Biographical Album - 1891 - Surnames A-B


Ezra Adams came to DeWitt County several years ago and identified himself with its farming population. Since then he has developed a good farm in Santa Anna Township, upon which he has placed a good class of improvements that make it one of the most desirable pieces of property in this locality.

Mr. Adams was born October 23, 1834, in Columbiana County, Ohio, within two miles of the place where Col. Morgan, the celebrated rebel raider was captured. He is a son of Thomas Adams who was born in Redstone, Pa., January 29, 1809. He was a young man when Thomas Adams Sr., his father, removed to Jefferson County, Ohio, in 1814, in the early days of its settlement. The grandfather of our subject lived in that State until 1854 and then went to Missouri, where he died at the age of seventy years. He had been twice married and Thomas Jr. was the son of his first marriage.

The father of our subject received an early training as a farmer on his father's pioneer homestead in Ohio. He became of age and was married in Brush Creek Township, Jefferson County, Miss Elizabeth J. Cashall becoming his wife. She was a native of Maryland and was born June 26, 1811. She was but a child when her parents took her to Ohio, where she grew to a noble womanhood amid the pioneer scenes of Jefferson County. After their marriage Mr. and Mrs. Adams lived for some time in Jefferson County, but finally removed to Columbiana County and later from there to Richland County, Ohio. There the wife and mother died February 14, 1879. She was a woman of devout Christian character and held to the faith of the Christian Church. Thomas Adams is yet living in Richland County, and though he is eighty-one years old he is still active mentally and physically. He has led an upright life during all these years and is greatly esteemed by the people in his community.

Our subject is the eldest of five sons and two daughters. The years of his life until after he attained manhood were spent in the State of his nativity and there he was married in Richland County in 1860 to Miss Isabel Alexander. His wife was born December 12, 1838 in Ray County, Mo., but she was reared chiefly in Ohio. Her parents, John ad Mary (Phipps) Alexander are now both deceased. Her father was born in Pennsylvania and died in Illinois at the age of fifty-four years. Her mother was likewise of Pennsylvania birth and she died at Bloomington, Ill., in 1886, aged seventy-five years. Mr. and Mrs. Adams are the parents of five children, of whom Thomas and Myrtle are deceased. Those living are John C., who married Flora Dawson and lives on a farm in DeWitt Township; and George A. and Jessie who are at home with their parents.

In 1863 Mr. and Mrs. Adams came to Illinois from their old home in Ohio and first settled in McLean County. In 1869 they took up their residence in Piatt County, whence they came to DeWitt County two years later. Mr. Adams first purchased eighty acres of land on section 20, Santa Anna Township, and subsequently bought forty acres more on section 19, to which he afterwards added eighty acres on section 20, and now has in all two hundred acres of land. This forms a finely developed farm, and it may well be the pride of our subject that it has been the work of his hands to place it under such excellent improvements. He is a good farmer and understands well how to carry on his operations to advantage so as to make money. He has been a useful agent in advancing the growth of Santa Anna Township and is in prosperous circumstances. He takes an intelligent view of the political situation of the day and gives hearty support to the Republican party. He is a man whose genial qualities and obliging manners have gained him many warm friends, and he and his amiable wife are very highly thought of by their neighbors and all who know them.

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The gentleman whose name introduces these paragraphs and whose portrait appears on the opposite page, was at one time a teacher in McLean County. He is now, however, better known as a veteran of the late war and a leading grain dealer of DeWitt County. In the latter connection he has carried on a wholesale business in Farmer City since 1881 and is favorably known, not alone in this State, but throughout many sections of the country.

Mr. Alder was born in Belmont County, Ohio, August 8, 1844. When he was a small boy his parents moved to Indiana and took up their residence west of Columbus, and there he passed the remainder of his boyhood. He was a youth of nineteen years when he decided to become a soldier and help fight his country's battles. With that patriotic motive he enlisted in Company A, One hundred and Forty-fifth Indiana Infantry, under Capt. Winters and Col. Adams. The regiment was organized at Columbus and moved thence to the South, where it was in service just one year and was honorably discharged in 1865. Our subject and his comrades often had to do guard duty and he acted in the capacity of a clerk most of the time but with the other members of his regiment never came in direct contact with the enemy.

After leaving the army Mr. Alder returned to his home in Indiana, and utilized his education by teaching in the public schools in Brown County, that State, for one year, and also followed the profession after taking up his residence in Illinois. He came to Farmer City in the spring of 1871, taking the position of book-keeper for J.O. Peckham & Co., at a small salary, and within a year took charge of their western business, in which capacity he continued for five years, getting an annual salary of $1,800 for this service. For the following four years he was associated with the firm as a partner, and on the closing up of their business in 1881 he arranged to conduct a wholesale grain trade, buying and selling in carload lots. The western territory in which the grain is bought embraces several counties in this State and Indiana, and is sold direct to consumers in New England, New York, Pennsylvania and other Eastern States, where he keeps a salesman constantly looking after his interests. This business has increased from year to year until now (1890) his annual shipments amount to over $1,000,000 and are quite profitable.

Mr. Alder is a man of well-balanced intellect, great executive ability, and much tenacity of purpose. His talent for business is of a high order and his standing in financial circles good. In this municipality his influence is considerable and he has ably filled the highest local office within the gift of his fellow citizens, that of Mayor of Farmer City. The Prohibition party finds in him a warm advocate and his is a man of strictly temperate habits. In social circles he and his estimable wife are prominent, and as active members of the Presbyterian Church they have done their duty in promoting the religious interests of the community.

In this brief history of our subject we must not omit a short account of his father, Anderson Alder, who was born in Loudoun County, Va., and was the son of Lattimer Alder, also a native of Virginia. The grandfather of our subject was bred to the life of a farmer amid the pleasant scenes of his birthplace and in later life removed to Ohio, whence at the age of eighty years the venerable old man went to Kansas and located in Anderson County, where his life was prolonged to the advanced age of ninety years. He was a man of remarkable strength, possessed a very fine physique and was a brave soldier in the War of 1812. The father of our subject passed his early life on his father's Virginia farm and finally with his wife, formerly Rachael Kemp, also a native of Loudoun County, he removed to Belmont County, Ohio, after the birth of one child. There his other children were born and here his wife died while yet in the prime of life when her son, our subject, was four years old. Mr. Alder was a second time married to Miss Martha Hubbard, who was born and reared in Ohio. Four years after the last marriage Anderson Alder and his wife and family removed to Indiana and became pioneers of Brown County, where the father lived till his death in 1882 when nearly sixty-three years old. His widow is still living there and is past middle age. Mr. Alder was for many years a Republican, in fact belonged to that party from the time of its formation. He and both of his wives were members of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Our subject is the youngest but one of the three sons and one daughter born to his father and mother, all of whom married and are living in different States. The sister resided in Indiana, one brother in Minnesota and another in Nebraska.

The happy marriage of our subject to Miss S.E. Blain was celebrated at Farmer City. Mrs. Alder is a native of DeWitt County and was born February 23, 1853, to William and Anna (Hayes) Blain, natives of Ohio. They were reared and married in that State, but subsequently came to Illinois early in the '50s and settled in DeWitt county. Mrs. Blain died here some years afterward and left behind her the record of a well-spent life. After the death of his wife Mr. Blain went to Fillmore County, Neb., and was a pioneer of some prominence in that locality. He helped to organize the county and did many things for the welfare of his community. He was sent to the Nebraska Legislature by his admiring fellow-citizens and was a member of that honorable body. While in the midst of a busy life brought about by his public position he was stricken by death in 1885, he being then quite full of years. In his politics he was a Republican. His daughter, Mrs. Alder, was reared in this county and received a careful training from her parents. She was educated at Abingdon, Ill., and followed the profession of a teacher before her marriage.

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Hiram Ames is a respected citizen of DeWitt County and is honored and esteemed wherever known. He is a successful general farmer, residing in Santa Anna Township. He is the proprietor of a large farm comprising four hundred acres, nearly all of which is under cultivation and highly improved and is pleasantly located in Blue Ridge and Santa Anna Townships, on the line between DeWitt and Piatt Counties. Mr. Ames comes of good old New England stock and is himself a native of that section of the country. He was born in the town and county of Rutland, Vt., in March, 1817. He is a son of Avery Ames, a native of Stockbridge, Mass. The father came of Bay State parentage and spent his entire life in New England. He was not yet grown when his parents moved to the wilds of Rutland County, and there the rest of his life was spent, his death occurring on the old Ames homestead in the town of Rutland when he was about eighty years old.

Avery Ames was the only son of his parents and had four sisters, all of whom grew to womanhood in Vermont and all died in that State. He followed farming all his life. After he became of age in the new pioneer home of his parents in Rutland County he was there married to Annie Ames, a native of that county, where she spent her entire life, dying at the age of eighty-eight years. She came of old New England stock well-known in Vermont, and of a similar ancestry as that of her husband. The Ames family were usually members of the Congregational Church and were strong supporters of religion.

Hiram Ames was the second son and fourth child of the four sons and two daughters born to his parents, all of whom lived to manhood and womanhood and married and all had families, and four of them are yet living. Two brothers of our subject live in Kane County, Ill., and one in Vermont. Our subject passed his youth in his native county and in early manhood took up his residence in Licking County, Ohio, where he met and married Diana Hilbrant, a native of that county, born in 1821. Her parents were among the early settlers of that part of Ohio, and there spent their remaining years on a farm which they hewed from the wilderness. Her mother died when Mrs. Ames was young and she was reared by an older sister, with whom she lived till she was married. She labored hard with her husband to build up a home in Illinois and here she died in Santa Anna Township, June 10, 1874. She was a woman of high reputation, of fine character, and was one of the most active members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, which she joined when she was twenty-two years old. Two children were born of her marriage with our subject: Henry, who married Ollie Permeter and lives in South Omaha, Neb.; and Annis, who is now living in a home of her own in Piatt County.

Mr. Ames was married to his present estimable wife in Santa Anna Township. Mrs. Ames’ maiden name was Elizabeth Tull and she was born in Ross County, Ohio, May 19, 1828. She was reared and educated in her native State and lived there till she was forty-two years of age when she came to Illinois and has since made her home in DeWitt County. Mr. and Mrs. Ames are living quietly in a home that is replete with comfort and in the enjoyment of the affection and respect of all about them.

During his residence in Ohio Mr. Ames was actively engaged in farming about ten miles from Newark, nearly twenty years. He finally disposed of his property there, as he saw there were many advantages to be gained by a removal to the Prairie State, and hither he came in the fall of 1866. He has lived on this farm and owned the most of the land since that time with the exception of some six years spent in Farmer City. He has kept his place well stocked, but has never dealt in fancy cattle or stock of any kind. His farm is amply supplied with neat and well-ordered buildings, and everything about the place has an air of thrift that betokens excellent management on the part of the owner. Mr. Ames is a man of high reputation and stands well with his fellow-citizens in all respects. He is a devoted adherent of the Republican party and is earnestly interested in politics, as every true citizen should be.

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Daniel H. Arbogast is one of the leading business men of DeWitt County. He is a well-known builder, contractor and manufacturer of brick and tile, carrying on his extensive business operations on section 3, Santa Anna Township, near Farmer City. He comes of sturdy pioneer stock and is a native of Clarke County, Ohio, where he was born May 2, 1827. He is a descendant of German ancestry, his paternal grandfather, David Arbogast, having been a native of Germany. He came to the United States when a young man and settled in Virginia, where the rest of his days were passed in farming, his death occurring there when he was an old man. He married in Virginia a lady of American birth and they reared a large family of children.

Henry Arbogast, the father of our subject, was born and reared on a farm in Pendleton County, Va. He had married before the breaking out of the War of 1812, and had become a resident of Ohio being one of the early settlers of that State. He enlisted to take part in the struggle and was a soldier under Gen. Harrison. In 1839 he came to Illinois and spent the first winter in McLean County. He afterwards took up his abode in DeWitt Township, DeWitt County, where he purchased land. Some years later he left that place and spent his last days in the home of his son Henry, in Rutledge Township, where he died at the venerable age of eighty-three years. He occupied an honorable place among the pioneers of this section of the country and was held in high estimation as an upright man and a loyal citizen. He was a Methodist in his religious faith. Politically, he was born a Democrat, but he died a firm Republican.

The parents of our subject were married in Virginia. His mother whose maiden name was Mary Huffman, was of German stock and was born and reared in Virginia. After marriage she accompanied her husband to Ohio and thence to this State and helped make their home in DeWitt Township, where she died in 1851 at the age of sixty-six years. She was an active member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Her father, Daniel Huffman, was a Revolutionary soldier.

Our subject was one of the youngest members of a large family of fifteen children, he being the seventh son and twelfth child in order of birth. As he was a mere infant when he was brought to this county, the most of his life has been passed here and he grew with its growth. He first established himself in Santa Anna Township, as a farmer and stock dealer, but he soon abandoned that calling to give his attention to his present business and twenty years ago established himself where he now is. He is doing a large business in his line, supplying the demand for brick and tile in this section and makes about one million brick a year and over one hundred thousand tile in the same length of time. He is also a contractor and has built some of the finest brick houses, both public and private, in this part of the county. He has a wide reputation as a builder and also as a manufacturer and his standing in financial circles is high.

Mr. Arbogast was married in Santa Anna Township to Miss Minerva Payne, a native of Eastern Tennessee, who was born May 28, 1829. She is a daughter of John A. G. and Catherine (Johnson) Payne, her mother being a cousin of Richard M. and Andrew Johnson, the latter once President of the United States. After marriage Mr. and Mrs. Payne lived in Tennessee until the birth of four children, of whom Mrs. Arbogast was the youngest. They then emigrated with teams to Illinois, when she was but a few months old, and settled among the pioneers of Vermillion County where they lived for some time. Mr. Payne followed the trade of a tanner which he had acquired in Tennessee. He finally went north of his first location and purchased land, which is the present site of the city of Kankakee. He live there until 1849 and then came with his family to Santa Anna Township, and here he and his wife spent their last days, he dying at the age of forty-four years and she when seventy-three years old. The were members of the Methodist Episcopal Church and were good, much respected people.

Mrs. Arbogast was reared carefully by her parents and remained with them until her marriage. Her wedded life with our subject has been greatly blessed to them by the birth of ten children, of whom these four are deceased: an infant, George, Grenad and Edward. Those living are Elizabeth J., wife of A.D. Webb, of Farmer City; Lydia A., wife of John E. Swiney, a farmer in Santa Anna Township; John H., who married Susan Muier and lives in Oklahoma Territory, near Guthrie; Amos, who married Mary Griffith and has a meat market in Farmer City; Sherman, who married Harriet Gardner and is carrying on business as a contractor in Farmer City; Walter J., at home with his parents, is a graduate of the High School at Farmer City and now engaged as a contractor.

Mr. and Mrs. Arbogast are among our best people and their pleasant social qualities have endeared them to a large circle of friends. They are people of true Christian worth and are Methodists in their religious belief. Mr. Arbogast and his sons are Republicans in politics and are considered to be among our most useful, enterprising and public-spirited citizens, who are potent in advancing the growth and material welfare of this portion of the county.

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It is at all times a pleasure to peruse the records of the lives of our honored dead and to gaze upon portraits representing the familiar lineaments of friends who have passed away. Our readers will be pleased to notice on the opposite page the portrait of the late Mr. Arbogast and to glean from these paragraphs the most important events in his life. The son of one of DeWitt County's pioneers, in due time Mr. Arbogast became the owner of the old homestead that he had assisted his father in reclaiming from the wilderness, and thus became a potent factor in advancing the agricultural interests of this section. By his death ere he had attained old age DeWitt Township was deprived of one of its most useful citizens and he was mourned by many who valued him for his friendship and esteemed him for his many noble attributes of heart and mind.

Mr. Arbogast was born in Clarke County, Ohio, July 26, 1829. He was a brother of Henry J. and Daniel Arbogast of DeWitt County, both of whom are represented in this volume, and in their biographies will be found a full history of the family. Our subject was ten years of age when his parents brought him to Illinois in October, 1839, and in their pioneer home on an unbroken piece of land on section 10., DeWitt Township, purchased from the Government, he assisted his father in developing a farm. This place remained his home during his life, and in time he became its sole proprietor. The farm consisted of three hundred and fifty-nine acres of valuable land and is yet in the possession of the family, belonging chiefly to the widow of our subject and her only son, Charles. It is amply supplied with fine buildings, is under a high state of cultivation and is universally conceded to be one of the most beautiful places in this part of the county. The farm is well watered and well stocked, and is a comfortable home for the family, who aim to hand it down from father to son, from generation to generation, and desire that the deed of ownership shall always be in the name of the family, and in the future, as in the past, always be kept free from debt.

Our subject passed his early life on the old homestead, and here attained his majority. When he was twenty-four years of age he purchased a farm in Rutledge Township, which he improved and lived upon till 1864. In that year, he sold that property and went to Kansas. But after a short sojourn in that State, he decided to come back to Illinois, and on his return he purchased his father's old homestead and here lived till death called him hence February 26, 1885. He was a successful man and was prominent in many ways. In early life he was a member of the United Brethren Church, but later united with the Protestant Methodist Church and died in that faith. His political views found expression in the tenets of the Republican Party, of which he was a strong supporter. In the latter part of his life he was a member of Mt. Pleasant Lodge, No 126, I.O.O.F., in which he was an active worker and highly esteemed by all his brethren.

Mr. Arbogast was married in this township and county to Miss Martha E. Sappington. Mrs. Arbogast was born in Morgan County, Ill., April 25, 1842, to Preston and Hannah (Welch) Sappington, natives respectively of Missouri and Ohio. Before their marriage they had come to Morgan County, and were there united in matrimony in the village of Franklin. After that important event they began life as farmers in that county. Later they sold their property there and located in Piatt County, whence they came to DeWitt County, some years later and took up their residence on a farm in DeWitt Township. That remained their home until the death of the mother October 21, 1856, when she was only thirty-seven years of age. Mr. Sappington was married a second time in this township, Miss Anna Wood becoming his wife, and some years later he sold his possessions here and went to Linn County, Kan., and afterward to Missouri, where he died in June, 1885, at the age of sixty-four years. His widow is now living in Newton County, Mo., at the age of fifty-five years.

Mrs. Arbogast is the eldest of the seven children born to her mother, and she passed her early life principally in Piatt and DeWitt Counties. She is a woman of marked capability, and since the death of her husband has managed her farm with admirable success. She is a Christian in word and deed, and one of the most active workers in the Protestant Methodist Church of which she has been a member for a number of years. She is very active in the Sunday-schools of the community, and may always be found advocating the cause of the poor and unfortunate, and giving liberally of her means toward all charitable objects. By her marriage with our subject, Mrs. Arbogast became the mother of five children, namely: Stella A., wife of Josephus Fuller, and now living with her mother; Clarissa C., who married Charles Swigart, a farmer of Piatt County; Dora L., wife of Joseph North, a farmer of Rutledge Township; Charles P., who is part owner of the old homestead, and married Alcora Merrifield, and Ida E., a music teacher, who is living at home with her mother. The children are all intelligent and progressive and represent as a family the leading citizens of the county. Ida is a great worker for good in temperance, Sunday-school, church and all charitable work.

The grandmother of Mrs. Arbogast, Mrs. Sappington, was among the first settlers of Morgan County, and was a resident of DeWitt County for over thirty years. She was a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church for seventy-one years and was an active worker both in her church and in the temperance cause. She died in Clinton, September 1, 1887, at the ripe old age of eighty-seven years, and her memory is cherished by her descendants as a brave pioneer and honorable Christian woman.

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Henry J. Arbogast has been a resident of DeWitt County for half a century, and within that time has witnessed almost its entire growth from a wilderness to is present well-developed and flourishing condition. The work that he has done in helping to bring about this wonderful change entitles him to a high place among its pioneers. For many years he has been engaged in general farming and stock raising on section 34, Rutledge Township, but is now living somewhat retired from active life in the home that he has built up here.

Mr. Arbogast, whose portrait appears on the opposite page, was born in Clarke County, Ohio May 29, 1822, and was one of a large family of children. His father, Henry Arbogast, Sr., was a native of Virginia, where he was reared and married, Miss Mary Huffman, a Virginia lady becoming his wife. After the birth of two children they made their way across the intervening wilderness to Clarke County, Ohio, in 1810, and were among its earliest pioneers. The father served throughout the War of 1812, and was rewarded by a land warrant from the Government. In 1839 he and his wife and their twelve children again started westward with teams and finally came to Illinois. They settled for one year in McLean County, in Lexington Township, and then came to DeWitt County, and located on a new farm in DeWitt Township, said farm being in the timber section. After some years the wife and mother died in the new home at the age of sixty-six years. The father died some years later in the home of his son, our subject, in Rutledge Township, at the age of eighty-two years. He and his wife were zealous members of the Methodist Episcopal Church. He was in early life a Whig in his political views and later joined the Republican party.

Our subject was seventeen years old when he came to this county with his parents, and he became of age in DeWitt Township. He was reared as a farmer and early adopted the calling to which he had been bred. At one time he owned two hundred and forty acres of land, but he has given a part of it to his children and has reduced the area of his homestead to one hundred and twenty acres. owns besides this a fine tract of timber land comprising forty-five acres, and one hundred and fifteen acres of land in Hancock County, Iowa, which is mostly improved. His farm is well drained, is under admirable tillage, and amply supplied with a good class of buildings, so that in all respects it compares with the best in its locality.

In early manhood our subject took unto himself a wife in the person of Miss Frances Harrold, their marriage being celebrated in this county. Mrs. Arbogast was born in Virginia in Grayson County, December 1, 1825. She was a girl of twelve or fourteen years when she came to Illinois with her parents, Eli and Carrie A. (Ayers) Harrold, who were early settlers of DeWitt Township. Mr. Harrold was a pioneer farmer of the county, and he and his wife passed their last years on the farm that he had developed from a wild condition, he dying at the age of eighty-two years and she when fifty years of age. Mrs. Arbogast was the third of seven children, the most of whom are yet living. She remained with her parents until her marriage, and was carefully trained in all that goes to make a good housewife. Of the six children born to her and our subject, three are deceased, William F., Gemalia and Mary E., all of whom died quite young. The surviving children are Sydney Jane, wife of George Gray, a farmer in Hancock County, Iowa; Lucinda, wife of James Bunton, who is farming on a part of our subject's farm in this township; Anna, wife of Robert Roy, a farmer in this township.

Mr. Arbogast and his wife had to pass through many hard pioneer experiences before they attained their present comfortable circumstances. Their place is among the best people in Rutledge Township, where they are held in great respect and warm affection by the entire community. They are people of true religious natures and the Methodist Episcopal Church find in them two of its most faithful members. Politically, Mr. Arbogast is a sound Republican.

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DeWitt County has among her citizens many of the noble volunteers of the late war who so patriotically laid aside all personal claims and ambitions to help their country in her hour of peril, and to whose valor and self-sacrifice it is due that the Stars and Stripes to-day wave over a free and united nation. Our subject is one of these, and he is now a conspicuous figure in the farming and stock-raising interests of this region. He has a farm in Clintonia Township that is in every particular well ordered and well equipped and ranks as one of the principal farms in this vicinity.

Mr. Argo was born in Clermont County, Ohio July 12, 1842, and is a son of Alexander Argo, also a native of the Buckeye State. His grandfather, Moses Argo, was a native of France. He was a farmer by occupation and was one of the early settlers of Ohio. He served as a soldier in the War of 1812, while his father was a soldier in the Revolution. The family as represented in America originated from the historical three brothers, of whom two only seemed to have left any posterity. The grandfather of our subject settled first in Virginia, and subsequently removed to Ohio. He and his wife reared three sons and two daughters, of whom but one is still living-Ebenezer, who resides near Cincinnati, Ohio. The grandfather of our subject died while still in the prime of life when his son Alexander was quite young.

Thus left an orphan when he was only two years of age, the father of our subject was reared by an uncle of the name of Watkins. When a boy he served an apprenticeship to learn the trade of wagon maker and followed that calling nearly all his life. After coming to this county he had a shop in Clinton, where he worked at his trade much of the time. He located here permanently in 1844, though he had previously visited this section of the country in 1842 with a view of taking up his residence here. He made the journey hither by boat down the Ohio and up the Mississippi and Illinois Rivers to Pekin, whence he came to this point. He first settled in Clinton, and as before stated was engaged as a wagon maker, working at that calling many years. He had a farm and gave some attention to its cultivation, but left its management mainly to his boys. He owned considerable land and accumulated a handsome competence through his untiring industry and excellent management.

Mr. Argo was a very pious man, and was a great church worker. In early life he was a Presbyterian, but later finding himself more in sympathy with the Methodists, united with that church and became one of its useful members. He was instrumental in establishing the Methodist Episcopal Church at Clinton and in building the house of worship. He was also prominent in politics, and was an old-line Whig with Abolitionist tendencies, and when the Republican party was organized he became identified with it. In early manhood he married Eliza A. Walraven, a native of Clermont County, Ohio, who bore him six children, of whom these five grew to manhood and womanhood--Philena (Mrs. Campbell), Samuel, Emmanuel, Thomas J., William, and Martin Luther (deceased).

The gentleman of whom this sketch is principally written was but two years old when he accompanied his parents to DeWitt County. This part of the State was still in the hands of the pioneers, and he was reared amid the primitive scenes of those days. He attended the pioneer schools and was at one time a pupil in the old court-house which is now used as a dwelling. When a boy he worked much in his father's shop, and gained a good practical knowledge of mechanics. He was twenty years old when life began for him in earnest and he became a farmer, renting land for a short time. He was engaged at the beginning of the war and as soon as he was able he enlisted to take part in the great conflict. He became a member of Company B, One Hundred and Seventh Illinois Infantry, August 9,1862, which entered the service for a period of three years. He was mustered in at Camp Butler, Springfield, and with his regiment was sent to Louisville, Ky., and had to guard the Louisville & Nashville Railroad from there to Glasgow, Ky. He and his fellow-soldiers were thus engaged until Morgan made his famous raid through Ohio, and then they were sent to follow him and after capturing him guarded his at Columbus.

The One Hundred and Seventh was then dispatched to Lexington, Ky., and from there went across the mountains to Knoxville, Tenn., and took part in the siege of that city. There they entered upon the Georgia campaign and marched to Atlanta, where they faced the enemy in the big battle of Franklin, which some assert to have been the most hotly contested of the whole war. After that he and his comrades met the enemy at Nashville and then at Washington. From there they embarked on a vessel bound for Smithville, N.C., and engaged in the capture of Ft. Anderson and Wilmington. They then went up the coast and had a hard and tiresome march through swamps until they came to Charlotteville, where they struck a railway which they followed to Raleigh, N.C. There they first learned the terrible new of Lincoln's assassination. Salisbury, N.C., was their next destination, where they remained until they were mustered out, and were finally discharged at Springfield August 13, 1865.

On his return home from the scenes of war, our subject quietly resumed his occupation as a farmer and March 1, 1866, moved to his present place of residence. He built in that spring his commodious and conveniently-arranged residence, and has here a comfortable home that is noted for the hospitality of its genial host and gracious hostess. At first he owned but forty acres of land, but from time to time he has added to his estate until he is now the proprietor of three hundred and twenty acres of the choicest land in the county. He pays a great deal of attention to raising stock of all kinds and has a large number of very fine Polled-Angus cattle besides some fine horses and many hogs of high grade.

Mr. Argo was married in 1861 to Elizabeth Razey, who is a native of Pike County. She has made our subject a most excellent wife and is a wise and tender mother. Her marriage with our subject has brought to them seven children, of whom the six named are living: Ella (Mrs. McKenney), Frederick, Philena, Thomas, Sallie May and Arte.

Mr. Argo is a wide-awake, stirring man of business, endowed with keen perceptions, and he has a clear insight into the best methods for carrying on agriculture. In his political views his is a decided Republican. He is connected with the Grand Army of the Republic as a prominent member of Post No. 151, at Wapello. Throughout his entire career he has shown himself to be alive to the duties and responsibilities of citizenship and is classed among the best citizens of his community.

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William Armstrong is one of the successful farmers and stock-raisers of DeWitt County, owning a fine farm in Barnett Township where he is held in high consideration as a citizen who earnestly strives to advance its best interests. He is a veteran of the late war in which he was as loyal to his adopted country as any soldier, native-born, who bore arms in defense of the Union. Our subject is a native of Cumberland County, England, where he was born July 26, 1831, and is a son of Joseph and Ann (Hetherington) Armstrong. His father was born at Barnett's Castle, January 1, 1826, and died in Clinton, Ill., August 20, 1887. While living in his native land he was a foreman on one of the English railways. He was twice married in the land of his birth. His first wife, who died in Hayton, England, bore him five children, of whom the following four grew to maturity: George, Joseph, William and Jane, all of whom came to the United States and were married here except Jane, who married in England. George was the first to come to this country and he landed here in 1853. Joseph came in 1855, and our subject in 1856. Mr. Armstrong married for his second wife Jane Schemians, and their marriage brought them three sons and one daughter, as follows: John, Thomas, James and Lizzie.

The father of our subject came to the United States in the spring of 1858 and located at Clinton, where he carried on business as a farmer and contractor and at one time he had a large contract to aid in building the Union Pacific Railroad to Omaha. He was connected with the Methodist Episcopal Church as one of its most consistent members for a period of fifty years. He continued to live in this county until death called him hence, and was held in general esteem by all who knew him.

The early life of our subject was passed in the land of his birth, and he received a very good education during the seven years that he attended school. He worked on a farm and on a railroad until he migrated to this country in 1856, when he was in the prime and vigor of early manhood. He landed in New York City in the month of July, and making his way to Waterford, N.Y., was employed there three weeks, prior to coming to this State, to join his two brothers in DeWitt County. In the fall of 1867 he located on sixty acres of land on section 23, Barnett Township, which has ever since remained his home. He came to this country with but little means and has attained his present prosperity solely through his individual efforts. He now owns two hundred and sixty-two acres of highly-tilled, finely-improved land, which forms one of the most desirable farms in this region and has it well stocked with cattle, horses and hogs of fine grades, from the sale of which he derives a good income. On another page the reader will notice a view of this pleasant estate.

August 1, 1852* (transcribers note: should be 1862), our subject volunteered to defend the Government under which he had come to live, enlisting on that date in Company D, One Hundred and Seventh Illinois Infantry. He was with his regiment until July 6, 1863, when he joined Battery K, under the command of John H. Colvin of Chicago. The first action in which he took part was at Kingsport, Tenn. He next faced the enemy at Blountville, that State; was at Zollicoffer; and did a good service in the second battle of Blountville. He faced the enemy at Rheatown, Tenn., and at Walker's Ford on Clinch River. At Beans Station, December 14, 1863, where he was in the hottest of the fight, he received an injury from the recoil of a gun. He acted as a gunner until the fall of 1864, and continued in the service as a valiant soldier until he was mustered out at Knoxville, Tenn., June 19, 1865.

After the excitement and hardships of a soldier's life, our subject returned home and quietly resumed his occupation as a farmer. In entering the army he had to leave the comforts of a good home; he had established himself in domestic life some time previously marrying November 14, 1858, Eliza Ann M. Sprague. Mrs. Armstrong was born in Gallia County, Ohio, November 23, 1781* (transcribers note: 1781 is not the correct year), and is a daughter of Charles L. and Mary (Watkins) Sprague, natives respectively of Maine and North Carolina. They were married in Ohio, of which they were early pioneers and in 1852 came to DeWitt County, Ill., where the father is still living.

The following is the record of the eleven children that have blessed the marriage of our subject and his wife: Charles, born September 2, 1859; George B., May 18, 1862; William H., May 20, 1866; Edward J., June 15, 1868; John T., May 14, 1870; Jacob M., born August 21, 1872, died March 7, 1874; Robert S., born October 2, 1874; Warren W., October 8, 1876; Moses E., born March 29, 1878, died September 25, 1879; Mary A., born February 20, 1880, died in infancy; Alice J. E., born April 3, 1881.

Our subject is a man of many sterling qualities of head and heart, whose career has gained for him the honor and esteem of all with whom he associates. He takes an active and intelligent interest in politics and is one of the most stalwart champions of the Republican party. He was a Democrat until Gen Logan made his famous four days' speech during the Fitz John Porter trial, and the sentiments then uttered by that famous man changed his political views. Mr. Armstong and his wife have been members of the Methodist Episcopal Church for fifteen years, and he has held some church office ever since his connection with it. He is devoted to the interests of church and Sunday-school and has been a prominent factor in their up building. He is especially active in the Sunday-school which he never fails to attend when able to be there. He was sent as a delegate to the World's Sunday-school Convention in London, England, in 1889, and to the Inter-National Convention at Pittsburg in 1890, and was also delegate to the State Convention at Jacksonville.

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DeWitt County has no lack of energetic and progressive young business men to aid in carrying on its varied interests. Our subject is a fine representative of this class of her citizens. He is a member of the firm of Averitt & Sabin, of Farmer City, extensive dealers in all kinds of hardware, tinware, etc. Mr. Averitt is a native of this State and was born in Harristown, Macon County, September 1, 1861. He is the son of John F. Averitt, a native of Kentucky, who was in turn a son of Nathan Averitt, also of Kentucky birth. Some years after their marriage the grandparents of our subject came to Macon County, Ill., and were among its pioneer people, and there they both died full of years.

John F. Averitt was a young man when he accompanied the family from Kentucky to Illinois and in Macon County he attained his majority and subsequently married Miss Ella Eyeman. She was born in St. Clair County, Ill., to Abraham and Clarissa (McGuire) Eyeman, natives respectively of Illinois and Pennsylvania, the mother having come to this State when young, in a flatboat on the Ohio River from Pittsburg to Cairo. Her parents were among the early settlers of St. Clair County and there she met and married her husband. They move to Macon County in quite and early day of its settlement and there Abraham Eyeman and his wife lived a great many years, the former dying April 20, 1890, at the age of eighty-seven years. Prior to his death he was the oldest native-born citizen but one living in the State. He came of German stock and ancestry and was an active member of the Christian Church. His wife, who is yet living is eighty-five years of age. She makes her home with her daughter, Mrs. Ella Averitt, the mother of our subject, in Macon County and is yet an active and intelligent old lady.

After John Averitt and his wife were married they settled on a farm in Macon County and there at the age of twenty-nine years when in the flush and vigor of manhood Mr. Averitt died, leaving his wife with one child, our subject. A little after his death a daughter was born to the widowed mother and this daughter has since grown to womanhood and is now the wife of M.D. Kemp, a farmer in Harristown, Macon County. After the death of her husband the mother of our subject returned to the home of her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Eyeman, with her two children, and has ever since lived there. She is now fifty-eight years of age and is a noble Christian woman and a valued member of the Christian Church.

Our subject was carefully reared by his mother and grandparents and early in life imbibed those high principles that have been his guide in after years. Some years ago Mr. Averitt came to Farmer City and went into business. In January, 1885 he became associated with J.H. Chamberlain under the firm title of Chamberlain & Averitt, they having succeeded to the business of Harrison Hardware Company which had been conducted by different men and managed under different titles from time to time for many years, it being one of oldest if not the oldest hardware house in the city. In 1888 Mr. Sabin purchased the interest of Mr. Chamberlain, since which time the business has been conducted under the name of Averitt & Sabin. Our subject and his partner have infused new life into the business and have built up a large trade. They have the finest and most prominent stand in the city and have a store that is well equipped and stocked with everything in their line. Mr. Averitt is a young man of exemplary habits and firm character and is justly regarded as one of our most promising business men. He is an earnest advocate of temperance in politics and is a devoted Prohibitionist.

Mr. Averitt and Miss Clara Sheffer were united in marriage in Gibson City, Ill., and they have established in this place one of the most charming homes within its limits. Mrs. Averitt is a native of Will County, Ill., born April 29, 1864. Her parents, Joseph and Maria (Henselman) Sheffer, are now living in Gibson City, Ford County, and are old and well-known residents of that place. Mr. Sheffer who is now living in retirement was formerly a tailor. He and his wife are among the most conscientious and upright members of the United Brethren Church. Mrs. Averitt was well and carefully reared and is a graduate of the High School at Gibson, Ill. For two years she was engaged as a teacher in the city schools of Farmer City. She is the mother of one child-Ruth. Mr. and Mrs. Averitt are members of the Christian Church at Farmer City, and are among the leading young society people of their community.

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The profession of law affords a field for the exercise of mental ability and talents that are used to the same advantage in no other line of life. To be a good lawyer requires not only high mental capacity in the way of keen perceptions and excellent memory, but makes a good command of language and a self-possessed manner equally necessary. The gentleman whose life history it is our purpose to sketch has been engaged in the practice of law but a short time, though sufficiently long to indicate his possession of qualities which fit him for the legal arena. He is a member of the firm of Barclay & Gambrel, attorneys at law in Clinton, DeWitt County, which is doing a general business, practicing in all the courts.

Before gaining a brief outline of the history of this gentleman it may be well to say something of those from whom he derived his being. His grandparents, William and Catherine (Christie) Barclay, lived on a farm in Scotland which had been occupied by members of the Barclay family for six generations, William Barclay being a member of the Kincardineshire branch of the "Barclays," one of the oldest Lowland Scotch families of eastern Scotland. Thomas Christie, the great-grandfather of our subject, was also a farmer and from this line likewise the gentleman of whom we write derives good blood. One of his ancestors in the maternal line was Povost of Montrose. William and Catherine Barclay had two children, a son and daughter, the former of whom was born May 13, 1820, and was christened David. He passed his youth in Scotland, attending the parish school and in the intervals of study working on the farm, until he had reached years of manhood. From that time he devoted himself to the labors of life, in his twenty-sixth year going to Ireland as Land Steward to Lord Clermont, with whom he remained some ten years.

David Barclay, Sr., was married to Helen Lowe, who was a native of Scotland and died leaving one child--David. In 1860 Mr. Barclay became the husband of Miss Mary Grogan, a native of Scotland and a daughter of Patrick Grogan. By this marriage he has one child, a daughter Margaret, who is married to Travis Redman. A year later he emigrated to the United States, landing in New York, whence he came direct to Springfield, Ill. He purchased eighty acres of land in Texas Township, DeWitt County, where he carried on farming and stock-raising for a number of years. He added to his estate until it comprised four hundred and eighty acres, all of which was placed under cultivation and improved in first-class style. He received a small amount of money from his father's estate, but made most of his wealth by raising hogs and cattle, which he frequently shipped to Chicago. In 1888 he moved into Clinton, took possession of a neat cottage which he had built, and is spending his declining years in peace and quietness, leaving his farm in charge of his son-in-law.

David Barclay, Jr., was born in County Louth, Ireland, December 9, 1854, and accompanied his parents across the Atlantic when but a small boy. He grew to manhood on the farm in Texas Township and in the district schools acquired sufficient knowledge to enable him to secure a teacher's certificate, after which he taught four terms. While living on the farm he was elected Supervisor of the township and re-elected two successive years, serving as Chairman of the Board two years. He then became Deputy County Clerk under A.V. Lisenby and serving two years, devoted his spare time to reading law with Messrs. Moore & Warner, prominent attorneys at Clinton. He was admitted to the bar June 16, 1888, and at once opened an office, in December of the same year forming a co-partnership with William P. Gambrel.

The presence of a capable and refined woman in the home of Mr. Barclay is evident to all who visit it, even before they make the acquaintance of his wife, formerly Miss Mary Miller. This lady is a daughter of Benjamin and Martha Miller, who are numbered among th early settlers of the county. She became the wife of Mr. Barclay December 31, 1889. Mr. Barclay give his political allegiance to the Democratic party, and finds social enjoyment in the meetings of Maroa Lodge, No. 454, F. & A. M. He and his wife enjoy the friendship of the most intelligent and cultured circles in Clinton, and Mr. Barclay is respected by his fellow members of the bar.

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William Barnes is classed among the most intelligent and progressive of the pioneers who have helped to lay the solid foundation of DeWitt County's present prosperity, and are still closely identified with its best interests, and gives us pleasure to represent him in this Biographical Album. He has made farming the chief business of his life and has as fine a farm on section 23, DeWitt Township as can be found in this locality.

Mr. Barnes is a native of Pickaway County, Ohio, where he was born in the pioneer home of his parents, September 23, 1821. His father, George Barnes, was a native of Virginia, and was of German descent. He was four years of age when his parents, John and Mary Barnes, cast in their lot with the first settlers of Pickaway County, Ohio, where his father followed his trade as a millwright and built some of the first mills in that county, carrying on his business until his death when quite an old man. He was a fine workman, and among the leading mechanics of his day. His wife survived him a great many years and finally died in DeWitt County, this State, when nearly four-score years old. Both were active members of the Methodist Episcopal Church for a good many years.

George Barnes was one of quite a large family of children. He grew up on a farm in Pickaway County, and there married his first wife, Mary Seaburn, who was born and reared in Ohio. A few years after marriage they moved to Marion County, in 1826, and there the first wife died one year later, while still young. Mr. Barnes was married a second time to Mrs. Elizabeth Davis. She was a native of Ohio and died in Marion County, after the birth of two children, when she was still in the prime of life. His third marriage took place in Piatt County, when he was wedded to Miss Rebecca Clayton, who survived him and died in DeWitt County. Mr. Barnes died four years before his last wife at the age of forty-nine years. He and all his wives were stanch members of the Methodist Episcopal Church.

Our subject was only four years of age when his father moved to Marion County. He was a stalwart, active, wide-awake youth when he came to this State in the month of September, 1833, with his father, who bought a tract of Government land in Piatt County on which the family lived some four years. He then sold that place, and bought Government land in DeWitt County the year the county was organized, and has been one of its most valued residents ever since. He has made his home on his present farm on section 23, DeWitt Township, since 1846 and he has here a large and well-kept farm of three hundred and forty acres of choice land. It is well watered, stocked with cattle, horses and hogs, and is supplied with good buildings and all necessary improvements. Mr. Barnes also owns a finely improved farm of one hundred and fifty-five acres in Nixon Township.

Mr. Barnes was married in this township and county to Miss Caroline Day. She walked by his side for many years, faithfully performing her share in the up building of their home, and her death March 27, 1889, was a sad bereavement to her husband and children and was mourned far beyond her household circle. She was a noble woman and a firm Christian, was one of the most consistent members of the Protestant Methodist Church, to which she had belonged since she was fourteen years old. Mrs. Barnes was born in one of the pioneer homes of DeWitt County, near Waynesville, December 28, 1828. Her parents were among the very first settlers of the county, where they spent their remaining years. Twelve children were born to our subject and his estimable wife, of whom these five are deceased: Sarah L., John T., Mary S., Charles W. and C. Bell. Sarah L., Mary S. and Charles E. were married. The surviving children are Catherine, wife of W.P. Merritt, who lives with her father on the old homestead; George D., who married Emma Aler, and is engaged in farming in this township; Benjamin S., a farmer of this township, who married Elizabeth McKonkey; Clarence, a telegraph operator at Colorado Springs, Col., who married Miss May Peck; Louella, wife of Cory Miller, a farmer of Santa Anna Township; Emma, wife of George H. McKinley, a farmer of Rutledge Township; and Drew L., who lives with his father and assists him on the farm.

Mr. Barnes is a man of high standing in his community, and is well known throughout the county for the unswerving integrity of his character, as well as for his position as one of the pioneers who has borne an honorable part in the development of the agricultural resources of this section of Illinois. He has a well-balanced mind, possesses excellent judgment and has conducted his affairs so as to secure good returns for his labors which have placed him among the substantial citizens of his township. He interests himself in all that pertains to the welfare of the township, and has done good service as a Road Commissioner. In his political view he is independent and is not bound by party ties. Religiously, he is of the Universalist faith.

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George A. Barnett, a member of the well-known Barnett family is one of the representative farmers of DeWitt County, He was born November 22, 1856, on section 34, Barnett Township, and here has spent his entire life. He is the son of James and Elizabeth J. (Irvin) Barnett, natives of Bourbon County, Ky., where the father was born November 8, 1820, and the mother August 5, 1827. Mr. Barnett came to this State with his father, John Barnett, who entered two or three sections of land and gave each of his children a farm. The father of our subject located on three hundred and twenty acres of land on section 34, Barnett Township, where he passed the rest of his days dying March 16, 1889. He was for many years one of the most active and enterprising farmers of this vicinity and especially engaged in raising mules and fine cattle. His part in the up building of DeWitt County was honorable and useful and he materially contributed to its welfare. He was a man of rugged honesty, of sterling principles, and during the last ten years of his life was one of the most pious members of the Christian Church to which he donated freely of his means. His married life was blessed to him and his good wife who survives him, by eight children, of whom they reared the following four: Sarah F., who married John Kirby, and is now dead; John I., George A. and Laura.

Mrs. Barnett is a daughter of John and Sarah (Wilson) Irvin, who lived and died in Bourbon County, Ky., where her father carried on the occupations of cooper and miller. He was prominent man in the Christian Church, of which he was an Elder and he often preached for the congregation. Five of the ten children born to him and his wife were reared to maturity, namely: George the only son; Elizabeth J., Mary E., Sarah L. and Maria F. John Irvin was a son of Andrew Irvin, a Virginian who moved to Kentucky in the early days of its settlement. He married Elizabeth Mitchell and both died in Kentucky. The reared the following sons: Stephen, Caleb, William, Joshua and John. The Irvin's are of Irish origin.

Mr. Barnett received a good common school education and a fine training on the old homestead in all that makes a skillful, practical farmer, so that when he started out in life on his own account he was well equipped for his work. He lives on the old homestead that his father developed from the wilderness, and has here a finely-cultivated, well-ordered farm, which is supplied with substantial improvements and everything to operate it in the best possible manner.

Mr. Barnett was happily married February 20, 1878 to Sarah J. Kirby. To them have come three children, Lulu, the eldest; Edna died at the age of seven years and an infant unnamed. Mrs. Barnett was born in the northern part of Barnett Township, and is a daughter of Benjamin and Lucinda (Williams) Kirby, who were natives respectively of Warren County, Ohio, and Illinois. Her father was one of the early pioneers of DeWitt County and was a blacksmith by trade. In June, 1884, he went to McPherson County, Kan., and is still a resident thereof. He was twice married and by his first wife had three children of whom Sarah J. and John W. are now living. Mrs. Kirby died March 4, 1862, and Mr. Kirby was afterward married to Mrs. Phoebe Dixon, "nee" Garton. They have had four children, namely: Clara, wife of A. Oldfield; Dallas D., Lura, and Eddie L. Mrs. Barnett's paternal grandparents were Robert and Phoebe (Graham) Kirby, who reared six sons and three daughters, all of whom married and had families. Robert Kirby was a farmer and cast in his lot with the pioneers of Illinois in DeWitt County. The Kirby's are of Irish extraction.

Our subject is a straightforward, sturdy, independent young man, with intelligent views of his own on all subjects and the position that he occupies is a high one among the best citizens of the township of his nativity. He and his wife are both zealous members of the Christian Church, and do all in their power to advance its interests.

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This young gentleman has already reached a position of prominence among the citizens of Barnett Township, DeWitt County. He is now engaged in the sale of merchandise in the village of Hallsville and is displaying a financial ability and business tact that give promise of making his enterprise more than usually successful. The establishment has been in operation but a twelvemonth, yet already it has become favorably known to many residents in the adjacent country as well as to the citizens of the thriving village. The goods are selected with a view to meet the demands of both classes of customers and buyers are finding that they can do as well here as in towns further distant from their homes.

In the paternal line Mr. Barnett traces his ancestry to and old Kentucky family. His father, Benjamin F. Barnett, was born in the Blue Grass State April 5, 1831, and brought from Bourbon County to this State by his parents a year later. Robert Barnett, the grandfather of our subject, settled a mile east of Hallsville. He held various local offices and served in the Legislature two terms. In 1862, in a discussion regarding the war, he got into trouble which caused his death. His widow, formerly Margaret Mills, is still living, at an advanced age; she belongs to the Christian Church. The father of our subject was the eldest in a family which includes also Nathan M., Mary A., A. Lyman, Horace, Robert, Addison, Charles B., and Betty. He died near Hallsville August 11, 1882. He had served as Commissioner of the township and in politics was a Democrat. His widow subsequently became the wife of William Pettyjohn and is still living. She bore her first husband two children--John W. and James M. The birth of the younger of these sons occurred in Barnett Township, June 22, 1858. He was reared on a farm, acquired a common-school education and learned the lessons of frugality, thrift and honor that are bringing him worldly prosperity and friendly esteem. When twenty years old he began life for himself on a farm, continuing his agricultural pursuits until November, 1889, when he embarked in his present business enterprise. In 1882 he made his first purchase of land--a tract of eighty acres on section 22. He now owns two hundred acres on section 21, but since he became a merchant has dwelt in Hallsville.

The many graces of mind and heart possessed by Miss Sarah E. Marvel, of DeWitt County, won the regard of Mr. Barnett and they were married January 1, 1878, and are the parents of one son, Arthur F. Mrs. Barnett is the daughter of Swader and Jane (Roberts) Marvel, and is a grand-daughter of Prettyman Marvel. Her father was born in DeWitt County and her mother in Posey County, Ind. The former died during the war and the latter in August, 1890. After the death of her first husband Mrs. Marvel became the wife of Franklin Crawford. She was a member of the Presbyterian Church. Mrs. Barnett is the youngest of the three living children born to her parents, the others being Rebecca Swan and William T.

Mr. Barnett finds some outlet for his social and benevolent qualities in the working of the Masonic fraternity with which he is identified. Both himself and wife belong to the Christian Church and have good standing in that religious body.

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John I. Barnett is an influential citizen of Barnett Township and is connected with the educational interests of DeWitt County, as one of its most intelligent and successful teachers. He is a native of the township, born May 25, 1848, and is a son of James and Elizaberh (Irvin) Barnett. James Barnett was born in Bourbon County, Ky., November 9, 1820. He came to Illinois with his father, John Barnett, for whom our subject is named. This pioneer of Barnett Township entered a large tract of land within its borders and the fact that it was named in his honor shows the high esteem in which he was held by his fellow-citizens. He was born in Tennessee whence he removed with his wife, Sarah Kinney to Kentucky, and thence to Illinois, where he purchased a home for each of his children--Robert, Franklin, Alexander, James, Elizabeth and Sarah. He served in the Black Hawk War from which he returned without serious injury. His eventful life closed on his quiet farm in Barnett Township.

The great-grandfather of our subject, Dr. Alexander Barnett, was a Virginian by birth and served as surgeon in the army during the Revolution. His great-grandson of whom we write, now has in possession a copy of a book he wrote on the treatment of diseases and has the powder horn that he used. He moved from Virginia to Tennessee and thence to Kentucky where he died.

The worthy gentleman who forms the subject of this sketch spent his early years on a farm and received his preliminary education in the common schools of his district. In the fall of 1866 he entered Eureka College and was graduated from that institution in June, 1871, with the degree of Bachelor of Arts. Since that time, with the exception of four terms, he has been an able and successful teacher in the public schools at Hallsville. He spent three years in the insurance business and was once elected Justice of the Peace but resigned rather than be encumbered with the duties and annoyances incident to a public office. He also served at one time as trustee of the township.

January 9, 1873, Mr. Barnett married Mary M. Kirby, daughter of Robert and Phoebe (Graham) Kirby, who came from Hamilton County, Ohio. They have the following six children,--Claude A., Carrie I., James A., Henry I., Fred, and John W. Mr. Barnett is a gentleman of honor and sound principles who has gained for himself warm esteem among the many with whom he has come in contact in the discharge of his professional duties. He is a man of high moral character and exerts a good influence over the minds of the pupils whom he trains for good citizenship and watches over with tender care. Both he and his wife are members in high standing of the Christian Church.

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John W. Barnett is a native-born citizen of DeWitt County, and one of the youngest representatives of a pioneer family, who from early days have aided in the development of this region. He is a farmer and stock-raiser of much enterprise and capability and has a well-improved and well-stocked farm in Barnett Township. Our subject was born February 4, 1856, on his father's homestead on section 21, Barnett Township. He is a son of Benjamin F. and Sarah Ann (Miller) Barnett, natives of Bourbon County, Ky., his father having been born April 5, 1831. He came to Illinois with his parents, Robert and Margaret (Mills) Barnett. For parental history see sketch of Nathan Barnett on another page of this book.

The father of our subject started out in life with a good capital of brains and muscle but with no other means, and made himself successful and prosperous. He located on section 21, on eighty acres of land which he improved, and from time to time added to his estate until he became the proprietor of three hundred and twenty acres of cultivated land. He was a sound Democrat in politics and was regarded as one of the most trustworthy citizens of his community. He widow survives him. She is a consistent member of the Christian Church and is held in high estimation by all about her. She is a daughter of James W. and Sarah (Lloyd) Miller, natives of Virginia who became pioneers of Kentucky.

But two children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Barnett, John W. and James M. It is with the former that this sketch is concerned. He gained a substantial knowledge of farming in his boyhood on his father's farm and obtained a practical education in the public schools. In early manhood he married and settled in life, taking as his wife Mary W. Cheek, to whom he was wedded October 25, 1877. Mrs. Barnett is a native of this county, born at Waynesville December 31, 1857, and is a daughter of William and Mary (Smith) Cheek, natives of Virginia and Union County, Ohio, respectively. Her mother died March 2, 1858, and her father was married a second time, Sarah Guard becoming his wife. He had but one child by his first marriage and by his second marriage had six sons and two daughters. He is a son of Isaiah Cheek, who was an early settle of Orin Township. Mr. and Mrs. Barnett have three children, whom they have named Chester Franklin, Alice May and Lena Grace.

After marriage our subject located on land which he farmed for a period of two years with his father. In the spring of 1882 he came to his present location in Barnett Township. His homestead comprises one hundred and twenty acres of choice, well-tilled land, which is supplied with neat buildings and good farming machinery and is in all respects a well-regulated farm. Mr. Barnett pays much attention to raising draft horses, cattle and hogs, and is making a success of this branch of agriculture. He is a young man of excellent habits who has displayed sound sense, good calculation and forethought in carrying on his farming interests. In politics he gives his allegiance to the Democratic party, while in religion he is a faithful adherent of the Christian Church, to which both he and his wife belong.

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Nathan M. Barnett is well known and honored in DeWitt County, not only as the representative of the family whose name has been connected with this portion of Illinois from the very earliest days of its settlement to the present, but for the part he has taken in its public life and for his worth as a man and a citizen. He is one of the leading farmers and stock-growers of Barnett Township, where he has a well-regulated farm on section 22. Mr. Barnett is a native of this county, born here in pioneer times on his father's homestead on section 34, Barnett Township, September 5, 1837.

Our subject is a son of the Hon. Robert F. and Margaret J. (Mills) Barnett, natives respectively of Bourbon County, Ky., and Virginia. His father was a son of John Barnett, a native of Kentucky and who in turn was a son of Dr. Barnett, of Scotch parentage and most likely born in Scotland. Dr. Barnett was a prominent physician in Bourbon County, Ky., in pioneer times and there his useful life was brought to a close. He was considered very skillful in his profession, and wrote a work on the treatment of all kinds of diseases.

John Barnett was a prominent farmer in Kentucky and he served in some of the early Indian wars in that State. He married a Miss Kinney who bore him the following children: Robert, Franklin, Alexander, James, Elizabeth, and Sarah, all of whom married and died while in the prime of life. The mother was a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church and died in her Kentucky home. Mr. Barnett gave each of his children land in Illinois, and in 1840 came to Illinois that he might spend his declining years near them. He settled on section 34, Barnett Township, where he died at the age of seventy-five years. He was quite wealthy for the times, and in his day was considered a leading farmer of the township.

The father of our subject was reared, educated and married in Kentucky. He came to Illinois in the fall of 1832, with a team and his stock, and located on section 34, Barnett Township, where his father had entered two hundred and forty acres of land for him. He vigorously entered upon the pioneer task of developing a farm and in the course of time brought his land into a fine state of tillage and improved his property by the erection of an excellent set of buildings. He was prominent in public life and served two terms in the Legislature with distinction. In politics he was a firm Democrat. In the spring of 1862 he passed away and thus closed the life of one of our most active and able pioneers whose name is still held in respect by all who knew him. His widow who is living at a venerable age on the old homestead is a truly good and pious woman and an honored member of the Christian Church. Her parents, Nathan and Catherine Mills, were natives of Virginia, whence they moved to Kentucky. He had purchased a home near Clinton intending to engage in farming, but died before he located on his place. His widow and family came to DeWitt County, and settled two and one-half miles northwest of Clinton, where Mrs. Mills died. She was a mother of eight children, six sons and two daughters. The Mills were of Irish origin.

The following children were born to the parents of our subject: Benjamin F.. who died leaving a widow and two sons; William, who died in infancy; Mary, who married William C. Miller and died leaving two sons and three daughters; Nathan M., Horace, Lyman F., a resident of Kansas, who served in the late war as a member of the One Hundred and Seventy Illinois Regiment; Robert F., a resident of Sumner County, Kan.; Addison, who lives in Lewistown, Fulton County Ill.; Caroline, wife of Benjamin Bates, of Kansas; Charles, and Elizabeth J., wife of William Hall.

Nathan Barnett was reared in the township where he still resides to a vigorous, self-reliant manhood. He began farming for himself on section 22, where he is now living, on a tract of forty acres of land, having placed it under substantial improvement. He started out in life for himself at the age of twenty-one and by steady and un-wearying industry has been successful in improving a good farm of one hundred and twenty acres of land, besides owning seven acres of valuable timber land. His place is amply provided with neat and substantial buildings, and good farm machinery.

Mr. Barnett has not been without the aid of a true and devoted wife to help him in the up-building of a comfortable home. By his marriage May 10, 1867, to Margaret E. Brewster he secured a wife who has been to him a helpmate and counselor of genuine worth. Mrs. Barnett is a daughter of John Brewster, of McLean County, who came originally form Bourbon County, Ky. By her marriage with our subject they have had seven children, namely; Harry, a minister of the Christian Church and is now a student at Eureka College; Caroline, Anna, Nora, John, Roy and Margaret.

Our subject was one of the noble volunteers of the late war who helped to save the Union from destruction. He enlisted in August, 1862, in Company D, One Hundred and Seventy Illinois Infantry. He fought with the enemy at the battle of Huff Ferry, Tenn.; took part in the battle of Knoxville; and was with Sherman on his Atlanta campaign. He served nearly three years, and was discharged July 4, 1865, with a fine record as a brave soldier who did his duty unflinchingly, whether in the heat of battle, on the long and dreary marches, or in camp. His services since the war as a civic official have been as valuable. His fellow-citizens, knowing well that he is a man of sturdy common sense, and conscientious in all the affairs of life, have often called him to take apart in the management of public affairs. His first office was as Township Collector, which he held three terms, and he was also School Trustee at the same time, remaining in that office several terms. For three terms he was Township Clerk, and has served two terms as a member of the County Board of Supervisors to represent Barnett Township. While acting in that capacity the Peoria and Terre Haute Railway was completed. The citizens had voted to bond the township to build said railway, but when Mr. Barnett was called upon to sign the bond he refused to do so, claiming that the railway company had not complied with the terms of the agreement. He was arrested for his contumacy and taken to Springfield where he was held in jail for about four months. Notwithstanding his imprisonment, with a stern sense of duty he still refused to sign the bonds and finally a compromise was effected and he was released from jail. During his confinement his friends and neighbors who upheld him in his course kindly attended to his farming interests and harvested his crops for him. Mr. Barnett and his wife are among the most earnest and consistent members of the Christian Church, which he joined in 1860 and she at a later period. They are highly regarded in their community where their many neighborly deeds of kindness, their charity and true hospitality have made them many warm friends.

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This gentleman enjoys the distinction of having been the first child born in Atlanta Township, and the oldest born in Atlanta Township, and the oldest settler in the same. His eyes opened to the light December 13, 1826, two miles west of Waynesville, on what was then section 36, Atlanta Township, Logan County. His parents, John and Comfort (Marvel) Barr, natives of South Carolina and Delaware, respectively, celebrated the same birthday, April 4, 1799. Their marriage was solemnized in the Hoosier State which they left in the spring of 1825, traveling with an ox-cart to Sangamon County, Ill.

After living fifteen miles north of Springfield for about twelve months, the parents of our subject took possession of the farm upon which Hamilton was born. A tract of one hundred and sixty acres was entered and improved, and subsequently three hundred and twenty acres in Barnett Township, DeWitt County. With the exception of one hundred and twenty acres this land is still held in the family. In 1854 John Barr changed his place of abode to section 7, Barnett Township, where his wife died October 21, 1865. He breathed his last May 13, 1882, while on a visit to Kansas. The parental family consisted of eight children, viz.: Lavina, who died in childhood; Nancy, now Mrs. Botkin of Kansas; Hamilton, of whom we write; Prettyman, whose home is in California; John, who lives in Kansas; Hiram, who died young; Mrs. Elizabeth Michaels and Mrs. Comfort Garrett. The parents were the first members of the Methodist Episcopal Church in this part of Illinois.

Hamilton Barr studied in the primitive School-house, whose home-made furniture and few text books afford a decided contrast to the modern equipment of school and scholars. He was an inmate of his father’s home until his marriage, February 28, 1850, when he and his bride began housekeeping on one hundred acres on section 7, Barnett Township. For eight years they made their home in Logan County, but with that exception have retained their citizenship in the section where they first established themselves. In December, 1881, they took possession of their present commodious, substantial residence, in and about which the evidence of prosperity and good taste are numerous. Mr. Barr now owns about twelve hundred acres of farm land, from the cultivation of which he derives a large income.

The lady whose mental and moral qualities and womanly attainments won the deep regard of Mr. Barr and led him to win her for his wife was Sidonia Michaels, who was born in Mecklenburg, Germany, February 8, 1831. She is a daughter of Adam and Jane (Ochart) Michaels, natives of the Kingdom of Saxony, who emigrated to America in 1837. They landed in New York City, lived in Columbus, Ohio, a year, then in Madison County, the same State, nine years. In 1847 they came to Illinois with a team, settling in Oran Township, Logan County. Mr. Michaels was a cabinet-maker by trade. Of the nine children born to Mrs. Michaels, those reared were Gustavus, Maria, Adolphus, Sidonia and Ernest. The last named died at Mound City; he served in the Union army as a member of the One Hundred and Sixth Illinois Infantry.

To Mr. and Mrs. Barr eleven children have been born—Sarah J., John A., Charles A., Amelia, Thomas, William, Emma, Sidonia A., Mary, Nancy and John E. John A. died when eight, Thomas when two, and Sidonia when eleven years old. Sarah is now the wife of James Adair; Amelia married Michael Schuh, now living in Hamilton County, Neb.; Emma became the wife of Julius Wilson. Mr. Barr has not only won honor as a successful farmer and financier, but by reason of his character and long and useful labors is respected by his fellow-citizens. Our subject’s brother John served three years in the Union army and was in many hard-fought battles, but escaped unhurt and now resides in Harper County, Kan.

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A cursory view of the business streets of any town, whether large or small, will impress the observer regarding the business ability of the various dealers. The very appearance of a store or shop gives an indication as to whether the establishment is in thriving condition or not, and it necessarily follows that the degree of enterprise that has been shown by the proprietor and his good judgment in selection his stock is also manifest. In Clinton, DeWitt County, one of the most thriving business houses is that of Henry G. Beatty, a manufacturer of harness and saddles and a dealer in robes, blankets, buggies, carriages and road carts. The proprietor of this establishment was born in Hancock County, Ohio, in the town of Findlay, April 14, 1845. His father, Isaac B. Beatty, carried on the harness and saddlery business for many years in the Buckeye State, but removed to Clinton in 1836. His death occurred here June 1, 1887. The mother of our subject bore the maiden name of Elizabeth Crowl, was a native of Indiana and a daughter of James Crowl, a native of Virginia, who was of German descent. She died during the childhood of our subject, who was the third of six children, three of whom are still living.

Mr. Beatty passed his school days in Clinton, prosecuting his studies until about eighteen years old. The excitement attendant upon the Civil War was not confined to men of mature years, but was participated in by the youth of the land, and young Beatty was anxious to display his courage and patriotism in the ranks. In 1863 he attained to his desire and was enrolled in Company F, Second Illinois Light Artillery. He was sent to Vicksburg, and subsequently fought at Atlanta, where his company was badly cut up. Being obliged to repair the damage and fill up the ranks, the survivors did garrison duty at Chattanooga, Clarksville, and other posts for a time, and then took their place on the gunboats that were plying the Cumberland River. Mr. Beatty was mustered out of the service in July, 1865, after two years of participation in hazardous enterprises and tedious duties, in all of which he had displayed the quality of his manhood as would have been possible perhaps no where else.

Returning to his home, young Beatty formed a partnership with his father, which continued until 1873, when the young man established business in his own name in Kenney. He remained there until March 25, 1889, when his establishment was entirely destroyed by fire, entailing a loss of $3,000. A small amount was covered by insurance and Mr. Beatty re-established himself in Clinton, during the summer buying out William Metzger. He then rented his present store, and moving his stock thither, became again a member of the business circles of Clinton. He keeps only the best lines of goods and can always be relied upon, as his long experience and training in connection with the harness and saddlery business has given his a thorough knowledge of the stock which is used in their manufacture, and he has made it his business to thoroughly acquaint himself with his newer line of goods.

The marriage of Mr. Beatty and Miss Linnie W. Stocking was solemnized in 1867, at the bride's home in Eau Claire, Wis. She was born in Detroit, Mich., and is a daughter of Dr. T. Stocking. She is a well-informed, capable woman, devoted to the interests of her family, and a devout member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. To Mr. and Mrs. Beatty five children have been born--Nellie, Ernest H., William T., Royal J. and Hoburt Rucker. The daughter is now the wife of C.B. Armstrong, of Decatur; Ernest carries on a store in Kenney; and William assists his father at the bench.

For several years Mr. Beatty served as an Alderman and held the position of President of the Board of Trustees of Kenney. He has also been School Director for a number of years. In National and State affairs he always votes with the Republican party, but in local politics exercises his judgment regarding the merits of the candidate rather than the party to which he belongs. He belongs to Frank Lowry Post, G.A.R., of Clinton, and is a member of the Odd Fellow's Lodge, No. 557, in Kenney. He has held various offices in the Methodist Episcopal Church, of which he has long been a member. Notwithstanding the business loss which he sustained a few years since, his affairs are in a prosperous condition and his home is supplied with every comfort and set in pleasant surroundings.

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David Bell is the owner and occupant of a good farm in Creek Township, DeWitt County. It consists of one hundred and sixty acres on section 28, and its skillful management stamps the owner as a man of industry and ability. He began his labors in life with a capital consisting of one horse, a saddle and bridle, together with the mental and physical qualities which are a far better foundation than money. He has given his children quite good opportunities, has made for himself and family a comfortable home and at the same time has borne an active part in promoting the interests of Christianity and advancing worthy movements and public affairs.

Mr. Bell is of Irish parentage, his parents, William and Nancy Ann (McCelvy) Bell, having lived in the Emerald Isle until several years after their marriage. In his native land the father had been engaged as a weaver, but after coming to America in 1821 he located on a farm in Wayne County, Ohio. Thence he removed to Ashland County, where his faithful wife died in 1865, and he in 1882. They were the parents of eight children, three of whom died in infancy, those who grew to maturity being David, Samuel, John, Joseph and Eli.

The gentleman whose name introduces these paragraphs opened his eyes to the light in Wayne County, Ohio November 30, 1829. His boyhood and youth were spent in a manner customary to lads of his age in rural districts. He obtained a fair share of practical knowledge in the schools of the neighborhood and became accustomed to farm work and acquainted with its details. He was an inmate of his parents' home until he attained to his majority, when he began his personal efforts to acquire a station among those who are aiding in the work of mankind.

Feeling convinced that his happiness would be enhanced by her companionship, Mr. Bell won for his wife Miss Rebecca Messer, who was born in Westmoreland County, Pa., February 11, 1831. She is the eldest member of her parents' family and the only one now living. One brother died in the hospital during the Civil War. The marriage rites of Mr. Bell and Miss Messer were solemnized on June 14, 1853, and were the prelude to a happy married life. They are the parents of seven children. William M. lives in Lane, DeWitt County; David E. is on the farm with his father; Hannah S. married Robert Sellers and lives in Creek Township; James W. married Tela Gaddis and lives with his father; Hattie R. married Richard A. Stone and resides in Moultrie County.

Five years after his marriage Mr. Bell removed to DeWitt County, locating on the place where he still resides. The farm was raw prairie, but he was undismayed by the fact that he must break the virgin sod and begin his work of improvement at the very foundation. Little by little the work was done which resulted in a well-regulated farm supplied with the comforts of modern life. In his political affiliation Mr. Bell is a Republican. He has been of service to his neighbors as Road Commissioner, Township Treasurer and School Director. He and his wife belong to the United Brethren Church and are classed among the most efficient and energetic workers in the congregation. Mr. Bell has been Trustee, Class-Leader, Sunday-school Superintendent and Class Steward.

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Among the well-regulated estates of DeWitt County, that of Henry Bennett is certainly deserving of notice. It consists of four hundred and forty-six acres on section 30, Creek Township, and by means of good management has been made attractive as well as remunerative. A well-designed and well-built brick house 20 X 30, with an "L" 16 X 24, is the home of an intelligent and interesting family and is the gathering place of many by whom the occupants are highly esteemed. A complete line of farm buildings, including two ample barns, furnish shelter for stock and crops, while the orchard and shade trees, neat fences and minor conveniences or adornments add to the general appearance of prosperity and good taste.

The parents of Mr. Bennett were natives respectively of Maryland and Lancaster County, Pa, and bore the names of John and Barbara (Stoner) Bennett. They were married in the Keystone State and took up their residence in Boonesborough, Md. They afterward lived in the Buckeye State a number of years and in 1851 came to DeWitt County, Ill. Mr. Bennett was a cabinet maker and worked at his trade for many years, but after coming hither located on a farm in Creek Township. There he breathed his last in 1868, ten years after being bereft of his beloved companion.

Of the members of the parental family we note the following: Peter died at the age of sixty-four years; Mrs. Mary Braden died in 1863; John passed away at the age of thirty-one years; Michael left home at the age of seventeen and has not been heard from since; Elizabeth, who married David Conn, died in 1853; David is living in Tunbridge Township; Aquilla is a resident of Creek Township; Henry is the subject of this notice; Sarah married Allen Cross and after his demise became the wife of John Carey, but is now dead; Emanuel resides in Kansas; Belinda died when four years old; Elijah lived to be but two years of age.

Henry Bennett was born in Ashland County, Ohio, September 21, 1833, and was reared to the age of seventeen years in his native place. He first attended school in the old fashioned log schoolhouse, but afterward had the privilege of going to a better building. At the age of twenty-one years he began his personal career and within a few months was established with his bride in a plank house of two rooms, without plastering, on section 19, Creek Township. This was the home of the young couple a year and a half, after which they moved half a mile west, and after living there a year or two came to their present location. Mr. Bennett had bought unimproved land upon which he built a small house. As fast as possible he brought his property to a good condition of tillage and improvement, and his present financial standing and home surroundings testify to his ability as a general farmer. He handles horses and swine and at this writing (1890) has seventy head of hogs and twenty-one of horses.

In 1855 Mr. Bennett led to the hymeneal altar Miss Elizabeth Cross, who was born in Harp Township, DeWitt County, and grew to womanhood under careful home training. Her parents, Solomon and Elizabeth Cross, were born and reared in Kentucky, and came to this Sate many years ago. Mrs. Bennett is the fourth in a family of ten children. She is the mother of a large family, of whom we note the following: John Soloman lives on a farm in Creek Township; Amanda E. married William Farran, their home was on a farm in Macon County, where she died Nov. 2, 1890; William A. died at the age of three years, and Gideon Piatt when sixteen years old; Barbara married Frederick Grimsley and lives in Clinton; Tillman M. is a farmer in Creek Township; Lovina J. married A.K. Miller, and subsequent to his decease became the wife of Perry Brake, their home being on a farm in Nixon Township; Martha O. is the wife of Bentley Conn and lives in Creek Township; Lucinda A., Henry H., Lydia Ann, Alverda M. and George W. still gladden their parents by their presence at home.

Mr. Bennett has had his share in the public offices of the section in which he lived, having served as Township Supervisor one year, Township collector six years, Pathmaster and School Trustee. In politics he is a stanch Democrat. He and his good wife belong to the United Brethren Church, in which they have good standing, while by neighbors and acquaintances they are highly regarded for their Christian characters and upright lives.

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William J. Bennett is the owner and occupant of a well-improved farm in Creek Township, DeWitt County. It consists of two hundred and seventy-eight acres on section 10, whereon a full line of farm building has been erected and good provision made for the needs of the family. The estate has been brought to its present first-class condition by Mr. Bennett, it having been in a totally unimproved state when he took possession. His first move was to build a small house, into which he moved when it had neither windows nor doors. This was in the early days when the pioneers thought themselves fortunate to have a good roof over their heads and good walls surrounding them.

Mr. Bennett is descended from honorable families, his parents being Gabriel E. and Polly (Summers) Bennett, who were married in Cumberland County, Ky., and began their wedded life on a farm there. The mother was a native of the Blue Grass State, in which the father was reared, he having been born in Virginia. In 1825 the worthy couple started on their journey with a team, having made up their minds to seek a home in the newer Prairie State. Reaching Morgan County they located on a farm, whence they removed to DeWitt County. They built a small house and began to clear a tract on section 6, Creek Township, where they made their home twelve of fifteen years. They then changed to a location one mile south, and afterward made another removal, taking up their residence on section 10, where they spent the remnant of their days. They were the parents of five sons and four daughters, viz.: Elizabeth, Nancy, Jane, Isabel, William J., Powhattan, Isaac, Robert and John.

During the first winter spent by Mr. and Mrs. Bennett in this State their dwelling, if such it could be called, was a rail pen, yet they survived the discomforts of that and the ensuing winter, and after enduring the many hardships and the arduous toils which they shared with other pioneers, they reached comfortable circumstances, and were potent factors in the development of the country.

Our subject is the eldest son, and third child of, in the parental family and was born in Cumberland County, Ky., July 25, 1816. He was about nine yeas old when his parents removed to this State and the first schooling he obtained, aside from home instruction, was in a primitive log schoolhouse in Morgan County. The use which he made of the privileges of the time is shown by the degree of intelligence and business knowledge he now possesses. He remained with his parents, assisting on the farm, until he reached the age of twenty-five years, when he married and took possession of his own farm. He has cleared the entire tract, fenced and otherwise improved it, and replaced his original dwelling by a substantial and homelike structure of more modern design. The farm is well stocked not only with domestic animals but with farm implements and machinery, and Mr. Bennett is prosecuting a successful career as a general farmer.

The lady whom Mr. Bennett won for his wife and with whom he was united in marriage December 27, 1843, was Amelia A. Smallwood. She was born in Champaign County, Ohio, four miles east of Urbana, February 17, 1818, and was seven years old when she came with her parents to this State. Parmenius and Deborah (Brown) Smallwood had nine sons and six daughters and all except one lived to manhood and womanhood. They were named respectively: Rachel, George, John, Samuel, James, Daniel, Amelia A., Elizabeth E., Douglas, Susan, Asbury, Sarah J., Joseph, Asbrina and Gideon. At this writing there are four of the number living. Mr. Smallwood on coming hither entered the land on which Decatur now stands, and in Macon County both he and his wife breathed their last. He put up the first mill on Salt Creek, and after a village had been established at Decatur his son George carried the mail on horseback from that place to Chicago.

It will be seen that both Mr. and Mrs. Bennett shared in the pioneer experiences in early life, and received such schooling in sturdy habits of the early settlers that they were well prepared to push their own affairs to a successful issue. Mr. Bennett vividly recalls the day when marketing was done in Chicago, whither the settlers generally went with a yoke of cattle, consuming thirty-four or five day in the trip. Both are familiar with the greased paper window lights which took the place of glass in the old times, as well as many other contrivances by which dwellers on the frontier "made shift" without the conveniences of life. Mr. Bennett smilingly recalls the fact that he once worked for eight months, at the expiration of which time he was able to take home with him the dollar which he had in his pocket when he began.

To Mr. and Mrs. Bennett nine children have come, but they have been called upon to part with three--Sarah E., Gabriel L., and Emily Jane--who have crossed the river of death. All but one of the survivors have left the parents' roof for homes of their own. George is living in Kansas; William L., in Nebraska; Mary D., who married James Heskett, lives in Kansas; Asbrina C., wife of D. Wishart, lives in Creek Township, DeWitt County; Ida A., wife of Dr J. R. Gardner, has her home in Kansas; Parmenius, who is second in age of those living, remains with his parents.

Mr. Bennett is a sound Republican in politics. He has been Commissioner of Highways, but has not otherwise been connected with public affairs, except in a private capacity. He was once connected with the New Light Church. He is well known throughout this section of country and is respected by all his acquaintances for his manly qualities, honorable dealing and interest in all good and just causes, to which he generously contributes. Mrs. Bennett is also regarded with goodwill and esteem, as well she may be, having worthily borne her part in the scenes of life.

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JOHN BLUE Page 510

John Blue, a volunteer of the late Civil War, is one of the prosperous business men of DeWitt County. He has a well-established business at Rowell as a dealer in grain and lumber, and he is also a practical farmer with a good farm lying in Tunbridge and Texas Townships. He was born April 3, 1843, in Taylor County, W. Va., and is a son of Isaac Blue, who was a Virginian by birth, and was reared in his native State. He married Rebecca Blue, also a native of Virginia, their marriage taking place in Taylor County. He was a contractor on the Northwestern Pike and was also a farmer. In 1843 he removed with a team to Tazewell County, Ill., and located on a farm. Four months after his arrival he had the misfortune to lose his good wife, the mother of our subject. He subsequently came to DeWitt County when John was four years old and located on section 25, Tunbridge Township. He improved a fine farm and in 1863 closed thereon a long and useful life.

The subject of this biographical review was educated in the district schools of Tunbridge Township, and when not attending school helped his father on the farm, remaining with him until the war broke out. He was then only nineteen years of age, but his patriotism and devotion to his country were great, and he determined to enlist and help save the Union if possible. Accordingly he volunteered to enter the service in August, 1861, and became a member of Company K, Forty-first Illinois Infantry. He took an active part in the capture of Fts. Henry and Donelson, and was taken prisoner of war by the enemy. He was carried to Memphis first, then was taken to Mobile, and thence to Tuscaloosa, Ala., whence he was sent to Montgomery. He was afterward taken to Macon, GA., and from there to Libby Prison, where he remained two weeks, when he was exchanged and sent to Washington.

After his varied experience of different rebel prisons our subject returned to his regiment in April, 1863, and was present at the battle of Coldwater. He did good service at the siege of Vicksburg and in the battle at Jackson, Miss. From there he retuned to Vickburg, where he and his comrades were quartered for the winter. He accompanied Gen. A.J. Smithe to the battle of Red River, and subsequently went with Sherman to Atlanta. He was mustered out at Springfield in August, 1864, receiving an honorable discharge after a long and creditable term of service, in which he had displayed high soldierly qualities. After his bitter experience of army life Mr. Blue retuned to DeWitt County and the ensuing two years devoted himself to farming. His next venture was to start a livery business at Decatur, which he conducted two years. After that he resumed farming in DeWitt County, and subsequently he returned to the old homestead, where he now resides, in 1868.

In 1876 our subject again took up his residence at Decatur and devoted himself to the livery business there two years, his object in going back there being that he might afford his children better educational facilities. At the expiration of that time he resumed his residence on the old homestead, and in 1881 established himself in his present business at Rowell. He has charge of an elevator here and deals extensively in grain and lumber. Besides his business he superintends the management of his farm, which comprises two hundred acres of highly fertile land, one hundred and sixty acres of which lie in Tunbridge Township and the remaining forty acres in Texas Township. He has it well stocked, having twenty-six horses, one hundred sheep, twenty-seven hogs and thirty-five cattle. He is a business man of exceptional capability and his name for honesty, justice and fairness in dealing stands high in financial circles. In him the Republican party finds one of its firmest advocates in this part of the county. He has been Pathmaster and his generous public spirit has been the means of promoting many schemes to build up Rowell and Tunbridge Township. His patriotism and loyalty as a soldier and a citizen is held in commemoration by his connection with the Grand Army of the Republic as one of its most useful members.

Mr. Blue and Miss Laura V. Cornell entered upon what has proved to be a happy wedded life on the 27th of November, 1866. Mrs. Blue is a daughter of James and Mary A. (Jenkins) Cornell, and she was born in Maryland. She was reared partly in Pennsylvania and partly in Illinois, whither her parents came when she was a young girl. She is a woman of many fine qualities of head and heart, and is a sincere Christian, being one of the most valued members of the Presbyterian Church. Her marriage with our subject has brought them the following seven children, three daughters and four sons--Maud C., who was born in 1867, attended school at Decatur and Normal, Ill., and is now in charge of the railway telegraph office at Rowell; Claude C., who is assisting his father in his business; Ura, who attends school; Vera, Ralph Cornell, Clone; and Clyde, who died at the age of one year.

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Daniel Bordner has one of the best equipped farms in all DeWitt County. It lies on section 5, DeWitt Township, and its finely tilled fields and ample buildings, of a modern and tasteful style of architecture, make it a very attractive place of residence. He is a native of Stark County, Ohio, born there March 13, 1832, in the pioneer home of his father, John Bordner. The latter was a native of Pennsylvania, and came of the old Pennsylvania Dutch stock. His father, Henry Bordner, was also born in that State and there grew up to the life of a farmer. He married a lady who was also of Pennsylcanian birth and of Dutch descent. After the birth of all their children, and when their son John was a young man, Henry Bordner and his wife migrated with their family to Ohio, and were among the early settlers of Knox County, where they bagan life again as farmers. They lived to be old people, he being eighty-two years of age when he died and his wife not quite so old. They were reared in the faith of the Lutheran Church, and remained true to its teachings as long as life lasted.

John Bordner was the third of a large family of children, and he attained his majority after he went to Ohio with his parents. He there began his career as a farmer, and was subsequently married in Stark County to Miss Barbara Carager, a native of Pennsylvania, who came of an old Pennsylvania Dutch family. Her father, John Carager, was a soldier in the Rivolutionary War. He married a Pennsylvania lady, and later in life removed to Ohio, where he and his wife died when very old. They were Lutherans in religion. They had a large family of children, and their daughter Barbara was thirteen years of age when they went to Ohio to take up ther residence in the wilderness. After her marriage with Mr. Bordner, she assisted him in building up a home in Crawford County, Ohio. After they had reared their children they removed to Henry County, the same State, and there spent their remaining days dying near Florida, Mr. Bordner departing this life at the age of eighty-four years, and his wife at the age of eighty-two years and seven months. They were people of strong constitutions who suffered little from sickness, and were always remarkably healthful.

Our subject is the fifth in a family of eight children, of whom one died in infancy. The seven living are all married and have large families: Daniel passed his early years in his native county, and secured his education in the old country log schoolhouses of his times, which was of the most primitive construction. While he was at home he helped his father clear and improve seven heavily timbered farms in Ohio, and he thus early became inured to hard work. He was unmarried when he came to Illinois in 1855, but he did not remain single very long after settling here, as he was wedded to Miss Elizabeth Wilson, who has since been of great assistance to him in the acquirement of a comfortable property. Mrs. Bordner was born in Perry County Ohio, January 9, 1836, and is one of the twelve children of Amos and Hannah (Bosserman) Wilson. For her parental history see biography of William Wilson on another page. Mrs. Bordner was fifteen years old when her parents came to Illinois, and she remained with them until her marriage, and in the meantime received an excellent training for her future life as a wife and mother. Her marriage with our subject has brought to them nine children, all of whom are living, and are blessed with fine constitutuions and good health. Of them the following is recorded: J. Amos married Belle Geer, and they live in Clinton; William H., a farmer of Hall County, Neb., married Della Bigelow; Isaiah I., a resident of DeWitt, and an employee of the Illinois Central Railroad system, married Mary Powell; California is the wife of Samuel Houston, a farmer of Rutledge Township; Carra E. is the wife of Barney Fuller, a farmer of this township; Milo S., Ab, Frank and S. Kate are at home.

Mr. Bordner has been a resident of this State for thiry-five years. He spent his first year here in Macon County, but since 1856 has been a resident of this township and county. In the meantime he has aquired a snug little fortune by his energetic and well directed labors. He owns a farm of nearly one hundred and twenty acres of fine land, which is of surpassing fertility and well watered, it being finely adapted to general farming and stock-raising purposes to which the proprietor devotes it. A handsome set of farm buildings adorn the place and evrything about it has a neat and well-kept appearance.

Our subject is a man of resources, is active and wide-awake in business matters, and his standing in financial circles is of the best. His life is guided by excellent principles and he is in every way worthy of the consideration accorded to him by his fellow-citizens. Politically he is in sympathy with the Democrats, and is interested in all things pertaining to the welfare of his township.

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James H. Bracken is a highly respected resident of DeWitt County, and is one of the prosperous farmers and stockmen of Santa Anna Township. He was born in Bath County, Ky., March 4, 1822, and comes of one of the early pioneer families of that State. His father, Theophilus Bracken, was born in Virginia in 1777 and was ten years old when his people moved to Kentucky in 1787. They were among the early settlers of Bath County, locating there at the time when the Indians were somewhat troublesome, but the Brackens were never any of them captured, though they had several narrow escapes. Theophilus Bracken became a farmer in his Kentucky home and was there married to Mary R. Hansford, who was born in Virginia and went from there with her parents to Bath County, Ky., where she grew to womanhood. Both Mr. and Mrs. Bracken had been previously married. Some years after they began life together they came to Illinois in wagons, in 1826, and made a settlement on unbroken wild land in Menard County, and there Mr. Bracken died at the age of eighty-two years and his wife at the age of seventy-six years. The latter was a religious woman and a member of the Baptist Church. Mr. Bracken was a Whig in his day.

Our subject was one of a very large family born to his father and he grew to man's estate in Menard County. He was there married to Miss Hannah Johnson, a native of that part of Illinois who was born April 10, 1833, of parents who were natives of Bath County, Ky. They had come to Illinois after their marriage as early as 1823, and were among the first pioneers of Menard County. Their names were William and Cynthia (Williams) Johnson. Mr. Johnson died at the age of forty-two years. His wife survived him many years, her death occurring at a venerable age in 1886. They were both firm believers in the faith of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. Mrs. Bracken was reared in her native county and received a part of her education in Springfield. She is one of the good, motherly matrons of Santa Anna Township and holds a warm place in the affections of those about her. Five children have been born to her and our subject namely: Mary, wife of Levi Murphey, the present Sheriff of DeWitt County; Cynthia J., wife of Levi Smith, a farmer in Santa Anna Township; William J., a clerk in John Campbell's general grocery store at Farmer City; and Harvey L. and Roy L., who are at home with their parents.

Our subject was a young boy when his parents took up their residence amid the wild pioneer scenes of Menard County and there he was reared to a vigorous, stalwart manhood not far from Lincoln's old home at Salem Precinct. Mr. Bracken became a farmer on his own accounty when he started out in life, and in 1869 he took up his abode in Santa Anna where he has ever since made his home. His farm, containing eighty acres, lies on section 15, is admirably cultivated, and supplied with suitable buildings, is always kept in excellent order, and is indeed a valuable piece of property. Mr. and Mrs. Bracken are among the leading people of the township, and are very highly thought of. Mr. Bracken is a good Republican in politics and takes a sensible view of the political situation at the present time. As a good citizen should, he interests himself in whatever concerns his adopted township and has done it good service as Assessor.

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James E. Bradley owns and occupies a valuable and remunerative piece of property in Barnett Township, DeWitt County. Although not so great in extent as some estates in the county, this one is sufficient in size to afford a good maintenance when operated by one who understands the best method of increasing the productiveness of the soil and garnering in its fruits. The farm has been improved with good buildings, including all needful structures, and the entire eighty acres present an orderly appearance. The tract forms a part of section 4.

Mr. Bradley is of Irish ancestry in the paternal line and Kentucky was the home of the family for several generations. From that State Grandfather Bradley removed to Greene County, Ohio, and thence to Madison County, where he breathed his last. His occupation was that of a farmer, except during the War of 1812, when he took up arms in defense of American liberty. Among the members of his family was a son, William G., who spent his entire life in the Buckeye State, dying in Madison County in 1841, at the age of forty-two years. His wfe, formerly Harriet Drake, had come to that State from New Jersey. Their children are as follows: Mary, John E., Rebecca, Eliza, Caroline, Israel, Hiram, Ellen, Nancy and Josephine. All these except one son have in their turn reared families.

The subject of this biographical notice was born in Greene County, Ohio, November 4, 1826, and spent his early life in the manner customary to farmer's sons. He acquired a practical education in the common schools, and when twenty years of age began working on the farm by the month, receiving from $7 to $10, according to the season and the work he accomplished. After a time he began operating rented land, and in the fall of 1855 with a team and wagon came to this State. He made his home in Waynesville a year, then again became a renter of farm land, operating thus until 1864. At that time he purchased the land upon which he still lives and to whose productiveness he has largely added.

The marriage of Mr. Bradley and Miss Sarah Jane Spry was solemnized at the bride's home February 6, 1850. She was born in Champaign County, Ohio, her parents, William and Elizabeth (Jones) Spry, occupying a farm there. They had removed to the Buckeye State from New York. To Mr. and Mrs. Bradley seven children have been born: John W. who died in early infancy and Francis when a year old; Dora is the wife of T. L. Robb; Willis died when a year old and Marietta at the age of eighteen. Thomas and George, the only sons now living, are in Chicago.

As will be seen from these brief notes Mr. Bradley has made his own way in life and he is therefore the more worthy of commendation. His character is one which secures to him the honor and name which is "far above the riches." A proof of the respect in which he is held lies in the fact that he has been elected Supervisor on the Republican ticket in a Democrat township. He and his estimable wife belong to the Presbyterian Church, and endeavor to mold their lives in accordance with the Golden Rule.

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JOHN S. BROWN Page 901

John S. Brown is one of the practical, skillful farmers and stock-raisers of Waynesville Township. He has long been connected with the agricultural interests of DeWitt County, and has held several of its important public offices. He was born April 20, 1830, near Taylorsville, Spencer County, Ky., to Henry K. and Christenia (Froman) Brown, natives respectively of Nelson and Spencer Counties, Ky. They spent their entire lives in the State of their nativity. The father was quite a prominent man in public life and in political circles, serving as County Assessor. He was one of the leading members of the Baptist Church. He was twice married, our subject being the only child by the first marriage. Mr. Brown's second wife was Mary Ann Darne, and they were the parents of the following children, viz: Mary C., Charles D., Ann who died young, Elizabeth S., Sophronia, Alice, Thomas H., and Marietta, all of whom married except Charles D. and Elizabeth S. Charles died at Pittsburg Landing, April 4, 1862, at the age of twenty-five years.

The paternal grandfather of our subject was John L. Brown, who was born at Brownsville, Pa. He married Jemima Cotton, a native of Maryland, and they had eleven children, as follows: Elizabeth, who died at the age of eighty-nine; Ralph, Samuel, John, who died at the age of one year; John C., Cotton D., Henry K., Mary, Nancy, Coleman T. and Susan B., all of whom married except Mary. The Browns were of German descent. The grandfather of our subject died in Nelson County, Ky. The mother of our subject is a daughter of John Froman, who was a son of Paul Froman. The latter was born in Pennsylvania, and married Mary McCarty. John Froman was born and reared in Pennsylvania, and died in Spencer County, Ky. He married Catherine McKay, and they had ten children--Elizabeth, Mary, Nancy, Christina, Catherine, Solomon, Matilda, John L., Maria E. and Amanda J. The Fromans are of German origin. The grandfather of our subject was a Baptist in his religious views.

John S. passed his boyhood days amid the rural scenes of farm life in the pleasant country town of his birth, and was given the advantage of an excellent common-school education. He was a fine scholar, and at the age of twenty began to utilize his knowledge by teaching in Kentucky, and in all devoted eighteen months of his life to that profession in his native State and in Illinois. After he abandoned that vocation he turned his attention to farming, and in February, 1856, came to DeWitt County. He located first in Creek Township, where he resided until the fall of 1862, when he removed to Clinton. There he was engaged as a surveyor, and in time became quite prominent in public life. He was appointed Deputy County Clerk, and in 1874 went into the Sheriff's office. His services as a surveyor were greatly valued, and four times he was elected to that position, which he held ten years in all, and he was an incumbent of various township offices. In every position in which he was placed he showed the same fidelity to duty and to the interests of the public, and his record as a civic official is without a blemish.

In the spring of 1877 Mr. Brown removed to Wapella Township, and engaged in farming there some years. In 1883 he disposed of his interests there and came to Waynesville Township, where he has since made his home. His farm comprises fifty acres of choice, well-tilled land, pleasantly located on section 27, and well supplied with all needed improvements.

November 21, 1854, was the date of the marriage of our subject to Amanda Brown, a native of Spencer County, Ky., and a daughter of William and Elizabeth (Meeks) Brown, who were originally from Virginia, and were pioneers of Kentucky. Mrs. Brown was born June 11, 1830, and died June 24, 1888, at the age of fifty-eight years. She was a woman of many virtues, whose character gained her the respect and affection of all about her, and many mourned her loss outside of the home circle. She was a faithful member of the Baptist Church, and a sincere Christian. Six children were born to our subject of this marriage, namely: Ida L., Mary Elizabeth, wife of James Mayall; Kate M., wife of Charles C. Parlier; William H. is married and resides in Clinton; Minnie M.; and May, who died at the age of four years. Lula and Minnie reside at home.

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In this venerable gentleman DeWitt County has one of its representative pioneers, though he was not one of its earliest settlers. He is an old resident of Wapella township, with whose farming industries he has been closely connected for nearly forty years and here he has a beautiful home on section 25, and has one of the largest and most desirable farms to be found in this part of the State. Greenfield, Highland County, Ohio, is the native place of our subject, and there he first opened his eyes to the world January 17, 1822, in the humble pioneer home of his parents, Eleazer and Elizabeth (Ferris) Brown. His father was a Pennsylvanian by birth and was a son of one Alexander Brown, who was also a native of the Keystone State. His father came from Ireland to America and settled in Pennsylvania in Colonial times. The grandfather of our subject was a soldier during the Revolution, and fought well in the cause of freedom. He was an industrious farmer and his life was prolonged to a venerable age. He reared a large family of children.

The father of our subject was reared in Pennsylvania and was there married. Then accompanied by his young wife he took up his residence in Highland County, Ohio, but after living there a short time removed to Lewis County, Ky., and settled near the Ohio River, he being one of the pioneers of that section. There were then many Indians there; the surrounding country was sparsely settled by the whites, and wild game roamed at will in the forests and over the clearings. Mr. Brown's calling was that of a carpenter, and he assisted in promoting the growth of the country. He was a man of strong character, and was very earnest in his views on all questions. He was a firm Presbyterian in his religious faith and was one of the strongest members of the church. He was a radical Abolitionist and never hesitated to give his opinions on the slavery question. He held various official positions in the church and was a sterling citizen in every respect. At one time while on his way to Cincinnati on a raft, he encountered a storm, was unable to get to ashore and was drowned in the rushing waters, his life being thus brought to a close at the age of sixty-five years.

The mother of our subject was a native of Pennsylvania and she lived to be seventy-four years of age. She was a conscientious, upright woman and a stanch member of the Presbyterian Church. She was very strict in the observance of Sunday and would not allow her boys to even crack a walnut. Her father, George Ferris, was a native of Pennsylvania where he was engaged during his lifetime as a farmer. He was a Presbyterian in religion. He lived to the venerable age of eighty-seven years. The maternal great-grandfather of our subject was also from Ireland. His occupation was that of a fuller of cloth.

John Brown who forms the subject of this biographical sketch was very young when his parents took him to their pioneer home in Lewis County, Ky.. where he grew to man's estate on a farm. His education was conducted in a subscription school that was taught in a rude log house furnished with slab benches that had wooden pegs for legs; the windows supplied with greased paper instead of glass, and the building heated by a large open fireplace with a mud and stick chimney. He was only eight years old when he had to begin the struggle for the necessities of life as his father was dead. He worked out by the month for a number of years at $3 per month, or twelve and one-half cents a day. He continued thus employed until he was twenty-six years old, and about that time married and established a home of his own, his union with Miss Malinda Tolle taking place October 22, 1847. They have been greatly blessed in their wedded life by the birth of six children, all of whom are living, namely: Elizabeth M. (Mrs. Woy), Mary M. (Mrs. Wilson), George H., Mathias D., Eleazer, and Belle (Mrs. Davis).

After marriage Mr. Brown settled on a farm in Kentucky and lived there three years. In October, 1852, he first made his appearance in Illinois making the journey hither with a three-horse team, camping by the way at night. He located first in McLean County near Heyworth. His only capital when he came to this State was the sum of $250 and three horses and from that small beginning he has accumulated a valuable property. He farmed as a renter three years in McLean County, and then came to DeWitt County and bought one hundred and three acres of land, which was a tract of wild prairie, and he was the first but one to settle on such land. In the summer time the prairies were then covered with beautiful flowers and tall coarse grass flourished in the low places. Fully half of the prairie was swamp when he came here, and the surrounding country was still in the hands of the pioneers, and had not been greatly improved. Wild game was still plentiful, and our subject has seen as many as fifteen or twenty deer together cross his farm. By unremitting industry and a sound practical method of farming, he has brought his land into a fine condition. It was formerly thought to be worthless for agricultural purposes, but now that it is tiled and well drained it makes the best corn land and he reaps from it rich harvests.

Mr. Brown has himself placed all the valuable improvements that make his farm one of the best in the township, on his homestead. He bought a small frame house, and moving it on his land lived in it until he replaced it by his present substantial and comfortably appointed frame house, that he erected in 1875, at a cost of $2,300. In 1863 he built a large and conveniently arranged barn at a cost of $3,300 and has other suitable buildings on his place. He has raised a great deal of stock, principally cattle and horses, and has made much money thereby. In time, by hard work, coupled with shrewd management and excellent judgment, he accumulated over eight hundred acres of good land, and has since divided three hundred and twenty acres of this estate among his children.

Mr. Brown is accorded a high place among our most trusted citizens. He has held some of the township offices with credit and in all ways has fulfilled the duties of citizenship. In his political views he is a Republican. In his religious sentiments, he is a firm Methodist, both he and his good wife being members in high standing of the Methodist Episcopal Church, of which he is a Trustee.

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To no class of citizens is DeWitt County more indebted for her present standing and wealth than to her native-born sons, who long ago began to aid their sires in laying the solid foundation of enduring posterity and to-day are active in helping to extend her interests in various directions. Among these is our subject, one of the earliest born within the present limits of the county before its organization. He has become one of the principal farmers and stock-growers in Tunbridge Township, the place of is nativity, where he has a very large and well-ordered farm.

Mr. Butler was born September 25, 1829, and is a son of Elisha Butler, one of the early pioneers of the county who was born in Warren County, Ky., in 1802. His parents removed to Ohio when he was a child and he lived there until 1814, when he came with Levi Cantrell directly to what is now DeWitt County, which then formed a part of Macon County. As soon as he became old enough he worked for the Government in helping to survey land, his duty being to carry the chain for the surveyors. In early manhood he took unto himself a wife in the person of Mary Coppenbarger, a native of Tennessee. After marriage he and his bride began their wedded life in Springfield where he built the third cabin that was erected on the present site of the city. They spent the first winter of their wedded life there and Mr. Butler followed shoemaking.

From Springfield Mr. Butler came to Tunbridge Township and located on section 7, township 18, and range 1 east. He built a cabin on his land then began the pioneer task of developing a farm. He gave his first cabin to our subject and built another that he sold to William Randolph. His next move was to section 6, and he subsequently sold his interest in that place to George Coppenbarger and took up his residence on section 8, in a cabin in which our subject was born. From there he removed north into Barnett Township where he improved fifty acres of land, breaking the sod, putting up fences and otherwise improving it. On that place he erected the first store that was built this side of Springfield. In 1830 he removed to section 35, Barnett Township. The farm on which he located remained his home until his pilgrimage on earth was brought to a close by his death in 1847. His wife had preceded him to the grave the year before, dying in 1846. Mr. Butler was a soldier in the Black Hawk War and was present at Maj. Joshua Stillman's defeat.

Seven sons and two daughters were born to the parents of our subject of this notice, of whom the following is recorded: The eldest son, John, is deceased; William J. died in Mexico during the Mexican War; George W. is our subject; Elisha was the next in order of birth; Elijah died at the age of seven years; Peter, who was a member of the One Hundred and Seventh Illinois Infantry, gave up his life for his country, dying at home from the effects of his hard service in the fields; Levi lives in Clinton; Eliza Jane married James Smith and lives in Kansas; Mary died in infancy.

Our subject was the third son of the family. He first attended school in a log house on section 24, Barnett Township. At the youthful age of fourteen years the stalwart, self-reliant lad began to fight life's battle on his own account. His first work was for John Hutchin and he was paid at the rate of $6 per month. He had to work out the price of a shirt and a pair of pantaloons. Subsequently he was employed by different men for about three years and in 1849 started for California on foot with a pack on his back. He crossed Salt Creek when it was very high in a little skiff and made his way to Pekin, and thence via the Illinois and Mississippi Rivers to St. Louis. There he found a man to take him across the plains with an ox-team. They proceeded north of Salt Lake, crossing the Missouri River at St. Joseph and after passing the great barrier interposed between them and their destination, the Rocky Mountains, they arrived at Lorson's Ranch and thence proceeded to Sacramento arriving there after a journey of six months. Our subject remained in California until the fall of 1852 and during that time was engaged in mining. He finally turned his face homeward, going from Sacramento to San Francisco and then proceeding on the steamer "Oregon" to the Isthmus of Panama, from there by the steamer "Philadelphia" to New Orleans, whence he made the trip on a Mississippi steamer to St. Louis. From St. Louis he made his way to Springfield and thence to New Castle.

On his return from the gold fields of California our subject engaged in the business of farming and desiring to improve his education went to school at Waynesville. He was afterward elected Constable and proved a very capable official. He then gave his attention exclusively to agricultural pursuits and improved three hundred and twenty acres of land on section 29. One hundred and sixty acres of his land cost $1 an acre and for the remainder he paid $5 an acre. He has his place neatly fenced, the land admirably tilled and a neat and substantial set of buildings for every needed purpose. He now owns in all nine hundred and fifty acres of choice land in Tunbridge Township, besides property in Kenney and other places. The homestead on section 4, township 19, range 1 east, which he now occupies, is complete in all its appointments and his residence is commodious, comfortable and cozily furnished. Mr. Butler is greatly interested in stock-raising and has two hundred hogs, forty-nine head of cattle and thirteen horses of fine grades.

Mr. Butler was married in 1865 to Martha Jane Anderson, a native of Ohio. Their pleasant married life was brought to a close in 1870 by her untimely death. Two children were born of that marriage, one of whom died in infancy. The remaining son, William A., married Elizabeth Cromer and resides on his father's farm on section 29. Mr. Butler married to his present estimable wife November 11, 1875. Mrs. Butler was formerly Clara Haines, and is a native of Henderson County, Ill.

Mr. Butler is a man of marked energy of character and business capacity, and has placed himself among our most substantial citizens. He possesses more than ordinary intelligence and is very well informed, having traveled extensively and made good use of his powers of observation. But few men have seen more of their native country than he. He has been in twenty-eight States of the Union, has visited the Dominion of Canada near Niagara Falls and also been in Mexico. In his political views he stands with the Republicans and is one of the staunchest supporters of his party, though he was reared a Democrat. His large public spirit has been of great benefit to Tunbridge Township which he has served well in the offices of Road Commissioner and Constable, though the cares of his extensive property do not permit him to mingle much in public life.

A lithographic portrait of Mr. Butler is shown on another page of this volume.

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James Butterworth, who represents the grain buying interests of DeWitt County as a member of the firm of James Butterworth & Co., is a prominent and influential citizen of Wapella, where he is conducting an extensive business, though he is a resident of Bloomington at present. He was born in Roachdale [Rochdale], England, August 18, 1840, and is a son of Gouther Butterworth, who was also of English birth. He was employed in the cotton mills at Roachdale [Rochdale], having been engaged there from boyhood. In 1842 he emigrated with his family to this country, and took up his residence at Bridgeport, Conn., where he found work in the cotton mills. Four years later he removed from that place to a small town near Providence, R.I., where he was employed in the cotton mills for one year. His next move was to Fall River, Mass., and he worked in the cotton mills of that city for two years. In 1850 during the gold excitement in California he joined the tide of emigration that was going in that direction and was never heard from afterward, it being reported that he was killed for his money. After the father's death the family removed to New Bedford, Mass.. and resided there three years and from there went to Shakerville, in the same State, where they lived for a short time before coming to DeWitt County, this State. The mother of our subject bore the maiden name of Hannah Mathews, and she was a native of England. She was a Methodist in religion, and a kind Christian mother who devoted herself to carefully rearing her children. she died in 1878 at the age of seventy years. She was of Irish descent.

Our subject is one of eight children of whom seven grew to maturity, namely: John, Samuel, James, Robert, Betsey (Mrs. Thorpe), Alice (Mrs. Ives), and Susan (Mrs. Ives). James was three years old when his parents came to America and as he was reared under our institutions and educated in our schools he has become thoroughly Americanized, and this country has no more loyal or patriotic citizen than he, as has been shown by his conduct as a soldier during the late Civil War, and as a citizen at all times. He was educated in the various public schools at the towns where he resided. When a boy he learned the trade of a weaver in the cotton mills, to which he devoted much of his time. He came to DeWitt County in April, 1854. the family purchased three hundred and twenty acres of land in Wilson Township, three and one-fourth miles east of Wapella, on which they settled, soon afterward disposing of one hundred and sixty acres of their land and developing and improving the remaining quarter of a section. Our subject farmed this place for seventeen years and still owns the farm, having bought out the interests of the other heirs.

Mr. Butterworth was in the prime and vigor of early manhood when the war broke out. He watched its course with intense interest, and at length determined to enlist to help fight the battles of his adopted country. In pursuance of this resolve he became a member of Company A, One Hundred and Seventh Illinois Infantry in August, 1862, and was mustered in at Camp Butler. His regiment operated principally in Kentucky, Tennessee and Virginia, and confined its attention largely to Morgan and Longstreet. Six months after his enlistment our subject was transferred to Battery K, Fist Illinois Light Artillery, and was connected with it until the close of the war. He bore a gallant part in the siege of Knoxville and engaged in the attack upon Longstreet from the outside. He participated in numerous battles in Virginia and Tennessee and took an active part in several engagements with Morgan in West Virginia, Kentucky and Tennessee. He displayed true soldierly qualities on every occasion, was prompt and courageous in action, was always faithful in the performance of his duties and endured the trials and hardships of a soldier's life without a murmur. He was mustered out in June, 1865, at Springfield, and returned to his old home here with an excellent military record.

After the war Mr. Butterworth resumed agricultural pursuits on his farm and was there engaged until 1872, when he removed to Wapella, and established himself in the grain business. In 1876 he disposed of his interest in that business and relocated with his family to Cleveland, Ohio, where he accepted a position as traveling salesman for the Howe Scale Company. He traveled in the interest of that company for two years and then returned to Wapella and re-entered the grain business. He bought on his own account until August, 1881, when he consolidated with William R. Carle under the present firm name of James Butterworth & Co. which still continues. Mr. Butterworh has entire charge of the business of the firm and under his capable and energetic management it has grown into large proportions and is one of the best paying enterprises in the village. Besides attending to his business as a grain dealer he superintends somewhat his valuable estate of two hundred and sixty-six acres of land in Wilson and Harp Townships, which he rents at a good profit.

Mr. Butterworh was married September 9, 1871 to Cecelia Stafford [Spafford], a native of Prince Edwards County, Ontario, Canada. She is a woman of rare qualities of head and heart, and has cheerfully cooperated with her husband in the up-building of a home and in carefully training their family. They have four children, three sons and one daughter, whom they have named, Nettie (Mrs. Blanks), George Weldon, Frank Austin S., and William Arthur. September 1, 1888, Mr. and Mrs. Butterworth moved to Bloomington that they might give their children the advantages afforded by the excellent public schools of that city, and they still reside there. Our subject attends to his business at Wapella during the week and spends Sundays with his family at Bloomington.

Mr. Butterworth is prominent as a civic official and in social and religious circles, and is justly regarded as one of our most public spirited and progressive citizens. In politics he is an advocate of the Republican party. He has been of great assistance in the management of public affairs as a member of the Village Board, which position he has held for nine years, and he has also been active in educational matters as School Director for ten years. His services as a soldier are held in remembrance by his connection with the Grand Armey of the Rupublic as one of the leading members of Nelson Post, No. 251. He is a member of Lodge No. 255, of the I.O.O.F. at Wapella. Religiously, he and his wife and children are all members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and have done much to promote its well-being.

Note: Correction from a family member - Nettie never married.