Biographical Album - 1891 - Surnames E-F


Among the citizens of DeWitt County who have prospered in their financial undertakings to such an extent that they have been able to retire from the more severe labors of life, is the above-named gentleman, who has for the past five years been living in Farmer City. He was born in Sinking Springs, Ohio, March 10, 1822, and reared in Highland county, remaining in Ohio until he was twenty years of age. He was given a practical education and learned the trade of a tailor in Petersburg, continuing to follow it some ten years after he came to this State, which was in 1842. He then engaged in the restaurant business in Canton and after some years superintended a sawmill.

In 1869 Mr. Eakins purchased and settled upon a farm in Blue Ridge Township, Piatt County, and devoted himself to agriculture until his removal to Farmer City. He secured a large tract of land, improved a part of it, then trade and sold different properties, at times owning a large acreage. He was very successful in his transactions in real estate as well and in his legitimate farm work, acquiring a competency which ensures him against want in his declining years if no unlooked for and untoward catastrophe befalls him.

Our subject is the second son and child of St. Clair Eakins who was born in Ireland and was of pure Irish ancestry. The latter was two years of age when he crossed the Atlantic with his parents, Joseph and Rebecca (St. Clair ) Eakins, who after a three months' voyage on a sailing vessel, landed at New York, whence they went direct to Highland County, Ohio. This was in 1799 and the grandparents of our subject spent their last days in aiding to develop a new country and give their children a good start in life. Both lived to be more than four-score years old. They were devout believers in the Protestant religion and gained good repute by their virtuous lives.

St. Clair Eakins, who was the youngest of six children, grew to manhood in Ohio and followed the trade of a saddler from his early life. For many years he carried on a shop in Petersburg where he was well known and had many friends who had become attached to him on account of his industry and honesty. His death occurred in 1840, while he was on a visit to Kentucky. He was a soldier in the War of 1812, took part in many engagements, and fought under the leadership of Gen. Hull. He was wounded through the thigh and as he grew older suffered at times from the effects of the injury. Although only a private, he was a brave soldier and made a record of which his descendants may well be proud.

The father of our subject was twice married, first to Miss Julia A. Spencer, a native of Maryland, who was living in Kentucky when she made the acquaintance of Mr. Eakins. She was a noble woman, devoted to her husband and children, and the sons and daughters who still survive cherish her name and memory as only that of a true mother deserves. She died in the prime of life, leaving five children. The record of the brothers and sisters of our subject is as follows: Joseph is a retired farmer, now living in Farmer City; Mary is the wife of Dr. Robert Stevenson, who died in Ohio, leaving two daughters, Sarah E. and Luella B., the latter now married and the former with her mother forming a part of the household of our subject. Rebecca, the widow of John M. Hare, lives in Fayette County, Ohio. The mother of the above-mentioned family died in Highland County, Ohio, and her husband subsequently married her sister, Miss Mary Spencer. This lady survived Mr. Eakins and died in Kentucky when quite old. She, like her sister, belonged to the Methodist Episcopal Church and was devout and conscientious.

Mr. Eakins, our subject, is a man of generous nature and much public spirit. Quiet and unassuming, never putting himself forward in any public movement, he is yet to be relied upon to aid in whatever will advance the interests of this section of a great State. He bears a prominent part in the quiet and effective work of the Republican party, but is not an office-seeker, preferring the quiet of home life to the turmoil and anxieties which attend upon a public career. He is generally respected for his excellent character as well as for the business record which he has made.

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It is always a pleasure to the biographical writer to record the fact that a man who has been hard-working and honest is able to spend his declining years in the enjoyment of the ease and comfort so well deserved by those who act well their part in life. We are glad therefore to be able to speak of Joseph S. Eakins, a retired farmer living in Farmer City, DeWitt County, as one of those who has won financial success and is now living in quiet retirement. This gentleman was for many years intimately identified with the agricultural and stock-raising interests of Piatt county and did much to aid in the growth of this section of the State in all that pertains to her material development and good citizenship.

Mr. Eakins was born in Fleming County, Ky., May 9, 1820, but reared in Highland County, Ohio. He came to this State in 1856, and securing one hundred and sixty acres of unbroken land in the township and county before mentioned began his untiring efforts at improvement. By slow degrees his farm reached a high state of productiveness and improvement, fitting it for the home of an intelligent family. After having led the life of a farmer until August, 1881, Mr. Eakins established himself in Farmer City, determined to spend the remainder of his life in the enjoyment of the property which he had won by hard and long-continued labor.

Mr. Eakins was married in Petersburgh, Ohio, to Miss Amanda Hutchins, who was born and reared in Highland County. She died a few years after their removal to this State, leaving three children, one having died in Ohio; the living are Clarence F., Henry C. and Sarah E., all happily married and each having a small family. Mr. Eakins contracted a second matrimonial alliance in Chenoa, McLean County, his bride being Mrs. Lucy A. Shaw, "nee" Sallee. This lady was born in Clermont County, Ohio, near Felicity, October 24, 1824, being a daughter of James H. and Mariah (Jones) Sallee. She was but six years old when her parents removed to Brown County, where both died at an advanced age, each being about seventy-five years old when called hence. They were earnest members of the Christian Church and had endeavored to carry the principles of their faith into every action of their lives. Mr. Sallee was a native of Kentucky and his wife of Virginia, and they were of French and Scotch ancestry respectively.

Mrs. Lucy A. Eakins was one of a family of ten children. She grew to womanhood in Brown County, Ohio, where she was married to G. N. Shaw, a native of Ohio and a merchant in Russellville. He died when but thirty-five years old, leaving two children--Claude M., who died at the age of sixteen years, and Emarine B., now Mrs. Webb, of Piatt county, this State. Mrs. Eakins is a member of the Christian Church, but Mr. Eakins is a Methodist. In his political belief our subject is a sound Republican. He is the eldest of the five children born to his parents, four of whom are now living and none less than sixty years of age. It is needless to say that his is respected by those who know him for his Christian life and character and the useful labors which he has performed.

The parents of our subject were St. Clair and Julia (Spencer) Eakins, facts in whose history will be found in the sketch of Henry Eakins on another page in this Album. Suffice to say in this connection that the father took up arms against Great Britain during the War of 1812, entering the service when but sixteen years old; that he was a highly respected citizen of that part of Ohio in which he established himself and in which he had grown to manhood. His wife was equally well regarded by those who knew her, possessing like her husband the virtues of the true Christian.

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This gentleman is well known in and about Farmer City, being editor of the Farmer City Republican, a spicy, six-column quarto paper, published weekly. The paper was instituted in 1870 by John Harper and after some years changed hands, finally in 1886 being taken hold of by Mr. Ewing, whose wife is the owner of the plant. Our subject has had considerable experience in editorial work prior to assuming charge of the Republican, having for some time been connected with the Public Reaper, which went out of existence some eight years since. He possesses the editorial ability in a high degree, seeming to have an almost intuitive perception of the items that will be interesting to his readers, and wielding the pen of a ready writer in giving utterance to his own opinions. The paper has a large circulation, extending into Piatt, Champaign and McLean Counties.

Mr. Ewing traces his ancestry to old Virginia families and going still farther back in the paternal line, reaches the Emerald Isle, finding Ewings in the North of Ireland. His grandfather, Baker Ewing, was born in Virginia and when sufficiently old enough to do so, learned the business of a surveyor. After his marriage to Miss Warren, he removed to Kentucky, with which State he became familiar while prosecuting his profession in the early days. He acquired a landed estate of many hundred acres and was also engaged in the sale of merchandise in Frankfort for many years. He was the first Auditor of the State after its admission to the Union. In the summer of 1811 he went on horseback to Louisiana and while in one of the Southern towns of the State died of yellow fever, which was then epidemic. His widow survived him some years, reaching an advanced age. She was a member of the Baptist Church. Mr. Ewing was an active politician in the Whig ranks.

In the family of Mr. and Mrs. Baker Ewing was a son William, who was born in the Blue Grass State and when grown became a carpenter. He served three years as a member of Gen. Harrison’s Staff in the War of 1812. Two brothers were soldiers at the same time, under the same commander, one of them, Dr. R. M. Ewing, being Army Surgeon, all returning home without having received a scratch during their months of hazardous experience. Mr. Ewing married Sarah Combs, whose father, Joseph Combs, served during the War of 1812 under Gen. Shelby and fought in the battle of the Thames. Mrs. Ewing died in 1824, at the birth of her fourth child, she being but little more than thirty years of age. The bereaved husband subsequently went with his children to Missouri, and in 1832 returned to Kentucky to secure some land that rightfully belonged to his father but which had been in litigation for some time. While interested in the prosecution of his claim he was killed, and it has always been supposed that he met his death at the hands of persons interested in getting possession of the property.

Our subject, who is the younger son and third child of the parental family, came to this State in 1841. For a number of years he was engaged in teaching, beginning his labors near Quincy and continuing them in Adams, Menard and DeWitt Counties, and for a few months in Missouri. He was a successful teacher, having an ardent love for learning, a cultured mind and the tact to impart instruction and arouse enthusiasm in those under his charge. His own education was received first in the schools of Clarke County, Ky., where he was born July 23, 1822, and later in the Georgetown (Ky.) College, from which he was graduated at the age of nineteen years. After many years spent in pedagogical labor Mr. Ewing engaged in the drug trade in Clinton, continuing the enterprise eight or ten years. Prior to this time however, he had made his home in Menard County. After he gave up the drug business he became editor of the Reaper, published in Farmer City, and from the time he began editorial work has resided here. When not connected with newspapers he has been in the grocery trade. As a business man he was honorable in his dealings, anxious to please his patrons and careful to keep a stock which would prove satisfactory to them.

In Morgan County, April 27, 1848, Mr. Ewing was married to Miss Martha Chambers, who was born in Greene County, Ill., and was the daughter of the Rev. William Chambers, one of the early Methodist ministers of the Southern Conference of the State. That honored man was a native of Maryland and married in Kentucky, whence he and his wife came on horseback to their home in this State. After many years spent in spreading the Gospel as an itinerant minister, the Rev. Mr. Chambers died near Taylorville.

Mrs. Ewing was reared in this State and became a noble woman, whose life was spent in good works and whose zeal in behalf of Christianity was equal to that which was displayed by her father and seemed a heritage to her. She belonged to the Methodist Church, in the various phases of its work took deep interest, and left an influence which cannot be measured until time shall be no more. She died in Farmer City, July 31, 1878, of paralysis, being then about fifty years old.

A second marriage was contracted by Mr. Ewing in 1884, his bride being Mrs. Sarah Montgomery, nee Dunmire, and the ceremony performed in Petersburg. The present Mrs. Ewing is a native of Pennsylvania, in which State her parents also were born. She was quite young when they removed to Ohio, whence they came to Menard County, Ill., where she attained to womanhood. There she married William Montgomery, a native of the Hoosier State, and a farmer who continued to reside in Menard County until called hence. He was successful in his worldly affairs and possessed an excellent character, being a worthy member of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. In politics he was a sound Republican. He breathed his last in the forty-sixth year of his age, leaving his widow with ten children to care for.

Two are now deceased—Thomas having died in childhood and Jennie, wife of the Rev. William Patchen, when twenty-four years of age. Mary is the wife of Charles Tom, and their home is on a farm in Sherman County, Ore.; Ella is the wife of the Rev. Charles Parkhurst, a Cumberland Presbyterian minister at Harper, Kan.; James is a farmer in Menard County, this State; Samuel married Sarah Hubbard and occupies a farm near Hutchinson, Kan.; Charles L. is with a commission house in Peoria; Harvey E. is a typo and pressman in the office of the Farmer City Republican; Alfred and Joseph H. have not yet started out in life but remain with their mother.

Politically speaking, Mr. Ewing is a sound Republican, and in a religious sense he is equally sound in the faith of the Methodist Episcopal Church. He and his wife are among the most active members of the denomination in Farmer City and are great Sunday-school workers, Mr. Ewing also being a Trustee of the church. He has served as Justice of the Peace for Santa Anna Township and displayed sound judgment in discharging the duties of the office. He is a demitted Mason of Farmer City lodge.

Joseph Combs, the maternal grandfather of our subject, was himself a very prominent man and belonged to a Kentucky family of influence. His wife, formerly Sarah Clark, was a sister to ex-Governor Clark of the Blue Grass State. Both lived to be quite aged, Mr. Combs dying in Kentucky and Mrs. Combs in Missouri.

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Nicholas Foley is one of the most enterprising, progressive and business like farmers and stock-raisers in DeWitt County. He resides on section 33, Wilson Township, and his large and well-ordered farm is one of the best in this locality. Mr. Foley is a Virginian by birth, having been born in Hampshire County, December 12, 1838. William Foley, the father of our subject was also a native of the Old Dominion where he was born in 1800. He was a son of William Foley, who was likewise of Virginian birth. The Foley family are of Irish descent, and the progenitors of our subject settled in Virginia in Colonial times. His grandfather was a farmer and rounded out a long life in his native State.

The father of our subject was reared to man's estate in Virginia, and farmed until 1845. In that year he made a tour of inspection on horseback through Ohio and Illinois, and died on the way back at Clarksville, Va. in his forty-sixth year. In politics he was an old-line Whig, and was in every way a worthy man and a good citizen. He married Barbara Letherman, who was a native of Virginia. She bore seven children, of whom the following five grew to maturity; Elizabeth, Nicholas, Sidney, Mary C. and Isaac. After the death of her husband, Mrs. Foley and her family removed to Clarke County, Ohio, and lived among its pioneers four years. They then came to DeWitt County, where the mother died when forty-seven years old. She was truly a Christian woman, and was a member of the German Baptist Church. Her father, Nicholas Letherman, was a native of Pennsylvania and was of German descent. He was a farmer and stock-raiser, and spent his last years in Virginia, where he died when more than eighty years old.

The gentleman of whom this biography is written, passed his boyhood in his Virginian home and received his education in the district school. On his father's farm he gained a good practical knowledge of farming that has been of use to him in his after career. In 1854 he removed with the family to Clarke County, Ohio. His mother was in very straightened circumstances, and he being her eldest son, the support of the family devolved upon him and nobly did he perform his task. During the four years of his residence in Ohio, he worked out continuously by the month receiving $10 month for the first year and $12 and $17 thereafter. When the family came to DeWitt County, so scanty were their means that they barely had enough to pay their car fare here, and Nicholas worked out by the month after their arrival, and earned the money to pay the freight charges on their household goods. He was engaged in working out from March 1858 until the following November, for $13 per month. The following winter he split rails at fifty cents a cord for Col. Lafferty, taking his pay mostly in provisions. In the spring of 1859 he borrowed two horses and farmed thirty-five acres of land on shares. That fall he bought a span of colts for $100, and used them in his farming operations the following spring. In the autumn one of the colts was killed and a neighbor gave him the use of an unbroken colt until he trained it. In 1860 he moved four miles west of Leroy in McLean County, and rented a farm upon which he remained a year. He then rented one hundred and twenty acres of land nine miles south of Bloomington, which he farmed until the spring of 1867.

Our subject then came to Wilson Township and invested his well earned gains in one hundred and twenty acres of land on section 33, which formed the nucleus of his present farm. It was wild prairie and never a sod had been turned. He entered upon its development with characteristic energy, erected suitable buildings, and put the land under a good state of cultivation. A few years later he bought one hundred and sixty acres on the same section joining his first purchase on the west, which he has thoroughly tiled and improved. He has exhibited great enterprise in conducting his farming operations, and has met with more than ordinary success. He was the first man to begin tiling the prairie county, and he paid $75 per thousand for tile. He has farmed quite extensively and has cultivated as much as two hundred and forty acres of corn in a single year. He has been a stock raiser, buyer and shipper, and his well-fed sleek cattle and hogs of which he raises a great many, always find a ready market. He has added to his realty from time to time until he now owns over five hundred acres of land. Mr. Foley has undoubtedly received much assistance from his wife in the making of a pleasant and comfortable home. They were married in 1881, and to them have come the following four children--Icie, Barbara, John W. and an infant girl. Mrs. Foley whose maiden name was Emma A. Thorp, is a native of this county.

Mr. Foley's life record is that of a true man and has been such as to reflect honor on the citizenship of his adopted county. He is a man of large foresight, is quick to seize advantage of every opportunity that will in any way tend to heighten his prosperity, and prompt to act in all business matters. As a son, a husband, a father, a neighbor and friend, he has always fulfilled his duties and has won the confidence and the regard of all about him. He is very popular with his fellow-citizens, and has been called by them twice to represent Wilson Township as a member of the County Board of Supervisors, receiving the largest majority of any one ever elected in this locality to that important position. During the war he enlisted, but on account of the sickness of his mother, was never sworn into active service he being her chief stay and support. Politically he is a Republican. Socially he is a member of the Farmers Mutual Benefit Association.

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James A. Fosnaugh, a dealer in dry-goods, boots and shoes and groceries in Clinton, DeWitt County, is one of the well-known business men of that flourishing city, transacting a trade that keeps him well occupied during working hours. It also affords employment for his thoughts, as he is one of those men that in Western parlance is called a "hustler," and is constantly on the alert to increase his custom by attracting buyers to his store. He carries a general stock of well selected goods which test the capacity of a storeroom 20 X 100 feet in size. Mr. Fosnaugh is of German and French descent, his grandfathers having been Jacob Fosnaugh, a native of Pennylvania, and Jacob Bushee, who was of French lineage. The parents of the subject of this sketch, Ezra and Eliza (Bushee) Fosnaugh, were born in Fairfield County, Ohio, and there their son, of whom we write, opened his eyes September 19, 1848. The father breathed his last October 1, 1873, but the mother survives, being now in her fifty-ninth year. Her present home is in Piatt County, Ill. She is the mother of eight children, all living except one. The parental family removed in 1856 from the Buckeye State to Piatt County, where the father was engaged in farming until his death. Our subject attended the old-fashioned log schoolhouse until he was fifteen years of age, when he devoted his entire time to work on the farm.

After having passed his twenty-fourth birthday Mr. Fosnaugh became connected with railroad work as agent for the Indiana, Bloomington & Western Railroad at Lane, DeWitt County. In 1878 he embarked in the mercantile business in that village, continuing the control of affairs there until 1887, when he came to Clinton, still, however, retaining his store and stock at Lane, which is now inder the management of his brother, Europe L. Fosnaugh. When he began business our subject had a cash capital of $175 and was therefore obliged to assume an indebtedness on his first stock of goods. He is now the owner of two stores, together with the stock they contain, and of a good residence in Clinton, pleasantly located in the northeastern part of the city.

At Lincoln, Logan County, in 1872, Mr. Fosnaugh was united in marriage with Miss Kitty Cunningham. The lady was born in the city of New York and is a woman whose worth of character is thoroughly appreciated by her friends as well as by her husband. The union has been blessed by the birth of four children--Rovenia, Irwin E., Austin and Lee. While in Lane Mr. Fosnaugh served as Justice of the Peace during a term of four years. He takes no active part in political affairs, having no taste for the excitements attendant upon that line of life, but generally votes the Democratic ticket.

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John M. Foulks is a general farmer and stock-raiser of Rutledge Township, who has been a resident of DeWitt County since 1866. He has a fine farm on section 16, upon which he has lived for the past nine years and which has been in his possession three years. He came to this State in 1864, from Harrison County, Ohio, and spent the first year after his arrival in McLean County, and subsequently made his home in Wilson Township till he came here. Mr. Foulks was born in Trumbull County, Ohio, June 14, 1824. His father, whose given name was David, was born in Virginia and was a son of Jacob Foulks, who was also a Virginian by birth and came of German parents. Jacob Foulks was a farmer by occupation, carrying on his calling in his native State, and there he was married to a Miss Snodgrass, who was also a native of Virginia and was of German parentage. When they were old people Mr. and Mrs. Foulks moved to Ohio and died in Trumbull County when very aged. They were prominent members of the Lutheran Church.

David Foulks was one of twenty-two children, his father having been twice married, and he was the youngest child of the last marriage. Two of his brothers, John and Andrew, were soldiers in the Revolutionary War. David was quite young when his parents moved to Ohio, and there grew up amid pioneer surroundings, on a farm which he helped to hew from the wilderness in Trumbull County. He was there married to Flora Mackey, who was born in Pennsylvania and was of Irish parentage and ancestry. She was young when her parents took up their residence in Trumbull County at an early day, and there she grew to womanhood. Her father, John Mackey, died when an old man, and his wife died some fifteen years later in Jefferson County, Ohio, at a venerable age. Mr. Mackey served in the War of 1812. Mrs. Mackey was a strong Baptist in her religious views.

After the birth of all their children, five in number, of whom our subject was the second, Mr. and Mrs. Foulks went from Trumbull to Jefferson County and there improved a farm, upon which their remaining years were passed, he dying at the age of sixty-three and she at the age of eighty-one years. They were good and pious people, who were well known and esteemed where they lived, and were among the leading members of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Our subject and three sisters are the surviving members of the family, some of whom live in Ohio and the others in Illinois.

John Foulks attained his majority in Jefferson County, and was married in Harrison County to Miss Mary E. Taylor, who was born in Philadelphia, Pa., in 1828. She is a daughter of John A. and Rebecca K. (Lewis) Taylor, who were of English descent and were born and reared in Pennsylvania. They were members of the Presbyterian Church. Mr. Taylor was a marble cutter and spent most of his life in Philadelphia. His widow survived him and passed her last years in Northumberland, Pa., where she died at a venerable age. The father died in the same town and State. Mrs. Foulks was reared chiefly by her maternal grandparents, who became pioneers of Ohio when she was young.

After the birth of all but two of their children Mr. Foulks and his wife came from Harrison County, Ohio, to McLean County, Ill., in the fall of 1864, as before mentioned. He is now one of the prosperous farmers of DeWitt County, and with the aid of his sons has made rapid progress during the last few years toward building up a comfortable home and securing a competency for his old age. He and his wife have been blessed in their marriage by nine children, of whom these four are deceased: and infant, Clara, Homer and Wallace. Those living have been reared to good and useful lives, and of them we record the following: Annetta C. is the wife of H.F. Helmick, a grain dealer at Bellflower, Ill., Jennie V., formerly a teacher, is now at home with her parents; Milton R. and Wilber L., both of whom live at home and assist their father in the management of the farm; Walter also lives at home with his parents. Mr. Foulks, his wife and three of their children are among the prominent members of the Methodist Episcopal Church at Parnell, of which he is Steward and Trustee. Mr. Foulks is a man whose sturdy honesty and unswerving integrity make him trusted and respected by the entire community. He is a strong Prohibitionist in politics, being a true temperance man in word and deed, and his sons are ardent supporters of the Republican party.

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The honored title of "old settler" belongs to Mr. Frisby, who has lived in DeWitt County since 1840. Starting when twenty-one years old without a dollar, he has gained a good support and has become the owner of a valuable tract of land in Waynesville Township, whereon are to be found substantial and adequate farm buildings, good fences, and the orchard and other beautifying arrangements which add to the attractiveness of a home. The success which Mr. Frisby has won in a worldly sense has been more than kept pace with by his strength of character and uprightness of life, and great credit is due him for the manner in which his years have been spent.

Mr. Frisby was born in Morgan County, Ohio, July 8, 1823, and lost his parents when an infant. He has but little knowledge of their antecedents and early history. They bore the names of Joseph and Elizabeth (Janes) Frisby, and the mother was a daughter of Thomas Janes. The childhood of our subject was passed at various places, but when fourteen years of age he became the companion of his uncle, James Frisby, with whom he came to McLean County, Ill., three years later. His opportunities in the way of schooling had been very limited, but wishing to be on a par with his associates, he has observed and read to such good purpose that he is well informed regarding topics of general interest.

When he arrived at man's estate Mr. Frisby began working by the month at $7 per month, continuing this method until 1846, when he began farming for himself in DeWitt County. He rented land two years, then purchased forty acres which he sold in 1856 to buy eighty acres on section 22, Waynesville Township, DeWitt County, where he is now living. His first payment was $1,700, and ere long the incumbrence was removed and the place was assuming an appearance of cultivation and development. All the improvements have been made by the present owner, and under his careful management the land has been made to produce abundantly. Mr. Frisby added to the acreage as he was prospered, has given forty acres to a girl who was reared in his household, and still owns one hundred and thirty-seven acres.

The lady who on February 19, 1846, became the wife of Mr. Frisby was Mary Ann Baker, daughter of James and Sarah (Alden) Baker. She was born in the Buckeye State and proved her worth as a companion and helpmate during more than a quarter of a century of wedded life. She breathed her last June 7, 1875, secure in the hope of a blessed immortality. She was a member of the Christian Church, and had earnestly endeavored to mold her life according to the precepts of the Gospel. November 30, 1876, Mr. Frisby was again married, his bride being Emma Leigh, a native of Randolph, Ind. Her parents, Jackson and Harriet (Sutton) Leigh, were natives of Virginia and Kentucky respectively. In 1858 they came to the Prairie State, where they have since resided.

Both Mr. and Mrs. Frisby belong to the Christian Church. The wife is one of those capable and enterprising women who find opportunity for neighborly deeds of kindness, bear a part in benevolent enterprises and exercise generous hospitality. Mr. Frisby has been honored and respected as his high character and habits of life merit, and a large circle of friends rejoice in his present prosperity.

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Edmund W. Fruit occupies a prominent position among the stalwart, energetic men of action and large enterprise who have done so much towards extending the varied interests of DeWitt County. He is one of the foremost farmers and stockmen of Tunbridge Township, with whose rise and progress his name has been conspicuously associated for these many years.

Mr. Fruit was born in Christian County, Ky., September 21, 1823, and is a son of Thomas Fruit who was one of the early and well-known pioneers of this section of the State. He was a native of North Carolina born October 5, 1784, and passed the first eighteen years of his life in the place of his birth. He then went to Kentucky and was married in that State July 31, 1806, to Elizabeth Thompson who was a native of North Carolina. She was sixteen years old when she went to Kentucky. She was the youngest child of her family and had the misfortune to lose her mother who was drowned when Mrs. Fruit was a small child. Mr. and Mrs. Fruit took up their residence on a tract of six hundred acres of wild land, and he at once entered upon its improvement, erecting necessary buildings including a log house for the shelter of his family, and otherwise doing much pioneer labor, which in time resulted in the development of a good farm.

Mr. Fruit lived in his Kentucky home many years, but finally decided to try life in the wilds of Illinois and in 1834 left Kentucky with a team and came directly to DeWitt County. He located on a tract of wild prairie on section 14, Tunbridge Township on which he built a log house 20 X 20 feet in dimensions, with a kitchen 10 X 20 feet. He fenced his land and otherwise greatly improved it and made his dwelling place here till death removed him in 1871 from the scenes where he had so long been a well-known figure. He and his wife were the parents of a large family of children, named as follows: Susan W., James S., Thompson C., William L., Mary R., Sabilla, Sidney C., Edmund W., Martha J., Enoch A., John D., and Elizabeth P. The survivors of this large family are William, Mary R., Sabilla M., Edmund W., Martha J. and John D.

Edmund W., the fourth son and seventh child of his parents, came with them to DeWitt County at the age of eleven years. Here he was reared amid the primitive scenes of pioneer life. His first schooling was obtained in the log schoolhouses of the day that had puncheon seats and floors. He was twenty years old when he began life on his own account, and he worked at anything he could get to do. When he thus started out he had nothing but the clothes on his back and one horse. With characteristic shrewdness he traded the horse for a forty acre farm, which was the nucleus of his present large landed estate, and that was the first piece of land he ever owned. He has achieved a wonderful success in the pursuit of his calling, and is now the proud possessor of over two thousand acres of land which is as fertile and productive as can be found in this portion of the State. After he took upon himself the cares and responsibilities of domestic life he and his bride began housekeeping in the little log house that stood on his land on the same section where he now lives.

Mr. Fruit worked hard and in time had money enough to buy more land and so kept or till he reached his present position as one of the wealthiest landholders in this vicinity. His estate is neatly fenced and under good cultivation, with the exception of twenty-five acres of timber. He has besides his farm, valuable property interests in Kenney where he is now erecting a two-story, double-front brick structure with a commodious store on the lower floor and a fine hall above. He has on his farming land fourteen dwelling houses. He rents the most of his land at present, though he retains enough for stock purposes. He has over one hundred and thirty-five head of cattle besides twenty-five horses and other animals. In him the citizenship of his town has a good representative, as he is in all things a thoroughly honorable man, just and generous in his dealings and in every respect eminently trustworthy. He has views of his own on all subjects and is a pronounced Democrat in his political sentiments. He cast his first Presidential vote for Henry Clay, his first Democratic vote being cast for George B. McClellan.

Mr. Fruit was married on the 6th of March, 1845, to Elizabeth Boyd, he having returned to his old Kentucky home to claim his promised bride. She was born and reared in Christian County, Ky., and died in DeWitt County, August 28, 1856, after a happy wedded life of eleven years duration. Of her marriage with our subject five children were born, two sons and three daughters, namely: Phoebe A., who died in infancy; Sidney, who married John Barnett and lives in Barnett Township; James A., who married Sarah J. Stoutenborough and resides on section 27, Tunbridge Township; Mary is the wife of Frank Barnett, and lives on section 14, Tunbridge Township; William, who died at the age of two months. Mr. Fruit was a second time married November 5, 1857, Sarah E. Blue, a native of West Virginia becoming his wife. Three children were born to them: Arthur W., who married Ella J. Aquier and lives in Kenney; Laura B. married Benoni G. Clark and they are with our subject; Charles T. died at the age of two years. The mother of these children died April 28, 1873. Our subject was married again in the same year to Susan E. Blue who was born in West Virginia and died January 16, 1880. He then married Isabell Blue who is a most estimable lady and looks carefully after the interests of her household. Elsewhere in this volume will be found lithographic portraits of Mr. and Mrs. Fruit.

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No man is more widely known or greatly respected by the citizens of DeWitt County than Mr. Fuller, who has long been prominently connected with its farming and stock-raising interests, being one of the most extensive farmers and landholders in DeWitt Township, and he has also borne an important part in the public life of this section of Illinois as an incumbent of some of its highest offices.

Our subject is a Pennsylvanian by birth, born in Greene County, April 21, 1830. He is the fifth of the eight children, all sons, born to his parents, all of whom are now living but one. Daniel Fuller, the father, was a native of Fayette County, Pa., and was a son of Daniel Fuller, Sr., who was born in the North of Ireland, and came of Scotch-Irish stock, his ancestry being Protestants. When a young man, Daniel Fuller, Sr., came to America accompanied by his wife, an Irish lady, and he began life in this country as a farmer in Fayette County, Pa. His wife died in that county when quite full of years. He spent his last days with his children in Greene and Fayette Counties, dying in the latter county at the advanced age of ninety-three years. He was a man of fine physique, and as he always lived a temperate life, retained his bodily vigor to a remarkable degree. A short time prior to his death he had ridden on horseback from Greene to Fayette County, which was a wonderful feat for one so old.

Daniel Fuller, Jr. was one of five children and about the time he attained his majority he went to Greene County in his native State and purchased a farm which became his home. At the time of his settlement there he was unmarried, but he soon entered the matrimonial state with Miss Nancy Whitlatch, whom he had met when he first went to the county. She was a native of that county, and a daughter of William and Nancy (Veach) Whitlatch, who were natives of Pennsylvania, Mr. Whitlatch being of English descent, and his wife of Scotch antecedents. They were married in Greene County, and there began life on a farm. Mr. Whitlatch had formerly been a powder maker, and had served for a time in the Revolutionary War. The last days of himself and wife were spent on a farm, where they attained a ripe old age, Mr. Whitlatch being eighty-one years old when he died, and his wife somewhat younger.

After marriage the parents of our subject settled on the farm in Whitely Township, Greene County, and there the remnant of their lives were passed, Mr. Fuller dying in 1862, and his wife in 1876. He was seventy-two years old at the time of his death, having been born in 1790. Mrs. Fuller who was born in 1800, met her death by her clothes catching fire from an open fireplace. She and her husband were good and true people and were well known and honored throughout that part of Greene County, in which they resided. They were almost life-long members of the old school Baptist Church. Mr. Fuller was a man of considerable prominence in public life, and had been Justice of the Peace and County Commissioner for some years. His political views were like unto those of the old Jackson Democrats.

Our subject was carefully trained by good and wise parents in all that goes to make an upright man. He remained an inmate of the parental household until he became of age, and subsequently married and established a home of his own. His marriage took place in Whitely Township near where he was reared, he being wedded to Miss Mary Bowers who was an old schoolmate, and was born in the same neighborhood as himself, her birth occurring July 21, 1833. She is a daughter of John and Betsey (Cowel) Bowers, who were natives of Pennsylvania, and came of the old Pennsylvania Dutch stock. After marriage they had settled in Whitely Township, and continued to live on a farm in their native State until 1868, when they migrated to Taylor County, Iowa. They took up their residence six miles east of Bedford, where Mrs. Bowers died in 1876 when past sixty years of age. Mr. Bowers still lives in Taylor County, making his home with a son, and has attained the venerable age of seventy-nine years. He is a member of the Protestant Methodist Church, and is known as a thoroughly conscientious and upright man by the people among whom he lives. His wife was also a sincere Christian and a member of the Protestant Methodist Church. Mrs. Fuller is one of ten children, five sons and five daughters, all of whom are yet living, and all are married and have reared families with the exception of one. Mrs. Fuller was reared and educated in her native county and is an active, intelligent woman. She is the mother of eight boys, one of whom, Elsworth, died when eighteen months old.

The living children of our subject and his wife are as follows: David L., a successful merchant having a large general store at Fullerton, where he and his wife (formerly Lizzie Gardner) have a pleasant home; Josephus, who lives with his parents; Daniel, who married Lizzie Kitchen, and lives on a farm near Storm Lake, Iowa; John B., a farmer and stock-raiser of this township, married Miss Eva Callison, who died while yet in the prime of life leaving three children; Bennett, a farmer living in this township, married Miss Carrie Bordner; William, a farmer in Harp Township, who married Miss Minnie Reed. These seven sons of Mr. and Mrs. Fuller have inherited much of the ability of their parents, are industrious and self-supporting, and are useful members of society.

When Mr. Fuller came to this county in 1857 he had a capital of $2,000 which he has increased many fold, and is now one of the wealthy men of the county, and one of its largest landholders. He has in all some fourteen hundred acres of good land, which is mostly under cultivation, and forms a valuable estate. After coming here he located on section 4, DeWitt Township, and his home is near the station of Fullerton, which is on his farm on section 10. His homestead comprises six hundred and ninety-seven acres of fine land, which is highly improved, and he also has four hundred and forty-two acres of land in another part of the county, and one hundred and fifteen acres, a fine pasture farm, near the homestead. Besides this property he has control of eighty acres of land in Rutledge Township on which his son lives, and has eighty acres of good land in Iowa. His landed possessions are all worth more than $50 an acre, and he derives a handsome income from them. He has made much of his money as a successful stock dealer, feeder and shipper, in which he has been very largely engaged.

A man of extraordinary energy, enterprise and business tact, our subject has not only made his mark in the financial circles of the county, but has been preeminent in its public life. He was for many years a member of the county Board of Supervisors, and during the last term that he held that important office was Chairman of the Board. In 1886 he was elected to the responsible position of County Treasurer, and well did he discharge the duties thus devolving upon him during the fours years that he held the office. He managed its affairs with the same sagacity that characterizes his conduct of his private business and gave entire satisfaction to all concerned. He is a stanch Democrat in politics, as are also his sons. He and his wife and children are among the leading people of the county, and are known for their pleasant social qualities, their generous hospitality and their liberality in all things.

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William Fuller, attorney-at-law in Clinton, has been identified with the best interests of DeWitt County since 1848. As a public officer, the manager of a fine farm, a school teacher and a lawyer, he has found constant occupation for his waking hours and has been able to do much toward elevating the intellectual and moral status of society and advancing the material prosperity of this section. He was born in Greene County, Pa., near Waynesburg, February 19, 1823, and passed his boyhood and youth in his native county. He attended the school near his home, further advanced his education in a select school and began his pedagogical labors in the State of his nativity.

For some six years Mr. Fuller devoted much of his time to teaching, partly in this State, having gone to Madison County, Ohio, when twenty-three years old, at which time he was buying and selling stock. In the intervals of teaching he had been dealing in hogs and cattle, driving the swine to Baltimore, Md., and the larger animals to Philadelphia. While in Madison County Mr. Fuller was married to Miss Rebecca Parker, a native of that county, and daughter of Solomon and Rebecca Parker. In the year 1848 the young couple removed to DeWitt County, Ill., where Mr. Fuller continued his professional labors during several terms of school. While teaching in his native State he had read law and he continued his studies in his new home and ere long was admitted to the bar. He was living in DeWitt when elected Sheriff and in 1854 he removed to the county seat in order to better discharge the duties of his office. During the two years in which he held the position he also acted as Collector of Revenue of the county.

On the expiration of his official term Mr. Fuller opened a law office and began the regular practice of his profession, to which he has since given the most of his time and attention. He has, however, had an interest in farming and owns an estate of two hundred and ten acres just outside the city limits, on which he resides. A valuable feature of the estate are four large springs of living water flowing the year round. The land has been thoroughly improved, is well supplied with good stock and modern machinery and is carefully and intelligently handled in every respect. Mr. Fuller is largely interested in raising thoroughbred Shorthorn cattle and the farm is well stocked with animals of high grade.

Mr. and Mrs. Fuller have had ten children, five of whom are still living, viz: Rebecca J., Josephine, Thomas, John and Smith. The elder daughter is the wife of Franklin Vance, and Josephine, of John Mitchell. A son, William, died in the summer of 1890, leaving a wife and one child. Mr. Fuller is a charter member in DeWitt Lodge No. 81. In politics he is a stanch Democrat. A man of more than ordinary intelligence, well versed in legal lore and skillful in its application and with a character that reflects honor upon the name, he is one of the prominent figures in Clinton and the surrounding country.

Mr. Fuller is a grandson of Daniel Fuller who was born in Dublin, Ireland, and on emigrating to America joined the early settlers in Fayette County, Pa. He was a cooper by trade. The father of our subject was a second Daniel Fuller who was born in Pennsylvania in the year 1790. He learned the trade of a blacksmith, gave his attention to the same for some years, but later in life became an agriculturist. He made his home in Greene County, Pa., dying there at the advanced age of eighty-four years. His wife, formerly Nancy Whitlatch, was born in that county in 1800 and was a daughter of William and Nancy Whitlatch, who were descended of English families, some two or three generations having been born in America. Mrs. Nancy Fuller passed away in 1875. Her children were eight in number, all sons, he of whom we write being the first-born. All are still living except Jonah H. who died in the twentieth year of his age.