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Full text of "History of Lee County, Illinois"

TO THE READER OF THIS 
VOLUME 

Kindly handle this book with the utmost 
care on account of its fragile condition. 
The binding has been done as well as pos- 
sible under existing conditions and will 
give reasonable wear with proper opening 
and handling. 

Your thought/illness will he appreciated 



5^0 



.L-X 



W 

HISTORY 



OF 



Lee County 



ILLINOIS 



By FRANK E. STEVENS 



ILLUSTRATED 



VOLUAIE 11 



CHICAGO 

THE S. J. CLARKE PUBLISHING COMPANY 

1914 



SAUK VALLEY 03LLEGE 
LR.C. 

103510 




■lAsoN ( . .\^ i;i; 



BIOGRAPHICAL 



: JASON C. AYRES. 

Jason C. Ayres of Dixon was born in St. Lawrence county, 
New Yorlv, August 22, 1835. He is a son of Colonel Sylvanus and 
Anna (Bean) Ayres and on both sides is descended from old fam- 
ilies of New England founded by adventurous colonists from the 
mother country in early colonial days. Both his grandfathers 
were revolutionary soldiers and his father served in the war of 
1812. His father was a native of Massachusetts and his mother 
of Saratoga, New York. They settled first in Herkimer coimty 
and afterwards removed to St. Lawrence county, New York, where 
they resided for several years. In 1836 the family moved to Indi- 
ana and settled on lands owned by them north of Fort Wayne, 
which was then a village, to make a home, in what was then an 
entirely new and undeveloped country. Upon the death of the 
father, some four years later, the widow with her family returned 
to Buffalo, New York, where Jason C. Ayres passed his boyhood 
days and acquired his early education in the schools of that city. 
He moved to Chicago in 1854 and in December of that year he 
visited Dixon for the first time, traveling by rail to Rochelle, Illi- 
nois, which was then the terminus of the Dixon Air Line, now 
the Chicago and Northwestern Railway and from thence by stage 
to Dixon. In March, 1855 he located in Dixon, to which place the 
railroad had then been completed and has since resided here. 
He engaged in the real-estate business as a junior partner in the 
firm of J. Crawford and Company, operating in the northwestern 
states in the location, purchase and sale of government lands. 
The partnership was dissolved in 1863 and Mr. Ayres continued 
the business alone, and in connection therewith he held the office 
of city clerk and treasui-er for some twenty years. In the mean- 
time he took up the study of law and was admitted to the bar in 
1870 but has since continued to give the greater part of his time 
and attention to real-estate and financial operations. He was one 
of the original stockholders and organizers of the Dixon National 

5 



6 HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 

Bank and has been president of the bank for more than thirty 
years. 

He was married in May, 18G1 to Lavina C, daughter of Dr. 
John S. Crawford of Wiliiamsport, Pennsylvania. Mrs. Ayrea 
passed away September 21, 1907, survived by one daughter, 
Mi's. Anna A. Dement, widow of Lewmon D. Dement of 
Dixon, who with her daughters. Carmen L. and Rosanna V. De- 
ment reside with her father in the old home, — her other daughter, 
Esther A. Dement, having been united in marriage with Morgan 
Lloyd Davies of Chicago and residing in that city. 

In politics Mr. Ayres has always been a republican, casting 
his first vote for electors for John C. Fremont, and has taken an 
active interest in political measures and eif orts for party success, 
but has never sought office or any political preferment or reward. 
Fraternally he is a Mason, a member of Friendship Lodge, No. 7, 
one of the oldest lodges in the state, and of Nachusa Chapter, of 
Dixon Conunandery, K. T., and of Freeport Consistory, A. A. S. R. 
thirty-second degree. Mr. Ayres is widely and favorably known 
as an active and efficient business man and a public-spirited and 
influential citizen. 



EDWARD H. BREWSTER. 

The passing years have chronicled the continuous advancement 
of Edward H. Brewster. He was admitted to the bar in 1892 and to 
practice in the supreme court of the United States in 1898. Today 
he is one of the leading representatives of the legal fraternity in 
Dixon. 

Mr. Brewster was born September 20, 1865, in Marion town- 
ship, this county, his parents being Elbridge G. and Edee (Keyes) 
Brewster, both of whom were natives of Maine. Removing west- 
ward to Illinois in 1852, they settled in Livingston county and 
afterward came to Lee county, first establishing their home near 
Amboy but afterward taking up their abode in Marion township in 
1863. There the father followed farming for a time but afterward 
removed to Cordova, Rock Island county. 

Mr. Brewster there attended the public schools in the winter 
months but spent the summer seasons on a fann in Lee county. At 
the age of seventeen years ho located permanently in this county 
and engaged in teaching school for five years. He divided his earn- 



HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 7 

ings with his parents and utilized his half iu meeting the expenses 
of a coui'se in the Northern Illinois Normal School at Dixon. His 
attention was devoted to literary branches and he was graduated 
in 1888. As his health was somewhat impaired at that time he 
started, with his l)rother Charles W., down the Mississippi river in 
a row boat from Cordova, Illinois, to the gulf of Mexico hoping the 
outdoor life and exercise would prove beneficial. This hope was 
realized and in the spring of 1889 he returned to the north. He 
made his home with his parents but accepted a position as principal 
of the schools at Prairieville, Illinois, in 1889-90. At the end of the 
school year he went to Dixon, intent upon studying law. He had 
refused good positions as a teacher and in so doing looked beyond 
the exigencies of the moment to the possibilities and opportunities 
of the future. He arrived at Dixon with a cash capital of sixty- 
five dollars — all that he possessed — and took up bachelor quarters 
with a companion. He read law iu the office of A. C. BardAvell, who 
directed his reading for tAvo years. In the meantime he also pur- 
sued a law course in the Northern Illinois College of Law and was 
graduated with the class of 1892. The same year he opened an 
office in Dixon. In 1896 he was elected state's attorney for Lee 
county and served for foiu' A^ears, refusing to again be a candidate. 
He felt that his practice and otlier business interests demanded 
his entire attention. 

Year by year he has achieved success which has been well 
earned. He is today regarded as one of the able and successful 
members of the I^ee county liar, and may truly be said to be a self- 
made man, owing his education and his progress very largely to his 
own efforts. Aside from his practice he has various other business 
interests. He is a stockholder in the Dixon National Bank and a 
director in the Reynolds Wire Company of Dixon. He is likewise 
coimsel for the Re^molds Wire Company and also for the Sandusky 
Portland Cement Company of Dixon. He takes a lively interest in 
the nomination and election of honest and capable officials. 
Although not a politician in the usually accepted sense of the term, 
he has been active in various republican county and state con- 
ventions and his opinions carry weight in party councils. His 
fraternal relations are indicated by his membership in Friendship 
Lodge, No. 7, A. F. & A. M., and also in Dixon Lodge, No. 779. 
B. P. 0. E. 

Mr. Brewster is also well known as a progressive farmer, 
having given close study to the scientific phases of crop production. 
He operates a farm of four hundred and eighty acres which he and 



8 HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 

his brother own and he also oversees aud attends to more than 
seven hundred acres owned by his wife, the last being devoted 
solely to the production of live stock for the Chicago market. In 
the management and control of the two properties ]Mr. Brewster 
displays thorough knowledge, not only of the ordinary phases of 
the business, but also of the great principles which underlie all 
agriculture. 

On the 5th of February, 1902, Mr. Brewster was united in 
marriage to Miss Adessa Hughes, a daughter of the Hon. Charles 
H. and Hannah (Williams; Hughes. They now have two children, 
Hughes, born June 24, 1906, and Louise, born February 19, 1908. 
He makes his home in Dixon but spends the summers with his 
family at Hazelwood, a beautiful and historic spot near Dixon on 
the Rock river, a sketch of which appears elsew^here in this work. 
Mr. Brewster is a great lover of nature and enjoys outdoor life, so 
that he freely avails himself of the opportunity of spending the 
summer months in their attractive home, Hazelwood. His life 
record is a splendid illustration of the fact, that in this land oppor- 
tunity is open to all, unhampered by caste or class. Laudable 
ambition, energy and fair dealing have been the salient traits which 
have carried him to success in his professional and business career. 



HENRY F. GEHANT. 



Henry F. Gehant, president of the Henry F. Gehant Banking 
Company of West Brooklyn, has won for himself an enviable 
reputation in connection with financial interests not more by 
reason of his enterprise and progi'essive methods than by his 
straightforward, honorable dealing. Since 3866 he has made his 
home in Lee county and has therefore witnessed the growth and 
development of this section of the state for forty-seven years, 
taking an active part in bringing about its present prosperity 
since attaining man's estate. He was born near Mattoon, Illinois, 
May 4, 1863, and is a son of Laurent and Julia (Toullian) Gehant. 
The father came from France in 1854 and settled at Lee Center, 
where he worked in a stone quarry. He afterward purchased a 
fann in Shelby county, whereon he remained for ten years, return- 
ing to Loe county in 1866, at which time he purchased a tract of 
land in l>r(>()klyn township, making his home thereon until his 
death, which occurred in 1897, when he had reached the age of 



HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 9 

seventy-eight years. His wife survived until 1899 and passed 
away at the age of seventy-two years. They were laid to rest in 
the West Brooklyn cemetery. 

Heur}^ P. Gehant acquii-ed his education in the public schools 
of West Brooklyn, which he attended to the age of eighteen years, 
from eight to thirteen weeks in the winter season being devoted to 
the mastery of his studies. Throughout the remainder of the year, 
or from the time of the early spring planting until the crops were 
harvested in the late autunni, he worked upon his father's farm, 
which he continued to develop and improve mitil he reached the 
age of twenty-four years. He purchased his first farm when 
twenty-two years of age and upon leaving the old homestead took 
up his abode upon that place — a tract of one hundred and sixty 
acres, in Viola township. The succeeding six years were devoted to 
its cultivation and improvement, after which he pui-chased a 
general mercantile establishment in West Brooklyn, carrying on 
that business for three years. He then sold out and established 
his present business in 1897. From the beginning the Henry F. 
Gehaut Banking Company has enjoyed continuous prosperity. The 
banking business is carefully organized and conducted along lines 
of enterprise and progress and the reliability and trustworthiness 
of its business methods are known to all. In addition Mr. Gehant 
is president of the Farmers Elevator Company and is also the 
owner of valuable property in the county, including the old home- 
stead and a tract of seventy acres near the village of West 
Brooklyn. 

On the 17th of October, 1888, at Sublette, Illinois, Mr. Gehant 
was married to Miss Eliza Py, a daughter of Sylvan and Mary Py. 
The father was a pioneer farmer who came to this county in 1848, 
settling in East Grove township. Both he and his wife have passed 
away and are laid to rest in the Catholic cemetery at Amboy. Mr. 
and Mrs. Gehant have become the parents of six children. Oliver, 
now cashier in his father's bank, was the first graduate of the West 
Brooklyn high school and is also a graduate of the ISTotre Dame 
University of Indiana, where he received a gold medal for having 
made the highest percentage in his studies among the graduates of 
that year. Julian is the wife of Joseph P. Soudgroth, a farmer of 
Viola township, and is a graduate of the West Brooklyn high 
school. Henry W., also a graduate of that school, is now a rural 
mail carrier and also assistant cashier with the Henry F. Gehant 
Banking Company. Mary and Albert are both high school pupils 
and Ruth is a student in the public schools. 



10 HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY ' 

In his political views Mr. Gehant is a democrat and upon the 
party ticket was elected to the office of township clerk, in which he 
served for two years. He has also been president of the village 
board for eight consecutive terms and has been supervisor of 
Brooklyn township for seven years. He has likewise been a mem- 
ber of the general assembly for two years and in all of these offices 
has been most faithful and loyal. The religious faith of the family 
is that of the CathoHe church and Mr. Gehant belongs to the 
Catholic Order of Foresters. Laudable ambition has actuated him 
in all of his business career and he finds his greatest happiness in 
providing well for his family. What he imdertakes he carries 
forward to successful completion, allowing no obstacles or difficul- 
ties to bar his path if they can be overcome by persistent and 
determined effort. 



SYLVANUS COBB HAUSEN. 

Sylvanus Cobb Hansen, wlio resided on section 3, China town- 
ship, was born in Maine, October 17, 1825, and died on his farm 
a mile west of Franklin Grove, January 17, 1912. He had long 
been a resident of this part of the state and was therefore well 
known, while his many substantial traits of character gained for 
him the respect and good-will of all. His parents were Charles 
and iMary Jane Hansen. His father, a native of Germany, came 
to the United States and took part in the Revolutionary war, act- 
ing as forage master in Washington's army. In the family were 
five sons: William Henry, Harrison, Charles, Sylvanus and Nor- 
man, but Charles is the only one now living. The two eldest 
came to Illinois in 1838, and Sylvanus C. Hansen arrived in the 
fall of 1840 in company with his brother Charles. The father 
had purchased a claim in Lee county which he afterward sold to 
the subject of this review. 

Sylvanus C. Hansen was but fifteen years of age when he came 
to Illinois. Throughout the entire period of his residence in tliis 
state he was connected with agricultural pursuits. He bought 
from his father the claim which the latter secured from the gov- 
ernmerit and upon that place Sylvanus C. Hansen continued to 
engage in general farming until his death. He originally had one 
lumdied and twenty acres in the old homestead, to which he after- 
ward added a tract of forty acres. He broaight his farm to a 





^ 7i^e(y^^-4-&^n. 



HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 13 

high state of cultivation and employed modern, progressive 
methods in its development and improvement. This did not cover 
the extent of his possessions, however, for from time to time he 
added to his holdings until he was the owner of about eight hun- 
dred acres in this county at the time of his demise. About 1908 
he erected a large brick residence containing twelve rooms and he 
added many other substantial improvements to his place, includ- 
ing substantial barns and outbuildings adequate foi' the shelter of 
grain and stock. 

In 1859 Mr. Hansen was united in marriage to Miss Sabrina 
Jane Fellows, who was born in Baldwinsville, New l^'ork, Septem- 
ber 30, 1839, a daughter of David and Harriet (Lobdell) Fellows, 
who were natives of Westford, New Y^ork. They removed from 
New York to Beh^idere, Illinois, in the A'ear 1855 and afterward 
went to Michigan, where their last days were passed. Mrs. Hansen 
was a young lady of sixteen years when she came to this state and 
remained in Belvidere until her marriage. To Mr. and Mrs. 
Hansen were born five children: Ida C, who is the widow of 
Frank Moulton and resides in Nachusa township ; Charles Fred- 
erick, living in the same township ; Lillian, the wife of I^oren J. 
Townsend, of Charles City, Iowa; Grace, the wife of Simon D. 
Remley, of Franklin Grove; and May E., the wife of George W. 
Brown, who is li^'ing on the old homestead. 

Mr. Hausen was named for a Universalist preacher, and it 
was the faith of that church that he followed throughout his life. 
In politics he was a democrat. He did not seek to figure promi- 
nently in any pubKc connection being content to faithfully per- 
form his daily duties and enjoy the rewards which his labors 
brought to him. His life was a busy and useful one, and his was 
the first death which occurred upon the old homestead that his 
father had entered from the government many years before. 



MAJOR OBADIAH J. DOWNING. 

Few men living today are more familiar with the history of the 
state than Major Obadiah J. Downing, of Dixon, now a venerable 
man of seventy-eight years. Although he has advanced far on 
life's journey and the snows of many winters have whitened his 
hair, the springtime of youth is in his heart. In spirit and in his 
interests he has never seemed to grow old and, keeping in touch 



14 HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 

tliToiigli wide reading with the world's progress, he converses most 
interestingly upon subjects of vital moment to city, state and 
nation. Y^et Major Downing w^as one of the supporters of Fremont 
in 1856 and was one of the earliest merchants of northex'n Illiuois. 
His birth occurred at North Hempstead, Queens county, New York, 
in 1835 and he is descended from good old Revolutionary stock, his 
ancestors having been among the earliest settlers of the Empire 
state. The old colonial farmhouse which was the family homestead 
was the birthplace of his great-grandfather and of succeeding 
generations down to the present tune. George Downing, the great- 
grandfather, spent his entire life in New Hampshire and was a 
soldier in the Continental army, serving under General Woodhull 
in the struggle for American independence. 

After spending the first fifteen years of his life in Queens 
county, Long Island, New York, Major Downing made his way 
westward to Chicago to accept the position of clerk in the store of 
his uncle, Obadiah Jackson. That year the railroad was extended 
westward and Mr. Jackson, who was the proprietor of one of the 
leading wholesale houses of Chicago of that day, plaimed to extend 
his business by establishing branch stores. He carried a complete 
line of general merchandise and people came from a distance of one 
hundred and fifty miles to trade with him. In 1853 wdth the build- 
ing of the railroad he opened the first store in Kankakee, Illinois, 
and placed his ne])hew, Major Downing, in charge. The latter suc- 
cessfully managed the business until 1855, when with the building 
of the railroad to Warren, Jo Daviess county, Illinois, Mr. Jackson 
sent him there to open another store. A year later ill health com- 
pelled Major Downing to resign his position and he returned to 
New York, where he engaged in farming and took up the study of 
law. 

At the beginning of the Civil war, however, he put aside all 
business and personal considerations and joined the first cavalry 
regiment organized for service in the IFnion army. On account of 
delay in effecting the full organization, however, it was organized 
as the Second New Y^ork Regiment of Cavalrv and was attached 
to the army of the Potomac, in all of the battles of which Major 
Downing took an active part with the exception of the first battle 
of Bull Run. On the 2d of May, 1864, at Richmond, Virginia, he 
was captured and was not exchanged until the 22d of February, 
1865, ill the meantime suffering all of the hardships of southern 
prison life. When released he rejoined his regiment and as a 
member of the staff of General Custer served xmtil the clo«« of the 



HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 15 

war. About the 10th of April, 1865, he was detailed to Washington 
to deposit some flags aud was in Ford's Theatre on the night of 
April 14th, when President Lincoln was shot, and went with the 
party that conveyed the president to his house across the street. 
Continuing in the capital until the close of hostilities, he there 
participated in the Grand EeAdew, when thousands of victorious 
Union soldiers marched through the city, passing along the broad 
Pennsylvania avenue, over which hung a banner inscribed "The 
only debt which this countr_v owes that she cannot pay is the debt 
which she owes her soldiers." 

Our subject was connnissioned lieutenant on his entrance into 
the army and was promoted to the ranks of captam and major. He 
was conunissioned colonel by ])revet toward the close of the war. 

On the 5th of Jmie, 1865, Major Downing was honorably dis- 
charged and after his return to the Udrtli was elected a member of 
the New York legislature for the .years 1866 and 1867. He served 
for two terms and in the latter year again came to Illinois, locating 
at Dixon, where he began the manufacture of flax bagging at 
Dixon, this being the first flax tow bagging made in the United 
States. The factory which he occupied is still standing on the 
bank of Rock river. He conducted the business for two years and 
then sold out, turning his attention to agricultural pursuits, which 
he followed in both Lee and Kane comities, purchasing three 
hundred acres of land in Lee county and six hundred acres in Kane 
county. He resided in Kane county until 1876, when he returned 
to Dixon and here engaged in the agricultural implement business 
mitil 1877. He retired permanently from business cares in 1892 
and has since lived in the enjo^Tuent of a rest which he has truly 
earned and richly merits. He has made judicious investment of his 
capital, so that he derives a very gratifying annual income. He is 
one of the directors of the City Natif»nal Bank and was also a 
director of the old Lee County Bank, having been elected in 1883. 

In early manhood Major Downing was married to Miss Mary 
Yates, a daughter of Bartholomew and Nancy Yates, of Attica, 
New York. They became the parents of four cliildren: Mary 0., 
now the wdfe of Dr. Z. W. Moss, of Dixon; George J., a merchant of 
this city; Benjamin F., who is engaged in the real-estate and 
insurance business at Dixon; and Eudora, now the wife of John M. 
Stager, of Sterling, Hlinois. 

Major Downing was reared in the Quaker faith. His life has 
been largely patterned after the golden ride and his many sterling 
traits of character have commended him to the confidence, good- 



16 HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 

will and respect of all who know him. He is a charter member of 
Dixon Post, No. 299, G. A. E., and thus maintains pleasant relations 
with his old anny comrades. Since 1856 he has been a member of 
the Masonic fraternity and in his life exemplifies its beneficent 
spirit. He cast his first presidential vote for Fremont in 1856 and 
has continuously supported the republican party since that time. 
His early connection with mercantile interests and his later iden- 
tification with the conunercial and agricultural life of Illinois have 
made him well known as a citizen here. More than six decades 
have passed since he first arrived in this state and his memory 
today forms a connecting- link between the primitive past and the 
progressive present. Throughout his entire life he has been 
actuated by a spirit of loyalty that has ever been as pronoimced in 
days of peace as when he followed the old flag on the battlefields 
of the south. 



HON. BENJAMIN FRANKLIN DOWNING. 

Hon. Benjamin Franklin Downing, conducting a real-estate, 
loan and insurance business at Dixon, with a clientage that makes 
his interests extensive and important, has in the midst of his 
business affairs also found time for ]uiblie office, in which connec- 
tion he has made an equally creditable record. Dixon claims him 
as a n;*tive sou, his birth here occurring in 1880. His father, 
Colonel O. J. Downing, is a well known citizen and, ambitious for 
his son, provided him with liberal educational opportunities, his 
high-school course being supplemented by study in the University 
of Wisconsin. In 1899 he entered business circles of Dixon in con- 
nection with mercantile interests and for eleven years was active 
as a representative of commercial affairs here, conducting one of 
the leading stores of the city. In 1910, however, he sold out. In 
1912 he established a real-estate, loan and insurance business, 
since which time he has largely handled western lands, making 
extensive sales. He has thoroughly informed himself concerning 
property values in the sections of the country in which he operates 
and he is equally well known as a representative of some of the 
strongest insurance companies of the country. He likewise places 
loans and his clientage in each department of his business is large 
and gratifying. 



HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 17 

In 1903 Mr. Downiug was married to Miss Mary L. Graves, of 
Dixon, and they have one child, Mary Louise. Theii's is an attract- 
ive and hospitable home and its good cheer is greatly enjoyed by a 
cii'cle of friends that includes the leading residents of the city. 
Mr. and Mrs. Downmg hold membership in the Episcopal church 
and are actively interested in its work, Mr. Downing serving as one 
of its vestrymen. He has attained high rank in Masonry, becom- 
ing a Knight Templar in the Dixon conunandery while also 
crossing the sands of the desert with the ISTobles of the Mystic 
Shrine. His name is likewise on the membership roll of the Benev- 
olent Protective Order of Elks. He has always taken a great 
interest in commmiity and state welfare and progress, and appre- 
ciation of his loyalty and public-spirited citizenship has come to 
him in election to several offices. In 1906 he was chosen alderman 
from has ward and in 1908 was elected to represent his district in 
the state senate. While a member of the upper house he gave care- 
ful consideration to all questions which came up for settlement and 
left the unpress of his individuality upon a number of measm'es 
which now find a place on the statutes of the state. Mr. Downing 
is widely recognized as a high type of our American manhood and 
chivalry and it is a known fact that no plan or movement for the 
benefit of the city along lines of advancement and improvement 
seeks his aid in vain. 



JOHN MEISTER. 



John Meister, deceased, was for many years closely and influen- 
tially identified with agricultural interests of Lee county and his 
energy and enterprise gained for him a high place among represen- 
tative farmers of this locality. He Avas born in Bradford township, 
this county, March 14, 1864, and is a son of Conrad and Rosa 
Meister, natives of Germany. The parents came to America about 
1854 and located in Bradford township, where the father still 
resides. 

John Meister was reared upon the homestead and remained 
with his parents until his marriage in 1897. Following this he 
began farming independently and his efforts were rewarded by 
constantly increasing success. He owned one hundred acres of 
land on section 9, Bradford township, and developed this along the 
most practical and progressive lines. He made it a productive and 



18 HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 

valuable property and remained active in its operation iintil Ms 
death. He passed away August 11, 1912, and was laid to rest in 
Ashton cemetery. His death was widely and sincerely regretted, 
for his honorable and upright life had gained him many friends in 
his native township. 

In 1897 Mr. Meister was united in marriage to Miss Elizabeth 
Walter, who was born in Germany, May 1, 1866, a daughter of John 
and Anna E. (Shady) Walter, also natives of Germany. The 
parents came to America in 1868 and located in Bradford tovm- 
ship, where both passed away. In theii' family were seven chil- 
dren, of whom six are yet living. To Mr. and Mrs. Meister five 
children Avere born, Clara M., George C, Mary L., Wilbert W., and 
a child who died in infancy. Mrs. Meister owns the homestead and 
makes her home upon it. She is well known in Bradford township 
and her many excellent qualities of mind and character have 
gained her a wide circle of friends. 



HENRY W. REITZ. 



Henry W. Reitz, who was born June 20, 1860, a son of Adam and 
Barbara Reitz, now lives retired on his excellent farm located on 
section 34, Ashton township, Lee count}', the operation of which he 
leaves to his oldest son, John A., whose career is recorded under a 
separate caption. Mr. Reitz of this review remained under the 
parental roof until twenty-four years of age, when he married 
Miss Mollie Ventler. He enjoyed a common-school education and 
when young became well acquainted with such agricultural 
methods as lead to success. He made good use of his knowledge 
and l»rought his fann holdings to a high state of cultivation before 
he turned over the actual management of his land to his son, 
although he still resides upon his farm, having, however, largely 
withdrawn from the active work connected therewith. After his 
mari'iage he engaged in farming, buying the property upon which 
he yet lives and Avhich comprises one hundred and sixty acres. He 
gave liis sole attention to improving this land and placing there- 
upon niddern equipment, and as ])rofits resulted he acquired more 
pro])erty, now owning three hmidred and ciglity acres. Two sets 
of buildings can be found upon his land and all of these are in the 
best state of repair. 



HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 19 

To Mr. aud Mrs. Heni-y W. Reitz were born foui' children: John 
A., Emiua B., Lilly M. aud Harvey A. Mr. aud Mrs. Keitz are 
members of the Lutheran church and politically the former is a 
republican. He has ahvays interested himself in the progress aud 
advancement of the township and county aud has served for some 
time as a road conuuissiouer, Mr. aud Mrs. Reitz are highly 
esteemed by all who know them and enjoy the conhdeuce and good- 
will of theii' friends and neighbors. 



A. P. MOOKE, M. D. 



Dr. A. F. Moore, president of the Lee Comity Medical Society 
and a practitioner in Dixon since 1895, was born in Polo, Illinois, 
in 18G7, a son of A. F. and Maria (Cutts) Moore, the father a native 
of New Hampshire, the mother of Maine. Coming to Illinois in 
1848, they settled at Buffalo Grove and subsequently removed to 
Polo. The father was a farmer })y occupation, devoting his entire 
life to the work of tilling the soil. 

At the usual age Dr. JMoore entered the public schools of his 
native town and then, in preparation for the practice of medicine, 
entered the Marion-Suns IMedical College at St. Louis, in which 
he completed the full course, being graduated with the class of 1895. 
Inmiediately afterward he came to Dixon, opened an office in this 
city and has since been engaged in general practice here. He mani- 
fests the utmost care in the preparation of his cases, his diagnosis 
is accurate and his sagacity keen. He is continually promoting his 
knowledge through reading aud study and no professional subject 
can be broached upon which he cannot express an intelligent 
opinion. 

On the 21st of January, 1902, was celebrated the marriage of 
Dr. Moore and Miss Frances Craig Smith, of Cheboygan, Michi- 
gan, who died on the 19th of September, 1909. The Doctor's 
fraternal relations are with the Modern Woodmen of America, the 
Masonic fraternity and the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks. 
He is well known in the military circles of the state as surgeon of 
the Third Brigade of the Hliuois National Guard and as a member 
of the staff of Brigadier General Edward Kittleson of Moline. 
Politically Dr. Moore is a republican, but his professional diities 
leave him no time for activity along that line. His standing among 
his professional brethren is high, as is indicated in the fact that he 



20 HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 

is now president of the Lee County Medical Society. He is a 
member of the Illinois State Medical Society, the North Central 
Medical Society, the American Medical Association and Associa- 
tion of Military Surgeons of the United States. In addition to his 
private practice he is acting as surgeon for the Northwestern 
Railway and his ability iu both medical and surgical practice has 
carried him far beyond the point of mediocrity, gaining him a place 
in the front rank among Lee coimty 's physicians. 



HON. CHARLES H. HUGHES. 

No citizen of Lee county has been more faultless in honor, fear- 
less in conduct and stainless in reputation than Hon. Charles H. 
Hughes, who at the time of his death on the 12th of May, 1907, 
was serving as state senator from his district. He won distinction 
in every relation of his life. He was a successful and progressive 
farmer, an enterprising and sagacious banker, an astute, clear- 
headed and public-spirited citizen and political leader, a loyal 
friend and devoted husband and father. He had a wide acquaint- 
ance among the most prominent residents of Illinois and their ex- 
pressions of regret at his passing showed how deeply he was 
honoi'ed by them and how greatly his worth was appreciated. 

His life record had its beginning in Columbia county, Pennsyl- 
vania, his birth occurring near Berwick on the 13th of April, 1846. 
He was descended from Welsh and German ancestry, his fore- 
fathers having crossed the Atlantic to America at an early period 
in the development of this country. The family history contains 
the names of many who contribiited to the successes of the Revolu- 
tionary war and molded the later history of the republic. His 
parents were Elwood and Elizabeth (Hill) Hughes, in whose fam- 
ily he was the fourth child. His father was born in Columbia 
county, Peimsylvania, and made farming his life work. The 
motlier was a native of Lycoming comity, Pennsylvania. For 
many years they resided in the Keystone state but in 1870 came to 
Illinois, where the father made his home until his death which 
occurred in 1894. Following her husband's death the mother 
made her home vnth her son, Charles H., until his death. She 
died in the city of Dixon in August, 1909, at the ripe age of ninety- 
one years. Her living children are E. C. Hughes, now a promi- 
nent attorney of Seattle, Washington, and Mrs. James Hill of Los 




HOX. CHARLE;-; if. HL(.11KS 



HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 23 

Angeles, California. Her oldest son, John N. Hughes, Captain 
of Company B, 210th Pennsylvania Volunteers was wounded in 
the battle of the Wilderness and died a few weeks later. Her 
fourth son, William E. Hughes, died at the age of four years in 
1855. Her second son, B. F. Hughes, a lawyer by profession and 
at one time a member of the state senate of Pennsylvania and also 
assistant postmaster of Philadelphia, died at his home in Phila- 
delphia, in October, 1913. Her youngest son, Edward A. Hughes, 
died in Clinton, Iowa, in 1902 while serving his third term as 
mayor of that city. 

Charles H. Hughes acquired his early education in the public 
schools of Berwick, Pennsylvania, and afterward had the oppor- 
tunity of attending the Susquehanna University. He was a young 
man of twenty-two years when in 1868 he came to Illinois, where 
he took up the occupation of farming being actively connected 
with agricultural pursuits in Lee county for twenty-two years. In 
the management of his fields he displayed keen discernment, thor- 
ough understanding of the best methods of tilling the soil and in- 
defatigable industry. Those qualities won him siiceess as the 
years passed on and made him in time the possessor of a handsome 
competence. At the time of his demise he was still the owner of 
his farm lands and personally directed their opei'atimi. In nddi- 
tion he had business interests in Dixon in which city he took up 
his residence in 1892. The following year he became connected 
with the Dixon National Bank as one of its stockholders and at 
the time of his demise was its cashier. During tlie later years of 
his life he devoted his attention lai'gely to the management of 
the bank, the success and upbuilding of which are largely at- 
tributable to his efforts. He was always strictly honorable and 
straightforward in his dealings and was ever willing to assist the 
patrons of the bank to any degree that would not im]ieril the 
safety of other depositors. He was an excellent judge of himian 
nature and was therefore seldom, if ever, at fault in giving sub- 
stantial evidence of his confidence in an individual. His entire 
business career was characterized by progress. He always fol- 
lowed constructive methods so that his path was never strewn 
with the wreck of other men's failures. He readily recognized 
and grasped opportunities and the wise use which he made of his 
time and talents brought him substantial return. 

It was not long after he came to Lee county that Mr. Hughes 
was united in marriage to Miss Hannah E. Williams, a daughter 
of the late Mark Williams of Palmyra, this county. Theirs was 



24 HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 

an ideal married life, most close compauionsliip existing between 
them because of tbeir mutual interests and the similarity of their 
tastes. To their friends they delighted to extend the hospitality of 
their home which was bereft of the wife in 1903. There is an 
only living child, Adessa, the wife of E. H. Brewster, a lawyer in 
Dixon, of whom mention is made elsewhere in this vohune. Two 
other children of the marriage, Mark W. and Vera L., have long 
since passed away. 

Mr. Hughes was recognized as one of the political leaders of 
Lee county and in all of his political activity was actuated by an 
unfaltering devotion to the public welfare. He was first elected 
to office in Palmyra township, being chosen township assessor in 
1876. He was reelected for three terms and in 1879 was elected 
supervisor from his township, which position he filled for one 
year. In 1886 he was elected treasurer of Lee coimty for a term 
of four years and added fni'thei' laurels to his good name as a piib- 
lic official. In Mai'ch, 1895, he was chosen mayor of Dixon ; was re- 
elected in 1896 and again in 1900. It is said that he was the best 
mayor the city ever had. He worked toward high ideals but at the 
same time used practical methods. He was active in the develop- 
ment of the city, in the paving of the streets and in the establish- 
ment of other public improvements. He became an active factor 
in state politics in 1900, when he was elected to the lower house 
of the Illinois legislatui-e. At the close of his two years' term he 
was nominated and elected state senator in the thirty-fifth district 
and his course during the succeeding four years was indorsed by 
a reelection. At the time of his death he was in the first year of 
his second term. He was a recognized power in the senate, one 
who wielded a wide influence because of his businesslike methods, 
his capability and his recognized devotion to the general good. 
He won and retained the respect and confidence of the leading 
legislators and statesmen of Illinois. 

Mr. Hughes was also prominent in fraternal circles. In No- 
vember, 1884, he was initiated into Friendship Lodge, No. 7, A. 
F. & A. M., of Dixon and was raised to the sublime degree of 
Master Mason on the 5th of March, 1885. He served as worship- 
ful master of his lodge and he was a member of Nachusa Chapter. 
No. 56, R. A. M. aud filled nearly all of the offices in the chapter, 
including that of high pi'iest. He was created an Knight Templar 
in Dixon Commandry and at all times he was loyal to the teach- 
ings and to the beneficent spirit of the craft. He was likewise 
a member of Dixon Lodge, No. 779, B. P. O. E. 



HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 25 

Mr. Huglies had been iu poor health for some time but the 
immediate cause of his death was an injury received when his sad- 
dle horse fell. He went to Excelsior Springs, Missouri, for treat- 
ment and there passed away on May 12, 1907. The remains were 
brought back to Lee county and interred in the Palmyra ceme- 
tery on which occasion many of his colleagues in the state senate, 
and other prominent men throughout the state, as well as his 
relatives and old-time friends were in attendance. Perhaps no 
better summary of the life and of the character of Hon. Charles 
H. Hughes can be given than by quoting from the Dixon Daily 
Sun of May 18, 1907. Among other things that paper said : 

"Charles H. Hughes was one of the leaders of the public life 
of this community. Though he has silently gone from the ranks 
and the gap may appear to fill with unseemly haste the good that 
he did will surAdve him and will even perhaps survive the memory 
of his name with the busy majority of the community where he 
lived and loved and labored. His influence will pass into the 
minds and hearts of his fellows and there will live and uncon- 
sciously manifest itself in the actions of their days yet to come. 

"About ten years ago Charles H. Hughes was elected mayor of 
Dixon. At that time there were few of the modern and perma- 
nent improvements within the limits of the city. The civic pride 
of the city had not kept pace with its commercial spirit. 

"As mayor of Dixon, Mr. Hughes decided to pave the streets, 
at least in the business center, and replace the plank sidewalks 
with safe and durable walks of cement. Knowing that this would 
be seriously opposed, he quietly laid his plans, but he laid them 
well and with aji indomitable will he carried them into speedy 
realization. The feeling of many of the business men of Dixon 
ran high against this improvement and the action of the mayor 
was condemned in the harshest terms. But he pursued his course 
with words of reason for a time and then in silence. Over the op- 
position he triumphed. To do this it took great will and sterling 
courage. It is much harder to contend for what you believe to 
be right in a small community where the long association of the 
people has ripened into friendship than it is upon the broader 
field of the world's acti^dties. Time proved that the mayor was 
right in his contention and the improvements once started were 
continued until now Dixon is one of the most finely improved 
cities in the state. Besides the convenience of these improvements 
there is one value that is not generally considered. This is the 
fact that gracious and well kept streets and sightly public im-' 

SAUK VALLEY COLLEGE 
LR.C. 

103510 



26 HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 

provements have an effect in developing the higher and more ar- 
tistic taste of any conimnnity. This is one of the features of 
Uixon which Mr. Hughes initiated and helped develop and in the 
years to come, if it is not now, this will be remembered as one of 
the most beneficent achievements of his busy life. Mr. Hughes 
held other offices which are supposed to carry higher honor with 
them, but in none of them did he accomplish a greater work. In 
municipal government it must be remembered that 'It is the lack 
of civic consciousness, of a sense of responsibility for the whole 
municipality at least that makes private comfort more command- 
ing than public duty ; makes a man more solicitous for the condi- 
tion of the lawn which is his own luxury than for the street and 
alley which is everybody's necessity.' In at least partially arous- 
ing this consciousness in Dixon Mr. Hughes did a work which 
will be more warmly be commended with the passing of the years. 

"In politics Mr. Hughes was an ardent rei^ublican. He ac- 
cepted all the teachings of the party and venerated its customs. He 
was content to be a worker in the I'auks; a plain, persevering 
laborer with great confidence in his own effoi'ts and ever seeking 
results rather than reward. He served two terms in the legisla- 
ture and as a member of that body he framed and secured the 
passage of the law which made it possible for Lee and Ogle coun- 
ties to build the Gi'and Detour bridge. At his death he was serv- 
ing his second term as state senator. As senator he assisted in 
the passage of many impoi'tant measures, one of the latest and 
of most importance to the citizens of Dixon is the measure which 
made it possible for Dixon to accept Lowell park as a gift for 
the use and pleasure of the people. His executive ability and 
steadfastness of purpose made him a power politically. It was 
these qualities which made him one of the leadoi's of the Cullom 
forces in the latter 's contest for his seat in the United States sen- 
ate eight years ago. It was also these qualities that made him 
manager of Congressman Frank O. Lowden's candidacy for the 
republican nomination for governoi' of Illinois. In these con- 
tests no policies of grave impoi'tance were involved but the ques- 
tions were those of personal pi'efereuce among the members of 
the republican party. They were purely questions of leadership 
in tlint ])arty. 

"A man who possessed the determination and sturdy will of 
Mr. Hughes often aroused spirited opposition among his co- 
workers and this he often did among his political associates. But 
through these same qualities he overcame opposition. His politi- 



HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 27 

cal honors were seldom thrust upon hini but were nearly always 
the result of victorious contests. The last contest against him for 
his seat in the state senate did not even reach the floor of the con- 
vention hall where the republican candidates were nominated. 
This was not because the opposition to him was not determined 
in certain quarters but simply because those who opposed him 
grew fearful of defeat and abandoned the fight rather than suf- 
fer the consequences. 

"In properly studying the life work of any man the condi- 
tions of the time which form the background for the picture must 
also be considered. The political life of Charles H. Hughes ran 
thiough a time of the ugly wounds of the Civil war and into a 
time of wondrous iDrosjierity in his own country. Commercialism 
was all pervasive. It permeated all the varying lines of man's 
activity. The politicians of all parties were enamored of expedi- 
ency. They contended for temporary victory and personal ad- 
vancement rather than for the principles that shall make the world 
better and the people happier in all the years yet to come. Silent- 
ly and ominously rearing its massive walls at the side of the 
highway of public acti^dty was a neglected temple. Here un- 
noted and in most cases unhonored gathered the prophets of a bet- 
ter time. They weighed all questions as world-problems which 
must finally be settled at world tribunals and 'according to ever- 
lasting principles that obtain in all nations, underlie all ages and 
overreach all righteous courts.' Their theories were considered 
impractical, yet about that temple was the purer atmosphere that 
inspires the souls of men. Those who reached it must 'struggle 
up the steps, they must travel a road that is a lonesome road — a 
road that is rocky and dusty and that has neither springs nor 
shade trees beside it. But the road along which are found the 
footprints of genius and the finger-boards that point to immortal- 
ity.' Out of this temple are marching the delegates to the inter- 
national peace conference and a year ago they established an 
intei'national institute of agriculture having its seat at Rome. Out 
of this temple will come the forces to purify politics and make 
the world's work one of universal brotherhood. 

"Charles H. Hughes saw all of this and the passing and ephem- 
eral work in the field of politics tinged his later and riper years 
with something of pathos. But what he missed in human nature 
he foimd in nature. 

"When man disappoints the moon holds. He ever devoted 
much of his time to his farming interests and in the Blue Book 



28 HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 

of lUiuois ofdcials his occuiJatioii is given as that of a farmer. 
When not at the Dixon National Bank, where for years he held 
the position of cashier, he gave himself over to the charm of the 
country. He knew the gospel of the star and the daisy and the 
peace which seems to brood over field and forest. He found solace 
in the stability of elm and oak and a lesson in the patience of the 
pine. The beauty of the wild flower and the clinging vine ap- 
pealed to him. He watched his growing crops with care and in- 
terest and his live stock was his especial pride. The Christ is 
ever manger-born and the religion of the country gave the deep- 
est solace to his years. He purchased Hazelwood, one of the most 
historic and beautiful of the wooded bluffs along Rock River. 
He preserved and refitted the log cabin there and the stretches 
of grass and trees which surrounded it were given his special 
attention. There, in that quiet sjjot, so lavishly garnished by the 
hand of nature, he found his greatest pleasure in entertaining 
friends. 

"In the quaint and beautiful Palmyra cemetery the friends 
of Charles H. Hughes will gather on Sunday afternoon with 
flowers and tears to pay the last sad tribute of love and respect to 
a busy life. The nooks and hills of all this vicinity which he so 
loved are garlanded by nature in their most peaceful and hope- 
ful moods. The beautiful waters of Rock River which inspired 
so many hours of his life with lasting pleasure seem to profoundly 
whisper 'all is well.' The bird caroling from the wayside tree 
seems sweetly but reverently to swell the universal anthem to the 
unseen Power which fixed the paths of the planets and 'surveyed 
the streets of the ant-village.' It is this Power which bids us look 
about us at the work Charles H. Hughes accomplished and from it 
gain an inspiration for the tasks of our hands yet to do." 



REINHART ASCHENBRENNER. 

Bradford township numbers among its valued and representa- 
tive residents and among its successful and enterprising native 
sons Reinhart Aschenbrenner, who is not only one of the most 
extensive landowners here and the holder of large landed interests 
in the west but who has also been for many years one of the great 
individual forces in tlie agricultm-nl development and growth of 
Lee county. A spirit of enterprise and progress has actuated Mm 




REIXHAKT ASCHKXBHKXM:!! 



HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 31 

throughout his life and this, guided and eonti'olled by sound and 
practical judgment, has brought him to a high place among men 
of marked ability and substantial worth in this community. ]Mr. 
Aschenbrenner was born in Bradford township, this county, Octo- 
ber 31, 1860, and is a son of Rev. John and Catherine (Reinhart) 
Aschenbrenner, natives of German^y. The mother came to America 
with her parents in 1845 and the father some years later. Their 
marriage occurred in Lee county and here the mother died July 
20, 1900. The father makes his home on an orange farm near Los 
Angeles, California. He has reached the age of eighty-three years 
and only recently gave up the ministry, with which he had been 
connected during his active life. In this family were three chLl- 
di*en: Christian, who died July 28, 1913; Reinhart, of this review; 
and Andrew, a farmer of Bradford township. 

Reinhart Aschenbremier was reared at home and remained 
with his mother mitil he was thirty-two years of age, although 
at twenty-three he had purchased the farm which he now occupies. 
He moved upon this property in 1893 and he has since made his 
home there, carrying forAvard the work of improvement and devel- 
opment in a progressive and able way. His fields are in a high 
state of cultivation, his buildings are substantial and in good 
repair and everything about the place is in excellent condition. 
Mr. Aschenbrenner has from time to time bought more land and he 
is today one of the large holders of farming property in this part 
of Illinois. In partnership with his brother Andrew he owns six- 
teen hundred acres in Lee county, all but two hundred acres lying 
in Bradford township. They also have extensive land holdings in 
the west. Mr. Aschenbrenner has always made a specialty of rais- 
mg horses, cattle and hogs and he still supervises his extensive 
stock-raising interests although he is living practically retired. 

In 1892 Mr. Aschenbrenner was united in marriage to Miss 
Helen IMuerner, a native of DuPage county, Hlinois, and a daugh- 
ter of Peter and Louisa (Knopf) Muerner, the former a native of 
Switzerland and the latter of Germany. The parents came to 
America in their early years and both died in this country. Mr. 
and Mrs. Aschenbrenner have become the parents of a daugliter, 
Catherine E., who was born June 6, 1893. She has received a 
college education and is also a graduate in music. They have an 
adopted son, Lester Cecil. 

Mr. Aschenbrenner is a member of Lee Center Lodge, No. 146, 
F. & A. M., and Amboy Chapter, No. 194, R. A. M. He belongs 
also to the Independent Order of Odd Fellows at Lee Center and 



32 HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 

the Modern Woodmen of America. He gives his political allegiance 
to the republican party and for eleven years served in a capable 
and efficient manner as commissioner. He has spent his eutii-e 
life in Bradford township and for the past twenty years has made 
his home upon the farm which is yet his place of residence. He 
has won success and prominence and because he has always fol- 
lowed the highest and most honorable standards has commanded 
and held the confidence and regard of all who are associated with 
him. 



BENJAMIN ROBERTS. 



Benjamin Roberts has been a resident of Lee county since 1868 
and for the greater part of the time since the beginning of his 
active career he has been connected with agricultural interests 
here, owning and operating one hundred and thirty-seven and one- 
half acres of excellent land on sections 11 and 2, Wyoming town- 
ship. He was born in Pavilion, Kendall county, Illinois, October 8, 
1860, and is a son of H. H. and Elizal)eth (Scott) Roberts. The 
father was a carpenter by trade, following this occupation in Penn- 
sylvania for a number of years. In 1848 he came west to Illinois 
and settled in Kendall county, where he engaged in farming. In 
1868 he moved to Lee county and bought the farm now owned by 
the subject of this review, payiug fort,y dollars an acre for land 
now worth three hundred dollars per acre. He passed away in 
1868 and was survived by his wife until 1905. Both are buried in 
the East Paw Paw cemetery. They M^ere the joarents of eleven 
children: Crawford, who died in the Union army during the Civil 
war; Annie, the wife of R. M. Morgan, a farmer in Oklahoma; 
Jennie, who married John Wolcott, a farmer in Kendall comit_y, 
Illinois; Henry, ^\•ho died in 3910 and is buried in the Wyoming 
cemetery; Emma, the wife of Joe Agler, who is engaged in farming 
near Wakefield, Neliraska; Etta, who became the wife of Henry 
Litz and died in Abilene, Kansas, in 1888; Lizzie, who married 
Matliew Goodyear, a farmer at Philip, South Dakota; Benjamin, 
of this review; George, a farmer in Wayne, Nebraska; Mary, the 
wife of James Britton. ccmnty judge of Wayne county. Nebraska: 
and Delia, the w'ife of George Hicks, a clothier in Paw Paw, Illi- 
nois. 

Benjamin Roberts acquired his education in the public schools 
of Paw Paw, laying aside his books at the age of seventeen. He 



HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 33 

afterward assisted with the work of the farm until he was twenty- 
two and then became a clerk in a drug store. He was later for 
eight years connected with the clothing business in Paw Paw, He 
purchased the homestead at auction and has since carried forward 
the work of its improvement and development. He engages in 
mixed fanning and under his able management his property has 
greatly increased in value, being now one of the finest farms in the 
township. 

In Paw Paw, on the 16th of June, 1891, Mr. Roberts married 
Miss Pearl Carnahan, a daughter of John and Malvina (Cole) 
Carnahan, the former an engineer and farmer and one of the pio- 
neers in Lee county. He now makes his home in low^a, having 
survived his wife since 1907. She passed away when she was sixty 
years of age and is buried in Saybrook, Illinois. Mr. and Mrs. 
Roberts have two children : H. Louise, a graduate of the Paw Paw 
high school and now a student in Lake Forest College; and Benja- 
min Fj., attending high school. 

Mr. Roberts is a member of the Baptist church, in which he has 
been deacon and Sunday School superintendent for fifteen yeai's. 
He is connected fraternally with the Independent Order of Odd 
Fellows and the Modern Woodmen of America and gives his politi- 
cal allegiance to the repul^lican party. He has served with credit 
and ability in various positions of trust and responsibility, having 
been alderman of Paw Paw for three terms, street commissioner 
for two terms and also school director. He is a man of many 
excellent traits of character which he evidences in all the relations 
of life, holding the esteem and respect of his neighbors as a pro- 
gressive business man and upright citizen. 



JOHN BUEL CRABTREE. 

The business interests of Dixon find a worthy representative in 
John Buel Crabtree, secretary and treasurer of the Dixon Water 
Company since 1902. This is, however, but one phase of his activ- 
ity, for he is a well known and representative member of the bar, 
his ability being contiiiually manifest in his successful conduct of 
important and involved cases. Born in Dixon, he attended the 
public schools until graduated from the high school and then pre- 
pared for his chosen profession as a student in the law department 
of the University of Wisconsin, from which he was graduated in 



34 HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 

1902. He has since engaged in general law practice and has served 
as justice of the peace since 19U9. He has never neglected to give 
thorough j)reparation before entering the courtroom, while an 
excellent presence, an earnest manner, marked strength of char- 
acter, a thorough grasp of the law and the ability to accurately 
apply its principles make him an attractive and successful advo- 
cate. In the year in which he oi^eued his law office he also entered 
into active connection with conunercial interests as secretary and 
treasurer of the Dixon Water Company. 

Mr. Crabtree is equally well known in other connections, being 
popular in fraternal circles and active in church work. He belongs 
to the Baptist church, of which he is a trustee, and he is a past 
exalted ruler of the Elks lodge. He likewise has membership with 
the Masonic fraternity and with the Independent Order of Odd 
Fellow^s, and all entertain high consideration for him because of his 
integrity and impartiality in his profession, his enterprise in busi- 
ness connections and his public spirit in matters of citizenship. 



ANDREW ASCHENBRENNER. 

Agricultural and stock-raising interests of Lee county find a 
progressive and worthy representative in Andrew Aschenbreuner, 
who during the entire period of his active life has been engaged in 
farming in Bradford township. He is one of the extensive land- 
owners in this part of Illinois and his success in the conduct of his 
large interests has made him widely and favorably known in busi- 
ness circles. He was born in Bradford township. April 1, 1865, 
and is a son of John and Catherine (Reinhart) Aschenbreuner, of 
whom further mention is made elsewhere in this work. 

Andrew Aschenbreuner was reai'ed in this township and ac- 
quired his education in the district schools and Dixon College. 
He aided in the operation of the homestead until he was twenty- 
five years of age and then began farming independently. He after- 
ward moved upon a farm on section 29, Bradford township, and 
hero he has since resided, giving his attention to general farming 
and stock-raising. He has Inrge interests in farming property in 
this localit3^ owning in partncrshi]-* with his brother, Reinhart 
Aschenbreuner, sixteen hundred acres in Lee county. In addition 
to this thev have valuable holdings in western states. 




AXURKW A(S( II K\ lU! KXXKK 



HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 37 

On the 22d of February, 1890, Mr. Ascheiibrenner was united in 
marriage to jVIiss Malinda S. Frost, who was born in Bradford 
township, February 11, 1867. Slie is a daughter of Captain Wil- 
liam S. and Sophia E. (Shaw) Frost, the former a native of Maine, 
and the latter of Niles, Michigan. Mr. and Mrs. Aschenbreuuer 
have three children: Delia E., who was born June 11, 1893, and 
who is a talented musician; Marian E., born August 16, 1898; and 
Andrew Reinhart Frost, born June 4, 1903. 

Mr. Aschenbrenner is well known in fraternal circles, holding 
membership in the Masonic lodge and chapter at Amboy and the 
Elks at Dixon, being affiliated also with the Independent Order 
of Odd Fellows and the Modern Woodmen of America. He gives 
Ms political allegiance to the republican party and served for 
fifteen years as township clerk. He is now in the twentieth year 
of his able service as school director and the cause of education 
finds in him an earnest supporter. He was a member of the board 
of review for the year 1912. He is receiver for the Nortliern 
Illinois Electric Railway of which company he is also secretary. 
It is likewise interesting to note that he ran the first car over the 
line. In Bradford township, where he has spent his entire life, 
he is widely and favorably known, having gained recognition as 
a substantial farmer and a useful citizen. 



CHARLES F. PRESTON. 

One of the foremost and best known lawyers in Lee county is 
Charles F. Preston, who has practiced his profession in Paw Paw 
for thirty years, or since 1883. During that time he has been con- 
nected with much important litigation and has successfully estab- 
lished a reputation for high professional efficiency. He is equally 
at ease before the court or jury and sets forth his point in such a 
clear, concise and logical manner as to make it understandable not 
only for men of his profession but for practically every lay mind. 
He has, therefore, succeeded in winning a good many cases by pre- 
senting his views in a manner so clear that every member of the 
jury understood his point. INIoreover, Mr. Preston enjoys not only 
high prestige as a lawyer but is well known in local public life, in 
which he has actively participated largely to the benefit of the 
general interests. 



38 HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 

A native of Lee county, Charles P. Preston was born in Marion 
township, January 2U, 1860, and is a son of James H. and Nancy A. 
(May dole) Preston. The father came to Lee county in 1854, one 
of its pioneers, and at first settled near Amboy but later removed 
to Marion township. He held the office of county superintendent 
of schools for thirteen years and also was honored by his fellow 
citizens with election to a number of township offices. He died in 
1896, deeply mourned by a large number of friends and neighbors, 
at the age of seventy-six years. His wife passed away ten years 
later, in 1906, and both are buried in the Prairie Repose cemetery 
at Amboy. The family is of Scotch-Irish extraction and has been 
settled in America since the days preceding the Revolutionary war. 

Cliarles P. Preston received his prmiary education in the public 
schools of Lee county and the State Nonnal at Normal, Illinois, 
which latter histitution he left at the age of twenty years. He then, 
deciding upon a legal career, studied law in the office of C. H. 
Wooster at Amboy and was admitted to the bar of the state of 
Illinois in May, 1882, beginning his practice in the following year 
at Paw l*aw. He has ever since continued in this city and his repu- 
tation for fairness, ability and legal and judicial knowledge ranks 
him among the foremost lawyers of the county. 

Mr. Preston mai'ried, at Paw Paw, Illinois, October 6, 1886, 
Miss Ida A. Hendershot, wdio passed away January 2, 1904, leaving 
three children: Frances H., a graduate of Lake Forest University; 
Hazel J., who graduated from 01)erlin College, and Avho married 
Frank W. Bauer, November 1, 1913; and Rolland C, attending 
school. On July 25, 1906, Mr. Preston was again married, his 
second union being contracted at Ottawa, Illinois, with Miss Isabel 
Harter, of Sandwich, this state. She is a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. 
R. K. Harter. 

As is often the case with men of the legal profession, Mr. Pres- 
ton has taken an active interest in the political and public life of his 
region and for twenty-two years has served with most gratifying 
results as president of Paw Paw. For fifteen years he was clerk of 
the board of education and from 1885 to 1889 he served as post- 
master. His political views coincide with the principles of the 
democratic party and he has ever given his loyal sv;pport to the 
men and measures of that organization. Along fraternal lines Mr. 
Preston is connected with the JNlasons, being a member of the blue 
lodge. He is one of the best known professi(mal men of Lee county 
and liighly esteemed and respectcxl hy his fellow lawyers as well 
as the general public. Ever interested in the growth and progress 



HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 39 

of his village and district, lie considers no effort on his part too 
great to promote the general welfare along intellectual, moral or 
material lines. 



SAMUEL C. EELLS. 



One of the most venerable and honured citizens of Dixon passed 
away when death called Samuel C. Eells on the 23d of September, 
1913. He had passed the ninety-tirst milestone on life's journey, 
his birth having occurred in Walton, New York, March 19th, 1822. 
His father, Nathaniel G. Eells, was born in New Canaan, Con- 
necticut, in 1791 and was a son of Samuel Eells, and descended 
from one of the old colonial families. Lie served in the War of 
1812 and died in 1826. The mother of Mr. Eells bore the maiden 
name of Betty St. John and was born in Connecticut in 180U, a 
daughter of Cook and Polly (Seymour) St. John, wdio were also 
natives of the Charter Oak state and who became pioneer citizens 
of Delaware coimty. New York. 

Samuel C. Eells was reared upon a farm in the Empire state and 
after mastering the branches of learning taught in the common 
schools he attended Delaware Academy, manifesting notable 
aptitude in his studies, so that when but sixteen years of age he 
began teaching, which profession he followed until the age of 
nineteen. He came west to Dixon at the request of John S. Cole- 
man, who had removed to Illinois from Walton, New York, and 
who sent for Mr. Eells to join him at Rockford, where he had 
established and w^as conducting the Winnebago National Bank. 
Removing to Dixon, Mr. Eells was placed in charge of the banking 
business in Robertson, Eastman & Company. Later the name of 
the firm was Robertson, Eells & Company and in 1859 the bank 
became the property of Eells and Coleman, at which time Mr. Eells 
became a partner of his fonner fellow townsman, John S. Coleman. 
In 1865 the business was reorganized mider the name of the Lee 
County National Bank wdth Joseph Crawford as president and 
Mr. Eells as cashier. The business was conducted under that 
name for twenty years, when in 1885 another reorganization was 
effected, bringing into existence the City National Bank with the 
same officers. Mr. Eells had been made president of the bank in 
1881 and so served until the time of his demise. He established 
the safety deposit boxes in the bank in Dixon and introduced many 
progressive methods in keeping with the modern ideas of banking. 



40 HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 

Moreover, he always recognized the fact that the bank is most 
worthy of support that most carefully safeguards the interests of 
its depositers. He ever tempered progressiveness with a safe con- 
servatism and the bank was conducted along substantial lines 
leading to its present prosperity. 

It was in 1854 that Mr. Eells ^\ as united in marriage to Miss 
Ajina Moore, a native of New York and a daughter of Henry and 
Betsy A. (Farrington) j\Ioore. They became the parents of three 
children: Caroline W.; Anna, the wife of Charles C. Upham, vice 
president and manager of the New York Steam Company, New 
York Cit}^; and Betsy Pauline. 

In politics Mr. Eells was ever a stalwart republican and kept 
well informed concerning the vital questions and issues of the day, 
but did not seek or desire public office. He was a member of the 
Episcopal church and his religion found exemplification in all of 
his life's relations. He never deviated from the highest standards 
and in all of his business affairs folhiwed constructive methods, 
never seeking success at the price of another's failure. He came 
to the west a young man, attacked his duties with the deepest 
enthusiasm and by the steps of an oi'derly progression steadily 
advanced until he was one of the chief figures in financial circles 
of the northwest. 



OLWER L. GEHANT. 



Oliver L. Gehant, cashier of the Henry F. Gehant Banking 
Company at West Brooklyn, is a wide-awake, alert and enterpris- 
ing young business man and the record which he has made adds 
fiirther laiu'els to a family name that has long been a synonym for 
enterprise and reliability in the business circles of this part of the 
county. He was born in Viola township, Lee county, December 25, 
1889, and is a son of Henry F. and Eliza (Py) Gehant, of whom 
mention is made on anotlier page of tliis volume. He acquired his 
primary education in the schools of West Brookhii, completing a 
high-school course at the age of fourteen years, and he has the 
honor of being its first graduate. He afterward continued his 
studies in the University of Notre Pame of South Bend, Indiana, 
from which he was also graduated, receiving a gold medal because 
of the record which he made in his school work being superior to 
that of any other member of the class of 1908. 



HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 41 

Retui'iiing to his home, Oliver L. Gehant entered his father's 
bank as assistant cashier, thoroughly acquainting himself with 
every phase of the busmess and continuing to serve in his original 
capacity until 1912, when he was appointed to his present position 
as cashier. He is also a representative of various insurance com- 
panies and writes many policies e\erj year, this contributing not a 
little to his success in a business way. 

At Harmon, Illinois, on the 4tli of October, 1911, Mr. Gehant 
was married to Miss Josephine Blackburn, a daughter of Peter and 
Nell (Morrissey) Blackburn, natives of Lee county, now residing 
in Harmon township. The father is a fanner. Mr. and Mrs. Gehant 
are members of the Catholic church and he is financial secretary 
of the Catholic Order of Foresters. His piditical allegiance is given 
to the democratic party and in its support he edits and publishes 
the West Brooklyn News, an enterprising country joirrnal. 



JUDGE ROBERT H. SCOTT. 

Dixon has always been distinguished for the high rank of her 
bar, and among those who have been factors in maintaining this 
reputation is Judge Robert H. Scott, who since 1902 has served 
upon the bench and will continue as county judge until 1914. 
Appointed to fill a vacancy, he has been three times elected to the 
office and his decisions indicate strong mentality, careful analysis, 
a thorough knowledge of the law and unbiased judgment. EQs 
history stands in contradistinction to the old adage that a prophet 
is not without honor save in his own country, for Judge Scott is a 
native son of Lee countj^, where he has been called to high judicial 
place and power. His birth occurred in Marion township in 1871, 
his parents being Robert and Ruth (Fairman) Scott, who were 
farming people of this part of the state. The usual experiences of 
the farm boy came to Judge Scott in his youth and his early educa- 
tion was acquired in the public schools. He afterw^ard entered 
Dixon College and w^as graduated on the completion of the 
teacher's course. He also attended business college and the Dixon 
College of Elocution, and then, in preparation for a professional 
career, began a course in the Dixon College of Law, which in due 
time he completed by graduation. In January, 1896, he was admit- 
ted to the bar and at once entered upon active practice, which 
claimed his attention until August, 1902, when he was appointed to 



42 HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 

fill a vacancy ou the county bench. The following November he 
was elected to the office for a four years' term and again in 1906 
and 1910, so that he will remain the incumbent until 1914. He is 
a man of well balanced intellect, thoroughly familiar with the law 
and practice, of comprehensive general information and he pos- 
sesses an analytical mind and a self control that enables him to put 
aside all personal feelings and prejudices and fully sustain the 
dignity, impartiality and equity of the office to which life, jDroperty, 
right and liberty must look for protection. 

On the 16th of June, 1907, Judge Scott was united in marriage 
to Miss Carrie M. Clark, of Dixon, and they have become the 
parents of three children, lone Ruth, Winifred Mildred and Gladys 
Beth. Judge Scott and his wife are prominently known in the 
leading social circles of the city and they are both connected with 
the Eastern Star, the Judge being a well known Mason. He like- 
wise belongs to the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks and has 
memliership in the Hamilton Club of Chicago. His political views 
are in accord ^vith the principles of the republican party and it 
has been upon that ticket that he has- been called to public office. 
He served for five years as justice of the peace ere his election to 
the l)ench and for two years, from 1908 until 1910, he was president 
of the North Side school board. Few lawyers have made a more 
lasting impression upon the bar of the county both for legal ability 
of a iiigh order and for the individuality of a personal character 
which impresses itself upon a comnumity. 



JOSEPH CRAWFORD. 

The now flourishing city of Dixon, with its population of more 
than ten thousand, was scai'cely a handet when Joseph Craw- 
ford took up his abode here. The site of the city was marked by a 
log cabin and ferry. From that time until his death Mr. Crawford 
was counted among the upliuilders of the city and he builded 
wisely and well. He was associated with public affairs as an office 
holder, with business interests as a surveyor and banker, and in the 
former connection he formed a very extensive acquaintance, so 
that he was one of the best known men of his part of the state. The 
success which attended him in his earlier years resulted in his giv- 
ing his time and attention from 1875 until his death to the super- 
visi(m of his private interests and to his duties as bank president. 



^■' J^ 



^^ 




^n^. 'i^'yc/^t-t/p^'^ 



HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 45 

Joseph Crawford was born in Columbia county, Pennsyl- 
vania, May 19, 1811, a son of John and Catlierine (Cassidy) 
Crawford. When he was eleven years of age the family removed 
to Huntingdon, Pennsylvania, where he acquired his education in 
the public schools and through his own efforts, learning many valu- 
able lessons in the school of experience and through private read- 
ing and observation. In 1831 he began teaching, which profession 
he followed for four years. He also took up the study of surveying 
and became very proficient along that line. In April, 1835, he 
started for the far west, walking all the distance from Pennsyl- 
vania to Illinois. He first made his Avay to Chicago, thence to 
Dixon and afterward to Galena, but finally returned to Dixon 
Perry, as the place was then known, and settled on a fann in the 
valley of the Eock river, between Dixon and Grand Detour. This 
was in May, 1835. It is difficult to realize the condition of things 
which then existed in that part of the state. This was only three 
years after the Black Hawk war and northern Illinois was largely 
an undeveloped and unsettled wilderness. Two years passed ere 
Chicago was incorporated as a city and many of the now thriving 
towns in the central and northern part of the state had not yet 
sprung into existence, while the fertile fields of the present day, 
were then undeveloped prairie land, not a furrow having been 
turned on many an acre. Mr. Crawford began surveying and fol- 
lowed that pursuit until early in the '80s. His skill and proficiency 
in that line brought him large success in his work. He made all 
the surveys for towns and -^'illages from Rockford to Rock Island 
and in 1836 he was appointed by the governor to the position of 
deputy county surveyor for all the northwestern portion of Illinois. 
In the same year he was elected county sur'^'eyor of Ogle coimty, 
which then included Whiteside and Lee counties. It was not until 
1839 that Lee county was set off from Ogle and organized as a 
separate comity. In 1841 Mr. Crawford was elected one of the 
three county commissioners of the new county and at the time 
of its organization he was chosen county surveyor, which position 
he filled continuously for eighteen years. He was not only active 
in directing public interests of his section of the state but also 
became a factor in shaping the history of the commonwealth inas- 
much as he was twice elected to the legislature, serving in 1849 
and 1850 and again in 1853 and 1854. It was still the formative 
period in the history of the state and he was connected with much 
important legislation which was shaped at that period. 



46 HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 

While thus filling public offices Mr. Crawford continued active 
in the management of his private business affairs. In connection 
with surveying he also acted as land agent and eventually became 
a dealer in real estate. He utilized his excellent opportunities to 
invest in property when it was to be had at a low figure and dealt 
principally in farm lands, which rose in value and brought to him 
splendid financial returns. He handled large property interests 
on his own account in both lUinois and Iowa and in 18G5 he became 
a factor in the financial circles of the state as one of the organizers 
of the Lee County National Bank, which was afterward reorgan- 
ized under the name of the City National Bank, Mr. Crawford 
continuing as its president up to the time of his death, which 
occurred on the 11th of August, 1891. 

It was on the 16th of September, 1852, that Mr. Crawford was 
married to Huldah Bowman Culver and they became the parents 
of two children : Charles, deceased, and J. W., now of Dixon. 

To say that Mr. Crawford was prominent scarcely expresses 
the place which he occupied in the public regard and in business 
and official connections. He was a man whose opinions carried 
great influence, for he was known to be thoroughl}' honest and, 
combined with his integrity, he possessed keen sagacity, which 
enabled him to thoroughly imderstand all the phases of public 
questions as well as of private business interests. Ere death called 
him Dixon had become a city of large and impoitant interests and 
to the result he had contributed liberally through his business 
activities. He was, indeed, one of the promoters and builders of 
its greatness and its prosperity, and his name should stand high 
on the roll of Dixon's most honored residents. 



P. M. JAMES. 



Peleg Miner James, practicing law at Amboy since 1882, came 
to Lee county in 1874 and taught that year in the Austin district in 
Siiblette. He came to Amboy the next year as a teacher where, 
excepting for the year 1876-77 when he was superintendent of the 
El Paso, Illinois, schools, he has remained ever since. 

He is a native of Ncav England, being born in the town of 
Exeter, Rhode Island, July 14, 1850. His parents were Peleg W. 
and Sally A. ("Lewis') James, both of Phode Island. He traces his 
ancestry back to Allen James of Providence, then Thomas Allen 



HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 47 

James of West Greenwich and his grandfather, William James of 
Exeter, all of Rhode Island. His father died January 22, 1888, and 
his mother September 1, 1893 and both are interred in Wood 
River cemetery, near Wyoming, Rhode Island. The James family 
is of English lineage and came to New England in an early day but 
at the present time are well scattered thi-oughout the United States. 

P. M. James received his secondary education in Providence 
Conference Seminary at East Greenwich, Rhode Island, the high 
school at Mendota, Illinois, at the University of Illinois and by 
private study. He was a teacher for many years, — was superin- 
tendent of schools at El Paso and Amboy and county superintend- 
ent of schools of Lee county, all in Illinois. He was admitted to the 
bar in 1881 and in 1882 he resigned his position in the Amboy 
schools and opened a law office in the Vaughan block in Amboy, 
where he has since remained. He is a director in the First National 
Bank of Amboy, president of the Sanitary Creamery Company, 
vice president of the Jones-Berry Lumber Company and of the 
Colson Clothing Company, 

At Amboy, on December 25, 1878, Mr. James was manied to 
Miss Lottie L. Vaughan, a daughter of C. I), and Lomse M. (Balch) 
Vaughan of Amboy. 

Mr. and Mrs. James are the parents of six children; Harold D., 
born April 12, 1881, Avho has the degrees of A. B., University of 
Illinois, and LL. B., Illinois College of Law, and who is practicing 
law at Freeport, Illinois; Leonard V., born June 9, 1884, who has 
the degrees B. S., M. S. and E. E., University of Illinois, and is at 
the present time a member of the faculty of the University, with; 
the rank of associate in electrical engineering; Herbert M., born 
February 13, 1886, who has the degree B. C. S., New York Univer- 
sity, and at the present time is engaged in audit work in New York 
city ; Louise A., born April 22, 1890, who has the degree of A. B.,, 
University of Hlinois, and is the wife of Chester H. Forsyth, of Ann 
Arbor, Michigan, who is a member of the faculty of the University 
of Michigan; Edward A., born February 5, 1893, and at the present 
time a junior in electrical engineering at the University of Hlinois; 
and Harriet L., born November 18, 1895, who is at the present time 
a freshman in the College of Liberal Arts at the University of 
Hlinois. 

In politics, Mr. James is a republican; in church affiliation a 
Baptist and he is secretary of the board of education. Ho is -past 
master of Illinois Central Lodge, No. 178, A. F. & A. 'M.. past high 
priest of Amboy Chapter, No. 194, R. A. M., a member of Dixon 



48 HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 

Couunandeiy No. 21, K. T., aud a member of Grreen River Lodge, 
No. 999, 1. O. O. F. 

Aside from iiis professional work, Mr. James has always taken 
a deep interest in all matters pertaining to the development and 
betterment of his adopted city. He has never aspii'ed for social 
honors but can always be found among the workers in all efforts 
for improvement and higher standards in politics, morality, and 
education and he believes that thorough preparation is the best 
equipment of the yoimg for the duties of life. 



BELA RHEA HALDERMAN. 

The career of Bela Rhea Haldeiman furnishes a splendid 
example of the value of energy and perseverance in the accomplish- 
ment of success, for although he has been in the printing business 
only five years he has risen in it from a comparatively humble 
p(»sition to be editor and proprietor of the Franklin Reporter. He 
was born in Kansas City, Missouri, May 2, 1889, and is a son of 
Isaac and Jennie Olive (Oruer) Halderman, the latter born at 
Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, February 3, 1860. The father enlisted 
for service in the Spanish-American war in 1898 and never 
returned. The maternal branch t)f this family is of German-Swiss 
extraction and was founded in America by the grandparents of the 
subject of this review, Jonas B. and Susan (Baker) Orner, the 
latter a direct descendant of William Penn. Consequently Mr. 
Halderman of this review is a legal heir to the great Penn estate 
in Germany and Philadelphia, amounting to over one hundred and 
fifty million dollars. This estate remains unsettled, the case being 
now in litigation. 

Bela R. Halderman acquired his education in the public schools 
of Fraidvlin Grove, graduating from the high school June 4, 1907. 
He then secured a position as clerk in a clothing store in Franklin 
Grove. He afterward turned his attention to the printing business. 
In this he made rapid and steady advancement, rising from the 
position of compositor to that of assistant manager of the Franklin 
Reporter and becoming at the age of twenty-three, editor and pro- 
prietor of this paper. This responsible position he has since filled 
and his success in the management of the journal affords the best 
proof of Ms capabilities. 



HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 49 

Mr, Halderman is a member of the Methodist church and is 
serving as secretary of the Sunday school. He is affiUated with 
Camp No. 45, M. W. A., and served as clerk of this organization 
for some time. He is also a member of the American Stars of 
Equity. His sviccess at an early age demonstrates his force, ability 
and capacity, qualities which will undoubtedly carry him forward 
into important relations with journalistic interests in Lee county. 



C. D. HUSSEY. 



C. D. Hussey is a representative of one of the best known 
pioneer families of Lee county and one of the most progressive and 
enterprising native sons of Franklin Grove. For many years past 
he has been engaged in the lumber l)usiness here and by intelligent 
and careful management of his interests has surrounded himself 
with a gratifying measure of success. He was born September 4, 
1852, and is a son of Amos and Jane P. (Holly) Hussey, the former 
a native of York county, Pennsylvania, and the latter of Fredonia, 
New York. She was the first white child born in that conununity. 
The parents were married in Pennsylvania and in 1838 came to 
Illinois, making the journey in a covered wagon. They settled 
upon a tract of land adjoining Franklin Grove and this farm is now 
in the possession of the subject of this review. After the mother's 
death the father moved to Ainboy and there lived retired until he 
passed away. Of the six children born to their union only one now 
survives. 

C. D. Husse_v remained at home mitil he reached the age of 
twenty-one and then moved to Amboy, where for a year and a half 
he worked in a hardware store. At the end of that time he secured 
a position as cashier in a bank, resigning this after one year in 
order to enter the employ of C. M. Butler. One year later he 
returned to Franklin Grove and in 1876 went into the lumber 
business in partnership Avith B. F. Dysert. They conducted this 
enterprise together until 1881, when Mr. Hussey bought his part- 
ner's stock, continuing alone for four years. He then sold the yard 
to his brother but five years later repurchased the enterprise, with 
which he has since been connected. Lie is a progressive, farsighted 
and resourceful business man and, understanding his own particu- 
lar line of work in principle and detail, has gained a success which 
places him among the substantial and progressive men of the city. 



50 HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 

He has valuable property holdings in this vicinity, owning ninety 
acres of the old homestead upon wliieh his father located in 1838 
and he has also a half uiterest in three hundred and twenty acres of 
land in South Dakota. 

In 1883 Mr. Hussey was united in marriage to Miss Maud H. 
Secrist, who was born in Pennsylvania in 1856, a daughter of 
Jacob and Margaret (Nicademus) Secrist, natives of that state. 
The parents came to Lee county, Illinois, in the '50s and both 
passed away in Franklin Grove. Mr. and Mrs. Hussey have 
become the parents of seven children: Blaine C, a farmer of Lee 
county; Margaret, the wife of C. W. Trostle of Minneapolis, 
Minnesota: Amos J., now a resident of Long Beach, California; 
Donald C, in business Avith his father; Mary L., and JNIedrick, at 
home; and Jennie Y., deceased. 

Mr. Hussey gives his political allegiance to the republican 
party, has served for five years as supervisor and is now school 
trustee. He has proven a capable and conscientious public official 
and in this and all other relations of life has adhered to high ideals, 
so that he commands and holds the esteem and confidence of his 
associates and friends. 



JTJDGE RICHARD S. FARRAND. 

Judge Richard S. Farraud is now serving for the third term as 
circuit coiirt judge, following five terms' service as judge of the 
comity court of Lee county, and the history of the bench of this 
section of the state contains the record of no man who has been 
more loyal to duty, honorable in purpose, fearless in conduct and 
stainless in reputation. Judge Farrand was born in Allen county, 
Indiana, October 1, 1852, and is a son of R. S. and Delilah (Cook) 
Farrand, who were natives of Oneida county. New York, and at an 
early day became residents of Indiana, settling there at a pioneer 
epoch in its history. Their S( )n, Richard, left home when but eleven 
years of age to earn his own livelihood, working as a farm hand and 
in other humble capacities, but actuated at all times with the laud- 
able ambition of preparing for and entering upon better things. 
When fifteen years of age he arrived in Lee coinity, where he 
worked and also attended school. Diligence and ch)se application 
enaljled him not only to master his studies but also to qualify for 
teaching, which profession he followed with success for seven 




JUDGE RICHARD S. FAKRANP 



HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 53 

years. His worth and ability became recognized and when twenty- 
five years of age lie was made deputy sheriff of I^ee county. While 
acting in that capacity there developed in him an interest in the 
profession of law and resolving to enter upon its practice, he began 
studying under the direction of A. C. Bardwell. It has been said 
that when in the matter of Life the city boy crosses swords with 
the country lad, the odds are against him. The early rising, the 
daily tasks, and the economical habits of the country boy prepare 
him for the struggle that must precede ascendency. Such had been 
the training of Judge Farrand, who when he entered upon his 
studies was found ready to apply Inmself with that diligence and 
determination that must constitute the source of success with the 
law student. That his good qualities were recognized by his pre- 
ceptor was indicated in the fact that he was admitted into partner- 
ship following his admission to the bar in 1880. The firm of 
Bardwell & Farrand then existed until 1S82, at which time the 
junior partner was elected judge of the county court for a term of 
four years. 

Public indorsement of his service came in a reelection in 1886 
and again in 1890, 1894 and 1898, and he retired from the office of 
county judge in 1902 mid the high encomimns of those best quali- 
fied to comment upon his service. In Jiily, 1902, he was elected 
judge of the circuit coiirt to fill out the unexpired tenn of Judge 
Crabtree; was reelected in 3903 for a term of six years and again 
in 1909 was elected for a six years' term, so that he is now upon 
the bench. 

In 1873 Judge Farrand was married to Miss C. J. Marsh and 
they have one living son, Ernest "W., while another son, Wilbur A., 
died at the age of ten years. Judge Farrand is a Royal Arch Mason, 
thoroughly in sympathy with the teachings and principles of the 
craft. In politics he has always been a republican and aside from 
strict professional paths has filled office, having been elected mayor 
of Dixon. Duty and honor have ever been his watchwords and 
justice one of his strong characteristics. The legal profession 
demands not only a high order of ability ln;t a rare combination 
of talent, learning, tact, patience and industry. The successful 
lawyer and a competent judge must be a man of well balanced 
intellect thoroughly familiar with the law and practice, of compre- 
hensive general information, possessed of an analytical mind and a 
self-control that will enable him to lose his individuality, his per- 
sonal feelings, his prejudices and his peculiarities of disposition in 
the dignity, impartiality and equity of the office, to which life, 



54 HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 

property, right and liberty must look for protection. Possessing 
these qualities Judge Farraud justly merits the high honor which 
has been conferred upon him by his election to the circuit bench. 



WARREN CONRAD DURKES. 

The name of Warren Conrad Durkes is inseparably interwoven 
M'ith the records of financial activity in Dixon and this part of 
the state. For twelve j^ears he was cashier of the City National 
Bank, is now its president and is likewise associated with a number 
of other banking concerns and business enterprises. His entire 
career has been characterized b}^ orderly progression and each 
forward step has brought him a broader outlook and wider oppor- 
tunities until he is now prominently c(_>nnected with interests and 
enterprises having to do with the substantial upbuilding and 
progress of this section of the state. He was born at Franklin 
Grove, Illinois, May 20, 1868, and is a son of Conrad and Mary 
(Jones) Diu'kes. While spending his youthful days under the 
parental roof he acquired a public-school education and later 
entered a business college of Chicago, from whicli he was graduated 
in 1886. He then entered his father's bank at Franklin Grove in a 
clerical capacity and upon its reorganization under the name of the 
Franklin Grove Bank in 1889 he was made cashier. His identifica- 
tion therewith brought him intimate and comprehensive knowl- 
edge of every phase of the lianking business and he remained in 
successful control of that institution until 1901, when he came to 
Dixon and entered upon active relations with the City National 
Bank as its cashier, in which capacity he served until 1913 when he 
was elected president. He is still connected with the Franklin 
Grove Bank as vice president and he is a director of the Fii'st 
National Bank of Erie, Illinois, a director and treasurer of the 
Dixon Home Telephone Company, a director of many others which 
have developed telephone connections throughout this part of the 
state, giving to the public excellent sei-vice, and a director of 
the Dixon Loan and Building Association. Mr. Durkes recog- 
nized the ])ossibilities in these directions and his cooperation has 
been a feature in carrying the enterprises forward to successful 
completion. 

Ill 1893 Mr. Durkes was united in marriage to Miss Lucy Can- 
terbury, of Chicago, and they have become the parents of two 



HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 55 

daughters, Leona and Katherine. Mr. Diirkes is a member of the 
Elks and Knights of Pythias lodges and is a prominent Mason, 
having attained the Knight Templar degree in the Uixon Com- 
niandery, while he is also a member of the Mystic Shrine. His 
geniality and unfeigned cordiality have made him popular, while 
his tireless energy, keen perception, honesty of purpose and genius 
for devising the right thing at the right time have gained him a 
prominent place among the foremost business men of Lee county. 



PHILIP NIEBERCIALL. 

Since 1884 Philix3 Niebergall has lived upon his fann of two 
hundred and sixty-three aei^es on sections 22 and 15, Wyoming 
township, and he has made this o]ie of the finest agricultm-al 
properties in this locality. He was born in Linn county, Iowa, 
June 5, 1855, and is a son of John and Catherine (Trautwein) 
NiebergaU, the former of whom came from Germany about the year 
1840 and settled in Wisconsin, where he worked as a monthly 
laborer. He afterward moved to Iowa and in 1866 went to LaSalle 
count}', Illinois, where he resided until his death, which occurred 
April 17, 1908. His wife survives him and makes her home in 
Mendota, Illinois. 

Philip NiebergaU acquired his education in the public schools 
of Iowa and LaSalle county, Illinois, attending until he was twenty- 
one years of age. During this time, however, he spent only a short 
period in each year in school, for during the summer months he 
assisted his father with the work of the farm, remaining at home 
until almost thirty years of age. He then married and came to Lee 
county, where he purchased his present property, whereon he has 
since carried on the work of improvement and cultivation along 
progressive and practical lines. He has erected excellent buildings 
upon the place, including a comfortable residence, barns and sheds, 
and has neglected nothing which would add to the attractive 
appearance or the value of the place. In addition to general farm- 
ing he is also interested in stock-raising, ever}^ year shipping stock 
to the eastern markets. 

In Paw Paw, Illinois, on the 15th of April, 1885, Mr. NiebergaU 
was united in marriage to Miss Elva Uleine, a daughter of S. H. 
and Gertrude (Sharpe) Uleine, the former a pioneer farmer of Lee 
county. The father passed away in 1910 and is buried in Wyoming 



56 HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 

cemetery. His wife survives liim aud makes hev home with her 
children. Mr. and Mrs. Niebergall have three sons: Glenn, a 
farmer in DeKalb county, this state; and Wayne and Floyd, who 
are assisting their father. Two are married and the eldest son has 
one child, Gladys. 

Mr. Niebergall is a member and trustee of the Methodist 
Episcopal church and is a progressive republican in his political 
beliefs. He has served with credit and ability as road commissioner 
and as a member of the conunittee of three which investigated the 
affairs of the Independent Harvester Company. He is a man of 
broad interests and progressive public spirit, cooperating heartily 
in all movements for the advancement and betterment of the com- 
munity. He is highly respected b}^ all who know him as a success- 
ful and able business man and a valued citizen who is considerate 
of the general welfare as well as active in promoting his personal 
success. 



BENJAMIN F. SHAW. 

The record of Benjamin F. Shaw, of Dixon, honors the name 
of journalism. He entered upon newspaper publication at a 
period when the purpose of journalism had its educational fea- 
tures in addition to the dissemination of general and local news 
and had not been tinged with that commercial spirit which seeks 
through sensationalism to stimulate the curiosity of the public 
without regard to wrong impressions which, like tares, grow up 
and choke out the good seed. He never deviated from the high 
principles which he set up (u- lowered his standards because he 
considered it expedient or profitable to do so. At the time of his 
death he was perhaps the Nestor of the Illinois journalists, having 
for many years been editor and proprietor of Dixon's oldest news- 
paper. He was born in Waverly, New York, March 31, 1831, and 
jjassed away September 18, 3909. His aiicostrv av;i< tmced back 
to William Bradford, who k<'])t tbc Id.'i of tli" ^Mayflower and 
later became the first governor of Plymouth Colony. His grand- 
mother on the paternal side was the last sur-\iving of those who 
suffered from the Wyoming massacre of 1778, her father and two 
brothers having been killed in the battle which preceded the mas- 
sacre. His mother's father. Major Zethon Flower, was a soldier 
of the Revolution and one of the last survivors on the pension 




i!K>,MA311.\ h\ .SiiAW 



HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 59 

roll of that war, dying at the advanced age of ninety-six. His 
parents, Alanson B. and Philomela (Flower) Shaw, weie natives 
of Bradford county, Pennsylvania, and died when their son Ben- 
jamin was a yoimg lad. His brother, Alonzo Shaw, removed 
westward to Tipton, Iowa, and in 1841 returned to the east for 
Ms father's family, then living at Towanda, Pennsylvania, so that 
Benjamin F. Shaw spent a portion of his youth upon the frontier 
region, where the work of civilization and j^rogress seemed 
scarcely begun. He was not yet fourteen years of age when he 
began carrying the mail in a section of country adjoining Tip- 
ton — a section which was tlien a wilderness infested with Indians 
and robbers. The following year — 1845 — he went to Rock Island, 
where he began learning the printer's trade, which lie followed 
continuously for about fourteen years. Within that time, or in 
1851, he removed to Dixon. The first paper published in that city 
was the Dixon Telegraph and Lee County Hei'ald, established on 
the 1st of May, 1851. JMi'. Shaw secured employment in the office 
and on the 21st of January, 1852, he became manager of the paper. 
On the 30th of April, 1854, he purchased the Telegraph and at a 
later period the Transcript, consolidating the two papers under the 
former name. Various changes occurred in newspaper owner- 
ship in Dixon, but through a long period Mr. Shaw remained 
owner and editor of the Telegraph. In 1859, however, attracted 
by the discovery of gold at Pike's Peak, he went to Colorado. He 
did not meet with the success he anticipated in the mines there 
and returned to Illinois. He remained for but four months in 
Colorado and while there had to resort to his trade and set type 
on the Rocky Mountain News. In April, I860, he purchased the 
Amboy (111.) Times, of which he remained editor until Janu- 
ary 6, 1870. In 1871 Mr. Shaw again became sole proprietor of 
the Telegraph and remained at its head imtil his death. In 
November, 1883, he extended the scope of his business by the 
establishment of a daily which he called the Evening Telegraph 
and which has proved one of the most successful papers of the 
state outside of Chicago. In 1868 he was Washing-ton correspond- 
ent for the Chicago Evening Journal, but through the greater part 
of his life his energies wei'e concentrated on the publication of the 
Telegraph in his weekly and daily editions, and as the years 
passed on its circulation and its advertising patronage increased. 
Improvements were added to the plant in keeping with modern 
newspaper publication and the office was splendidly equipped 



60 HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 

with all the accessories necessary to issuing a high-class paper, 
presenting the most attractive forms of the printer's art. 

Through all the }-ears Mr. Shaw was an ardent supporter of 
the republican party and took ju^^t i^ride in the fact that he had 
been one of its organizers. In February, 1856, he was an active 
participant in the meeting, held in Decatur, of Illinois editors 
who were opposed to the repeal of the IVIissouri Compromise. The 
political questions and the issues of the day were earnestly dis- 
cussed and the editors' meeting resulted in calling a convention 
to meet in Bloomington in June of the same year. It was at the 
latter meeting that the republican party had its real organiza- 
tion and nominated the first state ticket. On that occasion Mr. 
Shaw was in consultation with Abraham Lincoln as a member 
of the committee on resolutions. In his capacity of journalist 
he was brought into contact Avith man,y of the distinguished men 
of that and later periods and had personal acquaintance with the 
prominent political statesmen and leaders of Illinois. Few men 
not active in polities and seeking the rewards of office have had 
more intimate, accurate and conq)Lehensive knowledge of the 
political situation and the ([uestions of the day. Mr. Shaw held 
some local offices but he regarded Jounialism as his profession and 
his real life work. In 18-59 he was elected clerk of the circuit 
couit and was reelected to that position, his term expiring in 
1868. The following year he was connected with the internal 
revenue dei»ai'tment and was appointed by the government to 
locate the asylum for the insane at Elgin. In 1876 he was 
appointed state canal commissioner and served for six years as 
one of the three conunissioners who had charge of the Illinois and 
Michigan canal and the Rock River improvement work. He 
acted as secretary of the first meeting held in the interests of the 
Hennepin canal. In 1891, without his solicitation, he was 
appointed postmaster of Dixon and served for the full term of 
four years. In 1899 he was again called to that office and by 
reappointment served until his death, filling the position alto- 
gether for twenty-two years. He was interested in all matters of 
pTdilic progress and im]U'()vement, and from the time of its organ- 
ization mitil his death was president of the O. B. Dodge public 
library. Progressive public measures which he deemed practi- 
cable always received not only his ]iersonal indorsement but the 
support of his paper, and it was well known that the Dixon Tele- 
gra])h was at all times the champion of advancement and improve- 
ment. He stood as a high type of public-spirited citizenship, and 



HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 61 

never weighed a question of civic or personal honor in the scale 
of policy. 

Mr. Shaw was united in marriage to Aiiss Annie E. Eustace, a 
sister of Judge John V. Eustace and a daughter of the Kev. 
Thomas Eustace, a Presbyterian clergyman, who was a native of 
Dublin, Ireland, and who married Fannie Ohustead. Mr. and 
Mi's. Shaw had three sons: Ered, of Denver, Colorado; Eustace, 
deceased, who for some years was his father's associate in busi- 
ness; and Dr. Lloyd L. Shaw. Mrs. Shaw passed away Febru- 
ary 6, 1905, and four and one-half years later Benjamin P. Shaw 
departed this life. He was a member of the Elks lodge and of 
the Dixon Club. There was, perhaps, in Dixon no man more 
widely known and none who had labored more loyally for the 
interests of the city and state. 



A. J. LAUER. 



A. J. Lauer has for the past two decades been successfully 
identified with business interests of Sublette as an implement 
dealer and also as the proprietor of a plumbing establishment. Lee 
county numbers him among her native sous, his birth having occur- 
red in Sublette township in 1857. His parents, Andrew and 
Katherine (Strubel) Lai;er, are lioth deceased and lie buried at 
Sublette, Illinois. The father passed away in 1898, while the 
mother died September 15, 1876. 

Hi the acquirement of an education A. J. Lauer attended school 
in Sublette until twelve years of age and subsequently assisted his 
father in the operation of the home farm for eleven years. On the 
expiration of that period he purchased a tract of land and devoted 
his attention to its cultivation until 1893, when he embarked in the 
plumbing and implement business at Sulilette. He has success- 
fully conducted this establishment throughout the intervening 
twenty years and is widely recognized as one of the prosperous, 
enterprising and representative citizens of the community. 

On the 30tli of October, 1883, in Sublette, Mr. Lauer was united 
in marriage to Miss Katherine Hildmann, a daughter of Conrad 
and Anna (Neis) Hildmann, who are deceased and lie buried in 
Sublette. Mr. and Mrs. Lauer have one child. Amor, who assists 
his father in the conduct of his biTsiness. The family residence was 
erected by our subject. 



62 HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 

Mr. Lauer is a democrat in polities and lias served in the 
capacity of county assessor for about fifteen years, making a highly 
creditable and commendable record in that connection. He is a 
Catholic in religious faith and a devout communicant of the church. 
He is a man of exemplary habits, strict integrity and strong per- 
sonality and is well known in the coimty where his entire life has 
been spent, holding the high esteem of all who have business and 
social relations with him. 



WILLIAM V. JONES. 



One of the leading busuiess enterprises of Amboy is the Jones 
Berry Lumber Company, of which William V. Jones is the presi- 
dent. He has conducted business in this connection since March 
1, 1909, and the patronage of the firm has constantly increased as a 
result of enterprising and progressive methods on the part of 
Mr. Jones and his associates, fie was born near Woodbridge, New 
Jersey, October 7, 1842, and was a lad of twelve years when he 
arrived in Lee county. His parents were J. A. and Margaret 
(Sleight) Jones. The family is of Welsh origin and was founded 
in America by the great grandfather of our subject. The grand- 
father served as a soldier in the War of 1812. The father, J. A. 
Jones, was one of the early settlers of Bradford township and con- 
tinued a resident of Lee county until 1903, when he passed away 
at the age of eighty-nine years. His wife died in 1885 and they 
are both laid to rest in Lee Center cemetery. 

In the Bradford district school William V. Jones began Ms 
education and after putting aside his text-books he assisted his 
father in the work of the farm. He was actively identified with 
agricultural pursuits for fort3'-five years and still owns the old 
homestead on which he has made various substantial improve- 
ments. Turning from agricultin'al to commercial interests he 
became organizer of the lumber company of which he is the presi- 
dent. He is director of the Farmer's Insurance Company of Brad- 
ford, Lee county, to which position he was called in 1878 and has 
served as president for the past eight years. He is likewise a 
director of the First National Bank, but concentrates his ener- 
gies chiefly upon the lumber business in which connection he has 
developed an important enterprise. The firm carries a large stock 



HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 63 

of lumber and building material and o^^■ing to reasonable prices 
and honorable methods its sales are constantly increasing. 

In Bradford township on the 15th of January, 1867, j\ir. Jones 
was married to Miss Viola Stark, a daughter of E. W. and Almeda 
(Camp) Stark. In both the paternal and maternal lines Mrs. 
Jones is descended from old families of the comity, both the Starks 
and Camps arriving in the early '30s. They were worthy respected 
farming people. Mr. and Mrs. Jones ha^-e three children: Augusta, 
the ^vife of Dr. Everett of DeKalb; William E., who is farming on 
the old homestead; and Margaret, the wife of D. L. Berry. 

Mr. Jones is a repulJican and has tilled the office of drainage 
coninussioner, but while he keeps well informed on the questions 
and issues of the day, he does not care to occupy political positions 
to any extent. In Masonry he has attained the Boyal Arch degree 
and he belongs also to the Odd Fellows Lodge and the Modern 
Woodmen Camp. Almost his entire life has been passed in this 
county and he has been a witness of its growth and development 
for six decades. Throughout the entire period he has made a 
record that is commendable and his circle of friends is today an 
extensive one. 



ALFRED P. ARMINGTON. 

Alfred P. Armington, identified with the banking business 
since 1891, has been cashier of the Dixon National Bank since 1907 
and in this connection his business record is most creditable. He 
is a popular official, who at the same time carefully safeguards the 
interests of the institution which he represents. He has made a 
close study of the business and upon the sulDstantial qualities of 
industry, close application and laudable am1)ition has builded his 
success. A Canadian, he was born in Dunham, in the province of 
Quebec, and at six years of age accompanied his parents on their 
removal to Boston, Massachusetts, where he had the benefit of 
instruction in the excellent public schools of that city. He started 
in the business world in connection with tlie flour trade and in 
1887 came west to Dixon, Avhere he entered the Dixon Milling Com- 
pany as secretary and treasurer. Four years were devoted suc- 
cessfully to the management and control of that business and then 
he turned from commercial to financial pursuits, entering the 
Dixon National Bank as bookkeeper in 1891. Promotion followed 



64 HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 

iu recognition of his ability and lidelity. He was made assistant 
cashier and in 1907 was chosen cashier, which office he has since 
tilled in a manner most creditable and satisfactory to both stock- 
holders and depositors. He is also treasurer of the Dixon Loan 
& Building Association and is recognized as a strong, forceful and 
resourceful business man, ready to meet emergencies and quickly 
recognizing the possibilities and opportunities of any business 
situation. 

In 1891 Mr. Arinington was united iu inaiiiage to Miss Gracia 
E. Laing, a native of Dixon, and unto them have been born two 
children, Dorothy M. and Clara G. Mr. Armington is a Mason and 
also an Elk and is popular in both organizations. He and his wife 
hold membership in the Methodist E^iiscopal church, showing that 
he is not neglectful of the higher, holier duties of life even in the 
press of unportant business interests which are constantly grow- 
ing in extent. His friends throughout Lee county — and they are 
many — speak of him in terms of the highest regard. 



EUSTACE EDWARD SHAW. 

An honored son of an honored sire and the associate of his 
father in business for many ^^ears as assistant managing editor 
of the Dixon Telegraph, Eustace Edward Shaw was born in the 
city of Dixon, March 27, 1857, his parents being Benjamin F. 
and Annie E. (Eustace) Shaw. At the usual age he became a 
pul)lic-school pupil and after mastering the work of the gi'ades 
in his nati^'e city he entered the Rock River Seminary, which at 
that time stood on the beautiful site of Bluff Park, where for 
many years was the Shaw home. He had not yet attained his 
majority when in 1877 he went to Smnner comity, Kansas, where 
he imrchased a tract of land and developed an excellent farm. 
After continuing its cultivation for a few years, however, he sold 
his property in the Sunflower state and returned to his native 
city. In 3882, however, he removed to St. Louis, where he con- 
tinued his residence for five 3^ears, receiving additional training 
in the ]n-inting business, which he had formerly learned and 
which he mastered with completeness, acquainting liimself with 
every phase of the business. When he again went to Dixon in 
1887 he joined his father, who was owner and editor of the Tele- 
graph, became junior member of the company and a writer on 




EUSTACE K. SHAW 



HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 67 

the editorial staff. His connection with the paper continued 
from that time until his demise, and he became its managing edi- 
tor and business manager. The policy which he followed was in 
keeping with the high standards which had ever been maintained 
by the paper. One of his contemporaries in the newspaper pub- 
lication said: "In the death of Eustace E. Shaw the field of jour- 
nalism has lost a brilliant writer and Dixon a good, honest 
American citizen." Another said: "He stood well with the mem- 
bers of the newspaper fraternity. The public in this vicinity feel 
that a good man has fallen from the ranks." Still another wrote: 
"We learned to respect him as a man, and altliougli a lival in the 
journalistic field, to regard him as a personal friend. His cheer- 
fid disposition, his vnifailing courtesy and his genial salutations 
are kindly remembered. As a journalist he was fair and honest; 
he never wilfully wounded any man's feelings, although main- 
taining always an editor's right to criticize where he deemed 
criticism necessary. His familiar form and cheerful greeting will 
be sadly missed in the little city he loved so well, and where most 
of his useful life had been spent. He has passed over to the 
majority, but his name and character were misullied. He will be 
sincerely mourned. He has left us in the prime of life, but 

'That life is long which 

Answers life's great end.' — Swarts." 

All this is indicative of the record and standing of Mr. Shaw 
among those with whom he was associated in personal and busi- 
ness relations. His best traits of character were reserved for his 
owii fireside and in his home he was a devoted husband and 
father. He was married on May 22, 1889, to Miss Mabel Smith, 
of Darlington, Wisconsin, and they became the parents of three 
sons, George B., Benjamin T. and Robert, who with the mother 
survive. 

The death of E. E. Shaw occurred in 1902. In the memorial 
since his demise it was said: "Mr. Shaw was a man whose domes- 
tic life was an ideal one; but while his choicest joy was found 
among the loved ones of his own fireside, he was far from insensi- 
ble to the claims of society and friends. Of his gentlemanly social 
qualities all who knew him can testify. No man in our midst 
enjoyed a larger circle of friends than did he; and no man cer- 
tainly was more worthy of the love so spontaneously accorded 
him. Ever kindly considerate, not only for those of his own 

Vol. n— 4 



68 HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 

household, or his personal friends, but for the youngest and most 
irresponsible of those in his employ, and of all with whom he was 
brought into associaton, his loss will be most keenly and widely 
felt. He was the embodiment of unselfish devotion to his par- 
ents and family, and his unswerving loyalty to his friends, through 
all emergencies, bound him to them with ties stronger than steel. 
He took the keenest delight in granting a favor, even to a casual 
acquaintance, and seemed scarcely to possess the ability to say 
no to a request. He doubtless made some enemies — as a man out- 
spoken for the right, as he sees it, does do; but no man could 
accuse him of acting deceitfully, for he was a man of the keenest 
conscientiousness and the soul of honor. Surely a good man has 
gone from our midst and the community is sadly the loser." Such 
is a splendid tribute to a man honored and esteemed by all who 
knew him and, most of all, where he was best known. 



HENRY S. DIXON. 



Henry S. Dixon is practicing law in the city of Dixon under the 
firm style of Dixon & Dixon. He is a sou of Sherwood and Melissa 
Gr. (Mead) Dixon, the fomier a son of James P. Dixon and the 
grandson of John Dixon. 

Henry S. Dixon Avas born in the city which is still his home, 
August 28, 1870, and was educated in the south side public schools, 
being graduated therefrom in Jime, 1888. Immediately after his 
graduation he was employed in the factory of C. M. Henderson & 
Company as a shoe cutter for more than a year. Subsequently he 
attended the Northwestern XTniversity and the Kent College of 
Law at Chicago, being graduated from the latter with the class of 
1893. In 1894 and a part of 1895 he was employed in the United 
States attorney's office at Chicago. He returned to Dixon in the 
latter year to become a partner of S. H. Bethea, with whom he 
retained this connection until 1898. He then engaged in practice 
alone until 1899, when he became a partner of George C. Dixon 
under the firm style of Dixon & Dixon. 

On the 24th of July, 1895, in Chicago, Mr. Dixon was united in 
marriage to Miss Margaret C. Casey, of that city, and they are 
the parents of four children: Sherwood, Marion E., Jerome F. and 
Robert A. 



HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 69 

■ Mr. Dixon has held the following positions: alderman of the 
first ward in 1898-99; mayor of Dixon in 19U3-04; and referee in 
bankruptcy for the northern district of Illinois from 1899 to the 
present. He was a member of the North Dixon board of education 
for two terms of three years each and in politics he has always been 
a democrat. 



HIRAM A. BROOKS. 



Concentrating his energies upon the general practice of law, 
Hiram A. Brooks has advanced step by step in his profession 
until his position is an enviable one. His clientage is large and 
important and his work in the courts is recognized as of solid 
worth. He has comprehensive knowledge of the principles of law 
and is seldom, if ever, at fault in the application of a legal pruiciple, 
owing to the thoroughness and care with which he prepares his 
cases. A native of Lee comity, Mr. Brooks was born in Marion 
township, in September, 1868, and is a son of Benjamin F. and 
Susan 0. (Morris) Brooks, the fonner a farmer by occupation, 
devoting his entire life to that pursuit. 

The early experiences of Hiram A. Brooks were such as usually 
fall to the lot of farm lads. His preliminary education was 
obtained in the pul)lie schools and later he entered Dixon College, 
then the Northern Illinois Normal School, in which he pursued his 
more speeifieall}' literary course and was graduated with the class 
of 1890. Upon this as a foimdation he began his law course, study- 
ing under William Barge of Dixon, and after thorough preliminary 
reading was admitted to the bar in 1893. The following year he 
took up the practice of law and has since been constantly active 
in his profession. For two years he served as city attorney, but 
almost the entire time has been given to private practice, which 
constantly becomes more and more important in character and 
greater in volume. His ability to solve intricate law problems 
is now widely recognized. His mind is analytical, logical and 
inductive. With a thorough and comprehensive knowledge of the 
fundamental principles of law he combines a familiarity with 
statutory law and a sober, clear judgment which makes him not 
only a formidable adversary in the courts but also a wise and safe 
counselor. At no time has his reading ever been confined to the 
limitation of the questions at issue. It has gone beyond and com- 



70 HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 

passed every coutingency and provided not only for the expected 
but also for the unexpected, which happens in the courts quite as 
frequently as out of them. He is, therefore, remarkable among 
lawyers for the wide research and provident care with which he 
prepares his cases. 

In 1893 Mr. Brooks was united in marriage to Miss Mary S. 
Fisher, and unto them was born a son, Byron A. Brooks. Follow- 
ing the death of the mother Mr. Brooks wedded Lottie Baldwin of 
Dixon. They are well known socially here and the hospitality of 
their home is greatly enjoyed by their many friends. Mr. Brooks 
is prominent in the local circles of Odd Fellows, bemg a past noble 
grand of the Dixon lodge, and both he and his wife are members 
of the Peoples church. 



J. B. FARVER. 



J. B. Farver is one of the representative and valued citizens of 
Ashton, where for the past nineteen years he has successfully 
engaged in the blacksmith business. During that time he has also 
been active in public affairs and has made a most commendable 
record in positions of public trust and responsibility. He was bom 
in Pennsylvania, November 1, 3869, and is a son of T. W. and Sarah 
M. Farver, also natives of that state. The parents came to Lee 
county, Illinois, in 1875, locating in Franklin Grove. To their 
union were born seven children, of whom the subject of this review 
is the third in order of birth. 

J. B. Farver remained at home until he was twenty years of age 
and then learned the blacksmith trade, which he has followed con- 
tinuously since that time. For the past nineteen years he has been 
in business in Ashton, where he has become recognized as a man 
of unusual integrity and worth. He controls a large and repre- 
sentative patronage, for his work is of high quality and his business 
methods beyond question. 

Tn 1893 Mr. Farver was united in marriage to Miss Emma S. 
Stoudt, a daughter of Alkana and Polly (Ruth) Stoudt, natives 
of Pennsylvania. The parents were residents of Illinois for many 
years and are now residents of Naehusa. Mr. and Mrs. Farver 
have become the parents of two children: Ruth M., and Reeta F., 
students in high school. The family occupy an attractive residence 
in Ashton and are well known in social circles of the commmiity. 



HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY. 71 

The parents are members of the Eastern Star and Mr, Farver is 
connected also with Ashton Lodge, No. 531, A. F. & A. M., and has 
filled almost all of the offices in the local lodge of the Modern Wood- 
men of America. He gives his political allegiance to the republi- 
can party and has always been active in public affairs. For four 
years he served as mayor of Ashton and his administration was 
constructive, businesslike and progressive, characterized by the 
accomplishment of a great deal of important work. Mr. Farver is 
a man of high character, industrious and enterprising and his 
honesty and uprightness have always merited him the confidence 
and respect of his neighbors. 



JOHN B. WEREEN, M. D. 

Dr. John B. Werren, engaged in the practice of medicine at 
Dixon since 1909, was born in Franklin county, Tennessee, on the 
11th of November, 1871, and is a son of John B. and Susan (Zwal- 
lan) Werren, both of whom were natives of Switzerland. They 
left the land of the Alps in 1868 to come to the United States and 
after crossing the Atlantic made their way into the interior of the 
country. For some years they were residents of Tennessee and 
in 1896 removed northward to Lake Forest, Illinois. The mother 
is now deceased, but the father is still living at Lake Forest, where 
he is engaged in the grocery business. 

At the usual age Dr. Werren entered the public schools and 
therein continued his studies mitil he had completed the course. 
He afterward became a student in the Normal School at Winches- 
ter Tennessee, and at a later date attended the Lake Forest Acad- 
emy. His professional course was pursued in the Bennett 
Medical College of Chicago, from which he was graduated with the 
class of 1900. He then located for practice at Orland, Illinois, 
where he remained for a year, and next went to Grand Detour, 
Illinois, where he contmued until 1909. That year witnessed his 
arrival in Dixon, where he has since engaged in general practice. 
He is a member of the Lee County Medical Society, the Illinois 
State IMedical Society and the American Medical Association. 

In October, 1900, Dr. Werren was imited in marriage to Miss 
Cora E. Schumaker, of Chicago. He is a republican in politics and 
manifests a citizen's interest in the questions of the day but has had' 
neither time nor inclination for public office. He is well known in 



72 HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 

fraternal circles, being a Royal Arch Mason and a member of the 
Elks and the Moose. He has not yet attained the prime of life but 
already has made for himself a gratifying place in professional 
ranks and will undoubtedly advance still farther in the futm*e. 



ROBERT POGUE. 



Commercial activities in Paw Paw and Lee county are well rep- 
resented by Robert Pogue, one of the foremost lumber and coal 
dealers in this district and in that connection a member of Pogue 
Brothers Lumber Company, who own coal and lumber yards not 
only at Paw Paw but also at Hinckley and Waterman, Illinois. 
Mr. Pogue has been a resident of Pawpaw since 1894 and has not 
only become one of the foremost business men of the town but has 
actively participated in the promotion of her public interests and 
now serves as president of the board of trustees. A native of Hli- 
nois, he was born in Oswego, Kendall county, January 9, 1862. His 
parents were M. J. and Sarah E. (Gibson) Pogue. The father was 
a pioneer farmer of Kendall county, going thither from Ohio by 
making his waj^ across the prairies in a wagon. Discontinuing his 
farming operations, he subsequently established himself in the 
lumber business, being successful along that line for thirty years. 
He at first established a Imnber and coal yard in Oswego and as 
his resources increased acquired one at Hinckley, Illinois, and 
subsequently bought another at Waterman and in 1894 the one 
which is now conducted by the firm at Paw Paw. The original 
name of the concern was M. J. Pogue & Sons, but in 1900 this style 
was changed to that of the Pogue Brothers Lumber Company. 
They still own coal and lumber yards at the various above men- 
tioned cities with the exception of that at Oswego, of which they 
have disposed. Mr. Pogue has done much toward promoting and 
extending the business and his executive ability and progressive 
methods have resulted in a most gratifying measure of success. 

The marriage of Robert Pogue to Miss E. Maud Hunt was 
celebrated at Oswego, Illinois, on October 22, 1 890. She is a daugh- 
ter of J. B. and Frances (Porter) Hunt, the former a retired 
business man. Mr. and Mrs. Pogue have one son, Kenneth H. Mr. 
Pogue is a devout member of the Presbyterian church, serving as 
an elder, and fraternally is a blue lodge Mason. He has always 
taken an active interest in promoting the growth of Paw Paw and 



HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 73 

as president of the board of trustees of the town has done much 
toward advancement. His policies are modern and progressive 
and he brings as vigorous an interest to his public duties as he 
exhibits in the pursuit of his private business affairs. He enjoys 
in full measiu'e the confidence of the general public, which is evi- 
dent from the position of trust to which he has been elected, and 
well merits that confidence on account of the considerate treat- 
ment which he gives to all matters coming before him in his public 
capacity. 



ISAAC BRYAN COUNTRYMAN. 

Honored and respected by all, there is no man who occupies a 
more enviable position in commercial and financial circles in Lee 
coimty than Isaac Bryan Countryman, whose business has ever 
balanced up with the principles of truth and honor. The extent 
and importance of his interests have made hun a strong center in 
the community in which he moves. He figured for many years as 
the active head of Dixon's leading mercantile establishment and 
at the present writing stands at the head of one of its strongest 
financial institutions, the Union State Bank, of which he has been 
president since its organization. He was born in Herkimer county, 
New York, a son of John I. and Nancy (Failing) Countryman, who 
were farming people of the Empire state and were of German 
descent, representing one of the old Dutch families of the JMohawk 
valley. The son, Isaac B. Countryman, acquired his early educa- 
tion in the public schools and afterward attended the Fairfield 
Seminary. In early manhood he sought the opportunities of the 
middle west, making his way to Rochelle, Illinois, where he 
engaged in clerking for two years. He came to Dixon in 1868 and 
engaged in clerking in a general store, his experience in that con- 
nection giving him training that proved very valuable when he 
started in business on his ow^n account. In 1871 he became a part- 
ner in the firm of W. G. Stevens & Company and eventually pur- 
chased the entire business. He was thus closely identified with 
mercantile interests of Dixon from 1868 until 1910, or for a period 
of forty-two years. After he became sole proprietor the store was 
conducted imder the name of I. B. Countr3Tnan, and in 1896 was 
incorporated, at which time he admitted his nephew, E. J. Country- 
man to a partnership. At that time Isaac B. Coimtryman retired 



74 HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 

from the management of the business and has since devoted his 
attention to outside financial interests. Whatever he lias under- 
taken throughout his entire career, he has carried forward to suc- 
cessful completion, brooking no obstacles that could be overcome 
by persistent, earnest and untiling effort. In 1902 he became asso- 
ciated with others in the organization of the Union State Bank, 
of which he was chosen president. 

He still remains at the head of that institution, which has 
become one of the strong financial concerns of this part of the 
state. Mr. Countryman opened a subdivision of sixty acres, now a 
part of the town of Oelwein, Iowa, and he has large holdings of 
farm lands in Lee county, Illinois, and in southern Minnesota. His 
investments have been most judiciously made and indicate his keen 
insight and sagacity. 

In 1898 Mr. Countryman was united in marriage to Miss Eliza- 
beth Becker of Dixon, a native of Schoharie county. New York. 
They are members of the Universalist church and Mr Countryman 
belongs to the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks and to the 
Masonic fraternity, being now a Knight Templar Mason. All 
through the years of his residence in Dixon his labors have been 
of a character that contribute to general prosperity as well as to 
individual success. Lie has never allowed personal interests or 
ambition to dwarf his public spirit or activities. His is the record 
of a strenuous life — the record of strong individuality, sure of 
itself; stable in purpose, quick in perception; swift in decision, 
energetic and persistent in action. His views have ever found 
expression in prompt action rather than in theory and his life 
work, therefore, has been fruitful of good results. 



CLARENCE D. SANDERS. 

Clarence D. Sanders, one of the most extensive landowners 
and prosperous and progressive agriculturists of Lee comity, was 
born in Bradford township, September 16, 18S3. He is a son of 
J. F. and Martha (George) Sanders, natives of Lee county, where 
the mother passed away in early life. The father afterward mar- 
ried again and moved to Texas, where he purchased a farm, upon 
which his death occurred a few months later. To his first union 
were born three children : N. H., a farmer in Bradford township : 
Clarence D., of this review; and (rrace M., deceased. 




CLAREXOE D. SAXDEKS 



HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 77 

Clarence D. Sanders accompanied his father to Texas after 
acquiring his education in the public schools in Bradford town- 
ship. In 1905 he returned to Lee coxmty, Illinois, and for about 
one year worked in the employ of his brother N. H. Sanders. In 
1912 he acquired two hundred acres of land in Bradford township 
and upon this property has since resided, making it by his intelli- 
gent management and progressive methods one of the finest agri- 
cultural properties in his locality. He has other valuable and 
important property holdings, owning one hundred and sixty acres 
in Pocahontas county, Iowa, a thirty acre fruit farm in Idaho and 
thirty acres of excellent land in Texas. 

In Lee county, in 1907 Mr. Sanders was united in marriage to 
Miss Carrie L. Dewey, who was born in Ida county, Iowa, a daugh- 
ter of Charles L. and Emma Dewey. Mr. and Mrs. Sanders have 
three children : Hazel M., who was born May 20, 1908 ; Kenneth 
R., born August 18, 1909 ; and C. L., born April 12, 1913. The par- 
ents are members of the Presbyterian church and Mr. Sanders 
gives his political allegiance to the republican party. His at- 
tention is, however, largely concentrated upon the conduct of his 
business interests and, being progressive, intelligent and enter- 
prising, he has gained a success which has been worthily won and 
is always well used. 



HARRY L. FORDHAM. 

In financial and political circles of Lee coimty the name of 
Harry L. Fordham is well known. For an extended period he was 
actively connected with banking interests and at the same time he 
found opportunity to discharge the duties of citizenship and to 
study those questions which are a vital force in promoting the 
welfare and progress of city, state and nation. He was born in 
Green Ridge, Pennsylvania, January 6, 1869, and is a son of Albert 
P. and Eliza (Lifts) Fordham, who in the year 1874 left the Key- 
stone state and removed to Compton, Illinois. 

Spending his boyhood days there mider the parental roof, Harry 
L. Fordham attended the public schools and in early manhood was 
called to public office, being clerk of the village, in which capacity 
he served for three years. His fidelity and capability in that con- 
nection led to his selection for other offices. He was assessor for 
five years, was township clerk for three years and for five years was 



78 HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 

president of the village board. Even before age conferred upon 
him the right of franchise he was an interested student of political 
pi'oblems and for six years he was chairman of the democratic 
central committee, while for three years he was its secretary. His 
position has never been an equivocal one. He has ever fearlessly 
and frankly announced his opmions upon questions affecting the 
eonmionwealth and in 1912, upon the organization of the progres- 
sive party, being in sympathy with its purposes and its principles, 
he joined its ranks and was made a member of the executive com- 
mittee of Illinois and chosen treasurer of that committee. In all 
his public life he has made personal aggrandizement subservient 
to the general good. While undoubtedly he is not without that 
honorable ambition which is so powerful and useful as an incentive 
to activity in public affairs, he regards the pursuits of private life 
as being in themselves abundantly worthy of his best efforts and 
the energy, perseverance and keen sagacity which have character- 
ized his conduct of business affairs have given him prominence in 
financial circles. His initial step, however, was made in coimec- 
tion with the profession of teaching, which he followed for seven 
or eight years, and later he devoted two years to merchandising in 
West Brooklyn. In 1898 he organized the Farmers & Traders 
Bank, of which he was the first cashier, remaining in that connec- 
tion until he came to Dixon in 1911. The bank has since been eon- 
verted into the First National Bank of Compton. At the time of 
his removal to Dixon he also resigned his position as supervisor of 
Brooklyn township, which office he filled for five years, being 
chairman of the board at the time he presented his resignation. 
Seeking a broader field of activity, he took up his abode in Dixon 
and has since been connected with the Union State Bank as its 
cashier. He has been a close and diseruninating student of the 
involved and complex problems of banking and few men are better 
informed concerning questions of finance. 

Mr. Fordham was married on the 29th of March, 1893, to Miss 
Addie B. Cole, a native of Compton and a daughter of Frank and 
Margaret Cole. Mr. and Mrs. Fordham now have two children; 
Frank A., who is associated with his father in the bank; and Harry 
L., at home. The religious faith of the family is that of the 
Methodist Episcopal church, of which they are loyal adherents. 
The}^ are generous in its support and take an active part in its 
work. In fact Mr. Fordham has ever manifested due recognition 
of all the duties and obligations of life. The subjective and object- 
ive forces of life are in him well balanced. To make his native 



HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 79 

talents subserve the demands wliieli the conditions of society 
impose at the present time is his piu'pose and by reason of the 
mature judgment which characterizes his efforts he stands today 
as a splendid representative of the prominent financiers to whom 
business is but one phase of life and does not exclude active partici- 
pation in and support of the other vital interests which go to make 
up himian existence. 



F. M. YOCUM. 



A history of the business development of Lee county during the 
past thirty years would be incomplete without mention of the 
activities of F. M. Yocum, who beginning with the installation of 
one telephone line among his neighbors has evolved a large system, 
known as the Yocum Telephone Lines, thus contributing in an 
exceptionally useful way to general progress and advancement in 
this section of the state. Moreover, he has been for many years 
connected with agricultural interests as the proprietor of a fine 
farm of four hundred acres near the city limits of West Brook- 
lyn and by practical methods in its cultivation has made this one 
of the most valuable properties in the locality. He was born in 
Luzerne county, Pennsylvania, March 5, 1851, and is a son of 
Thomas D. and Rachel (Stedman) Yocum. pioneers in Lee county. 
The father settled with his family south of Amboy on the Colonel 
Wyman farm, in 1855 and after four years and a half bought a 
farm on the same section whereon his son is now residing. He be- 
came one of the prominent men of this locality and his death, 
which occurred in 1907, when he was eighty-five years of age, was 
widely and deeply regi'etted. He had long survived his wife, 
who passed away in 1878, at the age of fifty-eight. Both are 
buried in West Brooklyn. 

P. M. Yocum acquired his education in the district schools of 
Brooklyn township and also attended the academy at East Paw 
Paw for a few winters. He laid aside his books at the age of 
twenty-one. but continued on his father's farm imtil 1877. when 
he bought a drug store at Lamoille, operating this for one year. 
In 1878 he returned to the farm and soon afterward installed a 
telegraph line from his home to the town of West Brooklyn. 
Later he ran telephone wires between his neighbors' houses and 
his own, extendinar these bv degrees until gi-adually the large sys- 



80 HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 

tern known as the Yoeum Telephone Lines was established. This 
has grown with great rapidity, exchanges being now operated in 
West Brooklyn and Compton and the lines covering seventy square 
miles of territory. 

In West Brooklyn, October 16, 1878, Mr. Yocum married Miss 
Martha Cooper, a daughter of William and Hannah Cooper, both 
of whom have passed away. Mr. and Mrs. Yocum have one son, 
Floyd, a telephone manager at Ventura, California. Mr. Yocum 
is independent in his political views and, while not an office seeker, 
is interested in the development of the conununity in which he 
so long resided. To its progress he has made many substantial 
contributions in the course of years, winning for himself a place 
among men of marked ability and substantial worth. 



GROVER W. GEHANT. 

The student of history cannot carry his investigations far into 
the records of Lee county without learning how long and promi- 
nently the Gehant family have been connected with the material 
development and substantial upbuilding of this section. 

Modest Salastine Gehant, grandfather of Grover W. Gehant, 
arriA'ed here from France, at an early epoch in the development of 
the county and his descendants have since been very active in fur- 
thering the work of public j^rogress through identification with 
agricultural, commercial and professional interests. 

Grover W. Gehant was born in Brooklyn township, Lee county, 
Illinois, on August 28, 1885, being the eldest of six children of 
Xavier F. and Lena M. (Gallisath) Gehant, a sketch of whom 
appears elsewhere in this work. His early educational opportim- 
ities were supplemented by a course in North Dixon high school 
followed by a complete commercial and stenographic course in 
Coppins' Commercial College, this city. He then entered the 
Northern Illinois College of Law at Dixon for a full three years' 
law course from which institution he graduated with the class of 
1911. Shortly after graduation he was admitted to practice and 
opened a law office in Dixon from which time he has been actively 
engaged in the practice of the law. 

In the spring of 1913 Mr. Gehant was elected justice of the 
peace and has also acted as deputy clerk to the circuit court of 
Lee county. He is also a notary public. On July 30, 1913. he 



HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 81 

was elected secretary of the Northern Illinois College of Law 
Alumni Association. He became a member of the Dixon Marine 
Band at the time of its organization in 1905, and remained with 
same for about seven years. Recently Mr. Gehant became a mem- 
ber of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, Dixon Lodge 
No. 779, and is now serving a term as timstee of the People's 
church. His interests are varied, indicating a broad-minded man, 
and his social qualities render him populai' so that the circle of his 
friends is constantly growing. He is well known in this coimty, 
where the greater part of his life has been passed, and his own 
record bids fair to rival in usefulness and the attainment of promi- 
nence the records already made by those in the legal profession of 
this county. 



JAMES GARRETT. 



Although thirty-nine years have elapsed since James Garrett 
passed away there are yet many who remember his integrity of 
character and personal characteristics as well as the enterprise 
and industry which made him one of the valued and respected 
citizens of Lee county, where for many years he was successfully 
connected with ag]'icultural interests. He was a pioneer of this 
county, his residence here dating from 1865, and he was numbered 
among those who contributed in substantial measure to the coun- 
ty's growth and advancement. He was a native of County Down, 
Ireland, born October 4, 1827, a son of James and Rebina (Pat- 
terson) Garrett, of Scotch Presbyterian stock from the north of 
Ireland. 

James Garrett of this review came to America in 1854 after 
serving an apprenticeship in a linen draper's establishment in Bel- 
fast, Ireland, and located first in Rockdale, Delaware county, 
Pennsylvania, where he remained for about three years in the 
employ of William Brown, a dry goods merchant there. At the 
end of that time he moved to Illinois, settling on a farm in Ogle 
county about the year 1857. After a time he went to Rochelle 
and there turned his attention to the mercantile business, operat- 
ing a store for three years. In 1865 he removed to Lee county and 
purchased a farm where the town of Ashton now stands. For a 
number of years thereafter he remained active in agi'icultural and 



82 HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 

business pursuits in this vicinity, managing liis farm ably and suc- 
cessfully until liis deatli, wliicli occurred November 26, 1874. 

On the 1st of October, 1860, Mr. Garrett was united in mar- 
riage to Miss Louise C. Hatch, who was born near Sublette, in 
Lee county, a daughter of Sherman L. and Lucy (Brown) Hatch, 
natives of Vermont and pioneers in Illinois. They came to Buf- 
falo by stage in 1837 and thence by way of the Great Lakes to Chi- 
cago, where they obtained wagons in which they conveyed their 
household goods to Lee county. Sherman L. Hatch took up a 
homestead claim in this locality and for many years thereafter 
was connected with farming interests here. He was one of the 
early settlers in this part of the state and his first home had a dirt 
floor in the general living room, and a floor in the chamber made 
of sjilit rails covered with cornstalks. His door was at first a 
blanket nailed up to keep out the chill night aii' and all of the 
tables and chairs in the house were home-made. The crude log 
cabin was subsequently destroyed by fire and in 1816 Mr. Hatch 
built a sixteen by twenty frame house which he replaced in 1852 
by a brick residence. For a number of years lie courageously 
faced the hardships and piivations of pioneer existence, becom- 
ing in the course of time one of the prominent fai'mers and highly 
esteemed citizens of Lee comity. His deatli occuri'ed at the home 
of his daughter, Mrs. James Garrett, in Ashton, February 7, 1903. 
He and his wife became the parents of four children : Mrs. Har- 
riet L. Gardner, of Sublette, Illinois; Mrs. Garrett, widow of the 
subject of this review; Mrs. Julia A. Latta, deceased, and Charles 
L., who lives on the old homestead. Mr. and Mrs. Garrett became 
the parents of four children. The eldest. James H., was gradu- 
ated from the Illinois State University in 1886. He married Miss 
Fliza Jennings Scott and they became the parents of two children, 
the elder being a daughter, who was also graduated from the State 
University, receiving her degree June 9. 1913. Mr. and Mrs. Gar- 
rett's second son. Frank S., has passed away. William B., a resi- 
dent of Wyoming, married Miss L. Perkins, of St. Louis, Missouri. 
George B., who completes the family, -was born May 2, 3875. and 
now makes his home with his mother. He married Miss Bertha 
B. Wingert, a native of I^ee county, Illinois, and a daughter of 
J. W. and Hannah (Hittle) Wingert, the former of whom died 
June 8, 3913, and the latter August 23, 1911. George B. Garrett 
is at present engaged in the fire insurance business in Ashton. 

James Garrett passed away November 26. 1874, and was laid 
to rest in the Ashton cemetery. He had become very widely 



HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 8:i 

kaowu in tliis locality aud Ms sterling qualities gained him the 
good-will and confidence of all with whom he was associated in 
business or social relations. He left to his family the priceless 
heritage of an untarnished name and an example that is well 
worthy of emulation. Mrs. Garrett still owns two farms of one 
hundred acres each in Lee county and a fine residence in Ashton, 
where she makes her home. She is well and favorably known in 
the village and has a circle of friends almost coextensive with the 
circle of her acquaintances. 



E. J. COUNTRYMAN. 



E. J. Countryman is prominent as a man whose constantly 
expanding powers have taken him from hiunble surroimdings to 
the field of large enterprises and continually broadening opportuni- 
ties. He has brought to bear upon business situations a clear 
understanding that readily solves complex problems and unites 
into a harmonious whole unrelated and even diverse elements. He 
is today the controlling factor in the largest mercantile enterprise 
of Dixon, being president of the E. J. Countryman Companj^, deal- 
ers in general merchandise, including dry goods, shoes, meats and 
groceries. 

Mr. Countryman was born in Ogle county, Illinois, in 1870 and 
acquired a public-school education which brought him eventually 
to graduation from the high school of Rochelle, Hlinois. Early 
in his business career he entered the Rochelle (111.) National Bank, 
where he spent three years before coming to Dixon in 1893. On his 
. arrival in this city he entered the employ of his uncle, I. B. Coun- 
tryman, who had been identified with the commercial interests in 
Dixon from 1868. After three years' experience, during which 
time he had largely acquainted himself with various phases of the 
business, his uncle withdrew from active management, following 
the incorporation under the name of I. B. Countryman Company, 
This is perhaps the oldest established general mercantile house of 
the city. It was originally the property of W. G . Stevens & Com- 
pany, of Avhich firm I. B. CountrATiiau became a member in 1871. 
A little later he purchased the store, which he conducted under 
his own name until 1896. From that time forward the business 
was carried on under the style of I. B. Countryman Company until 
1910, when a reorganization was effected under the name of E. J. 



84 HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 

Countryman Company with the subject of this review as president. 
They haA'e the largest store in Dixon, occupying two floors, fifty 
by one hundred and fifty feet and employing from fifteen to twenty- 
two people. The steps in the oi'derly progression which mark the 
life record of E. J. Countryman are easily discernible. With 
marked ability to plan and perform, he stands as one of the con- 
spicuous figures in commercial circles in Lee county and his busi- 
ness activity has found an even balance in his honorable methods. 
In 1894 Mr. Countryman was united in marriage to Miss AKee 
Sheaff, a native of Ogle county. They are well known socially in 
Dixon, their home being the abode of a warm-hearted hospitality. 
Mr. Countryman holds membership with the Masonic fraternity 
and the Elks, and at no time has he ever been neglectful of the 
duties of citizenship. For four years he was a member of the board 
of education and for two years acted as its chairman, during which 
time a neAv high-school building was erected. He is one of the 
organizers and charter members of the Union State Bank and one 
of its directors. Anyone meeting Mr. Coimtryman would know 
at once that he is an individual embodying all the elements of what 
in this country we term "a square man;" one in whom to have con- 
fidence, a dependable man in any relation and any emergency. His 
quietude of deportment, his easy dignity; his frankness and cor- 
diality of address with the total absence of anything sinister or 
anything to conceal, foretoken a man who is ready to meet any 
obligation of life with the confidence and courage that come of 
conscious, personal ability, right conception of things and an habit- 
ual regard for what is best in the exercise of human activities. 



HELMEiiSHAUSEN 

A. THE HELMEKSHAUSEN FAMILY IN WEIMAR 

I. Jonas Helmershausen and Catharine Niedlingen. 

II. Georg Casper Helmershausen and Barbara Rosen, daughter 
of Johaun Rosen and Anna Catherine Rheinfrancken. 

III. Georg Friedrich Helmershausen and Anna Clara Stammen- 
cenz, daughter of Franciscus Eustachius Stammencenz and 
Catherine von Seelen of Leipsic. 

IV. Dr. Georg F^'ranz Friedrich Helmershausen and Maria Hen- 
rietta Scheibe, daughter of Johann Benedict! Scheibe and 
Charlotte Mosher, of Weimar. 



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HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 87 

V. Dr. Heinrich Friedricli Helmershausen, eldest son of Dr. 

Georg Franz F'riedrich, born 1751, in Lobenstein, Reuss, 

died 1831, in Jeft'erson, Maine. 
VI. Henry F^rederick, Jr., of Maine. 
VI. Henry Charles Frederick of Maine and Illinois. 

B. THE HELMEKSHAUSEN FAMILY IN MAINE 

I. Dr. Henry Frederick Helmershausen, 1751-1831. 
Anna Marsh, his wife, 1751-1825. 
II. Henry i'rederick Helmershausen, 1784-1865. 
Lydia McLintock, his wife, 1794-1873. 
III. Rev. Edwin Adams Helmershausen, 1818-1873. 

Maria (Mrs. Capt. Eber Montgomery), 1820-1892. 
Nancy (Mrs. Elijah Averill), 1821-1897. 
Robert McLintock Helmershausen, 1825-1831. 
Eleanor (Mrs. Moses Tibbetts), 1827-1899. 
William Henry Helmershausen, 1830-1902. 
Charles Frederick Helmershausen, 1833-1892. 
Jane Elizabeth, 1835-1897. 
II. Henry Charles Frederick Helmershausen, 1789-1869. 
Jane Hilton, his wife, 1790-1878. 
III. William Henry Helmershausen, 1816-1901. 
Harrison Helmershausen, 1818-1905. 

Harriet Mathilda (Mrs. William Clark Robinson), 1820-1872. 
Mary Jane Frederica, 1822-1892. 

Henry Charles Frederick Hehnershausen, Jr., 1822 — living 

in 1914. 
Sophia Henrietta Charlotte Frederica (Mrs. Thomas Elliott), 

1824-1901. 
Sylvanus Cobb Helmershausen, 1825-1912. 
These were born near Bristol, Bremen township, Lincoln 

county. The first three in Massachusetts, the last four in 

Maine. 
Faustina Maria (Mrs. Truman Townsend), 1827-1910. 
Catherine Henrietta (Mrs. Charles Twombly), 1829-1855. 
Norman Helmershausen, 1831-1908. 
Eliza Dorothea Frederica, 1834-1834. 
These were born near Bangor, Penobscot county, Maine. 



88 HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 

C. THE HELMEBSHAUSEN FAMILY IN ILLINOIS 

Henry and Harrison moved to what is now Lee county in 1838. 
The father came in the summer of 1840. The mother and 

3'ounger children in December, 1840. 
IV. Chikhen of Harrison. 

Ann Loucetta (Mrs. Thomas Wertman). 

Harrison. 

Frederick Henry. 
IV. Chiklren of Harriet. 

Henry Clinton, dead. 

Sophia (Mrs. Robert McCoy). 

Ceorge Russell, dead. 

Georgiana Harriet, dead. 
IV. Children of Charles. 

Harriet Augusta (Mrs. F^errie RamsdeU), dead. 

George Charles Frederick, dead. 

Adella Johanne Frederica, dead. 

Maud Minnie Adella. 

Frank Daniel. 

Homer Chase. 

Floyd Thayei'. 

Alice Ada Dorothea. 

Charles Bryant Edwin, dead. 

Henry Warren Frederick. 
IV. Children of Sylvanus. 

Ida Catherine (Mrs. Frank Moulton). 

Chai'les Frederick. 

Lillian Alice (Mrs. Lorin Townsend). 

Grace Edna (Mrs. Simon Remley). 

May Edith (Mrs. George Brown). 
IV. Chikb'cn of Faustina. 

Fi'ederick Eugene. 

Charles B., dead. 

Clara Josephine, dead. 

William Henry, dead. 

Francis B. 

Lorin J. 

Cnrrio Aflolla (Mrs. William Cosey). 
TV. Child of Catherine. 

Ida Catherine (Mrs. Howard Myers). 



HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 89 



IV. Children of Norman. 

Adella J., dead. 

Gratia Mabel, dead. 

Jennie. 
V. Ciiildren of Ann Loueetta. 

James Clark, dead. 

Albert Jesse. 
V. Ciiildren of Harrison, Jr., called "Hal. 

Pearl. 

Harry. 

Clarence. 

Esther. 

Helen. 
V. Child of Frederick Henry. 

Winifred Armine. 
V. Children of Henry. 

Harriet Matliilda. 

Alden Clark. 

Roscoe Otto. 

Elmer Charles. 

Mary Ellen. 
V. Children of George. 

Lucy Viola. 

William Clark, dead. 

Frank, dead. 

Albert George. 

Roscoe. 
V. Child of Georgiana. 

William Clark. 
V. Children of Harriet (Charles). 

Katherine Belle (Mi'S. John Cover). 

Charles Luther. 

Robert Willard. 
V. Children of Floyd. 

Charles Bradstreet Earl. 

Alice Eva Blanche. 

Mildred Evelyn Lois. 
V. Children of Ida. 

Guy Ernest. 

Ruth. 

Violet 



90 HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 

Inez Lydia, dead. 

Infant, dead. 
V. Child of Charles Frederick. 

Bessie. 
V. Child of Lillian. 

Ethel Blanche. 
V. Children of May. 

Marguerite Harriet. 

Lucile. 
V. Children of Frederick Eugene. 

Florence, dead. 

Lillian, dead. 

Others. 
V. Child of Francis. 

Olive Faustina. 
V. Child of Lorin. 

Ethel Blanche. 
V. Children of Ida Catherine (Catherine). 

Bessie Catherine. 

Julia Mae. 



HENRY CHARLES FREDERICK HELMERSHAUSEN, Jr. 
April 19, 1822— living, 1914 

AUTOBIOGRAPHY 

My grandfather was Dr. Henry Frederick Helmershausen. My 
grandmother was Anna Marsh. My father was Henry Charles 
Frederick Helmershausen, who was born August 12, 1789, and 
died March 20, 1869, aged seventy-nine years, seven months, eight 
days. My mother was Jane Hilton, who was born March 21, 
1790, and died December 4, 1878, aged eighty-eight years, eight 
montlis, twelve days. Both were born and brought up in the same 
town. My brothers and sisters were: Henry, Harrison, Har- 
riet, Jane, myself, Sophia, Sylvanns, Faustina, Catherine, Norman, 
Eliza, eleven in all. Seven were born in Bremen township, Lincoln 
county, Maine, and the four youngest in Glenburn township, 
Penobscot county, Maine. 

Eliza died in Glenburn township, Penobscot county, Maine, 
about two miles from Bangor, when she was a little girl. 




HARRIET .MATHILDA (UKI.MKKSII Arsh;.\ , KOIIIXSUX 
•liiMiian- 19, 1820— April 10, Isr2 



HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 93 

The family moved to Penobscot couuty from Lincoln county 
when I, Charles, was four years old and Sylvanus was ten mouths 
old. Bought one hundred and twenty-five acres of laud, the second 
farm from Bangor township line over north into Gleuburu town- 
ship. The city of Bangor covered the township of Bangor. We 
were tweh'e miles from Old Town. Built a log house and a log 
barn, and then a frame house. We lived there fourteen years, then 
moved to Illinois. Henry and Harrison came in 1838, father came' 
in the summer of 1840, and mother, I, Sylvanus, Faustina, Cather- 
ine and Norman came in November and December, 1840. Took 
Captain Pai'ker's boat "The Saunup" down the Penobscot river to 
New Yoi'k city ; came up the Hudson river to Albany, across Erie 
canal to Buffalo ; took the old "General Wayne," a boat, to Toledo ; 
came on a corduroy I'ailroad to Adrian, Michigan, and stopped to 
see Silas Sears, who had moved a year before from Glenburn. He 
was a neighlx)r and a great friend of father's. We rented a house 
of a man named Bachelor and remained a mouth. T girdled trees 
while waiting. As soon as Mr. Penfield (who lived where Miles 
Bahen did later, on the road from Franklin Gi'ove to Amboy) came 
for us with one team, the household goods were repacked and the 
family came to Illinois the latter part of December. I (Charles) 
and Sylvanus walked all the way. Catherine rode, and in a jolt 
fell off. luit grabbed the horse's tail and saved herself an injury. 
The horses stood still mitil she got safely into the wagon. It was 
very cold, but T kei)t warm walking. The others were warnil_y' 
wrapped up. as mother had brought much bedding. We arrived 
Thursday night at Lee Center, where mother remained all night 
at Russell Linn's house, while I, with Sylvanus, walked over to 
Colonel Nathan Whitney's frame house and he directed us to 
"the Noe House" near Franklin creek. We were very glad to see 
father and he was very glad to see us. The next day (Friday) I 
walked to what is now the village of Franklin G]'ove and shot a 
wild turkey. On Monday I went out and helped Colonel Whitney. 
In the spring we set out trees in his nursery. We ]:)lanted the "old 
orchard." He was a fine man and T had many pleasant and profit- 
able conversations with him. We began to buy laud and farm it, 
enduring the usual hardships of pioneers. We slept in the loft of' 
the cabin, and when we arose in the morning often brushed away a 
snowdrift. We were hap]iy and contented. We teamed to Peru 
and to Chicago. We had solid silver spoons, lai'ge and heavy, 
which our mother had from her family, the Hiltons. She had also a 
string of gold beads which were from her family, and which each 



94 HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 

baby had worn. The marks of my first teeth are on them yet, as 
I was the only child, mother said, who bit the beads. We went to 
"singing schools," "spelling schools," on winter evenings, driving 
often many miles. We were not annoyed by wolves or wild ani- 
mals. There were no Indians in our vicinity. 

In 1853, thirteen years after, I went back alone, attending the 
Great Fair at New York city, which was a very celebrated fair at 
that time. Uncle Frederick, who was five years older than father, 
had married Miss Lydia McLintock, of a Scottish family. They 
lived at Jefferson on a farm. They iised ' ' Helmershausen ' ' in full. 
Rev. Edwin Helmershausen, William and Charles were my three 
cousins, each Uncle Frederick's son; and the four girls were 
Maria, Nancy, Eleanor, and Jane. One son, Robert, was dead. 
Maria, who married Captain Eber Montgomery, was a large, intel- 
ligent woman of strong and ready mind, and my father esteemed 
her highly. Jane never married but lived with Charles, her brother. 
She kept the data and traditions of our family. She had a pair of 
silver knee-buckles which General Washington gave our father's 
father in the Revolutionary war ; and a pair of cuff-links he used 
to wear marked "C." She kept the knee-buckles and gave me the 
cuff-links, thus dividing the two pieces of silver which grand- 
father cherished between his two sons' sons. There was grand- 
father's crest and coat-of-arms, but not used in our country. I 
visited my mother's mother. She was "Grandmother Peaselee" 
by name, for after Grandfather Hilton's death she married Mr. 
Jonathan Peaselee. She had two sons, Jacob and Riley, whom I 
saw. She also had Reuel. They were my mother's half-brothers, 
both Baptists, and she lived with Jacob. She was dark, lean, tall, 
and although nearly ninety years of age, was vivacious and sensi- 
ble to converse with. She sat up firm and straight and walked 
one-half mile from Jacob's home to the Baptist church and back 
on each Sabbath day unless very inclement weather prevented. 
She had had Jane, John, Samuel, Enoch and James and Hannah 
Hilton, Jacob, Reuel and Riley Peaselee. I think she was differ- 
ent from mother, and that mother favored her father, the Hiltons, 
and that my uncle John Hilton favored his mother, for Uncle John 
was tall, dark and handsome. Grandmother lived at the forks of 
the road near Jefferson, Riley lived a half mile farther on. Her 
daughter Jane, my mother, married Charles Helmershausen. 
James Hilton was lost at sea and deeply mourned. John Hilton 
lived in Augusta. His wife was Aunt Catherine Hilton, for whom 
my sister, Catherine Twombly, was named. They had fire children. 



-■i«m"\%iv 



Wm. 




MARY .TAXI-: FREDKKKA TrEL:\[En.SnAUSEN 
April 10, 182:2— April 16, 1S93 



HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 95 

who were my full cousins : Charles, Eugene, Faustina, Catherine 
and a babe. Uncle John was a chaise-maker at Augusta, and owned 
three shops (iron shop, wood shop, trinuniug shop), so he could 
make all the parts of a chaise. They were very elegant conveyances 
in those days. He afterwards died and his family came west, 
stopped and visited us, and went on to Nebraska to settle. My 
people were "Pilgrim" people of England; that is, my ancestors 
were Puritans, they said, on my mother's side. I went back the 
second time, 1858, and in June, 1885, the third time, and visited 
William at East Jetferson, and Charles. I saw the same old knolls, 
hills and waters. The house father built was standing in ( ilenburn 
township, and Norman, who was with me. went in and said, "I was 
born in this room." The house was in excellent condition, being 
shingled to the ground. Harrison, Norman and I went in 1885. I 
went to a little schoolhouse in Glenburn township on William Sher- 
man 's farm. Years ago we spelled in Webster 's Speller and we had 
much mental arithmetic. I used to spell the school down, for I 
worked in school. Some of our neighbors in Grlenburn township 
were the families of Samuel Dole (who had ten children") and 
lived opposite our house; Silas Sears, Andrew Meriill, Martin 
White, William Sherman; also the Webstei-s, Abbotts, Clarkes, 
Merrills. I read in a Bangor paper this week that Olive Merrill 
was dead, aged eighty years. She was a schoolmate of ours in 
that little red schoolhouse. There is no one left; if I should go 
back, there are only the old hills and trees and rocks, but it is 
strange how plainly I can see them all, distinctly and perfectly, 
and yet it is a great while ago — a gi-eat while. My grandfather 
fought under General Washington; my father was in the 1812 
war; I am here and there has been a great deal of history since 
we three lived; great history; it comes back and I remember them. 
It is strange one remembers his youth so long! 

Signed and written down. Sabbath ev£ning, April 9, 1905. 

HENRY CHARLES FREDERICK HELMERSHAUSEN, JR. 

1. Jonas Helmershausen, of Weimar 

2. Georg Casper Helmershausen 

3. Georg Friedrich Helmershausen 

4. Br. Georg Franz Friedrich Helmershausen 

5. Dr. Henrv Frederick Helmershausen 



96 HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 

6. Henry Charles Frederick Helmershausen 

7. Henry Charles Fi-ederick Helmershausen, Jr. 

1. William Hilton, of Hilton Point, Dover 

2. William Hilton, of York, Maine 

3. Lieut. William Hilton 

4. Stilson Hilton 

5. Samuel Hilton 

6. John Hilton 

7. Jane Hilton 



ADELLA HELMERSHAUSEN. 

Authoress of the adopted school song of Lee county ; Daughter 
of the American Revolution, Dixon Chapter; Daughter of the Illi- 
nois Daughtei's of 1812; graduate of Franklin Grove High School, 
class of 1885; of Dixon College, 1S91, later A. M.; Northern Illi- 
nois State Normal School at De Kalb, 1900; upper senior in Uni- 
versity of Chicago. A native of Lee county. The first members of 
her family moved to Illinois in 1838, a year before Lee county was 
organized. By profession a city school teacher of sub-normal 
pupils; friend of the newsboys and unfortunate children of the 
streets. 

A PLEA FOR A SOLDIERS ' MONUMENT. 

In Lee County, to Stand in The Court House Square. 

Ay, lift the noble shaft to fame 

Revere the soldier dead ! 
Their warfare and their valor name 
Where freedom and where glory claim 

The conquest which they led. 
The battle-legions of the free. 
The sires and sons of loyal Lee. 

Some sleep beneath the southern sun 

Where cypress copse is green ; 
Some sleep where Shiloh watei's run. 
Where coast sands sift from gTey to dim 

The hemlock hills between. 
The battle-legions of the free 
The sires and sons of loyal Lee. 




CATHERIX].; HENKIETTA (HELMERSHAUSEN) TWOMBLY 
November 30. 1829— ilareli 30, 1S55 



HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 99 

Near Father Dixon's cabin home 
Where Ogee's ferry crossed, 
Where wild gulls soar to heaven's dome, 
Where waters whiten into foam 

By boulders grey and mossed ; 
Ay, lift the noble shaft on high 
To earth and river, wood and sky. 

From Sangamon brave Lincoln came 

In early Illinois, 
He saw the settler's roof in Hame, 
The tomahawk, the scalping shame 

The rethnan's savage joy. 
His comrades then in bravery 
The sires and sons of loyal Lee. 

O lovely Lee, at Franklin Grove, 

The sylvan woodlands by, 
The wild deer there no longer rove, 
The birch canoe no more in cove, 

The creeks and waters nigh, 
There wood doves call in twilight gloam. 
There white gulls soai' to heaven's dome. 

Ay, lift the noble shaft! In tears 

Recall the loved at home. 
The wife of all the widowed years, 
The soldiers' orphans. In their cheers 

Is sob at twilight gloam. 
Their sacrifice no meagre part. 
The aching hunger of the heart. 

My uncle fell at Perryville 

That dark October day. 
"First sergeant missing" (war news ill) 
"Missing" his mother whispered still 

When old and bent and gray. 
Unknown. In Nameless Graves. Ah me! 
The sires and sons of loyal Lee. 

Ay, lift the noble shaft to fame. 

Revere the soldier dead ! 
Call muster, speak each honored name. 



100 HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 

Where glory and where valor claim 

The conquest which they led. 
Sound ' ' Taps ' ' ! Ay, lift the shaft on high 
To earth and I'iver, wood and sky ! 

THE COUNTY LEE. 

Words by Adella Helniershausen 

Music by Henry C. Work. 

(Tune — "Marching Through Georgia.") 

For the benediction of the heavens overhead ; 

For the dauntless courage where our fathers fought and bled; 

For the grace and glory where our brothers on have led, 

Hail to our loyal Lee County ! 

Chorus : 
We hail in song the Beautiful and Free, 
A song of cheer, loved and Loyal Lee, 
Forth thy stari-y banner floats for Law and Liberty 
Over thine altars forever. 

From the blue Rock River with its vanishing canoe. 

From the grove and thicket where the deer have skirted through, 

From the open prairie with the cabin still in view. 

Hail to our loyal Lee County ! 

Dost thou dream O county loved, of "Lighthorse Harry" Lee, 
How his dashing cohorts rode as legions of the Free, 
How he crowned our Washington with deathless eulogy? 
Hail to our loj^al Lee County ! 

Where the Dixon Ferry ran above the river's swell. 
Where the menaced shadow of the chieftain Black Hawk fell, 
Where the saintly Lincoln fought, once more the battle tell, 
Hail to our loyal Lee County ! 

In the lofty i-igging where the winds are whistling sweet 
By the soldier's campfire where his comrades often meet 
Sailor lad and soldier lad "three cheers" afar repeat, 
Hail to our loval Ijee Coimtv ! 




HEX];'! w ai;i;kn fkedhrk'Jv hi;i,.\if,ksiiausen 
Aufiiist 'J. isrs 



HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 103 

Wake the cbiming chorus, touch the great bells everywhere, 
Swell the joyful music iu the lUmoisau air. 

With our watchword "Victory!'' and "Peace" our battle prayer, 
Hail to our loyal Lee County ! 

All rights reserved. 



HENRY WARREN FREDERICK HELMERSHAUSEN. 

Youngest son of Henry Charles Frederick Helmershausen, Jr., 
and Ms second wife, Mary, daughter of Major Daniel Moore Brad- 
street, born August 9, 1878, in Franklin Grove, Illinois ; graduate 
of the Northern Illinois State Normal School at De Kalb, class 
of 1903; junior in the L^uiversity of Chicago; principal of public 
schools in Erie, 1903-1904; principal of public schools at Coal 
City, 1905-1906; teacher in James Monroe school, Chicago, 1906- 
1914. 



CHARLES W. WAGNER. 

Charles W. Wagner, giving his time and attention to the 
development and cultivation of a fine farm of one hundred and 
sixty acres on section 8, Bradford township, is a native son of Lee 
county, born May 13, 1865. His parents, Jacob and Sophia (Reis) 
Wagner, were natives of Germany and came to America in 1855. 
The father farmed in Lee county for a number of years and he is 
now living retired in Dixon, having survived his wife since 1883. 

Charles W. Wagner was reared upon his father's farm and 
assisted in its operation until his marriage, at the age of twenty- 
three. He then rented land in his locality and after several years 
purchased the property upon which he still resides. He has one 
hundred and sixty acres on section 8, Bradford township, and he 
has provided this with substantial barns and modern machinery. 
He has also tiled the farm and made a great many other improve- 
ments, the property being today one of the most productive and 
valuable in this section of the state. 

Mr. Wagner married Miss Anna Bower, a native of Lee county, 
Illinois, and a daughter of Wolf G. and Christina Bower. Mr. and 



104 HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 

Mrs. Wagner have become the parents of a daughter, Nellie 
Deloras, born May 24, 1895. The parents are members of the 
Evangelical church, in which Mr. Wagner serves as trustee. He 
gives his political allegiance to the republican party and is now 
townshi^D assessor, filling this office with credit and abihty. He is 
well known in Bradford township, where he has spent his entire 
life, and he has won a place among representative agriculturists 
and useful citizens. 



EDWARD E. WINGERT. 

Edward E. Wingert, an active practitioner at the bar of Lee 
county, his ability finding ready I'ecognition in a large and dis- 
tinctively representative clientage, was born in Lee county No- 
vember 13, 1866, his pai'onts lieing Walter J. and Mary C. 
(Emmoit) Wingert, natives of Ohio and (»f Maryland respectively. 
It was in the year 1852 that the father came to Illinois, settling in 
Lee county, where he reared his family. 

Edward E. Wingei't obtained a ]>ublic school education in 
Dixon, while his professional training was received in the Uni- 
versity of Michigan, being graduated from the law depaiinient 
with the class of 1889. He tanght language in the Northern Illi- 
nois Normal school for two years and was also a teacher in a law 
school for three years. He has since practiced in Dixon and has 
gained a creditable place amc^ig the representative members of 
the bar. His ability is pronoimced and comes from his careful 
preparation of cases, his thorough analysis, his close reasoning 
and his logical deductions. He has been connected with many 
important suits that have been heard in the courts and has won 
many verdicts favorable to his clients. 

Tn 1892 Mr. Wingert was married to Miss Bessie Boardman, 
and they have become the parents of four children : Marjorie, 
Bessie, Edward B. and Mary Constance. The family attend the 
Methodist Episcopal church of which Mr. and Mrs. Wingert are 
members. Tn politics he is republican, well informed concerning 
the questions and issues of the day. He has never sought nor held 
office, however, outside of the strict path of his profession. In 
1890 he was elected city attorney and served for three years, when 
in 1902 he was again chosen for that position, which he filled for 
two years. He regards the pursuits of private life as abundantly 



HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 105 

worthy of his best efforts and his close conformity to the highest 
professional standards have brought him the warm regard of his 
fellow members of the bar and of the general public. 



J. F. BETZ. 



Probably no man m Lee county is better known as a stock 
breeder and dealer than J. F. Betz, who owns and operates a fine 
farm of four hmidred acres lying on sections 17, 19 and 20, Wyo- 
ming township, specializing in the development of his stock-rais- 
ing interests. He is a native son of this part of Illinois, born in 
Wyoming township, Deceml^er 30, 1870, his parents being the late 
Jacob and Margaret (PoxjeJ Betz. The father was a native of New 
York state and came to Lee county in 1857, making the journey 
with his parents. After he grew to manhood he became connected 
with agricultural mterests here and was also active in public 
affairs. He died in 1894, at the age of forty-nine, and was sur- 
vived by his wife until 1909, her death occurring when she was 
sixty-nine years of age. Both are buried in the Fom- Mile Grove 
cemetery in LaSalle county. 

In the acquirement of an education J. P. Betz attended public 
school, laying aside his books at the age of sixteen. He afterward 
assisted his father with the Avork of the farm until he was twenty- 
one and then rented the homestead, operating it for a number of 
years thereafter. In 1907 he purchased a farm of two hundred 
and forty acres and upon his mother's death inherited another 
tract of one hundred and sixty acres. His land lies on sections 17, 
19 and 20, Wyoming township, and constitutes one of the most 
valuable farms in this locality. Mr. Betz makes a specialty of pure- 
blooded live stock and has been successful from the beginning, his 
animals commanding always a high price and a ready sale. The 
first time he entered exhibits at the International Live Stock Expo- 
sition of Chicago he won foui' ribbons on pui'e-bred Clydesdale 
horses and he has since met with widespread recognition in his 
special field. In addition to this he is president of the First 
National Bank of Compton and well known in financial circles as a 
man of ability and enterprise. 

In Mendota township. LaSalle county, Illinois, on the 9th of 
March, 1892, Mr. Betz was Tuuted in marriage to Miss Sarah Nie- 
bergall, a daughter of John and Catherine Niebergall, the former 



106 HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 

a pioneer in tliat locality. The father died in 1908 and is buried in 
Four Mile Urove cemetery, LaSalle county. His wife survives him 
and makes her home in Meudota. Mr. and All's, iietz have three 
children: Wellington, at home; Roscoe, who was graduated in 
1913 from the Compton high school; and Edwin, a student in high 
schooL 

Mr. Betz gives his political allegiance to the progressive party 
and is now president of the board of education and justice of the 
peace. He attributes the remarkable success which he has met 
with in his business to the fact that he has specialized in one line 
since the beginning of his active career, never neglecting any 
opportunity to increase his knowledge or promote his efficiency. 



T. H. STETLER, M. D. 



Since 1867 Dr. T. H. Stetler has been a resident of Lee county, 
coming to this region from Pennsylvania when twenty years of 
age. During the first few years in this locality he taught school, 
but later took up the study of medicine and in 1876 established him- 
self in Paw Paw, where he now has successfully practiced for 
thirty-seven years, being recognized as one of the foremost phy- 
sicians and surgeons of the city. He has an extensive and represen- 
tative practice and by his many patients is considered more in the 
light of a friend than that of a physician. As the years have passed 
prosperity has come to him and he has become one of the most influ- 
ential and substantial men in Paw Paw, where his professional 
attainments are imiversally recognized. 

Dr. Stetler was born in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, on August 
6, 1847, a son of John and Julia (Lazarus) Stetler, the foniier of 
whom was engaged along mercantile lines in the Keystone state. 
He was highly respected in his residential city, where he passed 
away in 1886, his wife having preceded him thirty years, her death 
occurring in 1856. Both are buried at Hanover, Pennsylvania. 
The Stetler family are of German extraction but have been resi- 
dents of this comitrv for over a cent^lry. 

T. H. Stetler was reared under the parental roof and the oppor- 
tunity was giA'Cn him of attaining a fair education. He attended 
public school and subsequently the Wilkes-Barre Academy, but 
when he had attained the age of twenty years, in 1867, he decided 
to seek the greater opportunities of the then west and removed to 



HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 107 

Lee comity, Illiuois, where lie successfully taught school for five 
or six years. lucliiied, however, toA\ard a professional career, he 
entered Northwestern University, where he attended the medical 
school, graduating in 1876. In that year he returned to Lee county 
and established himself in practice at Paw Paw, which he has since 
made the field of his labors and where he has attained to a position 
which places him with the foremost medical men of the coimty. In 
point of years of practice he is the oldest doctor in this vicinity. 
He is careful in diagnosis and there are few if any mistakes which 
have occurred in the execution of his duties during his long career. 
His medical standing is fully recognized in the profession and his 
reputation with the general public bespeaks the confidence which 
is reposed in him and is only too well merited. 

On December 31, 1870, in Paw Paw, Illiuois, Dr. Stetler was 
married to Miss Elizal^eth Rosenkraus, a daughter of Abram and 
Elizabeth Rosenkrans, the former a pioneer agriculturist of Lee 
county, who settled here in 1855. Her parents are deceased and 
found their last resting place at Marble Rock, Iowa. Dr. and Mrs. 
Stetler have one daughtei', Orla, a graduate of the Paw Paw high 
school, formerly a student of Northwestern University and also 
a graduate of the Chicago Conservatory of jNIusic. She is a highly 
accomplished young lady and poj^ular in the younger society set. 

Dr. Stetler and family occupy a handsome residence which he 
himself erected and where he has his office. Although his pro- 
fessional duties are arduous and occupy practically all of his time, 
the Doctor has taken an active interest in matters of public impor- 
tance and has served successfully as chairman of the republican 
central committee, although he has since embraced the principles 
and ideals of the progressive party. Along fraternal lines he is 
prominent with the Masons, being a Knight Templar, and has also 
been worshipful mastei' of the blue lodge at Paw Paw. He is a 
member of Bethany Commandery. Along more strictly profes- 
sional lines he is a member of the Lee County and Lllinois State 
Medical Societies, a life member of the North Central Medical 
Association and a member of the American Medical Association, 
and through these connections keeps in touch with the latest dis- 
coveries and ideas w^hich constantly revolutionize the world of 
medical science. His religious faith is that of the Presbyterian 
denomination and he is a member and trustee of that church at 
Paw Paw. He is interested in all projects imdertaken in the inter- 
ests of the general public and is ever ready to give his support to 
worthy public enterprises and to help along measures which make 



108 HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 

for the uplift and betterment of humanity along moral, intellectual 
and material lines. He is one of the most highly respected citizens 
of Paw Paw and the esteem and regard which he so freely enjoys 
are readily given in response to his professional attainments, his 
disinterested public spirit and those qualities of his character 
which have made possible his success. 



WALLACE C. YENEKICH. 

Wallace C. Yenerich holds a position of distinctive precedence 
in financial circles (jf Lee county as president of the Farmers State 
Bank of Asliton, an institution which he aided in organizing and 
which his executive power and ability as a financier has placed 
among the leading banks in this part of the state. He was born 
in Buffalo, New York, February 14, 1855, his parents being George 
H. and Elizabeth Yenerich, natives of (jrermany. 

Wallace C. Yenerich acquired his education in the public 
schools of Wyoming township, this county, and at Northwestern 
College at Naperville, Illinois. After completing his studies he 
turned his attention to farming in Wyoming township and later 
moved to Ashton township, where he followed agricultural pur- 
suits until the fall of 1905. At that time, in partnership with his 
eldest son, E. J. Yenerich, he opened a bank at Whitten, Iowa, 
and he has since been president of this institution. In April, 1907, 
with others Mr. Yenerich organized the Farmers State Bank of 
Ashton, Illinois, and was elected president, an office which he has 
held continuously since that time. In a responsible and difficult 
position he has proved capable, farsiglited and reliable, promoting 
the interests of the bank in a progressive and practical manner 
and winning recognition for himself as a successful financier. He 
controls valuable property interests, owning nearly one thousand 
acres of land, most of which lies in Lee county. He has stock in 
several banks in Minnesota and was at one time the owner of the 
majority of the stock in the Farmers State Bank of Ashton. He 
now holds a majority of the stock in the Whitten Bank at Whitten, 
Iowa. 

In Reynolds township, this county, on the 4th of December, 
1879, Mr. Yenerich was united in marriage to Miss Catherina Kers- 
ten, a daiighter of John and Christina Kersten, the former a large 
land holder in that locality. Mr. and Mrs. Yenerich have become 




WALLACE V. YKNKr.UH 



HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY ill 

the parents of the following children : Erven John ; Benjamin G., 
who married Elma Johnson; Ellen Lizzie, the wife of C. F. Heiben- 
thal ; Charles Otis ; Maybelle ; and Wesley H. 

Mr. Yenerich is a member of the United Evangelical chnrch at 
Ashton and is active in religious circles, liolding the office of Sun- 
day-school superintendent for many years and being now a teacher 
of the adult Bible class. He has lived in Lee county since his child- 
hood and his long residence here has made him widely and favor- 
ably known. In his early life he was one of the most successful 
farmers in this part of the state and held the world's record for 
husking corn and putting it into the crib in the shortest possible 
time. Mr. Yenerich accomplished this feat on the 24th of Novem- 
ber, 1879, husking and putting away one hundred and forty-eight 
and one-quarter bushels at eighty pounds to the bushel between 
sunrise and sunset. ]Mr. Yenerich is a progressive republican in 
his political beliefs and interested rti public affairs, although not 
active as an office seeker. His name stands as a synonym for integ- 
rity and honor in business circles of Ashton and is held in high 
esteem and respect wherever it is known. 



J. A. ROPER. 



Among the more recently established business enterprises of 
importance in Dixon is the manufacturing plant of the Roper 
Furniture Company, which was opened in 1910. It is today one 
of the leading productive industries of the city, contributing in 
large measure to the material growth and substantial develop- 
ment of Dixon. At its head is J. A. Roper and associated with 
him are two of his sons. The Roper family has long been estab- 
lished in the middle west. The parents of J. A. Roper removed 
from New York to Michigan in the early '40s. The father was a 
molder by trade and was a fellow workman on the molding 
floor with the late James Oliver of South Bend, the multi-million- 
aire plow manufacturer. J. A. Roper was born in Michigan in 
1846 and the same year the family removed from that state to 
Indiana. His youthful days were devoted to the acquirement of 
a public school education before the war which was supplemented 
by a course of study in Asbury University after the war. He 
was but a lad of fourteen years when he joined the army, enlist- 
ing the fall of 1861 as a member of Company P, Forty-eighth 



Toi n— « 



112 HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 

Indiana Volunteer Infantry, with which he served until the close 
of the war, being first sergeant when mustered out. For a year 
previous to his discharge he had command of General William T. 
Clark's body guards, numbering thirty men. He was the yoimg- 
est member of his company to serve throughout the period of hos- 
tilities. He participated in many hotly contested engagements 
which led up to the final victory that crowned the union arms, and 
he never faltered in the face of danger nor hesitated to respond 
to the call of duty. 

After the close of the war Mr. Roper continued a resident of 
Indiana for a number of years and in 1868 was married to Miss 
Ella M. Bowling of that state. Unto them were born five sons: 
H. D., who is secretary and treasurer of the Roper Furniture 
Company ; C. A., residing at Mishawaka, Indiana, where he is en- 
gaged in the lumber business; H. C, connected with the Dixon 
plant; L. E. and J. Gordon, who are I'esidiug in Chicago and are 
engaged in the furniture business there. 

During the period of his residence of Mishawaka, Indiana, J. 
A. Roper established a furniture manufacturing plant, which was 
conducted by the family for twenty-two years. 

Throughout that period the business grew and prospered and 
it was not until 1910 that it was sold and the family removed to 
Dixon. Here was established the present plant of the Roper 
Furniture Company which today has a floor space of thirty-four 
thousand, four hundred aud forty feet. It is a three story fire- 
proof building with sprinkler equipment, an engine of one hun- 
dred and twenty-five horse powei', witli a steam plant and also 
full electrical equipment. They manufacture high-grade dining 
room furniture, employ seventy-five people at the factory and 
three traveling salesmen npon the road. Tlieir product is widely 
Bold and they have salesrooms, warerooms and offices at No. 815 
Wabash Avenue, Chicago. The present officers of the company 
are J. A. Roper, jjresident ; H. C. Roper, vice president and H. D. 
Roper, secretary and treasurer. The business was a valuable ad- 
dition to the manufacturing interests of Dixon and the partners 
in the enterprise are all progressive business men who have no 
patience with underhand methods, but base their siiccess upon de- 
termination, perseverance and talent. The simple processes are 
those which win results — not the intricate involved plans — and 
thus it is that analysis brings to light the fact that the success- 
ful men are those whose rules of business are simple in plan, even 
thongh there be a multiplicity of detail. In the conduct of the 



HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 113 

Roper Furniture Company the efforts of the sons ably supple- 
ment and round out those of the father and trained through years 
of painstaking work, they are in every way adequate to assume 
the discharge of comprehensive duties and guide the interests of 
one of the most important business concerns in the city. 

The family are members of the Episcopal church and in poli- 
tics father and sons are progressive republicans, believing that in 
politics as in business, advancement should be continuously made 
with changes to meet the changing conditions of the times. 



R. W. RUCKMAN. 



R. W. Rnckman, a successful and popular young citizen of 
Amboy, has held the position of cashier in the Amboy State Bank 
since its inception in December, ]932. His bii'th occurred at Stew- 
ard, Lee county, Illinois, on the 15th of September, 1890, his par- 
ents being G. A. and Carrie (Bowies') Ruekman. The father, 
who came to this county from "West Virginia in 1878, embarked 
in business as a hardware merchant at Steward, where he has con- 
ducted his enterprise successfully throughout the intervening 
thirty-five years. He has ably served in the capacity of township 
treasurer for many years and is widely recognized as one of the 
substantial and representative citizens of the community. His 
wife, whose demise occui-red in September, 1910, at the age of 
forty-five years, is buried in the Steward cemetery. The family 
is of old American stock. 

R. W. Ruekman was gi'aduated from the Steward high school 
in 1907 and then entered Coppin's Commercial College at Dixon. 
After leaving the latter institution he assumed the duties of as- 
sistant cashier of the First National bank of Steward and has 
since remained a stockholder and director thereof. Tn December, 
1912, at the time of the organization of the Amboy State Bank, 
he entered that institution as cashier, in which position he has 
already made a creditable record, discharging his important du- 
ties in an efficient and highly commendable manner. 

In his political views Mr. Ruekman is independent, support- 
ing men and measures rather than party. At the time of his re- 
moval to Amboy he had served in the office of town clerk for six 
months. Fraternally he is identified with the Masons, belonaring to 
the blue lodge at Steward and the chapter at Rochclle, Illinois. 



114 HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 

He has always remained a resident of this county and enjoys an 
enviable reputation as one of its popular, progressive and enter- 
prising young men. 



LEWIS WOOD. 



Lewis Wood, a veteran of the Civil war, living retired after 
forty-four years in the service of the Northwestern Railroad Com- 
pany, was born in Bradford county, Pennsylvania, May 14, 1848. 
He is a son of James and Melissa (Vosburg^ Wood, natives of 
Pennsylvania, who came to Illinois in 1852, and located in Ogle 
county, where the father served as foreman in the construction of 
a dam across the Rock river at Oregon, Illinois. Both passed 
away in this state. To their union were born eleven children, 
the subject of this review being the eighth in the order of 
birth. 

Lewis Wood remained with his parents imtil 1864, when he 
ran away from home and joined the union army, enlisting in the 
One Hundred and Fortieth Illinois Voliinteer Infantry under 
Captain George Turkenton. He was one of six brothers who 
served the imion during the conflict and all came out of the serv- 
ice alive. Lewis Wood was mustered out with honorable dis- 
charge at Chicago, Illinois, and immediately returned home, where 
he remained until 1867. Two years later he entered the service 
of the Northwestern Railroad Company and for forty-four years 
and five months thereafter remained connected with this corpor- 
ation, rendering his employers efficient, conscientious and capable 
service. He became known as one of the most reliable men in the 
employ of the company and in the course of years won the con- 
fidence and regard of his superiors and the good-will of his as- 
sociates. Mr. Wood draws a pension of seventeen dollars and 
seventeen cents a month from the Northwestern Railroad and 
also fifteen dollars a month from the government, as a veteran of 
the Ci'sdl war. He owns a comfortable residence in the village of 
Ashton and is here spending his retired life, being widely and 
favorably known in the community. 

In 1867 Mr. Wood was imited in marriage to Miss Susan Moot, 
a native of Canada, and a daughter of Silas and Theresa Moot, 
also natives of the Dominion. The parents came to the United 
States in 1863, locating in Lee county, Illinois, where both passed 



HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 115 

away. Mrs. Wood died April 9, 1913, leaving three children: 
Charles H.; Lily May, the wife of Fred Tilton of Ogle county; 
and Fred B. 

Mr. Wood is connected fraternally with the Independent Or- 
der of Odd Fellows and is a member of the Grand Army Post. He 
gives his political allegiance to the republican party and served 
for sLx years as trustee of Ashton township. In matters of citi- 
zenship he is at all times progressive and public-spirited, being as 
loyal to his country in times of peace as he was on the southern bat- 
tle fields during the Civil war. 



CITY NATIONAL BANK. 

The City National Bank of Dixon is the outgrowth of the first 
bank of Lee county. It was established in Dixon in 1854 by the 
firm of Robertson, Eastman & Company as a private bank. In 
time changes in the partnership led to the adoption of the firm 
style of Robertson, Eells & Company and since that time the name 
of Eells has figured in connection with the successful manage- 
ment and control of the institution. In 1865 a reorganization 
was effected under the named of the Lee County National Bank 
and the capital stock was raised to one hundred thousand dol- 
lars. Two decades later the name was changed to the City Na- 
tional Bank, the capital stock remaining the same. In this re- 
organization Joseph Crawford became the president with Samuel 
C. Eells as the cashier. Subsequent changes led to Mr. Eells be- 
coming president, in which position he continued to the time of 
his demise in September, 1913. The present officers are: W. C. 
Durkes, president ; 0. J. Downing, vice president ; John L. Davies, 
cashier, and C. E. Chandler, assistant cashier. The capital stock 
remains at one himdred thousand dollars and the surplus is fifty 
thousand dollars with undivided profits of thirty-five thousand 
dollars. The bank had the first safety deposit boxes in Lee county 
and has ever kept abreast with the advancement made in the 
banking business. Three per cent interest is paid on savings ac- 
counts which in this bank amoimt to one himdred and eighty-eight 
thousand and seventy-one dollars and fifty-three cents, while the 
individual deposits subject to check are six hundred and ten thou- 
sand and two dollars and fifty cents. The bank occupies one of 
the attractive business blocks of the city. It is a brick and stone 



116 HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 

building with trimmings of Grecian marble and the fixtures are 
of solid mahogany. The bank is modern in every respect and 
since its establishment six decades ago it has maintained an un- 
assailable reputation, the policy of its officers commending it at 
aU times to the confidence and patronage of the general 
public. 



C. W. BREWSTER. 



No history of the Dixon bar would be complete without 
extended reference to C. W. Brewster, who for nineteen years has 
been in active practice here. He is one of New England's native 
sous, his birth having occurred in Wilton township, PrankUn 
county, Maine, January 5, 1852. He was but a yoimg lad at the 
time of the removal of the father's family to Lee county, settlement 
being made near Lee Center in the latter part of the '50s. The 
father engaged in farming and the surroundings of rural life 
became familiar to C. W. Brewster, who divided his time between 
the duties assigned him by parental authority and the acquirement 
of a public-school education. For nearly ten years he engaged in 
teaching school and then, interested in the profession of law, began 
preparation for the bar, to which he was admitted in 1892. He 
entei'cd upon active practice in 1895 and came to Dixon, where 
he joined his brother E. H. Brewster. He is recognized as a 
popular and prominent member of the Lee county l^ar, his pro- 
fessional brethren entertaining for him warm regard by reason 
of his capability and his close conformity to the ethics of the pro- 
fession. 



GEORGE B. STEPHAN. 

George B. Stephan, proprietor of a well appointed furniture 
and imdertaking establishment in Ashton, is a native son of this 
town, born September 7, 1886. His parents, Henry and Ernestine 
(Goebel) Stephan, were natives of Germany and came to America 
in 1884. locating in Ashton, where they still reside. To their union 
were born six children, all of whom are still living. 

George B. Stephan acquired his education in the public schools 
of his native city, after which he established himself in the fur- 



HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 117 

nitiire and undertaking business. He carries a large and well 
selected line of fiu'niture, caskets and funeral supplies and a 
liberal patronage is accorded to him, for Lis prices are reasonable 
and his integrity above question. 

In 19U9 Mr. Stephan married Miss Elizabeth Trostle, a daugh- 
ter of C. W. and Mary (Miller) Trostle, the former a native of 
Pennsylvania and the latter of Lee county, Illinois. Mrs. Stephan 
is a member of the Presbyterian church and well known in religious 
and social circles of the town. 

Mr. 8te])han is connected fraternally with Ashton Lodge, No. 
997, 1. O. 0. P.; Dixon Lodge, No. 779, B. P. 0. E.; Ashton Lodge, 
No. 48, M. W. A.; and Ashton Lodge, No. 531, A. P. & A. M. He 
gives his political allegiance to the progressive party and is now 
serving as county coroner, having been elected to that office in 
1912. lie has held steadily to high standards in business and 
ofiicial relations and well merits the esteem and good-will which 
are uniformly accorded him. 



ADAM WENDEL. 



Since 1901 Adam Wendel has owned and operated a fine farm 
of one hundred and sixty acres in Bradford township and he has 
become known as one of the substantial and progressive farmers 
of his localit_y. He was born in Germany, j\Iay 11, 1868, and is a 
son of Ciriacus and ]\Iartha Wendel, also natives of that country. 
The parents came to America in 1869 and located in Lee county, 
Illinois, where the father engaged in farming, later living retired, 
his death occurring in 1909. He had siirvived his wife since 1901, 
To their union Avere born seven children, six of whom are still 
living. 

Adam Wendel was one year old when his parents came to Lee 
county and he was reared upon his father's farm here, acquiring 
his education in the district schools. When he began his independ- 
ent career at the age of twenty-one he turned his attention to farm- 
ing, operating rented land until 1901. He then purchased a farm 
of one hundred and sixty acres in Bradford township and he has 
since lived upon this property, which reflects everywhere his care- 
ful supervision and practical methods in its management. Upon 
it he has erected substantial buildings and he has installed modem 



118 HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 

machinery, neglecting nothing which might add to the appearance 
or value of the property. 

On the 11th of February, 1892, Mr. Wendel married Miss Mary 
Magdalene Bower, and they have become the parents of five chil- 
dren: Hannah E., at home; Henry Ray; one who died in infancy; 
Robert A., deceased; and Roy W. The parents are members of the 
German Lutheran church. Mr. Wendel gives his political alleg- 
iance to the republican party, has been school director and school 
trustee and is now serving as road commissioner. He is a public- 
spirited and progressive citizen and as such is interested in the 
growth and development of the county where he has spent prac- 
tically his entire life. 



HENRY VAUPEL. 



Among those who contributed in substantial measures to the 
agricultui'al development of Lee county Henry Vaupel was mnn- 
bered. Fie settled in this part of Illinois in 1863 and from that 
time imtil his death, in 1909, remained an honored and respected 
resident, his interests extending to many fields and touching 
closely the l)usiness, political and social growth of the community. 
He was born in Germany, August 23, 1844, and came to America 
when he was nineteen years of age, settling immediately in Lee 
county, Illinois, where for six years he worked as a farm laborer. 
At the end of that time he rented a farm of eighty acres and after 
two years purchased two lumdred and forty acres, upon which he 
carried on general farming and stock-raising successfully \mtil 
he retired from active life and moved to Ashton. Later he bought 
an additional three Imndred and fifty-five acres and at the time of 
his death was an extensive landholder, owning five hundred and 
ninety-five acres well improved and cultivated. His widow still 
owns two hundred and forty acres of the homestead and the house 
in Ashton where she makes her home. 

Mr. Vaupel married Miss Mary Heibenthal. a native of Brad- 
ford. Jjce coimty, and a daughter of Charles and Martha Heiben- 
thal. Ml', and Mi's. Vaupel became the parents of nine children: 
John, a resident of Lee county ; Anna, deceased ; William, of North 
Dakota; Christina, the wife of Samuel Moll of Dixon, Hlinois; 
Sarah, deceased ; Charles, of Melvin. Towa ; May, the wife of Will 
Burhenn ; Henry, of Lee county ; and Harry, at home. 



3 







HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 121 

Ml'. Vaupel was a member of the Evangelical church and gave 
his political allegiance to the republican party. For several j^ears 
he rendered the county efficient service as a member of the board 
of commissioners and he was for six j'ears tax collector. His suc- 
cess came to hiui as the legitimate and logical reward of his 
perseverance and labor. Althuugh he did not seek to figure promi- 
nently before the public, he came to be known throughout the 
community as an exemplary citizen, a faithful husband and father 
and a reliable and trustworthy business man. 



J. ARTHUR EDWARDS. 

J. Arthur Edwards, a well known ice dealer of Amboy and one 
of the most jDrogressive and successful business men of that com- 
munity, was born in Lee county, in the city where he now resides, 
October 28, 1871. He is a son of Isaac and Elizabeth (Saul) Ed- 
wards, the former of whom came to Illinois at an early date and 
opened the first livery stable in Amboy, this establishment having 
been in continuous operation from 1855 to the present time. The 
father was also a railroad contractor and aided in the construction 
of the Illinois Central, the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul and the 
Toledo & St. Louis Railroads. He was a stanch republican in 
his political beliefs and held many important public positions, 
serving during the Civil war as horse ])uyer for the government 
and being afterward sheriff of Lee county and county supervisor. 
He died in Ai^ril, 1900, at the age of seventy-tT\'o. and is buried in 
the Prairie Repose cemetery. 

J. Arthur Edwards acquired his education in the Amboy pub- 
lic schools, which he attended until he was thirteen years of age. 
He then assisted his father in the livery business for some time, 
after which he was for four years fii-eman on the Illinois Central 
Railroad. He was afterward in the livery business with his 
brother for two years and at the end of that time turned his at- 
tention to his present occupation, his father having established 
the concern some years before. Mr. Edwards has now a large 
and representative patronage and conducts it successfully, for 
he is a business man of unusual energy and capacity. 

In Amboy, on the 4th of August. 1897, Mr. Edwards married 
Miss Mary Waters, a daughter of Arthur and Mary (Quirk) 
Waters, the former a railroad man and an earlv settler in Amboy. 



122 HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 

Mr. Edwards makes his home iu the house in which he was born, 
this being about fifty-five years old. 

Mr. Edwards is a democrat in his jDolitical beliefs and served 
for one term as marshal of Amboy. No public or private trust re- 
posed in him has ever been neglected and his fidelity to honorable 
and uijright priucijoles has ever won hun the good-will and friend- 
ship of those with whom he has been brought in contact. 



CONRAD DURKES. 



The specific and distinctive office of biography is not to give 
voice to a man's modest estimate of himself and his accomplish- 
ments, but rather to leave the perj)etual record establishing his 
character by the consensus of opinion on the part of his fellow- 
men. Throughout Lee county Coni'ad Durkes was spoken of in 
terms of admiration and respect. As the architect of his own 
fortunes he builded wisely and well and while promoting indi- 
vidual success, he at the same time promoted public prosperity. 
He was one of the founders and upbuilders of the town of Frank- 
lin Grove, which in its commercial and financial development 
lai'gely stands as a monmnent to his enterprise and pi'ogressive- 
ness. He was equally active in support of projects for tlie moral 
progress of the commimity and thus it was that he left the impress 
of his individuality for good upon the community in which he 
long lived. He was a native of the grand duchy of Hesse-Darm- 
stadt, German}^ born June 19, 1829, in the village of Blodensheim. 
His parents were Philip and Apjiolonie (Kilger) Durkes who in 
the year 1842 left the fatherland and sailed for New Orleans 
whence they made their way np the Mississippi liver to St. Louis, 
Missouri. Thci'e the father worked at the carpenter's trade, which 
he had previously learned and in 1845 he removed to Chicago, 
where his death occurred in 1858. 

Conrad Durkes started iu the business world as a clei'k in a 
store in Chicago, where his salary was but ten dollars 7"ier month. 
He was thus employed until 1852. but in the meantime had worked 
his way steadily upward, advancement bringing him added duties 
and responsibilities, but also larger wages. Tn 1852, when twenty- 
thi*ee years of age, he went to Oregon, Illinois, where he took 
charge of a store, successfully conducting it for his employer for 
about a year and then purchasing it. He carried on the business 



HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 123 

until 1855, when he removed to Franklin Grove, which in that 
year had been founded. Ele opened the first store in the new 
town and conducted a general mercantile enterprise until .1870, 
when he sold out. Once more, however, he opened i;p a general 
store in 1873 and conducted it until 1886. 

Prosperity attended his efforts in that direction. He always 
had a well appointed establishment, carrying a large and care- 
fully selected line of goods for a town of that size. This drew to 
him a liberal patronage and his financial resources increased as 
the years went by. After retiring from merchandisiug he estab- 
lished a private bank, which later led to the organization of the 
Franklin Grrove Bank, which was capitalized in 1889 for twenty- 
five thousand dollars. He was its priiicijial stockholder and his 
opinions carried weight in its management, making it one of the 
safe and reliable financial institutions of the coiuity. Mr. Durkes 
also handled many estates as executor and it is well known that 
he never lost a cent of money for those whose interests were en- 
trusted to his care. The steps in his orderly progression are easily 
discernible. He early realized that essential features in success 
are industry, perseverance and reliability and those qualities he 
so cultivated and utilized that he rose from a humble position in 
the business world to one of gi'atifying affluence and not only 
gained wealth, but also the high respect and honor of those with 
whom he came in contact. 

In 1854 Mr. Diu'kes was united in marriage to Miss Eliza J. 
Fleming, who died in 1855. In 1858 he wedded Mary E. Jones, a 
daughter of Augustus and Mary Jones. Devotion to his family 
was one of his strong characteristics and he coimted his greatest 
happiness, not the attainment of wealth, but the opportunity 
which it gave him of providing liberally foi- his family. He was 
also a very public-spirited man and his loyalty to the best inter- 
ests of the community was well known. At an early day he served 
as president of the village board of Franklin Grove and filled other 
local offices, carefully guiding the destinies of the town during 
its formative period. He drafted the first laws of the village and 
made a chart for a drainage systein, securing its adoption when 
he was a member of the city council. He was always a leader in 
any enterprise for the betterment of the commniiity in which he 
lived and Franklin Gro^-e owes its progress and upbuilding in 
large measure to him. He was also one of the drainage commis- 
sioners of the inlet drainage district, and closely studied every 
phase of the question so that his work in that connection was prac- 



124 HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 

tical and resultant. In addition to his other public service he was 
for a time postmaster of Franklin Grove. 

Mr. Durkes was a charter member of the Masonic Lodge at 
Franklin Grove and in his life exemplified the beneficent spirit of 
the craft. He was reared in the German Reformed church, was a 
strong temperance worker and cooperated in everj' movement that 
tended to uphold high moral standards. He was generous to the 
poor and needy, cordial in his friendships and a pleasing person- 
ality and kindly spirit won him warm and enduring regard. 



JVLRS. HARRIET ALLSLEDT. 

Mrs. Harriet Allsledt is the proprietor of the Ashton Hotel at 
Ashton, and by her intelligent and capable management of the 
enterprise, has proven herself a business woman of rare executive 
ability, insight and resourcefulness. She is a native of England 
and came to America in her early days, locating at Kankakee, Illi- 
nois. After working in the asylum at that city for some time she 
established herself in business independently, buying a hotel. This 
enterprise she operated successfully for twelve years and then 
disposed of her interests and moved to Ashton, where she has 
since resided. She owns the Ashton Hotel, a fine three story hos- 
telry, which she conducts along modern and progressive lines, her 
success being evident in the large patronage which she controls 
and in the jiopularity of her hotel with the traveling public. 

Mrs. Allsledt has one son, Raymond, fifteen years of age. He 
is now attending school at Ashton. The mother is well and favor- 
ably known in this city, where her ability in business and her 
straightforward methods, together with her many excellent quali- 
ties of mind and character have gained her the esteem and good- 
will of all who know her. 



EDWIN S. ROSECRANS. 

Edwin S. Rosecrans, proprietor of a well conducted clothing 
store in Ashton, was born in Boone county, Hlinois, January 6, 
1876. He is a son of Jacob D. and Harriett A. (Simpkins) Rose- 
crans, the former a native of New York state and the latter of 



HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 125 

McHenry county, Illinois. The father has passed away and is 
sui'vived by his wife. 

Edwiii S. Roseerans acquii-ed his preliminary education in the 
public schools of Booue county and at the age of sixteen laid aside 
his books and began working for a sewing machine company. At 
the end of one year he resumed his studies, entering a high school, 
from which he was graduated at the age of nineteen. Following 
this he became connected with the Northwestern Railroad Com- 
pany and remained in the employ of this corporation until he came 
to Ashton in 1908. Here he estalilished himself in the clothing 
business and has since been connected with this line of work. He 
carries a large and well assorted stock and nmnbers among his 
patrons the most discriminating people of the city. 

In 1901 Mr. Roseerans married Miss Jessie Payler, a native 
of Wisconsin, and the}^ have become the parents of a son, Donald 
P., who was born March 2, 1906. Mr. and Mrs. Roseerans are mem- 
bers of the Eastern Star and ]\Ir. Roseerans is connected with 
Ashton Lodge, No. 531, A. F. & A. M., and the Independent Order 
of Odd Fellows. He is a repuljlican in his political views but is not 
active as an office seeker, preferring to concentrate his attention 
upon his business affairs, which, being capably conducted, have 
brought him a gratifying measure of success. 



XAVIER F. GEIIANT. 

Xavier F. Gehant has lived the life of the successful farmer. 
With thorough and comprehensive recognition of the demands 
placed upon the agriculturist, willingness to perform the diffi- 
cult and arduous work of the fields, he has so directed his efforts 
and his energies that splendid results have been accomplished, yet 
the attainment of success has not been the whole aim of his life. 
He has done important public service in local offices and has in 
many ways manifested a public-spirited devotion to the general 
good. Lee county numbers him among her native sons, his birth 
having occurred in Bradford township January 29, 1863. His 
parents were Modest Salastine and Olympia Frances (Chaon) 
Gehant, both of whom were natives of France. The former was 
born April 23, 1826, in the commune of Beulotte, canton of Fau- 
cogney, department of Haute-Saone. He emigrated to America 
on March 15, 1855, sailing on the vessel, Trumbull. Landing at 



126 HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 

New York, lie made his way westward to Frauklin Grove, Illinois, 
where he arrived May 7, 1855. He immediately began farming, 
first as a wage earner and later on his own account. Subsequently 
he and his brother, Claude, purchased eighty acres and operated 
their farm with oxen. He continued active in agricultural pur- 
suits to the time of his death on the ith of Febi'uary, 190-1. He 
owned more than fourteen hundred acres of fine land at the time 
of his demise. His wife, born November 8, 1845, in Commune 
St. Souvere, Canton Luxeuil, department of Haute-Saone, ac- 
companied her parents to America in 1858, arriving at New Or- 
leans and thence proceeding by river and stage to Portsmouth, 
Ohio. She was married April 1, 18G2, to Modest Salastine 
Gehant and then came to Lee county. They had a family of eight 
sons and six daughters and with the exception of two daughters 
all are yet living. 

Xavier F. Gehant acquired a limited country school education 
but has become possessed of wide general information. He has 
been a close student of books along lines of I'esearch work, of social 
develoi^ment and of political and i-eligious history. The occupa- 
tion to which he was reared he has always followed and has been 
a successful farmer, becoming well-to-do by reason of his thrift, 
industry and close application. In ])()litics he is independent, 
voting as his judgment dictates, fie belongs to the Masonic fra- 
ternity, having attained the Knight Templar degree in the com- 
mandery at Dixon. At various times he has filled public offices. 
In early life he served as school director for nine years, was town 
tax collector for two years and town clerk for seven years in 
Viola township. He was also made a member of the board of 
drainage commissioners of the inlet swamp drainage district, hav- 
ing served for nine years with a three years' term yet to serve, hav- 
ing recently been I'eappointed. 

Mr. Gehant was married in Dixon, February 32, 1885, to Miss 
Lena Mary Gallisath, a daughter of Francis and Mary Ann Gal- 
lisath, who are of German descent. Hei- father was born in the 
village of Ageshime, depai'tment of Llaut-Rhin, or upper Alsace. 
Germany, August 20, 1828. He came to America in 1835, set- 
tling at Centerville, Pennsylvania, and in early life he worked on 
the farm and in the fields. In 1853 he married and afterward 
conducted a general store at SummeT'hill, Pennsylvania, for three 
years. In 1861 he became piivate secretary to Governor Girton 
to draft soldiers for the Civil war from Cambria county, Pennsyl- 
vania. He was mavor of the citv of Cambria from 1862 until 1864 



HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 127 

and later was on the relief committee which organized nine bour- 
oughs into a city known today as Johnstown, Pennsylvania. In 
1864 he came to Illinois, settling in Lee Center township, Lee 
county, where he became a prosiDerous farmer. Lie died in Decem- 
ber, 1910, when more than eighty-two years of age. 

Unto Mr. and Mrs. X. F. Gehant were born six children: 
Grrover W., George M., Kosalie F., Evelyn E., Edmund W. and 
Mary O., but the last named died in infancy. 



ALBEIJT WOODS. 



Albert Woods, a representati-^-e of a well known pioneer family 
of Lee county, has lived in Wyoming township since 1869 and dur- 
ing the intervening period has made many substantial contribu- 
tions to general growth and development. He is now- the owner of 
one hundred and twenty acres of fine land on section 16 and has 
brought this from an unimproved tract into a model and produc- 
tive farm. He was born in Bridgeport, Belmont county, Ohio, 
February 13, 1848, and is a son of George W. and Susan (Coss) 
Woods, the former of whom came to Lee county with his family in 
1869, settling on a fann in Wyoming township. He improved this 
property and there made his home until 1900, when he passed away 
at the age of seventy-eight years. He and his wife became the par- 
ents of seven children besides the subject of this review : Cather- 
ine, who died in 1883 and is buried in Wyoming cemetery; Louisa, 
who became the wdfe of Reuben Furkins and who died in 1890, 
leaving four children; Mary R., who married Harry Norton, of 
Earlville; P. L., a farmer in Wyoming township; I. N., engaged in 
farming in the same locality; Effie, the wife of Owen Cornell, a 
farmer in Wyoming toAvnship; and Olive, the widow of Rev. R(»bert 
Shaftoe, of Paw Paw. The Woods family came originally from 
County Tyrone, Ireland, and was founded in America by William 
Woods, grandfather of the subject of this review^ who came to 
America before the War of 1812 and fought dining that conflict. 

Albert Woods acquired his education in the public schools in 
the vicinity of Bridgeport, Ohio, laying aside his books at the age 
of twenty-one. He afterward came to Lee county and assisted his 
father with the work of the homestead, also engaging in farm labor 
in the employ of others. He continued thus until his marriage and 
then bought the property in Wyoming township upon which he 



128 HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 

has since resided. It owes practically its entire value to his intel- 
ligent management, for it was swamp land when it came into his 
possession. Mr. Woods made his home in an old schoolhouse upon 
his place while he carried forward the work of draining the prop- 
erty and breaking the soil. He afterward replaced this dwelling 
by the modern residence now upon the farm and he has erected 
other substantial buildings, making his property attractive and 
valuable. He engages in mixed farming and has met with such 
gratifying success that he is ranked today among the representa- 
tive agriculturists of the township. 

In Bridgeport, Ohio, February 15, 1876, Mr. Woods was united 
in marriage to Miss Jane Cline, a daughter of William and Nancy 
Cline, both of whom passed away in 1890 and are buried in Weeks 
cemetery near Bridgeport. Mr. and Mrs. Woods have three chil- 
dren : Laura M., the wife of Armond Case, a farmer in Viola town- 
ship, this county; Walter V., who is assisting his father; and 
Wilbur A., postmaster of Paw Paw. 

Mr. Woods is a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fel- 
lows and has been through all the chairs of the local lodge and 
has been representative of the grand lodge and the grand encamp- 
ment. He is a democrat in his political views and has served with 
credit and ability as a member of the board of school directors. He 
has witnessed a great deal of the development of Lee county and 
his work has been for many years an important factor in promoting 
agricultural development. He is a man of excellent qualities of 
character and holds the esteem and respect of a large circle of 
friends. 



WILLIAM C. FABER. 



William C. Faber owns a fine farm of two hundred and seventy- 
five acres in Wyoming township one-lialf mile south of Paw Paw 
and is ranked among the progressive and successful agriculturists 
of that locality. He was born in Bureau eoimty, this state, Febru- 
ary 21, 1867, and is a son of Peter and Margaret (Miller) Faber. 
The father was one of the early settlers in Bureau county and was 
connected with agricultural interests there for a niunber of years. 
He died in 1885 and was survived by his wife for more than a quar- 
ter of a century, her death occurring in 1912. Both are buried in 
Rest Land cemetery, Mendota, Hlinois. 




wii.i.iAii c. FAi;i;i; 



HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 131 

William C. Faber acquired Ms education in the public schools 
of Clariou township, Bureau county, attending until he was eight- 
een years of age. He afterward assisted with the work of the 
farm and after the father's death operated the homestead 
in the interest of his mother, at the same time raising blooded 
stock. In 1890 he went to Europe and after visiting various 
comitries upon the continent returned to America, where he con- 
tinued his travels for some time. Upon his retui'n he settled in 
Illinois, engaging in the meat business in partnership with his 
brothers Christian and George. At this time he also invested 
extensively in laud, buying farms in Iowa and Nebraska. Eventu- 
ally, however, he disposed of all of these interests and purchased 
the farm in Wyoming township which he has since operated. He 
raises grain and stock and gives practically all of his attention to 
the conduct of the place, which reflects his careful and constant 
supervision. 

At Paw Paw, Illinois, in 1896, Mr. Faber was united in mar- 
riage to Miss Eva Smith, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Edmund 
Smith. Mrs. Faber died in 1907 and is buried in Paw Paw ceme- 
tery. She left four children: Helen M., a student in high school; 
Marlow L. C, also attending high school ; Henry Clay ; and Ed- 
mund E. On the 4th of December, 1912, Mr. Faber was again 
manied, his second wife being Miss Emma Siegel, a daughter of 
Mr. and Mrs. Edward Siegel, of Mitchell, Ontario. Mr. Faber is 
a member of the Yeomen and is independent in his political views, 
voting for men and measures rather than for parties. His success 
is the natural result of his well directed ambition, sound business 
judgment and practical methods and it places him in the front 
ranks of substantial and representative citizens of his community. 



FRED G. SCHAFER. 



Fred G. Schafer, one of the progressive and successful young 
farmers of Lee county, was born in Bradford township, October 
U, 1886. He is a son of G. F. and ]\Lirtha Schafer, natives of Illi- 
nois, now living retired in Ashton. 

Fred G. Schafer was reai'ed at home and from his early child- 
hood aided his father with the farm work, becoming familiar with 
the best methods of tilling the soil and caring for the grain and 
stock. When he was twenty-three years of age he rented the home- 



voi. n— T 



132 HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 

stead from his father and he has since operated this property, 
carrying forward its management along progressive and modern 
lines. In addition to the work of the fields he makes a sjoecialty of 
raising and feeding hogs and his stock-raising interests are im- 
portant and profitable. 

In 1911 Mr. Schafer married Miss Neva Vogel, a daughter of 
Jacob and Lillian Vogel, the former now deceased and the latter 
a resident of Ashton township. Mi', and Mrs. Schafer have become 
the parents of a daughter, Minnetta. The parents are members 
of the Methodist Episcopal church and Mr. Schafer gives his 
political allegiance to the republican party. He is an ambitious, 
enei'getic and enterprising young man and his future success is 
assured. 



GRAND DETOUR PLOW COMPANY. 

This well known establishment was founded in 1837, at Grand 
Detour, Illinois, a little town situated in a horse-shoe bend in the 
beautiful Rock river, six miles above Dixon, by Major Andrus and 
Jolui Deere, late of Moline, Illinois, both now deceased. They 
started what was styled a plow factory in a little blacksmith shop 
(such as may be seen at a country cross-road), and two forges were 
sufli'.'ient to meet their wants for some two years, when they became 
able to run an ordinary horse-power, for the purpose of turning 
the grindstone and fanning the furnace. The building in which 
those laljor saving arrangements were located stood some forty 
rods from the "factory" proper and every plow ground and east- 
ing molded had to be carried one way or the other in the hand or 
on the shoulder, and the sight of the two proprietors lugging their 
worlv back and forth is recalled with interest, in view of the great 
prosperity which each of them, by means of the same hard work 
and close management ultimately attained. In this manner and 
under these disadA^antagos the business went on for about six 
years, when such success attended the enterprise that they were 
ena])led to put in steam. From this time forward they continued, 
adding machinery and improvements and their progress Avas unin- 
terrupted. However, there were no means of sending their plows 
through the comitrv except by wagons and few markets except the 
farm house in even the best agricultural sections. Teams were 
loaded and sent over the coimtrv and substantial farmers were 



HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 133 

supplied with plows which they sold through the comiiiuuity, 
reserving a handsome conmussiou for their services. In 1847 Mr. 
Deere withdrew from the iii'm (which has experienced several 
changes, at one time presenting the array of ^^drus, Deere, Tate & 
Gould), and with the experience he had acquired and with the 
means at his hand, started a ploAv factory at Moline, Illinois, which 
grew and prospered from the first and might with reason be termed 
the child of the Grand Detour works. lie passed away in jNlay, 
1886, after a long and useful life at the age of eighty-two. The 
business was run for seven or eight years by Mr. Andi'us alone, who 
was then joined by Colonel Amos Bosworth, who, in our late war, 
was known as Lieutenant Colonel of the Thirty -fourth Uliuois, and 
who died in the service March, 1862. 

In October, 1857, the factory which had been steadily growing 
and extendmg its limits, was burned down and upon the same site 
and upon the remnants of the old walls a new factory was erected. 
In August, 1863, Theron Cimiins, Esq., the first president of the 
present company became one of the firm, which took the name of 
Andrus & Cimiins. Under their administration the business was 
carried on until February, 1867, when Mr. Andrus died. Few men 
pass away more deeply and sincerely lamented than was Mr. 
Andrus. Upon his death the business passed into Mr. Cumins'' 
hands and was by him conducted until June, 1869, when the late 
Colonel H. T. Noble of our city became interested therein, the firm 
name being T. Cumins & Company. 

In the meantime Grand Detour had lost its pristine glory and 
its bright promise had flown forever. It was still a pleasant little 
village on Rock river, but about all there was in it was the Grand 
Detour Plow Works and their dependencies, while Dixon had 
acquired two of the largest railroads in the union and had gro^vn 
to be a city of seven thousand inhabitants. The plow works, which 
in the first years turned out only seventy-five to a hundred plows 
per year, are now producing many thousands, and scattering them 
by means of the steam horse over the limitless west. Dixon was 
the nearest railroad point and as it cost thousands of dollars a year 
to transport this vast quantity of plows from the factory to the 
cars, Dixon was the place for these works and they were moved 
here in 1869. 

In Jime, 1874, Mr. Dodge became interested in the business, 
under the firm name of Cumins, Noble & Dodge. In June, 1879, 
the business was incorporated under the laws of the state of Dli- 
nois as the Grand Detour Plow Company, Theron Cumins, Henry 



134 HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 

T. Noble, Orris B. Dodge and Charles H. Noble being the incor- 
porators and officers of the company, the management and detail 
of the business being under their i^ersonal supervision for many 
years. April 15, 1891, Colonel Noble died, having only a short time 
before retii'ed from active business to devote more time to public 
affairs, and by his death the community and company lost a most 
energetic and able friend. His brother, Charles Noble, continued 
actively in his place as vice president of the company. August 3, 
1898, Mr. Cumins passed away after painful and protracted 
sickness. 

In 1890 Mr. Lewmon D. Dement became associated with the 
business and shortly afterward was made secretary. He continued 
as such until by his untimely death, October 16, 1903, the company 
lost a clear-headed, ever faithful, hard-working official. It is 
worthy of mention that all who have been connected with the 
Grand Detour Plow Company have prospered. 

In 1905 controlling interest in the company was acquired by 
the present officers, W. B. Briuton, president, and Bradford Brin- 
ton, secretary and treasurer. Several additions and improvements 
have been made in the plant since that time and the past year's 
business was the largest in the history of the corporation. The 
works are located on a spacious triangular piece of land between 
the depots of the Chicago & Northwestern and Illinois Central 
railroads, with switches from both roads I'unning to the shops 
and warehouses. Since the location of the shops at Dixon, large 
additions to the factory and warehouses have been made from 
year to year, the location and arrangement of which are admirably 
adapted to the requirements of the business. New and improved 
machinery has been added from time to time whenever, by so doing, 
the quality and style of goods could be improved or the cost les- 
sened. Thus year by year the business has grown, successfully 
weathering the financial panics which have destroyed many enter- 
prises. 



THE DIXON NATIONAL BANK. 

Dixon has eveiy reason to be proud of her financial institutions, 
for the record here made is a creditable one. With well defined 
plans and business affairs capably administered, the Dixon 
National Bank is today a stronger institution than ever before. It 



HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 135 

was organized in September, 1871, and capitalized for one hundred 
thousand dollars. Its officers were: H. B. Jeuks, president; John 
Dement, vice president; and Henry S. Lucas, cashier. Its officers 
at the present day are: J. C Ayres, president; S. S. Dodge, vice 
president; A. P. Armington, cashier; and M. R. Forsyth, assistant 
cashier. The capital stock remains at one hundred thousand dol- 
lars, but there is now a surplus and undivided profits of one hun- 
dred and forty thousand dollars. The bank occupies a fine, modern, 
fireproof stone and brick building, fifty by seventy feet, five stories 
in height, the iipper floors being used as offices, while the first floor 
is thoroughly equipped for the banking business. From its incep- 
tion the bank has made a splendid record. 



JOHN E. ECKHART. 



John E. Eckhart is the owner of seventy-nine acres of land on 
section 18, Bradford township, and has been very successful in the 
cultivation of this property, l)eing numbered among the repre- 
sentative and able agriculturists of Lee count,y. He was born in 
Lee Center, December 11, 1856, and is a son of Henry and Martha 
(Kilmer) Eckhart, natives of Germany. The parents came to 
America in the '40s and later took up their residence in Lee county, 
where the father bought land upon which he resided until his 
death. In their family were eleven children, eight of whom survive. 

John E. Eckhart Avas reared at home and acquired his educa- 
tion in the district schools. When he was twenty-one years of age 
he began work as a farm laborer and continued thus for fifteen 
years thereafter. At the end of that time he rented land and after 
two years purchased the farm which he now owns. He has seventy- 
nine acres on section 18, Bradford township, and in its cultivation 
follows always the most practical and progressive methods with 
the result that the property has increased in value and produc- 
tiveness 3'ear by year. It is today an excellent farm, reflecting the 
care and labor which the owner has bestowed upon it. 

In 1885 Mr. Eckhart was united in marriage to Miss Anna Nass, 
a native of Lee county and a daughter of John and Augusta Nass. 
The mother has i^assed away but the father survives. Mr. and 
Mrs. Eckhart have two children, Harry and Raymond, at home. 
The parents are memljers of the Evangelical church and Mr. Eck- 
hart gives his political allegiance to the republican party. He has 



136 HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 

Served as school director and is progressive and public-spirited in 
matters of citizenship, cooperating heartily in all movements for 
the general good. He is in all essential respects a self-made man, 
for the prosperity wliich he now enjoys has been won entirely 
through his own efforts. His success is founded upon hard work, 
industry and well directed ambition. 



GEORGE F. O'MALLEY. 

Since 1901 George F. O'Malley has been an active representa- 
tive of commercial interests in Dixon and is an enterprising 
business man who in the conduct of his interests, follows straight- 
forward methods that bring legitimate success. He was born in 
Lee county, Illinois, in 1870, and is a son of Peter and Sebina 
(Healy) O'Malley, both of whom came to this county with their 
parents, the father arriving in 1852. He made farming his life 
work and for more than a half century was a resident of this 
connty, his death here occurring August 4, 1913, when he had 
reached the venerable age of eighty-five years. For about four 
years he had survived his wife, who died in 1909. 

George F. O'Malley, born vipon a farm in this county, early 
became familiar with the duties and labors that fall to the lot of the 
agriculturist, but he did not care to engage in tilling the soil as a 
life work and pursued a course in the Dixon college in order to 
qualify for other pursuits. He was graduated from that institu- 
tion in 1895 and afterward was employed in various men's furnish- 
ing goods stores imtil he joined Edward Vaile in the establishment 
of the present firm of Vaile & O'Malley. They began dealing in 
shoes, clothing and men's furnishing goods and the business has 
steadily grown along substantial lines until they now have an 
excellent store, carrying a large stock of goods for which they find 
a ready sale, owing to their enterprising methods, their judicious 
advertising and their progressiveness. 

In 1901 Mr. O'Malley was married to ]\Iiss Mary Mclntyre of 
Dixon, and unto them have been born five children, three sons and 
two daughters, all of whom are yet living, namely : Peter M., Mary 
G., Frances S., George F., Jr., and Edward Albert. The parents 
hold membership in the Catholic church and Mr. O'Malley belongs 
to the Knights of Columbus and the Benevolent Protective Order 
of Elks. When age conferred upon him the right of franchise he 



HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 137 

cast Ms ballot for the democratic party whicli be bas since sup- 
ported. He is a well known progressive young business man, and 
the establisbment, of wbicb be is one of tbe partners, ranks with 
the leading commercial enterprises of tbe city. 



H. H. BADGER. 



The possibility of success lies before every individual and the 
recognized power in America is that of industry. It has been 
through close application and well directed effort that H. H. 
Badger has become cashier of tbe First National Bank of Am- 
boy, in which position he has continued since 3906, making for 
himself a creditable name in tbe financial circles of the county. 
His birth occurred here October 6, 1875, his parents being War- 
ren H. and Emeline G. (Green) Badger. His grandparents came 
to Lee county in 1842 and were among the earliest of tbe pio- 
neers. Colonel Badger, great-grandfather of our subject, was 
one of tbe first settlers in Illinois from the state of New York 
and tbe grandfather was tbe founder of tbe Binghampton Mill, 
in the operation of which Warren H. Badger eventually became 
engaged. This mill is the oldest in this part of the country and 
few were the families that antedated the arrival of the Badgers 
here. From early days representatives of the name have been 
very prominent in public work and in all that bas pertained to 
the development and advancement of the district. The grand- 
father, Henry E. Badger, was at one time supervisor and post- 
master and others of the name have ever borne active and 
helpful part in tbe work which has brought about the material pros- 
perity and upbuilding of tbe coimty. Warren H. Badger was a 
public-spirited man but cared little for office. Both he and his 
wife still survive and are now residents of Dixon. 

In the public schools of Amboy, H. H. Badger acquired his 
primary education, which was completed by a course in the Dixon 
Normal School, from which he was graduated in the class of 
1892. He started in the business world as an employe in the of- 
fice of Franklin MacVeagh & Company, wholesale grocers of 
Chicago, later returning to Amboy, where he entered his father's 
retail grocery store, being continuously connected with the busi- 
ness until 1899. He then turaed bis attention to banking, accept- 
ing a clerical position in tbe First National Bank. He was later 



138 HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 

promoted to assistant cashier and eventually to his present posi- 
tion as cashier, in which capacity he has served since 1906. He is 
also one of the directors and stockholders of the institution and 
since becoming connected therewith his enterprise and progres- 
siveness have constituted a feature in its continuous growth. lie 
is also ^'iee president of the Sanitary Creamery Company and 
secretary of the Colson Clothing Company. 

On the 5th of October, 1910, at De Kalb, Mr. Badger was united 
in marriage to Miss Clara M. Heermans, a daughter of the Rev. 
N. W. and Clara J. (Webster) Heermans, the former pastor of 
the Episcopal church at De Kalb to the time of his death, which 
occurred in November, 1910. His widow now makes her home 
among her children. Mr. and Mi's. Badger have two children, 
a son, Warren H., and a daughter, Jane W. 

Politically Mr. Badger is a republican. He is a Knight Tem- 
plar of the Dixon Commandery, belonging to the chapter and blue 
lodge Masons at Amboy. He has likewise crossed the sands of 
the desert with the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine at Rockford, Illi- 
nois, and he has membership in the Eastern Star, the Benevolent 
Pi'otective Order of Elks, the Modern Woodmen of America and 
the Royal Neighbors of America. He is vice president of the 
Amboy Commercial Club and his position in social, commercial 
and fraternal circles is one of well merited prominence. He 
readily recognizes opportunities and grasps them I'csolutely that 
the public may benefit thereby or that his individual success may 
be promoted. Laudable ambition and high purposes actuate him 
in every relation of life and his many sterling traits of character 
find proof in his extensive circle of friends. 



JOHN P. HARVEY. 



John P. Harvey, proprietor of the John P. Harvey Bridge & 
Iron Works at Amboy, is a native of Lee county. He was born in 
Amboy township, IMnrch 2S. ISGO. his parents being Michael and 
Ellen (McGill) Harvey. His father and mother came from Ire- 
land to the new world, settling in New York, whence they 
removed to this county in the spring of 1850 and took up their 
abode in Amboy township on a tract of land which was wild 
prairie, having traveled by stage from Chicago to Lee Center. 
The father was a democrat in politics and though not an office 




•TOHX ]>. nAR\-KY 



HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 141 

seeker, was always interested in the welfare and progress of the 
community. He died in 1866, his wife remaining on the old home- 
stead until the time of her death, which occurred in 1903, when 
she was buried by his side in May township in what is known as 
the Sandy Hill cemetery. 

John P. Harvey is the youngest of seven children. The family 
included but one daughter, Mary who died at Cheyenne, Wyom- 
ing in 1874 when twenty-six years of age. A brother, Charles 
died at the age of twenty-seven and both he and his sister are 
buried with their parents in Sandy Hill cemetery The others of 
the family are Thomas E., attorney at law at Lead, South Dakota, 
he being one of the attorneys who tried the first civil suit in the 
Black Hills, and was also the first postmaster of Custer City 
which was one of the earlier mining camps of the Hills ; James, a 
farmer of Marion township; Peter, a farmer of Denison, Iowa; 
and Michael, who occupies the old homestead. 

The education of John P. Harvey was acquired in the country 
schools which he attended until seventeen years of age, after which 
he devoted his attention to the work of the home farm until he 
was twenty years of age, and then entered the employ of the Illi- 
nois Central Railroad as a bridge worker and was thus employed 
foi' four years. He then returned to the home fai'm, where he 
remained for a brief period, but subse(iuently became a fireman 
on the Illinois Central Railroad. 

He was later apix)inted, and served for two years, as a police 
officer, afterwards serving as marshal of Amboy for eight years. 
He next became an employe in the Charles C. Jacobs Bridge & 
Iron Works, in which he was advanced to the position of manager, 
acting in that capacity for several years before purchasing the 
business in 1908. He is now at the head of one of the important 
industrial enterprises of Amboy, enjoying a business which is 
constantly growing in extent and importance. His long training 
in mechanical lines has well qualified him for the important duties 
which now devolve upon him and which have brought to him a 
substantial measure of success. 

At Amboy on the 6th of January. 188.5, Mr. Harvey was 
united in marriage to Miss Bridget Sparks, a daughter of Michael 
and Bridget (King) Sparks. Her father, who came to Lee coimty 
in the '70s was an employe of the Illinois Central Railroad Com- 
pany. Both he and his wife have passed away and their remains 
were interred in St. Patrick's cemetery at Amboy. Mr. Harvey 
owns two residence properties which he has recently remodelled- 



142 HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 

He also built and still owns a fifty by one hundred foot brick 
building which is used by Edmund Neville as a garage. 

In politics he is a democrat and for six years he filled the office 
of alderman, exercising his official prerogatives in such an ad- 
mirable and beneficial manner that he was chosen mayor of the 
city and continued in that position for four years. His public 
service, like his private life, has been characterized by intense 
activity, looking to the betterment of the tilings under his control 
and as mayor and business man he has enjoyed the confidence and 
good-will of the general public. 



PAUL REIS. 



Paul Reis, a representative of a well known pioneer family of 
Lee coimty, is engaged in general farming and stock-raising upon 
one hundred and twenty acres of fine land on section 11, Sublette 
township. He is a nati^^e son of this locality, born in 1857, his 
parents being Martin and Katherine (Theis) Reis, both of whom 
have passed away, the former dving October 7, 1894, and the lat- 
ter October 14, 1897. Both are buried in the Perkin's Grove 
cemetery, Sublette towiiship. The father was one of the pioneer 
settlers in Lee county and engaged in farming here at a time when 
Chicago was the neai'est market. He was obliged to haul his gj'ain 
there and always spent more than a week upon the journey. 

Paul Reis acquired his education in the pnblic schools of his 
native township and laid aside his books at the age of fourteen. 
He afterward assisted his father with the work of the farm for 
thirteen years and then came into possession of the homestead, 
which he has since operated. This comprises one hundred and 
twenty acres and is well improved in every particular, being 
equipped with a comfortable residence and good outbuildings and 
reflecting everywhere the care and labor which the owner has be- 
stowed upon it. Mr. Reis engages in mixed farming, raising grain 
and keeping about twenty hogs, twelve head of cattle and five 
horses. 

In Sublette township, in 1884, Mr. Reis married Miss Kate 
Kliyla. a daughter of Jacob and Louise (Young) Klivla, both 
of whom have passed away and are buried in West Brooklyn. 
Mr. and Mrs. Reis have become the parents of a son, Romer P., 
who is assistinc: his father. Mr. Reis is a member of the Catholic 



HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 'l4S 

•church and a democrat in his political beliefs. His life has al- 
ways been in close conformity with high principles and his record 
is a credit to a respected and worthy name. 



CLARENCE C. BROOKS. 

Clarence C. Brooks is one of the younger members of the Dixon 
hsiT, practicing successfully, howevei-, as junior partner in the 
firm of Brooks & Brooks, his associate being his brother H. A. 
Brooks. He represents one of the old families of the county, his 
birth having occurred in Marion township, April 12, 1879, his 
parents being Benjamin F. and Susan O. (Morris) Brooks. No 
event of special importance occurred to vary for him the routine 
■of farm life, his youth being spent upon the old homestead. He 
■supplemented his public-school education by a course in Dixon 
•College and was graduated with the class of 1903. Desiring to 
follow the profession in which his brother had already embarked, 
he took up the study of law with him and in 1906 was admitted 
to the bar. He was then admitted to partnership by his brother 
and the fiiTn of Brooks & Brooks, general practitioners, occupies 
today a prominent position among leading lawyers of the city. 
He has ever recognized the fact that industry is just as essential 
to success in the professions as in commercial circles and close ap- 
plication and unfaltering perseverance, therefore, have been ele- 
ments in securing his advancement. Like his brother, Mr. Brooks 
is a member of the Odd Fellows and has also filled the chairs in 
the local lodge, being now a past noble gi'and. 



GEORGE J. DOWNING. 

Success flauntingly plays before the dreamer but succumbs 
when arrayed against determined effort, unfaltering perseverance, 
laudable ambition and honorable purpose. An analyzation of the 
life record of George J. Downing shows that these qualities have 
constituted salient features in his history and brought him to his 
present enviable position in mercantile and financial circles of Lee 
county. He is now proprietor of one of the leading sri-ocery stores 
of Dixon and also the owner of valuable business property. 



144 HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 

Mr. Downing was born in Kane county, Illinois, in 1875, and 
is a son of Major O. J. Downing. He suppleuiented his public- 
school education by a thice years' collegiate coui'se in the Dixon 
Normal School and then made his initial stejj in the business world 
as an employe of J. H. Morris & Sons, grocers, with whom he re- 
mained for eight years, his long connection with that establish- 
ment plaiidy indicating his fidelity and cajjability. Ambitious, 
however, to engage in business on his own account, he carefully 
■saved his earnings and in 1900 opened a general grocery store, 
handling a full line of both staple and fancy groceries. The taste- 
fid arrangement of the estajjlishment, the reasonable prices and 
his reliable business methods have brought to him a growing 
patronage and his success is most gratifying. As prosperity has 
attended his efforts Mr. Downing has become interested in real 
estate. He erected one of the largest buildings in Dixon at Nos. 
110-116 First street. It has a frontage of one hundred and one 
feet and the main floor is used for an express office, garage and 
steam I'ubl^er works, while on the second floor is the armory. 

On the 13th of Se]itember. 1909. INlr. Downing was united in 
marriage to Miss Gi»lda Coburn. of Elgin. Illinois, and they have 
many warm friends in Dixon, the number continually iiicreasing as 
the circle of their acquaintance widens. Mr. Downing is a mem- 
ber of the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks and als(i has mem- 
bership with the Knights of the Maccabees and the Knights of 
Pythias. He has never figui'ed prominently in public connec- 
tions aside from business, pi'cf erring always to concentrate his 
energies upon his commercial interests which, capably directed, 
have constituted the foundation and source of his success. He 
deserves much credit for what he has accomplished and he enjoys 
in large measure the confidence and I'espect of colleagues and con- 
temporaries. 



CHRISTIAN C. FABER. 

Christian C. Faber is one of the progressiA'e and successful 
business men of Paw Paw, where he has been established in busi- 
ness since twenty-two years of age, having now conducted a meat 
mnrket on Main street foi- twenty-eight years with such marked 
success that he has come to be recognized as one of the most sub- 
stantial men of his citv. A native of Illinois, he was bom in Clar- 



HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 145 

ion township, Bureau county, on December 26, 1863, his parents 
being Peter and Margaret (JSIiller) Faber. The father was one of 
the early settlers in Bureau county, being higlily respected and es- 
teemed by all who knew him, and there passed away in 1884, his 
wife surviving him for more than a quarter of a century, passing 
away in 1912. Both are buried in Rest Land cemetery, Men- 
dota, Illinois. The Faber family is of German extraction. 

Christian C. Faber attended district school in Clarion town- 
ship, discontinuing his lessons at the age of sixteen years. He 
then assisted his father with the work on the farm, giving the 
benefit of his labors to his parents until twenty-two years of age. 
His father having passed away in the meantime, he in 1885 made 
a removal to Lee county and upon coming to Paw Paw associated 
himself with his brother George in the meat business, which he 
has ever since conducted with most gratifying financial results. 
George Faber has retired from the business and our subject is 
now sole proprietor, conducting business in a handsome building 
on Main street. His progressive methods, his watchfulness as to 
most sanitary conditions, the quality of the goods which he handles 
and his universal politeness have all combined to build up a trade 
which is representative and gratifying in proportions. It is, there- 
fore, but natural that as the years have passed financial independ- 
ence has come to him and that he is today one of the foremost 
business men in the city. 

At Paw Paw, November 20. 1889, Mr. Faber married Miss 
Myrtle I. Smith, a daughter of Henry and Louisa (Adams) Smith, 
numbered among the early pioneer farming people of Lee couuty. 
The father passed away October 8, 1907. and is buried at Cottage 
Hill cemetery, but his wife surviA'es and makes her home with 
her daughter, Mrs. Faber. The latter is the mother of one son 
now liAung, Leon A., who is at present atteudiug school. Clifton 
S., another son, died in October. 1898. at the age of five years, and 
was laid to rest in Wyoming township cemetery. Mr. and Mrs. 
Faber occupy a commodious residence, which was erected by our 
subject and where both he and his wife extend a hearty welcome 
to their many friends. 

In his political views Mr. Faber is a democrat, upholding the 
candidates and measures of that party at the polls, although he 
has never cared to enter the political arena in the role of office 
seeker. Yet, he is public-spirited in the best meaning of Amei'i- 
can citizenship and gives his su]>port to all measures which will 
make for the bettei-ment of conditions for the general public or 



X46 HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 

promote advancement and growth in his city and county. In 
religious faitli lie is a member of the German Lutheran church 
and fraternally belongs to the Independent Order of Odd Fellows 
and the Modern Woodmen of America, carrying the brotherly 
principles promulgated by these orgajiizations into his everyday 
life. He is highly respected by all who know liim as a shrewd, 
able business man and a valued and public-spirited citizen, who is 
as considerate of the interests of others and the general welfare 
as he is concerned in his own success. 



H. C. BARTH, M. D. 0. 

Dr. H. 0. Barth, veterinary surgeon and proprietor of the Barth 
Veterinary Hospital at Amboy, arrived in this county in 1905 and 
at once entered upon the active practice of his profession. He was 
then a young man of but twenty-three years, his birth having 
occurred at Freeport, Illinois, May 8, 1882, his parents being John 
and Minnie (Strate) Barth, who were of German lineage. The 
father forniei'ly engaged in dealing in horses but is now living 
retired in Freeport. 

After acquiring his primary education in the public schools 
L)r. Barth entered the College of Commerce at the age of sixteen 
years and was graduated therefrom in 1898. He afterward became 
connected with the veterinary hospital at Freeport, where he 
remained until, having determined to qualify for the profession, he 
became a student in the Veterinary College at Chicago, being grad- 
uated therefrom in 3905, at which time he received the diploma of 
the school. He at once came to Aniboy and entered upon the active 
practice of his profession. He had no capital whatever but made 
such success that after four years he was able to build a hospital. 
He is well informed concerning the practice of veterinary surgery 
and Ms pronounced ability has made him one of the leading repre- 
sentatives of the professioii in Lee coimty. 

In Amboy, on the Ifith of October, 1907, Dr. Barth was married 
to Miss Alice Tune, a daughter of Edward and Elizabeth June, the 
former a pioneer farmer of this county. They have one child, a 
daughter, Tvucille. In politics T)r. Bnrth is independent. Frater- 
nally he is connected with the Masons, holding membership in both 
the lodge and chapter at Amboy, and his religious faith is indicated 
by his membership in the Methodist Episcopal church. These 



HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 147 

associatioBS indicate much of the nature of his interests and the 
rules that govern his conduct. The following of these rules has 
made him a man whom to know is to fully respect. 



S. S. DODGE. 



S. !S. Dodge is now living retired in Dixon but for many years 
was a prominent representative of mercantile interests in this city, 
where he took up his abode in 1868. He was then a young man, his 
birth having occurred in Ohio, December 2, 1841, his parents being 
Almeron and Sarah (Baldwin) Dodge. In the year 1814 they 
removed westward to Illinois, settling at Roscoe. The father w^as 
a son of Seymour Dodge, who was born in New York but went to 
Ohio at an early day. After his arrival in Illinois Almeron Dodge 
carried on general agricultural pursuits and both he and his wife 
spent their last days in Roscoe. 

Reared in his father's home, S. S. Dodge pursued his education 
in the schools of Roscoe, passing through consecutive grades until 
he completed the high school course there. He was but nineteen 
years of age at the time of the outbreak of the Civil war. Soon 
after hostilities began he offered his services to the government, 
enlisting as a member of Company L, Eighth Illinois Cavalry. In 
the spring of 1862 he was wounded near Richmond and his injuries 
were so severe that he was honorably discharged and returned to 
his home. 

When he had sufficiently recovered Mr. Dodge went to Rock- 
ford, Illinois, and there learned the jeweler's trade which he fol- 
lowed at that place until 1868. He then came to Dixon and opened 
a jewelry store, of which he was the proprietor for a third of a 
century. Throughout the entire period he ranked as one of the 
leading and enterprising merchants of the city. Ever recognizing 
the fact that honesty is the best policy, he never deviated from a 
course which his judgment sanctioned as right between himself 
and his fellowmen and the integrity of his business methods was 
never questioned. As he prospered he extended his efforts into 
other fields, becoming one of the stockholders and directors of the 
Dixon National Bank many years ago, while for the past eight 
years or more he has been vice president, succeeding to that office 
upon the death of Mr. Cummins. 



148 HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 

On the 1st of July, 1873, Mr. Dodge was united in marriage to 
Miss Hattie E. Davis, of Dixon. She is a member of the Methodist 
church, while Mr. Dodge's membership relations are with the 
Masonic fraternity and the Grand Army of the Eepublic. He has 
attained high rank in the former and has been honored with many 
offices in different branches of the order, being past high priest of 
the chapter and past eminent coumiander of the commandery. He 
also attained the thirty-second degree of the Scottish Rite in the 
Freeport consistory and crossed the sands of the desert with the 
Nobles of the Mystic Shrine. His political indorsement is given to 
the republican party. He has lived to see the fulfillment of the 
hopes of his youth and early manhood. Tlaere have been no spec- 
tacular phases in his life history but there are various elements 
worthy of emulation. To know one's duty and do it, to deal faith- 
fidly and honorably with one's fellowmen, this is the life of an 
honorable man. Moreover, his record proves conclusively that 
success and an untarnished name may be won simultaneously. 



CHRISTIAN GROSS. 



Christian Gross, one of the extensive landowners of China 
township living retired in Franklin Grove, is numbered among the 
representative and progressive citizens of that community. He is 
interested in everything that pertains to the general advancement 
and growth and his influence is a tangible force for good along 
many lines. He was born in China township, this county, March 
22, 1851, and is a son of Reinhart and Martha (Reinhart) Gross, 
natives of Germany. The mother came to America in 1816 and the 
father one year later. Their marriage occurred in Lee county in 
1852 and afterward the father purchased land, buying eightj^ acres 
in China t()wnship and paying for this property a dollar and a 
quarter per acre. He afterwai'd added to his holdings and became 
in time one of the repirsentative farmers of the locality. He and 
his wife became the parents of six children, of whom four are yet 
living. 

Christian Gross remained upon his father's farm until he was 
twenty-one years of age and then began his independent career, 
farming upon rented land for one .year. At the end of that time 
lie liciught one hundred and sixty acres in China township and for 
many years thereafter gave his time and attention to the manage- 




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HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 153 

meiit of his farming interests. Prom time to time lie added to his 
holdings, which comprise today five hundred and twenty-nine 
acres, all in China township. Mr. Gross continued active in the 
cultivation of this property imtil 1903, when he retired and moved 
into Franklin Grove, where he has since resided. He is promi- 
nently identified with a number of important enterprises here and 
is well and favorably known in business circles. For the past ten 
years he has been manager and treasurer of the Farmers Telephone 
Company and for twenty years he has l^een a member of the board 
of directors of the ]\Iutual Fire Insurance Company. He is a 
director of the Fraidvlin Grove Bank and interested in other enter- 
prises of this character. 

In 1875 Mr. Gross was united in marriage to Miss Henrietta 
Hotzel, a native of Lee county and a daughter of Conrad and 
Elizabeth (Eckhart) Hotzel, natives of Germany. The parents 
came to America in 1847, on the same ship which brought the 
father of the subject of this reA'iew. and they made the journey 
from Chicago to Lee eoimty in the same wagon. Mr. and Mrs. 
Gross became the parents of four children: Lillian, the wife of 
Jerry Dysart; R. C; F. C; and a child who died in infancy. Tlie 
parents are members of the Evangelical church. Mr. Gross is a 
member of Franklin Grove Lodge, No. 501, K. P., and has been 
through all the chairs in that organization. He gives his ])olii:ical 
allegiance to the republican party and has been very active in the 
affairs of the township. He served on the school board for a num- 
ber of years and was for six years mayor of Franklin Grove, giving 
to the community a straightforward and progressive administra- 
tion. He is at present township supervisor and is doing his usual 
ca]")able and farsighted work in this office. A resident of Lee 
county since his birth, he has become widely known within its bor- 
ders. He merits the confidence and respect of all who know him 
and is numbered among the substantial citizens of the county. 



THE UNION STATE BANK. 

The Union State Bank of Dixon has become one of the strong, 
safe and reliable financial institutions of northern Illinois. It was 
organized on the 8th of January, 1902, with I. B. Countryman as 
president, C. J. Rosbrook, vice president, and R. M. Moore, cashier. 
The bank was capitalized for fifty thousand dollars and a general 



154 HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 

banking business is conducted. The bank building was erected^ 
twenty-four by eighty feet, of stone and brick. It is two stories in 
height, the upper floor being used for offices. Three per cent 
interest is paid on tune deposits and the established rate upon 
savings. The capital still remains as at the beginning, but there is 
today a surplus of fifteen thousand dollars. There has been no 
change in the officers save that Harry L. Fordham succeeded ]Mr. 
Moore as cashier of the bank in 1911. Beside the officers C. H. 
Noble, E. J. Countryman, C. H. Stiteley and C. H. McKenney con- 
stitute the board of directors. The bank is now in a most flourish- 
ing condition, its total resources amounting to three hvmdred and 
seventy-seven thousand, seven hundred and seventy dollars and 
seventy-seven cents. Its loan department is an important paying 
branch of the business, its entire loans amounting to two hundred 
and eighty-two thousand, nine hundred and forty-seven dollars and 
seventy-nine cents. Keen business discrimination and sound judg- 
ment on the part of the bank officials result in the judicious placing 
of these loans, which thereby furnish a gratifying annual revenue 
to the bank. In fact, the entire business of the institution is in a 
flourishing condition and the policy followed is one which com- 
mends the bank to a liberal patronage. The interests of depositors 
are most carefully safeguarded and in this is found one of the 
features of the success of the institution. 



W. F. DEGNER. 



During the entire period of his active life W. F. Degner has 
been associated with farming and stock-raising interests of Lee 
county and his success is evident today in his ownership of one of 
the finest farms in Bradford township. He was born in Lee county, 
OctolK'r 23, 1873, and is a son of Fredrick and Sophia (Hotzel) 
Degner, the former a native of Germany and the latter of Lee 
countv. The record of Mr. and Mrs. Fredrick Degner is found 
elsewhere in this work. 

W. P. Degner was reared at home and acquired his education in 
the district schools of Lee county. In his childhood he aided in the 
operation of the homestead and when he began his independent 
career turned his attention to farming, renting a tract of land upon 
which he resided for six years. At the end of that time he bought 
the farm which he now occupies. He has one hundred and twenty 



HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 155 

acres on sections 28 and 29, Bradford township, and lias greatly 
improved this proj)erty, which gives every evidence of the care of 
a progressive and practical agriculturist. In addition to general 
fanning Mr. Degner makes a siseeialty of feeding cattle and hogs 
and his stock-raising interests are extensive and important. 

In 1900 Mr. Degner married Miss ]\Iary K. Albrecht, a native 
of Lee county and a daughter of Burchart Albrecht. Mr. and Mrs. 
Degner have three children, Carl G., Raymond A. and Mabelle 0. 
The parents are members of the Lutheran church and Mr. Degner 
gives his political allegiance to the republican party. He is now 
serving as school director and discharges the duties of this office in 
a capable and progressive wa}'. He is a stockholder in the Amboy 
State Bank and connected fraternally with Lee Center Lodge, No. 
1036, M. W. A., of Lee Center. He is accounted one of the progress- 
ive and prosperous farmers of Bradford township and is well and 
favorably known throughout his native county. 



WILLIAM AUCHSTETTER. 

William Auchstetter is now living retired at West Brooklyn 
but for a number of years Avas actively engagCvd in farming in Lee 
county. Since 1902 he has oceuY)ied his present home in the town, 
where he has valuable property holdings that return to him a 
gratifying income. His birth occurred in Lee Center township, 
February 6, 1870, his parents being Joseph and Mary (Thies) 
Auchstetter. The father came from Germany about 1845 and, 
making his way into the interior of the country, settled in Lee 
county. There were no railroads between Chicago and this district 
at that time. He was one of the pioneers of Lee county, which he 
found to he largely a tract of undeveloped prairie at the time of his 
arrival. Only here and there had settlements been made and much 
of the land was still in its prmiitive condition. Mr. Auchstetter 
purchased an undeveloped tract which he began converting into 
tillable land, bringing it ultimately under a high state of cultiva- 
tion. He was a popular man in the neighborhood and was recog- 
nized as a faithful friend and a devoted husband. He reached the 
venerable age of eighty-four years, passing away in 1908, and his 
wife departed this life the following year, at the age of seventy-five. 
Their religious faith was that of the Catholic church. 



156 HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 

William Auchstetter acquired his education in the country 
schools, which he attended until he reached the age of sixteen 
years. He afterward assisted his father upon the home farm imtil 
attaining his majority, when his father gave him one hundred and 
twenty acres of land. He then hegan the develoimient of the pro- 
perty and by jDurchase added to it a fifteen acre tract. At length 
he and his brother inherited the old homestead but afterward 
William Auchstetter sold his interest in the farm to his brother 
Joseph and purchased the property which he now owns. This he 
developed, transforming the wild land into productive fields, and 
everything about the place came to indicate the practical methods 
and progressive spirit of the owner. In 1902 he retired from active 
farm life and erected a residence in West Brooklyn which is one 
of the fine homes of the town. The same spring he purchased one 
of the business blocks in West Brooklyn and his property interests 
now return to him a substantial income in rentals. 

On the 23d of February, 1897, in West Brooklyn, Mr. Auch- 
stetter was united in marriage to Miss Susie Gehant, a daughter of 
Modest and Olympia (Chaon) Gehant, the former a pioneer 
farmer of the county. Mr. and Mrs. Auchstetter have a daughter, 
Flossie, who is attending school. The parents are members of the 
Catholic church and Mr. Auchstetter belongs to the Catholic Order 
of Foresters. His political support is given to the democratic 
party. As the years have passed he has won success, which is 
largely due to his utilization of the opportunities that have come to 
him. He has always lived in Lee county and the energy and 
capability which he has displayed in the management of his busi- 
ness affairs have been the source of his present prosperity, 
enabling him now to live retired. 



E. B. OWENS, M. D. 



Dr. E. B. Owens, a general medical practitioner whose skill in 
surgery has also led him to specialize somewhat along that line, 
came to Dixon in 1891 and has resided hei'e continuously since, 
covering a period of about twenty-two years. He is a native of 
La Salle county, born on the 3d of May, 1867. His parents, Daniel 
W. and Mary (Silverthorn") Owens, were both natives of Penn- 
sylvania and were farming people. Removing westward, they set- 
tled in La Salle county and thus Dr. Owens was reared in this state. 



HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 157 

He supplemented his public-school training by a course in the 
Normal School of Bureau county, Illinois, from which he was 
gi"aduated, and next entered the Northwestern University as a 
medical student, completing his professional training there in 
1890. He afterward spent a year as resident physician and sur- 
geon in St. Luke's Hospital of Chicago, thus gaining a practical 
experience and training such as can be obtained in no other way 
than through hospital practice. In 1891 he arrived in Dixon and 
has here since remained. His knowledge of the principles and 
science of medicine is comprehensive and exact and his training 
and interest in his profession have well qualified him to deal with 
many of the diseases to which flesh is heir. He has done consider- 
able surgical work and specializes along this line, in which he has 
gained marked proficiency. He belongs to the local, state and na- 
tional medical associations and thus keeps in touch with the ad- 
vanced thought of the profession. 

In 1894 Dr. Owens was united in marriage to Miss Eleanor 
Isett, a native of Pennsylvania, and unto them have been born 
two children, Elizabeth and Katherine. Dr. Owens votes with the 
republican party and keeps well informed concerning the signifi- 
cant and vital questions of the times. He and his wife hold mem- 
bership in the Presbyterian church and during their residence in 
Dixon they have gained many friends among the church people 
and in social circles at large. 



WILLIAM J. Mccarty. 

William J. McCarty, a representative of an honored pioneer 
family of Lee county, devotes his attention to general agi'icultural 
pursuits with excellent success, operating a valuable farm of three 
himdred acres, known as Clear View Farm, on section 14, Marion 
township. His birth occurred on this farm on the 25th of Sep- 
tember, 1876, his parents being William R. and Ruth A. (Conder- 
man) McCarty. The father, who passed away on the 28th of De- 
cember, 1898, lies buried in the Prairie Repose cemetery of Amboy, 
but the mother survives and makes her home with our subject. 

William J. McCarty attended school in his native county un- 
til sixteen years of age and subsequently spent his entire time in 
assisting his father with the work of the home place. Since the 
time of the latter 's demise in 1898, our subject has remained at 



159 HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 

home with his mother in Marion township, where he has carried 
on general agricultural pursuits continuously and successfully 
since. He is engaged in mixed farming and the raising of horses, 
cattle and hogs. The residence and some other buildings which 
stand on the property were erected by his grandfather, an early 
pioneer, who settled on this farm in 1850, and became an early 
agriculturist and esteemed citizen of the community. 

In politics Mr. McCarty is a stanch republican, and for two 
years he ably discharged the duties devolving upon Mm in the 
capacity of clerk of Marion township. Fraternally he is identified 
with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, the Modern Wood- 
men of America and the Royal Neighbors. A man of genuine per- 
sonal worth and high standards of integrity, he commands the 
sincere regard and esteem of all who come in contact with him and 
in the course of his lifelong residence in Lee county has proved his 
loyalty in citizenship, his reliability iu business and his fidelity 
to all the ties and obligations of life. 



HENRY KERSTEN. 



Henry Kersten is one of the self-made men of Lee county. 
He had no special assistance when he started out in life on his 
own account, but in the course of years, through his well directed 
efforts and careful management, he has hecome the owner of 
four hundred acres of valuable land in Reynolds township. It 
was iu this township that he was born, March 1, 1864, his parents 
being George and Christina Kersten, both of whom were natives 
of Germany. They came to America in the '50s and journeyed 
across the country until they reached Lee county, Illinois, where 
the father still makes his home, residing now in Ashton. The 
mother passed away in the late '70s, after which George Kersten 
married a second and third time, his third union being with Mrs. 
Emma Brundenburg. By his first marriage there were eleven cMl- 
dren and by the second marriage there were three children, of 
whom two yet survive. 

Henry Kersten spent the days of his boyhood and youth under 
the parental roof and after attaining his majority started out in 
the world on his own account. He then rented land for four 
years, after which he purchased the farm upon which he now 
resides, comprising one hundred and sixty acres on section 16, 






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a 

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HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 161 

.Reynolds township. From the beginning his success has con- 
tinued, owing to the fact that he has never been afraid of hard 
work. He has labored diligently and persistently and has added 
to his holdings from time to time. He purchased eighty acres on 
section 8 and afterward invested in one hundred and sixty acres 
on section 17, Reynolds township. He has now altogether four 
hiuidred acres of rich and valuable land worth at least two hun- 
dred dollars per acre. He displays excellent management in the 
use of the tields, producing therefrom the best possible crops 
owing to his progressive methods of farming. He rotates his 
crops, keeps his soil in good condition and the harvests which he 
annually garners bring to him a good financial return. 

On the 22d of March, 1888, Mr. Kersten was united in mar- 
riage to Miss Catherine Newman, who was born in Lee county, 
Illinois, and is a daughter of John and Martha (Wagner) New- 
man, both of whom were natives of Germany and came to the 
United States at an early date. They settled in Lee county, Illi- 
nois, and here continued to make their home until they were called 
from this life. Mr. and Mrs. Kersten became the parents of five 
children: Pearl Caroline, Harry J., Elmer H., Ervin H. and 
Rosa M. The parents hold membership in the Evangelical church, 
and Mr. Kersten is actively interested in its work. He is now 
serving as one of the church trustees and is treasurer of the Sun- 
day school. He votes with the republican party and has filled the 
the office of pathmaster. He has also been school director and is 
inteiested in everything that pertains to the general welfare 
along the lines of material, intellectual and moral progress. 



JOHN P. DEVINE. 



The bar of Lee county finds a worthy representatve in John P. 
Pevine, who has practiced continuously in Dixon since 1 905. He 
came to the starting point of his career well equipped with cer- 
tain qualities indispensable to the successful lavryer — a well trained 
mind, the habit of careful analysis and logical reasoning and a 
reco.gnition of the fact that devotion to a client's interests is one 
of the elements of enduring success. Lee county numbers him 
among her native sons, his birth having occurred within her borders 
on the 22d of January, 1878. His father, James Pevine, was born 
in Ireland and on coming to Hlinois settled in Whiteside county 



162 HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 

in 1865. Later in the '60s he removed to this county and took up 
the occupation of farming which he followed for a number of 
years. His success in tilling the soil brought to him a handsome 
competence that now enables him to live retired. In early man- 
hood he wedded Mary A. Gugerty, who was born in Lee county, 
Illinois, in 1854 and is a daughter of Thomas Gugerty, one of the 
pioneer settlers of this county. 

John P. Devine pursued his education in the schools of Dixon 
and is a graduate of the literary and law department of Dixon 
College. He completed his law course with the class of 1903 and 
was admitted to the bar in 1905, when he opened an office and has 
since engaged in practice in Dixon. As the years have passed 
he has gained a distinctively representative clientage and he is 
regarded as an able and faithful minister in the temple of ji;stice, 
being careful at all times to conform his practice to a high stand- 
ard of professional ethics, never seeking to lead the court astray 
in matters of fact or law and presenting his points logically and 
forcefully. 

Mr. Devine has always voted with the democratic party since 
age conferred upon him the right of franchise and has become a 
recognized leader in its local ranks. He is now a member of the 
state legislature, to which he was elected in 1910, and to the \atal 
questions which come up for settlement he gives his' earnest 
consideration. 



FREDRICK C. DEGNER. 

Lee county was called upon to mourn the loss of one of its 
early residents when Fredrick C. Deguer died on his farm in 
Bradford township in 1893. He had lived in this part of Illinois 
since 1866 and for a long period was influentially connected with 
agricultural interests here, developing one of the finest farms in 
this locality. He was born in Germany, June 29, 1843, and he came 
to America in 1866, locating in Lee county, Illinois, where two 
years later he bought a farm. For many years thereafter he cou- 
timied to make his home upon this property, carrying foi'ward the 
work of improvement and development with characteristic energv. 
He provided the place with a comfortable residence and substan- 
tial buildings and was very successful in its conduct, becoming 
one of the best known farmers and stock-raisers in this localitv. 



HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 163 

He died upon the property May 15, 1893, and was laid to rest in 
the Woodside cemetery, Lee Center. He was a man of many ster- 
ling traits of character, reliable in business, progressive in citizen- 
ship and straightforward in all relations of life. His death was, 
therefore, sincerely regretted in this township, where for so many 
years he had made his home and where he had contributed in sub- 
stantial measure to general advancement. 

In Lee county, Illinois, Mr. Deg-ner was united in marriage to 
Miss Sophia Hotzel, who Avas born in China township, this county, 
a daughter of Conrad and Anna E. (Eckhart) Hotzel, natives of 
Germany. The parents came to America in 1847 and located in 
Lee county, where they resided until their deaths. Mr. and Mrs. 
Degiier became the parents of ten childi'en : Carl, who died at the 
age of four; Anna, the wife of Emrich Schnell, of Minnesota; W. 
F. ; Mary, who married U. Gr. Fidfs, a resident of Whiteside county, 
Illinois ; Martha, the deceased wife of John Rupel ; Emma, who 
married August Gej^er, of Lee county; two children who died in 
infancy; Kathrjoi, who married Walter Dunseth, of Amboy; and 
Nellie H., a music teacher. Mrs. Hegner has also reared a grand- 
daughter, Blanch Rupel. She owns the homestead of eighty acres 
in Bradford townshii) and resides upon it. She has many friends 
in this part of Lee county, where her character and worth are 
known and recognized. 



ABRAM K. TRUSDELL. 

Abram K. Trusdell has for forty-six years been a member of 
the Dixon bar and throughout the entire period his practice has 
been extensive and of an important character. He has ever been 
remarkable among lawyers for the wide research and patient care 
with which he has prepared his cases, while an excellent presence, 
an eai'uest, dignified manner and comprehensive knowledge of the 
law have been the strong features in his effectiveness as an advo- 
cate. He is* likewise closely and prominently connected with 
varioiis business corporations which have had to do with the mate- 
rial development and financial history of the city. A native of 
Sussex county. New Jersey, he is a son of Jesse and Jane (Giv- 
eans) Trusdell, the former a farmer by occupation. 

It was in the year 1861 that Abram K. Trusdell arrived in Am- 
hov. Illinois, and for four years he engaged in studying law under 



164 HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 

the direction of his brother B. H. Trusdell. Ou the 7th of Feb- 
ruary, 181)7, he arrived in Dixon and, having quaiihed for practice, 
opened a law office. Along with those qualities indispensable to 
the lawyer — a keen, rapid, logical mind, plus the business sense and 
a ready capacity for hard work — he brought to the starting point 
of his career certain rare gifts — eloquence of language and a strong 
personality. The zeal with which he has devoted his energies to 
the profession, the careful regard evinced for the interests of his 
clients and an assiduous and unrelaxing attention to all the details 
of his cases have brought him a large business and made him very 
successful in its conduct. Moreover, Mr. Trusdell has become 
identified with various corporations, having been one of the or- 
ganizers of the Dixon Water Company, of which he is now the 
president, and he is also president of the Nachusa House Com- 
pany. He is likewise a director of the Dixon National Bank and 
in all business matters his judgment is sound, his sagacity keen 
and his enterprise unfaltering. 

Mr. Trusdell was married, on the 5th of December, 1871, to 
Miss Emma Ruth Orvis, of Dixon, a daughter of Abraham Or^ds, 
formerly a practicing physician of Rochester, New York. Mr. 
Trusdell is a member of the Episcopal church and his fraternal 
relations are with the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks. 
Throughout the county he is spoken of in terms of admiration and 
respect. His life has been so varied in its activity, so honorable in 
its purposes, so far-reaching and beneficial in its effects that it has 
become an integral part of the history of the city. 



WILLIAM C. McWETHY. D. D. S. 

Dr. William C. McWethy, who since March, 1909, has engaged 
in the practice of dentistry in Dixon, his nati^'e city, was born 
in 187] , his parents being J. H. and Hattie E. (Sheldon) McWethy, 
who had been residents of this state for a decade at the time of 
the birth of their son William. The father was a farmer bv occu- 
pation and dependent i;pon that pursuit in order to provide for 
his family. In his later life ho retired, for in tilling the soil he 
had won a substantial competence that enaliled him to spend the 
evening of his life in rest fi'om labor and yet enjoy all of the com- 
forts and some of the luxuric^s which go to make life worth the 
living. His political support was given to the republican party 




DK. W 11>LIA.\1 ('. M< \\ i:i IIS 



HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 167 

and both he and his wife were members of the Presbyterian church 
of Uixon from its organization until they were called to their 
final rest. They were e\-er loyal to its teachings and contributed 
generously to its support. Both have now passed away. 

Dr. McWethy supplemented his cummun-school education by 
a course ru the Steinmann Institute and then in preparation for 
a professional career entered the Northwestern University as a 
dental student and was graduated in 1899 He practiced in Chi- 
cago for a short time and afterward removed to Ashtou, Illinois, 
where he remained until March, 1909, when he came to Dixon 
and opened an office. He has a pleasant suite of rooms well ap- 
pointed in all of the equipments necessary for the practice of 
dentistry according to the most modern and progressive metliods. 
He keeps in touch with the advancement that is being continually 
made in the profession and he possesses the mechanical skill and 
ingenuity as well as the scientific knowledge which must go hand 
in hand with business ability in order that a dentist may win 
success. 

In 1900 Dr. McWethy was married to Miss Bertha L. Hub- 
bard, a native of Dixon and a daughter of M. D. Hubbard, who 
was one of the early settlers of the coimt,y, having been brought 
by his parents to this section of the state in his infancy. Mr. 
Hubbard is now deceased. Unto Dr. and Mrs. McWethy has been 
born a son, Donald Sheldon. Politically Dr. McWethy is a pro- 
gressive republican and fraternally he is connected with the 
Masons, the Elks and the Woodmen. Both he and his wife hold 
membership in the Presbj'terian church and are interested and 
active in its work and liberal in its support. Their many ster- 
ling traits of heart and mind have gained them popularity and 
high regard and they have an extensive circle of friends in this 
city, in which tliey have spent practically their entire lives. 



CONRAD HETBENTHAL. 

Conrad Heibenthal owns a farm of one hundred and eighty- 
seven acres on section 24, Ashton township, and is a worthy rep- 
resentative of agricultural interests of this locality, for he follows 
always the most progressive and practical methods and in the cul- 
tivation of his property has surrounded himself with a gratifying 
measure of success. He was born in Bradford township November 



168 HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 

6, 1860, and is a son of Charles and Martha Heibenthal, natives of 
Germany. They came to America in tlie eai'ly '40s, and located in 
Lee county, Illinois, where both passed away. Seven children 
were born to their union of whom six are yet living. 

Conrad Heibenthal was reared at home and acquired his edu- 
cation in the public schools of Bradford township. He remained 
upon his father's farm imtil he was twenty-three years of age and 
then rented land for some years, after which he bought a farm in 
Bradford township. This property he developed and improved 
for nineteen years thereafter, making it one of the finest farms 
in the vicinity. When he disposed of it he bought the farm in 
Ashton township, upon which he now resides. This comprises one 
hundred and eighty-seven acres on section 24 and under Mr. Heib- 
enthal 's direction has become an attractive and valuable property. 
It is equipped with si;bstantial biTildings and the fields are in a 
high state of cu]tivatii>n, yielding liountiful harvests annually. 

In 1884 Mr. Heibenthal was united in marriage to ]\Iiss Eliza- 
beth Nniunan, a native of Bradford township and a daughter of 
John and Martha (Wagner) Nauman, natives of Germany. The 
parents came to America at an early date and both died in this 
country. In their family were eleven children. Mr. and Mrs. 
Heibenthal have two children : Charles F., a resident of Lee 
county; and Cora A., at home. The parents are members of the 
Evangelical chTirch and Mr. Heibenthal gives his political alle- 
giance to the republican party. He has served in the office of school 
director and he is at all times progressive and public-spirited in 
matters of citizenship, taking an intelligent interest in community 
affairs. 

He has spent his entire life in Lee county and his character and 
accomplishments have commended him to the respect and esteem 
of all who know him. 



W. F. STRONG. 



W. F. Strong is the capable and popular head of Strong's 
College of Music at Dixon, an institution which, though established 
at a comparatively recent date, has made substantial growth and 
won a well merited reputation as one of the art colleges of the 
state. Mr. Strong has devoted his entire life to music, developing 
the tnlent with which nature endowed him, and is as widely known 



HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 169 

perhaps as a composer and publisher as an instructor. He was 
born in Akron, Indiana, November 11, 1857, and is a son of Andrew 
and Sarah (Osgood) Strong, both of whom were natives of New 
York and were pioneers of Indiana. The father was a carriage 
maker, which trade he followed in the middle west. 

Spending his youthful days under the parental roof, W. F. 
Strong pursued his education in the public schools of Indiana and 
in the Northern Indiana Normal ( ullcge at Valparaiso before con- 
centrating his energies upon the development of his musical talent 
as a student in the Cincinnati College of Music. He afterward 
became a student in the Chicago Musical College and each year has 
marked his progress in the art. He specializes in piano, violin and 
harmony. His life has been devoted to teaching and composition 
and he has published much music, writing and comi^iling books 
for both the piano and vidlin that an- now largely used by music 
teachers. 

Mr. Strong organized a college of nmsic in Shenandoah, Iowa, 
in connection with the Western Normal College, which he con- 
ducted for seven years, after which he went to Chicago for further 
study. In fact, througlntut his entire life he has been a student and 
is thus continually advancing his own efficiency as well as assisting 
others in cultivating their musical gifts. In 1890 he came to Dixon, 
where he was associated with the Dixon College until 1903. In 
that year he removed to Eochester, Indiana, where he was half 
owner of a normal college, but in 1907 returned to Dixon and was 
again with the Dixon College until 1911. In that year he organized 
W. F. Strong's College of Music, giving instruction in all branches 
of music and granting diplomas in three graduating courses. The 
success of his pupils has demonstrated the accuracy and practica- 
bility of the college methods. The three courses for graduation 
include the academic, the normal and the classic course, and all 
pupils have the benefit of a nmsical atmosphere, attending morn- 
ing classes in harmony, musical history and ])iography, weekly 
evening meetings in the studio for private rehearsals and monthly 
meetings in the large auditoiium for pul)lic recitals. The degree 
of Bachelor of Music is conferred upon those completing the clas- 
sic course. Moreover, Mr. Strong has arranged that those so 
desiring may combine with music, courses in stenography, book- 
keeping, typewriting. English branches, oratory or art. 

In 1887 was celebrated the marriage of Mr. Strong and Miss 
Mary Bell, of Valparaiso, Indiana. Mrs. Strong is also an accom- 
plished musician, displaying notable ability as a pianist and pipe 



170 HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 

organist, and she lias successfully taught with her husband. She 
has studied music under Ain_y Fay and August Ilillistead of 
Chicago. Mr. and ^Irs. Strong have two daughters: Ivathryn, who 
is a graduate of Strong's College of Music and is now pursuing 
advanced work in Chicago, at the same time teaching in her 
father's school; and Delia, a violin student. Mr. Strong is a mem- 
ber of the Bene^'olent Protective Order of Elks. In polities he is 
somewhat independent but inclined toward the progressive party. 
Genial and courteous in manner, thoroughly earnest in his chosen 
profession, he has the ability to inspire his pupils with a deep 
interest in the work and in his teaching he makes a study of 
individual needs so that instruction is given to meet the specific 
requirements of each pupil. His compositions, too, have won 
recognition among music lovers and those thoroughly interested in 
the art, and Dixon has reason to be proud of the Strong College of 
Music. 



CLAYTON H. BOKHOF, M. D. 

Dr. Clayton H. Bokhof, a NortliAvestern man, who since his 
graduation in 1899 has continuously practiced his profession, 
being located in Dixon since 1901, was born in Rock City, Illinois, 
on the 18th of ^larch, 1873, his parents being Herman and Amelia 
(Eggert) Bokhof, the former a native of Germany and the latter 
of Illinois. The father is numliered among the leading, influential 
and progressive citizens of Bock City, where he is engaged in the 
grain business and also figures prominently in financial circles as 
the president of the Rock City State Bank. 

Dr. Bokhof was reared amid pleasant home surroimdings, 
whei'e he received encouragement to develop the best that Avas in 
him in preparation for life's practical and responsible duties. 
When in the attainment of his education he had graduated from 
the high school at Rock City it was arranged that he should con- 
tinue his studies in Beloit C(dlege at Beloit, Wisconsin, where his 
more specifically literary course was completed. A mental review 
of the many avenues of business opened to young men led him to 
the conclusion that he wished to engage in the practice of medicine, 
and to that purpose he entered the medical department of the 
Northwestern University at Chicago, where he took a full course 
and was graduated with the class of 1899. He then entered upon 



HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 171 

an eighteen months' service as interne and his experience in 
hospital work has been most valuable to him, giving him a broader 
knowledge than could be obtained in many years of general prac- 
tice. Thus well equipped, he came to Dixon at the end of his 
interneship, opened an office and entered upon general practice, in 
which he has been very successful. He keeps in touch with the 
advanced thought of his profession through wide reading and 
investigation and through the discussion of important professional 
problems as heard in the meetings of the Lee County Medical 
Society, the Illinois State Medical Association and the American 
Medical Association. He is now secretary of the first named. 

In October, ]9U3, Dr. Bokhof was united in marriage to Miss 
Ann Steel, a daughter of W. B. Steel and a representative of one 
of the prominent families of Chicago. Dr. and Mrs. Bokhof have 
two children, Henry and Jean. Mrs. Bokhof is a member of the 
Presbyterian church. The Doctor's fraternal connection is with 
the Elks. He holds himself free from party ties in j)olitics, voting 
independently. He is interested in matters of progressive citizen- 
ship and lends his aid and support to all movements for civic 
betterment. 



WILLIAM H. COPPINS. 

Dixon is an educational center. Few cities of its size in the 
entire country can boast of so many schools of I'ecogiiized merit. 
An intellectual atmosphere prevails and the standards of educa- 
tion are high along classical, scientific and art lines and in the 
field where students are especially prepared for business life. It is 
to the latter field that William H. Coppins has always directed his 
efforts and as founder and principal of the Coppins' Dixon Busi- 
ness College and Normal School of Dixon lie is well known. A na- 
tive of Bureau county, Illinois, he was born in Tiskilwa in 1871 and 
is a son of James and Theodosia Coppins, who were pioneer resi- 
dents of that county, settling there when the work of development 
and improvement M^as in its infancy. The father was a farmer by 
occupation, devoting his entire life to that pursuit. He recognized 
the value of educational training as a preparation for life's work 
and desired that his children should have good opportunities in 
that direction. William H. Coppins after attending the public 
schools was sent to the Gem City Business College at Quincy, Hli- 



172 HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 

nois, wlieie he was graduated with the class of 1892. He has since 
engaged in teaching and for twenty-one years has been identified 
with the profession in Dixon. He is one of the most widely known 
educators of this city and his ability has given him high rank 
among Dixon's most successful instructors. He was continuously 
connected with the Steiuman School imtil 1905, when he organized 
the Copi^ins' Dixon Business College and Normal School, now 
occupying the second floor at No. 215 First street. From the 
beginning the school has enjoyed continuous and substantial 
growth and no higher testimonial of its efficiency and the capabil- 
ity of its graduates can be given than the fact that there are more 
demands for employes than the school can supply. The aim of the 
school is high. It fosters ambition and stimulates a desire to 
acliieve success on the part of the pupils. Its slogan is: "Character 
and a little ability spell success ; ability and a little character spell 
failui'e." The course of instruction includes stenography, book- 
keeping, business forms, letter writing, theory and practice in 
accounts, arithmetic, English, spelling, school law, etc. The touch 
sj'stem of typewriting is taught and the most advanced methods 
are followed in imparting instruction. The aim of the school is to 
give an education that will last through life and will continue to 
grow in its usefulness as the individual develops his powers. 

In 1896 Mr. Coppins was united in marriage to Miss Clara 
Biddnlph, also a native of Bureau county, Illmois, and they have 
become the parents of three (^hildren. INIr. Coppins exercises his 
right of franchise in support of the men and measures of the 
republican party and his religious faith is that of the Presbyterian 
church. High principles guide him in all relations of life and high 
standards constitute the salient features of his professional career. 



MRS. LEONORA ABELL. 

Mrs. Leonora Abell is a representative of a well known pioneer 
family of I^ee county and from her infancy has resided in this 
locality, having come here with her parents in 1852. She was 
born in OrangeVille, Columbia county. Pennsylvania, and is a 
daughtei' of Silas and Mary (Pierce) Lazarus. The father set- 
tled on a farm in Ijce cc^mty in 1852 and was numbered among the 
pioneers in this locality. He took up a tract of land which was 
vet a wilderness and foi- mauv vears thereafter cultivated and im- 




JOHN M. AUKLL 



HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 175 

proved this property, making it one of the model farms iu Lee 
county. He enlisted in Battery G, Second Illinois Light Artillery 
on December 25, 1863, and served until the close of the war. He 
died in November, 1899, at the age of seventy-four, having sur- 
vived his wife since 1887. Both are buried in East Paw Paw. The 
paternal branch of this family is of German origin but its repre- 
sentatives have been in America for many generations. 

Mrs. Leonora Abell was still a child when her parents came 
to Lee county and she acquired her education in the public schools 
of East Paw Paw, attending until she was fifteen years of age and 
afterward remaining at home until after her marriage. On the 
11th of March, 1869, she wedded John M. Abell, a native of St. 
Charles, Kane county, Illinois, and a son of Jabez and Susan 
(Miller) Abell. John M. Abell came to Lee county when he was 
still a child and acquired his education in the public schools. After 
laying aside his books he turned his attention to farming and car- 
pentering, following both occupations until his death. He erected 
many of the fine residences in Lee county and also the United 
Biethren church and many public and jirivate buildings iu Comp- 
ton. He also gaA-e a great deal of attention to the development of 
his farm in Viola township, erecting excellent buildings upon it 
and making it one of the finest and most productive properties in 
this section of the state. His interests extended also to the field 
of public affairs and he was honored by his fellow citizens by elec- 
tion to various positions of trust and responsibility, serving witli 
credit and ability as supervisor, justice of the peace, tax collector 
and assessor of Viola township. Lie was a member of the United 
Brethren church and of the Masonic fraternity conforming his 
life to the principles of those organizations. His public and priv- 
ate lecords were alike exemplary and his death, which occurred 
Febi'uary 13. 1912, when he was sixt^^-seven years of age, de])]'ived 
Lee county of one of its most valued and i^epresentative citizens. 

Mr. and Mrs. Abell became the parents of ten children: 
Charles J., engaged in the restaurant business in Compton; Philip 
S., a resident of Shabbona ; Harry H., a mail carrier in Compton; 
Laura Ij.. the wife of Judson Beemer, a farmer in Brooklyn town- 
ship; Mary Cecil, who married Zene Johnston, a farmer in Viola 
township: Mildred I., the wife of W. C. Potter, foreman of the 
steel mills in Gary; Stella M-, who married Lawrence Lutz. who 
resides upon the home farm ; R. Leslie, a graduate of the Paw Paw 
high school and now a mail carrier in Sublette; Ruth, the wife 
of Hei^bert Carnahan, a meat cutter residing in Compton; and 



176 HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 

M. Hope, a graduate of the Compton high school. Mrs. Abell 
BOW makes her home in Compton, where her many excellent traits 
of mind and character have won her the esteem and confidence of 
an extensive circle of warm friends. 



FRANK EDWARDS. 



Tlic firm of Edwards & Case, general merchants at Paw Paw, 
enjoys a reputation second to none in the county for strict honesty, 
progressive business methods and for carrying a stock of goods 
which is not only reliable but complete. This happy result is 
largely due to the efi'orts and ability of Frank Edwards, who 
untiringly has given his energies toward building up this business. 
He is one of the younger merchants of the city and worthily fol- 
lows in his father's footsteps, who also was engaged as a dry-goods 
merchant in these parts. Frank Edwards is a native of Lee cormty, 
his birth ha\iiig occurred at Paw Paw, December 18, 1883. His 
father is AVilliam H. Edwards, also born in Paw Paw, and the 
latter 's father came here in the early days of 1848. The mother of 
our subject in her maidenhood was Eva A. La Porte. William H. 
Edwards, the father of our subject, was one of the first to establish 
a dry-goods store m this jDart of the county. After a long and suc- 
cessful career he now resides retired in Dixon, Illinois. The 
maternal grandfather of oin- suliject was one of the oldest settlers 
in this part of Illinois and in IS-tT crossed the plains to California 
in search of gold. He was a friend of the Lidian chief Shaliona and 
when he and his family made their home here an unbroken wilder- 
ness existed where flourishing farms now thrive. Both parents of 
the mother of our subject are deceased and buried in Stevens 
cemetery, near Rollo. William II. Edwards owns one of the finest 
collections of Indian relics in that state of Illinois — a collection 
which is so comprehensive that it has found a place of honor in the 
Dixon library. The EdAvards family is of English origin, the 
gi'andfather coming to the United States about 1840 and making 
his way to this section of the nnddle west in 1848, as above 
mentioned. 

Frank Edwards received his education in the Dixon public 
schools, leaving the high school at the age of eighteen. To com- 
plenif'iit his education ah^ng commercial lines he then took a course 
in tlie Dixon Business College and subsequently accented a posi- 



HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY m 

tion as clerk for the Dixon Grocery Company. He then bought an 
interest in the firm of which he is uo^Y a partner and which has 
become by his able thought and effort the largest of its kind in 
the town. Progressive and energetic, Mr. Edwards is a business 
man of the modern type and, although well informed upon the 
smallest detail of the business, he never loses sight of the general 
trend of affairs, always preserving his energies for the most 
important matter at hand. In this way he has succeeded in build- 
ing up an organization which is Avell suited to take care of the 
extensive patronage which is accorded his store. 

At Dixon, on ]\Iay 22, 1907, Mr. Edwards was united in mar- 
riage to Miss Mary Woodbridge, a daughter of John K. and Xellie 
Woodbridge. Both parents are dead. The father passed aAvay in 
Evanston, Dlinois, where he is buried, his wife preceding him in 
death in 1884, finding her last resting place in a Chicago cemetery. 
Mr. and Mrs. Edwards have one son, William, wdio is foiu' years of 
age. Mr. Edwards adheres to the Presbyterian church and 
fraternally is a member of the Benevolent Protective Order of 
Elks, belonging to the Dixon lodge. He owns his residence, where 
both he and his wife often entertain their many friends. He is not 
only highly regarded as a bxisiness man but has won the confidence 
and esteem of his fellow citizens because of his high qualities of 
mind and character. He is interested in all matters of public 
welfare and ever considerate of the interests of others. His suc- 
cess is largely due to his own efforts and inherent ability and a 
bright future may be prophesied for the firm of Edwards & Case 
as long as the business is directed by the guiding hand of the 
senior partner. 



EDWIN A. POMEROY. 



The name of Pomeroy has been well known in Bradford town- 
ship since pioneer times and its present representative, Edwin A. 
Pomeroy, is one of the most progressive and substantial agricul- 
turists of his locality, where during the entire period of his active 
life he has been engaged in farming. He was born in this township 
February 14, 1868, and is a son of Edwin W. and Laura Jane 
(Adams) Pomeroy, the former a native of Massachusetts and the 
latter of New York state. The father came to Hlinois in 1844, 
among the early settlers in Lee county, and bought land from the 



178 HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 

government, engaging in agricultural pui'suits for many years 
thereafter. He later moved to Florida, where Ms wife passed away 
in 19U5. Following this he returned to Lee county and here died in 
1908. In his family were three childi'en: Mary E., the wife of 
Henry Wright, of Amboy, Illinois ; Elizabeth W., who married E. 
J. Gray, of this coimty; and Edwin A., of this review. 

The last named was reared upon the farm and was familiar at 
an early age with the best methods of tilling the soil and caring 
for the grain and stock. When he was twenty-one he rented the 
homestead and after operating it for several years bought the 
adjoining property. He now owns one hundred and twenty acres 
on section 31, Bradford township, and section 36, China township. 
By his intelligent management and progressive methods he has 
surrounded himself with a comfortable degree of prosperity. In 
addition to this he owns a one hundred and sixty acre farm in 
Potter county, South Dakota. 

In 1893 Mr. Pomeroy was united in marriage to Miss Adaline 
D. Thornton. Mrs. Pomeroy engaged in teaching in Lee county for 
several years previous to her marriage. She and her husband have 
six children: Philip E., who was born July 30, 1894; Richard T., 
whose birth occurred May 11, 3896; Helen L., born September 24, 
1897; Edith E., December 27, 1901; Vernon S., December 6, 1903; 
and I'loyd S., July 8, 1905. 

Mr. Pomeroy is well known in fraternal circles, being a mem- 
ber of Lee Center Lodge, No. 146, A. P. & A. M., and Haskel Lodge, 
No. 1004, 1. O. 0. F., of Lee Center. He is also affiliated with Lee 
Center Camp, No. 1036, M. W. A., and he and his wife belong to the 
Rebekahs and the Order of the Eastern Star. Mr. Pomeroy gives 
his political allegiance to the republican party and has held the 
office of road supervisor. His attention is, however, largely con- 
fined to his farming interests and his success in their management 
places him among the representative and substantial men of the 
community. 



CHARLES E. IVES. 



Charles E. Ives is a prominent and snccessfnl attorney of Am- 
boy. which city has remained his place of residence since Decem- 
ber. 1854. or for almost six decndes. Immediately after the close 
of the Civil war, in which he had participated as a loyal defender 



HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 179 

of the Union, he entered his father's law office and subsequently 
practiced in association with him for a period of twenty years, the 
firm being known as W. E. Ives & Son. Since 1908 he has prac- 
ticed his profession independently and has been accorded a liberal 
and lucrative clientage. His birth occurred in Pavilion, Kendall 
county, llliuois, on the 14th of October, 1842, his parents being 
William E. and Susan (Ryan) Ives. The father remained an able 
and successful representative of the legal profession in Amboy 
from 1854 until his death more than a half century later. During 
that period he was honored by election to the position of state's 
attorney and also served as mayor of Amboy. His demise oc- 
curred in 1908, when he had attained the venerable age of eighty- 
seven and a half years, while his wife was called to her final rest 
in 1883, at the age of sixty-two years. The remains of both were 
intei'red in Amboy. Representatives of the Ives family, which is 
of English origin, came to the United States at an early period in 
the histor}^ of this country. A Mr. Bingham, brother of the great- 
grandmother of our subject, served under Colonel Ethan Allen in 
the Revolutionary struggle. 

In the acquirement of an education Charles E. Ives attended 
school at Mount Morris, Illinois, and later pursued liis studies in 
the Chicago Univei'sity, leaving that institution in ]862, however, 
in order to join the linys in lihie in their defense of the Union. In 
June of that year he became a member of the Sixty-ninth Illinois 
Volunteer Regiment and in 1864 reenlisted in the One Hundred 
and Forty-sixth Illinois Infantry, serving with the latter command 
until the cessation of hostilities. He proved a brave and valorous 
soldier and returned home with a creditable military record. 
Having determined upon the legal profession as a life work, he en- 
tered the law office of his father and eventually became his part- 
ner, practicing in association with him under the firm style of 
W. E. Ives & Son for a period of twenty years. Since 1908 he 
has practiced independently at Amboy. His success in a pro- 
fessional way affords the best evidence of his capabilities in this 
line. He is a strong advocate with the jury and concise in his 
appeals before the court. Much of the success which has at- 
tended him in his professional career is undoubtedly due to the 
fact that in no instance will he permit himself to go into court 
with a case unless he has absolute confidence in the justice of 
his client's cause. Basing his efforts on this principle, from which 
there are far too many lapses in professional ranks, it naturally 
follows that he seldom loses a case in whose support he is enlisted. 



180 HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 

On the 18th of March, 1874, at Fenton, Michigan, Mr. Ives 
was united in marriage to Miss Eva J. Lamb, a daughter of the 
Rev. Aroswal and Sophia Lamb, lier father being a pastor at 
Hartland, Michigan. Our subject and his wife have three chil- 
dren, as follows: William E., who is an expert machinist in the 
employ of the Public Service Company; George S., a druggist 
of Franklin Grove, Illinois; and Eva F., who is the wife of F. J. 
Blocher, a clothing merchant of Fi'anklin Grove, Illinois. 

Mr. Ives is a republican in his political views and has ably 
served in the capacity of justice of the peace since 1901. He has 
likewise acted as town clerk and has made a highly creditable 
record as a public official. His religious faith is indicated by his 
membership in the Baptist church, and he also belongs to the 
Grand Army of the Republic. He is a dependable man under 
any condition and in any emergenc3^ His quietude of deport- 
ment, his easy dignity, his fi-anknoss and cordiality of address, 
vpith the total absence of anything sinister or anything to conceal, 
foretoken a man who is ready to meet any obligation of life with 
the confidence and courage that come of conscious personal ability, 
a right conception of things and an habitual regard for what is best 
in the exercise of human acti^'ities. 



GEORGE L. RICHARDSON. 

While George L. Richardson is now a resident of Burke, South 
Dakota, he is numbered among the pioneer settlers of Lee county, 
where he has a wide and favorable acquaintance. He Avas born in 
Cheshire county, New Hampshire, on the 2d of December, 1842, 
and comes of genuine old New England stock. He is proud, how- 
ever, to claim that his boyhood days were passed in Dixon, for he 
was brought to the west by his parents in 1849, when a lad of seven 
years. They arrived at Daysville, Illinois, in th.e month of Novem- 
ber and from that time foi'ward George L. Richardson was an in- 
terested witness of the growth of the county and of the events which 
have shaped its history. E-^'en at the early age of seven years he 
took great pleasure in assisting his grandfather, James Hatch, Sr., 
helping to swing the ox goad over two yoke of fine oxen which had 
been brought to this district from Chicago. As there were no 
railroads in those days and comparatively few horses in the county, 
oxen were in great demand. In the winter of 1849-50 George L. 




iiKoKiii-: I.. i;iciiAi;i)S()\ 



HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 183 

Richardson came to Dixon and lived for a time with his uucle, 
James Hatch, Jr., who was then conducting the only bakery in 
this part of the state nearer than Peru. James and Charles Hatch 
had the credit of operating the iirst bakery in Dixon, distributing 
theii" hand-made crackers and bread to nearby settlements. 

At the age of seven years George L. IJichardson was sent to a 
select or subscription school taught by a Mrs. Cotton in what was 
known as the stone schoolhouse directly west of the Nachusa house. 
The lamented Major L. Levanway of the Thirty-fourth Illinois 
Volunteer Infantry, who was killed at the battle of Shiloh on the 
7th of April, 1862, was the next teacher. He was followed by 
Henry T. Noble, who was a member of the Thii'teenth Hlinois 
Infantry. In tlie early '50s the demand for a better school system 
became imperative and the public schools were established. 

With advancing years George L. Richardson passed from one 
school to another of higher grade and at the time of the outbreak 
of the Civil war in 1861 was a student in the high school which was 
then conducted in the building now occupied by Dr. Marion L. 
White, on Second street, where Alexander and James Gow were 
the efficient instructors. In September of 1861, Mr. Richardson, 
who could no longer content himself to remain at home \\ bile the 
country was engaged in war, enlisted in the Thirty-fourth Illinois 
Infantry in which he served for three years and was then honor- 
ably discharged at Jonesboro, Georgia, September 12, 1864, when 
but twenty-two years of age. He went back to Nashville, Tennes- 
see, with General Thomas and while at that point in the winter of 
1865, the battle of Nashville occurred, the troops of General 
Thomas being confronted with the rebel forces under General 
Hood. Mr. Richardson was in the service at that time in the Ninth 
Regiment quartermaster forces, having been appointed first lieu- 
tenant of Company D of that regiment. During his military experi- 
ence he participated in many hotly contested engagements, 
including the battle of Shiloh, April, 7, 1862; the siege of Corinth, 
Mississippi, in May, 18()2; the battle of Perry ville, Kentucky, in 
October of the same year, on which occasion he was recommended 
to his superiors for promotion in i-ecognition of gallant conduct 
on the field of action, as told in Major General A. McD. McCook's 
report of the battle. He was held as a prisoner of war during the 
month of December, 1862, having been captured near Nashville, 
Tennessee, while acting as,messenger for General McCook. Subse- 
quently he 'was exchanged and participated in the battle of Chicka- 
mauga in October, 1863, and Lookout Mountain and Missionary 



184 HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 

Ridge in December, 1863. Tlie balance of bis service until Septem- 
ber, ISUi, was in tbe army blank and record office at Nashville, 
Tennessee. 

After tbe close of tbe war Mr. Ricbardson retui-ned to Dixon 
and later went to Woodstock, Illinois, wbere he piu'sued a three 
years' course in tbe Woodstock Academy. He also took a semi- 
collegiate coiu'se in Carroll College at Waukesha, Wisconsin. For 
a number of years he engaged in teaching in Lee county and his 
last three years in this profession were spent as principal of the 
Lee Center schools. 

He then withdrew from the educational field to tiu-n his atten- 
tion to merchandising in Lee Center, Illinois, where he established 
a store which he successfully conducted for fourteen consecutive 
years, enjoying a good and profitable trade throughout that period. 
He then retii'ed from business in 1899 and returned to his old home 
in Dixon. During his residence in Lee Center he held many offices 
of public trust, serving as justice of tbe peace and notary public 
for fom' years and as assessor for seven years. 

Mr. Richardson was married in Lee Center in 1874, to Miss 
Millie C. De Wolf and unto them were born the following named: 
Mae D., the wife of Mark C. Keller, city attorney of Dixon; Nelson 
F., who is now manager of the grocery department for the I. B. 
Countryman Company at Dixon; John G., who is now' employed in 
the i^ostoffice of Dixon; and Marguerite, who is livuig in this city. 
Mr. Ricbardson gave all of his children excellent educational oppor- 
tunities. He is a comrade in G. A. R. Post, No. 299, of Dixon, Illi- 
nois, and is active in Masonry, being a member of the blue lodge, 
chapter and connnandery. As a mark of esteem and in recogni- 
tion of bis splendid Avork in tbe chapter he was exalted to the chair 
of most excellent high priest of Nacbusa Chapter, No. 56, of Dixon, 
which office he filled with honor to the fraternity and credit to 
himself. 

On acconnt of ill health Mr. Ricbardson went west in 1906 and 
filed on a claim near Burke, South Dakota, in the Indian Rosebud 
reservation. He was on tlic gidund and selected tbe quaiter section 
which he now owns and occupies in 1904, at which time he liked 
the climate so well that he decided to locate there. There are few 
of the war veterans of the 'GOs avIio are now living in the far west 
country. The Indians are fast disappearing and the work of civil- 
ization and general improvement is rapidly advancing. Mr Rich- 
ai'dsou now has his farm in a fine state of cultivation and it is 
divided into fields of convenient size by well kept fences. It 



HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 185 

compares favorably with Illinois farms in its buildings and im- 
provements, the climate is fine, the people are of the best type of 
American citizenship and yet there are often times when Mr. Rich- 
ardson longs for his old home in Illinois, where he resided for so 
many years, during which tune he formed a strong attachment for 
the state and its people. 



ROBERT L. BAIRD, M. D. 

Thorough college training and broad hospital experience well 
qualify Dr. Robert L. Baird for the onerous duties which now de- 
volve upon him as a practitioner of medicine in Dixon. He is yet 
a young man but has already attained a position in the profession 
which many an older practitioner might well envy. He was born 
in Sterling, Illinois, in 1883. and is a son of H. D. and Margaret 
(Norrish) Baird, who are also natives of Illinois. However, their 
parents were from England and Scotland respectiA'ely and were 
pioneers of this state. H. D. Baird was roared to the occupation 
of farming and has made it his life woik. 

At the usual age Dr. Baird entered the jiiiblic schools, passed 
throTigh consecutive grades as he mastered the lessons connected 
thei owith and in due time became a high-school pupil. His edu- 
cation was further continued in Dixon College, of which he is a 
gi'aduate, and then in preparation for the medical profession, 
which he had determined to make his life work, he entered the 
Hahnemann Medical College and was graduated therefrom in 1908. 
For a year he was an interne in the Hahnemann Hospital, being 
appointed to this position in recognition of his high standing in his 
college work. This brought him broad medical experience, en- 
abling him to put his theoretical training to the test, and after a' 
year thus spent he returned to Dixon, where he opened an office 
and entered upon general practice in 1909. It was not long before 
his ability found recognition in a practice that has steadily grown. 
Although he is a young man. he has already made a creditable name 
and place for himself. He belongs to the Lee Coimty Homeo- 
pathic Medical Society, the Illinois State Homeopnthic Society 
and the National Homeopathic Medical Association. 

In 1910 Dr. Baird was married to Miss Grace Over, of Ster- 
ling, Illinois. His social nature finds expression in his member- 
ship in the Masonic lodge, the Knights of Pythias fraternity 



186 HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 

and the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks. In his political 
views he is a democrat and his religious faith is evidenced by Ms 
membership in the Episcopal church, while his wife is a member 
of the Lutheran church. They are now widely known in Dixon 
and have a large circle of warm friends. 



IRA R. GEORGE. 



Among those who materially contribixted to agricultural prog- 
ress in Lee county was Ira R. George, who passed away in the 
midst of a successful career in 1907, when but forty-three years of 
age. He was a native son of Lee county, being born in Ashton 
township on August 17, 1861, a son of David and Susan (Reid) 
George, natives of Pennsylvania, who came to Lee county in an 
early day of its pioneer history. The parents located in Franklin 
Grove but subsequently bought a farm in Ashton township at the 
remarkable price of one dollar and twenty-five cents per acre. It 
is interesting to record this price in order to give an idea as to 
the improvement and progress made in this section as evidenced 
from the sums which are now needed to acquire farm land in the 
middle west. On this farm the parents remained many years, 
the mother dying upon it. The father also passed away in Lee 
county. Here our subject grew to manhood, acquiring his edu- 
cation in the Ashton schools. He remained upon the home prop- 
erty, assisting his father in its operation until forty years of age, 
when his father deeded him the farm, which comprised one hun- 
dred and tifty-one acres. Mr. George also bought nine hundred 
and sixty acres in Missouri and one hundred and sixty in South 
Dakota. He gave very close attention to his Inisiness affairs and 
sTiccess attended his labors, as he was aggressive and ^progressive 
in the management of his interests. His farm was always in the 
best state of cultivation and reflected the assiduous labor and 
careful management of the owner in its rich bearing fields. 

In 1S90 Mr. Geoi'ge was imited in marriage to Miss Sarah H. 
Piper, of Steward, Lee county, Illinois, and a daughter of J. 0. 
and Elizabeth (Shelley) Piper, both natives of Bedford county, 
Pennsylvania. They were among Lee eoimty's early i»ione('rs, 
coming here in the '10s. Mr. Piper ])assod away in 1898. his death 
I'esulting from an accident, he being killed by a horse. The mother 
is still livinc; at the age of eic;htv-five, makinc: her home in Kansas. 




ii!A I!. <; Inline I', 



HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 189 

To Mr. and Mrs. George three children were born : Warren P., 
April 16, 1892; Myrtle M., born Tebruary 2, 1894, the wife of 
Harry Edgingtou; and Ada I, born March 16, 1898. Mr. (Jeorge 
passed away October 13, 1907, leaving a widow and three children 
to mourn his death. He found his last resting place in the Ashton 
cemetery. He was well liked in his connnunity and stood high in 
the confidence of his friends and neighbors. His wife still owns 
the farm, which she actively operates. Mr. George was a mem- 
ber of the Church of the Bi'ethren, to which his widow also be- 
longs. She is a lady of good education and before her marriage 
taught school for some time. Mr. George was one of those men 
who always interested himself in anything that made for progress 
and advancement and by his life labors contributed toward raising 
moral, material and intellectual standards iu the section which he 
called his home. 



JAMES W. WATTS. 



James W. Watts, one of the distinguished members of the 
Lee county bar, has been engaged in general practice at Dixon 
since 1886. A large and representative clientage has always been 
accorded him and in addition to his work as advocate and coun- 
selor he has become widely knovpn as an educator, having been 
dean of the law department of Dixon College since June 10, 1889, 
while in May, 1913, he in connection with a number of students, 
organized the James W. Watts College of Law. 

Born in 1850 in Terre Haute. Indiana, Mr. Watts was but 
two years of age when his parents removed from that state to 
Illinois. Settlement was made in Lafayette township, Ogle county, 
in 1853. and there James W. Watts remained until he reached 
early manhood, his education being acquired in the public schools. 
He was reared to farm life and eai-ly became familiar with all of 
the duties and labors that fall to the lot of the agriculturist. In 
1869 he began teaching, following this occupation for three years 
in the country schools of Lee county, and iu 1872 he went to Ash- 
ton, where he remained as a student until the fall of 1 874. He de- 
sired to leave the schoolroom for professional activity, however, 
and at that time entered the law department of the University of 
Michigan, from which he was graduated on the 30th of March, 
1876. He applied himself assiduously to the mastery of the prin- 



190 HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 

ciples of jurisprudence and was well qualified for the arduous 
duties of the profession when he returned to Ashton and opened 
a law office. He remained in pi'actice there for nine years and 
then, seeking a still broader field of labor, came to Dixon in the fall 
of 1886. Here he has since engaged in general practice and his 
pronounced ability has given him rank with the foremost mem- 
bers of the bar in this part of the state. The legal profession de- 
mands not only a high order of ability but a rare combination 
of talent — learning, tact, patience and industry. The successful 
lawyer must be a man of well balanced intellect, thoroughly fa- 
miliar with the law and practice, of comprehensive general in- 
formation and jDossessed of an analytical mind. Possessing all 
of these requisites, James W. Watts has long been accounted one 
of the foremost representatives of the Dixon bar, and his ability 
as an educator in the field of his profession is widely acknowl- 
edged. On the 10th of June, 1889, he entered upon the, duties of 
dean of the law department of Dixou College and is as well a 
teachej' (»f law in tliat iiistitutiMji. in May, l!)i;'., tlic .lames W. 
Watts College i»f Law was oigjaiized ))y students of tlie law de- 
partment of the Northern Illinois C(»llege of I^aw and at its head 
Mr. Watts is taking an active part in maintaining the high stand- 
ards of legal education in this state. 

He is as well intensely interested in general education and the 
cause of the public schools, recognizing in them one of the chief 
bulwarks of the nation. Fur six years he served as ]iresident of 
the board of education at Ashton and while there residing was 
also assessor of the t(jwn of Ashton fen- five years and was super- 
visor in 18SL FolloAving his removal to Dixon he was elected 
piesident of the board of education of North Dixon and so con- 
tinued for fifteen years. He likewise filled the office of city 
attorney for two years and his official service has been character- 
ized by the utmost fidelity to duty. Tn 1889 he was elected jus- 
tice of th(> po;ice and i-emained in that office until the 1st of May, 
1898. 

On the 25th of May, 1875, in Ashton, INTr. Watts was united in 
marriage to Miss Mary Alice Williams and they have one child, 
Mrs. Clea Biumell. who was born September 18. 1876. and is the 
widow of Flwin M. Bunnell. She has two sons, Willard and 
Elwin. and she and her sons reside with her father. 

TNfr. Watts is prominently know7i in fraternal circles. He 
belongs to the Masonic lodge at Ashton, the Benevolent Protect- 
ive Order of Elks, the Tndei>endent Order of Odd Fellows and the 



HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 191 

Modern Woodmen of America. As a lawyer and educator he has 
left the impress of liis individuality upon the history of the bar 
of northern Illinois and, moreover, his personal worth of character 
commands for him the respect and contidence of all. 



M. J. BIESCHKE. 



M. J. Bieschke, proprietor of a general store at West Brook- 
lyn, conducted under his own name, is a wide-awake, alert and en- 
ergetic young business man of the town in which he was born, 
March 17, 1884, his parents being Albert and Mary (Meyer) 
Bieschke, who are now living I'etired in West Brooklyn. They 
reared a family of ten children, of whom three have passed away 
— Kate, John and William. The others are: Frances, now the 
wife of George Kauth, a resident of Elburn, Illinois; Nicholas, a 
painter; Adam, a farmer of Iowa; Joseph, who follows farming 
in Viola township; Albert, a painter of West Brooklyn; M. J. 
and Frank, who is engaged in clerking for his brother M. J. 
Bieschke. 

The family name indicates the German oiigin and in his life 
M. J. Bieschke displays a number of the sterling characteristics 
of the German race. His education was acquired in the schools 
of his native town which he attended to the age of seventeen years. 
He afterward took up carpentering, following the trade for three 
years, after which he spent a similar period as lineman and gen- 
eral utility man for the l^ocum Telephone Company. He after- 
ward worked for F. W. Meyer, a general merchant, with whom 
he remained for two and a half years, before embarking in busi- 
ness on his own account in 1909. He has since won success in his 
undertaking. He now has a well appointed general store, carry- 
ing a good line of goods and tasteful arrangement and reasonable 
prices are features in his increasing prosperity. 

On the 5th of June, 3906, Mr. Bieschke was married in West 
Brooklyn, to Miss Margaret Gehant, a daughter of Claude and 
Mary Gehant, both of whom have passed away and are laid to 
rest in the West Brooklyn cemetery. Mr. and ^Irs. Bieschke 
have two children. Fay. and Wencel. The parents are members 
of the Catholic church and Mr. Bieschke holds membership with 
the Knights of Columbus and the Catholip Order of Foresters. 
His political indorsement is given to the democratic party. His 



192 HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 

has been an active and well sj^ent life and lie has already made a 
record in mercantile circles that many an older business man 
might well envy. He has always lived in this section and his 
friends are many, all who know him esteeming him for his ster- 
ling worth. 



WILLIAM P. LONG. 



The consensus of public opinion places William P. Long among 
the leading and representative citizens of Amboy, where he is en- 
gaged in the live-stock business with stock yards near the Chicago, 
Burlingion & Quincy Railroad. He has here been located since 
1906, and is a well known factor in the business circles of this part 
of the county. For almost sixty years Mr. Long has resided in Lee 
county, having been bronght to the west duiing his infancy. He 
was born in Chester county, Pennsylvania, August 15, 1852, and 
comes of Scotch-Irish ancestry, his parents being James L. and 
Margaret J. (Blair) Long. The father brought his family to Lee 
county ill 1854, settling on a farm in Sublette township, wdien the 
land could be purchased at a dollar and a quartei- per acre. The 
price indicates its condition, not a furiow having been turned or 
an impio^eiiieut made upon the tracts which could be bought at 
that price. Mr. Long, however, soon converted his farm into rich 
and productive fields and became known as one of the prominent 
men of his county. He took an active interest in all measures re- 
lating to the pulilic good and his labors were far-reaching and 
beneficial. At the time of the Civil war he aided in soliciting for 
bounty. He died in 1871 at the ago of forty-five years and was 
buried in the Peterson graveyard in Sublette township. The 
mother now resides with her son. William, at the advanced age of 
eighty-three years. It was Avliile assisting a friend to drive hogs 
into a car on the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy railroad that Mr. 
Long fell between the cars and Avas killed. In his death the com- 
munity lost one of its worthy and representative citizens, who is 
yet remembered by the older settlers. 

Tln-ongh much of the period of his boyhood and youth William 
P. Ijong spent the winter seasons attending the district schools and 
throughout the remainder of the year he assisted in the farm work. 
Beinc: the onlv son of the fnmilv. he took chartje of the farm fol- 



HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 193 

lowing his father's death and for a k)ng period successfully car- 
ried on agricultural pursuits. 

He is still the owner of valuable farming property including 
about four hundred acres. That his methods of developing his 
crops were practical is indicated in the generous liar^xsts which he 
gathered and which returned to him a gratifying annual income. 
Mr. Toug, since coming to Aniboy in 1906, has been engaged in the 
live-stock business and annually handles a large amount of stock, 
shipping many carloads from this point each month. lie is one 
of the directors and stockholders of the Lee County Fair Associ- 
ation and has done much to stimuhite pride among the farmers and 
stock-raisers of the county in holding before them high ideals of 
their work and showing them what can be accomplished both in 
tilling the soil and in raising fine stock. 

Mr. Long was married in Sublette, Illinois, May 1, 1878, to Miss 
Ellie M, Ayres, a daughter of Henry and Anna Ayres, pioneer 
farming people of the county, who have now passed away. Mrs. 
Long died May 30, 1908, leaving two children: Joe, a ci^dl en- 
gineer residing in Springfield. Illinois; and Leon R., a mining 
engineer now in Ecuadoi', South Amei'iea, where he is engaged 
in railroad construction. 

Mr. Long is well known as a representati-\'e of the Masonic 
fraternity, holding membership with the Lodge and Chapter of 
Amboy. In politics he is a reynililican and is serving as road com- 
missioner of Amboy township. His position upon any vital ques- 
tion, political or otherwise, is never an equivocal one. Ho stands 
fearlessly for what he believes to be right and as the years go on 
his worth as a public-spirited man and one whose labors are of 
practical value is more and more widely acknowledged. 



FRET) D. DANA. 



Fred D. Dana, filling the office of deputy county treasurer 
since 1910, is one of the native sons of Dixon, his birth haA'ing 
occuri'ed in this citv on the 6th of July. 1875. His parents were 
Josiah P. and Winifred M. (Nixon) Dana, the former a native 
of New York and the latter of England. They became residents 
of the middle west in early life, however, and wevo married in 
Wisconsin, wliile subsequently they established their home in 
this citv. 



194 HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 

Fred D. Dana had a public-scliool education, taking up Ms 
studies at the usual age and passing tlu'ougii consecutive grades 
as the years went by. He also received business training in the 
Dixon College, from which he was graduated with the class of 
1895. Much of his life has been devoted to journalistic inter- 
ests. He was in newspaper woi'k for twelve years as city editor 
for the Sun and later became city editor for the Daily News. He 
thus continued in active connection with newspaper publication 
until 1910, when he was appointed deputy county treasurer, and 
is still the incumbent in the office, the duties of which he discliarges 
systematically, methodicalh^ and capably. Fie has also filled other 
public positions, having been one of the city aldermen and a mem- 
ber of the school board. 

On the 18th of June, 1902, Mr. Dana was united in marriage 
to Miss Evelyn C. Mc]i]lhaney, of Amboy, Illinois. They now have 
two children, Evelyn F., and Ruth. Mr. Dana is a member of the 
Masonic fraternity and also of the Benevolent Protective Order of 
Ellcs and is popular in both. His political allegiance has always 
been given the democratic party since age conferred upon him the 
right of franchise, and it is upon that ticket that he has been elected 
to public office. He is prompt and faithful in the discharge of all 
the duties of citizenship and his public spirit prompts his active 
and helpful cooperation in many movements relating to the wel- 
fare and upbuilding of the city. 



CHARLES A. FENSTEMAKER. 

Charles A. Fenstemaker, a successful business man and rep- 
resentative citizen of Lee county, is the owner of the Fenstemaker 
elcA'ator at Amboy, which he has conducted since 1909. His birth 
occui'red in East Grove townhsip, this county, on the 3d of De- 
cember. 1862. his parents being George and Hannah (Williams') 
Fenstemaker. It was about IS.'iS that George Fenstemaker came 
to Lee county. Illinois, from Pennsylvania, where he had been 
engaged in Imsiness as a gunsmith, coal mine operator and hotel 
proprietor and was also prominent in public life as a represen- 
tative in the state legislature. He came here with the intention 
of devoting his attention to agricultural pursuits and took np his 
nbode in this county when it was still largely wild and unim- 
proved. Hunting was his favorite sport and he often invited 




liiai;li;,s a. fkxstemaki;i; 



HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 197 

guests to join with liim in the chase, lu 18G9 he established his 
home in Wheeling, Missouri, and there passed away in October, 
1882, at the age of seventy-six years. His wife, surviving him for 
a period of twenty-six years, was called to her final rest in 1908, 
at the age of seventy-six, and her remains were likewise interred 
at Wheeling, Missouri. The Feustemakers are of old Pennsyl- 
vania German origin. 

Charles A. Fenstemaker was a lad of seven years when his 
parents removed to Wheeling, Missouri, and there he attended 
school until eighteen years of age, pursuing his studies through 
the winter months and assisting in the work of the home fai'm 
during the siumner seasons. In 1882 he returned to Lee county, 
Illinois, and during the following four years worked with his 
brother, C W., in a blacksmith shop. In 1887 he took up his 
abode in Walton and there carried on lilacksmithing in connec- 
tion with grain buying xnitil 1909, when he purchased the elevator 
at Amboy, which he has conducted to the present time with gi'ati- 
fying success. He had erected his blacksmith shop and residence 
at Walton, Illinois, but acquired his ])resent home by purchase. 

On the 25th of January, 1887, at Amboy, Illinois, INIr. Fenste- 
maker was imited in marriage to Miss Clara Corpe. a daughter 
of Mr. and Mrs. William Ciorpe, of Michigan. He gives his y)olit- 
ical allegiance to the democracy and has ably served in the (•a})acity 
of tax collector and also as town clerk of Marion township. He is 
an upright, straightforward and honoialile man and has made an 
excellent record in business circles, both for relialiility and for the 
practical methods which lie follows and which have led him to 
success. 



JAMES H. LINCOLN. 

James H. Lincoln has since 1898 filled the office of postmaster 
of Franklin Grove and has proven a faithful and efficient incum- 
bent of that position. He is a native son of the conmuuiity. born 
December 12. 1862, his parents being Henry and Helen M. (Nay) 
Lincoln, natives of Genesee county, New York. The father came 
to Illinois in 1847 and after residing for some time in Kendall 
county moved in 1852 to Franklin Grove, where he established 
himself in the mercantile business. In 1860 he built a substan- 
tial stone store and for manv years thereafter remained one of 



198 HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 

the leading business men of the community, winning an enviable 
reputation for integrity and honor in all business and personal 
relations. In 1896 he retired from active life and his death oc- 
eiu'red in 1904, he having survived his wife since 1893. 

James H. Lincoln is one of a family of four children. He was 
reai'ed at home and acquired his education in the public schools 
of Eranklin Grove. After he attained his majority his father 
admitted him into partnership in the mercantile business and he 
retained this connection until the entei'prise was disposed of in 
1896. In 1898 he was appointed by President McKinley, post- 
master of Franklin Grove and he has since held this position, 
which he fills with credit and ability. 

On the 12th of November, 1890, Mr. Lincoln was united in 
marriage to Miss Martha J. Bill, a native of Lee county and a 
daughter of Charles B. and Catherine (Woodruff) Bill, natives 
of Ohio, who came to Illinois at an early date, both passing away 
in this state. Mr. and Mrs. Lincoln attend the Methodist Epis- 
copal church and are widely and favorably known in Franklin 
Grove. Mr. Lincoln owns in addition to his home here the busi- 
ness building, which his father erected in 1860 and one hundred 
and sixty acres of land in Linn county, Kansas. He is connected 
fraternally with Grove Camp, No. 45, M. W. A., and has filled all 
of the chairs in Franklin Grove Lodge, No. 504, K. P. He gives 
his political allegiance to the ]-epuliliean party. The public trust 
reposed in him has never been neglected in the slightest degree 
and his fidelity to honorable, manly principles has ever won for 
him the good- will and friendship of those with whom he has been 
brought in contact. 



SUPERINTENDENT WILLIAM ROMANICS SNYDER. 

Superintendent William Romanus Snyder, for five years su- 
perintendent of the schools of Dixon and throughout his entire life 
active in the field of education, is a native of Gettysburg, Penn- 
sylvania. His parents, Conrad and Catherine Jane (Fisher) 
Snyder, were also natives of the Keystone state, where the father 
followed the occupation of farming until his life's labors were 
ended in death in 1860. His widow long sur-\dved, passing away 
in 1902. They were the parents of eight children, of whom Super- 
intendent Snyder is the fourth in order of birth. Spending his 



HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 199 

boyhood in the historic town of Gettysburg and tramping many 
times over the battlefield where rest many of the bravest of the 
soldiers of both north and south, Professor Snyder devoted the 
greater part of Ins youth to his school work, attending the public 
schools, from which he was graduated with honor. His high stand- 
ing won hun free scholarship in the Pennsylvania College at Get- 
tysburg, a scholarship founded by Edward G. McPherson, ex-clerk 
of the house of representatives. Mr. Snyder gi-aduated from 
Pennsylvania College in 1873 and his alma mater has since con- 
ferred upon him the Master of Arts degree. Throughont his entire 
life he has followed the profession of teaching. He was first con- 
nected with the district schools of Wyandot county, Ohio, through 
one winter and later removed to Indiana, where he engaged in 
teaching until 1903. For twenty years he was connected with the 
schools of Muncie, Indiana, being for four years a teacher and 
principal in the high school. Later he was for sixteen years su- 
perintendent of the schools there, which imder his guidance made 
rapid progress. He went from Muncie to Monmouth, Illinois, 
where he remained foi- two years as superintendent of schools, 
and in 1909 came to Dixon, where for five years he has now had 
charge of the city schools. He holds advanced ideas concerning 
education and believes with Kant that "the object of education 
is to train each individual to reach the highest perfection possible 
for him." All through his professional career he has been guided 
by the spirit of President Eliot of Harvard, when he said : "What 
is needed is continuous education which lasts all through life," 
and deep thought concerning the problems of the profession, ear- 
nest consideration of the methods of others, combined with wide 
reading and study have continually promoted his efficiency until 
his recognized power has gained him place among the foremost 
public-school educators of the middle west. 

In 1878 Mr. Snyder was miited in marriage to Miss Nannie 
B. Ferran. of Acton, Indiana, and they now have two daughters, 
Lilly E. and Myrtle Morrow, both at home. The family attend 
the Presbyterian church, of which Superintendent Snyder and 
his wife are active and helpful membei's. he serving as one of its 
ruling elders. His political suppoi-t is given to the republican 
party and his wide reading on significant and vital questions of 
the day enables him to intelligently express himself upon im- 
portant questions of government. In INIasonry he has attained 
high rank in both the York and Scottish Rites. He is a past 
master of the blue lodge, thrice illustrious master in the council 



200 HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 

and past eminent commande]' of the connnandery. He also served 
as prelate in the connnandery for nine years. He is a member 
of the consistory, having attained the thirty-second degree, there 
remaining before him only the last and honorary degree, the 
thirty-third. The sj^irit of Masonic teaching has found exempli- 
fication in his life and at all times he has endeavored to follow its 
tenets concerning mutual helpfidness and brotherly kindness. 



WALTER S. EARLL. 



Walter S. Earll is a representative of the best type of American 
manhood and chivalry. By perseverance, deternunation and hon- 
orable effort he has overthrown the obstacles which bar the path 
to success and has reached the goal of prosperity, being today 
owner of one of the leading commercial enterprises of Dixon — the 
Earll grocery store, which was established in September, 1904. 

Mr. Earll is a native of Tunkhaunock, Pennsylvania, born in 
1857 and is a son of S. W. and J. A. Earll, who in the year 1858 left 
the east and brought their family to Illinois, settling in Rochelle. 
Later they removed to Grand Detour, Ogle county, where the 
father engaged in farming, continuing in tliat pursuit until his 
life's labors were ended in death. 

Walter S. Earll acquired a public-school education which was 
supplemented by a course in Bryant & Stratton business college 
of Chicago. He afterward went to Leadville, Colorado, where he 
remained for a year and later spent eight years in the hardware 
business in Augusta, Kansas. In 1891 he arrived in Dixon, where 
he entered the employ of the grocery firm of Morris & Sons, being 
thus engaged mitil 1904, when he embarked in l^isiness on his own 
account. He was ambitious to engage in merchandising for him- 
self and while acting as clerk, carefully saved his earnings until his 
industry and economy had made the sinn sufficient to enable him to 
form a ]iartnership for the conduct of a gi'ocery business. In Sep- 
tember he was a junior member of the firm of Moyer & Earll. They 
opened a general line of groceries and the business prospered from 
the beginning, their trade increasing year by year. In 1909 Mr. 
Mo3^er died and in July of that year the business was i-eorganized 
under the name of the Earll Crocery Store, of which Walter S. 
Enrll has since been sole proprietor. He carries a large and care- 
fully selected line of staple and fancy groceries and as a business 



HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 201 

man he has been conspicuous among his associates, not only for 
his success, but for his probity, fairness and honorable methods. 

In December, 1902, Mr, Earll was united in marriage to j\iiss 
Lillian Shook, of Massillon, Ohio, who died in the year 1908. In 
Masonry he has attained high rank in the Scottish Rite, belonging 
to the Royal Arch Chapter and the Knight Templar Commaudery. 
He also crossed the sands of the deserts with the Nobles of the 
Mystic Shrine. He is an Elk and to the teachings of both frater- 
nities is ever loyal. His jDolitical indorsement is given to the re- 
publican party, but he has no time nor inclination for office, owing 
to his growing commercial interests. His activity in business has 
not only contributed to his individual success, but has also been an 
active factor in the commercial progress of the city during the past 
decade. 



WILLIAM E. JONES. 



William E. Jones is a member of one of the well known families 
of Bradford township and represents the third generation of his 
line to live upon the farm which he now operates. He was born 
upon this pi'operty October ?>, 1875, and is a son of William V. and 
Viola (Starcks) Jones, the former a native of New York state and 
the latter of Lee county, Illinois. The mother passed away in 
December, 1913, and is sur^dved by her husband, who makes his 
home in Amboy. They had three children: Augusta, the wife of 
Dr. Everett Dekalb ; William E., of this review ; and Margaret, the 
wife of D. Berry, of Amboy. 

William E. Jones was reared upon his father's farm and at an 
early age assisted in its operation, learning the details of fai'm 
operation and becoming familiar with the best agiicultural meth- 
ods b}^ practical expeiience. When he was twenty-one years of age 
he took charge of the homestead and he still operates this property. 
It comprises two hundred and twenty acres on sections 20 and 29, 
Bradford township, and has been in possession of the Jones family 
for three generations. Mr. Jones of this review has carried for- 
ward the work of developing and improving it in a progressive 
and able manner and has won for himself a place among the repre- 
sentative agriculturists of this vicinity. He makes a specialty 
of raising and feeding stock and has extensive interests along this 
line. 



202 HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 

On the 27th of January, 1896, Mr. Jones was united in marriage 
to Mss Emma Eloover, a daughter of James and JVIirmie Hoover. 
Mr. and Mrs. Jones have six children, Viola, Alta, Dorothy, James 
W., Esther and Margaret. The parents are members of the Con- 
gregational church and Mr. Jones gives his political allegiance to 
the republican party. He belongs to Lodge No. 1004, I. 0. O. P., 
and is a member of the Modern Woodmen of America. His life 
has been such as to give him a high standing in the eyes of the 
coimnunity and his record is a credit to a name that has long been 
an honored one in his locality. 



FRED G. DIMICK. 



Thirteen years have come and gone since Fred G. Dimick en- 
tered the office of the county clerk in the capacity of deputy and, 
like his superior, William C. Thompson, he seems to know every 
phase of the work in principle and detail. He was born in Dixon 
in 1864 and is a son of Alfred S. and Emma M. (Levering) Dim- 
ick, who arrived in Lee county in 1855, casting in their lot with 
its early settlers. The father embarked in business in Dixon as 
a boot and shoe merchant and conducted his store Avith growing 
success imtil 1883, when, having acquired a substantial compe- 
tence through his well directed efforts, he ]'etired to private life. 
He has now reached the advanced age of eighty-nine years and 
is numbered among the most I'espectcd as well as the most ven- 
erable citizens of Dixon. 

Fred G. Dimick was one of a family of six children, five of 
whom are yet living. Excellent educational opiwrtunities were 
accorded him, his public-school course being supplemented by study 
in Dixon College, from which he was graduated with the class 
of 1883. For two years thereafter he was in the employ of the 
Hlinois Central Railroad Company and later spent six years at 
Pullman, Illinois, in the service of the Pullman Palace Car Com- 
pany. He then went to Chicago in 1893 and occupied a position 
in the customs house during the period of the World's Colum- 
bian Exposition. Later he was located at Le Mars. Town, for 
two yeai'S, and since 1897 he has resided continuously in Dixon, 
where he holds the position of deputy coimty clerk. He is now a 
candidate for the position of county clerk and should he be elected 
to the office will prove a most capable official. He is already thor- 



HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 203 

ouglily familiar with tlie work of the position and his thirteen years 
as deputy have acquainted him with every phase of the business 
which comes under the control of the county clerk. 

Mr. Dimick has been twice married. In 1903 he wedded Miss 
Normandie Aileen Eberhart, of Cedar Falls, Iowa. By his first 
marriage there is a daughter and by his second marriage there 
were two children but one has passed away. His living daughters 
are Dorothy and Margaret, who are at home. 

Mr. Dimick has always voted with the republican party and 
is a stalwart advocate of its principles. He is well known frat- 
ernally, holding membership in the ^Masonic lodge and chapter, 
with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and the Benevolent 
Protective Order of Elks. His attractive social qualities have 
rendered him a popular citizen, while fidelity to duty has gained 
for him the high regard and trust of all with whom he has come 
in contact. 



JOHN A. REITZ. 



Among the younger agriculturists of Lee county who make a 
success of their vocation is John A. Reitz, who operates his father's 
extensive holdings, located on section 34, Ashton township. He 
was born on this farm February 21, 1886, a son of Henry and "Mol- 
lie (Ventler) Reitz, natives of Germany, of whom more extended 
mention is made in another part of this history. John Reitz has 
spent his entire life upon the farm which he now manages, rent- 
ing the same from his father. He had the advantages of a fair 
education, having attended high school for some time. He en- 
gages in general farming and, being pi'ogressive and modern in 
his ideas, has achieved gratifying results along that line. 

On December 21. 1910, Mr. Reitz married Miss Elizabeth Nass, 
a daughter of John and Augusta (Hannemann) Nass. Miss Nass 
was born in Bradford township. Her parents were natives of 
Germany, coming to America in the '50s, and the father is still 
living in Ashton, Illinois. The mother died in 1894 and was laid 
to rest in the Bradford cemeterv. Mr. and Mrs. Nass became the 
parents of eight children, of whom six are living. To Mr. and 
Mrs. Reitz was bom a daughter, Myiile Emma, on October 18, 
1912. 



204 HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 

Mr. and Mrs. Reitz attend the Evangelical church and along 
political lines the former is a I'epublican. Mr. Reitz is a modern 
representative of agricultural interests in Lee county and is to 
be niunbered among the successful men along that line of occu- 
pation. 



GEORGE HENERT. 



In George Heuert were exhibited the sterling traits of perse- 
verance, adaptability and enterprise which are chacteristic of the 
German race and after coming to the new world, in which he 
started out empty-handed, he steadily advanced in a business way 
until he was the owner of a valual)le farm of four hundred acres. 
His parents were Justus and Anna Henert, also natives of Ger- 
many. On coming to the United States they made their way into 
the interior of the country, settling in Lee county, Illinois, where 
they lived until called to their final rest. In their family were ten 
children, five of whom survive. 

George Heuert spent the days of his boyhood and youth inidei' 
the parental roof with the usual experiences of the lad who is 
reaied upon a farm, his education Ijeing acquired in the public 
schools, while under his father's direction he was trainerl in all 
the work that is a factor in the development and cultivation of the 
fields. In 1879 he was united in marriage to Miss Anna K. Griese, 
who was ))orn in Germany, December 17, 1858, and is a daughter of 
John and Dora E. (Kleinsehmidt) Griese, who were likewise na- 
tives of the fatherland. The year 1862 witnessed their arrival in 
Lee count.v, at which time they established their home in Reynolds 
township, where they resided until called to their final rest. Unto 
them were l^orn ten children, of whom four are yet li^dng. 

Mr. and Mrs. Henert began their domestic life in RcATiolds 
township, estalilishing their homo upon a farm, and as the years 
passed by our subject proved himself a capable and progressive 
agriculturist, developing his fields according to modern methods, 
prndnctivo of exeelleut results. He l\0]it adding to his land from 
time to time as his financial resources inci'eased mitil lie was the 
ownei- of four hundred acres. He improved the place with spleii- 
did buildings, barns and sheds, furnishing ample shelter for grain 
and stock, while the latest improved farm machinerv facilitated 
the woi'k of the fields. When a task was to be accomplished he did 




GEUR(il-: HEXERT AND F.\.\lll.\ 



HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 207 

not falter. The work nearest his hand was that which was first 
done and thus he won success. 

Unto Mr. and Mrs. Henert were born six children. Anna E., 
who was born August 24, 1880, died on the 7th of March, 1885. 
Justus H., born July 2, 1883, is a farmer of this county. Minnie 
D. is the wife of Arthur Kersten. The fourth child died in in- 
fancy. Rose E. became the wife of Harvey Ileibenthal ; and Wil- 
liam G., born March 12, 1894, completes the family. The husband 
and father died in 1901 and was laid to rest in Rejmolds cemetery, 
leaA'ing a widow and four children to mourn his loss. Mrs. Hen- 
ert still owns and manages the farm of four hundred acres, which 
is situated on sections 21, 22, 15 and 16, Reynolds township. She 
makes a specialty of raising and feeding hogs and derives a sub- 
stantial income from the business. She possesses sound judgment 
as well as energ,y and determination and her German thrift has 
enabled her to take up the work laid down by her husband and 
carry it forward to successful completion. She deserves much 
credit for what she is accomplishing and she is highly esteemed in 
Reynolds township and throughout the county wherever she is 
known. 



WILLIAM C. THOMPSON. 

William C. Thompson, occupying the position of coiuity clerk 
since 1902, is accounted one of the most trustworth}' and capable 
public officials, which statement finds verification in the fact that 
he has been again and again elected to tlie position. Lee county 
numbers him among hei- native sons, his bii'th having here oc- 
curred on the 28th of Jime, 1868, his pai'ents being James H. and 
Catherine J. Thompson. Tliey were early settlers of the county, 
the father coming from Pennsylvania to Illinois in 1852. The 
paternal grandfather died when James H. Thomjison was but 
nine years of age and his mother afterward became the wife of 
John Golville, who settled in Lee county about 1833. He wa'=! 
one of the earliest settlers, the work of improvement and devel- 
opment being scarcely begun when he took up his abode in this 
pai't of the state. He bore an active and helpful part in ad- 
vancing the interests of civilization and was accounted one of the 
valued citizens of his community. For fortv vears he served as 
postmaster of Paw Paw. James H. Thompson was reared upon 



208 HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 

tlie frontier. Settliug at Paw Paw, lie there eugaged in merchan- 
dising for thirty-five years and was accounted one of the leailiug 
business men of the town. He was also an influential factor in 
republican politics and his fitness for the office led to his election 
to the position of county clerk in 1886. He served as president of 
the village board at Paw Paw until his removal to Dixon in 1886. 
So capably did he discharge his duties as clerk that at the end of 
the first term he was reelected and again and again that honor 
came to him until he had filled the office for sixteen years, retir- 
ing as he had entered it, with the confidence and good-will of all 
concerned. In fact over his public cai'eer there falls no shadow 
of wrong or suspicion of evil. He was prompt and reliable in the 
discharge of his duties and his fellow townsmen ha^'e ever found 
him a man in whom they could repose trust and confidence. His 
wife, Catherine J. Thompson, came from Pennsylvania in early 
life and they are now living in Jefferson City, Missouri. On No- 
vember 1st he received an appointment as superintendent of the 
national government cemetery in Jeiferson City, Missouri. Their 
family numbered five children, two sons and three daughters. 

William C. Thompson, the eldest, remained under the parental 
roof throughout the period of his boyhood and youth and sup- 
plemented his public-school education by a course in Dixon Col- 
lege, from which he was graduated with the class of 1888. The 
previous year he was appointed deputy county clerk by his father, 
who in 3886 had been elected to office. He remained as deputy 
throughout the sixteen years of his father's service in that posi- 
tion and was then elected his successor in December, 1902, so that 
his incumbency covers a i^eriod of eleven years. The name of 
Thompson has been inseparably connected with the office for 
more than a quarter of a century and stands as a synonym for 
capability and fidelity in connection with the discharge of public 
duties. 

In 1890 William C. Thompson was united in marriage to Miss 
Rusan B. Dimon, of Dixon, and luiio them have been born three 
childi'en: Dorrance S., who is engaged in the grocery business; 
Avis P., at home: and Eunice Elizabeth, also under the parental 
roof. Mr. Thompson belongs to the Masonic fraternity and has 
taken the Royal Arch degree. He is also identified with the Ben- 
evolent Protective Order of Elks and he attends the Presb}i;erian 
church. His political allocriance is given to the republican party 
and he is an active and hel]iful worker in its ranks, while his 
opinions carry weight in its coimcils. Twenty-seven years' con- 



HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 209 

nection with tlie office of county clerk lias made liim thoroughly 
familiar with every phase of the business aud uo detail is slighted 
in the least degree. Prompt aud methodical, he can from memory 
cite many points in connection with the duties of the position, aud 
he has everything so arranged that if necessary he can refer to 
documents at a moment's notice. No official of Lee county has 
been more loyal to duty or deserves in larger measure the good- 
will, confidence and resi^eet of his fellow townsmen. 



WILLIAM B. McMAHAN. 

On the roster of county officials in Lee county appears the 
name of William B. McMahan, who in 1904 was elected circuit 
clerk and ex-officio recorder of deeds, in which capacity he has 
since served, covering a period of nine years. He has been a life- 
long resident of Lee county and is a lepresentative of one of its 
pioneer families. His pai'ents were William and Sarah A. 
(Clark) McMahan and his paternal grandparents were Benjamin 
and Esther J. (Brearley) McMahan, both natives of Pennsyl- 
vania. The father, also born in the east, came to Lee county in 
1854 and for a year was engaged in teaching school. He after- 
ward went to Minnesota, whei'e he spent five years in the employ 
of the government, but in 1860 returned to this county and en- 
gaged in farming in Wyoming township, his persistent and care- 
fully directed labors transforming his land into productive fields. 
He continued active in the work of the farm until he was ap- 
pointed county surveyor in 1864. He filled that office until 1882, 
or for a period of eighteen years and his service in other positions 
was extended, as for five terms he was towTiship supervisor, for 
seven terms was township assessor and served for a munber of 
years as chairman of the county board of supervisors. His public 
record was indeed commendable and won for him the appi'oval 
and good-will of all. In Masonic circles he had a wide acquaint- 
ance, having attained high rank in the York Rite as a member of 
the lodge, chapter and commandery. 

William B. McMahan was reared in this ooimty, obtained a 
public-school education and in 1896 entered upon his official duties 
as deputy recorder. He also served as county surveyor for four 
years. In 1904 ho was elected jcircuit clerk aud ex-officio recorder 
of deeds, which position he has since acceptably filled. Xo trust 



210 HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 

reposed in him is ever betrayed iu the slightest degree, his loyalty 
standing as one of his salient characteristics. 

Mr. McMahan was united iu marriage October 10, 1895, to 
Eunice E. Thompson, a daughter of James H. and Catherine J. 
(Swarthout) Thomj^son, prominent pioneers. Mr. McMahan is 
active in fraternal circles being a member of Friendship Lodge, 
No. 7, A. F. & A. M., and a charter member of the Elks lodge of 
which he was the first secretary, serving for four years. He is 
past exalted ruler of the Elks lodge and served for three years on 
the executive committee of the State Association of Elks. He 
represents one of the old families of the county and has himself 
been for a long period of years one of the interested witnesses of 
the growth and progress of this section of the state. 



FRED N. VAUGHAN. 



Fred N. Vaughan, whose name figures prominently in connec- 
tion with the business development of Amboy, has, since March 17, 
1906, been president of the First National Bank. His record 
stands in contradistinction to the old adage that a prophet is 
never without honor save in his own country, for he has always 
lived in this city, where he has carefully directed his efforts and 
guided his business interests, luitil he now stands at the head of 
one of its foremost financial institutions. He was born February 
1, 1865, and is a son of C. D. and Louise M. (Balch) Vaughan. 
The family is of Welsh lineage and was foimded in America dur- 
ing the seventeenth century, Benjamin Vaughan, the great great- 
grandfathei" rif our subject coming to this country from Wales. 
His son and namesake, Benjamin Vaughan, at the age of seventeen 
years joined the New Hampshire state troops and Inter served 
in the continental army during the "Revolutionary wai'. C. T). 
Vaughaii was a pioneer merchant of Amboy, dealing in furniture 
for many years and was also mayor of the city and treasurer of 
Amboy township for an extended period. His worth was widely 
acknowledged by all who knew ought of his history. He died in 
1886 at the age of fifty-six years, while his mdow still survives 
and yet makes her home in Amboy. 

Fred N. Vaughan attended the public schools of Amboy to the 
age of seventeen years, when he secured a position as messenger 
for the Hlinois Central Eailroad. Subsequently he acted as clerk 



HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 211 

in the office of the division superinteudeut and resigned that posi- 
tion to become general factotum in the private bank of Josiah 
Little. He has since been continuously connected with the bank, 
advancing from one position to another us he has proved his 
capability and has mastered the duties devolving upon him. He 
sei-ved for a time as bookkeeper, later as assistant cashier, sub- 
sequently became vice president and eventually was chosen presi- 
dent. The First National Bank of Amboy succeeded the private 
bank of Josiah Little which was oi'ganized in 1868 and is the old- 
est bank in the city. It is also one of the strongest financial insti- 
tutions of the county and frt)m the beginning has enjoyed a 
substantial growth resultant from its safe policy and [)rogressive 
methods. 

In Amboy on the 23d of November, 1887, Mr. Vaughan was 
united in marriage to Miss Elizabeth J. Poland, a daugliter of 
A. J. and Carrie (Potter) Poland. Her father was train master 
of the Illinois Central Railroad and one of the old settlers of 
Amboy. He passed away January 17, 1903, at the age of seventy- 
one 3^ears, having for a long period survived his wife, who died 
February 8, 1879, at the age of forty-one years. Both were laid 
to rest in Gi'aceland cemetery of Chicago. One of the ancestors 
of Mrs. Vaiighan on the maternal side belonged to the Culver fairi- 
ily and came from England to America on the Mayflower. A 
descendant of the name of Sarah l^ecame the wife of Jonathan 
Woodworth, who figured in the Revolutionary war. Boujaniin 
Poland was born in Maine in 1784 and was the grandfather of 
Mrs. Vaughan. Three children have been l)orn to Mr. and Mrs. 
Vaughan: Glenn P., a student in the University of Illinois; Jean- 
ette L., who was formerly a student in the college of Roekford, 
Illinois; and Fred N., who is attending the Amboy high school. 

The family occupy an attractive home which was erected by 
Mr. Vaughan and it has been since he lieeame president of the 
bank that the fine bank building was erected. He has been hon- 
ored with a number of local offices by his fellow townsmen, who 
appreciate his worth and public spirit. For thi'ee terms he served 
as alderman and is now mayor of the city and a member of the 
board of education. In the former position he is discharging his 
duties with promptness and fidelity, giving to the city a business- 
like and progressive administi-ation, while in the latter office he 
proves himself indeed a friend to the public schools. Mr. Vaughan 
is prominent in Masonic circles. He holds membership with the 
lodge and chapter at Amboy, the commandery at Dixon, the con- 



212 HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 

sistory at Freeport and the mystic slirine at Rockford, Illinois. 
He also affiliates with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and 
the Elks lodge at Dixon and he is a trustee of the Congregational 
church of Amboy. 



CHAELES GIBBS. 



Among the most highly honored residents of Paw Paw is 
Charles Gibbs, who after a successful career as agriculturist and 
teacher now lives retired in this cit}' at the age of seventy-two 
years. Moreover, there is due Mr. Gibbs veneration as one of 
those who donned the blue uniform at the time when the union of 
this country was imperiled by southern secession. Mr. Gibbs still 
owns a valuable farm of one hundred and seventv-five acres, which 
he rents to his son Eugene. While a resident of La Salle county, 
this state, he prominently pai'ticipated in puljlic life l)ut since 
coming to Lee county he has not again entered polities. Lie comes 
of an old American family, his great-grandfather, Pelatiah Gibbs, 
having been a loyal soldier of Washington's corps during the 
Revolutionary war. For eighteen years Mr. Gibbs has been a resi- 
dent of Lee county and dniing tliat time he has gained the great- 
est confidence and highest regaixl of all his fellow citizens who have 
had the honor of meeting him. 

Charles Gibbs was boi'n in Tjivei-more, Androscoggin county, 
Maine, February 25, 184], and is a son of Pelatiah and Anna 
(Norton) Gibbs. The father followed agricultural -tnu'snits in 
Maine and removed subsequently to I^a Salle county, Illinois, where 
he arrived in 1867. He there continued successfully along the same 
line and passed away on November 4, 1879. 

Charles Gibbs was reared under the ])arental roof and received 
his education in his native state. Later he assisted his father 
in the farm work and also taught school and hired out as a fami 
hand, being engaged along these various lines until the peril of 
the LTnion decided him to enlist and he joined Company E. Thirty- 
second Regiment, Maine Volunteers. The date of his enlistment 
was Februaiy 25, 1864, and he was honorably discharged Decem- 
ber 12. of the same year. He served as first sergeant and was also 
in command of his company, and in that connection was in charge 
dui'ing the famous mine explosion before Petersburg on July 30, 
1864, and was wounded during that action in his left side. Upon 



HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 213 

his honorable discharge at the end of the year 1864 he returned to 
the family home. He remained there until March 6, 1865, when 
the opportunities of the west induced him to leave for Minnesota, 
where he spent some time in Winona county. He then made his 
way to Quincy, Illinois, teaching school there. In the mouth of 
August, 1866, he went to Ophir township. La Salle county, his 
father and the remainder of the family joining him in 1867. In 
the course of years jNIt. Gibbs became the owner of a farm in Iro- 
quois count}^, Illinois, and also rented land in Ophir township, 
following agricultural pursuits with gratifying results. In 1894 
he bought land in Wyoming township, this county, his property 
bordering on the corporation of Paw Paw. He has made Lee 
county his permanent residence since March 1, 1895. His farm 
comprises one hundred and seventy-fiA-e acres and there he en- 
gaged for a number of years in general farming and dairying, his 
successful methods being evident from the fact that he is now able 
to live in retirement and in the enjoyment of a comfortable com- 
petence. His son was the first man to ])ottle and deliver milk in 
Paw Paw. He always followed the most progressive and modern 
standards in the operation of his agricultural enterprise and, 
while he has attained to individual i3rosperit3% has been a factor 
in promoting agricultural interests and standards in this sec- 
tion. He now rents his farm to his son, Eugene, who continues 
its operation with gratifying financial i-esidts. 

On February 14, 1869, Mr. Gibbs was mai'ried, at Livermore, 
Maine, to Miss Mary W. Harlow, daughter of Alvin C. and Rosetta 
B. (Beard) Harlow, the former of whom was for many years a 
successful merchant at Ijivermore Center, Maine. He died 
December 12, 1899, his wife having preceded him September 19, 
1879. Both are buried at Auburn, Androscoggin county, Maine. 
Mr. and Mrs. Gibbs have two children: Carroll H.. a merchant of 
Paw Paw; and Eugene N., who operates his father's farm. Mrs. 
Gibbs is also of Revolutionary stock, one of her ancestors, a Mr. 
Washburn, having participated in that memorable conflict. She 
is a member of the Eastern Star and the Women's Relief Corps, 
being deeply interested in the cause of temperance and the higher 
things of life. 

Mr. Gibbs has always given his allegiance to the democratic 
party, in the principles of which he firmly believes and the ideals 
of which he considers most conducive to the best form of govern- 
ment. For five terms he served as supervisor of La Salle county 
and also held the offices of assessor and director of the board of 



214 HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 

education, his coiitiuued connection with public office giving evi- 
dence of the high regard which was entertained for him by the 
general public while a resident of that j)a]'t of the state. Since 
coming to Lee county he has not again entered politics, although 
he is deeply interested in all measures that are undertaken for 
the general welfare, and is ever ready to give his active support 
to such objects as will make for progress and advancement along 
intellectual, moral and material lines. Fraternally he is a blue 
lodge Mason and a popular member of the Grand Army of the Re- 
public, serving at present as adjutant of William TL Thompson 
Post, No. 308. Mr. Gibbs is one of the venerable citizens of Lee 
county and the general high regard which is conceded him is well 
merited. 



E. A. SICKELS, M. D. 



Dr. E. A. Sickels, a medical practitioner of Dixon of the 
homeopathic school and well versed in all the intricacies and sci- 
entific phases of the profession, was born in Lee county in I860, 
his parents being E. C. and Caroline (Diuiham) Sickels. The 
father came to Lee county in 1862 from Indianapolis and the fol- 
lowing year he brought his family. Representatives of the Sickels 
family have lived in Indianapolis since the founding of that city. 
Rev. E. C. Sickels was a minister of the Prcsl^yterian church and 
for thii'ty-seven years filled a pastorate at Dixon, his labors con- 
stitTiting a most forceful and impfn'tant clement in the moral 
progress of the city. He was an earnest and convincing speaker 
but taught perhaps no more through precept than by his upright 
godly life, which emliodied the tenr-hiugs that he so earnestly 
strove to impi'ess upon the minds of his hearers. That he was so 
long retained in a single pastorate is proof of the fact that he 
was neither denied the full harvest nor the aftermath of his la- 
bors. He died in the year 1909 and his memory remains as a 
blessed benediction to all who knew him. His widow survives 
and makes her home in this city. They had a family of five chil- 
dren. 

Dr. Sickels, after benefitting by the edncational opportunities 
offered in the public schools, entered Dixon College and there 
completed his general education, graduating from the scientific 
depai'tment. He then served ten years as a railroad postal clerk. 




DR. E. A. SICKELS 



HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 217 

During the last four years he attended the Hahnemann Medical 
College at Chicago and graduated in 1897. For a year thereafter 
he practiced in that city as interne in the Hahnemann Hospital 
and then returned to Dixon, opening an ohice. He is conscien- 
tious and faithful in the discharge of his professional duties and, 
specializing in surgery and obstetrics, has done much important 
work in these difficult branches of the profession. He is a mem- 
ber of the Lee County Medical Society, the Rock River Institute 
of Homeopathy, the Illinois State Homeopathic Medical Society, 
the American Institute of Homeopathy and of the American Mei- 
cal Association. 

In 1901 Dr. Sickels was united in marriage to Miss Jeanne 
Wood, of Des Moines, Iowa, and they are pleasantly located in 
an attractive home in Dixon, the hospitality of which is greatly 
enjoyed by their many friends. Dr. Sickels is a member of the 
Benevolent Protective Order of Elks. He finds his chief recrea- 
tion in hunting and when leisure gives him opportunity he makes 
trips to various sections, having shot big game all over America. 
He is never neglectful of his jorofessional obligations, however, 
and is continually promoting his efficiency through broad read- 
ing and research. 



CLARENCE E. DRUMMOND. 

Clarence E. Drummond, a successful farmer of Lee county, 
owning and operating forty acres of excellent land in Ashton 
township, was born in Ogle county, Illinois, July 9. 1878. He is 
a son of Benton P. and Henrietta (Tilton) Drummond, also na- 
tives of Ogle county. 

Clarence E. Drummond was reared at home and remained up- 
on his father's fai'm until he was of age. He then engaged in agri- 
cultural pursuits upon rented land for ten years and at the end 
of that time moved to Lee county and bought the property upon 
which he now lives. He has forty acres in Ashton toAvnship and 
has made substantial improvements upon this farm, providing it 
with modern buildings and equipment. The place is in a high 
state of cultivation and its owner is ranked among the success- 
ful and progressive farmers of his locality. 

In 1903 Mr. Drummond was united in marriage to Miss "NTellie 
Trainor, who was born in Lee county, Illinois, a daughter of 



218 HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 

Charles and Emily (Plautz) Trainor, the former a native of 
Canada and the latter of Lee county. Both have passed away. To 
their union were born five children, of whom four are yet li\iiig. 
Mr. and Mrs. Drummond have two children : Helen A. and Verl 
Otto. The parents are members of the Methodist Episcopal church 
and Mr. Drummond gives his political allegiance to the democratic 
party. He holds the office of school director and he is at all times 
progressive and public-spirited in matters of citizenship, taking 
an active interest in community affairs. He is accounted one of 
the extensive landowners and progressive farmers of Ashton 
township and has the unqualified confidence and esteem of the en- 
tire community. 



E. J. FERGUSON. 



Prominent among the energetic, farsighted and capable busi- 
iess men of Dixon is E. J. Ferguson, a hardware merchant, whose 
enterprise and laudable ambition have constituted the foundation 
upon which he has built his success. He was born in Peoria 
county, Illinois, in 1875 and after acquiring a public-school edu- 
cation devoted his time and attention to general agricultural pur- 
suits. He carried on farming near Pontiae, Illinois, imtil nearly 
twenty-five years of age and then removed to Greene county, Iowa, 
where he spent about five years in general farming. On the ex- 
piration of that period he returned to Pontiae, where lie became 
connected with commercial interests, spending one year as clerk 
in a hardware store. He then embarked in the hardware busi- 
ness on his own account at Marseilles, Illinois, where he remained 
for three years, and in 1909 he came to Dixon, seeking here a 
broader field of labor. Here he soon placed on sale a large stock 
of hardware and the success of the enterprise is indicated in the 
fact that he found it necessary to secure larger quarters and did 
so by purchasing the business of The Gunn Company in 1911. He 
now canies a full and well selected line of shelf and heaw hard- 
ware and his trade is extensive and gratifying. His business 
methods are such as will boar the closest investigation and 
scrutiny and his even-paced energy has carried him into import- 
ant relations with the commercial interests of Dixon. 

In 1S97 Mr. Ferguson was united in marriage to Miss Fannie 
Wassom, a native of Pontiae. Illinois, and unto them have been 



HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 219 

born four daughters aud a sou. The family attend the Methodist 
church, of which Mr. and Mrs. Ferguson are members, in politics 
he is a progressive republican and fiaternally is a Royal Arch 
Mason and a Modern Woodman. Starting out in life without 
any vaulting ambition to accomj)lish something especially great 
or famous, he has followed the lead of his opportunities, doing as 
best he could anything that came to hand and seizing legitimate 
advantages as they arose. Pie has never hesitated to take a for- 
ward step when the way has been open. Though content with 
what he attained as he went along, he was always ready to make 
an advance. Fortunate in possessing ability and character that 
inspired confidence in others, the simple weight of his character 
and ability have carried him into important relations with large 
interests and he is now at the head of one of the leading commer- 
cial enterprises of the city. 



GEORGE ALEXANDER LYMAN. 

Among the men of force, experience and capacity who have 
for many years past influenced the trend of general development 
in Lee county is numbered George Alexander Lyman, who since 
1889 has owned and edited the Amboy Journal, which by reason 
of his excellent journalistic work he has made powerful as a di- 
rector of public thought and opinion. His interests have extended 
to many other fields, touching closely the political and social life 
of the community, and his name has come to be regarded as 
synon^onous with advancement and reform. He was born in 
"Winchester, New Hampshire, June 26, 3838, and is a son of 
Tertius Alexander and Sarah Pierce (Codding) Lyman, the 
former a carpenter and joiner and house builder. He came to 
Illinois in 1856 and died at Amboy, February 5, 1900. at the age 
of eighty-eight. The Lyman family is very ancient and can be 
traced back in the official English records to Wodin. king of 
North Europe in the third century, about 225 A. D. The line in- 
cludes such illustrious representatives as Hcn.gist, king of Saxons, 
A. D. 434; Cerdic, the first king of West Saxons, who died A. T). 
534; Alfred the Great, king of England, A. H. 871 ; William, the 
Conqueror, A. D. 1066; Ijady Isabel de Vermandois; Robert, sec- 
ond Earl of Leicester; Hugh Capet, king of France, A. T). 987; 
Charlemagne, emperor of tbe West; Saier de Quincey, Earl of 



220 HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 

WiBcliester, one of the twenty-five barons that stood surety for 
the observance of the Magna Charta by King John at Runnymede, 
A. 1). 1215. The American progentor was Richard Lyman, who 
was born at High Ongar, England, in 1580 and who emigrated to 
America in August, 1631. He landed at Boston, November 11th 
and became a settler in Charlestown. On October 15, 1635, he 
went with a party of about one hundred persons and became one 
of the first settlers of Hartford, Connecticut, and one of the origi- 
nal proprietors of the town. He died in August, 1641, and his 
name is inscribed on a stone colunm now standing in the rear 
of the Center church of Hartford, erected in memory of the first 
settlers of the city. His son, Richard Lyman II, was born in Eng- 
land in 1617 and came to America with his father. He moved to 
Northampton, Massachusetts, in 1655 and died there in 1662. His 
grandson, Joshua Lyman, served upwards of fourteen years in the 
Colonial wars, holding the commission of lieutenant in the British 
army. He married Miss Sarah Narmon, and their son. Captain 
Seth Lyman, served six years in the Revolutionary war. Cap- 
tain Seth Lyman's son, Tertius Lyman, was also a member of the 
Continental army during the last two years of the war. He had 
one son, Tertius Alexander Lyman, father of the subject of this 
review and the founder of the family in Illinois. 

George A. L}Tnan acquired his primary education in the pub- 
lic schools of Winchester and completed his studies in Northfield. 
Institute at Northfield, Massachusetts, from which he was gradu- 
ated in the fall of 1855. He accompanied his parents to Lee 
county, Illinois, in the following year and afterward assisted with 
the work of the farm upon which his father settled after his ar- 
rival. He remained at home until he was twenty-one years of age 
and then purchased land from his father, continuing active in 
agricultui'al pursuits imtil 1889, when he moved to Amboy, be- 
coming proprietor and editor of the Journal. Since that time 
he has made this one of the leading newspapers in the state, ad- 
vocating in its columns many measures of advancement and re- 
form and making its influence a vital factor in community gro-^iih. 

In Bradford, Lee county, February 13, 1865. Mr. Lyman was 
united in marriage to Miss Mary Eliza Jones, a daughter of 
James and Margaret Jones, pioneer farmers of this locality. Both 
have passed away and are buried in the Woodside cemetery, Lee 
Center. Mr. and Mrs. Ij^mian have two children. James Alex- 
ander is professor of chemistry in Pomona College. Claremont, 
California. He holds the degi-ees of A. B., M. A. and Ph. D., con- 



HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 221 

ferred by Beloit College, Beloit, Wisconsin, and Johns Hopkins 
University, Baltimore, Maryland. His birth occurred October 
17, 1866, and on June 7, 1897, he married Miss Ethel Anna Skin- 
ner, of Portland, Oregon. They have become the parents of 
three children: Mary Ethel, born July 8, 1899; Ida Grace, whose 
birth occurred on the 14th of April, 1902; and George Porter, 
born in 1906. George Richard, the younger son of Mr. and Mrs. 
George A. Lyman, was born December 1, 1871. He took the de- 
grees of A. B., M. A. and Ph. D. from Harvard University, Cam- 
bridge, Massachusetts, and is now assistant professor of botany 
in Dartmouth College, Hanover, New HampsMre. On June 23, 
1903, he married ]\Iiss Fi'ances Ella Badger and they have be- 
come the parents of one child, Mavis K. Lyman, bom October 
16, 1907. 

Mr. Lyman is a member of the Congregational church, is a 
blue lodge Mason, and gives his political allegiance to the re- 
publican party. He is a member of the Baronial Order of Runny- 
mede, the Society of Colonial Wars, and the Sons of the American 
Revolution. He has been town clerk, assessor, justice of the 
peace and township trustee; and since March 1, 1898, has served 
as postmaster of Amboy, discharging his duties ina capable and 
practical manner. His fourth term as postmaster will expire 
April 25, 1914. During the half-centTiry he has lived in the com- 
munity he has done all in his powei' to promote its intei'ests and 
his record is a credit to an honored and worthv name. 



HERBERT W. HARMS. 

Herbert W. Harms, identified with commei-cial interests in 
Dixon as manager for the Wilbur Liunber Company, was born in 
Lee county, Illinois, April 20, 1884, and is therefore still a young 
man. His parents were Antone W. and Mary (Ahrens) Harms, 
the foi'mer of whom was a son of Antone W. Harms, one of the 
pioneer settlers in Lee county. Removing from the east to Illi- 
nois, he settled in Palmyra township at a period when the work 
of pro.gress and improvement seemed scarcely begun in this sec- 
tion of the state. Since that time the name of Harms has figured 
in connection with the upbuilding of the county and has always 
been synonymous with progressive action and substantial im- 
provement. 



222 HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 

Herbert W. Harms acquired a public-school education and 
when not busy with his text-books worked in the fields for his 
father, who was a farmer. When his education was completed he 
too took up farm work, to which he devoted his energies until 
1906, when at the age of twenty-two years he entered the employ 
of the Wilbur Lumber Company in the capacity of bookkeeper. 
He worked his way upward, mastering the details and factors of 
the business until his capability led to his promotion to the posi- 
tion of manager on the 1st of September, 1907. He has since been 
active in conti'ol of the business, which is one of the important 
commercial concerns of Dixon, and thus he has gained a place 
among the representative young business men of the city. 

On the 18th of August, 1908, Mr. Harms was united in mar- 
riage to Miss Belle Floto, a native of Dixon, and they have a 
daughter, Helen, born in October, 1910. Mr. Haiins exercises 
his right of franchise in support of the men and measures of the 
republican party. He belongs to the Masonic fraternity and to 
the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks and is now exalted ruler 
of Dixon Lodge, No. 779, B. P. O. E. He has a wide acquaintance 
and his .social qualities as well as his business ability have won 
him popularity and high regard. 



CHARLES W. ROSS. 



Charles W. Ross, owning and operating a farm of one hundred 
and ninety-two acres in Bradford and Amboy townships, was bora 
on this property February 22, 1870. He is a son of William and 
Elizabeth (Aschenbrenner) Ross, natives of Germany, who came 
to America in the '50s. The father at first worked as a farm laborer 
and later purchased land in Lee county, where he resided until his 
death. He and his wife became the parents of six children, of 
whom five are yet living. 

Charles W. Ross was reared upon his father's farm in Brad- 
ford township and acquired his education in the public schools. 
When he was twenty-one years of age he rented the homestead and 
later bnuglit the property, whereon ho still resides. The farm com- 
prises one himdrcd and ninoty-two acres and is well equipped in 
every particular, provided with substantial buildings and modem 
machinery. Mr. Ross is a progressive and able agriculturist and 
has made some substnntinl contributions to farming interests of 




CHARLES W. EOSS 



HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 225 

this locality. In addition to his home farm he owns three hun- 
dred and twenty acres of excellent land in Pocahontas county, 
Iowa. 

In 1905 Mr. Ross was united in marriage to Miss Anna 
Brewer, a native of Lee county, Illinois, and a daughter of G. 
W. and Mary (Ford) Brewer, residents of Lee Center. Mr. and 
Mrs. Ross are members of the Congregational church and Mr. 
Ross is connected fraternally with Lqq Center Lodge, No. 146, 
A. F. & A. M., and with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. 
He gives his political allegiance to the republican party. He 
served for ten years as township assessor, but at present his at- 
tention is centered upon the management of his business inter- 
ests, in which he is meeting with gratifying and well deserved 
success. 



R. G. JACOBS. 



R. G. Jacobs, prominently connected with business interests of 
Franklin Grove as the proprietor of a first-class livery, was born 
in Pennsylvania, August 22, 1868. He is a son of A. S. and Louise 
N. (Newcumber) Jacobs, also natives of the Keystone state. The 
parents moved to Lee comity, Illinois, in 1869. and settled in 
Franklin Grove, where the father engaged in the blacksmith busi- 
ness until his death. He was also well known in public affairs 
and served as postmaster of the town for several j'^ears. 

One of a family of five sons, R. G. Jacobs remained at home 
until 1891 and then went east to Massachusetts, where he main- 
tained his residence until 1909. In that year he returned to Franlc- 
lin Grove in order to care for his mother in her old age and he 
established himself in the livery business, with which he has since 
been connected. He has a number of excellent vehicles, including 
a fine line of automobiles, and in connection with this operates 
also a feed and sale barn. His business methods have been at all 
times straightforwai'd and honorable and in consequence his 
patronage has increased rapidly, being of extensive proportions 
at the present time. Mr. Jacobs owns his business building and 
also a comfortable and attractive home in Franklin Grove. He 
gives his political allegiance to the democratic party and is in- 
terested and active in public affaii's, cooperating heartily in all 
progressive public movements. His integrity in business and his 



226 HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 

public-spirited citizenship have made him widely known in tliis 
locality and have gained him the esteem and confidence of all 
who are in any way associated witli him. 



O. H. MARTIN. 



O. H. Martin is individual proprietor of a dry-goods store in 
Dixon and is treasurer of a syndicate owning twenty-six stores 
in the middle west. The story of his life is that of orderly pro- 
gi'ession imder the steady hand of one who is a consistent master 
of himself and whose qualities aiKl characteristics are well bal- 
anced. His strong character inspires confidence in others and his 
mature judgment makes correct estimate of his own capacities and 
powers and of the peojDle and eh'cumstanees that make up his 
life's contacts and experiences. He has thus become a leading 
merchant of Hixon while his ramifying trade interests, reaching 
out over the country now cover a wide territory. 

Mr. Martin was born in Lee comity, February 23, 1866, and is 
a son of Oliver H. and Catheiine (Whipple) Martin, the former 
a native of New Hampshire and the latter of Massachusetts. The 
paternal grandfather was one of the pioneer settlers of Lee coun- 
ty, taking up his abode here in 1833 — a year after the Black Hawk 
war had settled the question of Indian supremacy in Illinois. The 
few homes in Lee county were then largely log cabins. Much of 
the prairie was still imclaimed and imcultivated and it seemed that 
the work of development and progress had scarcely been begun. 
Oliver H. Martin, who Avas a lad at the time of the arrival in Illi- 
nois was reared upon the frontier with the usual experiences in- 
cident to pioneer life. He became a school teacher and afterward 
went to Manitowoc, Wisconsin, where in 1867 he took up the 
study of medicine. Having qualified for the profession he en- 
gaged in practice successfully for many years but is now living 
retired at Kewaimee, Wisconsin. He has long survived his wife, 
who died in 1886. 

O. H. Martin, whose name introduces this review, acquired 
his early education in the public schools and with experience as 
his teacher learned many valuable lessons. In early manhood 
he became connected with mercantile interests at Merrill, Wis- 
consin, and afterward engaged in the same line of business at 
Hurlev, that state, working for various firms. 



HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 227 

Subsequently he was at Rockford, Illinois, and in 1893 he 
opened a dry goods store at Sycamore, Illinois. From that point 
his career has been a successful one and branching out he is now 
identified with a syndicate that controls twenty-six stores. Of 
this syndicate W. M. McAUister is the president with Mr. Martin 
as treasurer. These stores all buy together, enabling them to make 
advantageous purchases and profitable sales and yet keep to rea- 
sonable prices. Mr. Martin is interested in five of the stores and 
thus his business affairs have become extensive and important. 
In 1905 he established a dr3^-goods store in Dixon, of which he is 
sole proprietor, handling dry goods and ready-to-wear garments. 
His life has been one of intense activity in which has been ac- 
corded due recognition of labor and today he is numbered among 
the substantial citizens of the county. His interests are thorough- 
ly identified with those of Dixon and at all times he is ready to 
lend his aid and cooperation to any movement calculated to bene- 
fit this section of the country or advance its wonderful develop- 
ment. 

In 1890 Mr. Martin was united in marriage to Miss Harriet 
E. Jones, of Warsaw, Wisconsin, and they have one daughter, 
Grace Agnes, at home. Mrs. ]\Iartin is a member of the Presby- 
terian church and Mr. Martin belongs to several fi-aternal or- 
ganizations, including the Masons, Elks and Knights of Pythias. 
In the first named he has attained the Knight Templar degree in 
the York Rite and has also become a Noble of the Mystic Shrine. 
In politics he is an independent republican, usually indorsing the 
principles of the party, yet not feeling himself bound by party 
ties. He is a man of well balanced mind, even temper and his 
enterprising spirit is well balanced by conservative habits. These 
qualities are such as lead to great accomplishments. He has never 
feared to venture where favoring opportunity is presented and 
his judgment and even paced energy generally carry him forward 
to the goal of success. 



G. M. ATKINSON. 



Agricultural pursuits claim the time and energies of G. M. 
Atkinson, a representative young resident of Amboy township, 
who rents a productive farm of one hundred and sixty acres on 
section 10. His birth occurred in China township, Lee county. 



228 HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 

on the 2d of January, 1888, his parents being William and Au- 
gusta (Skinner) Atkinson, who are among the well known and 
respected residents of Amboy. He had but limited educational 
opportunities in early life, attending school only until eight years 
of age, but has become a well informed man through reading, ex- 
perience and observation. On leaving the Amboy school he be- 
gan assisting his father in the operation of the home place, thus 
early becoming familiar with the work of the fields. It was in 
1908 that he I'ented the farm which he now operates and which 
comprises one hundred and sixty acres on section 10, Amboy town- 
ship. The land is lich and productive and the well tilled fields 
annually yield golden harvests as a reward for the care and labor 
which he bestows upon them. In addition to the cultivation of 
cereals he also devotes considerable attention to live-stock inter- 
ests, keeping about sixteen horses, twenty-eight cattle and thirty- 
five hogs. 

In Amboy, on the 23d of October, 1912, Mr. Atkinson was 
united in marriage to Miss Lena Herzfeldt, a daughter of Mr. 
and Mrs. Albert Herzfeldt. The father makes his home in Chi- 
cago, but the mother has passed away. Our subject purchased his 
home, which is a pleasing and substantial residence. In politics 
Mr. Atkinson is a stanch republican, while his religious faith is 
that of the United Brethren church. He has always resided within 
the borders of Lee county and enjoys an enviable reputation as 
one of its representative young agriculturists and progressive 
citizens. 



LEE B. SWINGLEY, M. D. C. 

Dr. Lee B. Swingley, controlling a large practice as a veterin- 
ary surgeon in Dixon, was born in Ogle county, Illinois, April 
30, 1886. He is a son of Oscar and Alice (Lewis) Swingley. The 
father was a pioneer farmer and a native of Ogle county, Illinois, 
The mother was born in Herkimer county. New York, and came 
to Illinois when she was a child. The father died in Ogle county, 
Illinois, August 26, 1903 while the mother passed away in Seattle, 
August 9, 1913. To their union wore born four children: George 
A, now residing in Seattle, Washington; Lee B., of this review; 
Mary Ada, the wife of Joseph Hoarn, a resident of the state of 
Washington; and Florence M.. deceased. 




DR. LKK 1!. S\VIN(.1J:V 



HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 231 

Lee B. Swingley was reared in Ogle county and remained at 
home until he was twenty years of age. He then went to Chicago, 
where he entered a veterinary college, graduating in the spring 
of 1909. He began the practice of his profession in Polo, and 
Oregon and after a short time he moved to Dixon, where he is 
now located. He controls a large and growing patronage, for he 
is thoroughly versed in the underlying principles of his profession 
and his ability is widely recognized and respected. Dr. Swingley 
owns a third interest in three hundred and twenty acres of land in 
Ogle county and has shown himself competent and able in the 
management of his interests. 

In April, 1909, Dr. Swingley was united in mai'iiage to Miss 
Adessa L. Goodrich, a natiA^e of Oregon, Illinois, and a daughter 
of George W. and Mary F. (Steele) Goodrich. Dr. and Mrs. 
Swingley have become the parents of a daughter, Evelyn L. 
They are attendants of the Methodist Episcopal church and 
Dr. Swingley gives his political allegiance to the democratic 
party. He is ambitious, energetic and progressive and al- 
though he is still a young man, occupies a prominent place in the 
ranks of his chosen profession. 



A. H. HANNEKEN. 



A. H. Hanneken, one of the younger representatives of the 
county bar, is a native of Calhoun county, Illinois. He was born 
December 29, 1884, and is a son of Herman and Elizabeth Hanne- 
ken, who are still residing in Calhoun county, where the father is 
filling the office of county commissioner. He located there in 1859 
and in the intervening period has maintained a position as one of 
the leading and influential residents of that part of the state. His 
fellow townsmen, appreciative of his worth and ability have 
elected him to the office of coroner and he has also served as coimty 
sheriff. A. H. Hanneken was a public-school student in his native 
county and supplemented his course there by study in Dixon Col- 
lege, completing a course in law by graduation with the class of 
1905. The following year he was admitted to the bar and re- 
turned to Dixon, and was associated with J. W. Watts as stenog- 
rapher until May, 1909. In that year he entered into the 
practice of law in Dixon. His practice is extensive and of an im- 
portant character for one of his years. The court records show 



232 HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 

that he has won many verdicts favorable to the interests of his 
clients. 

Mr. Hanneken is a democrat in his political views, while his 
fraternal connections are with the Benevolent Protective Order 
of Elks. Many of the friendships which he formed in his college 
days here still continue and the circle of his friends broadens 
year by year as he becomes better known, his sterling traits of 
character insuring him the warm regard and good-will of all with 
whom he is brought in contact. 



CLIFFORD G. LUCKEY. 

A fine projierty of three hundred and two acres on sections 
23 and 26, Ashton township, known as the Ashton Stock Farm, is 
owned and operated by Clifford G. Tjuckey and his capable and 
intelligent management of the pi'operty has gained him a place 
among the leading agiiculturists of this vicinity. He was born 
upon this farm NoA'ember 8, 1879, and is a son of George TT. and 
Eldora (Teal) Luekey, the former a native of Ohio and the lat- 
ter of Illinois. Both passed away in Lee coimty. To their union 
were born two children: Clifford G., of this review; and Elton, 
a resident of Minnesota. 

Clifford G. Luekey was I'eai'ed at home and at an early age 
became familiar with the details of farm operation, ha^dng aided 
fi'om childhood with the conduct of his father's homestead. "When 
he was twenty-one years of age he purchased the property, which 
comprises three hundred and two acres on sections 23 and 26. 
Ashton township. It is known as the Ashton Stock Farm and is 
a valuable property in every particular. I'eflecting the intelligent 
care and constant supei'vision which the owner has expended upon 
it. In addition to his homestead Mr. Luekey owns also fifteen 
acres of valuable timber land in Ogle county, Illinois. 

In 1900 Mr. Luekey was miited in marriage to Miss Mary 
Ki'ug, who was born in Lee county, a daughter of Casper and 
Julia Krug, the former a nntive of Germany and the latter of 
Lee county. They now make their home in Dixon, Illinois. Mr. 
and Mrs. Luekey have become the parents of three children: El- 
mer H., who was born Se]iteuiber 12, 1903: Alice E.. born April 
If), 1907, and Roland G., whose birth occurred June 30, 1909. Mr. 
and Mrs. Ijuckey belong to the Methodist Episcopal church. Both 



HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 233 

are members of the Order of the Eastern Star and Mr. Luckey is 
afiiliated also with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and the 
Masonic lodge. He gives his political allegiance to the republi- 
can party. His attention is, however, confined largely to his 
farming interests, in the management of which he has met with 
gratifying and well deserved success. 



EDWARD VAILE. 



Edward Vaile, a well known merchant of Dixon, now senior 
partner in the firm of Vaile & O'Malley, ow^es his success not to 
any fortunate combination of circumstances, but to his perse- 
verance and industry, intelligently directed. Dixon is his birth- 
place, his natal year being 1874. He is a son of John and Mary 
(Vaughan) Vaile, who in 1864 came to Lee county, settling on a 
farm south of Dixon. 

In his boyhood days Edward Vaile was a pupil in the public 
schools of his native city and later had the advantage of a course 
in Dixon college. He entered upon his present business in March, 
1901, organizing the firm of Vaile & O'Malley, his partner in the 
enterprise being George F. O'Malley. This connection has since 
continued. They deal in clothing, shoes and men's furnisldng 
goods. Their store was originally located at 204 West First street, 
but since then their growing trade has necessitated two removals 
and in 1909 they came to their present place of business where they 
occupy a large building with a frontage of fifty feet and a depth 
of ninety feet. They carry a large and atti'active line (^f goods 
and employ five people to take care of their trade. Mr. Vaile is 
also owner of two other stores, one at Sterling. Illinois, which was 
established in 1907 and another at De Kalb, established in 1913. 
Thus he is gradually extending his business connections and al- 
ready ranks with the leading merchants of this part of the state. 
His judgment is soimd, his discrimination keen and his close con- 
formity to high business standards has also been one of the strong 
elements of his success. 

Mr. Vaile was married to Miss Anna Hennessey, a native of 
Dixon and they occupy an attractive home which is the abode of 
warm-hearted hospitality. They hold membership in the Catholic 
church and Mr. Vaile belongs to the Knights r.f Columbus. He 
is also a member of the Elks and he gives his political support to 



234 HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 

the democratic party. The terms progress and patriotism might 
be considered the keynote of liis character, for throughout his 
career he has labored for the improvement of every line of busi- 
ness or public interest with which he has been identified and at all 
times has been actuated by fidelity to his city and her wel- 
fare. 



JOSEPH W. STAPLES. 

Joseph W. Staples, engaged in the undertaking business in 
Dixon, is a representative of two of the pioneer families of this 
section of the state. He was born at Grand Detour, March 28, 
1871, his parents being Elbridge U. and Lizzie (Ling) Staples, the 
latter a daughter of Joseph Ling, who was the first engineer of the 
Grand Detour Plow Works. He was one of the pioneer residents 
of this district, coming to the middle west from Maine. The pa- 
ternal grandfather, William Staples, was also a native of Maine 
and came to Illinois during an early period in its development. 
He, too, was connected with the plow works and both the Ling 
and Staples families were thus actively associated with the early 
industrial development of Grand Detour. Elbridge G. Staples 
likewise became an employe of the plow company, remaining in 
that service for many years as one of its most trusted, efficient and 
capable representatives. At length, however, he retired from ac- 
tive business and went to California, where his last days were 
passed. Both he and his father were soldiers in the Civil war, 
enlisting as members of Company F. Thii'ty-fourth "Regiment of 
Illinois Volunteers, soon after the opening of hostilities. The 
grandfather was the first man in the Thirty-fourth Illinois Regi- 
ment shot in the battle of Shiloh. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Elbridge G. 
Staples were born three children, one of whom died at the age of 
eight years, while a daughter, Daisy, became the wife of Samuel 
Stakemiller, of Sterling, Illinois, and is now deceased. 

Joseph W. Staples, the youngest and the only living repre- 
sentative of the family, acquired a public-school education and 
started in bnsiness life as an employe of the firm of Camp & Son. 
furniture dealers of Dixon, on the 1st of March, 188fi. That he 
wns diligent, trustworthy and industrious is indicated in the fact 
that he remained with thnt house for seventeen years. At length 
he determined to engage in business for himself and in 190R 



HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 235 

opened an undertaking establishment in Dixon wliicli he has since 
conducted. The decade that has followed has been marked by 
growing success in his business and he is today one of the lead- 
ing undertakers of the city. 

On the 20th of September, 1892, Mr. Staples was united in 
marriage to Miss Elizabeth E. Powell, of Dixon, a daughter of 
John Powell, who was a veteran of the Civil war, serving in 
Cheney's Battery. Mr. Staples is a charter member of the Elks' 
lodge of Dixon and also holds membership with the Modern Wood- 
men of America. His political views accord with the principles 
of the republican party but he has never felt inclined to hold of- 
fice, his business cares fully occupying his time and attention. 
Not by leaps and bounds but by steady progression has he gained 
the measure of success which is now his. Ele is well known as a 
citizen of Dixon and his many good qualities have gained him the 
warm friendsliip of those with whom he has been associated. 



GUST KRIES. 



Since 1893 Gust Kries has owned and operated a farm of 
two himdred and forty acres on section 23, Ashton township, and 
through his enterprise and ability in the management of this 
propeity has gained a place among the substantial and prosper- 
ous agricultui'ists of the community. He was born in Germany, 
January 27, 1865, and is a son of Adam and Elizabeth Kries, also 
natives of that country. The family came to America in 1873, 
locating in Lee county, Illinois. The parents now make their 
home i;pon a farm in Reynolds township. To their union were 
born three children, all of whom are yet living. 

Gust Kries was reared upon his father's farm and acquired 
his education in the district schools. He remained at home until 
he was twenty-three years of age and then rented a farm, upon 
which he remained for five years, after which he purchased the 
property which he now owns. He has two hiindi-ed and forty 
acres on section 23, Ashton township, and he gives his attention 
to general farming, meeting with that success whicli always fol- 
lows earnest and persistent labor. 

On the 20th of March, 1887. Mr. Kries was united in mar- 
riage to Miss Margai'et Bowers, a native of Lee county, Hlinois, 
and a daughter of Wolf and Christina Bowers, both of whom 



236 HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 

were born in Grermany. They came to America at an early date 
and both died in this country. To their union were born nine 
children, of whom seven survive, ^ix. and Mrs. Kries have five 
children: Martha E. M., the wife of Fred Eeinhart, of South 
Dakota; Lena E., at home; William F. ; Ella C. ; and George W. 
Mr. Kries is a regular attendant at the Evangelical church and he 
gives his political allegiance to the republican party. He is a 
member of the board of school directors and has held this position 
for fifteen years, the cause of education finding in him an able and 
earnest supporter. He is one of Lee county's progressive and suc- 
cessful native sons and is held in high regard and esteem wherever 
he is known. 



HARRY EDWARDS. 



Occupying an enviable position in the front rank of the mem- 
bers of the Dixon bar is Harry Edw^ards, who since 1902 has en- 
gaged in the practice of law in Lee county. He was born in 
Friend, Nebraska, June 27, 1880, his parents being William H. 
and Eva A. (LaPorte) Edwards. The father was a merchant at 
Paw Paw, Illinois, for some time. He is now living retired, enjoy- 
ing a well earned rest, the fruit of his former toil. He has always 
been interested in the political situation and has held some local 
offices, serving as siipervisor of Dixon for four years. 

It was during his eai'ly youth that Harry Edwards was brought 
to Lee county and in the high school of Dixon he pursued his Cv .- 
cation luitil graduated with the class of 1898. He afterward at- 
tended Dixon College, where his more specifically literary course 
was completed and later he entered the University of Wisconsin, 
where he studied law. He was admitted to the bar in 1902 and 
located for practice in Dixon, whore ho has since remained. The 
same year he was made assistant state's attorney and acceptably 
served in that capacity until 1908, when ho was elected state's at- 
torney and was reelected in 1912. He carefully safeguards the 
legal interests of the county, and his long connection with the office 
is proof of both his capability and fidelity. 

Mr. Edwards has been a republican since age conferred upon 
him the right of franchise and his opinions carry weight in party 
conneils. For two years he served as secretary of the republican 
countv central committee. He is connected with the Benevolent 




HARRY EDWARIJS 



HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 239 

Protective Order of Elks and with the Modern Woodmen of the 
World, and has in those organizations many friends, but his popu- 
larity is b}^ no means confined thereto. Wherever he is known his 
good qualities have gained him high regard and he is an alert, 
energetic young man. his activities being typical of the times and 
of the progress which characterizes the age. 



WILLIAM H. BEND. 



William H. Bend, engaging in mixed farming upon three hun- 
dred and tifty acres of land on section 2, Wyoming township, was 
born in 8habona towaiship, DeKalb county. Illinois. January 11, 
1877. He is a son of Richard and Aurelia (Kittle) Bend, the 
former a native of England, who came to America about the year 
1868, settling in DeKalb county. After I'enting land for a num- 
ber of years he became the owner of a fine farm and is now in pos- 
session of three hmidred and forty acres. He and his wife still 
reside in DeKalb county, where they are well known and highly 
respected. 

William H. Bend acqiiired his education in his native county 
and also in the public schools of Paw Paw. Illinois. He laid aside 
his books at the age of eighteen and afterward assisted his father 
with the work of the farm until 1896. In that year he became 
salesman for L. W. Wheeler & Company, implement merchants, 
and after holding this position for one year lented a farm in Lee 
county. He afterward lented land in DeKalb county and after 
develoi^ing this for four years returned to Ijce county, buying his 
present property. He owns three himdred and fifty acres of ex- 
cellent land in Wyoming township and here raises grain and stock, 
both branches of his activities pro-^ing important and profitable 
under his able management. 

On the 7th of October, 1898. Mr. Bend married Miss Lura 
Roberts, a daughter of Henry and Eva (Cornell) Roberts, the 
former for a number of years a prominent farmer of Lee county. 
He died May 30. 1910. ha^-ing survived his wife three years, and 
both are buried in Wyoming cemetery. Mr. aiid Mrs. Bend have 
four children. Evelyn. Harold. Bertha and William, all of whom 
are attending school. 

Mr. Bend is a republican in his political views and takes an 
intelligent interest in the welfare and growth of the communitv. 



240 HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 

His success is directly attributable to bis industry, enterprise 
and capable management and he holds the esteem and respect of 
an extensive circle of friends. 



GEORGE F. PRESCOTT. 

George P. Prescott, who since 1909 has been secretary and 
treasurer of the Leake Brothers Company, Inc., of Dixon, his 
native city, was born in 1875, his parents being Hollis and 
Nancy Adams (Williams) Prescott, the latter a daughter of 
George Williams, who brought his family to Lee county during 
the pioneer epoch in the history of this part of the state. Hollis 
Prescott arrived in Lee county when a young man of about nine- 
teen years, following his brothers, who had previously come here 
from Salem, Massachusetts. He was a representative of one of 
the old New England families and, attracted by the opportunities 
of the growing west, he made his way to Dixon, where for a long 
period he was engaged in business as a mason and contractor. In 
this connection he was prominently identified with building opera- 
tions for a number of years and substantial structures of the 
city still stand as monuments to his enterprise and skill. In 1877 
he went to Cherokee, Iowa, where he remained for eleven years 
and then returned to Dixon in 1888. Here he still makes Ms 
home but is living retired, spending the evening of his life in the 
enjoyment of a well earned rest. 

George P. Prescott supplemented a public-school course by a 
year's study in the Northwestern University, where he prepared 
for work along pharmaceutical lines. He then came to Dixon and 
was connected with the drug house of J. W. Watts for several 
years, during which time he thoi'oughly acquainted himself with 
all the practical phases of the business. In 1909 he was made 
secretary and treasurer of the Leake Brothers Company, Inc. 
This business was established in 1898 by Frank E. and Chai'lcs R. 
Leake, the former now deceased. He was identified with the 
business until 1910, when he sold out to his brother Charles and 
went to California, where his death occurred in 1912. His widow 
is still a resident of that state. Charles R. Leake has since sold 
a part of his interest in the business to George P. Prescott and B. 
S. Sehildberg and the former is now secretary and treasurer of 
the company. His experience in the drug biisiness has well fitted 



HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 241 

him for the responsibilities which now devolve upon him, making 
him one of the enterprising and successful merchants of the 
city. 

In 1904 Mr. Prescott was united in marriage to Miss Myrtle 
J. Bryan, of Dixon, a daughter of Milton Bryan, of Bureau 
county, Illinois, and unto them have been born three children. 
The parents are members of the Christian church and shape their 
lives according to its teachings. Mr. Prescott 's political views 
are in harmony with the pi'inciples that constitute the platform 
of the republican j^arty and he has tilled some local offices, serv- 
ing as township assessor four years, or from 1905 until 1909, and 
also as township sujiervisor from 1911 to 1913. He possesses a 
genial nature, his sociability finding expression in many warm 
friendships. 

"The friends thou hast and their adoption tried. 
Grapple them to thy heart with hoops of steel," 

has been a precept which he has ever followed in spirit and he ia 
today thus widely and favorably known in Dixon. 



LOUIS PITCHER. 



Louis Pitcher is manager of the Dixon Home Telephone Com- 
pany, whose business figures largely in the commercial affairs of 
Dixon. In this age of intense business activity the annihilation of 
time and distance is an important factor and telephone service 
has brought about a condition that largely furthers business in- 
terests through the direct communication of interested parties. 
The importance of efficient service is therefore apparent and as 
manager of the Dixon Home Telephone Company. Mr. Pitcher 
is doing an important work, carefully looking after all details and 
supervising the ma.joi- features of the business so that the best 
results are accomplished. 

One of Dixon's native sons, he was bora in 1881. his parents 
being L. D. and Abbie ( Cramer ") Pitcher, who were early resi- 
dents here, settling in Lee county when this city had little 
industrial or commercial importance. For a time the father en- 
gaged in the manufacture of wooden barley forks and secured a 
patent upon the fork which was of his invention. Later he en- 



242 HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 

gaged in other lines of business and at different times was ac- 
tive in the public service, filling the office of alderman and also 
acting on the school board. Public affairs of moment received his 
indorsement and cooperation and his efforts in behalf of the 
general welfare were far-reaching and important. In 1896 he 
organized the Lee County Telephone Company. This was the first 
independent company and he carefully systematized the business, 
established its lines and connections and placed the business upon 
a profitable basis. For nine years he remained at the head of the 
company and then sold out in 1905 to the Dixon Home Telephone 
Company. His death occurred in 1910 and was deeply regretted 
by many friends who appreciated his worth as a business man, as 
a citizen and as a social acquaintance. His wife still survives and 
yet makes her home in Dixon. She is a consistent member of the 
Methodist church. 

Reared in this city Louis Pitehei' acquired a public school edu- 
cation and afterward pursued a business course in Steinman's 
Institute. He has spent the past eighteen years in connection with 
the telephone business, with wliich he became identified wpoii the 
organization of the Lee County Telephone Company by his father. 

He is now manager of the Dixon Home Telephone Company, 
which in 1905, upon purchasing the business and plant of the liCe 
Coimty Telephone Company, rebuilt the plant and equipped it 
according to the most modern methods. The company now aver- 
ages a telephone to every four and six-tenths of the population, 
a higher average than in any other point of equal area in the 
world. This alone indicates the efficiency of the service and those 
who read between the lines recognize the capable management 
and enterprise of Mr. Pitcher, who thoroughly imderstands the 
business in every phase and leaves no effort undone tliat will 
promote good service for his patrons. 

On the 21st of October, 1911. Mr. Pitcher was married to 
Mrs. Edna Joseph of Dixon. He is a man of social nature and 
has an extensive circle of warm friends in this city and through- 
out the surrounding country. In Masonry he has attained the 
thirty-seeond degree of the Scottish Rite and is a past commander 
of Dixon Commandery, "NTo. 21, K. T. He is lilvcwise eonneeted 
with the Ancient Arabic Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine. 
He belongs to the Elks lodge and is secretary of its board of 
tnistees. He was active and influential in securing the erection 
of the Elks building. In polities he is somewhat independent, 
perhaps might best be termed a progressive, for he does not be- 



HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 243 

lieve in the blind following of party leaders, but rather in the 
intelligent expression by ballot of one's belief in principles that 
they deem essential to good government. He is the secretary of 
the young men's branch of the Dixon's Citizens' Association and 
is very active in support of many measures which have to do 
with the welfare and upbuilding of the community. His coopera- 
tion can always be counted uj^on to further any project for the 
public good and his worth as a citizen is widely known. 



GILBERT M. FINCH. 

Gilbert M. Finch, the owner of a well improved farm of two 
hundred and forty acres on sections 10 and 15, Amboy township, 
devotes his attention to general agricultural pursuits with excel- 
lent success. His birth occurred in Lee county on the 11th of 
March, 1867, his parents being Gilbert P. and Helen J. (Mead) 
Finch. The father, one of the early pioneers and highly esteemed 
citizens of this county, still suivives and makes his home at Am- 
boy. The mother, however, is deceased, having passed away on 
the 9th of September, 1904. 

Gilbert M. Finch attended school in Amboy until sixteen years 
of age and subsequently assisted his father iu the operation of the 
home farm for about six years. After having attained his ma- 
jority he started out as an agriculturist on his own account, com- 
ing into possession of a farm of two hundred and forty acres on 
sections 10 and 15, Amboy township, which he has operated to the 
present time with gratifying success. He has followed modern 
and progressive methods of agriculture and has long enjoyed an 
enviable reputation as one of the substantial, representative and 
respected citizens of his native county. 

On the 16th of November, 1887, in Amboy, Mr. Finch was 
united in marriage to Miss May Belle Maine, a daughter of Wil- 
liam L. and Harriet (Santee) Maine. The father passed away 
in 1907 and his remains were interred in the Prairie Repose ceme- 
tery of Amboy. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Finch have been born four 
children, as follows : Gilbert P. and William M., who ai-e engaged 
in farming in Amboy township ; Helen A., at home ; and Harold M., 
who died in infancy. 

Mr. Finch is a stanch republican in politics and at present 
ably fills the position of highway commissioner. Fraternally he 



244 HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 

is identified with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, the 
Knights of Pythias and the Modern Woodmen of America. He 
has a wide circle of acquaintances in the community where his 
entire life has been spent and is best liked where he is best known 
■ — a fact indicative of qualities of character that are commendable, 
ever commanding respect and regard. 



ERVEN JOHN YENERICH. 

Erven John Yenerich, well known in financial circles of Lee 
county as cashier of the Farmers State Bank of Ashton and active 
also in the public life of the community, was born in Reynolds 
township, this county, March 26, 1881, a son of Wallace C. and 
Catherina (Kersten) Yenerich. He acquired his preliminary edu- 
cation in the Ashton public schools and later entered Dixon Col- 
lege, from which he was graduated June 24, 1901. His entire 
active life has been devoted to the banking business. In 1905 he 
entered the Whitten Bank at Whitten, Iowa, as cashier, serving in 
that capacity until April 11, 1907. In that year the Fanners 
State Bank of Ashton was organized and Mr. Yenerich was ap- 
pointed cashier, a responsible position which he has since credit- 
ably and ably filled. He owns a great deal of valuable property, 
including tracts of land in Lyman county. South Dakota, city 
property in Somonauk, Illinois, and valuable holdings in Ashton. 
In addition to his position of cashier he also holds stock in the 
Farmers State Bank. 

Although Mr. Yenerich is a resourceful, farsighted and careful 
financier, understanding banking in principle and detail, his in- 
terests have not by any means been confined to his business, but 
have extended to many other fields, notably that of public service. 
A republican in his political beliefs, he has been very active in the 
work of his party and has held varioiTS positions of trust and 
responsibility. From 1905 until 1907 he was mayor of Whitten, 
Iowa, his administration being constructive, progressive and busi- 
nesslike and he is at present a member of the board of aldermen 
of Ashton, Illinois, an office to which he was elected in the spring 
of 1913. He is a member of the ITnited Evangelical church, of 
Ashton, serving as assistant Sunday school superintendent since 
1910 and he has extensive and important fraternal nflRliations, 
being a member of Ashton Lodge, No. 531, A. P. & A. M. ; Nathan 




KKAKx .1. yi:xi;kicii 



HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 247 

Whitney '^hapter, No. 129, R. A. M. ; Dixon Commandeiy, K. T. ; 
and Tebala Temple, A. A. O. N. M. S., Kocivford, Illinois. He is 
aifiliated also with Ashton Lodge, No. 977, L O, O. F., and has 
been its secretary since its organization January 21, 1910. 

In all relations of life in which he has been found, Mr. Yen- 
erich has proven capable and progressive and although he is still 
a young man, is numbered among the substantial and representa- 
tive citizens of his community. 



W. E. TREIN. 



The true measure of success is determined by what one has ac- 
complished and judged by this standard W. E. Trein is a success- 
ful man, for he started out in life without any special advantages 
and is today the leading jeweler of Dixon. His success from the 
beginning of his connection with his present business has been uni- 
form and rapid and yet an analysis of his life work shows that he 
has utilized only such qualities as others may cultivate — deter- 
mination, energy and perseverance. He was born in Dixon in 
1873 and is a son of Jacob and Mary Trein, who came to this city 
and cast in their lot with its early residents. The father, wlio was 
a blacksmith by trade, had one of the early shops of the town and 
was later with the Van & Means carriage shop as foreman for a 
long period. He was thus a well known representative of indus- 
trial life in the community and his efforts gave an impetus to 
business activity. He has now passed away but his widow still 
survives and yet makes her home in Dixon. 

When W. E. Trein started out on his own account he had 
received such education as the public schools of the city afforded. 
He felt it incumbent upon him, however, to earn his own living 
and he sought and obtained employment in the jewelry store of 
Dodge & Kling. Later he entered the employ of G. O. Windell and 
while thus connected gained a comprehensive knowledge of the 
business in principle and detail. The careful husbanding of his 
resources brought him at length sufficient capital to enable him to 
carry on the lousiness alone and in 1901 he opened a jewelry store 
in Ashton, Illinois, which he conducted for five years, selling out 
there in 1906. He then returned to Dixon and purchased a half 
interest in the store of his former employer. G. 0. Windell. Sub- 
sequently he bought out E. L. Kling and is today proprietor of 



248 HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 

tiie leadiug jewelry store of the city, carrying a stock whicli would 
be a credit to a city of mucli larger size. Jdiis store is well 
appointed in every particular and he has a large line of goods of 
of both foreign and domestic manufacture. His business affairs 
are conducted along the strictest lines of commercial integrity and, 
moreover, his life is exemplary in other respects. 

In 1907 Mr. Trein was united in marriage to Miss Janet Grif- 
fith, of Ashton, Illinois, and they have a pleasant home in Dixon 
and delight to extend to their many friends its hospitality. They 
hold membership in the English Liitherau church and in politics 
Mr. Trein is a progressive republican. He is always courteous, 
kindly and affable and those who laiow him personally have for 
him a warm regard. As has been truly remarked, after all that 
may be done for a man in the way of giving him early opportuni- 
ties for obtaining the requii emeuts which are sought in school and 
in books, he must essentially formulate, determine and give shape 
to his own character and this is what Mr. Trein has done. He has 
persevered in the pursuit of a persistent purpose and has gained a 
most satisfactory reward. 



PETER A. KELLEY, Jr. 

Peter A. Kelley, Jr., a prominent and successful farmer and 
stock-raiser of Bradford township, was born in this part of Lee 
county, December 28, 1872. He is a son of Peter and Katherine 
Kelley, the latter of whom was 1iorn in Germany and came to 
America at an early date. The father was a native of Ireland. 
The parents are now residents of Franklin Grove. To their union 
were born ten children, seven of whom are still living. 

Peter A. Kelley, Jr., was reared upon his father's farm in 
Bradford township and eaily became familiar with the best and 
most practical agricultural methods. For the past eight years he 
has been operating the old homestead and he has met with ex- 
cellent success in the conduct of his affairs, having extensive and 
important general farming and stock-raising interests. The farm 
comprises one Imndred and sixty acres of valuable and productive 
land and is kept in excellent condition. Mr. Kelley being a prac- 
tical and progressive agriculturist. 

Mr. Kelley married TNIiss Mollie Viv,. who was horn in Mary- 
land, a daughter of Archie and Jennie Utz, now residents of 



HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 249 

Asliton. Mr. Kelley is a member of the Masonic lodge and the In- 
dependent Order of Odd Fellows and he gives his political alle- 
giance to the democratic party. He is one of the successful and 
progressive native sons of this township and he has been carried 
forward by the force of his ability and energy to a place among 
substantial farmers and useful citizens. 



F. J. GEHANT. 



F. J. Gehaut, a representative of a well known jjioneer family 
of Lee county, who now lives retired in West Brooklyn, is a native 
of Lee Center township, born there in 1858. He is a son of Laurent 
and Julia (Toulliau) Gehant, the former of whom came from 
Fiance in 1854 and settled at Lee Center, where he worked in a 
stone quarry. Fie afteiward purchased a farm in Shelby coimty, 
whereou he remained for ten years, leturning to Lee county in 
18GG, at which time he purchased a tract of laud in Brooklyn 
township, making his home thereon until his death, which occurred 
in 1897, when he had reached the age of seventy-eight. His wife 
survived him until 1899, passing away at the age of seventy-two. 
They were laid to rest in the West Brooklyn cemetery. 

F. J. Gehant acquired his education in the district schools, 
attending until he was scA^enteen years of age. He then assisted 
his father until he was twenty-four, after which he purchased 
eight}'' acres of land in Viola townshi]^ and began farming indepen- 
dently. This formed the nucleus of his present large holdings, 
for he added to it from time to time, finally acquiring five hundred 
and forty acres. This is divided into several farms, npon which 
Mr. Gehant erected substantial buildings, and it is operated by 
his sons, to whom he rented the property when he retired from 
active life. He has liuilt a modern cement block residence in West 
Brooklyn and in this now makes his home. 

In Scioto coimty, Ohio, in 1882, Mr. Gehant married Miss Vic- 
toria Henry, a daughter of Alexander and Margaret (Jungnnef) 
Henry, residents of West Brooklyn. Mr. and Mrs. Gehant have 
become the parents of ten children : Henry Tj. : Alexander, a farmer 
in Violn township: Annie, the wife of Jnlins Bernardin, a hard- 
ware merchant of West Brooklyn : Ancrust. a farmer in Viola 
tnwTtshirv: Tsfibelln : Frank: William: Walter: Mabel: and Alice. 



250 HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 

Mr. Ueliaut is a member of the Komau Catholic church and is 
a democrat in his political beliefs. Me served as school director 
fur nf teen years and as road supervisor for four and in both 
capacities proved a capable and reliable public servant. His life 
has always conformed to the highest and most upright standards 
and his record is a credit to a name that has long been an honored 
one in this community. 



JAMES B. H. THORNTON. 

James B. H. Thornton has been a resident of Lee county since 
1867 and has contributed substantially to its grovpth and develop- 
ment, having been since that time closely and influentially con- 
nected with agricultural interests here. He is today the owner 
of a fine farm of one hundred and twenty acres on section 31, 
Bradford township, and by his intelligent and capable manage- 
ment of this property has surrounded liimself with a gratifying 
degree of prosperity. He is, moreover, entitled to a place in this 
volume as a veteran of the Civil war. He was born in Oldham 
county, Kentucky, September 15, 1840, and is a son of Phillip C. 
and Adeline (Hall) Thornton, also natives of that state. They 
moved to Missouri in 1844 and both died there. Of their eight 
children five still survive. 

James B. H. Thornton was reared in Missouri and he re- 
mained at home until 1861. In that year he enlisted in Company 
A, Eighth Kansas Volunteer Infantry, and he served for four 
years, four months and nineteen days in the Civil war. He was 
appointed captain of Company K, Twelfth Regiment of colored 
troops, and he served in this capacity for two years and five 
months. He took part in the battle of Nashville and although he 
was in the thick of the fight, came out unwounded. He was dis- 
charged at Nashville, Tennessee, and with a creditable military 
record retui-ned to Missouri. He remained in that state until 
1867 and then came to Lee county. Illinois, where he has since 
resided. Fi'om the beginning he gave his attention to general 
fanning and he has since been identified with agricultural inter- 
ests here. In 1875 he moved upon the farm which he now owns 
and its present excellent condition is a visible e"\Tdonce of the care 
and labor which he has bestowed upon it. The farm comprises 
one hundred and twenty acres on section 31, Bradford township, 




JAJIES E. H. TIIUKXTOX 



HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 253 

and is a valuable property iu every particular, provided with a 
comfortable bouse, substantial barns and outbuildings and modern 
machinery. 

In Lee county Air. Thornton married Miss Delia E. IShaw, 
who was born in i3radford township, December 15, 1845. IShe 
is a daughter of JSherman and Meiinda (De Wolf) Shaw, natives 
of western New York. The parents went to Michigan in 1836 
and in the following year moved to Lee county, Illinois, where in 
1839 the father entered from the government the farm now owned 
by the subject of this review. He made his home upon this prop- 
erty until 1855, when they moved to Lee Center, where they both 
passed away. Of the eight children born to their union Mrs. 
Thornton is the only one now living. Mr. and Mrs. Thornton have 
become the parents of six cliildren: Adeline D., the wife of Ed- 
win E. Pomeroy, of Bradford township; Manley P., an attorney 
at Worthington, Minnesota ; Harry F., a resident of Lee county ; 
Alice L. and Edward S., at home, and Florence Alberta, the wife 
of Erwin Felhauer, of Whiteside county, Illinois. The family at- 
tend the Congregational church. 

Mr. Thornton is connected fraternally with Lee Center Lodge, 
No. 146, P. & A. M., in which he has been senior warden for two 
terms. His daughter Alice is a member of the Eastern Star at 
Franklin Grove and Rebekah Lodge, No. 759, of Lee Center. Mr. 
Thornton was one of the early settlers in Lee county and he has 
witnessed a great deal of its development, his own well directed 
activities being a contributing factor in progress. He has won a 
degree of success which places him among the men of ability and 
worth in his community. 



R. K. ORTT. 



R. K. Ortt, inventor and manufacturer, stands today in the 
front rank among Dixon's business men, especially in the field 
of industrial activity. He organized the Clipper Lawn Mower 
Company for the purpose of manufacturing and selling the 
Clipper lawn mower which he invented and the Clipper 
marine and stationary gasoline en.gines. The business has 
rapidly developed since its inception and Mr. Ortt has in this 
connection become widely known. He was horn in Niagara. New 
York, in 1855 and is a son of Elias and Arethusa (Peterson) Ortt. 



254 HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 

The fatlier was an invalid iolluwiug liis service in the Civil war 
and the mother died when her son, R. Iv. Ortt, was but nine years 
old. He then started out in the world on his own account. Kis 
advantages and opportunities were limited, but when he found it 
possible he attended school, early recognizing the value of an 
education. All through his youth his time was largely occupied 
with farm work and indeed he was busy in the lields until he 
attained his majority. 

R. K. Ortt early displayed mechanical ingenuity and as he 
worked he gave much thought to the farm machinery then in 
use, believing that it might be greatly unproved. He took up ac- 
tive tasks along that line in the improvement of binders and for 
four years he was superintendent of the assembling and testing 
department of the Hibbard Gleaner & Binder Company. He was 
likewise their general agent at Norristown, Pennsylvania. On 
leaving that firm he became connected with Hebner & Sons of 
Landsvale, Pennsylvania, developing a cutter and crusher for 
corn ensilage. His inventive ingenuity at length developed this 
machine, after which he established a shop in Norristown, for 
cairyiug on his experiments. He has taken out fourteen different 
patents, many of which are of a most valuable character and are 
now in general use. He had only forty-five dollars when he ob- 
tained his patent on his lawn mower which he called the Clipper 
mower. He began manufacturing, but developed the business 
slowly, his sale for the first year amounting to but twelve; the 
second year he put upon the market sixty-two mowers; the third 
year two hundred and seventy-one; the fourth year six hundred 
and eighty-two and the fifth year one thousand. Thus gradually 
the business grew and developed along healthful, substantial lines 
until there is no longer a struggle to maintain a place in the busi- 
ness world. On the contrary his industry is an extensive and a 
pi-ofitable one. 

Mr. Ortt came to Dixon in 1904 and the following year organ- 
ized the Clipper Lawn Mower Company, which was formed in 
July, 1905. For a year he leased the factory and in 1906 erected 
his present ]ilant. The factory today has eighteen thousand 
square feet of floor space, in addition to which there is a ware- 
house of four thousand square feet. He employs from ten to 
twenty-five people, according to the season and in connection with 
the manufacture of the lawn mower he is engaged in building the 
Clipper marine and stationary gasoline engines. The mowers are 
today sold all over the world, the various points of the machine 



HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 255 

being improvements on anything bitherto known. The Clipper 
mower does not roll down the grass preparatory to cutting it; 
on the contrary the linger bars and lingers of the mower, as it 
progresses, gather in the grass with a degree of uniformity in 
nearly an upright position, and the knives cut it most evenly. 
High testimonials of the superior ehiciency of this mower to others 
upon the market have been received by Mr. Ortt from all parts of 
the country, east and west, north and south. The factory is today, 
equipped with the latest improved machinery for the manufac- 
ture of both the mower and engine. Mr. Ortt claims, and his 
claim is substantiated in results, that the Clipper engine has more 
power than any engine made and sold for the same horse power. 
The best material and the most efficient workmanship is used in 
the construction of engines and mowers and the durability of 
both is one of the recommendations for its I'eady sale. Mr. Ortt 
now owns a strip of ground two IjIocIvS long, one lumdred feet 
deep at one end and sixty-eight feet wide at the other end, to- 
gether with four other building lots, providing space for factory 
enlargement. Already his output is four thousand machines a 
year and the demand is constantly growing. 

In 1882 Mr. Ortt was united in marriage to Miss Jennie Mc- 
Grevey, who died in 1888 and four years later he was married 
again, Miss Rachel P. Flint of Norristown, Pennsylvania, becom- 
ing his wife in 1892. There were two sons of the first marriage 
and one of the second marriage. Mr. Ortt votes with the republi- 
can party and finds pleasurable recreation through his member- 
ship in the Elks lodge. He has wisely used the talents with which 
nature has endowed him and thi-ough the exercise of effort his 
ability has increased and he is today one of the leading representa- 
tives of industrial activity in Dixon, mdely and favorably known 
as inventor and manufacturer. 



H. O. SHOEMAKER. 



H. O. Shoemaker, an enterprising and prosperous young agri- 
culturist of Amboy township, operating a farm of seventy-five 
acres on section 6. is a wo7'thy representative of one of the honored 
pioneer families of Lee county. His birth occurred in this county 
in 1882. his parents being Jacob and Cora E. Shoemaker. The 
father, long a prominent and respected citizen of Lee county, 



256 HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 

passed away in 1896 and lies buried in tlie Temperance Hill ceme- 
tery of Clnua township. The mother, who was born in Marion 
township, this county, in iy57, aud who now makes her home with 
our subject, is well known and highly esteemed throughout the 
community in which she has spent her entire life. 

H. O. Shoemaker attended school in his native township im- 
til fifteen years of age and subsequently assisted his widowed 
mother in the operation of the home farm in Amboy township, 
which he at present operates. General agricultural pursuits have 
claimed his attention throughout his entire business career, and 
in addition to the raising of cereals he also keeps about eight 
horses, eighteen head of cattle and forty-five hogs. The residence 
on the place was erected by his father and is still in excellent 
condition. In the conduct of his farming interests Mr. Shoemaker 
has won a measure of success that entitles hiin to recognition 
among the representatiA^e and enterprising citizens of his native 
county. 

In his political views Mr. Shoemaker is a progressive and a 
stanch sujoporter of Theodore Roosevelt. He attends the Evan- 
gelical church, while fraternally he is identified with the Modern 
Woodmen of America, belonging to Dixon Camp, No. 56. In the 
community which has always been his home he is popular with 
a large circle of friends and acquaintances. 



W. J. McALPINE. 



No history of Dixon would be complete if it failed to make 
prominent mention of W. J. McAlpine, who as a contractor and 
builder has taken prominent part in the progress and improvement 
of his adopted city. He has resided in Lee coimty since 1888 and 
many of its finest structures stand as monuments to his skill and 
enterprise. Born in Ashtabula, Ohio, in 1852, Mr. McAlpine is a 
son of Ijemuel and Mary (Price) McAlpine, who came to Illinois 
in 1853, settling in DeKalb county. The father was a farmer, de- 
pending upon the tilling of the soil for support for his family. 
Both ho and his wife are now deceased. 

W. J. McAlpine was only about a year old when the family ar- 
rived in this state and his early education was acquired in De- 
Kalb county where he afterword learned the carpenter's trade, 
gradually becoming an expert workman along that line. After 



HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 257 

some time spent in the employ of others he began contracting and 
building on his own account and in 1888 removed to Lee county, 
from which point he has since directed his operations. Gradually 
he has worked his way upward until he is today one of the most 
prominent and successful contractors of this part of the state, 
doing all kinds of building. He erected the Lee county courthouse 
in 1901, the state normal school of DeKalb in 1892 and the Dixon 
National Bank building in 1913. He has built courthouses at 
various points in Illinois, Iowa, Wisconsin and other states and 
the imporlanee of the contracts awarded him is evidence of his 
superior sldll and ability. Thoroughly acquainted with every 
phase of practical building, he also understands as well, the great 
scientific principles which underlie his work and in its execution 
displays the taste which has ranked architecture among the fine 
arts. 

Mr. McAlpine is a republican in his political views and keeps 
thoroughly well informed concerning the vital questions and is- 
sues of the day. While the extent and importance of his busi- 
ness affairs have brought him wide acquaintance, he is almost 
equally well known through his Masonic connections. He belongs 
to the lodge, chapter, commandery and to the Mystic Shrine and 
is most loyal to the teachings of the craft, exemplifying in his 
life many of its beneficent lorinciples and purposes. This, how- 
ever, he regards as but a side issue, concentrating the major por- 
tion of his time and attention upon building operations in which 
he has displayed such efficiency that the consensus of public opin- 
ion ranks him with the foremost contractors of northern Hli- 
nois. 



HENRY SCHNELL. 



Among the men of Lee county who have by their own energy, 
enterprise and rightly directed ambition established themselves in 
positions of prominence in agricultiiral circles of the community 
is numbered Henry Sehnell, who dui'ing the many years of his 
residence here has worked his way upward from poverty to pros- 
perity, his success being indicated in his ownership of one of the 
finest farms in this locality. Mr. Sehnell was born in Germany, 
April 16, 1866, and is a son of John A. and Margaret Sehnell, 
also natives of that country, where both passed away. 



258 HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 

Henry Schnell remained in Germany until he was seventeen 
years of age and then came to America, settling almost immedi- 
ately in Franklin Grove, Lee county, Illinois. He was at that 
time fifty three dollars in debt, but he soon discharged this ob- 
ligation out of his wages as a monthly laborer. He continued as 
a farm hand for seven years and then rented a place in Reynolds 
township, operating this for eleven years. Following this he pur- 
chased laud on section 20, Ashtou township, and upon this prop- 
erty has since resided. The farm comprises one hundred and 
twenty acres and is well improved in every particular, being pro- 
vided with substantial barns and outbuildings and all the acces- 
sories of a model agricultural property. In addition to general 
farming Mr. Schnell makes a specialty of raising and feeding 
stock and he has built ujd a large business along this line. 

On the 7th of December, 1891, Mr. Schnell was united in mar- 
riage to Miss Mollie Griese, who was born in Reynolds township, 
this county, a daughter of J. A. and Catharine Griese, natives of 
Germany. They came to America at an early date and settled in 
Lee county, where the mother died and where the father still 
resides. Mr. and Mrs. Schnell have become the parents of a 
daughter, Dora, who was born April 14, 1893. The parents are 
members of the Lutheran church and are well kno^\^l as people 
of exemplary character. The success which Mr. Schnell today 
enjoys has been acquired through his own efforts and it places 
him among the men of prominence and worth in his locality. 



BENTON P. DRUMMOND. 

Among those who have made a success of a.grieidture in Lee 
county is Benton P. Di'ummond, who was born in Ogle county, 
Illinois, November 11, 1852, and is a son of Andrew J. and Electa 
(Mai'tin) Drinnmond, the father a native of Pennsylvania, bom 
October 20, 1821, and his wife a Canadian. Andrew J. Drum- 
mond came to Illinois when but seventeen years of age. in 1838, 
and located in Ogle county, taking up a claim. He lived on this 
land until retiring from active farm labor and now makes his 
home with his son, Benton P. To the parents' union six children 
were born, of whom foui' are living. The father is a democrat and 
has held various public offices of local nature. His wife passed 
away many years ago, her death occurring about 1858. 



K 

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2 

a 
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2; 




HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 261 

Benton P. Drummoud was reared under the parental roof 
and received his education in the public schools in the neighbor- 
hood. He remained at home until of age, acquiring under his 
father a fair knowledge as to the best methods to be pursued in 
achieving success along agricultural lines. After leaving home 
he rented land for a number of years and subsequently bought 
a farm in Ogle countj^ which he cultivated until he made removal 
to Lee county, buying the forty acres upon which he now lives. 
He also owns a small piece of farm land in Ogle covmty. Mr. 
Dnnnmoud is entirely successful and is numbered among the 
progressive farmers of his section. He specializies in feeding cat- 
tle for the market and has also made a success of raising aspara- 
gus. His farm is in excellent condition and in its productiveness 
reflects the care and good management of its owner. 

In 1875 Mr. Drummoud married Miss Henrietta M. Tilton, 
who was born in Ogle county, February 12, 1854, and is a daughter 
of James and Susan (Hardesty) Tilton, natives of Ohio. They 
came to Illinois during the pioneer period and both passed away 
in this state. Mrs. Drummoud was one of a large family of chil- 
dren born to her parents. She became the mother of four children : 
Nora M., born February 26, 1877, who is the wife of E. Shippy, 
of Ashton; Clarence E., born July 9, 1878; Birdella, born Aug- 
gust 1.3, 1880, who is the wife of Carl Alberston, of Rochelle, Illi- 
nois; and Lucy E., who was born November 14, 3895, and married 
Ray Olig, of Lee county. 

Mr. Drummond is a democrat in his political belief and has 
always strictly upheld party principles. In 1895 he was appointed 
postmaster at Ashton under the Cleveland administration and 
filled this position to the great satisfaction of the general public. 
He is widely and favorably known in Ashton township and, while 
he has attained individual success, has been a factor in the general 
progress and advancement that has made Lee county one of the 
foremost farm sections of this state. 



W. C. JONES. 



W. C. Jones, who was the first' telegraph messenger in Dixon, 
is now proprietor of a large general mercantile house and has 
won a measure of success that indicates how active he has been in 
the pursuit of his purposes. Dixon is proud of his record as 



262 HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 

that of one of her native sons, his birth having here occurred in 
1859. His parents were William and Agnes Jones, who arrived 
in Dixon in the '40s when the town was little more than a village 
and gave but slight promise of becoming the enterprising center 
of trade which it is today. Here the father engaged in the transfer 
business until the time of his death and the mother is still living 
at the age of eighty-four years. They had a family of four sons 
and four daughters, who reached adult age. 

W. C Jones was a public school j)upil in Dixon and in early 
life started out to earn his living, becoming, as previously stated, 
the first telegraph messenger boy in the town. Some of his fellow 
townsmen today remembei' him in that service and have watched 
with interest his advancement along business lines. He learned 
telegraphy and was afterward appointed operator at Dimmick, 
Illinois, when but nineteen yeai's of age. He did not hold the 
position, however, but jumping on the train as it started away, 
went to other fields, having changed his mind concerning teleg- 
raphy as a fife work. He next obtained a position as clerk in the 
store of Stephens & Pankhurst, where he I'emained for a short 
time and subsequently he entered the draying business, which he 
followed for nine years, having the first double truck in Dixon. 
In 1887 he established a small grocery store upon a capital of 
four lunidred dollars and in 1895 he erected a new building forty 
by ninety feet and two stories in height to accommodate his stock. 
As time passed on he extended the scope of his business and is 
proprietoi' of a large general store which is one of the leading 
mercantile establishments of the city. He has carefully watched 
all the details, noted the indications pointing to success and has 
f(»llnwed the methods seeming to promise bright i-esults. Study- 
ing the trade, maintaining honorable business methods and 
reasonable prices, his success has grown year by year and he is 
now one of the substantial merchants of the city. At one time he 
was also secretary of the Fletcher Manufacturing Company, from 
which he resigned. He was the first man authorized as post- 
master of a sub]">ostal station to handle the parcel post. 

On the r>lst of October. 18R3, Mr. Jones was united in marriage 
to Miss Certrude Woolley, a daughter of W. C. Wnolley. who was 
station agent at Dixon for the Hlinois Central Railroad for 
tliirty-sevon years. He also helped build the road into the town 
and was one of the pioneer settlers here. Unto Mr. and Mrs. 
Jones have been born two sons and two daughters. 



HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 263 

In his fraternal relations Mr. Jones is an Elk, while politically 
he is a republican. I'or six years he served as township super- 
visor and for a similar period was a member of the board of edu- 
cation, proving capable and loyal in both olfices. His record as 
a business man and citizen is creditable and proves what may be 
accomplished when one has the will to dare and to do. While a 
telegraph messenger Mr. Jones delivered telegrams to Eather 
Dixon, founder of the city. It is a far reach from service as tele- 
graph messenger to the proprietorship of one of the leading mer- 
cantile establishments but determined purpose, unfaltering energy 
and straightforward methods have brought Mr. Jones to the posi- 
tion which he occupies and his record proves that prosperity and 
an honored name may be won simultaneously. 



J. A. FORREST. 



J. A. Forrest is president of the Dixon Cereal & Feed Com- 
pany and thus active in the development and management of 
one of the most important productive industries of the city. He 
is a young man, but has already attained a creditable and enviable 
place in commercial circles. A native of Chicago, he was born in 
1879, and is a sou of John and Elizabeth (Sutherland) Forrest, 
both of whom were natives of Scotland. In early life they 
crossed the Atlantic to the new world, becoming residents of Chi- 
cago in 1869. The father was there actively engaged in the oat- 
meal business for a number of years, but is now living retired 
and makes his home in Dixon. 

In his youthful days J. A. Forrest devoted his time largely to' 
the mastery of those branches of learning which constitute the 
curricuhun of the public schools of Chicago. He was a yoxmg 
man of aboTit twenty-three years when in 1902 he came to Dixon 
and organized the Dixon Cereal Company for the manufacture of 
corn products, including corn meal and brewers' grits, the out- 
put being sold largely in South America. From the be.ginning 
the imdei'taking prospered owing to the capable management 
and progressive business methods of the founder and, extending 
his efforts into other fields, he also organized the Forrest-Utley 
Company, which operated eight years as a wholesale feed busi- 
ness. In 1913 the two companies went out of business and the 
Dixon Cereal & Feed Company was organized and purchased the 



264 HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 

plant of tlie Dixou Cereal Company, at which time the capacity 
was increased to two thousand bushels of corn per day. The 
product goes to South America, Cuba and the West Indies, and 
the business from its organization has been a profitable one, 
founded as it was, upon the broad experience and enterprising 
methods of Mr. Forrest. He is president of the company with H. 
T. Noble as secretary and treasurer. They occupy a building one 
hundred and twenty by seventy-five feet and employment is fur- 
nished to fifteen men. A wholesale feed business is conducted in 
connection and the enterprise has become one of the foremost 
productive industries of Dixon. 

In 1903 Mr. Forrest married Miss Alice Josephine Langdon 
of Dixon and they have become the parents of three children. Mr. 
Forrest is an Elk and in politics is independent. He thoroughly 
enjoys home life and takes great pleasure in the society of his 
family and friends. His success in business from the beginning 
of his residence in Dixon has been uniform and rapid and his life 
record indicates what may be accomplished when energy and 
determination lead the way. 



HARRY A. ROE. 



Harry A. Roe, of H. A. Roe Company, Lee county abstracters, 
suite 1 and 2, Dixon National Bank building, Dixon, Illinois, is 
engaged in conducting a farm loan distiict agency and abstract 
of title business, which line he has conducted since 1904, meeting 
with growing success. He was born in Bloomington, Illinois, 
April 8, 1874, a son of Dr. Nathaniel C. and Florence R. Roe — the 
former a native of Vermont and the latter of Pennsylvania. In 
early life they came to Illinois with their respective parents and 
were pioneer settlers of Franklin Grove, Lee county. The father 
prepared for the medical profession and engaged in practice and 
medical manufacturing in this county for many years, where he 
followed his profession imtil his life's labors were ended, his wife 
preceding him in death. They were counted worthy and valued 
residents of the community, their many good qualities of heart 
and mind endearing them to those with whom they came in con- 
tact. 

After attending the public and high schools of this county. 
Harry A. Roe continued his education in the Spencerian TTni- 



HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 265 

versitv of Cleveland, Ohio, iu which he was a student for four 
years. He afterwards spent four years in Chicago, serving in 
the capacity of bookkeeper, and in December, 1896, he came to 
Dixon to accept the appointment of deputy circuit clerk and 
recorder, serving, respectively, under Arvine S. Hyde, Ira W. 
Lewis and William B. McMahan, until 1904. He then established 
his present business, handling large farm loans and compiling 
abstracts of title. He has secured a good clientele in this connec- 
tion throughout northern Illinois and his business is one of grow- 
ing imijortauce. Mr. Roe is largely interested in the financial 
affairs of Lee county, owning extensive holdings in the lai'ge 
banks of the county. 

On June 8, 1897, Mr. Roe was united in marriage with Miss 
Mae L. Hyde, a daughter of Jonathan N. Hyde, one of the pioneers 
of this county. They have three children — Winifred M. Roe, 
John C. Roe and Franklin H. Roe. The family are members of 
and affiliated with the Presbyterian church and Mr. Roe holds 
membership with the Knights of Pythias and the Benevolent and 
Protective Order of Elks. He votes with the republican party, of 
which he has always been a stalwart advocate and his public serv- 
ice has gained him the warm regard of all who know him and in 
Imsiness life his position is equally creditable and the substantial 
advancement which he makes year by year is the direct outcome of 
thorough preparation, close application and alert business 
methods. 



W. C. ZOELLER. 



W. C. Zoeller, proprietor of the Phoenix Hotel in Franklin 
Grrove, is a native of Lee county, born June 20, 1893. He is a son 
of Louis and Ernestina (Kohl) Zoeller. the former a native of 
Chicago and the latter of Germanv. Their marriage occurred in 



•■t. 



Lee county, Illinois, and to their union were born ten children, 
Ella, W. C., Bertha. Willnir, Helena, George. Edward. Otto, Ruth 
and Harold. 

W. C. Zoeller has had long experience in his chosen line of 
work, for he has been connected with hotels in various parts of 
the country, serving for some time as chef in the Hotel Sherman 
in Chicago and in the same capacity on the dining cars of several 
railroads. He is now operating the Phoenix Hotel and Restaurant 



266 HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 

in Franklin Grove and has founded a gratifying degree of suc- 
cess upon practical experience and thorough knowledge. He has 
made the Phoenix a modern and comfortable hostelry, well man- 
aged in all of its details. He gives practically all of his time and 
attention to its affairs and is regarded as one of the most success- 
ful and progressive business men of the commimity. 



CLYDE SMITH. 



Clyde Smith, a member of the law firm of Trusdell, Smith & 
Leech of Dixon, is recognized as a man of broad legal learning 
and the analytical trend of his mind, together with the readiness 
with which he grasps the points in an argmnent are salient features 
in his success as a practitioner in the courts of the district. He 
was born in Paw Paw, this county, and is a representative of one 
of the old pioneer families of Illinois, a family who arrived here 
in 1837. The Smiths came to America from Scotland by sailing 
craft. They reached Chicago after a long and tedioiis journey and 
made their way at once to Lee county where they settled at what 
is known as Smith's Grove. One of the brothers, David S., is still 
living there at the ripe old age of eighty-two years. Another 
brother, Robert Smith, the father of Clyde Smith, followed the 
occupation of farming throughout the period of his residence in 
this county. He married Harriet Baisley and they here reared 
their family. For more than three quarters of a century the fam- 
ily has been represented here and have borne an active and helpful 
part in the work of general progress and improvement, contribut- 
ing in substantial measure to the county's development and pros- 
perity. 

Clyde Smith acquired his education in the public schools and 
afterward attended the Fiiivorsity of Michigan, in which he pur- 
sued a classical coui'se, winning the Bachelor (^f Arts degree upon 
graduation in IBSfl. Having determined upon the practice of law 
as a life work, and preparing for the profession at Ottawa, he then 
located at Paw Paw, where he continued in practice until 1890. 
He then came to Dixon and about 1900 entered into partnership 
with A. K. Trusdell, the relation being still maintained. Mr. 
Smith engages in the general practice of law and while advance- 
ment at the bar is proberbinlly slow, nevertheless it was not long 
before he became recognized as a capable lawyer. "Well versed in 




CLYDE SMITH 



HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 269 

the learuing of his profession with ;i deep knowledge of himiau 
nature and the springs of human conduct, with great shrewdness 
and sagacity and extraordinary tact, he is in the couiis an advo- 
cate of great power and influence. 

Mr. Smith, in iiis fraternal relations, is an Elk, while his 
political allegiance is given to the progressive party. He is at all 
times a deep thinker and clear reasoner, not only in connection 
with his profession, but upon all mattei-s of vital interest effecting 
the welfare of city, state and nation. 



MRS. ELLEN E. BURNS. 

Mrs. Ellen E. Burns, now residing on Jones street in Amboy 
and owning a valuable fai'm of two hundred and forty acres on 
section 24, May township, is the widow of James Burns, who 
passed away on the 10th of l)('cenil)er, 1911. Her birth occurred 
in Amboy, Lee county, on the 20th of January, 1856, her parents 
being John A. and Ellen (Monahan) Cai'roll, both of whom are 
deceased and lie buried in the Catholic cemetery at Amboy. The 
father's demise occurred on the 25th of July, 1912, while the 
mother was called to her final rest on the 24th of June, 1902. Their 
passing was the occasion of deep and widespread regret, for they 
had gained many friends in the community during the long period 
of their residence here. 

Ellen E. Carroll attended school in Amboy until fifteen years 
of age and remained under the parental roof during the follow- 
ing fifteen years, assisting in the woi'k of the household and other 
duties. On the 20th of October. 18S6, she gave her hand in mar- 
riage to James Burns, who was born in Sublette township, this 
county, on tlie 24th of October, 1847, a son of Edward and Biidget 
(Caffery) Burns. His parents took up their abode among the 
early pioneer settlers of Lee county in 1844 and here spent the 
remainder of their lives, Edward Burns passing away on the 
14th of September, 1888, and his wife on the 26th of January, 
1890. Their remains were interred in the Sandy Hill cemetery of 
May township. James Burns devoted his attention to general 
agi'icultural pursuits throughout his active business career with 
excellent success and at the time of his demise owned a well 
impi'oved farm of two luuidred and forty acres on section 24. May 
township, which is now in possession of his widow. He died on 



270 HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 

the lOtli of December, 1911, and was buried at Amboy. His entire 
life, covering a period of sixty-four years, had been spent within 
the borders of Lee county and he was widely recognized as one 
of its representative agriculturists and esteemed citizens. 

Unto Mr. and Mrs. Burns were born seven children, as fol- 
lows: Nellie, who was graduated from the Amboy high school 
with the class of 1908 and now follows the profession of teaching 
at Amboy; Edward, a traveling salesman residing at Oshkosh, 
Wisconsin ; John T., who is a clerk in the employ of the Colson 
Clothing Company of Amboy; Alice C, a milliner of Chicago; 
Margaret F., who is employed as a bookkeeper in Amboy ; Eliza- 
beth and Mary R., both of whom are high-school students in 
Amboy. Mrs. Burns, who makes her home on Jones street in 
Amboy, has always lived in Lee county and hei'e has a circle of 
friends which is almost coextensive with the circle of her 
acquaintances. 



CONRAD MEISTER. 



Coni'ad Meister is one of the early settlers in Lee county, Ins 
residence here dating from 1846. During his entire active life 
he was closely and influentially associated with agricultural inter- 
ests of this locality, winning a comfortable fortune which now 
enables him to spend his declining years in l-est and retirement. 
He was born in Germany, December 7, 1835. and is a son of John 
and Anna K. Meister, also natives of the fathei'land. They came 
to America in 1846, locating in Lee county, Illinois, where both 
passed away. To their union were born five children, of whom 
the subject of this review is the only one now living. 

Conrad Meister was eleven years of age when he came with 
his pai'ents to Lee county and he grew up amid pioneer conditions, 
learning farming through practical experience in the development 
of his father's homestead. When he grew to manliood he became 
a landholder and for a number of years owned a fine property of 
three hundred and twenty acres in Bradford township. He car- 
ried forward the work of im]^roving and developing this place 
along progressive and modern lines and made it a valuable prop- 
erty provided with substantial barns and outbuildings and modern 
equipment. He owned in addition three hundred and twenty 
acres of land in South Dakota but he has now divided all of his 



HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 27] 

holdings among his children and is living in retirement at the 
home of his youngest son. 

In China township, this county, Mr. Meister married Miss 
Rosanna Hilly, who was born in Germany and who came to 
America in 1855. Mr. and Mrs. Meister became the parents of 
eight children : Katherine, the wife of J. Clutz ; Mary, who mar- 
ried Andrew Reinhart; George, who married Rachel Capes and 
who lives in this township; John, deceased; Emma, the wife of 
William Thomas ; Levi, of South Dakota ; Anna, the wife of John 
Reitz, and Fred. Mrs. Meister passed away in 1907 and was laid 
to rest in Ashton cemetery. Mr. Meister has lived in Lee county 
for a period of sixty-seven years and he has therefore seen a great 
deal of the develo^jment and progress of this part of Illinois. He 
has borne an active and honorable part in the work of advance 
ment and his retirement is well deserved, rewarding many years 
of earnest and faithful labor. 



IRA W. LEWIS. 



Ira W. Lewis, who is serving as deputy circuit clerk, his con- 
nection with that position covering many years, while almost his 
entire life has been devoted to public office, was born in Broome 
county, New York, April 3, 1842, a son of Hiel and Eveline Lewis, 
who came to Lee county in the year of their son's birth. The 
father, a farmer by occupation, turned his attention to agricul- 
tural jDursuits and was continuously engaged in the tilling of the 
soil until he passed away in 1880. His political allegiance was 
given to the republican party and he was accounted one of the 
worthy and representative citizens of the community. The 
mother has also departed this life. In their family were six chil- 
dren, four of whom are now deceased. The ancestry of the family 
can be traced back to a remote period. The gi'andfather was a 
son of Nathaniel Lewis, junior, who was born in Vermont, but 
spent the greater part of his life in Pennsylvania. He was a 
descendant of George Lewis, who came from England in 1650 and 
settled in the Green Mountain state. 

Ira W. Lewis had a public-school education and was reared 
to farm life, early becoming familiar with the best methods of 
planting, plowing and harvesting. He remained upon the farm 
until ]863, and since that time has given almost his undivided 



272 HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 

attention to the duties of public office. He spent four years in 
the position of deputy sheriff and in 1868 was made deputy cir- 
cuit clerk, which office he filled for twelve years. He was then 
elected circuit clerk and remained the incumbent for twenty years. 
He is now again deputy circuit clerk and thus his connection with 
the position has covered about forty-five years. There is no one 
in Lee county so familiar with the office and all that appertains 
thereto. He has ever been prompt and systematic in the discharge 
of his duties and a well trained mind keeps him in touch with the 
work of the office so that he can refer to any point or fact needed 
at a moment's notice. 

On the 21st of March, 1867. Mr. Lewis was united in marriage 
to Miss Marilla M. Williams, a daughter of Cyrus Williams, who 
came to this city in 1839. He was a millwright by trade and as 
one of the pioneers became closely connected with industrial inter- 
ests here at a very early day. 

Mr. Lewis holds membership with the Modem Woodmen of 
America and his political support has always been given to the 
republican party since age conferred upon him the right of 
franchise. Over his public record there falls no shadow of wrong 
or suspicion of evil. Abraham Lincoln once said : "You may fool 
some of the people all of the time, all of the people some of the 
time, but you cannot fool all of the people all of the time." This 
statement finds verification nowhere as much as it does in public 
office. An incompetent man may be called to public office, but his 
inefficiency is soon demonstrated and when a man has again and 
again been chosen for a position of public trust it is e\adent 
that he is worthy of the place to which he is called. While Mr. 
Lewis has now passed the psalmist's span of three score years and 
ten, he is still active in public office and his entire record is one 
which has gained for him well merited commendation and indorse- 
ment. 



WTLLTAM S. FROST, Jr. 

William S. Frost, Jr., is a native of Bi'adford township, a rep- 
resentative of a prominent pioneer family of this locality and one 
of the most progressive and successful farmers and stock-raisers 
of T;ee county. For a number of years he has been closely and 
influentially associated with agricnltural interests here and his 




WILLIAM S. FliOyT. Jk. 



HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 275 

success places him in the front rank of men of marked ability and 
substantial worth in the community. He was born September 22, 
1872, and is a son of Captain William S. and Sophia E. (Shaw) 
Frost, the former a native of Maine and the latter of Niles, Michi- 
gan. The father came to Illinois in 1837, one of the early settlers 
in the state. He purchased land in Lee county, where he was 
connected with agricultural interests for many years. In 1871 
he moved to Bradford township and there he has since resided, 
now living retired. He and his wife became tlie parents of six 
children: F'rank E. ; Malinda S., the wife of A. Aschenbrenner ; 
S. D., a resident of South Dakota; William S., of this review; 
Mary Adelia, the wife of M. R. Warnick, of South Dakota; and 
a child who died in infancy. 

William S. Frost, Jr., spent his childhood and youth upon 
the family homestead in Lee county and acquired a public-school 
and a college education. When he was twenty-six he rented a 
farm and he operated this for two years, following which he 
bought the property which he now owns. This is known as the 
Rising Sim Farm and ct)mprises two hundi'ed and eighty acres 
of valuable land on section 32, Bradford township. The fields are 
under a high state of cultivation, the buildings are substantial 
and in good i-epair and the machinery is of the modern, labor- 
saving type. Nothing about the place is ever neglected and the 
property is in every respect a credit to the owner, who is an in- 
telligent and progressive agriculturist. He makes a specialty of 
raising and feeding stock and his interests along this line are 
extensive and important. In addition to his home farm he owns 
also a three hundred and twenty acre tract in South Dakota. 

On the 12th of October, 1898, Mr. Frost was united in mar- 
riage to Miss Genevieve Bodine, who was born in Lee Center, 
November 9, 1874, a daughter of A. Z. and Katherine Bodine, in 
whose family were three children: ]\Iary A., the wife of Fred 
Starks of Los Angeles, California ; Leslie A., a resident of Hut- 
tig, Arkansas, and Cenevieve, the wife of the subject of this re- 
view. Mr. and Mrs. Frost have three children: Harold W.. born 
May 27, 1902; Lyle B., born July 13, 1908, and Katherine Bere- 
nice, born August 27, 1911. Mrs. Frost is a lady of excellent 
education and was a teacher in a business college in Dixon pre- 
vious to her marriage. She was also a stenographer and cor- 
respondent for several years in Chicago pri<u- to her marriage. 
She is noble grand Abigail of Rebekah Lodge, No. 759. of Lee 
Center, belongs to the Woman's Club of Amboy and to Arbutus 



276 HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 

Chapter, O. E. S., Amboy, Illinois. Her many excellent qualities 
of mind and character have made her widely and favorably known 
and she is very popular in social circles. 

Mr. Frost is connected fraternally with Lee Center Lodge, 
No. 146, A. F. & A. M. ; with Haskell Lodge, No. 1004, I. O. 0. F. ; 
with the Modern Woodmen of America of Lee Center and with 
the Order of the Eastern Star. He gives his ]3olitical allegiance 
to the republican party and has served for several years as school 
trustee. He is vice president of the Northern Illinois Electric 
Railroad Company, which was organized about 1911 and which 
has completed twelve miles of rail between Amboy, Lee Center and 
Rochelle. Mr. Frost's ability is known and recognized in busi- 
ness circles and he is regarded as one of the most deservedly suc- 
cessful farmers and business men of Lee county. 



J. C. MILLER. 



Ambition, energy and enter] )rise, guided and cdntrolled by 
Bound and |)ractical business judgment, liavo marked tlie basis of 
the success of J. C. Miller, who is one of the largest landowners 
in Wyoming township and one of the most progressive and suc- 
cessful farmers and stock-raisers in Lee county. He was born 
in Brookhm township, October 10. 1865, a son of Conrad and 
Cathei'ine (Sinner) J\liller, natives of Germany. The parents 
came from that country in 1S5S and settled first at Perkins 
Grove, in Lee coimty. The father was at that time without capital 
and in a strange coiuitry, but with characteristic courage and 
determination he began farming on rented land and after eight 
years had accumulated enough money to purchase an eighty acre 
tract in Brooklyn townsliip. This he bought for twenty-five dol- 
lars per acre and he labored at its cultivation until his death, 
which occurred June 9, 1867. He is buried in the Perkins Grove 
cemetery and his wife survives him. She makes her home in North 
Dixon and is now seventy-two years of age. 

J. C. Miller acquired his education in the district schools of 
Brooklyn township and in Naper'\dlle College. He began his 
in<lc])endent career by renting property and when he had saved 
enough money bought one hundred acres of land in Wyoming 
townsliip. By judicious purchase he has since increased this to 
about six hundred aci'es and this he has divided into three farms, 



HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 277 

each equipped with excellent buildings and provided with modern 
machinery. Mr. JMiller raises stock on an extensive scale, dealing 
largely in cattle and horses. He has a comfortable residence in 
Paw Paw but gives his personal supervision to the conduct of 
his farm. He is a director and stockholder in the Compton 
National Bank and well known in tinancial circles as a man of 
ability and enterprise. 

In Brooklyn township, on the 27th of tSeptember, 1891, Mr. 
Miller 'married Miss Nettie Miller, a daughter of S. B. and Sarah 
Miller, pioneers in Lee county. The father makes his home in 
Paw Paw, having survived his wife since 1885. Mr. and Mrs. 
Miller have become the parents of six children : Lelah and Samuel 
A., graduates of the Paw Paw high school ; Lora, Grace and Hazel, 
also attending school ; and Bina M., aged live. 

Mr. Miller is a republican in his political beliefs and is now a 
member of the board of aldermen of Paw Paw. Through his 
energy and ability in promoting his personal interests he has con- 
tributed in substantial measure to the welfare and growth of the 
community which numbers him among its most respected and 
representative citizens. 



WILLIAM G. KRUG. 



During the entire period of his active life William G. Krug 
has been associated with agricultural interests of Bradford, his 
native township, and he now owns an excellent farm of one hun- 
dred and sixty acres, a Adsible evidence of his industry and enter- 
prise in the management of his affairs. He was liorn Jime 4, 1874, 
and is a son of John and Catherine (Hilliard) Krug, natives of 
Germany, who came to America at an early date, settling in Lee 
county, Illinois. The father died here April 10, 1883, and is sur- 
vived by his wife, who makes her home in Ashton. To their union 
were born four children : Mary, who married John J. Wagner ; 
Catherine, the wife of W. A. Kersten; William G., of this review; 
and John M., of Ashton. 

William G. Krug was reared at home and remained with his 
mother until he was twenty-one years of age. He then rented a 
farm and operated it for about two years, after which he pur- 
chased land on section 22, Bradford township. He owns one hun- 
dred and sixty acres and has improved this with substantial barns 



278 HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 

aud outbuildings and has brought the lields to a high state of 
cultivation. 

In 1897, Ml'. Kiug was united in marriage to Miss Minnie 
Kersten, a native of Bradford township and a daughter of John 
and Christina Iversten, both of whom were born in Germany 
and both of whom died in Ashton township in 1912. Mr. and Mrs. 
Ivrug have four childien, Roy J., Oliver J., Pearl C. and Alvin W. 
The parents are members of the Evangelical church and JMi'. 
Ivrug is affiliated with the Modern Woodmen of America. He 
gives his political allegiance to the republican party and is now 
serving in a capable and efficient way as school director. As a 
citizen he is public-spirited and whatever tends to promote the 
best interests of the community receives his indorsement and 
hearty support. 



R. W. CHURCH. 



In a history of the wide-awake, progressive business men of 
Dixon mention should be made of R. W. Church, now superintend- 
ent for the Borden Condensed Milk Company. He is thoroughly 
acquainted with eveiy^ phase of tlie business mider his control, 
seems to have every detail in mind and at the same time gives due 
prominence to the more important features of the business having 
to do with its substantial and growing success. Born in New 
York in 1869, his educational opportunities were only those 
accorded by the public schools. He has been connected with the 
milk business for the past twenty-four years, having been associ- 
ated with the Borden Condensed Milk Company in New York, 
Wisconsin and in Illinois. Long experience has thoroughly 
acquainted him with every phase of the business, which he has 
carefully studied, and thus step by stej^ he has worked his way 
upward, his efficiency and reliability being recognized by those 
under whom he has served. He came to Dixon July 13, 1911, to 
accept the superintendency of the Borden Condensed Milk Com- 
pany nt this place. The business was here established on the 1st 
of July, 1902, the company buying out the Anglo-Swiss Condensed 
Millc Company, which had been established July 8, 1889, although 
the buildings were started in 1887. The Borden Company piir- 
chased the plant and oquiiiment of the old company and today 
the plant has a capacity of two hundred and fifty thousand pounds 



HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 27!) 

of milk daily. Tliis is purcliased from local farmers, tliree liim- 
dred dairymen delivering milk to the plant, while tifty-eiglit liuu- 
dred cows are kept to supply tlie product. The company has 
ninety acres of ground and the three buildings are each three hun- 
dred and sixty-tive by eighty feet and two stories in height. An 
electric plant furnishes power for the works and two hundred and 
twenty-tive people are employed at the plant in the manufacture 
of condensed and evaporated milk. They also make a large 
amount of candy, mostly caramels, as a by-product. They make 
their own gas for mechanical manufacturing and the water is 
supplied from artesian wells upon the place. Exerything is most 
sanitary and the plant and equipment are the largest in size in the 
world. It may well be understood therefore that the men at the 
head of the enterprise are most capable and energetic business 
men, thoroughly conversant with every phase of the work, and 
onerous are the duties and responsibilities that devolve upon Mr. 
Church as superintendent of the Dixon interests. 

In 1893 Mr. Church was united in marriage to JMiss Sue I. 
Lewis, a native of Dundee, Illinois, and they have become the 
parents of three children, Kenneth L., Donald and Harriet, all 
attending school. Mr. Church holds membership with the 
Masonic fraternity and he gives his political indorsement to the 
republican party, of which he has always been a stanch advocate. 
He is always ready to support any plan or project that is a mat- 
ter of civic virtue or civic pride but he has never sought nor desired 
office, preferring to concentrate his energies upon his business 
affairs, and gradually he has advanced to a position of promi- 
nence, making a record which is most creditable. There is no 
phase of the business with which he is connected that is not famil- 
iar to him and his long experience has enabled him to speak with 
authority upon any mattei' relative to the production, care and 
use of milk. He is indeed alert, wide-awake and progressive and 
ranks with the foremost business men of Dixon. 



JOHN J. WAGNER. 



John J. Wagner, a progi^essive farmei- and stock-raiser and 
a native son of Bradford township, was born Februaiy 15, 1867. 
He remained at home until he was twenty-three years of aije and 
then married, afterward engaging in farming upon rented land. 



280 HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 

At the end of two years he purchased the property which he now 
owns. He has one hundred and sixty-eight acres on section 3, 
Bradford township, and he has improved this with substantial 
buildings and modern machinery, making the place productive 
and valuable to a high degree. He makes a specialty of raising 
and feeding stock and he has important interests of this char- 
acter. 

Mr. Wagner married Miss Mary Krug, a daughter of John 
Krug and a native of Bradford township. They have become the 
parents of a daughter, Alta L., who was born November 22, 1899, 
and who is now a student in the Ashton high school. Mr. Wagner 
is a republican in his political beliefs and has held various posi- 
tions of public trust and responsibility, serving for two years as 
collector. He is now in the twelfth year of his able service as 
county supervisor and is at the present time chairman of the 
boai'd. A resident of Bradford township during his entire life, 
he has become widely and favorably known here and his influence 
has been a tangible force for good in the community. 



MARK CLANCY KELLER. 

Mark Clancy Keller, city attorney of Dixon since 1909 and 
recognized as one of the ablest members of the bar of Lee county, 
was boin in May township, in February, 1873, and spent his boy- 
hood and yonth upon the home farm, his time being divided be- 
tween the work of the fields, the duties of the schoolroom and the 
pleasui'es of the playgroimd. Like many other young men, how- 
evei', he did not care to follow agricultural pursuits as a life 
work and witli a view to entering upon a pi'ofessional career, con- 
tinued his education in college. He was 2:raduated with hi2;h hon- 
ors f I'om the Chicago Business College and afterward took u]i the 
profession of teaching, which he followed in the common schools 
and colleges of Lee and Bureau comities foi' six years. He had 
convinced himself within that ]ieviod that he preferred the prac- 
tice of law and in the fall of 1897 he began prepai'ation for the bar, 
completing his studies in the Northern Illinois College of Law 
in 1900, at which time the LL. M. degree was conferred upon him. 
Immediately afterward he was admitted to the bar and has since 
practiced in Dixon with marked success. On the 20th of April, 
1909, he was elected citv attornev and has since most intelligently 




MAKK C. KKLl.Ki; 



HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 283 

and capably performed the duties of tlie office, earning for him- 
self a place in the ranks of the ablest and best lawyers of the city. 
Since entering the office he has reorganized the city of Dixon to 
conform to the commission form of government, drawing up all 
ordinances for the same, the city finding it unnecessary to spend a 
single cent for outside counsel. Moreover, along such remark- 
able lines have the ordinances been formed that they have been 
copied by other cities. Mr. Keller is an earnest and discriminat- 
ing student of the principles of law and his ability has brought 
him to a foremost position among the leading representatives of 
the Dixon bar. 

In 1904 Mr. Keller was united in niariiage to Miss Mae Rich- 
ardson, of Lee Center, and they now have two children, Mildred 
Amy and Mark C. Mr. Keller is a prominent member of the 
Masonic lodge of Dixon, of which he is a past master. He has also 
taken the degrees of the Royal Arch chapter and he belongs to the 
Benevolent Protective Order of Elks, the Woodmen of the World 
and the Modern Woodmen of America. He is still a young man, 
earnest of purpose, thoughtful and determined, yet possessing the 
affable, kindly nature and unfei.gned cordiality which win friends. 



JOHN A. CHURCH. 



John A. Church, a representative and successful agriculturist 
of Amboy tov^nship, owns and opei'ates a farm of one hundred and- 
nine acres on section 1.5. His birth occurred in Lee county on the 
5th of September. 1865, his parents being John and Cyrene (Far- 
well) Church. The father, a native of Oxford, New Yoi'k, came to 
this county in 1838 and here spent the remainder of his life, pass- 
ing away in August, 1890. The period of his residence in this 
comity covered more than a half century and he was widely recog- 
nized as one of its substantial farmers and esteemed citizens. 
Both he and his wife were laid to rest in Prairie Repose eeme- 
terv of Ambov. the latter's demise having occurred in January, 
1890. 

John A. Church attended school in Amboy until fourteen years 
of age and after putting aside his text-books assisted his father 
in the operation of the home farm until the latter's death. At 
that time he came into possession of the property, embracing one 
hundred and nine acres of land on section 15, Amboy township. 



284 HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 

where he has since carried on mixed farming. The residence and 
other buildings were erected by our subject's father and the neat 
and thrifty appearance of the place indicates the supervision of 
a practical and progressive owner. 

On the 31st of December, 1889, in Chicago, Mr. Church was 
uidted in marriage to Miss Alice L. MacCarron, her parents being 
W. P. and Mary L. (Corbin) MacCarron, residents of the western 
metropolis. Mr. and Mrs. Church have three children, namely: 
John C, who assists his father in the operation of the home 
farm ; Albert L., who is a stenographer in the service of the Illi- 
nois Central Raili'oad, being employed in the office of the master 
mechanic at Freeport, Illinois; and Charles A., who also assists 
in the work of the home farm. 

In his political views Mr. Church is a progressive, advocating 
the principles set forth by Theodore Roosevelt at the tune of the 
birth of the new party. Fraternally he is identified with the Inde- 
pendent Order of Odd Fellows and the Rebekahs, while his 
religious faith is indicated by his membership in the Congrega- 
tional church. Well known in the comity where he has resided 
from birth, he has won the uniform trust and good-will of all by 
reason of his pleasant and attractive personality, and all his life 
he has been straightforward and honorable. 



P. W. MASON. 



P. W. Mason, well known as an auctioneer of Amboy, has 
here maintained his offices in the First National Bank building 
for the past quarter of a century. He came to Lee county in 
1883 and has resided within its borders throughout the interven- 
ing three decades. His birth occurred in Henry county, Illinois, 
on the 17th of November, 186], his parents being N. S. and Henri- 
etta (Green) Mason. The father, a pioneer settler of Whiteside 
county, this state volunteered for service in defense of the Union 
at the time of the Civil war. His demise occurred in 1901. when 
he had attained the age of sixty-seven years, and his remains were 
interred at Morrison, Illinois. He left a widow and five children 
to mourn his death, which was also deeply deplored by many 
friends and aeriuaintances. The Mason family is of British 
origin and was established in the ITnited States at a very early 
period in the history of this country. 



HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 285 

P. W. Mason attended the public schools of Whiteside county 
until a youth of nineteen and subsequently assisted his father in 
the operation of the home farm until he entered the law office of 
P. M. James, an attorney of Amboy, with whom he studied for two 
years. On the expiration of that period he began practicing in. 
the justice and county courts. Since 1888 he has maintained his 
offices in the First National Bank building at Amboy, enjoying a 
gratifying clientage as an attorney and also for eighteen years 
devoting considerable attention to auctioneering. 

In Amboy, Illinois, on the 1st of January, 1888, Mr. Mason 
was united in marriage to Miss Martha McLaughlin, a daughter 
of George and Jane (Edwards) McLaughlin, of Mendota, Illinois. 
The mother is deceased and lies buried at Mendota, Illinois. Mr. 
and Mrs. Mason are the parents of three children, namely : Wayne 
G., who is employed as clerk in the general offices of the Chicago, 
Burlington & Quincy Railway ; and Alta and Elva, twins, who are 
students of the Amboy high school. Mr. Mason gives his political 
allegiance to the democracy, while fraternally he is identified with 
the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, the Rebekahs and the 
Star of Equity. Lie is most conscientious in the performance of 
his professional duties and in every relation of life is actuated by 
high and honorable principles. His genuine worth and his 
devotion to all that is right, just and elevating, make him a man 
whom to know is to respect and honor. 



EDWARD M. HERWIG. 

Edward M. Herwig, a progressive and successful young 
farmer of Bradford township, manifesting unusual enterprise and 
ability in the conduct of his agricultural interests, was born in 
China township, this county, November 21, 1885. He is a son 
of William and Minnie (Burham) Herwig, the former a native of 
Germany and the latter of Lee county, Illinois. The father was 
brought to America when he was four years of age and has resided 
for many years in China township, where he still makes his 
home. 

Edward M. Herwig was reared at home and remained with his 
parents until his maj'riage, which occurred when he was twenty- 
four years of age. For two years thereafter he rented land and 
at the end of that time he bought one hundred and seven acres 



286 HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 

on sections 16 and 21, Bradford township. Upon this property 
he engages in general farming and stock-raising and he has ex- 
tensive interests along both lines. He owns also a half interest 
in one hundred and sixty acres of land on section 21, Ashton town- 
ship, and he is regarded as a progressive, enterprising and repre- 
sentative farmer. 

Mr. Herwig married Miss Rosa Kersten, a native of Bradford 
township and a daughter of H. M. and Mary (Gross) Kersten, 
also natives of Lee couuty. They are now residents of Ashton. 
Mrs. Herwig is a graduate of high school and tanght for three 
years previous to her marriage. She and her husband are mem- 
bers of the United Evangelical church and Mr. Herwig gives his 
l^olitical allegiance to the democratic party. He is an energetic 
and progressive business man and a native son of whom Lee county 
has every reason to be proud. 



ANTON ALBRECHT. 



Anton Albrccht is a native of Bradfoi'd township, Lee county, 
born September 15, 1866, and a son of Burket and Martha (Ker- 
sten) Albrecht, natives of Germany, who in 1859 crossed the At- 
lantic to America and located in this county. Both are living and 
make their home in Ashton. 

Anton Albrecht was reared under the parental roof and re- 
mained at home until he reached his majority. He received his 
education in the schools of the neighborhood and mider the able 
guidance of his father soon became an efficient agriculturist. After 
leaving home he rented land for some years and then bought the 
farm upon which he now lives and which comprises one Inmdred 
and twenty acres, the property being located on section 29. Brad- 
foi'd township. He not only follows general farming but makes 
a specialty of raising and feeding cattle and hogs. He has made 
substantial improvements upon his property and his years of ardu- 
ous labor have resulted m a gratifying financial success. 

On December 31, 1890, Mr. Albrecht married Miss Katherine 
Heckmann. who was born in Gennany, August 21. 1868, and is a 
daughter of Adam and Anna (Gonnermann) Heckmann, both na- 
tives of the fatherland. Mr. Heckmann died there, but the mother 
is living, still making her home in Germany. Mrs. Albrecht was 
one of five children boin to her parents. She and her husband 



HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 287 

have seven cliildi'en: Gertrude Anna, born February 13, 1892; 
Carrie K., January 4, 189i; Amanda M., JSeptember 4, 189G; Mary 
Alice, April 9, 1899; Clara K.,January 26, 1902; George Anton, 
April 22, 1904; and Lucile D., April 6, 1909. 

Mr. and Mrs. Albreclit are .members of the German Lutheran 
church, the services of which they regularly attend and in which 
organization they take a deep and resultant interest. In his polit- 
ical aftdiations Mr. Albrecht is a democrat and, being interested 
in the cause of education, serves at the present time as one of the 
school directors of his township. A man of progressive ideas, he 
has contributed in no small way to the general advancement and 
prosperity and is highly esteemed for what he has accomplished 
and those qualities that have made possible his success. 



JUSTUS H. HENERT. 

A farm of two huudi'ed and forty acres situated on section 
16, Reynolds townshij), pays tribute to the care and labor bestowed 
upon it b,y Justus H. Henert, who has there lived since his mar- 
riage. He has a wide acquaintance in this county, for he is one 
of its native sons as well as one of its progressive young farmers. 
His birth occurred July 2, 1883, in the township in which he stiU 
makes his home, his father being George Henert, of whom men- 
tion is made on another page of this work. His boyhood days 
were passed in the usual manner of farm lads, his time being 
divided between the duties of the schoolroom, the pleasures of 
the playground and the work of the fields. He continued to assist 
in the cultivation of the old home place until he reached the age 
of twenty-three years, when he was married and started out in 
life on his own account. It was in 1907 that he wedded Miss 
Emma Kersten, who was born in Ashton township, this county, 
January 27, 1887, and is a daughter of Hartman R and Sophia 
(Newman) Kersten, who were also natives of Lee county and 
representatives of old pioneer families here. The father is now 
lining in Ashton, but the mother passed away in 1899. They had 
a family of four children, all of whom survive. 

Following his marriage Justus H. Henert began farming on 
the place where he now lives, having two hundred and forty acres, 
which is pleasantly and conveniently situated not far from 
Rochelle and Ashton. The land is arable, and the productiveness 



288 HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 

of the soil makes good return for the care and labor which he 
bestows upon it. In connection with the raising of crops he owns 
and opeiates a threshing machine, a corn sheller and a wood saw. 
His farm is splendidly equipped with all modern farm imple- 
ments and machinery as well as with good buildings. He makes 
a specialty of raising and feeding stock and his annual sales of 
cattle and hogs bring him a gratif}'ing return. Today he has one 
of the best imi^roved farms in his township, lacking in none of 
the accessories and conveniences of a model property of the 
twentieth century. It forms one of the attractive features of 
the landscape, and it indicates in its well kept appearance the 
care and attention of a progressive owner. 

Unto Mr. and Mrs. Henert have been born two children: 
Roland H., born January 30, 1909 ; and Luella C, born December 
5, 1912. The parents are well known and have a large circle of 
warm friends in Reynolds and adjoining townships. Mr. Henert 
votes with the republican party, but the honors and emoluments 
of office have had no attraction for him. Fraternally he is con- 
nected with the Modern Woodmen of America at Ashton. All of 
his other interests, however, are made subservient to those of his 
home and his farm. He gives close application to his business, 
and his energy, intelligently directed, has brought to him gratify- 
ing success. 



NATHAN BURHENN. 



Prominent among the energetic, successful and progi"essive 
farmers of Bradford township is numbered Nathan Burhenn, who, 
during his entire active life has been engaged in farming here and 
now owns a valuable property of one hvmdred and sixty acres on 
section 2. He was born in this township September 30, 1871, and 
is a son of Philip and Christine (Achenbremer) Burhenn, natives 
of Germany. In 1865 the parents crossed the Atlantic to America 
and made their home in Lee county, Illinois. They now make their 
home in Franklin Grove, this county. They became the parents 
of ten children, all of whom survive. 

Nathan Burhenn grew up on his father's farm and aided in 
its operation from an early age. He remained at home until his 
marriage and then bought a farm on section 21, Bradford town- 
ship. At the end of seven years he sold this property and pur- 



HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 291 

chased his present farm, which comprises cue hundred and sixty 
acres on section 2. Upon this he has erected a comfortable mod- 
ern residence and a number of substantial farm buildings, and he 
has brought the laud to a high state of cultivation. He has a pro- 
ductive and valuable property, the attractive appearance of which 
is a visible evidence of his life of industry and thrift. 

When he was twenty-one years of age Mr. Burhenn married 
Miss Mary Eisenberg, a native of Bradford township and a 
daughter of Peter and Kathriue Eisenberg. The parents were 
born in Germany and came to ximerica in the early '50s, locating 
immediately in Lee county, Illinois, where both passed away. Of 
the eleven children born to their union nine still survive. Mr. 
and Mrs. Burhenn became the parents of three children: Nelta, 
who was born May 10, 1895, and who died May 1, 1904 ; Florence 
M., born December 13, 1899, and Wilbur N., born July 8, 1906. 
The parents are members of the United Evangelical church, and 
Mr. Burhenn gives his political allegiance to the republican party, 
serving at the present time as school director. He is one of the sub- 
stantial agriculturists of his locality and is held in high regard 
wherever he is known. 



JUSTIN L. HARTWELL. 

Justin L. Hartwell, proprietor of the Five Oaks Nursery and 
Fruit Farm, has developed a business of extensive and gratifying 
proportions and one which is interesting to all who study nature 
and are in sympathy with the improvement processes that are 
being developed in connection with the cultivation of flowei's and 
fruits. Born in Greene county, Illinois, in 1848, Mr. Hartwell 
is a son of James C. and Mary (Corey) Hartwell, both of whom 
were natives of Boston, but came to this state in 1843. In early 
life the father had learned and followed the carpenter's trade and 
to some extent he continued building operations after his removal 
to the west, but in Illinois he also took up the occupation of 
farming. 

Upon the home farm in his native county Justin L. Hartwell 
was reared and in practical experience received the early lessons 
which constituted the foundation upon which his later success has 
been built. He supplemented his public-school course by study 
in the State Normal school, from which he was graduated with the 



292 HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 

class of 1875. He afterward took up the profession of teackuig, 
whicli Le followed in Dixon for three years and later at various 
points in Illinois, being for hve years superintendent of the schools 
at Washington, this state. In the meantime he started a fruit 
farm near Dixon and in 1889 took up his permanent abode thereon. 
The place is now called the Five Oaks Nursery and Fruit Farm 
and is one of the most valuable properties of the kind in this sec- 
tion of Illinois. In his yard stands a hue old elm that his mother 
brought as a seedling from Boston in the early '80s. There are 
forty varieties of shade trees upon his place and many beautiful, 
ornamental and fine fruit trees, in addition to handling trees 
he also sells decorative plants of all kinds and makes a specialty 
of peonies, of which he has many wonderful and beautiful vari- 
eties. His nursery goods are shipped widely over a number of 
states and he emplo}'s a number of men throughout the year and 
one hundred people during the fruit season. He has forty acres 
of land and every inch is made available for purposes for which 
he wishes to use it. His is indeed one of the line nurseries of Illi- 
nois and his nurser}' stock is received in most excellent condition, 
owing to the careful manner in which it is I'aised and handled in 
shipment. 

In 1872 Mr. Hartwell was united in marriage to Miss Lucy 
Walker, a daughter of AMlson and Margaret Walker, the former 
a native of Kentucky and the latter of Ohio. They came to Illinois 
in the '50s settling in Pike coimty and Mrs. Hartwell attended the 
State Normal school at the same time her husband was a student 
there. She too has made a sjjecial study of flowers and landscape 
gardening and has many advanced ideas upon the subject. Indeed 
she is a lady of broad general culture, a leader in progress along 
those lines in which woman has made her most rapid advancement 
in recent years. She was the first president of the Dixon's Wo- 
man's Club and also president of the Phidian Art Club. She is 
a lady of notably strong character, of marked individuality and 
high ideals and her influence is a l^eneficeut and uplifting one in 
the comnnniity. Mr. and Mrs. Hartwell have no children of their 
own. but have adopted and reared three : Mary, who is ex-super- 
intendent of domestic work in the Chicago schools and now teachei' 
of cooking and kindred branches ; Leila, at home ; and Robin, who 
is aji expert landscape gardener and now has charge of the Five 
Oaks Nursery and Fruit Farm. Mr. Hartwell votes independently 
according to the dictates of his judgment and the needs of the situ- 
ation. He is a well known Mason, belonging to both the lodge and 



HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 293 

chapter, aud iu his life exemplities the beueficieut spirit of the 
craft, which is based upon mutual hel^jfuluess aud brotherly kind- 
ness. 



F. W. MEYER. 



F. W. Meyer, sole proprietor of a general store at West Brook- 
lyn, displays in his business career, a close conformity to high 
commercial standards, and his unfaltering diligence and perse- 
verance have been the chief factors in winning for him the cred- 
itable jjlace which he occupies in business circles today. For 
eleven years he has been a resident of this county, arriving in 
1902. His birth occurred in Arlington, Bureau county, Illinois, 
March -t, l.Sb9, his parents being Baltazaar aud Catherine (Kur- 
tenbach) Me,ver, who were natives of Germany. The father came 
to the United States about 1845 aud took up his abode upon a 
farm near Arlington. He was tifty-two years of age, when iu 
1879, his labors were ended in death. His widow siu-vives and 
now makes her home with her son, F. W. Meyer. 

At the usual age F. W. Meyer began his education, passing 
through consecutive grades mitil he became a high-school stu- 
(Unit. He left school, however, at the age of sixteen, but later pur- 
sued a course in a business college and thus prepared in large 
measure for the responsible duties which have since devolved 
upon him. His early practical business training came to him as 
clerk of the Western Supply Company at Ladd, Illinois, where 
he remained for seven years, his hmg connection with the busi- 
ness being incontrovertible j^roof of his capability and fidelity 
in that connection. He was promoted to the position of manager 
of a store and thus served for six and a half years. On the ex- 
piration of that period he came to West Brookhm and bought 
out the business of F. I). Gehant & Company, at that time occu- 
pying a small frame building. Today Mr. Meyer has the largest 
stor(> of the kind in the town and occupies a large and substantial 
brick building. The store is splendidly equipped with an exten- 
sive and pleasing line of general merchandise and earnestly desir- 
ing to please his patrons, Mr. Meyer has won a substantial measTire 
of success. He has never been known to take advantage of the ne- 
cessities of another in a business transaction, and the reliabilitv 
of his methods has been one of the potent forces in the gi^owth of 
his trade. 



294 HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 

The community recognizes him as a public-spirited citizen and 
one whose efforts in behalf of the general welfare have been far- 
reaching and beneficial. He votes with the democratic party and 
upon its ticket was elected township clerk of Hall township, Bu- 
reau county, while at the present time he is president of the town 
board of West Brooklyn. His fraternal relations are with the 
Knights of Colmnbus and the Catholic Order of Foresters, serving 
as cliief ranger in the latter. 

At Ladd, Hlinois, on the 16th of April, 1891, Mr. Meyer mar- 
ried Miss Isabella Rennie, a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Robert 
Rennie, the former a stationary engineer of Iowa, where he met 
death by accident in 1879. His widow survives and is now living 
in Canton, Illinois. Mr. and Mrs. Meyer have five children: 
Sylvia and Zita, who are graduates of the West Brooklyn high 
school ; Frances and Otto, who are attending school ; and Thais, 
two years of age. The family are well known and have a large 
circle of warm friends. Mr. Meyer is affable and genial in dis- 
position, courteous in manner, and his fair treatment to all in 
business has made him the leading merchant of his adopted 
town. 



REV. MICHAEL B. KRUG. 

Rev. Michael B. Krug, pastor of fSt. Mary's Catholic church at 
West Brooklyn, entered upon his present charge on the 15th of 
September, 1912. He came to Lee county at that date and has 
since labored earnestly and effectively for the upbuilding of his 
chiu'ch. A native of Germany, he was born at Rosenheim and 
acquired his education in Munich. He came to America in 1881, 
at the age of thirteen and a half years, making the trip all alone. 
Here he became a student in the college at Conception, Missouri, 
from which he was graduated when fifteen years of age. He was 
afteiward employed in clerical capacity in connection with rail- 
road interests and later engaged in farming until from his earn- 
ings he had saved enough money to enable him to follow out his 
plan of preparing for the priesthood, to which ho had determined 
to devote Ids life. He was ordained by Archbishop Feehan of 
Chicago in 1899 and since that time has had charge of various 
parishes. When he was assigned to St. Mary's church there was 
felt to be the need of a strong, courageous and determined man to 




^. ^^^^^..^^ s, ^g 



HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 297 

promote its upbuilding and growth, and through his efforts splen- 
did progress has been made and the church is now in an excellent 
condition both spiritually and financially. He is a very progres- 
sive man, a wide reader and deep thinker and his consecration to 
the work is manifest in the earnest, zealous manner with which he 
has promoted the interests of St. Mary 's church and parish. 



GEORGE HILLS SQUIRES. 

Dixon lost a representative citizen and a progressive business 
man when George Hills Squires was called from this life in Sep- 
tember, 1907. In all respects he measured up to high standards 
of manhood and citizenship and thus at his j^assing he left to his 
family the priceless heritage of an imtarnished name. He was 
born in 1843, in the old historic town of Bennington, Vermont, 
his parents being John N. and Emma L. (Bigelow) Squires, the 
former a manufacturer. He was descended from two of the most 
prominent of the old colonial families, the Brewsters and the 
Bigelows. Following the acquirement of a public school educa- 
tion in his native city, George Hills Squires came to the middle 
west thinking to have broader business opportunities and advan- 
tages in the comparatively new, but growing section of the coun- 
try. He was nineteen years of age when he arrived in Burlington, 
Iowa, where he engaged in the wholesale drug business, remain- 
ing in that city until 1873. He next went to Troy, New York, 
where he continued in business until 1886. Two years later he 
arrived in Champaign, Illinois, where he continued for three years 
on the expiration of which period he came to Dixon, where he 
established a paper and wooden box business in which he remained 
to the time of his death in September, 1907. Throughout his 
entire life he was accounted an energetic, progressive business 
man, applying himself closely to all the duties which devolved 
upon him, meeting every obligation and keeping every engage- 
ment. His commercial honesty too was above question and the 
success which he achieved was the merited reward of persistent 
effort. 

On the 10th of September, 1872. Mr. Squires was united in 
marriage to Miss Eleanor Dement, a daughter of Colonel John 
Dement, who came to Dixon about 1840 and engaged in the real- 
estate business. He was also in the government employ in charge 



298 HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 

of the laud office at an early date. Later he turned his attention 
to manufacturing interests and was thus closely identified with 
the material growth and progress of this section of the state to 
the time of his death, which occurred in January, 1882. He was 
a veteran of the Black Hawk war and a pioneer settler, who aided 
not only in the suppression of the red men, but also in the more 
active constructive work which has brought about the present 
day prosperity and ijrogress of the county. His wife was a daugh- 
ter of Henry Hodge, who was the first governor of Wisconsin, 
while he and his sou Augustus C. Hodge of Iowa and also a half 
brother, Louis Linn, all served in the Uuited States senate at the 
same time. The family is one of distiuguished prominence in the 
history of the middle west. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Squires were 
born a son and two daughters : Mrs. Marie Loraine Hoft'er, uow 
residiug in Washingtou, H. C; Miss Christine, who is at home 
with her mother and George R., who is engaged in manufacturing 
in Troy, New York. 

The family are all members of the Episcoj^al church to which 
Mr. Squires likewise belonged. He took au active and helpful 
part in its work and was serving as treasurer and vestryiuan at 
the time of his death. His life exemplified his Christian faith and 
belief which found exxDression in many good works. His sterling 
traits of character made his name an honored one wherever he was 
known and although he did not seek to figure prominently in pub- 
lic affairs, the community in which he lived profited by his worth 
and his activities. 



H. L. WINDER, D. V. M. 

Dr. H. L. Winder, a well known veterinary surgeon of Ashton, 
is a native of Iowa, born May 3, 1887. His parents, T. G. and Ena 
A. (Stolp) Winder, were born in Illinois and both survive. Five 
children wei'e born to their union, of whom three are yet living. 

Dr. H. L. Winder was reared at home and acquired a gi-ammar 
and high-school education. He is also a graduate of the West- 
ern Military Academy. In 1906 he went to Chicago, where he 
studied medicine for one year, following which he tui-ned his at- 
tention to veterinary surgery. In 1913, after recei-^dng his degree, 
he located in Asliton, where he has since engaged in the practice 
of his profession. He has already secured a large patronage. 



HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 299 

which is constantly increasing as his skill and ability become more 
widely known. 

On the 19th of June, 1913, Dr. Winder was united in mar- 
riage to JViiss June N. Moser, a daughter of Rev. Henry and Car- 
rie Moser, of Sheridan, La Salle county, Illinois. Mrs. Winder 
is one of a family of six children and is a graduate of the Hoop- 
eston Seminary. Dr. Winder is connected fraternally with the 
Masonic lodge at Ashton and is also a member of the Mystic 
Workers. He gives his political allegiance to the republican 
party, and, while he is not active as an office seeker, takes an in- 
telligent interest in public affairs. Young, ambitious and ener- 
getic, he is already in a fair way to make a lasting reputation in 
his chosen field. 



F. L. KESSELRING. 



F. L. Kesselring is one of the most extensive landowners in 
Lee county and is well known in agricultural and stock-raising 
circles of Bradford township by reason of his success in the con- 
duct of his interests. He was born in Frederick, Maryland, 
August 23, 1871, and is a son of Daniel and Alice (Hooper) Kes- 
selring, natives of that state. The father died in Maryland and 
is survived by his wife. To their union were born nine ehildi'cn, 
of whom six survive. 

F. L. Kesselring was reared at home and acquired his educa- 
tion in the public schools. At the age of twenty-one he moved to 
Illinois, settling in Lee county, where he has since been influ- 
entially associated with farming interests. He owns four hun- 
dred acres in Bradford and Loe Center townships, and he has 
provided his land with substantial buildings and modern eqiiip- 
ment. He makes a specialty of raising aiid feeding stock and has 
extensive interests along this line, his animals commanding a 
ready sale in the market. 

In October, 1896, Mr. Kesselring was united in marriage to 
Miss Charlotte C. Reinhart, a daughter of Andrew and Catherine 
Reinhart, who came to Illinois in 1S3G. passing away in this state. 
Mr. and Mrs. Kesselring have two children. Ethel M. and Cather- 
ine C. Mr. Kesselring is connected fraternally with Lee Center 
Lodge, No. 146, A. F. & A. M. : the chapter at Franklin Grove ; and 
the Order of the Eastern Star. He gives his political allegiance 



300 HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 

to the democratic party. He is a man of many sterling traits of 
character, able in business, progressive in citizenship and at all 
times trustworthy and reliable. 



HENRY W. HILLISON. 

Henry W. Hillison, actively engaged with agricultural inter- 
ests in Lee county, his home being on section 25, China township, 
was born on the old family homestead in Bradford township, this 
county, September 12, 1850. His parents were Ommon and 
Catherine Elizabeth (Reiuhart) Hillison. The former, born in 
Norway, December 11, 1811, left his native land in 1835 and for 
two years was a sailor upon coastwise vessels. In 1837 he settled 
on a claim in Bradford township, Lee county, about two and a half 
miles north of Lee Center and there remained until his death, 
which occurred in 1853. He was the first one to leave the Har- 
danger country of Norway and the first Norwegian to settle in 
Lee county. Although he established his home here when the 
Indians still lived in the neighborhood, he never owned a gun, 
pistol nor revolver nor found it necessary to protect himself from 
the red men. "He came not to make war, but peace," and he 
lived quietly among his red neighbors finding that they were 
appreciative of friendship as well as the members of the white 
race. It was many years after he located here before there were 
any other Norwegians in the county. He married Catherine 
Elizabeth Reinhart who was born in Hesse Cassel, Germany, 
in 1832, a daughter of Christian and Christine (Reinhart) Rein- 
hart. In 1845 they crossed the Atlantic to New York and thence 
made their way direct to Lee county. It was on the 14th of Novem- 
ber, 1S49, that their daughtei' gave her hand in marriage to Mr. 
Hillison. She long survived her hnsband, passing away July 20, 
1900. They had two children, Henry and Betsey Josephine, the 
latter the wife of Conrad Brandau, of Cedar Rapids, Iowa. 

Henry W. Hillison has spent his entire life in Lee coimty. 
residing always in Bradford or in China townships. He has ever 
been extensively engaged in farming and his holdings of farm 
land are now large. In developing his fields he has employed the 
most progressive methods nnd his diligence and determination 
have constituted the foundation of his success. 



HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 3Ui 

On the 8th of May, 1873, Mr. Hillisou was married to Miss 
Elizabeth Roth, who was boru in Germany, February 18, 1853, 
and was brought to this country by her parents in 1858. She is 
a daughter of John and Barbara Roth, who were also natives of 
Germany and who spent their last days in Lee county. Unto Mr. 
and Mrs. Hillison have been born tive children : John 11. , Chris- 
tian E. and William C, all living in China township; Reinhart 
A., of Amboy township ; and Celia Josephine, at home. The sons 
are all actively engaged in farming in this county. There are 
also eight grandsons and one granddaughter. 

During the World's Fair in Chicago in 1893, Mr. Hillison 
visited the crew of Norsemen that came all the way from Norway 
to Chicago in a row boat to demonstrate that such a feat was 
possible and thus give additional proof to the claim that the Norse- 
men visited America before Columbus. Mr. Hillison was upon 
their boat a number of times — an open row boat with a canvass 
over the provisions. It was thirty feet long and sixteen feet wide 
in the center and no sails were used in propelling it, the motive 
force being supplied by the sturdy arms of the sons of Norway 
—a fact of which Mr. Hillison is proud. Owing to the fact that 
his father was the first man to leave the Hardanger country in 
Norway and settle in Lee comity, Mr. Hillison was invited to 
attend the retmion of the people of that country at Ellsworth, 
Iowa, in 1912 and at Lee county in 1913. Mr. Hillison is a Mason 
and is past master of Lee Center Lodge, No. 146. He has also 
initiated four of his sons in the blue lodge. His religious faith is 
that of the Lutheran church and in politics he is a progressive. 
He has held many township offices and is deeply and helpfully 
interested in all that pertains to the progress and welfare of 
coimty and state. 



ADAM H. GONNERMANN. 

Farming interests of Lee county are well represented by Adam 
H. Gonnermann, who since 1904 has been engaged in agrieidtural 
pursuits in Bradford township, where he now owns one hundred 
and twentv acres of excellent land. He was born here May 10, 
1878, and is a son of Henry and Katherine Gonnermann, natives 
of Germanv, who came to the United States in 1866, locating in 



302 HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 

Lee county, Illinois. The mother died here in 1902 and is survived 
by her husband, who makes his home in Franklin (irove. 

Adam H. Gonnermann was reared upon his father's farm in 
Bradford township and assisted in its operation until he was 
twenty-six years of age. He then engaged in agricultural pur- 
suits upon rented laud for five years and following this bought 
one hundred and twenty acres on section 3, Bradford township. 
He has labored industriously in the development of this property 
and has made it valuable and productive in a high degree. Its 
buildings are substantial and in g(wd repair and its equipment 
modern, and it lacks none of the accessories necessary to the con- 
duct of a modern farming property. 

On December 14, 1904, Mr. Gonnermann was united in marriage 
to Miss Minnie Kurtli, who was born in Ogle comity, Illinois, a 
daughter of Christ and Amelia (Witzel) Kurth, natives of Ger- 
many. The parents came to America in the '70s and located in 
Lee county, this state, whence they later moved to Ogle county, 
where they now reside. In their family were five children, all 
of whom survive. Mr. and Mrs. Gonnermann have two children : 
Glenn W., born March 24, 1908, and Henry C, born March 1, 1912. 
The parents are members of the Lutheran church and Mr. Gon- 
nei'mann gives his political allegiance to the republican party. He 
holds the office of seliool director and he takes an intelligent inter- 
est in public affairs although he is not an active politician. He is 
held in high esteem in the community as a progressive citizen and 
a prosperous farmer. 



HARRIET E. GARRISON, M. D. 

Little more than a generation ago woman had no place in the 
business world. She was supposed to be conoorned only with the 
duties of the household, save that she was given the instruction 
of the young as a teacher in the schools — a work but little removed 
from the household and family cares. Today there is practically 
no avenue of activity closed to her and she has proven herself equal 
to the representatives of the sterner sex in all that calls for intelli- 
gent comprehension and skill, sa^e, perhaps, only in the point of 
physical strength. None today deny her prominent place in the 
medical profession nnd among the more successful physicians of 
Dixon is Dr. Harriet E. Garrison, who was born in Lee county, 




o^.,- 

^5^^^^ 



"-i<y 



mJ: 



DK. TTARKIKT K. CAKIUSON 



HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 305 

October 28, 184S. Her parents, William and Amelia (^Omen) 
Garrison, were butli natives of Pennsylauvia, but left the east in 
1845 and made their way to Illinois, with Lee county as their 
destination. They traveled overland by team, bringing with them 
their seven children, the eldest at the time being ten years of age. 
They were also accompanied by Mathias Garrison, brother of 
William Garrison. Their route lay at times through dense for- 
ests or over open uncultivated prairies and they saw much wild 
game wliile -upon the way and after their arrival in this county. 
On reaching Illinois, Mr. Garrison obtained a tract of govern- 
ment land upon which not a furrow had been turned or an im- 
provement made. With characteristic energy he began its de- 
velopment and converted it into productive fields from which he 
annually gathered good crops that enabled him to provide a com- 
fortable living for his family. He continued upon his farm until 
death called him. At one time he removed to Ogle county, Hli- 
nois, where he operated a sawmill for a brief period and then re- 
turned to Lee county, where his remaining days were passed. 
After the arrival of the parents in Illinois foui- more children 
were added to the family, making eleven in all. Dr. Garrison was 
trained to the usual household duties but the parents were am- 
bitious to give their children good educational opportunities and 
she was anxious to take advantage of such. Accordingly she sup- 
plemented her public-school course by study at Mount Morris, 
Illinois, and also in the Rock River Seminary. By this time she 
had determined to engage in the practice of medicine and pursued 
her studies at the Women's Medical College of Chicago, fi'om 
which she was graduated with the class of 1876. She also took a 
six months' hospital course and thus gained the broad knowledge 
and experience which only hospital service can bring. 

On the 5th of October, 1876. Dr. Garrison came to Dixon and 
opened an office and has since engaged in practice here, although 
she went to New York city in 1890 and again in 1891 for post- 
graduate work. In this and other ways she has continually broad- 
ened her knowledge and increased her skill. She traveled in 
Euro]-)e with a party of physicians in 1897. She was the only 
general practitioner among them and when Dr. Senn, a noted sur- 
geon of Chicago, became ill she was called upon to attend him. Her 
trip was made for the purpose of attending the International 
Medical Association at Moscow, Russia, and in 1900 Dr. Garrison 
again went abroad attending the International Medical Associa- 
tion at Paris. She has attended five different meetings of the 

ToL n— IB 



306 HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 

Americau Medical Association and she is also a member of the Lee 
County and the Illinois State Medical Societies. She has largely 
specialized in the treatment of diseases of children and is a recog- 
nized authority on many points relative thereto. Articles which 
she has written have appeared in various leading medical jour- 
nals of the country and many prominent men of the profession 
have borne testimony as to their merits. She has ever held to the 
highest professional standards and step by step has advanced to a 
conspicuous, prominent and honorable position in the ranks of the 
medical profession in Illinois. 



HARRY J. NASS. 



Harry J. Nass is the owner of a well improved farm in Brad- 
ford township, situated on sections 11 and 12. It comprises two 
hundred and forty acres and the greater part of the land is now 
in a high state of cultivation, its neat and attractive appearance 
indicating the careful supervision of the owner. Havvy J. Nass 
was born in the township in which he still makes his home on the 
11th of February, 1871, and is a son of John and Augusta Nass. 
both of whom were natives of Germany, but came to America in 
early life. They located upon a farm in Bradford township, and 
the father has since been a resident of Illinois, now living retired 
in Ashton, where the mother passed away. 

Upon the old homestead farm in Bradford township Harry J. 
Nass was reared and was early trained to the best methods of till- 
ing the soil and caring for the crops. He pursued his education 
in the disti'ict schools near his father's home and remained with 
his parents until twenty-five years of age, when, ambitious to 
start out in life on his own accoimt, he rented a farm for three 
years. During that period he carefully saved his earnings and 
his industry and close economy at length enabled him to pur- 
chase a farm. He invested in two himdred and forty acres on 
sections 11 and 12, Bradford township, where he now resides, and 
he has since given his time and attention to the further improve- 
ment of the place. He rebuilt and remodeled the buildings and 
also erected some new ones, and the farm today is a splendidlv 
improved property, everything about the place indicating his 
careful supervision and progressive methods. 



HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 307 

Mr. Nass was united in marriage to Miss Anna Krug, a mem- 
ber of a family mentioned elsewliere in tliis volume. To Mr. and 
Mis. Nass have been born three children : Eloyd, Arl and Clar- 
ence. The parents are members of the Evangelical church, and 
Mr. Nass gives his political allegiance to the republican party, 
believing tirmly in its principles as factors in good government. 
Having been a lifelong resident of tliis county, he has witnessed 
much of its growth and development and has seen the changes 
wrought by time and man, whereby Lee county has been brought 
to a prominent position among the prosperous and progressive 
counties of the state. He has led a busy life, and his industry and 
energy have brought him substantial return. 



MRS. JVIARY S. JOHNSON. 

Mrs. Mary S. Johnsou is a representative of a family whose 
members have been well known in Lee comity since pioneer times, 
and she likewise has made substantial contributions to the agri- 
cultural development of this locality through her able manage- 
ment of her farm of two hundred and forty acres on section 9, 
Brooklyn township. She is a native of Lee county, born in 1851, 
a daughter of Edwin and Harriet (Mayo) Morey, the former of 
whom died in 1888 and is buried at Inlet, Lee Center township. 
His wife survives him and makes her home with her daughter, 
having reached the age of eighty- four. Representatives of the 
Morey family came to Lee county in the eai'ly '40s, and the name 
has been an honored one in this community since that time. 

Mrs. Mary S. Johnson acquired her education in the public 
schools of Lee Center and laid aside her books at the age of 
seventeen, afterward remaining at home until her marriage. In 
1871 she wedded Oliver P. Johnson, Jr., a son of Oliver P. and 
Elizabeth (Ross) Johnson, both of whom have passed away. The 
father died in 1891 and the mother in 1895 and both are buried in 
West Brooklyn. Oliver P. Johnson, Jr., was connected for many 
years with agricultural interests of this locality, owning and oper- 
ating two hundred and forty acres on section 9, Brookl^m town- 
ship. He brought this place to a high state of cultivation and 
became well known as a progressive and substantial agriculturist. 
He passed away in Jime. 1905, and his death was deeply and 



308 HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 

widely regretted, depriving Lee county of one of its most valued 
and representative citizens. 

Mr. and Mrs. Oliver P. Johnson, Jr., became the parents of 
eight children : Carrie, the wife of Dr. E. C. White ; Hattie, who 
married Harry Haskell, of Pasadena, California ; Charles, a mail 
clerk at Omaha, Nebraska; Oliver P., who resides at Pasadena, 
California; Edwin M., a j)ainter and decorator; Ruby, at home; 
Daisy, who died in 1880 and is buried in West Brooklyn, and 
Minnie, who passed away in 190G and was laid to rest in the same 
localitj^ Mrs. Johnson makes her home in West Brooklyn and 
since her husband's death has supervised the operation of the 
farm. She is well and favorably known in this part of Lee county, 
where she has spent her entire life and where her many excel- 
lent characteristics have gained her an extensive circle of friends. 



HERMAN HERWIO. 



Herman Herwig has engaged in agricultural pursuits in Lee 
county for a number of years, and he is now the owner of one hun- 
dred and sixty acres on section 33, Ashton township. He was 
born in China township, this county, October 12, 1874, and is a 
son of Mathias and Elizabeth (Sehinzer) Herwig, natives of 
Germany. The j)arents came to America in 1864 and located in 
Lee country, where the father died in 1904 and where the mother 
still resides. Of the seven children born to their union, six are 
yet living. 

Herman Herwig was reared in China township, dividing his 
time in his childhood between his school books and work upon his 
father's farm. When he was twenty-one he bought a farm in the 
vicinity of the homestead and resided upon this for six years, 
aftei' which he sold the property and moved to Dixon where he 
lived nine years. He then moved to Ashton township, where he 
now resides. He owns one hundred and sixty acres on section 33 
and he has made this one of the finest farms in this locality by 
his intelligent and capable management. He has provided the 
place with substantial buildings and modern machinery and he 
neglects no opportunity to make his farm more attractive or 
valuable. 

Tn 1895 Mr. Herwig was united in marriage to Miss Anna 
Ventler, who was born in Bradford township, December 27, 1873. 



HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 309 

She is a daughter of Andrew and Catherine (Gounennan) Vent- 
ler, natives of Germany. In this family were nine children, six 
of whom are still living. Mr. and Mrs. Herwig have two sons: 
Koy A., who was born January 10, 1897, and who is now in col- 
lege at Dixon, Illinois; and Lee C, born August 10, 1898, a 
student in the Ashton high school. Mr. and Mrs. Herwig are mem- 
bers of the Lutheran church and Mi'. Herwig gives his political 
allegiance to the democratic party. Being a man of sterling char- 
acter, he has always merited and received the confidence and 
respect of all with whom business or social relations have brought 
him in contact. 



MRS. ELIZABETH HARPER. 

Mi's. Elizabeth Harper, who owns and operates a fine farm 
of eighty acres on section 29, Viola township?, was born in North 
Carolina, March 12, 1832. She is a daughter of David and Phoebe 
(Jones) Cox, both of whom died in 1893 and are buried in Earl- 
villc, La Salle county, Illinois. 

Mrs. Elizabeth Harper acquired her education in the public 
schools of Ottawa, Illinois, and laid aside her books at the age of 
fifteen. She afterward remained at home initil her marriage, 
which occurred about six years thereafter. She wedded Alex- 
ander Harper, who was boin in Greene county, Illinois, in 1828. 
a son of Ephi'aim and Chiistine (Kessler) Harper, both of whom 
have ]iasRed away and are buried in Whitehall. 

Alexander Harper acquired his education in the public schools 
of Greene comity. Illinois, and laid aside his books at the age of 
twenty. He afterward assisted his parents mitil 1854 and fol- 
lowing his marriage began farming independently. He came to 
Lee county in 1871 and purchased ciglitv acres of land on section 
29, Viola township, carrying forward the work of cultivating this 
property along practical lines and making it in the course of time 
one of the most valuable farais in the township. He contintied 
active in his agricultural pursuits until his death, which occurred 
in 1900. He was a man of exemplary character and high 
standards and his passing was widely and deeply regretted. 

Mr. and Mrs. Harper became the parents of four children. 
Lillian is the wife of Rufus Johnston, a farmer in Missouri. 
Annie married Clark Butler, a farmer of Lee county. Jennie 



310 HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 

married Amzi Van Canpen, who died in 1907 and is buried in 
Spokane, Washington. They had three children, Edith, Arthur 
and Bessie. Ella, the youngest child of Mr. and Mrs. Harper, 
died in infancy. Mrs. Harper still retains the homestead and in 
its cultivation has demonstrated her excellent business ability and 
enterprise. She has many friends in Lee county to whom her 
excellent traits of mind and character have greatly endeared 
her. 



W. J. EDWARDS. 



For over thirty years W. J. Edwards has been engaged in the 
livery business in Amboy, his native city, and during the inter- 
vening i^eriod has gained success and prominence in business 
circles and a place among the men of marked ability and substan- 
tial worth in the community. Since 1908 he has been supervisor 
of Amboy township and the duties of this office he discharges in a 
capable and progressive way. He was born September 15, 1855, 
and is a son of Isaac and Elizabeth (Saul) Edwards. The father 
was the first livery man in Amboy, establishing an enterprise of 
this character here in 1855. He was also a railroad contractor 
and aided in the construction of the Illinois Central, the Chicago, 
Milwaukee & St. Paul and the Toledo & St. Louis Railroads. He 
was a stanch republican in his political beliefs and held various 
public offices, including those of sheriff and county supervisor. 
During the Civil war he was horse buyer for the government and 
he proved always competent and trustworthy in positions of 
responsibility. He died in April, 1900, at the age of seventy-two, 
and is buried in the Prairie Repose cemetery near Amboy. His 
wife survives him and makes her home in that city. 

W. J. Edwards acquired his early education in the public 
schools of Amboy and afterward attended Chicago University, 
which he left at the age of nineteen. He then engaged in the liv- 
ery business and in railroad contracting imder his father and he 
has been connected with the former occupation for a period of 
more than thirty years. He has now an excellent establishment 
and controls a large patronage, for his prices are at all times rea- 
sonable and his business methods above reproach. 

In Amboy, in May, 1880, Mr. Edwards married Miss Rose 
Nannery, a native of ISTew York city. Mrs. Edwards passed away 




w. .1. i;ii\VAi;ii> 



HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 313 

June 4, 1910, and is buried in St. Patrick's cemetery in Amboy. 
She left five children : Elizabeth, a gi'aduate of Siusinawa Col- 
lege and also of the State Normal School ; Annie, residing at home; 
Evelyn, a graduate of the Amboy high school ; and John and Wil- 
liam, who are assisting their father. 

Mr. Edwards is a republican in his political views and is a 
member of the board of aldermen of Amboy. He is treasurer of 
the Lee County Fair Association and lias important fraternal 
affiliations, being high priest of the Masonic chapter and a mem- 
ber of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and the Benevolent 
Protective Order of Elks of Dixon. During a period of connec- 
tion with business interests of Amboy covering thirty years and 
more he has been found honorable, faithful and reliable in his 
business relations and has an enviable reputation, based upon a 
long period of upright and straightforward dealing. 



E. C. WHITE, M. D. 



E. C. White, M. D., actively engaged in the practice of medi- 
cine and surgery at West Brooklvn since 1894, entered upon the 
work of the profession when a young man, and his aljility and 
power have developed with the passing years. He has lived in 
Lee county since 1873, being less than two years of age when the 
family removed to Illinois. His birth occurred in Chateaugay, 
New York, near Lake Champlain, November 4. 1871, his parents 
being Carey and Eunice (Cobb) White, who on coming to the 
middle west settled on a farm near Paw Paw, where the father car- 
ried on general agricultural pursuits. He became an active repub- 
lican and a recognized leader in his party in this locality. The 
family numbered eight children: Clarence, who died in ]887 at 
the age of twenty-two years and was laid to rest in the Paw Paw 
cemetery; Carey J., who died in 1892 at the age of thirteen years; 
Edwin J., who follows farming near Paw Paw; Alma, the wife of 
Jacob Fischer, residing at Scarboro, Illinois ; Marion, a practic- 
ing physic'an of Dixon; David Chandler, whose home is in Men- 
dota ; E. C. of this review, and Merton A., a hardware m.erchant 
at Leland, La Salle coimty, Hlinois. 

E. C. White acquired his primary education in the schools of 
Paw Paw, being graduated from the high school with the class 
of 1890. His professional course was pursued in the University of 



314 HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 

Iowa, from which he was gi-aduated in 1894, the M. D, degree 
being conferred upon hini. immediately afterward he came to 
West Broolilyu and opened an olhce. From the beginning his 
success has been gratifying and has grown with the passing years, 
as his experience and reading have added to his knowledge and 
promoted his efdciency. He also conducts a drug store and is 
postmaster of West Brooklyn. 

ISince age conferred upon him the right of franchise Dr. White 
has been an earnest republicau, never faltering in his allegiance 
to the party. He is clerk of the town board and for ten years 
has been one of the directors on the board <^f education. He is 
interested in all that pertains to the general welfare and is the 
champion of every measure that he deems beneficial to the com- 
nmnity. Fraternally he is well known as a Mason and as a charter 
member of the W^est Brooklyn camj:), M. W. A. 

Tn Fulton, Illinois, on the 1st of January, 1896, Dr. White was 
united in marriage to Miss Carrie Johnson, a daughter of Oliver 
P. and Mary S. Johnson. Her father was one of the prominent 
old settlers and his father was the founder of the town of West 
Brookhai. Oliver P. Johnson died June 8, 1905, aud in his pass- 
ing the county lost one of its honored early settlers. Dr. and 
Mrs. White have become the parents of three children: Clar- 
ence, a graduate of the 'high school of West Brooklyn ; and Geneva 
and Earl C, who are attending school. Dr. White erected his office 
and business building in which the postoffice is located. He and 
his family attend the Methodist Episcopal church, and its teach- 
ings are the guiding element in their lives. He belongs to the Lee 
County, Illinois State and American Medical Association and is 
interested in all that pertains to the advancement of the profes- 
sion, that ])romotes its activity and adds to its efficiency in check- 
ing the ravages of disease. He is an energetic, enterprising man 
in all that he undertakes and does not stop short of successful 
con]])letion. 



WILLIAM VOCELER. 



Among the residents that Germany has furnished to Lee 
county is William Vogeler, who makes his home on section 21, 
Reynolds township. He owns valuable property in this township, 
improved with all the accessories ;nid conveniences of the model 



HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 315 

farm of the twentieth century. His birth occurred in Germany, 
May 15, 1857, his parents being Sebastian and Elizabeth Vogeler, 
both of whom were natives of the fatherland, but in 1868 they 
came with their family to the new world and settled in Lee county, 
Illinois, where their remaining days were spent. They became the 
parents of seven children, of whom four are yet living. 

William Vogeler was a little lad of eleven years when he 
accompanied his parents on the voyage across the Atlantic. He 
was reared in the usual manner of farm boys and continued to 
assist his father in the cultivation of the old homestead until 
twenty-live years of age. He was then married to Miss Anna M. 
Pippert, who was born in Germany, October 13, 1857, and is a 
daughter of John and Eva Dorothy Pippert, who were likewise 
natives of Germany and came to America in 1881. They estab- 
lished their home in Lee county, where they continued to reside 
until called from this life. Of their family of twelve children 
five are living. 

Following his marriage William Vogeler purchased the farm 
upon which he now resides, on section 21, Reynolds township; and 
in addition he also owns one hundred and sixty acres on section 20 
and one hundred acres on sections 22 and 27, Reynolds township. 
He has improved all of his land, and his home place gives evi- 
dence of the careful and practical sTipervisiou of the owner. There 
ai'e substantial buildings, well kept fences and the latest improved 
machinery, and the farm presents a ])leasing appearance with its 
well tilled fields, giving promise of golden harvests. He also owns 
a home in Ashton. 

Unto Mr. and Mrs. Vogeler have been born ten children: 
Charles C, born May 22, 1883; Catherine E., who was born 
August 2, 1884, and is the wife of Charles Mall, now of Ogle 
county, Illinois ; William, born July 14, 1885 ; George E., born June 
13, 1887; Bert O., born August 23," 1889; Henry W., born May 21, 
1891 ; Emma, who was born March 26, 1893, and is the wife of 
Boyd T. Butler, of this county; Vera K., who was born January 
6, 1895; Malinda A., who was born Novembei- 17, 1896, and died 
on tlie 13th of June, 1897, and Gertrude M., born March 19, 1899. 
Mr. Vogeler and his family are members of the Evangelical 
church, in which he is serving as a trustee. His political support 
is given to the republican party, and he has acted both as school 
director and road commissioner. For about forty-six years he has 
lived in Lee county, witnessing its growth and develo])ment, and 
he can relate many interesting points relatiA^e to its history. He 



316 HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 

has lived to see remarkable changes since he arrived and has ever 
manifested a helpful attitude toward projects for the public bene^ 
tit. In his business he has disjjlayed many of the sterling traits 
of his German ancestry and has become a substantial farmer of 
the community. 



FRANCIS LEFFELMAN. 

Since 1867 Francis Leffelman has lived in Lee county and dur- 
ing the intervening period has risen by the force of his ability and 
enterprise from comparative poverty to a position among the ex- 
tensive landowners and prosperous farmers of May township. 
He has witnessed a great deal of the growth and development of 
the community and has contributed in substantial measure to gen- 
eral progress. He was born in Herofeld, Bavaria, Germany, July 
4, 1842, and is a son of John and Margaret Leffelman, also natives 
of the fatherland. John Leffelman emigrated to America in 1852 
and settled in Adams county, Pennsylvania, where he remained 
until his death, which occurred in Pleasant Valley in April, 1863. 
His wife afterward moved to Iowa and her death occurred in 
Westphalia, that state, in 1901. 

Francis Leffelman acquired his education in the district schools 
of Adams county, Pennsylvania, laying aside his books at the age 
of fourteen. He afterward worked as a farm laborer until 1862, 
when he enlisted in a Maryland regiment for service in the Civil 
war. After being at the front for a short time he, in 1863, moved 
to Ogle county, Illinois, where he worked by the month for Frank 
Simons, a well known farmer in that locality. At the end of nine 
months Mr. Leffelman rented a farm in Ogle county and after 
three years moved to Lee county, where he rented a tract of land 
from William Long for six years. He then purchased one hundred 
and twenty acres, borrowing the money with which to pay for his 
land. With characteristic determination and enterprise he ap- 
plied himself to the development of this place with such success 
that he had soon paid all of his (ibligations. and at intervals there- 
after he bought more land luitil he finally acquired the eight hun- 
dred and eighty acres which is his today. Upon this he made 
oxcellont improvements in buildings and equipment and engaged 
extensivelv in general farming and stock-raising. He has now. 





FRAXt IS i,i:i'ii:l.\i.\\ 



HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 319 

however, rented practically all of his land to his sons, although he 
still makes his home upon the farm. 

At Freeport, Illinois, Mr. Leffelman married Miss Catherine 
Miltenberger, who died in 1865, leaving four children : John, who 
is assisting his father ; George, a hardware merchant of Sublette ; 
Ann, the wife of Cornelius Vossen, a farmer in Sublette township ; 
and Sister Mary, who was a teacher in the Franciscan Order and 
who died in Milwaukee. On the 1st of February, 1867, Mr. I^eff el- 
man was again married, his second union being with Miss Cath- 
erine Lempey, a daughter of Philip and Christina Lempey, natives 
of Hesse-Darmstadt, Germany, who came to Illinois in 1860 and 
settled in Ohio Station. Both have passed away and are buried in 
St. Mary's cemetery. May township. To Mr. Leffelman 's second 
union were born four children: Michael, a farmer and stock- 
raiser in May township ; Margaret, the wife of Jacob Kohler, a 
farmer in Sublette township; Joseph, engaged in agricultural pui-- 
suits in May township; and Louise, the wife of Andrew Steffens, 
of Sublette township. 

Mr. Leffelman is a member of the Catholic church, and he gives 
his political allegiance to the republican party. He was road com- 
missioner and school director for a number of years and proved 
as capable and trustworthy in public office as in all other relations 
of life. A residence of forty-six years in Lee county has made 
him widely and favorably known and has brought him into promi- 
nence as a farsighted business man, an able agriculturist and a 
representative citizen. 



CHARLES H. GONNERMANN. 

Charles H. Gonnermann, a progressive and successful yoimg 
farmer of Bradford township, was born here October 1, 1883, a 
son of Henry and Katherine Gonnermann, of whom further men- 
tion is made elsewhere in this work. He was I'eared upon his 
father's farm and acquired his education in the public schools of 
the township, spending his time when not engaged with his books 
aiding his father in the operation of the homestead. When he 
became of age he took charge of the home farm of one himdred 
and twenty acres on section 3, Bradford township, and this he 
has since successfully operated. He has a valuable property pro- 
vided with excellent buildings and equipment, and he carries 



320 HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 

forward the work of its development in a practical and pro- 
gressive way. 

On the 20th of January, 1910, Mr. Gonnermann was united in 
marriage to Miss Nellie A. Keacker, who was born June 20, 1885, 
ill Bradford township, this county, a daughter of William and 
Minnie Keacker, the father a native of CTermany, the mother of 
Lee county. The parents came to America at an early date and 
still reside in Bradford township. Mr. and Mrs. Gonnermann are 
membeis of the German Luthei'an church, and Mr. Gonnermann 
gives his political allegiance to the republican party. He is still 
a young man but he has already become well known in agricul- 
tural circles and will niiddulrtedly be carried forward into still 
more important relations with farming interests of his native 
township. 



CHARLIE GLEIM. 



Dui'ing the entire period of his active life Charlie Gleim lias 
been engaged in agricultural pursuits and since 1892 has been the 
owner of one of the iiiiest farms in Lee county, his holdings com- 
prising two hundred and eighty acres on section 28, Ashton town- 
ship. He was born in Ciermany on the 28th of October, 1858, and 
is a son of Adam and Louise Gleim, also natives of that country. 
They came to America in 1867 and located in Lee county, Illi- 
nois, where both passed away. To their union were born nine 
children, of whom eight are yet living. 

Charlie Gleim was reared upon his father's fai'm and acquired 
his education in the district schools of this locality. When he 
was twent.v-one years of age he began working as a farm hand 
and so continued for six years. In 1892 he became an independ- 
ent farmer, buying the property which he now owns. This com- 
prises two hundred and eighty acres on section 28, Ashton town- 
ship, and Mr. Gleim has made excellent improvements upon it. 
providing it with good buildings and modern machinery. He 
makes a specialty of raising <niid feeding stock and has built up an 
extensive business along this line. 

On the 11th of April, 1887, Mr. Gleim was united in marriage 
to Miss Mary Reitz, a native of Lee county and a daughter of 
Adam and Barbara Reitz. Mr. and Mrs. Gleim have five chil- 
dren: Tjcna B. B., who was born January 28, 1888, and who is 



HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 321 

now the wife of Fred Bork, of Ugie cuunt\-, iUiuois ; William FI. 
born January 18, 1890, at home ; Frank T., whose birth occurred 
November 17, 1891 ; Alta M., born AugTist 8, 1898 ; and Amanda 
D., born December 12, 19U3. The parents are members of the 
Lutheran church and Mr. Gleim gives his political allegiance to 
the republican party, taking an intelligent interest in the advance- 
ment and growth of Lee county, where he has resided for many 
years. He is a man of enterprise and ability and has, therefore, 
been carried forward into important relations with agricultu]-al 
interests of this locality. 



F. D. GEHANT. 



No history of West Brooklyn woidd bo complete without men- 
tion of the Gehant family, for representatives of the name have 
been most active and prominent in the development, agricultural 
and commercial, of this part of the county. Through all his bi;si- 
ness career F. D. Gehant has borne an untarnished name, and it 
has been through close ai^plication and unfaltering perseverance 
that he has won the success that now enables him to live retired. 
His birth occurred near Ashton, January 30, 1870, his parents 
being Claude and Mary (Antoine) Gehant. The father's resi- 
dence in Lee count}^ dated from 1S?>'), ouly three years after the 
Black Hawk war, when settlers in this part of the county were 
very few. Everything was yet in a primitive condition, and the 
work of progress and improvement seemed scarcely begun. Tn 
fact wild game of all kinds was to be had and there wei'e still many 
traces of the Indian to be found in this part of the state. In 
June the praii-ies were starred with a million wild flowers and in 
December were covered with a dazzling unbi'oken sheet of snow. 
The father became the owner of forty acres of wild land aud 
began the development of a farm. The machinery and implements 
were comparatively crude at that day aud much of the work had 
to be done by hand, but as the years passed on the labors of INIr. 
Gehant wrought a marveloiTS change in the ap])earance of his 
place, and as his financial resources increased he kept adding to 
his property until he was the owner of three hundred and twenty 
acres, although he later sold forty acres of this. He brought his 
fields to a high state of cultivation aud added many modern 
improvements to his farm. His life's labors were ended in death 



322 HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 

in 19U1, when lie had reached the age of seventy-two years. He 
had long survived his wife, who died in 1883, at the age of thirty- 
three years. They were worthy people highly esteemed by all 
who knew them, and they left behind many friends. They had 
four children, of whom one died in infancy, while Euphemia, who 
became the wife of A. T. Jeauguenat, died January 25, 1900, at the 
age of thirty-three years. Arthur, the only surviving member 
of the family beside F. 1). Gehant, is a farmer residing on the old 
homestead. 

At the usual age ¥. D. Gehant entered the district schools and 
therein mastered the common branches of learning before putting 
aside his text-books at the age of seventeen years. The succeed- 
ing five years were devoted to work upon the home farm, and when 
twenty-two years of age he purchased a tract of land of one him- 
dred and sLxty acres near Thornton, Iowa. He spent three years 
upon that farm, after which he sold the propertj'^ and returned to 
his native county. At West Brooklyn he purchased a general 
store, which he conducted for several years, meeting with good 
success in the undertaking. Fie next entered the banking business 
of the Henry F. Gehant Banking Company, being associated 
therewith for more than a decade, at the end of which time he 
purchased a hardware store at Viola, Mercer county. This he 
conducted successfully for eighteen months and then sold at a 
good profit, although he is still the owner of the building. Return- 
ing to his native county he bought seven acres of land near West 
Brooklyn, which he is now laying out as an addition to the town. 
He is a very progressive man readily recognizing and utilizing 
opportunities, and whatever he undertakes he carries forward 
to successful completion. In addition to his other business activi- 
ties he was one of the promoters of the West Brooklyn Farmers 
Elevator Company, of which he was treasurer for four years and 
is still one of the stockholders. 

It was at West Brooklyn on the 7th of June, 1893, that Mr. 
Gehant was united in marriage to Miss Mary Henry, a daughter 
of Leopold and Delphine Henry, the former one of the pioneer 
agriculturists of the county, now I'esiding in West Brooklyn. 
Unto Mr. and Mrs. Gehant have been born six children : Leafy, 
who is a student in the ISTotre Dame University of Indiana; 
Claude, a high school pupil ; Veronica. Cyril and Fintan, all of 
whom are attending school ; and Meh'in, two years of age. 

Mr. Gehant is an earnest I'epublican in his political "\aews, and 
his position upon any vital question is never an equivocal one. 



HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 323 

He lias held the office of mayor of West Brooklyn for eleven years 
and was secretary of the board of education for an equal period. 
In both positions he made a splendid record of lidehty, loyalty 
and capability, and his worth is uniformly acknowledged through- 
out the community in which almost his entire life has been passed. 



ISAAC EDWARDS. 



Isaac Edwards was numbered among Lee county's most promi- 
nent citizens, becoming recognized as a successful business man, 
while in public life he contributed much to the general welfare 
through the faithful, conscientious and able manner in which he 
discharged his official duties. He was born July 31, 1828, in 
Somersetshire, England, a son of Marmaduke and Charlotte 
(Tavener) Edwards. The father was a shoemaker by trade and 
thus provided for his family, which numbered six children. The 
mother died in 1810, and the father afterward married again and 
had six children by the second union. 

Isaac Edwards was the only one of the children of the first 
marriage who came to America, but two of his half brothers emi- 
grated to the United States — Job, who located in Warren, Illi- 
nois, and William, of Amboy. The educational advantages of 
Isaac Edwards were limited. He was but twelve years of age 
at the time of his mother's death, and soon afterward he began to 
provide for his own support. He I'emaiued in England until 
1850 and then came to America. Proceeding westward, he stopped 
at Elgin, Illinois, where he was employed on the construction of 
the Chicago & Galena Railroad. The following winter he did 
similar work in Indiana but in the spring of 1851 returned to 
this state, working first at Rockfoi'd and later at Pecatonica. He 
had three contracts on the construction of the Illinois Central 
Railroad and graded seven miles of that line. He afterward 
spent a short time at Forreston, Illinois, and subsequently came 
to Amboy, where he was employed on the construction of the Illi- 
nois Cpntral Railroad until it was completed. He then engaged 
in the livery business and in general teaming. Subsequentlv he 
had contracts on the construction of the Chicago, Rock Island & 
Pacific: the Kansas City branch of the Alton: the Chicago & 
Pacific, and the Chicago. Milwaukee & St. Paul railroads. He 



324 HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 

also devoted ten years to railroad work in Iowa but during this 
time still continued liis business in Am boy. 

In 1879 Mr. Edwards was elected county treasurer but the 
board of supervisors questioned the sufficiency of his bond, al- 
though his bondsmen were sevei'al of the most wealthy farmers of 
Lee county. On referring the case to the states attorney he held 
that they could not accept a new bond after the 1st 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. 
E(l\vards was elected sheriff of Lee county and during the four 
years which he spent as the incumbent in that position he resided 
in Dixon. In the meantime his son conducted his livery business 
in Amboy until the expiration of the father's term of office. Dur- 
ing the Civil war Mr. Edwards furnished the government with 
many horses. He was an extensive dealer in horses and in addi- 
tion to that business he successfully carried on farming, owning 
over five hundred acres of good land. While carrying on his 
individual business affairs he likewise filled many offices, serv- 
ing for an extended period as county supervisor, as collector of 
city taxes and for several terms as mayor of Amboy. In his 
political views he was an earnest republican and at all times was 
public-spirited and active in support of interests pertaining to 
the welfare and progress of town and county. 

In 185,3 Mr. Edwards was united in marriage to Miss Eliza- 
beth Saul, a daughter of Thomas Saul of Forreston, Illinois, and 
they became the parents of eight childi-en, of whom four died in 
childhood. Those surviving are: William J. and James A., the 
former engaged in the livery business and the latter in the ice 
business in Amboy; John H., who is a traveling salesman; and 
Isaac F., living in Dixon. Mr. Edwards' death caused deep 
rogiet to all who knew him, for he was one of the well known citi- 
zens of Lee county, held in high esteem by all. 



HARTMAN M. KERSTEN. 

Hartman M. Kersten is now living retired in Ashton, but for 
manv vears he was a most active, energetic business man, carry- 
ing on general farming and the raising of blooded stock. He is 
still the owner of a valuable f.-nin property upon which is a large 
grain elevator. Lee county numbers him among her native sons, 




JIR. AND MRS. HAKTMAX M. K KHSTKX 




ELE\'ATOR OF HAKTMAN M. KKRSTEN 



HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 329 

his birth having occurred in Bradford township, Januaiy 13, 
1860, his parents being Jolm and Christine (llildebrandt) Ker- 
sten, mention of wlioni is made elsewliere in tliis volume. The 
country scliools afforded him his early educational privileges and 
he afterward spent two winter terms in Northwestern College at 
Naperville, Illinois, attending there in 1881 and 1882. He then 
returned home and assisted his father through two succeeding 
years. He afterward purchased seventy acres from his fathei'- 
in-law, located on section 36, Bradford township, while his wife 
inherited eighty acres adjoining. Upon this tract, then compris- 
ing one hundred and fifty acres, he ):)egan farming and converted 
the land into an arable section, readily producing good crops as 
the result of his progressive methods of tilling the soil. He erected 
modern buildings and made a sjiecialty of raising blooded stock, 
handling largely Galloway cattle. As prosperity crowned his 
labors he purchased more land from time to time, becoming the 
owner of the Cleim farm of one hundred and twenty acres in 
Bradford township and also another tract of one hundred and 
nine acres in the same township. He likewise has other land in 
Lee county situated near Dixon. He continued upon the home 
farm until December, 1903, when he sold his blooded stock and 
I'emoved with his family to Ashton, wlicic he now makes his 
lionie, living retired in the enjoyment of well earned rest. In 
1913 he erected ui)on his farm in Bradf(n'd township a grain ele- 
\'ator, having a capacity of ten thousand bushels, and he also built 
a private siding from the Northern Illinois l]lectric Railroad to 
the elevator, thus securing excellent shipping facilities. 

On the loth of January, 1885, Hartman M. Kersten was mar- 
ried to Miss Mary Gross, a daughter of Reinhart and INIartha 
(Reinhart) Gross, who were natives of Kcrr-Hessen, Germany. 

Unto Mr. and Mrs. Kersten were born thi'ee children. Arthur 
a., who owns and operates a farm in Ashton township, wedded 
Miss Minnie Heucrt and has one son, Clarence Hartman Kersten. 
Rosa C. is the wife of Edward M. Herwig, who owns and culti- 
vates a tract of land in Bradford township. Alice E. Kersten is 
deceased. 

Mr. Kersten is a member of the United Evangelical church 
and has taken an active and helpful part in the various lines of 
church woi'k, serving foi' many years as Sunday-school superin- 
tendent. When a youth of thirteen he had been converted throTigh 
the efforts and teaching of Christian Schuster and Joetchel. He 
is a progressive in politics and has been a delegate to republican 



330 HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 

county conventions. He tilled the office of road commissioner and 
for eleven years was school director. Mr. Kersten believes tirmly 
in promoting the public-scliool interests and in giving to the youth 
of the land the best educational opportunities possible. He is 
one of the prominent and prosperous citizens of Lee county, and 
while promoting his individual success, has always found time 
to aid in the general development and the advancement of the 
public welfare. 



WILLIAM C. HOLDREN. 

William C Holdren is the owner of a farm of eighty acres on 
section 10, Brooklyn townshiiD, near the city limits of Compton. 
He came to this county in 1851, brought by his loarents, John and 
Phoebe (Derr) Holdren. He was then but a year old, his birth 
having occurred in Pennsylvania, June 15, 1850. The father had 
purchased the property upon which the family settled in 1848. 
Tlii'ee years later lie brought his family to the middle west, and 
they took up their abode upon the tract of government land which 
he had secured, and which was still in its wild condition, not a 
furrow having been turned or an improvement made. With char- 
acteristic energy he began its development and converted the 
place into rich fields. He was a very popular man, and one who 
left the impress of his individuality for good upon the community 
in which he lived. He was at the head of the Union League and 
was therefore in thorough sympathy with the Union cause and the 
administration at Washington. One of his brothers was an 
enlisted soldier in the Union army. John Holdren died in 1898. 
having for two years survived his wife, who passed away in 1896. 
their i-emains being interred in Malugin Grove cemetery. 

William C. Holdren was the eldest in his father's family. He 
had comparatively limited opportunities of attending school, hav- 
ing to ]Hit aside his text-books at the age of fifteen years in order 
to assist his father in the further cultivation and development of 
the home place. He was thus employed until he attained his 
majoritv, after which he learned the carpenter's trade with his 
uncle, Mathias, with whom he worked until 1881. Tn that year 
he secured a position as fireman on the Chicago, Burlington & 
Quincy Railroad and spent three years in that way. He next 
began building residences in this vicinity and erected many of the 



HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 331 

substantial liomes of the district until 1907. In that year he 
accepted the position of salesman for the Acme Harvester Com- 
pany and has found the business not only congenial but prolitable. 
He seems almost intuitively to know how to approach a man and 
by square dealing and progressive methods has found no diffi- 
culty in disposing of the goods which he handles. He owns two 
farms which are now managed by his son, and Mr. Holdren is 
largely concentrating his attention upon commercial pursuits. 

On the 28th of February, 1882, in Dixon, Mr. Holdren was 
united in marriage to Miss Marilla E. Adrian, a daughter of 
Evans and Mary Ann Adrian. Her father was a large stock- 
raiser and was the owner of the Gllenwood farm. The mother died 
in March, 1912, and was laid to rest in the Malugin Grove ceme- 
tery. Mr. and Mrs. Holdren have become the parents of three 
children: Fannie, the wife of William Bird, a retired farmer; 
John, a representative farmer of Viola township ; and Emma, who 
resides at home. 

In politics jNIr. Holdren is a progressive, while fraternally he 
is connected with the Masons, holding membership in the lodge 
at Compton and in the chapter and commandery at Mendota. He 
belongs to the United Brethren church, in which he is serving as 
a trustee. He attributes his success and justly so to his hard work, 
and his close application and energ^^ constitute an example that 
others might profitably follow. 



J. F. SANDERS. 



J. F. Sanders, who died in Texas in 1905. was for many years 
connected with agricultural interests of Lee comity. His birth 
occurred here March 9, 185-5, his parents being Henry and T?acliel 
(Morgan) Sanders, the foiiner a native of Pennsylvania and the 
latter of Ohio. The parents came to Lee county, Illinois, in their 
early years and both passed away here. 

J. F. Sanders was reared in Lee county and following the com- 
pletion of his studies engaged in farming. In the spring of 1889 
after the death of his first wife, who passed away in 1888, he, 
with his two sons, moved in with his brother, John W.. and they 
farmed together for a year or two. In 1891 he was again mar- 
ried. In 1905 he moved to Texas where he had bought two hun- 
dred and thirty-six acres of land, upon which his death occurred 



332 HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 

in tlie same year. His widow still owns the property but after her 
husband's death returned to Lee county, where she now resides. 

In January, 1881, Mr. Sanders married jVIiss Martha George, 
a native of Lee countj^, daughter of David and Susan (Reed) 
George, and moved on his father-in-law's farm in Bradford 
townshii), where he farmed until 1889. To this union were born 
three childi'en: Nathan H., who now lives in Ashton; Clarence 
D., who lives on his farm in Bradford township; and Grace M., 
who was born in May, 1888, and died the same year. Mr. Sanders 
also lost his wife in that year. In 1891 he married again, his second 
union being with Miss Annie L. Sanders, a native of Pennsylvania 
and a daughter of Daniel and Sarah (McCleaf) Sanders, both 
born in Adams county, that state. Mr. and Mrs. Sanders became 
the parents of two sons : Robert F., a resident of Iowa, and Roger 
A., at home. Mrs. Sanders is a member of the Lutheran church 
and is widely known in Lee county, where she is recognized as a 
woman of exemplary character and high principles. 



AUGUST F. GEHANT. 

Aiigust F. Gehant is the owner of two hundred acres of fine 
land on section 31, Viola township), and upon this property is liv- 
ing a retired life after many years of close connection with agri- 
cultTiral interests of the locality. He is a native son of Lee county, 
born in 1866, his parents being Modest and Olympia (Chaon) 
Gehant, the former of whom passed awa_v in 1904 and is buried in 
West Brooklyn. His wife survives him and makes her home in 
Brookl^m township, having I'eached the age of sixty-nine. 

August F. Gehant acquired his education in the public schools 
of Brookhni township and laid aside his books at the age of fifteen, 
afterward assisting his father with the work of the farm until 
he was twenty-three. When he began his independent career he 
rented land, upon which he resided for three years, after which he 
bought the farm which he now owns, remaining active in its culti- 
vation for many years. He has erected an excellent residence 
upoii it and a number of farm buildings and, although he has now 
given up the active work of the fields on account of ill health, 
he yet gives careful supervision to the operation of the prop- 
erty. 



HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 333 

lu West Brooklyn, ou the 29tli of August, 1899, Mr. Gehaiit 
was uuitecl in marriage to JMiss Alary Bresson, a daughter of 
Delphiu and Clarice (Antoiue) Bresson, the former of whom 
passed away in 1900 and is buried in West Brooklyn. His wife 
survives him and makes her home with the subject of this review. 
Mr. and Airs. Gehaut have become the parents of a daughter, 
Stella. 

Air. Gehant is a republican in his political beliefs and for the 
past six years has served as road coimnissioner, discharging his 
duties in a capable and able way. He is well and favorably known 
in his native community, for his life has been honorable, upright 
and straightforward in all its relations. 



J. G. HALL, Jr. 



J. G. Hall, Jr., a well known agriculturist and public official 
of Alay township, devotes his attention to the operation of an 
excellent farm of three hundred and sixty acres ou sections 3 and 
4 and also ably discharges the duties devohing upon him in the 
capacity of township clerk. He is numbered among the worthy 
native sons of Lee county, Illinois, and was born on the farm on 
which he now resides, on the 1st of July, 1877, his parents being 
J. G. and Alary Hall. The father, one of the pioneer settlers 
of this county, was busily engaged in general agricultural pur- 
suits throughout his active business career and is now living in 
honorable retirement at Ambo}^, Illinois. He held the position 
of highway commissioner for sixteen years and has long enjoyed 
an enviable reputation as one of the prosperous, popular and 
representative citizens of the community. During the period of 
the Civil war he loyally fought as a soldier of the L^nion army. 
The Hall family is of English origin. 

J. G. Hall, Jr., attended the district school in the acquirement 
of an education and also pursued a course of study in Dilley's 
Commercial College at Dixon. After returning home he assisted 
his father in the woi'k of the farm until twenty-three years of 
age and then rented the property, comprising three hundred and 
sixty acres of rich and productive land on sections 3 and 4. Alay 
township, which he has operated continuously and successfully 
since. He cultivates the cereals best adapted to soil and climate 
and also devotes considerable attention to stock-raising, making a 



33i HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 

specialty of sliortliorii cattle and Poland Cliiua hogs, Mr. Hall 
assisted in making tlie improvements on the place, which is now 
lacking in none of the accessories and conveniences of a model 
farm of the twentieth century. 

On the 3d of October, 1901, at Amboy, Illinois, Mr. Hall was 
united in marriage to Miss Lela Rex, her parents being Charles 
and Amelia (Clink) Rex, residents of Sublette townshij), this 
county. The father, an agriculturist by occupation, took up his 
abode among the pioneer settlers of that township. Our subject 
and liis wife have two sons, Frank and George, both of whom 
are attending school. 

Mr. Hall gives his political allegiance to the rej^ublican party 
and has held several positions of public trust and responsibility. 
He is the jDresent incumbent in the position of township clerk, 
which office he has held for two years, has also acted as treasurer 
for three years and for the past fifteen years has been a director 
of the board of education, serving in the last named capacity at 
the present time. His religious faith is indicated by his member- 
ship in the Congregational church, and in the community where 
his entire life has been spent he has a circle of friends which is 
almost coextensive with the circle of his acquaintances. 



M. L. WHITE, M. D. 



In no profession has woman demonstrated her fitness more 
fully than in the practice of medicine. She possesses a character- 
istic sympathy and an almost intuitive understanding that are 
of much avail to her in professional work. Dr. White, now prac- 
ticing successfully in Dixon, was born in Plattsburg, New York, 
a daughter of of Cary J. and Eunice (Cobb) White. The father 
was a farmer by occupation, following that pursuit in the Empire 
state and again after removing to Illinois in 1871, at which time he 
settled in Paw Paw, Lee county. 

Dr. White pursued her more specifically literary ediTcation in 
the public schools. She devoted five years to teaching and then 
deteriTiining to enter upon the practice of medicine matriculated 
in the Women's Medical College of Chicago, from which she was j 
gi-adnated with the class of 1894. She has since done post-gradu- 
ate work in that city and is continuously promoting her knowl- . 

edge through wide reading, research and investigation. She has | 

J 




DK. M. L. WHITE 



HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 337 

gained a liberal practice, not only among many of Uixon's best 
people, but also thi-oughout the surrounding country, using an 
automobile in making her visits. Her fellow membeis of the 
profession recognize her skill and superior qualifications and the 
public trust in her is evidenced in the liberal support given her. 
She has been insurance examiner for several companies aud she 
is a member of the Lee County and IlUnois State Medical So- 
cieties and of the American Medical Association. Dr. White is 
very popular in Dixon, possessing attractive personal qualities, 
which have won her a circle of friends almost coextensive with 
the circle of her acquaintances. 



JOHN GONNER^IAN. 



John Gonnerman is engaged in general farming on section 18, 
Reynolds township, occupying the old family homestead of one 
hundred and sixty acres. The occupation to which he was reared 
he has made his life work, and it has been by reason of his industry 
and perseverance that he has attained a creditable measure of suc- 
cess, becoming one of the substantial fanners of the community. 
He was born in Reynolds township, March 31, 1872, and is a son of 
Marcus Gonnerman. He remained at home until he attained his 
majority and during that period attended the public schools, 
spending the winter months in study, while the summer seasons 
were devoted to the work of the farm. He began to till the fields 
almost as soon as he was able to reach the plow handles, and as the 
years have progressed he has had long and practical experience in 
farm work. When he reached man's estate he rented a farm and 
contimied to cultivate leased land for a number of years, during 
which jieriod he carefully saved his earnings until his economy 
and industry had brought him sufficient capital to enable him to 
purchase two hundred acres of land in Ogle county. He lived 
upon that farm for a year and then sold it and removed to the old 
homestead in Re.vnolds township on section 38, comprising one 
hundred and sixty acres of land which is naturally rich and arable. 
He carries on general farming, raising crops best adapted to soil 
and climate, and the rich prairie land of Hlinois responds in good 
crops. 

Tn 1902 Mr. Gonnerman was united in marriage to Miss Anna 
H. Cordes. who was bom in Woodford county, Illinois, a daugh- 



338 HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 

tei- of Juliu and Grace Cordes, both of whom were natives of Ger- 
many. They came to America at an early day and to them were 
born ten children. Mr. and Mrs. Gonnerman have become the par- 
ents of two children : Florence M., born April 2-i, 1903, and Cor- 
nelius, born July 28, 1905. The parents hold membership in the 
Lutheran church and are loyal to its teachings, exemplifying their 
faith in their lives. Mr. Gonnerman has served for seven years as 
school director and believes that good schools should furnish chil- 
dren the training which will lit them for life's practical and 
responsible duties. He votes with the republican party but does 
not seek nor desire office, preferring to concentrate his energies 
upon his business affairs. 



PETER STREIT. 

Probably no man is better known throughout northern Illi- 
nois as a live-stock breeder and dealer than Peter Streit, who has 
made a special study of everything relating to this line of work 
and is now a recognized authority on breeding methods and stock 
values. He is interested in the scientific aspects of farming and 
has applied his theories to the utmost advantage in the manage- 
ment of his one hundred and sixty acre farm on section 24, May 
township. He is a native son of Lee county, born March 31, 1872, 
his jjarents being Michael and Margaret (Heser) Streit, natives 
of Germany. The father came from that country to Illinois in 
1864 and settled in Chicago, where he worked in the sliops until 
1866. He then moved to Lee county and settled on a farm in 
Sublette township, whereon he coiitinued for two years. At the 
end of that time he bought the pro]iorty upon which his son is now 
residing and thereafter carried foi'ward the work of its cultiva- 
tion imtil his death. He brought the place to a high state of culti- 
vation, laying many miles of tiling, fencing and cross fencing his 
fields and remodeling and repairing the buildings. He passed 
away February 27, 1913. at the age of seventy-two, having sur- 
vived his wife since 1900. Both are buried in Sublette cemetery. 
They were the parents of nine children : George and John, who 
died in infancy and are buried in the Perkins Grove cemeterv; 
Catherine, the Avife of Nicholas Jacoby, a farmer in South Da- 
kota ; Mary, who married Peter Koldy, a farmer in Sublette town- 
ship; Peter, of this review; Mathias, engaged in farming near 



HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 339 

New Hampton, Iowa; John, second of the name, a fanner in New 
Hampton ; Nicholas, a resident of the same locality ; and Charles, 
also a farmer in New Hampton. 

Peter Streit acquired his education in the old Dolan school- 
liouse in May township, attending during the winter months and 
spending his summers aiding in the operation of his father's 
farm. He began his independent career in 1899 by I'enting land 
and now operates the old homestead. He specializes in raising 
pure-bred l)uroc Jersey hogs and Morgan horses and has an envi- 
able reputation as a breeder and fancier, his opinions being recog- 
iiized as standard authority. He owns some of the largest and 
heaviest pure-bred swine in northei-n Illinois and has bred these 
animals himself, his success being the result of long experience 
and continued effort. He occupies an equally enviable place 
among the breeders of Morgan liorses and his animals have been 
used by the United States government for military purposes. 

At* St. Mary's church, in May township, Jul'y 29. 1903, Mr. 
Streit was united in marriage to .Miss jNIary Becker, a daughter of 
John and Louise Becker, the former one of the oldest settlers in 
this part of Lee county. Mrs. Becker passed away in 1884 and is 
buried in St. Mary's cemetery. Her husband survives her and 
makes his home in jNIay townsliip. Mr. and Mrs. Streit became the 
l)arents of three children: Alma, who died in 1909 and is buried 
in St. Mary's cemetery; Floyd, and Edna. 

Mr. Streit is a member of the Eoman Catholic church and a 
democrat in his political views. He is a director of the Lee County 
Fair Association and active in his support of this and other pub- 
lic enterprises. While promoting his personal interests he has 
contiibuted in substantial measure to general progress and devel- 
opment and is numbered today among the most representative and 
valued citizens of Lee county. 



TONY M. W. REITZ. 



Tony M. W. Reitz, a native son of Tjcc county and one of the 
progressive and successful farmers and stock-raisers of Ashton 
townshi]i, was born August 23, 1868. His parents, Adam and Bar- 
bara (Henkkeroth) Reitz, were natives of Germany and they 
cnme to America in 1866, locating in Lee county, Hlinois. where 
both passed away, the father in 1899 and the mother in 1910. Both 



340 HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 

were laid to rest in the Ashton cemetery. Of the seven children 
born to their union six survive. 

Tony M. W. Reitz spent lais childhood and youth upon his 
father's farm, aiding in its operation when not engaged with his 
books. When he was twenty-three years of age he married and 
rented a farm upon which he resided for seven years. At the 
end of that time he bought a farm on section 33, Ashton town- 
ship and upon this property has since resided. It is provided 
with a tine residence, barns and outlmildings and all the con- 
veniences necessary to the conduct of a profitable agricultural 
property. Aside from general farming Mr. Reitz is also exten- 
sively interested in stock-raising, paying particular attention to 
breeding sheep. 

Mr. Reitz married JMiss Mary A. Gonnerman, a native of Brad- 
ford township, this county, and they have become the parents of 
five children: Clara K. L., Molly L., Katie L., Emma M., and 
Clarence H. The parents are members of the Lutheran church, 
and Mr. Reitz gives his political allegiance to the republican 
paity. In business his course has been characterized by the strict- 
est fidelity to principle, and in social relations he displays an un- 
failing courtesy that has won for him many friends. 



DAVID GEORGE. 



Illinois outside of the city of Cliicago owes its prosperity and 
advancement to the industry, enterprise and progressiveness of 
the representatives of agricultural life and prominent in this con- 
nection was David George of Lee county, who was the owner of 
extensive farms not only in this state but in Iowa. Pennsylvania 
numbei'ed him among her native sons, his birth having occun-ed 
at East Berlin, Adams county, August 21, 1828. His parents, 
Jacob and Mary (Knop) George, spent their entire lives in Penn- 
sylvania, where the father followed the occui^ation of farming. 
The family nmnbered four sons: Cornelius, Da^dd, Samuel and 
Henry and several daughters: including Mrs. Lizzie Weaver, 
Mrs. Anna Cline, Mrs. Molly McClellan and Mrs. Rachel Pentz. 

Reared in the Keystone state David George worked at the car- 
penter's trade in early life and when a young man of twenty-three 
years came to Illinois, arriving in 1851. For two years thereafter 
he continued to follow his trade. After his marriage, which oc- 




DA^'ID GEOR(!I': 



HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 343 

curred in Peiiusylvauia iu 1855, lie returned to Lee county and 
settled in Eranklin Grove, where he lived for a year. He then 
removed to a farm near Ashton and the remainder of his life was 
devoted to general agricultural pursuits. He became much at- 
tached to the farm and would not return to the town. His last four 
years were spent upon a farm near Franklin Grove, his industry 
and energy — his dominant qualities — finding expression in the 
careful and systematic manner with which he developed and im- 
proved his land. He owned six quarter sections near Ashton and 
a half section near Franklin Grove, making altogether twelve hun- 
di'ed and eighty acres in this county, in addition to which he had 
extensive property holdings in Iowa. He secured his land entirely 
through his persistent and intelligently directed efforts and always 
gave personal supervision to the management and development of 
his faims. 

In Pennsylvania in 1855 Mr. George was united in marriage 
to Miss Susanna Reed, who was born in York, Pennsylvania, June 
7, 1833, and died on the old home farm near Ashton, Illinois, 
November 23, 1898, when sixty-five years of age. In their family 
were four children : Martha, who became the wife of Joseph Sand- 
ers, and who died in 1888 leaving three children ; William, born 
in 1859, who passed away in 1877 ; Ira, born August 17, 1864, who 
died October 13, 1907, leaving a widow and three children; and 
Mary, who is the wife of Charles Weybright and resides upon the 
farm formerly owned by her fathei- near Franklin Grove. Mr. 
Weybright was born at Harrisburg, now Bnglewood, Montgomery 
county, Ohio, June 12, 1874, and there resided until twenty-one 
years of age. He is a graduate of the commercial department of 
the Mount Morris (111.) College. In 1901 lie wedded Mary George 
and removed to Wichita, Kansas, where they remained for eight 
years, Mr. Weybright being there engaged in the milling business. 
In June, 1908, they returned to the old home farm near Franklin 
Grove in order to care for Mr. George with whom they continued 
until the latter 's death. Unto INIr. and Mrs. Weybright have been 
born three children : Leslie, Clare and Olive. Mr. Weybright is 
an enterprising, progressive business man and in the control of 
his farming interests displays excellent business ability and keen 
discernment. 

The death of Mr. George occurred February 14. 1912, when he 
had reached the venerable age of more than eighty-three years. 
He was a member of the Church of the Brethren and made fre- 
quent and generous donations to various churches and charities. 



344 HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 

giviug freely of Ms meaus to advauce the interests of humanity 
aud promote public progress. He was oue of the early and hon- 
ored pioneer settlers of the community, having come here before 
the Northwestern railroad was built. When it was constructed the 
railroad aud highway ran side by side along the border of his home 
place at Ashton, and he aided in securing the highway. He lived 
to see many notable changes as pioneer conditions gave way before 
an advancing civilization, and the change in nothing was greater 
than in his own financial condition which resulted from his busi- 
ness ability and unfaltering enterprise. 



A. F. LYMAN. 



A. P. Lyman, engaged in the plumbing aud heating business at 
West Brooklyn, is winning sa^iccess by reason of his thorough 
knowledge of the trades in which he embarked on starting out in 
life on his own accoimt. A native of Lee count.y, he was born at 
Amboy, January 21, 1881, and is a son of Levi H. and Frances 
(Bruce) Lyman. The father was a locomotive engineer on the 
Illinois Central Railroad and volunteered for service in the Civil 
war. He died in 1906, at the age of fifty-nine years, and lies 
buried in the Pi'airie Repose cemetery at Amboy. His wife now 
makes her home in Lee Center. 

A. F. Lyman was educated in the schools of Binghampton and 
the Amboy high school, but did not complete his course by gradu- 
ation. He put aside his text-books when eighteen years of age, 
wishing to enter business life, and, going to Chicago, he there 
learned the trade of plumbing and heating. He applied himself 
diligently to the mastery of the work and became quite expert in 
that line. He first located at Paw Paw, whei'o he carried on busi- 
ness for three years, but in 1906 sold out there and afterward 
worked as a plumber at Rochelle for two years. He then came 
to West Brooklyn, where in April, 1908, he opened his present 
establishment, which has since brought him a gratifying degree 
of success. He is now well prepai'ed to do difficult work along the 
line of his trade and a liberal ])atronage is accorded him. He pos- 
sesses much natural mechanical skill and ingenuity, which com- 
bined with his efficiency have prepared him for the perfonnance 
of any task that devolves upon him in this connection. 



HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 345 

In Dixon, Illinois, on the Ith of May, 1904, Mr. Lyman was 
united in marriage to Miss Bertha Fisher, a daughter of Jacob 
and Elma (White) Fisher, the former a pioneer farmer of Wil- 
low Creek township, while both are now residing in Searboro, 
Illinois. Mr. and Mrs. Ljanan have two children : Bruce, attend- 
ing school ; and Floyd, who is not yet of school age. 

Mr. Lyman votes with the republican party, and reading keeps 
him in touch with the vital questions and issues of the day. He 
holds membership with the Modern Woodmen camp. He and his 
wife are worthy young people, enjoying the warm regard of many 
friends, and their own home is a hospitable one. Realizing at the 
outset of his career that there is no royal road to wealth, Mr. Ly- 
man has always depended upon the substantial qualities of indxis- 
try and perseverance for the attainment of success. 



AUGUST C. GRIESE. 



August C. Griese, one of the prosperous and representative 
citizens of Bi-adford township, owning and ojierating seventy-five 
acres of land on section 1, was born in this township, March 3, 
1875. He is a son of Civiacus and Anna K. (Becker) Griese, na- 
tives of Germany who came to America in the '60s, settling in Lee 
county. The father died in 1888 and is survived by his wife, who 
makes her home in Franklin Grove. She has been twice married 
and previous to her union with the father of the subject of this 
review was Mrs. Webber. 

August C. Griese was reared in Bradford township and 
acquired his education in the public schools of this locality. He 
married in 1897 and in the same year purchased seventy-five acres 
of land on section 1, Bradford township. He still makes his home 
upon this property and has developed and improved it along prac- 
tical lines. He has valuable farming aud stock-raisiug interests 
here, and he owns also three hundi'ed and twenty acres of im- 
proved land in Cass county, neai' Fargo, North Dakota. 

Mr. Griese mai-iied ^liss Elizabeth Zimiiel, who was born in 
Germany, a daughter of Henry and Elizabeth (Oesterheld) Zim- 
pel, also natives of the fatherland. The parents came to America 
in 1882 and located in Lee county, Illinois, where both now reside. 
They were the parents of eight children, seven of whom are still 
living. Mr. and Mrs. Griese have two children: Vera B., who was 



346 HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 

born February 27, 1899, and Robert J. H., born May 22, 1905. 
The parents are members of the Lutheran church, and Mr. Griese 
is connected fraternally with the Modern Woodmen of America 
at Ashton. He gives his political allegiance to the republican 
party, being now in the fifteenth term of his able service as school 
director. He has spent his entire life in Bradford township and 
his industry, enterprise and ability have gained him high stand- 
ing in the commimity, where he is acknowledged to be a sub- 
stantial and representative citizen. 



IiIARCUS VENTLER. 



Marcus Ventler oAvns and occupies an excellent farm of three 
hundred and twenty acres on section 17, Reynolds township, and 
section 8, Bradford t<iwnship, Lee county. This by no means com- 
prises the extent of his realty holdings, however, for he has other 
valuable farm land in this state and in South Dakota. Lee county 
nunibei's him among her native sons, his birth ha^dng occurred 
in Bradford township, December IP., 1862, his parents being 
Andrew and Katherine E. Ventler. l)oth of whom were natives of 
Germany. They came to America in the early '50s and crossed 
the continent to Lee county, Illinois, where they established their 
home upon a farm, the father devoting his remaining days to 
general agricultural pursuits here. He died in this county, but 
the mother is still living iind makes her home in Ashton. In their 
family were nine children, six of whom survive. 

Marcus Ventler spent his youthful days under the parental 
roof, his time. being divided between the acquirement of an edu- 
cation and work in the fields. He supplemented his public-school 
training by study in college, and he is today a well informed man. 
keeping in touch with the world's progress along many lines. 
After he had attained his majority he started out in business life 
on his own accoimt, renting a farm for six years. He next pur- 
chased the land upon which he now reside'^, having three hundred 
and twenty acres on section 17, Rc;\niolds township, and section 8. 
Bradford township. He has made excellent improvements upon 
this property, which is one of the fine farms of the county, 
equi]iped with all modern accessories and conveniences. Tn addi- 
tion to this Mr. Ventler owns one lumdred and eighty acres in 
Ogle county, Illinois, and a half section of land in South Dakota. 



HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 347 

lu 1887 Mr. Ventler was united iii marriage to Miss Martha 
Albreclit, a native of Bradford township, tliis county, and they 
became the parents of seven children: Clara K., who was born 
December 16, 1887, and is the wife of Harry Schafer ; Edward A., 
born January 9, 1890 ; Mollie K., born May 28, 1892 ; Oliver A., 
born August 22, 1895; Ceorge, who was born November 28, 1897, 
and who died in December of the same year ; Amanda, born July 
16, 1901 ; and Florence K., born June 13, 1906. 

Mr. and JNIrs. A^eutler are members of the Lutheran church. 
They are well known in the community where they reside and 
have an extensive circle of warm friends. In his political views 
Mr. Ventler is a i'epul)liean and is now serving as township asses- 
sor and has been school director. He is interested in everything 
that pertains to the advancement and improvement of his sec- 
tion of the state and especially in progress along agricultural 
lines. He is a self-made man, deserving mucli credit for what he 
has accomplished, for since attaining his majority he has made 
substantial progress and is one of the leading farmers of his 
district. 



HARVEY W. HEIBENTHAL. 

Harvey W. Heibenthal, engaged in genei'al farming and stock- 
raising upon two hundred and forty acres of land on section 23, 
Bradford township, was born upon this property March 2, 1886. 
He is a son of William and Christina (Kersten) Heibenthal, na- 
tives of Lee county and residents of Ashton. In their family were 
seven children, of whom five are still living, as follows: Harvey 
W., of this review; Delia, the wife of Fred Tadd; and Alta, Ada 
and Clarence, at home. Mr. and Mrs. Heibenthal lost two daugh- 
ters. Hattie and Clara. 

Harvey W. Heibenthal grew up on his father's farm in Brad- 
ford township and was reared to farm life, becoming early famil- 
iar with the best and most practical agrieidtural methods. He 
married in 1911 and afterward rented the homestead, whereon 
he has since resided. This comprises two hundred and forty acres 
of excellent land on section 23, Bradford township, and Mr. 
Heibenthal has carried forward the work of its development and 
improvement along pi'ogressive and modern lines, making it 
increase in value and productiveness year by year. He makes a 



348 HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 

specialty of raising and feeding cattle and has extensive interests 
along this line. 

In 1911 Mr. Heibenthal married Miss Rose E. Henert, a daugh- 
ter of George and Anna K. (Griese) Henert, natives of Germany. 
The parents came to America at an early date and lived for many 
years in Lee county, where the father passed away in 1901. Mr. 
Heibenthal is a republican in his political beliefs and is connected 
fi-aternally with Lodge No. 977, I. O. O. F., and the Rebekahs. 
His wife is also a member of the latter organization. Both are 
well known in Bradford township, and they have an extensive 
circle of friends within the borders of Lee county. 



WILLIAM SANDROCK. 

William Sandi'ock is numbered among the citizens of Lee 
county who owe their success entirely to their perseverance, 
determination and industr}^ He started out in life empty-handed, 
but he recognized the fact that success is due to the close applica- 
tion and diligence of the individual and in employing these quali- 
ties he has worked his w^ay steadily upward. He now owns a fine 
farm on section 29, Reynolds township, and it was upon this farr" 
that he was born February 8, 1871. He is a son of George an 
Martha E. (Thiele) Sandrock, both of whom were natives of Ger- 
many. They came to Ameiica in 1848 and cast in their lot with 
the early settlers of Lee county, contributing to the development 
and ]irogress of their locality as the years passed on. They had a 
family oF five childien and mth the ('xcei)tion of Charles, all are 
yet living. 

The l)oyhood of William Sandrock was s]ient upon the farm 
which is now his home and which is endeared to him through the 
associations of youth and of manhood. At the usual age he 
entered the public schools and mastered the branches of learning 
tlicrcin taught. He w^as twenty-two years of age when, iu 1893, 
he Avas united in marriage to Miss Anna C. Kersten, who was 
boi'u in Ashton township, Lee county, and is a daughter of Hai't- 
mau and Anna E. Kei'ston. both of whom were natives of Ger- 
many, wlicncc they came to America in early life. They too made 
Ijcc connty their destination and the father continued his resi- 
dence here until his demise. He is survived by his wife, who is 
liA-iu!}: in Ashton. 




\Vir.l,IA>r SAXDKiil K 



HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 351 

Following his marriage William ISaudrock rented the old 
homestead for two years, during which period he carefully saved 
his earnings and was thus enabled to purchase the old home prop- 
erty comprising two hundred and forty acres of rich and pro- 
ductive land on section 29, Reynolds township. His labors have 
since wrought many changes in the appearance of the place. He 
has erected a tine and commodious residence, has built barns and 
sheds for the shelter of grain and stock and has added all the mod- 
ern equipments and improved machinery which so greatly facili- 
tate farm work. The actual work of the fields has been given over 
to a tenant and Mr. Sandrock lives practically retired. He also 
owns six himdred and forty acres of land in Canada, and the suc- 
cess which has crowned his efforts is the merited reward of his 
perseverance of purpose and his unfaltering labor. 

Unto Mr. and Mrs. Sandrock have been born three children: 
Lydia M., who was born October 6, 1895 ; Joy William, born Janu- 
ary 13, 1906 ; and Ray William, born August 30, 1908. The par- 
ents are members of the Evangelical Association, and Mr. 
Sandrock is president of the board of trustees and superintendent 
of the Sunday school. His political allegiance is given to the 
republican party, but he has never sought nor held political office. 
He served, however, for four terms as school director, and he 
believes in giving to children the opportunity for acquiring a good 
education which will serve as a preparation for life's practical 
and responsible duties. A lifelong resident of this county, resid- 
ing always on the farm which is yet his home, he is well known in 
this section of the state and that his life has been a commendable 
one is indicated by the warm regard in which he is uniformly 
held. 



JOHN P. FASSIG. 



The success which came to John P. Fassig in former years 
now enables him to live retired. He took up his abode in West 
Brooklyn in the spring of 1913, at which time he erected his pres- 
ent pleasant and commodious residence and the barns and sheds 
upon liis place. Prior to that time he had carried on general 
agrieultui'al pursuits. A native of Lee county, he was born on 
section 17, Brooklyn township, March 23, 1860. his parents being 
Phillip and Chailotte (Erbes) Fassig, the former being born 
June 1, 1822, and the latter August 24, 1825. The father came to 



352 HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 

the new world frum Germany iu 1854 and settled ou a farm uear 
Lamoille, Bureau county, where he remamed until 1859. He 
then purchased a tract of land of eighty acres in Brooklyn town- 
ship and by degrees converted it into fertile fields, from which he 
gathered golden harvests. He practiced strict economy as well as 
industry and was thus able f lom tune to time to add to his hold- 
ings until he had four hundred acres, bringing the entire farm 
to a high state of cultivation. Upon that place he reared his 
family of eight children, of whom six are yet living and are a 
credit to the family name. Of the two who passed away, Tina 
died at the age of seventeen years and was buiied in the Mendota 
cemetery, while Phillip died in February, 1912, at the age of 
fifty-six years, and was buried in the Brooklyn Union cemetery. 
The living members of the family are besides our subject: Wil- 
liam, who followed the carpenter's trade iu Mendota; Catherine, 
the wife of William Ulsh, of Gompton, Illinois ; Mai'y. the wife 
of John Yost, of Mendota ; Gharkitte, the wife of Edward Ulsh ; 
and Louise, the wife of Conrad Yost, of Mendota. The parents 
have both been called to the home beyond, the father dying Janu- 
ai-y 5, 1904, and the mother October 4, 1897. 

John P. Fassig was a pupil in the public schools of West 
Brooklyn until sixteen years of age, although he attended only 
through the winter months, while the summer seasons were de- 
voted to fai'm work. After putting aside his text-books his entire 
time was given to the labors of the fields on the old homestead 
until he reached the age of twenty-three years. Desirous that his 
efforts should more directly benefit himself, he then i-ented a 
farm, which he operated for four years, and the money that he 
saved during that period enabled him to purchase eighty acres 
of his father's farm. By degrees he increased this to three hun- 
dred and sixty acres and carried on general agricultural pursuits. 
His methods were practical, progressive and resultant. He placed 
substantial improvements upon his land, di\'ided it into fields of 
convenient size by well kept fences and used modern farm ma- 
chinery to till the soil and harvest the crops. At length his finan- 
cial returns had made him the possessor of a handsome competence 
aud content with this, he put aside further business cares and 
removed to West Brookhm, erecting his present home in the 
spring of 1913. l^ere he is pleasantly situated and is surrounded 
with all of the comforts and some of the Inxuries of life. 

On the 4th of Jannarv, 1885. in Brookhm township, was cele- 
brated the marriage of Mr. Fassig and Miss Sophie Florscheut?;, 



HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 353 

a daughter of George and Margaret Florscheutz. The father was 
a (ierman by bii'th and on coming to this country took up farm- 
ing, but both he and his wife are now deceased. They were con- 
nected with the German Lutheran church and were recognized as 
people of sterling worth in their community. Mr. and Mrs. Fas- 
sig had live children : Charles, who passed away in March, 1910, 
at the age of twenty-three years ; Carrie, who is at home ; George, 
a farmer residing on his father's laud, which is situated about a 
mile south of West Brooklyn; Tina, at home; and Ella, who is 
attending school. Mr. Fassig votes with the democratic party, and 
he and his wife belong to the German Lutheran church. High 
principles guide them in life's relations and they have gained 
many warm friends, who esteem them highly for their genuine 
worth of character. Mi'. Fassig started out in life empty-handed 
but was ambitious and willing to work, and his industry has 
brought him to the position of affluence which he now occupies. 



GEORGE WAGNER. 



George Wagner, a successful and highly respected farmer, 
prominent in the affairs of Bradford township, was born here 
October 1, 1868, a son of Jacol) Wagner. He acquired his 
education in the public schools of Bradford township and after 
completing his studies was emi^loyed in the work of the farm. Fol- 
lowing his marriage he engaged in farming upon rented land for 
nineteen years and at the end of that time bought a farm, whereon 
he now resides. He owns one hundred and sixty-five acres of land 
on section 12, Bradford township, and has added to the buildings 
and equipment of this property, which, through his able manage- 
ment, he has made one of the finest and most productive farms in 
this locality. 

Mr. Wagner married Miss Anna C. Sandrock, a native of Lee 
county and a daughter of George and Martha E. (Theil) 
Sandrock, natives of Germany. The parents came to America at 
an early date and located in Lee eoimty, Illinois, where both passed 
away. Of the six children born to their union four are living. Mr. 
and Mrs. Wagner have become the parents of a son: Arthur J., 
born Time 28. 1892. The parents are members of the Evangelical 
church, and Mr. Wagner gives his political allegiance to the repub- 
lican party. For six years he served as school director of his 



354 HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 

district and discliarged his duties in a capable and progressive man- 
ner. He is a man of high social, official and business standing and 
is recognized as one of the most honorable and valued citizens of 
the community. 



HENRY SEMMLER. 



There is a considerable Geraian element in the citizenship of 
Lee county, and it has constituted a force in the material develop- 
ment and progress of this section of the state, for the sons of the 
fatherland brought with them to the new world the qualities of 
determination and enterprise, which have been factors in the 
attainment of success on this side the Atlantic just as they had 
been in the old world. Born in Germany on the 6th of June, 3866, 
Henry Semmler is a son of August and Anna Martha Semmler, 
who were likewise natives of the fatherland. The mother died in 
that country, but August Semmler is still living. He remains, 
however, in his native land. In their famOy were six children, 
four of whom survive. 

Henry Semmler remained at home until nineteen years of 
age and during that time acquired his education in the schools 
of his native country. He has also learned many valuable lessons 
in the school of experience. Ambitious to enjoy better oppor- 
timities than he believed he could secure in Germany, he came to 
America in 1886 and settled in Lee county, Illinois. Here he 
worked on a farm as a hired hand for three years, but he was 
not content to continue in such a position. He believed that he 
was capable of doing something better, and just as soon as he had 
saved a sufficient sum from his earnings he rented land and began 
farming on his own account. Seven years were spent in that 
way, during which period he saved a sum sufficient to enable him 
to purchase a farm. He became the owner of the one hundred 
and sixty acre tract upon which he now resides on section 18, 
Re^molds township. It was partially improved when it came into 
his possession, and he has since added various improvements and 
wrought a change in the appearance of the place through his care- 
ful manner of tilling the soil and caring for the crops. He has 
always made a specialty of feeding sheep, and this has constituted 
a successful feature in his business. He has never been afraid of 



HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 355 

hard work, and it is this which has brought him the success which 
has crowned his labors. 

Mr. Semmler is a republican in his political views. He has 
never sought nor desired office, however, preferring to concentrate 
his energies upon his business affairs. He has acted as school 
director, believing firmly in the cause of public education and the 
employment of competent teachers. 

In 1890 Mr. Semmler was united in marriage to Miss Catherine 
E. Gonnerman, who was Iwrn in 1863 and is a daughter of Marcus 
and Christine E. (Ferneau) Gonnerman, both of whom were na- 
tives of Germany and in 1860 came to America. The mother died 
here in January, 1905, but the father is still living, making his 
home in Franklin Grove. They had a family of ten children, of 
whom two have passed away. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Semmler have 
been born four children: Oswin Marcus, who was born May 22, 
1891 ; Annette L., born December 5, 1893; Marie E., December 12, 
1898; and Gertrude E., January 19, 1902. The parents are mem- 
bers of the Lutheran church and are well known in the community 
in which they live, enjoying the warm regard of their many 
friends. 



ANDREW LITTLE. 



Andrew Little, a worthy native son and representative agricul- 
turist of Lee county, is the owner of a well improved farm of one 
hund]-ed and sixty-three acres on section 34, Viola township. His 
birth occurred in that toAvnship in November, 1850, his parents 
being Andrew and Charity (Ross) Little, who are deceased and 
lie buried in the old Burg cemetery. The father passed away on 
the 25th of March, 1857, while the mother's demise occurred on 
the 20th of November, 1850. They were among the esteemed pio- 
neer residents of the county and were sincerely mourned by an 
extensive circle of friends. 

Andrew Little, Jr., attended the schools of this county until 
seventeen years of age and subsequently started out as an agri- 
culturist on his own account, beginning the opei'ation of the farm 
which he had inherited from his parents. As his financial re- 
sources increased, owing to his capable management and untiring 
industry, he extended the boundaries of his place by purchasing 
adjoining property, and it now embraces one hundred and sixty- 



356 HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 

three acres of rich and productive hxud on section 34, Viola town- 
ship. As the years have gone by he has devoted his time and 
energies to mixed farming with excellent success and has long 
been numbered among the substantial and progressive citizens of 
his native county. He erected the residence and other buildings 
which adorn his property and which stand as monuments to his 
enterprise, thrift and energy. 

In December, 1871, in Lee county, Mr. Little was united in 
marriage to Miss Caroline Christiance, her parents being Abram 
and Caroline (Barhydt) Christiance. Her family was the third 
to settle in Brooklyn township, Abram Christiance coming to this 
county from New York in 1835. He passed away in 1894, while 
his wife was called to her final rest in November, 1871. Their 
remains are interred in Lee county. Mr. and Mrs. Little have one 
child, Edith I., who is the wife of Bui-ton Hartley, a farmer, of 
Viola township. 

Since age conferred upon him the right of franchise Mr. Little 
has supported the men and measures of the republican party, 
believing firmly in its i:)rinciples. He is a Master Mason and a 
worthy exemplar of the fraternity. Both he and his wife have 
spent their entire lives in Lee county and are well known and 
highly esteemed within its borders. 



WILLIAM HEINZEROTH. 

William Hcinzeroth is well known as a representative and 
highly respected farmer of Lee county, his home being in Reynolds 
township, but business is only one phase of his activity, for he 
takes a most helpful interest in church and Sunday-school work 
and has conti'ibuted largely to the agricultural development of the 
comuumity. He was born in this county October 2, 1859, and is a 
son of Michael and Anna S. (Schuchhard) Heiuzeroth, both of 
whom were natives of Germany but came to America in 1856 and 
settled in Lee county. Here they remained luitil called to their 
final rest. They were mmibci'cd among the pioneer citizens and 
lived to witness remai'kable changes as the years passed on and 
the \vork of improvement and development was carried forward. 
In their family were eight childi-en : Anna G., now deceased ; Wil- 
liam, of this review; John M.. who is living in La Salle county, 
Illhiois; Henry, whose home is in Bradford township; Justus, a 




WILLIAM HiaXZLKiiril 



HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 359 

resident of Lee couuty ; George, whose home is in North Dakota ; 
Mary, who has passed away; and Anna, the wife of R. Moore, of 
Dixon. 

William Heinzeroth remained at home with his parents until 
twenty-three years of age and then married Miss Catherine Wag- 
ner, whose family is mentioned in connection with the sketch of 
William A. Ewald on another page of this volume. Following his 
marriage Mr. Heinzeroth began renting land in Reynolds town- 
ship, cultivating a farm in this fashion for some years, l)ut he was 
ambitious to own laud and carefully saved his earnings until in 
1901 he was able to purchase one hundred and sixty acres situated 
on section 30, Reynolds township. This he has partially improved, 
his methods adding nuieh to its attractive appearance. The soil 
is naturally rich and productive and responds readily to the care 
and labor bestowed upon it. The place is divided into fields of con- 
venient size by well kept fences and the latest improved machinery 
facilitates the work of cultivating and caring for the crops. Neat- 
ness and thrift characterize the development of the farm, and cap- 
able management has been the foundation of his growing success. 

To Mr. Heinzeroth by his first marriage thei'e were born five 
children: Emma E.. now the wife of Henry Wagner; George M., 
living in Ogle county, Illinois; Benjamin H.. of Lee county; Jus- 
tus F., at home; and Jacob M., who is also with his fathei'. The 
wife and mother passed away February 22, 1904, and was laid to 
rest in the Reynolds cemetery. Five years passed and in 1909 Mr. 
Heinzeroth was again married, his second lunon being with Miss 
Louise E. Muller, who was born in Woodford county, Illinois, in 
1867, and is a daughter of John B. and Barbara (Koerner) Muller, 
both of whom were natives of Germany. Making arrangements 
to cross the Atlantic, they came to Amei'ica on the 12th of April, 
1857, and then traveled into the interior of the country, settling 
first in Peoria county. Illinois. Subsequently they established 
their home in Woodford county, Illinois. At the time of the Ci^dl 
war the father responded to the coimtry's call for troops and for 
three years was at the front, giving valiant aid to the JTnion cause, 
during which time he particijiated in a number of hotly contested 
engagements. Both he and his wife are now deceased. One of 
their six children passed away in infancy. 

Politically Mr. Heinzeroth is a I'cpublican. He served as path- 
master for five years and as school director for six years and has 
done much in various ways to further the interests of the com- 
munity in which he lives. Fraternally he is connected with Ashton 



360 HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 

Camp, No. 48, M. W. A., and aside from business is most active in 
churcla work. Both lie and his wife are members of the Evan- 
gelical Association of North America, Mi'. Heinzeroth having 
united therewith when but fourteen years of age. He is now active 
as secretary of the church, as assistant superintendent of the Sun- 
day school and also as a member of the board of trustees. No good 
work done in the name of charity or religion seeks his aid in vain 
and his efforts have been productive of splendid results, making 
him one of the valued citizens of the community, his influence being 
far-reaching and beneficial. 



SHERMAN L. SHAW. 



Sherman L. Shaw, residing at Lee Center, is the owner of a 
farming property of six hundred and sixty acres in Lee, his native 
county. His birth occurred in Bi'adford township, October 5, 
1864, his parents being James M. and M. Rebecca (Linn) Shaw. 
He comes of Scotch ancestry on the paternal side, while the Linns 
are of Irish lineage, and a representative of tlie name served in 
the patriot army during the Revolutionary war. His grandfather, 
Sheinian Shaw, arrived in this comity in 18.36 and was one of the 
three first settlers in this part of the county. Only four years 
before had the Black Hawk war oecuii-ed and there were yet 
many evidences of Indian occupancy in all this section of the 
country. The forest stood in its primeval strength and the land 
was unclaimed and uncultivated, but Sherman Shaw resolutely 
undei'took the task of preparing the fields for cultivation and in 
time was reaping bounteous harvests as a reward of his persistent 
and practical effort. He died in the year 1891 and his wife passed 
away in 1892, at the ages of eighty and sevonty-five years respec- 
tively. They were laid to rest in the Woodside cemetery. The 
maternal grandparents were George Russell and Abigail (Stin- 
son) Linn, natives of Maine, who came to Lee county in 1840. 
During the period of the Civil war James M. Shaw volunteered for 
active service, enlisting as a member of Com]iany A, Thirteenth 
Illinois Infantry, being in the first regiment mustered in for three 
years. He died in 1876. at the age of thirty-eight years. 

Sherman L. Shaw acquired his education in Lee Center and 
Dixon College, completing his studies when twenty years of age. 
He afterward remained at home upon the farm for a time and 



HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 361 

later rented land. On his grandfather's death he purchased the 
interests of the other heirs in the property and has since managed 
his farm, whicli is devoted to the raising of crops best adapted to 
soil and climate. He likewise engages to a considerable extent in 
stock-raising, making a specialty of hogs. The farm is improved 
with all modern equipments and accessories, and in all of his busi- 
ness career Mr. Shaw has been actuated by a spirit of enterprise, 
progress and improvement. 

Mr. Shaw has been married twice. On December 22, 1892, at 
Amboy, he wedded Miss Anna K. Mynard, a daughter of Adam 
S. and Alvira Mynard. Mrs. Shaw cUed, leaving two children, 
Gertrude K. and Russell M., the former now a student in the 
Francis Shinier School at Mount Carroll, Illinois. On the 21st of 
June, 1905, Mr. Shaw was again married in Amboy, his second 
union being with Miss Grace E. Bender, a daughter of Rev. C. 
and Clarissa Bender. They have two children, Eleanor and Sher- 
man L. 

Politically Mr. Shaw is a republican, and his fellow townsmen, 
appreciative of his worth and ability, have frequently called him 
to public office. He has served as town clerk and as member and 
chairman of the board of supervisors and is now president of the 
board of education. He is much interested in all that pertains to 
the general welfare and has cooperated in many movements which 
have worked for the upbuilding and development of the commu- 
nity. From early life he has been identified with agricultural 
interests and the unfaltering industry and sound judgnnent which 
he has displayed in the management of his farm have gained 
him place among the most substantial agriculturists of the county. 



JOHN H. GRIESE, Jr. 



A well improved farm of one hundred acres on section 1, 
Bradford township, is the property of John H. Griese. Jr.. and 
b}^ industry and enterpi'ise in the management of this pi'operty 
he has surroimded himself with a gratifying degree of prosperity. 
He was horn in Bradford township, January 20, 1877, and is a son 
of Civiacus and Anna K. (Becker) Griese. natives of Germany. 
The parents came to America in the early 'GOs and settled in Lee 
comity, where the father passed away in 1888. His wife survives 
him and makes her home in Franklin Grove, this county, having 



362 HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 

reached tiie age of seventy-three years. Previous to her mar- 
riage with the father of the subject of this review she was Mrs. 
Webber. By her second marriage slie had two sous, August and 
John H., of this review. 

John H. Griese was reai'ed at home and remained upon the 
farm until he was twenty-one years of age. He then married 
and acquired one hundred acres of land on section 1, Bradford 
township. Upon this property he has since resided and he has 
improved it until it is one of the finest farms in the township. It 
is provided with a comfortable residence, substantial barns and 
modern machinery and the fields are under a high state of cultiA-a- 
tion. Mr. Griese engages in general farming and stock-raising 
and is accoimted one of the most industrious and substantial farm- 
ers in the community. 

On the 26th of October, 1904, Mr. Griese married Miss Anna 
Zwack, who was born in Chicago, May 16, 1880, a daughter of 
Joseph and Anna Zwack, both of whom have passed away. Mr. 
and Mrs. Giiese have become the parents of a daughter, Helen K., 
wlio was born April 10, 1908. Mr. Griese gives his political alle- 
giance to the republican party and takes an intelligent interest in 
community affairs, although he is not active as an office seeker. 
He is not only industrious and entei'prising, but also a man of 
high moral character and he is esteemed throughout the township 
as a farmer and as a business man. 



WILLIAM A. EWALD. 

William A. Ewald is the owner of the Willow Corner farm of 
one hundred and fifty-nine acres on section 29, Re^ninlds town- 
ship. In addition he has other property in this county and has 
come to be ranked among the su])stautial farmers of his part of 
the state. Germany is his native land, and the date of his birth 
was November 23. 1866. He is a son of Henry and Anna Martha 
(Bock) Ewald. Both were natives of Germany, the former born 
August 5, 1837. Thoy remained residents of the fatherland until 
1873, when they bade adieu to friends and native country and 
sailed for the United States, their destination being Whiterock, 
Ogle county, Illinois. Subsequently they came to Lee county, 
taking up their abode in Reynolds township, where Henry Ewald 




WILLIAM A. EWALD AND FAMILY 



HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 365 

bought a farm on section 27. With characteristic energy he began 
its development and continued its cultivation until his life's 
labors were ended in death on the lUth of March, 1913, when he 
was in his seventy-sixth year. His widow survives and resides 
on the old homestead with her son John. By her marriage she 
became the mother of the following children: Charles; William 
A.; Mrs. William Christian; C. M. ; John, and Henry. The 
daughter is a resident of Dysart, Iowa, but the sous all live in 
Reynolds township, this county. There are thirteen grand- 
children. 

William A. Ewald was a little lad of seven years when his 
parents crossed the Atlantic with their family and came to Illi- 
nois. He has since lived in this state and the public-school system 
of Illinois afforded him his educational privileges. His training 
at farm labor was received under his father's direction, for 
he remained at home until twenty-seven years of age. He then 
started out in life on his own account, by renting eighty acres of 
his father's land. This he cultivated tor two years and in the 
success which attended his efforts proved his capability and 
resourcefulness. At the end of that time he was united in mar- 
riage to Miss Martha A. Wagner, who was born in Reynolds 
township, January 3, 1874, and is a daughter of Martin and 
Martha (Henert) Wagner, both of whom were natives of Ger- 
many, whence the,v came to the new world, establishing their 
home in Bradford township, Lee county, Illinois. 

Following his marriage Mr. Ewald leuted land belonging to 
his wife's imcle, Henry Henert, in Reynolds township and lived 
upon that place for six years. In 1902 he purchased the farm 
on section 29, Reynolds township, now known as the Willow 
Corner farm and comprising one lumdred and fifty-nine acres of 
rich and productive land, from which he anniuilly gathers good 
harvests. He has since added to his possessions and is now the 
owner of another excellent farm of two hundred acres on sections 
9 and 10, Viola township. Here he makes a specialty of raising 
and feeding stock and annually sells a large number, this branch 
of his business proving a profitable one. Beginning at the early 
age of sixteen and continuing Tmtil five years ago our subject, 
with his brother. Charles, operated a threshing, corn-shelling and 
clover-hulling outfit. At first they used the old horse-power 
machinery, but later they owned two steam outfits. He neglects 
no branch of his farm work, and his care and supervision have 
made his valuable properties. 



366 HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 

Mr. and Mrs. Ewald have become parents of two children: 
Adrian J., who was born June 29, 1902, and died in 1903, and 
Ilia M., born June 24, 1905. Tlie parents attend the Evangelical 
church. Mr. Ewald votes with the republican party, but has no 
aspiration for public office. He tinds that his business affairs 
make ample claim upon his time and energies, and he has two 
excellent farms in the count}'', the neat and thrifty appearance of 
which indicate his careful supervision and practical, progressive 
methods. 



HENRY A. BERNARDIN. 

Henry A. Bernardin, a dealer in lumber, lime, cement, stone, 
etc., at West Brooklyn, was born at Portsmouth, Ohio, September 
1, 18G8, and comes of French ancestry. His grandparents, Peter 
and Mary (Boff'y) Bernardin, Avere natives of France and with 
a family of seven children crossed the Atlantic, settling in Scioto 
county, Ohio. A subsequent removal made them residents of liCe 
county and their remains now lie interred in the family lot in the 
West Brooklyn cemetery. Joseph C. Bernardin, father of Henry 
A. Bernardin, was born in France, came to America in 1855 and 
remained a resident of the state of Ohio until 1870, when he re- 
moved to Lee county, Illinois, taking up his abode upon a farm in 
Viola township, where he carried on general agricultural pursuits 
for a number of years. At length he retired from farm life and 
removed to Amboy in 1898. there ]iassing away October 13, 1911, 
when he was seventy-two years of age. His wife, who bore the 
maiden name of Palmere Ranger, was also a native of France and 
died in the year 1874, at the age of thirty years. Mr. and Mrs. 
Joseph C. Bernardin were the parents of two sons and a daugh- 
ter, the brother of our subject being Charles J. Bernardin, who 
occupies a farm in Viola townshi]), and the sister is Mrs. John 
Ai'nold, of the same township. 

Henry A. Bernardin was only two years of age when his par- 
ents left Ohio and brought theii' family to Lee county. He became 
a pupil in the country schools near the old home bxit after reach- 
ing the age of fifteen years was able to attend only through the 
winter months, the smnmer seasons being devoted to farm work. 
He continued to assist in the development of the home farm imtil 
twenty-four yeai's of age, when he purchased a tract of land in 



HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 367 

Viola township aud began its furtlier development. After two 
years he sold that property and bought another farm of one hun- 
di'ed and twenty acres two and one-half miles from West Brook- 
lyn. This was in the year 189-i. He continued upon that place 
until 1900, when he removed to West Brooklyn and established a 
Imnber and coal business which he now conducts. In the year 
1907 he extended the scope of his activities by adding a stock of 
furniture. In 1908 he purchased the Fox & Hamilton building at 
Compton and opened a furniture and house-furnishing business 
which is in charge of Mrs. Bernardin. In . his yards at West 
Brooklyn he carries an extensive stock of lumber, doors, sash, 
blinds, cedar posts and poles, coal, lime, cement and stone. He is 
an active factor in conunercial circles here and, moreover, he has 
done much for the upbuilding of the town. In addition to the con- 
duct of his lumber and coal yard and his furniture store he has 
erected three different residences. 

It was on starting out in life independently that Mr. Ber- 
nardin was married in Bradford township, February 7, 1893, to 
Miss Mary A. Mehlhausen, a native of Germany, daughter of 
August and Margaret Mehlhausen, who emigrated to America and 
became farming people of this county and are now residents of 
West Brooklyn. Mrs. Bernardin has been of great assistance to 
her husband and shows excellent business ability in the manage- 
ment of the store at Compton. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Bernardin 
have been born three children: Palmere S., Kathryn T. and 
Joseph A., all residing at home. 

Mr. Bernardin is a democrat in his political views. He has 
served as justice of the peace and has been judge of election for 
six years. He belongs to the Knights of Columbus, his member- 
ship being in the Amboy Lodge. He has made a most ci'editable 
record since he turned from agricultural to commercial pursuits, 
proving himself to be a wide-awake business man of indefatigable 
energy and of most creditable persistency of purpose. 



JACOB J. WAGNER, Jr. 

Jacob J. Wagner, Jr., is the owner of an excellent farm of one 
hundred and sixty acres on section 35, Ashton township, and in 
the cultivation of this property has gained a success which places 
him among the representative and able agriculturists of the local- 



368 HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 

ity. He was born in Bradford township, this county, November 
11, 1872, and was reared at home, acquiring a public-school edu- 
cation. He has devoted his entire active life to farming, and his 
success in this field is the natural result of his ability and experi- 
ence. When he was twenty-one he rented a farm in Bradford 
township and developed this property for fifteen years thereafter 
with constantly increasing success. At the end of that time he 
bought one hundred and sixty acres on section 35, Ashton town- 
slap, and upon this property he has since resided. He has made 
excellent improvements upon it, providing the place with a mod- 
ern house, a barn and other outbuildings. It now presents an 
attractive appearance and gives every evidence of the care and 
labor which the owner has bestowed upon it. 

In 1894 Mr. Wagner was united in marriage to Miss Eliza- 
beth C. Harck, a native of Bradford township, born September 11, 
1871. She is a daughter of William and Catherine (Dill) Harck, 
natives of Germany. The parents came to America at an early 
(late and located in Bradford townshij), where the mother died 
July 4, 1910. Her husband survives her and makes his home in 
Ashton. To their union were born four children: Elizabeth C, 
wife of the subject of this review; Anna, who married William 
Petre, of Ashton; Mary, the wife of John Nass, Jr., of Bradford 
township; and Fred. Mr. and Mrs. Wagner have become the 
parents of a -son, Eivin W., born October 5, 1895. He is now 
attending a business college at Dixon, Illinois. The parents are 
menibors of the United Evangelical church, and Mr. Wagner gives 
his political allegiance to the republican party. For several years 
he has served as school director and is a progressive and public- 
spirited citizen, taking an active interest in community affairs. 
Ashton township numbers him among her most progressive and 
successful agriculturists, and he is widely and favorably known in 
this locality. 



FRANK EVERETT STEVENS. 

Frank Everett Stevens, who has s]>ent nearly his entire life 
iu Dixon, was for a number of years actively engaged in the prac- 
tice of law, and has gained success and recognition in journalistic 
circles as editor of the Weekly Citizen, which he established in 
1910. TTis birth occurred in Dixon. Illinois, on the 5th of Janii- 



HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 369 

ary, 185G, his parents being Jolin and Marie Sophie (La Porte) 
Stevens. It was in 1846 that the father came from Iluiitiiigdon 
county, Pennsylvania, to Dixon, taking up his abode among the 
early residents of this place. He was an attorney l\v profession 
and served as county superintendent of schools during the years 
1853 and 1854. At the time of the civil war he raised Company 
H of the Porty-sixth Illinois Volunteer Infantry, was made judge 
advocate of the army and also held the rank of major. On Sun- 
day morning, April 6, 1862, he was killed at the battle of Shiloh. 

Prank E. Stevens obtained his education iu the high school of 
Dixon and after preparing for the practice of law was admitted 
to the bar in 1877. Por a number of years he ably discharged the 
duties devolving upon him in the capacity of deputy circuit clerk. 
It was in 1910 that he became identified with journalistic inter- 
ests as editor of the Weekly Citizen, which he has since published, 
and which enjoys an excellent subscription and advertising 
patronage, being an up-to-date news sheet in every respect. He 
is a member of the State and Chicago Historical Societies and also 
belongs to the Caxton Chd? of Chicago. In the community where 
his life has been spent he is well known as a representative, 
esteemed and influential citizen. 



U. GRANT DYSART. 



U. Grant Dysart, a representative and successful agriculturist 
of Viola township, owns a well improved farm of one lumdred 
and sixty acres on section 32 and is also filling the office of town- 
ship superAdsor at the present time. His bii-th occurred in I^ee 
county, Illinois, on the 14th of September, 1865. his parents being 
Samuel and Jennie (Henderson) Dysart, both of whom are de- 
ceased and lie buried at Pranklin Grove, Illinois. The father 
passed away on the 8th of April, 1911. and the mother August 
8, 1909. 

IT. Grant Dysart acquired his education at Fulton, Whiteside 
county. Illinois, attending school imtil twenty-two years of age. 
Subsequently he took up his abode on the farm of one hundred and 
sixty acres on section 32, Viola township, which he has operated 
continuously and successfully since. He engages in mixed farm- 
ing and keeps about twelve horses, twenty cattle and twenty-eight 
hogs. The residence and other buildings which adorn the prop- 



370 HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 

eity were erected by liim and greatly enhance its value. His well 
tilled fields yield bounteous crops in return for the care and labor 
which he bestows upon them and bring him a gratifying annual 
income. 

In Viola township, on section 32, Mr. Dysart was united in 
marriage to Miss Eliza Nelles, the ceremony taking place on the 
3d of December, 1890. Mrs. Dysart was born February 21, 1869, 
her parents being John and Caroline (Sparling) Nelles, both of 
whom are deceased and lie buried in Malugian Grove, Illinois. 
Her mother passed away January 24, 1913, her father Septem- 
ber 8, 1909. Our subject and his wife have two children, namely: 
Maude H., born March 9, 1892, who gave her hand in marriage 
to Harry Christiance, a mail carrier of West Brooklyn ; and Jen- 
nie C, born November 22, 1896, who is at home. 

Mr. Dysart is a progressive in his political views and now 
acts as township supervisor, having held the office for about four 
years. Fraternally he is identified with the Masons, belonging 
to the lodge at Compton, in which he serves as master. His life 
has been upright and honorable in all respects, and he has long 
been numbered among the substantial and esteemed citizens of 
his native county. 



WALTER FREDERICK AYDELOTTE, N. D. 

Walter Frederick Aydelotte, N. D., neurologist and health in- 
structor at Dixon, was born in Jersey county, Illinois, November 
26, 1878, a son of Isaac K. and Mary (Norris) Aydelotte, the 
former a native of Jersey county and the latter of Greene county, 
Illinois. The ]iaternal grandfather was a native of Ohio, but 
came to Illinois in pioneer times, arriving about 1840. Isaac K. 
Aydelotte was a farmer and business man active in connection 
with both agricultural and mercantile pursuits. 

Dr. Aydelotte, whose name introduces this record, acquired 
a public-pchno] education in Kansas, Nebraska, and Montgomery 
county, Illinois, attending school in the three states. He was 
also a student in Dixon college where he studied law and subse- 
quently took up the profession of teaching, which he followed for 
three years in T^ee and Sangamon coimties. This, however, was 
merely an initial step toward professional labor. He became a 
student in the McCormick Neurological college, now the McCor- 




DE. WALTER ¥. AYDELOTTE 



HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 373 

mick Medical College of Chicago, from which he was graduated as 
a doctor of neurology in 1907. He did some optical work before 
graduation and since completing his course at McCormick he has 
taken post-graduate work, for it is his desire to attain the highest 
degree of efficiency possible. In 1907 he opened an office in Dixon, 
where he has since engaged in practice, confining his attention 
strictly to neurology. This is an age of specialization and the 
practitioner who attains the highest measure of success is he who 
concentrates his efforts along certain lines. Recognizing this fact 
Dr. Aydelotte chose neurology as a school of healing which he 
believed would prove interesting to him and one in which he hoped 
to prove especially helpful to his fellowmen. He was duly licensed 
by the state board of health upon examination January 15, 1907, 
and he is now giving his life largely to original research into 
great forces and piinciples that make for human health and happi- 
ness. His broad study, his j^ractice and his research are develop-" 
ing a line of thought and teaching that have already proved of 
great benefit to mankind and will ])e of still further service as 
the years go by. 

While the commercial features of his work are not neglected, 
he is primarily a delver after truth, seeking to find the solution 
for tlie mysteries of nature, that the work of man shall be more in 
accord with nature's great laws. He is, in other words, a student 
philosopher and in endeavoring to heal earthly ills, also makes at- 
tempt to put his patients in tune with the great forces of life which 
control as well the spiritual nature. 

Dr. Aydelotte was married October 31, 1905 to Nannie Bertha 
Byrd, a daughter of Jacob and Katherine Byrd, prominent pioneer 
settlers of Willow Creek township. Both Dr. Aydelotte and his 
wife are highly esteemed in the city and have many warm friends. 



THOMAS E. HILLESON. 

Thomas E. Hilleson, renting two hundred and forty acres of 
the H. A. Hilleson estate, which comprises five hundred and sixty 
acres located on section 10. Willow Creek township, is a native of 
Lee eonnty, born on the old Hilleson farm. His parents were H. A. 
and Anna (Nelson) Hilleson. the former a representative of a 
well known pioneer family of Lee county and a native of this 
locality. The grandfather settled here in 1835 and accumulated 



^oi n— TS 



374 HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 

large landed holdings, his son inheriting at his death three him- 
dred and twenty acres, which he increased to the live hundred 
and sixty acres which now comprise the Hilleson estate. 

Thomas E. Hilleson acquired his education in the public schools 
of Lee county and in the Lutheran College at Decorah, Iowa. He 
afteiward attended the University of Illinois for two years and 
at the end of that time returned home. He rents two hundred 
and forty acres of the estate and has made excellent improve- 
ments Tipon his property, erecting a modern residence and sub- 
stantial barns and outbuildings. He gives his attention to mixed 
farming and has been very successful, for he follows always the 
most practical and progressive methods and is careful in the man- 
agement of his business interests. 

At Coldfield, Iowa, October 27, 1912, Mr. Hilleson was united 
in marriage to Miss Sarah Oppedahl, a daughter of Swen and 
Anna Oppedahl, of Goldfield, Iowa, leading citizens of that com- 
munity. Mr. Hilleson is a member of the Lutheran church and 
a republican in his political beliefs. He is widely and favorably 
known in the comnuniity where he resides, enjoying in a large 
degree the friendship and esteem of those with whom he has been 
broueht in contact. 



JOHN M. KILLMER. 



' John M. Killmer is a retired farmer living in Ashton. His 
present prosperity is attributable entii'ely to his pei"sistent, earnest 
and intelligently directed efforts while he was engaged in farming. 
He was born in Binghamton. Lee county. Tllin<us. on the 2Sth of 
October. 1S57, and is a son of Nicholas and Mary (Halbmaier) 
Killmer, who wei'c natives of Oormany. He remained at home 
until he reached the age of twenty-five years, pursuing his educa- 
tion in the district schools and in the schools of Ashton, while 
throngh vacation ]ieriods he was cnuaged in farm work and thus 
gained the experience which fitted liim for practical duties later 
on. His first purchase of land comprised eighty acres on section 3. 
Bradford township, which had ali'eady been cultivated and im- 
proved to some extent. He received one hundred and sixty acres 
in section 10, from home and later purchased eighty acres in sec- 
tion 3. He afterward invested in one hundred and sixtv acres on 
section 10 of the same township and there he built a new dwelling 



HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 375 

and made his home imtil about seven years ago. He bent his ener- 
gies to the further development and cultivation of the fields and 
converted his farm into a richly productive tract of laud, from 
which he annuall}^ gathered good harvests. Everything about his 
place was neat and thrifty in appearance, and his progressive 
methods resulted in the attainment of success. About seven years 
ago he erected a beautiful residence in Ashton, since which time 
he has lived retired, enjoying the rest which he has truly earned 
and richly deserves. His wife owns one hundred and sixty-five 
acres on section 3, Bradford township, adjoining her husband's 
land, and she has also purchased the Wilburn Paddock property 
in Ashton with money inherited from her father's estate. 

It was in 1883 that Mr. Killmer was united in maniage to Miss 
Martha Kersten, who was born in Lee county in 1858, and is a 
daughter of John and Christina Kersten, who were natives of Ger- 
many and became early settlers of Lee county, but are now de- 
ceased. LTuto ]\Ir. and Mrs. Killmer liave been born thi'ee children, 
but their two sons have passed away, William N". dying at the age 
of ten years and Frank at the age of nineteen. The daughter, 
Emma, who is a graduate of tlie Ashton high school, is at home. 

The parents and daughter are members of the United Evan- 
gelical church and are interestetl in the moral progress of the com- 
munity. For thirty yeai's Mr. Killmer served as one of the churchi 
stewards and is now one of its trustees. He exercises his right of 
franchise in supjwrting the men and measures of the republican 
party. He filled the office of I'oad overseer and road commissioner 
while on the farm and was also a school director. He is a stock- 
holder and also a director in the Farmers State Bank at Ashton, 
Illinois. He stands for progress and improvement along all those 
lines which contribute to the welfare and upbuilding of the com- 
munity, and his own life proves that success and an honored name 
may be won simultaneously. 



LAURENT E. GEHANT. 

Laurent E. Gehant has been a resident of Lee county since 
1865 and has been connected with agricultural interests of Viola 
township for thirty-one years. He has therefore witnessed a great 
deal of the growth and development of this locality, which numbers 
him among its most representative and valued citizens. He was 



376 HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 

boru iu Shelby county, Illinois, in 1860 and is a son of Laurent and 
Julia (Toullian) Gehant, of whom further mention is made else- 
where in this work. 

Laurent E. Gehant came to Lee county with his parents when 
he was five years of age and acquired his education in the public 
schools. At the age of twenty he laid aside his books and after 
assisting his father with the work of the farm until he was twenty- 
two began his independent career, buying the property which he 
now owns. He has five hundred and fifteen acres of improved 
land on section 30, Viola township, aoid upon this has erected a 
comfortable residence and substantial outbuildings. Mixed farm- 
ing engages his attention and his stock-raising interests are im- 
portant, for he keeps on an average fifty head of cattle, forty hogs 
and twenty horses. His business interests are carefully and con- 
servatively conducted and have brought him a gratifying measure 
of success. 

In Ohio, in 1882, Mi-. Gehant married Miss Mary Henry, a 
daughter of Augmst and Mary (Venier) Henry, the former of 
whom has passed away and is buried in Ohio. Mr. and Mrs. Ge- 
hant have become the parents of eight children : Louis and George, 
farmers in Lee county ; Mary, the wife of George Montavon, also 
engaged in farming in this county ; Louise, at home ; Frances, the 
wife of Lewis Choan, a farmer of Lee county; Albert, deceased; 
and Edna and Pauline, at home. 

Mr. Gehant is a member of the Catholic church and is con- 
nected fraternally with the Catholic Order of Foresters. He is 
a democrat in his political beliefs and while not active as an office 
seeker takes a commendable interest in public affairs. He has 
pi'oved capable and reliable in the conduct of his personal affairs, 
and his contributions to general agricultural development have 
been many and substantial. 



ARTHUR R. KERSTEN. 

Since the beginning of his active career Arthur R. Kersten has 
given his attention to general farming and stock-raising in Lee 
county and he is now the owner of an excellent property of one 
hundred and two acres on section 34, Ashton township. He was 
born in Bradford township, this county, January 23, 1886, and 
is a son of H. M. and Mary (Gross) Kersten, both natives of Lee 



HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 377 

county and now residents of Ashton. To their union were born 
three children: Arthur R., of this review; Rosa C, the wife of 
Edward M. Herwig, of Bradford township ; and Alice E., deceased. 

Arthur R. Kersten was reared upon his father's farm in Brad- 
ford township and there remained until he was twenty-one years 
of age. He afterward engaged in farming upon rented land for 
two years and then bought the farm which he now owns. This 
comprises one hundred and two acres lying on section 34, Ashton 
township, and is in excellent condition as a result of the care and 
labor which the owner has bestowed upon it. Mr. Kersten is a 
progressive and industrious farmer, and his thorough knowledge 
of the details of farm operation constitutes an important factor 
in his growing success. 

Mr. Kersten married Miss Minnie D. Henert, who was born in 
this county December 7, 1885, a daughter of George and Katherine 
Henert, both of Germany. The father passed away in 1902 and 
is survived by his wife. Mr. and Mrs. Kersten have become the 
parents of a son, Clarence H., born November 25, 1907. The par- 
ents are members of the Evangelical church, and Mr. Kersten 
gives his political allegiance to the republican party. He is a 
member of Ashton Lodge, No. 977, I. O. O. P., of Ashton, and he 
and his wife belong to the Rebekahs, of which Mrs. Kersten is 
now matron. His entire life has been spent in Lee coimty, where 
he has become widely and favorably known. 



CHARLES EWALD. 



A well known resident of Reynolds township is Charles Ewald, 
who, starting out in life on his own account upon a rented farm, 
is now the owner of a valuable property of three hundred and 
twenty acres, splendidly improved with good buildings and all 
the accessories and conveniences of the model farm of the twentieth 
century. He was born in Gennany, February 5, 1865, and is a 
son of Henry and Anna Martha (Beck) Ewald, both of whom were 
natives of Germany. The father was bom in Hesse-Cassel, Au- 
gust 5, 1837, and was a son of Martin and Christina (Bogel) 
Ewald. He was married in Germany in 1864 to Miss Martha Beck 
and in the year 1873 they crossed the Atlantic with their family, 
making their way to Ogle county, Illinois, where the father 
worked at the stonemason's trade, which he had learned and fol- 



378 HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 

lowed iu Lis native laud. lu 1879 he removed to Lee county, set- 
tling in Keynolds townsMp upon a farm of one hundred and 
sixty acres. His place was located on section 27 and his time 
thereafter was devoted to general agricultural pursuits until his 
life's labors were ended in death, on the 10th of March, 1913. He 
had for a third of a century been a resident of this cormty 
and was widely known as a worthy and representative citizen. 
His widow survives and is now living with her son John on the 
old homestead, at the age of seventy-six years. Although now 
well advanced in age she yet enjoys good health, being a well pre- 
served woman. In their family were seven children: Charles; 
William A. ; Anna E., the wife of William Christian, now of Iowa; 
C. M. ; John; Henry; and Katherine, who died at the age of three 
years. 

Charles Ewald was a lad of eight summers when brought by 
his parents to the United States, and for six years thereafter he 
lived in Ogle county. At the end of that time the family came 
to Lee county, and he has since been a resident of Reynolds town- 
ship. He continued under the parental roof until twenty-six years 
of age, after which he started out in life on his own account by 
renting land. He carefully saved his earnings until his economy 
and industry had brought him sufficient capital to enable him to 
purchase a farm and in 1899 he invested in three hundred and 
twenty acres on sections 22 and 23, Reynolds township. With 
characteristic energy he began the further development of the 
property. He has here a comfortable residence, in the rear of 
which stand good barns and outbuildings, giving ample shelter for 
grain and stock. He uses the latest improved machinery in carry- 
ing on the work of the fields and makes a specialty of raising and 
breeding Hereford cattle, so that his farm has become known 
as the Re}Taolds Stock Farm. He handles only registered stock 
and has been the owner of some of the finest Herefords seen in 
this part of the state. His annual sales of stock bring him a very 
substantial income and, moreover, his labors have been of im- 
mense value in advancing the standards among stock-raisers in 
this part of Illinois. 

On the 12th of March, 1891, Mr. Ewald was united iu mar- 
riage to Miss Elizabeth Wagiiei", who was born in Reynolds town- 
ship, a daughter of Martin and Martha (Henerd) Wagner. Mr. 
and Mrs. Ewald have become the parents of five children : Ralph 
M., born January 25, 1892; Harry J.. June 12, 1894; Rosa Anna, 
July 24, 1897 ; Hilda K., May 21, 1903 ; and Esther E., Septem- 



HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 379 

ber 23, 1909. The cliildreii have been giveu good school privi- 
leges, aud the second son is a college graduate. The parents are 
members of the Evangelical church aud are much interested in 
the moral as well as the material progress of the community. Mr, 
Ewald is serving as supervisor of his township, has been town- 
ship collector and for several years was a school director. His 
political allegiance is now given to the progressive paity. He 
does not believe in the blind following of any party leader, but 
gives intelligent support to the measures in which he believes, 
keeping at all times well informed on the questions and issues 
of the day. He has many of the sterling traits of his Teutonic 
ancestiy which, coupled with western enterprise, have made him 
one of the substantial citizens aud representative farmers of Lee 
county. 



H. W. MORRIS. 



H. W. Morris is a well known and popular citizen, having been 
a letter carrier of Dixon since the establishment of the delivery 
system here. He is also senior partner in the tirm of Morris & 
Preston, funeral directors. He was born in Woodstock, Illinois, 
in May, 1869, and is a son of J. T. and Anna (Portus) Morris, who 
after living in Woodstock for a number of years, removed with 
their family to Dixon in 1875. The father was a farmer by occu- 
pation. 

The educational opportunities afforded H. W. Morris were 
those offered by the public-school system of the state. He was a 
young man when the free delivery system was established in Dixon, 
at which time he secured appointment to the position of letter 
carrier and has since acted in that capacity. It was through the 
effoi'ts and labors of Mr. Morris that the city was numbered under 
the hundred system. Always courteous, prompt and obliging, he 
i^ a popular official in his present position and all who know him 
have for him friendly regard. It was on tlie 1st of July, 1911. that 
he entered business as a member of the firm of Monis & Preston, 
funeral directors. Their place is at No. 123 East First street and 
they have the best equipped establishment of any firm of its kind 
in the comity. They are the first and only firm in the county having 
a private chapel in connection with their business. 

Mr. Morris has two children, a son and daughter. In politics 
he is independent, voting according to the dictates of his judgment. 



380 HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 

While he does not seek nor desire office, he is interested in the wel- 
fare of the comniuuity and readily espouses any cause which he 
deems of worth to the public. He possesses a social nature that 
readily wins friends and he is ever appreciative of true worth in 
others. 



WALTER L. PRESTON. 

Walter L. Preston is a partner in the firm of Morris & Preston, 
conducting an undertaking business in Dixon. He had previously 
been connected with commercial interests in the city as the repre- 
sentative of others and is both widely and favorably known here. 
He possesses the spirit of enterprise characteristic of the middle 
west. He has always lived in the Mississippi valley, his birth 
having occurred at Fergus Falls, Minnesota, January 10, 1875, 
his parents being L. T. and Rosie Preston, who in the year 1878 
came to Lee county. The father was a school teacher and was also 
the owner of a small farm near Dixon, living in this vicinity until 
1880, when he removed with his family to Sublette, Illinois, where 
he accepted the position of superintendent of public schools, where 
he remained for four years. He taught school in Lee county until 
1905. He was a capable educator, holding to high standards in his 
profession, and his ability to impart clearly and readily to others 
the knowledge that he had acquired made his service of notable 
value to those under his instruction. He is now living retired and 
makes his home in California. He is numbered among the veterans 
of the Civil war, having enlisted in 1861, near F'ergus Falls, Min- 
nesota, and served until the close of hostilities, making a most 
creditable military record. In politics he has always been a repub- 
lican, stanchly supporting the party which was the defence of the 
Union during the dark days of the Civil war and has always been 
accounted a party of reform and progress. 

Walter L. Preston, after attending the public schools, spent 
thi-ee years as a student in the Northern Illinois Normal School 
and thus received good business training, qualifying him for the 
responsibilities and activities which have since claimed his atten- 
tion. In 1889 he entered the furniture and undertaking business 
in the employ of the firm of Camp & Son and afterAvard worked 
for various people until July. 1911. when he joined H. W. Morris in 
opening undertaking parlors, which are conducted under the firm 




H. W. MORRIS 




WALTER L. PRESTON 



HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 385 

style of Morris & Preston. The enterprise lias been attended with 
success, for it has been conducted along the most progressive and 
enterprising lines. They have quarters in a hue brick busuiess 
block and occupy the hrst floor and basement. Theirs is one of the 
best equipped undertaking establishments, not only in the county, 
but in this part of the state. They have a large reception hall and 
parlor as well as a show room containing an extensive line of fine 
caskets and in addition there is a tastefully appointed chapel cap- 
able of seating two hundred people. Tact and care are exercised 
in the performance of the delicate duties which devolve upon them 
and theii' services are sought throughout the surromiding country. 
Busmess has steadily groA\n as it deserves to do as the result of 
the enterprising and progressive methods of the partners. 

On the 2d of November, 1898, Mr. Preston was miited in mar- 
riage to Miss Julia Fielding, of Dixon, and unto them have been 
bom f om- children : Frances, Louise, Robert and Julia. Mr. Pres- 
ton belongs to Dixon Lodge, No. 7, A. F. & A. M., and also holds 
membership with the Knights of Pythias and the Modern Wood- 
men of America. His political indorsement is given to the republi- 
can party at the polls, but he is not au active worker in its ranks 
in the matter of office seeking. He is, however, interested in all 
matters pertaining to the pulilic welfare and cooperates in many 
movements lookmg to the betterment and unprovement of the 
community. 



WILLIAM B. BRINTON. 

The name of William B. Brinton figures promiently upon the 
pages of the history of Lee county, for he is today at the head of 
one of the most extensive and important business interests of 
this part of the state, being president of the Grand Detour Plow 
Company. 

Mr. Brinton was born in Greencastle, Indiana. His ancestors 
were Quakers and his father was a farmer. The advantages of 
a public-school education were enjoyed by him in his youth, and 
in 1865 he moved to Illinois, then only ten years of age. When 
seventeen he was clerk in a retail implement store. Thus his 
initial step in the business world led him in a direction that 
brought him eventually to the head of the important enterprise 
in which he is now the controlling spirit. He continued to act as 



386 HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 

clerk until 1873. lu 1876 he went on the road as traveling sales- 
man for the Moline Wagon Company, which he represented until 
1893. In June of that year he was appointed United States 
marshal for the southern district of Illinois, and discharged the 
duties of that jjositiou in a capable manner for four years. He 
next bought an interest in the Peru Plow Company in 1897 and 
was its president until 1905, when he came to Dixon and entered 
upon active connection with the Grand Detour Plow Company as 
its president. Mr. Brinton was a director of the National Associ- 
ation of Manufacturers of Implements and Vehicles for several 
years and was its president for one term. For sixteen years he 
was treasurer of the state democratic committee. He has received 
appointments from republican officials, Governor Yates having 
made him a commissioner to the Pan-American ExiDosition in 
Buffalo, while Governor Tanner apjjointed him Illinois commis- 
sioner to the Omaha Exposition. He has been a delegate to 
national conventions of his party held in Denver, Colorado, and 
in Baltimore, Maryland. He has never been active as an office 
seekei', but in 1911 his fellow townsmen prevailed upon him to 
become the mayoralty candidate and at the election in April he 
was chosen to the office for a four years' term. 

In 1875 Mr. Brinton was united in marriage to Miss Rhoda E. 
Wyeth of Tuscola, Illinois, and they now have two children: 
Helen, at home; and Bradford, a Yale graduate of 1904, who is 
now secretary and treasurer of the Grand Detour Plow Company. 
Fraternally Mr. Brinton is a Mason, and has attained the Knight 
Templar degree. 



■■■■■:, WILLIAM H. GONNERMANN. 

A spirit of enterprise and progress actuates William H. Gon- 
nermann in all that he does. He has worked diligently and per- 
sistently to develop and improve his farm, which is today a fine 
]»ro]ierty of one himdred and sixty acres in Bradford township. 
He was born in this township December 1, 1867, and is a son of 
Henry and Katherine Gonnermann. natives of Germany. The 
parents came to America in 1866 and located in Lee county, Illi- 
nois, where the mother died in 1902. The father makes his home 
in Franklin Grove. 



HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 387 

One of a family of seven children, William H. Cionneimann 
was reared at home and assisted in the operation of his father's 
farm until he was twenty-three years of age. His marriage 
occurred at that time and he afterward rented property, upon 
which he carried on general farming fur some time. Eventually 
he purchased one hundred and sixty acres in Bradford township. 
Upon this property he has since resided and he has steadily car- 
ried forward the work of improving and developing it so that it 
is today a valuable place, equipped with the accessories and con- 
veniences of a model farm property. Mr. Gonnermann engages 
in general farming and stock-raising and his interests ai'e care- 
fully controlled, so that he has now reached a plane of affluence, 
being numbered among the substantial citizens of the community. 

Mr. Gonnermann has been twice married. When he was 
twenty-three years of age he wedded Miss Lena H. Reinhart, a 
daughter of Anton and Catherine Reinhart, both natives of Ger- 
many. Mrs. Gonnermann passed away June 25, 1910, leaving 
two children: Arthur H. and Catherine II., both at home. In 
January, 1913, Mr. Gonnermann was again married, his second 
wife being Mrs. Marie (Stauffenberg) Wallace, the widow of 
Charles H. Wallace, a native of New York. Mr's. Gonnermann 's 
parents were born in Germany and came to America in the early 
'70s. The father died in May, 1913, and is survived by his wife. 
Mrs. Gonnermann 's first husband died in 1899 and was laid to 
rest in Ashton cemetery. He left two children, Henry and Wil- 
liam, residents of Chicago, Illinois. Mr. Gonnermann is a republi- 
can in his political beliefs and has served as school director. He 
is a prolgressive and public-spirited citizen and a capable and suc- 
cessful farmer and is held in high regard wherever he is known. 



W. H. VOSBURGH. 



Lee county numbers among its progressive and representa- 
tive native sons W. H. Vosburgh, who occupies two hundred and 
forty acres of fine land on sections 23 and 26, Willow Creek town- 
ship, and gives practically his entire attention to its impi'ovement 
and cultivation. He was born in the house whore he now resides 
July 10, 1867. a son of S. and Ellen (Atherton) Vosburgh. the 
former of whom came from Pennsylvania to Lee county, Hlinois, 
in 1856, and settled upon the property which his son now occu- 



388 HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 

pies. It was at that time a tract of wild prairie land, which with 
characteristic energy the father cultivated and improved, mak- 
ing it in time an attractive and valuable farm. S. Vosburgh was 
one of the prominent men of affairs in Lee county in early times 
and held various positions of public trust and responsibility, serv- 
ing for seven years as supervisor, for four years as township 
assessor and also as trustee and school director. He is now living 
retired at Lee, in De Kalb county, having survived his wife since 
March, 1912. Her death occurred when she Avas seventy-eight 
years of age, and she was laid to rest in the Ellsworth cemetery. 
The Vosburgh family is of Dutch origin, and the paternal an- 
cestors came from Holland to this country in very early times. 
Representatives of the maternal lines fought in the Revolutionary 
war. 

W. H. Vosburgh acquired his education in the district schools 
of Lee county and afterward spent two years in Jennings Semi- 
nary in Aurora. When he was twenty-one years of age he turned 
his attention to teaching, following this occupation in the district 
schools for live years. At the end of that time he located upon the 
old homestead and has since operated this property, raising grain 
and stock. He has met with a gratifying degree of success and is 
known today as a substantial and progressive agriculturist. 

In Shabbona township, De Kalb county, Illinois, June 9, 1898, 
Mr. Vosburgh married Miss Addie M. Cutts, a daughter of Sam- 
uel and Mary Cutts, the former a pioneer of that locality. Both 
have passed away and are buried in the English cemetery in Shab- 
bona township. Ml', and Mrs. Vosburgh are the parents of a 
daughter, Margaret, who is attending district school. Mr. Vos- 
burgh is a progressive republican in his political beliefs and has 
served as township supervisoi" and school trustee. He is inter- 
ested in the development of the community in which he has spent 
his entire life and where his name has been held in high honor and 
respect since pioneer times. 



P. G. TYRRELL. 



P. G. Tyrrell, who owns one hundred and thii^ty acres of ex- 
cellent land on sections 3 and 10, May township, is a native of Lee 
county, born in Marion township, November 25, 1866. He is a 
son of John and Mary Tyrrell, the former of whom came to this 



HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 389 

part of Illinois in 1860 and followed farming here for the re- 
mainder of his life. He died in 1892 and is buried in Prairie 
Repose cemetery. His wife makes her home in Amboy. The fam- 
ily is of Norwegian origin but its representatives settled in Ireland 
in the fourteenth century. 

P. G. TyrreU is one of a family of eight children. He acquired 
his education in the district schools of May township and laid 
aside his books at the age of twenty. He then rented land, follow- 
ing farming upon this property for twenty years, at the end of 
which time he purchased his present farm. He owns one hundred 
and thirty acres on sections 3 and 10, May township, and upon 
this property raises grain and live stock, meeting with excellent 
success. 

In Dixon, Illinois, April 3, 1895, Mr. Tyrrell was united in mar- 
riage to Miss Isabelle Reeves, a daughter of Benjamin and Isa- 
belle Reeves, the foi'mer a well known farmer of Lee county, now 
residing in Amboy. Mr. Tyrrell is a meml^er of the Modern Wood- 
men of America and a republican in his political beliefs. He is a 
director of the school board and for the past five years has served 
as assessor of the township. He is numbered among the most pro- 
gi'essive and representative of Lee county's native sons, and his 
worth as a man and a citizen is widely acknowledged. 



WILLIAM KILLMER. 



William Killmer was born upon the farm in Bradford to\\Ti- 
ship which he operated for twenty years from the time of 
his marriage, and during most of his active life has been con- 
nected with agricultural interests of this locality, being today 
numbered among its representative and successful farmers. His 
birth occurred January 31, 1859, his j^arents being Nicholas and 
Mary (Halbmaier) Killmer. natives of (rermany. The father 
came to the Ignited States in 1852, settling in Lee coimty, Illi- 
nois, and some months later the mother also arrived in Lee county, 
where they were married. In 1884 they removed to Ashton, where 
they resided during the remainder of their lives, the father dying 
in 1892 and the mother in 1893. They were the parents of six 
children, of whom two survive. 

William Killmer acquired his education in the district schools 
of Bradford township and remained at home until his marriage. 



890 HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 

He then rented the old home farm and after operating it for some 
years inherited it. Tliis comprises one hundred and twenty acres 
of excellent laud and upon it Mr. Killmer has made excellent im- 
provements, bringing the tields under a high state of cultivation 
and erecting substantial barns and outbuildings. In addition to 
this property he owns a livery barn and a modern dwelling in 
Ashton and his wife has ninety-two acres of land in Ashton town- 
shijD and a residence property in Ashton. For nine years Mr. 
Killmer was engaged in the livery business in Ashton and he built 
a garage which he has since sold. His son Alfred conducts the 
home farm, while another son, George, is conducting his mother's 
place, and Mr. Killmer expects soon to engage in the automobile 
and garage business in Ashton. 

When he was twenty-tive years of age Mr. Killmer married 
Miss Mary E. Ross, who was born in Lee county, Illinois, a daugh- 
ter of William and Katherine E. (Aschenbrenner) Ross, natives of 
Germany, l^oth of whom died in Lee county. Mr. and Mrs. Kill- 
mer became the parents of four children: George M., who was 
born February 9, 1885; Alfred W., born December 1, 1887; Mary 
Elizabeth, born Jmie 2, 1890; and Anna W., whose birth occurred 
May 2, 1892. 

The i)arents and childien are members of the United Evangel- 
ical church and Mr. Killmer gives his ]iolitical allegiance to the 
republican party. He has served as school trustee and is progres- 
sive and public-spirited in all matters of citizenship, cooperating 
heartily in movements foi- the general good. A resident of liCe 
county since his l)irth. he is well known throughout the commu- 
nity and his enei'gy and enterprise have gained him the respect and 
confidence of all who come in contact with him. 



JAMES BUCKLEY. 



James Buckley, a representative and esteemed citizen of Lee 
countv, devotes his attention to general agricultui'al pursuits with 
gratifying success and is the owner of an excellent farm of two 
Innidred and forty acres on section 21, May township. His birth 
occurred in Pliiladelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1854, his parents being 
Micliael and Rosanna (McGreer) Buckley. Tn 1861 the family 
came to Lee county, Hlinois, and here the parents spent their re- 
maining days. Michael Buckley passed away in 1878 and his wife, 



HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 391 

surviving him for almost a quarter of a century, died in 1902. 
Their remains were interred in St. Patrick's cemetery of May 
township. 

James Buckley was a little lad of se^en when he came to this 
county with his parents and here attended school until twenty-two 
years of age. He assisted his father in the operation of the home 
farm until the latter 's demise and subseqiumtly went west, spending 
about two years in that part of the country in railroad work. On 
I'eturning home he took possession of the farm of two hiuidred and 
forty acres which he now owns and in the operation of which he 
has won a gratifying annual income. He engages in mixed farm- 
ing and keeps about eighteen horses, thirty head of cattle, sixty 
hogs and several hundi'ed head of poultry. He erected the resi- 
dence and other buildings Avhich adorn his property, has ever 
followed the most modern and rcsidtaut iiK'tliods in the conduct 
of his agricidtui'al interests and has long lieen munbered among 
the substantial and leading citizens of the commimity. 

In 1884, in May township, Mr. Buckley was joined in wedlock 
to Miss Margaret Dougherty, a daughter of Charles and Catherine 
Dougherty, who are deceased and lie buried in the Dixon cemetery. 
Our subject and his wife have seven children, as follows: John, 
Charles, William, Harry, Edward, James and Frank, all at home. 

Mr. Buckley gives his political allegiance to the republican 
party and his fellow townsmen, recognizing his worth and ability, 
have called him to several positions of public trust. He has ably 
served in the capacity of supervisor since 1905, also acted as col- 
lector for aboT;t two years, as town clerk for four years and as a 
school director for six years, ever discharging his public duties 
in a prompt and capable manner. He belongs to the Knights of 
Columbns and is also a devout communicant of the Catholic church. 
That his life has been well spent is indicated by the fact that many 
of his warmest friends are those who have known him from his 
boyhood to the present. 



LAFAYETTE LONG. 



For many years Lafayette Long has been closely and promi- 
nentlv connected with agricultural interests of Lee county and is 
today the owner of a fine farm of two hundred acres on sections 
24 and 18, May township. He was born n]ion a farm about one 



392 HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 

mile from his present place of residence April 29, 1849, and is a 
son of John E.. and Elizabeth (Moore) Long, the former of whom 
came from Pennsylvania in 1846 and settled on a farm in May 
township. He was a pioneer in that locality and upon his arrival 
found nothing but a wilderness of prairie land. He broke and 
cultivated the tract which he took up and became in the course of 
years one of the best known and most highly resj)ected residents 
of the locality. He died May 7, 1889, at the age of sixty-seven, 
and was long survived by his wife, who passed away September 
23, 1913, being over eighty-eight years of age. She lived to be 
one of the oldest white women in that part of Lee county. 

She and her husband were married in Pennsylvania, March 6, 
1815, and became the parents of six children : Austin, who died 
in infancy ; Mary, now the wife of R. L. Smith, of Fort Williams, 
Canada; Lafayette, the subject of this review; Luciuda, who died 
in infancy; James M., who passed away January 11, 1886, at the 
age of thirty-three years; and Joseph W., whose death occurred 
May 9, 1887, when he was thirty-one years of age. 

Lafayette Long acquired his education in district school, 
attending until he was twenty years of age. He afterward worked 
as a monthly laborer for six years and at the end of that time pur- 
chased one hundred and sixty acres of his present farm. He has 
since added to this and has now two hundred acres, lying on sec- 
tions 21 and 18, May township. He engages in mixed farming, 
raising grain and keeping forty head of cattle and a number of 
horses and hogs. 

Mr. Long is a republican in his political beliefs and is connected 
fraternally with the Masonic lodge and chapter. The success which 
he has attained in his fai'ming operations is entirely due to his 
own industry and enterprise and ])laces him among the men of 
prominence and worth in his locality. 



FRANK C. VAUCHAN. 

Lee county has been signally favored in the class of men who 
have occiipied her public office, for on the whole they have been 
found trustwoi'thy and eom]ietont in the discharge of their duties 
and the intei'ests of the county liave therefore been ably conserved. 
On the list of officials at the present time appears the name of 




FRANK (\ \A If. 11 AN 



HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 395 

Frank C. Vaugban. He is county treasurer and the first democrat 
elected in the county in twenty years, a fact which indicates his per- 
sonal popularity aud the confidence reposed in him. He was born 
in Amboy, Illinois, March 17, 1863, and is a sou of C. D. and Louisa 
M. (Balch) Vaughan, who were natives of Plattsburg, New York. 
Removing westward to Illinois in 1854, they settled in Amboy, 
where the father became the first furniture dealer and undertaker 
of the town. For a long period he was an active factor in busi- 
ness circles there and was equally prominent in other connections. 
He was one of the leaders of the democratic party in this county 
and filled the office of clerk of the court of common pleas. He was 
also alderman and mayor of Amboy for a number of years and 
exercised his official prerogatives in support of many valuable 
public measures contributing to the welfare aud advancement of 
the city. The public passed high encomiums upon him because 
of his fidelity to duty and when he passed away in 1888 the news 
of his demise brought a sense of personal bereavement to almost 
every home in Ambo,y His widow still survives and is now living 
in Amboy, at the age of eighty-four years. 

Frank C. Vaughan acquired a high-school education in his 
native town. His business training was begun when he was a lad 
of fourteen, at which time he entered his father's store, of which 
he is now the proprietor. He has the oldest furniture and imder- 
taking business in the county. In the conduct of the establish- 
ment he has followed progressive methods, keeping in touch with 
the latest things which the furniture market affords, and his en- 
terprising spirit and progressive methods have brought him 
substantial success. He was elected president of the State Under- 
takers Association for two years, the only time in the history of 
that organization that anyone has served a second term. Mr. 
Vaughan first held minor political positions in Amboy and his 
faithfulness in that connection led to his selection for higher 
honors. In 1910 he was chosen county treasurer, being the first 
democrat elected in Lee county for two decades and the first repre- 
sentative of his party to occupy offices in the new courthouse, which 
was completed in 190L He has brought to bear in the discharge 
of his present duties the same spirit of fidelity that marked his 
course in former official connections and even those holding op- 
posing political views have naught to say derogatory to his 
service. For twenty years he has been chief of the Amboy fire 
department and has thus figured in many public connections, all of 
which have been of benefit to the district which he represents. 



396 HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 

On the 25tli of February, lb89, Mr. Vaughaii was uuited in 
marriage to jVIiss Carrie Briggs, of Amboy, and they have be- 
come the parents uf two ciiihireu, h'rauk and .hdith Caroline. Mr. 
Vaughau is a very pioniniciic Aiasou, holding membership in the 
lodge and in the various branches of York Rite Masonry and also 
in the consistory and the shrine. He is Kkewise connected with 
the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks, the Knights of Pythias 
and the Modern Woodmen of America and holds membership in 
the Baptist church, which hnds him loyal to its teachings and gen- 
erous in its support. The social position of the family is one of 
prominence and they have an extensive circle of warm friends 
in Lee county 



JOHN KERSTEN. 



Among the early pioneers of Lee county was John Kersten, a 
self-made man whose gratifying prosperity had its root in fru- 
gality, industry and determination. He was numbered among the 
early pioneers of his section of Illinois, arriving in 1857. His 
birtii occurred in Germany, February 15, 1831, his parents being 
Mr. and Mrs. Hartman Kersten, the former born in the father- 
land, September 30, 1801, and the latter in 1802. 

John Kersten acquired his education in schools of Germany 
and remained at home until twenty- five years of age, assisting his 
father, his thorough training giving him experience and knowl- 
edge which proved of marked value in later years. 

On the 18th of June, 1856, Mr. Kersten was united in marriage 
to Miss Christine Hildebrandt, a native of Gelfershausen, Kreis- 
Rothenburg, Kerr-Hessen, Germany, and a daughter of John and 
Elizabeth (Speck) Hildebrandt, the former born in 1787 and the 
latter in 1799. The year following their marriage John Kersten 
and his young wife came to the new world, crossing the Atlantic 
in order to seek their fortune in America, having heard many 
favorable reports concerning the advantages and opportunities of- 
fered in this land. Mr. Kersten arrived in Lee county with but a 
dollar and a half in his pocket. Necessity made it imperative that 
he seek immediate employment. He was energetic and ambitious 
to earn a good living and by his frugality, imabating energy and 
economy he added to his savings year by year until he became the 
owner of a fine farm which he developed and improved. As the 



HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 397 

years rolled by he won prosperity and at the tune of his death was 
the owner of six hundred and forty acres of as valuable laud as 
could be found in Lee county, and there is no richer elsewhere. 
His life is an example of what the sturdy (Jerman can accomplish 
when energy and resolute purpose point out the way. Moreover, 
he left to his family an inheritance which money cannot buy — that 
of an untarnished name. 

Mr. and Mrs. Kersten became the parents of eleven children, 
ten of whom survive. Mr. Kersten passed away on the 10th of 
Juh% 1912, and just three months later, on the 10th of October, 
the death of 'Mis. Kersten occurred, the county thereby losing two 
of its valued and worthy pioneer citizens. 



CARL ^lARTIN EWALD. 

No history of Lee county would be complete without extended 
mention of the Ewald family. Its members are known through- 
out this part of the state as progressive farmers and stock-raisers 
and each of the sous has displayed sterling characteristics of 
industry and determination in the conduct of his business affairs, 
thereby attaining success and winning a place among the self-made 
men of the county. Carl Martin Ewakl was born in Germany, 
April 18, 1872, and is a son of Henry and Anna Martha Ewald, 
who in 1873 bade adieu to friends and native land and with their 
family sailed for the new world. Coming to Illinois, they estab- 
lished their home in Ogle county and in 1879 removed to Lee 
coimty. Carl ]M. Ew^ald contim;ed with his parents until thirty- 
one years of age, at which time he was united in marriage to Miss 
Ida Wendt, who was born in Bradford township, September 27, 
1883. and is a daughter of William and Amelia (En gal) Wendt, 
both of whom were natives of Germany but in early life came to 
the new world and were married in this country. They established 
their home in Lee county, whei'e they lived for a long period. The 
father passed away in 1887, bi;t the mother survives and is now a 
resident of Ashton. They had a family of seven children : Frank, 
who is a resident of Nebraska ; Grace, the wife of Conrad Smith, 
of Ashton; Fred, lining in Lee county; Emma, the wife of John 
Schaffer, of Cook county, Illinois ; William, who makes his home 
in Rochelle, this state ; Mrs. Ewald ; and Matilda, who is the wife 
of William Rankie, of Ashton. 



398 HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 

Following Ms marriage Carl M. Ewald established Ms home 
upou a rented farm, where he lived for some years. During that 
period he carefully saved his earmngs until he was able to pur- 
chase property. In 1910 he became the owner of the farm of two 
hundred acres on section 24, Reynolds townsMp, on which he now 
makes his home. He has always been interested in stock-raising, 
handling not only cattle but also horses and hogs, which he raises 
and feeds, preparing them for the market. He keeps on hand 
high-grade stock and is one of the leading live-stock dealers in 
Ms part of the county. 

Mr. and Mrs. Ewald have a family of three children: Earl 
H., born January 30, 1904; Clarence C, February 7, 1906; and 
Lucile Grace, May 18, 1909. Mrs. Ewald is a member of the 
Methodist Episcopal church, and Mr. Ewald contributes to its 
support. He votes with the republican party but has not sought 
nor desired political preferment. He has served, however, as 
school director and recognizes the value of education as a prep- 
aration for life's practical and responsible duties. Industry has 
been the keynote of his character and it is because he has worked 
hard, directing his labor by sound judgment, that he has reached 
a place among the substantial farmers and stock-raisers of 
Reynolds township. 



JOSEPH M. HERRMANN. 

Joseph M. Herrmann is one of the extensive landowners and 
most prosperous and representative farmers and stock-raisers in 
Willow Creek township, owning six hundred and six acres of fine 
land on sections 17, 18, 20 and 21. He has lived upon his property 
for many years and has been very successful in its cultivation, 
his prosperity being entirely the result of his unremitting energy 
and sound judgment. ]\Ir. Herrmann has been a resident of Ijee 
county since 1856 but was born in New Jersey in 1850, a son of 
Joseph and Elizabeth (Eck) Herrmann, both of whom have passed 
av^ay. The former died in 1872 and the latter in 1888, and they 
are buried in Twin Groves cemetery. Willow Creek township. 

Joseph M. Herrmann acquired his education in the public 
schools of Lee county and after laying aside his books assisted his 
father with the work of the farm until the latter 's death. He and 
Ms brothers then operated the homestead in their mother's inter- 



HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 399 

ests for a number of years. After her death the property was 
divided, Mr. Herrmaun of this review I'eceiving as his share one 
hundred and sixty acres, upon which there was a mortgage of 
four thousand dollars. With characteristic energy he applied him- 
self to the work of develoj)ing this property and soon had it en- 
tirely free from debt and in excellent condition. At intervals 
thereafter he added to his holdings until he now owns six hundred 
and six acres lying on sections 17, 18, 20 and 21. In addition to 
raising grain he is a stock breeder on an extensive scale and has 
on an average one hinidred head of cattle, fort}^ hogs, twenty sheep 
and twenty horses. He is one of the successful men of this town- 
ship and may ti"uly l^e called a self-made man, for his prosperity 
has been won entirely through his own well directed efforts. 

In Rochelle, Illinois, on the Itith of November, 1881, Mr. Herr- 
mann married Miss Mary E. Riley, a daughter of John and Cather- 
ine Riley, residents of that city. IMi'. and Mrs. Herrmann have six 
children : Joseph Albert, assistant cashier in the Rochelle National 
Bank ; William H., manager of the Scarboro Elevator Company 
at Scarboro, Illinois ; Robert J., a farmer of Lee county ; Louise, 
at home ; and Irvin and Claude, who are assisting their father. 

Mr. Herrmann is a member of the Catholic church and is con- 
nected fraternally with the Modern Woodmen of America. He 
is a democrat in his political beliefs and has held various public 
offices, serving as highway commissioner for twenty years, as as- 
sessor for fourteen years and as school treasurer for thirteen. He 
is also president of The Scarboro Elevator Company and a director 
of The Lee State Bank. A man of enterprise, energy and am- 
bition, he has identified his interests thoroughly with those of the 
community and foi' man}^ years his activities have been a foi'ce in 
advancement. His life is exemplary in all respects and he holds 
the esteem and confidence of all who are associated with him. 



CHARLES THOMAS SELF. 

Among the successful business men of Dixon, Illinois, is Charles 
Thomas Self, who for a number of years has conducted a black- 
smith shop here. Mr. Self is a native of Lee county, where he was 
born August 14. 1882. three and a half miles north of Franklin 
Grove, his parents being Francis Enoch and Nancy Lorella Self. 



400 HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 

Charles T. Self received his education in the public schools of 
Fraukliu Grove, graduating iu 1900, in which year he removed to 
Dixon. There he entered his father's blacksmith shop and in part- 
nership with his brother, G. H. Self, bought out the father's inter- 
est in the business in 1903. Mr. Self continued until 1909 as part 
owner, but in that year acquired his brother's share. He has 
proved himself a reliable business man and has an up-to-date 
shop, enjoying a large patronage. Although yet young in years, 
he is well on the road to prosperity. 

Mr. Self has always interested himself in public affairs and 
has given his support to a number of worthy enterprises that have 
been of benefit to the conununity and the county. On the progres- 
sive ticket he made the race for circuit clerk but was defeated by a 
majority of two hundred and thirty votes, the republican candi- 
date being elected. Considering the strength of the latter party in 
the county, Mr. Self made a remarkable showing. In 1912 he was 
elected as county supervisor foi' a term of two years and now serves 
with effieienc}' in the comity government, ably representing his dis- 
trict on the board. Along religious lines he is a member of the 
Christian church. He is well known in Y. M. C. A. circles, of 
which organization he is a member, and he is also connected with 
the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, to which society he has 
belonged since 1904. Mr. Self takes interest in bowling and for 
the past six years has been a member of the city bowling team of 
Dixon. He is esteemed and respected by all who know him and in 
social and business circles has made many friends who honoi' him 
for his high qualities of character. 



DAVID SMITH. 



One cannot carry investigations far into the pioneer history of 
Lee county without learning of the honorable and worthy part 
which David Smith has taken in the work of promoting develop- 
ment and advancement. He is one of the oldest residents of this 
locality, having made his home on the farm on which he lives 
since 1S37 although he now rents most of the farm to three of his 
grandnephews. Since the beginning of his active career his influ- 
ence has been a force in progress, being given always to measures 
of public advancement and reform. At the age of eighty-two Mr. 
Smith is still interested in agricultural pursuits, owning a fine 



HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 40i 

farm of four himdred and fifteen acres on section 35, Willow 
Creek township, but for a few years lie lias rented most of the 
farm, except the timber, to relatives. He was born near Camp- 
belltown, Argyleshire, Scotland, July 1(). 1831, and is a son of 
John and Jane Smith, who crossed the Atlantic to America in 
1837, arriving in New York after a journey of six weeks. They 
pushed westward to Illinois and settled in Lee county ainoiit;' the 
pioneers in this locality. They took up laud which was not yet 
surveyed and the father and his eldest son, Robert, fenced and 
broke, or plowed, for the first time, most of the farm, which was 
three-fourths prairie, and carried forward the work of improve- 
ment for many years. Robert Smith died in 1905, after many 
years of close connection with agricultural interests in this local- 
ity. He is buried in Wyoming cemetery. John Smith passed 
away in 1860, having survived his wife twenty years, and both are 
interred in the Ellsworth cemetery. They became the parents of 
ten children, four of whom died in Scotland. Martha married 
Willicim Hopps, who passed away in Wheeling. Cook county. Illi- 
nois. Robert died in 1905. John passed away in August, 1837, at 
the age of nine and is buried in the Ellsworth cemetery. David 
is the subject of this review. Jane became the wife of Nathaniel 
Nettleton who jiassed away during the Civil war and is buried in 
the Ellsworth cemetery. His wife died June 5, 1894, and was 
laid to rest in the Ellsworth cemetei'y beside her husband. Alex- 
ander C, born in Illinois in July, 1837. fought in the Union cav- 
alry during the Civil war and died of sickness at Pittsburg Land- 
ing, Tennessee in A]n-il, 1862. He is also buried in Ellsworth 
cemetery. 

David Smith was six years of age when he came to Lee county 
with his parents. He attended school in Paw Paw and in Wheel- 
ing, Cook count.v, until he was twenty-one years of age, pursuing 
his studies during the winter months and assisting with the work 
of the farm during the summers. When the father died and his 
land was divided Da\dd Smith received one hundred and eighty 
acres and he afterward added greatly to this property, owning at 
one time nine hundred acres. He has since sold portions of this 
but retains four hundred and fifteen acres on section 35. Willow 
Creek township. Upon this fine property he raises grain and 
stock, keeping cattle, horses and hogs. He has been very suc- 
cessful in breeding swine and has owned as many as three hun- 
dred high-grade animals. Throughout the years he has steadily 
carried forward the W(n'k of improving his farm, and the result of 



402 HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 

his labors is seen in its attractive appearance. Mr. Smith was 
at one time vice president and a director in the State Bank of 
Paw Paw and is now a large stockholder, and he is interested in 
many other enterprises which are factors in general growth. 

Upon its organization Mr. Smith joined the republican party 
and voted for its candidates continuously until 1912, when he 
entered the ranks of the progressives. He was for three years 
township supervisor, has been township treasurer, trustee and 
assessor and also school trustee and school director. In fact he 
has held practically every important position within the gift of 
his fellow citizens, for he has been at all times interested in the 
advancement of the community and takes every means in his 
power to promote its progress. During the many years of his 
residence here he has won a high place in the esteem and regard 
of all who know him, and he has an extensive circle of warm 
friends. 



HENRY EWALD, Jr. 



The name of Ewald is well known to all who are familiar with 
the history of agricultural development and progress in Reynolds 
township and Lee county, for through more than a third of a 
century the family has been represented here and its members 
have taken an active and helpful part in promoting farming inter- 
ests in this section of the state. Henry Ewald, Jr., now living on 
section 22, Reynolds township, was born in Ogle county, Illinois, 
Febi'uary 6, 1877, and is a son of Henry and Anna Martha Ewald, 
of whom further mention is made on another page of this volume 
in connection with the sketch of Charles Ewald. The family 
removed from Ogle to Lee county in 1879, and Henry Ewald, Jr., 
spent his boyhood and youth in the usual manner of farm lads, 
working in the fields through the summer months, attending the 
district schools during the winter seasons and finding time and 
opportunity for play when more serious tasks did not engage 
him. He continued to assist his father in the cultivation of the 
home farm imtil twenty-eight years of age, when he was united in 
marriage on the 20th of June. 1905, to Miss Marie Kaecker, who 
was born in Bradford township, January 7, 1880, a daughter of 
William and Minnie (Aschenbrenner) Kaecker. The father was 
born in Germany and came to America when twenty-one years of 




HENRY EWALn. JR., AND FAMILY 



HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 405 

age. The mother is a native of Lee county, Illinois, where she still 
makes her home, being now a resident of Bradford township. 
In their family were twelve children, ten of whom survive. 

Following his marriage Mr. Ewald began his domestic life 
upon a rented farm, which he continued to till for seven years. 
Lie then purchased one hundred and sixty acres on section 22, 
Reynolds township, a tract which was then partially improved. 
He has continued its further development along progressive lines 
of farming and annually the fields bring forth rich crops owing 
to the care and labor which he bestows upon them. His methods 
are at once practical and progressive and in addition to raising 
grain he makes a specialty of raising and feeding stock, which 
constitutes an important source of his income. 

As the years have gone by Mr. and ^Irs. Ewald have become 
the parents of three children : Fern Anna M., born April 4, 1906, 
Mark William, August 17, 1910, and Lloyd Andrew William, 
January 28, 1912. The parents hold membership in the Evangeli- 
cal church, and Mr. Ewald gives his political support to the repub- 
lican party but has never sought nor desii'ed office as a reward for 
party fealty, preferring to give his undivided attention to his 
farming interests, which, capably managed, are bringing to him 
a good return. 



HENRY L. CtEHANT. 

Henry L. Gehant, the tenant of a valuable tract of land com- 
prising two hundred and twenty acres on section 31, Viola town- 
ship, devotes his attention to mixed farming with excellent 
success and is well known as one of the enterprising young citizens 
of his native county. He was here born in the year 1883 and is a 
son of Fi-ank J. and Victoria (Henry) Oehant, who make their 
home in West Brooklyn and are highly esteemed residents of the 
community. 

Henry L. Gehant attended school in Leo county until eighteen 
years of age and subsequently assisted his father in the work of 
the home farm for three years. On the expiration of that period 
he embarked in the hardware business as the junior member of 
the firm of Bcrnardin & Gehant, being thus engaged for six years. 
He then disposed of his interest in the concern and again turned 
his attention to general agricultural pursuits, having since de- 



406 HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 

voted his time and energies to the operation of a farm of two hun- 
dred and twenty acres on section 31, Viola township. In addition 
to the cultivation of cereals he gives considerable attention to stock, 
keeping about fourteen horses, thirty-five cattle and fifteen hogs. 
He operates two threshing outfits and also acts as agent for the 
Studebaker automobile in Viola, Sublette, Lee Center and Brook- 
lyn townships. 

On the 7th of Janimry, 1908, in Amboy, Mr. Gehant was united 
in marriage to Miss Theresa Stiel, her parents being Valentine 
and Anna (Lauer) Stiel, the former a farmer of Amboy town- 
ship. Mr. Gehant gives his political allegiance to the democracy 
and has fraternal relations with the Modern Woodmen of Amer- 
ica. Lie has spent his entire life in Lee county and is Avidely recog- 
nized as one of its prosperous, progressive and representative 
citizens. 



MORRIS COOK. 



Morris Cook makes his home on section 23, Alto township', 
and his property in addition to the home farm makes his landed 
possessions aggregate five hundred and sixty-five acres, consti- 
tuting a valuable property. He is not only one of the progres- 
sive agriculturists, but one of the wide-awake and patriotic 
citizens of his community, where he is now filling the position of 
township supervisor. He was born in Kendall county, Illinois, 
September 10, 1864, a son of Morris and Elizabeth (Cooper) 
Cook, both of whom were natives of New Jersey, whence they 
came to this state about 1850, settling in Kendall county. In 
186G they became residents of Alto townshii^, Lee county, and 
the father purchased a farm, which is now the property of his 
son Morris. With characteristic energy he began its develop- 
ment and improvement and concentrated his energies upon its 
cultivation mitil his death, which occurred in 1885. His widow 
survived him for many 3^ears, passing away in 1911. They were 
the ])ai'ents of eleven children, five of whom are now living. 

Moi-ris Cook, reai'ed imder the parental roof, assisted his father 
until nineteen years of age, and then assumed the management of 
the old home ]ilaco. He proved his ability to successfully conduct 
the farm and in 1909 he purchased the property, his home place, 
comprising one lunidred and sixty acres of land on section 23, Alto 



HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 407 

township. lu 1911 lie purchased the old homestead, comprising 
two hundred and forty-five acres on section 14, Alto township, and 
prioi' to this he had invested in one hundi'ed and sixty acres on 
section 15, of the same township, so that he now owns altogether 
five hundred and sixty-five acres of rich and valuable laud, that 
responds readily to the care and cultivation he bestows upon it. 
While his fields produce good crops, in his pastures are to be 
found registered Hereford cattle and draft horses, of which he 
makes a specialty, raising a large number each year. 

In 1888 Mr. Cook was united in marriage to Miss Gertrude 
G. Hemeuwa}'. who was born in Kendall county, Illinois, a daugh- 
ter of William and Cynthia (Dewey) Hemenway, the former a 
native of Will county. Illinois, and the latter of the state of New 
York. Mr. and Mrs. Cook have become the parents of six chil- 
dren : Effie G., now the wife of M. M. Fell ; Harold H. ; Lyal E. ; 
M. Gardner; Marjorie L. ; and Florence A. The parents hold 
membership in the Methodist Episcopal church and Mr. Cook be- 
longs to the Masonic fraternity at Steward. His political allegi- 
ance is given to the republican party, and he is now serving as 
supervisor of Alto township, while for five years he filled the office 
of assessor. He has also been school director and is interested in 
the cause of education as a preparation for the young for life's 
practical and responsible duties. Mr. Cook is a self-made man 
and deserves much credit for what he has accomplished. Gradu- 
ually he has worked his way upward, and his persistent energy 
has made him one of the substantial citizens of his part of the 
county. 



WILLIAM M. SHAW. 



William M. Shaw, a prominent agriculturist and extensive 
landowner of Lee county, devotes his attention to the cultivation 
of a farm of four hundred and seventy-five acres in Amboy to-nm- 
ship. His birth occurred in this county on the 24th of September, 
1847. his parents being Henry G. and Jane (Waldron) SliaAv, both 
of whom are deceased and lie buried in Prairie Repose cemetery. 
The father's demise occurred in 1874. while the mother passed 
away in April, 1902, both being sincerely mourned by an extensive 
circle of friends and acquaintances. 

William M. Shaw attended the schools of his native county 
until sixteen years of age and subsequently spent about five years 



408 HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 

assisting his fatlier in the operation of the home place. During 
the following twelve years he worked at almost any employment 
that offered and which would yield him an honest dollar, and 
on the expiration of that period started out as an agriculturist 
on his own account, coming into possession of the farm of four 
hvuidred and seventy-five acres which he has since operated. He 
raises the cereals best adapted to soil and climate and keeps about 
thirty horses, sixty head of cattle and fifty hogs, meeting with a 
gratifying and well merited measure of success in both branches 
of his business. The residence and other buildings on the prop- 
erty were erected by him and stand as monuments to his enterpris- 
ing spirit and wisely directed industry. 

Mr. Shaw gives his political allegiance to the democracy and 
has fraternal relations with the Independent Order of Odd Fel- 
lows. He is widely known throughout the comity in which he has 
resided during his entire life, or for about two-thirds of a 
century, and his substantial characteristics have gained him the 
warm regard and iniqualilicd trust of his fellow townsmen. 



JOHN W. BANKS. 



John W. Banks, supervisor of Bi-ooklyn township and a part- 
ner in the operation of grain, seed and coal concerns at Compton 
and Paw Paw, was liorn in Paris, Ontario, January 26, 1861. He 
is a son of Joseph and Hannah L. (McDonald) Banks, the former 
of whom came from England to Canada about the year 1840 and 
followed farming in Ontario for a nunilior of years. Tn 1862 he 
moved to Lee county, Illinois, and after engaging in agricultural 
pui'suits for eight years he moved to Malugins Grove and became 
connected with the mail service as a cai'rier in 1869. At the end 
of four years he moved to Compton, where he was appointed post- 
master. In 1887 he wont to California and he died in Los Angeles 
in 1908, at the age of eighty-five. He was survived by his wife 
one year, her death occurring wlien she was seventy-eight years of 
age. Both ai'e buried in Posedale cemetery, Los Angeles. 

John W. Banks was still an infant when he came to Lee county 
with his ]iarents. He acquired his education in the public schools 
of Compton and at the age of thirteen laid aside his books, work- 
ing for a few years thereafter as a farm laborer. In 1887 he be- 
came clerk for the firm of Warner & Ouffin, dealers in grain, seed 



HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 409 

and coal, and iu 1889 became manager uf the coucern operated by 
this firm. Iu 1907 he was admitted into partnership, the old name 
being, however, retained. His work has been a helpful factor in 
the success of the firm, which now operates establishments in 
Compton and Paw Paw. He is known as a resourcef id, f arsighted 
and able busiuess man and has been carried forward into impor- 
tant relations with the general business life of the locality. 

In Dixon, on the 23d of January, 1895, Mr. Banks married Miss 
Elizabeth McBride, a daughter of J. S. and Abbey (Carnahan) 
McBride, the latter the daughter of one of the oldest settlers in Lee 
county. Her father now resides with his family in Bloomsburg, 
Pennsylvania. Mr. and Mrs. Banks have two sons: Stanley M., 
who was graduated from Paw Paw high school in 1912 ; and Smith 
M., attending school. 

Mr. Banks is a member of the Methodist Episcopal chiu'ch and 
is connected fraternally with the Masonic lodge; Anchor Lodge, 
No. 510, I. O. 0. P.; the Modern Woodmen of America, and the 
Order of the Eastern Star. He gives his political allegiance to the 
republican party and is very active in commrmity affairs. He was 
for six years chairman of the republican county central committee 
and was president of the village board for a similar period of time. 
In 1911 lie was appointed supervisor of Brooklyn township and 
elected in 1913 to the same position, which he still holds and the 
duties of which he discharges with credit and ability. In what- 
ever relation of life he is found he is honorable and straightfor- 
ward, being recognized as a capable man of business and a 
public-spirited and progressive citizen. 



FRANK J. CAHILL. 



An enterprise like that of the Borden Condensed Millc Com- 
pany must needs have as the heads of its several departments men 
of marked ability, of indefatigable enterprise and of sound judg- 
ment. Such a one is found in Frank J. Cahill, now office manager 
at Dixon for the corporation. He is a young man. ambitious, 
energetic and determined, and brings to the discharge of the im- 
portant and onerous duties that devolve upon him keen insight 
and a ready appreciation of business situations and possibilities. 
He was born in Dixon, September 30, 1880, and is a son of Ed- 
ward F. and Mary (Donelly) Cahill. The parents came to Lee 



410 HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 

county from Boston, Massachusetts, in 1874, and the father, who 
was a merchant tailor, made that business his life work, passing 
away in 1896. The mother still survives and yet makes her home 
in Dixon. 

Trank J. CahiU, the sixth in order of birth in a family of thir- 
teen children, pursued a public-school education, passing through 
the consecutive grades until graduated from the Dixon high 
school. He then joined his father and was connected with the 
tailoring business for a short time. He also spent a brief period 
in connection with the shoe trade but in 1898 entered the employ 
of the Anglo-Swiss Condensed Milk Company, with which he con- 
tinued to the time that the business was sold to the Borden inter- 
ests in 1902. Gradually he has worked his way upward in this 
connection, thoroughly mastering all of the duties that have de- 
volved upon him until he is now office manager and is recognized 
as a most efficient, capable and trustworthy man for the position. 

On the 19th of June, 1912, Mr. Cahill was united in marriage 
to Miss Elizabeth Clark, of Dixon. They are members of the 
Catholic church and he belongs also to the Knights of Columbus 
and the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks. In politics he takes 
an advanced stand in opposition to monopoly rule and to party 
management by machine bosses. He is allied with the progressive 
party and he is ever fearless in espousing his honest convictions. 
While a busy man he yet finds time for cooperation in plans and 
projects for the public good. 



ANDREW GEHANT. 



Andrew Gehant owns a farm of one hundred and twenty-two 
acres on section 5, Brooklyn township, and is numbered among the 
substantial and progressive agriculturists of the community, hav- 
ing by his sound business judgment and practical methods sur- 
I'ounded himself with a gratifying degTee of prosperity. He was 
born in Lee coimty on the farm which he now owns in 1869 and is 
a son of Laurent and Julia (Tonllian) Gehant, the former of 
whom came from France in 1854, settling at Lee Center, where 
he wor'ked in a stone quarry. He afterward moved to Shelby 
county, where he purchased land, engaging in agricultural pur- 
suits there for ten years. Tn 1866 he returned to Lee county and 
bought a farm in West Brooklyn, whereon he made his home until 



HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 4ii 

his death iii 1897. His wife survived him two years and passed 
away at the age of seventy-two. 

Andrew Gehaut acquired his education in the public schools 
of West Brooklyn, laying aside his boolcs at the age of sixteen. 
He then assisted his father with the work of the farm until the 
latter 's deatli, after which he came into possession of the home- 
stead which he still owns. Upon it he has erected an excellent 
residence and substantial farm buildings and has carried forward 
the work of cultivation along modern lines, making the property 
one of the finest in his locality. He keeps twenty-two head of 
cattle, fifty swine and seven horses, and his stock-raising interests 
form one of the important sources of his income. 

In West Brooklyn, July 10, 1899, Mr. Gehant married Miss 
Pauline Jeanguenat, a daughter of Peter and Rose Jeanguenat, 
the latter of whom passed away in 1896 and is buried in Ports- 
mouth, Ohio. Mr. and Mrs. Gehant have four children: Agues, 
Anthony, Lucille and Carl A. 

Mr. Gehant is a member of the Roman Catholic church and is 
connected fraternally with the Catholic Order of Foresters. His 
political allegiance is given to the democratic j)arty. A repre- 
sentative of one of the best known families of his locality, he has 
by his honorable principles and straightforward dealing added 
greatly to the high esteem in which his name is held. 



LOUIS GEHANT. 



The agricultural interests of Lee county find a worthy repre- 
sentative in Louis Gehant, who owns and operates an excellent 
farm of one hundred and sixty acres on section 30, Viola town- 
ship. His birth occurred in this county on the 26th of September, 
1883, his parents being Laurent E. and Mary (Henry) Gehant. 
A sketch of tlie father, who is a prominent agriculturist of Viola 
township, appears on another page of this work. 

] jouIs Gehant attended school in this county until fifteen years 
of age and subsequently assisted his father in the work of the 
home faim for about nine years. On the expiration of that period 
he came into possession of a tract of one hundred and sixty acres 
on section 30, Viola township, the operation of which has claimed 
his time and energies continuously since. He raises the cereals 
best adapted tc soil and climate and also devotes considerable 



412 HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 

attention to live stock, keeping about twelve horses, five cattle and 
twenty hogs. He erected the residence and other buildings which 
stand on his property and is widely recognized as an enterprising, 
up-to-date and progressive agriculturist. 

In 1908, in Janesville, Wisconsin, Mr. Gehant was united in 
marriage to Miss Eva Henry, a daughter of Joseph and Sarah 
Henry. The father, who passed away in 1900, lies buried in Kan- 
sas, but the mother sur^dves and makes her home at Steward, Illi- 
nois. Our subject and his wife have two cluldren, Paul and 
Julius. 

In his political views Mr. Gehant is a democrat, loyally sup- 
porting the men and measures of that party at the polls. He is 
a devout communicant of the Catholic church and also belongs to 
the Catholic Order of Foresters. In the county where his entire 
life has been spent he is well known and highly esteemed as a 
substantial agriculturist and representative young citizen. 



ERNEST H. WIENER. 

Ernest H. Wiener is engaged in general farming on a tract of 
land of one hundred and sixty acres on section 29, Reynolds town- 
ship, and is an industrious, energetic man, whose success in life 
is attributable entirely to his own labors. He was born October 7, 
1866, in the township in which he still makes his home, his parents 
being E. and Elizabeth (Hunstock) Wiener, both of whom were 
natives of Germany. The father came to America in 1858, and the 
mother arrived a year later. They became residents of Lee county, 
Illinois, where the father still makes his home. He was a painter 
by trade and followed that occupation about two years after com- 
ing to America, but afterward purchased three hundred and twenty 
aci'es of land in Re^iiolds township and began farming. For a con- 
siderable period he devoted his energies to general agricultural 
pursuits but is now living retired in Ashton. His wife passed 
away in 1899. They were the parents of twelve children, of whom 
seven ai'e living. 

Ernest H. Wiener remained upon the old homestead farm un- 
til he attained his majority and during that period was a pupil in 
the public schools. He was married in 1889 to Miss Catherine 
Bolei. a daughter of George and Catherine (Bower) Bolei, both 
of whom were natives of Germanv. but in the earlv '50s came to 



X 




HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 415 

the United States and were married in Lee county in 1859. Sub- 
sequently they removed to Marshall county, Iowa, where both 
spent their remaining days, passing away in the year 1909. In 
their family were six children, all of whom survive. Unto Mr. and 
Mrs. Wiener have been born three childien : Oscar William, born 
December 14, 1889; Mabel M., who was born May 10, 1891, and is 
the wife of G. W. Henert; and Myrtle Helen, born April 20, 1896. 
After his marriage Mr. Wiener rented land of his father, but, 
carefully saving his earnings, was at length enabled to purchase 
the farm upon whicli he now resides, comprising a quarter section 
of the rich land of Reynolds township. He is persistent and en- 
ergetic in the cultivation of his place, and good crops anmudly 
reward his labors. While an active business man, he is at the same 
time interested in the welfare and jirogiTss of the community and 
has aided in many movements for the general good. His political 
allegiance has been given to the I'epublican j^arty, and he is now in 
s^anpathy with the progressive element. He has served as eon- 
stable for ten yeai'S and has also filled the office of school director. 
Fraternally he is connected with the Modern Woodmen Cam]i, 
No. 48. He and his wife are much interested in the moral devel- 
opment of the community, holding nieml)erslii}) in the Evangelical 
Association of which he is one of the trustees and also chief of the 
stewards. He is likewise tlie teacher of the young men's Bilile 
class and he does all in his power to advance the growth of the 
chui'ch and extend its influence, his efforts constituting a factor in 
the moral development and progress of the community. Here he 
is well known, and the high regai'd in which he is uniformly held 
indicates that his has been an honorable and upright life. 



RALPH JOSEPH DEAN. 

Ralph Joseph Dean, who since July 1, 1904, has edited and 
published the Ashton Gazette, was born in LaMoille, Bureau 
county. Hlinois, February 7, 1881. He is a son of George B. and 
Crace L. (Crossman) Dean, the former of whom was engaged in 
business in LaMoille for about forty years, during the last twenty 
of which he conducted an undertaking and furniture establish- 
ment. 

Ralph Joseph Dean acquired his education in the public schools 
of his native city, graduating from the LaMoille high school in 

<■"! 11—20 



416 HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 

1899. Following the completion of his studies he turned his atten- 
tion to photography, conducting a studio in Mendota for about 
three years. Since July 1, 190tl, he has owned and edited the Ash- 
ton Gazette, and he has made this paper a power in local affairs, 
supporting in its columns many movements of reform and 
advancement. He has made it an excellent news medium and 
under his able management its circulation and advertising patron- 
age have steadily increased. 

In Yoik, Nebraska, July 19, 1906, Mr. Dean married Miss 
Alice E. Blanchard, eldest daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Harry C. 
Blanchard, formerly of Mendota, Illinois. Mr. and Mrs. Dean 
had two children : Roland Howard and Helen Maude, both of 
whom have passed away. A son, Robert Ralph, was born Janu- 
ary 31, 1914. 

Mr. Dean is a member of the Methodist Episcopal church and 
is connected fraternally with the Modern Woodmen of America, 
being at present clerk of Ashton Camp, No. 48. He is also a mem- 
ber of Ashton Lodge, No. 531, A. F. & A. M., and past grand of 
Ashton Lodge, No. 977, I. O. O. F. He gives his political alle- 
giance to the republican party and is an earnest supporter of its 
principles and candidates. He is a man of energy, enterprise and 
I'esource — qualities which he has made effective forces in promot- 
ing his advancement in journalistic circles. 



A. J. LARSON. 



A. J. Larson has devoted the greatei' part of his life to general 
farming and since 1894 has resided continuously in Lee county, 
giving undivided attention to agricultural pursuits. He was born 
in Norway. November 4, 1803, and is a son of L. and Isabella 
Larson, who were also natives of the land of the midnight sun. 
The father is still living there at the age of eighty-five years, but 
the mother has passed away. 

A. J. Larson is one of a family of seven children. He acquired 
a common-school education and in 1882 came to the new world, 
attracted by the opportunities offered on this side of the Atlantic. 
He located in Lee county, Illinois, where he was employed at 
farm labor for some years and then removed to Chicago in 1888, 
spending five years in that city. He afterward returned to Lee 
county and in 1894 began farming on his own account. He is 



HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 417 

energetic and persistent and whatever success he has attained is 
attributable entirely to his own labors, for he came to the United 
States empty-handed and by persistent energy has reached the 
position which he now occupies as one of the well-to-do citizens 
of Alto township. 

In 189-1: Mr. Larson was united in marriage to Miss Elsie 
Jameson, who was born in Lee county, Illinois, a daughter of Ole 
and Belinda Jameson, both of whom were natives of Norway, 
whence they came to America in the early '60s. The mother died 
in this county, bnt the father survives. Mrs. Larson is one of a 
family of three children, and by her marriage became the mother 
of seven children: Ida B., who acquired a normal-school educa- 
tion and is now engaged in teaching; Leola G. ; Carl A.; Ruth E.; 
William H. ; Hattie M. ; and Oscar S. The parents attend the 
Lutheran church, and its teachings form the guiding spirit in 
their lives. Mr. Larson votes with the republican party and is 
now serving as assessor of Alto township. He keeps well 
informed on the questions and issues of the day and is interested 
in all that jDertains to general progress, being a public-spirited 
citizen. 



JAMES F. DEMPSEY. 

James P. Dempsey devotes his attention to that occupation 
which George Washingion designated as the most honorable as 
well as the most useful pursuit of man, owning and operating an 
excellent farm of one hundred and sixty acres on section 15, Mar- 
ion township. His birth occurred in Lee county in 1865, his par- 
ents being Lawrence and Margaret (Campbell) Dempsey, both of 
whom are deceased and lie buried in Amboy. The father, one of 
the prominent old settlers of the county, came here direct from 
County Wexford, Ireland, and spent the remainder of his life 
in Lee county, passing away in 1904. The mother was called to her 
final rest in 1907. 

James P. Dempsey attended school in his native countv until 
twenty-three years of age and subsequently assisted his father in 
the operation of the home farm for about five years. At the end 
of that time he started out as an agriculturist on his own account, 
acquiring a farm of one hundred and sixty acres on section 15, 
Marion township, in the cultivation of which he has been actively 



418 HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 

engaged continuously since. He devotes Ms attention to the rais- 
ing of grain and annually gathers good crops which find a ready 
sale on the market. The buildings on the property, including a 
substantial and attractive residence, were erected by him and 
bear evidence of his prosperity. 

In 1893, in Amboy, Mr. Dempsey was joined in wedlock to 
Miss Mary Flannery, a daughter of John and Catherine (Gallery) 
Flaunery, who were earh' pioneer settlers of Lee county. Both 
are deceased and lied buried in Amboy, the father passing away on 
the 23d of November, 1894, and the mother on the 14th of Janu- 
ary, 1908. Mr. and Mrs. Dempsey have five children, as follows: 
James P., Harold F., Edna, Viola and Charles, all of whom are 
attending school. 

INIr. Dempsey gives his political allegiance to the democracy 
and has served in the capacity of township assessor for about two 
years, making a creditable record in that connection. Fraternally 
he is identified with the Modern Woodmen of America, while his 
religious belief is that of the Catholic church. Having passed 
all his life within the confines of Lee county, his record is well 
known to the residents of this community, and in the fact that he 
has gained widespread confidence and regard, trust and esteem, 
lies liis truest and most enviable success. 



N. H. SANDERS. 



Lee county numbers among its most progressive and successful 
native sons and among the men who have in later years been 
prominent factors in promoting agricultural development, N. H. 
Sanders, an extensive landowner in Bradford township, and one 
of the leading stock dealers and shippers in this part of the state. 
He was born in this county, June 5, 1882, and is a son of J. F. 
Sandei's, of whom further mention is made elsewhere in this 
work. 

N. H. Sanders remained at home until he was twenty-three 
years of age and then rented a farm, which he now occupies. With 
chaiacteristic energy he carried forward the work of developing 
this place along progressive and modern lines with the result that 
he was soon able to purchase the pi'operty. It comprises two 
hundi'cd and forty acres on section 4, Bradford township, and Mr. 
Sanders makes his home upon it, while carrying forward the work 



HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 419 

of supervising bis extensive interests here and elsewhere. He 
owns in addition to it, two hundred and eighty acres in Ashton 
township, adjoining the village of Ashton, and three hundred and 
twenty acres in Osceola county, inherited from his grandfather, 
Mr. George, of Lee county. Mr. Sanders specializes in the raising 
of high-grade stock and has now a flock of twenty-five hundred 
sheep and a number of Poland-China hogs. He is regarded as 
an expert judge of stock values, and the animals which he breeds 
command a high price and a ready sale upon the market. All of 
the land which he owns is in a high state of cultivation, equipped 
with substantial buildings and provided with modern machinery. 
Mr. Sanders has been twice married. He wedded first Louise 
Kelley, a daughter of Peter Kelley, who died in 1910, leaving a 
son, Murrill D. Sanders. In 1912 Mr. Sanders wedded Miss Mil- 
dred Suter, a daughter of Rev. Cyrus Suter of Franklin Grove, 
this county. Mr. Sanders is a member of the Presbyterian church 
and gives his j)olitical allegiance to the republican party. Al- 
though he is never active as an office seeker he takes an intelli- 
gent interest in the welfare and growth of his native community, 
where he is held in high honor and esteem as a young man whose 
energy, entei'prise and progressive spirit have been the foundation 
stones of his success. 



F. H. HILL. 



F. H. Hill, carrying on general farming and dairying upon a 
fine tract of eight hundred and twelve acres in Dixon township^ 
was born in Lee county, Illinois, January 25, 1860, a son of Jacob 
and Lucy Hill, the former born in Lancaster county and the lat- 
ter in Franklin county, Pennsylvania. The parents came to liCe 
county in 1858 and located on a farm here, where they spent the 
remainder of their lives. To their union were born seven chil- 
dren, of whom the subject of this review is the only one sur- 
viving. 

F. H. Hill acquired his education in the public schools of Lee 
county and following the completion of his studies remained at 
home until he was twenty-two years of age. He then spent three 
years working at farming in the employ of others, after which 
he rented a farm. At the end of eight years he purchased the 
old homestead of one hundred and seventy-two acres in Dixon 



420 HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 

township and this property he has since operated, adding to it 
from time to time until his holdings comprise today eight hun- 
dred and twelve acres. Mr. Hill specializes in dairying, keeping 
a line herd of fifty milch cows, and he has also about thirty head 
of young cattle. His general farming and stock-raising interests 
are extensive and important, and his success in their conduct 
places him in the front ranks of progressive agriculturists of his 
locality. 

Mr. Hill married Miss Lottie Miller, a daughter of Samuel and 
Mary Miller, natives of Pennsylvania, who came to Illinois in the 
early '60s, locating on a farm in Lee county, where both passed 
away. Mr. and Mrs. Hill have become the parents of four chil- 
dren: Samuel J. and Lester, at home; Frederick, deceased, and 
Lee, at home. Mr. Hill gives his political allegiance to the demo- 
cratic party and is now serving in a capable and progressive way 
as school trustee. He is one of Lee county's most energetic and 
enterprising native sons, and he enjoys in full measure the con- 
fidence and good-will of those with whom he has been brought in 
contact. 



FRANK K. EMMONS. 



F'rank K. Emmons, specializing in the breeding and raising 
of high-grade stock upon a farm of two hundred acres on sections 
2 and 3, May township, was born in Lee county, June 12, 1873. 
He is a son of Abe and Mary (Hall) Emmons, the former of 
whom came to this part of Illinois from Kendall county about the 
year 1870 and settled iqion a farm about half a mile from the 
property upon which his son now resides. He is now living 
retired with the subject of this review. The family is of English 
origin and of old American establishment, the first representative 
in this country having settled in New Jersey in the early part of 
the seventeenth century. 

Frank K. Emmons acquired his education in private schools 
in Amboy and Dixon Normal College, later taking a course in a 
business college at Amboy. After laying aside his books he 
assisted with the operation of the home farm for some time. In 
1895 he made his first purchase of land but after a few years sold 
this and bought the property which he now owns. He has two 
hundred acres on sections 2 and 3, May township, and concen- 



HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 421 

trates his attention upon tlie breeding of liigh-grade stock. He 
has met with a gratifying measure of success and is known as one 
of the representative stockmen of his locality. 

In Lee Center, on the 2Gth of iSeptember, 1900, Mr. Emmons 
married Miss Lena Keller, a daughter of Frank and DeUa 
(Avery) Keller, the former for many years a well known farmer 
in Lee county and now a resident of Amboy. His wife has passed 
away and is buried in Prairie Repose cemetery. Mr. and Mrs. 
Enmions have two children, Gertrude and Helen, who are attend- 
ing school. 

Mr. Emmons is a republican in his political beliefs and inter- 
ested in the progress of the community, although his attention is 
concentrated upon his business affairs, in which he has met with a 
success which is the natural result of his constant labor and intelli- 
gent management. 



ELHANAN D. CHANDLER. 

Elhanan D. Chandler, who has remained. a resident of Lee 
county during the past fifty-seven years, is well known and highly 
esteemed as one of its representative and successful agricultur- 
ists, owning a farm of one hundred and forty-six acres on section 
9, East Grove township. His birth occurred in Union county, 
Ohio, in 1838, his parents being Winthrop and Lucy (Hammond) 
Chandler, both of whom are deceased and lie buried in the Wal- 
nut cemetery of Bureau county, Illinois. The father passed away 
in the year 1861, while the mother was called to her final rest 
in 1865.' 

Elhanan D. Chandler acquired his education in the schools of 
his native state and when twenty years of age put aside his text- 
books and turned his attention to the buying and selling of cattle, 
also being engaged in farming on his own account for three years. 
On the expiration of that period he came into possession of a farm 
of one hundred and forty-six acres on section 9, East Grove town- 
ship, in Lee county, the operation of which has claimed his time 
and energies continuously since. In addition to the cultivation 
of cereals he also devotes considerable attention to live stock, 
keeping about five horses, sixteen head of cattle and fourteen 
hogs. The residence and other buildings on the place were erected 
by him, and as the years have gone by he has won a gratifying 



422 HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 

and well merited measure of j)rosperity in the careful conduct of 
liis agricultural interests. 

Mr. Chandler has been married twice. In Princeton, Illinois, 
in 1859, he wedded Miss Martha A. Bradshaw, a daughter of 
James and May Bradshaw, both of whom are deceased and lie 
buried in Sublette, Illinois. By this union there were the follow- 
ing children: Lucy M., the widow of Olaf Nelson, who passed 
away in 1889 and is buried at Ottawa, Illinois; Edith, whose 
demise occurred at Rock Palls, Illinois, in 1892, and who was the 
wife of Robert Nicholls, a mechanic in the Keystone shop at Rock 
Falls; Minnie, who gave her hand in marriage to Phillip Boose, 
an engineer residing in Dixon; and Dorwin, an agriculturist of 
Lee county. In 1888 Mr. Chandler was united in marriage to 
Mrs. Annie Biggs, a daughter of Lawrence and Mary Ann 
(Lumry) McLeod. The father's demise occurred in 1878 and the 
mother passed away in 1874, the remains of both being interred 
in New York city. By his second wife Mr. Chandler has four 
children, as follows: Elliot, who is an engineer of Red River, 
Minnesota; and Myrtle, Lawrence and Pansy, all of whom are 
at home. 

In his political views Mr. Chandler is a progressive, being a 
stanch admirer of Theodore Roosevelt and a firm believer in his 
policy of government. He has now passed the seventy-fifth mile- 
stone on life's journey and enjoys the respect and veneration 
which should ever be accorded one who has traveled thus far on 
this earthly pilgrimage and whose career has been at all times 
upright and honorable. 



Wn^LIAM METSTER. 



One of the progressive and active young business men of Ash- 
ton is William Meister, who conducts there a first class livery. He 
is a native son of Lee county, born January 26, 1890, his parents 
being George and Catherine (Stutzel) Meister, natives of Ger- 
many. They came to America as children and both grew to matur- 
ity in Lee county, where their marriage occurred. The father 
passed away in 1908 and is survived by his wife, who has reached 
the age of sixty-one. To their union were born five children: 
Ernest, of Ashton; Elizabeth, who has passed away; Mary, the 



HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 425 

wife of George Walters, a farmer of Ashton township; Charles, 
deceased; and William, of this review. 

The last named acquired his education in the public schools of 
Lee county and remained at home until his marriage, which 
occurred in 1907. He then established himself in the butcher 
business and after a few years bought a livery stable in Ashton, 
which he has since conducted. He has a number of attractive 
carriages, buggies and automobiles and controls a large and repre- 
sentative patronage. 

Mr. Meister married Miss Beulah PL Hurd, a native of Rochelle, 
Ogle county, Illinois, and a daughter of Joseph and Mary LIurd. 
Mr. and Mrs. Meister have become the parents of a son, G. W., born 
January 9, 19U8. They are members of the Presbyterian church 
and Mr. Meister gives his political allegience to the democratic 
party. He is a young man of energy, ability and enterprise and 
these qualities will undoubtedly carry him forward into still more 
important relations with business interests of Ashton. 



WILLIAM F. HUNGER. 

William F. Hunger, engaged in general farming upon two 
hundred and forty-eight acres of excellent land on section 24, 
Ashton township, was born in Germany, August 21, 1872. He is 
a son of Peter and Etta (Decker) Hunger, also natives of Ger- 
many, who came to America in 1885, locating in Peoria county, 
Illinois. To their union were born thirteen children, of whom six 
are yet living. 

William F. Hunger was reared in Peoria comity and there 
acquired a district school education. He remained at home until 
he was twenty-eight years of age and then engaged in farming 
upon rented land, living upon this property for nine years. He 
made his first purchase of land in Lee county, buying two hun- 
dred and foi'ty-eight acres on section 24, Ashton township. Upon 
this farm he has resided since that time and his interests have 
steadily grown in importance until he is today one of the lead- 
ing agriculturists of his locality. 

Mr. Hunger married Miss Katherine Bruns. a native of 
Peoria. Illinois, and a daughter of Ileye and Gretchen Bruns, 
both of whom were born in Germany. The parents came to 
America at an early date and both passed away in this country. 



426 HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 

They liad four childi'en, of whom three still survive. Mr. and 
Mrs. Bunger have become the parents of four children, Etta M., 
Gretchen K., Edith H. and William F. The parents are mem- 
bers of the Lutheran church, and Mr. Bunger gives his political 
allegiance to the democratic party. His success is largely the 
result of his own energy and enterprise, and these qualities have 
made him widely and favorably known in the community. 



J. E. LEWIS. 



J. E. Lewis, engaged in the practice of law in Amboy since 
1877, occupying a suite of rooms in the postoffice building, was 
born December 21, 1847, in the city which is still his home and is 
the oldest native resident in his part of the county. His parents 
were Joseph and Rachel (Cargill) Lewis. The Lewis family is 
of Welsh origin and was established in America long prior to the 
Revolutionary war. The great-grandfather of our subject was 
wagon master for General Putnam during the struggle for inde- 
pendence. Our subject's grandmother, Mrs. Sarah Cole, wife of 
Nathaniel Cole, was a niece of Pickering, the naturalist, who 
traveled extensively over the globe with Commodore Perry. 
Joseph, father of our subject, came to Lee county in the spring 
of 1845 from Susquehanna county, Pennsylvania. He found here 
a district which was largely wild prairie, and he settled upon a 
tract which he converted into rich tields, leading a busy life as an 
enterpi'ising agriculturist. In politics he was a republican. His 
death oecuii'ed in 1882 when he was seventy-six 3"ears of age and 
his wife passed away some years later at the advanced age of 
ninety years. They were laid to rest in Oakridge cemetery near 
Anil;)o,v. One of their sons, James C. died while serving in Com- 
pany C, Eighty-ninth Regiment of Illinois Infantry, meeting 
death at Chattanooga. Two other sons, John and Andrew, died 
while monihers of the Thirty-ninth Illinois Infantry, known as 
the Yates Phalanx. 

J. E. Lewis, whose name introduces this review, acquired his 
education in the Amboy high school and in the Moimt Morris 
seminary, from which he was gradiiated in 1868. He afterward 
began reading law imder the direction of Norman H. Ryan and 
later taught school as principal for some years in Rockton, Hli- 
nois. Another year was spent upon the home farm, and in 1877 



HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 427 

lie was admitted to the bar, since wliieli time he has engaged in 
practice in Amboy. Here he has been accorded a liberal and dis- 
tinctively representative clientage, and his devotion to his clients' 
interest is proverbial. That he has prospered as the years have 
gone by is indicated in the fact of his investments in real estate. 
These have been most judiciously made, and he is now the owner 
of the postoffice building and several other business blocks of the 
city. 

In Ogle county, Illinois, December 21, 1870, Mr. Lewis was 
married to Miss Margaret M. Hayes, a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. 
Hiram Hayes and a granddaughter of Captain Cameron, who was 
killed by the Driscoll bandits, when he was acting as captain of 
the \'igilance committee. Both Mr. and Mrs. Hayes have passed 
away and are laid to rest in White Rock cemetery in Ogle county. 
Mr. and Mrs. Lewis have become the i)areuts of six children: 
Benjamin D., a salesman residing at home; Ada E., the wife of 
John H. Heil, principal of the Morgan Park school of Cook 
county; Fred E., a carpenter of Amboy; Paul R., wlio was court 
reporter with Judge Bond, afterward in the naval department 
and later chief law agent with the Morgan Railroad System, but 
who died in March, 3904; Ethel E., wlio died at the age of sixteen 
years, and Stella B., who died in Roekton, Illinois, in 1873, when 
but two years of age. 

In politics Mr. Lewis is a stalwart republican and has been 
clerk of Amboy township since 1895. He has practically had 
charge of township affairs since 1878, acting at all times as 
attorney in such matters. He was postmaster of Amboy under 
Benjamin Harrison. No citizen of the community is more public- 
spirited or more loyal to the welfare of tlie district. Mr. Lewis 
is a member of the Knights of Pythias lodge and is faithful to the 
teachings and high ideals of that organization. 



MODEST L. GEHANT. 



The name of Gehant is a familiar and respected one in Lee 
county, a number of representatives of the family having spent 
their entire lives within its borders and being here successfully 
engaged in general agricultural pursuits. Modest L. Gehant, of 
this review, is a worthy native son of the county and the owner 
of a well improved farm of one hundred and thirty-one acres on 



428 HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 

sections 33 and 34, Viola township. He was born on the 19th of 
April, 1874, a son of Modest and Olympia (Chaon) Gehant. The 
father, whose demise occurred in Tebruary, 1904, lies buried at 
West Brooklyn, but the mother survives at the age of sixty-nine 
years and resides in Brooklyn township. 

In the acquirement of an education Modest L. Gehant 
attended the schools of Lee county until fifteen years of age and 
subsequently devoted his entire time to assisting his father iu the 
operation of the home farm, being thus engaged until the latter 
passed away. At that time he came into possession of the tract 
which he owns and operates at present and which embraces one 
hundred and thirty-one acres of rich and productive land on sec- 
tions 33 and 34, Viola township. He engages in mixed farming 
and keeps about eleven horses and about fifteen head of cattle. 
Success has attended his rmdertakings in such measure that he 
has long been numbered among the prosperous and representative 
citizens of the community. All of the buildings on his property, 
including an attractive and commodious residence, were erected 
by him and are kept in good repair. 

On the 16th of May, 1907, in Dixon, Mr. Gehant was united in 
marriage to Miss Gertrude Jacobs, her parents being Henry and 
Fannie (Rothamaker) Jacobs, residents of Iowa. He exercises 
his light of franchise in support of the men and measures of the 
rei^ublican party and is at all times a most loyal and public-spirited 
citizen. In religious belief he is a Catholic. He has remained a 
resident of Lee county from his birth to the present time, and 
that his life has ever been upright and honorable is indicated in 
the fact that the associates of his boyhood and youth are stUI 
numbered among his stanch friends and admirers. 



JOHN H. GROVE. 



John H. Grove, serving in a creditable and able manner as 
supervisor of Willow Creek township and connected with agri- 
cultural interests through the operation of his father's farm of 
one lumdred and twenty acres on section 21, is a native of Lee 
county, born in the house in which he now resides July 19, 1874. 
He is a son of William H. and Amanda N. (Gee) Grove, the 
former of whom came from Ohio to Lee coimty in October, 1865. 
He purchased a farm near Scarboro and improved this until 



HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 429 

1867. when he sold the place and bought the property which he 
stJll owns. He is a veteran of the Civil w^ar, having volunteered 
for service in the Union army and having been at the inmt for 
two years. He was wounded in the Ijattle of Fraidvlin, Tennes- 
see. William H. Grove resides retired in Willow Creek town- 
ship and has survived his wife since 1895. The family is of Ger- 
man origin, the name having been changed from Graaf to Grove 
during the lifetime of the grandfather of the subject of this 
review. Through his grandmother Mr. Grove is a direct descend- 
ant of Henry Clay. 

John H. Grove acquired his education in the district schools 
of Willow Creek township, attending until he was seventeen years 
of age. He afterward assisted his father until he was twenty- 
four and then rented the homestead, which he has since operated. 
In Api'il, 1911, he was elected supervisor of the township, and he 
has since served in that capacity, discharging his duties in a way 
which reflects credit upon his ability and his public spirit. 

In Rochelle, Illinois, July 1, 1899, Mr. Grove was imited in 
marriage to Miss Nettie Mae Willson, a daughter of Richard and 
Anna (Dugan) Willson, the former at one time a well known 
farmer of Earlville, Illinois, and now a resident of Rochelle, 
Mr. and Mrs. Grove have the following children: Luella, who 
is attending school ; Richard H. ; and Helen. 

Mr. Grove gives his political allegiance to the republican party 
and in addition to the office which he now holds has been town- 
ship clerk, tax collector and president of the board of education. 
He has proved efficient and capable in positions of public trust 
and responsibility, and he holds the esteem and confidence of all 
with whom he has had official or business dealings. 



WILLIAM A. SCHULER. 

William A. Schuler, a member of the local board of improve- 
ments and street commissioners, has ever manifested a practical 
and helpful interest in matters of pul^lic concern. At the same 
time he has ably and successfully conducted important business 
affairs and is the owner of much valuable property in and near 
Dixon, from which he derives a substantial income, his capable 
management thereof being manifest in the success which has 
rewarded his efforts. He was born in Ottawa, Illinois, March 25, 



430 HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 

1856, and is a son of George L. and Tressa (Munn) Schuler, the 
fonuer a native of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, The father came to 
Illinois on the same tiain on which Potter Palmer, the noted hotel 
man of Chicago, made his tirst trip to the west, and they became 
acquainted while en route. George L. Schuler made his way to 
Ottawa, where he engaged in the hardware business, and later 
was located for a time at Reading, Illinois. The year 1861 wit- 
nessed his arrival in Dixon, where he engaged in the dry-goods 
trade, purchasing a store of Judge Wood. Here he continued in 
business until his death, which occurred in 1895, and throughout 
the entire period, covering more than a third of a century, ranked 
as one of the leading and enterprising merchants of the city, 
being possessed of those traits and qualities which work for prog- 
ress and honor in business life. His widow survived him for 
about fifteen years, passing away in 1910. In politics Mr. Schuler 
was a democrat, active in the party ranks, and his cooperation 
could always be counted upon to further any movement liaving 
to do with civic betterment or improvement. 

William A. Schulei- was a lad of but five years when brought 
by liis i^arents to Dixon, so that he had the advantages of train- 
ing in the pul^lic schools here. When his school days were over 
he went to southwestern Kansas, where he was engaged in the 
cattle business. At one time he was also connected with the dry- 
goods business at Streator, Illinois, for five years. About 1895 
he returned to Dixon, where he established and conducted a lum- 
beryard, finding it a profitable source of income, owing to his 
capable management and keen business discrimination. From 
that time forward he has been closely connected with the develop- 
ment and imiirovement of the city along material lin(\s and aU 
of his investments have been made judiciously, bringing to him a 
very gratifying measure of success. In 1910 he erected the Dixon 
Inn. one of the leading hotels of the city, which he conducted suc- 
cessfully until the sjjriug of 1913, making it a popular and well 
patronized hostlery. He sold out at the date mentioned and is 
now giving his attention to the supervision of his investments and 
to his juiblic duties. He owns several farms and city buildings 
and from his realty derives a substantial annual income. 

In January, 1895, Mr. Schuler was united in marriage to Miss 
Amelia Elizabeth De INIint and unto them have been born three 
sons, while by a former mari'iage Mr. Schuler also has one son. 
Mrs. Schuler is a daughter of Charles De Mint, one of the old- 
time and prominent residents of Dixon. In his fraternal rela- 



HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 431 

tiors Mr. Schuler is an Elk, while liis political allegiance is given 
to the democratic party. He has always been interested in mat- 
ters relating to the general welfare, and his cooperation can 
always be connted upon to further the public good. He is a mem- 
ber of the local board of improvements and street commissioners 
and is keenly interested in all of those things which are a matter 
of civic virtue and civic pride. What he has accomplished in a 
busy life represents the tit utilization of the innate talents which 
are liis and proves that success is not a matter of genius, as lield 
by some, but is rather the outcome of clear judgment and experi- 
ence. 



CHARLES A. NICHOLS. 

Among the valued and representative native sons of Lee 
coi^nty is numbered Charles A. Nichols, whose fine farm of one 
hundi'ed and twenty acres lies on section 6, May township, and is 
a visible evidence of his life of industry and thrift. He was born 
August 1, 1860, and is a son of Henry and Eva (Barns) Nichols, 
the former of whom came to Lee county from New York state, 
settling first in Binghamton. From there he enlisted in the 
Union army for service in the Civil war and after his discharge 
he returned to this part of Illinois, tui'uing his attention to farm- 
ing. He bought a tract of raw prairie land and for many years 
thereafter developed and improved it, making it eventually one 
of the finest properties in the locality. He passed away in 1896 
and was survived by his wife for two years. Both are buried in 
Praiiie Repose cemetery. The family is of Scotch and German 
origin and its representatives settled in Canada before coming to 
the L^nited States. 

Charles A. Nichols acquired his education in the district 
schools of Lee county, attending until he was eighteen years of 
age. He afterward assisted his father with the work of the farm 
imtil he was twenty-one and then rented one hundred acres of the 
homestead. He later inherited this tract, to which he has since 
added twenty acres, and upon this fine property he engages in 
general farming and stock-raising. Under his able management 
his interests have become extensive and important and he has 
taken a place among the substantial and representative farmers 
of his native county. 



432 HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 

Iii May township, December 31, 1885, Mr. Nichols was united 
in marriage to Miss Mary E. Acker, a daughter of Jeremiah and 
Lucy Acker, the former for many years a prominent farmer of 
Lee county. Both have passed away and are buried in Prairie 
Repose cemetery. Mr. and Mrs. Nichols have become the parents 
of four children: E. A., a farmer in Lee county; R. C, assist- 
ing his father ; Eva L., at home ; and Mabel E., attending school. 

Mr. Nichols is connected fraternally with the Independent 
Order of Odd Fellows and his political allegiance is given to the 
republican party. For the past five years he has been justice of 
the peace and he has been a member of the school board for 
fifteen years, the cause of education finding in him an earnest and 
able champion. Mr. Nichols is well known in his part of Lee 
county and in all relations of life has proved upright, capable and 
straightforward. 



JOHN EWALD. 



One of the excellent stock farms of Reynolds township is that 
owned by John Ewald, who is a member of a family that has been 
very prominent in advancing the farming and stock breeding and 
raising interests of Lee county. He was born in Scott town- 
ship, Ogle county, Illinois, November 15, 1874, and is a son of 
Henry and Anna Martha Ewald, of whom mention is made in 
connection with the sketch of Charles Ewald. elsewhere in this 
volume. 

John Ewald spent the first five years of his life in his native 
county and in 1879 was brought by his parents to Lee county, 
where he has since lived. His experiences were those which usu- 
ally fall to the lot of the farm lad and his early training brought 
him practical knowledge of the best methods of tilling the soil 
and caring for the crops. He acqiiired a common-school educa- 
tion and when not busy with his text-books his time and atten- 
tion were given to various parts of the farm worlv. He continued 
at home until ho attained his majority and eventually through 
purchase became the owner of one hundred and sixty acres on 
section 27, Reynolds township. This is the old homestead prop- 
erty and is one of the good farms of the county. The fields pro- 
duce good cr(^])S, for the soil is naturally rich and productive and 
his methods of crop production are pi'aetical and progressive. 



HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 435 

However, he makes a si^eeialty of raising aud breeding Duroc 
Jersey liogs and siiortlioru cattle aud is successful with both, 
having at all times npuu his jjlace many head of high-grade stock. 
He is an excellent judge of both hogs aud cattle and seldom makes 
a mistake in purchasing an animal. He is recognized as a thor- 
oughly reliable business man, straightforward in all his dealings 
and enterprising in all that he undertakes. 

On the 2d of October, 1911, Mr. Ewald was united in mar- 
riage to Miss Rose ^lay Hampton, who was born in Lee county, 
Illinois, April 1, 1879, aud is a daughter of Jonathan aud Mary 
(Lambert) Hampton, the former a native of Canada aud the lat- 
ter of Missouri. Eemoving to this state, they settled in Lee 
county aud are now residents of Paw Paw, Illinois, where Mr. 
Hampton is living retiied, having put aside all business cares. 
They had a family of nine children, seven of whom survive. Mr. 
and Mrs. Ewald aie the pai-euts of one sou, Arthur Adrian, who 
was born July 3, 1912, aud is the light and life of the household. 
The parents belong to the INIethodist Episcopal church, aud Mr. 
Ewald is a progressive in politics. He has served as township 
clerk and as school director and is interested in all those meas- 
ures and movements which have to do with the upbuilding and 
benefit of township aud county. His has been a useful and well 
spent life and the success which has crowned his efforts is the 
merited I'eward of earnest, persistent and honorable labor. 



SHERWOOD DIXON. 



The city of Dixon has produced many prominent law3'ers, a 
large number winning much more than local fame as representa- 
tives of the bar. To this class belongs Sherwood Dixon, who was 
born November 15, 1847, in the city which bears his family name, 
his parents being James P. and Fannie (Reed) Dixon, while his 
grandfather was John Dixon. His youthful days were passed in 
his native city, and his preparation for the legal profession cul- 
minated in his admission to the bar January 13, 1869. He tvas 
appointed United States district attorney for the northern dis- 
trict of Illinois by President Cleveland on the 18th of July, 1894. 
He had at that time engaged in practice for a quarter of a cen- 
turv and vear after vear had given further demonstration of his 
worth and ability. His devotion to his clients' interests was pro- 



436 HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 

verbial, yet he never forgot that he owed a still higher allegiance 
to the majesty of the law. following his ]jresidential appoint- 
ment he entered upon the discharge of his duties in Chicago, De- 
cember 2, 189i. He had previously resided in Chicago for a few 
years in the decade between 1870 and 1880. Otherwise, save for 
the last few months of his life, he was continually a resident of 
Dixon, where he was most highly esteemed not only in profes- 
sional but also in social circles, and his upright life and character 
are evidenced in the fact that many of his stanchest friends were 
those who knew him from his boyhood. 



JOHN M. EGAN, Jr. 



Through his enterprise, industry and natural ability John M. 
Egan, Jr., has made rapid and steady advancement as a civil engi- 
neer and is today ranked among the most able representatives of 
his p]'ofession in Lee county. He was born in La Crosse, Wiscon- 
sin, x\pril 27, 1880, and is a son of John M. and Susanna (Gal- 
lagher) Egan, both of Irish ancestry. The father came to Lee 
county in 1854 in the interests of the Illinois Central Railroad 
Company, for whom he built the shops at Amboy. He has since 
become known as one of the gi'eatest railroad builders in Illiuois, 
thousands of miles of tracks having been laid under his super- 
vision. He is president of the Metropolitan Street Railway of 
Kansas City, Missouri, and also one of the largest landowners in 
this section of Illinois, ha\dng developed his extensive holdings 
here into a model farm. 

John M. Egan, Jr., acquired his primary education in the 
schools of St. Paul, Minnesota, and was gi-aduated from high 
school in 1898. He immediately aftei-ward entered the Massa- 
chusetts Institute of Technology in Boston and after his gradu- 
ation engaged in railroad construction work in Georgia and 
Alabama for about eight years. At the end of that time he returned 
to Illinois and since 1907 has had offices in the First National 
Bauk building in Amboy. He makes a specialty of drainage 
work and land reclamation and has already reclaimed about 
twenty thousand acres in this locality. He has assisted the engi- 
neer of the inlet swamp drainage district and has been chief 
engineer for several similar districts throughout the state, besides 
rerving with credit and ability as city engineer of Dixon and 



HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 437 

Amboy. He is recognized as a young man of superior profes- 
sional attainments and the work he has already accomplished 
refieets great credit upon his industry, capacity and ability. 

In Marquette, Michigan, on the 11th of October, 1905, Mr. 
Egan married Mss Lottie Pendill, a daughter of Frank and 
Mary (Mitchell) Pendill. The former was for many years a 
well known druggist of Marquette and he died in that city in 
January, 1912. Mr. and Mrs. Egan have a daughter, M. Jane, 
who is five years of age. 

Mr. Egan is a member of the Roman Catholic church and is 
connected fraternally with the Benevolent Protective Order of 
Elks of Dixon. He is independent in his political views and inter- 
ested in public affairs, although not active as an office seeker. 
He is a young man of energy, resource and capacity and he will 
undoubtedly be carried forward into still more important pro- 
fessional relations. 



SAMUEL P. ZELLER. 

Samuel P. Zeller, who is filling the position of assessor in 
Ashton township and is also serving on the school board of Ash- 
ton, is one of the representative business men of Lee county, hav- 
ing conducted large and important interests. In earlier life he 
was connected with the grain and lumber business, and he is now 
engaged in the feed business, handling from fifteen to twenty 
thousand bushels annually. A native of Ohio, his birth occurred 
in "Warren county, June 5, 1853, his parents being Andrew P. 
and Maria (Flickinger) Zeller, both of whom were natives of 
Ohio. Avhere their entire lives were passed. They had a family of 
nine children, of whom three are living. 

Samuel P. Zeller remained upon the old homestead until he 
had attained his majority. He then went to Iowa, where he 
engaged in the grain and lumber business for a year. On the 
expiration of that period he sold ovit and returned to Ohio, where 
he engaged in farming for a period of seven years. He next came 
to Lee county, Illinois, and engaged in the grain and lumber busi- 
ness for fifteen years, when he sold out. He was afterward located 
in Sterling, Illinois, in the same business for a short time but in 
1902 came to Ashton, where he has since made his home. Here 
he embarked in the feed business, handling from fifteen to twenty 



438 HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 

thousand bushels annually. He has prospered in his undertak- 
ing, brooking no obstacles that could be overcome by persistent 
and determined effort. He had as the basis for his success a col- 
lege education combined with energy and determination, and his 
persistency of purpose, his honorable dealing and his ambition 
have been salient features in makijig him one of the prosperous 
business men of his locality. He owns a fine residence in Ashton 
and is also the owner of four hundred and eighty acres of land 
in Dakota. 

In 1880 Mr. Zeller was united in marriage to Miss Caroline 
Foster, who was born in Ohio and is a daughter of Isaac and Eliza- 
beth Foster, both of whom were natives of the Buckeye state, 
where they spent their entire lives. To JNIr. and Mrs. Zeller were 
born live cliildren : Xellie F., who is a graduate of the high school 
in Ashton and has also spent some time in studying music; 
Samuel P., who is married and lives in Ashton; Clarence A., 
deceased ; Ruth L., a graduate of the high school ; and Ralph, who 
has also passed away. 

The parents are members of the Methodist Episcopal church 
and are interested in its work and progress. Mr. Zeller is a 
republican and is now .capably serving as assessor of Ashton 
township. The cause of education finds in him a warm friend, 
and he has done good work as a member of the school board. 
Fraternally he is a Mason, belonging to Ashton Lodge, No. 531, 
A. F. & A. M. He has taken high degrees in the fraternity and 
is now a member of the Mystic Shrine. He is also well known 
as a member of Ashton Lodge, No. 977, I. O. O. F., in which he 
has filled all of the chairs. He is ever loyal to the teachings of 
these organizations, which are based upon the principle of mutual 
helpfulness and kindliness with a recognition of the brotherhood 
of mankind. 



P. E. GATES. 



P. E. Gates is a retired farmer residing at Paw Paw. He 
found in his business interests as an agriculturist the opportu- 
nity for the attainment of success, and making wise use of his time, 
he eventually gained the competence that now supplies him with all 
of the comforts of life. He resides in Paw Paw and has been a 



HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 439 

resident of Lee county since 18-17, arriving here when but two 
years of age. 

He was born at Sugar Grove, Kane county, Illinois, March 20, 
1815, and is a son of Erastus and Martha M. (Page) Gates. The 
father came from Knox county, Ohio, to this state at an early 
daj^ and for many years engaged in teaching school in Kane county 
and also in Paw Paw. In conjunction with that profession he 
became one of the extensive farmers of his district, managing 
impoitant propert}" interests. He died in 1876 at the age of sixty 
years, while his wife passed away at the age of thirty-six years. 
Mr. Gates' remains were interred in the Sierra Valley cemetery 
of California, to which state he went in 1851. His wife 
lies buried in Knox county, Ohio. The family was of English 
lineage and the ancestry is traced back to Sir Thomas Gates of 
England and Stephen Gates, who came to this country in 1637. 
Among the ancestors were also those who won fame in connec- 
tion with military affairs, including Captain Stephen Gates and 
General Gates, who was one of the commanders of the American 
forces in the Revolutionary war. 

F. E. Gates acquii'ed his education in the district schools and 
in the academy at East Paw Paw, whei'e he continued his studies 
to the age of twenty years. However, when a youth of eighteen 
years he had volunteered for service in the Civil war and had 
become a member of Company H, Thirty-fourth Illinois Volun- 
teer Infantry. In 1865 he returned to the academy and there 
remained until 1867. For a year he engaged in teaching school 
and afterward began farming on his own account, having four 
acres which he devoted to the raising of hojis. With the profits 
of the crop he purchased seventy acres and from time to time 
increased his holdings until he was the owner of twelve hundred 
acres. He engaged in general farming, cattle raising and dairy- 
ing, c-ondueting the business along extensive lines until he dis- 
posed of his land. He is now making investments in real estate 
in Illinois and Florida and also engages in making loans. When 
Mr. Gates was a small boy he hired out to a farmer, who sold his 
farm ajxl with it yoimg Gates, just as he disposed of the chattels 
and goods. This is an experience which perhaps no other man in 
the county has had. 

Mr, Gates was married July 7. 1866, to Miss Polly M. Rob- 
inson, a daughter of Nathaniel and Porcas Robinson, both now 
deceased, their remains having been interred in the South Paw 
Paw cemeterv. Her father was one of the pioneer farmers of the 



440 HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 

county. Uuto Mr. and Mrs. Gates have been born three children : 
Andrew, a civil engineer of Monmouth, Illinois; Albert R., an 
attorney at law with offices at No. 100 Washington street, CM- 
cago; and Carrie W., the wife of Frank Pulver, a farmer of 
Indiana. 

Mr. Gates is a member of the Grand Ai'my of the Republic and 
has filled all of the offices in his local post. In politics he is now 
a progressive. He has filled the office of justice of the peace for 
ten years and for many years has been a school director. He holds 
membership in the Baptist church and his has been a consistent 
Christian life. He has never neglected his church duties or his 
obligations to citizenship, even though his business affairs have 
been most extensive and important. He has erected a fine home 
and two other residences in Paw Paw and he improved all of the 
farms which he owns, thus contributing in substantial measure to 
the material development and prosperity of the county. In the 
winter he resides in St. Petersburg, Florida. The most envious 
cannot gi"udge him his success, so honorably has it been won and 
so wisely used. 



HORACE G. REYNOLDS. 

Horace G. Reynolds, organizer and promoter of the Reynolds 
Wire Co. is one of the leading business men of Dixon, who, recog- 
nizing business opportunities that others have passed heedlessly 
by, has worked his way upward, each forward step bringing him a 
broader outlook and wider opportunities. For almost twenty 
years the Reynolds Wire Factory has figured as one of the substan- 
tial, productive industries of the city, the business growing steadily 
year by year until this is now one of the chief industrial concerns 
of Lee county. 

Mr. Reynolds was born in Jefferson county, New York, in 1854, 
and is a son of John Milton and Sarah Reynolds, the former an 
extensive farmer. His youthful days were spent imder the 
parental roof and before he had attained his majority he became 
acti^'ely connected with the news])ap('r business, in which he con- 
tinued for nineteen years. He then sold out and came to Dixon, 
M'lioi-o in 1R94 he organized the Reynolds Wire Co. He was asso- 
ciated with Ehner E. Reynolds, wlio retired June 30, 1903, selling 
out to Horace G. Reynolds. The latter has been president of the 



HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 441 

business from the beginning and is the owner of tliiee-fouiths of 
the stock. In 1907 1). G. Harvey purchased an interest and is now 
vice president and treasurer with J. C. Sehnele as secretary. 
George W. Reynokls, a brother of H. (i. Reynohls, entered the 
factory in 1897 and has for some time been superintendent of one 
of the departments. The concern manufactures window screen 
cloth, its output being blaclc painted copper lu'onze and galvanized 
screen cloth. They also make wire specialties, including corn 
poppers, dy traps, flour sifters, etc. At the time of the organization 
the comjoany became interested in the dam and water power at 
Dixon and thus operate the mill but also have steam power for 
emergencies. All power is converted into electricity through a two 
himdred horse power Westinghouse generator. There are individ- 
ual motors and the plant is most thorougldy equipped in every 
particular. Their factory is foui' stories in height and includes 
one hmidred thousand square feet of floor sx^ace. The Imilding in 
1911 was rebuilt of reenforc('(l concrete of the flat slab type of 
construction. There is spriuklei' equipment for fire, with two 
sources of water supply. Emplopnent is furnished to one hun- 
dred and twenty-five people, and the output is sold mostly in the 
central west, but extensive shi])ments are also made to the coast 
and to the southwest. Something of the notaldy rapid growth of 
the business is indicated in the fact that their sales have doubled 
in the past two years, now aggregating over five Inuidicil thousand 
dollars per annum. Since taking up this liusiness Mr. Reynolds 
has concentrated his energies upon administrative direction and 
executive control. He has full faith in the enterprise and its 
possibilities, and his sound business judgment is shown in its con- 
tinuous growth. 

In 1884 Mr. Reynolds was united in marriage to Miss Letitia 
J. Lyon, of New York city, and they have two daughters: Pauline 
Reynolds Harvey, the wife of Douglas G. Harvey, who is acting as 
superintendent of the wire factory and resides in Dixon ; and T^ucile 
G., at h.ome. Mr. Reynolds holds membership with the Benevolent 
Protoetive Order of Elks, and his political s^qnpathies are with the 
progressive party. The family attend and are members of the 
Episcopal church and are prominent socially. Mr. Re^Tiolds thor- 
oughly enjoys home life and takes great pleasure in the society 
of his family and friends. A man of great natural abilitv. his 
success in business from the beginning of his residence in Dixon 
has been uniform and rapid. No plan or movement for the bene- 
fit of the city along lines of progi'ess and improvement seeks his 



442 HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 

aid in vain. In his life are the elements of greatness because of the 
use he has made of his talents and opijortunities, because his 
thoughts are not self-centered but are given to the mastery of life's 
problems and the fultillmeut of his duty as a man in his relations 
to his f ellowmen and as a citizen in his relations to the district in 
which he lives. 



JOHN DIEHL LAHMAN. 

With agricultural and manufacturing interests John Diehl 
Lahman vpas long actively connected and since 1889 has been pres- 
ident of the Franklin Grove Bank, being chosen for the present 
position on the organization of that institution. He was born June 
22, 1834, in Washington county, Maryland, one-half mile north of 
the Potomac river, five miles south of Williamsport. When ten 
years of age he accompanied his parents on their removal west- 
ward to Lee coirnty and for some time they lived on the southeast 
quarter of section 35, township 22, range 10, which farm the father 
purchased May 26, 1845, save a tract of thirty-one acres. The 
father, Christian Lahman, Ji'., was Ijorn Febr^iary 25, 1808, 
, in Adams county, Pennsylvania, and married Elizabeth Em- 
mert, who was born June 12, 1812, in Washingtcm county, Mary- 
land, east of the Autietam river. Christian Lahman, Sr., built a 
flour mill near Bendersville, Adams county, Pennsylvania, about 
1800, and in time his son and namesake ):)ecame owner of a third 
interest in the mill, which interest he sold in 1831. About the same 
time he married Elizabeth Emmert and in 1833 they took up their 
abode upon a farm near Williamsport, in Washingion county, 
Maryland, residing in tliat locality for al)out ten years and after- 
w^ard for two years lived north of Hagerstown, Maryland, one 
mile south of the Pennsylvania state line. In the spring of 
1845 they started with their family to Lee county, Illinois, travel- 
ing by team, and resided near the present site of Franklin Grove. 
The father there successfidly carried on general agricidtural pur- 
suits imtil 1864, when his life's labors were ended in death. He 
had also devoted considerable time to the manufacture of flour, 
owning and operating a mill for a number of years that was built 
by his father-in-law, Joseph Emmert, on Franklin creek, two and 
a half miles northwest of Franklin Grove, about 1846 or 1847. It 
was about 1849 that he laid out in town lots ten acres of land, which 



HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 443 

was later known as Chaplin and now constitutes the southwestern 
part of the village of Franklin Grove, which village was laid out 
in 1853 for A. W. Tolman, Christian Lahman and F. D. Robert- 
son. He became the owner of several farms and assisted many 
early settlers financially and with wise counsel. His life was, 
indeed, an exemplary one in all of its business and personal rela- 
tions. He and his wife were members of the Church of the 
Brethren (Dunkard). To them were born seven sons and three 
dajughters. Two of the sons, William H., now of Chicago, and 
John D., of this review, are still living. The mother survived her 
husband for several years, passing away in 1872. 

John D. Lahman had but limited educational opportmiities. 
He attended the country schools and spent two terms as a pupil 
at Lee Center. He remained upon the home farm until he attained 
his majority, then learned the milling Inisiness and afterward 
operated his father's mill on Franklin creek, which mill he and his 
brother Joseph C. aftei'ward purchased. This was the same mill 
which their maternal grandfather, Joseph Enmiert, had l)uilt 
about 1847. Mr. Lahman followed the milling business until 1861, 
when he purchased and located upon the southeast quarter of 
section 26, township 22, range 10, this farm l:)eing about a mile and 
a half north of Franklin Grove. Upon that farm he and his wife 
resided until they removed to Franklin Grove thirty years later, 
and throughout the entire period he had his land under a high state 
of cultivation, making it one of the valuable j^roperties of the dis- 
trict. In addition to farming Mr. Lahman was a member of the 
firm of J. D. Lahman & Company, which for a number of years 
engaged in the manufacture of the Great Western Seeder, which 
machine obtained a large sale in the west and northwest. He was 
also interested in stock-raising and feeding in Story county, Iowa, 
and dealt quite largely in farm real estate. He has served as presi- 
dent of the Franklin Grove Bank for twenty-five years, commenc- 
ing with its organization in 1889. 

On the 11th of November, 1860, at Panora. Guthrie county, 
Iowa, Mr. Lahman was united in marriage to Miss Mary C. 
Haughtelin, a daughter of John C. and Eliza (Diehl) Haughtelin, 
all members of the Church of the Brethren. Her father was a 
descendant of Abraham H. Haughtelin (or Hoogtalin), who. 
served in the Revolutionary war, participating in fourteen battles. 
Her great-great-grandfatiier, Huskeya (Hezeldah) Hoogtalin, 
was born in the vicinity of East Shore, New Jersey, in 1729. He 



444 HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 

bad ten children in all, and three of his sons settled a little south- 
east of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. To Mr. and Mrs. Lahman were 
born three children. Clarence W. was born near Franklin Grove, 
March 1, 1862, and married December 9, 1889, Miss Martha Beery 
at her father's farm near Pleasant Hill, Miami county, Ohio. 
Vinna A., who was born October 27, 1871, died June 19, 1889, of 
scarlet fever, while attending Cornell College in Iowa, and an 
infant son died October 26, 1873. To the living son, Clarence W. 
Lahman, and his wife, both of whom are members of the Church 
of the Brethern, have been born three daughters and three 
sons : Mary, now the wife of Loring J. Whiteside ; Lela ; Helen ; 
John Harold; Wilford Clarence; and Joseph Beery. Mr. and 
Mrs. John D. Lahman also became foster parents to several chil- 
dren needing homes, death having in each case deprived them of 
their father or mother. These were Walter Keiser, Mary Shuhart, 
Oscar Chamberlin, Hiram Tibbals, Wilford Tibbals and Estella 
Haughtelin. They also cared for Wilbur Brecunier duiing his 
early life from thirty months to five years. Certainly the foster 
parents have done their share of good in the world in thus caring 
for orphaned children, upon whom they have bestowed the train- 
ing and affection given to their own. They have been most liberal 
in their support of the Church of the Brethren of which they are 
members, and of Christian missions in both home and foreign 
lands, of schools and of many benevolent and charitable pi'ojects. 
They are both still enjoying good health and it is hoped that they 
will be spared for many years to come. In politics Mr. Lahman 
was for many years a republican, but in later years has voted with 
the ]3rohibition party, regarding the question of temperance as 
one of the paramount issues before the people. 



CHAELES B. MORRISON. 

Among the residents of Dixon to whom have come high profes- 
sional preferment through political appointment is Charles B. 
Morrison and his ability in office is recognized by all who have rea- 
son to know aught of his official career. He was admitted to the 
bar on the 13th of June, 1877, and after practicing law success- 
fully for about twenty-eight years he was appointed United States 
district attorney for the northern district of Illinois by President 



HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 445 

Koosevelt, March 21, 1905, to succeed Solomou H. Betliea, who iiad 
been elevated to tlie bencli of the United [States district court for 
the northern district of Illinois. This was a recess appointment, 
and he was reappointed by President Roosevelt for a term of four 
vears on the 20th of December, 1905. 



ALMON W. ROSECRANS. 

Almon W. Rosecraus needs no introduction to tlie readers of 
this vohmie, for his connection with educational, eounuci'cial and 
political interests has made him widely known. Nevertheless he 
is a man of unassuming manner, free from ostentation, yet the 
sterling worth of his character has gained him high regard, while 
his activities have l^rouglit him a wide acquaintance. Ogle county 
numbers him among her native sons, his birth having occurred in 
Lafayette township, September 5, 1851, his parents being Crandall 
and Emily Rosecrans. 

Mr. Rosecrans' early education, acquired in the public schools, 
was supplemented by study in Iowa College at Grinnell, Iowa, and 
in early manhood he entered upon the profession of teaching, be- 
coming principal of the pi;blic schools of Ashton in 1878. For 
four years he continued at the head of the educational system of 
Ashton and the schools under his direction made continuous 
advancement. In 1883 he retired from the profession and turned 
his attention to commercial pursuits, establishing a business in 
Ashton, where he has since remained. More than thirty years' 
connection with merchandising here indicates not only something 
of his success but also the confidence and trust reposed in him as 
the result of his business intcgiity. his progressive methods and 
his unfaltering enterprise. He has always carried a good line and 
his reasona])le luices and fair dealing have been the secret of his 
growing success. 

On the 8th of August, 1880, in Ashton, Mr. Rosecrans was 
united in marriage to Miss Westaima E. Glenn, a daughter of 
George Glenn, and unto them have Ijeen born two children, Glenn 
C. and Miriam E. The parents hold membership in the Methodist 
Episcopal church and are interested in its work and upbuilding, 
doing much to further its interests and extend its influence. Mr. 
Rosecrans was elected president of the Illinois State Sunday- 



446 HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 

School Association at Dixon, May, 1908. He presided during the 
session at Dixon and the following year at Peoria. 

When age conferred upon Mr. Rosecrans the right of franchise 
he joined the ranks of the republican party, to which he gave 
stalwart support for many years. He is now ideutitied with the 
progressive movement, feeling that it is a forward step in politics 
toward securing a cleaner government that shall be more the ex- 
pression of the will of the people and not of the opinions of a few. 
His fellow townsmen, appreciative of his worth, called him to the 
office of mayor and gave evidence of their satisfaction with his 
manner of conducting the office through his first term by reelecting 
him. He is indeed well known in Ashton and his j)art of the 
county, where he has now li^'ed for about thirty-six years. 



STELZER APPALOXIA DURKES. 

Stelzer Appalonia Durkcs. cashier of the Franklin rirov' 
Bank, which position he has filled continuonsly since 1901, was 
born January 9, 1873, in Franklin Grove, his parents being Conrad 
and Mary Elizaheth (Jones) Durkes. The father was a pioneer 
mei'chant of that town and also the organizer of the Franklin 
Grove Bank. He was lx)rn in ( iermany, liut came with his parents 
to America when al^out thirteen years of age and for many years 
was lu'omincntly and activel^'■ identified with the commercial and 
financial interests of the community in which he made his home. 
His wife was a native of Canada but came to the United States at 
an early age. 

In the public schools of Franklin Grove Stelzer A. Durkes 
pursued his education imtil graduated with the class of 1889. He 
afterwai'd took a commercial course in the Bryant & Stratton 
School in Chicago. Subsequently he was employed by his brother 
in the grocery business at Erie, Illinois, for several years, thus 
receiving his initial business training and learning something of 
the responsiltilities and obligations which feature so largely in 
business affairs. He has been connected with banking interests 
since 1898, in which year he entered the Franklin Grove Bank as 
assistant cashier, succeeding to the cashiership in 1901. He is 
now thoroughly familiar with all forms of banking and is most 
careful in safegaiarding the interests of the patrons of the insti- 



HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 447 

tution. He is ever fuinul a coui'teous and obliging official and is 
classed with the representative business men of the city. 

On the Irtth of March, 1895, at Franklin Grove, Mr. Durkes 
was married to i\liss Elizabeth Lahman, a daughter of Joshua E. 
and Hannah Lalunan. The father and his parents were among the 
early settlers of Franlvliu Cirove, arriving in that vicinity in 1845. 
At the time of the Ci\-il war J. E. Lahman responded to the coun- 
try's call and did valiant service for the Union. The children of 
Mr. and Mrs. Durkes are Dorothy Jane, Luther Lahman, Clara 
Esther, Marion Elizabeth, Josephine Edith and Phyllis jNlabel. 
In politics Mr. Durkes is independent, yet is not remiss in the 
duties of citizenship, for he is interested in all that pertains to the 
general welfare and cooperates in many movements for the public 
good. His entire life has been passed in the community where he 
yet makes his home and that his record is an honorable and com- 
mendable one is indicated in the fact that his warmest friends are 
numbered among those who have known him from his boyhood to 
the present time. 



SOLOMON LUCKS BETHEA. 

Judicial preferment in a federal court came to Solomon Hicks 
Bethea in his appointment by President Roosevelt to the position 
of United States district judge. He was one of Lee county's native 
sons and one whose record reflected credit and honor upon the 
community in which he lived. He was born in Palmyra township. 
May 20, 1852, a son of William W. and Emily (Green) Bethea. 
He attended the Dixon public schools, supplemented by study in 
Rock River Seminary in Dixon, and was graduated from the Uni- 
versity of Michigan in 1872. His preparation for the bar was fol- 
lowed by admission to practice in 1877. He entered at once upon 
the active work of the profession, and he continued to the last a 
student of the principles of jurisprudence. In his law practice one 
of his strong characteristics was the thoroughness with which he 
prepared his cases, and he never seemed at a loss in iiresenting his 
cause but was ready to meet any contingency. On the 20th of De- 
cember, 1898, he was appointed Fnited States district attorney for 
the northern district of Illinois by President McKinley and was 
reappointed by President Roosevelt on the 9th of December, 1902. 



448 HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 

He held that position until appointed United States district judge 
for the northern district of Illinois by President lioosevelt on the 
18th of March, 19U5. He wore his honors with becoming modesty, 
and he carefully lifted the judicial ermine above the mire of par- 
tisonship. Strictly fair and impartial in his rulings, his decisions 
were based upon comprehensive knowledge of the law as applicable 
to the facts in litigation. He resided in Dixon throughout his 
entire life and following his judicial appointment continued upon 
the bench until his death, which occurred August 3, 1909. 



IRA R. TITUS. 



Ira R. Titus, cashier of the First National Bank, of Steward, 
Illinois, was born in Richland county, Illinois, December 29, 1862, 
the third son of Abraham B. Titus and Elizabeth (Chancey) Titus. 
When one year old he was brought by his parents to Champaign 
coimty Illinois, where he grew up on a farm about ten miles north 
of Urbana. Remaining with his father until twenty-two years of 
age, he in the meantime received liis education in the district 
schools and a business college at Champaign and then engaged in 
the mercantile business at Rantoul and continued in that business 
for six years. 

Then having formed a partnership with his brother, Edgar L. 
Titus, in November, 1894, they purchased the elevator and agri- 
culture implement business of Merritt Miller at Steward, Illinois, 
Lee county, which they carried on imder the firm name of Titus 
Bros, later acquiring ownership of the Steward & Henning Ele- 
vator, purchased from the L. E. Birdsell Company, and for the 
next eighteen months carried on an extensive grain, coal and lum- 
ber business. In the fall of 1902 they sold out the Steward & Hen- 
ning Elevator and their lumber business, but still retained the 
o^vnership of the elevator first purchased. On January 1, 
3903, in connection with a number of the leading business men of 
Steward, the Titus brothers organized the First National Bank 
of Steward, with a capital stock of twenty-five thousand dollars, 
of which Ira R. Titus is at present (1914) the cashier, and his 
brother, Edgar L. Titus, the president— the Titus brothers being 
owners of the controlling interest. 

On May 21, 1889, Mr. Titus was married at Rantoul. Illinois, to 



HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY 449 

Lulu Coon, and three children have been born of this marriage: 
Lyle, born in 1892 ; Ray, born in 1899 ; and Harry, who was born 
in 1905, died on the same day. 

Mr. Titus is a member of the Methodist Episcopal church and 
has held several offices of honor in both church and village. 



INDEX 



Ahell, Leonora 172 

Albrecht, Anton 286 

AllFledt, Harriet 124 

Armington, A P 63 

Asfhenbrenner, Andrew 34 

Asphenbrenner. Eeiiihart 28 

Atkinson, C. M 227 

Auchstetter, William 155 

Aydelotte, W. F 370 

Ayres, J. C 5 

Badger, H. H 137 

Baird, R. L 185 

Banks, J. W 408 

Barth, H. 146 

Bend. W. H 239 

Bernardin, H. A 366 

Bethea, S. H 447 

Betz, J. F 105 

Biesehke, Jl. J 191 

Bokhof. C. H 170 

Brewster, C. W 116 

Brewster, E. H 6 

Brinton, W. B 385 

Brooks, C. C 143 

Brooks, H. A 69 

Bneklev, James 390 

Biniger, W. F 425 

Bnrhenn, Nathan 288 

Burns, Ellen E 269 

Cahill, F. J 409 

Chandler, E. D 421 

Church, J, A 283 

Church, R. W 27S 

City National Bank 115 

Cook, Morris 406 

Coppins, W. H 171 

Countryman, E.J 83 

Countryman, I. B 73 

Crabtree, J. B 33 

Crawford, Joseph 42 

Dana, F. D 193 

Dean, R. J 415 

Degner, F. C 162 

Degner, W. F 154 

Dempsey, J. F 417 

Deyine.'j. P 161 

Diniick. F. G 202 

Dixon, H. S 68 

Dixon National Bank, The 134 

Dixon, Sherwood 435 

Dodge, S. S 147 

Downing, B. P 16 

Downing, G. J 143 

Downing, 0. J 13 

Drunmiond, B. P 258 

451 



Drummond, C. E 217 

Durkes, Conrad 122 

Durkes, S. A 44G 

Durkes, W. C 54 

Dysart, U. G 369 

Earl!, W. S 200 

Eckhart, J. E 135 

Edwards, Frank 176 

Edwards, Harry 236 

Edwards, Isaac 323 

Edwards, J. A 121 

Edwards, W. J 310 

Eells. S. C 39 

Egan, J. M 436 

Emmons. F. K 420 

Ewald, Charles 377 

Ewald, C. M 397 

Ewald, Henry 402 

Ewald, John' 432 

Ewald, W. A 362 

Faber, C. C 144 

Faber, W. C 128 

Farrand, R. S 50 

Faryer, J. B 70 

Fassig, J. P 351 

Fenstemaker, C. A 194 

Ferguson, E.J 218 

Finch, G. M 243 

Fordham, H. L 77 

Forrest. J. A 263 

Frost, W. S 272 

Garrett, James 8! 

Garrison. Harriet E 302 

Gates, F. E •. 438 

Gehant, Andrew 410 

Gehant, A. F 332 

Gehant, F. D 321 

Gehant, F. J 249 

Gehant, G. W 80 

Gehant, H. F « 

Gehant, H. L 405 

Gehant, L. E 375 

Gehant, Louis 411 

Gehant, M. L 427 

Gehant, 0. L 40 

Gehant. X. F 125 

George, Dayid 340 

George, I. R 186 

Gibbs. Charles 212 

Gleim, Charlie 320 

Gonnermann, A. H 301 

Gonnermann, C. H 319 

Gonnerman. John 337 

Gonnermann, W. H 3Sf 

Grand Detour Plow Co 13:: 



452 



INDEX 



(xiiese, A. i' 34.5 

Griese, J. H 361 

Gross, C'ln-istian 14S 

Grove, J. H 428 

HaldermaQ, B. E 48 

Hall, J. G 333 

Hanneken, A. H 231 

Harms, H. W 221 

Harper, Elizabeth 309 

Hartwell, J. L 291 

Harvey, J. P 138 

Hansen, S. C Ill 

Heibenthal, Conrad 16" 

Heibenthal, H. W 347 

Heinzeroth, William 356 

Helmershausen 84 

ITelmershausen, Adella 96 

Hfliiiershausen, H. C. V., Jr 90 

Helmershausen, H. W. F 103 

Henert, George 204 

Henert, J. H: 287 

Herrmann, .J. M 398 

Herwig, E. M 285 

Herwig, Herman 308 

Hill, F. H 419 

Hillesfm, T. E 373 

Hillison, H. W 300 

Holdren, W. C 330 

Hughes, C. H 20 

Hussey, C. D 49 

Ives, C. E 178 

Jacobs, E. G 225 

James, P. M 46 

Johnson, Mary S 307 

Jones, W. C 261 

Jones, W. E 201 

Jones, \V. V 62 

Keller. M. C 280 

Kelley, P. A 248 

Kersten, A. E 376 

Kersten, Henrv 15s 

Kersten, H. M 324 

Kersten, John 396 

Kesselring, F. L 299 

Killmer, J. M 374 

Killmer, William 389 

Kries, Gust 235 

Krug, M. B 294 

Krug, W. G 277 

Lahman, J. D 442 

Larson, A. J 416 

Lauer, A.J 61 

Leffelman, Franris 316 

Lewis, I. W 271 

Lewis, J. E 426 

Lincoln, J. H 197 

Little, Andrew 355 

Long, Lafavette 391 

Long, W. P 192 

Luckey, C. G 232 

Lyman, A. P 344 

L>Tnan, G. A 219 

McAlpine, W. J 256 

MoCarty, W. J 157 

M rMahan, W. B 209 



MeWethy, W. C 164 

Martin, O. H 226 

Mason, P. W 284 

Meister, Conrad 270 

Meister, John 17 

Meister, William 422 

Meyer, F. W 293 

Miller, J. C 276 

Moore, A. F 19 

Morris, H. W 379 

Morrison, C. B 444 

Nass, H. J 306 

Nichols, C. A 431 

Niebergall, Philip 55 

O'Malley, G. F 136 

Ortt, E. K 2.53 

Owens, E. B 156 

Pitcher, Louis 241 

Pogue. Eobert 72 

Poraeroy, E. A 177 

Prescott, G. F 240 

Preston, C. F 37 

Preston, W. L 380 

Eeis, Paul 142 

Eeitz, H. W 18 

Reitz, J. A 203 

Eeitz, T. M. W 339 

Eevnolds, H. G 440 

Eiehardson, G. L 180 

Eoberts, Benjamin 32 

Eoe, H. A.. .' 264 

Eoper, J. A Ill 

Eosecraus, A. W 445 

Eosecrans. E. S 124 

Eoss, C. W 222 

Ruckman, E. W ". . . 113 

Sanders, CD 74 

Sanders, J. F 331 

Sanders, N. H 418 

Sandrock, William 348 

Sehafer, P. G 131 

Schnell, Henry 257 

Schuler, W. A " 429 

Scott, E. H 41 

Self, C. T 399 

Semmler, Henrv 354 

Shaw, B. F. . . '. 56 

Shaw, E. E 64 

Shaw, S. L 360 

Shaw, W. M 40, 

Shoemaker, H. 255 

Sickels, E. A 214 

Smith, Clyde 266 

Smith, David 400 

Snvder, W. E 198 

Squires, G. H •. 297 

Staples, J. W 234 

Stephan, G. B 116 

Stetler, T. H 106 

Stevens, F. E 368 

Streit, Peter 338 

Strong, W. P 168 

Swingley, L. B 228 

Titus, I. E 448 

Thompson, W. C 207 



INDEX 4;",:; 

Th(iriit(.ii. J. B. H 250 Wasiier, ,1. .1.. .Ir HOT 

Treiu, \V. K 247 Watts. J. W 18it 

Triisilell. A. K 163 Wendel, Admti 117 

Tvrrell, P. G 388 Werren, J. B 71 

White, E. 313 

Union State Bank 153 White, M. L 334 

Wiener, E. H 412 

Vaile, Edward 233 Winder, H. L 29S 

Vaughan, F. C 392 Wingert, E. E 104 

Vaughan. F. N 210 Wood, Lewis 114 

Vaupel, Henry 118 Woods, Albert ; 127 

Ventler, Mareiis 34(i 

Vogeler, William 314 Veuerieh, K. J 244 

Vosburgh, W. H 3S7 Yenerich, W. C lOS 

Yocum, P. M 73 

Wagner, C. W 1 03 

Wagner. George 35.'! Zeller, S. P 437 

Wagner. J. J 27H Zoeller, W. C 2li." 



SAUK VALLEY CC LIBRARY 



3 1516 00016 3004 



F Stevens 103510 

547 

.L5 History of Lee 

St47 County Illinois 

V. 2 



F 

547 
.L5 
St47 
V. 2 



S t evens 



103510 



History of Lee 
County Illinois 



SAUK VALLEY COLLEGE LIBRARY 

R.R. 5 

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