Biographical Album - 1891 - Surnames S


Irwin C. Sabin is a member of the prosperous firm of Averitt & Sabin, dealers in all kinds of hardware, stoves, tin ware and farm implements, etc. He is an intelligent and wide-awake man of business and though he has been in Farmer City but a comparatively short time, already occupies a leading position among the citizens of this part of DeWitt County. He is a native of Illinois, born in Champaign January 17, 1858, and a son of one of its well-known citizens, C. J. Sabin, who was born and reared in the Stae of New York, and early in life became an engineer. He was for thirteen years connected with the Illinois Central Railroad in that capacity with headquarters at Galena. When it was extended to Champaign, Ill., he came to that place remaining there until 1862, when he abandoned the road and has since been in the implement business in that city. He is one of the oldest merchants in his line in Central Illinois and has command of a large business which he established in 1862. He had married his wife in Michigan, and of their felicitous wedded life nine children have been born, our subject being the eldest but one, and only six of them are now living. Mrs. Sabin was formerly Miss Hannah D. Whitcomb. She is a native of Canada coming of New England parentage, and was young when her father and mother removed to Michigan where she grew to womanhood. After marriage she and her husband were residents of Chicago for some time.

Our subject was carefully trained by good parents and educated in his native town. He early displayed a talent for business and in his father's implement house at Champaign gained valuable experience that has been useful to him in his after career. He was at one time a commercial traveler for D. M. Osborn & Co., and also acted in that capacity for P. P. Mast & Co., the latter firm being of Springfield, Ohio. In the month of September, 1888, our subject bought an interest in the business of Mr. Chamberlain, who had been a member of the firm of Chamberlain & Averitt since January 1, 1865. This connection has been valuable both to our subject and his partner, and by their united energies they have established their business on a firm footing and conduct it on safe and sound principles. The firm besides the sale of hardware, stoves, tin ware and farm implements, does a large roofing business, thus adding greatly to its income. Mr. Sabin was married in the city of his birth March 30, 1879, to Miss Laura L. Jones, daughter of R. A. and Sarah E. (Karr) Jones, of Champaign, Ill. Of this union there are two children, Guy W. and Hazel G.

Mrs. Sabin was chiefly educated at Champaign and is a bright, intelligent young woman. She is an active worker in the Christian Church of which she is a member. Our subject and his wife are people whose pleasant and social qualities make them favorites in society and they have many warm friends. Mr. Sabin is a member of the order of the Knights of Pythias having joined Valian Lodge, No. 130, at Champaign some years ago. He is a charter member of the society and has filled all the chairs. He is a member of the Knights of Honor No. 844, Champaign.

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Among the men reared to agricultural pursuits and now pursuing them to advantage in DeWitt County is the gentleman whose name introduces these paragraphs. He owns and occupies a part of the homestead on which he was born March 31, 1858. It comprises a portion of section 2, Barnett Township, and by him has been brought to a high state of development and improvement, and thus fitted for the abode of a refined family circle. Mr. Samuel is of the old Virginia stock that did so much toward the settlement of Kentucky. His grandfather, Robert T. Samuel, was born in Culpepper County, VA., and went to Fayette County, Ky., at an early period. There he met and married Ellen Anderson, a native of that county. In 1830 they removed to Marion County, Ind., whence they came to Illinois in 1851. They settled in Barnett Township, DeWitt County, on a tract of forty acres entered as a Government claim. At the time of his death Mr. Samuel owned one hundred and twenty acres. His family included Robert G., Louisiana, Jane, Joseph, John, Martha, James, William H., Charles, Thomas and Marion. The eldest of these was born in Kentucky in 1818 and is the father of our subject.

Robert G. Samuel accompanied his parents to Indiana and later to this State, settling on the section now the home of his son Leon. There he first secured eighty acres of land, adding to the estate as he was prospered until he owned seven hundred and twenty acres. He now lives in Wapella Township, surrounded by comforts and enjoying the good will of a large circle of acquaintances. His wife bore the maiden name of Rachel White Griner and is a native of New Jersey. Their family consists of six living children, and two have crossed the river of death.

The young man whose life history forms the subject of these brief notes received his education in the district schools and in contact with mankind and by wise reading is adding to his store of knowledge. He began farming for himself when twenty-four years old where he yet lives. At that time he took possession of eighty acres of the old homestead, which he has improved with good buildings and placed under thorough cultivation. In the prosecution of the work to which he has devoted himself Mr. Samuel is energetic, prudent and efficient, winning thereby a fair share of the substantial benefits that accrue from such labors.

A companion and helpmate was gained by Mr. Samuel December 20, 1882, when he was united in marriage with Miss Lucy M. Francis. This lady was born near Edinburg, Ind., her parents being Spencer A. and Margaret E. (McClure) Francis, who was born in New York and Virginia respectively, and now live in Michigan. She is intelligent, amiable and kind, well qualified to make a happy home and bear her part in the social life of the neighborhood. To Mr. and Mrs. Samuel one daughter has come--Minnie R. Our subject and his wife are respected as their good qualities merit.

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On the opposite page is presented the portrait of the late W.G. Savage who was one of the most prominent citizens of Clinton, DeWitt County, as well as one of her most successful business men. During a period of almost thirty years he was interested in real-estate transactions here, handling that property so as to realize handsomely, having keen foresight, great faith in the future of the town and excellent judgment on the selection of tracts and their improvement. He invested quite largely when he first came to the place, built business houses which he rented and from time to time became the owner of outlying land as well as city property. At the time of his demise he left a large landed estate and other possessions which had been acquired by a long course of industry, economy and judicious investment.

Mr. Savage was born in New York near Lake Champlain, in August, 1811. His father, Gibson Savage, was an early settler in that part of the Empire State, to which he had removed from his native New England. He was of Scotch and English extraction. He removed with his family to Ohio when our subject was but a boy and the latter grew to manhood in the Buckeye State. He attended the common schools, acquiring a good knowledge of the branches which would be of practical use to him in after life and while pursuing his course of study manifested the quality of his mind in his likings and use of the instruction received. On leaving school he learned the trade of a saddler and later that of a tanner, following the latter craft some years. He then began farming in Champaign County, Ohio, prosecuting the calling in a very successful manner, but abandoning it when in 1849 he removed to DeWitt County, Ill.

During the latter years of his life Mr. Savage contented himself with looking after his property interests without bearing any active part in the financial transactions going on in the place. Having accumulated a good property which secured him from want in his declining years and enabled him to make ample provision for his wife should she survive him, he felt that it was but just that he should withdraw from the activities of the world. He was a man of unassuming nature, having no desire for a prominent position in public affairs and never held any political office. He voted with the Republican party whose principles he believed best adapted to the needs of the nation in whose progress he took great pride. A man of business enterprise and honor and of the qualities of mind and disposition which made him a pleasant companion in his own home and in the social circles of Clinton he enjoyed the friendship of many and the highest esteem of the few to whom his worth was best known.

In August, 1835, Mr. Savage led to the hymeneal altar Miss Sarah Gideon, a resident of Champaign County, Ohio, and a native of Loudoun County, Va., born November 6, 1814. Her mother, Elizabeth (Miller) Gideon, was born in the same county as herself and was of English lineage while her father, George Gideon, a native of Maryland, was of German descent. Mrs. Savage proved a valuable counselor to her husband and since his demise has displayed much business tact in the management of the affairs made necessary by her large property. She is a woman of fine character, strength of mind and public spirit, and without being in the least masculine in manner is able to take a part in the benevolent and elevating movements which will advance the true prosperity of the city in which she has so long made her home. She is now in her seventy-sixth year in full possession of her mental faculties and enjoys a fair degree of health.

In 1889 Mrs. Savage erected a modern residence which is arranged in the most convenient way and furnished in a style which, without any pretensions to extreme elegance, betokens fine taste and ample means. Here she expects to end her days on earth blessed by the love of her adopted daughter, Ida Savage, whom she reared from the age of three years and who is now the wife of LaFayette DuBoyce. The young couple make their home with Mrs. Savage, who having had no children of her own, lavished upon her adopted daughter the wealth of her motherly nature. The brothers and sisters of Mrs. Savage are George W., Catherine, Jacob, Armsted M., Peter, John W., Samuel II, and Mrs. Elizabeth Mitchell. Catherine and Peter are residents of Minnesota, and Samuel lives in Washington. Mrs. Savage is the second member of the family and the eldest daughter.

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David Schenck has been closely identified with the extensive farming interests of DeWitt County for a period of thirty-six years, and within that time has acquired a large and valuable farm on sections 31 and 32, Texas Township. He now rents the most of his land and lives in comparative retirement from active business in one of the most attractive homes in this locality. Mr. Schenck was born in Butler County, Ohio, October 8, 1825.

John Schenck, the father of our subject, was a native of Monmouth County, N. J., but he was reared in Ohio, his parents being among its early settlers and he received his education in the pioneer schools of this State. He married Catherine Cooper, also a native of New Jersey, their marriage taking place in Warren County, Ohio. They began life together in Butler County and afterward returned to Warren County, where their last years were spent. They now lie sleeping their last sleep side by side in the cemetery at Franklin. They were the parents of three sons, namely; Garrett, who resides in Maroa; David; and James, who died at the age of about eighteen years and is buried in Warren County, Ohio.

Our subject is the second son of the family. He was reared in his native State and obtained his first schooling in the Columbian School in Butler County. He was but fifteen years old when he had the sad misfortune to lose his parents and he was then placed under guardianship. He learned the trade of a blacksmith in his native county, and afterward carried it on at Franklin in Warren County. He continued to live in Ohio till 1854. In that year he made an important move as he then came to Illinois to try farming on the rich virgin soil of DeWitt County. He located on section 31, where he now resides, moving with his family into the small log cabin that then stood on the place. He commenced at once to improve his land and now has a highly tilled farm of four hundred and eighty acres, all in a fine condition and supplied with valuable improvements. After living in the log house into which he first moved for the space of sixteen years, he built his present commodious and handsome two-story frame residence, which is tastefully and comfortably furnished, and is an ornament to this part of the township. He was actively engaged in agriculture till a few years ago, since which time he has rented the most of his land very advantageously and is spending his declining years free from the toil and care that accompanied the acquirement of his handsome competency.

Mr. Schenck and Hulda Ann Long began their wedded life in 1847. Mrs. Schenck is a native of the same part of Ohio as our subject and was there born February 15, 1826. Her parents Silas and Sarah (Marshall) Long were pioneers of that county. She and her husband were reared in the same neighborhood, and in their childhood attended the same school. Her father was a native of Virginia but was reared in Butler County, Ohio, to the life of a farmer. Her mother was born in New Jersey and was reared in Butler County. They resided on a farm in that part of Ohio till death called them hence and their mortal remains were buried there at Trenton. They were the parents of the following children, namely,--Samuel M., Nelson and Amy, deceased; Hulda A., James M., Davie, John L., Benjamin and Robert, deceased; Sarah J.; Elizabeth and William deceased. Mrs. Schenck is the fourth child and second daughter of her father and mother. The marriage with our subject has brought to them five daughters and one son of whom the following is recorded: Catherine C. married W. H. Stoutenborough of Maroa; Sarah L. died at the age of seventeen months and twenty-one days; Anna Eliza lives at home with her parents; Ella died at the age of twelve years; Alice married Charles Milnes, and they live on the same section with her parents; Silas J. married Maggie Bolen and lives in Macon County across the road from our subject.

This brief record of the life of our subject shows him to be a man of large foresight, good business capacity and much tenacity of purpose, and these have been important factors in placing him among the most substantial citizens of his adopted township. He is a man of high principles and has always made it a point to be honest and straightforward in all his dealings and in his relations with his fellow-men. Politically he is a firm Democrat. He has been a Justice of the Peace and school Director, and in both capacities has given his township faithful and efficient service. He and his wife are among the most zealous members of the Christian Church at Maroa.

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JOHN W. SCOTT Page 611

John W. Scott is an old and venerated resident of DeWitt County, who has done a great deal to develop the section of the county where he resides, and it gives us pleasure to place a sketch of his life on the pages of this Biographical Album. He is now living in retirement from the active, busy life necessitated by his calling as a farmer and is passing his days in the enjoyment of the quiet comforts of a cozy home on the southwest quarter of section 32, Wapella Township.

Mr. Scott is a native of Jackson County, Tenn. where he was born January 22, 1815. His father, whose name was also John, was of Virginia birth, and he was the son of another John, who was likewise a native of Virginia. The Scott family came originally from Scotland. The grandfather of our subject was engaged for many years as a farmer and died at upwards of eighty years of age in 1847. During the great struggle of the Colonists for independence he was a volunteer soldier and did his part toward securing the freedom of his country. He was a devoted Christian and was a member of the church of that name.

The father of our subject was one of a large family of children and his early life was passed on his father's farm. When a young man he became a pioneer of Tennessee and resided on a farm there till the spring of 1827 when he came to Southern Illinois and located in Jefferson County, coming by wagon and camping at night along the way. He only remained there until the fall of the same year when he located near Waynesville in this county, which then formed a part of Tazewell County. He thus became one of the pioneers of this section of the State, and was very useful in helping to advance its growth. He had a grist and sawmill on the Kickapoo Creek west of Waynesville, which he operated for about two years, but there were so few settlers in that vicinity, that it did not prove a success and he sold it. He next settled near Long Point, in Wapella Township. He entered land there and erected a log house to shelter his family, which he afterward replaced by a more commodious frame dwelling, in which he made his home until death called him hence at the age of sixty years. He was one of the earnest member of the Christian Church and was a stanch Democrat politically.

The mother of our subject was, in her maiden days, Mary Keith, and she was a native of Alabama. She was a sincere Christian and took quite an interest in church matters, being one of the most zealous members of the Christian Church. She lived to the venerable age of eighty-four years, spending her last days in Missouri. Of her eight children, seven grew to maturity. Alec Keith, the maternal grandfather of our subject, was of English descent and was a native of Alabama, where he was engaged in farming for many years. He spent his last days in Tennessee, dying there at the age of more than eighty years. His father, Daniel Keith, was also a native of Alabama, a son of one of its early Colonial families. During some period of his life he became a pioneer farmer of Tennessee, and there died when more than ninety years old. He was deprived of his eyesight for some time before his death.

John Scott, the subject of his review, lived in Tennessee until he was twelve or thirteen years old, and gained a part of his education in the rude log schoolhouses of that day. He attended school some after he came with his parents to this county. There were then but few settlers here and those were located along the creeks on the outskirts of the timber. Deer, turkey, wolves and other wild animals abounded, but as our subject had to work hard to help his father in the development of a farm, he seldom had an opportunity to indulge in hunting. But he sometimes killed deer and in the winter of the deep snow had much sport, as he and his companions used to get the deer down in the snow and tying their feet together, dragged them home with a horse. There were some Kickapoo Indians here when he came but they left soon after. He used to have to go to Pekin on the Illinois River to obtain groceries for the family and he also marketed grain at that time. There were then no established roads here and only a few Indian trails which the settlers usually followed. Mr. Scott began life on his own account at the age of twenty years. He first worked out, finding employment with a man who lived at Bloomington Grove, who gave him $12 a month for his work, and he continued with him a year and a half. He was often engaged in the hard pioneer task of breaking prairie and used to drive four and five yoke of oxen for that purpose. After he left the employ of the gentleman referred to he was engaged in breaking prairie for a considerable time and received from $1.50 to $2.50 an acre for it. Mr. Scott finally entered land, first in this township on section 20. He actively entered upon its improvement, building first a small frame house in which to live. He later entered another place on section 31, and also improved that farm. He afterward obtained a land warrant which gave him the southwest quarter of section 32, where he now lives. This farm he has placed under substantial improvement. Its fields are well tilled and a neat set of farm buildings adorn the place--including his present house, which he erected in 1861 at a cost of $900 aside from his own labor--and also the frame barn that he built in 1862.

Mr. Scott at one time owned two hundred and forty acres of land, but has divided it among his children and now lives with his son, Thomas R., in honorable retirement from the cares and labors that beset his early days, surrounded by every comfort that heart could desire. He farmed one hundred and sixty acres until 1870, when he abandoned his occupation, having accumulated a handsome competence. Mr. Scott and Miss Mahala Artherton were married in 1844 and for forty-six years they have shared life's joys and troubles. Their marriage had been greatly blessed to them, especially in the birth of children, of whom they have had seven, four sons and three daughters, of whom five grew to maturity: Laura (Mrs. Maxell), William, James, Frank, and Elizabeth (deceased).

Mr. and Mrs. Scott are people whose warm hearts and kindly interest in the welfare of those around them have gained them a warm place in the affections of their neighbors and friends and they are regarded with the highest respect. For a great many years they have been true and devote members of the Christian Church as is shown by their conduct in all the affairs of life. Mr. Scott is a Democrat in politics and as a good citizen should be, is earnestly interested in all that pertains to his country. He is one of the few now living who have witnessed almost the entire growth of DeWitt County, and it may well be his pride that he has done what he could to advance its agricultural interests.

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Charles J. Seaborg, who is carrying on an extensive business as a wagon manufacturer and blacksmith at Weldon, DeWitt County, is a man of more than ordinary force of character and large enterprise who has been an important factor in the up-building of this part of the county. Mr. Seaborg was born in Helsingborg, Sweden, April 29, 1846. His father, John Seaborg, was a native of the same place, where he carried on the occupation of a blacksmith. Later in life he was engaged in the same business at Ekby, Sweden, and was much prospered in his work. He married Anna Olson, who was also of Swedish birth and was born in a place named Swolow, her marriage with the father of our subject taking place at Axeltoffta. They were the parents of nine children, three daughters and six sons, of whom our subject is the eighth child and fourth son.

Mr. Seaborg began to make his own way in the world at the early age of eight years and learned his trade in the old country. His first trip after he had completed his apprenticeship was to Flersborg, Denmark, where he carried on his calling until he went to Hamburg, Germany. He finally made his way to Coppenhagen and at that city embarked for this country, as he sagaciously thought he could work his way up to a competence more advantageously in America than in Europe. He landed at Chicago in 1868 and was employed there at his trade until he took up his residence for a while in Aurora, Ill. He was subsequently engaged as a blacksmith and wagon-maker at Quincy and then at Greenview, Ill. We next hear of him at Petersburg whence he went to Springfield and from there retuned to Chicago. In that city he remained two years, employed as a blacksmith and wagon-maker.

November 14, 1872 Mr. Seaborg came to Weldon and established himself in his present business. He has been more than ordinarily prospered and is one of the substantial men of the county. When he first landed in America he was $75 in debt, but when he came to this place he had accumulated money to the amount of $1,160. During the busy years years that have intervened he has greatly increased this capital and acquired a valuable property. He has built nine dwelling houses in Wilson besides his residence and shop, and at one time owned fifty-three lots in the village but has sold many of them at a good price, so that he now has but twenty-one lots in a desirable portion of the town. He formerly owned a tile factory which he sold to good advantage. He has erected a large a finely appointed shop for the manufacture and repair of wagons and for blacksmithing purposes, and this is one of the best equipped establishments of the kind in the county. It is amply supplied with the best of machinery of all kinds and operated by steam. Among its equipments are a hand saw, emery wheels, rip saw, wooden planer, wooden turning lathes, iron planer, iron turning lathes and all other needed appliances.

Mr. Seaborg and Miss Kate Olson, a native of the same place as himself were married in 1872, and to her active co-operation he is greatly indebted for the comfort of a pleasant and attractive home. They have one daughter, Amanda E., who is now fourteen years old.

Our subject is a true type of a self-made man and his honorable career in life reflects great credit on his adopted country. He is a business man of unusual keenness and activity and while building up his own fortune has added greatly to the prosperity of his town and county. He is a member of the Masonic order, belonging to the chapter at Clinton and also to Blue Lodge No. 28, K. of P., at Clinton, besides belonging to the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. He is well-known in the county as a stanch Republican. He has been a School Director for twelve years and is now a road Commissioner. Both Mr. and Mrs. Seaborg are devoted members of the Lutheran Church and are greatly respected by the entire community. Elsewhere in this volume will be found a view of the commodious residence of Mr. Seaborg; also of his business house.

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The story of the wonderful physical resources of America and the opportunities afforded here for personal aggrandizement and social advancement have attracted hither many natives of the lands across the sea. The agricultural districts of our country contain many German-American citizens who are almost without exception energetic, thrifty and prosperous. In DeWitt County this class is represented and one of the number is the subject of this brief biographical sketch whose portrait, together with that of his wife, appears on the opposite page. Coming to America without means he has in a comparatively short time become the possessor of a large tract of land and all the belongings of a well-to-do farmer and stock-dealer.

The paternal grandfather of our subject was Charles Shaffer, a native of Austria and a soldier in the Austrian army. He left the army, went to Prussia and there married. He died at an early age leaving two sons--Frank and Joseph--the latter five years old. Joseph Shaffer was apprenticed by his mother to a shoemaker and worked until he was fourteen years old when, his mother dying, he turned his attention to the trade of a millwright. He married Phillipena Kunach, who was the youngest of five children reared by her parents. Her father was an Austrian and served in the army of his county. To Joseph and Phillipena Shaffer two sons and three daughters were born, who were christened respectively, Frank, Josephine, Joseph R., Mary and Fanny. The eldest son came to the United States in 1866 and is now living in Oregon; the eldest daughter emigrated in 1882 and lives in Logan County, this State.

The natal day of our subject was July 23, 1844, and his birthplace the Province of Posen, Prussia. He was reared on a farm and received a practical education in the common schools of his native land. He had determined to seek his fortune in the New World, and when he became of age made his preparations to cross the Atlantic. Bidding adieu to home and friends in October, 1865, he embarked on a vessel which reached New York forty-six days after leaving Bremen.

The young man spent two months in Pittsburg, then came to this State, making his first sojourn in McLean County. For four years he was engaged in farming for others, then coming to DeWitt County he undertook agriculture efforts for himself. His pleasant and homelike residence is on section 26, Waynesville Township, and his surroundings are such as afford a sure index to the thrift and comfort of the family. A visitor to his estate will find thereon every necessary outbuilding together with the modern machinery and other conveniences which add to the efficiency of the workers, and a large number of fine domestic animals. Mr. Shaffer and his wife own three farms comprising altogether five hundred and thirteen acres. Mr. Shaffer deals extensively in stock and has the management of large farming interests.

In 1870 Mr. Shaffer was married and was left with one child--Dophelia--now the wife of R. F. Maxwell. March 34, 1884, he was again married to Mrs. Mary Glenn, widow of Samuel P. Glenn and daughter of James C. and Julia A. (Miller) Riley. Mr. Riley was born in Jackson County, Tenn., July 10, 1819, and when sixteen years old came to Illinois on horseback. He settled at Heyworth, McLean County. He was first marreid to Betty Draper. His second wife, the mother of Mrs. Shaffer, was born in Morgan County, and bore him two sons and five daughters, three of the latter living to years of maturity. The third wife of Mr. Riley was Sarah Jenkins. The paternal grandparents of Mrs. Shaffer were Elisha and Susan (Brock) Riley, natives of Tennessee, and the grandfather of Irish parentage. The present wife of our subject has borne him three sons--Samuel D., Joseph Robert Jr., and James C.

Among those who are engaged in his own vocation Mr. Shaffer has a prominent place, as it is well known that he brings to bear upon his occupation abounding energy, good judgment and a desire to keep thoroughly abreast of the times in all that pertains to his work. As a citizen he is peaceable and law-abiding, and in social and domestic life kindly and considerate. In 1882 he crossed the briny deep and visited his native land and other parts of Europe. He is fortunate in having for his companion a lady of genuine worth of character combined with the qualities and habits which make home attractive and domestic life happy.

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Creek Township is not without her share of the handsome homes that DeWitt County can boast, and among them all the residence of William G. Shaw is conspicuous. It is a fine commodious structure of brick, of modern design, convenient arrangement, and fittings which betoken the good taste as well as the prosperity of its occupants. The life of Mr. Shaw shows in striking manner what can be accomplished by persistence and diligence as he had no money capital with which to begin his life's work, but instead was dowered with mental ability, physical strength and sturdiness of character even more essential.

The parents of our subject were Thomas and Martha (Belford) Shaw, both of whom were born and reared in the Keystone State. After their marriage they spent a few years near the home of their youth, the husband being engaged in his trade--that of a weaver. They then removed to Clermont County, Ohio, and bought a small farm which the husband cleared and cultivated, paying some attention to his trade during the winter months. To them were born twelve children, of whom but two are now living: he of whom we write and a sister, Mrs. Hester Orr.

William Shaw was born in Clermont County, Ohio, January 2, 1814, and his name is the tenth on the family roll. His first schooling was obtained in a little log schoolhouse and the advantages of his boyhood were far inferior to those afforded lads at this time. He, however, acquired a good foundation on which to build his after knowledge, both of branches studied from books and from the practical affairs of life. He was but twenty years of age when he took a companion in life, having won for his helpmate Miss Elizabeth Van Devort. This young lady was born in the same neighborhood as our subject and had been his schoolmate during their youthful days. The friendship which was begun in childhood had strengthened with their strength and led them to unite their fates, determined to labor together for home and fortune.

The young couple took up their residence on a little farm of eight and a half acres where Mr. Shaw built a brick house, and also put up a store building in which he carried on a mercantile business six or seven years. In 1853 he removed from his native county to DeWitt County, selecting a farm in Tunbridge Township for his home. This he rented for a twelve month, in the meantime looking about him and finally buying a part of the land he now occupies. His first purchase here was five hundred acres, which he finally increased to eight hundred, most of which is now rented. When Mr. Shaw took possession of his land there were but slight improvements upon it; it now bears a complete line of barns and other outbuildings, all built in the most substantial manner, and forming an appropriate background to the fine dwelling, and fruit and shade trees that adorn the estate.

The great grief of Mr. Shaw's life was occasioned by the death of his faithful wife, September 5, 1870, but he was not alone in his sorrow, as her departure from the scenes of time was regretted by a large circle of friends who sincerely sympathized with the grief-stricken family. Seven children had been born to her, of whom four are living at this writing. These are Amanda C., who is her father's companion and housekeeper; Emma, who married A. Parker and lives in Maroa; Everett R., who is married and occupies a part of the parental dwelling; James M., who resides on a part of the homestead.

As before stated, Mr. Shaw rents a large part of his farm but retains a sufficient acreage to give him all the business that he desires in overseeing the general farm work there carried on. He is not a politician and has never manifested any desire for public honors, but devotes sufficient attention to party matters to know where he stands and deposits his ballot with great regularity. He was a brought up to believe in Democracy and prior to the Civil War was identified with that party, but is now a stance Republican. He has acted in the capacity of School Director and manifests an intelligent interest in the cause of education and other worthy movements. His long years of useful and honorable labor entitle him to the respect of the community and his personal qualities bring him many friends. In connection with this biographical review are presented lithographic portraits of Mr. and Mrs. Shaw.

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William Shipley, the owner and occupant of one of DeWitt County's fine farms, has manifested his capability for arduous labor and the oversight of affairs connected with rural life. He belongs to that great class whose members begin the battle of life without moneyed capital but with the determination of spirit and physical strength that counts for more than filthy lucre alone, and whose lives are examples of the results of well directed efforts. At present he owns one hundred and fifty-nine acres of land in Barnett Township, on section 4, upon which he has caused to be erected a fine residence and other appropriate buildings.

Mr. Shipley is a native of DeWitt County, having been born in Waynesville Township, March 14, 1846. His boyhood was spent as is that of most farmers' sons, in home duties of various kinds and in attending the district schools, and he grew up with a fair understanding of the art of tilling the soil and the practical use to be made of the information contained in books. He father had removed to Missouri in 1855 and William enlisted in Company E. Forty-third Missouri Infantry, August 13, 1864. The only heavy engagement in which he took part was the battle of Glasgow, and his was one among the six companies that were taken prisoners. He was paroled and in a short time took up arms and continued in the service until discharged on June 30, 1865. After the war Mr. Shipley worked by the month at farm labor, beginning for himself when he had reached his majority. In the spring of 1867 he came back to this State and here he continued his former occupation--that of a farm-hand--nine years. He then determined to set up a home, and winning an efficient companion, he rented a farm upon which he lived a year. At the expiration of that period he bought forty-seven acres of his present estate, to which he has added in extent and value by a wise expenditure of strength and forethought. His wife had $1,100, which has been invested in such a way as to add to their comfort and future prospects, but all that Mr. Shipley can call his own, in a personal sense, has been won by honest, arduous effort.

The parents of our subject were James M. and Jane (Branson) Shipley, who are numbered among the early settlers of DeWitt County. The father was born in Wayne County, Ky., and resided there until fifteen years of age and then came to Illinois. He was the son of Benjamin and Martha (Cottrell) Shipley. He was twice married, his first wife becoming the mother of eight children. Besides our subject those now living are Sarah H., whose home is in Missouri; Elza H., living in DeWitt County, Ill.; Mary L., living in Missouri. The eldest son, Isaac, belonged to a confederate regiment during the late war and was killed at New Hope Church, Ga. Another brother, Francis M., died in mature years, leaving a widow and three children. After the death of the mother of our subject, the father married Mrs. Stacy E. Montgomery, nee Watts, a native of Kentucky. She bore him four sons--James N., Lemuel K., Charles and Lincoln, all living and the fathers of families.

Our subject led to the hymeneal altar on January 17, 1874, Miss Nancy J. Marvel, a daughter of James and Maria (Gambrel) Marvel. Mrs. Shipley belongs to the Methodist Episcopal Church, is devoted to the comfort of her husband and family, and ever ready to perform neighborly deeds of kindness. To her five children have been born, named respectively: Amy E., James M., George T., Willhelm D. and Edwin F. Whatever parental love and anxiety could accomplish has been done to fit them for the duties of life, and in their good qualities and intelligence their parents take great delight. Mr. Shipley is not a politician but votes the Democratic ticket. His character and habits are such as to win the respect of his acquaintances and he his honored by all. The family are of Irish ancestry.

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Henry Simpson, a wealthy retired farmer has for many years been a prominent and influential agriculturist of DeWitt County. He has been more than ordinarily prospered in his work and has one of the most beautiful and attractive rural homes to be found in this part of Illinois. It is pleasantly situated on the southwest quarter of section 35, just on the outskirts of the village of Clinton and forms one of the most charming features of the landscape.

Mr. Simpson was born near Trenton, N.J., September 29, 1822. His father, whose given name was Samuel, was of Irish birth and antecedents, born in 1792, while his grandfather, Henry Simpson, was born in Ireland and came to America in 1793. The latter took up his residence in Maryland and gave his attention to farming during the remainder of his life, dying there at a good old age.

Samuel Simpson was only eighteen months old when when he was brought to the United States. He grew to stalwart manhood in Maryland and as soon as old enough served an apprenticeship in a woolen mill and followed the calling thus learned for some time after marriage. He settled in Buck County, Pa., and for eleven years conducted a grocery at Morrisville. He moved from there to Montgomery County, Ohio, in 1832, making the journey down the Ohio River to Cincinnati in a boat. He purchased a farm in Montgomery County and gave his attention to is cultivation till 1855, when he came to DeWitt County, Ill., traveling in a wagon and camping by the wayside at night. He purchased land and was busily engaged in farming till his sudden death of heart trouble in 1862, while he was riding in his carriage. He was a man of strong religious nature and was a devout member of the Christian Church. Politically he was a Democrat, and held some official position while a resident of Pennsylvania.

The mother of our subject, whose name was Anna Merrick in her maiden days, was a native of Pennsylvania. She was born in 1794 and died at the advanced age of ninety-three years, having been a faithful member of the Christian Church. She and her husband reared the following six children to good and useful lives: Jane, Henry, Ann Eliza, Martha, Mary, and Samuel.

It is the life of Henry Simpson that we are most concerned. His first years were passed in his native State and when his parents removed to their pioneer home in Ohio he was but ten years of age. At the age of twenty-one he began life on his own account, and farmed as a renter till he came to Illinois in 1855. He purchased one hundred and sixty acres of land on section 2, Texas Township, on which there were but very few improvements. He bought his present farm in 1861, and has since devoted himself assiduously to improving and adorning it. In 1867 he erected his present fine large brick residence at a cost of $5,000. This is finely located in the suburbs of the city and is surrounded by a spacious lawn covered with beautiful shade trees, making it one of the most charming homes in this part of the county. Mr. Simpson built a substantial and roomy barn in 1884 at a cost of $1,900, and it is said to be the best finished building of the kind in the county. He has eighty acres in Clintonia Township and one hundred and sixty acres of farm land and forty acres of valuable timber land in Texas Township, making in all two hundred and eighty acres, and in times past has been extensively engaged in general farming and stock business. So successful has he been that he has accumulated a handsome property and is now able to live in retirement free from the cares of an active business life.

The marriage of our subject with Miss Ann Hartsock was solemnized in 1845, and for forty-five years they have walked life's road together, sharing its joys and dividing its sorrow. To them have been born three children, all daughters, all of whom are living, namely: Louise J., (Mrs. Colwell); Anna Elizabeth, (Mrs. Ziegler); and Laura Lucinda. Mrs. Simpson was born in Warren County, Ohio in 1823. She is a woman of superior personal attributes and is in all respects a perfect wife and mother.

Mr. Simpson is a typical self-made man, who by the quiet force of persistent effort and the strength of an indomitable will, directed by business tact of a high order and sound discretion, has accumulated a handsome property. He has good mental endowments, a clear, self-poised intellect and is a man of varied information. He is a Democrat in sentiment but is rather independent in the expression of his views and in exercising the right of franchise. Both he and his wife are people of earnest religious belief and are Universalist's in faith. A portrait of Mr. Simpson appears on another page of this work.

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JOHN F. SMITH Page 973

Many of the natives of DeWitt County are closely identified with its farming interests and among them we find our subject, who owns and is successfully managing a good farm on section 20, Barnett Township. He was born on his father's old homestead on section 29, this township, May 25, 1857. He is a son of Charles R. and Mary (Marvel) Smith, natives of Gibson County, Ind. Charles Smith, who was a highly respected citizen of this county and has contributed his quota toward its development, was a son of Daniel Smith, a native of North Carolina and born March 22, 1788. In 1814 the paternal grandfather of our subject was united in marriage with Nancy B. Spain, who was born in Virginia February 23, 1799. Grandfather Smith died in Posey County, Ind., May 30, 1873; his wife preceded him in death, passing away January 29, 1852.

To Daniel Smith and his good wife were born thirteen children, namely: William B., born February 11, 1815; Elizabeth A., born in 1817 and died in 1857; Mary N., born in 1819; Diadama, in 1821; Archibald G., born in 1823 and died December 20, 1886; Lovisa, born in 1825; James A. and Charles R. (twins), in 1827; Susan M., born June 18, 1829, and died February 2, 1852; John C., born June 18, 1831; Alexander D., December 30, 1833; Martha J., April 24, 1835; and George W., August 30, 1837. Daniel Smith removed to Indiana at an early day of its settlement and there, after the death of his wife, he was again married to Mrs. Mary McFadden, in October, 1853, who died in Posey County about the year 1876. There were no children by the second union. He and his wife spent their last years in Indiana. They were devoted Christians and member of the Baptist Church.

In Pike County, Ind., Charles R. Smith was born February 12, 1827. Upon attaining years of maturity he was united in marriage with Mary, daughter of Wiley and Charity F. (Clark) Marvel, their marriage being solemnized by the Rev. John Shrader in Gibson County, Ind., November 14, 1850. She was born in Gibson County, Ind., February 12, 1829.

Wiley Marvel, the maternal grandfather of our subject, was born in Greene County, Ga., April 4, 1806, and died in DeWitt County, Ill., July 27, 1883. He was a son of Prettyman and Lovina (Rogers) Marvel, natives of Kent County, Del. At the early age of sixteen years he was converted, and united with the Methodist Episcopal Church, in which he was Class-Leader and Steward about fifty years. Whenever his health would permit he never failed to attend the quarterly meetings from the time he became an official until he died and would often, in his early Christian life, ride on horseback from twenty to thirty-five miles to be present at those gatherings. To all Christian and charitable causes he contributed liberally. His wife, Charity (Clark) Marvel, was the daughter of Braxton and Elizabeth (Smith) Clark and was born in South Carolina, January 23, 1807, and died in DeWitt County, Ill., January 1, 1868. She became a Christian at the age of seventeen years, uniting first with the Cumberland Presbyterian Church and five or six years later transferring her membership to the Methodist Episcopal Church, in which she lived a consistent life.

Sometime during the fall of the year 1853 Mr. Smith came to Illinois and settled among the pioneers of DeWitt County. He selected a suitable location on section 29, Barnett Township, where he purchased eighty acres of land. Later he added three eighties to his real estate, but at the time of his death had only one hundred and sixty acres. He presented to each of his children real estate to the amount of $2,000 and thus gave them a good start in life. He had his own way to make in the world and success crowned his efforts. When he came to Illinois his capital consisted of $500 and a team, which was further supplemented by industrious and persevering habits and good courage. These brought him a competence and he became one of the solid citizens of Barnett Township. He at one time served as Assessor and Road Commissioner and won a good record as a faithful official in both capacities. He was an earnest and active member of the Baptist church; his wife, Mrs. Smith, was converted to God and united with the Methodist Episcopal Church in 1842, and is a conscientious member of the same. Mr. Smith departed this life December 19, 1890, mourned by a large circle of friends.

The happy wedded life of Charles R. and Mary Smith brought to them eleven children as follows: James M., born September 23, 1851; Francis M., January 22, 1853; William A., born August 23, 1855, and died January 9, 1881, at the age of twenty-five years leaving a widow and two children; John F., born May 25, 1857; Daniel W., October 11, 1859; Charles C., born January 8, 1862, and died March 24, 1862; George W., born July 27, 1863; Ida A., February 24, 1866; Mary E., December 12, 1868; Florence, born August 22, 1871, and died January 14, 1873; Nellie, born December 5, 1873.

He of whom we write was reared to man's estate on a farm, and gained a good education in the common schools of his native township. December 25, 1883, he was married in Webster City, Hamilton County, Iowa, by the Rev. L. N. Call, to Elsie V. Silvers. Mrs. Smith was born in Hamilton County, Iowa, November 5, 1860, and is a daughter of William J. and Elizabeth (Barr) Silvers, who were married in Clinton, DeWitt County, Ill., by Squire J. J. McGraw. They were natives respectively of Virginia and DeWitt County, Ill. Her mother was a daughter of Thomas and Elsie (Watt) Barr. Her father was born in the State of Virginia January 31, 1834, and removed to DeWitt County, Ill., in 1848, in company with his parents, William and Charlotte (Southern) Silvers. They were among the early settlers of Barnett Township. About 1855 Mr. Silvers removed to Iowa where he now resides. William Silvers Sr., removed to Iowa, thence to Nodaway County, Mo., where he died. His wife is living and makes her home in Stanberry, Mo. Mrs. Smith was one of nine children, named respectively: Thomas E., born August 5, 1855; John C., March 7, 1857; Elsie V., November 5, 1860; William D., February 12, 1863; Lottie B., September 25, 1865; Emma J., November 9, 1867; M. Jay, April 8, 1872; Rose L., January 29, 1874; and Bessie L., October 2, 1880. The union of Mr. and Mrs. Smith has been blest by the birth of three children--Sylva E., Tressa A. and Roscoe J.

After the marriage our subject located on his present farm where he has eighty acres of fertile and highly productive land that is under excellent cultivation. He has it well supplied with all the necessary buildings which are kept in good order and everything about the place shows him to be a practical farmer. He is intelligent and well informed, has a good share of common sense and good judgment, and is shrewd in his dealings, though always fair and upright in all his transactions. He and his wife are among the most useful members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, to which he has belonged since he was twenty-one years old and she since fifteen years old. In politics he is a Democrat.

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Among the native-born citizens of DeWitt County a goodly number have turned their attention to the work of tilling the soil and the stock-raising business, which forms so fitting an addition to ordinary farm work. Among this number in Santa Anna Township is the gentleman above named, who is pleasantly located on section 21. He owns a fine farm, a view of which appears in this volume and which consists of one hundred and forty broad and fertile acres; upon this estate a complete line of substantial and well-arranged buildings may be seen. Mr. Smith has pursued his vocation in an intelligent manner, bringing to bear upon it the progressive spirit of the age and the energetic nature inherited from sturdy ancestors.

Mr. Smith is of German ancestry in the paternal line and the Old Dominion was the family home a few generations ago. In Hardy County, Va., Henry Smith, father of our subject, was born and reared, being one of a family of nine children four of whom are still living. He grew to maturity on a farm and after reaching manhood married Miss Deborah L. Mitchell, who came of an old Virginia family and was reared in the neighborhood of Winchester. This lady was well educated and was engaged in teaching until her marriage, soon after which she and her husband set out for Ohio with a one-horse wagon, carrying all their worldly possessions with them. They spent a season in the Buckeye State, the husband working to earn money with which to continue his journey to Illinois, where he wished to establish himself.

In the fall of 1835 Mr. and Mrs. Smith continued their journey overland, their party being increased by kinsmen. After a tedious journey they reached Bloomington, then a small village, near which they lived for some years, leasing the old Wallace farm which is now almost included in the limits of that city. In 1842 the good couple came to what is now Santa Anna Township, DeWitt County, and much to the surprise of the pioneer neighbors, built a house out on the prairie, and began to break the primitive sod. Theirs was the first prairie farm opened up between Farmer City and LeRoy. Mr. Smith soon had his Government land improved and the rude cabin, 16x16 feet, replaced by a better and more commodious dwelling. He and his wife lived to see DeWitt County improved, Farmer City built up, and such changes made as could scarcely have been imagined even by themselves as possible when they came to the State. Mr. Smith lived until the fall of 1882, reaching the age of seventy-two years, and his widow survived him three years, being seventy-seven years old when called hence. Mr. Smith was an Abolitionist and a Republican in politics, and was for some years a Class-Leader in the Methodist Episcopal Church, to which he and his wife belonged for many years.

The subject of this biographical notice was born on his father's homestead, September 24, 1846, and is the oldest son living and sixth child in a family of nine. He was carefully reared, it being the aim of his parents to fit him for the duties he owed to his fellow-men as well as for a successful financial career. He was married to Miss Flora McKinley, who was born in what was then known as the McKinley Hotel, in Mt. Pleasant, now Farmer City, her birth occurring January 4, 1852. She is a daughter of James H. and Agnes (Brown) McKinley, natives of Ohio and New York respectively, who came to this State with their parents and grew to maturity in this section. They were married in what is now Farmer City and resided in or near that place until 1882, and then went to Lancaster, Lake County, Fla., where they have an orange grove. They are prominent in their new home, as they were in the old, and are active in the work of the Methodist Episcopal Church. They are now aged sixty-seven and fifty-six respectively.

The paternal grandparents of Mrs. Smith were William and Susan McKinley, who were numbered among the early settlers of DeWitt County. Her maternal grandparents, John and Agnes (Stevens) Brown, were born in Scotland, came to the United States on the same vessel and were subsequently married in New York City. Some years later they came to this State, making their home in Springfield and later near LeRoy. Mr. Brown set out to visit New York many years ago, and while boarding an Illinois River steamer fell and was drowned. His widow some years later became the wife of John Doyle and died in DeWitt County when quite aged. She, like her former husband, belonged to the Presbyterian Church.

The wife of our subject is one of six children, four now living, and was reared and educated in Farmer City. She is an intelligent, enterprising woman, a conscientious member of the Methodist Church and one whose hospitality is recognized by all who know her. In fact both Mr. and Mrs. Smith possess the most genial natures and by their social qualities and interest in the members of the community, have become widely and favorably known. Mr. Smith is a sound Republican in politics, ever ready to deposit his vote, but seeking no personal honor while so doing.

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Joseph Smith is a respected member of the farming community of DeWitt County. He has a well improved farm in Barnett Township, where he has built up a comfortable home in which he and his good wife are spending their declining years in the enjoyment of an ample competence. Our subject was born in County Meath, Ireland, in the month of July, 1828, and is a worthy representative of the Irish element that has done so much toward advancing the industries of the United Sates. His parents, Mathew and Ann (Fay) Smith, were natives of the same county as himself. They had a family of eight children, three sons and five daughters. Our subject was the only son that grew to maturity. He came to this country in 1840 with his parents who settled in Coshocton County, Ohio. They lived there until 1843, and then took up their residence among the pioneers of Logan County, this State, where the father purchased forty acres of land, upon whose improvement he entered at once. He was busily engaged in farming until his death in 1854, when an industrious and faithful citizen was lost to his community. His wife died before he did. He had a sister who married John Fay, and came to this country from Ireland and settled in Ohio. Mr. and Mrs. Smith were devoted members of the Roman Catholic Church and were generous in its support.

The subject of this biographical review was bred to the life of a farmer receiving a good practical training in the calling that he was to adopt for his own later in life. His education was conducted in the common schools, and at the youthful age of sixteen years he began to battle for himself, working out by the month, and receiving as pay $10 for that length of time. Ambitious to better his condition and to become wealthy, he followed the gold seekers to California in 1850. He was four months on the way and was gone from home two and one-half years. At the expiration of that time he returned and invested some of his gains in eighty acres of land which included his father's homestead. He finally sold his property in Logan County and coming to DeWitt County, purchased one hundred and sixty-eight acres of land on section 15, Barnett Township, where he has ever since made his home. His land is well tilled and he has placed many substantial improvements on his farm, that have greatly increased its value since he purchased it.

His present prosperous circumstances have been brought about partly by the aid of a good wife, who is indeed a helpmate. Her maiden name was the same as her present one and she is the daughter of Terns and Mary (Bennett) Smith, natives of Ireland, born in the same county as our subject. The marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Smith has brought to them ten children of whom they have reared the following seven--John W., Mathew E., Joseph, Molly, wife of Charles Armstrong; Lizzie, Vesti and Maggie.

Mr. Smith is a hard working man, is capable and shrewd in the management of his affairs and is well thought of by the entire community. He is a so-called self-made man, as he has made his own way in the world to his present prosperous circumstances. He and his wife are among the leading members of the Roman Catholic Church. In politics he stands with the Democrats.

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Col. Thomas Snell, a retired capitalist and banker of Clinton, is one of the most wealthy and distinguished citizens of DeWitt County and for years has been a potent agent in advancing the business interests not only of this section but of other parts of the State. As one of the most prominent citizens of the county we are pleased to present his portrait on the opposite page.

Mr. Snell is a native of Cincinnati, Ohio, born December 26, 1818. Tholmas Snell, his father, a native of New Jersey, was of German descent, and for many years was a builder and contractor. He was one of the early settlers of Illinois and died in Pekin of the cholera in 1836. The mother of our subject was in her maiden days Elizabeth Stark. She was born in North Carolina sometime during the last century, and was a daughter of H. Stark. The Starks are of scotch ancestry. Mrs. Snell died in Jasper County, Iowa, and all that is mortal of her now lies in the cemetery at Clinton, Ill.

Our subject was the fourth in a family of five sons, and received his education in the pioneer schools of this State, being a lad of eleven years when his father became a pioneer of Pekin. He continued to live in Pekin and in Washington, Tazewell County, until 1845, and while a resident of the former place was engaged in mercantile pursuits, which he followed after his removal to Clinton in the year mentioned. In 1852 he abandoned commerce to engage in the construction of railroads and was a prominent contractor in building many of the leading lines of Illinois, such as the Illinois Central, the Chicago & Southwestern (in Iowa), Joliet & Chicago, Racine & Mississippi, Ohio & Dayton, Bloomington, Lafayette & Western, and the Lafayette & Muncie. He graded and bridged the road from Champaign to Havana and was appointed its first President. He was connected with the railways of the State for some fifteen years and in the meantime also carried on an extensive business as a wagon manufacturer in Aurora, from 1859 until 1865 in company with S. L. Keith.

Col. Snell's patriotism and devotion to the union cause during the great Civil War is well known and is a matter of pride to his fellow-citizens. He seems to have been thoroughly imbued with the martial spirit of the times, and his curse added luster to the military of his adopted State. He was a leader of the Democracy in this section of Illinois, and in 1860 was a candidate for Lieutenant-Governor on the Breckenridge ticket. So high did he stand in the counsels of his party that it was deemed of the utmost importance by the Douglas Democrats that he should be prevailed upon to give his influence to the Little Giant in 1858 for United States Senator, and for that reason Stephen A. Douglas and Gen. McClellan, then President of the Illinois Central Railroad, came to Clinton in a special car, and used every argument that they could think of, besides offering him money or office, if he would support Stephen A. Douglas. Our subject was too loyal to his county, to say nothing of his high principles, to yield to the temptation. In the spring of 1861 he was moved to indignation at the firing on Ft. Sumter, and his voice roused the patriotism of his fellow-citizens. He was active in various ways in helping to carry on the war, and in August, 1862, raised the One Hundred and Seventh Illinois Infantry, with which command he renamed as Colonel four months. His radical course while in the army has been well described in his biography in the DeWitt County History, and is too well known to need further mention here.

Col. Snell is a man of more than ordinary force and decision of character, as will be seen by a perusal of these lines. He is a man of intrepid spirit and indomitable will, and these traits, with large enterprise and great executive ability, have placed him in the front rank of the men of wealth in this county. He is a man of strong convictions and is outspoken in his views. In politics he is in favor of tariff reform. Perhaps no man has displayed more real public spirit or been more interested in advancing the welfare of this county than the Colonel, and it is greatly indebted to him for its present high financial standing.

Col. Snell was united in marriage with Miss Sarah E. Church of Washington, Ill., and by this union there were born five children, three of whom are living. October 11, 1875, death invaded the pleasant home of our subject and took from him his beloved wife. She was a woman of perfect character, in whom all the higher womanly qualities were blended. She was kindness itself in her relations with others, always gentle, considerate and just. Her charitableness is well known, and many who have been benefited by it bless her memory. The record of the children is as follows: One is president of the DeWitt county National Bank and resides in Bloomington, Ill.; one is a leading attorney of Kansas City; and one is now traveling for his health in California.

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Minos B. Spicer, though not among the earliest settlers of DeWitt County, may be accorded an honorable position among its pioneers, as he has borne a prominent part in bringing its agricultural interests to the front and making it a great farming and stock growing center. He has extensive landed property in Tunbridge Township, and his name is intimately associated with its growth and progress.

Mr. Spicer was born in Clark County, Ind., near Jeffersonville, July 12, 1820. His father, Upsheard D. Spicer, was a native of Delaware, but was reared in Kentucky amid its pioneer scenes. He married Nancy Clifton who was born and reared in Kentucky, though their marriage is supposed to have taken place in Clarke County. Mr. Spicer was a cabinet maker by trade, but devoted himself to farming after his marriage. In 1833 he emigrated with an oxen-team to Sangamon County, this State, and located on a farm near Springfield, this becoming one of the pioneers of that section of Illinois. He rounded out a useful and honorable life in 1855. His widow survived him until 1882 and both are now lying side by side in Brunks Cemetery near Springfield. They were the parents of twelve children, seven sons and five daughters, to whom they gave the following names: Elias S., Minos B., Mary P., Thompson C., Bowen R., William E., George W., Sarah and Sophia (twins), John, Rosan and Emily C. Only four of these are now living--our subject, Thompson, John and Emily.

He of whom we write is the second son and child born to his parents. He was about fourteen years old when he came with the family to Sangamon County, and there he attended school in the primitive log schoolhouses of pioneer times. At the age of twenty he engaged in a general business, trading horses, teaming and doing anything he could find to do. In 1843 he went to the lead mines on the northern part of this State and Wisconsin. February 13, 1851, Mr. Spicer was united in marriage with Mary Jane Miller, who was born March 4, 1832, and reared to womanhood in Sangamon County. They began their wedded life on a farm in that part of Illinois, but subsequently came to DeWitt County, in April, 1854. They located on section 36, Tunbridge Township, on a tract of wild land that was in nowise improved. Mr. Spicer bought an old house and prepared it for a home for himself and family. At that time the county was still sparsely settled and deer and wolves were yet plentiful. Our subject improved his quarter section of land by breaking the prairie, fencing it, etc., and now has it in a fine condition. He removed to his present place of residence in 1867. In 1874 he took up his abode in Clinton that he might give his children better educational advantages. Before going there he was very ill of typhoid fever. He returned to his present home in 1886. He does general farming and has been more than ordinarily prospered in his vocation. His home farm comprises three hundred and seventeen acres of choice, finely improved land, and he has besides one hundred and niney-seven and one-half acres on section 23, Tunbridge Township, eighty acres on section 25, and one hundred and ninety-two acres of land where he first settled on section 36, his landed possessions comprising in all seven hundred and eighty-six and one-half acres, besides eighty acres of timber in Polk County, Ill.

Our subject and his wife have one of the coziest and most comfortable homes in all the township, and it is noted for its bounteous hospitality. They have four children, of whom the following is recorded: John lives on the old home place on section 36, Lydia Ann married William A. Mills, a salesman for Shattuck & Co., stock commissioners, Chicago; Joseph B. lives in Tunbridge Township; and Benjamin F. resides at home with his parents.

Mr. Spicer is a whole-soul man whose reputation as a skillful farmer and for excellent business capacity is of the highest. He is a respected member of the Clinton Masonic Lodge, No. 84, and is also identified with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. In him this township has found one of its ablest and most public spirited civic officials, in the various important offices that he had held. He has been Road Commissioner, School Trustee and School Director and has been a member of the County Board of Supervisors. In his political views he is an uncompromising Democrat.

The lithographic portraits of Mr. and Mrs. Spicer, presented on another page, will be welcomed by their many friends as valued additions to this volume.

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"Prairie Grove Stock Farm" is one of the most notable estates in DeWitt County and its owner is a popular and successful farmer and stock-breeder. He raises fine horses, cattle and swine, the cattle being of the Hereford breed and the horses standard bred. Mr. Spratt is the owner of the trotting stallions, "Juror," No. 5163, and "Seth Jones," No. 14, 646, both good trotters, the former having a record of 2:32. His farm consists of two hundred and forty acres of land on section 24, Rutledge Township, all under cultivation and furnished with everything necessary and convenient in the way of farm buildings. It is further supplied with a half-mile race track that is one of the most practical and complete in this part of the State, a feature that will become popular with lovers of the sport derived from speeding horses. Besides this fine property Mr. Spratt owns eight acres of timber land in the same township.

Our subject is the eighth in the family of James and Elizabeth (Bishop) Spratt who are now enjoying a well-earned fortune in peace and quiet, having retired from their farm to Farmer City. James Spratt is one of the early settlers in Rutledge Township, to which he came from Ohio. He purchased a goodly amount of Government land and finally improved four hundred acres, which was his home until recently. He is now more than three-score and ten years old and his wife is also quite aged. They are the parents of twelve children, five sons and two daughters being alive at this writing (1890).

The subject of this notice was born on his father's homestead in DeWitt County, Ill., June 15, 1856, and was educated in the public schools of Rutledge Township. He lived at home and helped to carry on the farm until he was twenty-one years of age, when he began life for himself. Taking up the work of a general farmer and stock-raiser he began the career that has proved so eminently successful and by which he has secured the fine estate that has been his home since 1883. He has added many improvements to those that had already been made, the buildings which he has erected being especially substantial, convenient and commodious.

At the bride's home in Empire Township, McLean County, August 21, 1877, Mr. Spratt was united in marriage with Miss Narcissus Britton. Mrs. Spratt was born and reared in the township in which her marriage was solemnized, her natal day being September 18, 1862. Her father, John R. Britton, was a native of Indiana, but lived in McLean County, Ill., for many years. He had a large landed estate there and also owned improved property in DeWitt County. He met a sad fate, being burned to death in his own house March 4, 1884. The building caught fire during the night when he was asleep and being alone at the time he perished in the flames. His wife had died fourteen months before, when sixty-one years of age. She bore the maiden name of Mary A. Jones and at the time of her marriage to Mr. Britton was the widow of A. J. Kennedy. Both were consistent Christians, Mr. Britton being a member of the Methodist Episcopal and Mrs. Britton of the United Brethren Church.

Mrs. Spratt is the younger of the children born to her parents. Her brother Columbus is now living in Leroy but his property is in DeWitt County. Mrs. Spratt was the recipient of Christian training at the hands of her parents and enjoyed good educational privileges. She is therefore well informed in general knowledge and matters pertaining to woman's sphere and possesses an estimable character. She has born her husband four children who form an interesting group around the parental hearthstone and who answer to the names of Mary E., Edith M., Leota M. and Grace N.

Mr. Spratt always votes the Democratic ticket, having a firm faith in the justice of the principles of the party. He was once elected Justice of the Peace but although he takes an intelligent interest in the affairs of the locality and the welfare of the citizens he prefers the enjoyment of his home life and the cares of his own vocation to the turmoil and anxieties of even a minor public office. He and his wife are member in good standing of the Methodist Episcopal Church at Farmer City and enjoy the respect of their associates.

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Among those who have retired from the more active duties of life is this gentleman, who is well known throughout DeWitt County as one of its most successful and prominent pioneers. He was long and honorably connected with its agricultural interests, and during his active business life was a potent factor in the rise and progress of this section of Illinois. For many years he was one of the foremost farmers and stock-raisers of Rutledge Township, where he still has very extensive landed interests, as he did as much or more than any other towards its development. He now lives retired in Farmer City.

Mr. Spratt was born in Greene County, Pa., October 14, 1822. His father, Robert Spratt, was born in the North of Ireland and came of an old Irish family. He was reared to manhood in his native land and was there married to Sarah McGaffin, who was born and reared in the North of Ireland and was also of pure Irish blood. After the birth of two children Robert Spratt and wife in 1821 came to America on a sailing-vessel, the voyage consuming three months. After landing they made their way at once to Greene County, Pa., and there some months later our subject was born. A few months after that event the little family emigrated to Franklin County, Ohio, where the father worked on a turnpike, and where two more children were added to the family circle. In that county also the faithful wife and mother died in the prime of life in 1828. The father subsequently moved to Madison County, Ohio, where he died in 1853 when fifty years of age. Both he and his wife were devoted members of the Catholic Church and were very worthy people. Our subject and his brother Andy, who is a blacksmith in Union County, Ohio, are the only surviving children of their parents.

James Spratt grew to manhood amid the pioneer scenes of Ohio, and was there married to Miss Elizabeth Wheeler, a native of Lebanon County, where she was born in 1823. Her parents were Pascal and Susan (Rocker) Wheeler, natives respectively of New York and Ohio. When Mr. Wheeler was a young man he served as a private through the War of 1812, and afterward became a pioneer of Ohio. He was there married, and later settle in Lebanon County, where he lived for some years. There his wife died of consumption in 1826, when she was still a young woman. Mr. Wheeler married a second time, and lived and died near Harmony in Clarke County, Ohio, being past eighty years of age at the time of his death. He and both his wives were members of the old school Presbyterian Church. Mrs. Spratt and her brother, Jacob Wheeler, a blacksmith of Springfield, Ohio, are all of the family now living. After the death of her mother she was reared by strangers. She is a true wife and helpmate, a loving mother and a generous neighbor.

Mr. and Mrs. Spratt are the parents of twelve children, five of whom are deceased, as follows: Thomas J., Mary J. and Ursula E., all of whom grew to maturity and married; John W., who died at the age of seventeen years; and James F., who died when fourteen months old. The living children are: Andrew J., who married Nancy Morrison and resides on a farm in Union County, Ohio; William R., who married Nancy Roy, and lives on a farm in Bates County, Mo.; Catherine, wife of George Catterman, a farmer in Bates County, Mo.; George P., who married Rebecca Vance; Charles A., of whom see biography on another page of this work; D. F., who married Belle Clingler, and lives on a farm in Rutledge Township; and Martha A., wife of Robert Spratt, a farmer of Rutledge Township. Mr. Spratt came to DeWitt County in 1847 and settled in Wilson Township, where he began life in Illinois as a renter. Three years later, in 1850, he purchased his first forty acres of land, which was a tract of wild prairie, and on that he made his home for twenty-eight months. In the fall of 1852 he bought one hundred and thirty acres of land on section 25, Rutledge Township. It was but very slightly improved when he moved on it and there he lived and labored and became more that ordinarily successful in his work. He at last placed himself among the foremost of the large landowners of this county, having added to his estate until he now has fifteen hundred acres of as fine land as ever the sun shone on. This has nearly all been developed from the unbroken prairies and timberland to what it is to-day, the most highly improved and valuable property in this section of the State, finely adapted for general farming and stock-raising purposes. Mr. Spratt has in one tract five hundred and eighty acres of land, in another one hundred and twenty acres, two others of one hundred and sixty acres each, one of one hundred acres and another of sixty acres, and besides these various farms he owns some good timberland and two hundred and eight acres in Vernon County, Mo.

When our subject and his wife began life together they had not a dollar ahead, and their handsome fortune has been the result of their united labors, which have placed them among the wealthy people of the county. In the accumulation of their property they have not been unmindful of their duties in regard to others, nor have they selfishly kept the benefits to be derived from their money, but are generous and contribute liberally towards all Charitable objects brought to their notice. Mrs. Spratt possesses a high Christian character, and is a stanch member of the United Brethren Church. Mr. Spratt politically is a Democrat and is firm in support of his party. A portrait of Mr. Spratt appears on another page.

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This venerable gentleman may be regarded as a pioneer farmer of DeWitt county, though not among its earliest settlers. He has been a resident of Tunbridge Township for thirty-six years and during that time has made for himself an honorable place, not only as one of its practical, capable farmers, but as a citizen who has done good public service in various important civic offices of which he has been an incumbent.

Our subject is a native of Butler County, Ohio, where he was born March 26, 1811. Abraham Squier was a native of Pennsylvania, and lived in the place of his birth until 1800, when he went to Ohio. He was married in Middletown, Butler County, that State, December 23, 1805, to Mary Ball, a native of New Jersey, who was reared in Pennsylvania, and went from there to Ohio in the same year that her husband settled there. They began their wedded life on a farm in Butler County, and there spent their remaining days, he dying in 1833, and she in 1878 at the venerable age of ninety one years. Her remains were placed by the side of his in the cemetery at Trenton, Ohio. They were the parents of twelve children of whom our subject is the third son and child, the names of his brothers and sisters being, Ezekiel B., Ellis, Abraham, William, Jonah W., Hannah C., Stephen B., Mary, Sarah and Robert (twins), and Phoebe.

David Squier passed his boyhood and youth in his native State, and whenever opportunity offered attended the primitive pioneer schools taught in log houses. He remained with his parents until he was twenty years old, when he went to learn the trade of a blacksmith. On December 23, 1835, he took upon himself the cares of a domestic life, as on that date he was wedded to the lady whom he had invited to share his home with him--Miss Licy Ann Todd. Mrs. Squier was born in Burlington County, N.J., September 22, 1816, and is the eldest child of her parents, James and Anna Todd. They removed from New Jersey to Butler County in 1828, and there the father died in 1850 and the mother in 1860. Mrs. Squier's paternal grandfather, George Todd, was born and reared in Scotland, and was married to Isabel Mingham after coming to America. She was a native of Ireland and came to this country and settled in New Jersey when she was a young woman. Her father's uncle owned two sail vessels and was quite a wealthy ship-master. Mrs. Squier's parents were born and reared in New Jersey. Mr. and Mrs. Squier have had a congenial wedded life which has been blessed to them by the birth of two sons--Lewis P., who is married and lives in Nebraska, and William Alonzo, who resides on the farm with his father. Our subject and his wife have also eight grandchildren and five great-grandchildren to gladden their lives.

Our subject comes of good old Revolutionary stock, as his grandfather Ezekiel Ball served for six or seven years during the struggle of the American Colonists for independence. The subject's paternal grandfather, William Squier, was born in New Jersey and reared in Pennsylvania; he was the proprietor of a foundry in Besontown, where he engaged in the manufacture of pots and kettles which he carried to market over the mountains on horseback.

After marriage Mr. Squier took up his residence in Jacksonboro, Butler County, Ohio. He had previously worked at his trade as a blacksmith for Mr. Todd, and he then turned his attention to farming and carried on his mother's place until 1844. He came to DeWitt County in a wagon in 1854 and located on section 14, Tunbridge Township. Two years later he removed from there to his present place of residence on section 26, in the same township. There had been no improvements attempted and the farm was covered with a natural growth of tall grass. His first work after securing a habitation was to break the sod, set out an orchard, fence the land and erect suitable buildings. He was one of the early settlers of the township and had many privations to undergo and many hardships to contend with, but by persistent labor and excellent management, he has developed a farm of one hundred and twenty acres that is in many respects one of the best in this part of the county.

Mr. Squier is accorded a high place among our most worthy and respected citizens. He has been of invaluable service to the township in many of its most important offices, and his course as a public officer has been actuated by the sincerest motives and by genuine public spirit. He was the first Road Commissioner in the township, was Township Clerk three of four years, was Assessor three years, and has been School Director, besides representing the township as a member of the County Board of Supervisors. He and his good wife are people of sincere religious sentiment, and for many years have been members of the Predistinarian Baptist Church.

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John Stensel, a respected citizen of DeWitt County is a successful dealer in undertaker's supplies of all kinds in Farmer City. He has a neat establishment and two good hearses with all the necessary outfits. Mr. Stensel is a skillful mechanic and cabinet-maker, and is likewise doing a small business as a taxidermist, his work in preparing and dressing stuffed birds being very good and showing much taste and skill. Mr. Stensel came to this place just after the close of the late war and established himself in his recent business and also carried on a flourishing furniture business in connection with it some eighteen years. Then a conflagration destroyed his establishment and he has since devoted himself to undertaking and taxidermy. He had formerly been engaged as a cabinet-maker for twelve years in Louisville, Ky., for the one firm of Peters & Webb, piano manufacturers. He there gained a high reputation as a workman of more than ordinary ability and taste. He had previously been employed in Cincinnati, in the first year after he came to this country. That was in the year 1843 when he sailed to these shores from his native Germany. He had embarked at Hamburg and was nine weeks in making the trip to New York City as the vessel encountered heavy storms in which it lost its mainmast. The ship's stores gave out and our subject and other passengers suffered from hunger before landing.

Mr. Stensel was born in Slazean, Prussia, May 12, 1823. He came of sterling German ancestry and his father, Gabriel Stensel, was also a native of Prussia, where he spent his entire life, carrying on the trade of a brick mason during his active years. At the time of his death he was three-score and ten years of age. In early manhood he married a Prussian lady, her death occurring a year after that of her husband and at about the same age. They were sincere Christian people and members of the Catholic Church.

Our subject is the youngest but one of the family, and so far as he knows is the only one now living. His younger brother, Gabriel, and himself are the only ones that ever came to America, and of his brother, our subject knows nothing but supposes that he is dead. After he attained the age of fourteen years Mr. Stensel was sent to learn the trade of a cabinet-maker, and served an apprenticeship of four years. He subsequently worked at his calling in the larger German cities for some five years as a journeyman. When he was twenty-three years of age, shrewdly thinking that the United States of America possessed more advantages for making a competence than his native land, he embarked for these shores as before stated.

While a resident of Louisville, Ky., our subject had the good fortune to secure a capable and helpful wife and in the person of Miss Margaret Chickle. Mrs. Stensel was born in Wysenburg, Germany, near the French border in 1833, and was one year old when her parents migrated to this country in 1834, and settled at Louisville, Ky., which was then a small village. There her father and mother died when old people, both past eighty years of age. They were known as old settlers of Louisville, Ky. and were greatly respected. They were members of high standing of the German Catholic Church. Mrs. Stensel lived with her parents till her marriage and in the meantime received an excellent training that made her a good housewife.

Mr. and Mrs. Stensel are the parents of eight children, as follows: Lizzie, wife of William E. Raymond, of Danville, Ill.; Kate, wife of Fred Beckel, of Farmer City; John who operates a billiard room at Virden; George who assists his father in his business; Joseph; Rosa, wife of Frank Larison of this place; Anna and Laura; four of these are at home with their parents. The children have been well trained and educated and some of them have fine musical talents, especially Laura, the youngest.

Mr. and Mrs. Stensel are kind, hospitable, generous people, and are well liked by the entire community. Mr. Stensel is a man of excellent business capacity, is prompt and square in his dealings, and has a good name in financial circles. He is a member of Blue Lodge, No. 110, A.F.& A.M. at Farmer City. Politically he affiliates with the Republicans.

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The history of any section of our country is made by the life and works of its inhabitants, and the publishers of this Album would fail in their purpose of preserving the record of honest efforts were they to omit from this volume an account of the character and deeds of the late William Story. This gentleman breathed his last at his home in Rutledge Township, DeWitt County, May 6, 1883. By well-directed efforts and a course of unflagging industry, he had accumulated a valuable property, consisting of eighty-eight acres on section 17, and forty acres in another part of the county. The home farm was so improved and adorned as to make it a very pleasant abiding-place and under efficient management it was and is the source of a very satisfactory income. Since the death of our subject it has been managed by the widow and her children.

Mr. Story was born in Southern Illinois, June 17, 1819, his parents being among the early settlers, and their deaths occurring in McLean County. They had lived to a goodly age, particularly the father, George Story, who breathed his last July 6, 1862. Our subject had the usual home and school privileges of lads born in the first quarter of the century, in the Mississippi Valley, and followed his father's footsteps in taking up a farm life. When about of age Mr. Story came to DeWitt County and December 1, 1842, was married to Mahala Vandeventer, the ceremony being performed in Rutledge Township, where the bride's parents had been very early settlers. Mr. and Mrs. Story began their wedded life on a tract of land that he had entered during the administration of President Taylor and which is still held by his heirs. Here Mrs. Story died July 1, 1861, when in the prime of life, her natal day having been December 18, 1824. She was a member of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church and was an earnest Christian.

In Piatt County, in 1862, Mr. Story was again married, his bride being Mrs. Catherine A. Martin, "nee" Flesher. This lady was born in Muskingum County, Ohio, February 6, 1834, her parents being Henry and Frances (Burgess) Flesher, natives of Ohio and Pennsylvania respectively. Mr. Flesher was born March 17, 1799, and died July 7, 1873, on the Ohio farm on which he settled after his marriage. In his daily walk and conversation he exemplified the principles of Christianity, his membership being in the Methodist Episcopal church. Mrs. Flesher, who died in 1843, was also an active member of the Church and an earnest Christian. The family of this respected couple consisted of fourteen children, many of whom are now deceased. The daughter Catherine was reared and educated in her native county, and there married to William Martin, an Englishman, who had come to America with a brother and made his home in Muskingum County.

In 1855, about a year after their marriage, Mr. and Mrs. Martin came to this State, first locating in DeWitt County, but in a short time purchasing land and removing to Piatt County. After a successful career, financially speaking, Mr. Martin died February 22, 1861. He had not yet reached the shady side of life, having been born May 15, 1827. He was a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church and was well respected by his fellowmen. He left three children, one of whom died in early life. The living are James H. Martin, who married Dora Woods and lives on a farm in Hancock County, Iowa, and John W., who married Ida Vance, and lives on a farm in the same township as his mother.

To her second husband Mrs. Catherine Story bore six children. All are living except Mary F., and those who are still with their mother, not only display their intelligence and affection in sympathy, but in their labors to assist her in home and farm affairs. Robert D., Charles W., Norah E. and Eddie L. still linger with her, the daughter being her domestic helper, and the sons carrying on the farm. The eldest son, W. Franklin, married Mattie McCann, and lives on a farm near Sabina. Mrs. Story and several of her children belong to the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. She is a woman of bright mind and kindly nature and is energetic and capable in the management of the affairs that are under her control.

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This gentleman is numbered among the representative farmers and stock-men of DeWitt county, who have been so largely instrumental in making it prosperous and wealthy. Prior to his removal in 1890 to Macon County he was a prominent farmer of Tunbridge Township, where he owns a large amount of land and is extensively engaged in business as a general farmer. He was born in Butler County, Ohio, near Middletown, September 16, 1824.

John Stoutenborough, the father of our subject, was born and reared in New Jersey, whence he removed to Ohio at the age of twenty-one years. He was married in that State to Jane Schenck, who was also of New Jersey birth, and they began their wedded life in Butler County upon a tract of wild land. Mr. Stoutenborough actively entered upon its improvement, built a house, cleared some of the land and resided there sixteen years. He then removed with his family to Warren County, Ohio, and there he spent the remainder of his life on a farm. He died about 1874, and his wife in 1883, and all that is mortal of them was deposited in the Franklin Cemetery in Ohio. Theses are the names of the seven sons and two daughters born to these worthy people--Mary Jane, Catherine, Garrett, Henry, John, Anthony, Daniel, William and Schenck.

Our subject was the eldest son and the third child of the family. The first twelve years of his life were passed in the place of his birth. He then accompanied his parents to their new home in Warren County and remained with them until twenty years old. After marriage he returned to Butler County, Ohio, and actively carried on farming there until he came to DeWitt County in 1854. After his arrival here he located on section 26, Tunbridge Township, where he bought one hundred and sixty acres of partly-improved land, on which stood a small dwelling and a little log barn. With characteristic energy he entered upon the improvement of the place, and has not only brought it to a high condition, but has added to it until he in now the fortunate proprietor of over eleven hundred acres of as fertile land as may be found in all the county. Three hundred and twenty acres of this constitutes his home place; two hundred and fifty acres are on section 25, Tunbridge Township, one hundred and four acres east of that on the same section, and he has other realty. He is doing an extensive business as a general farmer, and has accumulated wealth by hard work and strict attention to business. He has bought property in Maroa and has taken up his residence in that charming village, where he expects to enjoy his wealth more at leisure, while at the same time he will still superintend his extensive interests.

The activity, keen foresight and tenacity of purpose and skill in carrying out his plans that have made our subject successful in life have in no small degree contributed to the material prosperity of Tunbridge Township, and also of DeWitt County. He proved to be a valuable addition to the citizenship of this place, and found some time aside from his other duties to devote to public responsibilities, having filled the positions of Roadmaster and School Director very acceptably. In his political sentiments he is a decided Republican. Religiously he and his amiable wife are among the valued members of the Protestant Methodist Church, belonging to the Pleasant Ridge Church.

The marriage of Mr. Stoutenborough with Miss Margaret Hankinson was solemnized in 1845. Mrs. Stoutenborough was born and reared in Warren County, Ohio, and having been carefully trained in all that goes to make a good housewife, understands well how to make home comfortable and attractive. Her marriage with our subject has brought to them six children, two daughters and four sons, whom they have named Sarah Jane, Mary Eleanor, James, John, William and Frank. On another page of this volume the reader will notice lithographic portraits of Mr. Stoutenborough and his estimable wife.

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Johnson P. Sutton who resides on section 21, Harp Township, is an intelligent and thrifty young farmer and is contributing his quota toward sustaining the agricultural interests of DeWitt County. He was born in Logan County, Ohio, March 11, 1850. His father, Peter J. Sutton, was a native of Kentucky and was born August 14, 1816. He was a son of Jonathan Sutton who was one of the early settlers of Kentucky where he carried on farming until his death when scarcely passed the meridian of life. He and his good wife reared a family of seven children.

Peter Sutton lived in Kentucky until he was ten years old and then took up his residence in Logan County, he having started out to fight life's battles on his own account at a youthful age. He owned a farm in Ohio and engaged in agricultural pursuits there until 1854. In that year he went to Iowa with a view of locating there but not satisfied with the country he retuned to Hardin County, Ohio, and settled there for a while. A year later he came to DeWitt County coming here with his family and household goods with teams. He bought three hundred and thirty-three acres of land on sections 21 and 22, on which he farmed during the remainder of his life which was brought to a close February 22, 1885. He was a stanch Republican in politics and in every way a thoroughly good citizen.

Nancy A. Clagg was the maiden name of the mother of our subject and she was born in Ohio in 1817. She bore eight children, of whom the following seven grew to maturity; William C., Mary W., George R., Johnson P., Jonathan J., Henry C. (deceased) and Malinda J. The mother is a member in high standing of the Christian Church.

Our subject was five years old when his parents came to this county and here he grew to man's estate. In his boyhood he attended school in an old log schoolhouse that had slab benches for seats. He began life on his own account at the age of twenty-one years, though he remained an inmate of the parental home until he was twenty-five years old. When he attained his majority he went to Hardin County, Ohio, and attended an excellent school six months and he later pursued a course of study in a school in Rushsylvania, Ohio.

Our subject was married at the age of twenty-five years and then farmed on the home place three years. He subsequently went to live with his father-in-law and operated the latter's farm five years. At the expiration of that time he settled on his present place and has lived here since. He has a well-improved, tilled and stocked farm and is prospering in his agricultural operations. He has excellent farming machinery and uses two teams in carrying on his work. By his marriage April 15, 1875 to Miss Rachael E. Nowlin he secured the cheerful assistance of a capable helpmate. Mrs. Sutton was born in Harp Township, July 29, 1849. Her parents were early settlers here, her father coming to Illinois in 1830. Five children have come to our subject and his estimable wife, of whom the following three are living--Ira, Anna and Alice.

Our subject is a young man of industrious habits who carries on his work systematically and is looked upon as a reliable citizen and a good man. In politics he is a stalwart supporter of the Republican party. Socially he enjoys the advantage of being a member of the Farmers' Mutual Benefit Association.

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Jonathan J. Sutton, who is prosperously engaged as a general merchant in the village of DeWitt, occupies a prominent place as a successful business man in the mercantile circles of DeWitt County.He was born in Logan County, Ohio, December 20, 1851, and is a son of Peter J. Sutton, who was of Kentucky birth and parentage.The father of our subject was ten years old when his father and mother, Jonathan and Rebecca (Johnson) Sutton, removed to Ohio, and settled in Hardin County when it was almost an unbroken wilderness.They built up a home amid the primitive forests of that region and became well known as worthy pioneers and good citizens.The father died there when little past middle age, while the mother lived many years longer and died at the venerable age of eighty-four years.Peter Sutton was one of the eldest of three sons and seven daughters.His brother and most of the sisters still survive.He grew up as a farmer in Hardin County, and was there married to Nancy A. Clagg, who was born in Ohio, and was reared in Logan County, that State.After marriage Mr. and Mrs. Sutton made a trip to Iowa with a view of settling there, but as they did not like the country, did not unload their goods, but returned to Logan County, Ohio.In 1855 they again came Westward accompanied by their children, and settled in what is now Harp Township, this county.There he spent his last years, dying at the age of sixty-eight years, February 27, 1885.He was successful as a farmer, and was quite prominent as a citizen, a good Republican in politics, but not an office-seeker.He was an upright, moral man, and identified himself with the Christian Church.His widow is living at the venerable age of seventy-two years on the old Harp Township homestead, and is still bright and active.She has a host of friends in this township, and is a prominent member of the Christian Church.

Our subject is one of the youngest of the family, and he was carefully trained by his parents in all that goes to make a good man and an upright citizen.After attaining his majority he began life for himself and has been prospered in his ventures.He spent two years in Shelby County, Ill., prior to establishing himself in his present business in DeWitt in the month of May, 1886.During his career as a merchant he has shown a special aptitude for mercantile affairs, and carries on his business systematically, shrewdly and with genuine tact.He has a well-equipped establishment, carries a full line of goods for the country trade, and is doing a brisk business not only with the people of the village, but with the inhabitants in the surrounding county.

The marriage of our subject was solemnized in Harp Township, when he was wedded to Amanda McCord. Mrs. Sutton was born August 25, 1855, in Harp Township, and was there carefully reared to an intelligent, active womanhood.Two children complete the household circle, Rose E. and Delbert.Mr. and Mrs. Sutton are among the valued members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and in their daily lives show themselves to be actuated by Christian principles.Mr. Sutton is quite prominent in local politics, being devoted to the interests of the Republican Party.He is also active in the public life of this section, and has held the offices of the village and township with credit to himself and with benefit to the interests of the community.

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Richard W. Sweeny is one of the most enlightened and practical of the progressive and enterprising farmers and stockmen who have been so largely instrumental in bringing about DeWitt County's present high standing as an agricultural center, and its enduring prosperity. His farm is pleasantly located on section 33, Clintonia Township, where he has one of the most charming and attractive homes in this locality. Mr. Sweeny is a fine representative of our self-made men, as in early life he was thrown upon his own resources, but through indomitable courage and an invincible determination he has risen from sheer poverty to a position of affluence and wealth.

Our subject is of New England birth and antecedents. He was born in Maine, May 3, 1829, and he had the misfortune to lose both his parents when he was a mere babe. He was kindly cared for by John Sweeny, whose name he assumed, and was reared in Boston, Mass. His early education was received in public schools, but the greater part of his vast fund of information has been obtained through his individual efforts. He is a great reader, is a student of political economy, and of social and religious organizations, and is well-informed in regard to politics and the political history of our country.

At an early period in his life our subject began to earn a living. His first employment of any note was on the Old Colony Railroad in Massachusetts, on which he worked for several years. After coming to this State he was engaged for a considerable time on the Illinois Central Railroad line. In May. 1853, he went to Canada and worked for some time on the Great Western Railroad. During the '50s he was variously engaged on different railroad lines in the United States and Canada including the Great Western, Illinois Central, Terre Haute, Alton & St. Louis, and the Ohio & Mississippi Railroads. In 1865 his connection with the railroads ceased, and he located in DeWitt County, and has since given his attention to agriculture. He first came to DeWitt County in 1853, and entered two hundred and twenty acres of prairie land in Creek Township, and has ever since been identified with the growth and development of the county. He improved his Creek Township property and subsequently bought eighty acres of land on section 33, Clintonia Township, where he now lives. In 1870 he bought an additional tract of one hundred and twenty acres, and now has as fine a farm of two hundred and sixty acres as may be found within the limits of the township. He is a man of exceptional intelligence, and uses his brains as well as his muscles in conducting his farming operations, and consequently has achieved a marked success and has placed himself among the moneyed men of this part of Illinois.

Our subject's farm is well cultivated, and besides attending to his grain interests, he raises a great many cattle and horses, and is one of the well-known stockmen of the county. He built the two-story frame residence in which he and his family dwell in 1882 at a cost of $2,500. It is of a good style of architecture, is conveniently arranged, is neat in all its appointments, and is tastefully furnished with modern furniture including a $400 Chickering piano, and our subject also has a fine collection of books that indicate his literary tastes.

The marriage of Mr. Sweeny with Miss Sarah C. Mills took place November 9, 1855, and their pleasant wedded life has brought to them four children, one son and three daughters: Augustus, Emily A. (Mrs. Kelly), Laura (Mrs. Gamble), and Katie. Their boy Augustus is dead. Mrs. Sweeny's father was Pascal Harrison Mills, and he was born in Virginia, July 10, 1810. His father, Nathan Mills, was also a Virginian by birth. He settled in Kentucky in 1814, and was a pioneer of that State, where he carried on farming and indulged in his passion for hunting, he being an expert marksman. He often brought down a bird on the wing and before he was eighteen years old had won the proud distinction of having killed eighteen bears. He was a volunteer soldier in the War of 1812, and survived that conflict until 1835, when he passed away at he age of sixty years or more. He and his good wife reared a family of ten children.

The father of Mrs. Sweeny removed with his parents to Kentucky when he was fourteen years old and he was educated in the primitive log school-houses of those early days. After reaching maturity he was for a considerable time an overseer on a large plantation where over one hundred slaves were employed. In the fall of 1835 the pioneer spirit of his ancestry moved him to become a pioneer, and he brought his family to this county in a wagon, his mother accompanying him also, the removal being made partly in accordance with the wishes of his father just before his death. The journey the greater part of the way lead through a vast uninhabited wilderness, and the little family group was obliged to camp out at night with nothing but the dome of heaven for shelter, and the radiance of the stars for light. The family settled first in a little old log cabin on section 22, Clintonia Township, where they resided for several years. At that time wild game was very plentiful, and the fare of the early settlers was often improved by the addition of venison and other wild game to their humble food. The country round about was very thinly settled, and the neighbors for ten and fifteen miles around would assemble to assist their fellow-pioneers in erecting log cabins. Mr. Mills departed this life in 1874 at the age of sixty-four years.

In early manhood Mr. Mills married Emily Temple Hickman, who was born in Fayette County, Ky., in 1806; Sarah C. and Pascal H. are the only ones living of her five children. Both Mr. and Mrs. Mills were members in high standing of the Christian Church, and Mrs. Mills died strong in the faith, January1, 1881, at the age of seventy-five years. Her father, Louis Hickman was a native of Virginia, and was a stonemason by trade. It is not known to a certainty whether he was a soldier in the War of 1812, but it is believed that he was. He settled in Kentucky at a very early day, and died there at the age of sixty-two years.

Mrs. Sweeny is a lady of an amiable disposition, and has many other fine traits of character that endear her to all who come in contact with her. She possesses an earnest religious nature, and is a valued member of the Christian Church. In religious matters Mr. Sweeny is a free-thinker, and is rather liberal in his view. Politically he was reared a Republican, and adhered to that party until 1869, since which time he has been independent. He is an active member of the Farmers' Mutual Benefit Association, and his liberality and public spirit are shown by his warm support of whatever will tend to increase the prosperity of the township or county, or will elevate their social and moral status.

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The banking firm of Jacob Swigart & Sons, although still in its infancy, has already become favorably known as one of the solid institutions of DeLand, Piatt County. The reputation of its stockholders for personal character and financial standing was sufficient to assure it an auspicious start, and the manner in which it is being conducted gives the people still greater confidence. The institution was the first of the kind in Deland and was opened January 6, 1890, occupying a large two-story brick that was built and is owned by the firm. The gentleman whose life history will be outlined in these paragraphs is cashier and manager of the bank.

Mr. Swigart was born in DeWitt County, this State, December 11, 1861, his parents being Jacob and Rebecca (Davis) Swigart. The father was born in Ohio and came to DeWitt County in 1848. He has for many years held a prominent position as a business man and extensive stock-dealer. The mother was born in Farmer City and is well and favorably known in the neighborhood.

Our subject was reared on a farm and received his preliminary education in the district school. In 1881 he entered Lombard University at Galesburg, and pursued his studies there three years. It will thus be seen that he is a young man of more than ordinary mental attainments and that his knowledge of business methods and those sciences upon which accuracy depends is excellent. In 1886 he became a stockholder in and manager of the Creamery Package Company, which owns several establishments in different parts of the country and has its headquarters in Chicago. This company manufactures various kinds of woodenware used in creameries. Mr. Swigart still owns stock in the company, but in the fall of 1889 resigned from the position of manager in order to take charge of the bank in Deland. He enjoys the confidence of the entire community, and it is to his efforts and influence that the banking firm is largely indebted for its prosperity.

Among the schoolmates of Mr. Swigart was Miss Nellie Laphan, a lady of unusual brilliancy of mind, and manners that were an index of a lovable character. This lady became the object of Mr. Swigart’s deepest esteem and he determined, if possible, to win her for his wife. He was successful, and on September 3, 1885, they were joined in holy wedlock. Mrs. Swigart is a native of Whiteside County, this State, and is a daughter of Edward and Catherine (Barnes) Laphan. Her father was born in Vermont but came to this State at an early day. He has always been prominent in connection with dairy work and is well known as the first manufacturer of cheese in Northern Illinois. He is the inventor of the seamless cheese cover, which has for several years yielded him a handsome royalty, and he is now proprietor of a large dairy farm in Whiteside County. The mother of Mrs. Swigart died in the ’60s. Our subject and his wife are the happy parents of a bright little daughter, Alta.

Mr. Swigart exercises the elective franchise in behalf of Republican candidates. He is a man of quick perceptions, keeps himself well informed regarding the progress of events, and without neglecting his business joins in the social affairs of the town, for which he is well fitted. The accomplishments of his wife add to her popularity in society, and the home which is their chief delight is a favorite meeting place for the best citizens.

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GEORGE W. SWIGART, though not one of the earliest settlers of DeWitt County, may be accorded an honorable place among its pioneers as he came here in early life a stalwart, manly youth, and for many years devoted his energies to developing the agriculture of this section and has been no unimportant agent in bringing about its present prosperous and flourishing condition. He is now living in retirement on a pleasant farm of thirty-six acres, finely located on section 33, Santa Anna Township, not far from Farmer City. He also owns a well-improved farm of one hundred and twenty acres on sections 4 and 5, in the same township, where he had his home for some years.

Mr. Swigart first opened his eyes to the light of the world in the pioneer home of his parents in Marion County, Ohio, April 9, 1830. He is one of quite a large family born to his father, Daniel Swigart. For a full history of the family see biography of Jacob Swigart. Our subject passed his boyhood in the county of his birth and secured his education in an old log schoolhouse. When twenty years of age he started out on his own account to seek his fortune in the far West. He came to this State and county and has since made his own record. He began life here by working for small wages in the employ of some of the first settlers of this part of the county, including William McCord, Isaac Funk and Isaac Barnett and others. He carefully saved his money thus earned and that which he obtained by working on the Illinois Central Railroad when it was in course of construction through here, and entered his first land, which comprised eighty acres, located in Santa Anna Township. Later he bought another eighty acres of land adjoining and here he began farming on a tract of wild prairie and engaged considerably in feeding and raising sheep. He placed his land under excellent improvement and then sold it at a good price and invested all of his money in the farm he now owns on sections 4 and 5, Santa Anna Township, where he formerly owned two hundred and twenty-four acres of land but now has but one hundred and twenty acres left. This is highly improved and our subject has made it into one of the best farms in this township. He was engaged upon it for some time in stock-growing and in feeding sheep, but he finally retired from business to his present home to enjoy an income ample for all his wants which he had acquired by hard work. He has gathered together his property by close attention to his calling, by unremitting labor and by fair dealings, as he is scrupulously honest and has never speculated or tried to take advantage of another.

Mr. Swigart began life here as a pioneer and had many hardships and privations to endure before he achieved success. His pioneer home was a rude log cabin 16 x 16 feet in dimensions, heated by the fire in an open fireplace, by which all the cooking was done for some years, and this humble dwelling was lighted by a small window with four panes of glass in it. That humble abode would present a great contrast to his present fine residence which is convenient in all its arrangements and is well furnished. In the early days of his settlement here Mr. Swigart made several trips to Pekin, Peoria and Chicago with ox-teams, carrying produce to the markets and returning home with goods. He had some curious experiences in his travels and came in contact with various kinds of men, both socially and in a business way, and it required often times considerable sharpness and shrewdness on his part to cope with them in his dealings which was a good training for him. Mr. Swigart is not an office-seeker but has been called to hold the local offices of the township as his fellow-citizens early recognized his capability and sterling integrity. He is a sound Republican and earnestly believes that the affairs of the nation are safest in the hands of his party.

Mr. Swigart had the good fortune to secure a most excellent wife when he married Catherine Hurley. Mrs. Swigart was born in Santa Anna Township and has the distinction of being the first child born of white parents in this locality, her birth occurring July 16, 1832. Her parents, Dennis and Mary (Connell) Hurley, were among the early pioneers of this section of the county. They were natives of New Jersey and Pennsylvania, respectively, coming from old families of those States. After their marriage and the birth of a part of their children Mr. and Mrs. Hurley emigrated westward to Illinois and settled in what is now known as Hurley’s Grove in 1830. Mr. Hurley improved a good farm from the wilderness and he and his wife made their home in this county till their death. Mrs. Hurley was fifty-three years old when she died, while Mr. Hurley lived to be nearly threescore and ten years of age. They had many warm friends in this county and were honored as being among the earliest pioneers. They were active members of the Methodist Episcopal Church nearly all their lives. In politics Mr. Hurley was in his early days a Whig and later became a Republican. He and his wife have the reputation of being of the class that were an influence for good in their community.

Mrs. Swigart was carefully reared by her parents and upon her marriage was fully capable of taking charge of a home of her own. She is one of those truly good, warm-hearted women that make friends wherever they go, and she is regarded with much affection by all about her. Mr. and Mrs. Swigart have no children of their own, but in the kindness of their hearts they have taken to their home a child—Morey Evert—whom they are rearing as carefully and tenderly as if he were their own son. He is a bright boy of thirteen years and is being educated in the public schools of Farmer City. Mr. and Mrs. Swigart were the foster parents of the mother of the boy and at her death, by her request, took the lad to raise and are doing an excellent part by him.

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DeWitt County has in this gentleman a fine representative of its agricultural interests, as his energy and enterprise have been leading factors in advancing its growth in this direction. He is the most extensive farmer within the limits of the county, tilling more land than any other man in this part of Illinois without exception. He is a prominent and well-known resident of Farmer City and his name is associated with many plans that have promoted its welfare.

Mr. Swigart is a native of Grand Prairie Township, Marion County, Ohio, where he first opened his eyes to the light of the world in the humble pioneer home of his parents September 21, 1827. Daniel Swigart, his father, was a native of Lancaster County, Pa., and was a son of Daniel and Catherine (Nazer) Swigart, natives of Pennsylvania, who came of Dutch or German parentage. After Daniel Swigart, Sr., and wife were married they began life near Mercerville, Pa., where he carried on business as a butcher. Some years later after the birth of their only two children, John and Daniel, Jr., the Swigarts moved to Circleville, Pickaway County, Ohio, in 1810, and there Mr. Swigart followed butchering till 1825. In that year he moved with his family to Marion County, and was one of the first to settle on the Sandusky Plains when that section was a wild and unbroken wilderness. Mr. and Mrs. Swigart improved a farm in Grand Prairie Township, and spent their remaining years there, the grandfather of our subject dying when seventy-eight years old and his wife a few years before that. They were representative pioneer people, and he served as a soldier through the War of 1812 under Gen. Harrison and fought with him against Gen. Hull at Ft. Meigs, and other prominent battles of that contest.

Daniel Swigart, Jr., was the younger of the two sons born to his parents, his birth occurring in 1793 in Mercerburg, Pa. He was young when his family moved to Ohio, and he attained his majority in Pickaway County, at Circleville. He was there married to Miss Elizabeth Coonrod, who was born in 1797 at a place in Greenbriar County, Va., now known as Coonrod Ferry. She was thirteen years old when her parents, Jacob and Eve (Vandevender) Coonrod, moved to Pickaway County. The father died subsequently in Greenbriar County, Va., and the widowed mother went with her children to Ross County, Ohio, and later to Marion County, that State, where she (Mrs. Eve Coonrod) died when a very old lady.

After the birth of four of their children, Mr. and Mrs. Swigart took up their abode in Marion County in 1825, and there he tilled a small farm. Our subject was the first child born in the new home and later six other children followed him. In 1849 the whole family came to DeWitt County, our subject having preceded them to this locality two years before. The parents passed their remaining days in DeWitt Township, the father dying February 14, 1869, at the age of seventy-seven years, and the mother March 5, 1875, at the same age. During their residence in Ohio they were for many years active members of the United Brethren Church, but after coming to Illinois they were associated with the Protestant Methodist Church. Daniel Swigart served as a soldier throughout the War of 1812 under Gen. Harrison, but his position in the quartermaster’s department prevented him from taking an active part in any battles. While his old leader was alive Mr. Swigart was an ardent Harrison man in politics, and he only left the Whig party on its dissolution to join the Republicans.

Jacob Swigart was twenty years old when he came to Illinois and he soon became associated with the interests of DeWitt County, and from that time to the present has been one of the principal factors in advancing its growth and prosperity as a great agricultural center. He has also been prominent in its public life and has been one of its most valued civic officials. As a farmer and stock-raiser he has ever been progressive and enterprising and has met with extraordinary success. It is said that his farm of seventeen hundred acres in DeWitt Township represents the largest body of land that is operated by its owner. A few winters after he came here Mr. Swigart was engaged in teaching school as well as in farming. He purchased his first land in DeWitt Township in 1849, and has since added to it, until at one time he possessed twenty-five hundred acres of choice land, but he has since disposed of a good share of it, giving to each of his sons a portion to start them out in life.

By his marriage in Farmer City to Miss Rebecca Davis, Mr. Swigart secured a wife who has been to him everything that word implies, and their domestic life has been one of true happiness. Mrs. Swigart is a native of Ross County, Ohio, and was there born February 14, 1833, the date on which occurred the wonderful shower of falling stars or meteors. Her parents, James and Elizabeth Davis, also natives of Ohio, came to DeWitt County in 1837 and located near Farmer City on land which is now within its corporate limits. They thus became pioneers of this region and secured by purchase three hundred acres of wild prairie, nearly half of which is now covered by the city. One year after the family came here the father died while yet in life’s prime, his fellow pioneers thus losing the aid of a practical farmer and his community was deprived of a valued citizen. His widow died in 1854 at the age of fifty-seven years. Both were Methodists in religion and were upright Christians. Mrs. Swigart is the youngest of her parents’ children living. She was a small child when she accompanied them to her pioneer home in this county and here she was reared and educated. She is a woman of a kindly and charitable disposition and her motherly heart and sympathizing manners have brought to her many friends.

Of the nine children born to Mr. and Mrs. Swigart two are deceased—Dwight and Bruce—both of whom died young. Those living are Carl, O. H., E. C., Edwin S., Harry, Lora B., and Hattie. Carl is a resident of Weldon and is connected with his father’s bank which was organized in 1888 under the firm name of Swigart & Sons. He has been twice married. His first wife was Sarah A. McConkey, and the maiden name of his second wife, who was a cousin to his first wife, was Kate McConkey. O. H. who is connected with the Bank of Deland, Piatt County, of Jacob Swigart & Sons, is a farmer near Champaign. He married Sarah Heaton. E. C. who is engaged in farming in Blue Ridge Township, married C. Arbogast. Edwin S., who is cashier in the Deland Bank, married Nellie Laphan, of Whiteside County. Harry, a resident of Weldon and cashier of the bank of Jacob Swigart & Sons, married P. Hattie Johnson. Lora B., who is at present at the home of her parents, is a graduate of the Cincinnati, Ohio, Musical College and is an accomplished pianist. Hattie N., who lives at home with her parents is a bright young miss. The family have bee given every advantage to secure a good education, and three of the sons attended Lombard College in Knox County, from which institution one of them was graduated.

Mr. Swigart’s life career has been distinguished by rare energy and stability of character and prompt and systematic business habits, combined with honorable conscientious dealing, and his course furnishes an illustrious example to the young who are just starting out in the world to seek fortune’s favors. He enjoys a high personal standing throughout the county and has many true friends among his fellow-citizens with whose interests his own have been identified for so long a period. We have seen that as an agriculturist he has done much to develop the county, and in the establishment of the banks mentioned he is doing a great deal to strengthen the financial condition of Central Illinois. He has been a conspicuous figure in politics and in public life, being one of the leading Republicans of this section. He was Supervisor of DeWitt Township for more than twelve years being first elected to that important office in 1863, and he has held other local offices though he has never sought the suffrages of his fellow citizens. In 1868 he was nominated on the Republican ticket to represent his county in the State Legislature and was elected to that position by a good majority. His legislative career was honorable to himself and his constituents, and he did good service as a member of the Committee of Roads, Bridges, Canals and Navigation.

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Charles Swiney, who is the owner of a good farm in Rutledge Township, DeWitt County, is one of the progressive and enterprising agriculturists under whose efforts the soil of this section of the State is being developed more and more each year. He owns and occupies eighty acres of land on section 26, where he has been discharging the duties of his vocation for about ten years, although he has lived in the township since April, 1870.

Mr. Swiney was born in Menard County, January 31, 1854, and is the fifth in a family of eight children, seven of whom are now living. He is a son of William C. and Elizabeth (Eldridge) Swiney, highly respected citizens, the former now deceased and the later living in Farmer City. An account of their lives will be found on another page of this Album. Our subject became of age after the family removed from Menard to DeWitt County, and adopted the vocation of a farmer, to which he had been bred. He is pursuing his career with unswerving industry, and bringing to bear upon it all the intelligence derived from observation and experience and gained by comparison of theories and methods with those of other agriculturists.

Realizing the value of a helpful companion and sympathizing counselor, Mr. Swiney was married in Louisville, Ky., to Miss Adelia Danner, who was born in that city November 20, 1856. Her parents, Jacob and Dorothea (Hafendorpher) Danner were natives of the Blue Grass State and both died in Louisville, the father when seventy-five years old and the mother some years before. Mr. Danner was a mechanic. He was tree times married and had five children by his last marriage. Mrs. Swiney was educated in the place of her nativity and is a woman of intelligence, strength of character and piety. She is the mother of three children, named respectively: Daisy M., Lora F. and Fred W.W. *Mrs.* Swiney votes the Republican ticket and is numbered among the peaceable and law-abiding citizens whose character is such as to give them a standing among the highly respected member of society. *Mr.* Swiney belongs to the Methodist Episcopal Church and has many friends wherever she is known.

(Transcriber note: Errors in "Mrs." and "Mr." were left as originally published.)

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Throughout DeWitt County and indeed beyond its limits the Wide-Awake Farm is well known as the place where an enterprising man is carrying on the work of agriculture and the breeding of thoroughbred Hereford cattle. At the head of his herd is the fine animal "Paragon,", while others, almost equally beautiful to the eyes of those who can appreciate fine stock, can be seen in the fields. The estate on which Mr. Swiney lives consists of twenty-eight and a half acres on section 36, Rutledge Township, on which are commodious farm buildings and every convenient arrangement that will expedite the work carried on. Mr. Swiney also owns one hundred and sixty acres on section 25, which is also highly improved, both tracts being well stocked and well watered.

Mr. Swiney was born in Menard County, this State, September 3, 1860, and is the youngest but one in a family of eight children. One of this number is deceased. Of the survivors all but two are married. Their parents, William C. and Elizabeth (Eldridge) Swiney, came as a family to DeWitt County in 1870, and lived in Rutledge Township for several years. Their history is given under the heading, William C. Swiney, on another page in this volume.

The son of whom we write was carefully reared by his parents and completed a good education in the schools of DeWitt County. He was married in Clinton to Miss Lora Richmond, who was born September 26, 1860, in the county that is still her home. Her father, Charles Richmond, who was for many years a resident here, died in Texas in 1888, at an advanced age. Her mother is now living in Kenney, this State. She was born in Virginia and bore the maiden name of Ely.

Mrs. Swiney is a woman of more than ordinary intelligence. She is an excellent manager, and without undue expenditure makes her home attractive in appearance and supplies it with an abundance of good cheer. She and her husband are the happy parents of two children--Edna J. and William Clair. Mr. Swiney always deposits a Republican ballot when election day comes round. He and his wife belong to the Methodist Episcopal Church at Farmer City and enjoy the friendship of a large circle of acquaintances.

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The late William C. Swiney took up his residence in DeWitt County in 1870 and for nearly a decade was engaged in the improvement of farm lands and the cultivation of the soil. In 1879 he removed to Farmer City, where he was living at the time of his demise, September 24, 1881. He was favorably known in the different sections in which he had lived as a worthy citizen and a man of excellent private character, and was further credited with having been frugal, industrious and prudent in the management of his worldly affairs, and one whose example as a successful man was worthy of emulation.

Mr. Swiney was born in Bath County, Ky., December 29, 1821, and was a son of Edward and Elizabeth A. (Caldwell) Swiney. That worthy couple were born, reared and married in the Blue Grass State. The father was accidentally drowned in the Mississippi River when the son of whom we write was but a child. Mr. Swiney had been a boatman on the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers for years. His widow was left with three small children, all boys, William being the second. The mother was married a second time to George Miller, and after the birth of one child the family came to Illinois. This was about 1830 and Mr. Miller settled in the new part of Menard County where our subject spent the remaining years of his youth. His mother after some years separated from her husband and made her home with her son until her death, which occurred May 17, 1856. It was occasioned by a runaway accident, she being thrown from the vehicle receiving injuries which caused her death in a few days. She was a member of the Presbyterian Church, truly pious and devoted to her duties.

The subject of this sketch grew to manhood in Menard County and engaged in the vocation of farming as the work to which he was best adapted by natural bent and training. He met, wooed and married Miss Elizabeth Eldridge, who was born in County Sussex, England, January 26, 1821, and accompanied her parents to the United States when she was seven years old. She was a young lady about eighteen years old when her parents came to Menard County, Ill., and after her marriage she continued to reside there for some years. When Mr. and Mrs. Swiney finally determined to change their place of residence, the husband bought section 25, Rutledge Township, DeWitt County, and established his family upon it. It was a fine tract of land and he added to its value by erecting substantial and commodious farm buildings of vaious kinds, and still further increasing its productiveness by a thorough cultivation. He retained his ownership of one hundred and forty acres of improved land in West Township, McLean County, and increased his home farm by the purchase of an eighty and a forty tract adjoining.

The farm had been placed in a fine condition and well stocked with machinery and domestic animals before Mr. Swiney and his wife removed into Farmer City. Here they occupied a comfortable home, and the widow is still living surrounded by all the comforts that the heart can desire, brain devise or hand execute. Her residence, at the corner of Plum and Green Streets has been improved and is one of the most attractive in the city.

Mrs. Swiney's parents, Edward and Mary (Gibbs) Eldridge, came of old Englsh families that had lived for years in County Sussex, England, and were generally engaged in farming. They remained in their native shire until eight children had been born to them, of whom Mrs. Swiney was the fifth. They crossed the Atlantic on a sailing vessel from Liverpool to Baltimore, enduring a tedious voyage of nine weeks. After landing Mr. Eldridge engaged in the powder mills managed by William Gibbs, his father-in-law, twenty miles from Baltimore. After working there for a dozen years or more, he brought his family to this State, establishing his home on a farm in Menard County. There he lived until called hence when but three-score and ten years of age. Mrs. Eldridge survived her husband a few years, reaching the age of seventy-two. Both belonged to the Presbyterian Church and their children were reared under religious influences.

Mrs. Swiney is the mother of eight children, all of whom were born in Menard County. All are living but James C., who died when ten years old. The other members of the family are noted as follows: John E. married Lydia A. Arbogast and lives on a farm in Santa Anna Township, DeWitt County; Eliza J. is the widow of Loren Cook, formerly a merchant in Farmer City where the widow occupies a beautiful home near her mother's; William L. married Sarah C. Weedman, and their home is in Holyrood, Kan., and his business that of a grain-dealer; Charles, who married Adelia K. Danner, occupies a farm in Rutledge Township, DeWitt County; Myra, an educated and accomplished young lady, is still with her mother; Millard, who is a farmer in Rutledge Township, married Lura Richmond; Ed. H. is a resident of Seattle, Wash., at the present writing.

Mr. Swiney was a man of intelligence regarding all topics of general interest and possessed an upright character. He was not a member of the churh but was a believer in the Presbyterian doctrines. His political allegiance was given to the Republican party. His widow is a thoughtful and intelligent woman, generous in her support of all worthy undertakings and having a host of friends in the city where she is known by reason of her former residence.

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ISAAC F. SWISHER was one of the gallant defenders of our country's honor in the late Civil War, and it gives us pleasure to place a record of his life on the pages of this BIOGRAPHICAL ALBUM. He is a native born citizen of DeWitt County and is actively associated with its sturdy and industrious farming population, owning and occupying a good farm in Clintonia Township. Mr. Swisher was born in Harp Township in the pioneer home of his parents, March 20, 1840. William Swisher, his father, was a native of Ohio and was a son of Jacob Swisher, who was a Virginian by birth and also one of the early settlers of Ohio. He carried on the occupation of a farmer and during the Revolution enlisted in the Continental army. He died at a ripe old age.

William Swisher grew to man's estate in his native Ohio and lived there until about 1837, when he too became a pioneer, coming to this county in a wagon and settling in what is now Harp Township. He entered a tract of land from the Government and he and his family found shelter in a log house. He led a busy, active life until death terminated his career in 1842, when he was scarcely past life's meridian. In early manhood he married Fannie Foley, who was also a native of Ohio. She bore but one child, our subject, and her death occurred just before that of her husband. William Foley, the maternal grandfather of our subject, was born in Ohio in early pioneer times and he became an extensive farmer in his native State. In the early days of the settlement of Logan County, Ill., he removed thither with his family and died there at a ripe old age. He was one of the pioneers of the county and often hunted deer and other wild animals that were then very plentiful here, and it was while on one of these expeditions that he met his death by being thrown from a horse.

Isaac Swisher, of whom this sketch is written, being early bereft of the care of his parents was kindly reared by his grandmother and uncle. He attended the primitive log schoolhouses of that early day, which were heated by fire in a large open fireplace, and were furnished with slab benches that had wooden pegs for legs; the floors were of puncheon and a log was taken out of the side of the building to admit the light. Our subject has a distinct recollection of the pioneer scenes of his childhood and can remember seeing deer, wild turkeys and wolves. At the age of twenty years he began life for himself and worked for his uncle, Isaac Swisher. He subsequently began to farm his own land that was left him by his father and was engaged in its tillage until 1880, when he bought his present homestead of eighty acres and has ever since lived upon it. The land is of an excellent quality, producing rich harvests and is under the best of tillage and improvement. Besides his homestead he rents ninety-five acres near where he lives and is carrying on a flourishing business in farming and stock-raising.

The war record of our subject is such as to reflect credit on the citizenship of his native county. He enlisted in August, 1862, in Company D, One Hundred and Seventh Illinois Regiment, and took an active part in several important battles and engagements with the enemy. He fought at Huff's Ferry, at Campbell's Station, and was present at the siege of Knoxville, faced the enemy at Rocky Face Ridge, Ga., met the rebels at Resaca, the same State, and took an active part in the battles and skirmishes that followed. After the battle of Resaca his regiment did guard and picket duty for some time. He then had an opportunity to take a more active part in the war and aided in the battle at New Hope Church. After that engagement our subject and his comrades moved around Kennesaw Mountain and skirmished on the right flank of the rebels. He was at one time on the sick list in the hospital at Marietta, Ga., for nearly a month. He rejoined his regiment at Nashville, Tenn., in season to take part in the battle at that place. From there he and his comrades proceeded eastward to Washington City, whence they went southward and finally made their way to Ft. Anderson, N. C. They had an engagement with the Confederates at a point above there, and they did some skirmishing around Goldsboro, N. C. Our subject and his fellow soldiers met Sherman at Raleigh when peace was declared, and they were mustered out June 21, 1865, after a long and honorable career as soldiers.

Mr. Swisher's marriage with Miss Elnora Piatt, his most estimable wife, was solemnized July 8, 1862. She is a native of Ohio, and was born in the month of August, 1842. Five children have come of their marriage, of whom these four are living: Eva A., Mrs. Nebel; Williams S., Anna D. and Alonzo F.; Nellie J. is the name of the daughter that died.

Our subject is a member of the Frank Lowry Post No. 157, G. A. R., at Clinton. His political sentiments find expression in the platform of the Republican Party. Religiously both he and his amiable wife are members of the Protestant Methodist Church and are most active in its every good work. Mr. Swisher is a man of steady habits, of high principles, doing as he would be done by in the various relations that he sustains towards others, and his life record in all things is unblemished and worthy of emulation.

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The Clinton Roller Mills at Clinton are owned and managed by this gentleman, and turn out a superior quality of flour that finds a ready home market. The capacity of the mills is fifty barrels in twenty-four hours, a light surplus over the home demand, but it is easily disposed of elsewhere. The mills were burnt in 1887 and rebuilt on the same site in 1888. At the time of the fire they were owned by Sylvester & Peddicord, but before the rebuilding the interest of Mr. Peddicord had been purchased by C. Morris, and in March, 1890, he was bought out by the senior partner, who is now sole proprietor.

Mr. Sylvester was born in Mushingum County, Ohio, in the city of Zanesville, February 19, 1839, and received his schooling in his native place. When about seventeen years old he went to Gurnsey County where he remained a year, and in June, 1857 came West to DeWitt County, Ill. He learned the trade of a marble-cutter in Clinton, working there until the breaking out of the Civil War, when his patriotism would not allow him to continue so peaceful an occupation while the country was in danger of disruption. He enlisted in Company E, One Hundred and Seventh Illinois Infantry, Col. Thomas Snell, commanding, and was sent to Louisville, Ky.

Our subject took part in the battles during the siege of Knoxville, at Huff's Ferry, and during the Atlanta campaign, then from Franklin to Nashville, and in the route of Gen. Hood's army. At Atlanta, in August, 1864, he was wounded in the leg and spent some time in the hospital in consequence, as the depth of the wound made it slow to heal. Mr. Sylvester entered the service as a private, rose to the rank of First Sergeant, and served out his time in that position. The regiment was mustered out at Salisbury, N.C., June 21, 1865, after three years of efficient and gallant warfare.

Retuning to Clinton, Mr. Sylvester engaged in marble-cutting as a journeyman, working at his trade until the fall of 1867 when he became connected with the milling interest of Clinton. He was employed by the month until 1871, and then became a partner in the firm of Carle & Sylvester, which remained in business some five years. The connection was then dissolved, and the firm became Sylvester & Warner, and this was replaced by that of Sylvester & Peddicord, to be changed again, and at last throw the business entirely into the hands of our subject. He is a zealous worker, abounding in energy and enterprise, and wins success by dint of his earnest efforts and wise oversight of his affairs.

Mr. Sylvester was married in April, 1867, to Miss Amy A. De Boice, at that time a resident of Clinton. She was born in Johnson County, Iowa, and is a daughter of William and Ann (Taylor) De Boice, her mother being a sister of Col. Abner Taylor. Mrs. Sylvester understands the art of making home cozy and attractive, and all the belongings of the pleasant residence and its surroundings indicate her taste and care. The family circle contains three children--William D., Effie A. and Nina A.

Mr. Sylvester exercises the elective franchise in behalf of the candidates of the Republican party. He belongs to Frank Lowry Post, No. 157, G.A.R., to DeWitt Lodge, No. 84, F.& A.M., and to Goodbrake Chapter, No. 59, R.A.M., holding the rank of High Priest in the last-named. He served one year as City Treasurer and represented the Third Ward in the Council one year. He is a man of good character, is well informed regarding general topics of interest, and possesses the social and domestic qualities which make his presence desirable.

In the paternal line Mr. Sylvester is of the old New England stock, his grandfather, Joseph Sylvester, having been born in that section of the United States. His maternal grandfather Sloan, was a native of Ireland. His parents came to this county in 1860, and the father died here five years later, but the mother survived until 1871. Their family consisted of two sons and eight daughters, five of the number being now alive.