Cordelia M. (Rahn) Shirk
Mt. Carroll IL

Mrs. Cordelia M. Shirk, widow of the late Jesse M. Shirk, came to this county during the period of its early settlement and has watched its growth and development with unalloyed interest. She was born in Franklin County, PA Oct. 30, 1840 and lived there until 14 years of age, then set out with her parents for Illinois, they coming directly to Mt. carroll, then a very unpretentious village, and where she lived until her marriage.

The parents of our subject were WIlliam and Rebecca (Overkirsh) Rahn, the father born in PA March 15, 1818. Mr. Rahn was a farmer by occupation, although he had other business interests. The wife and mother die din IL in 1862; and Mr. Rahn in 1869, removed to Iowa where he resides.

Jesse M. Shirk was born in the town of Waterford, PA April 10, 1833, and lived there until 19 years old, acquiring a practical education in the common schools. His parents were in limited circumstances and at an early age he was obliged to look out for himself. He learned the miller's trade of his father, at which he employed himself some time before coming West, and in 1852 set out for Indiana. He sojourned one year in Indiana, when he returned to PA and came with his father's family to IL, in this county, and continued at his trade for many years thereafter. On the 14th of Octoer 1857 he was united in marriage with Cordelia M. Rahn. They began their wedded life together in Mt. carroll, but in 1861 removed to a tract of land in Salem Township where Mr. Shirk prosecuted farming two and on-half years. He then returned to Mt. Carroll, and about 1865 purchased an interest in the Mt. Carroll mill, and was afterward engaged in the operation of this until his decease, which occured Sept. 20, 1888.

Mr. Shirk was recognized by all as an honest and upright citizen, and politically gave his allegiance to the Republican party. He identified himself with the Baptist Church some years ago, in which he officiated as Deacon for some time before his death. He was prospered in his business transactions, accumulating a good property, and left his family in comfortable circumstances. About 21 years ago he erected a fine brick residence on Washington Street, which he occupied with his family until his earthly labors were ended.

To Mr. and Mrs. Shirk there were born nine children, four of whom died in infancy and one daughter Susie R., who married Dr. D. Strickland of PA died at her home Feb. 29, 1884 at the age of 24 years. The survivors are: Clara, the wife of Wm. Mackay, son of John Mackay, whose sketch will be found elsewhere in this work, they have two children and live in Madison, Dak. Zella F; Charles F, engaged in milling in Mt. Carroll and C.Lee. The children have been well educated and fully fitted to take their places as honored members of the community.

Jacob Shirk, the father of our subject (meaning Jesse Shirk) was born in PA and married Susan Stoufer. They reared a family of 8 children. The father was a miller by trade, although, after coming to the West, he engaged mostly in farming, and died about 1878 in this county. The mother survived until 1885 and spent her last days with her daughter in Mt. Carroll. Mr. Shirk was a member of the Dunkard Church and a man generally respected by all. Our subject, besides the property already spoken of is the owner of land in Kansas.

Portraits & Biographical Pg 856