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CLEVELAND, George C. & Hervey Seymour & William J. [brothers]

Biography of George C. CLEVELAND
Portrait & Biographical Record Winnebago & Boone Cos., IL. Chicago: Biographical Pub. Co., 1892, pp 556-558

This gentleman is one of the most prominent residents of Rockford [Winnebago County, IL], and has been one of the important factors in developing to so high a degree the resources which nature has so generously lavished upon this section.  Our subject was born in Hebron, Washington County, NY, 27 Jul 1818, and is the son of Job W. CLEVELAND, who was born in Salem, Washington County, NY, 07 Aug 1796.  The grandfather of our subject, who also bore the [p 557] name of Job W., was a native of New England, his birth occurring 27 Mar 1757.  The latter-named gentleman was of English ancestry, and one of the pioneers of Salem, where he carried on agricultural pursuits, improving a farm upon which he resided until his death, 05 Apr 1825.  The maiden name of his wife was Hannah CLARK; she was born 25 Mar 1767, and departed this life on the old home farm in Salem on 10 Apr 1824.

The father of our subject located upon a tract of land which had been given him by his father, and which was located in the town of Hebron.  He there resided and engaged in farming until 1835, at which time he removed to that part of Genesee County now included in Wyoming County, NY, where he purchased a tract of land in the town of Wethersfield.   He continued to make that place his home until his decease, which occurred 07 Jul 1870.  Miss Almira FENTON was the maiden name of our subject's mother; she was born in New Haven [New Haven County], CT, 12 Nov 1799, and was a daughter of Jonathan and Rosalinda (LUCAS) FENTON.  She departed this life on the farm in Wethersfield, Wyoming County, NY, 12 Nov 1886.

George C. CLEVELAND was reared on the home farm, and growing up into manhood passing onward in the rugged pathway of time, was disciplined in the stern school of experience and was prepared to meet every emergency with steady and ready hand.  From what follows, it is obvious that he must have always fully availed himself of all the privileges of instruction to which he found access, and a distinguishing characteristic of his is the possession of a quickness of mind and talent.  He remained with his parents in Wethersfield until reaching his majority and then engaged as clerk in a store for three years.  In the spring of 1843 he emigrated west to IL, being accompanied hither by his bride.  The young couple journeyed with a team to Buffalo [Erie County, NY], and thence on the steamer "Illinois" to Chicago, where they again procured a team and drove to Winnebago County [IL].  The surrounding country in that early day was but thinly settled, the greater part of the land being still owned by the government.   Mr. CLEVELAND, however, purchased a tract of 107 acres, located in Cherry Valley Township, for which he paid $2 an acre.  His land being entirely new, he rented property for a year, and in 1844 erected a cabin on his purchase, into which he moved.   There were no railroads in this locality, and their nearest market and depot for supplies was Chicago.  Our subject was industrious nd economical and was more than ordinarily successful in his undertaking, adding from time to time to his property until he became the possessor of the magnificent estate of 350 acres, all of which was located in Cherry Valley Township.  He always used the latest improvements and best methods of cultivating his land, believing that by so doing he reaped the largest returns.   His place is improved with a fine set of farm buildings, not the least among which was a substantial farm residence in which the family resided until 1886, when they removed to Rockford.  Here Mr. CLEVELAND erected his present fine dwelling and here he entertains his friends who are ats numerous as his acquaintances.

In Jan 1843, Miss Elvira CLARK became the wife of our subject.  Mrs. CLEVELAND was born in Manchester [Bennington County], VT, 23 Feb 1820, and departed this life 25 Oct 1849.  The second marriage of our subject occurred 01 Oct 1851, at which time Miss Cornelia LEWIS, who was born 07 Dec 1823, in Orangeville, Wyoming County, NY, became his wife.  She was the daughter of Truman LEWIS, whose birth occurred in Hartford [Hartford County], CT, 05 Nov 1784.  He was the son of Oliver and Lucinda (NORTH) LEWIS, and on emigrating from the Nutmeg State [CT] removed to Vernon [Oneida County], NY, and in 1807 walked the greater part of the distance from Orangeville to Wyoming, that state.  He purchased land on the latter-named place, which he cleared and improved, and for a number of years was agent for the Farmers' Loan and Trust Company, and was also one of the trustees of the will of James LLOYD, of Boston [Suffolk County, MA].   These parties were surveyors to the Holland Land Company and held a large number of mortgages to many farms in Wyoming County.  The father of Mrs. CLEVELAND held many offices of trust, and was a member of the NY Legislature in 1834-35.  He was also Treasurer of Wyoming County, and died at [p 558] Warsaw [Wyoming County], NY, 15 Sep 1865.   Mrs. CLEVELAND's mother's maiden name was Lucy PORTER; she was born 06 Mar 1795, and was the daughter of Seth and Sarah (COWLES) PORTER.  She spent her last years with her children in Winnebago County, departing this life 13 Dec 1866.  Our subject became the father of a son, George C., Jr., by his first marriage.  The four children born to him by his present wife bear the respective names of Frank L., Edward W., Willis P., and Carrie E.  With his estimable wife he is an influential member of the Westminster Presbyterian Church.

Biography of Hervey Seyour CLEVELAND
Past and Present of the City of Rockford and Winnebago Co., IL, C. A. Church.   Chicago: Clarke, 1905, pp 302-307

Hervey Seymour CLEVELAND, who in practical, progressive and profitable manner is following agricultural pursuits in Seward Township [Winnebago County, IL], was born in Hebron, Washington County, NY, 18 Jan 1831, his parents being Job W. and Almira (FENTON) CLEVELAND.  The father, born 07 Aug 1796, removed with his family from Washington County to Wyoming County, NY, about 1834, and spent his remaining days there, his death occurring 07 Jul 1870.  His wife was born 12 Nov 1799, and died on the 87th anniversary of her birth [12 Nov 1886].  They were married in VT, but spent the greater part of their married life in NY.  Mr. CLEVELAND was a member of the Masonic fraternity, and also the Independent Order of Odd Fellows.  In his family were 11 children, of whom four are now living:  Eli, a resident of Rockford; William J., who is living in Seward; Hervey S., of this review; and Helen, the wife of Percival JOINER, whose home is in Wethersfield, Wyoming County, NY.

Hervey S. CLEVELAND, when three years of age, was taken by his parents to Wyoming County, where he acquired his education in the district schools.  He remained at home until 16 years of age, after which he worked in Leroy [Genesee County], NY, for three years, there learning the trade of a wagon maker.  Later he went to Attica, Wyoming County, NY, where he had to abandon work at his trade because it proved detrimental to his eyesight.  In Sep 1853 he came west to Winnebago County, where he remained until winter came on, when he went to Monroe [Green County], WI, where he again resumed wagon making.  However, he had purchased a tract of land of 80 acres where he now lives, and began breaking the wild prairie, continuing the active work of the farm until 1855, when he again returned to the state of NY to see his parents.  He remained at home for three years and was married there on 11 Jun 1856 to Miss Annette CURTIS, who was born in the town of Java, Wyoming County, NY, 21 Apr 1834.

With his wife Mr. CLEVELAND returned to Winnebago County in the spring of 1859, and during the summer lived in a shanty belonging to his brother, but in the fall of that year erected a house, and with strong purpose began the development of his farm and the improvement of his property.  Later he purchased another 80 acres of land, and afterward bought 60 acres, continually adding to his property until he had 295 acres of very valuable farm lan.  In the fall of 1887 he was visited by a disastrous fire, 11 buildings being destroyed, but soon he built his fine home in which he now lives and the substantial barns and outbuildings which give shelter to grain and stock.  He was, up to the last five years, extensively and successfully engaged in raising and feeding stock, and he now has 20 head of cows upon his farm and raises from 40-60 head of hogs each year.   He was, however, a breeder of shorthorn cattle until he suffered so extensively from the fire.

In 1891 Mr. CLEVELAND was called upon to mourn the loss of his wife, who died on 26 Apr 1891.  Her standing in the community and in the regard of her many friends is perhaps best indicated by the following resolutions of respect.

Whereas, It has pleased the Great Master of the Universe in His infinite wisdom to remove from our midst our beloved sister, Annette CLEVELAND, therefore be it

Resolved, That in the death of Sister CLEVELAND this Grange has lost an earnest and energetic member, a woman endowed with those graces of mind and body which endeared her to all who knew her

Resolved, That while bowing submissively to the Divine Will we deeply deplore the loss of one who was to us a cheerful companion, one whose gentle habits and lovable qualities rendered her a desirable associate in our order.

Resolved, That we offer our sincere sympathy to the bereaved family of the deceased in this sad hour of affliction.

Resolved, That these resolutions be entered in our minutes and a copy of the same be sent to the family of the deceased and also a copy sent to the Grange News for publication.

Lawrence McDONALD, John McDONALD, Julia McDONALD, Committee

Attest:  John McDONALD, Secretary.

Unto Mr. and Mrs. CLEVELAND were born five children:  Myrtie, who was born 05 Jan 1860, and died 17 Nov 1867; Alta C., who was born 20 Feb 1862, and died 16 Nov 1867; Lucas, who was born 07 Sep 1870, and died 10 Feb 1871; Amy, who was born 24 Nov 1881, and died the same day; and Hervey, who was born 27 Mar 1869, and is now conducting the home farm.

For many years Mr. CLEVELAND has been and at the present time is a member of the school board and the cause of education finds in him a warm and helpful friend.  He has also been a member of the directors of the Winnebago Farmers' Mutual Fire and Lightning Insurance Company of Winnebago and Seward Townships, which was incorporated 05 Feb 1875.   He belongs to the Knights of the Globe and is a supporter of the Congregational church, where he has attended for many years.

1st Biography of William J. CLEVELAND
Portrait & Biographical Record Winnebago & Boone Cos., IL. Chicago: Biographical Pub. Co., 1892, pp 484-487

One of the most energetic agriculturalists and business men in Seward Township [Winnebago County, IL], William J. CLEVELAND has one of the finest farms in northern IL, in which region he commenced building his fortune and where he has gained a competence.  Aside from farming he is interested in the elevator and creamery at Seward, and his enterprise and ability in managing affairs have brought him success.

Born in Hebron, Washington County, NY, 21 Jul 1829, our subject is a son of Job W. and Almira CLEVELAND, the former of whom was born in Hebron, Washington County, NY, 07 Aug 1796.  THe paternal grandfather of our subject also bore the name of Job and was born in 1757 in NY and died in Washington County.  He was the father of 11 children, and like our subject's ancestors, was a farmer.

The father of our subject died 07 Jul 1870, in Wethersfield, Wyoming County, NY.  His wife, Almira FENTON, was a native of Dorset [Bennington County], VT, her birth occurring 12 Nov 1799; she died in Wethersfield on her 87th birthday [12 Nov 1886].  Her parents were also natives of the Green Mountain State [VT], and departed this life in Genesee County, NY, when very old people.  The FENTONs were mechanics and pioneers of VT, where they were recognized as honorable and upright citizens.  Grandfather FENTON drew a pension from the government, having been a soldier in the War of 1812, in which conflict the father of our subject was also a participant, and likewise drew a pension.

William J. CLEVELAND came to this county when 22 years of age, and purchasing land in Seward Township, lived ther for four years, when he sold his property to his brother, S. H. and bought his present farm of 200 acres, a portion of which is included in the town site of Seward.  By persistent industry and enterprise, he placed his land under an excellent state of cultivation, erecting thereon all the needful buildings, and by properly cultivating the soil realizes handsome returns.

The lady to whom our subject was married 03 Jul 1851, was Miss Jane CURTIS, whose birth occurred 23 Oct 1831, in Wethersfield, Wyoming County, NY.  She was a daughter of Francis and Sylvia CURTIS, natives of NY.  The mothr is at present living in MI, in whih state the father died in 1860.  Mrs. CLEVELAND was a meber of a family which included 11 children, all of whom are living with one exception.  Mr. CLEVELAND has five brothers and two sisters living.

Of the seven children born to our subject and his wife, six are living:  Albert W., born in Wethersfield [Wyoming County], NY, 27 Aug 1852, is married and has four children; Maria A., a native of this county, was born 26 Aug 1854; Adela E., also a native of this county, was born 10 Jun 1857, [p 487] and is married and has five children, one of whom is deceased; Herbert W., a native of this county, was born 08 Aug 1860, is marreid and the father of three children; Clara R., was born on 22 May 1864, is married, has one child, and resides in IA; Wilson J., was born 03 Jul 1876, on the 25th anniversary of our subject's marriage.

Mr. and Mrs. CLEVELAND are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, in whcih denomination our subject has been Deacon for the past 20 years.  He is a believer in the principles embodied in the Republican platform, and in all national elections supports it with his vote.  His fellow citizens, marking his ability in carrying on his own affairs, have called upon him to aid in the management of public business, he having filled many positions of trust and responsibility.

2nd Biography of William J. CLEVELAND
Past and Present of the City of Rockford and Winnebago Co., IL, C. A. Church.   Chicago: Clarke, 1905, pp 226-229

Among the residents of worth in Seward Township [Winnebago County, IL], William J. CLEVELAND is always prominently mentioned.  He was born 21 Jul 1829, in Hebron, Washington County, NY, his parents being Job W. and Almira CLEVELAND, the former born in Washington County, 07 Aug 1796.  His father was Job CLEVELAND, born in NY in 1757, while his death occurred in Washington County when he was well advanced in years.  He too was a farmer and reared a family of 11 children.  Job W. CLEVELAND, the father of our subject, died in Wethersfield [Wyoming County], NY, 07 Jul 1870.  His wife born the maiden name of Almira FENTON, and was a native of Dorset [Bennington County], VT, born 12 Nov 1799, while her death occurred in Wethersfield, NY, on the 87th anniversary of her birth [12 Nov 1886].  Her parents were also natives of the Green Mountain state [VT], and at an advanced age departed this life in Genesee County, NY.  THe FENTONs were mechanics and were pioneers of VT, where they were recognized as honorable and upright citizens.  The grandfather FENTON was a soldier in the War of 1812, and was granted a pension in recognition of his services.  The father of our subject was also a pensioner of the War of 1812, having espoused the American cause during the second conflict with England.

William J. CLEVELAND wa a lad of seven years when he accompanied his parents on their removal to Wyoming County, NY, where he was educated in the public and select schools.   He worked upon his father's farm until 18 years of age, and during the three winter terms engaged in teaching school.  When 22 years of age he was married, and two years later he came to IL, making the journey by rail to Buffalo [Erie County, NY], where he arrived on 14 Dec 1853.  He then boarded a steamer bound for Detroit, MI, and over the Chicago & Galena Railroad, now a part of the Chicago & [p 229] Northwestern Railroad system, he continued his journey to Rockford.  Soon after he located in Pecatonica Township, where he built a shack in a stone quarry.  He then chopped wood that winter and and the following spring removed to Seward Township, having in 1854 purchased 80 acres of land here, he and his brother buying 160 acres together.  Mr. CLEVELAND then drove a breaking team of five yoke of oxen through the first summer and has assisted materially in the pioneer development of this section of the state.  He lived upon this land for about four or five years, after which he sold his 80-acre tract and came to his present farm in Seward Township, at first purchasing 80 acres, which was the nucleus of his present home.  He built a house upon this tract and afterward extended the boundaries of the farm by the purchased of an additional 120 acres.  In 1885 he erected a fine residence and he has put extensive and substantial improvements upon the place, which is now one of the finest farms of the county, lacking in none of the accessories and conveniences which indicate the progressive farmer.  He has tilled the soil and raised stock, making a specialty of shorh horn cattle and Chester White hogs, and he always keeps first class farm horses.

Mr. CLEVELAND was married 03 Jul 1851 to Elvira J. CURTIS, a daughter of Waterman and Sylvia CURTIS, both natives of NY.  Her father, who was born 07 May 1804, died 02 Aug 1861, while his wife passed away 16 Dec 1894, in Seward Township, at the age of 88 years, having been born 06 Nov 1806.  Their remains were interred in Gratiot County, MI.   In their family were 11 children.  Francis, born 12 Feb 1829, and now living in MI, married Miss Luceba RUGG and has two sons and three daughters.  Sylvia A., born 02 Feb 1830, died 22 Sep 1852.  Mrs. CLEVELAND is the next member.  Laura, born 24 Nov 1833, is the wife of William HALL, of Wyoming County, NY, and has four children.  Seneca M., born 06 Oct 1835, and now livng in MI, married Sophia BARNARD and has one child.  Helen M., born 14 Jun 1837, is the wife of John HALL, of Wyoming County, NY, and has one child.  Albro, born 17 Oct 1837, married Lucy WOODWARD and with their three children they reside in MI.  Waldo, born 30 Jul 1841, married and has five children, now living.  Martha B., born 10 Sep 1845, is the wife of Theodore MUSCOTT, of Gratiot County, MI, by whom she has four children.  Mary E., born 31 Jul 1848, is living in MI.  William M., born 08 Jan 1853, married Kate CHISAM and has four children.  The father of this family was a farmer of Wyoming County, NY, until 1859, when he removed to MI, where he died two years later.  Both he and his wife were members of the Baptist church from early youth, and in politics he was a whig and later a republican.

Unto Mr. and Mrs. CLEVELAND have been born seven children.  Albert W., born 27 Aug 1852, married Frankie A. RUGG and has four children, their home being in Rockford.   Maria R., born 26 Aug 1854, died 14 Jul 1893.  Adella E., born 10 Jun 1857, is the wife of Fred CONGER, of Seward, and has four children.  Herbert W., born 08 Aug 1860, married Nanie MOON, and with their five children they reside in Rockford.   Lillie C., born 06 Aug 1862, died 25 Aug 1862.  Clara R., born 22 May 1867, is the wife of Frank HOLENBECK, of Seward, and has two children.  Wilson S., born 03 Jul 1876, and living on the old homestead with his parents, married Mabel GRADY, and has three children.

In recent years Mr. CLEVELAND has left the care of the farm to his son [Wilson S.], and is now practically living retired.  He has returned to his native state to visit the old homestead and the friends of his youth.  He has acted as town clerk and collector, as road commissioner, and for many years has been a member of the school board, and his political support is given to the republican party.  He was one of the organizers and is the president of the Old Settlers' Association, and for 45 years has been deacon in the Congregational church.  His long connection with the church and his fidelity to its interests and its teachings indicate the upright life that he has led, making him one of the  most highly esteemed and valued citizens of his community.  He has now passed the 76th milestone on life's journey, and is one of the venerable pioneer settlers of Winnebago County.

Submitted by Cathy Kubly.