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Carroll County Biographies


Hiram Woodin is one of the most enterprising and successful agriculturists of Ogle county as well as one of its most capable financiers, and is a -prominent citizen of Eagle Point township. His career proves that the only true success in life is that which is accomplished by personal efforts and consecutive industry. It proves that the road to success is open to all young men who have the courage to tread its pathway, and the life record of such a man should serve as an inspiration to the young of this and future generations and teach by incontrovertible facts that success is ambition's answer.

Mr. Woodin was born July 3, 1837, on the same farm in Hartford county, Connecticut, where his father, Elias Woodin, was also born. The latter married Miss Fanny Spencer, a native of the same county and a daughter of Naaman Spencer. They continued to make their home on the old Woodin homestead in Connecticut for a number of years, the father of our subject being engaged in its operation until 1843, when he brought his family to Ogle county, Illinois, but after spending the winter in Eagle Point, he removed, in 1844, to Carroll county, where he purchased a farm with a few acres broken and a log house erected thereon. The country was still very new, deer and wolves were numerous and he assisted in killing a bear and capturing a cub upon his own place. He transformed his wild land into a well-improved farm, the primitive frontier buildings giving place to a good residence and substantial outbuildings. He died there in the spring of 1864, but his wife long survived him, passing away in April 1897. Both were buried in Union cemetery, Carroll county, where a monument marks their last resting-place. Hiram is the fourth in order of birth in their family of twelve children six sons and six daughters, all of whom reached years of maturity, and five sons and five daughters are still living and are heads of families.

Hiram Woodin was a lad of nine years when he accompanied the family on their removal to Illinois. He attended the common schools to a limited extent, but is mostly self-educated. In the 50s, he used to haul grain to Freeport, and selling the grain was paid in the paper money of those days. After holding a few weeks until he desired to spend it, he would find it depreciated, often being worth no more than fifty cents on a dollar. Such was the circulating medium of those days. He remained with his father until his marriage, which was celebrated in Carroll county, March 28, 1864, Miss Sarah Ann Jenkins, becoming his wife. Her parents, Henry and Lucinda (Spencer) Jenkins, were natives of New York and Connecticut, respectively and were pioneers of Carroll county, Illinois, where Mrs. Woodin was reared and educated. Our subject and his wife have two children: Walter, who married Ardella Hurless and occupies the old home farm; and Fanny, wife of Frederick E. Becker, a farmer and stock feeder, of Eagle Point township. There is also one grandchild, Archie Woodin.

For one year after his marriage, Woodin continued to reside in Carroll county, but in 1865, he became a resident of Eagle Point township, Ogle county, where he first purchased ninety acres. As time has passed and his financial resources have increased, he has added to his landed possessions from time to time until he now has three adjoining farms, aggregating nine hundred acres of valuable and productive land. He is today the largest landholder in the township and the success he has achieved is due entirely to his own industry, perseverance and sound judgment. Before his marriage he became interested in stock raising and had built up a large and profitable business in that line. He now feeds and ships on an average of eight or ten carloads of cattle annually and three or four carloads of hogs. His first shipment of stock was in 1865 and he arrived with the same in Chicago on the day President Lincoln was shot. As there were no stockyards at that time, he bad to pile up ties to the car door and drive the hogs down such a platform to the street. This was accomplished with great difficulty and he then found hard work in disposing of his stock, as business was practically suspended on the announcement of the assassination. Mr. Woodin's son has been a partner in the stock business for the past twelve years and now has charge of most of the shipping.

At each presidential election since 1860 Woodin has supported - the men and measures of the Republican party, but has never sought nor desired political honors. Ever a friend to our public schools, he most efficiently served 'Ws school director of his district for some years and has given his aid to every enterprise which he believed would prove of public benefit. In business affairs he is energetic, prompt and notably reliable, and through his own well directed efforts has worked his way upward to a position of affluence, so that he is now one of the most substantial citizens of his community.

The Biographical Record of Ogle Co., IL

From the website of Steve Schaak

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