DAVIS, James A.
James A. Davis, farmer and stock-grower, post office, Virginia, Illinois, was born one and one-half miles south of Ashland, Cass county, Illinois, October 29, 1824. His parents, James and Elizabeth (Foster) Davis came to Cass county in 1822. The father settled on Indian creek, where he improved a little farm, which he afterward lost by another man "entering him out." He was born in Kentucky in 1796, coming here from Monroe county, and died, March 6, 1856, in this county. Mother was born in Cumberland county, Tennessee, in 1800, and is still living. She resides with her son George, who owns the old homestead in township 17, range 11. She was the mother of fourteen children, eight of whom are still living. Mr. and Mrs. Davis, Sr, moved from Ashland to the place where the mother now lives, when James, Jr., was four years old. Here he grew to manhood, was taught in the subscription schools of that day and was reared a farmer. At twenty years of age he learned the house carpenter trade which he followed until seven years ago. He worked five years in Beardstown, afterward returned to his home neighborhood, where he worked fifteen years inside five miles of his home, and was never out of a job.
He was married in Beardstown in 1849, to Martha A., daughter of Philip Schaeffer, a farmer she had come from Montgomery, Ohio, in 1832. Her birth was September 16, 1830. Mr. Davis has witnessed a wonderful development in Cass county during his sixty-eight years' residence here. His first memory of the country is as a vast wilderness, the settlers few and far between, with only occasionally a horse power mill where the farmers had their grists ground by turns, often remaining all day to get one sack of corn ground. Mr. Davis has seen men reaping wheat on ground which is now covered with heavy timber, the early settlers preferring to clear up the timber land, some of which has since gone back to its primitive state. Mr. and Mrs. Davis have six children: Minerva, wife of Richard Way, residing in Cass county; Valentine, residing in Butler county, Nebraska, a farmer; Sarah Ellen, who wedded A. C. Robinson, living near Virginia, Illinois; James Philo, residing three miles south of Virginia; Cyrus Edward resides six miles east of the same place, and Charles L., a farmer living in Douglas county, Illinois. On July 21, 1884, Mr. Davis suffered the loss of his estimable wife, to whom he had been married thirty-eight years. A glowing tribute to her memory, as a lady of great worth, appears in a clipping in the local paper, in which appears the action of the I.O.O.F. lodge in the premises, of which she and her husband were valued members. She was a worthy member of the Union Baptist Church. Mr. Davis was married to his second wife, Mrs. Elizabeth Smith, March 16, 1887. Her maiden name was Thompson, and she was born in Ohio in 1840. They are both members of the Union Baptist Church in Virginia, and takes an active interest in Sunday-school and church work. He is a member of Saxon Lodge, No. 68, I.O.O.F., and of Advance Encampment, both located at Virginia. He has held various official positions in this town. He voted the Democrat ticket until the nomination of Tilden, when he voted the Greenback ticket for several years, but is now a Prohibitionist and has always advocated temperance and sobriety, and the legal control of the liquor traffic. He joined the Sons of Temperance in 1849, and has worked for the cause all his life. He uses neither tobacco nor liquor, and is one of the representative men of Cass county, and his family is one of the first established here. ["Biographical Review of Cass, Schuyler and Brown Counties, Illinois" - 1892; pg. 307-308]
John Dirreen, ex-Sheriff of Cass county, was born in Virginia precinct, Cass county, Illinois, July 29, 1840. He is one of the representative men of his county, and as such merits biographical mention in this work. Briefly given, a review of his life is as follows:
While tradition says that the Dirreen family originated in France, their ancestry is traced back only to the grandfather of John Dirreen, who was born in Ireland. Three of his children came from the Emerald Isle to America, and located as follows: John settled in Halifax, Nova Scotia, where he was a customhouse official upwards of forty years, at the end of that time retiring on half-pay. He died there, aged ninety-three years. Michael bought a farm in New York State, and still resides on it. Edward Dirreen was born in county Callan, Ireland, and was there reared. He came to America when a young man and settled in Philadelphia, where he married. He subsequently moved to St. Louis, and from there came to Cass county, Illinois, about 1835, settling in Virginia precinct. Here he entered a tract of Government land, four miles from the site of the present courthouse, and built the log cabin in which the subject of our sketch was born. At that time the country was thinly settled and deer and wild turkey were plenty in this region. The whistle of the locomotive had not sounded here, and Beardstown was the market seat for the surrounding country. In 1855 he sold his farm and bought another in the same locality, where he resided until his death. His widow, whose maiden name was Jane Henphey, still resides on the old homestead. They were the parents of seven children: Catherine, Eliza, Alice, John, Richard, Edward and Michael. Eliza and Richard are deceased.
John Dirreen received his education in the primitive log schoolhouses of his native county. As soon as he was old enough he assisted his father on the farm, remaining under the parental roof until he was twenty-one. He was then employed for three years by others, at the end of which time he engaged in farming on his own account. In the fall of 1877, on account of the ill health of his wife, he went to Texas, remaining there till January, 1878, when he returned to Illinois. That spring he was made a Deputy Sheriff, and has been connected with the office of Sheriff continuously since. In 1886 he was elected Sheriff, and served one term, which is the limit prescribed by law. At the expiration of his term he was again appointed deputy, which position he still holds.
Mr. Dirreen was married in 1871, to Mary Cunningham, a native of Kentucky, and a daughter of George and Maria (Lindsey) Cunningham, natives of Scotland and Kentucky respectively. Mrs. Dirreen died in February, 1878, and in November, 1886, he married Alice Burrows. By his first wife he has one daughter, Josephine, and by the second, a son, Edward.
Mr. Dirreen is a member of Virginia Lodge, A. O. U. W. ["Biographical Review of Cass, Schuyler and Brown Counties, Illinois" - 1892; pg. 345-346]
Christian Duchardt was born in Hesse-Darmstadt, Germany, June 25, 1818. Both his parents and grandparents were natives of that country and passed their lives there. His father, Karl Duchardt, was a butcher by trade and carried on that business. Of his eight children, four came to America, viz.: John, who settled in Beardstown and died there; Christian; William, a resident of Beardstown; and Mary who was married and died in that place.
Christian Duchardt attended school until he was seventeen years of age, at which time he came to America; sailed from Hamburg in September, 1836, on the Franklin, and six weeks later landed at New York, from whence he came direct to Beardstown, Illinois, landing here a poor boy. The journey from New York to this place was made via the Hudson river, Erie canal, the lakes and canal, and the Ohio, Mississippi and Illinois rivers. At that time Beardstown was a small place and Cass county was sparsely settled, much of the land being owned by the Government and for sale at $1.25 per acre.
Mr. Duchardt worked at his trade, that of butcher, until his marriage, when he bought eighty acres of land, in section 22, township 18, range 10, covered at the time of purchase with a growth of brush. He bought a log cabin in Virginia, moved it to this place, and commenced at once the work of clearing and improving his farm, and here he has since lived. He has bought other land at different time, prosperity has rewarded his efforts and he is now regarded as one of the substantial men of his vicinity. Nor has his whole time and attention been given to making money. He devotes much time to reading and is well posted on the general topics of the day; is public-spirited and generous, always supporting those measures that tend to advance the best interests of the community where he lives.
In 1846 Mr. Duchardt married Mary A. Nellsch, a native of Wittenberg, Germany. They have two children, John and Lizzie. John was born February 18, 1851. He has the management of the home farm. Lizzie was married March 21, 1882, to William Needham, and has one child, Mary Ann. Mr. and Mrs. Duchardt and their daughter, Mrs. Needham, are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church. ["Biographical Review of Cass, Schuyler and Brown Counties, Illinois" - 1892; pg. 367-358]
DUNN, Charles N.
Charles N. Dunn, a successful farmer and stock-raiser of Beardstown, was born here, and has always lived on this farm. His father was John Dunn, of Cornwall, England, born in 1822. He grew up in his native country as a farmer boy and with his brother Luke came to the United States in the 40's, on a sailing vessel from Liverpool and landed in New York and came from there to Beardstown. Soon afterward he came out to his present location where he purchased 160 acres of wild land, which is now owned by his son. On this place John Dunn began life as a young single man and here made farming a success. He was married to Caroline Treadway, who was born in Maryland, but had come to Cass county when young, as her parents were old settlers. They soon accumulated 320 acres of fine land in what is known as the Sangamon bottoms and here John Dunn died in 1877, aged fifty-five years. His wife survived him until 1885, when she died, aged seventy-two years. She was a noble, good woman and the best of neighbors. Mr. Dunn was an honest man and both he and his wife were highly esteemed members of the Methodist Episcopal Church.
Charles Dunn is the youngest of a family of eight children, four of whom are yet living, Mary Paschal, now living in Morgan county; Sarah Kuhlman, living near Virginia, this county; William, a farmer in Butler county, Kansas; and Charles, who has never been married. He is a sound Republican of good habits and sound principles. He has been a very successful farmer and stock-raiser and now owns a fine farm of 160 acres, well improved and with a fine set of farm buildings. The place has been his own for fifteen years, and is where he was born and resides. ["Biographical Review of Cass, Schuyler and Brown Counties, Illinois" - 1892;pg. 136-137
DUNN, R. H.
R. H. Dunn, dealer in all kinds of hardware, stoves and gardening implements, in Beardstown, was born in this county. He attended school at home and in Jacksonville College. His father, Luke Dunn, was a native of Cornwall, England. He followed the business of farmer. He married Elizabeth Jasper, of the same place, and soon after, late in the '40s, they reached the United States and settled on the Sangamon bottoms in Cass county, Illinois, upon unbroken land. After making some improvements, he sold the land and took up more land, and still later moved into the city of Beardstown, retiring from active labors. After making some improvements, he sold the land and took up more land, and still later moved into the city of Beardstown, retiring from active labors. Mr. Dunn still lives, being sixty-eight years of age, but his wife died in 1892, at the age of sixty-six years. She was a good wife, mother and neighbor, of Christian spirit, and a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Mr. Dunn is an active politician and has been County Commissioner twice, and has held other local offices. He is a well-known, good citizen.
Our subject is the eldest son and second child of seven children, all yet living. He was for some time engaged in farming, and was also at one time a clerk for Colonel B. G. Wheeler & Co., of Missouri. His present business was established by an old settler, Abner Foster. Except for six months, when Mr. Dunn had associated with M. T. Dunn. Mr. Dunn has been the sole proprietor since 1882. He is a live young man, and is sure of making his business succeed. He was married in this county, to Miss Lizzie Miller, who was born, reared and educated and taught school in this same county. Her father, E. P. Miller, was born in Kentucky, but married in Beardstown. Mr. Miller was engaged in the livery business when he died in 1884. He was born in 1818; was a sound Republican, but not an office-seeker. His wife, born in Illinois, is yet living and is quite an old lady. Mrs. Dunn is a bright, intelligent lady, and the mother of two children, Edna and E. Miller. She is a member of the Methodist Church. ["Biographical Review of Cass, Schuyler and Brown Counties, Illinois" - 1892; pg. 365]
Christian Dupes, of the firm of Dupes & Blohn, dealers in general merchandise and farm implements, was born in Monroe precinct, Cass county, where he has always lived. He was reared and educated in his native county as a farmer. He is the son of David Dupes, a native of Pennsylvania, who came to Illinois when a young man early in the forties. He was married, in 1844, in Schuyler county, to Katie Neathamer, a native of Pennsylvania, who was reared in her native State. She came when young to Schuyler county, Illinois, and was married to Mr. Dupes at the early age of fourteen. After their marriage Mr. Dupes began their married life on a farm, but in 1845 he moved to Cass county, and they settled in Monroe precinct, where he afterward owned 300 acres in this county and 160 in Ottawa county, Kansas. He continued to live in Monroe precinct until his death, on section 26, township 18, range 11, in 1888. He was then seventy-three years of age, and had been a successful farmer, a good citizen and a stanch Democrat. His wife still survives him, living at the old homestead, at the age of sixty-two years. She is the mother of six sons and three daughters still living, and two sons deceased.
Christian is the eldest child, and has never married. He was engaged as a farmer for many years, and was very successful, owning some very valuable property in the village of Bluff Springs. His present business was established in October, 1888, under the present firm name, but recently Mr. Dupes sold the store to A.W. Blohm, but retains the realty. After the first year they increased their capital and capacity to double its original size, and are now doing a large and lucrative business.
He is independent in politics, and is an ambitious young man, still in the prime of life, being only a little over forty years of age. He is a good citizen and a reliable business man. He is the Assistant Postmaster of the place, L.A. Jones being the Postmaster. ["Biographical Review of Cass, Schuyler and Brown Counties, Illinois" - 1892; pg. 239-240]
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