Carroll County IL Biography

RUBEN B. STRAW

No one sojourns very long in the eastern part of this county without becoming familiar with the name of this gentleman, who is one of its oldest and most honored pioneers. He came within its limits about 1853, and for a period of thirty-six years has been closely identified with its most important interests. He owns and occupies an elegant home, a fine farm on section 14, where he has lived for the past twenty-eight years. The hand of thrift and industry is apparent on all sides, likewise the good judgment which has without question been uniformly exercised in the development of the land, the erection of neat and substantial buildings, and the bringing together of all the appliances of the modern country estate. It has taken years of labor and involved an outlay of thousands of dollars to bring this property to its present condition, but no one can question that the time and means have been well spent.

A native of Dauphin County, Pa., Mr. Straw was born June 22, 1845, and in 1849 his parents started for the West, and located first upon land near Freeport, in Stephenson County, this State. The father, however, was not quite satisfied with his surroundings, and about five years afterward determined to push on further westward, and, coming to this county, took up his abode in Shannon Township, near the present site of the town. In 1858 he removed to Cherry Grove, and settled on the town-line, east of the present location of our subject, where he lived until about 1868, then removed to Buchanan County, Iowa, where he still resides. The wife and mother departed this life in 1868, at the age of fifty-four years.

Soloman Straw, the father of our subject, was the first man to make settlement near the present site of Shannon, and put up the first building there, drawing lumber from Freeport; it having been rafted from Bobtown to that point. He was born in Pennsylvania, in April, 1814, and was married there to Miss Rebecca, daughter of Henry Long. Solomon Straw, wherever he has sojourned, has been recognized as an honest man and a good citizen. Politically, he is a Republican, and, religiously, belongs to the Free Methodist Church.

The subject of this sketch remained under the parental roof until twenty-three years of age, and on the 11th of May, 1869, was married, in Stephenson County, to Miss Susan J. Glasser, of Davis, that county. Soon after their marriage Mr. and Mrs. Straw removed into a small house, on a partially improved farm, which our subject had purchased, and where they still live. Great changes have been effected in its condition since that time, and they certainly have reason to look around them with satisfaction upon the result of their labors. Their union has been blessed by the birth of nine children, seven of whom are living: Norena L. is the wife of David Moll, a farmer of Cherry Grove Township; Mary L., Arla L., Thomas H., Harry D., William B. and Hattie L. are all at home with their parents, receiving careful training and being thoroughly educated. The two deceased died in infancy.

Besides the fine residence already spoken of, Mr. Straw has erected an ample barn, and the various other necessary outbuildings required by the progressive agriculturist, including a large corn-crib, a wagon-house, and sheds for the shelter of stock. He makes a specialty of fine cattle, and has been uniformly successful in this industry. Notwithstanding his extensive farming interests, he has maintained the character of a public-spirited citizen, and one willing to give attention to those matters most nearly concerning the welfare of this community. He is the friend of education, and has served as School Director and Treasurer in his district for the past two years, still holding the offices. He was also Tax Collector of Cherry Grove Township two terms. He is the guardian of Thomas Holmes, Jr., the son of Thomas Holmes, Sr., one of the old settlers of the county. In religious matters he belongs to the Evangelical Church of Shannon.

Last but not least of the events in the career of our subject was his enlistment as a Union soldier, March 6, 1865, in Company H, to fill a vacancy in the old 15th Illinois Infantry. He was sent South to Moorehead City, N. C., and was in the service seven months, arriving at the front about the time of the surrender of Lee’s army. The boys were on their way to Petersburg and Richmond, expecting to have a hand in the fight, but were five days too late.

Mrs. Susan J. (Glasser) Straw was born in Springfield, Pa. in 1850, and is the daughter of Dr. William and Rosana (Best) Glasser, who were natives of Pennsylvania, and came to Northern Illinois, settling first at Davis, where Mrs. Straw lived until her marriage. Dr. Glasser departed this life at Davis about 1885, and the mother is still living there; they were the parents of seven children.

Contributed by Carol Parrish - Portrait and Biographical Album of Jo Daviess and Carroll Counties, Illinois (1889), Pg 932

Back home