Portrait & Biographical Record Winnebago & Boone Cos., IL. Chicago: Biographical Pub. Co., 1892, pp 862-863
A representative farmer of Harrison Township, Winnebago County, IL, Abram CHAMPION was born in England in Jul 1846. His father, Abraham CHAMPION, was born in the same place, Somersetshire, England, in 1814, and was a farmer, as was also his father before him. His first wife, the mother of our subject, was Elizabeth FRENCH, and she was born in the same place in 1815. To this union were born nine children, one of whom, Emma, died when about six years of age. This family came to the U. S. in the spring of 1856, and located in Rockton [Winnebago County], IL, but two years later rented a farm [p 863] in Owen Township. There the parents resided five years, and then purchased an 80-acre farm in Harrison Township, paying $16 per acre for it ($1,280]. To the original tract was added land from time to time until at the time of Mr. CHAMPION's death it numbered 225 acres. His wife died on this farm in Aug 1871, and his second marriage was to Mrs. Sophia DIAMOND, nee NEWMAN, widow of John DIAMOND. Mr. CHAMPION passed away on 01 Jan 1890, when 76 years of age, and his wife followed him to the grave on the 22nd of the following Feb [22 Feb 1890].
The eight children of the first union are still living and are as follows: James, a farmer in Harrison, married Miss Mary DIAMOND and they have two children, a son and daughter; Charles, a contractor and builder, is a man of considerable wealth; Mary Ann married Henry GUMMON, a farmer near the town of Harrison; Elizabeth married John CARPENTER, a farmer near Harrrison; Abram (our subject); Jane, now Mrs. James OLIVER, of Harrison; Isaac, a wealthy farmer of Burlingame, KS; and Henry, a carpenter of Chicago. Abram CHAMPION started out at the age of 25 years as an agriculturalist, and it was quite natural that he should chose that as his calling in life, for he had been trained to it from an early age, and his ancestors for generations had followed the same occupation. He first rented a farm in company with his brother Isaac, the David JEWETT farm, in Owen Township, and this they conducted sucessfully for three years. They next rented the farm of James CHAMPION for five years.
On 10 Jul 1872 our subject married Miss Ida F. DOBSON, of Harrison, daughter of Edwin and Elizabeth (HAMER) DOBSON, the father a native of New England, and the mother of England. After this union, Mr. CHAMPION and wife resided on the JEWETT farm, also the James CHAMPION farm, and then bought about 133 acres, for which he paid $4,000. He went in debt for the most of it, but has since added to this tract until he now owns 400 acres, all under the plow except 50 acres in timber and 75 acres in pasture land. In 1882 he built a barn 32x42 feet, and in 1890 he enlarged it 36x32. In 1885 his fine modern residence was erected, and all his outbuildings are good and substantial. Mr. CHAMPION has cleared most of his land and marketed the wood in Rockton, Beloit [Rock County, WI], and Rockford. He raises all the small kinds of grain, and keeps a dairy of 16 cows, sending the cream to the factory.
Mr. CHAMPION's marriage resulted in the birth of five children: Lizzie M., Minnie M., Rena M., Nora J., and Edna F., all attending the district school except Miss Lizzie, who is in the Rockford Academy fitting herself for a teacher, and the baby. Mr. CHAMPION was formerly a Republican in politics, but he is now Independent. He is not the worker he was at one time, on account of an injury received by a runaway team. Mrs. CHAMPION was a school teacher before her marriage, and is a lady of intelligence and a model wife and mother.
Submitted by Cathy Kubly.