BLEWFIELD, Jacob
Portrait & Biographical Record Winnebago & Boone Cos., IL. Chicago: Biographical Pub. Co., 1892, pp 816-817

Jacob BLEWFIELD, now retired and living comfortably with his daughter at No. 110 North Horsman Street [Rockford, Winnebago County, IL], has only been with the latter about a year, having previously made his home on Auburn Street, in the suburbs of the northwest part of the city, where he owns 11 acres of very valuable property.  Mr. BLEWFIELD was born in Rockland County, NY, 09 Jun 1818, and came of an old and prominent NY State family.  His grandfather BLEWFIELD [BLOFIELD] was a soldier in the Revolutionary War, and served with the Colonists in many engagements.  He was wounded in an engagement on the Hudson River, and his death resulted from these wounds a few years later.  He was an early settler of Rockland County, NY, and there spent all his active life.  He came of German parentage.  He left a large family of children, and one, John, was the father of our subject.  The latter, with the elder members of the family, spelled their names BLOFIELD.  He was born near Haverstraw, in Rockland County, and was engaged in different occupations until his death, when about 80 years of age.  For some time he was engaged in building the lighthouse on Stony Point, in the Hudson River, where his maternal grandfather had fought during the Revolution.  John BLEWFIELD, or BLOFIELD, was a man of sterling traits of character, and was a worthy citizen of his community.  He was married on the Hudson River to Miss Hannah DIKENS, who was also a native of Haverstraw, Rockland County, and who inherited French blood from her paternal, and Dutch from her maternal ancestors.  Her father, Richard DIKENS, was a soldier in the Revolutionary War, and his knowldedge of Stony Point, NY, and of the most accessible route to it, was the cause of his being selected as the leader of the American forces in the successful attack on that position.  He died at an advanced age, near the Hudson River, in Rockland County, and was an excellent specimen of the old settlers of that day.   Many were the interesting stories told by this gentleman and his worthy wife of the early days, and our subject remembers most of them.  He also remembers when he wore pants made from flax that had been woven by his grandmother.

The mother of our subject, Hannah BLEWFIELD, was one of ten childen, four sons and six daughters, all of whom lived to be aged people.  Eight were married and reared large families, but all are now deceased.

Our subject was one of the folloiwng family:  Polly, John, Peggy, Abbey, Nancy, Tilley, Jacob, Abraham, and Samuel.  All these reached mature years, married, and all had families.  Jacob and his brother Abraham are the only ones now living.  The latter resides at Haverstraw, NY, and is a successful agriculturalist.  Jacob was reared in his native county, and when nearly of age, or about 63 years ago, began boating on the Hudson River, the name of this first boat being *Mad Anthony,* on which he remained and cooked for some time.  Later he became a man before the mast, and subsequently master of the boat "Fair Play," that plied between Albany and NY City.  He saw the first steamboat that made the trip.  He has ever been industrious and ambitious, and what he has accumulated is the result of hard work on his part.  He assisted in building many of the public works in the harbor of NY City, including the dry dock, and worked on what is known as Gibitt's Island.

Mr. BLEWFIELD is now 74 years of age, but remarkably well preserved for his years, both in mind and body.  His memory is retentive, and he remembers events of this early life very vividly.  He was married at Haverstraw, Rockland County, NY, to Miss Rachel SPRINGSTEAD, who was born and reared in that place.  Her parnts, Jacob and Lotta (FORKINGSON) SPRINGSTEAD, were also natives of that county, in which they passed their entire lives, dying when quite aged.  Of the large family of chidren born to them, four are now lving:  Jacob, David, Sarah, and Nancy, all of who are married and have families.

Mr. BLEWFIELD died at her home in this city [Rockford] on 26 Apr 1891, when nearly 73 years of age.  She was an excellent woman, and in every way a true companion to her husband.  She was a consistent member of the Methodist Episcopal Church.  Of the 11 children born to Mr. and Mrs. BLEWFIELD, two are deceased, Lotta and Malinda, the latter dying when young.  Lotta married George KILBURN, of Detroit [Wayne County], MI. 

The living chidren are:  (1)  Amelia, wife of William STEWART; (2)  Sarah, wife of Ed RICHARDSON, a well driller of Rockford; (3)  S. Gus, married Miss Nellie WINCHESTER, and is engaged in the saloon business in Rockford; (4)  Mary, married Kit SAWYER, a business man of Rockford; (5)  Matilda, is the wife of George GAILOR, a blacksmith of Rockford; (6)  Jacob, at home; (7)  Dell, the wife of Jerome BLEWFIELD, a bartender for Gus BLEWFIELD, at the Holland House, of Rockford; (8)   Charles, agent for the Illinois Central Railroad, of East Rockford, married Miss Florence SOUL; and (9)  Hattie, wife of Wallie FURMAN, a milk dealer.

Mr. BLEWFIELD is one of the honest, upright citizens of the city [Rockford, Winnebago County, IL], and is public-spirited and enterprising.  In politics he is a Democrat.

Submitted by Cathy Kubly.