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CHURCH, Samuel I. & Selden M.

Samuel I. CHURCH [brother of Selden M. CHURCH]
Portrait & Biographical Record Winnebago & Boone Cos., IL. Chicago: Biographical Pub. Co., 1892, p 1319

Samuel I. CHURCH, who departed this life in 1886 in Rockford [Winnebago County, IL], was born in Monroe County, NY, 11 June 1815.  His parents were Lazarus and Catherine (BROCKWAY) CHURCH.  Prior to coming to IL, which he did in 1848, our subject was married to Miss Silence RICHMOND, who was born in Camillus, Onondaga County, NY.  Her father, Sylvester RICHMOND, was a native of Herkimer County, NY, and removed about 1856 to Ripon, Fond du Lac County, WI.  He spent his last years at the home of his daughter, passing away 07 Sep 1886, at the advanced age of 89 years.  He married Electa BELL, who was born in Chester [Hampden County], MA.  Her father, Aaron BELL, removed from the Bay State [MA] to NY in 1810, where he was one of the pioneers in the town of Camillus, and died in 1845.  The grandmother of Mrs. CHURCH was prior to her marriage Miss Abby EGGLESTON, of Chester, MA.

The wife of our subject resided with her parents until her marriage, and in 1848 accompanied him on his removal to IL, the journey being made by way of the [Great] Lakes to Chicago and by teams to Rockford.  There was no government land for a radius of ten miles around Rockford, but the school section near by being vacant, when it came into market Mr. CHURCH secured a quarter section and engaged in farming.  He made his home for many years in the city but later removed to the farm, where his decease occurred in 1886.  The place is embellished with good farm buildings, the most noticeable among which is the commodious frame house, which contains all the conveniences of the modern style of building.  Mrs. CHURCH still resides upon the old place.

The five children born to our subject and his wife are Alice Emmagene, Sylvester Richmond, Samuel I., William Arthur, and Theodore Bell.  Alice E. married A. E. PAUL, of Chicago, in which city Sylvester R. makes his home.  The youngest son, who was born 05 Jan 1855, was a student in Rush Medical College and would have graduated in the class of 1881, but his ambition was cut short by his death in Sep 1880.  Samuel I. and William A. died in infancy.  Our subject was in early life a Whig, but has voted the Republican ticket since the formation of that party, and in public life served his fellow townsmen as Sheriff of the county for two years.  The daughter, A. Emmagene, is a graduate of the Ontario Female Seminary, of Canandaigua, NY; Sylvester R. is a graduate of the National Business College, of Poughkeepsie, NY.

Selden M. CHURCH [brother of Samuel I. CHURCH]
Portrait & Biographical Record Winnebago & Boone Cos., IL. Chicago: Biographical Pub. Co., 1892, pp 1296-1297

Selden M. CHURCH, who is one of the prominent citizens of Rockford, was born in East Haddam, Middlesex County, CT, 04 Mar 1804, and is the son of Lazarus CHURCH, who, as far as is known, was also a native of CT.  His father, the grandfather of our subject, bore the name of Ira CHURCH, and emigrated from CT to NY in 1804, where he spent his last years in Monroe County.

Lazarus CHURCH was reared to a man's estate and married in CT, whence he removed the same year as did his father to NY, making the journey overland with his wife and family.   [p 1297] He located in what is now Monroe County, where he purchased a tract of heavy timber land about 12 miles from the present site of Rochester.  Residing there a few years, he later took up his abode in Avon, Livingston County, where he carried on his trade of a blacksmith.  He was living in that place during the War of 1812, and one one occasion joined an independent company and went to rescue the city of Buffalo.   The father of our subject resided in NY State until 1847, when he came West and, locating in Rockford, Winnebago County, IL, here spent his last days, dying 08 Aug 1852, when 74 years of age.

The maiden name of the mother of our subject was Miss Catherine BROCKWAY and, like her husband, she was a native of CT.  She was the daughter of Abner and Catherine (MARVIN) BROCKWAY, and departed this life in Rockford.  She reared a family of four sons:  Selden M., Ulysses F., Ira, and William L.  He of whom we write was an infant when he parents moved to NY, and when old enough to attend school received his education in the pioneer log schoolhouse near his boyhood home.  He commenced when quite young to make his own way in the world, being variously employed in NY until Jan 1835, when he came West with a team, stopping for a while at the then village of Chicago.   From there he went to Geneva, now the county seat of Kane County, IL, where he was employed as clerk of the store of a Mr. HERRINGTON, who was one of the first settlers in that place.  During that summer, he visited Rockford, his business being to subpoena a witness, the journey being made on horseback.  In that early day Winnebago County was not organized [Winnebago County formed in 1836], and the now prosperous and wealthy city of Rockford contained but two buildings.

Mr. CHURCH, of this sketch, remained in Geneva until the fall of 1836, when he came to Rockford, and for many years was one of the most active and influential citizens, until the infirmaties of old age compelled him to retire from business and public life.  He was one of the originators and organizers of the Rockford Water Power Company, and for some time served as President of the Rockford Insurance Company, and as Director of the Winnebago National Bank.  He was elected County Clerk in 1840, being the third incumbent of that position, and in 1849 was elected County Judge, in which capacity he served for eight years.  He was a member of the Constitutional Convention of 1847, and was made a member of the General Assembly in 1852.  He was appointed a member of the State Board of Public Charities in 1868, and was one of the Commissioners designated by the government to locate the bridge at Rock Island.

The lady to whom our subject was married, in 1831, was Pamelia STEVENS.  She died in 1832, and the lady whom Mr. CHURCH chose as his second wife, in 1845, was Mary (TURNER) PRESTON, who was born in Cumberland County, ME, and was the daughter of James and Nancy (TOMBS) TURNER, and widow of Samuel D. PRESTON.  Our subject has one daughter living by his first marrige, Katherine, now the widow of Theodore A. KEELER.  She is the mother of two children:  Jennie and Katherine.  Mrs. CHURCH had one daughter by her union with Mr. PRESTON, who bears the name of Mary.

Submitted by Cathy Kubly.