Carroll County Biographies

George S. Cheeseman

The spring of 1858 first found the subject of this notice treading the soil of Carroll County, and he first established himself in Lima Township, where he sojourned four or five years. He then secured 160 acres on section 5, in Cherry Grove Township, upon which he settled in the year 1863. Upon it not a furrow had been turned; neither was there a shelter for man or beast. The prospect did not seem very inviting, but Mr. Cheeseman had come to this section to stay, and accordingly set himself to the task of opening up a farm. In looking over his premises today, it must be admitted that he succeeded in a most admirable manner. He has one of the most beautiful homesteads in the township, and is numbered among its leading men.

Upon settling here Mr. Cheeseman first erected a small frame house, and for several seasons thereafter confined himself to the raising of grain. He finally drifted into the live-stock business, which he found fully as profitable and less laborious. In the meantime he carried on the improvement of his property, making fences, setting out fruit trees, shade trees and shrubbery, together with everreens which now surround the dwelling and planted a large quantity of hedge. He prospered from the start, and the second year put up a large, fine frame house, which was then considered one of the most attractive dwellings in this vicinity, was neat and substantial, and stands at present in good condition.

Of late years Mr. Cheeseman has turned his attention to blooded stock, making a specialty of Norman and Clyde horses, of which he is able to exhibit some of the finest specimens in this part of the county. He has ample stabling room, running water and all the conveniences necessary for the successful prosecution of his business. In the cultivation of his land he avails himself to the modern methods and the latest improved machinery. He makes of farming a regular science, and has reason to be proud of the result of his labors. He is noted for his liberality and has been no unimportant factor in building up this part of Carroll County. It is hardly necessary to state that he settle dhere before the days of railroads and experienced the hardships and difficulties incident to pioneer life. For several seasons he hauled his grain and farm produce to Freeport and Forreston where he also secured his groceries and other necessaries about the farm and in the household. He has held nearly all the township offices, and althought having little to do with politics at large, is a steadfast supporter of Republican principles.

The first 39 years of life our subject sepnt on the other side of the Atlantic, in West Kent England, where he was born Nov. 25, 1814. He started for America in the year 1858, in the hope of bettering his condition financially and accomplishing that which there seemed little hope of in his native land. He had received a limited education, and from his youth up was employed mostly at milling. When landing upon American shores he set out at once for the Far West, making his way to Lima Twp, near Chambers' Grove, where he engaged in farming until accumulating sufficient means to secure his land. A part of this time he was engaged in a flouring-mill.

In his native England he was married on Nov. 6, 1842, to Miss Caroline Fowle, who was also a native of West Kent, and born Nov. 2, 1821. She is the daughter of Joseph and Bashil (May) Fowle, who were of English birth and ancestry. Mr. and Mrs. Cheeseman spent 16 years of their wedded life in the Old Country, during which time there were born to them 8 children, and 3 more were added after settling in this county. The eldest, Alfred A. is married, has 3 children and is farming in Grundy Co. IA; Harriet became the wife of Levi Holsinger, and died at their home in 1876 leaving 5 children; Caroline is the wife of James Mattingly of Iowa and has two children; George N. is married, occupies himself at farming in Norton County KS and is the faher of 3 children; Robert married Miss Lizzie Thornton and resides in the next house south of his father, and has 3 children; Henry is married, lives in Sac County IA and has two children; Joseph M. is married and the father of one child, occupies land on the same section as the homestead; Elizabeth is the wife of William Biles and the mother of one child, they live in Dakota Co NE; Charles was married Jan. 3, 1888 to Miss Lydia Hollman and they have one child, he resides on the homefarm with his father; Elijah married Miss Emma Deal , they have on child and live two miles south of the homestead; T. Esther married Andrew Hyzer, son of P. Hyzer, and they live at Storm Lake, Iowa and have four children.

Our subject is the son of Charles and Elizabeth (Davis) Cheeseman, who like himself, were natives of West Kent, of pure English stock and reared a family of seven children. The father engaged in farming and spent his life on his native soil, dying in West Kent in 1881 aged 83; the mother died in 1880 aged 84. Two of their children are living. The career of Mr. Cheeseman is a fine illustration of what may be accomplished in the space of a comparatively few years by seady and persistent industry and good management. To such men as he is, Northern Illinois indebted for her prsent condition socially, morally and financially.

Portrait & Biographical Pg 927

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