James Neeley, foreman of the store house of the St. Louis division of the Quincy Railroad, was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, March 20, 1857. He was the son of James Neeley, a Pennsylvanian who still lives in Philadelphia, over seventy five years of age. His business has been that of architect. His wife died when James was a few hours old. He was only twelve years of age when he came all alone to Beardstown in 1869, and has lived here ever since. He has gained the knowledge of the business of growing sweet potatoes and that industry was just being developed here. He received $20 dollars a month for his services. He was afterward variously engaged until he became of age and then connected himself with the Quincy Railroad. This took place in 1879, and he was engages as car inspector for six years and afterward for four years. He was foreman of the lumber year, which position was similar to the one which he now holds. He has been the foreman of the store-house for three years and has charge of the receipts and distribution of all store house supplies.
He was married in Beardstown and a sister of R. B. Fulks (see biography for family history). Mr. and Mrs. Neeley attend the Methodist Episcopal Church, of which Mrs. Neeley is an active member. Mr. Neeley is a member of the subordinate and encampment lodges I. O. O. F., the former Ark Lodge, No. 7, and the latter Mt. Vernon Lodge, No. 7, and has filled the chairs of both lodges. They have no family. Mr. Neeley is a Republican in political, but is no office seeker, having no time to spare from his business. [Biographical Review of Cass, Schuyler and Brown Counties, Illinois - 1892; pg. 484-5]
J.S. Nicholson, editor of the Beardstown Illinoisan, was born in Oldham, Lancashire, England, in 1832. The family left Liverpool on the anniversary of the Queen's marriage, and, like so many emigrants, had a slow passage to New Orleans, thence up the Mississippi river, settling at last, after a journey of eleven weeks with teams, at Jacksonville. In 1850 the family settled on improved lands near Beardstown. They farmed this land. Part of the family moved to Rome, Peoria county, where the father died, aged seventy-three years, four months and twenty-eight day. He had been a good, quiet citizen. The war of the Rebellion changed his politics and he became a decided Republican in his old age. His wife, formerly Miss Mary Needham, died February 9, 1881. She had been a good, kind wife and mother, and both she and her husband were consistent members of the Methodist Church, having been so connected for thirty-five years.
The subject of our sketch commenced life here as an office boy at the office of a paper of which he later became the proprietor and editor. The history of journalism in Beardstown began as early as 1834, when F. Arenz, the brother of Judge Arenz, became the editor of the Beardstown Chronicle and Illinoian, a kind of land advertiser. The next paper was started by Judge Emmons in 1845, and this was later owned by C.D. Dickinson, and he was followed by J.M. Sherman. Soon after it became the property of B.C. Drake, who ran it under the name of the Central Illinoian. When the war broke out the office was closed and the editor enlisted. The paper was re-organized by R.S. Mitchell, the property becoming owned by a stock company. Following the election of 1863 it became the property of L.W. Reavis, who continued to be the owner until 1866. The next year the paper was the property of A.J. Miller and was edited by Judge Emmons, and in 1877 Mr. Nicholson became the manager and proprietor. He was his own editor, and except for a short interval in 1883, has continued to run it successfully as a semi-weekly, under the name of the Illinoian. He is thorough and practical newspaper man and the columns display his ability. His paper is run in the interests of the Republican party, and he has taken hold of all matters that tend toward reform. He has always been a great admirer of Abraham Lincoln and relates Mr. Lincoln's early experiences here with an especial pride and enthusiasm.
He was married in this city, in 1860, to Miss J.D.C. Harris, who came from England with her parents when a young woman. She died here in 1873, leaving four children, of whom but one is still living, Charles B., a member of the firm of Merry & Nicholson of St. Louis, Missouri. Mr. Nicholson was married for the second time, in this city, to Miss E.J. Buck. She was born, reared and educated in Cass county, and she has been a good wife and mother, and is an intelligent lady. Her one child is a son named Edgar E., a bright lad of twelve years. Mr. and Mrs. Nicholson are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church. He is a Republican in every sense. He has frequently been a delegate to the State and District Conventions and once a member of the State Central Committee. [Biographical Review of Cass, Schuyler and Brown Counties, Illinois - 1892; pg. 244-245]
NORBURY, Charles J.
Charles J. Norbury, one of the old and best known men of Cass county, was born in Philadelphia, May 22, 1812. His father, Joseph B., was a native of Northumberland, Pennsylvania, grew up and obtained his education in Philadelphia, became an attorney, and was so engaged until his death at sixty years of age. He was a well known citizen of that city. His mother, Rebecca Frick, was born in Northumberland county, coming of German parents, and died a consistent member of the Dutch Reformed Church.
Mr. Norbury, after obtaining his early education, became a clerk in a wholesale house in Philadelphia. In the spring of 1836 he came to Beardstown via Pittsburg, the Ohio, Mississippi and Illinois rivers. He has since been a resident of this place. He first began as a clerk for William Bassett, who was a dealer in flour and dry goods and agent for the steamboats on the rivers. After this Mr. Norbury was associated with several gentlemen, and later entered into business relations with George Plahn, which continued until 1884, when Mr. Norbury retired from active business. In these years he had become one of the best known men of the county, respected for his honesty and as one who was a friend in need. He never accumulated a large fortune, but possesses a modest competence.
He was married in Beardstown, in 1839, to Elizabeth Spence of Tennessee, born October 16, 1822. She was the daughter of Rev. Thomas Spence, a prominent Methodist minister of Tennessee, who came to Illinois in the early thirties, having been a pioneer minister in the early history of the State. Mr. and Mrs. Norbury are working members of the Congregational Church. He is not an office seeker, but has always been a Whig and a Republican, voting first for William H. Harrison and last for his grandson. Having always lived a temperate life, notwithstanding his age, he has a clear eye and sound faculties. He and his wife are the parents of thirteen children, none of whom are living. Those living are: Rebecca, widow of D.H. Flickwir and living in Beardstown; Jennie, now wife of Judge S.P. Dale, Cafton City, Colorado; William remains at home; Paralee, the wife of O.K. Ruechler, lives in Jacksonville, Illinois; Arthur al lives at Jacksonville; Elizabeth resides in Denver; Anna, wife of William D. Epler, resides in Beardstown; Frank is a physician in charge of the male annex of the insane asylum at Jacksonville; Mamie is the wife of G.B. Hegrardt, assistant United States Engineer at Fort Stephens, Oregon. He built the Government jetties at the mouth of the Columbia river. [Biographical Review of Cass, Schuyler and Brown Counties, Illinois - 1892; pg. 237-238]
BACK -- HOME
© Genealogy Trails