Old Courthouse Museum
103 West Cherry Street
Watseka, IL 60970-1524
BRADFORD J. WAKEMAN, proprietor of the Rural Nursery of Chebanse, Ill., has spent his entire life in this State and is a representative of one of its honored pioneer families. He was born in Du Page County, on the 15th of January, 1840, and is the only child of James C. and Mary P. (Kent) Wakeman, both of whom were natives of the Empire State. When a young man, Mr. Wakeman came to the West and enlisted in the Black Hawk War, as a member of the Fifth New York Dragoons. In 1832, he went to Chicago, when that large city contained only three buildings. He was in the Government employ for three years and helped to make the survey of Wisconsin up to Green Bay. Locating in Du Page County, he took up Government land, and for a term taught the only school in Chicago and that was kept in a log schoolhouse. A year previous to this he was a sailor on the Lakes. At length he cultivated and improved his farm in Du Page County, and upon it reared his family and there spent the remainder of his life. His death occurred in 1875. Mr. Wakeman established a cemetery in this county and purchased a tract of land in 1866. His remains were interred in Evergreen Cemetery. He was one of the honored pioneers of Illinois and witnessed the growth of the State from a wilderness to its position of prominence in the Union. He was married in Du Page County to Miss Kent, daughter of Trumbull Kent. Her death occurred in 1843, after which Mr. Wakeman. was a second time married.
We now take up the personal history of our subject, who was reared to manhood amid the wild scenes of frontier life, spending the days of his boyhood aced youth upon his father's farm. He remained at home until he had attained his majority. His education was acquired in the common schools; but his privileges were quite limited. After the breaking out of the late war, he responded to the country's call for troops, enlisting in 1861 as a member of Company B, Thirty?third Illinois Infantry. He served for a three?year term, and on its expiration he enlisted as a veteran and continued as one of the defenders of the Old Flag until after the close of the war, when he was honorably discharged in Springfield, November 15, 1865. He entered the service as a private but his bravery and meritorious conduct on the field of battle won him promotion and he was mustered out with the rank of Major.
Our subject participated in many important engagements, including the battles of Frederickstown, Pea Ridge, Little Rock, Cotton Plant, Ft. Esperanda, the Red River expedition, the battles of Ft. Morgan, Spanish Fort, Ft. Blakely, Selma, Ala., and the sieges of Vicksburg and Jackson. He also met the enemy in the engagements at Champion Hills, Raymond, Port Gibson and Black River Bridge, Miss. He received several flesh wounds and carries a number of honorable scars. He was always found at his post, faithful to his duty and to the Stars and Stripes.
When the war was over, Mr. Wakeman returned to his home in Du Page County. The following year he came to Iroquois County and located in Chebanse, where for quarter of a century he has made his home. He is numbered among the early settlers of this locality and has borne a prominent part in its upbuilding and advancement. He bought eighty acres of raw prairie land adjoining the corporation limits of this city, and thereon has since made his home. With characteristic energy he began its development. He broke the land, fenced it, erected good buildings and now has one of the finest improved places in this part of the county. His home is a commodious and substantial residence, there are good barns and outbuilding and the place presents a neat and attractive appearance. Soon after locating here, Mr. Wakeman set out nursery stock, and has since been actively engaged in operations in that line. The entire place is now used as a nursery and he is now doing an extensive and constantly increasing business. He has several salesmen on the road taking orders.
On the 24th of December, 1867, Mr. Wakeman was united in marriage with Miss Ettie A. Root, a native of Cattaraugus County, N. Y., and a daughter of Nathan Root, one of the early settlers of this county. Five children have been born of their union, the eldest of whom, Mary A., a young lady, is successfully engaged in teaching, having excellent ability in this direction; Lena E. is a graduate from a school of stenography and typewriting; Grace M. is at home; George B. and Oliver P. are still under the parental roof. The family circle yet remains unbroken and the children all yet live at home.
Mr. Wakeman is identified with the Republican party, having been a stanch advocate of its principles since he cast his first Presidential vote for Gen. Grant. He has never been an aspirant for the honors or emoluments of public office, but for two years served as a member of the School Board and the cause of education finds in him a warm friend. He takes an active interest in everything pertaining to the welfare of the community and does all in his power for its upbuilding. Socially, he is a member of Chebanse Post No. 293, G. A. R., and has been its Commander since its organization. Mrs. Wakeman and four of the children hold membership with the Methodist Episcopal Church of Chebanse. This family is one of prominence in the community and its members are widely and favorably known. Mr. Wakeman is a man of upright character and sterling worth and has won universal confidence and high esteem during his twenty?five years' residence in this county.
HIRAM W. LAWHEAD, a leading photographer of Onarga, who for twenty?six years has successfully engaged in business in this place, was born on the 4th of June, 1841, Holmes County, Ohio, being the place of his birth. His parents, James and Jane (Boyd) Lawhead, were also natives of the Buckeye State. Their family numbered four children, three sons and a daughter, namely: Amanda, Hiram W., Alford and Robert. About 1844, James Lawhead left Ohio, and, with his family, came to Iroquois County, locating first in Middleport, where he spent about a year. He then removed to the country, settling near Plato, about eight miles northwest of Watseka, and there engaged in the practice of the medical profession, for he was a physician a short time. His death occurred soon afterward. A few years later, his widow became the wife of Joseph Smith, a farmer residing near Watseka. After residing in that locality for a few years, they went to a farm near Sugar Island, about eight miles south of Kankakee. By this union was born one child, Samuel B. Smith. The parents are both deceased. Mr. Smith departed this life in 1874, and Mrs. Smith was called to the home beyond on the 4th of May, 1876.
Hiram W. Lawhead, whose name heads this record, acquired his education in the common schools of Illinois, for he was only about three years old when his parents came to this State. When he looked about him in choice of a profession or occupation which he wished to make his life work, he determined to take up photography, and to fit himself for the art he entered a gallery in Kankakee. He supplemented his study there by work in Chicago, after which he embarked in business for himself. In 1866, he came to Onarga, reaching this place on the 6th of June, and at once opened a photograph gallery. From the beginning, his trade has constantly increased until he now enjoys a liberal patronage.
Mr. Lawhead is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and in his political affiliations is a Prohibitionist. The cause of temperance finds in him a warm advocate and he votes with the party which embodies his principles along that line. He is a friend to all educational and moral interests and is a valued citizen of the community, giving his support to everything calculated to prove of public benefit or promote the general welfare. As an artist, he occupies a prominent place. His work is all done in first?class style, and by an earnest desire to please his customers, be has built up an excellent business, which he well deserves.
WILLIE M. BOSWELL, a wide?awake and enterprising young farmer of Onarga Township, has for many years been a resident of this county. He is a native of Indiana his birth having occurred in Tippecanoe County, on the 14th of March, 1856. His parents are William A. and Elizabeth Boswell, and a sketch of their lives is given elsewhere in this volume. He was reared to manhood under the parental roof, his boyhood days being passed in his father's home. He received good school privileges, being educated in Grand Prairie Seminary of Onarga.
On the 25th of March, 1885, Mr. Boswell led to the marriage altar Miss Fannie McIntyre, of this county, daughter of Leonard McIntyre. Their union has been blessed with a family of two children, a daughter and a son, namely: Pensee, born September 28, 1886; and Clark on the 24th of August, 1887. The Boswell household is a hospitable one and the parents being widely and favorably known in this community rank high in social circles.
Mr. Boswell now resides on a farm containing three hundred and twenty acres of land, and his home is pleasantly situated about three and one-half miles southwest of the village of Onarga. He is an industrious and practical farmer and his place is under a high state of cultivation, its well?tilled fields and neat appearance indicating the supervision of a careful manager, such as Mr. Boswell is known to be. He is a public?spirited and progressive citizen, who manifests a commendable interest in all that pertains to the welfare of the community and its upbuilding.
HIRAM VINTON CROSSLAND, who is extensively engaged in farming and stock raising on section 28, Sheldon Township, is a native of this State, his birth having occurred in Marshall County, Ill., on the 29th of April, 1848. His parents, George and Julia (Feazel) Crossland, were both natives of Ohio. About 1888, they left their old home and emigrated Westward, locating in Marshall County. On the discovery of gold in California, the father, hoping to gain a fortune, went to the Pacific Scope, but lost his life there about a year later. In 1852, Mrs. Crossland was again married, becoming the wife of Alfred Wright. She is still a resident of Marshall County. By her first marriage she had two children, but the elder is now deceased.
The subject of this sketch was reared to manhood in the county of his nativity. In its common schools he acquired his primary education, which was supplemented by a collegiate course. He has engaged in teaching for twenty?three years during the winter season and is a capable and successful instructor and highly educated man, who keeps well informed of all the current events of the day. In the summer months he has always followed farming, and was thus employed in Marshall County for a number of years.
On the 6th of April, 1876, Mr. Crossland led to the marriage altar Miss Cynthia L. Broaddus, a native of Marshall County, and a daughter of Christopher and Minerva (Hall) Broaddus. Her father was a native of Virginia. He was born in the Old Dominion in 1819, and died in 1871. In his youth, he acquired a liberal education and became a surveyor by profession. He was a Democrat, and was a man whom the people honored and respected for his strict integrity and sterling worth. He married Miss Hail, who was born in the Buckeye State, in the year 1828. She is yet living at the age of sixty?four years, and now makes her home in Champaign County, Ill. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Broaddus was born a family of nine children, two sons and seen daughters, of whom six are yet living at this writing. Mrs. Crossland, of this sketch, is the eldest; and the other members of the family are Helen, Jessica, Florence, Marshall and Alice. Mrs. Crossland was born in Illinois, May 16, 1847, and spent her maiden days under the parental roof in Marshall County, acquiring a very good English education in the public schools. She has proved a valuable helpmate to her husband, arid is a lady of many excellencies of character. By the union of our subject and his wife have been born six children, but one died in infancy. Two sons and three daughters are yet living, namely: George Marshall, Cynthia Vinton, Viola, Hiram Edward and Julia Wright. These are all yet under the parental roof.
In the winter of 1888, Mr. Crossland, accompanied by his family, left Marshall County and came to Iroquois County, settling in Sheldon Township upon the farm which he has since made his home. He there owns and operates two hundred and forty acres of valuable land, and, in addition to this, owns three hundred and twenty acres of farming land in Marshall County, which is now rented. His well?tilled fields yield a golden tribute to his care and cultivation, and the neat appearance of the place indicates his thrift and enterprise. Mr. Crossland has also engaged extensively in stock?raising and is numbered among the prominent and progressive agriculturists of the community.
Our subject and his wife are both members of the Universalist Church, and Mrs. Crossland is a member of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union in Sheldon. Mr. Crossland is also a strong supporter of temperance principles and gives expression to his views on that subject by supporting the Prohibition party. He has held the office of Road Commissioner for nine consecutive years, was Collector one term and served as Assessor fur one term. He has ever discharged his public duties with promptness and fidelity, proving an efficient officer. He is a public?spirited and progressive citizen, who is ever found in the front ranks of worthy enterprises calculated to promote the general welfare, giving liberally of his time and means to their support. He has led an upright, honorable life and is highly esteemed throughout the community.
GERD WESSELS, a representative farmer of Crescent Township, residing on section 27, claims Germany as the land of his birth. He was born in the county of Aurich, town of Middels, Hanover, on the 18th of April, 1851, and is a son of Frederick Wessels, who was also a native of the same locality. His father was a mechanic and worked in a brick yard, and also followed farming. The mother of our subject bore the maiden name of Gesche Reinholz, and was born in Hanover. In 1869, Mr. Wessels emigrated with his family to the New World and made his first location in Washington, Tazewell County, Ill., where he resided for a few years engaged in farming. He then came to Iroquois County, locating to Ashkum Township, where he spent two years. He is now living a retired life in Crescent City.
Gerd Wessels, whose name heads this sketch, attended the schools of his native land and for two years was a student in an English school. He remained at home until nineteen years of age, when with the family he emigrated to America. On the 20th of June, 1872, he was married to Miss Thede Margaret Siebels, a native of Hanover, Germany, and a daughter of David Siebels. When a maiden of sixteen summers, she carne to this country with her father, who first located in Woodford County, Ill. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Wessels have been born a family of eight children, as follows: Sena, now the wife of William Lubben; Anna, Minnie, Lena, John, Frederick, William and Matilda.
After his marriage, Mr. Wessels rented land and engaged in its operation for about nine years, when, having accumulated some property, he purchased an eighty?acre farm, upon which he now resides. He has built upon the place a substantial residence, good barns and other necessary outbuildings, and made many excellent improvements which stand as a monument to his thrift and enterprise. He has also purchased an additional tract of forty acres, adjoining the first purchase, and the valuable farm of one hundred and twenty acres now yields to him a golden tribute in return for the care and cultivation he bestows upon the land.
For a quarter of a century, Mr. Wessels has been a resident of this county and is now widely and favorably known. In politics, he is a Democrat on questions of State and National importance, but at local elections supports the man wham he thinks best qualified to fill the position, regardless of party affiliations. Himself and wife are members of the German Lutheran Church of Schwer. We see in Mr. Wessels a self?made man, who started out in life with no capital save a young man's bright hope of the future and a determination to succeed. However, he has steadily worked his way upward, and by his industry, perseverance and good management has acquired a comfortable property and is now numbered among the well?to?do farmers of Crescent Township.
LAZARUS STEELY, of Iroquois County, one of the early settlers was born near Chillicothe, Ross County, Ohio, December 4, 1819, and is a son of David and Mary (Carothers) Steely. At the age of twelve years, our subject left his native State and went to Pickaway County, Ohio, where he was reared on a farm and educated in the common schools. In September of 1845, he was married near La Fayette, Ind., to Miss Maria Ermie. Mrs. Steely was born in Pennsylvania and was a daughter of Christian Ermie.
Mr. Steely engaged in farming in Indiana until the fall of 1853, when he removed with his family to Illinois, arriving in Middleport, Iroquois County, on the 1st of September of that year. At that place he located and engaged in the grocery business and later in the manufacture of lumber. In 1888, Mr. Steely started in the grocery business at Watseka, but was burned out in 1890, since which time he has not been in active business.
Seven children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Steely, of whom four are living, three having passed away in childhood. Those living are James A., who married Louise Simms, and is now, living in Nebraska; Ruth, now the wife of Iven Bailey, of Watseka; Laura, who married Charles Fowler, of Belmont Township, near Watseka; and Ida M., the wife of E. W. Bishop, a sketch of whom appears elsewhere in this work.
Mrs. Steely departed this life on the 9th of September, 1884. She was a member of the Society of Friends or of the Quaker Church, and was held in high esteem. Her husband belonged to the same denomination, Mr. Steely has been a Republican the greater part of his life, but of late years has identified himself with the Greenback party. He still resides in Watseka, where he is much respected by all who know him.
Mr. Goodell was born near Mentor, Lake County, Ohio, on the 16th of July, 1822, and is the only survivor of a family of three children, whose parents were Nathan P. and Hannah M. (Griswold) Goodell. The father and mother were both natives of Windham County, Conn., whence they removed to Ohio, where they were among the first settlers in the Western Reserve, now included in Lake County. Mr. Goodell was a woolen manufacturer by trade, and in connection with that business he carried on farming and milling. Public?spirited and energetic, he took a prominent and active part in all that pertained to the welfare of the community in which he made his home. Politically, he affiliated with the Whig, then with the Free Soil, and afterward with the Republican party. Both he and his wife were members of the Christian Church. Sidney Rigdon was pastor of the church to which they belonged, and when Joseph Smith established the Mormon Church there Rigdon succeeded in carrying all of his church except Mr. and Mrs. Goodell over to the Mormon Church. It was not uncommon for people to receive written revelations from heaven instructing them what to do. One Orson Hyde received such a communication, and in proof of the fact exhibited it to Mr. Goodell, who in turn showed him an exact copy of it. Seeing that Mr. Goodell was the author of the revelation, and knowing where unto such would lead, Joseph Smith received a revelation that the earth would drink Mr. Goodell's blood within a year. As this sounded rather ominous, the father of our subject was glad to sell at a round price and move to Painesville, Ohio, where he operated the city flouring mills until his death. He lived to the age of seventy?six years, and his wife reached the age of three?score years and ten.
Addison Goodell was reared upon his father's farm in Northern Ohio, where, amidst the active duties of farm life and in the district schools, he laid the foundation of his future successful career. After leaving the common schools, he spent some time in the Western Reserve Teachers' Seminary, held in the old Mormon Temple at Kirkland, Ohio, and conducted by the noted educator, Asa D. Lord. At the age of seventeen, Mr. Goodell began teaching school. After following this calling for four years in Ohio, he was attracted to Louisville, Ky., and in that city was employed for two years as a private instructor in the family of John J. Crittender. Returning to to the Buckeye State, he then engaged extensively in the lumber trade, making Painesville his headquarters. He owned two vessels, one of which he built, and which he used in carrying lumber from the ports of Michigan, Ohio and Canada to markets in the East.
Disposing of his interest in the East, Mr. Goodell came to Illinois in 1855, and in July of that year located in Loda, where he again embarked in the lumber trade. This business, however, was subsequently abandoned, as he became interested in the real?estate business and in negotiating loans on farm lands for Eastern capitalists. The following year he added the banking business. Mr. Goodell is a man widely acquainted throughout this State, and wherever he is known his reputation for honesty and fair dealing is above reproach. Capitalists having learned this, readily entrust their interests with him, and his business has grown until now he handles more capital for other parties than any other loan agency in Eastern Illinois. For thirty?seven years Mr. Goodell has been a loan and investment banker, and it is said of him by one who has been acquainted with his business methods throughout these years, that during all this time no investor has lost a cent, nor has a single borrower been oppressed, but on the contrary many men in this region owe to his aid and encouragement the fact that to?day they own comfortable homes and are provided for life. But it should not be thought that to financial interests alone Mr. Goodell has given his time and attention. The interests of Loda, its churches, schools, etc., have all received a share of his extended liberality.
Before leaving Ohio, Mr. Goodell was united in marriage with Miss Jane H., daughter of Sellick and Mary V. (Pates) Warren, their union being celebrated May 21, 1850. The lady was born in Rensselaer County, N. Y., on the 16th of October, 1830, being one of a family of seven children, of whom four are still living. Her parents were among the early settlers of Lake County, Ohio, whither they removed in 1837, there spending the remainder of their lives. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Goodell were born seven children, three of whom died in infancy. Those living are Frances M., Warren S., Nathan Y. and Bertha G. Frances is the wife of W. J. Strong, an attorney?at?law of Chicago. Warren is the junior member of the firm of A. Goodell & Son. Like his father, he is a man of splendid business ability, and for a number of years has had the active charge of the business interests of the firm, with which he is conversant in every detail. He prepared for college in the boys' academy at Albany, N. Y., but failing health caused him to abandon the idea of taking a collegiate course. To regain his strength and broaden his mind by contact with other countries and people, he spent a year traveling in Europe. Upon his return, he pursued a course in a commercial college, and then became an assistant in his father's office. In 1877, he was admitted to partnership, the firm assuming the style above given. For a wife he chose Miss Lucy M. Wendland, of Helena, Ark., and they have a pleasant home in Loda. Nathan P., the younger son, fitted himself for college at Greylock Institute, Williamstown, Mass., and in 1888 graduated from the Illinois State University at Champaign. Subsequently, he read law with Cratty Bros. & Ashcraft, of Chicago, and with J. H. Moffett, of Paxton, Ill. Upon examination, he was admitted to the Bar in September, 1891, receiving one of the highest grades in the class. He is now attorney for the firm of A. Goodell & Son, making a specialty of the examination of titles.
Mr. Goodell has witnessed and largely aided in the development of this part of the State. When he located at Loda, the surrounding country was a vast prairie, upon which scarcely an improvement had been made. There was a small settlement at Loda, but every so?called house was filled to its utmost capacity. Not able to get board in the neighborhood, he was obliged to take his meals in Chicago. Coming out in the morning with a lunch in his pocket, he would work all day and return at night. But the country has developed rapidly, and it is not too much to say that Mr. Goodell's growth, financially and otherwise, has been commensurate with that of the country. Politically, he is a Republican. He received his political education from such men as Joshua H. Giddings, Ben Wade and Thomas Corwin. Imbued with their political ideas, when the Republican party was formed to prevent the further extension of slavery, he at once joined its ranks. Prior to coming to Illinois, Mr. Goodell had never voted for any Congressman except Mr. Giddings, and by his first Congressional vote after reaching this State he supported Owen Lovejoy, a more radical Abolitionist.
Mr. Goodell has never sought the honors or emoluments of office, but his fellow?citizens, recognizing his ability and trustworthiness, have called upon him to fill important political positions. In 1861, he was elected to represent his county in the State Legislature. That was one of the most stormy as well as one of the most important general assemblies ever convened in the State. In 1870, he was chosen by the voice of the people as a member of the Illinois Constitutional Convention, and how ably the men of that assemblage performed their work is told by our present constitution. Again, in 1871 and 1872, he was called upon to represent Iroquois County. Besides this, he has filled a number of local offices. In every public position, he has served the people acceptably, and has ever received the highest encomiums from his constituents. But it is in business affairs that Mr. Goodell is a Napoleon, as his remarkably successful career well illustrates. His course has ever been marked by honesty, not because honesty is the best policy, but because it is right. It would be next to impossible to find another man in the State who has done so extensive a loan business as Mr. Goodell and who retains the universal goodwill of those with whom he has had business transactions.
ABSALOM J. WARRICK, a highly respected citizen of Sheldon, who is now manager of the Farmers' Elevator, was born on the 28th of November, 1840, in Fountain County, Ind. He is a son of Samuel and Delia (Jenkins) Warrick, both of whom were natives of Ohio. The father was born June 17, 1811, and removed to Indiana in 1838. After fifteen years' residence in tire Hoosier State, he came to Illinois in 1853, and cast his lot amid the early settlers of Iroquois County. He is a carpenter by trade and followed that occupation in pursuit of fortune until coming to this county, since which time he has been engaged in farming. Mr. Warrick has been thrice married. Of the four children born of the first union, our subject is the third in order of birth and the only one now living. Nine children were born of the second marriage and a family of three graced the third. The Warricks come of a long?lived ancestry. Samuel Warrick, the grandfather of our subject, was a native of New York, and reached the ripe old age of eighty?five years.
In the usual manner of farmer lads the subject of this sketch spent the days of his boyhood and youth. He was only thirteen years of age when he came to this county. His education was acquired in the common schools; and he remained at home until he had attained his majority, when he started out in life for himself. He embarked in farming and followed that occupation continuously until his removal to Sheldon. He was a successful agriculturist and a man of good business ability.
In January, 1862, Mr. Warrick married Miss Cynthia Hoagland, daughter of Charles Hoagland, a native of Ohio. Unto them was born a family of four children, as follows: John A., the eldest, is a resident of Warren County, Ill. He is a well-educated gentleman who now follows the profession of teaching, being employed as Principal of the Roseville schools. He was united in marriage with Miss Charity Cobb, a Dative of Indiana, and unto them have been born two children, both daughters: Madie and Stella. Addis, the second of the Warrick family, is the widow of John N. Cobb, and resides in Middleport Township, this county. By her marriage she became the mother of three children: Pearl, Robert R. and Jessie. Mattie is now deceased. Maggie, who completes the family, makes her home under the parental roof. She has been one of the successful teachers of Iroquois County, but is now attending school, being a student in Valparaiso College. The family is one of prominence in the community, and its members, who are widely and favorably known, rank high in the social circles in which they move.
Since his removal to Sheldon in 1892, Mr. Warrick has been the efficient manager of the Farmers' Elevator, and has conducted the business to the satisfaction of all concerned. In politics, be is a supporter of Democratic principles, and socially, he is a member of the Masonic fraternity and holds the office of Secretary in the lodge to which he belongs. He is an honored and respected citizen of the community, ever found in the front rank of any enterprise calculated to prove of public benefit. His life has been well and worthily passed, and his honorable career has won him the confidence and good?will of all with whom he has been brought in contact.
HERMAN CLASSEN, retied farmer and well?known merchant of Danforth. He was born in Hanover, Germany, on the 4th of January, 1827, and is a son of Claus F. and Ellie (Herman) Classen, both likewise of Hanover . The father was a farmer and spent his entire life in the Fatherland. He died at the advanced age of eighty?four years, and his wife departed this life when sixty?five years of age.
Our subject's early life was passed on the home farm, engaged in assisting his father and in receiving such education as might be obtained in the common schools. Desiring to seek his livelihood in the New World, he started from Bremen in the year 1854, taking passage in a sailing?vessel, which was bound for New Orleans. The voyage, which was of ten weeks' duration, was not a very pleasant one, as they experienced a great deal of very severe weather and high seas, and in addition to this there was much sickness on board the ship. During the trip, thirty?one deaths occurred among the passengers, but the ship finally arrived safely at its destination on the 4th of July, 1854. Mr. Classen was one of quite a company who carne from the same neighborhood in the Fatherland. There were about seventy?five persons, all friends and neighbors, in the colony. From New Orleans, they proceeded up the Mississippi first to St. Louis and from there to Pekin, Ill., where they nearly all located. Our subject went with the other members of the company and started to work in the city at day labor or any other honest means of obtaining a livelihood which came to hand. At the end of about two years, with his carefully saved earnings he purchased several wagons and horses and engaged in the freighting and teaming business. He also rented some land and carried on farming to some extent for nearly five years, year by year increasing his property and farming on a more extensive scale. In 1860, he went to Woodford County, where he purchased a farm and ran it for about three years. He then traded that property for a store building and an hotel in Washington and removed to that place in the spring of 1864. For the succeeding eight years, he engaged in merchandising and in the hotel business, in both of which lines he was quite successful. In the meantime, he had purchased land in Danforth Township and was the first of the German settlers to own property here. His first purchase consisted of a quarter?section. After he had disposed of his Washington property, which was in 1871, he removed to Danforth and located on a farm near that of Remmer Eden. On this farm he made his home for about three years and then rented it and removed to the village of Danforth. He engaged in merchandising and was an active business man for several years. He has also dealt quite extensively in real estate and bought and sold a large number of farms in Danforth anal Ashkum Townships. At the present time, he is the owner of a number of farms, consisting of over one thousand acres, all valuable and well?improved tracts.
Mr. Classen married in Hanover Talka Smith, who was a native of that city. Their union was celebrated in the year 1852, and to them were born two children: Lena, now living in Kankakee, and Charles, a merchant of Danforth, whose sketch is found on another page of this volume. Mrs. Classen departed this life January 25, 1892, after forty years of happy wedded life, and her deal was deeply mourned by many friends as well by her immediate family.
Mr. Classes has always taken an active part in politics and uses his right of franchise in favor of the Democratic party in all national issues. His first ballot was cast for James Buchanan, and he has since been a supporter of every nominee of his party. In local elections, be prefers to deposit his vote for the man best fitted to fill the position, regardless of party ties. Mr. Classen has never asked for or accepted office at the hands of his friends and neighbors, as he has preferred to turn his whole attention to his business interests. He has been a resident of Illinois for thirty?eight years and has made his home in this county for the past twenty?one years. During his long residence in this section, he has won the confidence and esteem of all, which he has well deserved by his upright life and honorable career. He commenced his life in the New World without capital with the exception of willing hands and natural business ability and thriftiness, and has through his well-directed efforts, enterprise and perseverance accumulated a fortune and is to?day one of the large land?holders of the county.
W. C. SHORTRIDGE, Court Stenographer of the Thirteenth Judicial Circuit of Illinois, residing in Sheldon, Ill., was born in Henry County, Ind., March 18, 1834. His parents were Elisha and Esther (Crumb) Shortridge, the former a native of Kentucky, and the latter of Pennsylvania. On the paternal side the family is of Welsh descent. The grandfather was a native of Wales, and in Colonial days emigrated to America. He served in the Revolutionary War, aiding the Colonies in their struggle for independence.
Mr. Shortridge, whose name heads this record, is the youngest in a family of eleven children, three of whom are now, with the mother, still living. He attended the common schools during his early youth, and completed his education in Bethany College, Va., at the age of twenty years. He was now ready to enter upon his business career, and in 1856 he secured employment with the American Express Company, in the western division, with headquarters at Chicago, which position he held for four years. In 1860 he was united in marriage with Miss Mollie Grim, daughter of Jesse Grim, a native of Pennsylvania.
The same year of his marriage Mr. Shortridge secured a position as commercial reporter on the Chicago Tribune, and thus served until after the breaking out of the late war. The blood of a Revolutionary and 1812 soldier ran in his veins, and prompted by patriotic impulses be responded to the call for troops, enlisting as a member of Company I, One Hundred and Thirteenth Illinois Infantry (Third Board of Trade of Chicago), in which he served until the close of the war. He participated in the battles along the Mississippi River, until that great waterway was cleared of all obstructions, and the interior of the States adjoining it submitted to the law as declared by the Constitution. He was in active service the greater part of the term. He received his discharge on the 29th of June, 1865. In the meantime he had been promoted from a private to the rank of Second Lieutenant, and served in that capacity during the last fourteen months in which be was in the army.
After being discharged from the army Mr. Shortridge returned to his home and engaged in teaching school a part of the time until 1868. During that time he was a sufferer from hemorrhage of the lungs, resulting from his army service. While at the front he acquired a knowledge of shorthand, and in the autumn of 1868 commenced an engagement as a shorthand reporter. To this work he has since devoted his time and attention, and is now one of the official reporters of this district. He has much natural ability in this direction, and is a very rapid and accurate writer.
To Mr. and Mrs. Shortridge have been born three children, a sort and two daughters: Ida, now the wife of J. E. Crandall, who is President of the First National Bank of Johnson City, Tenn.; and Nettie and Paul. The latter two children are holding positions in the same bank in Johnson City, Tenn. Our subject and his wife are highly respected citizens of this community, their many excellencies of character having won them a large circle of friends and acquaintances. In his political affiliations, Mr. Shortridge is a Republican, having voted with that party since he attained his majority. Socially he is a member of the Masonic fraternity, and also belongs to the Grand Army of the Republic and Patriotic Order of Sons of America. He is a public?spirited and progressive citizen, who takes an active interest in all that pertains to the welfare of the community, and does all in his power to aid in the promotion of those enterprises calculated to prove of public benefit. We take pleasure in presenting to our readers this brief history of his life.
REV. JAMES PARKER FORSYTH, a minister of the Methodist Episcopal Church now living a retired life in Sheldon, was born in Shippensburgh, Cumberland County, Pa., March 12, 1830, and is the youngest of a family of six children, four of whom are yet living. The father, John Forsyth, was born near Aberdeen, Scotland, in 1797, and at the age of nineteen crossed the broad Atlantic to America, locating in Pennsylvania, where he spent the remainder of his life. He was a contractor in mining and railroading, and was a successful business man. He married Ruth McKnight, a native of Pennsylvania, whose death occurred in 1842. He died on the old homestead, in the Keystone State, in 1849.
At eighteen, Mr. Forsyth left home to make his own way in the world. He went to the western part of Pennsylvania, Armstrong County, where he received an academic education, and on the 6th of February, 1854, in that county, was united in marriage with Miss Rosanna E., daughter of Jacob and Mary Mechling. She is a native of tire Keystone State, as were her parent. Two children were born of this union: Emma J., now deceased; and Anna Dora, now the wife of William I. McCloud, a resident of Sheldon.
Rev. Mr. Forsyth spent the first two years of his married life in Vinton County, Ohio. For a year he engaged in the manufacture of charcoal, and the second year was assistant manager of the iron works owned by Stanley Bentley & Co. After two years he emigrated to Illinois, locating in Rock Island County in 1856. He there purchased land and engaged in farming during the summer months, while during the winter seasons he taught school until the fall of 1863. Mr. Forsyth had united with the Methodist Episcopal Church when nineteen years of age in the city of Cumberland, Md., and was licensed to preach in 1858, when twenty?eight years of age. In 1863, he joined the Central Illinois Conference, and his first appointment was the Essex and Round Grove Circuit, of which he had charge for two years. That embraced portions of the counties of Kankakee, Will and Ford. He then had charge of the churches in Chatsworth and Forest for two years, and, during the latter year, succeeded in securing funds for the erection of the present Methodist Episcopal Church in Forest. In 1866, special efforts were made throughout the Methodist Church to raise funds for educational purposes, for this was the centennial year of American Methodism. Rev. Mr. Forsyth was appointed as agent by the Board of Trustees to secure money for Grand Prairie Seminary, and a fund of $22,000 was obtained. He not only secured the money, but also made many friends for the institution which he represented. In the fall of 1867, he removed to Watseka, and was pastor of the church at that place for a year. His services there were blessed in building up the church and increasing its membership and also in securing the friendship of many of its citizens. His congregation requested him to continue longer in Watseka, but he thought his work there was done, and took charge of the churches in Loda and Buckley. He built a parsonage in Loda and carried much of the lumber upon his back. In 1870, he returned to Watseka, where he remained one year, and during that time was appointed financial agent for the Grand Prairie Seminary of Onarga. In 1880, he removed to Sheldon, but in the autumn of 1881 was made presiding elder of the Kewanee district. Failing health compelled him at the end of two years to enter the superannuated list, and in 1883 he returned to Sheldon, where lee has resided continuously since.
When Rev. Mr. Forsyth retired from work, a resolution was passed which stated that whatever the church had asked him to do was done well. He has been actively engaged the greater part of his life in ministerial work. His career has been a busy and useful one, and both by example and precept has he led many to walk in the true way. His life has been indeed well and worthily passed, and wherever he has gone he has won many friends who will ever hold him in kindly remembrance. He is one of Nature's noblemen, and it is with pleasure that we present to our readers this record of his life.
EDWARD B. JONES is a hardware dealer of Thawville and a prominent business man of the place who has been connected with its mercantile interests for a number of years. He was born in New York City on the 29th of October, 1843, and is a son of William and Ann Cecelia (Davis) Jones. His parents were both natives of Wales but in early childhood came to America, crossing the Atlantic when about ten years of age. They were married in this country and became parents of two children: Ann Matilda and Edward B. The father was lost at sea in 1847, and the mother, who long survived him, died in 1876. The maternal grandparents of our subject, who were also natives of Wales, came to this country as early as 1833, and, locating in New York City, the grandfather established a boot and shoe store on the Bowery, where he continued business for a number of years.
The subject of this sketch acquired his education in the schools of his native city and afterward learned the hatter's trade, which he followed as a means of livelihood until after the breaking out of the late war, when, prompted by patriotic impulses, he responded to the country's call for troops in 1862. He was assigned to Company A, Twentieth Connecticut Infantry, and faithfully and valiantly served until the close of the war, when, his services being no longer needed, he was honorably discharged and returned to his home.
Mr. Jones then located in Jersey City, N. J., and ran an express wagon from New York City to Jersey City Heights for about two years. He was next employed in Stevens' Battery Yard for about two years or more. At length he determined to come to the West and in 1871 made his way to this State. For about three years he was employed upon a farm near Onarga, Ill. In the meantime he was married. On the 2d of October, 1873, he was joined in wedlock with Miss Emma Hall, daughter of Bishop and Maria (Pangborn) Hall, of Onarga Township. Their union has been blessed with four children, two sons and two daughters: William Hall, Lillian, Sarah and Edward B.
On leaving the farm, Mr. Jones removed to Onarga and learned the tinner's trade. In 1882, he removed to Del Rey, where he established a hardware and tin store, carrying on operations in that line for a year, when he bought out a store in Thawville and moved his Del Rey stock to this place. Since that time he his resided continuously in this place and carried on business as a hardware merchant. He has a full and complete line of tinware and heavy and shelf hardware, and is doing a good business.
In his political affiliations, Mr. Jones is a Democrat, but has never been an office?seeker; in fact, has rather avoided office than sought it. However, he served his fellow?townsmen for two years as Town Clerk, and was also Postmaster of Thawville for a term of two years. He is a man of good business and executive ability, industrious and enterprising, and has achieved a well?merited success. He is also a highly respected and valued citizen, and his aid is never withheld from any interest calculated to upbuild or benefit the community.
WILL A. CROOKS formerly the genial editor and proprietor of the New Era, of Gilman, needs no introduction to the people of that vicinity, for he is a native of Gilman, his birth having occurred there on the 30th of January, 1871. Though he has just reached his majority, his experience is much more extended than is common to young men of his age. His education was acquired in the Gilman schools, in which he completed a course of study. Having spent two terms in the public schools of Iroquois County as a teacher, he next turned his attention to other pursuits. Journalism had always had an especial attraction for him, and while yet a school boy be procured an amateur outfit and learned something of the printing business. His first effort in the direction of publication was the Agassiz Association Bulletin, a paper devoted to scientific subjects, whose circulation he worked up to over four hundred. His next undertaking was the publication of a directory giving the names and addresses of ornithologists, zoologists and taxidermists of North America, which reached its second edition. In January, 1892, he established the Danforth News, and in June following engaged in publishing the New Era, at Gilman, a bright, newsy, seven?column folio, which ranked well in comparison, with the leading local papers of the State. As its young editor is a Republican in principles, the political cast of the paper may be readily inferred. His venture in Gilman having failed to be a financial success, he moved his business to North Kankakee about the 1st of December, 1892, where he hopes to be able to meet with better success in money matters. Mr. Crooks is a wide?awake, energetic and intellectual young man, and with time and experience it is safe to predict he will make his mark in the line of his chosen calling. He is very popular and has a wide circle of friends and acquaintances.
CHARLES BROWN is a well?known farmer residing on section 7, Chebanse Township. He is a native of Canada and was born in Dalhousie, Lanark County, on the 4th of August, 1852. He is a son of John Brown, who was born in Scotland in December, 1810, and emigrated to Canada with his father, Charles Brown, in 1820. At that time the country was a vast wilderness, and they and a few others made a settlement in the forest fifteen miles from any habitation. There the father grew to manhood and was early inured to the hardships and difficulties of pioneer life. He there married Elizabeth Dobbie and engaged in agricultural pursuits for a number of years, but as that county was not adapted to farming he emigrated to Illinois in 1868 and settled in Iroquois County, on the farm where his son now resides. He bought a tract of one hundred and sixty acres which was partially improved and had upon it a small house. This farm he proceeded to develop and was quite successful in his efforts. In 1883, he removed to Herscher, Ill., and resided there for about three years. He is now retired from the active duties of farm life and is passing his remaining years in Chebanse. Mr. Brown has been twice married, his first wife departing this life on the 19th of December, 1884.
Charles Brown is one of a family of four sons and four daughters, who grew to mature years and are all now living. He came to this State and county when a young man of seventeen. He had received good educational advantages in Canada and also attended school here during a few winter terms. He remained with his father until he reached his majority and then started in life for himself. Purchasing a team, he then rented land here on which he raised two crops. He next went to Kansas and bought land in Sedgwick County, near Witchita. This tract was raw prairie land, and this he held for about two years, after which he sold at a fair price. He bought land near Sheldon, Ill., where he carried on agricultural pursuits for some three years and then rented the old homestead for some time, after which he sold his property near Sheldon and purchased the homestead in 1887. He has a valuable farm of one hundred and sixty acres, all fertile and arable land. It is located three miles from Clifton and the same distance from Ashkum. It is a most desirable piece of property and one of the best in the county. He started to make his way in the world without capital and has by his own labor and enterprise acquired a good property and home and a comfortable competence. He is one of the thrifty and well?to?do farmers of the county and has made many friends during his long residence in this section. He is considered a man of integrity and upright character and is widely and favorably known.
On the 22d of January, 1880, Mr. Brown was united in marriage with Miss Clarissa M. White, the the ceremony being performed in this county. Mrs. Brown is a native of England and grew to womanhood and was educated in Illinois. She is a daughter of Thomas White, now deceased. Four children of this worthy couple are now living: John David, Clifford Thomas, Charles Le Roy and Raymond. They also lost one daughter, Mary Mabel, who died at the age of four years.
Mr. Brown was formerly identified with the Republican party but of recent years has bees an advocate of the Democracy. He has never asked for official positions nor leas he accepted the same, preferring to give his sole attention to his business. He is an interested friend of education, and ever does all in his power to advance the best interests and insure the prosperity of the community in which he dwells. His duties of citizenship are always faithfully discharged, and to every measure calculated to benefit the people, either socially, morally or politically, lends his active support.
BASIL F. COULOMB, a well?known blacksmith of Clifton, was born in L'Erable, Ashkum Township, Iroquois County, on the 15th of August, 1862. His grandfather, Xavia Coulomb, was a ship?builder by trade, and was drowned in the St. Lawrence River, when the father of our subject was a young child. After the death of the grandfather, his widow and her son removed to Kankakee, living in the vicinity of L'Erable until his mother's death. The father of our subject, Frank Coulomb, was twice married, Miss Basse being his first wife, and unto them two children, Frank and Pomilia, were born. The mother of these children died in the spring of 1859, and in 1861 Mr. Coulomb married Miss Mary Durand, a native of St. John's, New Brunswick. Two children graced this union, our subject and a daughter, Nellie H. The parents emigrated to the United States about the year 1858 locating in Kankakee, Ill., where they became acquainted and were married. The father of the lady, Peter Durand, was a thrifty farmer and accumulated considerable property. His death occurred in L'Erable in the year 1888, he having attained the three-score and ten years allotted to man. His wife departed this life some ten years previously. After a residence of about a year in Kankakee, the father of our subject removed to L'Erable, where he arrived in the spring of 1861. For abort two years, he carried on a blacksmith shop, and in the fall of 1863 went to Danville, where, on the 9th of August, 1864, he met his death in a sawmill. After her husband's death, Mrs. Coulomb returned to L'Erable where she reared and educated her children. In 1870, she was again married, becoming the wife of Isaac Jarvis. Two daughters, Georgia and Edwardina, have been born of their union. Mrs. Jarvis is still living on a farm near L'Erable.
Basil F. Coulomb, whose name heads this record, received a good common?school education, but was obliged to enter upon the serious duties of life at an early age. This prevented him pursuing a collegiate course. He learned the blacksmith and wagon?maker's trade when a lad and carried on the dust business at L'Erable for about three years. On the expiration of this period, he sold his shop and removed to Clifton, arriving here in 1886. He at once proceeded to establish a smithy and wagon factory, and now has one of the best-appointed shops to be found in any country town in Illinois. His industry and frugality have been rewarded with signal success, and he has built up an excellent trade, is the possessor of a pleasant home and five lots in Clifton.
On the 2d of February, 1884, Mr. Coulomb led to the marriage altar Miss Mary D. Cailteux, daughter of Francis and Mary (Eusett) Cailteux. Unto this worthy couple has been born a family of four children: Edna, Frank, William and Herman.
Mr. Coulomb is a prominent citizen of the community. He is now serving the second term as a member of the Village Board at Trustees sun has given good satisfaction to all concerned in the discharge of his official duties. In politics, he is not affiliated with any party, being independent, as he prefers to cast his ballot for the one who in his estimation is best fitted for the position. Mr. and Mrs. Coulomb are members of the Catholic Church, and are much esteemed citizens of this community.
ABRAM HOGLE, one of the honored pioneers of the county, and a prominent and highly respected citizen, who is now living a retired life on his farm on section 12, Concord Township, where he owns one hundred and fifty acres of land, is a native of Ohio. He was born in Coshocton County, June 4, 1831, and is a son of Michael and Rebecca (Noble) Hogle. His paternal grandparents were natives of Holland, and crossed the broad Atlantic to America about 1780. The father of our subject was born in Virginia in 1781. He was drafted for the War of 1812, but the war was over before he began service. He was twice married, the mother of our subject being his second wife. After his first union he emigrated to Ohio in 1820. There was a large family of children by that marriage. In 182, he was joined in wedlock with Mrs. Rebecca (Noble) Cresap. She was born in Virginia, in 1796, and with her parents removed to Coshocton County, Ohio, in childhood. By her first marriage she had one child, who long since died.
The subject of this sketch is the third in order of birth, in a family of five children, but one died in infancy, and the sister, Luna, died at the age of nineteen. The three sons grew to manhood and were married, but Thomas L. died in Arkansas, and his family are all deceased. Henry is now engaged in farming in Vermilion County, Ill.
Abram Hogle was a lad of fifteen years, when with his parents be came to this county, locating on the farm which is now his home. This was in the spring of 1846. His father purchased four hundred acres of land, upon which was a log cabin, which still stands, one of the few landmarks of pioneer days yet remaining. He at once began making preparations to build a more comfortable residence, but in June of the same year, he was taken ill and died, leaving a widow and four children. Abram immediately took charge of the home farm, for his older brother began work elsewhere, and in two years the latter had started in life on his own account. It was the father's intention to give his children good educational advantages, but his death changed all his plans.
Our subject made the most of the opportunities furnished by the district schools, but his home duties prevented him entering college; however, by subsequent reading, study and observation, he has made himself a well?informed man. He succeeded in getting sufficient education to begin teaching at the age of twenty?one, and was thus employed in Indiana and Illinois.
On the 13th of May, 1854, Mr. Hogle wedded Miss Mary Strickler, who was born in Page County, Va., in the Shenandoah Valley, May 19, 1832, and is a daughter of Henry D. and Catherine (Brubaker) Strickler. At the age of three years, she was brought to this county by her parents, who spent their remaining lives in Concord Township. They lived together as man and wife for nearly sixty?three years, and were laid to rest side by side in Liberty Cemetery. The parents of Mr. Hogle were also there buried. His mother resided with him until her death, which occurred April 23, 1881. Had she lived three days longer, she would have been eighty?five years of age.
Mr. and Mrs. Hogle began their domestic life on the farm where they now reside, and the home has been blessed by a family of seven children: Henry S., who was born August 29, 1855, is now married, follows farming in Concord Township, and has also taught school several terms; Herbert N., born November 15, 1856, aids in the operation of the home farm; Rebecca N., born December 19, 1858, died on the 16th of August, 1860; Carrie, born February 12, 1860, was the wife of Benjamin Wingard, a resident of Concord Township, and died September 23, 1892; Flora, born November 23, 1865, is the wife of Alfred Yeagley, a resident of Fowler, Ind.; Nellie, born March 1, 1867, lived only a few hours; and Mina J., born December 4, 1868, died February 8, 1883.
In early life, Mr. Hogle was a Whig, and cast his first Presidential vote for Winfield Scott in 1852. In 1856, he supported Fremont, and has since been a stalwart Republican. His fellow?townsmen, appreciating his worth and ability, have frequently called upon him to serve in public positions of honor and trust. For twenty?eight consecutive years he served as School Director, and then refused to hold the office for the three succeeding years, when his neighbour and friends so insisted upon him taking the position again that he served for another four years. For three years he was Justice of the Peace, and during that time there was only one appeal taken, and his decision was sustained in that instance. He served continuously as Commissioner for nine years, and has held the office altogether for fifteen years. For three years he was Supervisor of Concord Township, although the township is Democratic. He was also elected Township Clerk, but would not serve: His personal popularity and the high regard in which he is held are attested by his frequent election to public office. To those who know him it is needless to say that his duties were ever promptly and faithfully performed
Mr. Hogle has been a great reader all his life, and is especially well informed on the subject of history. When thirty years of age he was united with the Methodist Episcopal Church, and in younger years was a prominent worker in church and Sunday?school. His life has been an honorable and upright one. True to every trust reposed in him, he has the confidence and good?will of all, and no man in the community is held in higher regard than the pioneer and valued citizen, Abram Hogle.
FRANKLIN COUGHENOUR, a representative farmer and stock?raiser, resides on, section 27, Concord Township. He owns two farms of one hundred and twenty acres each, and twenty?one acres of timber land, and his possessions have been acquired throughout by his own well?directed efforts. His entire life has been spent, in this county. He was born on his father's farm in Concord Township, near where he now lives, December 21, 1846, and is one of thirteen children, eleven of whom grew to manhood and womanhood, while seven are still living, and, with one exception, all are residents of this county. The parents were Abram and Elizabeth Ann (Williams) Coughenour, a sketch of whom appears elsewhere in this work. His father is still living and is one of the honored pioneers of this community.
Franklin Coughenour, whose name heads this record, was reared on a farm less than half a mile from his present home. His education was acquired in the district schools of the neighborhood, which he attended through the winter months, while in the summer season he worked hard upon the farm, having labored in the fields since he was old enough to handle the plow. He began to earn his own livelihood on attaining his majority, and ere his marriage had purchased and made a small payment upon one hundred and twenty acres of land, his present farm.
On the 28th of March, 1873, Mr. Coughenour was joined in wedlock with Miss Ellen Eastburn, daughter of Jesse R. and Tabitha (Critchfield) Eastburn, born September 26, 1852, and who has spent her entire life in Concord Township. They began their domestic life upon this farm in the little log cabin, which is still standing. There they lived, for about nine years, when their home was replaced by a more commodious and modern residence. In 1887, a good barn was built, other improvements have been made, and the land is under a high state of cultivation. In 1891, a second purchase of one hundred and twenty acres was made, and now a good farm of two hundred and forty acres yields a golden tribute to the owner. The home has been blessed by the presence of eight children, one of whom died in infancy. In order of birth they are as follows: Lena Etta, born on the 10th of January, 1873; Jesse R., born on the 3d of February, 1875; Franklin, born April 5, 1877; Margaret, born April 14, 1879; Thomas Abram, born December 11, 1881; Roy, born March 15, 1885; and Della May, born August 29, 1886.
Mr. Coughenour exercises his right of franchise in the support of the Democratic party, and his first vote was cast in 1872 for Horace Greeley. He has filled the office of School Director for a number of years and was also Trustee for a few years. He is a warm supporter of the public?school system and expects to furnish his children with good educational advantages. For twenty?two years he has held membership with the Odd Fellows, belonging to River Lodge No. 586, I. O. O. F., of Iroquois. Mr. Coughenour is a representative of an honored pioneer family of this county, but his own sterling worth is what has won him the high regard in which he is held. He is a valued citizen and an enterprising and progressive farmer, and his well-spent life has secured to him the esteem and confidence of all with whom business or social relations have brought him in contact.
JAMES HEPWORTH is a prominent farmer residing on section 32, Chebanse Township He was born in Lincolnshire, England, on the 20th of April, 1825, and is a son of Thomas and Maria (James) Hepworth, both natives of the same shire. They reared their family and spent their entire lives in England. James Hepworth is the elder of the two brothers. The younger, John Hepworth, is a retired farmer of Kane County, Ill.
Our subject grew to maturity in Lincolnshire with limited school advantages, and is almost wholly self?educated. When a young man he emigrated to the United States, taking passage in a sailing?vessel, the "James Wright," at Liverpool. For six weeks and three days he was upon the broad Atlantic, and arrived in New York City in August, 1850. From there he went to Utica, N. Y., where he obtained work in a brick?yard and there continued until the spring of 1853. He then went West to Chicago, which was at that time a small village and veritable mud hole. There he remained for about four months, working for the Northwestern Railroad, and then, going to Geneva, he engaged in teaming for the next thirteen years, most of that time working for himself. He also farmed a little near that place. In February, 1866, he removed to Iroquois County and bought a tract of raw prairie land, where he has since resided. During the first years he experienced many hardships and privations, and in addition the weather was very unfavorable and the crops very light. However, undaunted by these misfortunes, he ever pushed forward with hope and energy and well merits the success which has crowned the efforts of years. After the year 1869, his land yielded abundant harvests in return for the care and cultivation bestowed upon it, and Mr. Hepworth was soon on the road to prosperity. He greatly improved his place and built a large, substantial residence upon it, and later added forty acres to his original farm, now being the owner of one hundred and twenty acres of fertile and valuable land. He commenced life in America with no capital except a good constitution, and has by his own labor, enterprise and industry and the assistance of his estimable wife, accumulated a good property and income.
In Utica, N. Y., on the 29th of August, 1850, a wedding ceremony united the destinies of James Hepworth and Elizabeth Platt. The lady, like her husband, was born in Lincolnshire, England, and is a daughter of Thomas Platt, who was one of the first settlers of Will County, Ill. There are four children by this union: George is married and is a farmer in Chebanse Township; Sarah is the wife of Burt Miller, who also carries on farming in the same township; Mattie, now at home, is a young lady of good education and has been a teacher in this county; and Lizzie, who was for eight years a teacher, is now the wife of Peter Nelson, an agriculturist of Iroquois County.
Mr. Hepworth cast his first ballot, in the Presidential election of 1860, for Abraham Lincoln, and since that time has ever been a warm supporter of the principles and nominees of the Republican party. He has never desired official positions but has ever attended strictly to his business affairs. For many years he has been a member of the School Board, and has always taken an active part in the advancement of educational interests. Our subject and his wife are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church. For nearly two?score years, he has been identified with the progress of this State and county. Great credit is due him in company with the other hardy pioneers who endured privations and hardships and established homes in the wilderness. They were the forerunners of prosperity, education and civilization, and well deserve to be chronicled as such, that all may read of their lives, which have done so much far the opening and development of the country.
SAMUEL BROOK, a leading and influential resident of Clifton, owns and operates a farm of two hundred acres, although he makes his home in the village. He has lived in this county for a period of twenty?two years, and his residence in this State dates from 1854. His life record is as follows. His birth occurred on the 7th of December, 1824, in Epworth, Lincolnshire, England. He is the son of William and Catherine (Standring) Brock. Their family numbered seven children, three sons and four daughters. Five of these are now living, the two eldest ones of the family having died in England. Those surviving are Judith, Ann, Samuel, Hannah and John T. Three of the children have located in America. Ann crossed the Atlantic in 1852, and two years later was followed by her brothers, Samuel and John. They settled in Will County, Ill., the brothers working on a farm near Plainfield.
He whose name heads this sketch received a good common?school education, and upon arriving at man's estate was united in marriage with Miss Sarah Christina Brock, daughter of William and Elizabeth (Maudson) Brock. The two families, though bearing the same name, were not related. Mr. and Mrs. Brock became the parents of seven children, six of them being sons: William F. was born June 12, 1855, and married Miss Sarah Simrel, of Clifton, by whom he has one child, Edgar. He is a farmer by occupation, and operates a tract of lard three miles from Clifton. George M., who was born April 22, 1857, married Miss Harriet Leggott, who is the daughter of Edward and Ann (Platt) Leggott. They are the parents of three children, Arthur, Grace and Carrie, and make their home in Clifton. Charles C. was born on the 11th of November, 1859. Alfred L., born April 10, 1861, wedded Miss Anna Carron, and makes his home in Clifton. The lady is the daughter of Alfonso Canon. Richard H., born May 9, 1863, married Miss Mary Louise Vandervort, and they too reside in Clifton. One child, Chauncey, graces their union. Edith E., whose birth occurred on the 17th of March, 1869, still resides under the parental roof. Edgar T., born December 14, 1870, died on the 12th of April, 1879.
Mr. Brock engaged in agricultural pursuits for a period of about sixteen years in Will County, and then changed his place, of residence. It was in 1870 that be removed with his family to Iroquois County. He settled upon a farm comprising eighty acres, which was situated three miles to the northwest of Clifton, and thereon made his home for eighteen years. In March, 1888, he came to the village, but has not abandoned his farming interests, still operating his farm, which comprises within its boundaries two hundred acres. He is a good farmer, progressive and practical, and the neat appearance of the place indicates his industrious nature. On every hand can be seen the evidences of the enterprise and supervision of the owner, and his farm is a model one. He has overcome all obstacles placed in his pathway in a manner worthy of emulation, and well deserves the success which he has achieved. Mr. Brock exercises his right of franchise in favor of the Republican party, and is a loyal citizen of his adopted country.
PATRICK COLLINS is a prominent farmer of Milk's Grove Township, living on section 27. His birth occurred in Dublin, Ireland, in May, 1820. He was a son of Thomas Collins, who was born and reared in the same part of the Emerald Isle and followed the occupation of farming. He married Alice Nugent and they became the parents of five children, who were born in that country. The father was a member of the militia and lived to the age of seventy?four in his native land, his death occurring in 1862. That year the family emigrated to America and went to Paris Hill, Oneida County, N. Y. The mother died at the home of our subject in Iroquois County, when over seventy years of age. The family is a long?lived race, her mother having reached the advanced age of ninety years, at which time she often walked two miles. The family have all been faithful members of the Catholic Church. In order of birth our subject is the eldest in his father's family. Andrew is a farmer of Milk's Grove Township; Thomas is a hotel?keeper at Springfield, Ill.; Amy and Alice are both deceased.
The boyhood days of our subject were passed on a farm in Ireland, and his educational privileges were of a limited order. At the age of twelve, he was obliged to commence work, and remained at home until coming to America in 1850. He sailed from Dublin to Liverpool and there took passage in a vessel bound for New York City. The voyage was of two weeks' duration. He went to Paris Hill, N. Y., where he worked for eight years upon a farm in that neighborhood at $12 per month. During the winter season he was engaged in chopping wood. In 1858, he came Westward to Illinois and carried on farming in Wilmington, Will County, for some years. The year 1866 witnessed his arrival in Iroquois County, at which time he purchased forty acres of land on section 2. The country was wild and but few houses were to be seen on the broad prairie. His land was entirely uncultivated and he turned the first sod upon the place. He was industrious, enterprising and frugal, overcoming the difficulties and privations of those early years with determination and fortitude. His efforts were blessed with success, and from time to time as his resources increased he added to his original farm until he had two hundred and forty acres in all. In 1883, he sold that property and purchased his present fine farm of three hundred and twenty acres of valuable and well?tilled land, which yields an abundant harvest for the care and cultivation bestowed upon it by the owner. When Mr. Collins landed in America he had but ten shillings in English money, and has worked honestly and faithfully to secure a livelihood and competence. He is now well?to?do and deserves the success which he has achieved.
In Oneida County, N. Y., in 1857, occurred the marriage of Mr. Collins and Miss Mary Gagen, a native of Dublin County, Ireland, who came with her parents to America when twelve years old and settled in Oneida County. Five sons have blessed the union of Mr. and Mrs. Collins: Thomas assists his father in the work of the farm; James is married and carries on farming in Chebanse Township; Joseph, Francis and Lawrence are still under the parental roof. The three older children were born near Wilmington, Will County, Ill., while the two youngest were born at Reed's Grove in the same county. The children have all received the advantages of a good education and are good farmers and citizens.
Our subject, his wife and family, are faithful members of St. John's Catholic Church in Milks Grove. Mr. Collins is not an office?seeker in any sense of the term, but is always faithful in discharging his duties of citizenship. His first Presidential vote was cast for J. C. Fremont, and in 1860 he voted for Douglas, and since that time has been a stanch Democrat. He heard Lincoln and Douglas in a debate, and has often served as a delegate to the conventions of his party. For a quarter of a century he has been a resident of this community and the many friends he has made since locating here will be pleased to read this brief tribute to his worth.
HENRY JACOB SCHRIEFER, a leading farmer of Douglas Township, residing on section 28, claims Germany as the land of his birth. He was born in Ottendorf, Hanover, September 18, 1844, and is a son of March Henry and Anna M. (Voschers) Schriefer, both of whom were natives of the same province and there spent their entire lives. They had a family of four children: Henry, who is engaged in farming in Douglas Township; Herman C., a resident of Williamsburg, N. Y.; Henry J. of this sketch; and William, who is engaged in farming in the land of his birth.
We now take up the personal history of our subject, who was reared on a farm in the Fatherland, and educated in the German language. On attaining his majority he was called upon to serve in the Hanoverian army and took part in the war between Hanover and Prussia, participating in the battle of Lamensalza. After his return home, he determined to seek his fortune in America. He bade good?bye to friends and native land, and on the 11th of April, 1867, boarded a sailing?vessel at Bremen, which after a voyage of forty?five days dropped anchor in the harbor of New York. Mr. Schriefer at once came to the West and made a location in Marshall County, Ill., where he worked for a time as a farm hand and then engaged in agricultural pursuits for himself.
Before leaving home, Mr. Schriefer was united in marriage, on the 10th of March, 1867, with Miss Anna K. Borchers, also a native of Ottendorf, and with his young bride he sailed for this county. Seven children have been born of their union, as follows: Samuel D., who died in his thirteenth year; Emma, wife of Harm Ahrends, a resident farmer of Douglas Township; Lizzie Mary died December 6, 1892; Herman H., Anna R., Mina and Henry Jacob.
In 1874, Mr. Schriefer came to Iroquois County and purchased one hundred and twenty acres of wild prairie land, upon which not a furrow had been turned. It was also entirely destitute of improvements, and almost the entire locality was under water. He has tiled the land and it is now desirable and valuable tract. Its well?tilled fields yield to him a golden tribute, and the good buildings and many other improvements upon the place attest the care and supervision of a thrifty and progressive manager. As his financial resources were increased, he extended the boundaries of his farm, which now comprises two hundred and forty acres. Since coming to this county he has engaged in agricultural pursuits and is now recognized as one of the prominent and progressive farmers of Douglas Township.
Both Mr. and Mrs. Schriefer hold membership with the Lutheran Church of Gilman, in which he has served as Trustee. In his political affiliations he is a Democrat but has never been an office-seeker. The cause of education finds in him a warm friend, and he has done effective service in the interests of the schools while serving as Director. Socially, he is a member of the Order of Druids. His life has been one of signal success. When he came to this county he was $42 in debt and bad a family depending upon him for support, but by his industry and the assistance of his estimable wife he has acquired a comfortable competence and become one of the leading farmers of the township.
ROBERT FOWLER CUMMINGS, a prominent citizen of Clifton and dealer in grain and lumber, is a native of Massachusetts, his birth having occurred on the 17th of June, 1848. He is a son of Abel B. and Emily (Fowler) Cummings, both of whom were natives of Massachusetts. In 1853, they removed to Granville, Putnam County, Ill., where they lived until 1856, at that time going to Winona, this State. There they made their home until 1864, when they came to Clifton and resided for many years. On the 26th of March, 1888, the mother was called to the better land, she being then about sixty?eight years of age. She was a devoted wife and mother, and left many friends to mourn her loss. The father is still living and makes his home in Marseilles, where he is engaged in the practice of law. To Mr. and Mrs. Cummings three children were born: Marion, Robert F. and Mary S. Our subject is the only one of the family now living.
Robert F. Cummings received a good education in the common schools, and supplemented his training by a collegiate education in Winona Seminary and Lake Forest Academy, being graduated from the latter in 1866. After finishing his schooling, our subject came to Clifton and entered the employment of Cummings & Parmeter, dealers in grain, lumber and general merchandise. At the end of about a year, he went to Chicago and secured employment with the firm of B. Fowler & Co., grain commission merchants, and there continued for about the same length of time. He next returned to Clifton and operated the grain business of B. Fowler & Co. until the year 1870 with good success, when he returned to Wenona and engaged in the dry?goods business with S. Fowler & Co., in which firm he was the junior partner. For the succeeding seven years he made his home in that place and assisted in building up a large and flourishing business. About fifteen years ago, he again came to Clifton and entered the grain and coal business, which he still follows. He also operates the Wabash Elevator at Gilman, and an elevator at Chebanse. He is a member of the firm of Cummings & Kent, lumber merchants of Chebanse, and also of the firm of George R. Ashman & Co., grain merchants of Gilman. For a time he operated an elevator at Onarga, and one at La Hogue, but has since sold out his business in those places. He is also a large real?estate owner, now being the possessor of thirteen hundred acres of land in the neighborhood of Clifton. In addition to all of his other lines of business, he is interested in banking, and carries on these various and diverse undertakings with wise business sagacity and ability. He is enterprising and progressive in his methods, and prosperity has attended his efforts.
On the 6th of July, 1874, Mr. Cummings was united an marriage with Miss Minnie A. Marston, daughter of Sanford, K. and Sarah (Field) Marston, of Onarga Ill. To our subject and his estimable wife have been born six children, five of whom are now living: Lenore, Marion, Florence, Irene and Marston. Mrs. Cummings is well known in musical circles, is a member of the Lyric Club, of Kankakee, and has appeared in numerous concerts of a high order. In 1889, our subject and his wife spent a number of mouths in Europe, and had an enjoyable and profitable trip.
Socially, Mr. Cummings is a member of Wenona Lodge No. 284, I. O. O. F. He is a stanch and loyal Republican, and a supporter of that party and its principles. His fellow?citizens have often called upon him to assume the duties of responsible positions, he having been a member of the Village Board of Trustees of Clifton almost continuously since his residence here, and was President of the Board for about four years. He has always discharged the duties devolving upon him, whether as a private citizen or an official, in a creditable and faithful manner. Both he and his wife have a wide circle of friends, who hold them in the highest regard.
GAMALIEL G. BAKER, watchmaker and jeweler, is an old resident of Chebanse, having lived here for nearly a quarter of a century. His birth occurred in the township of Waltham, near Ottawa, is La Salle County, on the 1st of January, 1863. He is a son of John W. and Catherine C. (Baker) Baker, who were both natives of Washington County, N. Y. Their family consisted of two sons and a daughter. Selby S. marred Miss Amanda Tallman, of Kankakee, and to them have been born four children: William S.; Imogene; Arthur, who died when two years of age; and Ethel. Mr. and Mrs. Baker now make their home in Brookdale, near Chicago. The second child, L. Anna, married Alvin P. Farley, a photographer of Manteno; they now reside in Kendallville, Ind. Our subject completes the family.
The father came to Illinois in 1858, settling in Ottawa, where he followed the carpenter's trade for a number of years. He then purchased a farm in Waltham Township, about five or six miles from Ottawa, where he carried on farming until the fall of 1865. He then sold that farm and came to Iroquois County. purchasing two hundred and eighty acres of land in Chebanse Township, about a mile and a?half from the village. This property now belongs to Messrs. P. C. Burke and Leroy Payne of Chicago, and is now divided into two farms. Mr. Baker lived upon his farm until the spring of 1869, when he removed with his family into the village. After a residence here of about two years, he went to Iowa and now makes his home in Grinnell.
The education of Gamaliel G. Baker was obtained in the public schools of Chebanse. After completing his studies, he served for five years it the cabinet?maker's trade, and then for three years followed the occupation of a painter. He next opened a grocery store, and carried on that business for about two years, when he sold out to C. P. Beck. His attention was next turned to the watchmaking and jewelry business, and he opened an establishment in that line, which he is still carrying on. From a small beginning he has built up a good business, and enjoys the confidence and friendship of his many acquaintances. He is industrious and careful in his purchases and investments, and has met with good success.
On the 13th of January, 1892, Mr. Baker was joined in matrimony with Miss Grace L. Morrison, daughter of James K. and Angeline C. (Aborn) Morrison, who are both natives of Connecticut, and at the time of their daughter's marriage lived in Otto Township, Kankakee County, about three miles from Chebanse. Since casting his first ballot, Mr. Baker has always voted the Republican ticket. Although but a young man, he is quite an old settler of Chebanse, and has a large acquaintance in this part of the county. By his characteristics of quiet perseverance and unostentatious demeanor, he has won the respect and friendship of all, and is a good citizen, devoted to the best interests of his fellow?citizens.
HOWARD LYON, one of the representative and progressive farmers of Onarga Township, who owns and operates four hundred and ten acres of land, is one of the early settlers of the county. He was born in Stockbridge, Windsor County, Vt., on the 1st of March, 1831, and is the son of Amass and Polly (Barnes) Lyon, both of whom were natives of the Green Mountain State. Four children were born unto them, three of whom are living.
In the State of his nativity, our subject spent the days of his boyhood and youth, and after attaining to mature years he was married, on the 22d of April, 1856, to Miss Betsy Brown, daughter of Robert Brown. In the fall of the same year, they removed to Illinois, settling in Iroquois County, west of Onarga. In December, 1857, while returning on a visit to her old home, Mrs. Lyon was drowned while crossing the river at Detroit, Mich. After the death of his wife, Mr. Lyon remained for eighteen months in Vermont, and then returned to this State, in the spring of 1859, locating on a farm four miles south of Onarga, where he has since resided. He had at first rented farm in connection with his brother.
On the 14th of February, 1864. Mr. Lyon was again married, his second union being with Mrs. Caroline Sanders, widow of Richard Sanders. There were five children born of that union, all sons: James, born March 29, 1865; Edward, October 17, 1867; William, November 22, 1868; Perry, December 15, 1869, and Robert, July 17, 1871. One is married, Edward, who wedded Miss Sadie Hiller, daughter of George and Mary Hiller, and they have a little child, Howard. The mother of this family was galled to her final rest on the 12th of play, 1879. Mr. Lyon was again married, March 3, 1880, the lady of his choice being Mrs. Eveline Libhart, widow of P. T. B. Libhart. The lady was born in Bainbridge, Chenango County, N. Y., December 22, 1833. Her parents, Isaac and Eliza (Miller) Dalton, were both natives of Pennsylvania. In childhood, they emigrated to New York. In 1845, they moved to Wisconsin and a few years later returned to New York. In 1861, they moved to Iroquois County, and there the father spent his last days, dying in 1877, aged about sixty-three years. His widow lives near Gilman, aged seventy?eight years. After thirteen years of age, Mrs. Lyon lived with her relatives in Michigan, where she married October 23, 1853, Mr. Libhart. In the fall of the same year, Mr. Libhart moved to Del Rey, where he ran a sawmill. He died in Buckley in 1873. By her former marriage Mrs. Lyon had five children, as follows: Hubert C., born September 18, 1854, married Miss Dora Hayhurst, and resides in Momence, Ill., with his wife and daughter Leo. Julietta, born August 6, 1856, is the wife of Andrew Camp, a resident of Monona County, Iowa, and they have six children, namely: Helen D., Hosea, Fred, Annie, Agnes and Josie. Mary Alice, born April 20, 1858, is the wife of Alfred Vanordstrand, by whom she has three children: Mabel E., Hubert R. and Mildred, and they reside near Momence, Ill. William R., born April 8, 1859, wedded Miss Mary Beatle, daughter of Abraham and Elizabeth Beatle, and they reside in Sycamore, Ill., with their four children: Coila, Frank, Myrtle and Marx. Estella B., born January 3, 1861, is the wife of James Nichols and their home is near Lake Village, Ind. They have four children: Floyd, Fay, Beulah and Eunice.
As before stated, Mr. Lyon has resided upon his present farm since 1859, and now owns and operates four hundred and ten acres of land, which is under a high state of cultivation and well improved. In connection with general farming, he has also paid considerable attention to stock?raising, and by his industry, perseverance and good management has acquired a handsome competence. Mr. Lyon is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church and his wife holds membership with the Presbyterian Church. In politics, he is a supporter of Republican principles and is a valued citizen of the community. For more than a third of a century, he has here made his home, has watched the growth and development of the county, has aided in its upbuilding, and well deserves mention among its pioneers