Old Courthouse Museum
103 West Cherry Street
Watseka, IL 60970-1524
CORNELIUS WILMORE STICKNEY is editor and proprietor of the Sheldon Journal, a weekly newspaper, Republican in politics, and devoted to the interests of Sheldon and vicinity. In size it is a seven?column quarto, and in appearance it is typographically neat. Mr. Stickney is a man of excellent newspaper ability, and practically experienced in he business. As a writer he is easy and graceful, and in the expression of opinions is fair and impartial. He has done much to popularize his paper with the people of Iroquois County, especially in that part of the county in which Sheldon is located. The Journal has reached a large circulation and the families into whose homes it goes number many hundreds: Its growth has been phenomenal under Mr. Stickney's energetic management. It has obtained its position in the newspaper world by shutting out all objectionable advertising, or reading matter of a questionable character, by attention to local matters, and by taking high moral grounds on all public questions. While the Journal is Republican in politics, it treats all with fairness, and thus holds the esteem and respect of all political parties. Thus it is at all times fit to enter the family, and its patrons have no fear of anything being admitted to its columns that cannot be read aloud in the family circle. The Journal is doing much to elevate the standard of country journalism and will receive its reward by a liberal patronage of the intelligent people of Iroquois County.
Cornelius W. Stickney was the first male child born in the village of East Bradford, Mass., which is now known as Groveland. His birth occurred on March 9, 1850. He is a direct descendant of Samuel Stickney, who emigrated from England to America in Colonial days and settled in Massachusetts. On the maternal side he also comes of an old American family.
The father of our subject, Leonard W. Stickney, was born in the old Bay State in 1821. In early manhood he was married to Miss Susan J. Streeter, a native of Portland, Me. When their son Cornelius was a lad of five summers they emigrated to Illinois, locating in Freeport, where Mr. Stickney engaged in the shoe business, carrying on both a wholesale and retail trade. In 1860 he removed his stock to Denver, Colo., where he continued in the same business for about four years. Then selling, he went to Virginia City, and afterward to Helena, Mont., where he purchased a stock of books and stationery, carried on a very lucrative trade, and accumulated a fine property. He was quite prominent as a citizen, and was identified with many important enterprises of that young and rapidly growing metropolis. However, misfortune finally overtook him, and one night his store and its contents were totally destroyed by fire. All the money which he could gain was used to pay his creditors, with whom he settled satisfactorily, paying one hundred cents on the dollar. This, however, left him nothing. He had been carrying an insurance of $26,000, but the great Chicago fire occurred eight days later, and before he could prove his loss to the companies of that city in which be held policies, they were broken up and he received only $1,600. When his business was finally settled in Montana, Mr. Stickney returned with his family to Illinois, locating near Normal. Soon afterward he was stricken with paralysis, but this disabled him for only a short time, and produced no effect upon his bright and vigorous mind. He then engaged in keeping hotel. His death occurred of apoplexy in Bloomington, December 1, 1874, at the age of fifty?two years. Mr. Stickney was a well-educated and cultured man, and, possessing genial qualities of heart and mind, drew around him a large circle of friends, by whom he is held in kindly remembrance. He was strictly honorable and upright in all his dealings, and looked with contempt upon a mean action.
Mrs. Stickney is still living and makes her home in Bloomington, Ill. Her family numbered three children, but Elias V. died in early manhood, when twenty?one years of age; Susie C. now resides with her mother.
The subject of this sketch acquired a good education in his youth, and at the age of sixteen years went to Montana, where he joined his father, assisting him in carrying on the business which he followed in Helena. He has always been fond of books, has ever been an extensive reader, and in early life gave evidence of literary ability. His first newspaper work was on the Helena Daily Herald. He here evinced his fitness for newspaper work, acquitting himself creditably. In 1871, after his father's failure, he returned to Illinois and engaged in various pursuits to assist himself and his family.
Mr. Stickney was connected with the hotel which his father had established in Bloomington, and while there made the acquaintance of Miss Juliet Frances Winsor, with whom be was united in marriage October 28, 1875. The lady was born near Atlanta, this State, June 9, 1853, and died at Sheldon, this State, March 3, 1892. She was the daughter of Daniel and Annie R. (Brown) Winsor, both of whom were natives of Rhode Island. Her love of the Word of God, and her exemplary Christian life, gave witness to the grace of God upon her heart. An active member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, the Woman's Foreign Missionary Society, and the Woman's Christian Temperance Union, she evidenced her undoubted piety. She was truly a home?maker; there her character shone with every womanly charm and virtue. She was also an excellent pianist and fond of literature, and found much enjoyment in her music and books. The funeral was held at the Sheldon Methodist Episcopal Church March 5, 1892, after which the remains were conveyed to the Sheldon cemetery and laid to rest until for her the rosy dawn shall break over the tranquil waves that caress the distant but beautiful shore.
Mr. and Mrs. C. W. Stickney began their domestic life in Bloomington, where they remained for a year, and then removed to Olney, Ill. Mr. Stickney secured employment on the Olney Daily Ledger, but after a year returned to Bloomington and accepted the management of the St. Nicholas hotel.
It was Mr. Stickney's desire, however, to return to newspaper work, and in 1878 be purchased the Chenoa (Ill.) Gazette, conducting its publication until the fall of 1883. He then removed to Livingston County and established the Forrest Rambler, which speedily became one of the leading Republican papers of that county. Since August 1, 1891, he has engaged in the publication of the Sheldon Journal. He became identified with the Masonic fraternity in 1871, in which he has made considerable advance, being in the Royal and Select Master degree. He is an enthusiastic member of the Republican party, to which he gives willing and ready allegiance on all occasions, defending its principles and voting for its nominees. He and his family are active members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, of which they are worthy communicants.
Mr. Stickney's family now includes but two daughters: May Frances, born at Olney, Ill., May 31, 1876; and Lilian Estelle, born at Chenoa, Ill., September 16, 1880. His only son, Merl, died at the age of eleven months.
WILLIAM H. CASSIDY, who carries on an insurance business and also runs a livery in Gilman, is a native of Ireland, where he was born March 17, 1837, in County Donegal. He is a son of John and Jane (Chestnut) Cassidy, both of whom were natives of the same county. They had a family of nine sons, of whom eight lived to be grown, and all of whom came to the United States. The father followed the occupation of farming. Of the children, Samuel, a graduate of Dublin College, was the first to leave his home and cross the broad Atlantic. He came about 1846, and is now engaged in merchandising on Staten Island. Some two years later his brother John followed his example, coming to the United States, and was yardmaster at Olney, III., where he was killed by the cars in the year 1859. Richard and Thomas emigrated about 1852, the former residing at Crescent City, Iroquois County, while the latter was in the mercantile business with his eldest brother and died in New York City. Our subject next left his native land, and his brother Moses in 1862 did likewise, and is an extensive farmer in Winnebago County, Ill. At the close of the war, James and Henry, the remaining sons, came with their parents to the New World. James engaged in the mercantile business in New York until the time of his death, while Henry lived quite a number of years in Gilman, following the insurance business, and has but lately removed to Chicago. The parents later removed to Winnebago County, where they both died at the age of eighty?five. They were members of the Episcopal Church and among the worthy citizens that Ireland has furnished to America.
The subject of this sketch was reared on a farm and his education was received in the common schools of Ireland. He made the voyage across the Atlantic in 1856, and in pursuit of fortune he first sold Irish linens and notions from house to house for a year. He then followed farming until 1860, when be entered his brother's store at Detroit, Mich.
In the fall of the same year, when Mr. Cassidy went to Belvidere, Ill., he there married Sarah M. Dawson, their marriage being celebrated on the 1st of December, 1860. She was born in Summit County, Ohio, and rested to womanhood in Illinois. Her parents came from England. After their marriage, our subject and his wife settled in Winnebago County, on a farm, where they lived until 1866, at which time he bought one hundred and sixty acres of land in what is now Danforth Township. This he greatly improved and drained. In 1875 he removed to Gilman and has since been in the insurance business. He purchased the livery barn, which he still runs, in 1887. To Mr. and Mrs. Cassidy were born four children: Jennie T., who carries on a stationery and book store, is the Assistant Postmaster at Gilman; Elmer married Rosa Keller, and is engaged in the livery business with his father; Alice C., a teacher of recognized ability; and Minnie May, who died at the age of six and a?half years.
Politically, Mr. Cassidy was a member of the Republican party until 1884, since which time he has been a Prohibitionist. He and his wife are members of the Free?will Baptist Church, to which they give their hearty co?operation. Socially, he is a Mason and Modern Woodman. By industry and saving he has made a comfortable competence, laving commenced life without a dollar. During his seventeen years of residence here he and his estimable wife have made many friends and to them their home is most hospitably open. It is with pleasure that we present this brief sketch of one of Gilman's most worthy citizens, who though native of another land has always been most loyal to his adopted country.
AUGUST WOCKENER, who carries on general farming and stock?raising on section 1, Middleport Township, is one of the worthy citizens that Germany has furnished to this county. He was born in the Fatherland in December, 1840, and is the eldest child of August and Plondena Wockener. The death of his mother occurred in 1868, but his father lived to a ripe old age, passing away in 1886. Both were members of the German Lutheran Church. In their family our subject was followed by Carl, who is still living in the Old Country; Lena, wife of August Kirkman, a resident of Germany; and Frederick, who crossed the Atlantic to America and now makes his home in this country.
The boyhood days of our subject were quietly passed under the parental roof. In accordance with the laws of his native land, he attended school between the ages of six and fourteen years, after which he learned the wagonmakers' trade, following that occupation until he came to America. When a young man, he determined to seek a home in the New World, hoping thereby to improve his financial condition. In 1868, he crossed the briny deep, and landing in this country made his way to De Kalb County, Ill., where he first located. There he rented land and engaged in farming for two years, after which he came to Iroquois County, and for four years operated a rented farm in Ashkum Township. On the expiration of that period, be came to Middleport Township and purchased eighty acres of partially improved land, on section 20, and to the further development and cultivation of that tract he devoted his energies until 1885, when he purchased his present farm of two hundred acres on section 1. He now engages in general farming and stock?raising and his business efforts are crowned with success.
In 1885, Mr. Wockener was joined in wedlock with Miss Minnie Willett, and unto them has been born a family of eight children, four sons and four daughters, as follows: Ernest, Minnie, Lena, August, Robert, Anna, Hattie and Herman. The family circle has never been broken by the hand of Death. Ernest and Minnie are married, the latter having become the wife of Erick Swartz.
Mr. Wockener is a member of the German Lutheran Church, and in political sentiment is a Democrat, having supported that party since he became an American citizen. It was a fortunate day for our subject when he determined to seek a home in the United States, for here he has not only gained prosperity, but has made many warm friends, and his life has been a pleasant, although busy one. Industry and energy are numbered among his chief characteristics, and as these are essential qualities in success, he has acquired a comfortable competence.
CHRISTOPHER S. GUTHRIE, a farmer residing on section 30, Papineau Township, has for twenty?seven years resided in this county. He was born in Ohio, December 22, 1838, his birth having occurred at Mt. Pleasant, Jefferson County. He is a son of Capt. Henry P. Guthrie, a native of Virginia, who was born in King and Queen County, February 23, 1793. He married in Richmond, Va., Catherine Stedman, who was also born in the same State. Mr Guthrie was a merchant and manufacturer of carriages. About the year 1828, leaving Virginia, he removed to Ohio, settling in Jefferson County. There he engaged in the manufacture of carriages at Mt. Pleasant for a number of years. He then removed to Martin's Ferry, in Belmont County, and for some years carried on his trade at that place. He was a soldier in the War of 1812, and served throughout the war, holding a Captain's commission. His father, James Guthrie, was also a patriot and soldier in the Revolutionary War, as were two of his brothers. The latter died during their service. The Guthrie family are of Scotch decent, and were among the first settlers of Yorktown, Va. The great?grandfather of our subject was given a grant of land in Virginia and settled there previous to the Revolutionary War. Capt. Henry P. Guthrie held numerous positions of trust and honor and was a prominent man of that State.
Our subject is one of a family of eight children, three sons and five daughters: Sarah Francis, widow of Dr. Pratt, of Belmont County, Ohio; Mary A. lives on the old homestead; Elizabeth, wife of John Robb, lives in Hancock County, W. Va.; Catherine, whose death occurred in 1878; Isabella, wife of Marion Cullen, of Hancock County; Henry P., of Martin's Ferry, Belmont County, Ohio; Christopher S.; and Robert L., deceased.
Mr. Guthrie whose name heads this sketch grew to manhood in Ohio, having such education as was afforded by the public schools of the county and a course of study at Wheeling, W. Va. In 1857, he came to Illinois and settled in Kankakee County. In company with another young man, he operated a steam thresher and engaged in its operation during the season. During the winter he ran a stationary engine, and for, such of his time as was unoccupied he worked on a farm.
Following the patriotic example of his ancestors, he responded to the call of his country, enlisting in 1862 in the Fifty?third Illinois Infantry, in January of that year. He became a member of Company E, of the regiment organized at Ottawa, Ill., which had for its Captain Charles M. Vaughn. He enlisted as a private but was promoted to the rank of Sergeant, and had charge of the company a number of times during his service. He participated in the battles of Shiloh, Hatchie, the siege and surrender of Vicksburg (which lasted forty-two days), and was afterward taken prisoner at Jackson, Miss., in Lorman's charge of July 12, 1863. He was held as a prisoner of war for about seventy-two days, and he was a prisoner at all the principal cities of the South, and finally rounded up at Libby Prison, Richmond, Va. He was then paroled and rejoined his regiment, taking part in the Atlanta campaign, and later joined Sherman in his march to the sea. He received an honorable discharge at Goldsboro, N. C., March 26, 1865. He was a faithful soldier, ever present at his post of duty.
Mr. Guthrie was united in marriage in this county on Christmas day, 1865, his bride being Mary J. Warden, who was born and reared in Putnam County, Ind. She is a daughter of John Warden, a native of Kentucky and one of the early settlers of Putnam County. Mr. and Mrs. Guthrie are the parents of six children: Francis Isabel is the wife of John Garber, a mechanic in Denison, Tex.; Henry W., a farmer of this county; James B., who resides at home; George C., Catherine, and Laura, deceased.
On returning from the war, Mr. Guthrie went to Ohio and the same year came to Illinois, settling in this county. He engaged in farming and stock-raising with good success. At the time of his purchase, his farm was raw, unbroken prairie, and he has since brought it under a fine state of cultivation, making of it one of the best farms in the county. It is located three miles west of Papineau. In 1876, he rented his farm and moved to Newton County, Ind., where for two years he engaged in stock?raising. In 1878, he returned to his home and has resided here continuously since.
Mr. Guthrie cast his first ballot for Stephen A. Douglas, but since that time has identified himself with the Republican party. He takes an active interest in all local and educational affairs, doing all in his power to further the interests of each. He has served as s member of the School Board for a number of years. For twenty?seven years he has resided in this county and is known to be a man of integrity, enterprise and public spirit.
Mr. Guthrie had a severe stroke of paralysis in 1891, which was caused by his hardships and exposure during his service as a soldier. He receives a small pension and he now has affidavits from his family physicians as well as his comrades corroborating the fact of his great disability, occasioned by his hardships in defense of his country.
EDWARD W. GUILD, an enterprising and prominent farmer who resides on section 22 Belmont Township, has one of the fine farms of this community. He owns one hundred and sixty acres of arable land, which has been divided into fields of convenient size and placed under a high state of cultivation, yielding to him a golden tribute in return for his care and labor. He has a pleasant home, and his barns and out buildings are models of convenience. His farming implements are of the latest improved kinds and in all its appointments the place seems complete. It may well be termed a model farm, and the owner deserves to rank among the representative farmers of` the township.
Mr. Guild was born in Lowell, Mass., October 10, 1830. The family, of English origin, was founded in America by the great?grandfather of our subject, Moses Guild, who came to this country in Colonial days. Willard Guild, the father of Edward, was born in Brattleboro, Vt., in 1797, and spent his boyhood days upon a farm. In his youth, he learned the cabinet?maker's trade and pattern?making. Ere leaving the Green Mountain Rate, he married Abigail Wood, a native of Vermont. They removed to Massachusetts, and when our subject was only six months old they emigrated to Michigan, locating in Romeo, Macomb County, which was then an unimproved wilderness, still inhabited by the Indians. Mr. Guild engaged in farming for a year and then followed his trade of cabinet?making until 1837, when he removed to Pike County, Ill., locating in Griggsville. He there carried on cabinet?making until his death, which occurred in February, 1865. His wife died at the home of her son in Ironton, Mo. Mr. Guild was a prominent and influential citizen in every community where he resided. While in Massachusetts, he served in the State Legislature. He took a great interest in church and Sunday?school work and for many years served as Deacon in the Congregational Church. He would give his last cent to aid in the upbuilding of the church and counted no sacrifice too great. He was a man of much genius and invented several different machines. In politic, he was a Whig and afterward an Abolitionist.
In the Guild family were five children, but Willard and a sister died in childhood. Albert B. served in the Home Guards during the late war and was engaged in the fight at Pilot Knob. His death occurred in Missouri about eight years ago. Emily W. became the wife of Judge Russell and died abbot three years ago.
Our subject is now the only surviving member of the family. He was a lad of seven summers when with his parents he came to Illinois. His education was acquired in the public schools of Griggsville and in Arcadia College, of Missouri, which he entered at the age of sixteen, pursuing a three?year course. Previous to this time, when a lad of twelve, he began clerking in a store and was thus employed for three years. On leaving school, he again began clerking, and was thus employed until twenty?two years of age, when he went to Henry, Marshall County, Ill. He there secured a position with George W. Battles, acting as salesman for two years, and for ten years carried on a general merchandise establishment for himself. Later, he did business in Ox Bow, Putnam County, Ill., for four years and then returned to Henry County, where he remained until 1863, when he came to Iroquois County. During the twelve succeeding years of his life, he was connected with the mercantile interests of Watseka, and for two years in Henry County, Ill., was engaged in the forwarding and commission business. In 1876 he bought his present farm, then a poorly improved place.
On the 4th of May, 1853, in Henry, Marshall County, Mr. Guild was united in marriage with Miss Amanda Foster, a native of Columbus, Ohio, and a daughter of John and Ruth (Cone) Foster, the former a native of Pennsylvania and the latter of Connecticut. When their daughter was only four years old, they came by team to Illinois. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Guild have been born four children. Flora, who was born in Marshall County, is now at home; William E., who was also born in that county, has taught school but is now engaged in carpentering in Watseka; Albert M., born in Watseka, lives on the home farm; and Cliff, was graduated in the commercial course from the college in Onarga and was graduated from Hedding College, of Abingdon, Ill., in June, 1892, in a class of six in the classical course. He is Secretary of the college, and in connection with his work as a student, he is engaged in teaching mathematics. All the children possess musical ability.
Mr. and Mrs. Guild are both members of the Methodist Episcopal Church of Watseka. For forty years, he has been connected with the Odd Fellows' society, of that place and has held all of its offices. He has been School Director for many years, and is now Secretary of the Iroquois County Farmers' Mutual Insurance Company. He cast his first Presidential vote in 1856 for Bell and Everett and then voted for Stephen A. Douglas, and has since been a stalwart Democrat. In the exciting times before the late war, he heard many prominent speakers, including Owen Lovejoy and Tom Corwin. He has been prominent in the conventions of his party and is recognized as a representative citizen of this community. The success which attended his merchandising has also followed his business career, and his well?directed efforts have brought him a handsome competence. He has the confidence of all with whom he has been brought in contact and is held in high esteem by a large circle of friends.
The following is an epitome of the Guild family, covering a portion of the lineal ancestry of E. W. Guild: John Guild, supposed to have been born in England about 1616, came to America in the year 1636, with his brother Samuel and sister Ann. He was admitted to the church at Dedham, Mass., July 17, 1640, and bought in that year twelve acres of upland, on which he built a house, which was occupied by himself and descendants for more than two hundred years. He was made a freeman May 10, 1643. He was thoroughly honest in all his dealings, industrious and frugal, modest in his deportment and retiring in his habits. He never held an office, and the town records show his attendance at town meetings but once in several years, and then only on an occasion of considerable excitement in relation to making alterations and additions to the meeting house: He married, June 24, 1645, Elizabeth Crooke, of Roxbury, who died August 31, 1669. He died October 4, 1682, leaving seven children. John died young; Samuel, John, Eliexur, Ebenezer, Elizabeth and Benjamin.
Samuel Guild, born in Dedham, Mass., November 7, 1647, married November 29, 1676, Mary Woodcock. He was a member of Capt. Moseley's Company in King Philip's War, in 1675, and was made a freeman at Salem, in May, 1678. In 1703, he was one of a committee to invest and manage school funds; was a Selectman of Dedham from 1693 to 1713; and was a delegate to the General Court in 1719. He died in Dedham, on the 1st of January, 1730. His children were Samuel, Nathaniel, Mary, John, Deborah, John, Israel, Ebenezer, Joseph and Elizabeth.
John Guild, born at Dedham, Mass., October 2, 1687, married Abigail Robinson, of Rehoboth, who died January 31, 1793. He was a farmer of Walpole and died June 15, 1767. His children were John, Abigail, Samuel and Jacob.
Samuel Guild was born at Dedham, Mass., and was married October 23, 1764, to Mehitable Clapp. They lived in Walpole and became the parents of five children: Meribah, Samuel, Aaron, Moses and Jacob.
Moses Guild was born in Walpole, Mass., January 6, 1772, was married first on the 19th of March, 1795, to Philena Barrows, who died October, 16, 1800. He was afterward married, March 12, 1801, to Sally Newton, who died February 29, 1840. He removed to Marlborough, N. H., in 1797, and was taxed at Roxbury, N. H., from 1815 to 1851. He died September 6, 1854. By the first marriage there were three children, William, Willard and Tyla; and by the second union two children were born, Betsy, and Hanna, who was born March 3, 1812, and on the 9th of September, 1841, married James W. Bain, of Keene, who died October 7, 1865.
Willard Guild, born at Marlborough, N. H., February 8, 1798, was married November 2, 1822, to Abigail Wood, of Nelson, N. H. He was a cabinetmaker at Roxbury, N. Y., removed to Michigan, and thence to Griggsville, Ill., where he died on the 20th of February, 1865. His children were all born at Roxbury, N. H., with the exception of the youngest, our subject. They are as follows: Albert Barrows; Almira, who died young; Emily Wilder and Edward W.
FREDERICK KOHL is a retired merchant, who makes his home in Danforth, Iroquois County. He is one of Germany's most worthy children, having been born in Ostfriesland November 29, 1854. His father, Frederick Kohl, a native of the same country, grew to maturity and there married Geske Jacobs. The father, followed the occupation of tilling the soil in Germany, where he still resides.
Frederick Kohl passed his boyhood days in the usual pursuits of farmer lads and received fair school advantages in his native language. Since coming to Illinois he attended the schools for about six months, in order to acquire the English language, but has largely informed himself in that respect through his reading and observation. When about seventeen years of age, he determined to seek his fortune in the New World, and accordingly said good?bye to the friends and scenes of his youth. He sailed from Bremen, and after a pleasant voyage of about fourteen days arrived in New York City. He landed in the United States in May, and came direct to Danforth, where he joined three older brothers who had previously settled at this point. The first year he worked on the railroad, and the following year hired out as a farm hand. He next obtained a clerkship in one of the Danforth stores, and there continued for a period of a year and a?half. Subsequently he returned to farm labor. In 1874, Mr. Kohl went to Peoria, where he clerked for about six months, when, on account of sickness, he was obliged to discontinue his labors for a time. After his recovery he worked in a store at Danforth and continued in that position for five years. A partnership was formed at that time between our subject and John Eden, and together they bought out and established business, the stock costing $3,500. The firm then embarked in merchandising and increased their business. They extensively increased their trade and continued to add to their line of goods. The partnership lasted for about ten and a?half years, and their efforts were blessed with great success. In February, 1892, Mr. Kohl sold his interest to Mr. Eden arid retired from the business. Mr. Eden has since invested in Nebraska property, and during the summer just passed has spent much of his time in Platte County, of that State, where he purchased a farm and has valuable investments. Mr. Kohl also invested his money which he had withdrawn from the business in real estate. He purchased property, in Chicago, and has already realized a good profit on his investments there.
Mr. Kohl was married to Miss Cevia, daughter of J. O. Johnson, a retired merchant of Danforth. The wedding ceremony was performed February 14, 1878. Mrs. Kohl was born in Woodford County, Ill., and was educated and has lived the most of her life in Iroquois County.
Mr. Kohl is identified with the Republican party, which finds in him a stanch advocate. He voted for Samuel J. Tilden, however, at the election in 1876, but with that exception has used his franchise in favor of the nominees of the Republican party. Mr. Kohl is a public?spirited man, and has always done all in his power to advance the best interests of his township and the community. Recognizing his worth and ability, his fellow?citizens have often called upon him to fill public positions requiring the qualities which he possesses. He was appointed Postmaster of Danforth, and acted in that capacity most acceptably for over ten years. He has always discharged the duties of citizenship and of official positions with fidelity and zeal, and has merited the high regard in which be is held by his friends and neighbors. For twenty?one years, Mr. Kohl has made his home in this county and is a man of unblemished character and spotless record. Commencing in life as a poor man, with no capital save a fair education and undaunted courage, he has carved for himself a fortune and a place of honor in the estimation of those who know him. Mr. and Mrs. Kohl are Honored members of the German Lutheran Church, in whose work they take an active part.
GEORGE H. POTTER; one of the pioneer settlers of Iroquois County, was born in Milton Center, Saratoga County, N. Y., January 27, 1819. He is a son of Constant and Sylinda (Hodge) Potter, natives respectively of Connecticut and Massachusetts. In early life they emigrated with their parents to New York, wherein later years they were married. The grandfather Potter served in the Revolutionary War. The father was a manufacturer of leather, and lived to be seventy?eight years of age. His death occurred at Saratoga Springs. During his life he was a Jackson?Democrat, and both himself and wife were members of the Methodist Church. She lived to the age of eighty?eight years, her death occurring in Saratoga County. To them were born a family of twelve children, seven sons and five daughters, of whom six sons and one daughter are still living.
The subject of this sketch was the eldest son and third child in order of birth, in his fathers' family. He spent most of his early days on a farm, engaged in the usual occupations of farmers' son, receiving his education in the common schools of the neighborhood. Having remained at home until about seventeen, he went to Orleans County, N. Y., where he clerked in a store several years.
On the 4th of July, 1848, Mr. Potter wedded Miss Fannie E. Lyman, who was born December 28, 1825, in Byron, Genesee County, N. Y. She is the daughter of William and Lucia (Cleveland) Lyman. Her mother's family is of the same original stock as that from which President Cleveland is descended. Her father was born in Ludlow, Vt., and her mother in Hanover, N. Y., both being of English descent. The father died in Genesee County when Mrs. Potter was only three years old, leaving three children, the eldest of whom was in her seventh year. Mrs. Lyman, after living a widow for several years, married Warren Parker, who went to Chicago about 1851 and organized the first omnibus line in that city, which was known as Parker's Bus Line. Mr. Parker died three years later. Of this marriage a son was born, Dwight L. Parker, a banker of Gilman. The year after her husband's death, Mrs. Parker came to Gilman, remaining here the remainder of her days. The last seven years of her life were spent at the home of her daughter, Mrs. Potter. She passed to the home beyond on the 17th of April, 1888. Had she lived until the following August she would have been ninety years old. Since her eighteenth year she had been identified with the Christi an Church, and was a noble, good woman and one much beloved.
After their marriage, Mr. Potter and his young wife came to Iroquois County, and located at Iroquois, then generally known as Bunkum. Mrs. Potter says that one way they had of telling Sunday in those days was that shooting matches and horse races marked the day. After merchandising for a couple of. years he sold out his business, deciding to return to New York, never to come back to this uncivilized West; but, reconsidering his former decision in 1853, he returned to this county and purchased one hundred and sixty acres of land in Onarga Township of the Government at $2.50 per acre. He first brought his wife only as far as Chicago; but in 1855 moved on his land, where he had built a small frame house, and there they lived in true pioneer style. Ho made of his farm a good and well?cultivated piece of property. In 1871, they came to Gilman, where they still live.
Both Mr. Potter and his wife are members of the Christian Church, to which they belonged, in New York. In his politics, he was a Democrat until the rise of the Prohibition party, since which time he has been identified with that party. Mr. and Mrs. Potter are among the highly esteemed citizens of Gilman. As is the common lot of all, they have met with disappointments, but these they have ever met with courage and hopefulness, ever pressing onward, believing that all was for their best good and ultimate happiness and usefulness. Largely through the efforts and liberality of Mrs. Potter can Gilman boast of a public library, of which she has been librarian since it was established.
EDMUND SILL, the genial and well?known station agent of the Illinois Central Rail road at Clifton, is a native of the Empire State, his birth occurring in 1834 in Otsego County. He is a son of Henry and Abigail (Dimock) Sill. The father was a native of Salem, Conn., and the mother was of Spanish descent. The grandfather of our subject, Andrew Sill, was one of the earliest settlers of Burlington Township, Otsego County, N. Y., and was a farmer by occupation. He was a prominent and influential man and participated in the War of 1812. For many years he was a Deacon in the Presbyterian Church. His wife bore the maiden name of Helena Dorr, and her family were among the prominent pioneers of Connecticut and New York. The maternal grandmother of our subject was before her marriage Miss Barnum, a cousin of the showman.
Edmund Sill and his sister Eliza are the only ones now living of a family which consisted of three sons and two daughters. The others were Abigail, Henry and Cook D. His parents are also deceased, his father's death having occurred while on a visit to his son in Clifton.
Our subject received a good education, and on arriving at man's estate led to the marriage altar Miss Helen M. Walworth, daughter of James C. and Maria (Haines) Walworth, of Otsego County, N. Y. The wedding ceremony was performed on the 13th of October, 1859. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Sill three children were born, the eldest, a daughter, died in infancy; James W. married Miss Mary E. Reynolds, daughter of Hubert and Rose Reynolds, of Clifton. His death occurred October 20, 1892. A daughter, Helen Irene, is their only child. Charles B. is the youngest of the family.
Mr. Sill, for many years in the employ of the Illinois Central Railroad Company as station agent, in January, 1867, was transferred to Clifton, holding the same position here. His many years' service in the employ of one railroad company is an evidence of his fidelity to duty and the dependence which they may safely place in him. He is interested in educational affairs, having held the office of School Director, and has also been elected to fill various other positions of trust and honor. Socially, he is a member of Clifton Lodge No. 688, A. F. & A. M. He is a man of intelligence and wide reading and always keeps well posted on all the leading events of the day. He is very popular, and has a wide circle of friends and acquaintances, whose esteem he has won during his long years of residence in this vicinity. His home is the abode of hospitality anti good cheer, and his friends delight to share them with him.
LORENZO N. SMITH, of Watseka, was born in Morristown, N. Y., on the 6th of August, 1849. He is a son of Aaron and Caroline (Kelly) Smith, both of whom were natives of New Jersey. The father followed the occupation of black?smithing in his early life, and later engaged in agricultural pursuits. He was born June 27, 1820 Daniel Smith, the grandfather of our subject, was born May 5, 1781, in Prussia, Germany, and emigrated to America at an early age. When crossing the Atlantic he was shipwrecked, but was rescued and brought to New York City. He there enlisted under Capt. Decatur and served all through the War of 1812, on the good old ship "Constitution." His wife, Lydia Smith, was born in Pennsylvania, and died at the age of thirty?five, leaving a family of ten children. He died at the age of sixty?nine, his death occurring in 1852.
Lorenzo Smith, the subject of this sketch, is the fourth in a family of ten children, all living but one. He received his education in the common schools of his native State, and there learned the trade of blacksmith and wagon?maker. At the age of twenty?four he came to Watseka, believing that in the West was a larger field of labor, with better hopes of success to a young and enterprising man than in the crowded East. With marked perseverance and fidelity to his chosen line of work, he has always followed his trade, with the exception of but one year, which he spent at Indianapolis, Ind.
In 1876, Mr. Smith led to the marriage altar Miss Marian Burlew, who was a native of Illinois, and who died in 1880, leaving one child, Jesse M. He was again united in marriage, this time to Ida L. Marsh, in 1882. She is a daughter of Almon C. Marsh, of Batavia, N. Y. As the result of this union have been born two children, Olive and Mildred.
In his social relations, our subject is a member of Iroquois Lodge No. 74, I. O. O. F. He is a representative to the Grand Lodge of the State. He has served as a member of the City Council, which office he filled acceptably. His sympathies are with the Democratic party, to which he gives his interest and support. During a long residence in this section, he had won for himself a large circle of friends by his integrity and uprightness.
DAVID BRUMBACK, a well?to?do farmer and stock?raiser, who owns a farm on section 20, of township 27, Danforth Township, was born in Springfield, Ill., on the 31st of August, 1832. He is a son of Henry Brumback, a native of Virginia, who was born in 1804. His father was a native of Germany, born in Hesse-Darmstadt. He because one of the early settlers of Shenandoah County, Va., and there reared his family. Henry Brumback spent the days of his youth in the Old Dominion, and, when a young man, went to Ohio, locating in Licking County. There he was married to Miss Elizabeth Pitzer, a native of the Buckeye State. Her father, Richard Pitzer, was born in England, and was one of the early settlers of Ohio. After his marriage, Mr. Brumback engaged in farming in Ohio for a few years, and in 1829 removed to Illinois, passing through Iroquois County when Guerdon S. Hubbard was an Indian trader, stationed at the town of Iroquois. He located on a farm near Ottawa, La Salle County, and resided there during the Black Hawk War. In the course of time he developed a fine farm from the raw prairie land, upon which he spent his remaining days, his death occurring in June, 1887, when he was eighty?three years of age. He was one of the honored pioneers of La Salle County. His wife died about the year 1870.
David Brumback is the fifth in order of birth in a family numbering five sons and four daughters, six of whom grew to mature years: Jacob, now deceased, was a farmer of La Salle County, and died in 1876; Elizabeth, who was the first white child born in Rutland Township, La Salle County, is the widow of Franklin Bruner; David, of this sketch, is the next younger; Elton farms on a portion of the old homestead; Elmira resides with her brother Theodore, who also operates a part of the home farm, and is the youngest off the family.
Our subject grew to manhood in La Salle County, where he received the advantages of a district-school education, supplemented by one year's course in the Jacksonville High School, then under the supervision of H. W. Bateman, the ex?State Superintendent of Schools of Illinois. After completing his school life, our subject engaged in farming on a tract of land which he purchased in La Salle County, and there made his home for a number of years. In 1867, he sold this farm and removed to Iroquois County, purchasing some unbroken broken prairie land in Danforth Township. He was one of the first settlers to locate there. He bought three hundred and twenty acres, the south half of section 20, and started to open up the land, fencing it and building a home and other farm buildings. He has now one of the best farms in the township, situated about half?way between Gilman and Danforth. Upon it is a pleasant, substantial residence, three good barns and other buildings, and a fine young orchard. It is in every respect a well?improved and valuable piece of property.
On the 2d of March, 1858, Mr. Brumback was united in marriage with Miss Ellen G. Barnes, a native of the Empire State, who was reared and educated in Utica. She was a teacher in La Salle County previous to her marriage. Her parents were Hyder Pitt and Lucia M. (Goodwin) Barnes, who settled in La Salle County in 1856. To our subject and his wife have been born three children. The eldest is Allen D., now a resident of Montana, where he is engaged in mining; Lucia Rae is the wife of C. E. Bogardus, of Seattle, Wash. In the Illimi, of March, 1892, the State University journal, appeared the following account of the Puget Sound Alumni Association meeting, held in the parlors of the Chamber of Commerce at Seattle, Wash. "In response to the toast 'Our college beaus,' Mrs. Lucia Brumback Bogardus entertained us in a most happy manner. The lady was the youngest alumnus present, but she treated the subject with a womanly grace and richness of thought worthy of a much older arid more experienced person. Her remarks were heartily enjoyed." Mrs. Bogardus is a graduate of the State University at Champaign in the Class of '90. She completed the literary and scientific course, and is also an accomplished musician. Almon, the youngest member of the Brumback family helps to carry on the home farm, and is now a student in Grand Prairie Seminary.
Mr. Brumback is identified with the Democratic party, to which he has always given his stanch support. His first ballot was cast for Franklin Pierce. In local politics he votes for the man whom he considers best fitted for the position. He has held several local offices of honor and trust in the township, and since 1877 he served as Township Supervisor. He is now the efficient President of the Iroquois County Agricultural Association, which position he has filled for the past three years. To the cause of education he has ever given his warm and hearty support, and is a thorough believer in good schools and teachers. For the past twenty?four years he has acted as a member of the School Board, being ever zealous and faithful to the best interests of the community. Though not members of any religious organization, Mr. and Mrs. Brumback are in sympathy with and attend the Gilman Presbyterian Church. During his whole life our subject has been a resident of Illinois, and for nearly a quarter of a century has lived in Iroquois County. He is widely and favorably known in this and adjacent counties, in whose development and progress he has very materially aided. He is a man of sterling character, and by his honorable and upright life has won the confidence and esteem of all.
HERRICK HOUGHTON, a prominent business man and respected citizen of Gilman, was born in Rutland County, Vt., on the 2d of January, 1845. He is a son of Capt. Leland and Lovica C. (Ripley) Houghton. Two brothers by the name of Houghton came from England in the early days of our country's history, and the one from whom our subject is descended settled is Vermont. The Ripley family also came from England. Both parents of our subject were born in Rutland County, Vt. In the fall of 1845, the father came by way of the Lakes to Chicago, but as he did not wish to locate in what he called that "mud?hole," he removed to a farm near Aurora, where he remained about nine years. He and his wife then removed to the Northwestern corner of Kankakee County, where they lived until 1874. At that time they came to Gilman, where they spent their remaining years. He lived to the age of sixty?nine years anti his wife was sixty?six years of age at the time of her death. She was a member of the Methodist Church and her death was widely regretted. Mr. Houghton was a Whig and later a Republican. In their family were five children, of whom one died in infancy; of those who survive, Franklin is a resident of Gilman; Ollie is the wife of James Gordan, of Ashkum, this county; Herrick, our subject; and Sidney, who is a mail carrier in Chicago.
Herrick Houghton was reared as a farmer lad and was educated in the common schools. When only sixteen years of age, he enlisted in Company A, Thirty?ninth Illinois Infantry. This was on the 16th of August, 1861. After spending two weeks in Chicago and an equal length of time at St. Louis the company he was sent to Maryland. The first fight in which he was engaged was with Stonewall Jackson at Alpine Station. He participated in the battles of Kernstown and Black Water, also in the siege of Ft. Sumter. He then joined the army under Butler and took part in the battles of Bethesda Church, Drury's Bluff, Bermuda Hundred, Deep Bottom, Petersburg, Ft. Gregg, Rice Station and Appomattox. He served as Corporal and Commissary?Sergeant. He was mustered out at Norfolk, Va., and received his discharge at Springfield, Ill., December 16, 1865, after four years and four months of hard service. He was a valiant soldier, prompt in action and ever at his post of duty.
On his return home, Mr. Houghton turned his attention to farming. In Ashkum Township, March 3, 1868, he married Nancy E. Mellen, a daughter of William M. and Elvira (Bolster) Mellen, who are natives of Vermont. Mrs. Houghton is the second in a family of seven children, three sons and four daughters; she was born in Bennington County, Vt., and with her parents came to Illinois in 1857. At that time Mr. Mellen located on a farm near Joliet and followed agricultural pursuits until the year 1866, which witnessed his removal to Iroquois County. In 1887, he came to Gilman, where he and his wife still live, aged respectively seventy?seven and sixty?nine years. They are consistent members of the Methodist Episcopal Church and are highly regarded for their sterling worth. Mr. Mellen was an old?line Whig until the rise of the Republican party, to the principles of which he has since adhered.
Having farmed successfully in Kankakee County until 1874, Mr. Houghton came to Gilman and opened a fancy grocery and notion store; which he continued for some three years. He then returned to agricultural pursuits, which line he followed until 1882, when he started a meat?market in Gilman, in which business he has since continued. After about a year he took as a partner his brother-in?law, William S. Mellen. In 1886 they started a ranch market and in each do a thriving business. In addition, Mr. Houghton is interested in a dredge ditcher. He is recognized as a successful business man and is a leader in all that pertains to the best interests of society. Politically, he is a Republican but has never been an office?seeker. He is now serving his second year on the School Board and has always been a stanch supporter of educational measures. Socially, he belongs to Gilman Post No. 186, G. A. R., and to Camp No. 524, M. W. A. Both he and his wife belong to the Methodist Episcopal Church, in all the work of which they are active workers and are highly valued. He is a Trustee and Steward and is also the Superintendent of the Sunday?school. They have but one son, William L., who assists his father in his business most ably.
WILLIAM W. GILBERT, dealer in grain and lumber and a coal dealer of Danforth, Ill., was born at Philadelphia, Pa., on the 29th of January, 1841. He is a son of William Gilbert, who was born in Maryland, and is of English descent. In Dover; Del., the father was married to Susan Galley, who was born in Delaware, though of Irish ancestry. He was a man of superior education, and was a teacher in the Philadelphia schools for many years, or until the time of his death, which occurred in 1849. His wife died when the subject of this sketch was an infant.
William W. Gilbert spent his youth mainly in Delaware, where he was reared by an aunt. He attended the public schools, but has been mostly self?educated since arriving at mature years. At the age of sixteen he went aboard a ship as cabin boy, and spent from six to seven years before the mast. During the first part of his career on the Atlantic, he shipped in a coasting?vessel which sailed north in the summer months and south during the winter. Later, he visited many of the ports in the Old World, among them Liverpool, London, Cardiff (Wales), Naples, Messina, Palermo, and various other seaport towns. In the year 1864, he gave up the sea and came West to Buffalo. He then made a few trips on the Lakes and went to Chicago. From there he went to Danforth, where he arrived in July, 1864. He there engaged in the Government employ, and in November of that year went to Little Rock, Ark., remaining in the same employ until June, 1865. He returned to Danforth, Iroquois County,and obtained employment with George W. Danforth, who was largely interested in real estate. After being with him for about two years, he next entered the service of Henry & Alman, who kept a general store at Danforth he remained with them until 1871, and then purchased a grain and lumber business, in which he has been actively engaged since. At the time of his purchase, the business was but a small part of what it is to?day, only doing about one?tenth the trade he now carries on. He has built up an immense business through his enterprise and wise business investments. Mr. Gilbert commenced life a poor man, empty?handed and without a dollar, and has, by his own labor and industry, accumulated a large estate and a fine business. He is now one of the substantial and progressive citizens of this county. In addition to his other interests, he owns a section of land in one body and a quarter?section in another farm, all valuable and well?improved property, and also owns a fine residence property in Danforth and another in Kankakee. When Mr. Gilbert purchased the grain business in his town, there was a small elevator; this he rebuilt and enlarged until it has a capacity of fifty thousand bushels, and is one of the best of its kind. He also has a large warehouse and office in connection with his lumber yard.
Mr. Gilbert was married to Anna Foster on the 22d of February, 1871. Mrs. Gilbert was born and reared in Lewisberry, Pa., and is the daughter of John Foster. To our worthy subject and his wife have been born four children: Arthur H., who assists his father in the business; Jessie, James Russell and Lemuel, who still remain with their parents. They also lost their eldest daughter, Carrie, who died at the age of six, and one son, Leslie, who died when two years of age.
The first Presidential ballot of our subject was cast for Gen. George B. McClellan, and every nominee of the Democratic party for President leas received his support. In local politics, he is independent, casting his vote for the man whom lie considers best qualified for the position, regardless of politics. He has never aspired to official positions, though he was once induced to serve as President of the Village Board, the duties of which position he discharged acceptably, and is now Mayor of Danforth. Mr. Gilbert is truly one of America's self?made men, and has bravely and nobly met and conquered the disappointments and discouragements of life, and well merits the success he has achieved.
HENRY SALMON, one of the self?made men who is engaged in farming on section 9, Ash Grove Township, was born in Westphalia, Germany, August 4, 1860, and is one of a large family of children, whose parents were Henry S. and Mary (Wilke) Salmon. His father was a carpenter by trade. In the fall of 1866, he bade good?bye to his old home, and with his family sailed from Bremen to New Orleans, where they arrived after a voyage of nearly thirteen weeks. The family then went up the Mississippi River to Cairo, Ill., and on to Monee and Lake County, Ind., where for two years the father of our subject carried on carpentering. He then went to Will County, III., where he rented a farm. His death occurred on the 22d of September, 1875. His widow is still living, at the age of sixty?four years, and makes her home with one of her grandchildren in Ash Grove Township. In politics he was a Republican, and in religious belief was a Lutheran. He proved himself a valued citizen of the community, and had the high regard of all. Although he came to this country empty?handed, he was a man of energy and perseverance, and won a comfortable competence.
The eight children in the Salmon family are as follows: Annie, now the wife of D. Meyer, of Will County, Ill.; Johanna, wife of Fred Hasselbing, a resident of Jasper County, Ind.; Rieke, wife of Nicholas Casel, of Chicago; Augusta, who became the wife of Otto Hardekopf, who died in 1886, in Ash Grove Township, May 5, 1891; Lena, wife of Nicholas Feiler, of Chicago; Herman and Henry, twins; and Louisa, wife of Gus Brutlach, of Ash Grove Township.
The subject of this sketch was a lad of six summers, when, with his parents, he crossed the briny deep. The dawn of his boyhood and youth were quietly passed in Will County, and his early education acquired in the district schools, was supplemented by a course in a private school. He came to Iroquois County at the age of fourteen and a-half years with the family, and on his father's death he began to earn his own livelihood, working as a farm hand. He then operated eighty acres of land, purchased by his father. He now owns an eighty?acre tract, and in addition operates forty acres of land.
Mr. Salmon has led a busy and useful life, and manifests a commendable interest in public affairs. He is a member of St. Paul's Lutheran Church of Woodworth, and in politics has been a stanch adherent of Republican principles since he cast his first Presidential vote for James G. Blame in 1884. He has often been a delegate to the conventions of his party, and for three years served as School Director.
In April, 1889, in Ash Grove Township, Mr. Salmon was united in marriage with Miss Matilda Munstermann, daughter of Christ Munstermann, whose sketch appears elsewhere in this work. Their union has been blessed with two sons: Henry, born April 1, 1890; and William H., born September 20, 1892. Mr. Salmon is a wide?awake and enterprising young business man, intelligent and well informed, and his property has been acquired by his own honest industry.
JOHN CROUCH, a well?to?do and highly respected farmer and stock?raiser of Concord Township, residing on section 8, is a native of the Buckeye State. His birth occurred in Coshocton County on the 22d of January, 1838, and he is a son of William and Sarah (Lyons) Crouch. His parents were both natives of Ohio, the father born in Jefferson County, and the mother in Guernsey County. They are now residents of Iroquois. The paternal grandfather of our subject, Robert Crouch, died when John was quite small. William Crouch engaged in farming in Coshocton County until 1880, when he came to this county, locating in the village of Iroquois, where he is now living retired. He owns considerable land in Concord Township.
Mr. Couch, whose name heads this record, spent his boyhood days quietly upon his father's farm. Through the winter seasons be attended the common schools, where he acquired a good English education, and in the summer months he worked in the fields as soon as be was old enough to handle the plow. He remained under the parental roof until his marriage, which occurred when he was about twenty?eight years of age. On the 6th of November, 1866, be was joined in wedlock with Miss N. E. Carroll, a native of Coshocton County, Ohio, born October 20, 1843. Two children were born to them but they both died in infancy.
At the time of his marriage, Mr. Crouch's possessions consisted of two horses, two cows, six hogs, fifty head of sheep and a few farming implements. He engaged in the operation of rented land in his native State until 1869, when he removed to Piatt County, Ill. He there again rented land, and engaged in farming until 1870, when be came to Iroquois County. During the first winter, he lived in a log cabin. He then removed to a farm near the village of Iroquois, where he made his home for ten years. In 1874 he purchased his present home, consisting of eighty acres of wild prairie land and twenty acres of timber. He soon began to cultivate and improve it, and the same year erected a dwelling, to which he made extensive additions in 1881, when he moved his family to that place. He now owns a well?improved farm. The land is under a high state of cultivation and is well tiled. There are substantial buildings, such as are found on a model farm, and a fine bearing orchard is numbered among the other excellent improvements. In connection with general farming, Mr. Crouch is engaged in stock?raising, making a specialty of the breeding of Shropshire sheep. He has been very successful in this work and has some fine sheep upon his farm.
In his political affiliations, Mr. Crouch has been a supporter of the Democracy since be cast his first Presidential vote for Stephen A. Douglas in 1860. He served as School Director for two years, but resigned before the expiration of his term of office. He is now serving his tenth term as Trustee, and for three years he filled the position of Road Commissioner with credit to himself and to the satisfaction of his constituents. The prompt and able manner in which he discharged his duties led to his re?election and won him high commendation. Socially, he is a member of the Masonic fraternity, having been connected with the Blue Lodge of Iroquois for twelve years. Himself and wife have long been active workers in and faithful members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, in which he serves as Trustee. His wife is a worker in the Sunday?school. Their well?spent lives and their many excellencies of character have won for them high regard, and they are numbered among the county's best citizens.
REV. HELLWIG STAEHLING is an honored minister of the Lutheran Church, and now resides at Danforth, where he is pastor in the church of that denomination. He is a native of Germany, and was born in Hessen on the 24th of May, 1859. He is a son of Prof. George Staehling, who was born in the same province of the Fatherland. The father had the advantages of a superior education and was a teacher for many years. He married in Germany Emelia Clasing, who was born in Hanover. Prof. Staehling taught in his native land for a number of years, and in 1887 emigrated to the New World, locating at Waverly, Iowa, where he is now a teacher in German and music. To the Professor and his wife were born five sons and four daughters. The eldest, Rev. Frederick Henry, is a minister in the Lutheran Church at Somonauk, De Kalb County, Ill.; Rev. Frederick William, a minister of the same church, is now retired from active pastoral duties on account of poor health; Rev. Johannes Otto is located at Manson, Iowa; William is a theological student at Dubuque, Iowa; and our subject. The daughters are Maria, who is the wife of Prof. Otto Kraushaar, a teacher in the college at Waverly, Iowa; Ida is the wife of Prof. Johannes Fritschel, also of the same college; Elizabeth, wife of Prof. Herman Kuhlmann, teacher of the same school; and Dora, who is a young lady still at home with her parents.
Rev. Hellwig Staehling spent his early years in his native land and received a thorough education in the schools and a full literary course in a college, supplemented by about two years in a theological seminary. His theological course was completed at the Lutheran Seminary, at Mendota, La Salle County. He was graduated from that institution in the Class of '75, and was ordained a minister of the Lutheran Church. He first assisted the minister at Gilman, but in 1816 received a call from the Melvin Church, which he accepted, locating there in the spring of that year. He was the able and devoted pastor of that church and people for the succeeding ten years. At the time of his call to Melvin, the church was very much run down, and by his earnest efforts and zeal to built up a large congregation and established the church on a good foundation. He also established Anchor, McLean County, whose numbers were greatly increased during his pastorate: During his ministry, Rev. Staehling has had a number of churches under his charge, among them Sibley, Germantown, Chatsworth and Roberts. At each of these places be has built up large congregations and has aided very materially in the growth of the work. At one time he had six congregations under his charge, for whom his labors were very earnest and arduous. In 1886, Rev. Mr. Staehling accepted a call to the pastorate at Danforth. The church was established and had a fair number of members. Since coming here he has built a schoolhouse and has otherwise strengthened the church. He has also established a church at La Hogue, and now supplies the two pulpits. Among his people he is highly esteemed and greatly beloved, as he well deserves. He is a faithful pastor and a conscientious advisor of his congregation.
At Melvin, on the 24th of August, 1876, Rev. Mr. Staehling was united in holy wedlock with Miss Augusta Gunther, who is a native of Illinois, her birth having occurred at Chatsworth. There she passed her girlhood and was educated in both the English and German languages. She is a daughter of Christian H. Gunther, who was born in the Fatherland, and is now retired. from active business and makes his home in Chicago. Rev. Mr. Staehling and his wife have a family of five children, as follows: Maria Emelia, Karl Christian, Henry Ferdinand, Edward Hellwig and Frederick George. These children are all receiving the advantages of a first?class education and good religious training.
For seventeen years Rev. Mr. Staehling has been a faithful minister, and has conscientiously done all in his power to uplift and better humanity. He has won the love and respect of all with whom he has come in contact and is one of the leading and representative ministers of the denomination to which he belongs. It is a fact well worthy of notice that his family is a most remarkable one, for of five sons, four are now ministers of the gospel, while the fifth one is also preparing himself for the same position; and of his four sisters, the three who are married are the wives of distinguished professors.
ALEXANDER KISKADDEN, a retired farmer of Gilman, was born in Madison County, Ohio, on the 5th of March, 1822. He is a son of James and Rebecca (Swing) Kiskadden. The father was born in Ireland in 1790, and when six years of age made the slow sailing voyage across the Atlantic to the United States, where they settled in Pennsylvania. He was reared to farm life and followed that calling for a livelihood. In Pennsylvania, to the year 1811, he married Miss Swing, who was born in Pennsylvania in 1794, her parents also having come to the United States from Ireland. Her father was of Irish and her mother of Scotch descent. In 1814, the parents of our subject removed to Ohio, locating in Runs County, but some two or three years later went to Madison County, which was almost an unbroken forest at that time. Mr. Kiskadden cleared and improved several farms and endured many of the privations of pioneer life. Though he never sought office, he was always actively interested in politics and the advancement of the best interests of the State. Both he and his wife were members of the Methodist Episcopal Church. His death occurred in 1852 at his home in Clarks County, Ohio, whither he had moved. His wife survived him nearly thirty years and died at the home of our subject in Gilman. In their family were ten children, four sons and six daughters.
The subject of this sketch is the fifth child of his father's family. He was reared on a heavily timbered farm and was thus early inured to hard work and hardships. When about twenty years of age he started out in life for himself. He was wedded to Elizabeth Williams in Upper Sandusky, on the 14th of August, 1849. She is a native of Richland County, Ohio, where her birth occurred August 14, 1825. She is the daughter of Amos and Mary (Cannon) Williams. Mr. Williams was born in Richland County, while his wife was a native of Maryland. The grandfather of Mrs. Kiskadden was born in Pennsylvania and was among the early pioneers of Ohio. Her grandfather Cannon was a pioneer emigrant from Maryland to Harrison County, Ohio, and the original Cannon farm is still in the possession of his descendants. Mr. and Mrs. Williams were married in Ohio and spent their lives on a farm. Both were life?long members of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Her father died aged thirty?two and her mother at the age of forty?seven. He was a farmer by occupation and also ran a mill. While engaged in working on the dam he got wet, which resulted in a cold, and death followed. Mrs. Kiskadden is one of four children, one son and three daughters, of whom she and her sister, Mrs. Mary A. Barringer, are the only ones living.
The first business Mr. Kiskadden engaged in was that of teaching school, which he did for some eight years, commencing at the early age of seventeen. In 1848 he engaged with a partner in the drug business in Upper Sandusky, continuing that for several years, and then added dry goods and groceries. He merchandised for some ten years and in 1861 came West and was salesman in Leavenworth, Denver, and Virginia City, Idaho. Returning to Ohio in 1864, he dealt in sheep and wool for about a year. He then removed to Lake County, Ind., where he farmed until 1868, when he came to Iroquois County, Ill. The traveler of to?day can hardly imagine the condition of the county at that time. The work of improvement was scarcely begun, most of the land was in its wild and primitive state, much of it being an unbroken swamp. Since that day all has changed. Waving fields of grain now greet the eye in every direction. The land has been wonderfully improved by judicious draining, and the country is inhabited by a prosperous and educated people, who are justly proud of the result of their toil and enterprise. Mr. Kiskadden did much for the good and advancement of the county, and though at first he purchased but forty acres of land, he added to his possessions until he had a fine farm of one hundred and sixty acres. This he improved and tiled. The first tile that was ever laid in the First Drainage District was laid on his farm. In 1887, he removed to Gilman, where his home has been since.
Politically, Mr. Kiskadden was a Whig before the war, and has since been a Republican. Both he and his wife are workers in the Methodist Episcopal Church, he being both Steward and Trustee of Trinity Church of Gilman. Mr. and Mrs. Kiskadden had a family of three children: Cooper W. died at the age of thirty?six unmarried. Mary Ella is the wife of Milford H. Brinkerhoff, dealer in musical instruments in Upper Sandusky, Ohio. He is one of the prominent young business men of that place and possesses excellent executive ability. He also deals in sewing?machines and employs seven commercial travelers. He is a shareholder in the Ohio Thresher Works, a stockholder in the First National Bank of Upper Sandusky, President of the Electric Light Company, and a stockholder in the Oil and Gas Fuel Company of the same city. It was Mr. Brinkerhoff who first suggested the idea of sinking a well for gas in that locality. As we see, be is one of the leading citizens of Upper Sandusky and is highly respected throughout that community. Dr. Harry S., the youngest child of Mr. and Mrs. Kiskadden, a graduate of the College of Physicians and Surgeons, of Chicago, is one of the leading surgeons of Detroit, Mich., and a specialist in the treatment of rectal diseases. He married Miss Sadie White and has two sons.
Mr. Kiskadden, whose name heads this record, assisted by his worthy wife, has acquired all he possesses by industry and good management. As to all, reverses came to them, but our subject by his determined will and strict attention to business, combined with economy and perseverance, overcame all obstacles, and has steadily worked his way upward, while through all his honor and integrity have remained unsullied. As the natural result, no one in this community ranks higher than he in the esteem of all. For twenty?four years Mr. and Mrs. Kiskadden have resided in Iroquois County, and by their consistent Christian lives have won a large circle of friends.
JOHN S. HARWOOD, who for sixteen years has been prominently identified with the business interests of Crescent City, claims Indiana as the State of his nativity, his birth having occurred in Wilmington, on the 21st of January, 1842. Jacob Harwood, his grandfather, was ono of the pioneers of that locality, and there Frederick Harwood, the father of our subject, was reared to manhood. He married Harriet Powell, a native of Indiana and a daughter of James Powell, also an early settler of the Hoosier State. After some years' residence in Indiana, Mr. Harwood came with his family to Illinois in 1843, locating in Spring Creek Township, Iroquois County, where he entered land from the Government and developed a farm. He experienced many hardships and privations which are incident to frontier life during the first few years of his residence here. He was a prominent and influential citizen and was widely and favorably known in the county. His death occurred about 1878. His wife survived him for some years, and dyed in Crescent City in April, 1892, at the advanced age of eighty.
J. S. Harwood is the fourth in order of birth in a family of five sons sand two daughters who grew to maturity. The eldest, James, is a resident farmer of this county; A. J. makes his home in Crescent City; Zurilda is the widow of Sidney Wilson, also a resident of Crescent City; John S. is the next younger; Mrs. Mary Meyers and Lewis C. also live in Crescent City; E. M. makes his home in the same place, and is an extensive poultry dealer of the county.
We now take up the personal history of the gentleman whose name heads this record. He acquired a good education, which has been greatly supplemented by the knowledge gained through experience and observation after arriving at man's estate. He began earning his livelihood as a farmer, and carried on agricultural pursuits for about ten years, when he came to Crescent City, where he has carried on business almost continuously since. He is now engaged in the mercantile business. Mr. Harwood possesses good judgment, is sagacious and far?seeing, and by his well?directed efforts and enterprise he has won success.
On the 8th of January, 1872, in Hermitage, Hickory County, Mo., Mr. Harwood was united in marriage with Miss Anna Johnston. The lady is a native of the Keystone State but was reared in Iowa and Missouri. Two children grace this union: Ina M. aids her father in the store and also in making out the Assessor's books; and Ernest is at home. They also lost two children in early childhood: Harry, who died at the age of four years; and Gertie, who died at the age of two.
Mr. Harwood exercises his right of franchise in support of the Democratic party, with which he has affiliated since he cast his first vote for George B. McClellan. He takes quite an active part in political affairs, and has been honored with a number of public offices of trust. He was elected and sowed as Justice of the Peace for fourteen consecutive years, and is at present holding that office. For twelve years he filled the position of Town Clerk. In 1864 he was appointed Postmaster of Crescent City, and held the office three years, then he resigned. He was then appointed to that position under President Cleveland, serving for, two and a?half years. In 1890 he was elected Coroner and has received the nomination for a second term. For four years he has served as Assessor, and the prompt and able manner in which he has discharged every public duty has won him high commendation. He has never yet failed of election when nominated for an office, a high proof of his popularity and the appreciation which his fellow?townsmen have of his worth and ability. "Esq. Harwood," as he is called, is a member of the Modern Woodmen, and is now Venerable Counsel of the Lodge. His wife and daughter hold membership with the Methodist Episcopal Church. During nearly his entire life, he has made his home in this county and is one of its honored and highly respected citizens. His life has been well and worthily passed and in many respects may serve as an example to others. He has steadily worked his way upward and now holds an enviable position in the esteem of his fellow?townsmen.
ROBERT CHANDLER ALLEN, editor and publisher of the Gilman Star, is a native of Williamsport, Ind., where he was born on the 17th of January, 1860. When but six months old lie was brought by his parents, James H. and Laura C. Allen, to Iroquois County. He became a resident of Gilman when about seven years old, and this place has been his home almost continuously since that time. After attending the Gilman schools, Mr. Allen spent three years in the State University at Champaign, and subsequently entered the Union College of Law in Chicago, from which he was graduated in 1882. Believing the West offered better opportunities to young men starting in life, be went to Huron, S. Dak., where he spent a year and a?half in the real?estate business.
Returning to Gilman, Mr. Allen purchased, in 1884, the Gilman Star, which was established in 1868 by Ed Rumley. Mr. Rumley had been conducting the Review at Onarga, and the citizens of Gilman offered him a bonus to come to Gilman and start a paper, which he did, giving the new paper the title of the Star. The Star has never changed its name or principles, it having been conducted as an independent paper, devoted to the welfare and best interests of this section. Having run the paper until 1880, Mr. Rumley sold it to J. J. Coon, who continued its publication until 1884, since which time Mr. Allen has been editor and publisher. The Star is a well?edited and interesting paper, and takes rank among the leading newspapers of the county.
Mr. Allen was united in marriage in Gilman on the 20th of September, 1886, with Miss Jennie, daughter of John and Kate Lash, of Onarga, of which village Mrs. Allen is a native. The home of our subject and his wife has been blessed with one child, James L. Mr. Allen is a member of the Masonic order, and his wife belongs to the Methodist Episcopal Church. They are estimable people and move in the best society that Gilman affords. Their home is the abode of hospitality and they number many friends in this vicinity.
JOHN O'NEILL is a leading farmer of Chebanse Township and owns a farm on section 11. He is a native of the Emerald Isle and was born in County Limerick on the 24th of June, 1835. He is a son of Lawrence and Nancy (Halpin) O'Neill, both of whom were also born in Ireland. The father with his family emigrated to the United States in 1849, first settling in the State of New York, in Orange County, where they resided a few years. In 1853, they came Westward and spent a few months in Milwaukee, and a couple of months in Chicago. From there they went to Monee, Ill., where they lived for about a year, when, coming to this county, they located in Chebanse Township. Mr. O'Neill and his sons worked upon the Illinois Central Railroad for two or three years. In 1856, the father pre?empted one hundred and sixty acres of land where his son now resides and settled upon the place about two years later. This was entirely uncultivated and he devoted himself to making a good and fertile farm of the same. He resided upon that property until his death, which occurred March 1, 1876. He was one of the honored pioneers, was an enterprising man, and helped very materially in the development of the county. His wife passed away several years previous to the death of her husband.
John O'Neill is the only son of a family of four children who grew to mature years. The eldest, Mary, is the wife of John Ryan, of Chicago; Johanna is the wife of Pat Reynolds, whose sketch appears in this volume; and Bridget is now deceased.
Our subject came to this country with his parents when a lad of fourteen years, grew to manhood in this county and remained with his father until the latter's death. After arriving at mature years he took charge of the farm and business and relieved his father of the care and anxiety attending the supervision and cultivation of a large farm. When younger he engaged in breaking prairie for the neighbors, and was quite active in the early development and settlement of the county. He is one of the honored pioneers and has seen the march of civilization and progress going steadily forward in this section. From a wilderness and almost limitless prairie, with scarcely a building upon it as far as the eye could reach in any direction, it has been transformed as the years have passed by to its present condition of cultivated land and comfortable farm houses, thriving villages and network of railroads.
February 9, 1869, Mr. O'Neill was united in the holy bonds of matrimony with Miss Bridget Fogerty, who was born in Ireland, April 15, 1847, and came when a child of two years to this country with her father, Edward Fogerty. He settled first in Wisconsin and there Mrs. O'Neill passed her girlhood days. By this union there are nine children living: Edward received a good education and is a successful teacher in this county. He has also taken a commercial course at the Bryant Stratton Commercial College; of Chicago, and just previous to taking up that course held a position in that city; Nellie is at home; Thomas assists his father upon the home farm; John P., Willis H., Anna, David, Lucy and Mary Catherine are still under the parental roof and are receiving good educations. Four children died in early childhood.
Since becoming a voter, Mr. O'Neill has affiliated with the Democratic party. He has never aspired to office but has given his time and attention to his farm and business interests. He is a friend to education and public schools. Mr. O'Neill and his family are members of the Clifton Catholic Church.
The farm of our subject, which consists of one hundred and sixty acres, is located just outside of the corporation limits of the town of Clifton and is all well improved and valuable property. He has erected upon it good buildings and a substantial residence, and his fertile fields yield to him a golden tribute for his years of care and cultivation. He has spent almost his entire life in this county and is esteemed as a man of upright character. The many friends whom he has made during his long residence in this portion of the county will be pleased to read this brief tribute to so worthy a man as John O'Neill.
JACOB H. HARE is a merchant and farmer of Pittwood, Martinton Township, and is the son of J. W. Hare, a native of the Keystone State, who was born March 20, 1808. His father, Witmer Hare, was born in Germany. The father removed from Pennsylvania to Ohio about the year 1817, settling in Stark County, then it wilderness. The grandfather was a mechanic and worked at cabinet?making. J. W. Hare grew to manhood and married Lydia Hommon, a resident of Stark County, and a native of Pennsylvania. After his marriage, he engaged in merchandising, carrying on a country stone for about five years. He then located on a farm, and for a few years engaged in agricultural pursuits. In the fall of 1848, he removed to Indiana., settling in Allen County, where he opened up a farm in what was then a wilderness. There he lived until 1885, when he sold his property and joined his son, our subject, in Iroquois County, where he resided until called away by death in November, 1889. During the last years of his life he was blind. His wife still survives him, a hale and Hearty lady of eighty?one years. She is now living with our subject.
Jacob H. Hare is the youngest of two children. His sister Barbara is the wife of George Hiser, who resides in Allen County, Ind. He grew to manhood on the farm, receiving good common?school advantages, and his education was completed at the Ft. Wayne Seminary. After completing his education he went on the road as a traveling salesman. This he did for about five years, traveling through Ohio, Indiana, Michigan and Iowa.
Mr. Hare was married at Lansing, Mich., on the 20th of February, 1862, to Miss Elizabeth C. Keeler, who was born in Ohio, and grew to womanhood in Hancock County. She was a daughter of Joseph Keeler, of that State. Mrs. Hare departed thin life on the 12th of July, 1882. Mr. Hare was again married, in the fall of 1883, this time to Miss Lou Brandenburg, a native of this State and county, who was here reared and educated. She is a daughter of Enoch and Elizabeth Brandenburg. Their home has been blessed with two children, Floyd J. and Fay C.
In 1863, Mr. Hare removed West to Illinois, and settled in Ford County, near Cabery, purchasing a piece of prairie land which he opened up, and on which he made many improvements, including buildings and fences. This land he farmed for several years, and then, having sold it, he removed to Melvin, where he engaged in the drug and grocery business for three years. He then clerked for some eight years for A. Y. Gould. During his residence at Melvin, he purchased a farm which was located in Middleport Township, in Iroquois County. To this he removed in 1883, and has since carried on farming here. He has a farm of eighty?two acres of well?cultivated land, on which is a good residence, two good barns and two artesian wells, which furnish abundance of water for all purposes. On his farm is also a fine young bearing orchard. In 1888, Mr. Hare bought out and established business at Pittwood, and has engaged in the mercantile line, carrying a fine stock of groceries, clothing and notions. He has an extensive and well?established trade in this locality. In 1889, he removed to the village and now devotes his time to his business here and his farming interests.
Mr. Hare is a Republican, in politics, though casting his first ballot for Stephen A. Douglas. He has since voted for the nominees and principles of the Republican party. He has held a number of local official positions of honor and trust, and has fulfilled the duties of each with fidelity and credit. For five consecutive years he served as Assessor of Rogers Township, Ford County, and for four years acted as Constable. He has always given his hearty support to public schools and the interests of general education, and has served as a member of the School Board. For about thirty years he has been a resident of Illinois, and in both Ford and Iroquois Counties is recognized as one of the most enterprising and public?spirited of their citizens. He is a man of sterling integrity, and has won for himself a wide circle of friends.
BENJAMIN FRANKLIN WELCH, the popular and widely?known host of the Welch Hotel, who has carried on business in this line in Sheldon since 1889, is a native of White County, Ind. He was born on. the 13th of October, 1856, and is a son of James and Priscilla (Simons) Welch. His father was a farmer by occupation and followed that business during the greater part of his life. About 1840, he removed to Indiana, and in the Hoosier State spent the remainder of his days. He was twice married and had a family of thirteen children, our subject being the youngest and the only child of the second union. His parents are both now deceased.
Our subject spent the days of his boyhood and youth quietly in his parents' home. He received his early education in the common schools and afterward entered the Monticello College, from which he graduated. He has been a resident of Sheldon since 1880, when, at the age of twenty-four years, he came to this place and embarked in the restaurant business, which he followed successfully. For about six years, enjoying an excellent patronage. He then determined to engage in other pursuits, and, selling out, he opened the Welch Hotel in 1889. He has since operated it and is doing a prosperous business. The hotel is very advantageously situated near the intersection of the Cincinnati, Chicago & St. Louis and the Toledo, Peoria & Warsaw Railroads, and is kept open day and night. It is a first?class hotel, complete in all its appointments, and has found favor with the traveling public.
The marriage of Mr. Welch was celebrated November 19, 1884, the lady of his choice being Miss Nellie N. Luckey, daughter of John and Rebecca Luckey, both of whom were natives of Illinois. By the union of the young couple have been born three children, two sons and a daughter, as follows: Etta May, Charles Ray and Herchal D., the baby of the home.
In his social relations, Mr. Welch is a member of Paragon Lodge No. 339, K. P., and his political sentiments accord with the principles of the Democracy. He takes an active interest in public affairs and is a progressive citizen who does all in his power to aid in the upbuilding of the community and the promotion of its worthy enterprises. He has now made his home in Sheldon for twelve years and is widely and favorably known, and it is with pleasure that we present to our readers this record of his life, which has been well and worthily spent.