PAST AND PRESENT
OF
MENARD COUNTY, ILLINOIS - 1905

Chicago: The S.J. Clarke Publishing Company

Transcribed by: Ellen Booth.

Page 330

CYRUS J. McDOEL. Not many years after the landing of the Pilgrims our subjectís ancestors were obliged to flee from England on account of political trouble and in company with twenty or more families sought an asylum with the people of the Massachusetts colony, settling in the wilderness where the Indians were far more numerous than the white men.† In the party were four brothers by the name of Varnum, two by the name of Coburn, two by the name of Eastman and two others by the name of McDoel.† These men settled in Massachusetts, reared large families, and from them descended the large line of the people of those names who are scattered all over the continent from Maine to California.† Three or four generations of them had been reared before the Revolutionary war.† Our subjectís ancestors took an active part in subduing the red men of the forest.† Two Varnums were killed by the Indians while exploring the Connecticut river, and Alexander and George McDoel were killed at the battle of Plattsburg during the war of 1812.† There were both Varnums and McDoels in the battle of Bunker Hill, and bore a prominent part in the engagement which led to Burgoyne'ís surrender at Saratoga.† The Varnums owned land across the river from Lowell, Massachusetts, and also owned the fishery at the falls of the Merrimack.† Back in the eighteenth century Robert McDoel was married to Mercy Varnum, thus uniting the descendants of the families of two of the men who had fled to America together four generations previously.† Robert McDoel was born in Massachusetts and his wife in New Hampshire.† Unto this couple was born a son, in November, 1798, to whom they gave the name of Varnum McDoel.† He was a first cousin of General Stark, of Revolutionary fame.† In 1824 Varnum McDoel married Elizabeth Jay, at Dryden, Tompkins county, New York.† She was born near Goshen, Orange county, that state, in 1800, and was a daughter of Captain Joshua Jay, a second cousin of the diplomat John Jay, who signed the treaty of peace between America and England.† Mrs. McDoel was a descendant of the Hollanders who settled New York.

Cyrus Jay McDoel, of this review, was born in Chemung county, New York, April 10, 1829, and is a son of Varnum and Elizabeth (Jay) McDoel.† In 1856 he removed to northwestern Missouri and settled in Nodaway county, but remained there only two years, when he came to Illinois and located at Atterberry, Menard county.† On the 18th of March, 1859, he was joined in marriage to Caroline Robertson, who was born in New York, April 23, 1823.

Mr. McDoel is a man of keen judgment, shrewd business foresight and industry and he has acquired a comfortable fortune, owning a large farm in the neighborhood of Atterberry and other lands.† Several years ago he purchased a fine residence in Petersburg and retired from the farm, living in town in ease and comfort.† By his ballot he supports the men and measures of the Democratic party, and in religious belief is a Methodist.† He and his wife are in good health for people of their age and enjoy the fruits of their former toil.†† No couple stand higher in the community than they.


1905 Bio. Index

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