Winans, Evans and Miller to LaSalle Co, IL

Extracted from Biographical and Genealogical Record of La Salle Co., Illinois Volume 2
by Sandie Webber


Alva Winans

The subject of this sketch is a retired farmer and one of the highly respected citizens of Dana, Illinois and as such his life history is of interest in this work and is as follows: Alva Winans was born on the Hudson River in the town of Germantown, Columbia County, New York and in their family were nine children who lived to be grown, five of whom are now living: Orrin, Alva, Robert, Bruce, Lavina (the widow of Lyman Utter, of  Lewistown, Idaho), Mary (the widow of John L. Boyd, of Groveland Township, La Salle Co. Illinois).

Their father, a farmer, about 1855, came out to Illinois and located on a farm in Groveland Twp, La Salle Co, where he bought a farm of 80 acres. He died here in 1871, past the age of 73 years. His wife was about 72 at the time of her death, which occurred three years after his. Both were members of the Advent Church. During the War of 1812 he enlisted in the service of his country and went down to New York City to enter upon active duty, but the war closed shortly afterward and he never participated in any engagements. He filled various township offices.

The subject of our sketch has in his veins a mixture of Danish and German blood, the former coming through his paternal ancestors and the latter through his maternal. Grandfather Lewis Winans was a native of Canaan, Massachusetts and was by occupation a farmer. He died in New York State over 70 years of age. His family comprised four sons and two daughters. the maternal grandfather of Mr. Winans, Andrew Hover, was a native of New York and although a farmer by occupation was a man of considerable education and was well versed in law. Being of German descent and a German scholar, he was frequently called upon by his German neighbors to draw up papers of various kinds for them. He was drowned in the Hudson River, when over 79 years of age. He was in a row boat with two other men and three women, when they were run into by an old scow, and all the lives in the row boat were lost. Mr Hover was the father of 14 children.

Alva Winans was reared to farm life in Columbia and Monroe counties, New York and also for a time lived in Greene County, that state. He spent three years on the river and Atlantic Ocean; ran from New York to Philadelphia on the steamer Kennebeck, and was one year on the steamer Roanoke. Then he spent another year as a farmer in New York and in 1853 came west to Illinois. Buying a yoke of a cattle, he began breaking prairie in Marshall County having bought 80 acres of land in La Prairie Township, this state. This land he sold not long afterward, and in 1856 he came to LaSalle County and bought 157 acres in the northwest quarter of section 2, Groveland Township, which he improved from raw prairie and which he still owns, it now being beging operated by his youngest son.

Mr. Winans resided upon his farm until march, 1898, when he retired from the active duties of life and has since been living quietly in a pleasant home in Danas. He was married Jan 1, 1853 to Miss Delia Sickles, a daughter of Christopher and Julia (Jenks) Sickles, natives of New York State. She is one of a family of six children, four of whom are now living, the other three being Emeline, the wife of John Phillips of LaPrairie Township, Marshall County, Illinois; Edward of Chillicothe, Illinois and Julia, the wife of Porter Lazelle. Mrs. Winans, grandfather was Thomas Jenks.

He was a native of New York, was a farmer by occupation and lived to a ripe old age. He was the father of 12 children, of whom Mrs. Winans mother was the eldest. Mrs Winans came with her parents to Illinois in 1850, the family settling in Marshall County, Illinois, where she was reared. Her father died in Chillicothe, Illinois, October 10, 1889 on his 85 birthday. Her mother died in February 1887 at the age if 82 years. they were members of the Baptist Church.
Mr. and Mrs. Winans have had 12 children, six sons and six daughters, three of whom died in infancy. The following is a brief record of the other members of the family:

Daniel T. married Mary White and lives in Groveland Township, LaSalle County and has three children, Cassie, Dio and Belle; Ira, unmarried, is the proprietor of a livery stable in Dana; Ellsworth married Ida Cox and lives on a farm in Groveland Township; Eva, wife of James Hayter of Newton, Jasper County, Iowa, has two children, Lulu and Beryl; Julia, wife of Richard White of Pocahontas County, Iowa has eight children:

Ernest, Chloe, Ethel, Pearl, Harvey and Leo, Lila and Lela who are triplets; Belle, a resident of Newton, Iowa has been twice married. By her first husband George Griffin having two children, Amy and Alva, her present husband being William J. Crawford; Ida, the wife of James Justice of Newton, Iowa, has two children, Guy and Bernice; Ella the wife of Allen Martin of Dana,  has six children, Edna, Alva, John William, Agnes and Doris; and Bernice, the wife of Williamm Mathis of Los Angeles, California.

Politically Mr. Winans is a Democrat. He has filled some local offices such as roadmaster and school trustee.

(Note from Sandy: Note: 1850 census for Greenville, Greene Co. NY, Page 203)
Winans, all born in NY
Alvah age 51 farmer. real estate $3500
Eva 47
Andrew 20
Lavina 27
Mary 18
Lewis 12
Robert B. 5
Georgiana 4 months


Edwin Evans, MD

Edwin Evans, M.D., a retired physician of Streator, was born at New Durham, Greene Co., NY, Oct. 6, 1821, a son of Rev. William and Harriet (Linsley) Evans, his father being a Presbyterian minister. Edwin Evans received an academical education and took a two-years college course at Homer, NY. He read medicine as Owasco, NY and took a course of lectures at Geneva, and later attended lectures in the medical department in the University of New York, from which he graduated as M.D. in 1846. He began the practice of medicine at Walden, NY where he remained till 1851, when he came to Illinois and engaged in farming in La Salle County for four years. He then went to Ancona, Livingston Co., Illinois and resumed the practice of medicine, which he followed about eight years, when he engaged in the mercantile business at Pontiac, and also speculated in livestock til 1868. He then came to Streator and
again resumed the practice of medicine and also speculated in town property.

In 1872 he abandoned the practice of his profession and devoted his entire attention to dealing in real estate and building business houses on Main Street, many of which he still owns. With the exception of collecting his rents he has retired from business life. In 1880 he was one of the  incorporators of the Streator Window-Glass Company and served as its President till June, 1884, when he resigned. In 1882 he was one of the  one of the incorporators and a stockholder of the Union National Bank of Streator. The doctor is a member of the Illinois State Natural History Society and also of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, he taking an active interest in both geology and paleontology, making a specialty of the later. He occasionally reads papers before these societies. Dr. Evans makes annual trips to the different parts of the American Continent, not only for the improvement
of his health but for amusement and to gratify his penchant for gathering fossils and geological studies. He has visited all the principal points of interest in the Rocky Mountains, including Yellowstone Park and has examined rocks and fossils in all the southern states and in Canada and has collected a large cabinet of paleontological and zoological specimens. He was married in 1849 to Jess S., daughter of Seth M. Capron, a prominent woolen manufacturer of
Walden, NY. They have one daughter, Helen, now married. The doctor is an attendant and his wife a member of the Congregational church at Streator.


Bruce C. Miller

Bruce Clawson Miller, a successful agriculturist of Eden Township, LaSalle County, has been the architect of his own fortunes, as he started out in the battle of life empty handed and by the exercise of his native powers has won an honored place and an assured competence for his later years.

The parents of our subject, Seymour and Polly (Clawson) Miller, were natives of New York state. They had four children, but one son and one daughter have died and only Bruce C. and Dwight, of Prattsville, New York, survive. The mother died when our subject was a small boy and the father subsequently married her sister, Lydia, and had one child by that union. After he death he wedded Harriet Goodsell and in his old age, as death had once more deprived him of a companion and helpmate, he married Mary Goodsell, a sister of his third wife. He was of Irish descent and his father, John Miller, a farmer, was born in New York state. He passed his entire life there, dying when upward of three score and ten years. The father of Mrs. Polly (Clawson) Miller also was born in the Empire state and followed agriculture as a means of livelihood. Seymour Miller learned the carpenter's trade, which he pursued to some extent, later managing a farm and running a hotel. His whole life was spent in Greene County, New York, the place of his birth, and he reached the age allotted to man, three score and ten. He was a conscientious, upright man and was a worthy member of the Baptist church. The  birth of Bruce C. Miller took place in Greene County, New York, July 24, 1836. He remained with his father working on the farm and in the hotel, until he reached his majority. Desiring to locate permanently in the west, he came to Illinois in 1862 and for some time worked for a farmer in the vicinity of Tonica. At length he had saved sufficient capital to buy a farm of 80 acres in Livingston County, but this being in the nature of an investment, he did not go there to live. A few years later, he rented a homestead in LaSalle County, selling the other place and at the end of seven or eight years he purchased his present farm of 150 acres, which he had previously leased for three years. In time he added another tract of 40 acres to his original farm, but this property he afterward sold. Since 1877 he has lived upon his now well improved homestead one mile east of Tonica, on section 24, Eden Township. Altogether he owns 310 acres, one farm of a quarter-section being in Franklin Co., Iowa. He is engaged in general farming and stock raising and has been very successful, as he justly deserves.

On the 15th of April, 1876, Mr. Miller married Miss Sarah Scott, a daughter of William and Nellie (Hill) Scott, who were natives of Ohio, and farmers by occupation. Mrs. Miller's grandfathers, likewise, were born in the Buckeye state and her mother's father participated in the War of 1812. Mrs. Miller had one sister, who is deceased, and her only brother, Mitchell Scott, who was sergeant in a company of an Ohio resident of volunteers during the Civil War, is now a resident of Ayr, Nebraska. Four children were born to our subject and wife, Willie, who died when about 12 months old, and Ralph, Verna and Roy, who are yet at home. Mrs. Miller's parents were members of the Methodist Episcopal Church and she consequently was an attendant at the services of that
denomination. In his political belief Mr. Miller is a Democrat, but he devotes little of his time to public affairs, as his business and domestic interests take the first place in his heart.


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