his parents thus sent forth to fight for their 
country. He enlisted March 2, 1865. in Company 
I, Fifteenth Illinois Infantry, and was honorably 
discharged tiie following September, on the 17th 
of the month, with a good record as a faithful and 
efficient soldier. 

Our subject's boyhood days were passed in his 
native State. He was quite young when he com- 
menced to earn his own living, but he was inde- 
pendent and very capable for his j'ears. lie began 
life working on a farm by the day or month in 
the county where be was born, and continued thus 
occupied until 1853, when he turned his attention 
to the cooper's trade and worked at that two years. 
In 1857 he took an important step in life which 
resulted greatly to his benefit, as he then came to 
Lee County to cast in his fortunes with its pioneers, 
and years of toil have brought him prosperity. He 
worked by tlie month one summer after his arrival 
in these parts, and then bought a tract of land in 
Brooklyn Township. He erected necessary build- 
ings, placed his land under good tillage and re- 
sided there ten years. It was during that time 
that he was mail carrier from Mendota to Malugin's 
Grove for a period of three years, and his exper- 
ience of life as a soldier occurred while he was a 
resident of that farm. 

In 1867 Mr. Hyde sold his first farm, and for a 
year worked out by the month. He then bought 
a farm of one hundred and fifty-five acres of land 
in company with his brother. After living on it 



seven years he sold his share of the place and 
bought the farm tliat he now owns and occupies 
on section 19, Willow Creek Township. Its fields 
are under admirable cultivation, its pastures are 
rich and its improvements of a good class. Mr. 
Hyde devotes it to general farming and stock- 
raising, and has cattle, horses and hogs of fine 
grades. Our subject is a man of sterling principles 
and sensible views, is kindly and helpful in his 
relations with his neighbors and others of the 
community, and is deserving of the fellowship and 
good wishes of all about him. His interest in pol- 
itics centers in the Republican party, of which he 
has been a stanch advocate since he cast his first 
Prsidential vote for Gen. Fremont, its first candi- 
date for the Chief Magistracy of the United States. 
Mr. Hyde was first married in 1858, to Miss 
Mary Hough, a native of Lee County, and a daugh- 
ter of "William and Hannah Hough, who were 
among the early settlers of the county. She died 
in 1867, leaving two children — Harvey and Minnie. 
Minnie married Albert Pettys, and they have two 
children, Mamie and Robert 

'THAMES BLISS has developed a fine' farm from 
the wild prairies of Alta Township, placing 
it under substantial improvement, and has 
thus materially contributed to the wealth of 
Lee County. He was born in the town of Exeter, 
Otsego County, N. Y., June 28, 1812. His father, 
whose name was Palatire Bliss, was a native of 
Connecticut, and was reared and married in that 
State, Elizabeth Lathrop, also a native of that 
commonwealth, becoming Ms wife. He was a 
cooper by trade, and after his removal in 1795 to 
Otsego County, N. Y., of which he was a pioneer, 
he also gave his attention to farming, working at 
his trade only in the winter seasons and the re- 
mainder of the year clearing his land and tilling 
the soil. He bought a tract of lieavily timbered 
land in what is now the town of Exeter, and his 
first work was to build a log house, which was the 
birthplace of the son of whom we write. There 

were no railways or canals in that part of the 
country for many years, and Albany, eighty miles 
distant, was the nearest market. Mr. Bliss lived 
and labored there for more than half a century, 
and there death found him in 1853 at a ripe old 
age on the farm that he had hewed from the 
wilderness, and his wife, the mother of our subject, 
also died there. Seven children were born of their 
wedded life. He was three times married and 
reared two other children. 

James Bliss, of this biography, was reared amid 
the pioneer scenes of his birth, and was educated 
in the local schools. He commenced when very 
young to help his father on the farm, and was 
thoroughly drilled in agricultural pursuits. He 
remained an inmate of the parental household un- 
til he married, and after that he gave his time to 
learn the trade of a cooper. He lived in his 
native county until 1848, and then bouglit a home 
in the village of Nineveh, Chenango County, 
where he manufactured barrels, etc., for some 
years. In 1856, he disposed of his possessions in 
New York, as he had decided to try the calling to 
which he had been bred on the prairies of Ilhnois. 
He settled among the pioneers of De Kalb County, 
buying one hundred and ten acres of land in 
Somanauk Township, at $12 an acre. It was a 
tract of wild prairie, and he went to work with a 
good will to develop it. He* placed the land' 
under good tillage, erected good suitable buildings, 
and so increased its value that he was enabled 
to sell the place in 1869 at $35 an an acre. He 
then came to Lee County, and bought his present 
form at $17 dollars an acre. At the time of pur- 
chase it was merely a tract of wild, uncultivated 
prairie, with never a furrow turned. To-day he 
reaps from its well tilled soil abundant harvests, 
and has the place in a fine condition. The land is 
fenced and cross fenced into convenient fields, 
choice fruit, shade and ornamental trees have been 
planted, and a good set of frame buildings has 
been erected, everything indicating thrift and 

By his marriage more than fifty years ago, in 
the year 1839, Mr. Bliss was so fortunate as to 
secure for a life-companion a woman who has been 
to him a true helpmate, and has done her share in 



the upuilding of then- comfortable home. Mrs. 
Bliss who bore the maiden name of Roxie C. Rose, 
was born on Block Island, in Long Island Sound. 
Her married life with our subject has been blessed 
with these three children — .Tames A., John Adel- 
bert and Ella. Mr. Bliss was formerly a Whig, 
but when the Republican party was organized he 
fell into line, and has ever since been firm in his 
support of its principles. He is in all respects a 
good citizen and a most estimable man, whose life- 
record is honorable and worthy of emulation. 


(IL^ALDOR NELSON. Lee County is indebted 
lliD) *^ *^® **^'^® ^^ Norway who live within its 
l^^ limits for what they have done in various 
(^ walks of life to help forward its varied 
interests. Our sjibject is a native of that far-away 
country, although for many long years, forty in 
number, he has been a loyal citizen of this, and has 
made his home in Illinois since he landed on these 
shores. When he came he was poor in pocket, but 
rich in those qualities that go to the making of an 
honest, capable man, and by using his faculties in 
a practical manner he has become one of the sub- 
stantial farmers of Willow Creek Township, and 
owns as good a farm as is to be found within its 

Mr. Nelson was born in Bergensteft, Norway, 
August 29, 1823. His father, Nels Hillison, was 
also born in that locality, and spent his entire life 
in the land of his birth, his occupation being that 
of a farmer. 

Our subject was an only son, and he grew up 
under good home influences. As soon as large 
enough he began to assist his father and in time 
became very useful in helping to carry on the 
farm. He remained with his parents until 1851, 
and then ambitious to see more of the world, and 
try life in the United States of America, where he 
felt sure he could get better returns for his labor, 
he embarked at Stilauga m the month of April, on 
the sailing vessel "Ebenezer," and five weeks later 
found himself in the metropolis of the New World, 
with but $50 in his pocket with which to begin 

his new life. He immediately started for Illinois, 
leaving New York on a steamer bound for Albany, 
from there going on the canal to Buffalo, whence 
he went by the Great Lakes to Chicago, from that 
city to Peru on the canal, and then by team to 
Sublette, Lee County, his final destination. A 
man of his capability and trustworthiness is always 
in demand among the farmers, and he had no diffi- 
culty in securing work as a farm hand, being em- 
ployed by the day or month in that township for 
the ensuing year. After that he went to Lee 
Center, where he was similarly engaged by the 
month for two seasons. By that time he had laid 
by money enough to become more independent, 
and he bought a tract of land in Bradford Town- 
ship, for which he paid 12 an acre. He built on the 
place and commenced at once to develop its soil, 
and had placed it in a very good condition when 
he sold it in 1865, having so increased its original 
value, that he obtained $30 an acre for it. He 
then came Willow Creek Township, and invested 
m two hundred and thirty acres of excellent farm- 
ing wliicli forms his present farm. When it came 
into his possession only a part of the land was im- 
proved, and there were no buildings on it. It now 
presents a very different appearance, with its neatly 
fenced, well tilled fields, with its abundance of fruit 
and shade trees, planted by Mr. Nelson, and a 
comfortable dwelling and substantial out-houses 
adorn the place. 

In January, 1868, our subject was married to 
Martha' Christopher, who is a native of the same 
Norwegian town that is his place of birth. In her 
he has found a valuable helpmate, and a devoted 
companion. They have four children livings — 
Helga, Annie, Nellie and Christopher. Julia N., 
their second daughter, who was married, died in 
February, 1889, leaving two children, who are 
being tenderly cared for by their grandparents. 

<• "X • /" l^^-^'^ 

5^ jil. .r^'=5tirra^:^=i^' 



\/\l/i ^'S^'^y improved and prosperous eondi- 

^\y dition of Lee County is in a large degree 

due to its farming population, which is for the 



most part compused of men who are strong in 
character, energetic in disposition, Iceen of vision, 
discriminate and sensible in judgment and prompt 
to take advantage of wliatsoever will acrue to 
their benefit. It is of one of this class, of 
whom we write. His homestead farm, comprising a 
quarter of section 23, Nelson Township, is one of 
the finest in this region, with its farm buildings of 
a modern style of architecture, its rich harvest 
fields, and its pastures devoted to the support of 
sleek and well-kept cattle, horses and swine of the 
most approved breeds, best adapted to this part of 
the country. He also has eighty- acres of land on , 
section 27, of the same township, which is under i 
admirable cultivation and is well improved. 

Mr. Harden comes of Pennsylvania stock and is 
himself a native of that commonwealth, born in 
the county of Somerset, October li), 1852. His 
father, Solomon Harden, also had his birth in that 
county, he being a son of a Penn.sylvania farmer, 
named George Harden. Solomon grew up in his 
native place and when he began to think of mar- 
riage he selected Miss Susan Uhl to share his for- 
tunes with him, and their union took place 
in the town of Somerset, in Somerset County, 
where she was born and had been reared and edu- 
cated. She came of the old Pennsylvania Dutch 
stock, and her ancestors were farmers l)y occupa- 
tion and strict Lutherans in religion. 

After the birth of two children. Pierce and our 
subject, the Hardens emigrated from their old 
Pennsylvania home to Illinois in 1853 aiid began 
life again on the homestead now owned and accu- 
pied by their son of whom we write. The land 
composing it was bought of the Government and 
has never been out of the family. When Mr. Har- 
den purchased it it was in a wild condition, with 
never a furrow of its sod turned. He immediately 
entered upon the hard pioneer task of changing it 
into a well-cultivated, nicely-improved farm, and 
labored patiently and with good results until death 
stayed his hand forever from his work May 17 
1865. His demise was felt to be a sad loss not 
only to his family and friends but to the com- 
munity at large, as during his twelve years' resi- 
dence here he had been associated with everything 
good and progressive in the way (jf advancing- 

the material and moral interests of the township. 
He was a sincere Christian and a member of the 
Lutheran Church. In politics he was a sturdy 
Democrat. His wife now makes her home on South 
Galena Street in the city of Dixon. She is sixty 
years of age and is in the full vigor and energy of 
all her faculties. She worships at the Lutheran 
Church, of which she is a devoted member. 

Our subject is one of five brothers j'et living. 
The otheis are: Pierce, a farmer in York County, 
Neb.; Edward E.,a banker at Liberty, Gage County, 
Neb.; John T., also a banker at Liberty with his 
brothers, including another brother. Hiram Albert 
and our subject,, the latter being a director in the 
bank, as is John; Edward is President of the bank, 
while Hiram is cashier. 

William Harden was reared to the life of a 
farmer on the old homestead that has since come 
into his hands. He earlj' manifested an aptitude 
for agricultural pursuits, and brings to his work a 
good equipment of brain, skill in management and 
practical experience. He is a man of sterling merit, 
conscientious and straightforward in his dealings, 
and his credit is high, for he is prompt in his paj'- 
ments, always does as he agrees to do in all his 
transactions, and the township where the most of 
his life has been passed holds him as one of her 
best citizens. He is its present Highway Commis- 
sioner, and he always enters heartily into any 
plans for public improvement. In politics he is a 
Republican of no uncertain type. The religion 
that was the comfort and stay of his forefathers in 
the days of its founder, ^Martin Luther, finds in 
him a faithful supporter, and he and his wife are 
among the most active membera of the church of 
that denominatijn in the township, a half-mile 

Mr. Harden was married in this township to 
Miss iMargaret Gruvcr, a native of this county, 
horn in South Dixon Township, January 6, 1857. 
iShe received an excellent education, which was 
completed at the Dixon High vSchool. She is a 
daughter of Uriah and Catherine (Wright) Gruver, 
a native of Pennsylvania and a descendant of 
some of the old Dutch families of that State. He 
came to Illinois after his first marriage, and his 
wife dying he was married, a second time, to Miss 

^^"-uzoUm) c^^-y^cy^^y^ 




Elizabeth Kelley. He is now living retired in Dixon. 
He occupies an honorable place among the pioneers 
of the county, and is highly esteemed by his many 
acquaintances and friends. He and his present 
wife are respected members of the j\Iethodist Epis- 
copal Church. Mr. and Mrs. Hardin, of this sketch, 
are very pleasantly situated in an attractive home, 
and their peaceful man-led life has brought to them 
three children — Florence E., Minnie S. and Wal- 
ter G. 

51RASTUS ANDERSON. Prominent in the 
^ annals of Lee County as the first settler of 

^ Ashton Township is the gentleman whose 
portrait appears on the opposite page. He owns 
a farm situated on section 23, that he has placed 
under substantial improvemeat, but makes his 
home in the village of Ashton. He is a son of John 
H. Anderson, who was a pioneer of the afore- 
mentioned township, and was for many years one 
of its most respected citizens until death called 
him hence. He was bom in New Brunswick, and 
it is thought that 1793 was the ^ear of his birth. 
He married Martha Martin, who was bOrn in 
Lower Canada, near the town of Prescott, in 1802, 
and after marriage they settled in the township of 
Bayam, Upper Canada, in 1819. He took part in 
the War of 1812, and was present at the famous 
battle of Lundy's Lane. 

A farmer by occupation, Mr. Anderson carried 
on his (-ailing in Upper Canada until 1844, when 
he became a pioneer of Lapeer County, Mich. 
Two years later, in the month of October, 1846, he 
came with his family to Illinois, and resided in 
Nachusa Township, Ogle County, until December, 
1849, when they removed to Lee County and cast 
in their lot with the pioneers of Ashton Township 
who had preceded them. They located on sec- 
tion 23, and here the good old father and mother 
tranquilly passed their remaining days, and at 
length departed this life full of years, his death 
occurring August 26, 1868, and hers in November, 
1872. During the greater part of their lives they 

were active members of the Alethodist Episcopal 
Church. They had ten children, all sons, one of 
whom died at the age of nineteen, and another 
when ten years old, the others growing to man- 

Our subject, who was the third child of the 
familj', was born in the township of Bayam, Can- 
ada, May .19, 1824. Being one of the older 
members of the household he assisted his parents 
in the support of the family, and in bringing up 
his younger brothers. He continued to live in 
Canada some six months after the removal of his 
parents to Michigan, and then joining them, re- 
mained with them until the spring of 1846, when 
he came to Illinois. He first located in Ogle 
County, engaging in farming there, but in 
March, 1849, came to Lee County with his wife, 
whom lie had married in Ogle County the 
previous fall. He was the first one to settle in 
Ashton Township, and has been an honored 
resident of this locality since that time, with the 
exception of two years, when he was engaged 
in a mill in Oregon. Farming has been his chief 
occupation in life, and he has a choice farm of 
one hundred and sixty acres as the result of his 
patient and well-directed labors. He has his land 
under fine tillage, and his fertile fields produce 
abundant harvests, and neat and conveniently 
arranged buildings adorn the place. 

Mr. Anderson has filled the office of School 
Director for a quarter of a century, and has in 
various other ways faithfully fulfilled his obliga- 
tions as a true citizen who has the dearest interests 
of his community at heart. He is a solid Repub- 
lican, and has stood firmly by his party these 
many years of its existence as a political organiza- 
tion. He is known of all men as moral and up- 
right in his character, and truly religious, not 
only in profession, but in conduct, and for half a 
century he has been a valued member of the 
Methodist Episcopal Cliurch. 

The first marriage of our subject occurred in 
Ogle County, November 13, 1848, and was with 
Miss Mary Ilalverd, a native of Norwa}^ Their 
pleasant wedded life was brought to a close by 
the death of his faithful wife December 11, 1888. 
She was a sincere Christian, and a worthy member 



of the ]\Iethodist Episcopal Church, and in dying 
left behind her the record of a life well spent. 
Three children were liorn of that union — Rhoda 
A., who is the wife of William F. Clark; John II., 
who married Miss Elsie Kaufman; and Mary A., 
who died in infancy. 

Mr. Anderson was married a second time in 
Ashton Township September 9, 1889, Mrs. Mary 
J. Lundy, nee Vosburg, widow of Alfred Lundy, 
becoming his wife. Mrs. Anderson was born in 
Susquehanna County, Pa., November, 17, 1836. 
She was married in early womanhood to Alfred 
Lundy, who died at Standing Stone, Bradford 
County, Pa. She is a ver^' intelligent, efficient 
woman, an excellent housewife, and looks well to 
the ways of her household. She belongs to the 
same church of which her husband has so long 
been a member, and is one of its most zealous 

'if ASON C. AYRES, President of the Dixon 
National Bank, capitalist, and one of the 
,_^ largest dealers in real estate in northern 
^^f) Illinois, has long been one of Lee County's 
ablest business men and financiers, who is 
widely known and honored for his high per- 
sonal standing, for the value of his citizenship 
and for the generous, progressive and far-seeing 
public spirit that has exercised such a powerful in- 
fluence in the making of his adopted city. 

Our subject was born in St. Lawrence County, 
N. Y., August 22, 1835. He is a descendant of 
some of the old families of New England, his fore- 
fathers being among the Colonial settlers of that 
part of the country. The following facts concern- 
ing his ancestry are taken from the "History of the 
Aj-res Family," written by "William Henry Whit- 
more. His father, Col. Sylvanus Ayres, was born 
in April, 1780, in New Braintree, Mass., and was 
a son of Jabez and Persis (Stewart) Ayres. Jabez 
Ayres was born in Newbury, Mass., April 26, 1737, 
and was a son of .Jabez and Rebecca (Kimball) 
Ayres, who were also natives of that town. The 
great-grandfather of our subject was born December 

27, 1690, and was a son of Samuel and Abigail 
(Fellows) Ayres. Samuel Ayres was the second 
son of Captain John and Susanna (Simonds) Ayres. 
Captain Ayres was born in iingland, and was one 
of three brothers who came to America as Colonists 
in the early years of the settlement of New Eng- 
land. He went with others to the present location 
of Brookfield, ^Nlas.s., where he secured a tract of 
land and set about building a home in the wilder- 
ness. That section of the country was inhabited 
by a tribe of hostile Indi.ans, and he was killed by 
them August 3, 1675. His family and the re- 
maining settlers then returned to Ipswich, Mass. 
Samuel Ayres was married in that old New Eng- 
land town April 16, 1677. He departed this life 
in 1717, at a ripe old age. Jabez Aj-res, the great- 
grandfather of our subject, was married December 8, 
1718, to Rebecca, daughter of Henry Kimball. He 
removed from Ipswich to New Braintree, in the 
same State, in June, 1721. His son Jabez, grand- 
father of subject, served in the French and Indian 
AV^ar and in the War of the Revolution. He re- 
moved from New Braintree to Salisbury, Herkimer 
County, N. Y., in 1792, and thence to Manheim in 
the same county, where he died February 24, 
1824. His widow died there in 1833, aged sixty- 
eight years. 

The father of our subject was a lad of twelve yeare 
when he went with his parents to Herkimer County, 
N. Y., wliere he continued to live until a short 
time after his marriage, when he went to Mont- 
gomery County and thence to St. Lawrence County, 
in the same State. He became one of the leading 
citizens of his community. After serving in the 
War of 1812 he joined the New York Militia, and 
June 13, 1814, Daniel D. Tompkins, then Grover- 
nor of New York, commissioned him Captain of a 
company of the Eighth New York Infantry. In 
May, 1818, he received a commission as Major of 
the regiment from Governor DeWitt Clinton, and 
in April, 1821, Governor Clinton commissioned 
him Lieutenant-Colonel of the same regiment. In 
the year 1839 Col. Ayres migrated with his family 
to Indiana and took up his residence in the prime- 
val wilds of Allen County, going to his destina- 
tion by lake to Toledo, Ohio, from there up the 
Maumee River to the head of navigation, and 



thence with a team to the end of his journey. He 
was not destined to enjoy his new home voi\- long, 
as, ere the year was closed, he was numbered among 
the dead. 

The maiden name of the mother of our subject was 
Anna Bean. She was a native of Saratoga County, 
N. Y., and was a daughter of William Bean, who 
was a native of Boston. He was the son of an 
Englishman, who came to this country in Colonial 
times and settled in or near Boston. He met his 
death at the hands of the Indians, being shot by 
them and mortally wounded, and dying shortly af- 
ter in his home. The maternal grandfather of our 
subject was the youngest of six children. When the 
Revolutionary War broke out he entered the Con- 
tinental army, fought at the Battle of Bunker 
Hill and served with devoted patriotism through- 
out the entire struggle for freedom. Previous to 
going into the army he had worked in a shipyard, 
but after the war he turned his attention to farm- 
ing, and was thus engaged in his native State for 
a time. He then resided in Vermont a few years, 
and from there went to New York. He first lo- 
cated in Saratoga County, but subsequentlj' re- 
moved to Montgomery County, and buying a farm 
near Johnstown, spent his remaining days there. 
The maiden name of his wife was Lydia Nutting, 
and she was born in Salem, Mass. Her mother, the 
great-gi"andmother of subject, was a Severance. 
She was very young when her father died, and she 
was reared by an aunt in Fitchburg. She died on 
the home farm in Montgomery County. The mother 
of our subject was reared in New York. After 
the death of her husband in their newly founded 
home in Indiana she returned to the East with six 
of her eight children, and taking up her residence 
in Buffalo, devoted herself to rearing and educat- 
ing her children. She came to Dixon with her 
son, of whom we write, and was a beloved inmate 
of his home until her death B^ebruary 20, 1884, in 
her ninetieth year. 

Jason C. Ayres was but four years old when his 
father died. He was principally reared in the city 
of Buffalo and educated in her public schools. In 
the spring of 1854, a youth of eighteen years, he 
came to Illinois and began life in this State as a 
clerk in a store in Chicago. In December of that 

year he paid his first visit to Dixon, coming by 
rail as far as Roehelle, which was then the terminus 
of the railway, and from there to this city with a 
team. lie was much impressed with the beautiful 
site of Dixon, and the many advantages it offered 
to a wide-awake enterprising man of business, and 
in the spring of 1855 he made a permanent settle- 
ment here, establishing himself in the mercantile 
business, which he conducted for a time. In 1857 
he formed a partnership with Joseph Crawford and 
Milton Santee, and opened a land agency office. 
The firm did a very large business in the line of 
surveying and entering Government lands in the 
Western States, and the gentlemen composing it 
continued together until 1863. Since that time 
Mr. Aja-es has conducted the business alone in the 
same office, looking carefully after his extensive 
landed interests and the management of his other 
property. He has dealt in lands in Illinois, Wis- 
consin, Minnesota, Kansas, Iowa and Nebraska, 
and for many 3'ears invested money for Eastern 
capitalists. When it became necessary to select a 
new president for the Dixon National Bank, one 
of the substantial monetary institutions of North- 
ern Illinois, Mr. Ayres was chosen on account of 
his extensive acquaintance with men and affairs, 
his wide experience in business, his accurate knowl- 
edge of financial matters, and the sound and sa- 
gacious policy by which he has always managed 
his own interests and those of other people en- 
trusted to him. Under his careful and skillful 
guidance the bank maintains its old-time reputa- 
tion, its prosperity resting on a firm and healthy 
basis and, as of yore, it enjoys the entire confi- 
dence of its depositors and all who have dealings 
wiih it. 

' May 7, 1861, our subject entered into a happy 
and congenial marriage with Miss Lavina, daugh- 
ter of Dr. John S. Crawford, of Williamsport, Pa. 
They have a home made beautiful with all that 
goes to make life worth living, and their pleasant 
household circle is completed by their one daugh- 
ter, Anna B. Their only son, George N., died 
when twelve years old. 

Mr. Ayres is a thoughtful, scholarly man, of fine 
address, and in all things conforms strictly to the 
highest principles of honor, fairness and courtesy. 



His strong business qualifications, aptitude for af- 
fairs and executive talent, combined with his per- 
sonal attributes have given him prominence in this 
city, with whose growth he has been so intimately 
associated for the past thirty-six years. For many 
years he held two of the most important civic of- 
fices within the gift of his fellow- citizens, serving 
as City Treasurer upwards of twenty years, and as 
City Clerk for twenty -three years. In politics he 
is first, last and always a Republican. In his so- 
cial relations he is a member of Friendship Lodge, 
No. 7, A. F. & A. M.; Nachusa Chapter, No. 56, 
R. A. M.; Dixon Council, No. 21, R. & S. :M.; and 
of Dixon Commandery, No. 21, K. T. He has al- 
ways been generous in the use of his money for 
public enterprises and charitable purposes. He is, 
broad and catholic in his religious views, an at- 
tendant of the Methodist Episcopal Church for 
many years, but not a member of anj^ religious de- 


? I ' I I 1 I I 

mOMAS HOWELL has, since the spring of 
1869, lived on section 19, Dixon Township, 
•''' where he owns a valuable farm of one hun- 
dred and sixty acres. The fields are well tilled, the 
pjace is well stocked and the improvements, which 
are many, are in keeping with a model farm of the 
nineteenth century. As our subject is well and 
favorably known throughout this community we 
feel assured that a record of his life will prove of 
interest to many of our readers. 

Mr. Howell was born in Herefordshire, England, 
on the 9th of January, 1809, and was the eldest of 
six children. His parents were Thomas and Saiali 
(Davis) Howell, natives of Ludlow, Shropshire, 
England. In 1836, accompanied by their family, 
the parents crossed the briny deep to America, 
sailing from Liverpool on the "City of Washing- 
ton," which dropped anchor in the harbor of New 
York after a voyage of three weeks and three 
days, the quickest and the last trip ever made by 
that boat and one of the fastest sails across the 
ocean which had been made at that time. In the 
city of Buffalo the family located, and there the 

parents spent the remainder of their lives. In 
their native land they had been members of the 
Church of England but in tills country united 
with the Methodist Church, in the growth and 
upbuilding of which they took an active interest. 
Our subject is the only one of the family now 
living. The others were generally successful in 
their business affairs and became quite well-to-do. 
In the usual manner of farmer lads, Thomas spent 
the daj'S of his boyhood and youth in his native 
county and after he had arrived at man's estate 
was joined in wedlock, in Shropshire, with Miss 
Mary A. Adams, a native of that county, born on 
the 28th of November, 1818. Her parents were 
William and p]lizabeth (Page) Adams, also natives 
of Shropshire, where they spent their entire lives. 
Her father's death occurred in his eightieth year, 
and his wife passed away at the age of eighty-two. 
The}^ were members of the Episcopal Church and 
both came of old and respected English families. 
After coming to this country, Mr. Howell and 
his wife took ui) their residence in Buffalo, N. Y., 
where they made their home for eighteen 3'ears,dur- 
ing a greater part of which time he had a street 
sprinkler and engaged in watering the streets; 
also while in New York State he followed farm- 
ing and cheese making. On the expiration of that 
period they came West and the attention of Mr. 
Howell was turned to farming, which he has since 
followed. For more than half a century he and 
his estimable wife have lived and labored to- 
gether, and their united efforts have been crowned 
with success. Thej' are now in comfortable cir- 
cumstances, having acquired a competence which 
supplies them with all the necessities and many 
of the luxuries of life. With the Methodist 
Church of Dixon they hold membership, and their 
lives are spent in harmony with their professions. 
The union of Mr. and JSIrs. Howell was blessed 
with a famil}^ of eight children, all of whom are 
yet living. Sarah, the eldest, is now the wife of 
Andrew Hatch, a farmer of Dixon Township; 
William H. R., who wedded Libby Hatch, is en- 
gaged in farming in Erie County, N. Y.; Albert, 
who wedded Mar3' .Bernhart, follows the same 
pursuit near Wales Center, N. Y.; Elizabeth D. is 
the wife of Frank J. Parsons, a real-estate agent 



of Omaha, Neb.; John H., who married Amanda 
Woodruff, makes his home in Dixoii; James D., 
who married Minnie Wernick, is a resident farmer 
of Dixon Township; Carrie is the wife of George 
W. Spencer, of Chicago, who is employed as an 
ornamental painter by Frank Parmelee, who runs 
an extensive 'bus and transfer line in tha^ city; 
Susie A., the youngest of the family, is yet at 

rfSAAC MEANS, a dealer in coal, lime, cement, 
ll salt, etc., is distinguished in the liistory of Lee 
jil County, as one of the oldest established busi- 
ness men of Dixon, who has been closely connected 
with its iLterests, and has had a hand in its up- 
building for over half a century; and no name is 
more deservedly held in honor by the citizens of 
this city than his. 

Mr. Means was born October 14, 1814, in County 
Tyrone, Ireland. His father, John Means, was 
also a native of that county, while his sire, who 
bore the same name as our subject, was of Scotch 
birth. In early manhood he left his native heath 
in Scotland, to engage in farming on the rich soil 
of the Emerald Isle, and the remainder of his life 
was passed in County Tyrone. 

John Means was reared to the life of a farmer in 
the place of his birth, and in due time was married 
taking as his wife Margie Taylor, who was likewise 
a native of County Tyrone. In 1848 the family 
came to America, and the good old father and 
mother spent the remainder of their days at Dixon. 
They reared fourteen children, of whom seven are 
still living. 

The subject of this biographical review passed 
his youth in the county of his nativity, where he 
grew to a hale and self-reliant manhood. In the 
year 1840, when in the prime and vigor of life, he 
set forth from his old home into the wide world 
to see if in far-away America fortune would bless 
his efforts to acquire a competence. He embarked 
on a sailing-vessel at Liverpool, and twenty-one 
days later landed at New York. From there he 

went to Boston, but after a visit of a few weeks in 
that city returned to the metropolis, and from 
there started Westward by the way of the Hudson 
River to Troy, from there by the Erie Canal to 
Buffalo, thence by lakes to Chicago, where he se- 
cured a ride to Dixon, his final destination, which 
he found to be a small town, with a population of 
about two hundred people. The surrounding coun- 
try was still in the hands of the pioneers, and was 
but thinly inhabited, the land being mostly owned 
by the Government, and deer, wolves and various 
other kinds of animals roamed where are now 
beautiful farms, ha[)py. homes and busy towns. 

After his arrival in Dixon, Mr. Means invested 
in village property, and then set himself to work 
with characteristic energy to learn the trade of a 
stone, brick and piaster mason with a Mr. Austin. 
A year later, he having acquired a thorough knowl- 
edge of his trade and much skill in carrying it on, 
that gentleman took him into partnership, and 
they engaged in contracting and building together 
some ten years. At the end of that time, our sub- 
ject went into the lumber trade, and later into the 
mercantile business as a dealer in coal, lime, cement, 
salt, etc., and has been prosperously and exten- 
sively engaged in that line ever since. His busi- 
ness has increased with the growth of the city, was 
long since established on a firm foundation, and is 
known as one of the oldest concerns in Dixon. 

When he came to Dixon fifty or more years ago, 
Mr. Means was unmarried, but life had in store for 
him a better fate than to go to tlie end of the 
journey in single blessedness, and in this city he 
met and wedded Mrs. Mary A. Clay. Her father 
was a captain in the British armj^ and she was 
born on the ocean when her parents were en route 
to America. 

In all his transactions Mr. Means has always dis- 
played a scrupulous regard for the rights of others, 
has never been known to wilfully wrong or de- 
fraud another, and his reputation is unspotted in 
financial circles. He has witnessed with pride the 
growth of the city with which he so early identi- 
fied himself, and has manifested true public spirit 
by doing whatsoever he could to advance its wel- 
fare, materially, socially and morally. He is prom- 
inent in social circles as a Mason of forty-seven 



years' standing, and is the oldest member of 
Friendsliip Lodge, No. 7. A man of broad out- 
look, in his religious views he is cheerful and opti- 
mistic, and is a consistent and valued member of 
the Universalist Church. 

' DAM MILLER, who now lives in retire- 
ment in the pleasant village of Steward, 
was for many years actively engaged in 
farming, and is sti^ll identified with the 
agricultural interests of the county as the proprie- 
tor of a farm in Willow Creek Township, whose 
substantial improvements are the works of his own 
hand, as it was a tract of wild prairie when it came 
into his possession. 

The birthplace of our subject is in that part of 
what was once Northampton Count}', now included 
in Pocono Township, Monioe County, Pa., and 
there he was born amidst primeval surroundings 
August 19, 1816. Frederick Miller, his father, 
was a native of the same State, and was a son of 
another Frederick Miller, who was a farmer of 
Hamilton Township, Northampton County, wliere 
he died in the course of time. The father of our 
subject was reared in Pennsylvania to the life of a 
farmer, and also engaged in lumbering. He was a 
pioneer of Pocono Township, settling there in the 
primeval forest, from which he cleared a good 
farm, wliicli he occupied a number of years, but his 
last days were spent in the home of a daughter at 
Chestnut Hill. For some years after his settlement 
on his land, deer, bear and other kinds of wild 
game were plentiful, and there were but few signs 
of approaching civilization. Easton, Allentown 
and Bethlehem were the nearest markets, and as 
there were then no railway's, all transportation be- 
tween those points and Philadelphia, eighty-seven 
miles distant, was by teams. Tlie maiden name of 
the motlier of our subject was Catherine Brown; 
it is thought that she was a Pennsylvanian by 
birth, and she was a daughter of Sebastian Brown. 
She died on the home farm. 

Our subject is the only survivor of a family of 
seven children, and the names of liis brothers and 

sisters are as follows — Elizabeth, Frederick, Peter, 
Barbara, Catherine and Sarah. 

Adam Miller grew to manhood and was edu- 
cated in his native county. He attended the pio- 
neer schools of his day that were taught on the 
subscription plan. As soon as large enough to be 
of ajjy use he was set to work on the farm, and 
also helped his father in the lumber business. He 
remained with his parents until he was eighteen 
years old and then commenced life for himself by 
working on a farm. He was thus employed a few 
years and then engaged in milling. He worked 
for a man in that business one year, and at the end 
of that time rented a mill in Lackawanna Town- 
ship, Luzerne County, which he operated success- 
fully for some years. In March, 1857. he aban- 
doned milling in Pennsylvania, and coming to Lee 
County, turned his energies to tilling the soil. He 
bought eighty acres of wild prairie, of which never 
a sod had been turned, which was located in what 
is now Willow Creek Township. As there were no 
improvements on the place, lie rented for three 
years, and then erected suitable buildings, and re- 
sided on his farm until 1883, when he came to 
Steward, where he has since lived retired, having 
an income ample for all his wants. During his 
residence on his farm he put it into good shape, 
placed the land under excellent tillage and added 
another eighty acres to the original acreage, so that 
he now has one hundred and sixty acres of well- 
improved, arable land. 

For more than half a century Mr. and ]Mrs. Jtlil- 
ler have enjoyed life together, their marriage tak- 
ing place January 20, 1839. They have been 
blessed with the following children — Merritt, a 
resident of Steward, of whom a sketch appears 
elsewhere in this book; William and Seldon, who 
are residents of McPherson County, Kan.; Holden, 
who lives at Forreston, 111.; Charles, who is on the 
home farm; and Leonora, the wife of Edgar E. Mor- 
gan, of Greene County, Ind. 

]\Irs. jNIiller was Mar}' Neyhart prior to her mar- 
riage, and she was born October 10, 1818, in Hamil- 
ton Township, which then formed a part of North- 
ampton County, but is now included in Monroe 
County, Pa. Her father, Peter Neyliart, was also 
a Pennsylvanian by birth and was of German de- 



scent. He followed the trade of a tailor in Hamil- 
ton Township until within a few years of his death, 
and then removed to Pocono Township, where he 
passed the remainder of his life. The maiden 
name of his wife was Marj- Kester. She survived 
her husband some years and died at the home of a 
daughter in Pittston Township, Luzerne County. 
Mr. and Mrs. Miller joined the Methodist Episco- 
pal Church in their younger days and were con- 
nected with that church for many years. They 
are conscientious Christians, kindly and charitable 
in their dispositio