Old Courthouse Museum
103 West Cherry Street
Watseka, IL 60970-1524
JAMES E. GREEN, a retired farmer residing in Ashkum, dates his residence in this county from 1866. He was born in Oxfordshire, England, on the 21st of December, 1835, and is a son of Thomas and Sarah (Elkington) Green, who were both born in the same shire. The father spent his entire life in England, and died there in 1869. His wife is still living, at the advanced age of eighty-two years.
The subject of this sketch is the only son of their family of four children who grew to mature years. His boyhood days were passed upon a farm, and he received school advantages only until ten years of age. His education has been almost wholly achieved since he arrived at man's estate. He left his home at the age of seventeen and went to the large manufacturing city of Birmingham, where he continued to live for about three and a-half years. Up to the time when he left the parental roof he had contributed of his earnings to the support of his father's family. Believing that the Western world afforded greater advantages for the advancement of a young man of enterprise, he accordingly, in the spring of 1856; bade adieu to his native country and took passage at Liverpool in an American vessel, the "William Tapscott." The voyage was of six weeks and three days' duration, the ship coming to anchor in New York Bay June 20th of that year. Our subject still continued Westward, going up the Hudson River to Albany, and thence by railroad and boat to Toledo. From there he went to Chicago and then to Woodford County, Ill., where he joined a brother-in-law. For the first season he worked at day labor on a farm, and continued in that way for several years. In 1863, he bought a team and rented land near Panola, Woodford County, which he farmed for two years. After that he purchased a small farm, which he carried on for about four years, when he sold out and removed to Iroquois County, purchasing land in Ashkum Township. This tract originally consisted of eighty acres of entirely uncultivated prairie land, and on this he settled and proceeded to develop his farm. At the end of twelve years he purchased a piece of land adjoining it, which consisted of forty acres, thus making in all a tract of one hundred and twenty acres, which is now well improved and yields abundant harvests. On this he erected good buildings and continued to live until the spring of 1891, when he rented the farm and removed to the village of Ashkum. In that place he purchased residence property and has now retired from the active labors of farm life, enjoying the rest he has earned by his years of toil.
In Warwickshire, England, Mr. Green was united in marriage to Miss Ann Maria Graves, a daughter of Samuel Graves. The wedding ceremony was performed in April, 1856. Both Mrs. Green and her father were natives of England. By her marriage, Mrs. Green became the mother of eight children: Loretta E. is the wife of L. H. Hull, of this county; William E. is a farmer of Iroquois County; Albert Henry is a resident of Ashkum; Thomas E. is a farmer of Holt County, Mo.; Walter W. is still at home; Arthur E. carries on farming; Lucy Viola and Charles Alvin are still at home. Mrs. Green was called home in June, 1884.
In 1886, Mr. Green returned to England and visited the scenes of his youth, spending about three months with his friends and relatives. He had a most enjoyable trip and a pleasant voyage both goings and coming. He commenced life in this State with no capital, but on the contrary was about $35 in debt. He has, through his own well-directed efforts and business ability, become one of the influential, prominent and prosperous farmers of this region, and has accumulated a valuable property and a good competence Since he has become a voter, Mr. Green has been a supporter of the Republican party, his first ballot having been cast for Hon. James A. Garfield. He has never asked for or accepted official position, but has attended strictly to his business affairs. He is known far and wide as a man of upright character and sterling worth, and it is a pleasure to add this brief sketch of an honored citizen and early settler to this volume.
POTTER AUSTIN, a well-known agriculturist residing on section 2, Lovejoy Township, has for about half a century made his home in Iroquois County. He is numbered among its honored pioneers and valued citizens, for be has been prominently identified with its upbuilding and advancement. A native of Seneca County, N. Y., he was born on the 22d of November, 1829. His father, Silas Austin, was born in the Empire State, followed farming, and died many years ago. His wife, who bore the maiden name of Deborah Lewis, died when Potter was a mere child. Their family numbered three children, but the two daughters are now deceased.
The subject of this sketch when only six years of age was taken to Michigan by Sidney Reynolds, with whom he made his home until the age of twenty-one years. He was educated in the common schools, but the course was very limited and after attaining his majority he attended school for three months. He commenced at the bottom round of the ladder of life and worked his way upward, and by honest toil and determined effort he has achieved success. In early life, he was employed as a farm hand at $12 per month. In the fall of 1849, he went to the lead mines of Wisconsin, where he sought and obtained employment, there remaining until the autumn of 1850, when he went to the pineries in the northwestern part of the State. In that locality, he spent the winter of 1851, after which he returned to Michigan and then went to New York to visit his friends, remaining away for eighteen months. It was in March, 1853, that Mr. Austin came to Illinois and cast his lot with the early settlers of Iroquois County. He purchased a small and unbroken tract of one hundred and sixty acres at $6.75 per acre, and a small house thereon constituted the only improvement. He then turned his attention to agricultural pursuits, which he has since followed.
Mr. Austin wedded Miss Rachel Rothgeb, daughter of George and Anna (Hizen) Rothgeb. Their union was celebrated March 18, 1855, and unto them has been born a family of six children, three sons and three daughters, of whom three are yet living: George is connected with the gas and electric supply-house at No. 32 Market Street, Chicago; Annie is the wife of J. D. Rothgeb, a general merchant of Wellington, and Lloyd is yet at home. Those deceased are: Frank, who died at the age of twenty-two years; he was a young man of great business enterprise and ability, and at the time of his death was one of the leading farmers and stock buyers of the county. An honor to his parents, he is sadly missed in the family circle, and many friends also mourn his death. Mary died at the age of six summers, and Martha Lee died at the age of one year and eight months. The mother of this family was born in Columbiana County, Ohio, December 28, 1833, and was only five years old when she became a resident of Illinois. Her parents had emigrated from Virginia to Ohio, but returned to the former State before coming to Illinois. Her education was acquired in the common schools. She is a kind and genial lady, who is ever ready to extend a warm welcome to her many friends, and her home is the abode of hospitality. She holds membership with the Woman's Christian Temperance Union.
The home of Mr. and Mrs. Austin is a beautiful country residence situated in the midst of a fine farm of three hundred acres of valuable land. Mr. Austin is recognized as one of the leading and representative farmers of the community. His first Presidential vote was cast for William Henry Harrison, but he is now a stanch supporter of the Democracy. He has held the office of Supervisor for three terms, was Assessor for six years and Clerk and Treasurer of the Board of Highway Commissioners for about the same period. He has been School Trustee, is now School Treasurer of Lovejoy Township, and has held this office for the long period of thirty-one consecutive years, from 1861 until 1892. He may well be proud of this record, for it is doubtful if any in the State have so long served as School Treasurer. He is alike true to every public and private trust and has the entire confidence of his friends and those with whom he has been brought in contact. He is a self-made man and his prosperity is the well-deserved reward of his own labors.
EUSEBIUS NILSON, who is engaged in general farming on section 3, is one of the leading citizens of Milford Township, being prominently connected with several lines of business. He was born on the 10th of August, 1850, on his father's farm in this township and is a representative of one of the early families. His parents, Robert and Susan L. (Wagner) Nilson, are represented in the sketch of Sidney Nilson.
A glance backward at the boyhood of Eusebius shows him a farmer lad working in the fields during the summer months, while in the winter seasons he conned his lessons in the district schools of the neighborhood. When he had attained to mature years he was united in marriage with Miss Catherine B. Monnett, daughter of John and Mary (Saylor) Monnett, both of whom were natives of Ohio. The union of the young couple was celebrated on the 4th of May, 1887, and two children have come to brighten their home, both boys: Frederick William, the elder, was born February 2, 1889; and Dean Sidney opened his eyes to the light of day August 9, 1891. Mrs. Nilson is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church of Milford.
Mr. Nilson is the owner of a fine farm comprising two hundred and thirty acres of arable land which he has placed under a high state of cultivation. It is also improved with good buildings; the land is divided into fields of convenient size by well-kept fences and all modern appointments go to make this one of the model farms of Milford Township. The highly cultivated land yields to him a golden tribute in return for his care and labor. In connection with farming, Mr. Nilson owns and operates a sawmill and a tile factory. His factory is located about two and a-half miles north of Milford, on the Chicago & Eastern Illinois Railroad. The finest quality of clay is used and a smooth tile is manufactured. From the beginning his sales have constantly increased and he is now doing a good business, the excellent quality of the tile securing him a liberal patronage. This is a leading industry of the township.
Mr. Nilson exercises his right of franchise in support of Democratic principles, but he has never been a politician in the sense of office-seeking, preferring to devote his entire time to his business interests, which are proving to him a profitable investment. He is a man of good business ability, sagacious and far-sighted, and by his systematic and methodical habits and fair and honest dealing he has acquired a competence which classes him among Milford Township's substantial citizens. He is recognized as a man of sterling worth, and during his long residence in the community his fellow-townsmen have had ample proof of his straightforwardness in all things.
JOHN McGILVRAY, a retired farmer now residing in Ashkum, is a native of Canada. His birth occurred on the 28th of April, 1837, in Vaughn, York County. He is a son of John and Catherine (McNevin) McGilvray. Both parents are natives of Scotland. The father emigrated to the New World about the year 1830 and settled in Canada, then a vast wilderness, full of Indians and wild animals. He settled in the village of Richmond Hill, and engaged at his trade of shoemaking. He afterward moved to a farm in King Township, but still kept up his trade. He reared his family and spent his life there, dying when quite a young man in 1841. The mother survived her husband about twenty-three years.
John McGilvray is the second of a family of four children, three of whom grew to mature years: Isabella is the wife of Rev. Josiah Brown, a minister of the Baptist Church, now located at Chenoa, Ill; and Alexander, who has lived in California for twenty years is an extensive contractor and builder.
Our subject grew to manhood in Canada, receiving ordinary school privileges. He In as largely educated himself and is a man of wide reading and information. His early life was passed on a farm, where he engaged in the usual pursuits of farmer boys. Mr. McGilvray led to the marriage altar Miss Margaret McGilvray, on the 23d of September, 1863. She is a daughter of Laughlin McGilvray, of Vaughn Township, York County, Canada, who was a native of Scotland. Six children have been born to our subject and his wife: John A. is engaged in the hardware business at Ashkum; Daniel H., a graduate of the Valparaiso Normal School of Indiana, is a prosperous business man at Harvey, Ill.; Sarah, a successful teacher in literature and music, lives at home; Archie is now taking a course at the Valparaiso Normal School; Josiah Benjamin is at home; and Maggie May is also under the parental roof. The children have all received the best educational advantages and the two younger are now attending the Ashkum schools.
After his marriage, Mr. McGilvray removed to Michigan and located at Marquette, on Lake Superior. He was engaged in contract work at that point for about one year. In 1864, coming to Illinois he settled on a farm in La Salle County, which he rented for about three years. He came to Iroquois County, where he purchased a tract of eighty acres of wild prairie land. On this he located and opened up a farm. From time to time he added adjoining land to his original purchase until he was in the possession of over five hundred acres of well-cultivated and valuable land. He has a good residence, barns and outbuildings, a wind-pump and the latest improved machinery for carrying on the work of the farm. Mr. McGilvray commenced in life in Illinois a poor man, and has by his own labor and industry accumulated a fortune. He has a valuable farm and a good home and has today one of the enterprising, thrifty and progressive farmers. In 1888, he removed to the village of Ashkum, where he now resides, and where he is now erecting a fine large residence.
Our subject is in sympathy with the Democratic party and cast his first ballot at a Presidential election for Hon. Samuel J. Tilden. Mr. McGilvray has never aspired to official positions, but has chosen to devote his true and energy to his business. In all educational and local affairs he takes an active part, and is ever a supporter of measures intending to advance the interests of the community in which he dwells. Mrs. McGilvray, one son and a daughter are consistent members of the Baptist Church. Our subject has done much in the upbuilding and development of the county and has won the esteem and confidence of all his fellow-citizens by his life of integrity and honor. He is a numbered among the leading and influential citizens and his family is one of prominence and is well received in social circles.
CHARLES C. DONNELLY, a leading farmer of Ashkum Township, makes his home on section 15. He is a native of the Empire State, his birth having occurred in Ontario County, on the 27th of June, 1850. He is a son of Robert and Sarah (Clark) Donnelly, both natives of the Emerald Isle and who resided there until their marriage. In 1848, the father decided to make his home in the New World and accordingly emigrated in that year, settling in Ontario County, N. Y., where he resided for a number of years. In 1867, he removed Westward to Illinois and settled on land where his son now resides, situated in Iroquois County. Mr. Donnelly was once of the first to locate on this broad prairie, where he purchased one hundred and seventy-four acres of good arable land, which was entirely unimproved. At first he built a small house for his family and started to work in earnest to open up his farm. By years of industry and perseverance he succeeded in his endeavor and made of his property one of the finest of the county. He was one of the honored pioneers of this section, and his death occurred October 9, 1892. His remains were interred in the Ashkum cemetery. His wife departed this life in May, 1880, and her loss was deeply felt by her many friends. She was a faithful wife and mother, and by her lovable and pleasant ways made many friends. Mr. Donnelly is a man of upright character and integrity and is held in the highest esteem by all who have had the good fortune to come in contact with him either in a social or business way.
Charles Donnelly is the elder of two brothers. Frank is married and lives in Chicago, where he is a contractor and builder. Our subject passed his boyhood days in the usual manner of farmer lads and had good school advantages, supplementing his course in the district schools by several terms' attendance at the Chicago High School. After completing his studies he learned the carpenter's trade in that city, and soon after went into the service of the Chicago Fire Department. He remained with the fire company for about twelve years, trying heroically, as did all in the service, to extinguish flames and save property in the great fire of 1871 and also in that of 1874.
On the 24th of December, 1873, Mr. Donnelly was united in marriage in Chicago to Miss Jennie Simpson, who was born in Canada and was reared and educated in Chicago. Her father, James Simpson, was a native of England. By her marriage, Mrs. Donnelly has become the mother of six children, three sons and three daughters: Robert, Charles, Frank, Agnes, Elizabeth and Sarah. These children are all receiving good educational advantages.
In 1883, Mr. Donnelly returned to this county and took charge of the farm and business, buying out his brother's interest in the homestead. He has greatly improved the property, built a commodious barn and has done considerable tiling. This is considered to be a most valuable piece of farm land, and is situated about half way between Clifton and Ashkum. Since becoming a voter, Mr. Donnelly has given his support to the Republican party, his first ballot being cast for Gen. U. S. Grant. He has never been an office-seeker in any sense of the term, but has always given his entire attention to his business affairs. Public schools and other institutions of learning, as well as all measures for the advancement of the people both intellectually, socially and morally, find in him a stanch friend and supporter. Mrs. Donnelly is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church of Clifton. Socially, he holds membership within the Masonic fraternity, belonging to the Knight Templar Order. He is a member of Hesperia Lodge No. 411, and Chicago Commandery No. 19, K. T., of Chicago. He is widely and favorably known throughout this section, and is held in high regard for his many qualities of worth. He is a man of varied reading and extensive information, and keeps well posted on all subjects of national and general importance.
ADOLPHUS J. CARTER, a prominent farmer Ashkum Township, resides on section 22. He was born in St. Lawrence County, in the town of Champion, on the 9th of August, 1833. He is a son of Samuel O. and Lorana (Thornton) Carter. The father was a native of one of the New England States, and his father, Joel Carter, was a native of Connecticut. Three brothers of the Carter family came from England in the "Mayflower" in 1620. The father of our subject was reared and educated in the Empire State and was there married. His wife was a native of Vermont and a daughter of John Thornton, who was born in Rhode Island and was a soldier in the War of 1812. After his marriage, Mr. Carter engaged in agricultural pursuits in St. Lawrence County for a number of years. He removed to Illinois in 1836, at which time the whole State was a wilderness and had few inhabitants. He made a settlement in La Salle County, where he pre-empted land and opened up a farm. He afterward added to his original tract by purchase. In 1849, Mr. Carter went overland to California and spent about nine years on the Pacific Slope, engaged in mining, in which he was quite successful. In February, 1858, he returned to Illinois and again resumed agricultural pursuits. The remaining years of his life were spent at that homestead, and there he was called to his final rest about the 21st of November, 1887. His estimable wife did not long survive him and died ten weeks later. There is still in the possession of the family a Bible, which was brought over in the "Mayflower."
Adolphus Carter is the eldest of four brothers who grew to mature years; the next younger, Herman, is a farmer of La Salle County; Joel resides on the old homestead; and the youngest, John, was a soldier of the late war, and died of typhoid fever at Corinth, when in the service of his country. His death occurred in May, 1862, when he was in his twenty-second year. Our subject brought his remains home for interment.
The early years of Adolphus were spent in the usual farm routine - work, play and school alternating. He received such educational advantages as the schools of that early day afforded, and he continued working for his father until his majority he then started out for himself, rented a farm, and engaged in agricultural pursuits for several years. After his father had retired from active life, he and a brother rented the old homestead and ran it for seven years. In 1868, Mr. Carter came to Iroquois County, and in April of that year purchased a tract of one hundred and sixty acres of unimproved prairie land from the Illinois Central Railroad Company. On this property he located and cleared and opened up a farm. His place is well cultivated and developed, and on it he has erected a substantial and pleasant residence, good stables and other farm buildings. It is located only a mile and a half from Ashkum and is a valuable piece of property.
In La Salle County, on the 17th of December, 1867, were united the destinies of Mr. Carter and Mrs. Mary Ann Doan, a widow, and a daughter of Highland Jacobs, who died when Mrs. Carter was an infant. Her mother survives, at the advanced age of eighty-five years. Mr. and Mrs. Carter had two children: Arthur Wells, who was called to the better world at the age of nineteen years on the 8th of July, 1889; and Jennie Belle, who is taking a literary course of study at the Grand Prairie Seminary at Onarga. She was a teacher for four terms, and has always been a very close student. She received a free tuition for the year on account of superior scholarship, and is a young lady of superior attainments and ability.
Mr. Carter uses his right of franchise in support of the Republican party, but for many years was an advocate of the Democracy, his first ballot having been cast for James Buchanan. Mr. Carter unquestionably possesses the ability to fill local official positions, but has ever declined to serve in such, as he wished to give his whole and exclusive attention to his business affairs. He is widely and favorably known as a man possessing the best of qualities, and during his long residence in this State and county has made a host of friends.
Only from the accounts of a few survivors of that period can we picture the hardships of cutting roads through forests, fording rivers, crossing swamps, and plowing through sand and mud, often to the hub on the wheels; and when, after weeks and sometimes months of traveling, their destination was reached, a log cabin had to be erected, and the land had to be cleared. Then commenced a series of privations and hardships, of which the journey thither had been but a prelude. Means of communication with the outside world were very inefficient, and as traveling was so difficult, they were thus forced to struggle along unaided, save by such assistance as they could render one another. After arriving in Illinois, Mr. Peckens located in Du Page County. For a time he followed the occupation of farming, and later became a veterinary surgeon. It was in Will County that he met and married Miss Snyder. In 1867, he removed to Gilman, but spent his last days in Springfield, where he died at the age of seventy-three. His wife is still living at Springfield.
Our subject is the eldest of six children, of whom five, two sons and three daughters, are still living. Samuel Nelson, one of the sons, is a conductor on the Illinois Central Railroad. Since eleven years of age, Mr. Peckens, the subject of this sketch, has made his own way in the world. For some four years he served in clerkships at Gilman. He had advanced rapidly while in school, and after he commenced clerking acquired a good business education. He then began cleaning engines in the round house at Gilman, but after a few weeks, took a position as fireman on the old Gilman, Clinton & Springfield Railroad. Continuing a short time at that occupation, he was next employed at hostler work making up and putting away trains, in which he was engaged for four years. Subsequently he was similarly employed on the Chicago, Paducah & Southwestern for eight months, and then went as fireman on the Rock Island Railroad. Soon a strike came on among the firemen, and, preferring not to take part in it, he left his position and became book-keeper, city salesman and traveling agent for L. E. Newman & Co., commission men of Chicago, in whose employ he remained for two years. Again he returned to the railroad, working for the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad, for the Iron Mountain, and the Chicago Division of the Illinois Central. June 29, 1879, he came to the Springfield Division of the Illinois Central as brakeman, and on the 12th of September of that year took charge of a freight train, which position he has since held. Altogether he has been in the railroad service for a period of about twenty years, and, like most railroad men, he has accumulated considerable property. As his long connection with one company would indicate, he is thoroughly acquainted with his business, and is reliable and prompt in the discharge of duty.
Mr. Peckens belongs to the Order of Railway Conductors, and takes great interest in civic societies. He is a Knight Templar Mason, belonging to Gilman Lodge No. 591, A. F. & A. M.; Watseka Chapter No. 114, R. A. M.; Gibson Council No. 72; Mt. Olivet Commandery No. 38, K. P., of Paxton. He also belongs to the Modern Woodmen and to the Knights of the Maceabees. Mr. Peckens is a Democrat, but not an office-seeker.
LOUIS C. MISCH is numbered among the wide-awake and enterprising young business men of Milford, where he is engaged in general merchandising. He began operations in October, 1887, forming a partnership with John C. Miller. This connection was continued for three years, or until 1890, when Mr. Misch bought out his partner's interest, and has since been alone. He began business with a small stock, which he has steadily increased to meet the growing demands of his trade. He has now a well-equipped store, and is enjoying a liberal patronage, being regarded as one of the most successful merchants of Milford.
As our subject is widely and favorably known in this community, we feel assured that a record of his life will prove of interest to many of our readers. He was born in Milford, Ill., on the l7th of March, 1863, and is a son of August and Fredericka (Schultz) Misch, both of whom were natives of Germany. Having emigrated to this country, they located in Iroquois County, and the mother still makes her home in Milford. The father was called to his final rest in February, 1886. Unto that worthy couple were born seven children, of whom further mention is made in the sketch of William Misch, on another page of this work.
He of whom we write has spent almost his entire life in Iroquois County. The days of his boyhood and youth were here passed, and the public schools afforded him his educational advantages. He entered upon his business career, and received his business training, in the store of his brother William, there occupying a position as salesman for several years. During this time he became familiar with business customs and with the wants and wishes of the people, so that when he embarked in merchandising for himself he had a good fund of experience to aid him in his operations. He is now meeting with excellent success, and is enjoying a well-deserved prosperity he possesses energy and perseverance, and, by the exercise of correct business principles, has already gained a comfortable competence.
It was in 1889 that Mr. Misch led to the marriage altar Miss Disa McMillin, a sister of his brother William's wife. They have a little son about eighteen months old named Fred. In his political affiliations, Mr. Misch is a Republican, and socially is a member of Farmers' Lodge No. 253, I. O. O. F.
SAMUEL SHANNON, who is a representative farmer of Milford Township, was born in Ross County, Ohio, on the 12th of June, 1818, and is one of thirteen children. His parents, Thomas and Catherine (Witter) Shannon, were both natives of Pennsylvania, and in the Keystone State were reared and married. Shortly after their marriage, they left the East and emigrated to Ohio, where Mr. Shannon embarked in agricultural pursuits. Their children were all born in the Buckeye State, and in order of birth were as follows: John Joseph, Catherine, Sarah, Susan, Mary, Hester Ann, Sophira, Elizabeth, Nancy, Reuben, Wesley and Samuel. On the 4th of November, 1841, the parents removed to Indiana, where they resided for a number of years. The father was a soldier in the War of 1812. Both died in May, 1848.
We now take up the personal history of our subject, who was reared in the State of his nativity, and on the 16th of November, 1837, in Ohio, was married to Miss Mary N. Gallop, of Clermont County. After a short wedded life of a year, the lady was called to her final home on the 20th of November, 1838, at the age of twenty years, six months and twenty days. On the 4th of November, 1841, Mr. Shannon was joined in wedlock with Miss Sarah Ann Washburn, daughter of Cornelius and Elizabeth (Martin) Washburn, the former a native of Pennsylvania, and the latter of Kentucky.
Unto our subject and his wife have been born thirteen children, ten of whom are yet living: Reuben P. was born August 22, 1842. Mary Ann, born March 20, 1844, became the wife of Absolem Scott, July 28, 1865, and unto them were born two children, William and Samuel, but the latter died when about two years of age; Mr. Scott died in 1886, and his widow is now the wife of Elder L. M. Shinkle, a Christian preacher. William J., born March 19, 1846, enlisted in Company G, Forty-eighth Ohio Infantry, during the late war, and served for four years and nine months. He participated in the battles of Shiloh, Pittsburg Landing, the Red River expedition, and many other engagements, but escaped without a wound. He was married Februamy 12, 1873, to Ruth Joseph, by whom he has the following children, all living: Sarah, Mary, Inez, Winfield Scott, Edward, Samuel Bruff and Benjamin. Margaret E., born August 4, 1849, became the wife of Joseph Phillips, February 22, 1870, and they have two children, Hattie and George. Nancy J., born January 9, 1852, is the wife of Abraham L. Crampton, and by their union, which was celebrated January 11, 1871, they have four children. Nettie, Charles, Anna and Frank. Silas P. was born November 29, 1854; Thomas S., January 7, 1857; John W., January 15, 1859; Abraham Lincoln, July 24, 1861; Lear L., who was born December 16, 1863, is the wife of Elmer E. Shaw, and by their marriage, which occurred September 1, 1883, they have one daughter, Bertha; Benjamin F. was born September 8, 1866; Lydia C., July 18, 1871; and Edward Washburn December 9, 1873.
In May, 1887, Mr. Shannon, whose name heads this sketch, left his native State for the first time for a change of residence, and came to Iroquois County, Ill. He located on a farm in Stockland Township, but soon afterward removed to Prairie Green Township. He is now a resident of Milford Township, living on what is known as the C. C. Vennum Farm, pleasantly located about two and one-half miles north of Milford. He and his wife are both members of the Christian Church, and in politics, he is a Republican.
ROBERT WEST carries on farming on section 30, Douglas Township. He was born in Lincolnshire, England. On the 11th of December, 1832, and is a son of Robert and Ann West, both of whom died in England. The father was a farmer by occupation and lived to the age of fifty-three. His wife died at the age of eighty. In their family were nine children, of whom but two are now living, our subject and a sister who resides in Yorkshire, England. George W. came to the United States in 1852, lived in La Salle and Iroquois Counties, and in 1883 went to Nebraska, where he died some four years later.
Mr. West of this sketch is the seventh child in order of birth. He was reared on a farm and educated in the common schools until about fifteen years of age, when he began working. In 1856, he came to the United States, taking thirty-five days to make the voyage from Liverpool to New York. He went from there to Lowell, La Salle County, Ill. He, with his brother, purchased some coal land and for seven winters engaged in mining coal, and in the summer carried on farming.
In La Salle County, February 17, 1869, Mr. West married Miss Emma Campbell, who was born in Chester County, Pa., June 8, 1844. She is the daughter of Benjamin and Margaret (Wilson) Campbell. Her father was born in Delaware, and her grandfather Campbell, though of Scotch descent, was born in the North of Ireland. He with his young wife came to the United States, settling in Delaware. Mrs. West's mother was born in the Keystone State, at Philadelphia. In 1855, Benjamin Campbell came West and settled near Ottawa, La Salle County, where he and his wife spent their remaining days. He lived to be eighty-two years of age, while she reached her seventy-ninth year. Both were members of the Methodist Church. They had a family of eleven children, one dying in infancy and one when twenty years of age. Mrs. West is the fifth in order of birth of this family. Unto our subject and his wife were born three children: Carlie T. and Roy, who are at home, and one who died in childhood.
In 1867, Mr. West came to Iroquois County and purchased one hundred and twenty acres of land. It had then no improvements worth mentioning, and he has laid some ten thousand tile and also erected good buildings and otherwise improved the property. In 1882, he moved to Foster County, N. Dak, and took up a homestead, on which he lived for four years and then returned to his present home.
Responding to his patriotic impulses, our subject enlisted in August, 1862, in the army, and became a member of Company B, One Hundred and Fourth Illinois Infantry. The first engagement in which he took part was at Hartsville, Tenn., where he was taken prisoner but afterward paroled. He also participated in the battles of Chickamauga, Buzzard's Roost, Resaca, Kenesaw Mountain, Peach Tree Creek and the siege and capture of Atlanta. He was a guard at Lookout Mountain and took part in the battles of Chattanooga and Mission Ridge. While his regiment was supporting Gen. Hooker at Peach Tree Creek, the soldiers had erected a barricade for protection. They received orders to cease building further defenses and the retreat was sounded. Mr. West started around the corner of the embankment and ran directly into the rebel ranks. He was called upon to surrender at once, but did not stop to comply with their demands. Continuing at a rapid pace, he soon reached his companions, escaping the shower of bullets which were sent after him. During this encounter his bunk companion was taken prisoner and a young lieutenant was instantly killed.
On the 7th of August, 1864, while at the right of Atlanta, he was wounded in the right hip, the bullet cutting a deep groove. As it was summer, gangrene set in and for six months he was confined to his bed in the hospital at Nashville, Tenn. Four times he came near bleeding to death. His record as a soldier is one of which he may well be proud, for he was always found at his post of duty and his service was distinguished by marked bravery and fidelity. Altogether he took part in twenty battles. He was discharged at Benton Barracks, St. Louis, in February, 1865.
Mr. West returned to this county, but for two years was unable to engage in active work on account of disability. In politics, he is a Republican and is much interested in all local affairs he is a friend to the best educational measures, which he does all in his power to further. He is Chaplain of Gilman Post No 186, G. A. R. Both Mr. and Mrs. West are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, of which he is both Steward and Trustee.
JOHN CONVEY, now retired from active business, was one of the pioneers and first settlers of Ashkum Township and now makes his home in the village of Ashkum, where he is numbered among its most respected and honored citizens. He is a native of Ireland, and was born in County Mayo, in August, 1829. He is a son of Patrick and Sibbie (Filben) Convey, both of whom were also natives of the Emerald Isle. Our subject is the eldest of a family consisting of seven sons and one daughter. He received very limited school advantages and decided to emigrate to the New World when about sixteen years of age.
In 1846, with his father, brothers and sisters, Mr. Convey accordingly set sail for America. The ship carried five hundred passengers and soon after leaving port the dread disease, typhoid fever, was discovered on board. The fever raged to such an extent that of of the five hundred passengers only fifty survived when they arrived at their destination, which was Montreal, Canada. Among the stricken ones were the family of Patrick Convey. Four sons only lived until they reached quarantine and then two more passed away. Our subject and one brother were the only survivors. The brother afterward went to Boston, since which time our subject has received no tidings of him.
John Convey resided in Canada for eight years and attended St. Teresa Academy at North Montreal for three years. While there, he studied Latin and the English and French languages. After completing his studies, he learned the carpenters trade and then emigrated to Chicago, where he engaged in carpenter work for five years. For a portion of that time, he was a contractor and builder and was quite successful. He received a contract from the Illinois Central Railroad to build tanks and freight houses along that line, and for them he worked for two years. He then went to New Orleans and worked for six months at his trade, after which he obtained a contract from the Mobile & Ohio Railroad to build cars. Soon after the inauguration of Abraham Lincoln, he returned to the North, settling on a farm in Ashkum, Iroquois County. This was a piece of raw prairie land, and of this tract, which contained eighty acres, he made a valuable piece of property. He carried on agricultural pursuits upon that farm for about seven years, and as his financial resources increased added to his original tract from time to time until he was the owner of a whole section. In addition to this, he afterward purchased some land near the village which he held for a few years and then exchanged for Chicago improved real estate. He also traded for land in Kansas. Concluding that Chicago real estate was rapidly rising in the market, he sold his section of land and invested the proceeds in that city. He owns considerable property on Madison Street, and most of the land which he now possesses is situated in the Garden City.
October 8, 1861, Mr. Convey was united in marriage within Miss Ulellie Bossett, a native of Canada and a daughter of Benjamin Bossett, also of that country and of French parentage. Mr. Bossett had a brother, Judge Bossett, who was a very learned and prominent man and a celebrated judge of Canada. Mrs. Convey's father married Margaret La Belle, a French lady of Canada. A brother of Mrs. Bossett, Father La Belle, was the parish in priest at Kalamazoo, Mich., where his death occurred. The wife of our subject has two nephews who are priests, one of whom, Father Bergeron, is the priest of Notre Dame Catholic Church of Chicago. Mrs. Convey received her education in a convent at South Bend, Ind.
By the union of our subject and wife twelve children have been born, nine of whom are living: Mary is in a religious order in Chicago and is one of the Sisters of Mercy; Sibbie received a good education and was graduated at the Chicago Academy of Sisters of Mercy and is now the wife of Frank Makeel, of Chicago; William, after attending college six years at St. Viateur's College, of Bourbonnais Grove, is now in the Government employ in Chicago; Caroline is also a Sister of Mercy in a Chicago convent; John and David, the next younger, arc under the parental roof and students of St. Viateur's College; Eugenia attends the Right School in Chicago; Loretta and Thomas are the remaining members of the family. Two children died in infancy, and a daughter Melinda, died in 1890, aged seventeen years. The parents of these children are members of the Catholic Church.
Commencing in the New Would a poor man, Mr. Convey has by his own labor, industry and enterprise and the help of his estimable wife, accumulated a large estate and is today recognized as one of the substantial men of this county, where for a third of a century he has been a resident. He has helped in the development and progress of this County, which now stands today among the foremost in the State. He has given his active support and assistance to all public movements tending to advance the best interests of this section, and has aided liberally in the building of churches, schoolhouses, the town ball and other institutions for the benefit of his fellow-citizens. He has ever been a friend to education and our grand free public-school system. Politically, Mr. Convey is identified with the Democratic party, casting his first vote for Gen. George B. McClellan He takes quite an active part in local politics and has been a Commissioner for six years and Supervisor for eight years. He is well known throughout the community as a man of worth, and he well deserves a place among the sketches of the pioneers of this county.
EDWARD R. BEEBE, one of the extensive land-owners of Iroquois County and a leading stock-raiser, resides on section 10, Fountain Creek Township. He has also been connected with the mercantile interests of Claytonville, and his business and social relations have made him widely and favorably known. His life record is as follows:
A native of the Nutmeg State, Mr. Beebe was born in Litchfield County, May 21, 1860, and is one of five children who were born of the union of Charles and Almira (Lockwood) Beebe. His father was a native of the same locality as our subject, and his death occurred when Edward was only two years old. The children were Charles, who is now a farmer of Prairie Grove Township; Edward R. whose name heads this record; and Stanley, who is engaged in merchandising in Claytonville.
Since ten years of age Edward Beebe has resided upon a farm. The family emigrated to Ottawa, La Salle County, Ill., in 1862, and, locating on his grandfather's farm, he there worked in the fields for some time. In 1875, at the age of sixteen, he came to Iroquois County, and has since made this his home. He at first rented land, but by his industry and enterprise, he added to his possessions, and from time to time made additional purchases, until he now owns seven hundred acres of valuable land he is also engaged in handling stock, of which he is an excellent judge, and has made a specialty of breeding Norman horses. He is a lover of the noble steed, and has owned some fine animals. In connection within his brother Stanley, he is also engaged in general merchandising in Claytonville, and by fair dealing and courteous treatment, the have secured a liberal patronage, which they well deserve, and their stock has been proportionately enlarged to meet the growing demand Our subject also bought grain for one year in Claytonville.
In his social relations, Mr. Beebe is a Mason, holding membership with the lodge in Rankin. He exercises his right of franchise in support of the Republican party, and is a warm advocate of its principles, he has often served as a delegate to its conventions, but has never been a politician in the sense of office-seeking.
We see in Mr. Beebe a self-made man. At a very early age he was thrown upon his own resources, and has since made his way in the world unaided. He has met with adversity and within many hardships, but by well-directed efforts and perseverance, he has steadily worked his way upward. The difficulties and obstacles in his path he overcame by industry, and his life has been one of signal success. He is now numbered among the wealthy citizens of the county, and his career, characterized by honesty and fair dealing, has won for him the high regard and confidence of all. With his mother he now resides on the homestead farm.
ADOLPH MEINHARD is a well-known citizen and farmer of Douglas Township, residing in a comfortable home on section 33, township 27, range 14. He was born in Siegen, Westphalia, Germany, on the 10th of December, 1847. From records in the possession of the family we learn that the great-grandfather of our subject was Simon Meinhard. His youngest son, Jacob, was born in Siegen, Westphalia, in April 1780, and died at Troy Grove, Ill., in August, 1854. He was a baker by trade, and married Agnes Graef in 1806. Her death occurred in the Fatherland. Adam Graef, her father, was born in Eisen, near Siegen, and married theme a Miss Luetz the son of Jacob and Agnes Meinhard was born December 15th, 1808, and was named Michael. The latter on arriving at mature years married Maria Margaret Thielman, the marriage ceremony being performed August 12, 1831. Her birth occurred in Izenfeld, in 1800, and she departed this life on the 20th of February, 1872, at Troy Grove, Ill. Her father, Jacob Thielman, of Zyyenfeld, married Maria M. Ginsberg, of Struthuette. She was a daughter of Johann Jacob Ginsberg, of the same place, who was a brother of Admiral Ginsberg, or Kinsberger, who was in the service of Holland. To Michael and Maria Meinhard were born the following children: Henry, born on the 15th of December, 1833, is a resident of Peoria, Ill. Frederick, born August 26, 1841, is manager of the Troy Grove Water Mills, of Troy Grove, Ill. He was a soldier, being a member of the Fifty-sixth Illinois Infantry, and was in the service for three years. Anna Catherina died at Gilman, Ill. She was a twin sister of Wilhelmina, the date of their births being September 3, 1843. The latter resides in Mendota, Ill. Charles, born May 9, 1845, died in Philadelphia, on the 12th of June, 1863, as the result of wounds received in the charge at the battle of Ft. McAllister. He accompanied Sherman on his march to the sea and was a member of the Sixty-fifth Illinois Regiment, being a member of Cushman's Brigade from Ottawa. He was buried in the National Cemetery at Philadelphia with thousands of our Nations brave defenders. Eberhart, born October 3, 1850, lives near Gilman. Jacob, who was born on the 11th of August, 1852, died at Ottawa, Ill., in 1861. These children were all born in Siegen, Westphalia, and came with their parents to America in the fall of 1853.
Michael Meinhard was a baker by trade, and received a good education in the common and High Schools of his native land. He was much interested in studying American history, and because of his love for the liberties of the United States, he learned the English language and determined to make his home in the New World. He remained in his native land, however, until his sons were to be drafted into the army, at which time he carried the resolution of his early days into effect. The family accordingly went to Rotterdam, where they took passage in a sailing-vessel bound for New York. They had a stormy voyage, were wrecked, and were obliged to return to Belfast, Ireland, for repairs upon the vessel. After a long and tiresome voyage of nine weeks they arrived in New York Harbor. They spent one winter in Wheeling, W. Va., and in the spring of 1854 came to Illinois, settling in Troy Grove, La Salle County. There the father purchased land at $10 an acre. The country was new and unimproved and the family endured many hardships incident to pioneer life. Upon his farm he erected a mill, which was known as the Troy Grove Water Mills, to which farmers came from all portions of that and adjoining counties. This mill is now operated by a son. The father is living a retired fife, at the age of eighty-four years. He frequently writes for papers on Free Thought, having been a Free-thinker and strong Democrat all his life. He has never accepted office in this country, though he was an Alderman in his native town and a man of consequence. He served three years in the Prussian War.
Adolph Meinhard, the subject of this sketch, was six years old when he came with his parents to America. He was educated in the public schools of Troy Grove and was early inured to farm work. His brothers were in the army, and much of the labors of the farm fell upon his shoulders. He has largely educated himself since arriving at manhood and inherits his father's talents. He is a good debater and an intelligent and well-informed man. He has followed agricultural pursuits since his boyhood and has been quite successful in that line of business. He remained with his father until about twenty years of age and then came to Iroquois County, where with a brother he purchased half a section of unimproved land, located on section 2. The succeeding five years he spent in improving and developing his property, and then purchased eighty acres where he now makes his home. This he has brought under a high state of cultivation, and has tiled and erected good buildings upon it. He is a successful farmer and a man of good business ability.
In Gilman, on the 29th of November, 1869, Mr. Meinhard led to the marriage altar Miss Anna Brooke. Her father, Benjamin Brooke, emigrated in 1861 to this county from Marshall County, Ind. Her mother, who was in her maidenhood Elizabeth Wickheizer, is still living. Mrs. Meinhard was born at Lancaster, Ohio. To our subject and his wife three children have been born: Ralph was born January 14, 1880, in La Salle County; Charles and Arnold both died when about two years of age.
Our subject is a Free-thinker like his father and is independent of any society. He has been Road Commissioner and hums also served as a Commissioner of Drainage District No. 1 for about three years. He takes an active part in measures tending to the welfare and development of this county, and was influential in getting the ditch put through this section. He has often been a representative to conventions and is influential in senatorial and county assemblies. His first ballot was cast for Horace Greeley and he has ever since been a supporter of Democracy. He is a man of wide reading and information, and keeps well posted on all the important questions of the day. He has proved a good citizen and a man of progressive ideas and has done his share in the development of this county.
ELBERT G. HICKMAN, who is numbered among the early settlers of the county, now follows farming on section 30, Ash Grove Township. A native of Warren County, Ind., he was born January 21, 1834. His father, Peter J. Hickman, emigrated from Delaware in an early day and cast in his lot with the early settlers of Warren County. His home was a log cabin. When our subject was four years of age he removed with the family to Missouri, where they in proved a new farm near Springfield. In 1842, the family returned to Indiana and located within two miles of their former home, where Peter Hickman engaged in agricultural pursuits and in operating a mill.
From his twelfth year our subject was there reared to manhood. His education was acquired in a log schoolhouse, with its slab seats, desks of split puncheon, huge fireplace and mud and stick chimney. Under the parental roof he remained until twenty-four years of age, when he started out in life for himself, he was married, November 29, 1857, in the county of his nativity to Miss Charlotte Blind, who was born in Ohio, October 29, 1832, and came with her parents to Indiana during girlhood. The wedding journey of the young couple consisted of a trip to Iroquois County. They traveled by team and settled in Fountain Creek Township, where Mr. Hickman purchased one hundred and sixty acres of partially improved land Much of the prairie was still in its primitive condition and the few settlements were widely scattered. In 1878, Mrs. Hickman departed this life and he remains were interred in the Friends' Cemetery of Ash Grove Township.
Seven children were born of this union: Mary, who was born December 2, 1858, in Iroquois County, is the wife of S. M. Rose, a grain dealer of Cissna Park; Arcelia Ann, born February 11, 1861, died at the age of seven years; Elizabeth Jane, born July 29, 1865, is deceased; Flora Belle, whose birth occurred November 5,1865, is the wife of Cal Saylor, and the reside on the home farm; Frank, born April 26, 1868, is at home; Dora Alice, born March 4, 1871, keeps house for her father; and Charles E., born July 25, 1874, completes the family. The children were all educated in the public schools. Upon his first farm in this county, Mr. Hickman made his home for six years and then removed to his present farm. For a time he lived in a log cabin, but it has long since been replaced by his present comfortable and commodious residence. Good barns and outbuildings have also been erected and stand in the midst of waving fields of grain. The farm comprises nine hundred acres of valuable land. In connection within its cultivation, Mr. Hickman also engages in stock-raising and is engaged quite extensively in shipping cattle and bogs to Chicago. He received some aid when he started out in life, but by his own industry, perseverance and good management most of his large property has been acquired. He is now one of the most extensive land-owners of time community. His success is well deserved, for it is the just reward of his own labors. Mr. Hickman is a stanch advocate of the Democracy and has supported that party since he cast his first Presidential vote for James Buchanan. Those who know him esteem him highly for his sterling worth and integrity and he has a large circle of friends and acquaintances in this community.
WILLIAM W. COBURN, a leading farmer of Douglas Township, who operates a farm on section 7, was born in Princeville, Peoria County, Ill., November 4, 1843. He is a son of William and Rachel (Eltzroth) Coburn. His fattier was born in Ohio and with his parents early removed to Indiana. His wife, though a native of Ohio, is of German descent. The parents of our subject came to Peoria County among the early settlers. The father kept a tavern in the pioneer days and also carried on a store for a time. Later he removed to a farm and followed agricultural pursuits until his death. He was a stanch Whig and afterward a Republican. In 1863, feeling that the country needed the services of all loyal citizens, he enlisted in the Second Illinois Battery, though over the prescribed age, and after serving for about a year died of small-pox at New Orleans, aged fifty-two years. His widow, now in her seventy-eighth year, still lives at Princeville, Ill. Both were honored members of the Christian Church. By their marriage were born twelve children, five of whom were sons, and three of whom served in the late war. Elijah served in the Eighty-sixth Illinois Infantry for three years, and Samuel served over four years in the Second Illinois Battery.
Our subject is the sixth child in order of birth and was reared on his father's farm, being educated in the district schools. In September, 1861, though not quite eighteen years of age, he enlisted in Company D, Eleventh Illinois Cavalry, and after being in the State service three months the young patriot was mustered into the United States service December 20, 1861. His command was called to participate in the battle of Shiloh, that being their first engagement. He was also in the second battle of Corinth and luka. Being in the cavalry service he took part in scores of skirmishes. On the 20th of December, 1864, he received an honorable discharge and returned home. However, he again enlisted, on the 15th of March, 1865, for one year's service in Company G, Fourth United States Volunteer Corps, which was known as Hancock's Corps. One year later, in 1866, he received his final discharge from the army, having served four years, three months and twenty-one days. During that time he was never wounded or taken prisoner. His war record was one of marked bravery and fidelity, remarkable in one of his youthful age.
When his country no longer stood in need of his services, he returned to Peoria County. After a time he went to Hickory County, Mo., where he farmed for three years. In the meantime he returned to Illinois, and at LaFayette, Stark County, he was united in wedlock August 25, 1867, to Irene Ridgway, who was born at Danville, Pa., November 20, 1846. She is a daughter of Thomas and Maria (Beam) Ridgway, natives of New York and New Jersey respectively. The father was born in 1809, and was a carpenter and joiner by trade. He was a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church and was much beloved and respected by all. Soon after his marriage he removed to Pennsylvania, and in 1849 went to Stark County, Ill., where his death occurred in the following year, he being at that time forty-four years of age. His wife, who long survived him, afterward married Jonas Eltzroth, a native of Ohio. He was a soldier in the War of 1812, and departed this life in 1866, at LaFayette, Ind. Mrs. Eltzroth died at the home of our subject January 20, 1892, having nearly reached her eighty-first birthday. Mrs. Coburn is one of Seven children, four sons and three daughters, of whom one, Lewis B., served for some three years during the late war. She was educated in the common schools and has been a valuable helpmate to her husband in the journey of life. She is of a kindly and sociable disposition and is much loved by all.
After his marriage, our subject took his young wife in a wagon to their Missouri home, an unusual and delightful wedding tour. Their union has been blessed with three children: Wilbur W.; Guy R., a carpenter of Henry County; and Grace I. In 1869, Mr. Coburn went to Ford County, Ill., and two years later removed to his present farm in Iroquois County. He now owns a valuable farm of one hundred and sixty acres, well tiled and improved with good buildings, though at the time of his purchase there was nothing on it but water. He has laid upwards of twenty thousand tiles upon his farm and it is therefore one of the most arable and well-drained farms of the township.
Mr. Coburn is a Republican in politics, his first Presidential vote being cast for Grant when he ran for his second term. Socially, he is a Mason and a member of the Grand Army of the Republic of Piper City. He is a practical and progressive farmer ready to accept any of the best methods of improvement, and about his home is found all the accessories necessary to a model farm of this period. He is a valued citizen of this county and well merits a representation in this volume.
ROBERT DOYLE. The Bar of Eastern Illinois can boast among its members many brilliant and able men - men whose successes are matters of record in the judicial history of the State, and whose professional contests, although extending over many terms of court and a wide area of territory, are still fresh in the minds of the people. Conspicuous among this class stands the gentleman whose name heads this sketch. In 1863, he became identified with the Iroquois County Bar, having formed a law partnership with Asa B. Roff, under the firm name of Roff & Doyle, which connection existed for nine years and resulted in an extensive and successful practice. Soon after the dissolution of their partnership, Mr. Doyle was joined by James McCullough, with whom he was associated for two years, when Mr. McCullough retired, and for a year or two our subject was alone in his practice. He next formed a law partnership with Edward King, which lasted for a period of three years. About 1874, Mr. Doyle became associated in practice with his wife's brother, the Hon. Free P. Morris. This partnership lasted until 1889, when our subject, on account of failing health, went South for a year or two, where he engaged in the practice of his profession in Chattanooga, Tenn., and also in special business in Charleston, S. C. Since his return to Watseka, he has devoted his attention to farming and stock-raising, accepting only the more important cases offered him.
Mr. Doyle was born in Albany, N. Y., on the 24th of April, 1837, and is a son of Barnard and Isabella (Grey) Doyle. His parents were horn in the North of Ireland and emigrated to America in childhood. His father, who was a brilliant scholar, died in New York in 1846, aged forty-six years, and the mother in Chicago in May, 1891, at the age of eighty years.
In 1847, the subject of this sketch came to Illinois with his mother, and their home was first made in the town of Thornton, Cook County. Robert attended the public schools, and after due preparation entered the Chicago University, where after a regular course of study he graduated from the law department in the Class of June, 1863. In August of that year, he came to Watseka and established practice in company with Asa B. Roff, as previously stated.
On the 19th of April, 1859, Mr. Doyle was united in marriage with Miss Francis J. Morris, in Cook County. The lady was born in Plymouth, Luzerne County, Pa., and educated at Wyoming Seminary. She is the daughter of Charles and Sarah Morris, Hon. Free P. Morris, of Watseka, being her youngest brother. Three children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Doyle: Minerva, now the wife of Samuel E. Vermilyea, a rising lawyer, resides in Chicago. The second daughter, Grace, is still under the parental roof; while the only son, Guy, is at present studying medicine in the State University of Michigan at Ann Arbor.
Mr. Doyle is retiring in disposition; he has been many times approached for Circuit Judge but has no ambition in that direction, preferring the Bar to the Bench. He has always been a loyal and consistent supporter of the Republican party. He is a member of Watseka Lodge No. 446, A. F. & A. M., and is a charter member of Watseka Chapter No. 114, R. A. M. Mr. Doyle resides in a tasty brick residence, situated just beyond the north limits of Watseka, on his fine farm of eight hundred and eighty acres, which is located in the township of Middleport, adjacent to the city on the north. As a lawyer, Mr. Doyle is conspicuous for his well-grounded knowledge of his profession, his remarkably good memory and ability to cite authorities correctly and to conduct to a successful issue important and complicated suits.
MORTIMER D. WILBER, who is engaged in the drug business in Milford, is a native of the State which is still his home. He was born in Pecatonica, Winnebago County, on the 22d of April, 1858, and is one of nine children whose parents were Mortimer D. and Mary Jane (Sweezey) Wilber, both natives of New York. Of their family seven are yet living: Mary Jane became the wife of Austin James, of Maries County, Mo. They reside near Vichy Springs with their family of five children. Ida Miranda is the wife of John H. Griggs, a merchant of Potomac; Vermilion County, Ill.; Emma Gertrude is the wife of John McMillan, a fruit-grower of Eddytown, N. Y.; Charles Gilbert, an agriculturist of Vermilion County, Ill., wedded May Green, daughter of Clark Green, of Rossville, Ill., and they have four children; Lewis W. married Miss Effie Courtney, daughter of J. B. Courtney, of Potomac, Ill.; Alice is the wife of Alonzo Henry, a farmer residing near Potomac, and their family numbers two children.
Mr. Wilber whose name heads this record acquired an English education in the public schools of Rossville, Ill., from which place he removed to Iroquois County in 1879. Locating in Milford he was employed as salesman for three years with Dr. L. P. Woodworth, physician and druggist. On the expiration of that period he purchased the store of his employer and is still carrying on business in that line. He deals in drugs, medicines, paints, oils, wall paper, books, stationery, etc. and has built up an excellent trade. He started with little capital, depending not upon good luck for success, but relying solely upon energy, enterprise and good management, thus winning a prosperity which is certainly well deserved. His store is well stocked and would be a credit to a much larger place than Milford. His fair and honest dealing and courteous treatment of his patrons have won him the confidence and good-will of all.
On the 21st of December, 1881, Mr. Wilber was united in marriage with Miss Maggie Gruber, daughter of Rev. S. S. Gruber, a Methodist minister. They are well-known and prominent people in the best circles of society in Milford. Our subject is a member of Milford Lodge No. 168, A. F. & A. M.; Watseka Chapter No. 114, R. A. M., and Mt. Olivet Commandery No. 38, K. T., of Paxton. He has occupied the chair of Worshipful Master in the Masonic Lodge. He has also been Treasurer of the Milford Agricultural Society and is a member of its Board of Directors. Of the Milford Building and Loan Association he is a Director and he has held the office of Village Treasurer. He is true to every public and private duty, and the confidence reposed in him by his fellow-townsmen has never been misplaced. Mr. Wilber is a man of good business ability, sagacious and far-sighted and is now numbered among the substantial citizens of the community.
GEORGE SINDERSON, a retired farmer and a prominent citizen of Onarga, is of English birth, and one of a family of seven children born unto Charles and Louisa (Knapp) Sinderson. In 1853, they emigrated to America, accompanied by all of their children with the exception of William and George. A location was made in Atlanta, Logan County, Ill., and afterward they removed onto a farm, where Charles Sinderson made his home until his death, which occurred on the 13th of September, 1876, at the age of seventy-two years. His wife died November 2, 1873, aged seventy years and six months. Of their four sons and three daughters, all are yet living.
The subject of this sketch was born in Alkborough, Lincolnshire, England. January 12, 1830, and was reared to manhood in the land of his nativity. After attaining to mature years. he was married on the 18th of May, 1853, the lady of his choice being Miss Ann Wright, daughter of William and Mary (Moffett) Wright. Mrs. Sinderson is a native of the same shire born October 6,1827. One son was born unto them in England, and in 1856, with their little child, they came to America. Bidding good-bye to their old home, they crossed the broad Atlantic and made their way to Illinois. The family circle has since been increased by the birth of seven children. There were four sons and four daughters, but one died in infancy: Charles Edward, who was born in England October 15, 1855, married Sarah Ann Hare, daughter of John Hare, of Iroquois County, and unto them have been born four children, three of whom are yet living, namely: Anna, George and the baby. William H., born April 21, 1858, was united in marriage with Miss Sarah Swank, of Milford, and a daughter graces their union, Elizabeth. Jane E., born March 9, 1861, became the wife of William Amerman, of Ash Grove, who died in August, 1882, leaving one child, Minnie Belle, and after his death she became the wife of James West, who resides near Decatur, Brown County, Ohio, and they had the following children: Edgar and Harlan. George W., born January 29, 1863, wedded Anna Perkins, and with their two sons they reside in Sherman County, Neb.; Thomas N., born February 27, 1865, married Miss May Washburn, daughter of Samuel and Ann Washburn. Mollie A., born September 17, 1868, is the wife of John Martin, of Iroquois County, and unto them has been born a daughter, Pearl. Kate, born July 3, 1871, married Samuel Harper, of Onarga. In 1870, Mr. Sinderson of this sketch removed from Atlanta to Onarga, Ill., locating on a farm ten miles southeast of the village, where he reared his family and carried on agricultural pursuits. In 1888, he sold that farm and came to Onarga, where he and his wife have a comfortable home, his family having all married and made homes for themselves. While in the country, he held the offices of School Director and Road Commissioner for a number of years. In polities, he is a Republican, and is a valued citizen of the community where he makes his home. Prosperity has attended his efforts since he came to America and it was a fortunate day for him when he determined to leave his native land, for here he has met with success, and has made a comfortable home and many friends.
CAPT. ABRAHAM ANDREW, a veteran of the late war, has held the office of Postmaster of Watseka since May, 1889. He was born in Jackson borough, Butler County, Ohio, December 20, 1835, and is a son of Jacob and Mary (Neihart) Andrew. His father was a native of Rockingham County, Va., and his mother of Lehigh County, Pa. Both are now deceased.
The subject of this sketch spent the days of his boyhood and youth in his native State and attended the public schools until he was fifteen years old, when he removed to Indianapolis, and later to Dayton, Ind. There he learned the harness-maker's trade, at which he was working in Williamsport when the late war broke out. When the President made his call for three months' volunteers, young Andrew was the second man to enlist in defense of the Union from Warren County, that State. He entered the service in 1861, having been mustered in as a member of Company B, Tenth Indiana Infantry. Having served the term of his enlistment, he came to Middleport, Iroquois County, Ill., in the fall of 1861. Later, he joined Maj. George C. Harrington in raising a company, which was mustered in as Company A, of the Seventy-sixth Illinois Infantry. Mr. Andrew was commissioned First Lieutenant August 24, 1862, and was promoted to be Captain on the 4th of January following. He participated in the battle of Rich Mountain, Va., while a member of the Tenth Indiana, and while in the Seventy-sixth Illinois Regiment he took part in the siege of Vicksburg, and was on duty with his company there when the Confederates surrendered July 4, 1863.
Immediately after the capture of Vicksburg, our subject was sent with his regiment in pursuit of Joe Johnston through Mississippi. He participated in the battle of Jackson, Miss., after which he was sent to Natchez, and thence into Louisiana, where they had a hard battle on Trinity River. Then they returned to Natchez and went to, Morganza Bend and to Port Hudson and Berton, Miss., having had a lively skirmish at that place. From Berton they returned to Morganza Bend, where orders were received to proceed to the mouth of the White River, where they went into camp and outfitted for an expedition to Duvall's Bluff, where Capt. Andrew was assigned to the charge of a camp for winter quarters. Just as that task was completed and the Captain had taken possession of a comfortable cabin that his men had prepared for him with special pains, he was detailed to go to New Orleans, and from there to Kennerville, La., just above the city, and went into camp below the surface of the river level. Later, he was detailed to load the right wing of his regiment to sail for Ft. Morgan, Ala. He embarked the troops in very good shape, but instead of sailing to Ft. Morgan, went to Pensacola Bay and Ft. Barancus. Before reaching their destination, they were caught in a severe storm eleven miles off the coast and were forced to tide out the storm at anchor. They were knocked about there all night and did not make point until 3 o'clock p. m. the next day. After spending six weeks in camp at Ft. Barancus, they went to Pensacola and joined the expedition to Ft. Blakely. Subsequently, they went to Galveston, Tex., where they were mustered out in July, 1865.
On his return from the war, Capt. Andrew engaged in the grocery business at Watseka, and continued in that line about four years, when lie sold out and embarked in the harness business. After three years spent in that line, he was employed as merchant's clerk by Daniel Frey for a while, and subsequently bought into the livery business, and was thus engaged for five years. On selling out, he again resumed clerking. He was afterward employed by Mr. March in the agricultural implement trade, and continued that connection until appointed Postmaster at Watseka in May, 1889. This position he still holds, and has proved a popular officer.
On the 24th of January, 1867, Capt. Andrew was married, in Middleport, to Miss Caroline Troup, a native of that place, and a daughter of Henry and Mary A. Troup. Her parents are pioneers of Middleport, and are represented elsewhere in this work. Two children were born unto Mr. and Mrs. Andrew: Marietta, who died at the age of three years; and Fred, who was born April 30, 1873, is Assistant Postmaster of Watseka.
In politics, Mr. Andrew is a Republican and has efficiently served four terms as Alderman and two years as Mayor of Watseka. He is a member of Iroquois Lodge No. 74, I. O. O. F.; Watseka Lodge No. 446, A. F. & A. M.; and also Williams Post No. 25, G. A. R., of Watseka. His wife is a member of the Presbyterian Church. The Captain has made a faithful and capable Government officer, and has discharged with ability and fidelity all public duties devolving upon him. He is recognized as a most worthy citizen, whose patriotic record during, the late war and his private and official life are deserving of high repute.
JOHN WESLEY HICKMAN, a rising young farmer, widely and favorably known in Ash Grove Township, resides on section 29. He was born in Lovejoy Township, this county, October 2, 1861, and is a son of James and Cornelia (Meharry) Hickman. His father was a native of Delaware, and when a young man emigrated to Indiana, his marriage taking place in Warren County. His wife was born and reared near Attica, Tippecanoe County. Just after their marriage, they emigrated to Illinois and settled on what is now the old Hickman homestead, in Lovejoy Township. The settlements in this community were then widely scattered and it was an unimproved frontier region. Mr. Hickman secured one hundred and sixty acres of land from his father, purchasing it at the usual price, and has since there made his home, devoting his time and attention to agricultural pursuits. He now owns one thousand acres of good land and is numbered among the wealthy citizens of the community. His life has been a success, and by his enterprising and well-directed efforts he has secured a handsome property. Himself and wife are active members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, with which they have been connected for years. He takes a very active part in church and Sunday-school work and has served as Superintendent of the Sunday-school. In the Master's vineyard lie is an earnest laborer and is one of Nature's noblemen. In politics, he was formerly a Republican and is now a stalwart Prohibitionist.
In the Hickman family are seven children yet living, and two now deceased. Mrs. Margaret Mitchell resides near Boswell, Ind.; John W. is the next younger; Lillie is the wife of Volentine Randolph, of this county; Eva, Lucy, Wilber and Luman are all at home.
John Wesley Hickman, whose name heads this record, spent his boyhood days on the old homestead. His early education, acquired in the common schools, was supplemented by study in Onarga Seminary, where he pursued a business course. On attaining his majority, he bade good-bye to home and started out for himself to earn his own livelihood. Going to Champaign County, he there engaged in farming on land given him by his father, and after three years he removed to his present farm, which has been his home continuously since 1886. It comprises two hundred and forty acres of arable land, and the entire amount is under a high state of cultivation and well improved. He also owns eighty acres in Champaign County.
In 1885, in Warren County, Ind., Mr. Hickman married Miss Hope Bur, a native of that county. She comes from the same family to which Aaron Burr belonged. Unto them have been born three children: Pearl, Shirley and an infant, who are the light of their parents' home.
In his political affiliations, Mr. Hickman is a Republican and his first Presidential vote was cast in 1884 for James G. Blaine. Almost his entire life has been passed in the county of his nativity, and his stanchest friends are among those who have known him from boyhood. He is held in the highest respect and this esteem is well inherited by his many excellencies of character.
AUSTIN F. PIERCE, a jeweler of Milford, has the honor of being a native of Illinois. The place of his birth was Ford County, and the date March 31, 1863. His father Charles Sanford Pierce, was born in Rehoboth, Mass., September 14, 1827, and after attaining to mature years wedded Mary Lucinda Fowler, whose birth occurred March 16, 1825, in New York City. Mr. Pierce is now engaged in farming near Milford and is one of the highly respected citizens of the county. Of the Pierce family of seven children, Mary, the eldest, was born January 1, 1849, in Pawtucket, R. I.; Marian W., born October 16, 1851, in Marshall County, Ill., is the wife of W. W. Dale, a jeweler of Terre Haute, Ind., and they have eight sons, all living; Emma died in childhood; William F., born February 7, 1854, in Marshall County, Ill., died at the age of seven years; George H., born December 12, 1856, in Livingston County, Ill., married Miss Laura Mahoney, daughter of John Mahoney, of Kinks Station, Ill., and they reside on a farm near Milford and have a family of seven children, three sons and four daughters; Austin of this sketch is the next younger, and Charles II., who was born December 4, 1868, in Ford County, completes the family. He married Anna Boyd, of Terre Haute, Ind.
Austin Pierce, whose name heads this record, remained on the home farm until about fifteen years of age. At the age of eighteen he began serving an apprenticeship to the jeweler's trade, working with his brother-in-law, W. W. Dale, then of Milford. After serving an apprenticeship of about four years, Mr. Dale removed to Terre Haute, Ind., Mr. Pierce succeeding him in business. Since that time, or for a period of seven years, he has been engaged in business for himself in this place. He began with a small stock, but as his financial resources increased and his trade demanded it, he enlarged his facilities and now has a well-appointed store and is doing a good business.
On the 13th of April, 1885, Mr. Pierce married Miss Mary Brock, of Ash Grove, Ill., where their union was celebrated. The lady is a daughter of Silas and Maria (Ayers) Brock, residents of Ash Grove. Two children grace the union of our subject and his wife: Homer F. and Silas E. The parents are both members of the Christian Church, in which they take quite an active interest. He is also connected with some civic societies, holding membership with Milford Lodge No. 211, K. P., and with the Modern Woodmen of America. In polities he votes with the Republican party but has never been an office-seeker, preferring to devote his time and attention exclusively to his business, in which he is meeting with good success. Mr. Pierce is a young man, wide-awake and enterprising, and his career will no doubt be a prosperous one.
JACOB DIETER is a prominent farmer of Ashkum Township, and has made his home for twenty-two years on section 13. He was born on the 16th of January, 1841, in Kleinhauser, Hesse-Damstadt, Germany. He is a son of Valentine and Elizabeth (Hebener) Dieter. The former was a farmer by occupation, and in 1846, taking passage at Havre, they made the voyage to America. They were forty-five days upon the broad Atlantic and cast anchor in New York Harbor. From there they came Westward, first to Chicago, and from there they went to Du Page County, Ill., where they settled on a farm. Their original purchase consisted of one hundred and sixty acres, which tract was slightly improved, and had upon it a log cabin. Later the father purchased Seventy acres additional, and spent the rest of his life upon his place, engaged in agricultural pursuits. His death occurred in 1868, at the age of fifty-five, but his wife is still living, residing upon the old homestead. He was a member of the Catholic Church as have been all his family. Politically he affiliated with the Democratic party. In their family were seven sons, two of whom are now deceased. Philip is in Chicago; Michael and Adam are carrying on the home farm; Valentine is the Mayor of Naperville. The three youngest of the family were born in America.
Jacob Dieter is the fourth in order of birth of his father's family, and came with him to America when he was a child of five years. He received his education in both the English and German schools of Du Page County. His primary training was acquired in one of the first schoolhouses erected in the neighborhood where he lived. When about sixteen years of age he left school, and remained on the home farm until about thirty years of age, engaged in helping his father in the duties of the farm.
In Iroquois County, on the 26th of September, 1871, Mr. Dieter was united in marriage with Elizabeth Spitz. She was the daughter of Martin and Elizabeth Spitz, and was born, reared and educated in Du Page County, where her father is living at eighty-three years of age. Mr. and Mrs. Dieter were in Chicago upon their wedding trip at the time of the great fire. To them these children have been born: Emma, who is at home, and was educated in St. Peter's School of Chicago; Matilda, who is also at home, and is being educated at Kankakee; Jacob, William, Elizabeth and Rose. The children were all born upon the farm where they now reside, and were educated in the common schools. The family are members of the Catholic Church of Ashkum, and are liberal in its support.
After his marriage, Mr. Dieter settled upon his farm, which he had purchased four years previous. At that time there were but few settlers, and the prairie was wild and little improved. He commenced farming for himself on a tract of one hundred and sixty acres, and has since increased it to two hundred and fifty acres in a body, which is well tiled and improved. He has upon it a good home and other farm buildings, and has reached independence and prosperity through his own efforts and industry. He is a good agriculturist, and uses enterprising and modern ideas in carrying on his farm work.
Our subject's first Presidential ballot was cast for McClellan in 1864, and ever since that time he has been a stanch supporter of the Democratic party. He has never sought or accepted official positions. For ten years he has been identified with the schools of the township as a Director, and takes a prominent part in educational work. He has seen and assisted in the development of this county, and this brief sketch will be read by hundreds of his fellow-citizens, who are all interested in his success.
SAMUEL F. EVERETT, who resides on section 22, Ridgeland Township, owns and operates a beautiful farm of one hundred and thirty acres, which yields to him a good income in return for the care and labor he bestows upon it. He has many excellent improvements upon the place, such as are found on a model farm and which in connection with the well-tilled fields attest the progressive spirit and the enterprise of the owner, who is recognized as one of the leading agriculturists of the community. He also engages in importing and breeding horses.
The life record of Mr. Everett is as follows: He was born in Windham County, Vt., on the 18th of December, 1822, and is a son of Jacob and Mary (Fish) Everett, whose family numbered ten children: The eldest died in infancy; Warren died in 1852; Mary A. became the wife of Jesse Brown, and died in 1854; Jeremiah departed this life in 1891; Joel S, who was a Congregational minister, engaged in missionary work in foreign fields, and died in 1860 at Constantinople; Eunice M., wife of Dexter Marsh, a geologist, is living in Greenfield, Mass.; Elizabeth is the wife of Simeon Blodgett, a resident farmer of Deerfield, Mass.; Susan is the wife of Obid Hall, a farmer living in the Green Mountain State; Samuel F. is the next in order of birth; and John D. is engaged in farming near Deerfield. The mother of this family died in 1832, and the death of the father occurred in 1850, having survived his wife about eighteen years.
The subject of this sketch received a common school education, and by reading and observation has become a well-informed man. He remained under the parental roof until twenty years of age, when he left home and hired out to work on a farm at $10 per month. He was thus employed for three years, after which he went to Worcester, Mass., where he learned the trade of machinist and spent the succeeding three years of his life. We next find him a resident of Lawrence, Mass., where he remained some seven years. In 1854, he moved to Rochester, N. Y., and there worked at his trade till he came to Illinois. Emigrating Westward in 1856, he stopped in Elgin, Ill., where he worked at his trade for a year. Upon coming to this State, he purchased eighty acres of land, his present home, to which he moved March 4, 1857. Since that time, or for over a third of a century, he has resided upon that farm. He first purchased eighty acres of railroad land on section 22, Ridgeland Township, but extended the boundaries of his farm, as his financial resources were increased, by the additional purchase of fifty acres.
On the 1st of December, 1850, Mr. Everett was married to Miss Harriet C. Sweet, daughter of Edward and Sylvia (Crane) Sweet. Mrs. Everett was born in Bristol, Vt., March 27, 1825. Her father was born in Pownel, and her mother in Bethel, Vt., in which State both spent their lives. Of their twelve children, only four live: Mrs. Everett, Mrs. Jane S. Sutliff, of Lawrence, Kan.; Mrs. Adeliza M. Brooks, of Denver, Cob.; and John C., a farmer of Arlington, Ore. Five children have been born of this union: Jennie, who died in 1857; Carrie P., wife of John Hobbis, a farmer residing in North Dakota; Edward S., who graduated from the commercial and scientific departments of the Grand Prairie Seminary, is living at home; Charles W., who takes a prominent part in the Methodist Episcopal Church work, graduated from Onarga Seminary, also DePauw University, of Greencastle, Ind. After finishing his education he was Principal of the public schools of Onarga for two years, and then went to Denver, Colo., and after studying law in the office of Patterson & Edsall, was admitted into the firm as a partner. Hattie C., who is an active worker in the Presbyterian Church, is at home.
Mr. and Mrs. Everett attend the Methodist Church, and in political sentiments, he is a Republican. A public-spirited and progressive citizen, he takes an active interest in all that pertains to the welfare of the community, where for thirty-five years he has made his home and is held in high regard.
He was a Democrat in politics, and his wife was a member of the Methodist Church. Mr. Bush sprang from Quaker stock. He died when he had attained his seventy-seventh year, and his wife passed away at the age of sixty-five. They had a family of eight children. Deborah married William P. Spencer, who was born in Guernsey County, Ohio, April 8, 1832, and in 1866 came to La Salle County, where he followed farming for a livelihood. He was a Republican in politics and was an honored member of the Masonic and Odd Fellows' fraternities. On the 24th of March, 1869, he was called to his final rest, leaving two children, Mary L. and William I. Mrs. Spencer now makes her home with our subject, and i therefore identified with the interests and history of Iroquois County.
In order of birth Henry Bush is the second child in his father's family. A sister, Sarah A., who is the wife of Joseph Bush, also lives in Douglas Township. John is a farmer of Putnam County, Ill., and Lizzie makes her home in the same county. Catherine married Mark Purviance and died in Iowa. Mary died when a young lady, and Jane lives in Putnam County.
Our subject was reared to the usual hard labor of farm life, receiving such education as could be obtained in the district schools of that period. When twenty-two years of age, starting in the active business of life for himself, be began farming on a rented place. The first land he owned was a tract of eighty acres of wild land, which he broke and improved and then sold. Having purchased his present farm in company with his brother John, he located on it in 1880. He has erected many outbuildings and has otherwise improved the place. He is tiling it throughout in a systematic manner and has made of his farm one of the best in the township.
In politics, Mr. Bush's sympathies are with the Democratic party, but he has never been a man to push himself forward for official recognition. He is a prominent member of the Methodist Episcopal Church of La Hogue, being a Trustee of the same. By his business dealings with his fellow-citizens he has won the reputation of being a man of strict integrity and honor and is well and favorably known throughout this section.