1890 Biographical album Peoria County...
Albert G. Powell is one of the oldest and best known settlers of Hollis Township, to which he came in August 1837; At that time the only residents of the township were Messrs. Thomas and Topping, two Englishmen, who had come hither in 1836; John Duffield, who lived on section 20, and John Essex and Nat Richardson, who lived upon the hill. All these have passed to the bourne from which no traveler returns. A few years later William S. and Mary H. (Davis) Powell, the parents of our subject, also came hither accompanied by their two sons-Isaac and Abraham, their son-in-law, Robert Buchanan, and a Mr. James Jones. These are all now deceased, the last to pass away having been Abraham who breathed his last Oct 1889.
The Powell family is of Welsh extraction and the father of our subject was a native of Loudoun county, Va. He was a soldier in the War of 1812, as was also his brother Charles, who was killed at the siege of Norfolk. After his marriage he made his home in Guernsey Co. Ohio, until 1844, when he followed his son to Illinois. He of whom we write was born in Cambridge, the county seat of Guernsey County, July 16, 1818, and was nineteen years of age when he came to what was then the Wild West.
It took a letter over a week to reach Ohio, whither it now goes in less than twenty four hours, and the carriage of it cost twenty-five cents. During the first few years of Mr. Powell's residence here, Peoria was but a hamlet with two or three stores, that of Griswold and Cortenius, on what is now Water Street, being the first and most important and another being opened by a Mr. Varis. Milling was done at Hale's Mills upon the Kickapoo River.
The gentleman of whom we write learned the trade of a carpenter with his father, and worked at it many years. Some twenty years ago he abandoned it and settled upon land which was then made into a fine estate. It comprises two tracts of three hundred and sixty-seven, and eighty acres respectively, the entire four hundred and forty-seven acres lying within a range of two miles. His son Grant is now his chief assistant in the management of the estate, the father feeling that his years and long
labors entitle him to a certain withdrawal from the cares of life. He is by no means inactive, however, but does a fair share of mental and physical work.
The first marriage of Mr. Powell was celebrated in October, 1844, his bride being Miss Eliza Jones who bore him three children. Of these Smith now deceased, having died at the age of forty years; John is now living in Hilton, this State, is married and has four children; Emily is the wife of John A. Calhoun, of Hollis Township, her family consisting of ten children. The mother of these three children having been removed by death, Mr. Powell contracted a second matrimonial alliance in 1865. He won as his wife Mrs. Margaret Starts who has borne him five children- Charles Grant, Maggie, Scott, Albert, and Walter, all of whom are yet at home. Mrs Margaret Powell is the mother of three children by her former marriage. they are Melissa; Mary, wife of Walter Houghtaling of Warren County, Iowa, and the mother of two children; and Hugh, also of Iowa, who married a Kansas lady and has two children.
Mr. Powell is a Republican and a member of the La Marsh Baptist church. He was the first Assessor of Hollis Township, but has taken to active part in Public affairs since those early days. An intelligent and law-abiding citizen, honorable in his dealings with humanity and kindly in his domestic relations, he is highly regarded by those who know him, irrespective of the esteem which his labors as a pioneer have earned.
Submitted by Londie Benson.