Old Courthouse Museum
103 West Cherry Street
Watseka, IL 60970-1524
HORACE BARNES, who is prominent in business circles in Onarga, has since 1882 been connected with the tile manufactory of this place. In that year, in connection with J. E. Owen and John W. Cunningham, he established a factory and began the manufacture of tile, carrying on business in partnership for three years. New machinery was purchased, facilities enlarged and a good trade built up. After three years, Mr. Owen bought out his partners and continued alone in business for a year. In October, 1891, Mr. Barnes bought the interest of Mr. Owen and is now sole proprietor. He has both a blue and a yellow clay, and with the improved machinery manufactures a superior article of tile. He also makes an excellent quality of brick and is doing a thriving business.
Mr. Barnes is a native of the Green Mountain State. He was born in Rutland, Rutland County, January 14, 1822, and is one of three sons, whose parents were William and Sarah (Buck) Barnes. The father was a native of Rutland County, Vt., and the mother of Berkshire County, Mass. The children are all yet living, Charles E. and Lorin both being older than our subject.
We now take up the personal history of our subject, who is widely and favorably known throughout this community. In the spring of 1846, when a young man of twenty-four years, he came to Illinois to try his fortune on its broad prairies, and purchased two hundred acres of Government land in Du Page County. He also there engaged in teaching school for a number of years and was elected Superintendent of the schools of the county, and also served as Supervisor of the township, while living in Du Page County.
On the same year of his emigration Westward, Mr. Barnes was married, on the 1st of July, to Miss Louisa Seeley, of Middlebury, Vt., a daughter of Jonathan and Rhoda (Kelley) Seeley. Her death occurred on the 8th of March, 1851, she leaving one son, William S., who was born August 20, 1848. He married Miss Ella Harper, daughter of Samuel H. Harper, of Onarga, and they have two daughters, Lulu and Florence. He now owns and operates a large creamery on a farm about two miles southeast of Onarga. Mr. Barnes was again married, on time 22d of January, 1852, his second union being with Miss T. Lorette Taylor, daughter of Rev. P. Taylor, of Bloomingdale, Ill. Two children graced this union: Linnie L., born August 8, 1854, is now the wife of E. H. Wood, of Omaha, Neb., who is First Assistant General Freight Agent of the Union Pacific Railroad. They have one child, a son, James Ralph. Frank H., born September 17, 1855, is clerk in the general ticket-office of tine Rock Island Railroad at Chicago, which position he has held for a number of years. He married Louisa Newell and they have two children, a son and daughter: Newell H. and Edith.
Mr. Barnes continued to reside in Du Page County until 1867, when he sold his farm and removed to Onarga Township, Iroquois County, where he purchased two hundred acres of land, and for a number of years successfully engaged in agricultural pursuits. In 1882, he determined to tile his farm, and this suggested the idea which led to his present business -- that of manufacturing tile. Since coming to Onarga, he has also taught in the schools, being Principal for two years of the Onarga public schools. He is a man of excellent education, who keeps himself well informed on all current events of the day.
In politics, Mr. Barnes is a Republican, having supported that party since he voted for Abraham Lincoln. He has held a number of public offices, and in connection with those which he filled in Du Page County, he has served two terms as Supervisor since coming to Onarga, was Road Commissioner for a number of years, has been a member of the Board of Trustees of Grand Prairie Seminary for over twenty years and is still connected with the board. He is true to every public and private trust arid his honorable, upright life is well worthy of emulation. He is a consistent member of the Presbyterian Church, in which he has served as Elder for a number of years. Mrs. Barnes is of the Baptist faith.
FREDERICK H. AYRES, a practical amid progressive farmer, residing on section 20, Prairie Green Township, has the honor of being a native of Illinois. He was born in Morris, Grundy County, July 25, 1850. His father, W. H. Ayres, was born in Connecticut, June 17, 1811. In his youth he learned time trade of tanner and currier. At length he determined to try his fortune in Illinois, and in 1846 he went to Chicago, from which place he made his way to Grundy County, locating on a farm. From the Government he secured land, which he improved and developed, and thereon made his home for thirty-seven years. In the State of his nativity he married Miss Eliza J. Benedict, a native of New Canaan, Fairfield County, Conn., born October 12, 1813. Their Union was celebrated January 7, 1834. They resided in Grundy County for many years, but are now living with the subject of tins sketch. Mr. Ayres cast his first Presidential vote for William Henry Harrison. For more than sixty years he has been a member of the Congregational Church. Since the organization of the Republican Party he has been one of its stanch supporters, and has held a number of offices of honor and trust. In the family were six children, but only two are living. Henry G. and James S. both died in childhood; William H. died in Illinois, at the age of seven; Rebecca Ann became the wife of C. C. Vreeland, and died in Kendall County, Ill., leaving a family; Lovicea, a native of Connecticut, is the wife of Rev. Dana Sherrill, a Congregational minister, who resides in Marshall, Clark County, Ill.
The Ayres family is of English origin, and was founded in America by three brothers, who emigrated to this country in the Colonial days. One of these, the great-grandfather of our subject, was in the Home Guards during the Revolution. The grandfather of our subject, Frederick Ayres, was born in Connecticut arid there spent his entire life. By trade he was a currier and shoemaker.
Frederick H. Ayres, whose name heads this record, spent his boyhood days upon his father's farm in Grundy County, no event of special importance occurring to vary the routine of farm life. His early education was acquired in the district schools of the neighborhood, and at the age of eighteen years he went to Bryant and Stratton's Business College in Morris, Ill., conducted by William A. Drew, where he pursued a commercial course of study. At the age of twenty he returned borne, and for some time operated and managed the home farm of one hundred and sixty acres. In 1883 he came to Iroquois County and purchased two hundred and forty acres of land in Prairie Green Township. He is a competent farmer who thoroughly understands his business, and the well-tilled fields and the many improvements upon his place indicate his thrift and enterprise. In connection with the cultivation of his hand, he also engages in stock-raising, making a specialty of fine cattle and hogs. He raises Poland-China hogs, and introduced into this county the Polled-Angus cattle, of which he has a herd of forty head.
On the 15th of January, 1873, Mr. Ayres was joined in wedlock with Miss Mary E. Leach, their union being celebrated in Grundy County. The lady was born near Wheeling, W. Va., and is a daughter of Morgan Leach, one of the early settlers of Grundy County. Mr. and Mrs. Ayres attended the same school as children, and she afterward engaged in teaching successfully for some years. Unto them have been born three children, but only one is now living, Mary Lovicea, who was born in Grundy County, in 1878.
Mr. Ayres is a member of Hoopeston Lodge No. 195, K. P. In his political affiliations he has been a Republican since he cast his first Presidential vote for Gen. Grant in 1872, and is an influential member of the party. He has served as a delegate to its conventions, but has never been an office-seeker. However, he has served as Township Supervisor in Grundy County for two terms. Mr. Ayres reads much and is an intelligent farmer, who keeps well informed on all questions of the day. He is also a self-made man, for his success is due entirely to his own efforts, and he is a solid and substantial citizen of the county, respected by all.
FRANCIS CASSIDY, who makes his home on his farm situated on section 21, is a prominent and representative farmer of Danforth Township. He was born in Ireland, in March, 1839, in County Roscommon, and is a son of Frank amid Bridget (Flannagin) Cassidy, both of whom spent their entire lives on the Emerald Isle.
The subject of this sketch passed his boyhood days under the parental roof and received but limited school advantages. He is almost wholly self-educated, but through reading and his wide experience has become a well-informed man, who is conversant with the leading scientific and national questions and other subjects of importance and interest. In July, 1862, he went to Liverpool and started in a sailing-vessel for America. They were on the Atlantic for seven weeks and a-half and encountered no storms during the voyage. He arrived in New York in the fall of that year, and immediately went to Providence, R. I., where he remained for about one month. He then started Westward and located first in La Salle County, Ill. For three years he hired on as a farmhand and then with his earnings, which he had carefully saved, he purchased a team and engaged in farming on rented land for a year. He then went to Livingston County, where he also farmed for about one year, when he returned to La Salle County and rented land for the same length of time. At the end of that time, he purchased a place in that county on which he made several payments, but, being unable to make the fourth payment, he was so unfortunate as to lose the property. In March, 1870, Mr. Cassidy came to Iroquois County, renting a farm in Douglas Township for a year, after which he located in Artesia Township, where he rented farm land and engaged in agricultural pursuits for the five years succeeding. Returning, our subject purchased a tract of one hundred and sixty acres of unimproved prairie, where he located and still resides. This farm he cleared, tiled and improved and has now under a high state of cultivation. As his financial resources were increased, he constantly added improvements and the latest modern machinery to carry on the work of the farm, and has since added another tract of eighty acres to his original purchase. He owns besides eighty acres which are situated two miles from his other property. This is all cultivated and valuable land. He has a comfortable and substantial home and good farm buildings.
Mr. Cassidy was united in marriage in the city of Toledo, Ohio, to Miss Mary Fallon, who is also a native of County Roscommon, Ireland. The wedding ceremony was performed on Christmas Day of 1865. Mrs. Cassidy is a daughter of John Fallon, who grew to maturity on time Emerald Isle. By the marriage of our subject and his wife fourteen children have been born, as follows: Anna, a young lady, who received a good education amid is a successful teacher of this county; Catherine, who is at home; John, who assists in the care of the farm; Frank, who also assists in the care of the home farm; Mary; Eliza, also a teacher of this county; Clara; Tersa and Thomas, twins; Timothy, Alice, Sylvester, Gertrude amid Agnes. The parents and children are alike members of the Roman Catholic Church.
In his political sentiments, Mr. Cassidy gives his hearty support to the Democratic party, and his first Presidential vote was cast for Grover Cleveland. He has never been an aspirant for public or official positions and has ever devoted his entire energies and attention to his home and farm duties. He is a hearty supporter of public schools and an advocate of good teachers and educational measures. For six years he has served as a member of the School Board. He has lived in Illinois for twenty-eight years and has made his home in Iroquois County for twenty-two years of that time. He has helped to make this county what it is today, one of the best in the State. He landed in the New World without friends or other capital than a good constitution, and has won a fair measure of success through his own unassisted efforts. He is considered one of the thrifty, influential and well-to-do farmers of the township, and has won many friends since coming to this community.
Mr.and Mrs. Knibloe
WILLIAM KNIBLOE, an early settler of Douglas Township, was born in Sharon Township, Litchfield County, Conn., his birth having occurred February 17, 1820. He is a son of Thompson and Keziah (Wing) Knibloe. His great-grandfather Knibloe was a Scotch-Presbyterian minister, who emigrated from Edinburg prior to the Revolutionary War. He followed his profession in this country during his entire life. The grandfather of our subject followed agricultural pursuits chiefly. His father was born in Litchfield County, Conn., while his mother was born on Cape Cod and with her parents emigrated to Litchfield County, where she married Thompson Knibloe, a farmer. His death occurred when our subject was a lad of about twelve years. His mother afterward married Benjamin Myers, and moved to Allegany County, N. Y., where she spent her last days. By her first marriage she had four children, of whom William is the only one living.
Our subject is the oldest of the family. Having remained on the farm until sixteen years of age, he was apprenticed to the cabinet-maker's trade, serving five years, working in the summer from sunrise to sunset, and from September until March working until nine o'clock at night. On tile 7th of April, 1842, he married Mary A. Dakin, who was born December 22, 1821, in Dutchess County, N. Y., and is a daughter of Talmai and Clarissa (Yerrington) Dakin, both of whom were natives of tine Empire State. Her grandfather Dakin was a Baptist minister of English descent. Mrs. Knibloe's parents spent their entire lives in the State of their nativity. She is the second in a family of seven children, and she and a sister, Mrs. Lucy Vanness, who lives in Lamont, Cook County, Ill., are the only ones who survive.
To Mr. and Mrs. Knibloe has been born a family of three children: Anna, who died in the prime of womanhood; Harriet, who is the wife of N. J. Henry and resides in Chicago; and the youngest, Walter, who married Addie Clark, is a graduate of the State University at Champaign and has been for six years Principal of the schools of St. Augustine, Fla.
In 1843, the subject of this sketch started for the West, going first to Chicago. He remained there for a year and then sent for his wife. At that time Chicago contained about seven thousand inhabitants and was a veritable swamp. For seven years, he worked in a shop, of which he was foreman part of the time. He then started in business for himself and, with a partner, carried on a shop in that city. In 1858, he came to Iroquois County and, in company with Edward Silver, purchased a half-section of land in Douglas Township. This he improved and in time made of it a good farm. Having sold his property, he ran the Sturgis Farm for twenty-five or twenty-six years. He is the owner of one hundred and seventy-two acres of good land, and his present prosperity is the result of the united efforts of himself and wife. In 1891, within his family he removed to Gilman, where he has a pleasant and hospitable home.
In his political sympathies, Mr. Knibloe was formerly an advocate of the Democracy, but since the rise of the Republican party he has been identified with its interests. He has served as Highway amid Ditch Commissioner, helping to cut many of the ditches that have so much improved this county. He was a member of the first Odd Fellows' society of Chicago, called the Union Lodge, and Mrs. Knibloe helped to make the first carpet that covered that lodge room. No people in the county are held in higher regard than Mr. Knibloe and his estimable wife. He has made farming his chief life occupation and has devoted himself to that pursuit in a quiet, unassuming manner, at the same time faithfully discharging his duties of citizenship.
JOHN RUCKRIGEL is a prominent merchant and well-known citizen of Ashkum. He is a native of Germany, his birth occurring in Bavaria, on the 25th of July, 1836. He is a son of John and Margaret (Nitzle) Ruckrigel, both of Bavaria, where the father died. John Ruckrigel, Jr. grew to the age of sixteen years in the Fatherland, and then determined to seek his fortune in the New World. Accordingly, in 1852, he took passage on a sailing-vessel at Bremen, and was forty-two days on the bosom of the Atlantic. He arrived at New Orleans in November of that year, and embarked in a Mississippi steamer running to Louisville, Ky. He joined an uncle who was a dairyman, living about six miles from Louisville, and with him he remained for about eight years, and until he had passed his majority. In his native land, Mr. Ruckrigel had received a good German education, and after coming to America educated himself in English by reading and intercourse with the people. After leaving his uncle, he rented land and engaged in farming for himself, his farm being situated near Louisville, and there he remained for about ten years.
In the fall of 1870, our subject removed to Illinois, settling first at Gilman, Iroquois County, where he engaged in the mercantile business with Joseph Reidhaar. He continued in that occupation for about two years, and then sold his interest. On account of much sickness in his family, he returned to Kentucky, and engaged in agricultural pursuits in the same neighborhood as he had previously made his home. In 1874, he returned to Illinois, and located on a farm in Danforth Township, where he lived until 1888, farming very successfully. He then sold his farm property and engaged in merchandising at Ashkum, and here he has since remained. He carries an extensive stock of general merchandise, and has a well-established trade.
On the 12th of February, 1863, Mr. Ruckrigel was joined in marriage to Mary E. Reidhaar, a native of Switzerland, born October 28, 1840, who came to the United States with her father, Joseph Reidhaar, when she was a child. Mr. Reidhaar settled in Mercer County, Ohio, where he made his home until his death. Our subject and his wife are the parents of five children: Henry is a partner in his father's store, and for many years has held responsible business positions in Ashkum; Emma is the wife of Morell Fowler, and was the former Postmistress of Danforth, Mr. Fowler being now the station agent at Kappa, Ill.; Mary is the present Postmistress of Danforth; John, who is a clerk in his father's store, and a graduate of the Grand Prairie Seminary; and Lizzie, who resides at home.
Mr. and Mrs. Ruckrigel were reared in the Catholic faith, in which they still believe, though they are not identified with any church organization. He was formerly an advocate of the Democracy, his first vote having been cast for James Buchanan, but for a number of years he has been identified with the Republican party. He has been elected to fill several official local positions, the duties of which he has discharged with promptness and fidelity. Educational measures find in him a hearty supporter, and he has served both on the School and Town Boards. As a citizen, he is highly esteemed as a public-spirited and progressive man, who has been liberal in his support of those enterprises tending to the advancement and upbuilding of the town and county.
AGUST HAUBACH is numbered among the early settlers of Douglas Township, residing on section 5. He was born fifty-nine years ago in Giessen, Hessen, Germany, his birth having occurred August 3, 1833. He was the youngest of the family of six children, whose parents were George and Margaret (Kempf) Haubach, both of whom spent their entire lives in the Fatherland. The father was a carpenter by trade. Our subject is the youngest in his father's family of six children, five sons and one daughter, of whom only two crossed the Atlantic. Charles F. came to the United States in 1850, and died in Quincy, Ill., on the 7th of March, 1885, leaving a wife, one son and two daughters to mourn his loss.
Our subject until fourteen years of age attended the schools of his native land and then served for three years as an apprentice at the painter's trade. He worked faithfully at his chosen occupation, commencing at the small salary of $2.40 per week. In 1853, determining to secure his fortune in the New World, he went to Liverpool and there took passage for New York. This trip in the slow sailing-vessel of those days took five weeks. Upon landing in New York, he found that his financial resources amounted to but $5. He decided to go to Norwich, Conn., and when he reached that point he had but $3.40. In the latter place, he worked at his trade for twelve years and by perseverance and industry was soon on the road to fortune. In Norwich, he met the lady who afterward became his wife.
The wedding ceremony was performed on the 3d of November, 1858, and thereby Miss Mary A. Burger became the wife of our subject. She is the daughter of Anton and Mary A. (Kech) Burger, and is a native of Germany, where she was born on the 26th of November, 1838, in Lausheim, Baden. She came with her family to Connecticut in 1851. To Mr. Haubach and his wife have been born five children: George C., A. Frederick, John B., Eliza J. and William A.
In the year 1865, Mr. Haubach went to New Albany, Ind., where he ran a grocery for about one year. He then sold out, moved to Fulton County, Ill., and followed the occupation of a farmer. Though he had not been brought up to farm life, he soon learned and became a practical farmer. He worked a rented farm until 1869, when he moved his family to the farm where he now lives. The previous year, in company with George Burger, he had purchased one hundred and sixty acres. This they improved and cultivated and divided in 1871. Mr. Haubach has added to his eighty acres until he now has a fine farm of four hundred and eighty acres of well-improved and drained land. By years of industry and toil, supplemented by good business ability and fair dealing, he has acquired a snug little fortune. Starting as he did in early life with nothing but willing hands, his success has been truly wonderful and well deserved. In his political affiliations, he is a supporter of the Democratic party. The cause of education finds in him a warm friend and he has done effective service for her interests. For eighteen years he has been School Director and has discharged the duties of that office with faithfulness and zeal. For nearly a quarter of a century he has been a resident of this township and both he and his wife are much respected and well esteemed. He is a wide-awake business man, and his dealings with his fellow-citizens have ever been characterized by a spirit of justice and honor.
JACOB C. SHEAR, an honored veteran of the late war, who for many years has resided upon his farm on section 5, Ridgeland Township,was born in Albany County, N .Y., near Coeymans, November 19, 1827, and is a son of Stephen Shear, who was a native of the Empire State and was of German descent. His mother bore the maiden name of Gertrude Teneyck, and she too was of German lineage. During the boyhood of our subject, his parents removed to Junius, Seneca County, N. Y. The death of the father occurred in November, 1884. The mother had passed away some years previous, being called to her final rest in 1878. The family numbered seven children, namely: Peter, who was a stock buyer and farmer and died in 1890; Garritia, wife of Anson Lisk, who is living in California; Conrad, who is engaged in farming in Fairfax County, Va.; Mary, who became the wife of Levi Lisk and died in 1887; John, who departed this life in 1881; Jacob, whose name heads this sketch; and Catherine, who married Ralph Hanson and died in 1892.
We now take up the personal history of our subject, who is a prominent and influential citizen of Iroquois County. He was reared to manhood under the parental roof, no event of special importance occurring during his boyhood days, which were quietly passed upon his father's farm. His education was such as the common schools afforded, he attending school at intervals until about nineteen years of age. He then remained at home until he had attained his majority, when he started out in life for himself, and whatever success he has since achieved is due entirely to his own efforts. As he had no capital, he began by renting ground. The continued his agricultural pursuits in the Empire State until the autumn of 1858, when he emigrated Westward, locating in Elkhart, Ind., where he spent the succeeding winter.
Previous to this time Mr. Shear was married, his first union being celebrated in 1849. Miss Harriet Stewart becoming his wife. One child was born of this union, Frances, who died in 1890. The mother died in 1863. Mr. Shear was again married, in 1867, the lady of his choice being Miss Sarah Brown. Three children grace this marriage, as follows: Thomas, Gertrude and Teneyck.
After one winter spent in the Hoosier State, Mr. Shear came with his family to Iroquois County, Ill., settling in Ridgeland Township, where he purchased one hundred and sixty acres of land on section 5. The place was entirely destitute of improvement, but with characteristic energy he began its development and has carried forward the work of cultivation until now one of the best farms in the community yields to him a good income in return for the care and labor he bestows upon it. Its boundaries he also extended as his financial resources increased and he now has three hundred and twenty acres of rich, fertile land. In addition to general farming, he carries on stock-raising, and his good business ability, combined with enterprise and perseverance, have brought him a well-deserved prosperity.
During the late war, Mr. Shear gave evidence of his loyalty to the Government by responding to the call for troops in the fall of 1861, and enlisting as a private of Company M, Ninth Illinois Cavalry. He was mustered into service at Chicago and the first important engagement in which he participated was at Jacksonport. He then took part in several lesser engagements, and in March, 1863, went to Memphis and did duty as a scout through the surrounding country. He participated in many minor engagements and also met the enemy in the battles of West Point, Aberdeen and Okahama. He had enlisted for three years' service and filled out the entire time. In the winter of 1861-62, he had been promoted to be First Lieutenant, and in that capacity served until the expiration of his term, when he was honorably discharged. He was never wounded or taken prisoner, but was ever found at his post, faithfully performing every duty, and he may well be proud of the fact that he was one of the honored boys in blue that saved their country when destruction threatened it. He is now a member of W. A. Babcock Post No. 416, G. A. R., also belongs to the Masonic fraternity, and is a supporter of the Republican party whose principles he warmly advocates. In 1876, he was elected Sheriff of the county, serving a term of two years. Mr. Shear has a wide acquaintance throughout the community and is held in high esteem by many friends and acquaintances. As an honored veteran, an early settler and a leading citizen, he well deserves representation in this volume.
JOHN HEANEY is one of the leading business men of Buckley, where he owns and operates a mill for the manufacture of hemp fiber. As he is widely and favorably known throughout the county, we feel assured that this record of his life will prove of interest to many of our readers, and we gladly insert his sketch in the record of the county.
Mr. Heaney is a native of the Emerald Isle. He was born in County Antrim, December 5, 1848, and is one of ten children whose parents were James and Nancy (Huey) Heaney, also natives of Ireland. Six of their children are yet living, namely: William, Hugh, Sallie, Robert, Elizabeth and John. Those deceased are Jane, Ann Jane, Nancy and Thomas.
The father of our subject died when John was only about a year old, and at the age of nine he was left an orphan by the death of his mother. His education was acquired in the land of his birth in an academy. When a youth of sixteen summers, he bade good-bye to home and friends and sailed for America, locating in Madrid, N. Y., where he operated a flax-mill on his own account until 1870, when he came to Loda, Ill. Haying been so long employed in that work, he was well fitted for the business which he took up on coming West. In Loda he superintended a tow-mill, manufacturing flax-bagging until 1876, when he came to Buckley and took charge of the mill at this place. After being Superintendent for ten years, in the fall of 1886 he purchased the mill, which he has operated in his own interests continuously since. He is engaged in raising hemp on five hundred acres of land, and manufactures fiber from which binding twine is made. Besides, he farms about one hundred and sixty acres. This business is one of the leading industries of Buckley, and the proprietor is one of its most prominent business men.
On the 9th of May, 1872, Mr. Heaney was joined in wedlock with Miss Mary Louise Kippenberg, daughter of Richard F. and Amanda (Herndon) Kippenberg, of Beardstown, Ill. A daughter graces their union, Mabel. They have a comfortable and pleasant home in Buckley, which is the abode of hospitality, arid in social circles they rank high. Mrs. Heaney was born in Beardstown, Ill., January 5, 1850. Her father was born in Charleston, S. C., December 13, 1821, and his father came from Germany, while his mother, who was of Spanish descent, was born in St. Augustine, Fla. Mrs. Heaney's mother was born in Russellville, Ky., January 8, 1830. Both parents were pioneers of Beardstown, where they were married. Her father died years ago, and her mother makes her home. With Mrs. Heaney, who is one of two children. Her brother, William is a railroad conductor. n political sentiment, Mr. Heaney is a supporter of Republican principles. For about ten years he has filled the office of School Director, and the cause of education finds in him a warm friend, who does much for its upbuilding. He was also a member of the Village Board of Trustees for ten years, and during eight years of that time was its President, discharging his duties with promptness and fidelity which led to his frequent re-election and won him the commendation of all concerned. In his social relations, he is a Mason, belonging to Buckley Lodge No. 634, A. F. & A. M. He is a successful business man, whose well-directed efforts, thrift and enterprise have won him a comfortable competence and a well-deserved prosperity. Although quite young when he determined to come to America, subsequent years have shown the wisdom of his resolve, and he has here found a pleasant home, happiness and success.
OLIVER AUSTIN DERROUGH, who is engaged in the manufacture of tile in Buckley, is the junior member of the firm of Derrough & Co., which established business in this place in the early part of 1891. Theirs is one of the leading industries of the community, and they are now doing an excellent business, which is constantly increasing until their capacity is almost too small to supply the demand. They manufacture a superior article, and turn out about ten thousand four-inch tile per day. The partners of this firm are numbered among the leading business men of Buckley, and we gladly make mention of them in this volume.
Oliver A. Derrough was born in Danville, Ill., on the 27th of August, 1859. His parents, Asher D. and Saloma J. (Hoover) Derrough, were both natives of Ohio. In 1868, having resided in Ohio during the period of the late war, they returned to Illinois, where they have since resided. They located in Champaign County, and are now residents of Urbana. In their family were six children: Oliver A., Anna, Cordelia E., Edward E., Jessie Maud and Ora, all of whom are yet living.
When an infant, Mr. Derrough, whose name heads this sketch, was taken by his parents to Ohio, where about nine years of his life were passed, and in 1868 he went with them to Champaign County, Ill. At Philo, about ten miles from Champaign, he was reared to manhood, and acquired a good education in the common schools. In 1885, in connection with his father, he embarked in the manufacture of tile in Philo, following that business until the winter of 1890-91, when they sold their first factory. They then established a new factory in Buckley, Ill., under the firm name of Derrough & Co., and the success that has already come to them is certainly very encouraging.
An important event in the life of Mr. Derrough occurred on the 30th of May, 1883, when he led to the marriage altar Miss Rosa M. Challacombe, daughter of Nicholas and Mary (Fletcher) Challacombe, residents of Alton, Ill. Four children have been born unto them, three sons and a daughter, and the family circle, which yet remains unbroken, is composed of Harry O., born March 19, 1884; Nicholas Asher, born October 4, 1885; Blanche, born September 27, 1887; and Joseph Fifer, born December 13, 1890. Mr. and Mrs. Derrough are highly respected people of Buckley, who hold an enviable position in social circles, and are widely and favorably known for their many excellencies of character. Mr. Derrough is a wide-awake and enterprising man, public-spirited and progressive, and manifests a commendable interest in all that pertains to the welfare of the community.
JOHN GOETZ, a retired farmer, was born in Baden, Germany, November 1, 1820. He is a son of Jacob and Bridget (Irion) Goetz. His father owned a small farm which he tilled for a livelihood. For nearly eight years he served in Napoleons army. He accompanied that conqueror to Moscow, and from cold, hunger and privation his health was so impaired that he never fully recovered, though he lived to be over eighty years of age. The mother also lived to about four-score years. In their family of five children three were sons and two daughters, but two of whom came to America. Conrad crossed the ocean in 1845, and is a farmer in Canada.
Our subject is the third child of the family and was reared on a farm, receiving but limited educational advantages. When about eighteen years old, he commenced working in a foundry, at which he continued for some four years, giving all his earnings to his father. In 1842, he sailed from Havre de Grace to New York City, being thirty-six days on the voyage. Going to Canada, he worked three years on a farm and in a saw mill. In 1845, he returned to his parents, friends and native land, making them a visit of six weeks. On his return to Canada, his brother accompanied him. In 1848, he went to Marshall County, Ill. Having worked by the month for a time, he purchased forty acres of Government land, which he soon afterward sold and farmed rented land. In 1857 he bought one hundred and twenty acres, which he improved, and afterward added thereto sixty acres.
On his first voyage to America Mr. Goetz formed the acquaintance of Miss Agatha Fries, a native of Bavaria, Germany. On her arrival in the United States, Miss Fries went to Buffalo, N. Y. In 1846 our subject went to that city, and on the 5th of February was united in wedlock with Miss Fries. By this union were born eight children, three of whom died in childhood, and Mary, who became the wife of Mathias Baumann, died May 6, 1890. The living children are Caroline, widow of Nicholas Shawback, who resides in La Salle County; Jacob married Amanda Fisher and is a substantial farmer of Artesia Township, Iroquois County; Elizabeth F., who has had charge of the household affairs for nearly twenty years, is still with her father; and John, who married Lillian Moore, purchased the old home farm, which he carries on successfully.
Having carried on farming in Marshall County until 1878, Mr. Goetz came to Iroquois County and bought one hundred and sixty acres in Douglas Township, which he improved by tiling and ditching. His farm is now, a very valuable and well-cultivated piece of property and is a model of thrift and neatness.
In Marshall County occurred the death of Mrs. Goetz, who passed away on the 6th of December, 1875. She was an estimable lady and a consistent member of the Evangelical Association, of which Mr. Goetz and four of his children are likewise members. In politics he is a Republican, though he votes for the man rather than the party. When he came to Illinois his worldly possessions, outside of his family, were limited, but by hard work and industry he has climbed steadily upward until he now has a comfortable income. In 1892, he sold the farm to his son John and removed to Gilman, where he is enjoying a well-earned rest after so many years of struggle and toil.
WILLIAM R. VEATCH has engaged in buying and shipping stock in Thawville since 1890, and prior to that time was connected with the agricultural interests of the county for about twenty-one years. During his long residence in the community he has formed a wide acquaintance, and is recognized as a highly respected citizen. The Buckeye State gave him to Iroquois County. He was born in Ross County, Ohio, November 6, 1830, and is one of eleven children, whose parents were Thomas J. and Catherine (Johnson) Veatch. The father and mother were both natives of hardy County, W. Va., but in an early day removed to Ohio, where the death of the former occurred October 6, 1849. Mrs. Veatch afterward came to Illinois, and with her children resided upon a farm in Livingston County until called to her final rest, November 23, 1858. Of their eleven children only four are now living, namely William R., John, Henry and Harrison. Those deceased are Johnson, Elizabeth, Thomas, Catherine, Rufus, Ira and Sarah.
In the State of his nativity, Mr. Veatch, our subject, was reared to manhood, and when a young man of twenty-five years came Westward to Illinois, with the hope of bettering his financial condition thereby. He first settled upon a farm of eighty acres in Livingston County, near Wing, and about four miles north of Forest. He improved and developed that farm, making it his home from 1857 until 1869. In the latter year he removed to a farm of two hundred acres of land near Thawville, in Iroquois County. As his financial resources increased, he added to his landed possessions, and in connection with his home farm. He now owns four eighty-acre farms, two in Ford County and two in Iroquois County. He was a practical and progressive agriculturist, never behind the times in anything pertaining to his chosen occupation, and by his well-directed efforts he acquired a handsome property. On the 23d of September, 1855, Mr. Veatch was united in the holy bonds of matrimony with Miss Margaret, a daughter of Selby and Mary (Samuels) Fearl, who resided near Circleville, in Pickaway County, Ohio. Mr. Fearl was born in Maryland, and his wife in Delaware, where they were married. In 1840 they moved to Ohio, where the wife died in 1846. He came to Pratt County, Ill., in 1857, where he died in 1888. Mrs. Veatch was born in Delaware, July 5, 1835, and came with her father to Ohio. Mr. Veatch at once brought his bride to Illinois, where they have since resided. Five children have been born of their union, the eldest of whom is Henry F. He married Miss Alice Walker, daughter of Samuel Walker, and they became the parents of two children Charles E. and Roy. His wife having died, he was again married, his second union being with Miss Kate Davis, of Indiana. They have a daughter, Edna, and their home is about three miles south of Thawville. George H. married Miss Ella Comm, and resides on a farm in Ford County, near Thawville. Della is the wife of Judson Shear, who is living on a farm just west of Thawville. Unto them were born six children, but two died in infancy. Those a yet living are Maud, Edwin, Frankie and Irwin. Uretta M. is the wife of Siegel Rutledge, who is engaged in agricultural pursuits in Artesia Township, upon a farm two and a-half miles southeast of Thawville. The eldest child died in infancy, but the two younger ones, Pearl and Pansy, are yet living. Thomas S. married Miss Minnie Reed, daughter of William Reed, of Livingston County, and resides on the home farm, two miles east of Thawville. They have two children, Nellie and William Albert.
Mr. Veatch has made his home continuously in this county since 1869. He carried on agricultural pursuits until 1890, when he retired from farming and removed to Thawville, where he is now engaged in buying and shipping stock. In politics he is a supporter of Republican principles. While residing in Livingston County, he was Justice of the Peace for eight years, also Town Clerk and Highway Commissioner, and in this county he has served as Assessor one term and Commissioner of Highways for three years. At the present time he is Treasurer and one of the Directors of the Farmers' Mutual Insurance Company, of Iroquois County, discharging the duties of both positions for the past sixteen years. In all this time there has only been one assessment made by the company. The regular two-mill annual assessment has proved sufficient to pay all former losses. The success of this company is due in no little degree to the well-directed efforts of Mr. Veatch. Himself, wife and three children are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, in which he has served as Trustee and Steward. His life has been an honorable and upright one, well and worthily spent, and he is held in the highest esteem throughout the community, where his sterling worth is widely known.
AMOS BISHOP, one of the early settlers of Ash Grove Township, now residing on section 19, is a native of Ohio, his birth having occurred in Ross County on the 26th of October, 1826. His father, John Bishop, was a native of the Keystone State, and in an early day removed to Ohio, where his father improved a new farm. He afterward removed with the family to Fountain County, Ind., where the grandfather of our subject purchased a mill. The management of this business was given over to John Bishop, who, however, was a hatter by trade. His death occurred shortly afterward in Indiana. He had served in the War of 1812. In Ohio, he married Hannah Myracle, who died in La Fayette, Ind. After her death he wedded Susan Dunbar. He was one of the pioneer settlers of Fountain County, Ind., and held a number of local offices, serving as Justice of the Peace in La Fayette. In politics, he was a Democrat. By his first marriage were born the following children: Henry, who makes his home with Amos, having been a resident of Iroquois County for forty years; Silas, who has resided in this community since 1872; Mary Ann, wife of Wesley Harvey, of Cissna Park George, who served in the Mexican War and in the Rebellion, was a member of the One Hundred and Thirteenth Illinois Infantry, and now resides in Custer County, Neb.; Amos of this sketch; and two children who died in infancy. By the second marriage were born a son and daughter, Elizabeth and John, who reside in Iowa. Their mother makes her home with them.
The subject of this sketch was about two years of age when the family removed to the Hoosier State, and was a lad of only seven when his mother died. He then went to live with his uncle, John Nebeker in Fountain County, with whom he remained until twenty-one years of age. His educational privileges were very meagre. He could attend school only two months in the year, and during that time half of each day was taken up with feeding cattle. His training at farm labor was not so meagre. He was early inured to hard labor, and after he had attained to man's estate he worked at fifty cents per day.
In September, 1848, Mr. Bishop was united in marriage with Miss Jane Stidham, a native of Maryland, and in the following spring they came to Illinois by team, locating near Ash Grove. Mr. Bishop engaged in farming for Mr. Willoughby for a year and then purchased eighty acres of land from the Government. It was all wild prairie, upon which not a furrow had been turned or an improvement made. Wolves were still numerous in the neighborhood and wild deer supplied the table with meat, while lesser game was very plentiful. After operating his first farm for some time, Mr. Bishop sold and purchased elsewhere. Since 1862 he has resided upon his present farm of eighty-three acres and for some years engaged exclusively in its cultivation; however, he now gives much of his attention to boring artesian wells. He is a man of good business ability, enterprising and progressive, and has secured a comfortable competence.
By his first marriage Mr. Bishop had three children: Mrs. Hannah Hauck, who is now a widow and resides in Onarga Township; John S., who married Carne Neeld, and is a carpenter of Cissna Park; and Ida, who died in infancy. By his second marriage, with Phœbe Aye, he has one child, Mrs. Julia Neeld, who also resides in Cissna Park. By his marriage to Emily Hussey, he had two children: Henry, who married Rose Brock and is a farmer of Ash Grove Township; and Mrs. Alice Carter, who resides on the old homestead. The lady who now bears the name of Mrs. Bishop was in her maidenhood Mary Lamar.
Both Mr. and Mrs. Bishop hold membership with the Methodist Episcopal Church, of Ash Grove, and are numbered among its active and faithful workers, doing all in their power for its upbuilding and advancement. He has served as Steward and Trustees His first vote was cast for James K. Polk, and he has since supported the Democracy, except when Lincoln was the Presidential candidate. In minor elections he votes for the man whom he thinks best qualified to fill the office, regardless of party affiliations. Socially, he is a member of the Knights of Pythias, of Cissna Park. His residence in this county covers a period of forty-three years, and he is not only numbered among its honored pioneers but is classed among its best citizens.
Dr T. Newton Boue
|DR. T. NEWTON BOUE, who has been engaged in the practice of medicine in Loda since 1864, is a prominent medical practitioner of the county, and during the long years of his residence here has formed a wide acquaintance and gained an extensive practice. He is a native of Indiana, his birth having occurred in Fountain County, on the l8th of May, 1837. His father, Lorenzo Dowe Boue, was born in North Carolina and was of French descent. His mother, who bore the maiden name of Eleanor Moffett, was born in Indiana and is of Scotch lineage.|
By their union this worthy couple became the parents of seven children, and, with the exception of one who died in infancy, all are yet living at this writing, in the autumn of 1892, as follows: Josephine, James M., T. Newton, John Austin, Simpson M. and Eluis Scott. The mother of this family is still living on the old homestead in Fountain County, Ind., six miles south of Veedersburg, with the youngest son. Mr. Boue died in May, 1880.
Under the parental roof the Doctor was reared to manhood. He attended the public schools in his youth and his literary education was completed in an academy in Ladoga, Ind. In looking about him in choice of some profession or occupation which he wished to make his life work, he chose the practice of medicine, and for three years read medicine, after which he attended lectures at Rush Medical College of Chicago, from which he was graduated in 1866. In April, 1864, he located in Rantoul, Ill., where he spent about three months, and in July he came to Loda, opened an office and has since engaged in the practice of his chosen profession in this place. His skill and ability have won him a liberal patronage and a recognized position in the ranks of his professional brethren.
On the 3d of June, 1867, Dr. Boue married Miss Effie L. Burnette, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. S. Burnette, of Galva, Ill. Her death occurred on the 23d of October, 1875, and a number of years later, on the 13th of November, 1879, he was again married, his second union being with Miss Emma Kelsey, a daughter of Barnabus and Susan Kelsey, of Byron, Ill. There were two children born unto them, daughters, June and May. The death of Mrs. Boue occurred on the 23d of December, 1887, and on the 6th of March, 1889, the Doctor married Miss Minnie Carrington, daughter of Milton and Nancy (Sears) Carrington, of Loda, Ill.
In his political affiliations, Dr. Boue is a Democrat,,and socially is a member of the Masonic fraternity, belonging to Abraham Jonas Lodge No. 316, A. F. & A. M., of Loda, and has been its Worthy Master for twenty years; Ford Chapter No. 138, R. A. M.; and Mt. Olivet Commandery No. 38, K. T., of Paxton. He has held various offices of honor and trust. He is a member of the Christian Church and his wife holds membership with the Congregational Church. Both are highly respected people whose friends and acquaintances throughout the community are many. In the long years of his residence here the Doctor has gained a high reputation as a practitioner and his liberal patronage is well deserved.
LORENZO L. MARSH, one of the early settlers of this county, who is now engaged in plastering and brick-laying in Buckley, was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, on the 11th of February, 1827. His parents, Isaac and Mary (Flowers) Marsh, were natives of New Jersey and New York respectively. Their family numbered thirteen children, but only two are now living, John F. and Lorenzo L. The parents removed to Cincinnati at an early day, and the father there followed his trade of plastering and brick-laying until sixty-nine years of age, when he retired from business. He reached the very advanced age of ninety years and his wife died at the age of seventy-eight years. Their son Isaac lived to be about eighty-three years of age and had accumulated about $60,000 worth of property.
In the city of his birth Lorenzo Marsh spent his early life and with his brother Isaac learned the trade which he today follows. After attaining to years of maturity he was married on the 9th of August, 1858, to Miss Mary Shoemaker, daughter of Levi and Katie (Rine) Shoemaker, the former a native of the Buckeye State and the latter of Maryland. Five children were born of their union: Mary Louisa, who became the wife of William Kerns and resides in Buckley, Ill.; Margaret, wife of James Melvin Carter, a resident of Forest, Livingston County, Ill.; William Scott, who married Miss Clara Belle Ireland, daughter of Thomas Ireland, of Buckley, who resides two miles north of the village with his wife and three children, Vernon, Jessie and Lawrence; Francis Leroy died on the 2d of October, 1888; and Ernest Jesse completes the family.
In 1865, Mr. Marsh removed with his family from Warren County, Ohio, to Iroquois County, Ill., and settled on a farm two miles north of Buckley, where he resided for about six years. This farm contains about one hundred acres of land and is still in his possession. He carried on agricultural pursuits until 1871, when he left the farm and came to Buckley, where he has since followed his trade of plastering and brick-laying. He owns a comfortable home and has acquired a good competence. Although sixty-five years of age he is well preserved.
Mr. Marsh is a valued and prominent citizen of this community, who takes an active interest in all that pertains to the upbuilding of town and county. He is at present serving as a member of the Village Board of Trustees. He has also served as Marshall and Constable, which last office he filled for five years with credit to himself and satisfaction to his constituents. He is alike true to every public and private trust, and whether in discharging some official duty or in carrying out a private promise, his honorable, upright spirit is ever recognized. He was one of the first members of the Odd Fellows' lodge of Buckley, and in politics is a Republican, warmly advocating the principles of that party. Mrs. Marsh and her two daughters are active workers in the Methodist Episcopal Church.
PATRICK REYNOLDS, one of the pioneer farmers of Ashkum Township, makes his home on section 19. His birth occurred on the 15th of November, 1832, in County Meath, Ireland. He is a son of Lawrence and Catherine (Cunningham) Reynolds, both natives of the same county. The father was a farmer, and reared his family and spent his entire life in his native land. Both parents died in that country.
The subject of this sketch grew to manhood in his native land, no event of importance occurring during his boyhood. He had but limited school advantages, but he has largely supplemented his early training by well-directed study and extensive reading. In 1852, bidding adieu to the scenes and friends of his youth, he went to Liverpool, where he took passage in a sailing-vessel, the "Southampton," of the Black Star Company, with Capt. Snow, which was bound for New York City. During the voyage, which occupied six weeks, much severe weather was experienced. One night some of the masts were broken and the sails torn to pieces and carried away by the storm. They anchored in New York Harbor on the 27th of August. 1852, and from there Mr. Reynolds went to New Jersey, where he secured employment on a farm, and remained at farm labor for about two years and a half. In 1855, believing that the West afforded better opportunities, he emigrated to Chicago, and after staying there a short time, went to Iroquois County. For the succeeding nine years, he was employed by different farmers. In the meantime, and soon after locating in this county, Mr. Reynolds pre-empted one hundred and sixty acres of land, and on this located in 1858. His property he improved, cultivated and fenced until he had a valuable tract. He has since sold a part of his original farm, but has purchased other land in its place. He now owns four hundred and thirty acres in one body, of good and desirable land. He has a comfortable residence, barns and outbuildings, a thrifty orchard and other accessories of a model farm, Mr. Reynolds is pre-eminently a self-made man, having started in the New World without a dollar, and has by his well-directed enterprise, industry and perseverance succeeded beyond his anticipations, but has truly merited his prosperity.
On Christmas day of 1858, Mr. Reynolds was united in wedlock in this township, to Miss Johanna O'Neill, who was born in County Limerick, Ireland, and is a daughter of Lawrence O'Neill. When a child of twelve years, she came to the United States, and was reared to womanhood in Iroquois County. There are six living children by this union, five sons and one daughter: Thomas is married and makes his home in Chicago, but will return to Iroquois County for his future home; Lawrence assists his father in the work of the home farm; Henry, Katie, Edward and Peter are at home. Four children died in childhood and two in infancy.
Since casting his first ballot for James Buchanan, Mr. Reynolds has been a supporter of the Democratic party, and has voted for every nominee for President. He has never asked for or accepted official positions, but has devoted his time and attention exclusively to his large business interests. He is known throughout this region as one of the honored and respected pioneers, and his many friends will be pleased to read this brief sketch of his life.
|IRA F. PALMER, a prominent practitioner of Onarga, whose wide acquaintance and sterling worth have made him a valued citizen, well deserves to be represented in this work. He was born in St. Lawrence County, N. Y., May 23, 1845. His paternal grandfather, Moses Palmer, was a native of Connecticut, but his parents, Gordon and Betsey (Kelley) Palmer, were both born in the Empire State.|
Ira F. Palmer
The Doctor is the eldest of eight children, two brothers and five sisters. The father of this family came to Illinois in 1852, locating first in Newark, Kendall County, hut afterward removed to Hollenbacks Grove, where he purchased a farm of two hundred acres, which he continued to improve for thirteen years. He afterward moved to the town of Bristol, Kendall County, where the family now reside. Dr. Palmer's early education, acquired in the common schools, was supplemented by a course in Fowler Institute, of Newark, Kendall County. In January, 1864, he enlisted, and was transferred soon after to the medical service of the United States army, which he served during the campaign of that year, after which he was a member of Company C, One hundred and Forty-seventh Illinois Infantry, and at the close of the war was in the United States mail service with headquarters at Macon, Ga. He was mustered out of service in February, 1866, and soon after became a student of the Chicago University. Subsequently he took a course in Bennett Medical College, and afterward went to Cincinnati, where he attended the Eclectic Medical College from which he was graduated in the spring of 1872. He first located in Milwaukee, but in August following came to Onarga.
Emma A. Palmer
|On the l7th of November, 1872, Dr. Palmer was united in marriage with Miss Emma A. Wood, daughter of Charles R. and Mary A. (Gilbert) Wood. They have two children, Paul J., born December 27, 1874, and Clifford Gordon, born March 7, 1880. The Doctor and his wife are highly esteemed citizens of the community. Mrs. Palmer is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church and an active worker in the Sunday-school. She is interested in temperance and literary work, being a graduate of the Class of '88, C. L. S. C., having received her diploma at Chautauqua from the hands of Dr. Vincent. She is also a charter member and President of the Woman's Relief Corps.|
Their home has always been the abode of hospitality, rich and poor alike receiving a hearty welcome. They have just completed a beautiful and commodious residence, which abounds in all the modern conveniences. Dr. Palmer is a stanch Republican, casting his first vote for President for Gen. Grant in 1868. He was elected to the office of Supervisor in 1877, and continued to hold that office for five years. He was Chairman of the Board in 1879, was re-elected in 1888, and still continues in office. He is a charter member of Post 416, and ever since has held the office of Surgeon. He owns several fine farms and also raises and sells considerable stock.
Dr. Palmer is one of the Palmer Family Reunion at Stonington, Conn., of which there are over five thousand members.
JOHN H. BRAYTON, a retired farmer residing in Watseka, is one of the honored old settlers of the county, who well deserves representation in this history for the prominent part he has taken in the development and upbuilding of the community in which he resides. He is a native of the Green Mountain state, born February 17, 1834. His father, Joseph Brayton, was born and reared in Quebec, Canada, and, after attaining to years of maturity, married Clarissa Hubbard, a native of the same country. They removed to Vermont, but afterward meturned to Canada. Mr. Brayton was a wheelwright and carpenter by trade, and followed the dual occupation for some years. In about 1843, he iremoved with his family to New York, locating in Franklin County, where he built a sawmill and engaged in the manufacture of lumber. He also carried on a gristmill, and there resided until called to his final rest. He died in 1854, when in the prime of life. His wife survived him for about twenty years, and came to Illinois, where she afterward went to Iowa, spending her last days in Waterloo, that State.
The Brayton family numbered beside our subject the following children: Lucy was married and reared a family, and died at the age of sixty years; Henry, a mechanic, made his home in Pennsylvania; Rev. William, a minister of the Second Adventist Church, resided in Illinois for a number of years, and now makes his home in Floyd County, Iowa; Comfort is married and resides with his family in Ashkum, where he follows the trade of a carpenter; Rhoda is the wife of Stephen Washburn, a resident of the Empire State; Joseph laid down his life on the altar of his country, while serving in the late war; Ezekiel is a carpenter by trade, but is now engaged in business as a barber of Ashkum; Mrs. Maria Royce is living in California; Amos, a painter by trade, makes his home in Ashkum; Mary died in Waterloo, Iowa; Peggy is living in Pierre, S. Dak.; Alonzo, who was married, reared a family and resided in Iowa, was killed by lightning in 1891.
The subject of this sketch was reared to manhood in Franklin County, N. Y., and acquired his education in the common schools. When a young man, he came to the West with the hope of bettering his financial condition, and located in La Salle County, Ill., where he remained one year. In 1856, he came to Iroquois County, purchasing land in Ashkum Township in the autumn of that year. It was a wild, unimproved tract, which he bought of the Illinois Central Railroad Company, but he located thereon and made that his home until his removal to Watseka. Industry and enterprise are numbered among his chief characteristics, so that his land was soon broken and fenced, and the raw prairie was transformed into rich and fertile fields. He had purchased the one hundred and sixty acres in connection with his brother, but after a few years he bought the others interest, and has since again extended the boundaries of his farm by the purchase of an additional tract of one hundred and sixty acres adjoining. He now owns a half-section of valuable and highly improved land, which yields to him a golden tribute.
On the 2d of December, 1860, in this county, Mr. Brayton wedded Miss Mary Waters, a native of England, who spent the first sixteen years of her life in Liverpool, and then came to this country with her father, John Waters, who located in Ashkum Township. Nine children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Brayton, and the two oldest sons, Joseph and Daniel, now operate the home farm for their father; William is married and is engaged in farming; Clarissa is the wife of William Wilson, an agriculturist of this county; Maggie, Hubbard, Harvey, Alice and Ezekiel are still at home. Mr. Brayton purchased a residence property in Watseka, and with his wife and five children removed to the city in Februamy, 1891. The following year he was called upon to mourn the loss of his wife, who died on the 28th of August, and was buried in Fletcher Cemetery, in Iroquois County. She was a member of the Adventist Church, and a true Christian woman, whose lovable character won her the high regard of all. Her death was deeply mourned throughout the community, her loss being regretted by many friends as well as by her immediate family.
Mr. Brayton has led a busy and useful life. He began earning his own livelihood when a young man, and has since been dependent upon his own resources. Whatever success he has achieved is due to his own efforts. By his enterprise, business ability and good management, and the helpful assistance of his wife, he has acquired a handsome property, and his straightforward dealings have secured him the confidence of all. In politics, he was a Republican for a number of years, but is now identified with the Democratic party. The cause of education has ever found in him a warm friend, and while serving as a member of the School Board for twenty years, he has done effective service in its interests by securing competent teachers, and thereby insuring good schools. Mr. Brayton has been a resident of this county for thirty-six long years, and is known throughout its borders. He has witnessed much of its growth, and aided in its upbuilding. He is a man of unblemished character and sterling worth, who well merits the high respect in which he is held. For about two years he has now resided in Watseka, living a retired life in the enjoyment of that rest which be has so well earned and richly deserves. In December, 1891, he received a paralytic stroke, almost disabling his left side.
HAMILTON A. DEAN, who for almost a quarter of a century has resided in this county, now makes is home on section 14, Prairie Green Township. He is a native of Franklin County, Vt., born August 19, 1822, and is the youngest in a family of four children, three sons and a daughter. He has only one brother now living, Joseph D., a stone and brick mason, who resides in Muscatine, Iowa. The parents were Asa and Marie (Hazelton) Dean. The father was born in the Green Mountain State in 1794, and for some time engaged in harness-making in Burlington, Vt. He possessed special aptitude for mathematics and was known far and wide for his proficiency in that science. For many years he was a faithful member of the Congregational Church. His wife, who was also a native of Vermont and a member of the Congregational Church, died when our subject was six years of age. After the death of his first wife he married Mary Shattuck, by whom he had five children, two sons and three daughters. He died at the ripe old age of ninety-one.
Hamilton Dean spent his boyhood days in the State of his nativity, where he was reared as a farmer lad. His early education, acquired in the common schools, was supplemented by a course in the academy of Bakersfield, Vt. For a time he engaged in teaching, and after his emigration to Illinois was thus employed in Spring Creek, his salary being $18 per month. He was a successful instructor, becoming a teacher of recognized ability. After attaining his majority he worked for his father for one year, receiving $100 in compensation for his services. About 1845, he came to Illinois to visit his brother and sister in Spring Creek, and while here aided in the erection of the old Court House, which was burned down. He also purchased forty acres of raw prairie land at $1.25 per acre, and ten acres of timber-land for $10 per acre. This was located in Crete, Will County. He afterward sold that farm and at length purchased four hundred and forty acres of unimproved land in Iroquois County. There was no house upon it and not an acre had been placed under the plow. He transformed the barren prairie into rich and fertile fields which yielded to him abundant harvests, he bore all the experiences and hardships of pioneer life and has witnessed the entire development of the county. At the time of his arrival here, Hoopeston, Wellington and Cissna Park were not yet established, and Milford and Watseka were the trading-posts.
Mr. Dean has been twice married. Miss Harriet Strong, a native of Vermont became his wife October 12, 1849, and unto them were born two children: Ellen, wife of Herman Adams, a farmer and fruit-grower, of Traverse City, Mich.; and Mary, who is employed as a teacher in the city schools of Chicago. The mother of this family died March 12, 1854, and Mr. Dean was again married, on the 5th of December of that year, his second union being with Mrs. Mary Jane (Brown) Scofield. On the 10th of May, 1842, she had become the wife of Williston Scofield, a native of the Empire State, and unto them were born two sons, but both are now deceased. Mr. Scofield was called to his final rest February 10, 1853. Mr. and Mrs. Dean have one daughter, Jennie, who was educated in Hoopeston and is now the wife of James M. Homan, a resident farmer of Prairie Green Township.
Mrs. Dean was born in Chenango County, N. Y., and her girlhood days were spent in Tompkins County, that State. Her father was a native of Rhode Island and died at the age of seventy-eight years. Her mother was born in New York and died at the age of seventy-seven. Both parents were stanch adherents of the Congregational Church, in which her father served as Deacon for many years. In the family were six children, two sons and four daughters, of whom three are now living: Mrs. Dean is the eldest; Richard is a wealthy retired farmer, residing in Aurora, Ill.; Adeline E. is the widow of William Hughes.
In politics, Mr. Dean was an old-line Whig and cast his first vote for "Rough and Ready" Gen. Taylor. On the organization of the Republican party he espoused its principles, and has since been one of its warm advocates he has held the office of Road Commissioner, Supervisor, School Director, and has proved himself a useful and valued citizen. Himself and wife are faithful and consistent members of the Presbyterian Church of Wellington, and aided in the erection of the house of worship in Crete. They give liberally to charitable and benevolent interests, and their lives are well worthy of emulation. Mr. Dean now owns two hundred and eighty acres of fine land in Prairie Green Township, besides property in Hoopeston. He well deserves representation in this volume, and it is with pleasure that we present to our readers this record of his life.
CHRISTIAN TASCHER, a well-known agriculturist who owns and operates a farm on section 3, Danforth Township, is one of the many good citizens whom Germany has furnished to America. He was born in Baden on the 19th of November, 1835, and is the son of Andrew and Catherina (Ganchet) Tascher. Both parents were natives of Baden, where they spent their entire lives.
The subject of this sketch grew to the age of seventeen in his native land, attending the public schools up to the age of fourteen years. He then began learning the blacksmith's trade and worked at that while in Germany. In 1854, he emigrated to the United States, taking passage in a sailing-vessel called the "Isabella," which left Havre. They were fifty-four days in making the voyage, and arrived in New Orleans in April. From there he proceeded up the Mississippi to St. Louis, and from there went to Peoria, where he joined an older brother. He first obtained work in a brewery, but soon resumed his trade of blacksmithing, at which he worked for over a year. He decided to follow agricultural pursuits, and at that time hired out as a farm laborer for about two years. In 1862, he came to Iroquois County, in company with a Mr. Merkle, and rented land, which he farmed for a year. He had purchased a team in Peoria, and to that city he returned, where he carried on teaming for the next two years. He again came to Iroquois County and bought forty acres of land on section 3, where he now resides. This he has much improved and has erected a substantial residence, good barns and other buildings upon it. To his original purchase, which was made about the year 1868, he has added an adjoining forty acres, making eighty acres in one body. As his resources increased, he again purchased more real estate, buying an eighty-acre tract on section 34, Ashkum Township, one and a-half miles from his home farm. His is also fertile and well-improved land and has upon it good and substantial buildings. Commencing in the New World without any means, Mr. Tascher has by his own labor, enterprise and industry accumulated a valuable property and is today one of the most thrifty and prosperous farmers of this township. He has seen this county developed from a wilderness and a swamp to its present high state of cultivation and prosperity.
An important event in the life of Mr. Tascher occurred in Peoria, where his destiny was united with that of Miss Mary Hammerly, on the 18th of February, 1867. Mrs. Tascher was born in Wurtemberg, Germany, and was a daughter of Matthew Hammerly, who died in the Fatherland. She came to the United States with her mother when she was a child of eleven years, in company with her eight brothers and sisters. By the marriage of our subject and his wife eleven children have been born: Mary is the wife of Charles Bolz, of Chicago; Fred is a farmer residing near home; Louisa is the wife of Jacob Gasser and lives in Chicago; George, Lena, Anna, Grace, Matilda, Caroline, Carl and Frances.
Politically, Mr. Tascher affiliates with the Democratic party. He is a friend to the cause of education and has served as a member of the School Board for three years. He is widely and favorably known for his many qualities of worth, and during his long residence in this county has won the respect of all with whom he has come in contact.
AUGUST MUEHLENPFORDT, a prominent surgeon and druggist of Ashkum has been for nearly a quarter of a century a resident of this village. He was born in Brunswick, Germany, on the 16th of September, 1839. He received a thorough literary education in Greek, Hebrew, French, German and English. After completing his literary and scientific course, he decided to pursue the profession of medicine, and accordingly studied for that profession. For seven years he devoted himself to obtaining a thorough knowledge of the healing art, and took in addition a number of courses of supplementary lectures. Completing his most thorough course of study, he received his diploma in 1865. For about one year he engaged in practice in his native land, and at the expiration of that time decided that the New World afforded better opportunities to one of his profession, and therefore he emigrated to New York, and from there came to Illinois. As he had some friends and acquaintances in Peotone, he joined them, and there started in practice. In 1868, Dr. Muehlenpfordt came to Ashkum, where he was the first doctor of the place. He soon built up an extensive practice, and as he was the only physician in this section he was often obliged to drive many miles to his patients. He has often driven seventy-five miles in one day. His patients were scattered far and wide for miles in different directions. Soon after locating in Ashkum, our subject engaged in the drug business, and both this and his practice has been most successful. He was one of the most popular and most widely-known doctors in the county. Having commenced at the bottom round of the ladder, both financially and professionally, he has now attained both fame and fortune. He has accumulated a nice property, a fine business and a good home.
On the 18th of November, 1868, Dr. Muehlenpfordt was married to Miss Henrietta Kruse, who was born in Germany, and came to this country when a child of eleven years. Her father died in the Fatherland when she was but four years of age, and she emigrated to the United States with her mother and stepfather. To the Doctor and his wife five children have been born: August, who is a clerk in Ashkum; Emma, Adele, Frieda, and Carl, who are still at home.
The Doctor and Mrs. Muehlenpfordt are consistent members of the Congregational Church, of Ashkum. He is a stanch supporter of the Democracy, and casts his ballot in favor of the nominees of that party. He has held several local official positions of trust and honor, discharging the duties of the offices to the satisfaction of his constituents. He is a very intelligent and well-read man, and in addition to his extensive knowledge of the languages he keeps well posted on all the scientific, political and moral subjects before the people. He has a wide circle of friends and acquaintances whom he delights to entertain in his pleasant and hospitable home.
HENRY HERR, a representative farmer of Danforth Township, lives on section 13. His birth occurred on the 27th of January, 1853, in Woodford County, Ill. The father, John Herr, was a native of Pennsylvania, where he grew to manhood and married Mary Kindig, also of Pennsylvanian birth. After his marriage he removed West to Illinois, and settled in Woodford County when it was a wilderness. There he cleared a farm and reared his family. He afterward removed to Iroquois County, residing with some of his children during the latter years of his life. He passed away at then residence of his two sons, who were in partnership, in February, 1891, at the age of sixty-eight years. He was twice married, his first wife having died while he was in the army, and when our subject was a lad of nine years. He was a patriot and soldier, and served four years for the Union cause. Henry Herr is the fourth in order of birth in a family of five sons and three daughters, all living but one daughter, who died in August, 1892, and who was an invalid for fifteen years. He had two brothers who are farmers of Danforth Township, Joseph and Christian.
The subject of this sketch grew to manhood on his father's farm, and in early life had limited school advantages, but after arriving at mature years, he received a good business education. He early started to make his own way in the world, and, when a lad of fifteen, came to Iroquois County, and worked at farm labor for a number of years. In 1880 he bought a farm of eighty acres, which was but slightly improved. On this he has built fences, and has thoroughly tiled and well cultivated the property. He is now completing a good and substantial residence, and has good barns and farm buildings. On his place may be found the latest improved machinery, a windmill, and all appliances, for carrying on a model farm and dairy. His property is located about three miles from Danforth and four miles from Gilman, and is considered a valuable and desirable farm. On every hand are seen the care and cultivation of the owner, ornamental trees and shrubs lending their beauty to the scene. He has a large orchard, which produces a variety of fruit.
On the 25th of January, 1882, Mr. Herr led to the marriage altar Miss Emma Oster, a native of Tazewell County, this State. When a child or eight years he came with her parents to Iroquois County, and was here reared to womanhood. Her father, Louis Oster, is one of the substantial farmers of this county. He is of French descent, and one of the oldest settlers of Danforth Township.
For nearly a quarter of a century Mr. Herr has been identified with the interests of this section, and has always been considered a man of integrity well-deserving of confidence. He is a self-made man, having commenced life without a dollar, and has accumulated a large and valuable property by his own labor and well-directed efforts, and by the help and energy of his wife. His pleasant home is the abode of hospitality, and the many friends he has made during his long residence in the county delight to congregate there. His estimable wife makes a charming hostess, and, like her husband, has a large circle of friends and acquaintances. Mr. Herr is a man of wide reading and information, and is posted on all the leading questions of the day. He has shown himself a man of marked business enterprise and ability, and his wise investments have been rewarded with success. No worthy person was ever turned from his door who asked for a night's lodging.
Mr. and Mrs. Frey
MATTHIAS FREY was one of the many good citizens whom Germany has furnished Iroquois County. He was born in Meszkirch, Baden, on the 29th of October, 1842. He grew up as a farmer boy, and received his education in his native land. In 1866, he came with his parents to the United States and located at Lacon, Marshall County, Ill. He was the second of thirteen children, and she was the eldest son it fell to his lot to work hard from childhood. His father was poor man when he came to this country, but, with the help of his son, acquired considerable land. Among the tracts he owned was an eighty -acre piece of property near Gilman. To this his son Matthias came in 1871 for the purpose of improving it and converting it into a farm. Having purchased his father's interest in the land, he put it under a good state of cultivation, erected comfortable buildings, and in course of time added to it one hundred and sixty acres. He was a strong advocate of tiling, and had worked very hard to get his farm thoroughly drained. It seemed that he was just prepared to enjoy the fruits of his many years of toil when he was called to his final rest.
In Gilman Mr. Frey had married on the 7th of October, 1871, Caroline, daughter of David and Christina (Belgert) Melis. Mr. Melis emigrated with his family from Germany about the year 1855, and died in New York soon after his arrival. His widow married John Ossman, and subsequently removed to Marshall County, Ill., but in 1871 came to Iroquois County. Mr. and Mrs. Ossman now live in Onarga. Mrs. Frey was born in Prussia, Germany, and is one of two children. Her brother, Oscar, is a farmer of Onarga Township. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Frey were born seven children: Lottie R., Hattie M., Mary A., William H., Oscar M., Henry J. and Carl F.
Politically, Mr. Frey was a member of the Democratic party, and in religious faith was a catholic. He died April 5, 1890, a man well respected in this community. At the death of her husband, Mrs. Frey was left with her large family and with $5,000 of indebtedness on the farm, for, as before stated, Mr. Frey put everything he could make into tiling the land. With rare business ability and the faithful assistance of her children, she is meeting every obligation. She is a member of the Evangelical Church, and is a lady who richly merits the esteem in which she is held.
JOHN GRAY was numbered among the honored pioneers of Iroquois County, and with the history of this community he was prominently identified in an early day. His life record is as follows: He was born in Warren County, Ohio, near Waynesville, October 10, 1816. His father, William Gray, was a native of Virginia. His mother, who bore the maiden name of Mary Cleaver, was born in Pennsylvania. Their marriage was celebrated in Ohio and they became the parents of a large family of children. In 1835, they emigrated to Iroquois County, Ill., locating in Milford Township, in the northern part of the present site of Milford village.
Our subject spent the days of his boyhood and youth under the parental roof and at the age of twenty years came with his parents to this county. He resided with them upon the home farm and aided his father in its cultivation until 1838, when he was united in marriage within Miss Rebecca Stanley, who was born November 11, 1817, and is a daughter of Anthony and Hannah Stanley, who came to this county in 1830 and are numbered among its earliest settlers. Her father was born in North Carolina and her mother was a native of the Keystone State. He entered a tract of one hundred and sixty acres of land from time Government, on which the present town of Milford stands.
Unto Mr. and Mrs. Gray was born a family of thirteen children, five of whom arc yet living: Ann, born April 11,1839; Louisa, November 3, 1840; Mary H., December 30, 1841; Elizabeth and Sarah (twins), October 10, 1843; Martha G., October 14, 1845; Rebecca Jane, April 16, 1847; Florence, April 30, 1849; William, September 12, 1851; John Chalmer, September 19, 1855; Walter M., February 14, 1856; Alice, July 20, 1861; and Olive, April 3,1865. Mary became the wife of George Roberts on the 30th of March, 1868. They had four children, two of whom are now living, and her death occurred August 26, 1891. Elizabeth was married, March 3, 1865, to James R. Caldwell. Unto them were born five children, three of whom are yet living, and their home is now in Hoopeston. Martha D. became the wife of Stephen Jones, September 16, 1872, and by them union have been born four sons, three yet living. They reside on a farm four miles east of Milford. William A. was married, Januamy 14, 1873, to Clara Jolly, by whom he hiss had four children, two yet living. Their home is in Los Angeles, Cal. Walter H. was married, October 18,1882, to Alderet Northrup, and died September 5, 1885. Alice became the wife of Willard Axtell, April 14, 1885, and with their two children, a son and daughter, they reside in Lincoln, Neb.
As before stated, Mr. and Mrs. Gray were numbered among the earliest settlers of Iroquois County. When they located here the Indians were far more numerous than the white settlers, the country was almost an undeveloped wilderness and the work of progress and civilization seemed scarcely begun. Mr. Gray aided largely in the upbuilding and advancement of the community and was ever one of its honored and prominent pioneers. In politics, he was a supporter of Republican principles. He passed away in 1876 and the entire community mourned the loss of this valued citizen. His wife is now the oldest settler in the township. She is a most estimable lady and by her excellencies of character has won many friends.
ALBERT W. NEWLIN, the popular proprietor of the Park House, of Cissna Park and one of the representative citizens of that place, comes of a family of Irish origin, but for eight generations his ancestors have resided in this county. It was in 1682 that they braved the dangers of an ocean voyage and settled near Philadelphia, not far from where William Penn had located.
The grandfather of our subject, Joshua Newlin, removed from North Carolina to Indiana in 1828, locating in Park County, which was then a wild and almost unsettled region. He built a mud shanty underneath a tree and made it his home until he could erect a log cabin. He there cleared the land of timber and developed a farm, upon which he and his wife spent their remaining days. The family were adherents of the faith of the Society of Friends. The father of our subject, Calvin Newlin, was born in North Carolina, and was about twelve years of age when his parents removed to Indiana. He there engaged in farming and also learned the trade of a tanner, at which he worked for some years. In 1864, he came to Iroquois County, locating in Artesia Township, where he secured a tract of raw prairie land, comprising one hundred and sixty acres. Upon it was a little home and a mud shed for the stock. He there improved a good farm, upon which he resided for some time, but before his death he sold and removed to Gilman, and later lived on a farm in Ash Grove Township. Subsequently he purchased a part of the old homestead, where himself and wife spent their last days. His death occurred at the age of sixty-five years. Mrs. Newlin, who bore the maiden name of Rebecca Hadley, was a native of North Carolina, but her people were pioneer settlers of Indiana and her marriage was celebrated in Parke County.
Unto Mr. and Mrs. Newlin were born the following children: Emily, wife of Levi Carter, of Howard County, Ind.; Samuel H., who during the late war was a member of the Twenty-first Indiana Regiment, died, in this county; Mrs. Virena Rogers resides in Kansas; Achsah, widow of J. T. Whitted, resides in Gilman; Allen is a resident farmer of Artesia Township; Alfred, twin brother of our subject, resides in Howard County, Ind.; Eli is living in Cissna Park; Phœbe is the wife of J. W. Michaels, of Crawford County, Kan.; Ira is deceased; and Orlando is living in Kokomo, Ind., employed in a plate-glass factory. The father of this family was a stanch Republican in politics and was strongly opposed to the institution of slavery himself and wife were both prominent members of the Friends' Church and were highly respected people.
Albert W. Newlin, our subject, was born in Park County, Ind., May 27, 1849, and was a lad of fourteen years when his parents came to this county. He was early inured to the hard labors of the farm, for as soon as old enough to handle the plow he began work in the fields. Under the parental roof he remained until twenty-two years of age, when his marriage with Miss Mary Neeld was celebrated. The lady was a daughter of G. H. Neeld, for whom the Grand Army Post of Cissna Park was named. Their union was celebrated April 6, 1871. The wife died of consumption March 19, 1876, leaving one son, Harley, an intelligent and well-educated young man, who was born September 1, 1873, and resides within our subject. On the 9th of March, 1882, Mr. Newlin was again married, Miss Ella Betts, of Shelby County, Ill., becoming his wife. They have one daughter, Myrtle Edna, born December 18, 1883.
Mr. Newlin is a member of the Knights of Pythias Lodge, and in his political affiliations has been a stalwart Republican, having cast his first Presidential vote for Gen. Grant. He successfully carried on farming for a number of years after coming to this County, but in 1888 abandoned the occupation to which he was reared and removed to Cissna Park. For two years he engaged in boring wells, and since 1890 has been the owner and proprietor of the Park House. It is a good hotel, well fitted up and tastefully furnished, and the landlord is a genial, pleasant man who makes friends of all his guests. The hotel is supplied within all modern conveniences, and the courteous treatment of Mr. Newlin to his patrons has won him favor with the traveling public and secured him an excellent patronage. He also owns and runs the Central Livery Barn. He is regarded as one of the leading citizens of this community.