Biographical Album - 1891 - Surnames W-Z


Among the many remunerative farms in DeWitt County, that of Samuel Wade on section 4, Texas Township, is noticeable for the air of neatness and order which prevails and the value of the improvements which have been made upon it. It consists of one hundred and sixty broad acres which, under careful and intelligent handling, produce abundantly and afford a comfortable maintenance and some provision for a rainy day. Our subject is a sturdy Englishman, but has resided in the United states for many years, and is thoroughly identified with the interests of this country and in sympathy with her institutions.

Mr. Wade was born in Somersetshire, March 21, 1823, and is the third son in a family which comprised six sons and four daughters. His father was a farmer and he became thoroughly acquainted with the details of the calling while still in early life. He remained an inmate of the parental household until he was twenty-five years old, in the meantime having received a practical education. At the age noted he began farm life for himself in his native shire, and in 1857 bade adieu to his early home and crossed the broad Atlantic to build up his fortunes in America. He was accompanied by a devoted and capable wife who had already shared his fortune five years and who continued to aid and sympathize with him until 1880, when she was called from time to eternity. Like himself she was born in the mother country and had borne the maiden name of Sarah Butcher.

After landing at Portland, Me., Mr. and Mrs. Wade continued their journey westward to Washtenaw County, Mich., where the husband was engaged in farming and sheep-raising until the winter of 1862. They then removed to DeWitt County, Ill., and began the work necessary to build up a good home on section 15, Texas Township, where Mr. Wade had bought one hundred and sixty acres of land. This tract was unimproved and still covered with the forest growth of the primeval wilderness. He built a dwelling, cleared the land, fenced and otherwise improved it, and made it his home until 1887, when he sold eighty acres. He had bought eighty acres where he now lives the January before he sold the eighty acres of his original home. This was an improved farm, to the extent of which he has since added.

Several years after the death of his first wife Mr. Wade contracted a second matrimonial alliance. The wedding took place September 15, 1884, the bride being Mrs. Martha A. Cales "nee" Sawyers. This lady was born in Tazewell County, March 21, 1836, her parents being Reese and Martha (Sprague) Sawyers, who were early settlers of this State. Her father died in 1866, but her mother is still living and is an inmate of her daughter's home. Mrs. Sawyers is now ninety years of age, but is still able to walk about the house and wield her knitting needles. She is the oldest lady in the county. Mrs. Wade is the third daughter in a family comprising five daughters and two sons, and like many others in this locality received her first schooling in a log house. Mr. Wade has six children by his first wife, all being established in homes of their own.

The parents of Samuel Wade were Abraham and Martha (Harding) Wade, who were born, reared and married in the mother country. Late in the '60s they came to America and from that time until called hence made their home in DeWitt County. Their mortal remains were deposited side by side in the Texas cemetery.

Our subject cast his first ballot for Peter Cooper, but he is now an intelligent supporter of Republican principles. He belongs to the Masonic lodge No. 84, in Clinton, and both himself and wife are members of the Christian Church. Mrs. Wade is an active worker in the Sunday-schools in Texas Township. Mr. Wade is serving acceptably as School Director and is generally respected for his uprightness and industry.

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A prominent and influential citizen is to be met with in Harp Township, DeWitt County, in the gentleman above named, whose beautiful farm home is on section 19, four miles northeast of Clinton. He was at one time the owner of one thousand acres of land, but has distributed most of it among his children, retaining a sufficient amount to afford a good maintenance and give him sufficient occupation in out-of-door life.

Mr. Walker, the father of our subject, was born in the Keystone State, December 16, 1794, and reared in Franklin County. He learned the trade of a tanner, started a tanyard of his own, but after carrying it on for a time turned his attention to farming. He was married in his native State and six of his children were born there. In 1832 he removed to Ohio, choosing Ashland County as his place of abode, and pursuing his agricultural life there for seventeen years. He then sold his property and made the journey to Sangamon County, Il., with wagons, purchased two hundred and thirty acres of land and continued to reside in that county until his death. He passed peacefully away in September, 1859, when sixty-three years of age.

The wife of John Walker and mother of our subject was Eliza Skinner, who was born in Franklin County, Pa., June 22, 1796, and died in Sangamon County, Ill., April 8, 1859. She and her husband belonged to the Presbyterian Church from their youth. The husband was a Whig in politics. Besides our subject, who is the third son, they reared to maturity the following children: Samuel, Enoch, Stephen A., John, James, Eliza A., Mary J. and Isabel.

The maternal grandfather of our subject was a native of Pennsylvania, of English descent, who kept a tavern located on the road from Baltimore to Pittsburg at a place called Skinner's Gap. He died when about sixty years old, from injuries received in a sawmill which he owned. His wife lived to the age of ninety years, dying in Bedford County, Pa. She was the mother of twelve children, all of whom grew to manhood and womanhood.

The subject of this biographical notice was born in Franklin County, Pa., March 1, 1823. He was a lad of ten years when his parents removed to Ashland County, Ohio, where he continued the education that had been begun in his native county. In the Buckeye State the schoolhouses were built of logs, with punchion benches, and the one nearest to his home was two miles distant. Even during his boyhood the lad worked upon a farm in the intervals of his school life and so fitted himself of an agricultural career. When he became of age he began laboring for himself, spending one winter in school teaching and one summer in working by the month. He then began operating his father's farm on shares and ere long bought forty acres of land in Wood County, the first real estate he owned.

In the fall of 1849 Mr. Walker came to this State, spent three months in Macon County, then bought seventy-four acres in Sangamon County and established himself thereon. During the ensuing fifteen years he pursued a steady course of honest industry there, becoming the possessor of two hundred and thirty-five acres of land upon which were many valuable improvements. In 1861 he purchased one hundred and sixty acres in DeWitt County, but did not remove hither until 1865. He then settled where he is still living. He has made money chiefly by stock-raising and through the rise in land, farming in a moderate way. As before stated he at one time owned a large amount of real estate, from which he has given three of his children a quarter section each, and two one hundred, another eighty, and two others one hundred and sixty-seven acres each; to still another child he furnished the money with which to perfect and establish himself as a mechanic. His son, to whom he gave the eighty acres and who is now living in Alabama, owns nine one hundred and sixty-acre tracts.

The rites of wedlock were celebrated between Judge Walker and Miss Sarah Fretz November 1, 1845. The bride was born in Bucks County, Pa., January 29, 1826, and is of German ancestry, although her parents, John and Kate (Haney) Fretz, were born in the same State as herself. They belonged to the farming community and were of the Presbyterian faith, numbered among the members of that sect at Bethlehem. They died in Ashland County, Ohio, each having reached an advanced age. They reared but two children. The daughter, who became the wife of our subject, is a woman of Christian virtue, general intelligence and the womanly knowledge which has made her a model wife and mother. To Mr. and Mrs. Walker eleven children came, of whom those spared to mature years are: Enoch, Lewis, Katie, Carrie, Charles, Jane, Anna and Loretta.

Mr. and Mrs. Walker belong to the Presbyterian church, in which they have held membership since their early years. Judge Walker has been an Elder in the organization at Clinton for ten years past, has taught in the Sunday-schools in the rural districts, and has been prominently connected with the affairs of the church in various ways. He has served as a delegate from the congregation on several important occasions and ever betrays a deep interest in the cause of Christianity. He is one of those who believes that it is the duty of those upon whom the right of suffrage is conferred to understand Governmental affairs and do their part toward making the Nation what is should be. He therefore takes an active part in politics and has done so since he cast his first vote, which was for Henry Clay. He has a distinct recollection of the Harrison campaign of 1840, and is well qualified to impart information regarding the progress of the parties. He is a firm believer in Republican principles and never fails to support them.

The election of Mr. Walker to the position of County Judge occurred in 1873, and for four years he filled the place in a creditable manner. He has done good work as Supervisor of Harp Township during a period of six years. He made a strong fight against the railroad bonds voted here in 1870, and time has shown that his judgment was most excellent. He has displayed rare business qualifications in his private affairs and in his connection with the public interests. The wide fund of information which he possesses is mainly due to his own efforts, as the educational privileges which he enjoyed supplied him with but practical and fundamental instruction. He has been a great reader and has so assimilated that which he has read and observed that he proves a most entertaining companion and is a fine conversationalist.

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Alfred Walters, a son of the late Jacob Walters, who was a well-known pioneer of DeWitt County, has passed the most of his life within its borders. He has interested himself in its agricultural development, and is to-day one of its substantial farmers and stock-raisers, with a desirable farm located on section 24, Wilson Township. A portrait of Mr. Walters accompanies this sketch.

Mr. Walters was born in Perry County, Ohio, February 9, 1828. His father, a native of Pennsylvania, was born in 1801, and was a son of Andrew and Sarah Walters, who are supposed to have been natives of the Keystone State. Jacob was the second child in a family of ten children, five boys and five girls. In 1808, when he was seven years of age, he accompanied his parents to their pioneer home in Perry County, Ohio. He was there reared to the life of a farmer and was educated in the subscription schools of that day. In 1821 he married Miss Phoebe Bateson, a native of Ohio, and they had ten children. In 1833 he removed to this county and settled in the edge of the timber along the north fork of Salt Creek, in the southwestern corner of Wilson Township. The country at that time was but very little inhabited and wild game was very plentiful.

Mr. Walters was a poor man when he settled in this county, but his thrift, energetic labors and skillful farming ultimately made him more than ordinarily successful, and at one time he owned one thousand acres of land which he distributed among his children. In 1870 his wife died at the age of sixty-six years. In February 1877, he married a second time, taking as his wife Miss Martha Baird, a daughter of William L. and Martha G. Baird, natives of Kentucky. Mr. Walters departed this life April 15, 1889, in his eighty-ninth year.

Our subject came to DeWitt County, with his parents in 1833 when he was five years old. But though he was so young he has still some recollection of the journey, which was made with a four-horse team, the little party cooking and camping by the wayside whenever occasion offered. The winter of 1833 was spent in Randolph’s Grove and the following spring the settlement was made in Wilson Township. All the trees here now have grown within Mr. Walters’ remembrance. He can recollect seeing many deer and he killed one when he went hunting with his uncle Bill Walters. He attended school in an old log schoolhouse that had slab benches, puncheon floor and an open fireplace. There were no free schools then, subscription schools being the order of the day. As his youth was passed on a farm our subject gained a thorough practical knowledge of his calling and was well equipped when he entered upon it as his life work. He continued to live with his father and mother until 1847, when he bought his present farm, which then comprised forty acres of land. He immediately settled on it and went to work with a good will to develop it. In the years of hard labor that followed he brought it to a good state of cultivation, placed upon it an excellent set of buildings and now has a farm that is well ordered in every respect, and which he has increased by the addition of one hundred and twenty acres to his original purchase, so that he now owns a quarter of a section of valuable farming land. Many were the hardships and privations that he was obliged to endure in pioneer days. In order to obtain meal he used to carry a sack of corn on horseback to Long Point and have it ground there in a horse mill. He did his trading for supplies at Bloomington and used to take his grain to the Pekin and Peoria markets. As there were then no regular roads, he used to strike the Indian trails that led to Clinton and so on to Bloomington. He has engaged very profitably in raising all kinds of stock and has placed himself among the solid men of the township.

Mr. Walters in 1885 built his present house at a cost of $1,600 and here he has a commodious home replete with comfort. To the lady who presides over it and assists him in extending its hospitalities to their friends he was married October 25, 1855. Mrs. Walters was prior to that date, Nancy J. Lam, and she was born in McLean County in 1835. Their pleasant wedded life has brought to our subject and his estimable wife four children, of whom three are living: Albert, Odell, and Clara.

Mr. Walters is a man of sturdy, self-respecting character who, during his many years residence in this township has won an enviable reputation among his fellow-townsmen as a straightforward, honorable man, whose life has been guided by Christian principles. He has been School Director and is always interested in whatever concerns the welfare of his community. He and his wife are members in high standing of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church while their children belong to the Methodist Church. His political sentiments are in accord with those expressed by the majority of Democrats.

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The native-born sons of DeWitt County are, many of them, among her most useful citizens, and are of great assistance in carrying on her varied industries. Among them Eli Walters occupies no unimportant position. He is a progressive and enterprising farmer and stock-raiser and has a fine well-managed farm on section 22, Wilson Township. He was born December 14, 1841, and is the son of Jacob Walters, who was formerly one of the prominent pioneers and most successful farmers in this section to the State.

The Walters family is of German descent. The father was born in Pennsylvania in 1801 and when quite a young man he removed to Ohio, where he was married to Phoebe Bateson, a native of that State. They began their wedded life in Licking County, where he rented land for awhile. In the fall of 1832 Mr. Walters came to Illinois and spent the winter at Randolph Grove. In the following spring he removed with his family to this county, making the journey with a four-horse team and camping on the way at night. He settled on the north fork of Salt Creek in the southeasten corner of Wilson Township, on section 36. He entered a tract of timber land, in which there were numerous deer and other wild game, and although he was not a hunter he occasionally shot a deer that he might have venison for the family larder. He used to have to go on long journeys to mill and to do his trading, and he took his grain to Chicago, where he bought the most of his supplies.

The father of our subject first built a log house, 16X22 feet, on his land, and in that humble abode reared his family. He was a man of extraordinary industry, shrewdness and foresight and during his life improved several farms. He was entirely a self-made man, as he came here with nothing and at one time owned over six hundred acres of valuable land. His death occurred in April, 1889, at a ripe old age. He was one of the early pioneers of the county and his name will always be held in reverence as it is associated with the development of his region. He was a stanch member of the Presbyterian Church and always a consistent Christian. He was a Democrat in politics. Eleven children were born of his marriage, of whom the following ten grew to maturity: Alfred, Sallie (Mrs. Walden), Mary (Mrs. Orndorf), Jacob, Susan (Mrs. Emery), Rachel (Mrs. Geer), John, Eli, Melvina (Mrs. Gardner), and Phoebe (Mrs. Lappin). The mother was a sterling Christian woman and was a member of the Presbyterian Church. She died in middle life and lies sleeping beside her husband in the Walters cemetery on section 36.

The gentleman of whom this sketch is written was reared on the Walters homestead on section 36, Wilson Township, and obtained his education principally in a district school that was patterned after the primitive school buildings of early pioneer times and furnished with rude slab benches. He remembers well when the country was so wild here-about that he often saw an many as eighteen or twenty deer at a time, and has killed a good many of them and of the wild turkeys that were so numerous in former times. He assisted his father in the management of his farm till he was twenty-five years of age, and then rented land from him for one year and carried on farming on his own responsibility. At the expiration of that time, in 1862, he purchased eighty acres of his present farm which was then in a wild condition. He erected a neat set of buildings, placed it under cultivation and from time to time has added to his original purchase till he now has three hundred acres of choice land, of which twenty acres are of timber on the bluffs of Salt Creek. He is actively engaged in the stock business, has his farm well supplied with cattle and hogs and horses, which he ships to Chicago whenever he has a carload. He built his present commodious two story frame dwelling in 1875, at a cost of $1,000 in money besides the labor that he expended upon it, and he built a substantial frame barn in 1889. Mr. Walters was married December 24, 1872, to Harriet Wheeler, who is a native of Kentucky. They have two children, Jessie J. and Oliver C. Mr. Walters is an ardent Democrat in politics and religiously he and his wife are among the prominent members of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Mr. Walters has intelligent and enlightened views on all subjects, especially as regards farming and stock-growing. His place in the community is among the best citizens, as he never hesitates to promote the interests of the township in every way possible.

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Jacob Walters, a veteran of the late war in which he won a fine military record, has long been associated with the prosperous farmers and stock-raisers of DeWitt County and is prominent among the men of his calling in Wilson Township. He owns and occupies, on section 36, in the above named township, the homestead that was once the property of his father, Jacob Walters, one of the early pioneers of this section of Illinois. In connection with the main events in the life of Mr. Walters recorded in these paragraphs, his portrait appears on the opposite page.

Our subject was born April 15, 1832, in Perry County, Ohio. His father was a Pennsylvanian by birth but was reared mostly in Ohio, of which his parents were early pioneers. In the prime of a vigorous manhood he in turn became a pioneer, making his way through the wilderness to this county and taking up his abode on the edge of the forest on the northern branch of Salt Creek in the southeastern corner of Wilson Township, which was then but very sparsely inhabited and showed but little signs of its present development and prosperity. He was a man of marked force of character and in the course of years acquired a valuable estate through his pioneer labors. He was a sound Democrat in politics and cast his first vote for Andrew Jackson in 1829. Religiously, he was a stanch Presbyterian. For further parental history see the biography of Alfred Walters, brother of our subject, on another page of this volume.

The subject of this sketch was a mere babe when his parents brought him to DeWitt County and consequently he has been identified with the growth and development of this locality almost from its earliest settlement down to the present time. His boyhood was passed on the old homestead where he now lives and his earliest recollections are of the surrounding pioneer scenes. He remembers seeing deer, turkeys and wolves, and as soon as he was old enough to handle a rifle he killed some deer and other game. He recalls the time when there were no roads here and the settlers crossed the prairies, following the trails made by the Indians and had to travel on horseback to Long Point to get wheat and corn ground. He used to go to Pekin on the Illinois River to maket grain when he was a boy and his father some times took wheat to Chicago. Our subject obtained his early education in an old log schoolhouse that had slab benches, puncheon floor, stick and clay chimney and an open fireplace, a log being taken out of one side of the building that the opening might serve for a window. He attended school only in the winter as he had to work on a farm during the summer.

When he attained his majority Mr. Walters started out in life to fight his own battles and began his independent career as a farmer on rented land. Subsequently he bought his first tract of land which comprised forty acres on section 14, Wilson Township. He afterward sold that farm and bought one hundred and sixty acres on section 23, where he lived until he took possession of the old homestead on which he was reared. This estate he bought and there he located in March, 1890. The large brick house which stands upon the place was built by himself and his father and is one of the most commodious and attractive residences in the vicinity. Our subject is possessed of a natural mechanical genius and not only did all the carpenter work but the plastering and laid the bricks in the construction of his dwelling.

Mr. Walters watched the course of the war with intense patriotic interest and as soon as he could arrange his affairs he offered his services to his country August 9, 1862, becoming a member of Company B, One Hundred and Seventh Illinois Infantry. He was mustered in at Camp Butler and accompanied his regiment from there to Jeffersonville, Ind., where he and his comrades were thoroughly drilled in military tactics. There were ordered from there to Louisville and on their arrival at that point camped for awhile south of the town. From there they went to Elizabethtown, Ky., whence they were dispatched to Mumfordville, Ky., to guard a bridge across the Green River. Their next destination was Glasgow. They then returned through Louisville to Indiana and took an active part in the pursuit of the Morgan raiders.

Mr. Walters was disabled and was obliged to lie in the hospital four weeks. He then joined his regiment at Lexington, Ky., where he was left in a field hospital for several weeks, as he was unable to do active service. He again joined his regiment at Loudoun, Tenn., where he bore a gallant part in the siege of Knoxville. His regiment was then sent in pursuit of the enemy into Eastern Tennessee and finally returned to Nashville whence they were ordered to Dalton, Tenn., and from there to Resaca where the brave boys took part in a hotly contested battle. Then they followed Johnson to Rome, Ga., and there our subject was taken sick. He was sent back to Chattanooga and after he had been examined by the physicians was sent to the hospital at Nashville, Tenn., where he was confined for over one year, he having been very seriously reduced by all that he had been called upon to endure. When the war was over he was honorably discharged at Salisbury, having done faithful service whenever he was able and proving himself a patriotic and efficient soldier.

After returning from the seat of war our subject resumed his old occupation as a farmer and has ever since devoted himself assiduously to his business, removing to the old homestead in March, 1890, as before mentioned. He was first married in 1852 to Julia Ann Mathews. By that marriage four children were born, of whom two are living Mary L. (Mrs. Hanson) and Lee. The second marriage of our subject, which took place October 8, 1874, was to Mrs. Mary Snyder. Mrs. Walters was born in Perry County, Ohio, June 9, 1852, and is a daughter of John and Rhoda Schelly. She has been twice married, the name of her first husband, to whom she was wedded August 14, 1869, being Samuel Snyder. One child was born to her by that union Oriel J. The names of the children born to her and our subject are Minnie, Ira, Nettie and Lawrence.

To the good citizenship of such men as our subject is our Republic much indebted, not only that the Stars and Stripes are to-day waving over a free and undivided country, but for its present prosperity and high standing as one of the greatest nations on earth. He is a sensible, practical, efficient man in the discharge of his affairs, and in his personality is moral, conscientious and upright. In his political views he is conspicuous as being a Republican, while all the rest of the family are stalwart Democrats; socially, he is connected with Masonic Lodge No. 262, at DeWitt. Religiously, he is a member of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church while his wife belongs to the Methodist Episcopal Church.

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The village of Parnell, DeWitt County, is the home of this gentleman and the seat of a very satisfactory trade that he is carrying on in hardware and groceries. Mr. Walters has lived in the village since 1885, prior to which time he had been engaged in farming and stock-raising in Wilson Township and had made a fortune by well-directed efforts. He owns a fine farm of one hundred and eighty-two acres in DeWitt Township near the village of the same name and twenty acres with appropriate buildings on section 35, Rutledge Township, which forms his home estate; he has also a valuable tract of three hundred and sixty acres in Wilson Township, this being a body of highly improved land, and twenty acres of valuable timber land.

The father of our subject was Jacob Walters, a native of Pennsylvania, born October 17, 1801, who came of good family and spent his early years in his native State. After reaching manhood he went to Perry County, Ohio, where he married Phebe Batson who was born and reared in the Buckeye State. After their marriage Mr. and Mrs. Walters lived on a farm in Perry County for some years and in 1837 came with their five children to Illinois. They settled in Wilson Township, DeWitt County when the section was unbroken and took up the pioneer work on a tract of raw prairie. They built up a good home and lived to see wonderful changes in the country to which they had come. Mr. Walters was a prominent citizen with a host of friends who appreciated his industry and uprightness. He lived to the venerable age of eighty-seven years, dying at his home April 15, 1889. His wife had been borne to the tomb in 1870, being then past threescore years of age. Both were consistent members of the Presbyterian Church, and Mr. Walters was a Democrat in politics.

The parental family consisted of four sons and six daughters, he of whom we write being one of the youngest. His birth took place on the homestead above mentioned February 12, 1841, and he grew to maturity on the farm, thoroughly acquainting himself with the details of agricultural life and early taking a part in the hard work the surroundings made necessary. Not long after the Civil War began he made up his mind that his duty lay in the front of battle, and during three tedious and hazardous years he was engaged in the service of his country as a member of the One Hundred and Seventh Illinois Infantry, Company B.

The enlistment of Mr. Walters took place in August, 1862, and soon afterward his regiment joined the Army of the Cumberland in Tennessee. He first smelled the smoke of battle at Elizabeth Town, Ky., and afterward took part in the battle of Mumfordsville and others of the contests in that region, among his notable experiences being that of the chase after Gen. Morgan and his capture in Ohio. Mr. Walters made one of the guard that had charge of Morgan's forces until they were landed in prison. He was present at the siege of Nashville, Atlanta and elsewhere, and was so fortunate as to escape wounds or capture and be able at all time to report for duty. As may well be supposed he had many narrow escapes from injury, being a brave and obedient soldier who never shirked his duty.

About a year after the close of the war Mr. Walters gained a faithful companion in Miss Louisa Lappin, to whom he was married in Wilson Township, DeWitt County, September 20, 1866. The bride was born in Jefferson County, Ohio, May 31, 1847, and was yet a child when her parents came to the Prairie State. William and Catherine (Johnson) Lappin established their home in Rutledge Township, DeWitt County, where the father spent the remnant of his days. His death resulted from his being thrown from a wagon by which his neck was broken, and this sad event cut short his career when in middle life. He had an excellent reputation as an earnest, hard-working and reliable citizen and a consistent member of the Methodist Church. His widow, who is now quite aged, still lives in Rutledge Township. She also is a Methodist. The daughter, who became the wife of our subject was educated here and acquired much useful knowledge in the home where a large family made helpful work necessary.

Mr. and Mrs. Walters are the happy parents of three living children and mourn the loss of a son, William C. The eldest of the surviving children is Lenora, wife of James Merifield, a farmer in DeWitt Township. The second is Darius J., a promising and intelligent young man who is now assisting his father in his business and who studied in the Lincoln (Ill.) University, and was graduated from the Lincoln Business College. The youngest of the family is Ora W., who has studied in the public schools of the county and is still an inmate of the parental home. It has been the earnest endeavor of the parents to instill into the minds of their children the principles of right living, as both are believers in the Christian religion and carry their faith into their daily lives. Mr. Walters is a Presbyterian, while his wife belongs to the Methodist Church. Mr. Walters is connected with the Democratic party and supports it measures with right good will. Elsewhere in this volume appears a lithographic portrait of Mr. Walters.

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Charles W. Walton and his brother, Preston J. Walton are among the active and enterprising farmers and stock-raisers, natives of DeWitt County, who are assisting in carrying on its agriculture. They and their sister Lucinda M. own a valuable farm on sections 32, 33, 5 and 9, Santa Anna Township, which comprises three hundred and seventy-six acres of choice land, which under their vigorous and skillful management yields them an excellent income. They have a pleasant home on section 33, over which the sister presides with great capability and cheerfully co-operates with her brothers in extending its hospitalities to their friends. The farm is well-tilled, is supplied with good buildings and everything about the place is in fine order. The brothers are successfully carrying on a good business in raising grain and stock, and have their farm well supplied with horse, cattle and hogs of standard grades.

Our subjects and their sister came of pioneer stock, and were born, reared and educated in this township and county. Their father, Peter Walton, who was a pioneer of this section, was a native of Monmouth, N. J., and came of old New Jersey ancestry, his forefathers having settled in that State in early Colonial times on their arrival in this country from their old English home. Mr. Walton grew up in his native State, and for some years followed a seafaring life. He was active and ambitious to get on in the world, and he finally decided to try life in what was then the far West. Thus it happened he came to DeWitt County while yet a single man, and here started in life with a capital of fifty cents. He began as a farm laborer and had to work hard to procure money enough to make himself an independent farmer. By prudence, thrift and good management he saved up sufficient cash to purchase land in this county, and then commenced to farm on his own account. He was a fine business man and soon became the possessor of some of the finest land in Santa Anna Township. He was very successful in his operations, and acquired a goodly amount of property, so that he was enabled to retire from active life a few years before his death, which occurred in his pleasant home at Farmer City, January 6, 1890, at the age of seventy-six years. He was noted for his straightforward honorable dealings, and had a host of friends in this county. He was a Democrat in politics, and was liberal in his religious beliefs, contributing generously to the support of all churches, though he held to none in particular.

Mr. Walton was married in this township and county, to Lydia Johnson. She was also a native of New Jersey, and came when young with her parents to DeWitt County, Ill. Here she grew to womanhood and received the training that qualified her for the duties of a wife and mother. She was an active worker and afforded her husband great assistance in improving their farm and making a home. Her death occurred on the old homestead in Santa Anne Township, in 1878, when she was but fifty-five years old. She was woman of a good disposition, and was a kind and loving wife and mother. She was a consistent member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Of the nine children born to the parents of our subject, these five are deceased: Margaret A., Elisha, Dulcena, Thomas, and an infant. A daughter of the family is Esther D., wife of H.C. Watson, a business man of Farmer City. She is also a native of Santa Anna Township, and was here reared to womanhood and educated in the public schools.

Charles W. and Preston Walton inherited from their parents those excellent traits of character that make them trustworthy men and good citizens. They are thrifty and wide-awake business men, and have a good knowledge of their calling, which has placed them among the well-to-do citizens of their native township, whose interests they have materially advanced while prosecuting their vocation. They are true Democrats in their political sentiments, and give their party hearty support.

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The agricultural resources of DeWitt County have been made of practical value to many men who are operating farms of greater or less extent and enjoying the independence and home comfort that can be secured in rural districts if one so desires. Among this number is Tilghman Warren, who is carrying on his labors in Rutledge Township. His farm consists of two hundred and forty acres on section 34, and has been placed under such cultivation and supplied with such improvements that it may well be called a fine farm. In addition to this property Mr. Warren owns ten acres of timber in DeWitt Township.

William Warren, father of our subject, was born in Maryland and bred to the life of a farmer. When a young man he went to Ohio, where he married Miss Margaret Blaine, a native of that State and a sister of ex-Judge Blaine, of Nebraska, now deceased. Mr. and Mrs. Warren made their home in Madison County, where the good wife died in middle life. The husband contracted a second matrimonial alliance, wedding Mrs. Mary Robey, "nee" Denison, who was likewise a native of Ohio, and who lived to an advanced age, as did Mr. Warren. Both husband and wife belonged to the United Brethren Church.

The gentleman whose name introduces these paragraphs was born in Madison County, Ohio, February 4, 1832, and spent his early years at the place of his nativity. Later he made his home with an uncle in Pickaway County and there became of age. His educational privileges were those common to the children of people in moderate circumstances, and he gained a practical understanding of the branches taught in the common schools. In 1856 he came to this State and after a time became the owner of a forty-acre farm. When he saw his way clear to do so he purchased an additional forty acres, to which he subsequently added one hundred and sixty acres, in the meantime carrying on the cultivation and improvement that makes the estate so valuable. The most of his land is under-drained in accordance with the advanced ideas of modern farmers.

In DeWitt Township, DeWitt County, Nov. 15, 1855, Mr. Warren was united in marriage with Miss Hettie Collins. This lady was born in Ohio, November 10, 1829, and was a young lady when she accompanied her parents to this State. She is one of eleven children born to Noah and Catherine (Wilkins) Collins, who were natives of the Buckeye State, which they left in 1853 for a home in the Prairie State. They died full of years and honors, having been hard working and industrious, and faithful to the teaching of the Methodist Church. Mrs. Warner has been a faithful helpmate during the years of her wedded life, and is devoted to the interests of her children.

The record of the sons born to our subject and his estimable wife is as follows: J. Milton is a farmer established in a home of his own, his wife being Ida (Scott) Warren; William T. married Ida Bouger and they also occupy a farm; Charles H. is employed in a machine shop in Wichita, Kan., and his wife was formerly Miss Frances Young; Edward W. is at present working on his father's farm and residing under the parental roof; Charles is the only member of the family not living in Rutledge Township, DeWitt County. Mr. Warren and his sons are men of exceptionally high standing as citizens of a great commonwealth, and can justly be proud of the reputation they have gained.

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For more than three decades the subject of this biographical notice has been closely identified with the interests of Central Illinois, both as a farmer and as a dealer in several important commodities. He is classed among the leading citizens of Barnett Township, DeWitt County, in which he has made his home since 1865. In the spring of that year he bought one hundred and sixty acres on section 29, to the improvements of which he has added and the value of which he has increased by thorough tillage. He erected a fine brick residence, commodious, convenient and homelike, and furnished in a style in keeping with its surroundings. Since 1875 Mr. Wasson has been engaged in the sale of lumber, coal and grain at Hallsville and Midland, and has also dealt in agricultural implements.

Our subject is of honorable ancestry and is connected by ties of blood with a family which has given to the nation statesmen and orators. His paternal grandparents were Joseph and Jane (Adams) Wasson, the latter tracing her ancestry from the progenitors of President Adams. Grandfather Wasson was a minister in the Old Christian or New Light Church, and was also a farmer. He was one of the earliest settlers in Southwestern Indiana, where he operated one of the first horse-power mills used there. He died July 13, 1854, about two years after his wife had entered into rest. His children, ---James, Newton, William, Permelia, Margaret, Melissa and Mary, lived to rear families. William is now living in Greenwood County, Kan.; Mary is married and lives in Evansville, Ind.

Newton Wasson, the father of our subject, was born in Tennessee December 3, 1810, and was taken to Indiana by his parents when about two years old. He lived and died on a farm fourteen miles southwest of Princeton, Gibson County, the date of his demise being in December, 1877. He married Mary, daughter of John W. and Janey (Montgomery) Maddox, a native of the Hoosier State, who died four years before he was called hence. Their family consisted of four sons and six daughters, ---John W., Jane, Permelia, Louisa, Joseph T., Sarah E., James L., Charles S., Mary and Mattie, the last two being twins. All except Jane, who died when nine years old, attained to manhood and womanhood. Joseph laid down his life for the Union, receiving a fatal wound at the battle of Champion Hill, May 16, 1863. He had been a member of the Twenty-fourth Indiana Infantry. James L., who is now living on the homestead, was also a soldier, belonging to the Eightieth Infantry, and he was severely wounded by a shell. The parents of our subject were members of the New Light Church.

The gentleman whose life is the subject of these paragraphs was born in Gibson County, Ind., August 14, 1834. He was reared amid the surroundings of rural life, early learning lessons of practical skill and persistent industry, and in the schools of the neighborhood acquiring an understanding of the ordinary branches of study. When twenty years of age he began working for himself on his grandfather’s estate and from that time earnestly pursued his chosen avocation. In the spring of 1856 he bade adieu to his early home, and traveling with an ox-team to Vandalia, Ill., continued his journey by rail to Clinton and thence by team to Logan County. He purchased one hundred and sixty acres of land in Oran Township, paying $10 per acre. This tract he placed under good improvement, making it his home until the spring of 1865, when he sold and bought that upon which he now lives.

Believing that his comfort and happiness would be enhanced by the intimate companionship of a good woman. Mr. Wasson wooed and won for his wife Miss Caroline Sharpe, who became his wife September 11, 1854. This lady was born in Gibson County, Ind., of which her parents, William and Sarah (Walker) Sharpe, were pioneers, having gone thither from Kentucky. Her grandfather, George Sharpe, was a teacher in pioneer times in the Hoosier State. Mr. and Mrs. Sharpe belonged to the Baptist Church, in the faith of which they laid aside the cares of life and entered into rest. Both died in Indiana, mourned by four sons and three daughters and a large circle of friends. Mr. Sharpe was a soldier during the War of 1812.

Our subject and his estimable wife are the parents of eight children, and two, Broy and Elmer F., died in childhood. The survivors are: Byron F., Van R., William L., Charles L., Mary L., Sarah E., Calvin and Katie. All have been given excellent educational advantages, their parents being anxious that they should be as well fitted as possible to bear a useful and honored part in the affairs of life. Byron was graduated from the Kansas State Normal School and is now teaching in Midland; Van R. was graduated from the Union Christian College of Indiana, and is now teaching at Wells, Minn.; Mary L. is the wife of John Marvel. Mr. and Mrs. Wasson have been identified with the Cumberland Presbyterian Church for twenty years. Their connection with and interest in the civilizing and elevating movements promulgated in the neighborhood, their consideration for the rights of others and their industrious habits have won for them the respect of their acquaintances and made them worthy examples of good citizenship. The view of the homestead of Mr. Wasson on another page of this work, represents one of the cozy and pleasant homes for which Barnett Township is noted.

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In this gentleman DeWitt County has one of its leading representative business men. He is a member of the firm of Watson & Watson, dealers in hardware, stoves, buggies, farm wagons and farm implements. They have the largest establishment of the kind, not only in Clinton where it is located but in the county, and they are carrying on an extensive and flourishing business. Mr. Watson is a native of Ohio, born in Seneca County, near the town of Tiffin, September 19, 1864. He is the eldest son of Hugh D. and Eveline (Stevens) Watson. His father, who settled in the northeastern part of the county in Wapella Township, has been for many years one of the successful farmers of this section of the country. A sketch of his life and work will be found on another page of this volume.

Our subject has passed the most of his life in this county and in the district schools laid the solid foundation of a liberal education. He entered Blackburn University at Carlinville, Ill., where he pursued an excellent course of study for two years. After that he was a student at Bloomington University one year and he left college finely equipped for any business in which he might care to engage, entering upon his mercantile career as a lumber merchant at Humansville, in the southwestern part of Missouri, where he became a member of the firm of Miller & Co. Three years later he sold out his interest in the firm and returning to DeWitt County in the month of September, 1887, embarked in the hardware business in partnership with his brother Dudley D. Watson, under the firm name of Watson & Watson. They have a commodious and conveniently arranged building two stories in height, and use each story and basement in carrying on their business. The size of their store room is 24 x 128 feet, and it is neatly fitted up and well arranged. The brothers carry a large and well-selected stock and have already built up a good trade, their customers coming from all parts of the surrounding country. They are prompt and systematic in the conduct of their business and have a high reputation for honorable dealing.

Mr. Watson and his amiable wife have established a home that is one of the most cozy, comfortable and attractive in Clinton, and here they began their wedded life in the month of February, 1888. To them came a little son, whom they named William Grear and his death, October 17, 1890, was a sad blow to their happiness. Mrs. Watson was formerly Mollie Bridges, of Humansville, Mo., and she is a daughter of J. B. and Eatna Bridges who were formerly of New York State, but are now residents of Humansville.

Mr. Watson is a young man who brings a well-trained mind and good financial talents to bear upon his business and evidently has a bright and promising career before him, if judged by the success with which he has already met. He is a gentleman of honor and high principle, and he and his wife are accorded a high place in the social and religious circles of this city. They are devoted members of the Presbyterian Church of which he is one of the Trustees and both are ever found earnestly working for the good of any cause in which they are interested. Mr. Watson is an active member of DeWitt Lodge No. 84, A. F. & A. M.

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This gentleman is the owner of valuable property in Clinton and a fine tract of land in Wapella Township, DeWitt County. He was for more than twenty years engaged in farming in the township named; but in 1888 removed into Clinton, and is now enjoying well merited rest from the heavier toils of life. His city property includes a cozy residence in the northwestern part of the town. The father of our subject, J. Grear Watson, a native of Pennsylvania, was born in 1808. He was a tanner and currier by trade. Early in the ‘30s he went to Seneca County, Ohio, where he passed the remnant of his days, dying in 1868. He married Allie Ann Doane, who was born in Pennsylvania and whose father, Hugh Foot Doane, was an early settler in Seneca County, Ohio. Mrs. Watson breathed her last in 1850, leaving three children--William, Mary and Hugh D. The paternal grandfather of our subject was William Watson, a native of Ireland, and the Doanes are of Scotch-Irish extraction.

The natal day of our subject was November 27, 1836, and his birthplace Seneca County, Ohio, near Tifflin, the county seat. He attended the district schools and then spent one year in study at Seneca County Academy in Republic. After completing his education he taught school for four winters and then purchased a farm of eighty acres on which he began his agricultural work. In the spring of 1865 he removed to this county and took up his former pursuit in Wapella Township. His estate there comprises three hundred acres, well improved and well stocked, and is now operated by his third son--James G.

While living in Ohio Mr. Watson was married to Eveline Stevens, daughter of James and Martha Stevens and a native of Seneca County, Ohio. Her parents were formerly residents in New York and New Jersey, and under their care she grew to womanhood. Mr. and Mrs. Watson have six children--M. Allie, Charles S., Dudley D., James G., Mabel and William Doane. Charles and Dudley are engaged in business in Clinton and are numbered among the rising dealers of the town, while James is following in his father’s footsteps as a tiller of the soil.

Mr. Watson has labored to fill his position in society with reference to its best interests and the benefits secured to himself and family. He has been identified with the Republican party since its organization. He is an Elder in the Presbyterian Church and one of the earnest members of the society, not only spending his means but giving of his personal time and mental ability to advance the cause of Christianity. He and his wife are numbered among the respected dwellers in Clinton, and an equally good reputation was theirs in their former home.

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John Watson is a practical farmer and stock-raiser of much prominence in DeWitt County, and his farm on section 18, Santa Anna Township, is among the best developed and finest improved in this section of the State. He was born in Ross County, Ohio, September 4, 1832, and is a son of William N. Watson, a native of County Tyrone, Ireland. The latter came of Irish parents who were of Scotch antecedents. He was only a child when his father died and he was reared in his native county by an uncle. After he attained to manhood he was married in County Tyrone to Miss Ellen Patrick, also a native of that county, who came of stock similar to himself.

After marriage, and the birth of two or three children, Mr. Watson left his family in the old country and came to America. After a time he returned to Ireland and with his wife and children re-crossed the Atlantic in 1829 and took up his permanent residence in this country. He located in Ohio, and subsequently purchased a farm in Ross County that he sold ten years later, and bought another in another part of the county in Springfield Township, where he had owned his first farm. There he and his wife rounded out a goodly life, and died at a ripe old age, he being eighty-seven years old when he died and she eighty-three years old. They were well known in Springfield Township and Ross County.

Our subject is the fourth child of seven sons and two daughters, and was the first one born to his parents after they came to this country. All the nine children lived to be men and women; four were married and five of the family are yet living. Our subject was reared to man's estate under the home roof-tree, remaining with his parents until he was twenty-two years of age. He then set forth in the world to try life for himself and made his way to Illinois in search of fortune's favors. He was here first married in DeWitt County to Miss Mary Arbogast, who was born and reared in this township and county and here lived and died, her death occurring in Santa Anna Township, November 25, 1865, when she was only twenty-eight years old. She was the daughter of old settlers of DeWitt County, who spent their last years here. Her marriage with our subject brought them five children of whom one is deceased. Those living are William H., a telegraph operator in Missouri; Charles D., who married Harriet E. Ijams and lives on a farm in Piatt County; Alvert who married Laura Renley, and lives on a farm in Champaign County.

Our subject's second marriage took place in this township and county, when he was wedded to Miss Lucy Ready, his present wife. She was born in Carroll County, Ohio, July 28, 1848, and is a daughter of John and Elsie (Morrison) Ready, natives of Virginia and Ohio respectively. They were reared, however, in Carroll County, Ohio, and after marriage settled on a farm, and all their children were born in that county. In 1865 the family came to Illinois and lived one year in Heyworth, McLean County. The following year they came to Rutledge Township, and have ever since lived there on a good farm which they improved. Mrs. Watson was the eldest of the eight children born to her parents, and she was nearly eighteen years old when she accompanied them to this State. She is the mother of eight children, namely: Dollie, Rosella and Callie (twins), Flora, John, Samuel, Anna, and Ettie, all of whom are at home with their parents.

Mr. Watson is a hard-working man and with the able assistance of his wife has accumulated a fine property. After coming to this State in 1852 he lived for two years at Chaney's Grove, McLean County. He purchased his present place on section 18, Santa Anna Township in the spring of 1862, and since then has placed it in a highly improved condition, erecting fine and well-equipped farm buildings, and placing his land under the best of tillage. He owns four hundred and eighty acres of land, which under his able management yields him a handsome income. Mr. Watson is greatly esteemed in his community and is regarded as one of the most desirable citizens of the township in whose welfare he is greatly interested. He has held some of the local offices and his ability and excellent business habits have made him a fine civic official. In politics he is identified with the Democratic party.

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Amos Weedman, ex-Sheriff of DeWitt County, is a well known and successful farmer and stock-raiser of Farmer City. He is a native of Ohio, born in Perry County, May 12, 1826. For a history of his parents see the biography of George Weedman on another page of this volume. He is the third son and fourth child of a large family, comprising seven sons and three daughters. His parents came with their children to Illinois when he was but four years old and they located near Hayworth in McLean County. The father made some improvements on a tract of wild land and in 1836 left it to become a pioneer of DeWitt County. He purchased a piece of wild prairie in Santa Ana Township, and in that pioneer home the son of whom we write was reared to a stalwart, manly manhood. His educational advantages were somewhat limited but he has since made up for these early deficiencies by intelligent observation and by reading.

Our subject was assisting his father in his farm work when he became of age and began life for himself. The first land that he owned was on section 14, Santa Ana Township. He subsequently purchased his present farm on section 32, and removed to it. He actively entered upon its development and was busily engaged in tilling the soil, when he was called to public life in 1876 by the vote of his fellow-citizens who elected him to the important office of Sheriff of DeWitt County. So able and faithful an official did he make in that capacity, he was elected three consecutive times, and was before the convention for re-nomination a fourth time. He refused to accept the honor again declining in favor of his neighbor. During his third term in office the unpleasant task of hanging a man fell to him. This was the first and only event of the kind that ever happened in this county. The subject of such punishment was a man by the name of Patsy Devine, who had murdered Aaron Goodfellow one of the prominent men of this part of the State. Mr. Weedman was fifty-six years old on the day of the hanging, and it was remarked that he performed the deed with great skill, coolness and nerve. It was during his administration of the affairs of the Sheriff’s office that the only two women who were ever sentenced in this county were placed in the penitentiary. Mr. Weedman while Sheriff made a trip to California after a prisoner who had broke jail and got away while he was attending the funeral of his brother-in-law; he returned with the prisoner. Mr. Weedman has held some of the local offices of the township with distinction, but he is not in any sense of the term an office-seeker. He was formerly a Whig in politics but is now a firm supporter of the Republican party. He is a straightforward, honorable man, possessing a well balanced mind and much force of character. He is prominent in the following social orders: Blue Lodge No. 710, A. F. & A. M., and Chapter No. 60 of Farmer City; while his wife is a member of the Eastern Star Order of this place.

Mr. Weedman has been living in Farmer City since 1882. He has been much prospered in his farming operations and has a farm on section 32, that compares with the best in its vicinity. He has one hundred and sixty acres of highly fertile land, whose fields are under the best of tillage and its improvements are of a high order. In the pleasant home that he has established here our subject is blessed by a good wife who understands well how to look after the comfort of her household and is in every respect a true homemaker. Mr. and Mrs. Weedman were married in this township and county. Mrs. Weedman was formerly Mary J. McCord, and she was born in Middle Tennessee near the Cumberland River, May 25, 1830. She was three years old when her parents J. W. and Julia (Wheeler) McCord, natives of Tennessee came to Illinois and settled on a farm in Santa Anna Township. They were thus among the early pioneers of DeWitt County, and their homestead was in the best timber in this part of the State. They lived to see Illinois and the county well developed. Mrs. McCord died on the old homestead in 1854 when she was but forty-one years old. She was a charter member of the First Methodist Class formed in Farmer City, and was among the prominent women in religious circles in her day. After the death of Mrs. Weedman’s mother, her father married a second time and still lives on a farm in Harp Township. Though he is now eighty-four years old he is still active and in possession of his mental faculties. He made a trip over the plains to California in 1850, and returned at the end of a year by water. Our subject went in the same company of gold seekers, and experienced many of the hardships of the rough life of that region.

Mrs. Weedman is exceptionally bright, intelligent and wide-awake and is prominent among the leading society and church ladies. She was carefully reared and educated in this county and here all her life has been passed with the exception of the first three years. Both she and her husband are members and constant attendants at the Methodist Episcopal Church, are liberal in their contributions toward its support and are generous in helping forward all charitable objects. Mr. and Mrs. Weedman have two children--W. R. and Smith Y. The former married Katie Page of this township and they live in Farmer City. Smith married Lotta Thorn of Saratoga, N. Y., and they live on the Weedman homestead on section 32.

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Farmer City is the home of a goodly number of men who, after pursuing an honorable career have come hither to enjoy the pleasant associations and comfortable surroundings which are insured to the citizens of this thriving municipality. One of this number is George Weedman, whose portrait appears on the opposite page. He has been associated with the welfare of DeWitt county many years, and with other members of the Weedman family bears an honorable reputation which extends over a wide circuit of country.

The Weedman family was originally of Holland, whence some of its members emigrated to Pennsylvania prior to the Revolution. In that State, George Weedman, a farmer, lived from his birth until some years after his marriage, when he removed to Perry County, Ohio. He married a lady who was of similar ancestry to his own. In 1830 the family came to Illinois, making a settlement near Heworth, McLean County, where they experienced the trials of pioneer life, among them that of the deep snow. When the family came hither Bloomington had but one log cabin and the country was wild and sparsely settled. Grandfather Weedman lost his first wife a few years after he came to the State and subsequently married Phoebe Halsey, who survived him, living to be more than fourscore.

The second child in the family of the above mentioned George Weedman, was John, the father of our subject, who was quite young when his parents removed from the Keystone State to Ohio. He grew to manhood in the latter State and was married in Perry County to Miss Rachel Wilson, whose parents had gone thither from Maryland when she was quite young. Mr. and Mrs. Wilson died in Ohio when ripe in years. After his marriage John Weedman occupied a farm in that county until after five children had been born, when he came with his family to this State. He secured government land near Randolph's Grove, in McLean County, making various improvements upon it. In the year 1836 he came to DeWitt county, secured new land in the vicinity of Farmer City upon which he made his home until 1852, when he sold out. About this time his wife died, she being then fifty-eight years old. She possessed an estimable character together with the housewifely skill and energy of manner so necessary to those who endured life on the frontier.

George Weedman, of whom we write was the third of his mother's children. He was born in Perry County, Ohio, March 28, 1824, and reared in McLean and DeWitt counties, this State, the latter having been his home since 1836. He is perhaps as well acquainted with the various phases of its development as any man now living, and having in early life experienced the toils and hardships of the frontiersman, marks with delight the advanced civilization of the present time. After he became of age he began to farm on his own account continuing the pursuit until March 19, 1850. He then with four brothers and other friends stated on the long and tedious journey across the plains with teams and wagons, reaching Hangtown, Cal., July 4. After some months of varied experience Mr. Weedman left the gold fields and took passage from San Francisco on a sailor. He reached the Isthmus after some trying experiences and on re-embarking to cross the Gulf encountered severe storms which delayed the vessel so that forty-six days had passed before Panama was reached.

Continuing the journey up the Mississippi and Illinois Rivers to Pekin Mr. Weedman reached his home thirteen months to a day, after he left it. He has since given his attention to farming and stock-raising, in which he has made a fortune. He owns four hundred acres of fine land on section 20 and 21, Santa Anna Township, which he has improved in the best manner, and which is well stocked with high grades of fine cattle and horses. He carries off more premiums from the fairs in this and other counties than any other man in DeWitt county, and has also won the blue ribbon at Indianapolis, Ind., and St. Louis, Mo. In 188 he retired from his farm to the city, where he owns a nice property on one of the chief residence streets.

The lady who since April 17, 1845, has shared the joys and sorrows of Mr. Weedman bore the maiden name of Catherine Danner. She was born in Montgomery County, Ind., August 19, 1827, being the daughter of John and Catherine (Zener) Danner. Her parents were natives of Maryland and Pennsylvania respectively, began their wedded life in the latter State and after a time removed to Kentucky. They went thence to Indiana and after operating a farm there for some years came to Illinois in 1831, purchasing a new farm on the prairies of DeWitt County. Mr. Danner was a successful agriculturalist and financier, acquiring a large amount of land, and was held in excellent repute by his acquaintances. He died in 1856, at the age of sixty-seven years, his wife surviving him two years. Both were active members of the Methodist Episcopal Church and Mr. Danner was first a Whig and later a Republican in politics.

Mrs. Weedman was the youngest member of the family of eight sons and three daughters, of whom she and a brother, Allen B. Danner, are the only ones living. She was carefully reared, and during the course of a long life has reflected credit upon her parentage by the worth of her character and the usefulness of her days. She is the mother of ten children of whom we note the following: Lucy A., died when tree years old; Jacob married Almeda Slick and now lives on a farm near Denver, Col.; Esquire W., married Anna Chapman and lives in Denver; Rachael is the wife of Henry Palmer, a liveryman in Farmer City; Hattie, wife of J. W. Baker lives in Ellsworth County, Kan.; Sallie married William Sweeny, their home being in Ellsworth County, Kan.; Jenny is the wife of Minor Neal, their home being Farmer City; Ella is the wife of B. M. Leady who resides in Arkansas; Richard married Jenny Romine and they occupy a farm in Santa Anna Township, DeWitt County; Abraham Lincoln married Ida Gilmore and occupies the old homestead.

Mr. Weedman and his sons belong to the Republican party, and are stanch in their support of the principles laid down in its platform and the candidates placed before the people. Mr. and Mrs. Weedman belong to the Methodist Episcopal Church and the husband has a place on the official board. Both are highly regarded, Mr. Weedman being considered the worthy scion of an honorable family.

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"Walnut Grove Stock Farm," the property of the gentleman above named, is one of the most valuable estates of its size in DeWitt County. It consists of one hundred and ninety-two acres on section 36, Rutledge Township, which is well watered from living springs and is therefore particularly adapted for the use to which it is put--that of affording pasturage and shelter for large herds of cattle. Mr. Weedman raises and feeds stock, devoting himself principally to thorough-bred Durhams and having at the head of his herd a fine bull, "Grover Cleveland." He is also the owner of the noble cow, "Florence," which is well known in this section. "Walnut Grove Farm" contains ten acres of timber, but the remainder of the acreage is tilled ground and pasturage.

Before giving a brief outline of the life of Jesse B. Weedman, it will not be out of place to make some mention of those from whom he derived his being. His father, Asa Weedman, was born in Ohio and was a young man when with his parents he made the journey to this State with an old ox-team and wagon. The family reached McLean County and made their home in Randolph Grove. One of the members of the family was obliged to take a $5 bill to Chicago to get it changed, so scarce was money in the country at that time. After sojourning in McLean County some time the Weedman's came to DeWitt County and in Santa Anna Township Asa became of age. He subsequently returned to Randolph Grove and married Delilah Hand, a native of Ohio, who had come to this State with her parents when young.

The newly wedded couple purchased land in Santa Anna Township, and as a stock-raiser and feeder, Mr. Weedman made a fortune. He carried on more extensive operations in this line than any other man in this part of the county, and was prominent in business and social circles. He voted the Republican ticket, and took an active part in the work of the Methodist Episcopal Church, of which he was a member for many years. His death occurred June 21, 1868, when he was fifty-one years old. His widow married Edward Adams and in 1876 removed to Kansas where she has since resided. She is an active member of the Methodist Episcopal Church and a woman whose good qualities are duly appreciated by those who know her. She bore her first husband nine sons and daughters, seven of whom are now living, and all are married and the heads of families.

The gentleman whose name introduces these paragraphs was born on his father's homestead in Santa Anna Township, DeWitt County, October 12, 1857. He was reared and educated there, continuing to form a part of the parental household until he became of age, since which time he has borne his own part in the battles of life. For five years he was a resident in Miami County, Kan., and before his marriage he was for two years in the employ of P.D. Armour of Chicago. He was at one time a resident in Belle Flower Township, McLean County, and has been the proprietor of "Walnut Grove Farm" two years.

The home of Mr. and Mrs. Weedman is presided over by a lady who was known in her maidenhood as Miss Dora J. Geer. Their marriage was solemnized on the farm they now occupy, January 18, 1885, and has been blessed to them by the birth of one child--Carl C. Mrs. Weedman was born in DeWitt County, January 26, 1867, and reared chiefly near her present home, receiving her education in the common schools. She resided with her parents until her marriage, fitting herself for the duties that belong especially to women. Her father, Oren Geer, is now a member of the firm of Jamison & Geer, dealers in hardware, etc., at Farmer City, and is the subject of a biographical notice in this volume. Mr. Weedman is a member of the Republican party and holds a place among the reliable and enterprising citizens of the county. He and his wife attend the Methodist Episcopal Church, and although not members of the society, are respected for their morality, intelligence and kindliness.

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The name of Weedman is one well known and highly honored throughout DeWitt County and indeed beyond its bounds, as members of the family have been closely identified with the development of this section of Illinois for more than half a century. It is confidently expected that all who bear the name will prove worthy of it and continue the work so well begun by those of preceding generations. That this is the case in the life of Philip Weedman it needs but a mention of his name to his acquaintances to prove. He is numbered among the successful general farmers and stockmen of Santa Anna township, and has a high reputation as a man of thoroughly upright character, stanch and true.

"Fair Prairie Stock Farm," whereon Mr. Weedman is prosecuting his business enterprises, consists of one hundred and eighty-five acres on sections 29 and 30, and is considered one of the best tracts of land in the township. Every acre has been improved and cultivated, a fine set of farm buildings has been erected, and the estate presents an attractive appearance indicative of prosperity and true home comfort. It is conveniently located, being but one mile from Farmer City, this affording its occupants an opportunity to mingle in the social life of the town whenever they feel disposed. For twelve years past Mr. Weedman has been breeding Short-horn cattle and some fine animals may be seen on his land. At the head of the herd is "Grover Cleveland," a bull whose proportions are beautiful in the eyes of stockmen, indicating as they do rare good qualities. Some fine Shropshire sheep are shown visitors to "Fair Prairie," and they also learn that the proprietor deals largely in domestic animals which he buys and feeds.

The birth of Mr. Weedman occurred February 17, 1844, on the farm which he now owns. His father, Asa Weedman, was born in Ohio in the early part of the century and had not yet entered his teens when he came to this State with his parents. The grandfather of our subject, John Weedman, of whom mention is made in the biographies of Thomas S. and George Weedman, found elsewhere in this volume, located in McLean County, but a few years later came to DeWitt County. Here Asa Weedman became of age and began his life as a farmer and stock-dealer. He met with some reverses, but being plucky and industrious, overcame them and acquired a good estate while still a comparatively young man. He was considered one of the best business men in this section and enjoyed an enviable reputation as a man of firm principles and strict morality. He died at the early age of forty-six years, breathing his last in May, 1871.

The mother of our subject bore the maiden name of Delia Hand, and became the wife of Asa Weedman in McLean County. She was born in the southern part of the State and was rapidly advancing toward womanhood when her parents removed to McLean County. She is the mother of quite a large family, seven of whom are living, our subject being the fourth of the number. Some time after the death of Mr. Weedman the widow married Edward Adams, a farmer living in Miami County, Kan.

The gentleman of whom we write acquired a fundamental education in the schools of the county and then pursued a higher course of study in the Wesleyan College at Bloomington. He has always made his home on the farm which came into his personal possession in 1883, and since he grew to manhood has devoted himself to tilling the soil, and its sister occupation, stock-raising. He was married in Piatt County to Anna D. Gillespie, whose parents, Harmon K. and Nancy Gillespie, have been occupying a farm in Piatt County for some years. They are natives of the Keystone State, whence they came to Illinois soon after their marriage, first establishing a home in McLean County, where daughter Anna was born June 25, 1851. She, however, grew to maturity in Piatt county, receiving her education there and the home training which fitted her for a position at the head of the household. She is a bright, energetic woman, devoted to her husband and family, but by no means neglectful of the duties she owes to her neighbors and society at large. The happy union of our subject and his wife has been blest to them by the birth of two children: Frank L. and Louola.

Mr. Weedman is a stockholder and Director in the John Weedman National Bank, of Farmer City and has been since the organization of that financial institution. He has held the township offices, and, like his father before him, is an earnest worker in the ranks of the Republican party. He and his wife hold membership in the Methodist Church, where, as among the people in general, they are regarded with respect.

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This name will be recognized by many of our readers as that of a gentleman who has borne an important part in the development of the agricultural resources of that section of the Prairie State surrounding Farmer City, DeWitt County, and who has also been a potent factor in the political and municipal affairs of the town mentioned. He is now Mayor of that thriving city, serving his second term in that capacity, and doing excellent work in raising the place to a higher rank among the cities of the State that it had previously held. Prior to his election to the Mayoralty Mr. Weedman has served several terms as a member of the City Council and had conclusively demonstrated the fact that the interest he manifested in the improvement of the place was not actuated by selfish motives, but arose from purer and nobler sources.

Mr. Weedman may well be interested in this people and country as he has in both the interest of one born here, whose life has been almost entirely spent in labor with and for the citizens of DeWitt County. His birthplace was in Santa Anna Township, one and one-half miles west of Farmer City, and his natal day was January 12, 1839. He is the youngest of the seven sons and three daughters born to John and Rachel (Wilson) Weedman, who became residents of this State in 1830. They were natives of Pennsylvania and Maryland respectively and journeyed hither overland soon after their marriage. They halted at McLean County near Heyworth, took possession of a piece of Government land, improved it and made it their home six years. They then came to DeWitt County, securing another tract of Government land in Santa Anna Township which was their home for many years. The mother died in 1854 at the age of fifty-eight. The father subsequently married Mrs. Manerva Yazell of LeRoy, and afterward removed to Iowa where he died in 1868 at an advanced age. John Weedman was a man of prominence and is well remembered by the older citizens of this section of the State. He was and old-line Whig and later a Republican in politics, earnest in the support of his party but never seeking office for himself. In 1860 he and his seven sons, all voters, attended the National Convention which nominated Abraham Lincoln for President of the United States, and it becoming known to spectators that the group of eight were father and sons, their appearance created quite a sensation. Mr. Weedman was a Methodist in religion. (For further items in the family history see the biographical sketch of George Weedman on another page.)

The gentleman whose name introduces these paragraphs received careful home training and as good an education as the schools of the time afforded opportunity for. After studying in the county he attended a business college in Bloomington, there becoming conversant with the principles which he has applied with so good advantage to the work which he has carried on. Mr. Weedman determined to pursue the calling of a farmer and on property not far from Farmer City he made his home for many years, successfully carrying on his chosen pursuits and also the stock-raising business which he connected therewith. He retains his interest in and connection with his former work, although for the past twenty years he has been dealing largely in grain, buying and shipping, and sent the first load ever shipped from Farmer City, which was in 1869, and in the grain business has made money. A man of active habits, industrious and not afraid of hard work, he has found plenty to occupy his time and has never known what it is to be idle.

It would readily be supposed that a family whose members felt the interest manifested by the Weedman's in the nomination of Abraham Lincoln would send some of their number to the front when the country seemed in danger of disruption. It is a matter of no surprise therefore, to learn that he of whom we write enlisted July 10, 1861, in the Second Illinois Cavalry, Col. Noble commanding, and became an integral part of Company R, under Capt. R. Bowman. Immediately after its organization the regiment was sent to Camp Butler, Springfield, being the first to enter the camp after its establishment. After being called to the South the boys first came in contact with the enemy at Bolivar, Tenn., where the regiment suffered considerable loss but held the place. From that time on the Second did good service in general skirmish work until the engagement of Holly Springs, Miss., where Company F, which then numbered forty-four men, lost seven killed--among them Isaiah Weedman, brother of our subject--fourteen wounded and five taken prisoners. Among the prisoners was our subject, but he and his comrades were paroled before they had been confined on prison walls, and were later exchanged and rejoined their regiment.

Mr. Weedman was exchanged in time to take an active part in the battle of Vicksburg and was subsequently in the thickest of the fight at Jackson, Miss., continuing to act with his company until the expiration of his term, when all who survived the dangers through which they had passed were discharged in Baton Rouge, La., August 10, 1864. At that time Mr. Weedman ranked as Quartermaster-Sergeant but the early months of his life as a soldier were passed as a private. His record as a warrior is a creditable one proving his moral and physical courage and thorough patriotism. As would naturally be supposed he has joined the organization which commemorates camp life, his name being on the roll of Lemon Post, G.A.R., at Farmer City.

In Farmer City, December 25, 1866, Mr. Weedman was united in marriage with Miss Mary M. Brownlee, an educated and refined young lady and one possessing religious faith and devotedness. She was born in Athens, Ohio, September 4, 1843, being the first daughter and second child born to Thomas and Sarah (Buker) Brownlee. Her parents were natives of Pennsylvania and Maine respectively, the paternal line being of Scotch lineage and her mother being descended from old New England families. Mr. Brownlee was a mechanic and followed his trade until past sixty years old. His wife had died some years before, when their daughter, Mrs. Weedman, was but five or six years old. She was a Presbyterian, while Mr. Brownlee was an earnest Methodist. Mrs. Weedman received a part of her education in the place of her nativity, but came to Farmer City when sixteen years of age, completing her studies her. She is well fitted for social prominence and takes an active part in local society matters and the work connected with the Methodist Church.

Three children have been sent to bless the hearts and home of Mr. and Mrs. Weedman, and their thoughts have been drawn to the land beyond the tomb by the loss of one who died in infancy. The survivors are Fred J. and Ted G., the former of whom is a graduate of the Farmer City High School and is now attending the State University at Champaign. Mr. Weedman is a prominent local politician, working earnestly for the advancement of the Republican Party. He belongs to De Molay Lodge, No. 24. K.T. at Bloomington. Having witnessed the development of this section of the country from an almost primitive state, he is justly proud of its present condition and pleased to recall the fact that he and his progenitors have been intimately connected with the labors necessary to bring about so happy a state of affairs. He is one of the highly respected citizens, his worth of character and strength of mind being duly recognized by those who enjoy his acquaintance.

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Capt. Zadoc C. Weedman was a native of Illinois, and during his life was one of the well-known prominent citizens who for many years was intimately connected with its farming interests until his retirement from active business. During the late Civil War he was an officer of an Illinois regiment and his military career reflected credit on the State.

Capt. Weedman was born July 9, 1836, in the pioneer home of his parents near Heyworth, McLean County. His father, John Weedman, was an active pioneer of that part of the country. He had come there with his wife from Ohio in an early day of its settlement. He lived there a few years and then came to DeWitt County and took up his residence on a farm near Farmer City; and from that time until his removal to Iowa, where he died when and old man, he was of much assistance in developing the agriculture of this part of the county. Here his first wife, whose maiden name was Rachael Wilson, died, and he was married a second time. (For a fuller account of the family history see biography of George Weedman on another page of this work.)

Our subject was educated in DeWitt County and nearly the whole of his life was passed within its precincts. He was married near Farmer City to Miss Rebecca D. Wolfe, a native of Clarke County, Ohio, where she was born January 4, 1836. Her father, Joseph Wolfe, was born in Jasper County, not far from Harper's Ferry, Va., and he came of German parentage. He was eleven years old when his father and mother moved with their family to Clarke County, Ohio, of which they thus became early pioneer farmers. They were well known in that part of the State and died there full of years. Joseph Wolfe grew up on a farm in Ohio which he helped his father to hew from the wilderness. He was married in Clarke County to Mary V. Lemen, a native of Clarke County and of Scotch-Irish ancestry. After marriage Mr. Wolfe and his wife lived on a farm in Clarke County until 1838 when they emigrated overland with teams, camping by the wayside and finally arriving at their destination in DeWitt Township, this county. They there began life anew as pioneers and developed a farm out of unbroken prairie on which was a log cabin, afterward replaced by a more substantial residence. Mr. and Mrs. Wolfe were successful in life and were numbered among the good citizens of this section of the country. Mrs. Wolfe departed this life in 1874 at the age of sixty years. She was a Christian and a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Some years after his wife's death Mr. Wolfe came to live with Mr. and Mrs. Weedman, and he died in their home April 1, 1878, at the age of nearly seventy-eight years. He was in early life a Whig and later a Republican. He was a consistent member of the Methodist Episcopal Church and had many friends in this county. Mrs. Weedman is the second child and only daughter of the three children born to her parents. Her brother, John H., died at the age of four years. Her other brother, the Rev. George B. Wolfe, in now holding a pastorate at Naples, Ill., and is one of the prominent local ministers of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Mrs. Weedman was reared in this State and received a good education, attending college at Bloomington, and she was also a pupil at the Jacksonville Seminary.

After marriage Mr. and Mrs. Weedman settled on a farm in DeWitt Township and for some years he was very successfully engaged in agriculture. He finally lost his health and retired to Farmer City, here he died December 11, 1887. DeWitt County then suffered the loss of one of its best citizens, one who had grown with its growth and had been an instrument in advancing it material prosperity. He was a man of much native ability whose judgment was sound and who managed his affairs with discretion and discrimination, and underlying these were those high personal traits that commanded both the respect and regard of his fellow-citizens. He was a prominent local politician, being an active working member of the Republican party. He was an enumerator for this township in the census of 1880. He was among the most worthy members of the Grand Army of the Republic and also of the Masons, being in his last years a Knight Templar. Religiously he and his wife were always connected with the Methodist Episcopal Church, and her name is still associated with it. To our subject and his wife came one son, Lawrence W., who is receiving a practical education in the city schools of Farmer City. Mrs. Weedman is a woman of rare character, well educated, cultured and refined.

We will now turn to that important period in the life of our subject when he won his spurs on the battlefield for his brave and efficient conduct in the times that tried men's souls, when he showed himself to be a capable leader of men. He enlisted in 1862 in the One Hundred and Seventy Illinois Infantry and was commissioned First Lieutenant of Company G. After two years of hard service he received deserved promotion to a captaincy and served in that capacity for some time. Finally his failing health obliged him to resign his commission in the fall of 1864 and he was honorably discharged. He left the army with a high reputation for his devotion to the cause for which he fought, and for his fine record in the various battles and skirmishes in which he took an active part.

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MARY S. WELCH Page 989

Mary S. Welch, ex-Superintendent of schools of DeWitt County, was born in Delaware County, Ohio, in 1841, and was the third daughter of Luther and Mary (Saulsbury) Welch. Her father was a native of New York, but with his father's family removed to Ohio when he was yet a boy and settled in the then village of Delaware, where his father kept a tavern. There Luther was reared and married to Miss Saulsbury, a native of Erie, Pa, who had received a liberal education in the branches taught in the schools of that time. She was also quite proficient in drawing and painting. Early in life she became a teacher, and in this work was very successful. After their marriage Mr. and Mrs. Welch removed to Ogle County, Ill., where the wife died and was buried. Mr. Welch subsequently made his home in Freeport, where he died. He was a farmer by occupation, a Whig in politics, and a Methodist in religion.

After the death of her parents Mary S. Welch went to live with an uncle, Mr. Aaron Welch, of Clinton, and remained an inmate of his house until she became a teacher and entered upon the active duties of life for herself. Her uncle and aunt were very helpful to her, coming to her assistance in times of trial and helping her bridge the many difficulties that beset her way. For thirteen years she went to school and taught alternately until 1870, when her health, which had been poor for several years, gave way and for four years she was an invalid with little hope of recovery. A change came, and with returning strength she was called to take charge of the public school work of DeWitt County, in whose schools he had done all her previous work as a teacher. She held the position of Superintendent of Schools seventeen years, her term of office expiring November 30, 1890.

For the first thirteen years of Miss Welch's incumbency the office was not appreciated and the salary was too meager to permit of great activity in the work. Nothing could therefore be done to improve results in school work except what could be accomplished through the office, the institute and teachers' meeting. These means alone were used all these years to further the work of elevating schools. Under these circumstances progress was slow, but the workers built well and by the time there was a salary paid equivalent to the work, there was a sentiment to back every effort for improvement, among the people as well as the teachers. When, in 1887, the superintendent was sent into the field she found the harvest whitening and the labors ready to glean, and the result was that in the last four years more work was really accomplished than in the previous thirteen.

The rural and village schools have been graded and a course of study and examination established. The Teachers' Reading Circle for professional knowledge and a general culture has taken a deep root among the teachers and accomplished much good. The Pupils' Reading Circle also has been introduced and the work, if followed up, will be productive of much general information among the people and of great value to the rising generation.

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Nathan Welch, Postmaster at Farmer City, is a battle-scarred veteran of the late Civil War in which he won a military record that reflected credit on his regiment, and of which he and his may well be proud. He is prominent man in the social and religious circles of this part of DeWitt County and is well and favorably known. Mr. Welch was born in Delaware, Ohio, December 12, 1838, and is a son of Luther and Mary Welch. The parental family consisted of four children, as follows: Platt B., who at the age of twenty-five, met with a great misfortune in the loss of his eyesight, and resides with his sister in Clinton; our subject; Mary S., who is well and favorably known, having filled the office of County Superintendent of Schools for seventeen consecutive years; and Martha (Mrs. R. B. Bowles), residing in Chicago.

After the war our subject came to this State from Iowa where he had previously lived. He has since been variously engaged as a farmer, stock-dealer and butcher for some time, and later as an extensive dealer in hay. He was doing a good business in that line when he met with a reverse of fortune, all his property being destroyed by a fire in 1884. Since that time until he accepted his present position he has been engaged as a clerk, and for a period of five years acted in that capacity in the long established clothing house of Epstein & Bach. He was always faithful to the interests of his employers, who valued his services highly and trusted him implicitly.

Mr. Welch was living in Eldora, Iowa, when the war broke out and he responded to the Governor’s second call for troops to aid in suppressing the Rebellion, enlisting in Company A, twelfth Iowa Infantry, commanded by Capt. S. R. Edgington and Col. Wood. His name was enrolled as a member of his regiment October 6, 1861, and he soon accompanied it South, and with his comrades was assigned to the Army of the West. The first engagement in which our subject took part was at Ft. Henry, Ky., and after that he marched with his regiment to Ft. Donelson and there the brave boys fought in the division under Gen. "Paduca" Smith. In that engagement our subject and his fellow-soldiers won much renown, as Company A, of the Twelfth Iowa, was the first to enter the fort at the final capture, and this they did in spite of the murderous fire of the enemy, the brave boys escaping without much hurt and with great credit to themselves. After the enemy was routed from that fort the division of the army in which our subject was, was sent to fight the battle of Shiloh, and there the Twelfth Iowa again distinguished itself and won honor for its valued services during that hotly contested battle, in which over six hundred of the regiment were killed and wounded, including every commissioned officer but Congressman Henderson, who was First Lieutenant of Company H. All who escaped death were captured with the exception of seventeen. Mr. Welch being on of that fortunate number. Later on the few men who were left of that regiment were assigned to the Union Brigade commanded by the Lieutenant-Colonel of the Seventh Iowa and then continued their journey to Corinth where they took part in the famous siege of that place which embraced twenty-eight days of hard fighting. During that time our subject, though he was not commissioned, was given side arms and commanded a company all through that eventful period. He found favor in the sight of his superior officers, not only on account of his bravery and daring but for his promptness in action and his fidelity to the cause for which he fought. He modestly declined all honors of promotion, though he was eminently deserving of a commission.

After the battle of Corinth the Union Brigade with which our subject was connected did garrison duty, guarding bridges, etc., until October 3, 1863, when the men were called into service at the regular battle of Corinth, Miss., with Gen. Rosecrans in command. After successfully driving back the enemy Mr. Welch and others were wounded and our subject had the misfortune of being seriously hurt by a gunshot wound through the right leg below the knee. In that condition he was compelled to lie on the field for two days and was finally captured by the rebel Gen. Price’s men, but before they were able to move him he was rescued and sent to the hospital at Corinth. Two weeks later he was removed with others by the Governor of Iowa to Keokuk, where he remained until February, 1864, when he was finally discharged from the army on account of wounds. He had been wounded in other battles before that but had refused to leave the service as long as he was able to carry a musket.

After leaving the army Mr. Welch came to Illinois, settled in DeWitt County, and was married at Farmer City, to Miss Margaret McDonell. This marriage brought to them one child, Effie M., and her death has been the great sorrow of their life. Mrs. Welch was born in Madison County, Ohio, near London, October 21, 1848, and she was eight years old when she came with her parents to this State, the removal thither being made in wagons, and the family settled in Farmer City. Her father, Thomas McDonell, was a successful farmer and was a valued citizen of this locality until his death in 1888, at the venerable age of eighty-six years. He was a member for many years of the Methodist Episcopal Church, was an upright man, and had many friends. His wife, who survives him is seventy-five years old and resides with her daughter, Mrs. Welch. She is a member in good standing of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and is a kindly, thoughtful woman of many pleasant attributes.

Mr. and Mrs. Welch are among the foremost members of the Christian Church, of which Mr. Welch is Deacon and Treasurer, which offices he has held since he joined the church eight years ago. He is prominently connected with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows; with both the subordinate lodge, No. 126, and the encampment, No. 56, and has filled the Chairs of the former. He is one of the leading members of the Grand Army of the Republic in DeWitt County and is Past Commander of Lemon Post, No. 211. He was the first Quarter Master of that post, of which he was a charter member and has been a delegate to the State Encampment, serving in that capacity in 1887.

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Edwin Weld is an agriculturist well known in DeWitt County, where he has reclaimed nearly five hundred acres of the virgin soil from its primitive wildness and made it fruitful of the products used by man. Prior to locating on land that he had already begun to improve he was a contractor in grading, excavation and similar public work. A reputation for reliability, business honor and enterprise accrued from that occupation, and he has added to it in the later work in which he has been engaged.

Mr. Weld, whose portrait is presented on the opposite page, was born in Boston, Mass., and there his father and grandfather had opened their eyes to the light. Both were engaged in farming and to that vocation our subject was reared. Joseph M. Weld married Lucy S. Richards, who was born and reared in Dedham, Mass., and whose father, Johnathan Richards, was a Revolutionary soldier. The good couple had a family of ten children, named respectively: Joseph R., Hepsibah C., Daniel M., Lucy A., Ann, William, Jonathan R., Edwin, Elizabeth C. and Henry. Of this large family Ann, Jonathan and Henry are deceased.

The natal day of our subject was December 30, 1825. He received his education in Roxbury, which district of the Hub was his birthplace, and when eighteen years old went into the commission business. After being thus employed about three years he began contracting, and had charge of the filling in of seventy acres on the city of Boston. He followed his work there until 1853, when he came West with a steam excavator and cut through the bluffs of Salt Creek for the Illinois Central Railroad. When that excavation was finished he went to work to fill in at the end of the bridge across the Illinois River in La Salle County. In 1858 he took a contract for shoveling gravel for ballast, and when the contract was fulfilled gave up public work and settled down to farming.

While working on his contract Mr. Weld had been doing something toward the improvement of a tract of land in Texas Township, DeWitt County, and upon it he is now located. At present his home farm bears all the improvements that heart can wish, and is in every particular a well-regulated estate. The dwelling is a two-story and a half frame, of pleasing architectural design, containing fourteen rooms and furnished in great comfort. The barn and other outbuildings are in keeping with the farmhouse, and the various tracts of land owned by Mr. Weld are supplied with adequate structures also. His landed estate consists of two hundred acres on section 10, one hundred and fifty acres on section 3, and one hundred and forty acres on section 36--all under cultivation.

In Miss Emily H. Hill, daughter of George L. and Louisa (Hickman) Hill, Mr. Weld found the traits of character and qualities of mind he most admired, and that lady he won for his wife. Their marriage rites were solemnized in La Salle in September, 1855. Mrs. Weld is a sister of B. T. Hill, whose sketch will be found on another page of the "Album". To her have been born seven daughters and one son, of whom we note the following: Ann died when six years old; Carrie Hill married Gilbert C. Kelley, who is now Supervisor of Texas Township; Minnie married J. Edwin Hartsock, a stock-dealer living in Texas Township; E. Frances, Edwin, Jr., Kate Leah, and Nettie N. still make their home with their parents. The last named is a twin, the other having died in infancy.

Mr. Weld has been useful in the community in several public capacities, such as Justice of the Peace, Supervisor, Road Commissioner, School Director and he is now Township Treasurer. In politics he is a Republican, and looks back to the time when he cast his first vote for the Whig candidate, Henry Clay. He belongs to the Masonic order, into which he was first initiated in 1865; he is now enrolled in Clinton Lodge, No. 84, F. & M. , and Goodbrake Chapter, No. 59, R.A.M. He has also taken the Eastern Star degree, and with his wife and their daughter, E. Frances, belongs to Myrtle Chapter, No. 131, at Clinton. In his religious views Mr. Weld is a Unitarian. His father, who lived to be ninety-three years old, was a Deacon in the same church for over fifty years. Our subject began his personal work with but little means, and has made all that he now possesses by his persevering and well-directed efforts since he came to this State. He put the first plow in each of his three farms and brought them all to their present state. It is not to be wondered at that he is highly honored in the community, as his work in the development of the county, his good citizenship and fine character entitle him to esteem.

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William Weld, a prosperous farmer of DeWitt County, now living on section 3, Texas Township, is one who has borne a goodly share in the improvement of the county. He was born in Roxbury, Mass., February 4, 1821, and is a son of Joseph M. and Lucy S. (Richards) Weld, of whom further mention is made in the sketch of Edwin Weld on another page in this Album. He received his education at the place of his birth and started out in life for himself at the age of seventeen years. He learned the art of lithographic printing with Thomas Moore in Boston, and after working about five years was appointed foreman of that department. The position was held by him about fifteen years, after which he came to DeWitt County, Ill.

Our subject and his brother Edwin bought two hundred acres of raw prairie on section 36, Texas Township, and set about preparing the land for crops. They broke the prairie sod, put up a house and barns, built fences and otherwise improved the farm. This tract of land is still owned by the brothers and is now operated by renters. In 1872 our subject bought the one hundred and ninety acres of land which he now occupies. This tract was already well improved, but the house has been replaced by one of more modern design. The old building was of brick and had stood for many years; the new is of frame, two stories in height, sufficiently commodious for the use of the family and conveniently arranged. Mr. Weld now owns three hundred and eleven acres, all in Texas Township. He is engaged in general farming and keeps considerable stock.

The marriage of our subject and Rachel Hickman, "nee" Giddings, was solemnized September 12, 1870. Mrs. Weld is a daughter of Milton and Sarah Ann Giddings, was born and reared in Ohio and came to DeWitt County with her parents in 1850. At the time of her marriage to our subject she was the widow of John Hickman, to whom she had born two children both deceased. Her present union has been blest by the birth of three daughter--Nellie C., Fanny G. and Ella M. The first-born died at the age of fifteen months.

The prosperous condition of Mr. Weld's finances is due to his hard work and strict attention to business and reflects credit upon his early training as well as on himself. The first Presidential ballot cast by Mr. Weld was in the city of Boston for James Buchanan, but he in now identified with the Republican party. He has served acceptably as Road Commissioner and School Director, and evinces an intelligent and earnest interest in the welfare of the great commonwealth in which he has made his home, and particularly in his own special section. Mrs. Weld is a member of the Presbyterian Church and is justly regarded as an ornament to society, and as one who is very useful at home and abroad. Their many friends will regard the lithographic portraits of Mr. and Mrs. Weld as valuable additions to this volume.

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George A. Wheeler has acquired a high reputation, not only in DeWitt County, of which he is a resident, but through other parts of Illinois as a prominent breeder of fine standard draft horses and roadsters, and also of Shropshire sheep of the highest order, known as the John Weedman herd. Mr. Wheeler has a valuable and well-equipped stock farm in Santa Anna Township, finely located near Farmer City.

Mr. Wheeler was born in Landsend, Conn., January 13, 1843, and comes of sterling New England stock. His father, Elijah Wheeler, was also a native of that State. He there grew to manhood and became a railroad man. He was married in Fairfield County, his native State, to Jane Egleston, who was also a native of that old commonwealth, and there passed her entire life dying in 1853 while still in her prime. She left a large family, and after her death the father and some of the children came westward as far as Illinois, and have since lived in this State, the father making his home with our subject. He is a hale man of seventy years and is much respected.

He of whom we write became of age in Knox County and started out to fight life's battles with no other capital but such as was afforded by a sound intellect and a good physique. By his own efforts he has raised himself from poverty to affluence, and to-day stands among the most substantial men of his adopted county. He spent five years in his calling at Yates City, Knox County, and from there went to Blue Ridge Township, Piatt County, where he became the proprietor of one of the finest farms in that section of the country, which he sold to come here in 1890, and since then he has been a resident of Santa Anna Township. He is a valuable acquisition to the citizenship of this county as he is a man of more than ordinary energy, enterprise and business tact, and has been of great help in advancing the stock-raising interests of this section and in promoting the breeding of standard horses and sheep of high grades.

Mr. Wheeler has a commodious home on section 33, near Farmer City and his homestead here comprises thirty-three acres of valuable land. Adjoining it he has a farm of two hundred and twenty acres, which is finely adapted to stock-raising purposes, as it is well watered and all his land is finely improved. On his farm he has a fine line of good stock. He makes a specialty of the horse and owns some of the finest stallions, six in number, of the draft and roadster variety, that can be found in this part of Illinois. He has been very successful in the business of breeding and feeding horses, to which he has devoted much of his time the past ten years. He has already become famous in this line, as he has exhibited some fine specimens of his steeds at the public show and has carried off his share of the laurels.

Among Mr. Wheeler's most noted horses are "Cornell," an imported Norman; and the well-known Belgian horse, "Caractacus," which is the largest horse in this part of the State, its weight being nearly twenty-two hundred pounds. He has other horses that have prominent local reputations, including his fine horse "Marcus" which, like all his other horses, is an imported and registered animal. Among his roadsters is the promising colt "Dan Wilkes," who comes of the finest stock in the country and is a cousin to Axtel. Already as a yearling it has made a record that is much below three minutes. Mr. Wheeler also has a half interest with Mr. Dick Tillison at DeLand, Ill., in two fine draft horses that have taken sweepstake prizes. Our subject is a rare judge of horses and his advice is often sought by other horsemen who have great confidence, not only in his knowledge of the horse, but in his personal integrity as a dealer.

Our subject was married in Yates City to Miss Martha Milan, a native of Knox County, Ill., born December 11, 1850. Her parents had come to Illinois from Ohio where they were reared and married. They were among the early settlers of Knox County and lived there on a farm until their death at middle age of typhoid fever about the time of the braking out of the war, both dying within a week of each other. They left a large family of children, of whom Mrs. Wheeler was the youngest. She was only a child when she was thus sadly bereft of her parents and she was reared and educated in Knox County, and lived there until her removal with her husband to Piatt County. She is the mother of seven children all of whom are living, namely: Charles E., Frank L., Ida M., Edgar A., George L., Nellie P., and Howard O.

Mr. and Mrs. Wheeler are among the most active members of the Christian Church, are prominent in its councils, and Mr. Wheeler has represented his church in the conventions. Politically he is a stanch Democrat. He is of social prominence as a member of the Order of Masons, belonging to Blue Chapter and the Knights Templar Lodge at Urbana, and he is also a member of the Scottish Rites Society of Peoria.

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A certain thriving town in DeWitt County bears a name Farmer City that seems very appropriate when one notes the number of retired agriculturists now living there. Many of its pleasant homes are occupied by those who have spent years in developing the resources of the soil in DeWitt and adjoining counties, and whose zealous efforts have been rewarded not only in securing to themselves a competence, but in making of this section of the Prairie State a veritable garden. One of this number is Jacob L. White, who has been a resident of Farmer City since 1868, and whose cozy home may be found on the corner of Clinton Avenue and John Street.

The gentleman of whom we write was born in Greenup County, Ky., March 29, 1825, and is a son of David and Sarah (Parsons) White. His father was born in Pennsylvania and was descended from an old family in that State. When a young man he went to Kentucky and established himself as a farmer on the Big Sandy River, where he lived many years. In the Old Dominion he married a lady who was born east of the Alleghany Mountains, in that State, and who belonged to one of the old Virginia families. After five sons and three daughters had been born to them David White and his wife left Kentucky and went to Johnson County, Ind., where they made their home until 1843. In the Hoosier State they began their life in a heavily timbered and unbroken region, opening up a farm and enduring the usual hardships and privations incidental to pioneer life. When Mr. and Mrs. David White decided to change their place of abode they came with teams to Illinois, locating on Government land and in what is now DeWitt Township, DeWitt County. Here again they had pioneer work to do, but the spirit of determination and progress was strong within them, and although past middle age they were undismayed at what they saw before them. They had been here but two years when the husband was called hence, dying in his sixty-sixth year. He had become well known among the early settlers and was classed among the honest, hard-working and worth citizens. His widow survived some time, dying in Santa Anna Township in 1856, when sixty-six years old. Her useful and pious life made her influence valuable, as for thirty years she had been an active member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. While the parents of our subject were living in Indiana a daughter was born to them, but of the entire family, eight in number, but three are still living: our subject; Henry H. M., whose home is in Linn county, Kan.; and Mrs. Elizabeth Neidiger, who resides in Santa Anna Township, DeWitt County.

Jacob White was a child but four years old when his parents took up their residence in Indiana, where he passed his boyhood and youth amid the surroundings of a frontier settlement. In the pioneer school he developed the sturdy qualities which seem almost inseparable from such a life, and which, since he began his personal career, have won him a fair degree of financial success, and what is still better the respect of his associates. After attaining to his majority he took up the occupations of farming and stock-raising in the county to which his parents came a few years before.

Feeling that his happiness would be promoted by the companionship of Miss Elizabeth J. Stanbury, who was living in Cheny Grove, McLean County, the young man won her for his wife, and their marriage rites were solemnized at her home near Saybrook. Mrs. White was born in Tennessee in 1830, and came to this State with her parents in 1835. Ezekiel and Sarah M. (Graham) Stanbury settled in McLean County when there were but five families in Cheny Grove Township. Mrs. Stanbury was an invalid, never being able to walk on Illinois soil, but she lived to be quite aged, and Mr. Stanbury also died when full of years.

Mrs. White was reared and educated in McLean County. She possesses more than ordinary intelligence and has a fine character, which is recognized by the esteem of many friends. She has been a faithful wife and devoted mother, doing all that was within her power to promote the welfare of those nearest and dearest to her. She has borne her husband four children, two of whom, H. F. and Bertie, died young. Eva is the wife of Samuel Mitchell, chief clerk in the dry-goods and clothing establishment of Levi & Co., in the same town.

Mr. and Mrs. White and other members of their family attend the Methodist Episcopal Church. Mr. White has held various local offices, and in each position to which he has been called has satisfied his constituents of his zeal in their behalf and good judgment regarding the measures which would promote their interest. The political allegiance of Mr. White is given to the principles laid down in the platform of the Republican party. There is not to be found within the bounds of Farmer City a more honest man than the subject of this biographical sketch, nor one who possesses a more genial, friendly nature, and even his most casual acquaintances feel an interest in his welfare, while those who are best acquainted with him regard him highly. The father of our subject was a soldier in the War of 1812, and was present at the battle of Tippecanoe.

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Presley Williams has been a resident of DeWitt County for more than half a century, and may justly be regarded as one of its pioneers, as during that time he has been active in the work of developing its agricultural resources and as the result of his labors is the fortunate proprietor of one of the choicest farms of this section, Presley located on section 9, DeWitt Township. He has managed his affairs so well that he has place himself in comfortable circumstances and was enabled to retire some years ago to a pleasant home in the village of DeWitt, ere old age had come upon him.

Our subject was born in Campbell County, Ky., February 15, 1822. His father, who bore the same name as himself, was a son of John Williams, who in turn was a son of Benjamin Williams. The later was a Virginian by birth and spent his entire life in the Old Dominion, dying when a very old man. He was of Irish extraction. John Williams grew up on a farm in Virginia, and was married in that State to Susan King, who was also a native of Virginia. In their last years they removed to Campbell County, Ky., where they lived to an advanced age, becoming well known among its pioneers. They left quite a large family of children, of whom the father of our subject was the eldest. Presley Williams, Sr., was a young man when he accompanied his parents from his native State to Campbell County, Ky., where he attained his majority, and was married to Rebecca Buchanan, who was of Virginia birth and came of an old Virginia family which settled in Kentucky when Rebecca was a child. Mr. and Mrs. Williams continued to live in Campbell County after their marriage, where he was engaged both as a farmer and as a teacher until his death in 1832, at the age of forty-six years. His removal from the scenes of his usefulness when scarcely past the prime of life, was a sad loss to his community, as he was not only a practical agriculturist, but was a teacher of much ability and learning. He supported the Democratic party, taking a deep interest in politics, and in his religious views was a Baptist. His wife survived him and came to Illinois with her children in 1839, and made her home in DeWitt Township until her death when past seventy years of age in March 1863. She was a woman of exceeding kindness of disposition, charitable towards all, and was greatly beloved by her neighbors and other friends. In her last years she was a member of the Presbyterian Church. Presley Williams, of whom we write, was one of a family of nine children, six sons and three daughters, all of whom lived to maturity and were married with the exception of two, and four of whom are yet living. When our subject was seventeen years old he accompanied the family to Illinois and attained his majority in this township.

He was first married in Empire Township, McLean County, to Mary Rutledge, a native of Kentucky, who had come to Illinois when a small child with her parents, who were among the first settlers of Empire Township. She was reared to an active, capable womanhood amid the pioneer scenes of McLean County, and after her marriage was of great assistance to her husband in the up building of a home. After the birth of eight children, three of whom are yet living, she passed away from the scenes of her usefulness October 13, 1870, when forty-nine years of age, leaving behind her a blessed memory of a true woman, who was a loving wife and a tender mother and was everywhere respected and admired for her many amiable qualities. The children living of that marriage are William, who married Miss Mary Bossman and lives on a farm in DeWitt Township; Frances, wife of Lewis Reed, a farmer in this township; and Mary E., wife of George Winslow, a farmer and stock-raiser of Rutledge Township.

The second marriage of our subject, which took place in DeWitt village, was with Mrs. Jemimah Parker nee Hodges, who is a most estimable woman and a faithful wife. She was born in Ohio April 21, 1839, and was quite young when her father died. She afterwards came to DeWitt County with her mother and stepfather, was here reared to womanhood and married Nathan Parker. Mr. Parker was a soldier in the Union army during the late Rebellion, who gave up his life for his country, dying of a sickness contracted on the battlefield. He was then in the prime of an active, vigorous manhood.

Mr. Williams came to DeWitt County when it was still in its primitive condition with but few signs of civilization, and it has been his privilege not only to watch its development from year to year, but to take a part in it. When he entered upon his career as a farmer, he had to endure all the privations and hardships that accompany a pioneer life, but he was blessed with a good physique, with fortitude and a self-reliant spirit, and conquered every difficulty in his pathway until he had achieved prosperity and became the owner of one of the best farms in DeWitt Township. It comprises three hundred and forty acres of fine, well-improved land, and sixty acres in Harp Township supplied with all the necessary building and machinery for carrying on agriculture. In 1882 he abandoned his business as a farmer and retired to one of the most comfortable homes in the village of DeWitt, where he is passing his years in the enjoyment of an income, amply sufficient for all his wants. He came here without a penny in his pocket and was too poor to take up land at Government prices, so that it may be noted his prosperity is the result of his own labors, guided by good judgment. He can remember when money was a very scarce article in this county and twenty-five cents would be shown to the settlers at a house raising or other gathering as a curiosity.

Mr. Williams is a man of pure character and lofty principle, who has ever been an influence for good in his community. He is sound in his political views, and gives his support to the Democrats. He has held some of the local offices, and has ever taken a deep interest in whatever concerns the well being of his township and county. He and his wife are members in high standing of the Presbyterian Church, and their names are closely associated with its every good work.

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Samuel Willson is living in honorable retirement in one of the most comfortable and commodious homes in Clinton. Prior to taking up his residence in this village he was engaged in farming and his homestead in Harp Township was considered one of the best tilled and best managed in the place. He was born in Lycoming County, Pa., near Williamsport, the county seat, October 11, 1825. Ezra Willson, his father, was a native of New Jersey where he was bred to the life of a farmer. His father, John Willson, was also a native of New Jersey and was of Welsh descent.

The mother of our subject, whose maiden name was Nancy Flatt, was born in the eastern part of Pennsylvania and was a daughter of Andrew Flatt. Her father fought in the Revolutionary War entering the Continental army when he was but sixteen years old. The mother died in 1873 at a venerable age. She and the father of our subject reared a family of ten children, two daughters and eight sons, of whom five are still living.

Samuel Willson is the youngest of the children born to his parents. His early days were passed in his native county, where he attended school when opportunity offered and assisted his father in his farm work. At the age of nineteen years he learned the trade of a blacksmith, which he followed for some time. In 1849 he was seized with the gold fever and joined the tide of emigration across the plains and mountains to California, making the journey with an ox-team. He spent four years on the Pacific Coast, and in 1854, in the month of June, retraced his steps eastward. He journeyed as far as Scott County, Ill., where he took up his residence and engaged in work as a blacksmith for some two years. His next move was to Sangamon County, where he remained until 1873.

In that year our subject came to DeWitt County and located on a farm in Harp Township, and for several years devoted himself to general farming and stock-raising, in which he was very much prospered. He was finally enabled to retire from active business and in October, 1890, came to Clinton to live and has since dwelt in one of its most pleasant homes. His farm contains two hundred and fifty-two acres of land whose fertility is unsurpassed by any in its vicinity, and a good set of farm buildings adorns the place.

Samuel Willson and Miss Lucinda Kimble were united in marriage March 1, 1855. Mrs. Willson is also a native of Lycoming County, Pa., where she was born in 1830. She is the oldest daughter of Jacob and Mary (McClaren) Kimble. Her father was a native of Lycoming County, Pa., her mother was also of Pennsylvanian birth. Her grandfather, Peter Kimble, was a native of New Jersey, and served in the War of 1812. Mrs. Willson’s maternal grandmother, Margaret (Smith) McClaren, was a native of Ireland. Mr. and Mrs. Willson have three children living—Peter K., who is married and lives on his father’s farm; Henry C. and Jennie. The latter is a music teacher. She spent several seasons studying for her profession, and one year at Boston, and has great musical talents.

Mr. Willson has shown himself in his career as a farmer to be a thoroughly practical man, endowed with keen perceptions, clear foresight and good capabilities, and these have led him on to success. In politics he is devoted to the Republican party. He cast his first vote for Gen. Taylor, and his last vote for Benjamin Harrison. He and his wife are consistent Christian people whose daily walk shows the value of their religious principles, and they are among the most respected members of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Mr. Willson was once elected to the office of Justice of the Peace, but declined to serve. He has, however, acted as School Director.

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Andrew Wilson is a fine representative of the native-born citizens of DeWitt County, who are active in maintaining and extending its agricultural interests. He is one of the most sagacious and enterprising of the leading farmers of Harp Township, his birthplace, where he has as valuable and well-equipped a farm as may be found within its precincts.

Our subject was born here on the old homestead April 2, 1843, and is a son of Thomas Wilson who was a conspicuous figure among the early settlers of Harp Township and a potent factor in the development of its industries. The father was born in Maryland November 22, 1799. He emigrated from his native State to Perry County, Ohio, when he was a boy in the early days of the settlement of that part of the country. He lived there until he came to this State in the fall of 1835, making the long and tiresome journey across the intervening wilderness by team and wagon. He bought a claim of forty acres of land in Harp Township, and also entered some land. The country at that time was very thinly inhabited, and deer and wolves often troubled the early settlers. He was skillful in the use of a rifle and many a deer did he bring down by his unerring aim. There were no regular roads in those days and the early settlers crossed the prairie at random.

Mr. Wilson was a man of more than usual energy, enterprise and industry, and immediately entered upon the work of putting his land under cultivation and was also otherwise engaged. Feeling the need of a grist and saw mill in that locality he built one on the north fork of Salt Creek on section 2, Harp township, and this mill was a great accommodation to his fellow-pioneers. At first it was used only in the manufacture of lumber, but in 1840 Mr. Wilson added a burr-stone which was a boulder such is common on the prairies of this county, and after that engaged extensively in grinding corn for the people who came to the mill for many miles around, the mill being in operation for a good many years. Mr. Wilson was likewise largely engaged as a cattle dealer in early days and used to drive herds of cattle to Chicago and also carried grain to that city. He came to DeWitt County a poor man with only a team or two, and some wagons, and from that small beginning he worked his way up to comparative wealth and at the time of his death owned over fourteen hundred acres of land.

Mr. Wilson was an old-line Whig in politics and was also always interested in whatever concerned the welfare of his country. He passed away from the scenes of his usefulness November 10, 1863, but his memory is still cherished as that of one of our most efficient and active pioneers who did much toward increasing the material prosperity of Harp Township, and so of the county. He was married in early life to Charlotte Deffenbaugh who was born in Maryland July 13, 1800. She was a person of unusual capability and force of character. When she was a girl she rode on horseback from Maryland to Ohio, and subsequently made a trip in the same manner on a second visit to her old home. She died in 1864, leaving behind her the record of a well-spent life. In her the Baptist Church found one of its most devoted members. Twelve children were born to the parents of our subject, six boys and six girls, all of whom grew to maturity, namely: John, Joseph, Allie (Mrs. Stubblefield), Aaron, Mary, Sarah (Mrs. Anderson), Asa, Peter, Rachael, Harriet, Caroline and Andrew.

Our subject is of Scotch-Irish descent on his father’s side, and on his mother’s side is of German antecedents. He was reared and educated in the township of his nativity, of which he has always been a resident. In his boyhood days he attended school in an old log schoolhouse that was furnished with slab benches, heated by a large open fireplace, and had a puncheon floor. The windows were small and narrow, and a board was placed underneath them to serve as a writing desk. He was early put to work on the farm, and when he began life for himself at the age of twenty years was well equipped for his work. He farmed with his mother on the homestead place after the death of his father, and subsequently bought his mother's dower right in the property and received for himself one hundred and thirty acres of land from the estate. He has always been a hard worker and has been very fortunate in the prosecution of his labors so that he is one of the moneyed men of his township. He devotes himself largely to raising stock and ships many cattle and hogs to the Chicago markets. He has a fine farm comprising four hundred and nine acres of land in Wilson and Harp townships, his home being pleasantly located on section 2, the latter township. All his land is neatly fenced, and with the exception of eighty acres, is under admirable tillage. He has here suitable buildings, fine farming machinery, and everything to carry on agriculture to the best possible advantage.

Mr. Wilson was married February 10, 1870, to Miss Mary M. Field, who was born in Ohio October 8, 1849. Her marriage with our subject brought to them three children Thomas R., Jessie C. and Charlotte. Their pleasant home circle was broken February 28, 1885, by the death of the beloved wife and mother. She was a woman whose sweet disposition and fine qualities endeared her to many friends beyond her own household, and she was one of the most valued members of the United Brethren Church.

Our subject is sagacious and calculating in his transactions, while at the same time he is always just and generous in his dealings. His position in his native township is among the best people and his career has reflected credit on its citizenship. He takes an intelligent interest in politics and is a strong advocate of the policy of the Republican party. His portrait is presented in connection with this biographical review.

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Joel S. Wilson was formerly a highly respected and honored resident of Clinton, DeWitt County, and at his death August 9, 1890, his community lost a valued citizen. He was a native-born citizen of this State, his birth taking place at Greenville, Bond County, April 3, 1818. His father, James Wilson, was a native of South Carolina, and during some period of his early life he went from there to Tennessee where he was married to Miss Rebecca Armstrong immediately after the War of 1812. She was born in Buncomb County, N. C. They came to Bond County in 1817 and a few years afterward removed to Hillsboro, Montgomery County, Ill., of which they thus became early pioneer farmers. There they spent their remaining lives. Seven of their eight children grew to maturity and of these Joel S. was the second son in order of birth.

Our subject passed his youth on the paternal acres Montgomery County and managed to glean a very good education in the local schools. He early learned the trade of a carpenter and followed that some twenty-two years. After his marriage in 1843 he spent five years in Mechanicsburg, Sangamon County, having spent the first years of his wedded life in Montgomery County, Ill. In 1853 he removed to McLean County and in 1854 came to Clinton and from that time until his death was a resident of DeWitt County. He lived thirty-two years in one house in this village, and then took up his residence on the old homestead, one mile east of the court-house, which is now occupied by his widow and son.

This old homestead where our subject passed his last days was formerly the property of Robert Magill and is a very pleasant and attractive place. The dwelling is a large two-story frame house, neatly fitted up and supplied with every comfort. Here Mr. Wilson passed away after a long illness in which he had been surrounded by the loving and watchful care of his devoted wife and son, who did all in their power to ease his dying pillow. He was first taken ill with la grippe when that epidemic prevailed in this country and by skillful care he partly recovered his health. A recurring attack of the dreadful malady greatly impaired his health and though he consulted the most eminent physicians in Chicago he never recovered, and his strong constitution finally succumbed to the disease, and he fell into that sleep that knows no waking this side of eternity.

Mr. Wilson was a man of strong personal characteristics, of large heart and of unswerving integrity, which traits won him the respect and regard of the entire community and made him an influence for good among his fellow-citizens. He was a stalwart Republican, and was also a strong advocate of prohibition, as he looked upon the liquor traffic as a great curse. He was very temperate in his habits and never used either liquor or tobacco in any form.

Mr. Wilson’s domestic life was felicitous, as he secured in his marriage with Miss Louisa Rutledge February 2, 1843, a wife who was an active and cheerful assistant in helping to make a home, and who was always a wise counselor and sympathizing friend. Mrs. Wilson was the eldest of ten children, nine of whom grew to maturity of whom only three sisters are now surviving. She was born in White County, Ill., May 24, 1823, to Mark and Nancy (Bosteck) Rutledge, natives of the South. Her father was born in Georgia near Atlanta, while her mother was born in Rockingham County, N. C., near Rockingham, May 9, 1799. Mrs. Wilson has one son, Henry C., and a grandson named Herbert. Her son, who is in the grocery business, lives with her on the little farm which was left her by her husband. Mrs. Wilson is in her sixty-eighth year and still retains much of the activity and capability that characterized her younger days. She is a woman of sterling worth, kindly in her manners, warm-hearted and charitable towards her neighbors and others.

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John H. Wilson, Justice of the Peace and Notary Public at Weldon, is identified with the mercantile interests of DeWitt County as one of the prosperous merchants of the village mentioned. He was born in Hardin County, Ohio, July 27, 1847, and is a son of Hugh and Sarah (Dille) Wilson, natives respectively of Pennsylvania and Mt. Victory, Hardin County, Ohio.

The father of our subject was born near the city of Pittsburg and was reared to the life of a farmer. He subsequently became connected with the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad as Superintendent during its construction. In 1856 he came to Illinois and located on a farm in McLean County. He actively entered upon its improvement, built a substantial residence, and placed the land under admirable cultivation. In 1870 he removed to Piatt County, where he is still living on a farm. He was united in marriage in Mt. Victory, Hardin County, and to him and his good wife have come six children, two daughters and four sons, to whom they have given the following names: Mary, John H., William, Jennie, Cyrus D. and Charles R.

John H. Wilson, of whom this biography is written, was a boy of twelve years when he came with the family to Illinois. He was carefully trained by his parents and was given fine advantages for obtaining a liberal education. His first schooling was in a log house in his native county. After coming to this State he became a student at Normal University at Normal, Ill., from which he was well equipped for whatever calling he might select. He continued to reside with his parents until he was twenty-eight years old, and in 1869 made a tour through the Western States and visited many of the important cities. He crossed the Missouri River at Omaha, and from there made his way to Salt Lake City, performing the trip in one hundred and seventy-six days. He re-crossed the plains by team, and staying his course at Emporia, Kan., he there devoted himself to farming for a year, and then utilized his education by following the profession of a teacher for several years.

In October 1883, our subject returned to Illinois, and taking up his residence at Weldon, was elected Justice of the Peace the following year. He has held this position ever since and has proved the wisdom of his selection by the able and faithful manner in which he discharges the duties thus devolving upon him. He also holds the office of Notary Public. The duties of his official positions do not occupy all his time and he is successfully carrying on a well-established mercantile business. He is a scholarly man, of fine mental endowments, which have been well cultivated and he keeps abreast of the times on all subjects of general interest. He is a man of honor, who is always considerate and courteous in his treatment of all who come in contact with him, and his reputation has never been impugned. He is an intelligent advocate of the policy of the Republican party; and he is one of the foremost members of the Masonic Lodge No. 746, A. F. & A. M., at Weldon, and also belongs to Mosark Lodge No. 96, K. of P., in which he has held all the offices except Commander.

Judge Wilson was married October 2, 1875, to Sarah Passwaters, a native of McLean County, where she was reared to womanhood. She is a lady of many pleasant attributes and is in every sense a true home-maker. Her marriage to our subject has brought them the following four children, three daughters and one son: Gracie, who died November 17, 1883; Lolo and Ernest, who are attending school at Weldon; and Jessie M., who is also a pupil in the Weldon Schools.

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The farming interests of DeWitt Township are well represented by this gentleman, an energetic practical farmer, whose experience in agricultural pursuits has placed him among the most prosperous men of his calling in this section of DeWitt County. He is the owner of a fine farm on sections 9 and 16, of the township mentioned, his home being pleasantly located on the latter section. Here he has two hundred and twenty acres of land under good cultivation and supplied with improvements of the highest order, the buildings being commodious and of a fitting style of architecture. He came to Illinois from Ohio, his native State, in the fall of 1850, and has since lived on the place where he now resides or in the vicinity.

A native of the Buckeye State our subject was born in Perry County, January 22, 1832. His father, whose given name was Amos, was of Maryland birth, and was the son of Asa Wilson, who lived and died in Maryland. Amos attained manhood in his native State and there entered upon his career as a farmer. He afterward became a pioneer of Ohio, and it is thought that his marriage with Miss Hannah Bosserman was celebrated in that State. She is supposed to have been a native of Pennsylvania, coming of the old Pennsylvania-Dutch stock. After marriage Amos Wilson and his wife established themselves in Perry County, Ohio, and there were born to them eleven children, our subject being the fourth child.

When he of whom we write was eighteen years old he accompanied his parents to Illinois in the fall of 1850. The journey was made with teams, and when night came the family would camp by the roadside. They arrived in DeWitt Township about the 1st of November, and the father secured a tract of land on section 16, which was lightly improved. Here he spent the remainder of his days, actively engaged in the development of his farm, and here he died June 2, 1885, at the ripe old age of eighty-two years, his death occurring very suddenly from heart disease. He was a man of robust constitution and enjoyed good health nearly all his life. He possessed many worthy attributes of heart and mind, was a loyal citizen and had many friends in this township and county. He was a member of no particular church, but was a moral, upright man in his daily life. His widow, who yet survives him at the venerable age of eighty-two years, is now making her home with her daughter, Mrs. Hannah Andrews, of this township. She is remarkably free from the usual infirmities of old age, which as yet have apparently made no inroads upon her health. She was formerly a member of the Dunkard Church.

Our subject attained his majority after he came to DeWitt County. He was united in marriage to Miss Louisa Bradford, and in her has found a true wife and devoted helpmate. Mrs. Wilson was born in Ohio in 1838 and came to Illinois in her girlhood with her father, William Bradford, who settled in Piatt County, whence they came to this county. When the war broke out Mr. Bradford enlisted at the first call for troops and nobly fought for the honor of the Stars and Stripes until he fell in battle, being pierced by a rebel bullet. When he thus sacrificed his life upon the altar of his country he had scarcely passed life's meridian. His widow subsequently went to Mason County, Ill., with some of her children, and died there when full of years. Mrs. Wilson had to earn her own living after her father's death and became an experienced housewife.

Mr. and Mrs. Wilson are the parents of nine children, all of whom are living as follows; Nellie S., the wife of Morgan Nebold, a farmer in DeWitt Township; Cora D., who married Clinton Cixon, a farmer of this township; Grant, Amos, Clarence, Frederick, Alice, Agnes and Lena M.

As we have seen, our subject is a model farmer and is conducting his work so as to secure good profits. He and his wife are held in high esteem by a large circle of acquaintances, and are quiet unostentatious people who attend to their own affairs and are always considerate in their relations with others. Mr. Wilson gives stanch allegiance to the Republican party, though he is in no sense of the word a politician or a seeker for office.

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William Winslow, the son of a pioneer family of DeWitt County, has been no unimportant agent in developing the agricultural resources of this section of the State and the large and valuable farm in DeWitt Township, which he owns in connection with his sons, is one of the most desirable estates in point of improvement and cultivation to be found in this portion of the State. Mr. Winslow was born in Jefferson County, N.Y., January 13, 1825. His father, whose given name was Jeremiah, was a native of either Massachusetts or Maine, and came of New England stock.

Our subject* grew to manhood in New York, and from Jefferson County, that State, went forth to help his countrymen fight against the British in the War of 1812, and served throughout that struggle with great efficiency. He was afterward married in Jefferson County, N.Y., to Miss Clarissa C. SAWYER, who was also a native of the Empire State. After their marriage and the birth of three children Mr. and Mrs. Jeremiah Winslow moved to Ohio, and there five other children were born to them in their pioneer home in the wilderness. In the year 1858, the family came overland with teams to Illinois, with a view of taking advantage of the fine farming facilities afforded by the rich soil of the Prairie State. The father of our subject lost his health in his struggle with pioneer forces, and died three years after coming here when he was fifty-four years old. He was a farmer and was becoming quite well-known among his fellow pioneers of this part of the county, who regarded him with great esteem. He was a Democrat in his political views. His wife died one year before he did, in their home in this county at the age of forty-four years. She was a good Christian and was blessed with many friends.

He of whom this biographical sketch is written is the third child in the family of five sons and three daughters born to his parents of whom three of the former and one of the latter are yet living. He was married at the age of twenty-three years in this township to Miss Mary A. CALLISON, a native of DeWitt County, born near Waynesville in 1828. She is a daughter of John F. and Betsey (ONSTADT) CALLISON, natives of Kentucky. They came from that State to Illinois in an early day and settled in this county in the early '30s. They subsequently secured a home in DeWitt Township, and here the father died March 24, 1890, when past eighty-four years old. His widow, who is eighty years of age now, makes her home with her son, William CALLISON, in this township. He was a strong Presbyterian in his religious views and Mrs. Callison is still identified with that church. Mrs. Winslow is a woman of much ability and many pleasing attributes. She is the mother of four children of whom two are deceased— John and Franz, who died at the ages of three and five years, respectively. Those living are George and Charles. The former owns a fine farm in Rutledge Township where he and his wife, formerly Mary WILLIAMS, have a pleasant home. Charles is also a progressive farmer and is actively engaged in agricultural pursuits. He married Rebecca RICHARDS, who died in April 1890, leaving many friends to mourn her loss. Mr. Winslow and his two children, Myrtle and George Carl, now make their home with his parents.

Our subject was a boy when he came with his parents to this county, therefore it has been his fortune to witness almost its entire development and to see thriving towns and fine farms spring up where in his boyhood was nothing but an uninhabited wilderness. Since attaining manhood he has largely helped in the work that wrought this great change, and has placed himself among the most prosperous men of his calling in this county. When he began his career as a farmer he bought eighty acres of land from the Government and still has it in his possession. From time to time he has added to his realty, and now, with his sons, owns six hundred acres of choice land, all under substantial cultivation and supplied with fine improvements, including a commodious set of farm buildings, which are among the best of their class in the township. All this property he has acquired by unremitting toil and by strict attention to his business. He and his good wife are well known throughout this section of the country and no one knows them but to accord them the highest esteem. He and his sons are followers of the Democratic party and are sound in their political views. Mrs. Winslow is a Presbyterian in religion and is strong in the faith.

* William was born in 1825, so they are obviously not talking about "our subject"; they are talking about his father, Jeremiah.

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Many years ago when he was a small boy, Mr. Wise came to DeWitt County with his parents, Isaiah and Rebecca (Fultz) Wise, who were pioneers of DeWitt Township. Here he grew to man's estate and has since ably assisted his fellow-farmers in promoting the material prosperity of this section of the State. He is a gallant veteran of the late Civil War in which he did noble service in the cause of the Union. Mr. Wise was born in Crawford County, Ohio, March 2, 1837. His father was a native of Pennsylvania and came of an old Pennsylvania family. His parents were farmers and lived and died in the Keystone State when very old people. Isaiah was one of a large family of children, all of whom are now deceased. His early life was passed in his native county and there he was married, his wife, like himself, coming of German ancestry. After marriage Mr. and Mrs. Wise lived in Pennsylvania some years, but after the birth of three children, they migrated of Ohio and cast in their lot with the pioneers of Crawford County. They lived on a farm there some years, until they again took up the westward march, and in 1845 came to DeWitt County, arriving here after a long and tedious journey with teams.

The father of our subject obtained eighty acres of land from the Government in DeWitt Township, purchasing it before he came to the State and the family began life thereon, living in the most primitive pioneer manner for some time. Their first home was a rail pen which was finally superseded by a log cabin. Mr. Wise worked with great energy and perseverance and in time increased his possessions until he owned three-fourths of a section of land. He lived on that for some yeas and afterward located on a farm in the southern part of the township. His wife died in the latter place in the fall of 1865 at an advanced age. Mr. Wise was a second time married in this township, Mrs. Rebecca Connell "nee" Rollins, becoming his wife. He continued to live in DeWitt Township, spending his last years in the village of DeWitt where he died in 1881 at the age of sixty-five years. He was an excellent man and a worthy citizen. His widow, who survives him, makes her home in DeWitt. She is now past three-score years of age.

Our subject is the ninth child of quite a large family of children. He remained and inmate of the parental household until he attained his majority. In the flush and vigor of early manhood he enlisted in defense of the Stars and Stripes from this township, becoming a member of Company F, One Hundred and Seventh Illinois Infantry, under Capt. H. G. Wismer and Col. Snell. He became a member of his regiment in August, 1862, and remained with it for six months. He was then assigned to a place first as assistant on the piece and later as Corporal and chief gunner of Battery K, First Regiment of Illinois Light Artillery. He continued with that regiment until June 25, 1865, and did invaluable service in the capacity mentioned. He fought with his regiment which was a part of the Twenty-third Army Corps under Gen. Grant, in eighteen different engagements. He miraculously escaped unhurt though so much exposed to the enemy's fire, and was never captured, but he had to endure many hardships and privations incidental to army life. He was honorably discharged June 25, 1865, and returned to his old home.

The year following that in which he left the army, our subject was married in this county to Miss Lucinda Turner. This lady was born and reared in Wapella Township, and grew up there in the home of her parents who were early settlers of this county and are now both deceased. Mrs. Lucinda Wise died at her home in DeWitt Township March 12, 1884, leaving behind her the record of a busy and well-spent life. She was the mother of ten children of whom these five are living: Minnie M., wife of William Young, a farmer in DeWitt Township; Maggie, a young lady at home with her father; Savena E., wife of Mariman Winslow, a farmer of Nixon Township; and Reuben E. and Frank A., who are both at home. The second marriage of our subject, which was in this county, was to Miss Lydia A. Milligan, who was born in Logan County, Ohio, September 17, 1851. She came to DeWitt Township when she was a young woman in 1872 with her parents, Samuel and Ann (Hamlin) Milligan, the family settling on a farm in Nixon Township. There the wife and mother died in 1884 at an advanced age. Mr. Milligan, who is now seventy-eight years old, makes his home with his children. Mrs. Wise is a devoted wife and mother and looks carefully after the comfort of her household. Her marriage with our subject has brought to them two children, Hattie E. and Charles H.

Mr. Wise has a farm of one hundred and sixty acres of most excellent farming land which is very pleasantly located on section 35, DeWitt Township. Its fields are finely tilled, and it is well and neatly improved. It is well-stocked with cattle, mules and hogs which are of a good grade, our subject devoting much time to his stock-raising interests. He is a quiet, unassuming man, of strict integrity in all his transactions, and one who is trusted by his fellow-citizens. In him the Democratic party finds a stanch supporter.

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George W Wisegarver, an honored resident of DeWitt Township, is one of the foremost of the able, enterprising and progressive farmers and stockmen of DeWitt County. He is prominently identified with the agricultural interests of both DeWitt and Piatt counties, owning large tracts of land in both sections, and has done as much as any man to promote their rise and progress. Mr. Wisegarver is a native of Pennsylvania, the place of his birth in Bedford County, and the date thereof, December 25, 1822. He is a son of Moses Wisegarver, who was also a native of Bedford County, and was in turn a son of John Wisegarver.

Moses Wisegarver was one of the eldest children of his father's family. He passed his early years in Bedford County on his father's farm, and was there married to Miss Eve Crisman. She was also born and reared in Bedford County and came of German or Dutch ancestry. Her parents are thought to have been natives of Virginia. After marriage the parents of our subject lived in Bedford County, until about 1857 when they came to Illinois to join him in Nixon Township, and made this county their home until death removed them hence. The father died while in Champaign County, at the age of seventy-four years; the mother passed away some years previously at Clinton, when she was less than sixty years of age. They were active and prominent members of the Methodist Episcopal Church with which the family had been allied for many years. Mr. Wisegarver was a Democrat as were his forefathers.

Our subject is the elder of the two children born to his parents. He was reared amid the pleasant scenes of his native county, and gained his education in the old log schoolhouses of his youth. Under the instruction of his father, he became a skillful farmer, and when it came time for him to adopt a calling in life he selected that as the one for which he was best fitted, and the wisdom of his choice is shown in the remarkable success that has resulted from his labors. Sometime in early manhood he went to Ohio and was there married in Marion County to Miss Mary Slick, a native of that county. She was born in 1832, and was reared and educated in Ohio, living at home with her parents until her marriage.

After the birth of one child, Mr. and Mrs. Wisegarver came to Illinois in the fall of 1853 and ever since have been residents of this State. They have one of the most substantial and desirable homes in DeWitt County, finely located on section 36, DeWitt Township. Mr. Wisegarver is one of the largest landowners in this part of the country. He has land still in his possession that he entered from the Government soon after he came here, which has never been transferred, nor has there ever been a mortgage on it. It is all highly improved and a part of it is comprised in the home farm. He has other unbroken lands which he obtained when the country was yet quite new. His estate comprises eleven hundred and eighty acres of land in all, lying both in DeWitt and Piatt Counties, some of which is the finest land in this part of the State and is in a very high state of cultivation. It has been placed under perfect drainage and from $5 to $10 an acre has been expended in tile for that purpose. The farm is generally well watered and is amply stocked as Mr. Wisegarver is extensively engaged in feeding and growing cattle, horses and hogs. The land is subdivided into several different farms which are all operated and controlled by Mr. Wisegarver and his sons.

Our subject has been exceedingly fortunate in his domestic relations. In his marriage he secured a wife who is a very intelligent, capable woman, an admirable housewife, and has earnestly co-operated with him in his work. They have been greatly blessed in their children of whom they have had eleven, three of whom are deceased. Those living are: Eva L., wife of Samuel Gillespie, a farmer in Blue Ridge Township; Thomas G., a farmer in DeWitt County, who married Hattie Campbell; G. F., who lives at home with his parents and assists his father in the management of his large homestead; Minnie, wife of Carl C. Gillespie, a farmer in Blue Ridge Township; Smith, who assists his father in his farming operations and lives at home; Edward S., Nettie, and Grace, who are also at home with their parents. These children have been well and carefully trained, and several of them are members of the Christian Church and among its most active and intelligent workers. Mr. Wisegarver and all of his sons who are of age are sound Republicans in politics. He is a man of more than ordinary push and enterprise, possessing a clear, well-balanced intellect, marked force of character, great tenacity of purpose and fine business talents. It is to men of such caliber and standing that DeWitt County owes its advancement to its present position among its sister counties.

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JOHN WRIGHT, M.D. Page 559

The professions are represented in Clinton, DeWitt County, as in other towns of the State, by men of ripe intelligence, practical skill and good character. One of this number is Dr. Wright, who combines in his person the sturdy traits, mental ability and vigor of body derived from Scotch and Irish ancestors. His father, James Wright, who was bon in Maryland, traced his lineage back through several generations to Scotland; while the mother of our subject, Letitia (Martin) Wright, was born in the Emerald Isle and came to the United States when a mere child.

The parents were married in Ohio, whence they made their home on a farm four miles northwest of Clinton, where the remnant of their days was spent in peace and comfort. The wife breathed her last in 1862, and the husband in 1870. Their family included five sons and four daughters, and six of the number are now living. The gentleman of whom we write is the second son and child, and was born in Hamilton County, Ohio, March 26, 1826. In his native county he attended the common schools, supplementing the knowledge therein gained by a course of private instruction. He obtained a certificate to teach, but made no practical use of it, his tastes leading him towards a different line of professional work.

Young Wright began the study of medicine with Dr. John D. Boles, an eminent physician of his native county, afterward spending a few months in the office of Dr. Walter Clark. The young man next went to Cincinnati and took up the thorough study of chemistry under the tutelage of his second cousin, Prof. Charles W. Wright, of the Medical College of Ohio, at Cincinnati, from which he was graduated in the spring of 1854. Soon afterward the Doctor came to DeWitt County, Ill., opening his first office at Wapella, where he remained until 1861, at which time he removed to the county seat.

In 1862 Dr. Wright entered the Union army, enrolling in the One Hundred and Seventh Illinios Infantry and receiving the appointment of Surgeon. He was sent to Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia and North Carolina, at various times during the period of nearly three years, throughout which he retained his connection with the army. He was present at the siege of Knoxville, the battles of Franklin and Nashville, and hazarded his life in order to preserve that of others. He was connected with the Second Division, Second Brigade, Twenty-third Army Corps, the superior officer being Gen. Burnside and subsequently Gen. Schofield. Dr. Wright was mustered out of the service at Salisbury, N.C., in June, 1865.

When the war was over Dr. Wright returned to Clinton, but a few months later went to his native State, where, during the winter he reviewed his medical knowledge and added thereto by a course of training in Bellevue Hospital, New York. In the spring of 1866 he returned to his home where he has continued his skillful and successful course as a medical practitioner, and has also taken some oversight of a fine estate which he owns in this vicinity. His farm consists of two hundred and seventy acres, which has been brought to a fine state of cultivation and is well stocked. In 1868 Dr. Wright built a brick residence which compares favorably with any in this part of the State in its design and construction, and is furnished in a style in keeping with the tastes and financial circumstances of the occupants.

In 1849 Dr. Wright became the husband of Miss Jane Magill, at that time a resident of Hamilton County, Ohio, but a native of Clermont County. After a brief wedded life she passed away in 1852, leaving two daughters--Anna and Jane, one of whom died when young. Anna married the Rev. A.B. Duncan, of Ashland, Ohio, and died in February, 1889. In 1853 Dr. Wright was united in marriage to Miss Mary E. Wright, a native of Virginia, but at the time of her marriage a resident of Missouri. This union has been blest by the birth of two sons and five daughters, named respectively: Viola Lawson, Frank R., Fanny, Hattie and three deceased. Fanny is now the wife of W. T. Wright and lives in Oregon.

Some ten years since Dr. Wright was appointed Examiner of Pensions for DeWitt County. He belongs to the American Medical Association, the State Medical Society of Illinois, the Central Medical Society, and also the DeWitt County Medical Society. He has been President of the State, district and county organizations. This fact alone is sufficient to indicate the opinion which is held of his acquirements and skill by his fellow-practitioners, and the regard they have for him as a man who is anxious to increase his personal ability and add to the efficiency of his associates. His army life is commemorated by his connection with Frank Lowry Post, G.A.R.

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In the smaller cities no figure--unless it be that of minister or doctor--is so conspicuous as "ye editor." The keen mind that takes in at a glance the salient features from exchanges, gleans items of local interest on the street and in stores and workshops, and gives utterance to stirring sentences that clinch a thought in the minds of others, makes him an important member of the community and a potent factor in the work of civilization. In Farmer City, therefore, one of the most influential and well-known residents is the gentleman above named, who is a live editor of a live newspaper--the Farmer City "Journal". The sheet is a six column quarto, with a large and constantly increasing circulation, particularly in the rural districts, as the farmers see that their interests are brought prominently before the public in its columns.

Mr. Zimmerman traces his descent from an old family of Pennsylvania, which has figured in the history of that State since 1756, at which time the first of the family came from Europe. The ancestors were associated with the wealthy and aristocratic classes, and particularly in Adam County, Pa., bore a prominent part in the pioneer work in its various phases.

The grandfather of our subject, John Zimmerman, was of the second generation born in this country, and was the only son of the eldest son of the founder of the American family. He lost his father when quite young and, not agreeing with his stepfather, ran away from home and began his life as a laborer during his youth. In 1812, when but twenty years old, he went to Ohio and locating near Annapolis, Jefferson County, became in course of time a wealthy farmer. He died there in 1870, when nearly eighty-five years old. His efforts to make a home and been shared by a capable and thorough going woman, formerly Miss Elizabeth Liese, who was a native of the Keystone State, and of similar ancestry to her husband. Though ten years his junior she survived him eleven years, thus reaching the same advanced age as he. They were life-long members of the Lutheran Church.

Jacob Zimmerman, the father of our subject, was the eldest in the family of two sons and five daughters, all of whom lived to rear families of their own, and four of whom are still living. He was born near Annapolis, Ohio, March 3, 1816, and died near Hillsboro, Montgomery County, Ill., November 6, 1853. He had come to this State in May preceding his decease and purchased a farm consisting of three hundred and ninety acres of partially improved land. He had been a hard-working, industious man, and his death was traced directly to overwork and drinking too much of the strange cold water when heated by toil. His father, who outlived him nearly eighteen years, in speaking of his son's death, referred to him in his broad German phrase as being "always too resolute to work."

The mother of our subject was known in her maidenhood as Miss Susanna Easterday and was born in New Somerset, Ohio, March 9, 1819. She is still living, her home being at Hillsboro, this State, and although advanced in years is strong and active both in mind and body. Her parents were Chistian and Anna M. (Stemple) Easterday, natives of Hagerstown, Md., and Preston County, Va., respectively, and both descended from good German families. They began their wedded life on a farm in Virginia, but in 1812 established a home at New Somerset, Jefferson County, Ohio, where Mr. Easterday owned and operated a coal mine and carried on a farm and an hotel in the village. In 1857 the family removed to this State, settling on a farm in Montgomery County near Nokomis. There Mr. and Mrs. Easterday spent the remnant of their days, dying within a few months of each other, both having passed the age of eight-four years. They were steadfast adherents to the faith of the Lutheran Church.

The natal day of the gentleman of whom we write was March 17, 1841, and his birthplace near Carrollton, Carroll County, Ohio. In 1853 he came to this State with his parents and after acquiring a fundamental education entered the Illinois State University, then located at Springfield, paying his way through college by teaching country schools during the vacations. He manifested such ability in pedagogical work that for years he retained his connection with that profession, even after he entered the newspaper field, interspersing his new line of work with the duties of the old. In 1864 he became Principal of the public schools at Hillsboro, retaining the position two years, and in 1871 assuming a similar one at Butler. From 1878 to 1881 he was Superintendent of the schools at Newton, then removing to McLean County where he was Principal of the schools at Saybrook and Belle Flower until 1887.

Mr. Zimmerman began his newspaper work early in the '60s, being a correspondent for a local paper in 1862. In 1868 he became associate editor of the Litchfield "Monitor", and the year following took the city editor's chair in the office of the St. Louis (Mo.) "Evening Post". In 1876 he was managing editor of the Litchfield "Daily Monitor", a campaign sheet which contributed largely to the local interest in the Hayes and Wheeler candidacy. When he finally gave up teaching three years ago he became proprietor of the Farmer City "Journal", assuming control August 14, 1887. A few months prior to this date he and George W. Stokes, proprietor of the Exchange Bank of Belle Flower, had established the Belle Flower "Bee", Mr. Zimmerman being secretary and managing editor. Upon the purchase of the "Journal" he merged the two plants into one. The sheet which he now has in charge is the oldest in Farmer City, having been founded in 1872 by John S. Harper, to whom so many newspapers in the West have owed their existence. It has passed through various changes in form and been under the editorial charge of several men, but with the possible exception of a few weeks has been published continuously, much of the time having been the only paper of the town.

In Litchfield, Ill., June 20, 1878, the rites of wedlock were celebrated between Mr. Zimmerman and Anna E. Duggan. The bride was born near that city December 1, 1855, was graduated from the Litchfield High School and had been teaching in the grammar department before her marriage. She was subsequently Assistant Principal at Newton and Saybrook, her husband being Principal, and still later taught with him in Belle Flower. She possessed mental ability of a high order, and was a lady of refinement and culture, and a natural leader in the circles in which she moved. She had fine musical ability, and possessed a soprano voice of remarkable purity and power, and at the time of her death was the solo soprano of one of the leading churches of Bloomington at a liberal salary. Better than all else, she was a sincere Christian, earnest in the pursuance of every duty and shedding the light of a noble life in home and society. After a short but severe illness her earthly career was cut short November 11, 1890, when she was but in the prime of life. Her many friends in this and McLean County sympathize in the bereavement which has befallen her husband and children. Mrs. Zimmerman was a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church.

Mr. Zimmerman has never been as aspirant for office, but is content to wield his influence in the capacity of a private citizen, realizing that the pen is a mighty instrument, and that the honors of public life are frequently offset by the difficulties of the position. He is a Republican of the staunchest kind, and no uncertain utterances are emitted from his newspaper regarding the issues of the day, though his field is mainly local. Although his parents were life-long members of the Lutheran Church, he is identified with the Methodist denomination. He is the father of three children, one of whom, a son, Wayne, died in his fifth year, while Charles S. and Lillian remain to gladden him by their youthful promise. In the field of journalism Mr. Zimmerman is enthusiastic and painstaking, manifesting a literary ability as well as business judgment, and interesting his readers at the same time that he places before them items of value. As a teacher his reputation was most excellent, and his personal character is that of an honorable, conscientious man, who not only believes, but practices the precepts of Holy Writ.