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Elijah Dresser

It is true that there are many successful and well-to-do farmers in Ogle County, but the old pioneers, who came here in the "30's and 40"s" are fast passing away. One of the latter, still living, is Elijah Dresser, he having made his advent into the county in 1846 from Alleghany Do., N.Y., settling in Byron Township. On his arrival, he worked out by the month for one year, when he went to Rockford, Winnebago County, and there worked in a mercantile establishment, and on a farm, until the spring of 1846, when he came to this county as stated, and purchased 60 acres of government land and soon after made an additional purchase of 40 acres. The land at that time was in its original primitive condition, and Mr. Dresser located upon it with the determination of making it a permanent abiding place for himself and family.

Since coming to the county, Mr. Dresser has been almost exclusively engaged in agricultural pursuits, with the exception of, perhaps, about two years, which were spent in traveling for the American Tract and Bible Society, in the states of Illinois and Wisconsin. By hard labor and good judgement, with plenty of energy thrown in, he has continued in the even tenor of his ways, until he is at present the owner of 260 acres of good, tillable land, on which are located good and susstantial farm buildings.

Mr. Dresser was born in Steuben Co., N.Y., March 7, 1822, and lived there and in Alleghany County until he came west to grow up with the now flourishing county of Ogle. He received the advantages afforded by the common schools, and supplemented his education by an attendance at a select school at Byron, this county, for a few terms. His marriage took place at Andover, Ashtabula Co., Ohio, October 12, 1852, at which time Miss Frances E. Moore became his wife. She was born in Granby, Conn., November 8, 1828, and the children, which have sprung from this union, are six in number: Kate E., Jessie F., Gertrude E., Eugene F., Frank E., and Robert L. The first born, Kate is the wife of Herbet F. Hunting, who resides in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and whose family has been blessed by the birth of five children, whom they named Mabel, Jessie, Herbert, Laura, and Ralph, and of whom Jessie and Laura are deceased. Gertrude, third daughter, died April 9, 1883, having attained her 23rd birthday. She was the wife of A. B. Elmer, M. D., of Rochelle, and left to the care of her husband, one child, Gertus D.

Mr. and Mrs. D. are members of the Union Church at Lynnville, and, in his political convictions, Mr. Dresser is a Republican, as might be expected when it is considered that during the days of slavery, he was connected with the famous underground railway.

Portrait and Biographical Album of Ogle Co., IL, Chapman Bros., Chicago, IL, 1886, page 198.