Old Courthouse Museum
103 West Cherry Street
Watseka, IL 60970-1524
JOHN S. SHELDON, who is engaged in the banking business in Loda, and is also a dealer in real estate and farm loans, well deserves representation in this volume, for he is one of the honored pioneers of the county. The Sheldon family located in the county more than a third of a century ago, and our subject has experienced many of the hardships and trials incident to life on the frontier. He was born in Ashtabula County, near Trumbull, Ohio, September 15, 1848, and is a son of John Austin and Esther M. (Rogers) Sheldon. The parents were both natives of New York, the father born near Cooperstown, and the mother near Malone, in Franklin County. They became the parents of a family of eight children, as follows: George Edward, John S., Fidelia E., Laura H., Clara R., Ruth A., Fannie A., and James H.
In January, 1858, John Austin Sheldon, accompanied by his family, left Ohio and came to Illinois, locating about seven miles west of Chebanse, in Iroquois County, on a farm of four hundred and eighty acres, where he resided for about four years. He then removed to Clifton in 1862, and purchased a farm, but sold it the same season. The following year he purchased a tract of one hundred and forty acres of land, a mile and a?half west of Plato, where he made his home until called to his final rest on Thanksgiving Day of 1866. His death resulted from injuries sustained by falling from a scaffold. Mrs. Sheldon is still living, and makes her home among her children, spending a considerable portion of her time with her son, John S., in Loda.
The subject of this sketch was a lad of nine years when he came with his parents to this county. The summer of 1858 he herded cattle on the prairies west of Chebanse, near Milks Grove, and for many years continued to be thus employed. The family lived in true pioneer style. Mr. Sheldon has seen his father shoot wolves from his bedroom window. The early educational advantages of our subject were very limited. He would study his lessons while herding cattle, and if he could drive the herd near enough to the schoolhouse, he would go in and recite. In this way he became familiar with the common English branches, but by subsequent reading, observation scud business experience, he has become a well?informed man. In 1862, when his father removed to Clifton be took a herd of over three hundred cattle, of which he had charge for five months. The pen into which the cattle were yarded at night was about a mile and a?half west of the depot, and they were herded over a territory extending west seventeen miles, which was entirely destitute of improvement. We thus see that the boyhood days of our subject were not devoted to play, but by his early labors he developed a self-reliance and force of character which have proved of incalculable benefit to him in later years.
On the 15th of October, 1885, Mr. Sheldon wedded Miss Phebe R. Hathaway, daughter of Paul S. and Mary (Benson) Hathaway, residents of New Bedford, Mass. Three children grace their union, two sons and a daughter: Phebe H., John S., Jr., and Paul S. They have a pleasant and comfortable home in Loda, which is the abode of hospitality.
On the 22d of August, 1878, Mr. Sheldon came to Loda. The five preceding years had been spent in Watseka, in the abstract office of C. F. McNeill. When he came to Loda he entered the employ of Hon. A. Goodell, who was engaged in the banking, real?estate and loan business, and remained in his employ until the 1st of January, 1887, when he established business for himself in the same line. He has been successful, and has won a well?deserved competence. He owns some good business blocks in Loda, in addition to the building in which he is now doing business. He built the first brick building in Loda, in company with E. E. Slocum, one of the old settlers. It was erected in 1887, and on the 28th of October, 1891, was completely destroyed by fire, except the walls and vault, but this did not cause Mr. Sheldon to suspend business operations, except for about two hours, as he found his vault intact and his papers and money in a good condition. He is a man of indomitable will and perseverance, and whatever he undertakes he carries forward to a successful completion. In addition to his other property he also owns a one hundred and sixty acre farm in Indiana.
In politics, Mr. Sheldon is a Republican, an inflexible adherent of the principles of that party. He has served as Village Trustee and in other public offices of trust, and is now School Treasurer. His public duties are ever discharged with promptness and fidelity, and he is alike true to every private trust. With the Congregational Church he holds membership. Socially, he belongs to Onarga Lodge No. 208, I. O. O. F., having been a member for twenty?two years.
ALVAN L. PEARCE, who owns one of the model farms of Concord Township, situated on section 6, is one of the worthy citizens that Indiana has furnished this county. He was born in Warren County, on the 9th of September, 1835. His grandfather, Thomas Pearce, was a native of Fleeting County, Ky., and was one of the heroes of the Revolutionary War. Andrew Pearce, the father of our subject, was a native of Champaign County, Ohio, born in 1794. He served in the War of 1812, and in recognition of his services drew a pension and received a land warrant, which he located in Prairie Green Township, this county. He married Miss Melinda Lewis, who was born and reared in the same locality as her husband. Soon after their marriage they removed to Indiana, where Mr. Pearce engaged in farming. His death occurred in Warren County, at the ripe old age of eighty?nine years. Nine children were born of the first marriage, seven of whore are still living. After the mother's death, Mr. Pearce was again married, and of the second family there is one surviving child.
Our subject was the fifth in order of birth. He was reared to manhood in the county of his nativity, and in the district schools of the neighborhood was educated. His mother died when he was a lad of twelve years. On attaining his majority, he started out, in life for himself, operating a rented farm. He was married soon afterward near Attics, Ind., to Miss Esther Armstrong, who was born in Arkansas, but when she was a year old, her parents returned to Indiana, and she grew to womanhood in Warren County, on a farm adjoining that on which Mr. Pearce spent his boyhood and youth. Their wedding was celebrated on the 27th of August, 1857.
In 1859 Mr. Pearce emigrated with his family to this county; renting land near Milford, where he resided until 1865, when be removed to his present home, having purchased forty acres of wild land at $15 per acre. Upon it was a small cabin, but in 1872 it was replaced by the present substantial residence. His next purchase of land was made in 1866, and consisted of forty acres at $3.50 per acre. In 1869 he bought a similar tract for $700; in 1871 he purchased forty acres at $20 per acre; in 1875 he bought sixty acres at $10; in 1875, sixty acres at $25 per acre; and in 1877 a tract of eighty acres at $27. At his low estimate his land is now worth $50 per acre, and his extensive farm is one of the finest in the county. Upon it are good fences, a fine bearing orchard, well-trimmed hedges, a windmill, the latest improved machinery, all necessary buildings and all modern accessories. The place seems complete in all its appointments, and the owner is regarded as one of the progressive and prosperous agriculturists of the community.
Unto Mr. and Mrs. Pearce have been born five children, three of whom are now living. Fannie died in this county at the age of fourteen, and lies buried in Prairie Dell Cemetery; N. S., born in Milford Township, September 8, 1862, was married in Kensington, Ill., February 10, 1892, to Miss Etta Barriball, and resides on the home farm; Rosalie, born in Milford Township, February 5, 1865, became the wife of Charles Shaw, a farmer of Martinton Township, December 17, 1890; Dee died March 3, 1892, at the age of twenty years, and her remains were interred in Prairie Dell Cemetery; Arthur, born November 30, 1872, is yet at home. Mr. Pearce has given his children good educational advantages, thus fitting them for the practical and responsible duties of life. Two have been students in the Normal College of Valparaiso, Ind.; and Arthur, who was there graduated in music, is now a teacher of that art.
Mr. Pearce attained his majority a few days before the Presidential election of 1856, and cast his first vote for James Buchanan. He has since supported the Democratic party, except on one or two occasions when he voted the Prohibition ticket. With the exception of three years, he has been School Director since coming to this county, and was Supervisor for four terms. In 1888 he was called upon to mourn the loss of his wife, who died on the 15th of April, and was laid to rest in Prairie Dell Cemetery. She was a consistent member of the Christian Church, to which Mr. Pearce and his children also belong. He has been a member since 1872, is now serving as Elder, and for three years has served as Superintendent of the Sunday?school. He is a charitable and benevolent man, and a friend to all educational, social and moral interests. The community finds in him a valued citizen, public?spirited and progressive, and his sterling worth has won him a large circle of friends.
CHARLES SHERMAN, an honored pioneer of Iroquois County, now residing in Watseka, located in Bunkum on the 10th of May, 1843, and has since made his home in this locality. He has been prominently identified with he early history of the county in many ways. He was born in Weathersfield, Windsor County, Vt., February 24, 1816, and comes of an old New England family. His paternal grandfather, Samuel Sherman, was a native of Connecticut. His father, Samuel Sherman, Jr., was born in Windsor County, and throughout the greater part of his life followed the occupation of farming. He married Abigail Squires, a native of the same county. Her death occurred in Vermont in December, 1856. Mr. Sherman long survived his wife and died while visiting in Wisconsin, at the age of seventy-five years.
The subject of this sketch was reared in the usual manner of farmer lads, and the common schools afforded him his educational privileges. When twenty years of age he bade good?bye to the Green Mountain State and emigrated Westward, locating in Milwaukee, Wis., on the 26th of October, 1836. After a year spent at that place he removed to Chicago and was foreman on the Canal for a year. He then engaged in the grocery business at that place, and in 1839 he entered from the Government half a section of land, upon which the city of Evanston is now built. On leaving Chicago, he removed to Bunkum, and, as before stated, arrived in that place on the 10th of May, 1843. Opening a general store, he embarked in merchandising, and to that business devoted his energies for some time.
Mr. Sherman was there married on the 7th of December, 1844, to Miss Nancy Hoyt, a native of Butler County, Ohio, and a daughter of Amos Hoyt. In 1837, she came to Iroquois County with her parents, who are numbered among its earliest settlers. They located near Bunkum and kept the first hotel in that place. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Sherman were born six children, three of whom are yet living: Eva, wife of Judge Moses Euans, of Watseka Charles, who married Miss Eva Blue, and resides on his father's farm of four hundred acres in Belmont Township, this county; and Nellie, who is at home. The other three died in childhood.
In politics, Mr. Sherman is identified with the Democratic party. He continued to reside in Bunkum until 1861, when he removed to Watseka and became its first Mayor. He has also held other official positions. He came to Iroquois County a young man in very limited circumstances, but by good business ability, perseverance, enterprise and good management, he has acquired a handsome competence, which now enables him to live a retired life and rest in the enjoyment of the fruits of his former toil. He owns considerable land, including four hundred acres in Belmont Township and a valuable tract of sixty-five acres within the corporation limits of Watseka. He is one of the honored pioneers of the county, has witnessed its entire growth and has aided in its development and upbuilding. His friends throughout the community are many and he is held in the highest esteem by all.
JOHN L. CAVENEY, who is now living a retired life on section 30, Iroquois Township, is one of the extensive land?owners of the county. It is with pleasure that we present to our readers the life record of the gentleman whose name heads this sketch. He is one of the pioneers of Illinois, and for nearly twenty years has been one of the enterprising and substantial farmers of this community. A native of the Empire State, he was born in the city of Auburn November 24, 1820, and is the third in order of birth in a family of three sons and two daughters. His father, Lawrence Caveney, was a native of Ireland, and when a young man emigrated to the New World. He married Hopy Treat, who wad born in Connecticut and came of one of the prominent early families of that State.
After his marriage, Lawrence Caveney resided four years in Auburn, and then removed to Monroe County, N. Y., where he was engaged in farming. He there reared his family and spent the remainder of his life. Both parents died in that county. Of their children, Mary Ann grew to mature years, but is now deceased; Charles T. died in infancy; John L. is the next younger; Charles is a resident farmer of Monroe County, N. Y.; and Celia is the widow of Reuben Mother and resides in Michigan.
The subject of this sketch grew to man's estate in Monroe County, N. Y., spending his youth upon a farm. He had the advantage of a very good common?school education, supplemented by about a year's study at the Brockport Institute. He then learned the carpenter's trade, and for a few years followed that occupation in the East but believing the rapidly growing West furnished better opportunities for young men, he emigrated to Illinois in 1846, locating in Kendall County where be engages in carpenter work, which he carried on for about twenty years. During this time, however, he purchased a tract of raw land and opened up a farm, which he continued to operate for some time. In 1858, he sold the farm, and, removing to Iowa, purchased a tract of five hundred acres of land in Marshall County, where he spent two yearn. He then returned to Kendall County, bought, back the old farm, and there carried on agricultural pursuits until 1874. That year witnessed his arrival in Iroquois County and saw him located on his present farm, where he now resides. This place he had purchased, however, in 1869.
In Kendall County, Ill., in 1849, Mr. Caveney was united in marriage with Miss Esther C. Lincoln, a native of Chautauqua County, N. Y., who in her girlhood came with her father, Jedediah Lincoln, one of the honored pioneers of Kendall County. Four children were born of this union, but the eldest, Charles A., died in his third year; Celia is the wife of Edward Haroun, who is engaged in business to Watseka, and they have a family of five children; Mary is the wife of William Leonard, a resident of Washington; and Frank is an enterprising farmer, who operates the old homestead. He married Sophia Muller, of this county. He is a man of good education and business ability, and he and his estimable wife are held in high esteem by their many friends throughout the community. The mother of this family was called to her final rest in 1885. For thirty-six years she was a true and faithful wife and helpmate to her husband. She possessed many noble traits of character, and her death was deeply regretted by all who knew her.
On coming to this county, Mr. Caveney, in connection with the home farm, purchased a half-section of land on section 10, Ash Grove Township. He has both farms well tiled and improved and under a high state of cultivation. His possessions aggregate five hundred acres of valuable land, which yields to him a golden tribute in return for his care and cultivation. Upon the home farm is the residence, a pleasant and substantial dwelling; the bares and outbuildings are models of convenience, and he also has a food bearing orchard. He commenced life for himself a poor man, but has by his own industry, enterprise and labor accumulated a large property, including two valuable farms and a good home, and is now one of the thrifty and substantial agriculturists of the county.
Mr. Caveney cast his first Presidential vote for James K. Polk, and in early life was a Jacksonian Democrat, but has long been connected with the Republican party, with which he now affiliates. He has never been an aspirant for office, but has held a number of official positions of honor and trust. He is a friend to education and a firm believer in the public?school system, and does all in his power for the advancement of schools in the community. For almost half a century be has been a resident of Illinois, and is widely and favorably known in this and adjoining counties. He has helped to make Iroquois County what it is to?day, and ever bears his part in all public works. He is a man of upright character and sterling worth, who has won the confidence and respect of all with whom he has been brought in contact.
SPOTSWOOD AUGUSTINE WASHINGTON, a lineal descendant of the great Washington family that gave to America the greatest historic character in its annals, was a pioneer lawyer of Iroquois County and a resident of Old Middleport in 1846, then the county seat. The subject of this sketch was born in Jefferson County, Va., on the 17th of July, 1811, and was a son of Bushrod, Jr., and Henrietta (Spotswood) Washington, who were also natives of the Old Dominion. He was a grandson of Col. William Augustine Washington. The last?named was the son of Lawrence, a half-brother of Gen. George Washington.
Our subject was reared in his native State and received a thorough classical education. At thirteen years of age, he entered the United States Navy, where he served three years, and then returned home, completing his education under private tutors. He took up surveying, and followed it for several years. In 1837, he went to the then Territory of Michigan, and in Kalamazoo, on the 15th of April, 1837, was united in marriage with Miss Evaline Fletcher, a daughter of Benjamin Fletcher. The lady was born in Romney, Hampshire County, Va. Mr. Washington remained in Michigan until 1843, engaged in surveying and teaching school. He then removed to Kankakee County, Ill., to Bourbonnais Grove, where he spent two years, and then came to Iroquois County, settling at Middleport, then the county seat. He had studied law while in Kankakee County under James Fletcher, and was admitted to the Bar in 1848. He at once entered upon the practice of this profession at Middleport, which he continued up to the time of the breaking out of the late war.
True to the patriotic instincts of his family, Mr. Washington enlisted in the War for the Union. He is said to have been the first enlisted soldier from Iroquois County. At that time, he was nearly fifty years of age, and his hair was already turning gray. In order to avoid being rejected on account of age, he dyed his hair and whiskers black. He entered the volunteer service of the United States as a private of Company I, Twentieth Illinois Infantry, and after eighteen months of active service he was discharged on account of physical disability. On his return from the war, he went to Baltimore, where he recovered his health, and then went back to Illinois and helped to recruit the One Hundred and Thirteenth Regiment, in which he enlisted as a private, but was assigned to duty as Company Clerk. At the expiration of thirteen months, he received a final discharge on account of ill?health. His death occurred August 26, 1865, resulting from the exposure and hardships of army life.
Mr. Washington was a Democrat in politics, and organized the Democratic party in Iroquois County. In early life he was Superintendent of Schools. He was a member of the Episcopal Church, the church to which his illustrious ancestors belonged in Colonial times. The private official seal of Gen. George Washington, the one that sealed the fate of Maj. Andre, was devised in the will of Gen. Washington to the eldest male heir bearing the family name. It accordingly became the property of Lawrence, half?brother of the General, and by direct line of inheritance fell to Col. William A., then to Bushrod, Jr., later to Spotswood A., and is now the property of Bushrod D., of Chicago. On the face is inscribed the motto, "Exitus acta proba" (the event justifies the deed), encircled by a wreath, also a dove resting on a coronet cut in white agate. During the war Spotswood A. Washington, of this sketch, made five thousand impressions of the seal in wax, and presented them to the Ladies' Aid Society of Chicago, to be sold for the benefit of sick and wounded soldiers in hospitals.
Six children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Washington. Two died at birth, and four lived to mature years. Bushrod W., the eldest surviving child, who was born. September 20, 1841, married Miss Martha McRae, of Macon, Ga., and resides in Chicago, where he is a painter and decorator; James F., who was born in Will County, Ill., July 4, 1846, married Miss Caroline McRae, daughter of Daniel M. McRae. The lady was born in Newton County, Mo. They have one child, a daughter, Ellen. James is a member of the Masonic fraternity, Knights of Pythias and Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and is a painter by trade. William, the youngest son, was born July 26, 1849, and married Louisa Hooker and they live in Watseka. Estella, the youngest of the family, was born September 27, 1852, became the wife of Delbert Kice and died February 18, 1892. The two elder sons served in the war. Bushrod enlisted in April, 1861, and served in the First Illinois Light Artillery. He was in the service four years and nineteen days, and was First Sergeant when mustered out. James was a member of Company B, One Hundred and Thirty?fourth Illinois Infantry. He enlisted in May, 1863, and served one year.
Mrs. Washington, who was a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, died December 28, 1877. Spotswood A. Washington was a Royal Arch Mason, and joined that order in 1852. He was a man of fine mental attainments, a great linguist and a thorough scholar.
JAMES COLMAN, one of the highly respected citizens of Ridgeland Township, residing on section 23, is a native of the Pine Tree State. He was born in York County on the 26th of April, 1815, in the same house where his mother and grandmother was born. He is a son of Enoch and Susan (Patton) Colman, whose family numbered the following children: Sarah; Mary; Lucy, twin sister of Mary, now deceased; Anna, also deceased; James, whose name heads this sketch; Susan, and Enoch, who is living on the old homestead in Maine. The father of this family was a carpenter by trade and followed that occupation during the greater part of his life. He died on the 12th of November, 1830. His wife died in 1882, having reached the advanced age of eighty?six years. Both were members of the Methodist Church and were highly respected citizens.
James Colman was reared to manhood on his father's farm in the State of his nativity and was early inured to hard labor, in the days when farming was mostly done with the hoe. His educational privileges were quite limited, but by subsequent reading, experience and observation, he has become a well?informed man. His library is an extensive one, containing works on history and the leading theological works of the Baptist, Presbyterian, Congregational and Methodist Churches. After his father's death, he took charge of the farm and engaged in its operation until 1835, when he left Maine and went to Lowell, Mass. He there worked at the carpenter's trade during his residence of about ten months. He then returned home, where he remained until the following spring, when he went to Boston, Mass., where he was located during the greater part of three years. Again he worked at the carpenter's trade, and by his industry, perseverance and economy accumulated a small capital. This was in 1839. He then determined to attend the Maine Wesleyan Seminary, located at Kent's Hill, Me., the first institution of learning of the Methodist Episcopal Church in that State. He there pursued his studies two years, preparing himself for the ministry, after which he became a local preacher. In 1841, he left the Pine Tree State and started Westward, traveling until he arrived at Greencastle, Ind., where he made a location. His worldly possessions at that time consisted of $16. He there began working at his trade of carpentering, which he followed for a time, and afterward attended Asbury, now De Pauw, University for two terms. He then joined the Conference, traveling up and down the Wabash River from Eugene to Clinton until 1847.
It was in that year that Mr. Colman came to Illinois. He made his first location in Georgetown, near Danville, where he remained for one and one?half years, working at his trade and preaching. In 1850, he came to Iroquois County, locating in Pigeon Grove Township, where he purchased forty acres of land upon the present site of Cissna Park. He also entered a tract of forty acres from the Government. A short time afterward, he bought two hundred acres of Government land in Ash Grove Township and made his home thereon until the year 1855, when he joined again the traveling connection under John Flowers, continuing with the same for about six years. Having to foreclose a mortgage on his farm in Ash Grove Township, which he had sold on re?entering the ministry, he returned to the farm and engaged in its cultivation and development until 1872, when he removed to Ridgeland Township, having purchased one hundred and thirty acres of land on section 23. Upon this farm he has since made his home, and its neat appearance indicates his careful supervision.
November 16, 1850, Mr. Colman was married to Miss Deborah Ann Keath, who was born in Bourbon County, Ky., April 17, 1826. She is a daughter of the Rev. Joseph Keath, a native of Kentucky. He married Delilah Case, of the same state. In 1828, they emigrated to Indiana, where its wife died in early life. He spent his last days in Iroquois County, where he died in his eightieth year. For more than fifty years be was a local minister in the Methodist Episcopal Church. The following children graced their union, but Joseph, their first?born, died in infancy; Hannah F. and Mary L. are also deceased; Martha A. is the wife of T. E. McQueen; Sarah E. is successfully engaged in school teaching; Susan is the wife of William Hadley; James E. and Emily J. are both deceased.
In his political affiliations, Mr. Colman was a Free?soiler and an ultra?Abolitionist and is now a Prohibitionist. He has long been an ardent advocate of temperance principles and now supports that party which embodies his views on the subject. He was the organizer of the Methodist Episcopal Church of Del Rey, and has ever been prominent in church work, earnestly laboring in the Master's vineyard for the upbuilding of His cause. His honorable, upright life is well worthy of emulation and has won him the confidence and the high esteem of many friends and acquaintances throughout the community.
CHARLES SHERMAN, JR., a prominent farmer of Belmont Township, residing on section 25, has the donor of being a native of this county. He was born in Bunkum on the 13th of July, 1855, and is a son of Charles and Nancy (White) Sherman, whose sketch will be found on another page.
Our subject spent the first six years of his life in Bunkum, and then removed to Watseka with his parents, where he was reared to manhood. His education was acquired in the public schools and in Woodstock County, Ontario, and he also took a commercial course in Hamilton. His first business venture was as a lumber dealer. He carried on operations in that line in Sheldon for about three years, after which he went to Kansas, in 1878 purchased three hundred and twenty acres of land and began farming. The year 1880 witnessed his return to Illinois, when he settled upon his present farm, comprising four hundred acres of valuable land. It has now been his home for twelve years, and in this period he has made it one of the model farms of the community. The land is under a high state of cultivation, and it is supplied with all necessary improvements.
Mr. Sherman was married in Kansas, in 1879, to Miss Eva Blue, a native of Iowa, and a daughter of William and Clara Blue. Her father is now deceased, but her mother yet resides in Kansas. One child has been born to their union, Earl, born July 11, 1884. Mr. and Mrs. Sherman are prominent citizens of the community, and in social circles they rank high.
Socially, our subject is a member of the Odd Fellows' Society of Woodland, and has filled all of its offices. He cast his first Presidential vote for Samuel J. Tilden, and has since been a stalwart supporter of the principles of the Democratic party. He takes an active part in all that tends to upbuild Democracy and insure its success, and has many times been a delegate to the county, Congressional and State conventions. With the exception of the two years spent in Kansas, Mr. Sherman has known no other home than Iroquois County. He is a worthy representative of an honored pioneer family, and is himself numbered among the early settlers. He is recognized as an intelligent, progressive and enterprising young man, and with pleasure we present to our readers his life record.
MILTON ANDERSON, a prominent and influential citizen of Sheldon. A noted historian has said that the history of a country is best told in the lives of its citizens, and this is true, for they have been its builders. Mr. Anderson of this sketch was born in Jefferson County, Ind., March 23, 1838. His grandfather, William G. Anderson, was born near Carlisle, Pa., in June, 1788, and married Anna Whittaker, who was born at Ft. Du Quesne, now Pittsburg, January 30, 1787. The parents of our subject were Elijah W. and Lucinda (Loft) Anderson. The father was born in Shelby County, Ky., in 1812, but was mostly reared in Indiana and his education was acquired in the common schools. He is a miller by trade but has followed farming throughout much of his life. He now resides in Bloomington, Ill. In politics, he was an old?line Whig until the organization of the Republican party, when he joined its ranks and has since upheld its banner. With the Christian Church he holds membership. The mother of our subject was a native of Kentucky and died when her son was only three years age. She was a member of the Baptist Church.
Milton Anderson is the only survivor of a family of four children, three sons and a daughter. His early youth he attended the common schools, but is mostly self?educated. He remained in his native State until fourteen years of age, when alone he came to Illinois, locating at Bloomington in 1850. Since that time he has been dependent upon his own resources, and whatever success he has achieved in life is due entirely to his own efforts. For a time he worked on the grades for the Chicago & Alton and Illinois Central Railroads, and remained in Bloomington until after the breaking out of the late war. Responding to the call for troops, he enlisted in 1861 in a company under Capt. Mc Nulta, but as the quota was full his company was not accepted.
As he could not go to the front, Mr. Anderson went to Indianapolis and entered the employ of the Bee Line Railroad Company as conductor, being thus employed for a period of eight years. His run was between Indianapolis and Crestline. After eight years' connection with that road, he was changed to the Pan Handle, with which he remained for the long period of sixteen years one of the faithful and trusted employes of the road as his long?continued service plainly indicates.
On the 1st of May, 1871, Mr. Anderson was married to Miss Arminda J. Fleager, daughter of Charles and Diary (Wetzell) Fleager. Her father a native of Pennsylvania, was born August 9, 1800, and died March 5, 1875. The mother was born in the Keystone State, November 11, 1807, and died March 15, 1866. Both were faithful and consistent members of tile Lutheran Church and Mr. Fleager was one of its officers for the long period of twenty?eight years. Unto this worthy couple were born thirteen children, but only two are now living: W. B. Fleager, who is represented elsewhere in this volume; and Mrs. Anderson, who was born in Carlisle, Pa., September 28, 1851. Unto our subject and his wife have been born four children: Mary L., who is now pursuing a classical course of study in the Northwestern University of Evanston, Ill., from which she expects to graduate in the Class of '95. She is also quite proficient in instrumental music and possesses considerable artistic talent. Helen is a graduate of the Sheldon High School; Harry is a member of the Sophomore Class in Sheldon; and Bertha completes the family.
In politics Mr. Anderson is a stalwart supporter of the Republican party, with which be has been identified since he cast his first Presidential vote for Abraham Lincoln; however, he has never been an office?seeker. Socially, he is a member of Davy Crocket Camp No. 502, M. W. A., and of the Patriotic Order of Sons of America of Sheldon. He was instrumental in successfully establishing, in 1888, the Farmers' Co?operation Grain Association of Sheldon. An elevator was built and prosperity has since attended the enterprise. Mr. Anderson is a large land?owner, his possessions aggregating one hundred and sixty?six acres of good land near Colfax, Ill., five hundred and sixteen acres near Kentland, Ind., and two hundred and forty?seven in Humboldt County, Iowa, besides his beautiful residence in Sheldon. Himself and wife are classed among the prominent citizens of this community and in social circles they hold an enviable position. He is a self?made man whose example is well worthy of emulation.
ROBERT GOODFELLOW is engaged in farming on section 25, Papineau Township. He is a native of Scotland, his birth having occurred on the 8th of May, 1842, near the city of Glasgow. He is a son of John Goodfellow, who grew up and married in Scotland Mary Gilchrist, who was reared in that country, though a native of Ireland. The father emigrated to Canada in 1843 and settled in Ontario. He was one of the pioneers of the section in which he located and had to clear and improve a farm in what was practically a wilderness. There be lived and reared his family and made his home until 1868. His widow is still living, residing with a daughter in Canada.
In their family were three sons and three daughters, all of whom lived to mature year. The eldest, David, is a prosperous farmer in Canada; Robert is next in order of birth; John also carries on agricultural pursuits in Canada; Susanna is the wife of Norman Curl, of Northern Michigan; Mary is the wife of Andrew House, of Canada; and Ellen Jane is the youngest of the family.
Robert Goodfellow passed his early years on his father's farm in the usual manner of farmer boys. He received limited school advantages and is mostly self?educated since arriving at manhood. He came to this county in 1860, arriving here in March of that year. He first started to work on a farm, being employed for several years by the month.
In 1859, Mr. Goodfellow was married to New York and came here with his young wife in 1860. Four children grace their union: Estella is the wife of Mr. Addas, of Denver, Colo.; Clara is the wife of Charles Pierce, of this county; William is married and resides in Northern Michigan; and Lloyd also lives in Michigan. The mother of these children died in February, 1871. On the 13th of November, 1871, he was united in marriage with Jane H. Bertram, who was born and reared in Canada, a daughter of William Bertram. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Goodfellow have been born four children: Ida Jane, the wife of A. Passom, of Nebraska; Libbie E., who resides at home; Gracie, who died at the age of four years; and one who died in infancy. The father of Mrs. Goodfellow has been for many years a prominent farmer in Canada. He reared a family of eight children, as follows: Wesley, of Harrowsmith, who conducts a carriage manufactory in Ontario; George Henry; who also conducts a carriage manufactory; Jane H.; Emily, wife of James Brown, of Keath, Ontario; Ada, wife of Nelson Tatro, of Clifton, Ill.; William D., a carriage manufacturer of Parham, Ontario; Elizabeth, wife of Claton Wager, a Postmaster of Parham; and Maggie, wife of Carson Barr, who also lives in Parham. The mother of the family is deceased.
The subject of this sketch after coming to this county rented a farm, which he operated for a few years, and in 1867 purchased the land where he now resides. This he has placed under a high state of cultivation, and the marks of care and thrift are evident on every hand. Mr. Goodfellow is identified with the Republican party; his first ballot having been cast for Gen. Grant. He takes an active part in all local affairs and has held a number of official positions to the satisfaction of all concerned. He has served for twenty consecutive years as Constable and proved most efficient and trustworthy, as the fact of his being so often reelected to the position shows. He has also served as a member of the County Board. Mr. Goodfellow has always given his hearty support to all measures tending to the advancement of the best interests of the public, and has always been a friend to education. He has served as a member of the School Board. He and his estimable wife are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, to which they give their interest and support. He is a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and is the Noble Grand of Papineau Lodge. He is well known in this community and is much respected as a man of strict integrity and honor. Mr. and Mrs. Goodfellow are charitable and benevolent people and have opened their home to Owen Stanley, a child of three and one?half years, whom they adopted at the age of three months.
CHESTER L. HART, proprietor of the Union House, the leading hotel of Crescent City, and one of the active and enterprising business men of this place, is a native of Vermont. He was born in the Green Mountain State on the 15th of November, 1838. His father was also a native of Vermont and there grew to manhood and married Margaret Spears, who was born in Pennsylvania. In 1843, when our subject was a lad of only five summers, John Hart removed with his family to Canada, settling near Belleville. He was a shoe?maker by trade, but after locating in Canada, he engaged in the mercantile business in the Sixth Concession of Tyendinaga, where he reared his family and spent the remainder of his life. He passed away May 21, 1829, and his wife had passed away ere her husband's death.
We now take up the personal history of the gentleman whose name heads this record. The days of his boyhood and youth were mostly passed upon the farm, and in the common schools he acquired his education. After attaining to years of maturity, be married on the 29th of June, 1857, the lady of his choice being Miss Mary Jane Ruttan, a native of Canada, and a daughter of George H. Ruttan, a substantial farmer. By the union of our subject and his wife have been born two children, a son and daughter: Harvey W. is now station agent and telegraph operator in Texas. The daughter, Mrs. Allie Peters, resides at home. She has one son, Charles D.
After his marriage, Mr. Hart engaged in agricultural pursuits in Canada, being thus employed until 1869, when he came to the United States, locating in Kankakee, Ill. He there engaged in farming for about six years, after which he sold his land and came to Iroquois County, making a settlement in Iroquois Township. To the operation and development of his farm he successfully devoted his energies until 1884, when he sold out and purchased the hotel property in Crescent City. Removing to this place, he has since been engaged in the hotel business. He has greatly improved his building, has erected an addition, and is prepared to entertain the traveling public in first-class style. The comfort of his guests receives due attention, and by the excellent manner in which he his customers and the facilities and conveniences he affords, he has won a liberal patronage.
Politically, Mr. Hart is identified with the Republican party, with which he has voted since he cast his first Presidential ballot for Gen. U. S. Grant. He takes quite a prominent part in political affairs, feels a warm interest in the success of his party and in its growth, but has never been an aspirant for office, preferring to devote his time exclusively to his business interests. Himself and wife are faithful members and prominent workers in the Methodist Episcopal Church, with which he has been connected since eighteen years of age. He is one of its Trustees and Stewards and is a liberal contributor to its support. Socially, he is connected with the Odd Fellows and is Past Grand of Crescent City Lodge. Mine host of the Union House is a pleasant, genial gentleman, and since their residence in Iroquois County, both Mr. and Mrs. Hart have made many warm friends by their many sterling qualities.
JAMES M. CALKIN, a retired farmer, who resides on section 20, Iroquois Township, is one of the honored pioneers and enterprising and substantial agriculturists of the county, whose name we wish to add to the list of leading citizens herein given: A native of the Empire State, he was born in Sullivan County, on the 18th of January, 1813. The Calkin family is of Welsh descent, and its members were among the early and prominent settlers of New York.
The grandfather of our subject, who was a native of Orange County, N. Y., became a large land?owner and possessed several thousand acres. He met death by accident, being drowned when his son Moses, the father of our subject, was about two years of age. The latter was born in Sullivan County, N. Y., May 8, 1785. Oliver Calkin was a soldier and served throughout the Revolutionary War, participating in the battle of Lackawaxen, on the Delaware River, where two of his brothers?in?law were killed. Moses Calkin served his country in the War of 1812. He was a man of good education, and in his younger years followed the profession of teaching. In the county of his nativity he married Elizabeth Mitchell, who was born and reared in Woodbury, Conn., and was also a teacher in early life. Mr. Calkin succeeded to the old family homestead, and there reared his family and spent the remainder of his days, his death occurring on the old farm February 12, 1865. His wife passed away several years previous, being called to her final rest April 20, 1846. Both parents were buried in the Presbyterian Cemetery near the old home, where a monument has been erected to their memory. They were both active members of the Presbyterian Church and were highly respected citizens.
The subject of this sketch is the oldest of a family of eight children, six of whom were teachers in early life. The days of his boyhood and youth were spent on his father's farm, where he remained until after he had attained his majority. The year 1836 witnessed his emigration to Illinois. On the 11th of June he arrived in Chicago, which was then a mere hamlet, and soon afterward located in Will County, settling on raw land in Du Page Township, where he opened up a farm. There he engaged in agricultural pursuits for twenty?nine long years, with the exception of a short time spent in the Far West. Attracted by the discovery of gold in California, he went to the Pacific Slope in the hope of making his fortune. He left his wife and four children, including Ruth, who was then a baby in the cradle, and on the 20th of March, 1850, started for the Eldorado of the West. He arrived in Hangtown, a mining place, on the 26th of July following, after a long, tedious and perilous journey, during which starvation threatened. There was also much danger of being scalped by the Indians. Mr. Calkin walked at least six hundred miles of the way in order to lighten the load, which his team often found difficult to haul. He engaged in mining for about two years, and was fairly successful.
During the last year of his stay in California, Mr. Calkin was President of a large mining company at Rosa's Bar, on the Yuba River, where there were about two thousand miners employed. During that year $3,000,000 of gold dust was taken from the mines. Mr. Calkins left Ross's Bar on the 26th of July, 1852, and about three weeks afterward the cholera broke out among the miners at that place. Making his way to San Francisco, he there took a steamer to Panama, and rode twenty miles across the Isthmus by rail, walking the remainder of the distance. At that time fifty mules were used in carrying the gold dust of the miners across the Isthmus, and fifty more to carry the mail. At Aspinwall, Mr. Calkin boarded a steamer bound for New York. The vessel stopped at the island of Jamaica to take on coal and at length dropped anchor in the harbor of New York on the last day of August. Our subject arrived home on the 27th of September, 1852, but found that death had entered the household in his absence and taken from it the fairest flower, his daughter Julia.
After his return, Mr. Calkin turned his attention to farming, which he carried on in Will County for some years longer, but in 1865 he came to Iroquois County, purchasing the farm upon which he has since resided. It is one of the oldest farms of the county--a valuable and well?improved tract of land of two hundred acres. Many rods of tiling have been placed upon it. The home is a substantial and commodious residence, good barns and outbuildings have been erected, a fine orchard is numbered among the other extensive improvements, and everything about the place denotes thrift and prosperity.
On the 13th of May, 1838, in Cook County, Ill., Mr. Calkin was joined in wedlock with Miss Persis Fidelia Harris, a native of Massachusetts. Her father, Shadrach Harris, was also a native of the Bay State, and removed to New York when the daughter was a child of four years. Unto our subject and his wife have been born six children: Mary is the wife of Robert C. Jarvis, a resident of Texas: S. N., who for a number of years was a prominent farmer of Iroquois County, is now superintendent of the Insane Asylum Farm and resides in Kankakee; Ruth is the wife of Sanford Oldham, who is living in Blaine County, Neb. Charles A. was married in Crescent City March 12, 1883, to Miss Jennie Stier, a native of Illinois. Four children have been born unto them, a son and three daughters. Charles A. has charge of the home farm and the business connected with it. He possesses excellent business ability, and the neat appearance of the place indicates his careful supervision. Mr. Jarvis, the son?in?law, and S. N. Calkin were both boys in blue during the late war. The family numbers twenty grandchildren and four great?grandchildren.
In his political affiliations, Mr. Calkin was formerly a Jackson?Democrat, and in 1860 he joined the ranks of the Republican party, supporting Lincoln. He was then identified with that party for a number of years, but now affiliates with the Prohibition party, being a warm advocate of the cause of temperance and believing that that question is of the most importance. His son, C. A., also votes the Prohibition ticket. Mr. Calkin was elected and served for five years as Assessor of his township, and also held other local offices. Himself, wife and family are all active members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, in which he has held a number of offices, and in which his younger son is now serving as an official.
Viewed from a financial standpoint, the life of Mr. Calkin has been successful. Industry and enterprise are numbered among his chief characteristics, and, as they are necessary qualifications to success, they have brought him a well?deserved prosperity. Upright and honorable in his dealings, he has gained the confidence and good?will of all with whom he has been brought in contact. His life has indeed been well and worthily spent, and after years of faithful service and labor he is now enjoying a well?earned rest.
OTTO EMIL ROSENBERGER, one of the self?made men and enterprising citizens of Iroquois County, is now doing business as a grain and coal dealer in Woodland, and also carries on farming. He was born in Saxony, Germany, on the 28th of November, 1840, and is a son of Frederick and Dorothy (Seel) Rosenberger. His father was born in the same locality as our subject, and was a tile and brick maker. In 1864, he came with his family to America and located in Blue Island, Cook County, Ill., whence he afterward came to Iroquois County. After residing upon a farm for a time, he went to Old Middleport, where he built a brewery in 1866, operating it for some time. With his wife, he afterward returned to his native land, and his death occurred in 1870. His wife, who was born in 1798, died at the advanced age of eighty?nine years. Both were members of the Lutheran Church. They had a family of five children: William, who crossed the Atlantic in 1854, and now resides in this County; August, who came to the United States in 1856, and is now living retired in Papineau; Guenther, who came to this country in 1858, is a farmer in Papineau; Mrs. Emma Treischel, of Martinton, Iroquois County; and Otto Emil, who completes the family.
In accordance with the laws of his native land, our subject attended school between the ages of six and fourteen years, after which he learned the butcher's trade, and at the age of twenty went into the army as a member of the Eighth Infantry Regiment, serving on garrison duty for two years in the city of Weimar. He then embarked in business for himself. In 1864, he bade good?bye to home and friends and sailed for, the New World, and since that time has been identified with the history of this community. He spent one year in the grain business in Papineau and one upon a farm. In 1877, he came to Woodland, where he has since made his home, and for about fifteen years has engaged in the grain and coal business. He is now in partnership with Judge Williams, and the firm is now enjoying a large and constantly increasing patronage. In connection with this business, our subject also owns one hundred and sixty acres of land, which yields to him a good income.
In July, 1864, in Martinton Township, Mr. Rosenberger married Miss Amanda Roth, a native of Germany. She came to this country in the same vessel in which her husband sailed. Unto them have been born six children, four sons and two daughters, as follows: Agnes, now the wife of Frank Wilson, of Woodland; Hattie, George, Otto, William and Emil, all of whom are still under the parental roof. All were born and reared in this county and have been educated in both English and German.
Both Mr. and Mrs. Rosenberger are members of the German Lutheran Church, and in his social relations he is a member of the Modern Woodmen and the Odd Fellows' society, in which he now holds the office of Secretary. His first Presidential vote was cast for Horace Greeley, and since that time he has supported the Democratic party. He has never sought office, but has served as School Director and Collector. Mr. Rosenberger is a man of good business ability, and by enterprise, energy and good business management he has won success and is numbered among the substantial business men of the community. He is a public?spirited and progressive citizen, and to him is due in a large measure the erection of the fine Town Hall in Woodland. It was a fortunate day for him when he determined to seek a home in this country. He need never have occasion to regret carrying out that resolution, for he has here met with prosperity and his efforts have been blessed.
AARON GARRISON. Among the leading and well?known farmers of Prairie Green Township should be mentioned the gentleman whose name heads this record. He now resides on section 10. A native of the Empire State, he was born in Greene County, on the 13th of March, 1838, and is the fourth in order of birth in a family of nine children, five sons and four daughters, of whom eight are yet living. His parents were George W. and Mary (Hallock) Garrison. The father was born in New York, July 11, 1811, and is still living in the State of his nativity, at the advanced age of four?score and one years. He is a farmer by occupation, and has followed that business throughout his entire life. In political sentiment he was formerly an old?line Whig, and took an active part in the campaign of "Tippecanoe and Tyler, too." On the organization of the Republican party he joined its ranks, and has since been a stalwart advocate of its principles. He was a warm admirer of Abraham Lincoln. For over a quarter of a century he has held the office of Justice of the Peace, and has proved himself a competent official and a valued citizen. His wife was a native of the Keystone State. She was born in 1813, and died in October, 1853, when our subject was a lad of fifteen years., She was a devout Christian, who had the love and respect of all who knew her.
The members of the Garrison family are Carolina, wife of Demas Judd, a farmer residing in Minnesota; James, a horticulturist residing near Red Lands, Cal.; Aaron of this sketch; Morgan, who follows farming in New York; Monroe, who is now living a retired life in Watseka; Julia, wife of Solomon Brown, who is engaged in quarrying stone in New York; Henry, a successful physician and surgeon resides in New York City; and Hettie, wife of Angelo Cole, who is engaged in agricultural pursuits in New York.
We now take up the personal history of Mr. Garrison, whose boyhood days were quietly passed in the State of his nativity. His early education, acquired in the common schools, was supplemented by study in Roxbury Academy of Roxbury, N. Y., where be prepared himself for teaching. He afterward followed that profession for five years in his native State, throughout the winter season. As a companion and helpmeet on life's journey he chose Miss Rosanna Kelly, daughter of Ezekiel C. and Jane (Brown) Kelly. Their union was celebrated on the 18th of October, 1862, and unto them were born five children, four sons and a daughter, of whom three are yet living. Herman, the eldest, is a young man of superior ability. He was a student in the Wesleyan University of Bloomington, and after pursuing a classical course in De Pauw University, of Greencastle, Ind., was graduated from that institution in the Class of '92. He has thus fitted himself for teaching, which profession he has already followed successfully in this county; Elbert aids his father in the labors of the farm; W. Lloyd is the youngest. The two children now deceased are Bertha, who died at the age of fourteen years; and Wilson, who died at the age of six years. Mrs. Garrison's girlhood days were passed in New York, her native State, where she was born March 4, 1843. She was the only child of her parents that grew to mature years. Her education was acquired in the public schools, and she became a successful teacher.
In 1880, Mr. Garrison purchased eighty acres of partially improved land, which he now has under a high state of cultivation. It is one of the best developed farms in the community, and in all its appointments seems complete. In 1892, Mr. Garrison erected a large barn, 28 x 38 feet, with an L, 24 x 26 feet. His present home also has been erected since he located on the farm. He is a careful and methodical business man, whose enterprise and industry have won for him a comfortable competence.
In his political affiliations, Mr. Garrison was formerly a Republican, but in 1884 he joined the ranks of the Prohibition party, which he has since supported. The cause of education finds in him a warm friend, and for four years he has served as School Treasurer, being the present incumbent. He does all in his power for the upbuilding of temperance principles, and his aid is never withheld from any worthy enterprise calculated to prove of public benefit. Himself and wife are faithful members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and earnest workers in the Master's vineyard. He has served as Steward and Trustee of his church, has been Superintendent of the Sunday school for four years, and while in New York served in the same capacity for about six successive years. His life has been a busy and useful one, and he is recognized as a valued citizen of the community, having the high respect of all with whom business or social relations have brought him in contact.
JOHN BODY, a prominent farmer residing on section 19, Belmont Township, is one of the extensive land?owners of the county. He is also one of its representative citizens, and is widely and favorably known throughout its borders. His life record is as follows: He was born March 11, 1826, in Fountain County, Ind., and is a son of Isaac Body. His father was born in Mifflin County, Pa., and was in the war roll for the War of 1812. He wedded Miss Mary Meyers, who was born in the same county, and their union was there celebrated. About 1820 they emigrated to Indiana, and in the midst of the forest Mr. Body hewed out a farm near Covington. In 1836 he came to Illinois in wagons drawn by oxen, and after renting land for a time, purchased a farm of forty acres on section 19, Belmont Township. Indians were still in the neighborhood, all kinds of wild game was plentiful, the land was in a primitive condition, and the work of civilization and progress seemed scarcely begun. He continued to make his home in this county until his death, which occurred in Milford Township at the advanced age of ninety?five years. His wife passed away previously, and both were buried in Body Cemetery. They were among the honored pioneers of the county, and were highly respected citizens.
In the Body family were nine children: Elizabeth, now deceased; Mrs. Susan Ross, who resides in Milford; Catherine, wife of Judge S. Williams, of Belmont; John, whose name heads this sketch; George, who died in this county; Isaac, a resident of Whiteside County, who was killed in the Chatsworth wreck; Mary Ann, wife of A. C. Johnson, of Woodland; Sarah, widow of Jediah Cobb, and a resident of Belmont; and Louisa, wife of Isaac Dixon, of Nebraska.
Our subject was a lad of ten years when with his parents he came to this county. His educational advantages were limited, for the schools in a pioneer settlement are generally very primitive. School was held in a log cabin with slab seats, and was conducted on the subscription plan, while the teacher boarded around. His training at farm work, however, was not meagre, for he early began work in the fields, and was inured to the labors of the farm. At the age of twenty?two, he began life for himself by selling wheat at fifty cents per bushel. He then entered forty acres of laud at the land office in Danville, for which he paid the Government price of $1.25 per acre, and upon that farm he has since made his home, although its boundaries have been greatly enlarged. He now owns seven hundred and eighty acres of good land, and the care and cultivation he bestows upon it yield him a ready return in bounteous harvests.
Just before his removal to this farm, Mr. Body was married, in September, 1848, in Old Middleport to Sarelda Phillips, a native of Ohio, who with her parents came to Illinois. Unto them have been born five children: Francis M., who died at the age of twenty?three years; Isaac Leonard and William H., both of whom are engaged in farming in Crescent Township; Mary, deceased wife of William Utter; and John, also an agriculturist of Crescent Township. All of the children were born and reared on the homestead farm, and were educated in the public schools. Frank also attended school in Onarga and Ypsilanti and was a successful teacher.
Mr. Body has been a supporter of the Democratic party since he attained his majority. His residence in this county covers a period of fifty?six consecutive years, and few indeed are they who have so long resided within its borders. He has witnessed its entire growth and development, has seen its wild lands transformed into beautiful homes and farms, while towns and villages have sprung up, and the work of progress has been carried forward until hardly a landmark of pioneer days yet remains. Mr. Body has ever borne his part in the upbuilding of the county, and his name is inseparably connected with its history. He is one of its prominent citizens, and well deserves the high regard in which he is held.
JOHN WILLIAM ANDERSON, who is interested in the Woodland Tile Works, was born on the 9th of February, 1859, on a new farm in Vermilion County, and is descended from a family which was founded in this country at an early day. His grandfather, William Anderson, removed from the North of Maryland to Kentucky. He was one of the heroes of the Revolutionary War. The father of our subject, J. C. Anderson, was born in Kentucky in 1818, and at the age of twelve years removed to Warren County, Ind., where he was reared to manhood amid the wild scenes of frontier life. In Attica, that State, he married Miss Charlotte Steele, a native of Ohio, reared in Indiana. Mr. Anderson was a cabinetmaker by trade, and followed that business in Attics. In 1854, he removed with his family to Norfolk, Vermilion County, Ill., where he engaged in farming for ten years, and in 1864 came to Iroquois County. He settled in Belmont Township, and purchased a farm of three hundred and twenty acres, which he placed under a high state of cultivation, making it his home until 1874. The following year he came to Woodland. In company with Judge S. Williams he laid out this village, donating the land for that purpose, and secured a side?track to the place. With its business industries he has since been prominently identified. In 1877, a saw and grist mill which he had built was burned, and later he established a tile factory.
Unto Mr. and Mrs. Anderson were born the following children: Milton S., born in Indiana in 1842, is a Methodist Episcopal minister who was educated in Onarga, and is now Presiding Elder in Spokane Falls, Wash.; Laura, who graduated from Onarga Seminary and successfully engaged in teaching in the public schools of Watseka, died in 1873; Albert R. and Ira B. both engaged in farming near Spokane Falls, Wash.; Mary C. is the wife of Jacob Cobb, a resident of Lorain, Ohio, employed on the railroad; Arthur is at home; Orrin, his twin brother, was killed in 1874; John William, whose name heads this record, completes the family.
Our subject was only about five years old when his parents came to this county. His early boyhood days were spent upon the home farm, and at the age of sixteen he came to Woodland. He first worked in a saw and grist mill, and is now interested in the tile factory which has established in 1882 by himself and father. They began operations on a small scale, but have increased their facilities to meet the growing demand, and now have a large factory, the capacity of which is about two million bricks and eight hundred thousand tiles annually. They have a large trade, and well deserve their liberal patronage. Mr. Anderson also owns and operates six hundred acres of fine farming land adjoining Woodland.
It was in 1883, in Woodland, that Mr. Anderson led to the marriage altar Miss Mary Belle Warren, a native of this county, and a daughter of William Warren, one of the early settlers. Four children grace their union, three sons and a daughter: John W., Albert, Bessie and James.
The father of our subject was in early life an Abolitionist. He was for some years identified with the Whig party, and his first Presidential vote was cast for William Henry Harrison, He is now a stalwart Republican, and in this respect J. W. Anderson has followed in his footsteps. He has been one of the prominent and influential workers of the party, has served as delegate to the county and senatorial conventions, and is a member of the County Central Committee. He labors earnestly to promote the growth and insure the success of the party, but has never been an office?seeker. Socially, he is connected with the Masonic fraternity of Watseka. During his youth he received no special educational advantages, but he possesses an observing eye and retentive memory, and has made himself a well?informed man. Keen and intelligent, he is a great reader, and in addition to the study of general literature has for the past two years been reading law and history. He is one of the prominent citizens of the community, and himself and father, who is now seventy?five years of age, are classed among the leading and progressive business men.
JACOB YEAGLEY, a prosperous farmer, who resides on section 11, Concord Township, is a native of the Keystone State. He was born on the 29th of October, 1827, in Lebanon County, Pa., and is a son of George and Elizabeth (Shram) Yeagley. His parents were both natives of Pennsylvania and were of Pennsylvania?Dutch ancestry, but the origin of the family is lost. The father of our subject was a weaver by trade and owned a small piece of land. He never left the State of his nativity. His death occurred in 1872.
Our subject acquired his education in the subscription schools, but his advantages were very limited. He was the third in a family of seven children and at an early age began to earn his own livelihood. At the age of seventeen years, he commenced to serve as apprenticeship to his uncle Adam Yeagley, serving for a term of two and a?half years. The first year he received only his board, but afterward got small wages. Hoping to better his financial condition by a removal to the West, he started for Crawford County, Ohio, in 1847, traveling on foot and canal a distance of over five hundred miles. On reaching his destination, he had only thirty cents in his pocket, and for a time he lived on about ten cents per day. Securing a position as a farm?hand, he worked for two months far $22, and then rented a farm, which he operated on shares for two years. Afterward he again worked as a farm?hand for $15 per month, and subsequently rented one hundred and sixty acres of land for $100 per year. This he operated for four years, but he lost about $1,600 through feeding hogs, and thus had to keep on renting land for about ten years longer.
Mr. Yeagley has been three times married. On the 2d of November, 1854, he wedded Miss Catherine Miller, of Whetstone Township, Crawford County, Ohio. She died February 23, 1859, leaving two children who are yet living: La Fayette, a farmer and school teacher, now of Crawford County, Ohio, is married and has three daughters. He is a finely educated man and has completed the Chautauqua Literary and Scientific Course, receiving his diploma. Alfred C. is married and follows farming in Benton County, Ind. After the death of his first wife, Mr. Yeagley was married in March, 1860, to Miss Elizabeth Starner, who died August 22, 1885. Unto them was born one son, Edwin, who is now a farmer. He married, but his wife died in 1888, leaving one child. The lady who now bears the name of Mrs. Yeagley was formerly Mrs. Mary (Strickler) Moore. She was born in Kingsport, Sullivan County, Tenn., and is a daughter of Jacob and Sarah (Gott) Strickler. Her father was a native of Shenandoah County, Va., and her mother of Washington County, E. Tenn. At the age of seventeen years, she came to Iroquois County. Having acquired a good education, she began teaching at the age of twenty years and followed that profession for some seven years. On the 28th of October, 1866, she became the wife of Thomas Moore, who died in February, 1877. Two children were born unto them but both died in infancy. The marriage of our subject and his wife was celebrated June 10, 1886.
In 1881, Mr. Yeagley sold his Ohio farm of one hundred and sixty acres at $72 per acre and bought his present farm of two hundred and sixty-seven acres at $35 per acre. It is now worth $65 per acre. This sale and purchase proved a profitable investment, for land in Ohio has since decreased in value, while in Illinois it has increased. Thus Mr. Yeagley has made several thousand dollars. He now owns an excellent farm, upon which are three residences, two barns, and other necessary outbuildings. The farm is well tiled and its many improvements and its neat appearance indicate the thrift and enterprise of the owner and his careful supervision. Although he started out in life a poor boy, he has steadily worked his way upward until he is now numbered among the substantial agriculturists of the county.
Mrs. Yeagley became a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church at the early age of thirteen years and has long been a faithful worker in Sunday-school and church societies. Her kindly, benevolent spirit has won her the love and esteem of all. In early life, Mr. Yeagley was an old?line Whig and cast his first Presidential vote for Zachary Taylor. He voted for Gen. Fremont in 1856, and has since been an inflexible adherent of the Republican party and a warm advocate of its principles.
BENJAMIN F. HARTMAN, one of the leading business men of Iroquois, embarked in the manufacture of tile and brick in 1888, and has since carried on business in this line. He bought out an old factory, but soon rebuilt and put in more extensive works, making improvements to the value of $10,000. The annual production of the tile factory will amount to four hundred thousand tile ranging from the four to fifteen?inch tile. He furnishes employment to about eighteen men and the products of his manufactory, being of the best quality, find a ready sale in the market. He receives a liberal patronage from the farmers of the surrounding community, who find this business of great convenience to them.
Mr. Hartman is a gentleman who does much for his employes, and has their entire confidence and respect. His life record is as follows: A native of Indiana, he was born in Jasper County on the 12th of May, 1855, and is a son of Charles G. and Sarah E. (Haddox) Hartman. The Hartman family is of German origin and are a long?lived people. The paternal grandfather of our subject reached the advanced age of ninety?nine years, and died in Greene County, Ohio, where he entered land in an early day, being among its first settlers. Charles Hartman is a native of Harrisburg, Pa. He married Miss Haddox, who was born in Greene County, Ohio, and comes of an old Virginian family. For thirty?five years he successfully engaged in the practice of medicine, and now resides in Perkins County, Neb., where he is extensively engaged in agricultural pursuits. He is a well?educated man and speaks the German language.
The subject of this sketch was reared to manhood under the parental roof. Between the ages of ten and seventeen years he resided upon a farm, and then started out in life for himself, working as a farm hand. He soon afterward began studying telegraphy in Francesville, Ind., and at the age of nineteen came to Iroquois and took charge of the railroad station at this place, filling the position of agent and telegraph operator from 1874 until 1886. He then severed his connection with the railroad company and began dealing in agricultural implements, but after two years sold out that business and began the manufacture of tile and brick. He is a man of good business ability and by his own efforts has won a well?deserved success, which has brought him a comfortable competence.
On the 7th of January, 1877, Mr. Hartman wedded Miss Emma B. Frownfelter, one of Iroquois' fair daughters. She was born November 13, 1856, and her parents were Peter V. and Mary E. (Peck) Frownfelter. Unto them have been born five children, namely: Erma Vera, Clyde, Vaughn C., Mearl E., and Mary Blanche.
Mr. Hartman proudly cast his first Presidential vote for R. B. Hayes in 1876, and has since been a Republican. Although not an office?seeker, by the solicitation of friends he has served as Alderman and upon the School Board. He is a Knight Templar Mason, a member of the Odd Fellows' society and the Modern Woodmen, and has filled various offices in those fraternities. Himself and wife hold membership in the Methodist Episcopal Church and are numbered among Iroquois' best citizens, being widely and favorably known throughout the community. In connection with his manufactory, Mr. Hartman owns and operates a one hundred and twenty acre farm.
TEBBE H. EIMEN, one of the successful and prosperous business men of Danforth, was born in Germany on the 10th of March, 1862. His father, Hei Eimen, and his mother, Luke Eimen, were also natives of Germany, and died there when our subject was a child. Tebbe emigrated to the New World with his paternal grandparents when a child of but five years. They settled in Iroquois County, locating first in Danforth Township. After the death of his grandparents, our subject went to live with a neighbor, George Klottenberg, and was reared to manhood under his roof. He received fair school advantages and spent the most of his time in farm work.
When he had arrived at mature years, Mr. Eimen engaged in agricultural pursuits for himself, and was thus engaged for several years. In 1881, he located in the village of Danforth, and there engaged in the saloon business. He has been one of the active business men of the village for the past eleven years. Mr. Eimen also owns a valuable and well?improved farm not far from Danforth.
Our subject was joined in wedlock in this township on the 9th of June, 1884, to Miss Minnie Schroeder, a native of Germany, who came to the United States when a child and was educated and grew to womanhood in Iroquois County. She is a daughter of Tobe Schroeder. By this marriage have been born four children: Hei, Tobe, Luke and Florence. These children are all receiving the advantages of a good education, as their parents are much interested in all educational matters.
In his political affiliations, Mr. Eimen is a supporter of the Democratic party, but has never been an aspirant for official positions. He is well and favorably known in this community and all speak of his many good qualities and kind actions. His many friends will be pleased to read this brief sketch of his life.
JAMES F. MAGGS, the efficient and popular Postmaster of Iroquois, was born in Coshocton County, Ohio, on the 14th of March, 1833, and is a son of Joseph and Ellen (Stewart) Maggs. The father was born in Bristol, England, and with his parents crossed the broad Atlantic to America when about eight years of age, the family settling in Lycoming County, Pa. He was there reared to manhood and married Miss Ellen Stewart, a native of that county. Subsequently, they removed to Coshocton County, Ohio. The father had learned the shoemaker's trade in his youth but followed it very little after his emigration to the Buckeye State. He there turned his attention to farming, buying military land. He went there in a very early day and experienced all the hardships and privations of frontier life. He had to go thirty miles to market and to mill. In politics, he was an old?line Whig and was a strong anti?slavery man. He lived to vote with the Republican party and saw the beginning of the war that was to wipe out slavery in this country. He served his township as Assessor for many years and was a prominent and influential citizen. He was a zealous worker and Class?leader of the Methodist Episcopal Church for many years and his life was nobly spent. His death occurred in Coshocton County, in February, 1862.
The subject of this sketch is one of a family of twelve children, eleven of whom grew to mature years. They became widely scattered and he has lost all knowledge of some of them. Mr. Maggs, who was the seventh in order of birth, acquired but a limited education as his services were needed upon the farm. He worked in the fields from an early age until seventeen, when he began to learn the baker's trade in the town of Roscoe, Ohio. He served an apprenticeship of three years and was to have his board, clothing and $50, but as his employer became bankrupt he never received the money. Going to Columbus, Ohio, he there worked as a journeyman baker for some time, and in 1858 be went to Union County, where he was employed until 1861.
On the first call for seventy?five thousand troops to aid in crushing out the rebellion, Mr. Maggs offered his services to his country. He was mustered in on the 20th of April, 1861, as a member of Company F, Thirteenth Ohio Infantry, and was at Camp Dennison until his time had expired. He then returned home and again enlisted February 14, 1862, as one of the boys in blue in Company F, Sixty?sixth Ohio Infantry, in which he served until the 22d of July, 1865. The first battle in which he participated was at Ft. Republic June 9, and he says it was the most severe in which he took part, nineteen men of his company being killed. He was wounded in the left hand at that battle but was not disabled for service. He participated in the engagement at Cedar Mountain, was in the second battle of Bull Run, and was in the hospital at Harewood, Washington City, D. C., when his regiment was fighting at Antietam. He there remained from August until December, 1862, when he rejoined his regiment at Harper's Ferry, Va., and participated in the battles of Chancellorsville and Gettysburg. He was then sent to Chattanooga under Gen. Hooker and took part in the engagements at Lookout Mountain, Mission Ridge, and was in every battle from that time until after the fall of Atlanta. He was with Gen. Sherman on the celebrated march to the sea and from there went to Washington City, taking part in the Grand Review at that place, after which he returned to Louisville, Ky., where he was honorably discharged on the 22d of July, 1864.
On the 18th of March, 1855, Mr. Maggs was united in marriage with Miss Catherine Nosker, a native of Ohio, born April 13, 1833. Unto them were born six children: John; born in Coshocton County, Ohio; Ellen, born in Columbus, Ohio; Ida, wife of William Lowe, of Kent, Ind.; Katie, wife of E. G. Hamer, of Pullman, Ill., who is a stationary engineer in the great Pullman works; Annie, wife of Frank Darling, of Concord Township, who is an agriculturist; and Lizzie, who died at about the age of fifteen months. After his return from the South, our subject began working as a journeyman baker in Union County, Ohio, where he remained until 1871. He then removed to Newton County, Ind., where he resided until 1878, working at his trade. That year witnessed his arrival in Iroquois County and he located in Concord Township, just south of Iroquois River and near the village of Iroquois, where he has a nice little farm of about eighteen acres. In August, 1890, he was appointed Postmaster and is now faithfully discharging the duties of the office.
In politics, Mr. Maggs is a zealous and stalwart Republican. He cast his first Presidential vote for John C. Fremont in 1856, and has since supported the Republican party. Socially, he is a member of the Odd Fellows' society and of the Grand Army of the Republic, and attended the National Reunion in Columbus, Ohio. He now receives a pension of $12 per month. He was a faithful and valiant soldier during the late war, participated in many of the most important engagements, and was ever found at his post of duty, defending the Old Flag which now so proudly floats over the united Nation.
CHARLES CLASSEN, a prominent merchant of Danforth, and one of the substantial citizens of the township, was born in Tazewell County, Ill. His birth occurred in the town of Pekin, October 15, 1858. His father, Herman Classen, is a native of Germany, and was born in Hanover, about the year 1827. He grew to manhood there, and was married to Talka Smith, of the same place. In 1852, with his family, he emigrated to the United States, and settled in Pekin, Ill., where he engaged in teaming. After a time he also carried on a farm near that city. Later, he embarked in the mercantile business, and in 1870 removed to Iroquois County. Here he purchased a farm and devoted himself to agricultural pursuits for many years. By his industry and wise business investments, he accumulated a large and valuable property, and now that he has retired from active business, he has sufficient means to enable him to pass his remaining days surrounded by the comforts of life. He possesses a number of valuable farms, and has a good residence in Danforth. For about ten or twelve years he has rested from the arduous duties of life.
Charles Classen came with his parents to this county in 1870. He received such an education as could be obtained in the common schools, and much of his youth was spent in his father's store and on his farm, engaged in the usual pursuits, toils and pleasures of farmer boys. Before reaching mature years, he had acquired a good practical knowledge of business, which has been of inestimable value to him in later life. For several years he occupied a clerkship in a store, where he harped the practical details of the business. He first engaged in the mercantile line in Danforth. This was in 1882, and he commenced business in a limited way, as he had but small means and was not able to purchase an extensive stock of goods. He has built up a large trade, and has an established business on a substantial basis. He carries a large and well?selected assortment of general merchandise, and has built a large and commodious storeroom.
Mr. Classen was united in marriage in October, 1884, with Miss Anna Lotmann, of Danforth. She was born in Woodford County, Ill., and received her education in Iroquois County. She is a daughter of Henry Lotmann, who is deceased. Mr. and Mrs. Classen are the parents of six children, four sons and two daughters, as follows: Herman, Henry, Carl and William (twins), Anna and Tillie.
Since casting his first ballot, Mr. Classen has been a supporter of the Democratic party. He has never been an aspirant for office in any sense of the term, and has always given his whole time, interest and attention to his business affairs. Mr. Classen and his wife were reared in the belief of the Lutheran Church, but are not members of any church organization. He is considered one of the leading and substantial citizens of Danforth, and has ever shown his interest in the prosperity and development of the town and surrounding county. His voice is ever to be heard on the side of law and order, and in whatever is calculated to promote the community's welfare he always takes a prominent and leading part. By his straightforward and manly course in life he has won the respect and friendship of all who know him, and is considered to be a man in whom his friends can place the fullest confidence.
JAMES H. ALDRICH, who carries on general farming and stock?raising on section 16, Middleport Township, claims New York as the State of his nativity. The place of his birth is New Berlin, Chenango County, and the date March 2, 1831. His father, Adonn Aldrich, was a native of Rhode Island. He was twice married, his first union being with Miss Rebecca Millard, who was born in New York. They became parents of two children, Alpheus and Rebecca. The mother died, and later Mr. Aldrich married Hannah Strickland, a native of Connecticut. They became parents of five children: Sarah, Mason, Almira, James H. and Mary, four of whom are yet living. In an early day the family removed to the Empire State. The father was a Free?will Baptist minister, and was a highly?respected citizen, whose many excellencies of character won for him warm regard. He was called to the home beyond in 1853, and his wife, who survived him about twenty years, passed away in 1873.
Mr. Aldrich, whose name heads this record, was reared to manhood upon his father's farm, and acquired a good English education in the district schools of the neighborhood, which be attended during the winter season until nineteen years of age. The following year he started out in life for himself, earning his own livelihood for two years by working as a farm hand by the month. On the expiration of that period, having accumulated a small capital by his industry, perseverance and economy, he began farming for himself, and some years later he purchased a tract of land, upon which he made his home until his emigration to the West.
Ere leaving his native State, Mr. Aldrich was united in marriage with Miss Clarissa J. Smith. The lady is a daughter of Phineas and Sarah (Halstead) Smith. Her father, a native of Vermont, was born in 1804. To a limited extent, he attended the primitive schools of the Green Mountain State, but was mostly self?educated. He was reared to agricultural pursuits, and long followed the occupation of farming. His death occurred in 1873. His wife was a native of New York, born in Onondaga County on the 2d of October, 1810. Their marriage was celebrated in 1829, and unto them were born two children, a son and a daughter, but Aurora B., the elder, died in infancy. Mrs. Smith is still living, and is a well?preserved old lady, whose eighty?two years rest lightly upon her. She became a resident of Illinois in 1866, and now makes her home with her daughter, Mr. Aldrich. She is a devout member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and was an earnest worker in the Sunday?school until increasing years caused her to abandon that field of labor.
Mrs. Aldrich acquired her early education in the common, schools, and was afterward a student in the academy at Fayettesville, N. Y. Among the pupils of that institution was President Cleveland. Mr. and Mrs. Aldrich have now traveled life's journey together for the long period of forty-two years, and she has proved a faithful companion and helpmate to her husband. She is a member of the Methodist Church, and the poor and needy find in her a friend. Their home has ever been the abode of hospitality, and its doors are ever open for the reception of their many friends, who are there sure to receive a hearty welcome and cordial greeting. Four children have been born of the union of our subject and his wife, a son and three daughters: Alice, who is now the wife of George Kennedy, a resident of Texas; Maria, who was married to George Burgess, of Kansas; Phineas, who was the only son, dyed in 1880; and Lillian is the wife of Frank Gates, a farmer living in Middleport Township.
Mr. Aldrich continued to make his home in New York until the spring of 1866, when, having severed all business relations in the East, he came to Iroquois County, Ill., and purchased eighty acres of improved land on section 16, Middleport Township, the farm upon which he now resides. He there made his home until 1870, when he rented his land, and removed to Benton County, Ind. He was there engaged in the dairy business for a period of three years, after which be returned to Iroquois County in 1873, and for almost twenty consecutive years he has made his home continuously upon his present farm. He is recognized as one of the leading agriculturists of the community, and the neat appearance of his place is the cause of this well?deserved reputation.
Mr. Aldrich proudly cast his first Presidential vote in 1856, supporting Gen. John C. Fremont, and since that time has been a stalwart Republican, but has never been a politician in the sense of office?seeking, preferring to devote his entire time and attention to his business interests. He is a member of the Methodist Church, and is a man of sterling worth who, by his honorable, upright life, has won the high regard of all with whim he has been brought in contact.
WILLIAM WALLACE GRAY is a successful and enterprising farmer residing on section 32, Chebanse Township. He was born on the Isle of Wight on the 13th of December, 1824, and is a son of Isaac and Sarah (Hawkins) Gray, the former a native of the Isle of Wight; and the latter of Portsmouth, England. The father was a farmer by occupation, and with his family emigrated to the New World in 1828. He settled first in New York City, where he resided for about two years, and in 1830 went to Ohio, joining a sister at Cadiz. In the spring of 1831 be went to Rush County, Ind., where he leased a large farm and engaged in agricultural pursuits for some six years. He came to Illinois in the fall of 1837 and settled in Adams County, which was then a wilderness. He bought property and improved it and afterward added to his original purchase until he had one hundred and sixty acres. He made of the farm one of the most fertile and improved in that section and there reared his family. He is numbered among the hardy and honored pioneers of Adams County, where he continued to reside until his death, which occurred in December, 1855. His wife survived him several years and passed away at the advanced age of ninety?four years. Husband and wife are buried side by side in Coatsburg Cemetery, where a suitable monument marks their last resting?place. Mrs. Gray was a member of the Presbyterian Church, but after the death of her husband she united with the Methodist Episcopal Church.
William Gray is the fourth in order of birth in a family of four sons and three daughters, who grew to mature years: Richard is a farmer of Adams County, where he is highly esteemed as an enterprising and substantial agriculturist; Lavinia, wife of Stephen Booth, a farmer of Adams County, is now deceased; Caroline, widow of Bernard Lynch, is a resident of Dubuque, Iowa; Maria was married to Joseph Elliott, and they are now both deceased; Isaac N. is a resident of Oregon; and George H., the youngest of the family, went to California in 1849, in which State he has since resided. He is now a farmer and stock?raiser in Hydesville, Humboldt County.
The subject of this sketch came to Illinois when a lad of thirteen years, and grew to manhood in Adams County. He bad but limited school advantages and is largely self?educated since arriving at mature years. He remained with his father until reaching his majority, and in 1844 went to Wisconsin, where he was engaged as the foreman of a smelting works. He was occupied in mining there for three years.
On October 24, 1847, Mr. Gray led to the marriage altar Electa M. Slayton, a native of the Empire State; who was born in Genesee County, near Cuba, March 24, 1824, where she was reared and educated. She also lived in Chicago, where she completed her education. She is a daughter of John L. Slayton, of Utica, N. Y. Their family numbers eight children: Isaac N. is the eldest; Sarah M. is the wife of P. S. De Witt, of Martinton, Ill.; George H.; Anna C. is the wife of Alonzo Hammond, of Kempton Ill.; William; Owen L, is married and resides on the homestead with his father; Alice C. is the wife of Charles Riley, a railroad agent at Decatur, Iowa; Ira L., who, is engaged in business in Kankakee, is the youngest. Three of the sons are married, have good residences and live upon the home farm. Mr. and Mrs. Gray and also all of their sons are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Mr. Gray has been connected with that organization since 1848, and has always given liberally of his means to the support of churches and other charitable and benevolent purposes.
After his marriage, our subject returned to Adams County, Ill., where he engaged in farming for about two years upon a rented place. He then purchased a piece of wild prairie land, where he commenced to improve a farm. His first farm consisted of an eighty?acre tract, and as his financial resources increased and success blessed his efforts, he added to his original purchase an adjoining eighty acres and afterward forty acres more, making in all two hundred acres, all good land, which was located fourteen miles east of Quincy. Mr. Gray farmed upon that place for a number of years, built good substantial buildings and greatly improved his property. In 1870, he sold out and removed to Iroquois County, buying land in Chebanse Township. He purchased seven hundred and twenty acres of improved and valuable land, and has since erected a good residence, barns and other buildings. He has done considerable tiling and ditching and has one of the best improved farms in the county.
Since the organization of the Republican party, Mr. Gray has been a supporter of its principles and nominees. He voted for John C. Fremont in 1856, and was formerly an old?line Whig. He has served in several official positions to the credit of himself and to the satisfaction of his constituents. He is a believer in and supporter of our present system of education and public schools, and for forty years has been an efficient and trusted member of the School Board. Nearly his entire life has been spent in this State and he has aided in every way possible in the development and progress of this section. He is well known in this county as one of the enterprising, thorough and successful farmers of this county, and is a man of unblemished record and upright character and worth. He has been Steward and Class?leader in the Methodist Episcopal Church forty?five years, and has been a Delegate to the Annual Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church several times. His son Ira is married to Miss Estella Rosencrans, of Kankakee; Isaac N. married Miss Ella Kinney; George H. married Miss Nellie Lamb; William married Miss Ada More; Owen L. married Miss Lucy Gregory.