Old Courthouse Museum
103 West Cherry Street
Watseka, IL 60970-1524
DEWITT CLINTON ADSIT, who carries on general farming on section 12, Lovejoy Township, and is numbered among its early settlers, claims Ohio as the State of his nativity. He was born in Clinton County, on the 2d of October, 1831, and in a family of ten children, numbering five sons and five daughters, he is the fifth in order of birth. His parents, Samuel and Sarah Elizabeth (Stowe) Adsit, are mentioned in the sketch of Stephen Adsit, of Wellington, on another page of this work.
The subject of this record spent his boyhood days in Ohio until nine years of age, and then accompanied his parents on their removal to Adams County, Ind., where he remained until he had attained his majority. The family were among the early settlers of that locality and he aided his father in the arduous task of clearing the land ready for the plow. His early education was quite primitive, but by his own exertions he has acquired an excellent fund of knowledge and is a well-informed man. When he went to Indiana, all kinds of wild game were plentiful and the Indians had not yet left for their Western reservations beyond the Mississippi. The family removed to the Hoosier State in a covered wagon, about eight days being consumed in making time journey of one hundred miles. They lived in true pioneer style and endured all the hardships of frontier life. The father entered three hundred and twenty acres of land and this was covered with timber. Their first habitation was a little shanty with a bark roof. They had no bedsteads, so they made their beds on the dirt floor; their cooking was all done out of doors, the large kettle being hung upon two crossed sticks over the fire. When it rained they had to abandon cooking until the shower was over. Church services were held in the homes of the neighborhood, and school convened in a log cabin with its puncheon floor and slab seats. The teacher was hired by subscription and boarded around among his pupils.
In 1854, Mr. Adsit came with his parents to Iroquois County, and his father entered over a section of raw land. His home was one of the first built in the township, and one could ride for thirty miles over the prairies without coming to a settlement to impede his progress. There were no railroads, and it seemed that the work of development and civilization was scarcely begun. Onarga was the market at that time. Mr. Adsit was one of the organizers of the first school in Lovejoy Township; his wife was the first teacher, and school convened in the home where they yet reside. He also aided in the erection of the churches of the community, and has been identified with the best interests of the county since a very early day he hunted deer and earned much of his money by selling the skins. At that day, wild-cat currency was in circulation, and on retiring at night one could not tell whether his money would be of any value in the morning, or simply worthless paper.
On the 19th of March, 1862, Mr. Adsit was married to Miss Laura S. Galloway, daughter of Samuel and Prudence (Manning) Galloway, who are mentioned in the sketch of Joseph Galloway on another page of this work. Mrs. Adsit was born in Warren County, Ohio, July 5, 1838, and was only four years old when her parents removed to Fountain County, Ind. When a maiden of nine summers the family went to Warren County, where she remained until twenty-three years of age. After attending the common schools, she completed her education in the grade schools of State Line City. As before stated, she taught the first school in Lovejoy Township, and was one of the successful teachers of the county for a number of years. She too has shared in the experiences of frontier life, and with others of the prominent ladies of the county she would ride to church in a big lumber wagon, a sun-bonnet adorning her head. Mrs. Adsit and the children are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, of Wellington.
Unto Mr. and Mrs. Adsit have been born five children, two sons and three daughters, of whom three are now living: Matilda R., who was educated in the common schools and at Wesleyan University, and for several years was a teacher of recognized ability in this county, is now the wife of Thomas Parish, a farmer of Lovejoy Township. They have a little son, Perry. She possesses considerable talent, both in music and painting. Sherman, who married Miss Anna Scott, daughter of William Scott, of Lovejoy Township, is a successful physician and surgeon of Hoopeston, Ill., who graduated from the Chicago Homeopathic Medical College in a class of seventy-nine students. Perry, who was educated in the Business College of Bloomington, is engaged in agricultural pursuits and controls his father's farm.
Mr. Adsit owns two hundred and forty acres of arable land, improved within a beautiful residence and other accessories, and to his children has given three hundred and twenty acres of land. He has followed agricultural pursuits throughout the greater part of his life, and by close attention to business and good management, has acquired a handsome competence. In politics, he is a Republican, having supported that party since he cast his first presidential vote for John C. Fremont. He has served as Commissioner of Highways and School Director. He takes an active interest in all that pertains to the welfare of the community, and his worth and ability make him one of the leading citizens of the township.
UPTON SCHAUB, manager of the Watseka Clothing Store, which does merchant tailoring and deals in ready-made clothing and gents' furnishing goods, of Watseka, established business in that city in the fall of 1883, and has carried on operations in that line continuously since. Mr. Schaub was born in Franklin County, Pa., January 30, 1850, and is a son of David and Mary (McClelland) Schaub. The parents were both natives of the Keystone State. The father was of Swiss descent, and the mother was of Scotch-Irish lineage and a relative of Gen. George B. McClelland, who commanded the Union army in its first advance on Richmond, Va., in the late Civil War. She died in April, 1852. The father died in April, 1867.
When the subject of this sketch was seven years of age he removed within his father to Henry County, Ind., his mother having died when he was two years old, and about two years later went to Newton County in the same State in 1861. He acquired his education in the common schools, and when seventeen years of age secured a position as clerk in a grocery store in Morosco, Ind. In 1875, he became associated with a Mr. Kennedy in general merchandising in the same town, and carried on business successfully until 1881. In that year he sold out, and two years later came to Watseka, where he embarked in his present business in a small way, but his trade has since increased until his annual sales amount to from $25,000 to $30,000, they having a large country custom.
On the 10th of October, 1876, Mr. Schaub was united in marriage in Chicago with Miss Mary E. Dashiell, daughter of John Dashiell, formerly of Chebanse Township, Iroquois County. Mr. Schaub and his wife are active members of the Methodist Episcopal Church of Watseka, in which he holds the offices of Steward and Trustee, and is an active worker in the Sunday-school. In politics he is independent. In his social relations he is a Mason and an Odd Fellow, holding membership with Watseka Lodge No. 446, A. F. & A. M.; and Iroquois Lodge No. 74, I. O. O. F. He is an enterprising and public-spirited citizen of the community and one having a wide acquaintance.
Mr. Schaub is a popular merchant and has an elegant and well-assorted stock of goods in his store. He is an expert cutter and a skilled workman. His store front was designed by himself and is a gem of beauty. Nothing so fine as his window display is to be found in the county.
After the late war broke out, however, Mr. Eastburn laid aside all business cares, and at the age of eighteen years, responding to the country's call for troops, enlisted in Company C, Fifty-first Illinois Infantry. After remaining in Camp Butler of Springfield for about six months, the troops were sent South to Cairo, Ill. The first duty in which Mr. Eastburn engaged was in the guarding of provisions at the battle of Ft. Donelson. He participated in the engagement at Island No. 10, and aided in cutting the canal through for transports. Subsequently the troops returned to New Madrid and afterward went to Ft. Pillow. From there they Went to Pittsburg Landing, participating in the battle at that place, where they went into camp. However, they also engaged in the battle of Corinth and there Mr. Eastburn was taken sick. Receiving a thirty-day furlough he returned home.
On the expiration of the month he rejoined his regiment, but was soon ordered to the hospital in St. Louis. He afterward met his command in Nashville and then went to Stone River, participating in the three days' fight at that place. He engaged in the battle of Chickamauga, and during the second day of the engagement, on the 23d of September, 1863, was wounded in the right shoulder. He was then sent to the hospital in Nashville and his wound was not dressed until he arrived in that city two days later. His injuries proved of a serious nature, and he was confined in the hospital until the middle of February, 1864, when he rejoined his regiment in Chattanooga, Tenn. At this place he then re-enlisted as a veteran and received a thirty-day furlough. After a visit to his home he went back to Chattanooga, Tenn., and in April, 1864, started on the Atlanta campaign. He participated in the battles of Resaca and Buzzard's Roost and in all the engagements until the fall of Atlanta. Subsequently he was under fire at the battle of Jonesboro, in August, 1864, and from there returned to Nashville under Gen. Thomas, opposing Hood all of the way back. They followed the rebel leader across the Tennessee River and then went into camp. At this time Mr. Eastburn was granted a furlough in order to return home and vote, which he did, casting his first Presidential vote for Abraham Lincoln. Subsequently he rejoined the troops, which were sent to New Orleans and from there to Texas. Our subject received his discharge at Camp Irwin, Tex., in 1865, after four years of faithful service.
When the country no longer needed his aid, Mr. Eastburn returned home and began farming on a one hundred acre tract of land which he operated for two years. He now owns three hundred acres of rich farming land which yields to him a good income. He has also engaged extensively in raising stock, and in 1891 he built an elevator, since which time he has done a good business as a grain dealer. He is a practical and progressive farmer, and by his industry, perseverance and good management of his business interests has acquired a handsome competence.
On the 5th of April, 1868, Mr. Eastburn was united in marriage with Miss Sarah Penieo, daughter of George and Mary (Kennedy) Penieo, both of whom were natives of Ohio. Nine children have been born of their union, but four are now deceased: Ida J., Gracie, May, and one who died in infancy. Those still living are: Nellie, Allen P., Dora, Harry R. and Fred L. They are still under the parental roof.
Mr. Eastburn has just established a town to be known as Eastburn, Ill. It is located four miles west of Sheldon and five miles east of Toledo, on the Toledo, Peoria & Warsaw Railroad, and is in the midst of one of the finest agricultural regions of Eastern Illinois. It will be one of the best points for shipping grain in the southeastern part of the county and will no doubt become a thriving village. Since casting his first vote, Mr. Eastburn has been a stanch supporter of Republican principles and has served as Commissioner of Highways and School Director for about nine years. Socially, he is a member of the Patriotic Order of Sons of America and is a friend to all social, educational and moral interests. He gives his support to every worthy enterprise calculated to prove of public benefit, and is as true to every duty of citizenship as when he wore the blue and fought in defense of the Old Flag which now so proudly floats over the united nation.
THOMAS Y. YATES, a prominent and well-known farmer of Iroquois Township, residing on section 10, has for more than half a century made his home in this county, and in presenting to our readers the history of his life we record the history of an honored pioneer, a self-made man and valued citizen. He was born in Clermont County, Ohio, February 14, 1818, and is of French descent. His great-grandfather Yates and four of his sons were killed by the Indians in the Wyoming Massacre during the Revolutionary War, after which the two remaining sons joined the Colonial army and fought in the War for Independence.
The father of our subject, Artus Yates, was a native of New Jersey, and when a lad of sixteen years removed to Ohio with his father, Thomas Yates, one of the early settlers of Clermont County. He there married Lydia Stump, a native of Kentucky, who, when a maiden of seven summers, went to the Buckeye State. Her father, William Stump, was a German by birth and was an early settler both of Kentucky and Ohio. After his marriage, Mr. Yates engaged in farming in Ohio until the autumn of 1837, when he came to Illinois and cast in his lot among the early settlers of Iroquois County. Here he made his home until his death, which occurred in 1848. His wife died about a week previous and they were buried side by side in the Spencer Cemetery, where a monument has been erected to their memory.
We now take up the personal history of our subject, who spent the days of his boyhood and youth in Clermont County, Ohio. He is self-educated as well as self-made financially and through his own efforts has become a well-informed man. He came to this county with his father when nineteen years of age. At that time there was not a bridge between the Wabash River and Chicago, not a stream in Iroquois County was bridged and the place was almost an unbroken wilderness. He experienced all the hardships and privations incident to frontier life and has been prominently identified with the upbuilding and development of the county. To the early pioneers is due a debt of gratitude which can never be repaid for what they have done in behalf of the county, placing it in the front rank imi this great commonwealth. Mr. Yates aided his father in developing and improving land until he had attained his majority.
On the 2nd of Februamy, 1843, the marriage of our subject and Miss Isabella H. Wilson was celebrated. The lady was born in Baltimore, Md., and acquired her education in that city. The young couple began their domestic life near L'Erable and afterwards removed to Martinton Township, where Mr. Yates cleared and improved land and engaged in agricultural pursuits and in stock-raising for about a quarter of a century. He had a large stock farm and engaged in raising cattle extensively, shipping to Chicago. His landed possessions at one time aggregated more than fifteen hundred acres. He afterwards sold out and removed to Iroquois Township, locating on the Iroquois River. He has now opened up four farms in this county and his present home on section 10, Iroquois Township, comprises three hundred and forty acres of valuable land, which is under a high state of cultivation and improved with good buildings and all the accessories of a model farm.
In 1890, Mr. Yates was called upon to mourn the loss of his life partner, who passed away on the 17th of May. She had been a true and faithful helpmate to him for forty-one long years, and was a faithful Christian and a consistent member of the Presbyterian Church. Her remains were interred in Lima Cemetery, where a monument marks her last resting-place. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Yates were born four children: Mary Jane, wife of Leander Cadore, who resides in Iroquois County, and by him has six children; William, who is married and resides with his family in Iroquois Township; Scott, who is merchandising in Pittwood: and Florence, wife of Henry McKee, a farmer of Iroquois Township.
Of late years, Mr. Yates has been identified with the Democratic party. In early life he was an old-line Whig and cast his first Presidential ballot for Henry Clay. He has never been an aspirant for public office but has given his time and attention exclusively to his business; in which he has met with excellent success. For more than half a century he has been a resident of Iroquois County, having witnessed almost its entire growth and upbuilding. When he came here he had ample opportunity to indulge a taste for hunting and he has killed many deer, foxes and wolves. In the work of transforming its wild land into beautiful homes and farms he has borne an important part. He has seen its hamlets grow into thriving towns, while many of its leading villages had not yet sprung into existence on his arrival. Chicago itself consisted of only a few cabins. Mr. Yates has seen the introduction of the railroads, the telegraph and telephone, and of all those industries which mark the progress of civilization. He is a man of unblemished character and sterling worth and has the confidence and esteem of all with whom he has been brought in contact.
HON. WILLIAM LEROY JOHNSON, a prominent grain dealer of Buckley and President of the Buckley Bank, is a native of the old Granite State. He was born in Coos County, N. H., on the 7th of February, 1841. His father, David B. Johnson, was also a native of New Hampshire. After attaining to years of maturity, he married Miss Sallie D. Lane, a native of Maine. His death occurred in 1841, when he left three sons: James S., Edward H., and William Leroy, then an infant. All three were soldiers in the late Civil War. James, who became a member of Company C, Seventh Illinois Cavalry, was taken prisoner at Germantown, Tenn., in October, 1863, and confined in Belle Isle and afterward in Andersonville Prison, where in the spring of 1864 he died. The mother of this family after the death of Mr. Johnson was married, in 1845, to John H. Meserve, of Whitefield, N. H. They had one son, John B., who enlisted in Company C, Seventh Illinois Cavalry, during the late war and served until its close. Mr. Meserve died in 1858, and his wife, who survived him about thirty years, was called to her final rest in 1887.
The subject of this sketch spent the first nine years of his life in his native State, and in 1850 came with his mother and step-father to Illinois, the family locating in La Salle County, where he was reared to manhood. His primary education was received in the district schools of the neighborhood and completed by two terms' attendance at Jennings' Seminary in Aurora. He, too, was one of the boys in blue during time late war, enlisting as a member of the same company to which his brother James belonged, on the 12th of August, 1862. For three years he was a faithful and valiant soldier, ever found at his post. He saw much hard service and participated in the battles of Coldwater, Water Valley and Coffeyville. Falling back to La Grange, Tenn., they spent the winter guarding railroads. The following spring he was in the battles of Germantown amid Colliersville, where his company lost heavily. He also took part in the battle of Plaine's Store, that being one of the actions in the investment of Point Hudson. There his regiment, with parts of two others, did the foraging for the entire army. After the fall of Port Hudson his command returned to Memphis, Tenn., and was soon sent on the Sturges Raid, which proved disastrous. Though in many engagements more or less severe, Mr. Johnson was never wounded nor taken prisoner. At length, when the war was over and the country no longer needed his services, he was mustered out, just three years after his enlistment, on the 12th of July, 1865.
After the war, Mr. Johnson went to the Sandwich Islands and spent five years as assistant on a large sugar plantation. In 1870, he returned to this State and has since made his home in Buckley, having now been numbered among its leading residents for twenty-two years. On the 6th of September, 1871, he was united in marriage with Miss Tamson E. Butters, daughter of John and Sallie (Meserve) Butters. Mrs. Johnson is a native of Lovell, Me. Two children were born of their union, both sons, but only one is now living. Ernest W., born August 9, 1875, died in September, 1876; Julian C., born November 26, 1880, is at home with his parents.
In his social relations, Mr. Johnson is a Knight Templar Mason, belonging to Buckley Lodge No. 634, A. F. & A. M.; Cement Chapter, of Utica, Ill.; and Mt. Olivet Commandery No. 38, K. T., of Paxton. He also held membership with Will Carter Post No. 653, G. A. R., of Buckley, and in politics is a stanch supporter of the Republican party. He has been honored with a number of public offices, having served as Town Clerk and Supervisor, and as a member of the Village Board of Trustees for many years; he was elected and served as Representative from Iroquois County to the Thirty-sixth General Assembly of Illinois.
On locating in Buckley in 1870, Mr. Johnson embarked in business as a grain- dealer, and has since carried on operations in this line with good success. He also owns the Buckley Bank, formerly the property of John A. Koplin, which he purchased on the 1st of January, 1892, and does a general banking business. He is a man of excellent business ability, methodical and systematic, and by his fair and upright dealing has gained the confidence and good-will of all with whom he has been brought in contact. He is alike true to every public and private trust, and the fidelity and promptness with which he discharged his duties as Representative characterizes his work in the smallest detail. He owns a quarter-section of land three and a-half miles east of Buckley, besides his residence property in Buckley, his home being one of the finest in the township. His success has been well merited.
Mr. Johnson is widely and favorably known not only in Iroquois but in adjoining counties. He has traveled considerably over this country and his experiences in this direction, together with his five years of life on the Sandwich Islands, have made him a pleasant and entertaining conversationalist. He is a prominent business man, an honored veteran anti a valued citizen, and with pleasure we present to our readers this record of his life.
ROBERT CALDWELL, one of Sheldon's most respected citizens and a prominent highly grain dealer who has been in business in this place since 1878, was born near Circleville, Pickaway County, Ohio, February 22, 1831. His father, John Caldwell, was born in the Keystone State, February 5, 1800, and when eight years of age removed with his parents to Ohio, where they entered land from the Government and there resided the remainder of their lives. After attaining mature years, he was united in marriage in 1826 with Miss Elizabeth Monette, who was born in Ohio, of French parentage. Her father, Isaac Monette, was one of the pioneers of the Buckeye State, and served as Captain in the War of 1812. Mrs. Caldwell died June 22, 1838, and in 1839 Mr. Caldwell was again married, his second union uniting him with Rebecca McClelland, a native of Pennsylvania. By the first union were born the following children: Elizabeth Jane, who is now the wife of Dwight Calhoun, a resident of Kenton, Ohio; Isaac M., who gave his life in defense of his country, dying in the service at Memphis in 1863; William, who died on the old homestead; Amos B., who is a resident of Pomona, Cal.; and John W., who was graduated from the Wesleyan University of Ohio, and is now residing in Huntington, Ind. Of the second marriage was born a daughter, Annie Maria, who is now living with her mother on the old homestead. Mr. Caldwell, the father of this family, died in August, 1884. He was a very prominent member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and was a highly respected citizen. Prior to time that he was a stanch Abolitionist, and was among the first to become interested in the Underground Railroad.
Robert Caldwell, the subject of this sketch was educated in the common schools, and at the age of seventeen commenced life for himself by selling merchandise. Since that time he his been dependent upon his own resources, and his success is due entirely to his own efforts. When twenty-one years of age he came to Iroquois County, and in 1852 engaged in farming within his brother, whose land he soon afterward purchased. As an agriculturist, he was very successful, and after retiring from that business came to Sheldon in the fall of 1878 and began dealing in grain. To this venture he has since devoted his time and attention, with excellent success, and now has a fine trade. In connection with this, he owns an interest in three hundred and thirty-five acres in the old homestead, together with considerable real-estate in Kansas.
On the 12th of August, 1856, Mr. Caldwell was united in marriage with Miss Cynthia A., daughter of George and Katy (Barnette) Pinneo, both of whom were natives of Vermont. Four children were born to the union of our subject and his wife: Orlando Benton, who is now located in Chicago; John Leroy, who is engaged in the grain business in Crescent City, lll.; Elmer A, deceased; and Olive, now the wife of Dr. C. Warren, of Sheldon. The Caldwell home is a model one, and our subject attributes much of his success in life to the assistance and encouragement given him by his estimable wife.
In his social relations, Mr. Caldwell is a member of the Patriotic Order of Sons of America, and is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, to which his family also belong. His fellow-townsmen have given evidence of their appreciation of his worth and ability by repeatedly electing him to the office of Justice of time Peace, which he filled from 1860 to 1876. He has also been School Director for twenty-three years, and the cause of education finds in him a warm friend. Mr. Caldwell cast his first Presidential vote for Gen. Winfield S. Scott, the old Whig candidate, and at the birth of the Republican party cast his vote for Gen. John C. Fremont, and has voted for every Republican candidate since, strenuously upholding the banner of Republicanism at all times; but while greatly interested in political affairs, has never been an aspirant for the honors or emoluments of public office. He is an honored pioneer of the county, where for forty years he has made his home, and has witnessed almost its entire growth and upbuilding, and is numbered among its representative and leading citizens, and it is with pleasure that we present to our readers this record of his life.
HENRY PURGET owns and operates a fine farm of two hundred and forty-eight acres Township, of arable land on section 11, Belmont Township where he has resided for more than a quarter of a century. His life has been well and worthily spent and its record deserves a place in this volume. A native of Ohio, he was born in Twin Township, Ross County, March 17, 1817. His grandfather was Henry Purget and his father was Frederick Purget. The latter was born and reared in Hampshire County, Va. He served in the War of 1812, and in his native State married Mollie Shoemaker. Throughout his entire life he followed farming. Emigrating to Ohio, he hewed out a farm in the midst of the forest and theme spent the remainder of his life. His death occurred during the time of the late war. In politics he was a Whig and afterward a Republican, and in religious belief, himself and wife were both Presbyterians.
Henry Purget is one of a family of ten children and the only survivor. He was reared amid the hills of his native county, where he had limited educational privileges, but his training at farm labor was not meagre. At an early day he reared to swing the ax and scythe, and to his father he gave the benefit of his labors until he had attained his majority. He then began farming for himself in Ross County, Ohio. He married Margaret Stipp, who died a year later, leaving one child, who is now Mrs. Margaret Schultz, of this county.
In 1840, Mr. Purget removed to Madison County, Ind., and there married Lydia Mustard, a native of Pike County, Ohio. Securing a tract of land which was covered with beech trees, he cleared it of the timber, and there made his home until February, 1865, when he came to Iroquois County, and bought two hundred and seventy acres of land - his present farm. He now owns two hundred and forty acres, all in one body, and an eighty-acre tract near by. The home farm is under a high state of cultivation and supplied with good buildings and all necessary improvements. He has been very successful and now owns valuable property. On one occasion his stable was destroyed by fire and two horses were burned to death but with characteristic energy he made good his loss.
The death of Mrs. Purget occurred November 28, 1891, and her remains were interred in Belmont Cemetery. At her death she left the following children: Frederick, who was born in Indiana, and now resides in Oklahoma, served throughout the war in the Eighth Indiana Infantry and was twice wounded; William is a farmer of Belmont Township; Henry Stipp is engaged in farming near Woodland; Jasper aids in the operation of the home farm; Newton, who with his brother carries on the old homestead, married Alice Williams, daughter of William Williams; Almira is the wife of Charles Montgomery, a resident of Iowa; Orpha is the wife of Charles Crank, who is living in Chicago; Amanda is the wife of George Alhands, of Belmont Township; Jane is the wife of Squire Laird, who resides near Milford and is represented elsewhere in this volume; and Philip is married and resides on a part of his father's farm.
Mr. Purget is an adherent of the Methodist Episcopal Church and gives liberally of his means to aid in its support. He cast his first Presidential vote for William Henry Harrison and his last ballot for the grandson of the Tippecanoe hero, Hon. Benjamin Harrison. He first supported the Whig party and since the organization of the Republican party has been a stalwart advocate of its principles but has never been an office-seeker. He has led a busy and useful life. By his economy, industry and well-directed efforts he has acquired a handsome property, and by his integrity and fair dealing has won universal confidence.
A. R. LA BOUNTY, an enterprising and well-known farmer who operates the Lyman homestead on section 25, Martinton Township, is a native of the Empire State, his birth having occurred in Clayton County, on the 24th of February, 1850. His father, Abraham La Bounty, was born in the same county, and the grandfather Joseph La Bounty, was also a native of New York and of French descent. The father of our subject grew to manhood in the county of his nativity, and there married Sarah Raymond, also a native of New York. He followed farming for a number of years after his marriage and then came to the West with his family, locating in Iroquois County, Ill., where he developed a farm and reared his family. He met his death by accident, being drowned in Sugar Creek in May, 1871. His wife still survives him and reside with her son in Nuckolls County, Neb.
The subject of this sketch came to Illinois with his father and grew to manhood in this county. His educational advantages in early life were quite limited, but he attended school some after attaining his majority and has a good business education. He remained with his mother until her second marriage and carried on the home farm, and also aided in rearing and educating the younger children.
August 29, 1888, Mr. La Bounty led to the marriage altar Miss Mary E., daughter of Jacob Lyman, whose sketch appears elsewhere in this work. Their union has been blessed with two children, a son and a daughter: Lyman J. Calvin and Bertha Rachel Blanche. They reside with the Lyman's, and since his marriage Mr. La Bounty has operated and managed the home farm for his father-in-law. He is a man of sterling character and worth and is one of the enterprising and representative agriculturists of Martinton Township. In politics, he is a Democrat but has never been an officer-seeker. Himself and wife and all of the members of the household rank high in social circles and their home is the abode of hospitality.
AQUILLA C. CAST is now living a retired life in Crescent City. From the history of the pioneer settlers and the prominent citizens of Iroquois County, the name of our subject should not be omitted. He claims Ohio as the State of his nativity, having been born in Clinton County on the 13th of March, 1837. His grandfather, A. C. Cast, was of Scotch descent, and his family were among the pioneers of Kentucky, where he was born. Hiram V. Cast, the father of our subject, was born in Clinton County, Ohio, in 1818, and was there reared to manhood. He was married to Ruth Smith, a native of the Buckeye State, and they began their domestic life upon a farm in the county of his nativity, where they resided until 1840. In that year they removed to Vermilion County, Ill., locating land near Danville, where Mr. Cast developed and improved a farm, on which he made his home until his death in 1844. He was a prominent and influential citizen, and took quite an active part in local politics. He served as County Sheriff, and was one of the honored pioneers of Vermilion County. His wife survived him about nineteen years and was a second time married, becoming the wife of Henry Alexander, an early settler of this county. Her death occurred in 1862.
The subject of this sketch is the eldest and only surviving member of a family of three sons. His educational advantages were quite limited, but since arriving at years of maturity he has by self-culture become well informed. When a young man he came to Iroquois County in 1851, and at the age of seventeen years' rented land and began farming for himself. His preparations for a home were completed by his marriage with Miss Isabella Jane Robinson, their union being celebrated on the 1st of January, 1857. The lady was born near Crawfordsville, Ind., in 1836, and when a child of two years was brought to this county, her father, William D. Robinson, being one of its honored pioneers. After his marriage, Mr. Cast purchased a forty acre tract of land, which he broke and fenced, and made many good improvements upon it. A part of this land had been entered by a soldier, Henry Alexander, his step-father, and he engaged in its cultivation and improvement for some time.
It was in 1862 that Mr. Cast purchased forty acres of land adjoining his first farm. Since that time he has bought and sold a number of tracts of land, and now owns one hundred and sixty acres in the old home farm. This is a well-improved and well-tilled place, upon which good buildings have been erected and many excellent improvements made. He engaged in the operation of his farm until 1882, when, in order to afford his children better educational advantages, he removed to Crescent City. He was a practical and progressive farmer, and the neat and thrifty appearance of the place was an index of his character. About 1874, he built a substantial residence in Crescent City, where he now resides.
Unto Mr. and Mrs. Cast were born eight children, three of whom are deceased: Nettie is now the wife of Theodore Gilcrist, a resident of Crescent Township; Alma Grace is the wife of Isaac Budd, a resident of Pemberton, N. J.; Carrie is a well educated young lady and a successful teacher; Elmer E., who is married and resides in Milford, is also engaged in teaching; and Alta E., who completes the family, also follows the same profession.
In his political views, Mr. Cast is a Democrat, having supported that party since he attained his majority. He has served as Assessor and in other local offices, and his public duties were ever discharged with promptness and fidelity. Mrs. Cast and all the children are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Mr. Cast holds membership with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and has filled all of its chairs. Almost his entire life has been passed in this county, and he is well known throughout its borders. His sterling worth and strict integrity have won him the confidence and good-will of all, and himself and wife are held in the highest regard throughout the community. He is now resting in the enjoyment of a well-earned rest, having by years of industry, enterprise and perseverance won a handsome competence. For the past four years he has spent considerable time in travel, visiting many points of interest in this county, especially in the South, and during the coming year contemplates a trip to California.
EDMUND GOULD, a prosperous farmer who makes his home on section 19, Ridgeland Township, is a native of the Empire State, his birth having occurred on the 17th of July, 1830, in Rensselaer County. He is a son of Newton and Elmira Gould. In their family were eight children, of whom our subject was the eldest. The others are as follows: William, Charlotte, Luther, Walter, James, Fannie, and one who died in infancy. The father of this family departed this life in 1886, and the mother passed away in 1891. Both were natives of New York state, where they spent their entire lives, he reaching eighty-four and she eighty-five years.
Our subject was born and reared upon a farm, and his early days were passed in the usual occupations of farmer boys. He attended the district schools and acquired his primary education there, which he supplemented by further study, and then received a good business education. When about nineteen years of age he began teaching in the district schools during the winter season, and during the summer months worked upon the home farm. He continued teaching for a period of about five years and then decided to devote his attention exclusively to agricultural pursuits. He therefore rented land and farmed until 1855, at which time he came Westward and settled in Iroquois County, Ill., where he entered one hundred and sixty acres of land in Ridgeland Township. This property was the one on which he still resides, and here he now carries on a general farming and stock-raising business.
January 1, 1853, Mr. Gould led to the marriage altar Miss Adeline, daughter of George W. and Eunice (Jones) Glass. By this union two children have been born: Carlton, who carries on agricultural pursuits in Ridgeland Township, and is a successful farmer; and Bertha, who is still under the parental roof. These children have both received the advantages of a good education and have always been very popular in the neighborhood.
Mr. Gould exercises his right of franchise in support of the Democratic party and is an ardent supporter of its principles. He takes an active and interested part in both politics and education, and is a public-spirited man, doing everything in his power to advance the community's welfare. Mr. and Mrs. Gould are consistent members of the Presbyterian Church, where they are zealous workers. For nearly forty years he has been a resident of this township and county and in that time he has witnessed much of its development and progress. At the time of his first location here much of the country was under water, but this difficulty has since been obviated almost entirely by the thorough system of tile drainage, now so extensively practiced. Mr. Gould was appointed by the County Court as one of the Commissioners of Union Drainage District No. 1, of Onarga and Ridgeland Townships. It is not too much to say that the work done by that board has done more to enhance the value of the land than anything else. On his arrival here the country was sparsely settled, but since this time thriving villages, pleasant homes and well-cultivated fields have sprung up in every direction. During his long residence here he has made many friends, who esteem him highly for his qualities of integrity, reliability and honor.
John C. Miller, the father of our subject, was born near Raleigh, N C., and during his boyhood went to Indiana. He was reared amid the wild scenes of frontier life and was educated under the instruction of a teacher, who was hired by three families and would board one week at each place and hold school there. On attaining his majority, he began life for himself and married Belinda Chamness, who came with Mr. Miller's father to Indiana in her girlhood. Their union was celebrated in 1845, and on the 10th of April, 1860, they emigrated to Iroquois County, Ill., locating in Crescent Township, where he bought eighty acres of land he subsequently increased it to one hundred and sixty acres, and later removed to Watseka where he engaged in grain dealing. His death there occurred January 24, 1881, and his wife died on the farm in 1865. Mr. Miller was a member of the Odd Fellows' society and was a Democrat and Greenbacker in politics. He held Several local offices.
In the Miller family were ten children, the eldest of whom is our subject; Asa is the proprietor of an hotel at Crescent City; Sarah became the wife of Landus Romine and died in Kansas; John Franklin is engaged in carpentering in Kansas; Caroline, widow of Samuel West, resides in Missouri; Martha, widow of Oscar Short, is living in Crescent City; Thomas makes his home in Colorado; Mrs. Nettie Fast resides in Missouri; Miner and the tenth child died in infancy.
Our subject was a lad of fourteen years when with his parents he came to Iroquois County. He remained under the parental roof until twenty years of age and then went to Nebraska, where he engaged in wood-chopping on the Platte River, making ties for the Union Pacific Railroad. He spent nearly two years in the West and during the last season carried on a blacksmith shop. On his return to Illinois, he again resumed farming, and secured as a helpmate and companion on life's journey Miss Rebecca J. Fiddler. Her parents, George and Harriet Fiddler, are numbered among the pioneer settlers of this county and resided in Plato when it contained but three dwellings. Mrs. Miller was born in Indiana, in November, 1850. By the union of our subject and his wife four children have been born: Emma M., born August 18, 1870; John Franklin, April 16, 1875; George Curtis, September 16, 1881; and Ruth Anna, October 6, 1883.
On his marriage, Mr. Miller purchased a small farm, to which he has since added until he now owns one hundred and forty acres. He has spent one year in Southwest Missouri, and on the 24th of March, 1891, was appointed Superintendent of the County Poor Farm. On the expiration of that term, so acceptably had he filled the office, he was reappointed at an increased salary. He now has charge of three hundred and ninety acres of land, which is operated under the direction of a good foreman. The farm has an average of forty four inmates. No better person could have been chosen for the position than Mr. Miller, whose able administration of affairs has won him high commendation. Socially, he is a member of the Odd Fellows' society and the Modern Woodmen. His wife belongs to the Methodist Episcopal Church.
JOHN P. PETERSON, who is engaged in farming and stock-raising on section 30, Prairie Green Township, is numbered among the early settlers of the county, dating his residence from 1855. He is of Swedish birth, having been born in Gottenburg, on the 12th of January, 1831, and is the second in order of birth in a family of eight children, numbering three sons and five daughters, of whom only three are now living. The parents were Jonas and Christina (Chrisander) Peterson. His father was also a native of Sweden. In the usual manner of farmer lads he was reared to manhood, but he learned the trade of carpenter and joiner. In 1849 he emigrated to America, crossing the Atlantic in a sailing-vessel, which dropped anchor in the harbor of New York. He continued his journey Westward overland until he reached Indiana, where he spent the remainder of his life, dying at the age of fifty years. He was a Democrat in politics, and in religious belief was a Lutheran. His wife is a member of the same church. She is still living at the advanced age of eighty-six years, and makes her home with her son John, where she is surrounded by every loving care and attention. The three children of the family, yet living are Mr. Peterson, of this sketch; Ann Eliza, wife of L. B. Hastings, a journalist of Hamilton County, Neb., who is now editor and proprietor of the Aurora Republican; and Odell, who is married, and follows farming in Nebraska.
The boyhood days of our subject were spent in his parents"’" home in the land of his nativity. His education was acquired at his mother"’"s knee and by his own exertions, until he is now a well-informed man. Wishing to try his fortune in America, he bade good-bye to Sweden in l848, when a young man of eighteen years, and sailed for the New World. He landed in New York, was there taken sick, and for four weeks lay in a hospital. On his recovery he shipped as a sailor on the high seas. The merchantman on which he sailed made trips to Spain and France, and he remained as one of its crew for twenty-three months, during which time they encountered many severe storms in which he thought he would never again see land. When the time of his contract had expired, he returned to this country and went to the pineries of New York, where he hired out by the month at $4. He was thus employed for four months, after which he filled a situation for eight months at $6 per month. He had come to this country empty-handed, but scorned no labor whereby he could earn an honest dollar, and thus provide for his own support.
It was in 1855 that Mr. Peterson came to Iroquois County, where he has since made his home. The same year he was married, the lady of his choice being Miss Mary Day, a native of West Virginia, born on the 26th of April, 1836. She is a daughter of Ambrose and Eve (Dolly) Day. Her father was born in West Virginia, in 1806, was reared as a farmer, followed that occupation throughout his entire life, and died in 1878. His wife was born in West Virginia in 1807, and died in 1891, at the advanced age of eighty-four years. They had a family of eight children, two sons and six daughters, of whom Mrs. Peterson was the third in order of birth. She was educated in the common schools, which were then very primitive. The building was constructed of logs and heated by an immense fire-place, the seats were made of slabs, and the writing-desk along one side of the room was a board laid upon two pegs inserted between the logs. The marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Peterson was celebrated August 31, 1855, and seven children graced the union, five sons and two daughters, but only two are now living. Alpheus is a successful farmer of Benton County, Ind., and in politics is a Democrat. He married Miss Jennie McPherson, by whom he has four children. Gustus is an enterprising farmer residing in Warren County, Ind. He raised twelve thousand bushels of corn in 1891. His wife bore the maiden name of Lena Glaze, and their union has been blessed with a little son.
Mr. Peterson and his wife located upon them present farm on the 5th of March, 1877. He purchased one hundred and sixty acres of partially improved land, upon which there was a little shanty but no other improvements. With characteristic energy he began the development of his land, and now has one of the desirable farms of this vicinity. His home is a neat and comfortable residence, situated in the midst of well-tilled fields, and the thrifty appearance of the place indicates the supervision and careful management
of the owner. He has in his possession an old deed of his land signed by President Pierce. In politics, Mr. Peterson has been a supporter of the Democracy since he cast his first Presidential vote for Franklin Pierce. He is truly a self-made man, and his success in life is due entirely to his own efforts. Steadily has he worked his way upward, until he is now numbered among the wealthy and prominent citizens of the community.
ADDISON WHITESIDE, a well-known and prominent farmer of Ridgeland Township, makes his home on section 20, where he owns a tract of three hundred and twenty acres of valuable land. His birth occurred in the city of Cincinnati on the 10th of September, 1816. He is a son of Samuel H. and Anna (Stewart) Whiteside. The father was born in Rockbridge County, Va., January 16, 1780, and was of English extraction, while his mother was born December 22, 1793, in Pennsylvania and was of Scotch descent. They were the parents of six children, of whom our subject is now the only living child. Milton S. was called to the home beyond in 1876; our subject is next in order of birth; Amanda M. died in the year 1835 and was the wife of John Silsby; Washington died in 1844; and two children died in infancy. The father was a jeweler by trade and his death occurred October 20, 1861. His wife passed away January 1, 1865. She was a devoted member of the Presbyterian Church, and both were much loved and esteemed by their many friends and neighbors.
Mr. Whiteside, whose name heads this sketch, lived until eight years of age in the city of his birth, and at that time his father settled on a farm. The education of our subject was received in a log schoolhouse, where he attended until about seventeen years of age. When not in school his time was employed in the duties and labors of farm life, in which he assisted his father as much as possible. In 1833, he returned to Cincinnati and began working at the carpenter"’"s trade, at which labor he continued until 1837, doing quite well financially. In the summer of 1837, he went south to Vicksburg, Miss., where he remained for some months, and then went to New Orleans for the winter. The following year, he went to St. Louis, where he remained for a year. He next went to Springfield, Ill., where he helped in the building of the old State Capitol. While engaged in its construction, he met with a serious accident, as he fell from the dome of the building to the basement, a distance of some thirty-six feet. His shoulder was dislocated and two ribs were broken, and his escape from death was considered quite marvelous. He continued in Springfield during the winter, attending the session of the Legislature in which Lincoln figured, and then returned to Cincinnati, where he lived until 1861. In that year he came to Illinois and located on the farm in which he still makes his home. His property is known by the name of Long View Stock Farm, on account of the beautiful view which can be had for miles in all directions from his residence.
In 1845, Mr. Whiteside married Miss Mary, daughter of Harlow C. and Caroline (Hunt) Holabird, both natives of Litchfield County, Conn. Mr. Holabird was born September 24, 1798. His wife was born March 18, 1801. Having lived in Litchfield County, Conn., which had been the home of the family for generations, they removed to Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1833. Mr. Holabird died December 11, 1859, and his wife, who was a member of the Presbyterian Church, died July 1, 1849. Mrs. Whiteside is one of five children, two sons and three daughters, of whom two are living: Mrs. Caroline Dale, of Chicago; and Mrs. Whiteside. By the union of Mr. and Mrs. Whiteside four children have been born: Milton S. and his second younger brother, Samuel, now have charge of the home farm; Edward E. was murdered by cowboys in 1882, while working as night operator in Thorndale, Tex., on the International & Great Northern Railroad; and the youngest, Harlow H., is Superintendent of the Zinc Works at Rich Hill, Mo.
Politically, Mr. Whiteside casts his ballot in favor of the Democratic party, having voted for fifteen Democratic Presidential candidates. He has been an active member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows for the long period of fifty-four years, having been connected with that order longer than any man in the State save one. He has always assisted in public enterprises and has done much for the growth and development of this county. He has many friends in this section who esteem him as a man of high character, integrity and genuine worth. Mrs. Whiteside has been connected with the Presbyterian Church some fifty-five years.
WILLIAM CARY DUNN, who is engaged in the hotel business in Sheldon as proprietor of the Dunn Hotel, has the honor of being a native of Illinois. He was born in Elgin, Kane County, October 29, 1842, and is a son of George and Sarah (Welsh) Dunn, both of whom were natives of the Empire State. The paternal grandfather, Cary Dunn, was of Scotch descent, and his wife came of one of the Dutch families residing in the Mohawk Valley. The maternal grandfather, William Welsh, was a native of Ireland and when a young man emigrated to America. He became one of the pioneers of Ohio and was one of the first settlers of Kane County, Ill. His son Albert was the first white child born in that county.
The father of our subject was born in 1813 and was a carpenter by occupation. He also followed farming. In 1838, he emigrated to Elgin, Ill., when the population of that place numbered only four families. He afterward removed to McHenry County and is now living in Algonquin, that county. His wife departed this life in 1881. In the family were eleven children, ten of whom are yet living: William is the eldest; Mary Ann is the wife of Henry Tubbs, a resident of Fowler, Ind.; Lydia is the wife of Ed Dyke, who resides in Cary Station, Ill.; Melissa is the wife of Fred Hubbard, who is living in Richland, Kan.; Olive is the wife of Fred Baldwin, of Cary Station; Emma is the wife of Kirk Pherson, of St. Charles, Ill.; James T. is located in Denver, Col.; George E. resides in Sheldon and is city drayman; David D. is living in Cherry County, Neb.; and Benjamin A. resides in Terre Haute, Ind.
In 1867, Mr. Dunn was united in marriage with Miss Agnes Moreland. A native of Glasgow, Scotland, and unto them have been born four children, three of whom are now living: Ada, wife of A. J. Klute; Ida and Leon C. The family is one of prominence in this community, and its members rank high in social circles.
Mr. Dunn whose name heads this record was educated in the public schools of McHenry County, Ill., and at the age of seventeen years left home to earn his own livelihood. He began working on a farm and was thus employed until 1860, when he went to Iowa where he remained until he entered the service during the late war. On the 13th of August, 1862, he enlisted as a member of Company G, Twenty-first Iowa Infantry, under Col. Merrill. The regiment rendezvoused at Dubuque, Iowa, and thence was sent to Raleigh, Mo. Mr. Dunn remained in the service until the close of the war, and participated in the battles of Champion Hills, Port Gibson, Raymond, Black River, Vicksburg, Jackson, Spanish Fort and Mobile, after which he returned to New Orleans and went up the Red River. He also participated in the siege of Vicksburg and the battles of Jackson and Memphis, and when the war was over he received his discharge in Clinton, Iowa, July 25, 1865. He served as Orderly to Col. Merrill and with him returned home on a thirty-day furlough. He did some arduous service and experienced many of the hardships and privations of army life, but was ever found at his post of duty, faithful to his country. When the war was over, Mr. Dunn returned to his home in Illinois, but the following spring again went to Iowa with Yankee Robinson's Show and traveled one season; he then commenced staging from Ft. Des Moines to Council Bluffs, Iowa. In 1871, he came to Iroquois County and engaged in farming, and in 1873 engaged in the hotel business. The following year he engaged in the livery business, which he has carried on continuously since, with the exception of three years. In 1889, he became proprietor of the Smith House, of which he had charge a year, and in 1890 built the Dunn hotel.
In his social relations, Mr. Dunn is a Knight of Pythias, belonging to Damon Lodge No. 72, of Kentland, Ind., and a charter member of L. B. Brown Post, G. A. R., of Sheldon, Ill. In politics, he is a Democrat. As a proprietor of the Dunn Hotel, he is enjoying a good trade. As he earnestly desires to please his customers, and as the place and all its appointments are complete, the hotel has found favor with the traveling public. Our subject is a pleasant and popular man, who wins friends wherever he goes, and in this community is regarded as a valued citizen.
At the age of thirty-eight, Peter Amerman married Margaret McKnight, a native of Kentucky, and unto them was born a family of thirteen children. The father taught school in the winter months and in the summer engaged in farming. He died at his home in Vermillion County, Ind. Both he and his wife were members of the Presbyterian Church and were prominent and active workers. In his business dealing, he won success and acquired a handsome competence. In politics, he was a Whig. He was a great reader and hind a large library of religious and other works. His death occurred at the advanced age of eighty-seven years.
Of the children in the Amerman family, Mrs. Mary Jane Mast resides in the town of Dana, Vermillion County, Ind.; Richard is the next younger; Mrs. Eliza Ralston makes her home in Dana, Vermillion County; Sarah is deceased; James is living near the old homestead; John died in infancy; John, the second of the name, is living a retired life in Clinton, Ind.; William, who was a soldier during the late war, is living retired in Hoopeston; Theopolis, who was also one of the boys in blue, is located in Dana, Ind.; Henry went to the war and was never again heard from; and Peter, who was also one of the defenders of the Old Flag, owns and operates the homestead farm.
The subject of this sketch remained at home until nineteen years of age, and then began to learn the wagon-maker"’"s trade, but on account of ill health he was forced to abandon that occupation. As he was the eldest son, much of the care of his father"’"s farm devolved upon him. On attaining his majority, he went South to oversee slaves in a woodyard at Booby's Landing, Tenn., on the Mississippi River. He was a Democrat when he went to that place, but on his return was a stanch Republican. He saw the slaves of which he had had charge all sold from the block and the families broken up. Their owner had intended to free his negroes, but his death suddenly occurred and the slaves were disposed of in the manner indicated. After a year our subject returned to the North and began working with his brother-in-law. He afterward went to Clinton, Ind., and was foreman of a pork-packing establishment and a grist and sawmill for several years.
It was while in Clinton that Mr. Amerman was married, October 22,1848, to Miss Hannah Watson, who was born in Ohio and reared in Vermillion County, Ind., and when six years old was taken by her parents to that county. In 1855, our subject sold out and came by team to Illinois. He purchased one hundred and sixty acres of land near Ash Grove, and until he could build a better home lived in a little shanty, 12x13 feet, not lathed or plastered. The snow sifted in through the cracks and covered the beds, and the cabin proved a poor protection from the elements. Having established himself in a home and having been blessed with a family of five children, he determined to secure a better education. Accordingly, with his three eldest children, he attended school a term, taught by George Binford. Mr. Amerman has been an active worker in the interests of public education. He has the distinction of having organized the first free school in his community, district No. 1, Ash Grove. Some years after quitting school he took up the study of law under Judge Woods and A. S. Palmer, of Onarga. After the necessary preparation he was examined by a committee appointed by Judge Woods, and was admitted to the Bar. Having practiced successfully for five years, he saw his educational attainments were so meagre that he could not hope to reach the top round in his profession, and, not willing to be a mediocre, he turned his attention to dealing in stock, a business for which he was especially adapted. The success with which he has met has proved his good judgment in selecting this occupation. In connection with dealing in stock he has been an extensive breeder of fine horses, cattle and hogs.
For thirty-four years Mr. Amerman made his home upon that farm, transforming it into one of the valuable places of the county, but at length he purchased sixteen acres of land in Cissna Park, built a beautiful residence and made his home in that place until 1892, when he purchased a better residence in Hoopeston, where he can have better educational privileges for his daughter. He still owns three hundred and sixty acres of fine land in Ash Grove Township. He has platted his land in Cissna Park and has made two additions to the town. Since the incorporation of Cissna Park, he has been its Police Magistrate.
In 1882, Mr. Amerman was called upon to mourn the loss of his wife, who died of heart disease on the 7th of August. She was a lady who had the love and esteem of all, and her death proved a sorrow to the entire community, as well as to her immediate family. Mr. and Mrs. Amerman had a family of thirteen children: Sarah, who is now Mrs. Cheek, resides in Hoopeston. Isaac, who was born in Indiana but was reared in this county, attended the public schools and was graduated from Onarga Seminary. He then studied medicine in Louisville, Ky., and Cincinnati, and for two years has been professor in a medical institute of St. Louis. He carries on a large infirmary in Nevada, Mo., and now has an extensive practice, and is a physician of prominence and a man of more than ordinary ability. Joseph, who is a banker by trade, on account of ill health is at home. Robert, who acquired his education in Onarga, married Miss Alice Lank, was engaged in general merchandising at Hoopestown, but is interested in the Bi-Chloride of Gold Institute of that place. Alonzo operates the old homestead farm; Charles, who was graduated from the Keokuk Medical College and attended one term in Louisville, is now enjoying a good practice in Harrisonville, Mo. Richard, Jr., graduated from the business course in Onarga Seminary, was formerly engaged in merchandising in Hoopeston, and is now interested in the Bi-Chloride of Gold Institute with his brother. George W. graduated from the Dental College of Kansas City, and is now engaged in practice in Harrisonville, Mo. Annie Jane is at home. Four children are deceased, William, Peter, James E. and Nathaniel.
Mrs. Amerman was a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. He is one of the prominent workers in the United Brethren Church, and has given liberally to its support. He cast his first Presidential vote for Henry Clay. We have before spoken of the influence slavery had upon him, and at the organization of the Republican party, to prevent the further extension of that institution, he joined its ranks and has since been one of its zealous advocates. He is one of the prominent and influential members of the party in this community, and is a witty and entertaining speaker. During the late war he was a stanch friend of the Union and did all in his power to raise troops and aid the soldiers. He was a member of the Home Guards and also of the Union League.
Mr. Amerman started out in life for himself at the age of nineteen. He first worked out a store bill of $48 for his father, who then gave him his time. He has led a busy and useful life and by his well-directed efforts, industry and perseverance he has acquired a handsome property. He possesses good judgment and excellent executive ability, and in this way has won a well-deserved prosperity. He is a man of upright character, held in the highest esteem by all who know him, and it is with pleasure that we present to our readers this record of his life.
CLEMENT F. FLEMING is numbered among the pioneer settlers of Iroquois County, and now resides on section 14, Belmont Township, where he owns and operates two hundred and five acres of land, a highly improved and well-cultivated farm, which yields to him a golden tribute for the care and cultivation he bestows upon it. His life record is as follows: He was born near West Lebanon, Warren County, Ind., December 3, 1831. His paternal grandfather, Peter Fleming, served both in the Revolutionary War and in the War of 1812. He was born and reared in Kentucky, but afterwards emigrated to Preble County, Ohio, crossing the Wabash River in an Indian canoe. His death occurred in Warren County, Ind.
The father of our subject, Andrew Fleming, was born in Preble County, Ohio, and was reared to manhood and the wild scenes of frontier life. He emigrated to Warren County, Ind., in 1822, when there were only two other families in the entire county. He entered a tract of land and a farm in the wilderness. For twenty years fore his death he was the oldest settler in the county. He married Ann Mitchell, a native of New Jersey. Her father was murdered on the Delaware River in his boat and his body was found floating down the stream. A part of his family then emigrated to Ohio, where Andrew and Ann Fleming were married. Immediately thereafter they went to Indiana, where they spent the remainder of their days. The mother died in 1883, and the father died July 9, 1890, at the age of eighty-six years. He was a Whig in politics and a Universalist in religious belief. In his younger years he was a teacher and fine writer. By his own efforts he acquired his education, and became a well-informed man. He also possessed good business ability, and was quite successful in his undertakings The family numbered eight children: William, of Hutchinson, Reno County, Kan.; Juliet and Julian, twins, the former a resident of Kansas and the latter a resident of Williamsport; C. F. of this sketch; Christina who died in Warren County, Ind.; James A., who died at the age of twenty-three in Warren County, Ind.; Minerva, who is living in Williamsport, Ind.; and John J., a soldier of the late war, who is now living retired in Watseka.
Mr. Fleming whose name heads this record spent his boyhood days in attendance at the common schools during the winter season and in the summer months worked on the farm. He remained at home until the fall of 1852, when he entered two hundred acres of land in Iroquois County. About 1853, with his father and brothers, he entered twelve hundred acres of land in Stockland Township. It was all a wild, open prairie, infested by wolves. At the age of twenty-three, Mr. Fleming took up his residence upon his land, and began breaking prairie with four yoke of oxen. The first summer he broke one hundred and forty acres of hand, and in course of time he placed the entire amount under cultivation. Since then he has bought and sold a number of farms, but for twenty-six years has been a resident of Belmont Township. He now owns his home farm of two hundred and five acres, bought of his wife"’"s father, together with another farm of forty acres, and three hundred and twenty acres in the Platte Valley, in Dawson County, Neb., which is operated by his son.
Mr. Fleming was married on the farm which is now his home, October 4, 1860, to Miss Sarah A. McConnell, a native of Benton County, Ind., and a daughter of John and Almira (Sargent) McConnell, pioneer settlers of this county, who now reside in Bates County, Mo. Seven children have been born unto our subject and his wife: Ida, the eldest, is now the wife of Andrew J. Gillfillan, a farmer of Belmont Township; John A. and Arthur Grant are engaged in the operation of their father"’"s land in Nebraska, and John A. is married; Hattie is the wife of Dorn Harden, a printer of Ottawa, Ill.; Frank L., Philo Alvin, and Homer D. are still under the parental roof.
Mr. and Mrs. Flaming are members of the Christian Church and are charitable and benevolent people, who are highly respected in this community. Our subject cast his first vote for Fremont, and has since been a stalwart supporter of Republican principles. He is numbered among the earliest settlers of this county. When a boy of nine years, with his father and brother William, they drove three teams of oxen to Chicago where they sold three wagon-loads of oats on what is now South Water Street; returning, they brought with them salt and bacon, for which they received a good price. Forty years passed before Mr. Fleming again saw Chicago and the change that had been made then seemed almost incredible. He has watched the entire growth and upbuilding of this county, and he is one of its self-made men who has worked his way upward to competency and ease.
JOHN I. EVANS, who is engaged in general farming on section 29, Iroquois Township, where for twenty years he has made his home, was born on the 5th of March, 1848, in St. Joseph County, Ind. His father, Jacob Evans, was a native of Ohio, and about 1827, when a lad of eight years, removed with his mother, a widow, to Indiana, locating in Bartholomew County, then an almost unbroken wilderness. Amid the wild scenes of pioneer life he grew to manhood, and was joined in wedlock with Miss Mary Ann Richardson, who was born near Cincinnati, Ohio. About two years after his marriage he removed to St. Joseph County, Ind., locating upon a farm. His death occurred about six years later, in 1854. His wife survived him for a number of years and was a second time married. She also spent the remainder of her life in St. Joseph County.
Mr. Evans, of whom we write, went to Southern Indiana after his father's death and lived with his grandparents until sixteen years of age. He attended the public schools and acquired a good English education. When a lad of sixteen he entered the service of his country, enlisting as a member of the Eleventh United States Infantry, on the 15th of April, 1864, for three years"’" service. With his regiment he participated in the battles in front of Petersburg and soon afterward was taken prisoner at Weldon Railroad. About twenty days later he was paroled, and remained at Annapolis, Md., until exchanged, when he rejoined his regiment and continued with that command until honorably discharged on the l3th of January, 1865.
Mr. Evans returned to the county of his nativity, where he remained one year. The spring of 1866 witnessed his arrival in Iroquois County, and he began work upon a farm by the month. In the spring of 1867, however, he returned to Indian, but after a year again came to this county and engaged in farming with an uncle, John Evans, who was one of the early settlers of Iroquois Township, remaining with him for a period of four years. It was in 1872 that he purchased his present farm, a tract of raw prairie, and located thereon in 1873, and has since made it his home. He now owns eighty acres of highly improved and valuable land, pleasantly situated about six and half miles from Watseka, and one and a-half miles from Crescent City. The well-tilled fields and good improvements upon the place attest his thrift and enterprise.
On the 26th of February, 1880, in Champaign County, Ill., Mr. Evans was united in marriage with Miss Addie Munhall, a native of that county, and:a daughter of James and Nancy (Webber) Munhall, who were pioneer settlers of Champaign County. Two children have been born unto our subject and his wife, a daughter and son, Edith and James M.
The parents are both members of the Congregational Church of Crescent City, in which Mr. Evans fills the office of Trustee. He is a member of Standard Lodge No. 607, I. O. O. F., of Crescent City, has filled all of its offices and is now Past Guard. He also holds membership with the Grand Army Post. The cause of education finds in him a warm friend and he has done effective service in the interest of the schools. He believes that good schools make good citizens and that capable teachers should be employed. Mr. Evans is a wide-awake and enterprising citizen who has the best interests of the community at heart, and he and his wife well deserve representation in this volume.
The subject of this sketch was born and reared upon a farm. As his father died during his infancy he received very limited educational privilege at an early age he had to begin to earn own livelihood. He was a lad of only three summers when his mother hired him out to work on a farm, he receiving the munificent sum of $4.50 per month for his services. He would attend school during the winter months and work upon the farm in the summer season. His time was thus passed until he was twenty years of age, when he apprenticed himself to learn the molder"’"s trade at Auburn, N. Y., where he remained for a year. At the expiration of that period he spent a year and a-half in Geneva and Syracuse, N. Y., and then went to Seneca Falls, where he remained working at his trade until 1856.
In 1853, attracted by the discovery of gold in California, Mr. Wilson left home and journeyed to the Pacific Slope, making the trip by water. At length he landed in San Francisco. For eight months he remained in the West, working at his trade, prospecting and mining. He then returned to Seneca Falls, N. Y., where he resided until 1856. That year witnessed his arrival in Iroquois County, Ill. Casting his lot among the early settlers, he purchased eighty acres of land on section 22, Ridgeland Township, and began the development of a farm, upon which he has since resided. He now owns two hundred and forty acres of arable land, which is under a high state of cultivation and finely improved with all modern conveniences and the accessories of a model farm.
Mr. Wilson is a supporter of the Democracy and takes quite an active part in local politics, doing all in his power for the growth and upbuilding of his party. He has served his township as Supervisor for two terms and at present is Commissioner of Highways.
In 1889 he was appointed one of the Commissioners of Union Drainage District No. 1, of Onarga and Ridgeland Township, and for two years succeeding he served as Secretary. They dredged with steam dredge four and twenty-nine-hundredths miles. Besides they laid thirteen and forty-five-hundredth miles of tile, ranging from nine to eighteen inches, at a total cost of $21,000. Although greatly opposed, the work was pushed forward and as Mr. Wilson took an active part he received his full share of the epithets and opprobrium. But now the citizens of the district universally grant it to be the best investment of their lives and hold that it has done more to enhance the value of the land than anything else.
Socially, he is a member of the Masome order and was connected the the old County Agricultural Society when the fairs were held at Onarga, in which he was honored with the office of President for four years. His property represents his own hard labor, for he began life empty-handed, working his way upward by industry and enterprise to a position among the enterprising citizens of the county. He is numbered among the early settlers of the community, having for thirty-six years here made his home, he has witnessed much of the growth and upbuilding of the county, has aided in its progress and development, and well deserves representation in its history.
ISAAC AMERMAN, Justice of the Peace of Onarga, was born in New York City, on the 23d day of February, 1822, and is a son of Peter and Charlotte P. (Knapp) Amerman, the former a native of New York and the latter of Connecticut. The father was married previous to his union to the mother of our subject, and had nine children by the first marriage. Two sons and two daughters were born to Peter and Charlotte Amerman: Helen, now the widow of Alexander F. Dodge; Frances A., widow of Samuel S. Doughty; Richard and Isaac.
When seven years old our subject went to live with his eldest brother in Johnstown, N. Y., making the trip by steamboat and canal. He received his education in the academy of that place. In 1836, he returned to his home in New York City, where he remained till his removal Westward. After attaining to man's estate he married Miss Margaret B. Conklin, daughter of William and Susan (Farrington) Conklin, of New York City. In June, 1855, he emigrated with his family to the West locating in St. Joseph, Mich., where he lived for three years. In July, 1858, he came to Illinois locating in Onarga Township, Iroquois County, where he has since made his home. He has been prominently identified with its history and is widely and favorably known throughout the county.
Unto Mr. and Mrs. Amerman were born eleven children: William C., born January 1, 1844, enlisted for the late war in August, 1862, as a member of Company D, One Hundred and Thirteenth Illinois Infantry, and remained in the service until the cessation of hostilities. He was wounded in the head at the battle of Arkansas Post. On the 7th of October, 1866, in Lake Mills, Wis., he married Miss Harriet E. Kilbourn, and their home is now in Howell County, Mo. They have four sons: Theodore, Isaac, Arba and Frank. Emeline S. was born September 22, 1845. Margaret A. born December 4, 1847, became the wife of Vincent Farrington, of Bloomington, Monroe County, Ind., December 25, 1866. They now reside in Onarga and have three children: Samuel M., Albert and Paul. Peter, born June 26, 1850, wedded Miss Maria J. Davies, daughter of Thomas Davies, of Onarga, October 21, 1878, and their home in Beatrice, Neb., is brightened by the presence of one son, Carl. Albert M., born February 19, 1852, wedded Miss Many Alice Lowe, of Onarga, and one child, Charles L., graces their union, which was celebrated June 14, 1888. Richard M., born March 11, 1854, died January 10, 1867. Charlotte M. was born December 23, 1856, in Berrien County, Mich. Helen D. was born September 29, 1859. Frances G., born May 26, 1862, is the wife of John W. Millar, a Presbyterian minister. They were married May 12, 1891, and reside in Deer Lodge City, Mont. Philip M. was born March 1, 1866. Charles H., born March 15, 1867, died on the 23d of August following. The first six children of the family were born in New York City and the four youngest in this county.
In January, 1866, Mr. Amerman whose name heads this record was elected to the office of Justice of the Peace to fill a vacancy and has since held that position with the exception of one term, when he was absent from the State. His long-continued service attests the prompt and faithful manner in which he discharges his duties and his personal popularity. In politics he is a warm advocate of Republican principles and has held various offices of trust and responsibility for a long period of years. He and his entire family are members of the Presbyterian Church, in which he served as Elder for a number of years, when he resigned. Socially, he is a member of Onarga Lodge No. 305, A. F. & A. M., and for several years was honored with the office of Worshipful Master. He has been identified with the best interests of Onarga for many years and is numbered among its valued and leading citizens who well deserve representation in this volume.
CAPT. COLUMBUS CROSS, who for four years gallantly defended the flag of our country during the late war, is a dealer in marble and monuments at Gilman. He was born in Utica, N. Y., May 17, 1825, and is a son of Erastus and Ann (Evans) Cross. His father was born in Great Barrington, Mass., though his ancestors came from England prior to the Revolutionary War. His grandfather Cross and his brother served in that war, while his father and several of his brothers served in the War of 1812. His mother was born at Great Barrington also, and her people were of Welsh descent. In 1792, the parents of our subject emigrated to Utica, where his father engaged in the monument and marble business as long as he lived. He had an extensive trade, and was widely and favorably known, both a skillful workman and as a man of honor and integrity. Much of his work still remains. Politically, he was a Democrat, and both he and his worthy wife were members of the Methodist Church. In 1848 they were both called to the better land. They had a family of eight children, four sons and four daughters, none of whom survive save our subject and one brother, Erastus, of Oakley Station, Ill., who started the first marble works at La Fayette, Ind. Subsequently acquiring a section of land at Oakley, he has since made that place his home.
Mr. Cross received such an education as the common schools of that early time afforded. He spent much of his time when young in his father"’"s marble shop, and by the time he was ten years old had acquired a liking for the business, so that at his request his father put him to work at smoothing up letters on tombstones, at which he soon became very expert. When only about eighteen, he was employed to carry on the marble business at Erie, Pa., by a firm that owned a quarry in Vermont. Two years later they sent him with a boat-load of marble to Zanesville, Ohio, where for some time he carried on the same line of trade for them. In company with A. C. Smith, he then established business at Cincinnati, under the firm name of the Great Western Marble Works. They continued a very extensive and successful trade until the cholera broke out in 1849, when he sold out and went down the river, opening a fine quarry of white stone at New Market, Ind. After five years he discovered that the stone would not stand the action of the weather. He therefore sold his interest and went on to St. Louis, where he continued at his trade until 1857, when he removed to Jacksonville, embarking in the same business.
On the breaking out of the war, Mr. Cross raised a company, of which he was elected Captain. They remained in camp near Springfield until November, 1861, when they were mustered into service as Company E, Tenth Illinois Cavalry. His company was called to Missouri and Arkansas, where after eighteen months"’" service he resigned, went to New York and raised Company E, Second New York Cavalry, which was assigned to Custer's Division. In the Shenandoah Valley he saw much hard service, and participated in the battles of Cedar Creek and Winchester, where Sheridan made his famous ride. From that time until the chose of the war he was in engagements almost daily. Near New Market, Va., he was kicked by a horse on the right knee, which disabled him for several months. He was mustered out at Ft. Niagra, on the 16th of August, 1865.
Soon afterward, Mr. Cross went to Onarga, where he established himself in his former occupation of tombstone and monument work. In 1869 he removed to Gilman, where he has had an extensive trade since. Among the best work he has done are the three O'Harre monuments at Amboy, Ill; one for Goldsboro, One., which went on the first through freight train on the Northern Pacific; the Soldiers"’" Monument at Mobile, Ala., for the Seventy-sixth Illinois Infantry; and Van Kirk"’"s monument at Momence, Ill. The Matzenbaugh vault in Oak Hill Cemetery, at Watseka, and the Danforth vault in the Danforth Cemetery are also fine examples of his skill and art. His long experience in this line has taught him that Italian marble, owing to extremes in heat and cold in this climate, is not as durable as the American marbles.
At Rensselaer, Ind., he led to the marriage altar Miss Mattie Babb, on the 20th of May, 1866. She passed away March 9, 1886, leaving a wide circle of friends to mourn her loss. She was an earnest and consistent member of the Presbyterian Church. To Mr. and Mrs. Cross were born four children : Minnie, Lucy, Ella and Julia. The three first-named are graduates of the Gilman High School, Ella having had the honor of being the valedictorian of her class. The sisters are all members of the Presbyterian Church. Mr. Cross, though not a church member, contributes liberally to church work.
In politics his sympathies are with the Republican party. He was formerly a Whig, his first vote being cast for Taylor. In 1859, as is shown in the reports of the State Fair held at Jacksonville, he took the first premium for fine work in sculpture. He is a man widely known on account of his workmanship and his long residence in this section. He is a member of the Grand Army Post of Gilman. In the time of our country"’"s need he was among the first to come to her assistance, and bravely did he defend her rights. In a like manner he has always responded to the call of duty wherever it led him, and thus deserves the commendation of all true patriots and friends of the right.
HIRAM A. PERRY, who carries on general farming and stock-raising on section 8, Milford Township, has been a resident of county for about thirty years. A native of Indiana, he was born in Switzerland County, that State, on the 1st of December, 1853, and is one of a family of nine children, whose parents, Hiram and Elizabeth (Dalton) Perry, were both natives of New York. Of their family, Eugene P. married Elizabeth Hammond, and unto them were born four children, two of whom and their father are deceased Albert Wellington, who married Loretta Dalton, by whom he has five children, is a resident of Momence, Ill. Mertia Helen became the wife of Eber J. Gilbert; they and two of their four children are now deceased. Daniel Gilbert was joined in wedlock with Lucinda J. Penny and, with their five children, they live in Sheldon Township, Iroquois County. Lewis McMillan married Miss Mary Empy. William Wallace married Kittie McCormick, who died in May, 1891, leaving three children. Emma Rebecca is the wife of Addison Morgan, and, with their family of two children, they reside in Onarga, Ill. Lucy Annis the wife of Frank Morgan, and with their two children they also make their home in Onarga.
Our subject spent the first ten years of his life in the State of his nativity, and in February, 1863, came with his parents to Illinois, the family locating in Del Rey, where the children grew to manhood and womanhood. Hiram was educated in the public schools and remained under the parental roof until he had attained his majority, he is now engaged in farming and stock-raising, operating a good farm on section 8, Milford Township. He is an enterprising agriculturist, practical and progressive, and is meeting with good success in his undertakings. Politically, he is a stanch Democrat.
On Christmas Day of 1877, Mr. H. A. Perry was united in marriage with Miss Mary Jane Kiser, daughter of John C. and Sarah J. (Hutchinson) Kiser, of Watseka. They began their domestic life upon the farm and now have a pleasant home in Milford Township. They have a wide circle of friends and acquaintances throughout the community and are numbered among the highly respected citizens.
CHARLES LINCOLN DAZEY is one of the wide-awake and enterprising young business men of Milford, who is engaged as a grain dealer, a member of the firm of Wilcox & Dazey. His life record is as follows: He was born in Fountain County, Ind., December 22, 1861 and is a son of Aaron and Dorcas Ann (Smith) Dazey, both of whom were born and reared in Fountain County. By occupation his father was a farmer and followed that business throughout the greater part of his life. In 1869 he left the State of his nativity and emigrated with his family to Illinois, locating in Iroquois County, a mile and a-half southeast of Milford, where he still resides. The mother departed this life July 12, 1888. In the family were six children, five of whom are yet living: Charles L. of this sketch is the eldest. Jessie, born February 28, 1863, is the wife of Lucas Jones. They reside upon a farm about five miles east of Milford, and have two children. Alta, born May 5, 1865, is the wife of Samuel Sloane, who is engaged in farming about six miles southeast of Milford, where they are living with their two sons. Clinton Francis, born February 18, 1867, married Ida Curtis, by whom he has a little daughter, and he too is an agriculturist, residing five miles northeast of Milford. Cora, born April 21, 1870, is living with hen father. Oka, born in September, 1872, died in infancy.
Our subject was a lad of about eight summers, when with his parents he came to Iroquois County. Under the parental roof he was reared to manhood and the educational privileges of the common schools were his. On the 18th of July, 1883, he was united in marriage with Miss Annie Fitzgibbon, daughter of Patrick H. and Mary (Murray) Fitzgibbon. Her parents are natives of the Emerald Isle, but now reside in Beloit, Wis.
For some time after his marriage, Mr. Dazey engaged in farming, but for the past seven years he has been a resident of Milford, and is one of its leading and successful business men. He deals extensively in stock, which he buys, sells and raises. He is also interested in the elevator and grain business in Milford, which is carried on under the firm name of Wilcox & Dazey. This is one of the leading industries of the place and they do a large business each year. Mr. Dazey is a member of the Modern Woodmen of America. He owns considerable property in Milford besides his beautiful residence. This home is the abode of hospitality and our subject and his estimable wife rank high in social circles. He is regarded as one of the active and enterprising business men of Milford, who by his own efforts has acquired a handsome property. His sterling worth and strict integrity class him among the best citizens of the community, and it is with pleasure that we present this record of his life to our readers.
SAMUEL R. HARRY is a member of the firm of Harry Bros., who have an abstract office in Watseka and also engage in the practice of law. He was born on the 18th of March, 1852, in Woodford County, Ill., and is a son of Thomas S. and Irena (Compton) Harry, a sketch of whom appears on another page of this work. In the usual manner of farmer lads, he was reared to manhood and attended the public schools. Later he entered Bethany College of West Virginia, where after a two-year course he was graduated in civil engineering.
On his return from college, Mr. Harry engaged in farming, and afterward studied law in Chatsworth under the preceptorship of the Hon. Samuel T. Fosdick, a leading lawyer of that place. He was admitted to the Bar in 1879, and the same year located in Milford, Iroquois County, where he embarked in the practice of his profession. He there continued to engage in business until the spring of 1884, when he removed to the farm in Livingston County, and from there came to Watseka in November, 1889, and engaged in the present business.
On the 16th of December, 1879, Mr. Harry led to the marriage altar, in Chatsworth, Miss Laura T. Vail, who was born in Henry, Marshall County, Ill., and is a daughter of Benjamin M. and Mary E. Vail. Two children have been born of their union: Lando C., who was born in Watseka, Januamy 22, 1883; and Walter S. who was born near Chatsworth, Livingston County, on the 22d of April, 1886. The parents are both members of the Christian Church and are leading young people of this community who rank high in social circles.
In politics, Mr. Harry is a Prohibitionist and advocates free-trade principles. The firm of which he is a member is doing a prosperous business and is rapidly winning a foremost place in their line. They are highly regarded by the public.
HENRY W. WHITE, one of the honored pioneers of the county, who is now living retired in Cissna Park, was born in Morgan County, Ind., November 13, 1829. His father, Benjamin White, was a son of James White, a Scotchman, who early in the eighteenth century crossed the Atlantic and located in the southern part of North Carolina. At his death he left a wife and three children, two sons and a daughter, who were reared by a bachelor uncle.
Benjamin White with the others was reared in Guilford County, N. C. An old family Bible records that he was born in Scotland, August 8, 1790, and when a young child came with his parents to America. He was married September 6, 1812, in Guilford County, to Miss Mary Coffin, daughter of Levi and Prudence Coffin, who was born March 10, 1791. The ancestry of her family can be traced back over eight hundred years. Her brother, Levi Coffin, was president of the Underground Railroad, prior to the late war. He lived at Cincinnati and was a prominent leader in the Abolition movement. All of the family were connected with the Friends"’" Society.
In an early day Benjamin White emigrated with his family to Indiana and spent three years in Richmond, after which he entered land in Morgan County. While journeying to that place he had to cut his way through the timber for his covered wagon. He then lived in the wagon until poles could be cut for a shanty, and then made his home in the shanty until a log cabin could be erected. He would often take a sack of corn and follow an Indian trail to mill. He made a good farm in the midst of the forest and spent the remainder of his life in Morgan County, dying on the 21st of February, 1863. He had many friends but no enemies. His educational advantages were very meagre but he became a fair scholar and business man by his own efforts. His wife died at the advanced age of ninety-six years on the old home farm. Both were faithful members of the Friends"’" Society. The family consisted of the following children: Elizabeth, who became the wife of Joseph Morris and died in Hendricks County, Ind.; Milton, who died in Iowa: John, who died in Indiana in childhood; Jesse and Mrs. Anna Anderson, who reside in Plainfield, Ind.; Rebecca Hadley, who resides in Westfield, Ind.; Elihu C., who died on the old homestead in 1855; Henry W. of this sketch, and Elwood, who resides on the old home farm.
The earliest recollections of Henry White are of the timbered farm in Morgan County, Ind., where his boyhood days were passed. His early education was acquired in the subscription schools, and in 1852 he went to Earlham College, of Richmond, Ind., where he pursued his studies for a year. He then engaged in teaching for two terms near his old home, after which he removed to Amo, Hendricks County, Ind., with his brother Jesse. On the 19th of July, 1854, in that county, he married Lucinda Bales, who was born in Hendricks County, April 8, 1830. In 1856 he returned with his young wife to the old farm, of which he had charge for two years, and in 1858 he bought land near Belleville, Ind. He sold that farm in 1865 and came to Iroquois County and settled in Ash Grove Township, where some sixty families of Friends from different sections located the same year or the year previous. Purchasing one hundred and sixty acres of land, his family began life in a log cabin in the pioneer style. The prairie was wild and uncultivated and all kind of wilds game were plentiful. Mr. White developed a rich and fertile farm, upon which he made his home until his removal to Cissna Park in 1888, since which time he has lived retired.
June 28, 1892, Mr. White was called upon to mourn the loss of his wife. She was a most estimable lady, an earnest Christian and faithful member of the Friends"’" Church. She died in Chicago at the home of her nephew, C. C. Wilson, and her remains were interred in the Friends"’" Graveyard, three miles North of Cissna Park. Her loss was felt throughout the community and was a heavy blow to her family and friends. Four children were born to Mr. and Mrs. White: Cory E., a native of Indiana, married Jennie Howard and resides in Cissna Park. He has been engaged in merchandising for several years. Edgar T. is a member of the mercantile firm of White & Lindsey; Susan Alice died in 1865, at the age of five years; and Mary Ann is the wife of Dr. J. A. Bundy, of Iroquois, this county. The children were educated in the common schools and Onarga Seminary, and have all engaged in teaching.
Mr. White is a member of the Friends"’" Church and has lived an upright, consistent Christian life which has won him the confidence and good-will of all with whom he has been brought in contact. He keeps well informed on all political affairs and has been a stanch Republican since the organization of the party. He cast his first Presidential Vote in 1852 for the Whig candidate. He is a personal friend of Benjamin Harrison and his warm admirer. The cause of temperance has ever in him a very warm adherent, and what is calculated to benefit or improve the community has always received his earnest support. For twenty-seven years he has resided in this county and is one of its highly respected citizens. His life has been a prosperous one and he is now nesting in the enjoyment of the fruits of his former labor.
JEREMIAH R. HARMAN, one of the extensive land-owners of Iroquois County, and a representative citizens of Milford, claims Missouri as the State of his nativity. The place of his birth is in Randolph County, near Moberly, and the date was April 13, 1851. He is a son of Anthony and Theodosia (Carver) Harman, who are mentioned elsewhere in this work in connection with the sketch of Jacob Harman. In March, 1865, they removed with their family to Warren County, Ind., and located upon the farm where they still make their home.
Our subject was a lad of nineteen years when he went with his parents to the Hoosier State. He began his education in Missouri and completed it in the public schools of Indiana. His residence in the latter State covered a period of nine years, at the expiration of which time he came to Illinois. This was in 1874. Locating in Stockland Township, Iroquois County, he settled on a farm of about eight hundred acres of land on sections 7, 18 and 19, where he carried on general farming and stock-raising on an extensive scale. He is an enterprising man, whose life has been characterized by thrift and industry, and these elements of character have been plainly manifest in his business career. His land has been placed under a high state of cultivation and the well-tilled fields yield to him a golden tribute. The improvements upon the place are such as are found on a model farm, and in every appointment the place seems complete.
On the 3d of February, 1876, Mr. Harman led to the marriage altar Miss Laura B., daughter of James and Susan Schnoonover, who reside near Williamsport, Warren County, Ind., where the marriage of the young couple was celebrated. They have one son, an only child, William S., born October 24, 1878, Mrs. Harman is the owner of part of her father"’"s homestead in Indiana, her portion comprising two hundred acres of well-improved land.
In political sentiment, Mr. Harman is a stalwart advocate of Republican principles and has held a number of local official positions. The cause of education finds in him a warm friend, and while serving for ten years as Director he did much for the improvement of the schools of Stockland Township. He and wife and son are all members of the Christian Church, to the support of which he contributes liberally. In the fall of 1887, he removed to Milford, where he owns a beautiful and commodious residence, tastefully furnished with all the comforts and many of the luxuries of life. Mr. and Mrs. Harman hold an enviable position in social circles and their friends and acquaintances throughout the community are many, while by all who know them they are warmly esteemed. Mr. Harman is a man of excellent business ability, sagacious and far-sighted, and fair and honest in all his dealings his word is as good as his bond, and he is classed among the best citizens of his adopted county.
CHARLES E. WILCOX, a member of the firm of Wilcox & Dazey, grain dealers of Milford, was born in Lowell, Mass., on the 6th of September, 1851, and is a son of Edwin and Maria A. (Tuthill) Wilcox. The father was born in New Hampshire, and the mother in Westminster, Vt. They had but two children, the other being Delyra, born March 17, 1840. In 1836, the parents emigrated Westward, locating in Adrian, Mich., but after two years returned to the Bay State on account of the mother"’"s health. In 1851, they removed to New York, settling at Nunda. At the breaking out of the late war, the father entered the ranks and served for three years as Hospital Steward of the One Hundred and Fourth New York Infantry.
The subject of this sketch acquired his primary education in the district schools, and in 1870 entered the Nunda Academy at Nunda, N. Y., from which he was graduated in June, 1871, having passed the State regent examination. He is the second one and the only student of that school who received a diploma on the first examination.
When his school life was ended, he entered a grocery and queensware store in Nunda, and for five years was employed as salesman. He then determined to try his fortune in the West, and in 1876 came to Chicago. He entered the employ of Charles L. Arnold & Co. wholesale provision merchants, and remained with that firm most of the time until his removal to Milford in 1884. On his arrival here he bought out John Fairman, a grain dealer, who had built an elevator east of the depot, and as a member of the firm of Wilcox & Wescott our subject embarked in business. He has continued in the grain business ever since that time, but a number of changes have occurred in the firm name. In July, 1891, he sold a half interest to C. M. and C. L. Dazey, and operations are now carried on under the title of Wilcox & Dazey.
A marriage, performed in Nunda, N. Y., in 1878, united the destinies of Mr. Wilson and Miss Carrie S. Hunt, daughter of Thomas C. and Fannie Hunt who were natives of England and direct descendants of Earl Talbot. They have an only child, a daughter, Frances Delyra, born January 9, 1890. Mr. and Mrs. Wilcox have a large circle of friends and acquaintances throughout this community and their social standing is high. Our subject is a member of Milford Lodge No. 168, A. F. & A. M.; Watseka Chapter No., K. A. M.; and Mt. Olivet Commandery No. 38, K. T., of Paxton. Politically, he is a stanch Republican, and both he and his wife are of the Baptist faith. He is also a member of Camp No. 296, S. of V., and on the 3d of June, 1892, was appointed Mustering Officer for Iroquois County. He is now serving his second term as a member of the Village Board, and the prompt and efficient manner in which he discharges his duty wins him the commendation of all concerned. While living in Chicago he served as Deputy United States Marshall, and Deputy Assessor under William B. H. Gray. He was also an active member of the National Union League of Illinois. He is a public-spirited and progressive citizen who has the best interests of the community at heart and is ever ready to lend a helping hand for the advancement of those enterprises tending to promote the general we1fare.
To no other business as to that of grain dealing does a town such as Milford owe its success. The facilities of Wilcox & Dazey are unexcelled. The elevator bears evidence of careful planning, and no expense has been spared to render the service first-class in every respect. All machinery is run by power and their shipping and loading facilities are faultless. The capacity of the elevator is sixty thousand bushels. The firm enjoys an excellent reputation, their name being synonymous with capital, business ability and integrity. To them belongs the credit of making this a leading center and shipping point, they having the best facilities and most convenient arrangements on this line of the road.
Mr. Wilcox is a self-made man, whatever success he has achieved being due to his own efforts.
HENRY E. STAM, who owns and operates two hundred and eighty acres of land on section 4, Concord Township, and is also engaged in stock-raising, was born in Centre County, Pa., on the 22d of August, 1835, and is a son of William and Lydia (Gentzel) Stain. His father died in 1844, leaving a family of six children, of whom our subject was the eldest, and he was then but nine years of age. Henry E. never attended school after thirteen years of age, for he had to aid in the support of the family. After his father"’"s death he went from home for about two and a-half years, when, becoming large enough to aid his mother, he returned and gave her the benefit of his services until he had arrived at years of maturity.
At the age of twenty, Mr. Stain began learning the trade of wagon-making, serving a two-year apprenticeship, during which time he received his board and $50. He followed that trade until 1867, becoming a expert workman. As a companion and helpmate on life"’"s journey he chose Miss Julia Harter, whom he married when twenty-one years of age, their union being celebrated in 1856. The lady was born in Center County, Pa., on the 5th of August, 1835, and is a daughter of Andrew and Catharine (Moyer) Harter, both of whom are natives of Pennsylvania. Seven children have been born of their union who are yet living, and three died in infancy. John, the eldest, is married and resides in Elsie, Neb., where he has a farm of one hundred and sixty acres; William, a resident farmer of Beaver Township, is married and has two children; Leah, of Chicago; Tirzah is the wife of Arthur Hamlin, who lives in Chicago, and they have one child; Henry H. is carrying on a restaurant in the same city; Alpheus and Minnie are both at home.
In 1862, Mr. Stain bade good-bye to the State of his nativity and with his family removed Westward, locating in Greene County, Ind., where he worked at his trade until 1867. He then came to Illinois, locating in Will County, and began farming on rented land. At length he purchased eighty acres at $20 per acre, and in the fall of 1874 sold that farm for $40 per acre. The following spring he came to this county and purchased his present home at $26 per acre. All the improvements upon the place stand as monuments to his thrift and enterprise, and the well-tilled fields yield to him a golden tribute in return for his care and cultivation. In connection with general farming he carries on stock-raising and his efforts have been successful. He is a man of good business ability, and by his industry and perseverance has acquired a handsome property which numbers him among the substantial farmers of the community.
Mr. Stain resolved that his own children should have better educational advantages than he received, and all have attended the home schools, while the two youngest have been students in Donovan. In politics he has been a supporter of the Democratic party on questions of National importance since he cast his first Presidential vote for James Buchanan in 1856. In local elections he votes for the man whom he thinks is best qualified for the position, regardless of party affiliations. He has frequently served as a delegate to the county convention. While in Will County he served as Road Commissioner. For many years he was School Director, and is now School Trustee. Public-spirited and progressive, he is a valued citizen of the community. and well deserves representation in the history of his adopted county.
JOHN F. GEDDES, who is engaged in general farming and stock-raising on section 25, Ash Grove Township, owns and operates four hundred and fifteen acres of valuable land. Upon his farm he has made his home since 1868, and in the years which have since come and gone he has transformed what as once a wild prairie into rich and fertile fields. His land is now under a high state of cultivation, and upon the farm are excellent improvements, including a substantial residence and good barns and outbuildings. It is complete in all its appointments, and the neat and thrifty appearance of the place indicates the enterprise and progressive spirit of the owner.
Mr. Geddes was born in Virginia, June 27, 1835, and during his childhood emigrated with his parents to Ohio. His grandfather, John Geddes, was a native of Scotland, and, emigrating to America, he settled in Columbiana County, Ohio, where he spent the remainder of his life. He was a farmer and weaver, and also operated a sawmill. His son Joseph, the father of our subject, went to Tuscarawas County, Ohio, where he cleared a small farm, and in 1845 removed to De Kalb County, Ind., there making his home until his death in 1866. He was a true pioneer farmer, and a highly respected citizen. He supported the Democratic party, and lived a quiet, unassuming life. In the Buckeye State he married Catherine Moore, who died in De Kalb County. Twelve children were born unto them, seven sons and five daughters. William, a farmer of Ash Grove Township; Elizabeth, who died at the age of eleven years; J. F., of this sketch; James M., who resides in Rossville, Ill; Mrs. Mary Robinett, of De Kalb County; J. Robert, a farmer of Ash Grove Township, whose sketch appears elsewhere in this work; Mrs. Nancy Jane Clark, who is living in De Kalb County; Richard P. of Kansas; David W., deceased, who made his home in La Grange County, Ind.; Mrs. Lucinda Rosenbury, of Ash Grove Township; Joseph, a wealthy citizen of Baker City, Ore.; and Mrs. Minerva Huss, of La Grange County, Ind.
We now take up the personal history of J. F. Geddes who is well and favorably known in this community. His early boyhood days were spent on a new farm in Ohio, and he early learned to follow the plow and harrow. His educational advantages were very meagre. He first attended the subscription schools, and for a short time went to the district school. At the age of fifteen he left home and worked by the month. On attaining his majority, he began working for himself and did various kinds of labor until twenty-five years of age, where he embarked in farming. In the year 1858 he went to Momence, Ill., where he engaged in farming with his brother James for a year. In the year 1861 he started for Iroquois County, where he intended renting a farm. He had a team and $400 in money, but paid $22 of this for wagon and harness. During his journey the road were covered with water, and his team ran off the grade. After three days he arrived at his destination, and for five years operated a rented farm, during which time he cleared about $1,200. By raising cattle on shares for Mr. "Sumby" Vennum, he got a start. In May, 1866, he went to Kansas and took a claim, but as his family were all ill he returned to Clay County, Mo., and then went to Livingston County, Mo., where he raised a crop. On selling in the fall, he returned to Illinois and purchased eighty acres of prairie land and ten acre of timber for $1,000. Since 1868 he has made his home upon his present farm.
On the 14th of March, 1861, in Clay County, Ill., Mr. Geddes was joined in wedlock with Miss Many Adkison, and unto them have been born five children: George W., a teacher of Iroquois County, is at home; Ervin, a farmer, who married Emma Breeding, of Milford; Allie, at home; John, who is engaged in teaching school; and J. Alvin completes the family. The children have been provided with good educational advantages, having attended the public schools, Onarga Seminary and Valparaiso Normal College. Mrs. Geddes was born in Johnson County, Ind., March 14, 1847, and when about seven years old came with her parents to Illinois.
Mr. Geddes was formerly a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, but is now a member of the United Brethren Church, in which he serves as Class-leader; his wife is also a member. He takes a prominent part in church work, and does all he can for its advancement. He cast his first Presidential vote for Buchanan, then voted for Abraham Lincoln, and since that time has generally supported the Republican party. Mr. Geddes has passed through all the experiences and hardships of pioneer life, such as going long distances to market and mill. On one occasion, after hauling his grain to the Central Railroad across the prairie, he received only $3 per load. He has witnessed almost the entire growth and development of the county, and has ever borne his part in its advancement and progress.