JULIUS M. WARREN

Source: Album of Genealogy and Biography, Cook County, Illinois with Portraits 3rd ed. revised and extended (Chicago: Calumet Book & Engraving Co., 1895), pp. 337-339

JULIUS M. WARREN, only son of Daniel Warren, a pioneer settler of Du Page County (see biography elsewhere in this volume), was born in Fredonia, New York, June 13, 1811, being the first white child born in Chautauqua County.  He became a member of the New York militia, in which he attained the rank of colonel.  With the family, he came to Du Page County in the autumn of 1833, and spent the balance of his life there.  He was a very genial and happy-dispositioned gentleman, and early became a favorite in society.  A recent writer in the Chicago Herald speaks thus of the society of that day:  "The society of all this region, including town and country, forty-five years ago, had its attractive seat and held its principal revelries in the valley of Fox river.  'The best people' that came out from the eastern states to settle in this region did not stop in Chicago, but made for the magnificent farming lands in this vicinity.  Some came from central and western New York, where they had seen families of the aristocracy plant themselves and flourish on the fat lands of the Mohawk and Genesee valleys. To clear off timber and reduce those great farms to productivity, had taken half a century of time and had exhausted the lives of three generations.  This was known to the new emigrants, and as they heard of or saw these Illinois lands, bare of obstinate trees, but clothed with succulent grasses, of nature's sowing; in a climate that possessed no torridity, nor yet any destructive rigors; all this being known before-hand, many refined and cultivated families came out with all their effects, and bought or entered land and proceeded to make themselves homes, which, they had no doubt, would be homes to them for their natural lives."

Mr. Warren had a keen sense of humor and was always amiable and cheerful, which made him a favorite in all circles.  Instead of disapproving the amusements of the young people, he always had a strong sympathy and interest in their pleasures.  He was the constant attendant of his sisters, and often laughingly mentioned them as seven reasons why he should not marry.  He was also devotedly attached to his mother who was justly proud of her only son.  Together they kept house until her death, when he induced his nephew to bring his family to live on the old homestead at Warrenville, where he continued to reside.  He passed away on the first of May, 1893, his last words being, "Take me home to my mother."

In speaking of Colonel Warren and the village of Warrenville, we again quote from the Herald: "He called in a storekeeper, a blacksmith, a cooper and a carpenter, and a tavernkeeper came in good time.  Naperville was a smaller village, having but two log houses.  Aurora scarcely had a being, and St. Charles was not.  But all along the banks of the Fox river were settlers of a high class, who had knowledge of and correspondence with the eastern portions of the United States.  Foremost among these was Judge Whipple, who, acting with the Warrens, father and son, organized and gave direction to local affairs.  They were without postal facilities of any kind, and every family had to send a member into Chicago for letters and papers.  A letter from Buffalo to any place on the Fox river was from four to six weeks in coming, and to Chicago cost fifty cents postage.  Colonel Warren making use of eastern friends, got a postoffice (the first in the valley) established at Warrenville in 1833, and himself appointed postmaster.  He was his own mail-carrier, making weekly trips, on foot some times, to Chicago and out again, with letters and papers for distribution through his office to people in all that section.  Colonel Warren held this office for fifty years, and only lost it when President Cleveland came in the first time."

Although chiefly self-educated, Colonel Warren was a thoroughly well-read man, and was admirably fitted for a leader in politics, as well as in society.  He represented his district for three successive terms in the State Legislature, from 1840 to 1843, but refused to longer remain in public life, preferring the quiet joys of his home and neighborhood to anything the capital or metropolis might offer.  He continued to manage the large homestead farm until his death.  He was a loyal adherent of the Republican party, having espoused its leading principles before its organization.

The following incident will indicate the kindly nature of Colonel Warren and his noble mother, as well:  A young lawyer of Chicago, now known throughout Illinois as the venerable ex-Chief Justice of the State, John Dean Caton, fell sick of fever while staying at the log tavern in Naperville, one of the two buildings of that village.  Hearing of the case, Colonel Warren went at once to see what he could do to render the sufferer comfortable, and soon decided to remove him to his own home, where he could receive better nursing than at the little frontier tavern.  This probably saved the life of the patient, who attributes his recovery to the careful nursing of Mrs. Warren and her daughters, with such aid as Colonel Warren could apply.  The last-named saw the completion of his eighty-second year, full of humor and harmless badinage to the last, and died as the result of an attack of pneumonia, after an illness of only two days, leaving as an inspiration to those who come after the record of a well-spent life.

                                -- Submitted on 9/12/99 by Sherri Hessick ( slhessick@crosswinds.net )