Old Courthouse Museum
103 West Cherry Street
Watseka, IL 60970-1524
CLARENCE H. DAWSON, a prominent merchant of Milford, dealing in drugs, medicines, books, stationery, wall paper, paints, oils, etc., was born in Warren County, Ind., on the 8th of June, 1861, and is the eldest of a family of five children. The parents, James E. and Mary J. (Borders) Dawson, were both natives of Ohio. They removed to Indiana, and after some years residence in Warren County, came to Iroquois County, Ill. Their two sons and three daughters are Clarence H., Alva M., Nora B., Florence M. and Cora E.
The subject of this sketch was a lad of nine summers when his parents came to this State, and since that time he has been a resident of Iroquois County. His education was acquired in the public schools. After attaining to years of maturity, he was united in marriage with Miss Frances Wilson, daughter of John B. and Eliza (Hickman) Wilson, whose sketch is given on another page. Their union was celebrated on the 14th of February, 1883. In his political affiliations, Mr. Dawson is a Republican, but has never been an office-seeker, preferring to devote his time and attention to his business and other interests, rather than to enter the political arena. He holds membership with Milford Lodge No. 168, A. F. & A. M.; Watseka Chapter No. 114, R. A. M.; and Mt. Olivet Commandery No. 38, K. T., of Paxton. He is Secretary of the Milford Agricultural Society.
After a residence of some five years in Wellington, Ill., Mr. Dawson came to Milford, and in March, 1881, embarked in his present line of business. He carries a full stock of goods, and his patronage has constantly increased. Those who have known Mr. Dawson from boyhood, and have witnessed the honorable upright life which he has always led, hold him in high regard, and are numbered among his stanchest friends. He also ranks high in business circles, and is classed among the prominent and progressive citizens of the community. He is public-spirited and takes an active interest in all that pertains to the welfare of the town and county, and is ever ready to aid in the promotion of those enterprises calculated to prove of public benefit.
REMMER EDEN, who owns and operates a farm on section 9, Danforth Township, was born in Hanover, Germany, September 26, 1826. His parents were both natives of the same country and bore the names of John and Emma (Andrews) Eden. The father emigrated to the United States in 1876, and located in Iroquois County, where he lived until his death in 1883.
Remmer Eden passed his early days in the Fatherland and received good school advantages. He came to the New World in 1852, when a young man, sailing from Bremen and arriving in New Orleans after a long and tedious voyage. He arrived at his destination May 22, 1852, and went by way of the Mississippi River, first to St. Louis then to Peru, Dixon and Freeport, Ill. Tazewell County was at that time almost a wilderness and there he located and spent two and a-half years. Working by the month on a farm. He afterward rented a farm which he tilled for many years, suffering the hardships and privations of pioneer life, and in addition to these had much sickness in his family.
In Tazewell County, Mr. Eden was joined in wedlock on March 1, 1856, with Geske Klattenburg, who was born in Hanover November 5, 1831, and is a daughter of John Klattenburg. To this worthy couple have been born ten children, seven of whom are still living: John, a merchant in Danforth; Emma, the wife of Herman Simons, a blacksmith of Danforth; Reiner, a clerk for his brother John; Lena, wife of Herman Claymon, of Nebraska; Oliver, a farmer of the same State; Herman, who is at home, and Sena. They lost three children: George, who died at the age of nineteen years; Henry, who died when about eleven years of age, and one child, who died in infancy.
Mr. Eden commenced life in Illinois a poor man, and by careful industry, enterprise and good business ability has achieved a competence. He owns some of the finest farming land in the county and in addition to his property here, owns a farm of one hundred and sixty acres in Platte County, Neb. He is also the owner of a vacant lot in the town of Danforth. He is a supporter of the Democratic party and principles. Mr. and Mrs. Eden are members of the Lutheran Church and are much respected and esteemed throughout this section. For nearly a quarter of a century our subject has resided in this county, and by his manly and honorable course in life has won the confidence and friendship of his neighbors and acquaintances.
FERDINAND SCHMID, who carries on general farming on section 2, Douglas Township, is one of the worthy citizens Germany has given Iroquois County, and we take pleasure in presenting to our readers this record of his life. He was born in Hesse-Darmstadt, on the 29th of November, 1850, and is one of three children whose parents were Carl and Caroline (Rahn) Schmid. His father was born in the same locality as our subject, and there owned amid operated a farm, being in comfortable circumstances. He was a well-educated man and a prominent citizen. For twenty years he was honored with the office of Town Mayor and, was an Elder in the Lutheran Church. He died in 1881, at the age of fifty-eight years. His wife was born in Rossbach, and her father was a minister of the Lutheran Church. She died just four weeks after the death of her husband. Mina, their eldest daughter, is living in Germany; Bertha, twin sister of our subject, is the wife of Henrich Zimmer.
Our subject spent the first ten years of his life in his native town and then went to Wiessen, where he entered the High School. He graduated just at the beginning of the Franco-Prussian War, and immediately afterward enlisted as a private, but meritorious conduct won him promotion to the rank of Lieutenant. The first battle in which he participated was at Metz, on the 16th, 17th and 18th of August, 1870. On the first of January, 1871, he participated in the capture of Orleans, and on the 11th of March took part in the battle of Tours. Three months later he received his discharge.
In 1871, Mr. Schmid returned to his home and the same year emigrated to America. He crossed the briny deep from Hamburg to New York, and went to live with a cousin, Dr. Weber, of New York City. Later, he went to Michigan and for three months engaged in clerking in Roger City, after which we find him in Chicago. Subsequently he removed to Gilman, and since that time has been a resident of Iroquois County. For two years he worked for David Risser as a farm hand. He was afterward in the employ of Addison Harper for two years, and later spent one year with John C. Holtzaner. He then returned to the employ of Mr. Harper, and on the 23d of February, 1879, wedded his youngest daughter, Miss Mary C. Harper, a native of this county. Her father died about four years ago, but her mother is still living and is one of the oldest settlers of the county. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Schmid have been born two children: Emory, born March 21, 1881; and Almet Lee, who was born June 26, 1890.
Mr. Schmid has resided upon his present farm since 1882. He owns one hundred acres of well-tilled land and his farm is improved with good buildings and all modern accessories. He cast his first Presidential vote for Hayes and Wheeler but has since affiliated with the Democracy. In religious belief he is a Lutheran. He takes an active interest in all that pertains to the welfare of the community and the cause of education finds in him a stalwart friend. He is himself a highly educated man. He is not only familiar within his native tongue, but is a French, Latin and Greek scholar, and since coming to this country has educated himself in the English language. He is a popular citizen, and is held in high regard by all within whom he has come in contact, whether in business or social circles.
JOSEPH NELSON MCNEIL, a self-made man, who is now living a retired life in Thawville, has led a life well worthy of emulation, and his example may serve to encourage others who, like himself, have to depend only on their own resources from early manhood. Mr. McNeil was born in Highland County, Ohio, on the 21st of April, 1830, and his parents, Joseph and Susan (Morrow) McNeil, were also natives of the Buckeye State. The parents are both now deceased. The father was called to his final rest in 1880, and the mother, who survived him about six years, departed this life in 1886. Unto this worthy couple were born eight children, of whom five are yet living: Sarah, William, Joseph N., Mary and Amanda. Nancy, Susan and Martha are deceased.
No event of special importance occurred during the boyhood days of our subject, which were quietly passed under the parental roof. He was reared to the occupation of farming, which he has followed through his entire business life. May 29, 1851, he was marred, Miss Lemma Rogers becoming his wife. Her parents were William and Hannah Rogers, and she was a native of the Buckeye State. Eleven children have been born unto Mr. and Mrs. McNeil, as follows: Susan M., the eldest, is the wife of Albert Montague, a furniture dealer of Kankakee, by whom she has four children living, two sons and two daughters. William C. married Miss Mabel Carter, by whom he has two children, Allie and Ruth. He is a Methodist minister, and is now in charge of a church in Peoria. Joseph, who married Hattie Conniff, by whom he has one son, Lloyd Chapin, is a horse-dealer of Roberts, Ill.; John E. is the next younger; Sarah is the wife of George Reynolds, a farmer residing near Knoxville, Knox County, Ill., and they have three children: Clarence, Alice and Fay; Mary T. is the wife of Sheridan Devore, a resident of Onarga. Emma married James Walker, who is running a butcher's shop and confectionery store in Thawville. They have four daughters: Lemira, Una, Cleo and Mabel. Una Edith died in October, 1885; Lee A. is married and is engaged in the grocery business in Vancouver, Wash.; Charlie died when about eighteen months old; and Birch completes the family.
In 1866, Mr. McNeil came to this State and made a location in McLean County, upon a farm of one hundred acres near Bloomington. The succeeding five years of his life were there passed, after which he sold that farm and removed to Ford County, buying one hundred and sixty acres of land in Lyman Township, upon which he made his home for seventeen years, from 1872 until 1889, when he retired from farm life, rented his land and removed to Thawville, where he now makes his home. He has since purchased another farm, adjoining the town of Thawville on the east. This he laid out in town lots and has already sold about half of the amount. He also owns a farm of one hundred and sixty acres in Brown County, Neb.
Mr. McNeil and his wife are members of the United Presbyterian Church and all the children hold membership with the Methodist Church. In politics, he is a Democrat, and while residing in Ford County held various public offices of honor and trust, the duties of which were ever discharged with promptness amid fidelity. Mr. McNeil started out in life for himself empty-handed, with only a young man's bright hope of the future and a determination to succeed, but by his industry and good management, his business ability and perseverance, he has steadily worked his way upward, and the assistance of his wife has been no unimportant factor in his success. They have worked together and their labors have at length been crowned with a just reward, until now they are numbered among the well-to-do citizens of the community in which they make their home.
|JOHN SHRUM , a prominent citizen of Iroquois, and one of the pioneer settlers of the county, claims New Jersey as the State of his nativity. He was born in Paterson, on Christmas Day of 1828, and is a son of William and Susan (Morehouse) Shrum. Both parents were born in this country, but were of German lineage. About 1831, they removed with their family to Muskingum County, Ohio. The father died in Coshocton County, Ohio, and the mother spent her last days in Marion County, Iowa.|
The first recollections of our subject are of life in the Buckeye State. He resided in the little town of Mt. Sterling, near Zanesville, and afterward removed to the latter place. Subsequently the family went to Coshocton County. John acquired a good education in the common schools, and in 1849, when about twenty-one years of age, he came to Iroquois County, Ill., with his brother-in-law, and worked by the month until his marriage. In September, 1851, he formed a matrimonial alliance with Miss Ruth Lambert, who was born in Brown County, Ohio, on the 25th of March, 1825, and was then a resident of Iroquois. Five children graced this is marriage, but two died in infancy. The eldest now living is William, whose sketch appears elsewhere in this work; Elias, a resident farmer of Concord Township; and Sarah, who makes her home with her parents.
After his marriage, Mr. Shrum purchased forty acres of land in Concord Township, and broke prairie within an ox-team to pay for it. It was a wild tract, but with characteristic energy he began its development, and soon transformed it into rich and fertile fields, he devoted his energies to farming until after the breaking out of the late war, when, in 1862, he responded to the call for troops, enlisting as a member of Company I, One Hundred and Thirteenth Illinois Infantry, as a teamster. He served three years in that capacity, and as a guard for prisoners. During his service his hearing was impaired, and he now receives a pension of $22 per month, he was a faithful soldier, and when the war was over was honorably discharged.
Being opposed to slavery, on the organization of the Republican party, which was formed to prevent the further extension of slavery, Mr. Shrum joined its ranks, voting for John C. Fremont in 1856. He has served as Constable a few years, but resigned his position, as his entire time was needed in the sawmill. He now owns one hundred and forty-two acres of rich land near Iroquois, which yields to him a good income. By his perseverance, industry, enterprise and good management, Mr. Shrum has acquired a good property, and is now living retired, enjoying a well-earned rest. The family is one of prominence in the community, and well deserves representation in this volume.
WILLIAM SHRUM, who is engaged in general merchandising in Iroquois, has spent his entire life in this county. He was born in Concord Township, on the 20th of October, 1854, and is a son of John and Ruth (Lambert) Shrum, who are residents of Iroquois, and are represented in this work. William is the eldest in a family of five children, three of whom are still living. In the usual manner of farmer lads the days of his boyhood and youth were passed, and in the district schools of the neighborhood he acquired a practical English education, supplemented by a business knowledge acquired by study and attention to the details of his business. When about twenty years of age he engaged in the sawmill business, and was thus employed for about six years, when he sold out and opened up a general merchandise store, having had to take his stock of goods in payment of a security debt.
On the 25th of September, 1879, Mr. Shrum was united in marriage with Miss Bell Barr, of Iroquois, and unto them were born two children, but both died in infancy. The lady is a native of Adams County, Ohio. She was born September 22, 1857, and is a daughter of John and Martha (Walter) Barr. Her parents were both natives of the Keystone State, and were of German origin. Her father was a farmer by occupation, and followed that pursuit in Livingston County, Ill., until his death, which occurred about twenty years ago. His widow still survives him, and is now living in Iroquois.
For about a year it was all that Mr. Shrum could do to meet expenses in the mercantile trade, and he once sold out, but after a few months he bought the building in which he is now located, and put in another stock of goods. Since that time he has enjoyed an excellent trade, and by fair and honest dealing has won the confidence of his patrons. His courteous treatment has secured to him a liberal patronage, and he has now a well-stocked store and is doing an excellent business. He is a member of the Masonic fraternity, has filled its various offices, and is now serving his second term as Master. He is the only Mason in Eastern Illinois who can repeat the burial ceremony from memory. In politics, Mr. Shrum has been a Republican since he east his fist Presidential vote for R. B. Hayes in 1876. For two years he has served as Trustee of the village and is now serving his second term as Treasurer. Prompt and faithful in the discharge of his duties, he has proved a capable and efficient officer, winning the commendation of all concerned. He is a valued citizen and leading business man of Iroquois, who ranks high both in business and social circles.
WILSON S. KAY is the oldest member of the Iroquois County Bar in years of practice now in business in the county, as well as one of the foremost in ability. Mr. Kay was born near Greencastle, Putnam County, Ind., on the 31st of October, 1831, and is a son of William and Ruth (Wright) Kay. His father was born in Maryland and his mother near what is now known as Little's Mills, W. Va. Having lived alternately in West Virginia and Ohio, they removed to Terre Haute, Ind., and on to Greencastle. Remaining there but a few months, they returned to Virginia and soon afterward went to Cincinnati, Ohio. Subsequently we find them on a farm in Clermont County, in the same State.
In 1837, Mr. Kay sold out, and at the solicitation of a friend invested his money in a steam-mill outfit and came to Iroquois County, Ill. Not finding the outlook very promising, there being scarcely any white people in the county, and the Indians having no particular use for a mill, he started East again with his milling outfit. Stopping at Perrysville, Ind., he erected a sawmill in company with another person, but died from milk-sickness about the time the mill was ready to begin operations. The closing up of the estate was so badly or dishonestly managed that his widow and children had little or nothing left. Soon after her husband's death, Mrs. Kay went with her children to live with her father, Jonathan Wright, on Spring Creek, Iroquois County. About 1845, she married again, heir second husband being Isaac Courtright, a prominent pioneer settler of this county. Her death occurred at Texas, a small town in Middleport Township, of this county, in July, 1854. She died of cholera during the scourge of that year, and her husband died of the same disease the day following.
Wilson S. Kay returned to Iroquois County in the summer of 1838, when seven years old, within his mother and her five fatherless children. The two older ones, a sister and our subject, found homes with strangers. Wilson S. staid within Samuel Harper, near Onarga, for a few months, after which he spent four years with Thomas Vennum, Sr., near Milford-on-the-Mound, so called. He attended the country school a while and had one year's training in the Milford school. When fourteen years old, he went to his sister near Milford, and worked for his board and schooling
Having acquired sufficient learning to qualify him for teaching, he engaged to teach the school at Bunkum, and taught there one year, and with his savings paid his tuition and expenses for fourteen months at Mt. Morris Seminary, Ogle County, Ill. He then taught school for a few years, which enabled him to pursue one term of study in the Asbury (now De Pauw) University, of Greencastle, Ind.
On the 18th of July, 1852, Mr. Kay was married in Iroquois County to Miss Susannah Critchfield, who died in September, 1855. One son was born of this union, William, who died in infancy. Mr. Kay was married again, March 6, 1858, this time to Miss Livonia M. Burlingame, of Onarga, a daughter of Abner and Livonia (Turner) Burlingame. She was born in Chautauqua County, N. Y., and came to this county with her widowed mother in 1855. Five children were born of the second marriage: William, the eldest, died at the age of eighteen months; McClellan, an attorney, now his father's partner, married Ellen Martin, of Watseka. He was educated in Onarga High School, Onarga Seminary, Michigan State University, and at the Northwestern University, of Evanston, and was admitted to the Bar in 1884, entering into partnership with his father and Judge Eunans. The firm is now known as Kay & Kay. The third son, Wilson, died at the age of seven years; Livonia Ruth was graduated from the Northwestern University, of Evanston, in June, 1891, after a five year course; Donald, the youngest, died in infancy.
When first married, Mr. Kay lived in a cabin near Bunkum and taught school in that village. Later, he moved to Middleport, then the county seat, and in 1872 made his home about midway between the old and new town, now Watseka. He studied law in Middleport within James Fletcher and was admitted to the Bar in 1857, having been in active practice at the Iroquois county seat since, being now the oldest representative of the Iroquois County Bar in active practice. In respect to politics, Mr. Kay is a Democrat, and has served as Deputy Sheriff and City Attorney of Watseka. He is now a member of the Committee of the Court of Claims, a State officer for the adjustment of claims against the State. The committee is composed of three members, and Mr. Kay is now serving his fourth year as one of them.
Our subject is a Knight Templar Mason, a member of Watseka Lodge No. 446, A. F. & A. M.; Watseka Chapter No. 114, R. A. M.; and of Ivanhoe Commandery, K. T., of Kankakee; and he is also an Odd Fellow. Mr. Kay is one of the oldest Masons in the county. He is the owner of five hundred acres of farming land, three hundred of which he adjacent to Watseka on the southwest, thirty acres are inside the corporation limits and one hundred and seventy acres are in other tracts.
It is now thirty-five years since Mr. Kay began the practice of law in Iroquois County. Several active members of the Bar have been born since then, and many memorable changes of judgeship have occurred, and many a prominent lawyer against whom he has been pitted in cases has bug since taken his own to a higher court. Mr. Kay has always been an industrious, hard-working and successful lawyer. He possesses certain elements of disposition without which success in the legal profession is hardly attainable -- industry, energy, ability, tact, and last, but not least, combativeness and true courage. He trusts nothing to chance that his sagacity deems necessary to his case when care and work will insure success; consequently, he has won the reputation of being a conservative and safe man to entrust with important cases, and his success in court fully justifies the general popular opinion of him.
JAMES H. CARPENTER, a successful farmer of Douglas Township, was born in Sussex County, N. Y., on the 28th of September, 1835. He is a son of James T. and Eleanor (Denn) Carpenter, both natives of New England. When our subject was a mere child, his parents removed across the line to Orange County, N. Y., but a few years later they returned to Sussex County. The father followed his trade of mason during his life time. He was born January 29, 1792, and died in 1845. His wife, who was born on the 22d of March, 1793, died on the 10th of December, 1851. Politically, he was a member of the Democratic party. and his wife was a member of the Baptist Church. They had a family of nine children, five of whom were sons and four daughters, and of these our subject is the only survivor.
Mr. Carpenter of this sketch, as soon as he was old enough to earn own living, began working on a farm at small wages. Since fourteen years of age, he has had to make his own way in the world. He went to Wyoming County, Pa, where he worked for a number of years. In 1862, he removed to Rock County, Wis., two years later going to Lee County, Ill. In 1865, he went to La Salle County, and three years later removed to Livingston County, where he purchased forty acres of land three miles from Chatsworth, that being the first real estate he had ever owned. Having farmed in Livingston County until 1876, he came to Iroquois County amid lived in Ashkum Township, superintending the large estate of R. B. M. Wilson, in which position he remained for twelve years. In 1877, he had purchased one hundred and sixty acres, when he removed in 1878. He has erected good buildings and a comfortable residence, and has otherwise improved his property, which includes considerable tiling.
On the 17th of September, 1878, Mr. Carpenter and Maria F. Williams were joined in wedlock at Watseka. Mrs. Carpenter is a daughter of Leonard and Margaretta Williams. Our worthy subject and his wife have two children, Harry C. and Grace A. Mr. Carpenter has never been an office-seeker, though he has always endeavored to discharge the duties of citizenship to the best of his ability. Politically, his sympathies are with the Democratic party. He is socially a member of the Odd Fellows' fraternity. He has been a successful farmer, having reached his present measure of success entirely through his own efforts and good business management. For sixteen years he has lived in Douglas and Ashkum Townships, and in that time has seen the county advance from a swampy, unproductive section, to one of the finest farming districts of the State. His property bears evidence of the careful thriftiness and industry of its owner, and is one of the most productive in this section. Mr. and Mrs. Carpenter are well and favorably known, and have a wide circle of friends and acquaintances who esteem them highly for their sterling worth and hospitality.
ROBERT EZRA GREENLEES, who carries on general merchandising in Thawville, is a native of the Empire State he was born in Champaign County, near Plattsburg, N. Y., on the 23d of December, 1844. On the paternal side he is of Scotch descent. His father, Andrew Greenlees, was a native of Scotland, was born October 13, 1799, and crossed the briny deep to this country about 1832. He was married, May 23, 1833, to Miss Rebecca Downing, whose ancestry dates back to the settlement of Long Island. She was born May 16, 1809. In the family of this worthy couple were eight children, namely: Helen Rhoda, Amy Isabel, Sarah Belinda, Margaret Elizabeth, Phoebe Rebecca, Mary Jane, Robert Ezra and William Andrew. It was in the spring of 1848, that Andrew Greenlees, accompanied by his family, bade good-bye to his home in New York and came to Illinois. He located in La Salle County, upon a farm near the village of Dayton, and the children, who were all born in the Empire State, were reared to manhood and womanhood upon that farm. The father was not long permitted to enjoy his new home, his death occurring May 2, 1858. Mrs. Greenlees still survives her husband, and is yet living on the old homestead in La Salle County.
We now take up the personal history of our subject, who was a lad of only four years when he came with his parents to Illinois. In the usual manner of farmer lads, the days of his boyhood and youth were passed, and the common schools afforded him his educational privileges. After attaining his majority, he was married on the 12th of August, 1869, the lady of his choice being Miss Sarah M. Lawrence, daughter of Daniel and Lucinda Lawrence, of Pennsylvania. Four children have been born to them: William Ezra, born September 9, 1870; Walter Andrew, born May 4, 1874, died October 23, 1878; Wallace Robert, born August 13, 1878; and Murba May, on the 29th of October, 1880. The living children are all under the parental roof.
Mr. and Mrs. Greenlees began their domestic life upon a farm in La Salle County, where they continued to reside until 1875. That year witnessed their removal to Iroquois County, and saw them located upon a farm of eighty acres in Artesia Township. Our subject was a successful agriculturist and the appearance of his farm ever indicated his thrift and enterprise. His industrious labors at length won him a handsome competence, and he is how numbered among the well-to-do citizens of the community. On the 20th of January, 1892, he came to Thawville, having sold his farm and purchased the general merchandise establishment of Ortman Brothers. He has been in business in this line but a short time, but he has a bright outlook, and the future will no doubt bring him the prosperity which has crowned his efforts in former years. In politics, he is a Republican. He has the confidence and good-will of all with whom business or pleasure has brought him in contact, and among the leading and influential citizens of this locality is numbered Robert Ezra Greenlees.
THOMAS WARD, who is engaged in the occupation of farming on section 30, Douglas Township, was born in Devonshire, England, on the 25th of February, 1832. He is a son of William and Ann (Hoarden) Ward, both natives of that shire. His father was a blacksmith by trade. In 1855, with their three children, one having preceded them, they crossed the Atlantic and located in Stafford, Genesee County, N. Y. There the father and mother spent their last days, each attaining seventy-five years. In their family were eleven children, of whom six emigrated to the United States and but three of whom are now living.
Our subject is the youngest of his father's family. After he had reached thirteen years of age, he never received any educational advantages, but has supplemented his early schooling by habits of observation and research, which have made him a well-informed man. Since fifteen years of age, he has made his own way in the world, and at that age was apprenticed to the wagon-maker's trade for seven years. However, at the end of four years, his employer not treating him fairly, making him work very hard and keeping him on short rations, he left him and worked for nearly three years for another man. During that seven years of apprenticeship, he received nothing save his board, which was oftentimes very scanty. In Witheridge, England, he earned his first money at his trade, getting $25 and his board for a whole year's work. The second year he received $40 in addition to his living, and out of that small sum he saved enough to bring him to the United States. Accordingly, in April, 1853, he set sail for America, landing in Quebec. The voyage took a little over nine weeks. He first located at Stafford, N. Y., where he worked for about fourteen years at his trade.
In Leroy, Genesee County, Mr. Ward wedded Miss Eliza, daughter of James and Ann (Nott) Edworthy, both natives of Devonshire, England, where the father died at the age of fifty-five years. The marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Ward was celebrated October 14, 1854. The lady was born in Devonshire, September 16, 1835, and when nineteen years of age she left her home, mother and friends and came to the United States to marry Mr. Ward, as she had promised to do before he left his native land. Ten years later, her mother joined her at Stafford, where she died two years afterward. Mrs. Ward is one of five children, but she is the only one that has crossed the ocean.
In 1866, the subject of this sketch removed to Ottawa, Ill., where he worked at his trade for a couple of years, when he came to Iroquois County in the spring of 1869. He first purchased eighty acres of land in Danforth Township, which he developed and improved and then sold. He next bought eighty acres in Douglas Township. This he kept until 1876, when he disposed of it and bought the farm where he now lives. This is a property of about one hundred acres and has the reputation of being the most neatly kept place in the township. The lawn about the house is nicely trimmed, and flowers and shrubbery are seen on every hand.
Mr. and Mrs. Ward have been blessed with a family of eight children: Ellen, the eldest, is the wife of William Green, a farmer of Douglas Township; Sarah died in infancy; Francis is a butcher of Gilman; Wilber T. follows agricultural pursuits in Douglas Township; Bessie R. died in 1890, at the age of twenty-seven years; Charles H. is a partner of his brother Francis; Edgar F. also carries on farming in Douglas Township; and Winfield S. is still under the parental roof.
Mr. and Mrs. Ward are both members of the Presbyterian Church, of which he is a Trustee. Politically, he is a Democrat, having cast his fist vote for Stephen A. Douglas. He is a public-spirited man, always doing all in his power to advance the best interests of his community. He is now serving his eighth year as Commissioner of highways. When Mr. Ward came to the United States, he had but $2, but by industry and hard work has made a competence. In June, 1863, he was drafted, went to the rendezvous at Lockport, N. Y., and after staying five days obtained a furlough in order to attend a law suit, remaining sixteen days. He then paid $300 exemption fees and was thereby released from further service. In addition to rearing their own family, our subject and his estimable wife have brought up an orphan, Albert Hulick, whom they took when he was a had of twelve years. Now he is a young man of twenty. They have ever been charitable and kind to the homeless and friendless and have won for themselves the high regard of all who know them.
MOSES BOUDREAU, senior partner of the firm of Boudreau & Son, general merchants of Beaverville, Ill., was born in Montreal, Canada, on the 1st of September, 1839, and is the son of Nelson and Rose (Colewalt) Boudreau, both of whom were natives of Canada and of French descent. The father was a farmer and owned land in Canada. When our subject was a lad of nine years, he removed within his family to Aurora, where he spent two years upon a rented farm, and then went to Kankakee County, where he rented land for a year. On the expiration of that period he took up his residence in Papineau Township, this county, where he purchased eighty acres of land, but was badly beaten out of half that amount.
The subject of this sketch was educated in the French schools of Canada, but after coming to this State attended the English schools. He was the eldest in a family of eight children. His father died when he was only fifteen years of age, and he had to aid in the support of the family, which was left in limited circumstances. He worked upon their own farm, and also in the employ of others whenever he could spare the time from his home duties. He was married August 5, 1859, at the age of nineteen years, to Miss Marie Cote, of Papineau Township, who was born in Quebec, Canada, March 16, 1839, and came with her parents, Benny and Tict (Martin) Cote, to this State when about thirteen years of age. For two years after their marriage they resided with Mr. Boudreau's mother, he operating the home farm. He also improved and cultivated forty acres of land, which he had previously purchased in Beaver Township. This was his first purchase, and it is still in his possession. He has met with success in his business career and, as his financial resources have increased, has added to his possessions until he now owns four hundred acres of valuable land, all in Beaver Township.
Mr. Boudreau has his farm under a high state of cultivation, and it yields to him a good income. In connection with general farming, he also engages in stock-raising, handling about one hundred head of cattle annually. In 1882, he established the store and placed his son in charge. Two years later he left the farm and removed to Beaverville, since which time he has given his personal attention to mercantile pursuits. The firm of Boudreau & Son has a well-stocked store and is enjoying an excellent trade, which has been secured by fair and honest dealing and courteous treatment of their patrons. They also deal in agricultural implements.
Unto Mr. and Mrs. Boudreau were born thirteen children, three of whom died in infancy, but ten are yet living. Cleophas, the eldest, was born June 1, 1860. He attended St. Viateur's College in Kankakee County for about three years, becoming a student at the age of fifteen. When his education was completed, he entered upon his business career as a clerk in a mercantile establishment at Kankakee, where he remained for two years. He was then employed in a similar capacity in this place for two years, after which he took charge of the store as junior partner of the firm. He is a wide-awake and enterprising business man and possesses excellent ability. On attaining his majority, he was married October 18, 1881, to Miss Mary Ellen Theresa Gernon, who was born in Canada in 1865, and is of Irish and French descent. Unto them have been born five children yet living: Hayda, Gernon, Theresa, Eveline and Amanda. Mr. Boudreau, Jr., is now Postmaster of the Beaverville Postoffice. In politics, he is a Republican and cast his first Presidential vote for James G. Blame. He has served as Township Treasurer for about eight years, was Township Clerk in 1889, Assessor in 1890, and again in 1892.
Clarence, the second son of the Boudreau family, is now deceased. Sylvanus, born May 4, 1866, became a student in Viateur's College at the age of sixteen years, and theme studied for a year. When a young man of twenty-five, he was married December 29, 1891, to Miss Nelda Naurie, who was born in Beaver Township, in December, 1869. They have one child, Rosella. Sylvanus is now in partnership with his father. In politics, he is a Democrat, and his first vote was cast for Cleveland in 1888. Salina the next younger of the family, is the wife of William Barron, a farmer of Martinton Township, by whom she has one child. Belzemer is the wife of Joseph Fortin, of Beaver Township, and they have two children. Amanda married Levi Franoveur, of Chicago, and unto them has been born one child. Henry is married and resides in Beaver Township. Dennis and Nelda are at home. Cameille and Emile, twins, born November 11, 1889, complete the family.
Mr. Boudreau, our subject, is a stalwart advocate of the Democracy, and cast his first Presidential vote for Stephen A. Douglas. He was confirmed when only nine years of age and has since been a member of the Catholic Church, to the support of which he contributes liberally. He has paid over $500 for the building of the church and parsonage in this place, and has given substantial aid for the building of the now convent which is now being erected. He served as Highway Commissioner for three years, was School Trustee for many years, and School Director for several years. He is a prominent and influential citizen, a leading business man and has a wide acquaintance throughout this community. He started out in life a mere boy with no capital, but overcoming the obstacles and difficulties in his path, he has steadily worked his way upward to a position of wealth and affluence.
EDWARD W. BISHOP is the proprietor of the Watseka Roller Mills, the only flouring mills in that city, and has been engaged in milling in Iroquois County since 1868. Mr. Bishop was born in the town of Lenham, Kent County, England, on the 13th of April, 1841, and is a son of Edward B. and Elizabeth W. (David) Bishop, both of English birth. In 1853, our subject with his parents emigrated from England to America, and settled in the town of South Greece, on the Erie Canal, some eight miles west of Rochester, N. Y. They came to Iroquois County, Ill., in 1854, and located in that part of the township of Concord which is now Sheldon. His father was engaged in farming in Concord until within a few years of his death, which occurred in the town of Papineau, Iroquois County, in 1884, he then being seventy-two years of age. The mother is still living, and resides near Kentland, Ind. In the family were six sons and two daughters, all of whom are living except one daughter.
Edward W. was reared on his father's farm, and received a common-school education. At the age of nineteen, he began to learn the carpenter's trade, in which he was interrupted by the breaking out of the late war and his enlistment on the first call by President Lincoln for troops. He was, enrolled in April under the three months' call, but was not mustered in until August 4, 1861. For three years he served as a member of Company F, Twenty-fifth Illinois Regiment, and was mustered out in September, 1864. On the 23d of September, 1861, his regiment went to Jefferson City, Mo., by way of the Pacific Railroad. It went into camp at Rolla, Mo., where it remained until February, 1862, when it started for Springfield, that State, arriving there February 13. The following day time troops left that place and proceeded to Arkansas, where they participated in the battle of Pea Ridge. March 6, 7 and 8. Marching to Cape Girardeau, they went down the river to re-enforce the army at Shiloh, but arriving after the battle they went on to Corinth, Miss., and took part in the siege, forcing the rebel evacuation of that place. His regiment took part in the battle of Stone River, or Murfreesboro, Tenn., December 31, 1862, where Mr. Bishop received a gunshot wound through the right leg, which unfitted him for active duty until the following November, when he joined his regiment soon after the battle of Mission Ridge, which was fought on the 23d, 24th and 25th of that month. On the 28th of November, 1863, he joined the regiment on its way to Knoxville, Tenn., where it arrived about the 3d of December. The command was engaged in skirmishing and foraging all of this time, and finally returned to Cleveland, Tenn., where it remained from April 16th to the 31st of May, 1864. At this time it was ordered to join the army under Gen. Sherman en route for Atlanta, Ga. The regiment joined the brigade June 7, 1864, and remained with the army on its way to Atlanta, being under fire nearly every day until the 1st of the following August. Then the order came for the troops to start for Springfield, Ill., to be mustered out. They accordingly were mustered out September 5, 1864, having served three years and one month in the army, having marched on foot thirty-three hundred and fifty-two miles, and traveled by rail and boat seventeen hundred and ten miles, the total number of miles traveled being forty-nine hundred and sixty-two. It participated in the following-named battles and heavy skirmishes: Pea Ridge, Ark.; Siege of Corinth; Stone River; Mission Ridge; Chickamauga; Kenesaw Mountain, Ga.; Peach Tree Creek; and Atlanta. The regiment made an honorable record throughout its' term of service, and especially distinguished itself at the battle of Stone River, where it lost heavily in killed and wounded. In the Atlanta campaign, the Twenty-fifth reached within twelve miles of Atlanta, when it was ordered to Springfield.
Soon after being mustered out, in September, 1864, Mr. Bishop returned to the front, and was assigned a position in the Quartermasters Department in Chattanooga, and was so employed for more than a year, or until after the close of the war.
The following winter, 1865, Mr. Bishop was married to Miss Caroline B. Groff, who died some twelve years later. For two years after the war our subject worked at his trade as carpenter, and then built a flouring-mill at a place called Texas, in Middleport Township, about five miles east of Watseka. He continued milling there until 1882, when he moved the mill to a point on the Chicago & Eastern Illinois Railroad, where he operated it until it was destroyed by an incendiary fire in November, 1885. The following year he built his present mill at Watseka, which he has carried on successfully since. This mill is fitted up for roller-process work, and is equipped with the best modern machinery for all sorts of work in its line, and is doing a goad business.
On the 10th of February, 1881, Mr. Bishop was united in marriage with Miss Ida M. Steely, a daughter of Mr. L. Steely. Mrs. Bishop was born in Iroquois County, where her family were among the early settlers. Her father is still living, and makes his home with his daughter, Mrs. Bishop. Our subject and his wife have two children: Arthur S. who was born in August, 1883; and Sidney E. who was born in September, 1885. Mrs. Bishop is a member of the Society of Friends. Mr. Bishop is a Royal Arch Mason, a member of Watseka Lodge No. 446, A. F. & A. M.; and of Watseka Chapter No. 114, R. A. M. He also belongs to the Mon Ami Lodge No. 231, K. P.; and William Post No. 25, G. A. R.
In addition to his milling interests, Mr. Bishop is a part owner in the Bishop Hominy Company of Sheldon, and has an improved farm of one hundred and thirteen acres situated on section 36, Middleport Township. On the question of politics, he is a Republican, and has held various public offices. He is at this writing one of the Road Commissioners of Middleport Township, and has served in that capacity for eleven years. He has also acted as Alderman in the Common Council of Watseka for six years, and has held various minor offices. Mr. Bishop has now been a resident of Iroquois County for thirty-eight years, and for twenty-nine years has been identified with its manufacturing and business interests. During all this period his intercourse with his fellow-citizens has been distinguished by strict integrity and an upright and straightforward manner, which has won for him the esteem and respect of all.
Samuel M. Majors
|SAMUEL M. MAJOR, an honored veteran of the late war, and formerly a leading farmer of Artesia Township but now a resident of Onarga, is a worthy representative present mill at Watseka, of one of the honored pioneer families of the county. He was born near La Fayette, in Tippecanoe County, Ind., April 24, 1830 and is a son of J. H. and Mary (Hardpence) Major, natives, of the Hoosier State. The Major family is of Welsh origin. The father of our subject located in Tippecanoe County, Ind., in 1829, and from the Government entered a tract of heavily timbered land, from which he cleared and developed a farm, making his home thereon until 1853 when he sold out and with his family came to Illinois.|
The trip Westward was made by team. Mr. Major first located in Artesia Township, Iroquois County, purchasing one hundred and nine acres of land, constituting a part of the farm, which our subject now owns. He also entered one hundred and sixty acres from the Government and bought an additional tract of eighty acres, on which he resided until his death. Throughout his business career he followed farming and met with good success in his undertakings. He was a prominent citizen of this community and took a leading part in the upbuilding and development of the county. He aided in the organization of the township, helped to lay out the roads, and was the efficient Road Supervisor of Artesia Township for a number of years from an early-day. He died on the 12th of January, 1882, and his remains were interred in the Del Rey Cemetery. He was a Republican and in his religious belief was a Baptist. His wife passed away several years previous to the death of her husband, being called to her final rest in 1874. She, too, was buried in the same cemetery and was a member of the same church as Mr. Major.
Unto this worthy couple were born a family of children, as follows: Robert D., who is now a retired farmer of Springfield, Mo.; Catherine, deceased; Katurah, who died in 1854; Samuel of this sketch; Mary, wife of J. F. Felker, a resident of Chicago; Syren, who died in 1850; Martha, who died in 1852; Olive, wife of B. F. Price, ex-County Treasurer and a resident of Watseka; and Ann, who died in 1851.
We now take up the personal history of our subject, who was born and reared upon his father's farm, spending his boyhood days in the usual manner of farmer lads. His education was mostly acquired in the subscription school, which he attended at intervals until nineteen years of age. The schoolhouse was built of logs and furnished with slab seats and other primitive furniture. He started out in life for himself when twenty-two years of age, or on his arrival in Illinois. This was in 1853. His father gave him eighty acres of partially improved land, which he still owns, and there he began the development of a farm.
In April of the same year, Mr. Major was united in marriage with Miss Amy F. Lee, daughter of Nathan and Jerusha Lee. Unto them was born a daughter, Flora A., who is now the wife of George P. Stephens, a farmer. The mother died in 1856, and her remains were interred in Del Rey Cemetery. Mr. Major was again married, October 14, 1875, his second union being with Miss Kate, a native of Coshocton County, Ohio, daughter of John and Susan (McMurphy) Stevens. Mr. Stevens was born in England, and when nineteen years old came to the United States. In Coshocton County, Ohio, he married Miss McMurphy, a native of Delaware, and of Scotch-Irish descent. During the late war he served about a year in Company H, Seventy-sixth Ohio Infantry, when he was discharged on account of ill health. Both he and his wife live in Buckley, Ill.
Mr. Major resided upon his first farm for two years and then returned to the old home, taking charge of the farm and business, which he has since successfully managed. He still owns the old homestead, which came into the possession of his father almost forty years ago. He now owns one hundred and seventy-two acres of arable land on section 6, Artesia Township, where he carries on general farming and stock-raising. His land is under a high state of cultivation, and the good buildings and other excellent improvements make this one of the finest farms in the community.
When the late war was in progress, Mr. Major abandoned his business, for he felt that his duty called him to the front. He enlisted in the service of his country as a private of Company M, Ninth Illinois Cavalry. He was mustered in at Chicago, and the first active engagement in which he participated was at Crockum Cross Roads, Ark. They went from St. Louis over the Iron Mountains on horseback to Jacksonport, from there to Helena, and afterward up the Mississippi River by boat to Memphis, Tenn. For a time Mr. Major was stationed at Corinth, where he did duty as a scout. He afterward participated in the battles of Tupelo, Salem, Hurricane Creek, Franklin, Nashville, and many other engagements of lesser importance. He had enlisted for three years' service, and in the spring of 1864 he was granted a thirty-day furlough. He then re-enlisted as a veteran and served until the close of the war. He was promoted to be Sergeant at Chicago, where he first entered the camp, and when mustered out held the rank of Second Lieutenant. He was very fortunate, in that he was neither wounded nor taken prisoner. On the contrary, he was ever found at his post of duty, proving himself a valiant soldier and a loyal defender of the Old Flag.
After receiving his discharge, Mr. Major returned to his home and resumed the occupation of farming, which he has followed continuously since with good success, and has thereby acquired a competence which numbers him among the substantial citizens of the community. In political sentiment, Mr. Major is a stalwart Republican. The cause of education has found in him a warm friend and he has done efficient service in its interest, while serving as School Director for a number of years and as School Trustee for six years. In his social relations he is an Odd Fellow, and is a member of the Baptist Church. Mrs. Major is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. His life has been an upright and honorable one, and dimming the long years of his residence in Iroquois County, he has won a large circle of friends and acquaictances who hold him in high esteem.
GARRETT B. BROWNE, who is engaged in the jewelry business in Milford, claims Indiana as the State of his nativity. He was born on the 7th of March, 1861, in Madison County and is one of a family of eleven children, who with two exceptions all are yet living. The parents, Lorenzo D. and Nancy (Harlin) Browne, were both natives of Virginia, but for many years were residents of Indiana. Of their family, William S. married Kizzie Frame, daughter of Abner Frame, by whom he has five children, and engages in the practice of medicine in Watseka; Sarah J., wife of Iven Bailey, of Watseka, died in 1872; John L. died in infancy; George N. married Linda Ford and now makes his home in Watseka; Robert W., who is engaged in farming near Watseka, was joined in wedlock with Jennie Gillfillan, daughter of Alexander Gillfillan, and they have four children; Lorenzo D., who wedded Irene G. McCurtain, by whom he has two children, resides in Watseka, where he is engaged in the practice of veterinary surgery; Susan A. is the next younger; Mary N. is the wife of Frank L. Williams, a resident of Woodland, and they have one child; Garrett of this sketch is the next younger; Owen E. wedded Miss Lizzie Bernard, who resided near Mitchell, S. Dak., and their home is now in Sheldon, Ill.; and Della H. completes time family.
We now take up the personal history of our subject, who spent the first five years of his life in the State of his nativity and was then brought by his parents to Watseka, where he was reared to manhood having worked in the jewelry business for ten years, he entered the Chicago Horological Institute and six months later the Chicago Watchmakers' Institute, from which he graduated in October, 1891. In the meantime he took up optical work, and graduated at the same time from Dr. Fowler's Optical Institute. September 3, 1891, he graduated from the West Ophthalmic College of Chicago. In February, 1890, he came to Milford and the following year engaged in the jewelry business, which he yet carries on.
On the 10th of March, 1887, Mr. Browne was united in marriage with Miss Minnie M. Gerard, a daughter of John and Emeline (Moorey) Gerard, of Milford. Two children grace the union of the young couple, both daughters: Olga G., born April 2,1888, and Eva J., born March 29, 1890. Mr. and Mrs. Browne are numbered among the leading young people of Milford. They are held in high regard throughout the community, and in social circles hold an enviable place.
In religious belief, Mr. Browne is a member of the Christian Church. He takes considerable interests in civic societies and is a member of the Odd Fellows' lodge of Hoopeston, and Milford Camp No. 91, M. W. A. He is also a Royal Arch Mason, holding membership with the Blue Lodge and Chapter of Hoopeston. He has a good jewelry store in Milford and although he has not yet been engaged in business for two years he has already won an excellent patronage and his trade is constantly increasing. He is a young and energetic business man destined to have a successful career.
HENRY TROUP, an honored and influential pioneer of Middleport, Iroquois County, Ill., was born in Baltimore, Md., April 25, 1800. In early life he removed with his parents to Canton, Stark County, Ohio, and afterward to Manchester, of the same county. After attaining to mature years, he was there united in marriage, in 1834, with Miss Mary Ann Little, who was born in Columbus County, Ohio, on the 11th of October, 18l4 and is a daughter of John Little.
Mr. Troup engaged in merchandising in Manchester, which he continued until his removal to Illinois in August, 1838. He had come to this State in 1837, and selected a site for a home and business at what has since been known as Middleport, also hired a man to build a house for him. To his new home he brought the family the following August, accompanied by his father-in-law, John Little. When they arrived, the house for which he had contracted was not completed, and the whole party had to camp under a large tree on the bank of the river for about six weeks. The Troup dwelling was a two-story frame, the first building erected in the place. It was built on lot 7, block 4, and his store, which was subsequently completed just across the street from the dwelling, was 16x24 feet. The first building was used by him for a hotel for about two years, after which he erected another dwelling close to his store and removed to it. He was a man of means, possessed of great energy and good business ability, and soon became the leading spirit of the place. He prospered in business and accumulated a large property. At one time he owned sixteen farms and between twelve hundred and fifteen hundred acres of timber-land besides.
Mr. and Mrs. Troup were blessed with a large family numbering seven sons and three daughters, of whom three sons and two daughters are now living. Henry, the eldest, died in infancy; Theodore married Anna Mason, of Wisconsin, and resides in Deuel County, S. Dak.; Louis married Sabra V. Thomas, and died January 12, 1863; David married Harriet Hawn, of Ohio, and died November 16, 1862; Melvina died at the age of eleven years; Edward was a soldier of the late war, a member of Company A, Seventy-sixth Illinois Infantry, and died July 11, 1863, from disease contracted in the trenches in the siege of Vicksburg; Elenora is the widow of Joseph Horton, of Middleport, Iroquois County; Caroline married Capt. Abraham Andrew, Postmaster of Watseka, who is represented on another page; Alfred married Isabel Lindsey, and resides in Dover Centre, Minn.; Charles wedded Eva Vivian, and resides at the old home in Middleport.
On the 29th of December, 1869, Troup's Addition to Watseka was recorded. The plat, covering a large portion of the southwest quarter of the northwest quainter of section 32, Middleport Township, was laid off by Theodore and Anna F. Troup. In politics, Mr. Troup was a Democrat and for several years was Postmaster of Middleport, and held various local offices. His death occurred April 8, 1859. He was a man of unusual size, being six feet two inches in height, and weighing three hundred and forty pounds. Both he and his worthy wife were noted for their indefatigable energy and industry, upright and honorable lives and broad-banded benevolence. In addition to their arduous duty of rearing and providing for a family of ten children of their own, they brought up, clothed and educated five others who had been left at a tender age to make their own way in the world. In addition to this they cared at times for other children who were in want. Mr. Troup, his wife and family were Presbyterians, and the first religious services held in Middleport were held in their house. They were active in effecting the organization and in the support of the Presbyterian Church of Middleport. In his intercourse with the world, Mr. Troup was affable and courteous, and his integrity was above question. Domestic by habit, he was attached to his family, and enjoyed the high esteem and respect of all who knew him.
FRANK E. MEENTS, a well-known farmer of Ashkum Township, makes his home on section 27. He was born in Hanover, Germany, on the 19th of May, 1857, and is a son of Remmer H. and Maria (Ulfers) Meents, both-of whom were also born in Hanover. The father was a farmer in his native land, and there reared his family and spent his entire life.
The boyhood days of our subject were passed in the usual manner of farmer lads, and he received a good education in his native language. After coming to this country he attended school for two winters, until he had learned to steak fairly well the English tongue. He emigrated to the New World in 1872, taking passage in a ship which sailed from Bremen, and made the voyage in about twelve days. Arriving in New York in March, our subject at once went to Chicago, and from there to Ashkum, where he joined his brother, M. R. Meents. He worked on a farm during the summer, attending school during the winter months. He was also employed some or the time by Mr. Comstock in his grain elevator. He was afterward in the employ of that gentleman for four years, both in his warehouse and grain office. At the expiration of that time, Mr. Meents rented a farm, bought a team, and engaged in agricultural pursuits for several years. By good management and carefully-kept earnings, he was enabled to purchase a farm of one hundred and twenty acres in 1883, and here he still resides. Since he has come into the possession of this property, he has greatly improved the place. He has a good and substantial residence, commodious barns and other buildings. This farm is located one and a-fourth miles from Ashkum, and is a most valuable and well-cultivated place. Our subject purchased an additional eighty acres adjoining his home and situated on the opposite side of the road, thus making two hundred acres in his home farm. Though comparatively a young man, Mr. Meents has achieved a fair measure of success and prosperity, which he has deserved by his industry, labor and perseverance. On every hand his farm bears the evidence of the thrift and enterprise of the owner, and is one of the best pieces of property in the township.
On the 14th of April, 1880, was celebrated the marriage of Mr. Meents and Miss Cevia Rieken, who was born, reared and educated in Livingston County, Ill., and is a daughter of George A. Rieken, whose sketch appears elsewhere in this volume. The wedding of Mr. and Mrs. Meents was celebrated in Danforth, and unto them seven children have been born: Remmer E., George A., Maria, Cassie Margaret and Tressie (twins), Cevia and Carl F.
Mr. Meents and his wife were reared in the Lutheran faith, but are not members of any church organization. In 1882, he returned on a visit to the land of his birth, and spent about two months at his old home and amid the scenes of his youth. He had a most enjoyable trip and has brought back many pleasant recollections of the Fatherland. Since casting his first ballot for James G. Blame, Mr. Meents has been identified with the Republican party. He has never sought for official positions, though he undoubtedly has the ability to perform the duties incident to them, could he be induced to accept the same. He is an honored and respected citizen of this community, where he has lived for nearly nineteen years, and is a man of integrity and uprightness.
ISAAC VAN DORN, who for thirty-four years has made his home in this county and is widely and favorably known throughout its borders, resides on section 15, Fountain Creek Township, where he is engaged in general farming. The Van Dorn family was founded in America by four brothers, who left their native land, Holland, came to America in Colonial days and settled in Pennsylvania. All four served in the Revolutionary War. Isaac Van Dorn lived for some time in the Keystone State and then emigrated to Ohio, when its Indian settlers far outnumbered the white population.
His son, Hezekiah Van Dorn, the father of our subject, was born in Pennsylvania, and was only four years of age when his parents emigrated Westward. He enlisted in the War of 1812, serving as a scout, and was present at Howe's surrender. He had learned the trade of carpentering and cabinetmaking, and returned to his native State in order to engage in that line of business. While there he married Hester Irvin, and resided in Washington County until 1834, when he built a boat and floated down the Ohio River to Evansville, Ind., from where he made his way with ox-teams to Fountain County. In that then wild and unimproved region he purchased eighty acres of land and began the development of a farm, upon which he made his home until his death, about 1882, at the age of ninety-four years. He was a member of the Methodist Church, and in politics, was a supporter of Democratic principles. His wife also died on the old home farm. Unto them was born a family of thirteen children, of whom the following are yet living: Mrs. Lydia Hunt of Indiana; Mrs. Hester Shaft, of Missouri; Isaac, of this sketch; Jonathan, who resides on the old homestead in Indiana; and Hezekiah, who resides in Montana.
We now take up the personal history of our subject, who was born in Washington County, Pa., March 5, 1819. His educational privileges were very meagre. When he did attend school, which was held in a log cabin, he had to walk three miles to and from the place. He has always been a hardworking man, and in his boyhood he used to work for $2.50 and $3 per month. He remained at home until twenty-five years of age and then began working as a farm hand for $9 per month. When a young man, he and his father hauled twelve barrels of flour by ox-team to Chicago, taking nineteen days to make the round trip. On the way one of the oxen took sick. From Hiram Vennum they borrowed a single harness, and making a single yoke, hitched in the mate of the sick ox ahead of the other team, and proceeded on their journey. At length he determined to try his fortune in the West, believing that better opportunities were afforded in the new and less thickly-settled States. In 1858, he located in this county, and with the capital that he had acquired by his economy, perseverance and industry he purchased one hundred and sixty acres of land on section 15, Fountain Creek Township. Not a house was then in sight and all was wild and unimproved, but with characteristic energy he began the development of a farm, and every improvement upon the place stands as a monument to his thrift and enterprise.
In May, 1862, Mr. Van Dorn was married to Miss Mary Ann Francis, a native of Ohio, and unto them have been born seven children, namely: Mrs. Ida Miller, who resides in Missouri; Hezekiah, at home; Hester, his twin sister, who is the wife of Ed Crimmott, of Iowa; Dora and Isaac, at home; Charles, who married Miss Elizabeth Collins and resides in Hoopeston; and William, who completes the family.
Mr. Van Dorn exercises his right of franchise in support of the Democratic party, with which he has affiliated since casting his first Presidential vote for James K. Polk. Like every true American citizen should do, he feels an interest in political affairs, yet has never been an office-seeker. He started out in life with no special advantages to aid him. His education was acquired largely through his own efforts, but by reading, experience and observation he has become a well-informed man. Success has crowned his business dealings, and a well-earned competence is now his. Mr. Van Dorn has a wide acquaintance throughout this community, and the honorable, upright life which he has lived has won for him the confidence and good will of all with whom business or social relations have brought him in contact.
JOHN H. DIRKS is a prominent farmer who owns a farm on section 32 Douglas Township. He was born in Hanover, Germany on the 30th of January, 1847, and is a son of Lewis and Annie (Miller) Dirks, who were natives of the same province. The father was a farmer by occupation and died in 1854. In their family were four sons and two daughters: Matilda is the wife of Mr. Behrends, of Kansas; Edo resides at Fairbury, Livingston County; George came to the United States but afterward returned to Germany, where he now makes his home; John H. is next in order of birth; Mary is the wife of Morgan Fieldt and lives in Kansas; and Antony is a resident of McLean County, Ill. After the death of her first husband, Mrs. Dirks became the wife of Henry Hanken. The family emigrated to America in 1873, with the exception of Edo, who had crossed the Atlantic three years before. They settled in Kansas and there occurred the death of the mother and Mr. Hanken.
The early years of our subject were passed upon a farm and in the district schools. He received but limited educational advantages, and when about fourteen years of age he was obliged to hire out by the month to farmers. At the age of twenty he entered the army, joining time Thirteenth Hanover Cavalry Regiment as a private soldier. He was in the service for four years and was always found at his post of duty. He was stationed at Burgdorf during the fist year, the second year in Hanover, and in June, 1870, was first engaged in the war with France at the battle of Swabrucken. Altogether, he was in thirty-two battles and skirmishes. He participated in the battle of Gravelotte, which raged for three days. During that time, he suffered many hardships and for three days and two nights was without food. During that war, at one time he did not take off his clothes or boots or enter shelter for seven weeks. He was in the service for four years and was discharged as a noncommissioned officer. During the last year, he was stationed in the city of Hanover. He spent one winter at home after leaving the array, and in 1873 sailed from Hamburg to New York. From there he came to Illinois and went to work upon a farm near Washington, where he continued for about nine months. December 27, 1873, Mr. Dirks was united in wedlock with Miss Margaret Wilts, who was born May 17, 1849, in the same part of Germany as her husband and crossed the ocean in company with our subject's brother, three years previous to his arrival in the United States. Her parents died in the Fatherland. Mr. and Mrs. Dirks became the parents of the following children, Annie, who has received an excellent education in the public schools; Maggie, Lillie and Katie, all of whom were born in Tazewell County. One child died in infancy. After the marriage of our subject, he rented land in Tazewell County until 1889, where he followed agricultural pursuits, and then removed to Livingston County, near Chatsworth, where he purchased a farm of two hundred and forty acres. In the spring of 1892, he sold his property and came to Iroquois County, where he bought a fine farm, well tiled and otherwise improved. This farm contains one hundred and sixty acres and has upon it a good house, barns and other buildings.
Mr. Dirks started in life a poor boy and has secured a competence by his energy and well-directed efforts. He has educated himself in English since coming to this county and is a man of intelligence. He and his family hold membership with the Lutheran Church of Gilman, of which he is a Trustee and liberal supporter. His sympathies are given to the Republican party and his first vote was cast for the Hon. James A. Garfield. He is a heading German citizen and has won the respect and regard of all with whom he has come in contact.
JOHN REEDER was born in Cambridgeshire, England, May 27, 1819, and was a son of Samuel Reeder, a brickmason and contractor. At the age of fifteen years, our subject emigrated to America, locating in Rochester, N. Y., where he learned the trade of shoemaker. In 1844, he went to Chicago, Ill., and six months afterward came to Milford, Iroquois County, where for a time he worked at his trade. However, he soon began dealing in live stock and, removing to Watseka, engaged in the stock business exclusively. In 1857, he went to Texas, where he resided for three years, or until 1860, when he removed to the North, driving a herd of cattle. He made his home near Watseka and engaged in stock dealing until 1871, when he confined himself to local trade in the line of his chosen occupation.
Mr. Reeder was married in Rochester, N. Y., to Miss Ann La Veil, a native of the Emerald Isle, who came to America in childhood. Unto them were born seven children, three sons and four daughters: Robert H., James William and Margaret died in childhood; Mary became the wife of James Fleming and after his death wedded William Coward, with whom she resides on the old homestead; Rosella is the wife of Harvey West, a resident of Martinton Township; Lavina is the wife of John Coward, who makes his home in Middleport Township; John O. was married March 24, 1880, to Belle Hazlett and makes his home in Watseka, where for two years he has served as Deputy County Clerk.
The father of this family continued to reside in Iroquois County until his death, which occurred in October, 1885. He was killed by being thrown from a bridge. He was quite a prominent and influential citizen of the community and did much for its upbuilding and the promotion of its best interests. He built many buildings in Watseka, including the opera house. When he came to this county, he had only about $5 in money, but possessed a determination to succeed, and was energetic and enterprising and as the result of his industrious efforts met with excellent success. He prospered and at the time of his death owned about eight hundred acres of land.
John O. Reeder was born in Collin County, Tex., December 22, 1858, and was brought by his parents to Iroquois County when about a year and a-half old. After he had attained to mature years, he went South, spending three and a-half years in Texas and Missouri engaged in sheep-raising. After his fathers death, he bought the old homestead of two hundred acres which he still own. He engaged in agricultural pursuits until securing his present official position, since which time he has rented his farm. In politics, he is a Democrat and while in Mitchell County, Tex. served as County Commissioner. Unto Mr. and Mrs. J. O. Reeder have been born three children: Worth L., Della M. and Claude H. The eldest and youngest were born in Iroquois County and Della M. is a native of Texas.
ISAIAH BROOKE, who owns and operates a farm on section 34, Douglas Township, was born near Plymouth, Ind., on the 26th of September, 1858. He is a son of Benjamin Brooke, who was born in Ohio, December 12, 1812. He was a farmer and bridge-builder by occupation and was married in Fairfield County, Ohio, to Elizabeth Wickizer, who was born in Fairfield County, Ohio, and was of German descent in 1863, they emigrated to Marshall County, Ind., where they remained for about twelve years, in which time Mr. Brooke was employed at his regular business, that of contracting for building bridges and other carpenter work. They then removed to a farm in Iroquois County, near Gilman, where he turned his attention entirely to agriculture and stock-raising. Old age coming on, he removed to Gilman, retiring from the active cares of farm life, and there his death occurred on the 3d of September, 1885. His wife is still living and has reached the ripe old age of seventy-seven years. When Mr. Brooke came to Illinois, he was possessed of but little means and was also in poor health; nevertheless, by good management and industry he secured a good home and acquired considerable property. He also assisted his sons in acquiring a start in business life and was a much honored citizen and early settler in this community he was well educated amid posted on all of the leading topics of the day. He was for many years a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, but in later life withdrew from that denomination and preferred to take the Bible amid Christ as his sole creed. He gave liberally to churches and benevolent societies and was strongly opposed to secret societies. Politically, he was always a supporter of the Democracy and was zealous in its interests.
The subject of this sketch was the youngest child in a family of eleven, and came with his parents to Illinois when but five years of age his school advantages were but limited, the nearest schoolhouse being two miles away from his home. He assisted his father in his farm duties and cares until 1882, when he purchased one-half of the old homestead. Five years later, he bought the remainder of S. W. Brooke, administrator of his father's estate. The farm comprises one hundred and sixty acres of well-tiled and improved land. The pleasant home, near buildings and carefully kept farm bespeak the thrifty and enterprising owner.
In March, 1887, Mr. Brooke married Miss Matilda Heise, the ceremony being performed in Douglas Township. The lady is a native of Indiana, and grew to womanhood in this county. One child graces the union: Lindsey, who is now two years old.
Politically, Mr. Brooke uses his right of franchise in favor of the Democratic party and cast his first Presidential vote for Hancock. He is strong and self-reliant and discharges his duties of citizenship as a man who holds the welfare of the community paramount to all personal interests. He gives his undivided attention to his agricultural pursuits and business affairs and is in no sense of the term a seeker for official positions. For nearly thirty years he has been a resident of this county and has helped largely in the success and development of the township in which he makes his home. Like his father, he is not a believer in secret societies, preferring to stand alone and unassisted by any such organization.
Augustus J. DeLong
|AUGUSTUS J. DE LONG, a real-estate and loan agent of Gilman, was born in New Lexington, Perry County, Ohio, February 18, 1845. He is a son of Edward and Ruth (Lackey) DeLong. The DeLong family is of French ancestry, while on the maternal side the ancestors were of German origin. The father of our subject, who was also born in Ohio, was a cousin of the great arctic explorer, De Long. He married in Perry County Miss Lackey, who was a native of the Keystone State. He was a tanner and saddler by trade, but after spending several years in that line he purchased a tract of timber-land and developed a farm within eight miles of where Gen. Sheridan's father lived. Mrs. De Long died on the old homestead at about sixty-nine years of age.|
After the death of his wife, Mr. De Long came West and lived until his death at the home of his daughter in Chatsworth. In religious faith, he was a Catholic, and his wife a member of the Methodist Church. In politics, he was a strong Whig, and later a Republican. Of their family, two sons and three daughters survive.
In the order of birth, the subject of this sketch ins the fourth child of the family. He received his education in the common schools of the county and at New Lexington. He began clerking at Zanesville, Ohio, when about fifteen years of age, and there he remained a year. After the war, with his brother Joseph, he started in the mercantile business at Lancaster Ohio, where they carried on business for some two years under the title of De Long Bros. Having sold out, our subject went to Peoria and several other towns to obtain a clerkship. Being unsuccessful in this attempt, he hued out as a harvest hand, but soon found he could not succeed in the rather difficult operation of binding sheaves. While he and his employer were talking about the matter, a School Director rode by and stopped to say that their teacher was sick. The farmer said: "Here is a man that cannot work, maybe he can teach school." Mr. De Long at that time knew as little about teaching as harvesting, but, undaunted, he took the position and made a grand success. For seven years following, he taught in the schools of Marshall County. In 1869, he came to Gilman, purchased some lots, and then returned to finish his school.
|On the 20th of September, 1871, Mr. De Long was united in marriage with Isabel Pool, a native of Putnam County, Ill., the marriage ceremony being celebrated at the old homestead near Henry, Marshall County. The lady is a daughter of Guy W. Pool, a native of Ohio. He was born in 1800, was reared to agricultural pursuits, and spent his boyhood days in the usual manner of farmer lads. His educational privileges were limited. He proved a valiant soldier in the Black Hawk War in 1832. His wife bore the maiden name of Sophronia Bascom and was a native of the Empire State. In the Pool family were ten children, seven sons and three daughters. Mrs. De Long was born in Putnam County, Ill., September 80, 1845, and her primary education, acquired in the common schools, was supplemented by study in the Model Department of the Normal University.|
Belle A. DeLong
Mr. and Mrs. De Long are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church of Gilman, and Mrs. De Long belongs to the Ladies' Foreign Missionary Society. Our subject socially is connected within White Holly Camp, M. W. of A. After their marriage, Mr. De Long took his bride to Gilman, where they have since resided. Six children have blessed their union, but two, Jessie May and Guy Pool, are deceased. Minnie, Frank, Charles and Augustus are at home. The De Long household is the abode of hospitality, its doors ever being open for the reception of the many friends of the family.
Mr. De Long's first work in Gilman was in the position of book-keeper in the employ of Capt. W. H. Mann, who then carried on an extensive nursery business. After a time, he purchased an interest with him, and remained in that business for five years. Succeeding that, for a year he engaged in the real-estate business with Edward Rumley. At the expiration of that time, the firm dissolved partnership, Mr. De Long since conducting the business alone. He has perhaps handled more land than any other man in this part of the county, and has settled many large estates. Besides having an office in Gilman, he has one at Danforth. He is the possessor of some fine farm property, one hundred and fifty-five acres adjoining the city limits of Gilman on the south, and one hundred and twenty acres adjoining on the north. All he now possesses he has made by his own industry and good business ability.
As is every good citizen, Mr. De Long is much interested in the advancement of educational interests, and is now President of the School Board. For many years he has been a member of the City Council. He is President of the Gilman Building and Loan Association. He takes a great interest in conventions and in political questions, and is an active member of the Republican party. He is one of the prominent and successful citizens of Gilman, and is held in high regard by a large circle of friends and acquaintances. He is a man of great generosity and benevolence, and always has a good word and helping hand for everybody.
BENJAMIN BURT, who is now living retired in Milford, is numbered among the honored pioneers of this county, having been identified with its history for the long period of forty-two years. His life record is as follows: He was born in Sciota County, Ohio, about seven miles from Portsmouth, October 31, 1814. His father, Joseph Burt, was born December 3, 1787, in Pennsylvania, and married Margaret Munn, also a native of the Keystone State, who was born in 1786. About 1829 they removed from Ohio to Indiana, and in 1837 came to Iroquois County, locating in Milford, where Mr. Burt followed the blacksmith's trade for about three years. He was then taken ill with lung fever and died December 13, 1838. After the father's death Mrs. Burt made her home with her son Solomon, who lived on a farm about three miles southeast of Milford. She was called to her final home April 27, 1847. Unto this worthy couple were born six children, as follows: James M., born on Christmas Day of 1812; Benjamin, of this sketch; Solomon, born February 23, 1816; Eleanor, February 11, 1821; Ruhama, August 16, 1824; and Joseph, May 10, 1827. Of the family, James and Solomon are now deceased.
The subject of this sketch spent the first fifteen years of his life in the State of his nativity, and then accompanied his parents on their removal to Indiana, the family locating in Tippecanoe County, about five miles from La Fayette. In 1837 his parents came to Milford, but Benjamin remained in the Hoosier State until the autumn of 1848, when he also came to Milford to make him a home. He first purchased forty acres of land, and a year later bought forty acres of timberland. A short time afterward he bought one hundred and sixty acres on a United States land warrant, and then sold to his brother Solomon eighty acres, retaining possession of a hundred and sixty acre tract, a square quarter-section.
On July 27, 1851, Mr. Burt was united in marriage with Miss Annie Jane Hoskins, daughter of Joseph Hoskins, a farmer residing near Milford, Two children were born unto them, one of whom is yet living, Eliza Margaret, born September 18, 1852. She became the wife of Daniel P. Good November 30, 1873, with whom Mr. Burt now makes his home. They had two children: Vara Mae; and Pearl Bernice, who died August 10, 1891, in her sixth year.
After he had engaged in farming for some years Mr. Burt turned his attention to commercial pursuits and for a time engaged in general merchandising, but afterward returned to his farm. A few years ago, however, he removed to Milford, where he has since lived retired. In connection with his hand he also owned the property where he yet lives until quite recently, when he deeded it to his daughter, Mrs. Good, together with forty acres of timber-land. He met with success in his business career and accumulated a comfortable competence.
Mr. Burt is a member of the Christian Church, and, in politics, was a Whig until Stephen A. Douglas ran for the Presidency, when ha voted for him. Since that time he has supported the Democratic party. For two terms he held the office of Assessor in Milford Township, and twice in Stockland Township, being also Collector one term in the latter. The cause of education has ever found in him a warm friend, and he served as School Trustee for many years. Progressive and public-spirited, he ever manifests a commendable interest in all that pertains to the welfare of the community and its upbuilding. He is numbered among the early settlers of the county, and has witnessed almost its entire growth and development.
HENRY CASSIUS LOVETT, the proprietor a livery, feed and sale stable of Watseka, Ill., was born in Providence, R. I., on the 19th of June, 1845, being a son of George W. and Abbie (Reynolds) Lovett. His father was born in Cumberland, Mass., on the 29th of December, 1819, and his mother in Vermont; they are now both deceased. He died January 19, 1881, and his wife January 20, 1877, aged sixty-three. Both were members of the Baptist Church.
Our subject accompanied his parents to Boston, Mass., in early childhood, where they resided until 1852, when they removed to a farm in Suffolk County, N. Y. From there, in 1860, they came to Iroquois County, Ill., settling in Crescent Township about five miles west of Watseka, on a farm of one hundred and sixty acres which his father had Purchased. George W. Lovett continued his residence there until 1879, when he removed to Watseka, where his death occurred in 1881. In the family were four children, two sons and two daughters, of whom all are now living within the exception of one daughter, Mary, the eldest, who was the wife of Ezra A. Peck and died August 7, 1865, aged twenty-nine years. Harriet Frances, the second child, became the wife of Enoch Wilson and after his death married John Bulson; she now resides in San Francisco, Cal. George Otis, the next younger, was a soldier four years in the late war, a member of Company A, Seventy-sixth Illinois Regiment. He has been twice married, his first wife being Amanda Fidler, and his present wife was Abbie Kelley. He hives in Eureka, Kan., where he is now serving his second term as Circuit Clerk of Greenwood County.
Henry C., the subject of this sketch, is the youngest of the family. He was reared on the home farm and was educated in the district schools. On the 20th of January, 1870, he was married in Chillicothe, Ohio, to Miss Mary M. Kelso. Mrs. Lovett was born in Burlington, W. Va., and is a daughter of John and Susannah Kelso. Mr. and Mrs. Lovett have no children of their own, but have raised from early childhood a nephew of his, J. C. Lovett, and a niece of hers, Harriet Beard. The best of educational, advantages have been given them, and Miss Harriet, who graduated from the Watseka High School, is a teacher by profession.
Mr. Lovett was engaged in farming in Crescent Township until the spring of 1879, when he came to Watseka and embarked in the livery business in company with George W. James. This partnership was continued about a year, when Mr. James sold his interest to Robert Hayes. Six months later Mr. Lovett bought his partner's interest and has since continued the business alone. His main building was the old schoolhouse and church of Middleport, which was moved to Watseka. His stables are situated a little east of the Court House and two blocks south of Main Street, at the corner of Fourth and Locust. They are commodious and well-furnished stables. Mr. Lovett has probably the finest set of carriages of various styles and as fine horses as can be found in any livery in the county. In addition to his livery business, he is engaged in buying and shipping horses, in which he does an extensive business.
Mr. Lovett is a Republican in politics, and while a resident of Crescent Township served as Township Collector and School Trustee for a number of years. He was also elected Road Commissioner for Belmont Township in the spring of 1892. He is a member of Iroquois Lodge No. 74, I. O. O. F.; and of Iroquois Encampment No. 81, of that order in Watseka. Mr. Lovett also belongs to the Patriotic Order of Sons of America and is one of the State officers. He is a practical business man, whose integrity, courteous manner and correct business methods command the respect and confidence of his fellow-townsmen and acquaintances.
JOHN N. HOFFMAN is one of the extensive land-owners of the county, and was formerly a prominent merchant and business man of Goodwine. His life record is as follows: he was born in Bavaria, Germany, on the River Rhine, October 3, 1832, and is a son of John M. and Catherine (Doll) Hoffman, who spent their entire lives in Germany. The father followed farming for a livelihood. He served under Napoleon in the war with Russia when only nineteen years of age, and was in many battles within the great commander. He died at the age of fifty-six. He was a member of the Catholic Church, and his wife held membership in the Lutheran Church. They had four children who grew to mature years, as follows: Catherina, Margaret, Philip J. and John N.
The subject of this sketch, in accordance with the custom of his native land, attended the public schools until fourteen years of age, and during the next seven years of his life served an apprenticeship to a shoemaker. He was then called upon to serve in the German army, but not wishing to do so, he ran away from home, and, boarding a vessel from Havre, sailed for New York. Going to Brooklyn, he worked at his trade for a few months and then removed to Danville, Pa., where he secured employment in a rolling-mill and learned the puddling trade. After six months, he began work on a railroad. At length, he determined to try his for:tune in the West, and on the 10th of August, 1854, landed in Chicago with only $10 in gold in his pocket. The succeeding winter he worked on the Illinois Central Railroad, and in 1855 hired to a farmer in La Salle County being thus employed until 1858, when he went South to St. Louis. As he could find nothing to do in that city, he went on a steamboat which ran between New Orleans and St. Paul, and thus his time was passed until 1860. On the breaking out of the late war, he went to Ottawa, Ill., and enlisted at the call for seventy-five thousand troops, but his services were not accepted.
Mr. Hoffman was married in 1861 to Otilda Gleim, who was born in La Salle County, of German parentage. He then rented a farm, which he operated until 1868, when he purchased three hundred and twenty acres of railroad land on section 8, Fountain Creek Township, Iroquois County. The following year he located thereon. His wife was not long permitted to enjoy her new home, her death occurring in 1870, leaving five children; George died at fourteen years of age; and Frederick at the age of eleven. Those still living are: Anna, who makes her home in Nebraska; Katie, wife of George Christ, who resides on liner father's farm; and Jacob, who is living on the old homestead with his father. In 1872, Mr. Hoffman wedded Anna Gleim, who bore the same name as his first wife but was not a relative. By this marriage were born five children: Lizzie; Louisa, deceased; Mary; William; and John, deceased.
When Mr. Hoffman came to this county, his hand was all wild and unimproved, but acre after acre was placed under the plow, and soon rich and fertile fields were yielding to him abundant harvests. He made his home upon his first farm until 1882, when he removed to Ash Grove Township, purchased a farm, and entered into partnership with Sylvester Rose in the lumber and hardware business in Cissna Park. After a year he went to Claytonville, erected a building, and established business as a dealer in lumber, hardware and agricultural implements; but after three years he traded for property in Goodwine, where he still resides. He built a neat and substantial residence, and his finely-improved place is supplied with various kinds of small fruits and grapes. He now owns five hundred and forty acres of valuable land in one body, and has a good store building and other improvements in Goodwine. He also owns real estate in Chicago and in other parts of Illinois, and was instrumental in establishing the Farmers' Elevator in Goodwine. He is a man of excellent business ability, sagacious and far-sighted, methodical and systematic, and has acquired a valuable property through his own industry and economy.
In the early days before the war, Mr. Hoffman heard a debate between Lincoln and Douglas at Ottawa, and at the succeeding election voted for Douglas. He has since been a stalwart Democrat and has held several road and school offices, also served as Justice of the Peace. His public duties were ever discharged within promptness and fidelity, winning him the commendation of all concerned. Mr. Hoffman experienced all the hardships and privations of pioneer-life, and in the early years of his residence in this county had many obstacles and difficulties to overcome, but he steadily worked his way upward. No better American citizen can be found. He loves this country and its institutions, and is true to every duty of citizenship. It was a fortunate day for him when he determined to come to the United States, for here he has found a pleasant home, many friends and prosperity.
J. M. MARSHALL is engaged in general farming on section 9, Pigeon Grove Township. He is one of the widely-known agriculturists of the community, and is an honored veteran of the late war. A native of the Empire State, he was born in Greene County, on time Hudson River, November 6, 1846, and is descended from one of the heroes of the Revolution. His grandfather served in the War for Independence, in the navy, and, being taken prisoner, was placed in an old hulk in New York Harbor, but made his escape by swimming three miles to the shore. He became one of the pioneer settlers of Vermont, and in that State Marvin Marshall, the father of our subject, was born and reared. He afterward engaged in making brick in New York and at length emigrated to the West. The year 1850 witnessed his arrival in Peoria, Ill., and in that locality he engaged in farming until his death, which occurred in Brimfield, in June, 1883, at the age of seventy-two years. He was married in the Green Mountain State to Lolis Bruce, who died in 1885, near Peoria. In politics, Mr. Marshall was a Whig and afterward a Republican. In his social relations he was an Odd Fellow, and in religious belief a Baptist. In the family were ten children, six of whom grew to mature years, namely: Albert, who now resides in Brimfield, Peoria County; Reuben, who enlisted for the late war as a member of the Eighty-sixth Illinois Infantry, and was killed at the battle of Kenesaw Mountain; Mrs. Helen Hottenbery, who resides hi Nebraska; J. M. of this notice; Charles, who is living in Nebraska; and Cassius, who makes his home in Lincoln, that State.
Our subject was only four years old when with his parents he canine to Illinois. He was reared upon the home farm near Peoria and acquired his education in the district schools of Brimfield Township. No event of special importance occurred during his boyhood and youth until the 1st of February, 1864, when, at the age of seventeen years, he enlisted in the Eleventh Illinois Cavalry, under Col. Robert Ingersoll. He joined the regiment at Vicksburg and spent his time in Mississippi, Arkansas, Louisiana and Tennessee, scouting and on picket duty. He participated in the battle of Jackson, on the 7th of' July, 1864, and took part in many skirmishes. After the war was over he received his discharge, September 30, 1865 in Springfield, after which he returned home.
Mr. Marshall then resumed farming, which he has since followed. January 2, 1873, in Woodford County, Ill., he married Miss Elizabeth De Mott, who was born in that county and is of French descent. Four children grace their union: Clarence D., Winnefred M., Bertha E. and Ray Elmer. The two elder were born in Peoria County, the younger in this county. Clarence completed his education in Onarga Seminary.
In the spring of 1875, Mr. Marshall came to this county and purchased one hundred and sixty acres of prairie land, which had been ploughed but not an improvement made. Within the exception of six years' time, it has since been his home and is one of the most desirable farms of the community, being under a high state of cultivation and well improved. Although he started in life empty-handed, Mr. Marshall has met with success in his undertakings and has acquired a comfortable competence. The Republican party has no stancher advocate than our subject, who cast his first Presidential vote for Gen. Grant. He has never sought for political preferment, but has held some school offices and the cause of education finds in him a friend. Since the organization of the Grand Army he has been a member and is now serving as Quarter-master of G. H. Neeld Post No. 576,of Cissna Park. He is a public-spirited and progressive citizen of the community and is held in high regard for his sterling worth and integrity.