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Edmund Curtis (1808-1904)

Edmund Curtis, a pioneer, a successful farmer and respected citizen of Eagle Point Township, was born in Rhinebeck, Dutchess Co., N.Y. Feb 22, 1808 and was a son of John and Ann (Van Steinburg) Curtis, the former of Connecticut and the latter of New York. The resided in York State until their death; the father dying Jan. 8, and the mother Jan. 6, 1814. Mrs. Curtis had been the wife of John Schultz, by whom she had borne ten children, and by Mr. Curtis two were born. The father was of French extraction, the mother of Holland descent.

Edmund was but six years of age when his parents died and he went to live with a half-brother. While residing with him he learned the trade of a carpenter, occupying a portion of his time as clerk in a store, where he was engaged at the time of his marriage with Miss Fannie Reed, which took place June 22, 1830. She was born in Middletown, Delaware Co., N.Y. April 7, 1810, and is a daughter of Ezekiel and Betsey (Peck) Reed. Her father was a native of Connecticut, born Nov. 25, 1787, and her mother in Delaware Co., N.Y., Nov. 7, 1790. Her parents came to Ogle County in 1836, settling in Eagle Point Township, where they spent the rest of their days; the father dying May 16, 1860; the mother, Oct. 8, 1840. They had 11 children.

Mr. Curtis, after his marriage, took his bridge to Tompkins Co., N.Y. where he was engaged in farming for two years. After this he embarked in the mercantile business in Tompkins and Broome County and afterward went to Oswego County, was two years in the mercantile trade there, and afterward for a few months he worked in a ship yard to pay his passage to Chicago. In 1842, he and his wife set sail for Chicago. Directly after arriving in Chicago, he came to this county and settled in Eagle Point Township, where he has since resided a greater portion of the time. He came here like thousands of others, with but little save determination, and went to work as a carpenter for two and a half bushels of wheat per day. He subsequently saved enough to enable him to pay $1.56 an acre for 120 acres of land, it being the tract on which he is residing. On his arrival in the county he became favorably impressed, and concluded to make it his future abiding place, and by energetic effort and economy, coupled with a large amount of pluck, he overcome all obstacles which beset his pathway, until at the present time he has a fine farm and is meeting with success in his chosen vocation. He and his wife are members of the Baptists Church. Mr. C. has been officially connected with the same for many years. Five children have been born to the household: Mary A., born Dec. 6, 1831, died July 3, 1834; Fanny A, born Aug. 4, 1838, died July 4, 1849; Atlee R. , born Feb. 24, 1833; Mary E., widow of G. W. Waterbury, May 6, 1836; and Morris E., July 1, 1844. Politically, Mr. Curtis is a believer in and a supporter of the principles advocated by the Democratic Party; he has held the office of Highway Commissioner five years and Township School Trustee for about 12 years, and other local offices.

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