Finding Ancestors wherever their trails led

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Clay County
Illinois

Genealogy and History

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Biographies
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S Surnames

John Schmidt, merchant, Bible Grove, was born December 24, 1850, in Holstein, Germany. His father was N. P. Schmidt, a teacher by occupation, and yet living in Germany. The mother of our subject, Christina Schmidt, is the mother of five children, of whom three are now living, viz., John, Herman and Emma. John, our subject, is a true type of our northern German, who is noted the world over for his quietness, firmness, industry and honesty.
He was educated in Germany, and came to the United States in the fall of 1869, locating in Chester, Randolph Co., Ill., where he teamed and peddled for A. Smith, with whom he afterward came to Bible Grove, Clay County, Ill., where he clerked for him till he was admitted as a junior partner in 1877.
In the fall of the same year, he was married to Mrs. Barbara Bald, who was born December 26, 1849, in Hesse-Darmstadt, Germany. She is a daughter of Henry and Katharina (Sauerwein) Sehnert. Two children, now living, blessed this happy union, viz., John P. A., born in November, 1878, and Henry J. H., in January, 1881.
Mr. and Mrs. Schmidt are religiously connected with the German Methodist Episcopal Church, and are exemplary members of society. The Republican party claims Mr. Schmidt as a supporter.
Excerpt from "History of Wayne and Clay Counties, Illinois 1884"


I. N. Sefton, farmer, P. O. Xenia, was born in Greensburg, Decatur Co., Ind., September 5, 1835, and is the son of Henry and Eliza (Poe) Sefton. The mother was born in Kentucky, but was mostly reared in Indiana. The father was born in Ireland but came to the United States, when about twelve years of age, and settled with his parents in Indiana. His trade was that of wagon and carriage maker, and he followed that occupation till coming to Clay County in about 1852.
He then invested in a farm of 160 acres at first, to which he afterward added eighty more, so that now the old homestead contains 240 acres of land. For three years after coming to the county, he was engaged in a wagon and blacksmith shop in Xenia, but then returned to the farm where he died in 1871. His widow, however, still survives, and was seventy-one years of age in February, 1883. She is the mother of eight children—two daughters and six sons. One son and one daughter, however, died after reaching maturity. The remaining ones are living in this county.
Our subject is the eldest of the family. He was reared in Decatur County, Ind., and in this county, and mostly educated here. March 21, 1861, he was married to Ellen Sefton. She was born in Decatur County, Ind.. daughter of William Sefton, of this county. Mrs. Sefton died October 31, 1872. She was the mother of two sons and two daughters, viz., Almira, Cyrus, Dora and Thiers.
Mr. S. settled on his present farm soon after marriage. It was at that time all open prairie. He now owns 160 acres of well-improved land, on which he is engaged in general farming, stock and hay-raising. He and his brothers have a hay press on the farm, and a warehouse in Xenia for their hay.
In politics, he is identified with the Republican party.
Excerpt from "History of Wayne and Clay Counties, Illinois 1884 "


Jacob Sehnert, merchant, Bible Grove, was born September 28, 1844, in Hesse-Darmstadt, Germany. He is a son of Henry Sehnert, also a native of Germany, where he followed farming.
He came to the United States in 1853, landing in New York. From there he went to St. Louis, Mo., but finally settled in Monroe County, Ill., where he bought a farm and where he died the same year.
The mother of our subject is Katharina (Sauerwein) Sehnert, a native of Germany, and yet living, the mother of nine children, of whom seven are now living, viz.: Nicholas, Adam, Margaret Smith, Jacob, Mary Reitz, Barbara Schmidt and Peter.
Our subject went to school in Monroe County, Ill., where he afterward farmed till 1872, when he came to Bible Grove, where he entered in partnership with A. Smith, his brother-in-law, and engaged in mercantile pursuits, keeping a large general store, and also selling: the McCormick farm machinery. Our subject also has an interest in the Bible Grove Star Flouring Mills; and the company have also a branch store in Dieterich, Effingham County.
Our subject was married, in Washington County, Ill., October 14, 1875, to Lydia Bernreuter, born November 23, 1852, in Watertown, Wis. She is a daughter of Conrad and Katherine (Stullken) Bernreuter, the former a native of Bavaria, and the latter of Oldenburg, Germany. Three children blessed this happy union, viz.: Matilda M., born January 5, 1877; Lydia C. October 5, 1879; and Edward, June 17, 1882.
Mr. and Mrs. Sehnert are members of the German Methodist Episcopal Church. In politics, he is a Republican, and in business circles is counted as a wide-awake, energetic man.
Excerpt from "History of Wayne and Clay Counties, Illinois 1884 "


Elijah H. Shirley, M. D. physician and surgeon, Xenia, was born in Caldwell County, Ky., February 10, 1828, and is the son of Samuel and Phoebe (Cook) Shirley. The father was a native of Virginia. He served an apprenticeship at
Harper's Ferry in the United States Armory, and then was Inspector and Trier of Arms in the United States Army. He continued in this business for a number of years, and made quite an amount of money. He then emigrated to Tennessee with Dr. Hugh Barton, his brother-in-law. He was married at Blountsville, Tenn.to the mother of our subject, was a native of New York, but had removed to Tennessee with her parents. After marriage, they removed to Kentucky, going down the Tennessee River in a keel boat, where they settled and died. Our subject's grandfathers were both born in the old country, his grandfather Shirley in Edinburgh, Scotland, and grandfather Cook in the city of Dublin. At about the age of fourteen years, our subject was left an orphan. He then went to Northern Alabama, and was placed in school at Cherokee, Ala. by his cousin, Armstead Barton. He remained at school at Cherokee for about five years, and then began the study of his profession under Dr. J. C. P. Bond, a graduate of Jefferson Medical College, Philadelphia, Penn. He remained with Dr. Bond for about fifteen months, and then went to Caseyville, Ky., into the office of Dr. Enoch R. Ashbey. After remaining there for some months, he went to Louisville, Ky., and attended medical lectures, after which he practiced with Dr. Ashbey for two years, and had made a good start, but in 1851 tried speculating, and lost all that he had made, so began over.
In 1853, he came to Wayne County, Ill., and for two years did a large practice at Johnsonville. Health then failed, and he lay sick at Xenia for six months; and since that time has been in the practice of his profession here and has been very successful. The Doctor is also engaged in farming, having a farm of 120 acres near town, which is in a high state of cultivation. In 1857, he was married in Jefferson County, Ill., to Miss Martha Casey, youngest daughter of Abram Casey, an early settler of that county. She died in 1858, and in 1859 the Doctor was married to Miss Mary Graves. She was born in Chagrin Falls, Ohio, a town which her father had helped to lay out, also laying out Graves' Addition to Xenia. Dr. Shirley is a member of the Centennial Medical Society of Southern Illinois. Also a member of the Alumni Association of St. Louis Medical College, from which college he is a graduate. He is a Royal Arch Mason, belonging to the Richland Chapter No. 38, and is a member of the Council Lodge, No. 55, at Olney.
In politics, he has always been a faithful worker in the Democratic party. In 1880, he was the Democratic nominee for the State Senate from the Forty -fourth Senatorial District, but on account of the perfidy of some fellow-Democrats, he was defeated, although carrying four townships, where he is best known, by the largest majority ever received by any candidate.
Excerpted from "History of Wayne and Clay Counties, Illinois 1884"


Dr. W. H. Shirley, physician, Xenia, was born in Union County. Ky., to S.P. and Clarissa (Sigler) Shirley. The father was a native of Caldwell County. Ky., born about 1826. For years he was a member of the firm of Blackwell & Shirley, who carried on a large tobacco house in Louisville. Kentucky. During the civil war. it was all destroyed by fire. In 1875, Mr. Shirley went to Texas, where he is now engaged in farming and stock-raising. The mother died in Webster County, Ky.in 1864, and soon after her death our subject came to Xenia, and was reared by his uncle, Dr. E. S. Shirley, whose sketch appears. His early life was spent in attending school and assisting in his uncle's drug store. He continued in the store, and in the study of medicine under the instruction of his uncle till 1877 when he went to the St. Louis Medical College, and for two years attended lectures, graduating in March, 1879, when he went into partnership with his uncle in the practice of medicine, this partnership lasting for three years, when, in September, 1882, he went to Texas, where he practiced his profession for eight months at Mineral Springs, Palo Pinto County, and Henrietta, Texas. On the last day of March, 1883. he returned to Xenia,Ill.,and has had a successful practice since. May 14. 1883, he was married in this county to Miss Honora Finty. She was born in Ireland, but came with her parents to America in 1868. She is the daughter of John Finty, a merchant of Xenia. In politics, Dr. Shirley is an active working Democrat.
Excerpted from "History of Wayne and Clay Counties, Illinois 1884"

Burley Shock principal in this sketch, was born near Clay City, April 10, 1880. After finishing his schooling he began fighting life's battles dressing poultry for J. M. Prather under J. C. Mosser. At this work, he became quite proficient and worked several years at the business. He then went to work for Black & Duff in a grocery store, the store having changed hands three or four times and Burley always went in the deal until February 20, 1926, when he with his son, Frank, went into the grocery business for themselves and are now located in the McCawley building on South Main street, and enjoying their phare of the grocery business.
Burley developed a knowledge of furs and during the fur season he buys up practically all the furs caught and sold in the community. He knows quality in furs and he has established a reputation of dealing fairly with his fur patrons who many times must depend upon the buyers fairness in selling fur. Source "Pictures and Biographical Sketches of the Business Men of Clay City 1930" by the Clay County Advocate Press

Frank Shock, the son and a partner in the grocery business, was born February 2, 1904, in Clay City, and like his father, with the exception of about three years when he had employment with the American Steel Foundry in East St. Louis, has continuously lived in Clay City. He went to St. Louis directly after finishing school and almost immediately after his return home entered the grocery business with his father in February, 1926.
For the benefit of anyone who might be interested in knowing, we might state here that Frank isn't married, except to his place of business, and not quite so in that case because Frank enjoys baseball and is frequently called upon by some neighboring town ball clubs to help them win a game and he is able to put up his part of a good game, too.
Both he and his father are members of the Clay City Booster Club and are boosters for their home town. Source "Pictures and Biographical Sketches of the Business Men of Clay City 1930" by the Clay County Advocate Press


Dr. Andrew J. Shore, physician, Gatewood, was born in Orange County, Ind., April 12, 1835, and is a son of John H. Shore (deceased), a native of North Carolina. The Doctor was brought up on the farm, and attended the common schools.
He came to Clay County in 1852, and for eighteen years engaged in teaching, for the most part in this county. He taught the first public school in District No. 5, in Pixley Township.
He served in the late war in Company F, Forty-sixth Regiment Illinois Volunteer Infantry, and participated in the battles of Jackson Cross Roads, Fort Blakely and others. " After peace was declared, his regiment was kept on provost duty until January, 1866. It was during that time that he did much of his reading medicine.
He began the practice of medicine in Pixley Township in 1873, and built up a large practice. In 1877, he passed the State Board of Medical Examiners at Charleston, and has since continued his practice. He also owns a good farm. The Doctor is at present Postmaster, Township School Treasurer, and Justice of the Peace. In 1880, he took the census of Pixley Township.
He is a member of the Ancient Order of United Workmen, and of the Christian Church. He was married, in February, 1870, to Cecelia Wheatly, daughter of Josiah Wheatly (deceased). They have four children, viz. : Matilda E., Francis M.. Elizabeth A. and John P. J.
Excerpt from "History of Wayne and Clay Counties, Illinois 1884 "


Daniel T. Short, proprietor of the Glen House, Sailor Springs, Hoosier Township, is a native of Middle Tennessee, and was born April 2, 1828. His father, Alexander Short (deceased), was born in Franklin County, Va., in the year 1800.
Mr. Short was brought up on the farm, and received a liberal education. He graduated from the Arcadia College at Arcadia, Mo., with high honors in 1852; and in 1863 he graduated from the Great Western Business College at Mount Pleasant, Iowa.
He engaged in the drug business in Nashville, Ill., in 1867, and followed it for six years. He then ran a hotel in the same town for three years. He then went to Ashley, Ill., and ran a hotel three years ; then went to Fairfield, Ill., and ran a hotel there for the same period.
In 1879, he came to Sailor Springs as a patient, and was so readily healed by the wonderful magnetic waters that he saw at once the necessity for a first-class hotel at this place. He at once entered into negotiations with the proprietors, who built another large hotel, and leased it (the Glen House) to him for ten years. He keeps a first-class house in every respect, and is doing a large business.
He is a member of the Masonic order, having passed the seventh degree, which makes him a Knight of Honor.
Mr. Short was married, January 22, 1857, to Maggie Garvin, daughter of William A. Garvin, of Topeka, Kan. They have four children—Allie E. (now Mrs. William M. Folger, an attorney of Vandalia, Ill.), John A., Maggie E. and Delia B.
Mrs. Short is the proprietress of the East Lynn Hotel, at Sailor Springs, which is open only in summer.
Excerpt from "History of Wayne and Clay Counties, Illinois 1884 "


Andrew Smith, merchant, Bible Grove, was born February 4, 1838, in Schleswig, Germany. He is a son of Peter Smith (whose name is spelled Schmidt in German), also a native of Schleswig, Germany, where he followed farming for an occupation. The mother of our subject was Stinka (Jacobson) Schmidt. She also died in Germany.
Our subject was educated in Germany, where he clerked several years, and there laid the foundation of the strict business habits which characterize him now, and make him a valuable acquisition to the business circles of Clay County.
At the age of twenty, he left the home of his childhood and emigrated to the United States, here to seek his fortune with that determination which is characteristic to the race from which he sprung. After a short sojourn in New York, he went to Randolph County. Ill., where he farmed mostly for over thirteen years.
In the spring of 1872, he came to Effingham County, and in the fall of the same year he removed to Bible Grove Township, where he went into business with J. Sehnert. These gentlemen kept a general store, adding to their stock yearly, till at present they keep a full line of dry goods, groceries, clothing, hardware, farm implements, harness, glass and queensware, etc. In 1876, John Schmidt was taken into the firm as a junior partner. John Schmidt is a nephew of Andrew Smith, for whom he had been clerking several years.
Our subject was married, March 22, 1870, in Randolph County, Ill., to Miss Margaret Sehnert born in April, 1S42, in Hesse-Darmstadt Germany. She is the mother of seven children, viz.: Peter H., born January 28, 1871 Anna B., September 16, 1872; John William August 14, 1874; Jacob A., March, 1876; Charles E., December 18, 1877; Lydia M. November 5, 1879; and Philip N., May 29 1881.
Mr. and Mrs. Smith are religiously connected with the German Methodist Episcopal Church.
Excerpt from "History of Wayne and Clay Counties, Illinois 1884 "


Frank Smith, Postmaster, Sailor Springs, was born in Lewis County, N. Y., December 14, 1822, and is a son of John Smith, a native of the same county. He received his education in Lowville, the county-seat of his native county. At the age of eighteen, he learned the carpenter and joiner's trade, which he followed a few years.
In 1845, he came to Sandusky County, Ohio, and kept hotel for eighteen months ; he then came to Paris, Ill., and kept the old Paris Hotel for two years. From there he went to Galena, Ill., where he engaged in the mercantile business for twenty years. In 1876, he removed to Clark County, Ill., where he built a store, which he ran until 1880. He then came to Sailor Springs, where he established a general store. He keeps a full line of everything usually kept in a first-class general store, and does an annual business of $11,000. It was through his efforts that the post office and mail route were established at this place. They now have a daily mail.
In 1843, Mr. Smith married Jane Kirby, by whom he has four children—Helen M. (now Mrs. M. M. Wheeler, of Galena, Ill.), Mary (now Mrs. Charley Link, formerly of Paris, Ill., now of Denver, Colo.), Charles E. (married to Mary A. Worshing, and resides in Denver, Colo.), and Belle (at home).
Excerpt from "History of Wayne and Clay Counties, Illinois 1884 "


George W. Smith, insurance and real estate agent, Flora, Ill., is a son of Willis and Cynthia (Jones) Smith, and was born October 7, 1847, in Marion County, Ill. The father was born in orth Carolina, and when a mere boy removed with his parents to Tennessee, where he attained to manhood. He came with other members of the family to Illinois, and settled in Marion County in 1828, and was there married to Sallie Lynch, who died, leaving a family of six children, of whom three are still living. Mr. Smith next married Cynthia Jones, daughter of Byron Jones, and widow of John Rotan. She was born in White County, Tenn, in 1812, and is still living, and a resident of Flora, Ill. She is the mother of eight children, three of whom are the issue of the marriage to Willis Smith, which occurred in 1845. The Rotan children were William Rotan, now a farmer in Missouri; Nancy (deceased), wife of Mr. L. L. Johnson, of Missouri; the late Hon. Byron J. Rotan, of Louisville, Ill., who was an able lawyer, and. a member of the State Legislature from the Forty-fourth District from 1873 to 1875; he died in Louisville, Ill., March 9, 1880, leaving a wife and three children, now residents of Missouri; the fourth was Jane Rotan, who died in 1854, in early womanhood; the youngest being John M. Rotan, now of Kinmundy, Ill. Of the three children born to Willis and Cynthia Smith, the first died in infancy, George W. being the second and Randolph Smith the youngest. George W. was educated, in the common schools and at the Plattsburg College, of Missouri, He adopted the profession of teacher, and during an experience of fifteen years in Clay County established a reputation as an able educator. He retired from the profession in 1883, having the three years preceding been the Principal of the public school of Flora. In 1873, he was appointed to the office of County Superintendent of Schools of Clay County, to fill the unexpired term occasioned by the resignation of J. H. Songer. In 1874, he was elected to the same office, and was in 1877 again the choice of the people, in which office he served with acceptance until the fall of 1882, an aggregate term of nine years. He is now Police Magistrate of the village of Flora, and is doing a thriving business in insurance and real estate. He was married, in Louisville, Ill., April 9, 1875, to Miss Nora David, daughter of James and Elizabeth (Adams) David, the former deceased and the latter the wife of Judge L. S. Hopkins, of Louisville. Mrs. Nora Smith was born October 20, 1852, in Indiana. They have had but two children, viz., Randolph, born September 18, 1876, died November 9, 1878; and Nell Smith, born March 3, 1880. Mr. and Mrs. Smith are members of the M. E. Church, and he of the Masonic order. Willis Smith, father of George W. and Randolph Smith, died in 1850, of cholera, while en route for California. Excerpt from "History of Wayne and Clay Counties, Illinois 1884 "


Randolph Smith, Cashier of the First National Bank of Flora, is a son of Willis and Cynthia Smith, and was born May 31, 1849, in Marion County, Ill. He was educated in the public schools of Marion and Clay Counties, and qualified himself for the profession of teaching, which he began. After a brief period, however, he was induced to accept the position of Deputy Circuit Clerk of Clay County, which he did in the spring of 1870, retaining this position two years. In the fall of 1872, he was the candidate on the Democratic ticket for the office of Circuit Clerk, but, in common with the entire ticket, sustained a defeat. In March, 1873, he became the book-keeper for the First National Bank at Flora, the duties of which he ably performed until 1878, when he was elected to the position of cashier, which he still fills with universal acceptance. He was married, in Louisville, Ill., October .1, 1873, to Miss Minnie L. Hanna, daughter of William H. and Anna M. Hanna. She was born June 1, 1852, in Ohio. The following children were born to them: Medora A., George C. and Claude Earl Smith. Both Mr. and Mrs. Smith are members of the M.E. Church, and he of the Masonic order and A.O. U. W. Excerpt from "History of Wayne and Clay Counties, Illinois 1884 "


Robert H. Smith, Justice of the Peace, and farmer, P. O. Clay City is a native of Franklin County, N. C, and was born February 18, 1833. His father, James H Smith (deceased), was a native of Franklin County also, who brought his family to Clay County in 1852, where he died in 1856.
Our subject was brought up on the farm, and educated in the common schools. He is also a carpenter by trade, and has followed that avocation more or less. He owns eighty acres of land, and resides on Section 32. He has held the office of Justice of the Peace for the past nine years, and is the present incumbent. The Esquire is a member in good standing of the Methodist Episcopal Church.
He was married, May 11, 1856, to Susan A., daughter of James Alexander (deceased), a North Carolinian, who settled in Clay County over forty years ago. They have had eight children, seven living —John H, Ella, James A., Laura I., Stella F., Theodore and Edward. Mr. Smith's grandfather, Goodman Smith, was born in North Carolina, and of Irish descent.
Excerpt from "History of Wayne and Clay Counties, Illinois 1884 "

Squire Lowry Smith was born February 7, 1817 in Grayson County, KY and died in Blair Township, Clay County August 21, 1893.
Squire Lowry Smith and Letitia Bonneyparte Oldham were married about 1844 in Grayson County, KY. The 1850 US Census report shows them in Grayson County, Kentucky. The 1860, 1870, and 1880 United States Federal Census reports state that Squire and Letitia Smith were living in Blair Township, Clay County, IL. His purchase of 40 acres of land in 1871 and another 40 acres of land in 1874 is listed on the Clay County Genealogy Land Tract Records. He is buried in the Burke Cemetery in Bible Grove Twp. A visit to the cemetery in May of 2012 did not reveal a headstone for Letitia Smith.
[Data is from the research of Sandra Taylor]

William E. Smith, farmer and stockraiser, P. O. Ingraham. The subject of this sketch—commonly known as Uncle Eddie—is a native of Winchester, Frederick County, Va., and was born March 7. 1823. His father, James E. Smith, was a native of the same county, and brought his family to Clay County in October, 1838, settling in Hoosier Township, where he died on the 5th day of February, 1843.
When the Smith family located here, the wild animals were running at large through the woods and across the prairies of Hoosier Township. Mr. Smith attended the old-fashioned subscription school, and sat on a slab or split-pole bench. He has always resided in Hoosier Township, and now resides on the northeast quarter of Section 1. As a farmer and stock-raiser, he has been very successful, and now owns 320 acres in his own right. He knows all about pioneer life, and has grated corn many a time for meal to make bread, and gone forty miles to mill.
He has always been an esteemed citizen, and many persons, both old and young, frequently go to him for counsel and advice. Uncle Eddie's advice on all moral and financial questions is considered the standard for his neighborhood.
For twelve years he was Justice of the Peace, and eight years of this time before the township organization. Mr. Smith is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church.
He was married, March 1, 1846, to Clarinda, daughter of Robert Benefield, who settled in Clay County in 1837, This union has been blessed with nine children, viz., George W.. John W., James R., David D., Catharine E., Josiah L., Finley H., Amanda E. and Marietta.
Excerpt from "History of Wayne and Clay Counties, Illinois 1884 "


William T. Smith was born in Wood County, W. Va., August 17, 1825. His parents, Edward E. Smith and Elizabeth (Peck) Smith, were natives of New England, where they grew to maturity, married, and lived till their removal to West Virginia, ? probably about 1823 or 1824. They had a family of eleven children, W. T. Smith being the sixth, and of
whom but five are now living.
The mother died in West Virginia in April, 1835, and the father in the summer of 1863. After the death of his mother, William T. was placed among strangers, and has since proved the architect of his own fortune. He remained on a farm until he was seventeen years old, when he learned the trade of tailor, and was so successful that after a few years he opened for himself a merchant tailoring establishment, which business he pursued until 1866. His success in a business way, which has been very flattering, has been more than equaled by his domestic adversity, having buried two wives and three children.
His first marriage occurred April 28, 1846, to Eunice A. Shaw, who died April 1, 1849. She was the mother of two children—William L. and Frank Smith, the latter being deceased. January 24, 1850, he married Carolina L. Bliss, in Marietta, Ohio, where she was born, and where, on the 23d of May, 1856, she died. She was the mother of three children, viz. : Mary F., Catherine E. Dixon (of Kansas), and Charley, of whom the former and latter are dead.
His present wife, Rebecca H. Means, to whom he was married in November, 1860, was born October 6, 1832, in Westmoreland County, Penn., and is a daughter of James Means and Elizabeth (Robinson) Means. These parents were born in Maryland, the father December 8, 1799, and the mother September 11, 1799. They were married October 6, 1820, in Pennsylvania, and were blest with six children, Mrs. S. being the fifth.
Mr. Smith came to Clay County, Ill., in 1875, and purchased a farm of 175 acres in Harter Township, near Flora, to which he has added at times until he now owns 315 acres. He is one of the county's best farmers, and a man who is universally respected and honored by all who know him. Both he and his estimable wife are members of the Flora Methodist Episcopal Church.
Excerpt from "History of Wayne and Clay Counties, Illinois 1884 "


Andrew Snyder, a resident of Flora, and one of the first farmers of Clay County, was born, February 5, 1818, in Bavaria, Germany. When eighteen years old, he came to the United States with his parents, Nicholas and Barbara Snyder, who settled at Wheeling, Ohio Co., W. Va., where they died. Andrew is the third of their family of four children. In January, 1846, he was married to Miss Rebecca Whitney, daughter of John Whitney and Sarah Hansel, the latter of German ancestry. She was born June 12, 1827, in Virginia. They resided in Virginia after marriage about seven years, when they removed to Monroe County, Ohio, from where they came to Clay County, Ill., in 1861. They then settled on a farm in Harter Township, south of Flora, where they lived several years, and where Mr. Snyder still owns a large tract of valuable land. They have been blessed with eleven children, four of whom have died—Margaret Jane (deceased), wife of Benjamin Chaney; Anna H.. Sarah E., both of whom are deceased; John N., of the firm of Cook & Snyder, at Flora; Josephus (deceased); Andrew C., Annie B., Martin T., Rhoda, Daisy and Violet Snyder. The family are members of the Baptist Church. Excerpt from "History of Wayne and Clay Counties, Illinois 1884 "


John N. Snyder of the milling firm of Cook & Snyder, of Flora, Ill., is a son of Andrew Snyder, and was born March 28, 1851, in Wheeling, Ohio Co., W. Va. He came to Clay County with his parents in 1861, and remained with his father on the farm until 1873, when he went to Tennessee and engaged in railroad work until returning to Flora, Ill., in 1875. In the latter year, he married Rebecca Todd, a daughter of Henry M. and Nancy J. Todd, of Montgomery County, Ill. She was born May 6, 1857, in Champaign County, Ohio. They have three children, viz.: Ethel, born December 7, 1876; Josephus Lee, born October 27, 1878; and Rosamond Snyder, born April 24, 1882. In April, 1881, J. .N. Snyder purchased an interest in the Farmers’ Mill, of Flora, associated with his father and William W. Cook. Excerpted from "History of Wayne and Clay Counties, Illinois 1884 "


Abram Songer, retired farmer, P. O. Xenia, was born in Virginia December 25,1806, to Abram and Catherine (Sawyers) Songer. The father was a native of Pennsylvania, but had moved with his parents to Virginia when small. The mother was born in Maryland, but was also reared in Virginia. They were married in Virginia, and in about 1817 moved to Indiana, where he died. In about 1830, she and her family moved to this. Clay County, where some years later she died. She was the mother of nine children, of whom our subject is the only surviving one. Our subject came to Clay County in 1828, and has made Xenia Township his home ever since. He is one of the few remaining soldiers of the Black Hawk war of 1832.
In 1834, he was married in this county, to Miss Mary McGrew, who was born in Kentucky, but reared in Indiana, and a daughter of James McGrew. After marriage they settled on their present farm, which contains 210 acres of land, all of which Mr. Songer entered from the Government. Besides being a farmer, Mr. Songer is also a mechanic, and has done considerable blacksmith and carpenter work. During the civil war, while the settlers were raising cotton in Illinois, he made a cotton-gin and ran it with profit. Mr. and Mrs. Songer have been connected with the Methodist Episcopal Church for about fifty years. Their connection, however, for some years has been with the Methodist Episcopal Church South.
He has always voted the Democratic ticket. For some time Mrs. Songer has been seriously afflicted with blindness. She is the mother of nine children, six of whom lived to be grown, viz. : Cynthia A., Rebecca J., Abigail, Moses, Aaron and Mary. Cynthia died without having a family. Abigail and Mary both left families at their death. Of the living, Aaron is a resident of Kansas; Moses is a farmer in this township; Rebecca J. and her husband, William Bradley, are living on the old homestead, and lightening Mr. and Mrs. Songer's burden in their declining years.
Excerpted from "History of Wayne and Clay Counties, Illinois 1884 "


Abram W. Songer (this is NOT the same individual as above)
SONGER, Abram W., soldier, merchant, was born Nov. 2, 1832, near Xenia, Ill. He served in the civil war as second and first lieutenant of the twenty-first regiment Illinois volunteer infantry from May 10, 1861, to May 15, 1865. He is a successful miller and grain dealer of Kinmundy, Ill.; has served as city alderman for several terms; has been a member of the board of education; and is now president of the board of education and Kinmundy graded schools.
[Herringshaw's ENCYCLOPEDIA OF AMERICAN BIOGRAPHIES of The Nineteenth Century, page 871]

Abram W. SONGER, son of Frederick and Jane HELM SONGER, was born Nov. 2, 1832 in a log house about 2 miles south of Xenia, Ill. In 1835, he moved with his parents to a farm in Omega twp. This was pioneer life. The nearest and only neighbor was 2 miles away. His home at that time was a preaching place for the early Methodists. He had as much schooling at that time as he could get. Most of his education was obtained while in Libby Prison. The family consisted of 11 children, and all have died except 1 brother, Dr. S.T. Songer who resides in Ashland, Oregon. He remained on the farm with his parents until he was 21 years of age. He served in the Civil War in a company made up at Xenia. A bright spot in his life was made when Grant visited him while he was sick in Camp. He was in the battle of Chicamauga for 2 days, and it was here that he was made prisoner for 17 months. Most of the time was spent in Libby Prison. In the spring of 1867, forming a partnership with his brother, G.M. Songer, he came to Kinmundy where the flouring mill was built. In Xenia, he married Miss Margaret C. Nelms on Feb. 5, 1868. In 1870 they moved to the residence which was his home until his death. To this union were born: Mary Elizabeth, Fred Stanton and Anne, who died in infancy. His wife died Sept. 10, 1907. Dr. F.S. Songer died on July 4, 1919. He is survived by his daughter, who with her husband, James T. Brown, cared for him during his declining years. He was an active businessman until April 1907 when he sold his milling business and retired. He is also survived by his brother, Dr. S.T. Songer, nieces and nephews. ["The Kinmundy Express" 17 June 1926


Charles W. Songer, farmer, P. O. Xenia, was born in Clay County, Ill., July 24, 1830, and is the son of Frederick and Jane (Helm) Songer. They were both natives of Virginia, but were married in Indiana, and in the fall of 1828, came to Clay County, Ill. He was born August, 1797, and died in 1873. She was born December, 1805, and is still living at Kinmundy, Ill. He gave most of his attention to farming, but about 1838 built a mill in Marion County on Skillet Fork; this was one of the first mills built in this part of the State. At his death, he left a farm of 275 acres, part of which lies in Clay and part in Marion County. They were the parents of eleven children, six sons and five daughters. One of the sons and two of the daughters are now dead. Of the sons now living, two, Giles and Abram, are the proprietors of the Songer Bros. Mills of Kinmundy. Samuel T. is a practicing physician in Fairfield,Ill. William F. Songer, of Oregon, was a member of the Oregon State Legislation about 1856. Our subject, Charles W., after he was six years of age, was reared in Marion County, Ill., and it was there he was educated, and most of his life has been devoted to farming; yet previous to 1873, he had studied medicine, and for some time practiced it very successfully. At that date, however, on account of ill-health of his family, he removed to this county, where he has given his attention again to farming. Two years in his early life he spent in Minnesota and in Macon County,Ill., going to Minnesota in 1856. His present farm contains 127 acres of land. March 20, 1851, he was married to Miss Samantha E. Lewis. She was born in Marion County,Ill., to Sterling and Polly (Hamilton) Lewis, deceased. This union has been blest with the following children: Isaac, Frederick, Wayne, Samuel, Walter, Jane, Cora. Rosela and Nora, living; William, Harriet and Andrew, deceased. Mr. and Mrs. Songer are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church. In politics, he votes the Greenback ticket. Excerpted from "History of Wayne and Clay Counties, Illinois 1884 "


Frank E. Songer, the present capable, obliging and popular postmaster of Crested Butte, (CO) who was the choice of a large membership in his party for the position because of his recognized fitness for it and his zeal, efficiency and constancy in party service for many years, is a native of Clay County, Illinois, born on January 14, 1861, his parents being John and Anna (Maudlin) Songer, the former born in Illinois and the latter in Indiana. The family moved to Colorado in 1864, among the earliest settlers in this part of the West, and here the father is still engaged in mining. Their son, Frank, was but little over three years old when the move to this state was made, and he was accordingly reared on its soil and educated in its public schools. In the spring of 1879 he moved with his parents to Gunnison County, where they were pioneers and where the mother died in 1883, the home being at Crested Butted. He mined for a time and then turned his attention to teaming, and also carried the United States mails between Crested Butte and Irwin and Gothic for a year. In November, 1903, he was appointed postmaster at Crested Butte and his held the office since that time, performing its duties with a skill and assiduity that are highly creditable to him and generally satisfactory to the patrons of the office. He has also served the community well as a member of the city council. In political faith he is an unwavering Republican, always active and effective in the service of his party, doing yeoman work himself and stimulating others to similar efforts. Fraternally he is a Master Mason with charter membership in the lodge at Crested Butte, of which he served three consecutive terms as the worshipful master, and belongs to the Royal Arch chapter and the commandery of Knights Templar at Gunnison. On June 17, 1884, he was joined in marriage with Miss Levina A. Swan, a native of Kittanning, Pennsylvania, where her father was, for many years, a large manufacturer of brooms, and where he died, his wife soon afterward coming with her children to Colorado. She died some years ago at Hotchkiss, Delta County. Mr. and Mrs. Songer have had nine children, seven of whom are living, Mabel F., Olive M., Edgar J., Cora K., Samuel R., Marguerite S., and Charles C. Two sons, Elgin M and Arthur T., died a number of years ago. Mr. Songer is also interested in the publication of the Elk Mountain Pilot, the oldest newspaper in Gunnison County. His daughter, Mabel, is the associate editor and business manager of the paper, and performs her part of the work in a manner that has won her general commendation as a bright, ready and resourceful writer and a capable and careful business woman. [Source: "Progressive Men of Western Colorado", Publ 1905. Transcribed By Joanne Scobee Morgan]


Hiram Songer, farmer, P. O. Xenia, was born in Clay County, Ill., August 21, 1837, and is the son of Jacob and Rebecca Songer. The father was a native of Virginia, born January 11. 1802. The mother was born in Kentucky February 29, 1811, but in early life was taken to Indiana by her parents. Mr. and Mrs. Jacob Songer came to Clay County,Ill., in 1830, and died in this State, she in Clay County November 27, 1875, and he at the residence of his son in Wayne County August 7, 1881. They were the parents of the following-named children: James, Mary O, Abram, Elizabeth, Hiram, Angeline, Eliza J., Marion, Nancy and Abigail. Of these, Mary O, Abram and Angeline are dead. Our subject was reared and educated in Clay County, and has made this county his home, except a few years he lived in Wayne County. His occupation has always been that of farmer, and he now owns 140 acres of land, 100 being in cultivation November 6, 1862, be was united in marriage to Miss Priscilla Lovelace, a native of Washington County, Ind. , born July 16, 1841, a daughter of Caleb and Polly (Carr) Lovelace. The mother was born in Indiana and the father probably in Kentucky. Both are now residents of Clay County, Ill., coming here in 1843. They are the parents of four children, three of whom are living, viz.: Louisa, Priscilla and Sarah. Soon after marriage, Mr. and Mrs. Songer settled on their present farm, where they have since resided. They have one son, Leo B., born August 31, 1863. He and wife are members of the M. E. Church South. He votes the Democratic ticket.
Excerpt from "History of Wayne and Clay Counties, Illinois 1884"


Jacob H. Songer, farmer, P. O. Xenia, was born in Clay County April 6, 1838, and is the son of Samuel and Elizabeth (Whitman) Songer. The father was a native of Virginia, born February 8, 1801. The mother was born in Kentucky April 20, 1809. In youth they had emigrated to Indiana, and were there married November 14, 1828, and almost immediately afterward moved to Clay County, III. In the spring of 1829, settled on the farm, where they lived to a good old age, he dying April 6, 1874, and she October 13, 1880. They were the parents of six sons and six daughters. Of the twelve only the following are now living: John; Nancy, wife of Robert Walker; Frances A., wife of Flemming Warren; Eliza A., wife of John W. Chapman; Frederick W. and Jacob H. Mr. Samuel Songer's occupation was that of a farmer, and through his industry accumulated a good property, and more than all lived so as to gain the respect and confidence of all.
Our subject was reared on the farm, and in early life he attended the schools of the county. In later years, he was a student at McKendree College, Lebanon, Ill., for two years. In starting in life for himself, he chose the same occupation as his father. However, he has taught several schools.
Mr. Songer's farm contains 420 acres of land, part of it being a portion of the old homestead. He is engaged in general farming, however the raising of hay receives most of his attention. December 22, 1863, he was married to Miss Sarah J. Onstott, daughter of Levi Onstott, of Xenia Township. She was the mother of three children, viz., Agnes, Edgar (who died at two and a half years of age), and Delbert. Mrs. Songer died August 22, 1873.
March 6, 1881, he was united in marriage to Miss Amanda E. Mullins, daughter of John D. Mullins, a resident of this township. This union has been blest with one child, viz., Bruce. In politics, Mr. Songer is identified with the Republican party.
Excerpt from "History of Wayne and Clay Counties, Illinois 1884"


James J. Spriggs, farmer, P. O. Louisville, was born in Pendleton District, S. C, April ?5, 1818, and is a son of Elijah Spriggs, who died in the regular army when the subject of this sketch was an infant. His mother, Lucy (Sullivan) Spriggs removed with her family to Warren County. Tenn., when James J. was a small child. She there married, and James went to live with his grandmother. Elizabeth Sullivan, who removed with him to Warrick County, Ind. in 1828, and to Clay County, Ill. in 1829.
His mother and step-father came to Wayne County about the year 1830, where the latter died about 1832. His mother then resided with him and grandmother until her death, which occurred September 11, 1834. She lies buried near Larkinsburg in this county.
Mr. Spriggs attended school in a round-log cabin, 16x14 feet, with dirt floor, clapboard roof, split-pole seats, and greased paper over a crack in the wall for a window. His first teacher was Mr. Wylie Walker, who taught a subscription school in 1831.
Mr. Spriggs has killed many a deer, wild cat, wolf, and other wild animals. At one time he stood in his door and shot a deer. He frequently hunted with the Kaskaskia Indians, who painted him before engaging in the exciting pastime. He was married, November 12, 1844, to Aly Evans, by whom he had five children, two living—Augustus C. F., and Martha E. (now Mrs. M. C. Wilson).
Mrs. Spriggs died October 5, 1853, and he again married, April 23, 1858, this time to Miss Lucinda Worthy, by whom he had seven children; of this number four are living, viz.: James, Mary E., Ulyssus and William T.
Mrs. Spriggs No. 2 died March 4, 1872, and he married the third time November 4, 1873, Miss Nancy Warren; by her he has three children—Ora, John and Orlando.
Mr. Spriggs owns 400 acres of land, and is engaged in farming and stockraising. He is a natural genius, and makes most all his household furniture, and many other useful things about the farm and home. In religion, he is a Baptist.
Excerpt from "History of Wayne and Clay Counties, Illinois 1884"


Samuel A. Stanford--The subject of this biographical review is one of the eminent men of Clay county, both in business and civic affairs, whose indomitable courage, persistent and aggressive efforts and his excellent management have brought to him the prosperity which is today his. He has ever stood ready to do what he could in pushing forward the wheels of progress and advancing commercial prosperity in this vicinity and his career, both public and private, has been one worthy of the high esteem and praise which those who know him so freely accord.
Samuel A. Stanford, the popular County Treasurer of Clay county, was born in Stanford township, this county, October 25, 1867, and, unlike many of his contemporaries who sought precarious fortune in other fields, he has been contented to remain at home. He is the son of Oren Y. Stanford, who was also a native of Stanford township, having lived all his life on a farm there. He was a member of Company A, Ninety-eighth Illinois Volunteer Infantry, and served about two years in the Civil war. He died when our subject was twelve years old, in January, 1879. Samuel A. Stanford, the subject's grandfather, was of Scotch-Irish stock, having migrated from his homestead reservation in Pennsylvania to Illinois, when a young man, being one of the first settlers in Clay county, having located on a farm in Stanford township, which he purchased from the government on which he lived until his death in January 1879. The subject's mother was known in her maidenhood as Mary Michaels, whose people were natives cf Indiana. She is at this writing living in Flora. The parents of the subject were always known to be people of much sterling worth. Their family consisted of the fol lowing children : Mrs. Emma Dunmoyer, of Flora, this county ; Samuel A.., our subject; John and James are twins, the former living in Piedmont, Missouri, and the latter in Flora, this state; Mrs. Bertha Thomas, of Flora ; Mary died in infancy ; Charley O. lives in Odin, Illinois, where he is in the mercantile business.
Mr. Stanford spent his boyhood days on a farm, where he attended the country schools, later attending the high school at Flora, but at the death of his father he gave up schooling and went to work on the farm. In 1892 he engaged in the mercantile business in Flora, which was a success from the first. His was a grocery business and the manufacture of cigars and tobacco, having been thus engaged for about thirteen years, his business having constantly grown until he had an extensive trade throughout this locality. Then he sold out for the purpose of making the race for County Treasurer in 1906, on the Republican ticket, to which office he was duly elected and is at this writing, 1908, very creditably serving, with entire satisfaction to everyone concerned, being regarded by members of both parties as one of the best county officials Clay county ever had. He has a thorough knowledge of the affairs of the office and is courteous and obliging to everyone with whom he deals, thereby rendering himself popular with all classes.
Mr. Stanford was united in marriage November 25, 1890, to Opha Dedrick, daughter of Perry Dedrick, of Loogootee, Indiana, and to this union have been born eight children, namely: Eulalie, Hallie, Orren Perry; Samuel A,, the fourth child is deceased; Robert Leland, Lester, William and Edwin. These children are receiving good educations and careful home training and they all give promise of successful careers.
In his fraternal relations Mr. Stanford is a member of the Masonic Order at Louisville; the Knights of Pythias at Flora, and the Independent Order of Odd Fellows at Flora; also the Woodmen at Louisville, and the Eastern Star at Louisville. He is a member of the Christian church and Mrs. Stanford is also a faithful attendant of the same. Mr. Stanford is a staunch Republican in politics, and since moving to Louisville, December 26, 1906, he has taken much interest in the development of the town and is regarded as one of the representative citizens of the place. He is unswerving in his allegiance to what he believes is right, and upholds his honest convictions at the sacrifice, if need be, of every other interest. Everything calculated to advance the interests of Clay county, whether materially or otherwise, receives his support and hearty co-operation.
Biographical and Reminiscent History of Richland, Clay and Marion Counties Illinois--1909


Christian A. Steinbruck, farmer, P. O. Louisville, was born in Saxony, Germany, September 26, 1840, and is a son of John H. C. Steinbruck, also a native of Saxony, and the second son of John Christopher Steinbruck. Our subject's mother's maiden name was Louise Henrietta Christiane Schauroth. She was born in Saxony, and is a daughter of Henry Frederick William Von Schauroth. Mr. Steinbruck emigrated to Marion County, Ill. in 1860, and in the spring of 1801 he went to Missouri. In 1869, he went to Wisconsin, and in 1870 he returned to Indiana, and to Clay County the same year. In the fall of 1874, he went to California, but returned after a stay of four months. He is a saddle and harness maker by trade, but is now engaged in farming and stock-raising and fruit-growing on Section 22, and owns 215 acres of land. He was married, August 12, 1864, to Mary Bogard, a daughter of David Bogard. They had three children, two living—Sarah L. and Laura J. Mrs. Steinbruck died November 10, 1872, and on the 30th day of January, 1873, he married Mrs. Eunice M. Thaker, a daughter of James Bilyeu. Mr. Steinbruck held the offices of Collector and Assessor one term each. He is a member of the Masonic fraternity. Excerpt from "History of Wayne and Clay Counties, Illinois 1884


D.F.Strain, merchant, Xenia, was born in Xenia, Ohio, March 22. 1845, to William and Jane (Jolly) Strain, deceased.
They were natives of Highland County, Ohio. He was born in 1816, died in 1870. She was born in the same year as her husband, and died in 1880 in Xenia,Ill. They were the parents of ten children, six of whom yet survive. His occupation in life was that of a carpenter. Our subject was educated in the schools of Xenia, Ohio. In August, 1863, he enlisted in Company C, Fifth Battalion Cavalry of Ohio, commanded by Maj. Ijams. He served in that regiment for six months, and was discharged on account of expiration of term of enlistment. In July, 1864, he re-enlisted in Company I, Ninth Indiana Infantry, and served until close of war, being discharged near San Antonio, Tex., in October, 1865. During his service in the cavalry, he was mostly on scouting duty, but while in the infantry was engaged in the battles at Columbia, Franklin, and Nashville, Tenn., etc. Since coming from the service, he has been principally engaged in the mercantile and grain business and farming, all of which he now carries on He first engaged at milling in Chester, Ind., in 1866, and then went to Xenia, Ohio, in the grain business. In 1877, he came to Xenia,Ill., where he has since been engaged in his present business occupations. His stock of merchandise invoices about $4,000. At Cedarville, Ohio, in December, 1863, he was married to Miss Mary E. Taylor, a daughter of William and Martha (Michener) Taylor. Mrs. Taylor is a member of the Stanton family, being a cousin to Benjamin Stanton. Mr. Taylor having died, his widow married Allen Williams, and now resides in Lawrence, Kan. Mr. and Mrs. Strain have eight children, viz., Chester, Minnie, Fred, May, Lillie, Maud, Lois and Lulu. He is a member of the I. O. O. F. of Xenia, Ill., but was made an Odd Fellow in Xenia, Ohio. He is also a member of the G. A. R. Post of Xenia. In politics, he is strongly Republican, and at present is serving on the County Board, being Supervisor of this township, elected on Republican ticket.
Excerpt from "History of Wayne and Clay Counties, Illinois 1884


George W. Sturdivant, farmer P. O. Bible Grove, born June 14, 1820, in Washington County, Va. , near Abingdon. He is a son of Joseph A. and Mary (Holloway) Sturdivant, natives of North Carolina, where he was a distiller by occupation.
Our subject, George W. Sturdivant, went to school in Indiana. He came here in 1842, accompanied by his faithful wife, and with only about $20 of earthly possessions, but through industry, perseverance and economy he has acquired considerable means, and is counted among our most substantial men in Bible Grove Township. He has 500 acres of land in this county, besides owning town prop erty. Mr. Sturdivant is now practically retired from active life, and is reaping the result of his well-spent life.
He has served the public in different offices, among others that of Constable twelve years, Township Supervisor seven years, and in an early day was Deputy Sheriff under Col. Henry Neff.
Our subject was joined in matrimony in Indiana, to Miss Margaret Vandyke, born April 10, 1822, in North Carolina. She is a daughter of Charles and Jane (Phelps) Van Dyke. Eight children, of whom three are now living, blessed this union—James K., born January 6, 1846; Sarah Greenwood, born May 26, 1868, and Joseph A., born April 20, 1851, who are all happily married, and are exemplary members of their respective communities.
Excerpt from "History of Wayne and Clay Counties, Illinois 1884


Dr. W. L. Suggett, of Flora, Ill., and only child of Dr. James M. and Caroline M. Suggett, was born in Henry County, Ky., March 5, 1852. At the age of sixteen he entered the State Normal University, at Normal, Ill., where he remained as a student for four years. He then began the study of medicine with his father, and in 1876 and 1877 attended lectures at the University of Louisville. In 1878, he began the practice of medicine in Flora and vicinity, where he enjoys the reputation of an able physician. Having, however, a natural ambition to excel in his chosen profession, he is at the pres ent writing availing himself of the benefits of a thorough course in the Medical College of St. Louis, in which he will soon graduate. He was married in Louisville, Ky., June 4, 1872, to Miss Alice J. Bucker, of Spencer County, Ky., where she was born July 4, 1855. She is a daughter of Dr. George W. and Julia (Bennett) Bucker. They have two interesting children, viz.: Orril L. Suggett, born May 13, 1873, and Virgil 0. Suggett, born December 17, 1878. The older son, though but ten years old, is a complete master of the science of telegraphy, and has charge of the Baltimore & Ohio Company’s office at Flora. He is probably the youngest operator in the State, if indeed there is another in any State so young, who assumes the entire duties of an office. Excerpted from "History of Wayne and Clay Counties, Illinois 1884 "


Dr. James M. Suggett, Flora, Ill., was born in Kentucky May 11, 1824. His father, William Suggett, was a native of Virginia, though of Welsh origin, and his mother, whose name was Elizabeth Castleton, was of German ancestry, and born in Kentucky. .James M. is the youngest of a family of twelve children born to these parents, who died in Kentucky, the mother in 1838, and father in 1861. Dr. James M. Suggett was educated in Georgetown College, Kentucky, and having decided on the practice of medicine he did the preparatory reading under Dr. H. C. Craig, of George town, Ky., and in 1847 graduated in the Medical Department of the Transylvania University of that State. After a practice of twelve years in Kentucky, be removed to Missouri in 1856, and there engaged in practice until 1862, when he removed to McLean County, Ill. From there he came to Flora in 1877, and has practiced in Clay County since, principally in Louisville. He was married in Henry County, Ky., in 1846, to Ellen D. Hays, who died in Kentucky in 1850, leaving a daughter Catherine, who died in 1870. He was married to Caroline M. Rucker, of Kentucky, on the 25th day of February, 1851. She was born March 9, 1829, in Shelby County, Ky., and is still living. Dr. James M. Suggett is a member of the Masonic fraternity, and in 1882 was elected to the office of County Coroner, of Clay County, which he now holds. Excerpt from "History of Wayne and Clay Counties, Illinois 1884 "


John Sunday, farmer, P. O. Clay City, was born in Dover County, Penn., March 5, 1824, and is a son of Peter and Catherine (Stover) Sunday. The great-grandfather of our subject came from Germany and settled in Pennsylvania, where the grandfather and father were both born.
Subject was the fifth of nine children, of whom seven are now living. When subject was about twelve years old, his father moved to York County, where the former received his education. He remained at home with his father until about eighteen, and then worked out for different farmers until 1852, when he moved to Champaign County, Ohio. There he followed carpentering for some years, and then turned his attention to farming.
In 1872, he came to Clay County,Ill., and settled on his present farm. He now owns about 285 acres in Section 5, of Township 2 north, Range 7 east. Has about 240 acres in cultivation.
Mr.Sunday was married in York County, Penn., December 15. 1847, to Miss Ann Harmon. This lady is the daughter of Samuel and Mary (Prowl) Harmon, and was born in 1831. This union has resulted in ten children, eight of whom are now living, viz : William (in Champaign County, Ohio), Clayton, Joseph, Molly (wife of John Hussleton. of Stanford Township), Franklin, Sarah, Missouri and George.
Mr. Sunday has been a life-long Democrat. He has been no office seeker, but has served in one or two positions, among which we mention Road Overseer.
Excerpt from "History of Wayne and Clay Counties, Illinois 1884 "


William Sundermann, farmer and stock-raiser, P. O. Bible Grove, is a native of Lippe-Detmold, Germany. His father, William Sundermann, Sr., was a farmer by occupation. Our subject was one of those restless young men who early in life are infatuated with a desire to travel and see the wonderland America, to which he emigrated when quite young. He had barely enough funds to bring him to the United States, and after a few months' stay in New York, he, with the assistance of a friend with whom he was afterward associated in business in Illinois, made his way to Philadelphia, and then to St. Louis, Mo.
For some years he roamed and led a wandering life full of adventure and interesting incidents, for which we have no space here. In 1837, he came to Clay County, Ill., where he worked on the old State road under Rodgers. He liked the country, and conceived the idea to return to it some future time. About 1838, he went up the Arkansas River in a United States Government snag boat, under Capt. Cooper, falling overboard twice, "just for the fun of it,'' as the Captain told him.
In the year 1839, he returned to Illinois in a two-wheeled vehicle, loaded with goods, mostly jewelry and calico, which he peddled over the country, buying and trading for skins and pelts of all kinds, with which he returned to St. Louis. He traveled in this way all over Clay County, and was a welcome guest wherever he made his appearance.
By the solicitation of settlers on Hoosier Prairie, he was induced to put up a store in partnership with Henry Mickey, in the south part of the prairie. Mr. Mickey's interest was bought out by A. Hauseman, who in partnership with our subject bought eighty acres of land in Section 33, where Mr. Sundermann now resides. To this land he removed his log store house, added to his stock of goods, opened a market and kept a two-horse wagon between here and St. Louis. At that time, saddle-hams of deer sold often for only for 25 cents, eggs for 3 cents per dozen, dressed pork from $1.50 to $2.50 per cwt. ; cattle from one to two years old, from $1 to $10 per head; cows, $8 and $9.
At one time Mr. Sundermann had his two good and only horses stolen; he traveled several weeks in search of them, but never found them. His partnership with Mr. Hauseman expired after one year. In course of time our subject bought more land, and after having peddled and sold goods for about eight years, he settled down to farming, and his industry and perseverance has been awarded to such an extent that he is now one of our wealthiest farmers in this county. He owns over 1,400 acres of land which lies nearly in one body around him.
Our subject was married, August 8, 1841, in this county, to Mary Johnson, a daughter of Thomas H. and Susan (StalliDs) Johnson. She was born January 16, 1823, and died August 15, 1858. She was the mother of a large family, of whom only Jefferson T. and Elizabeth, wife of James Brooks, are now living; Susan, George W., Henry, Frederick W., Columbus and Mary are deceased.
Our subject was married, a second time, November 21, 1860, to Catharine Fopa, born April 6, 1839, in Germany. She was a daughter of Henry and Elsebein (Straut) Fopa. She died in this county leaving five children—Dora, born October 17, 1861; William H., born April 3, 1863; John, born June 24, 1864; Conrad, deceased; and Edwin, born February 7, 1868.
Mr. Sundermann is an example of what energy, industry and close application to farming will accomplish. Religiously, he is connected with the Reformed Church.
Excerpt from "History of Wayne and Clay Counties, Illinois 1884 "


John S. Symonds, a resident of Flora, Ill., and present member of the Legislature, was born January 18, 1833, in Cayuga County, N. Y. His father, Shubel Symonds, was born in 1786, and served as a soldier in the war of 1812, and in 1815 was married in York State to Mary Baker. She was born in Rhode Island, in 1796 and is now a member of the family of her son, John S., of Flora.
He is the youngest of seven children born to these parents, and was educated in the public schools of New York; he was there married, in November, 1855, to Helen M. Thomas,' and two years later came to Illinois and settled in Clay County, which has been his permanent home since.
From 1859 to 1863, he was engaged in mining interests in Colorado. From 1863 to 1881, he engaged in merchandising at Xenia, Ill., and in the meantime superintended an extensive agricultural interest.
During the late war, and until 1872, he supported the administration, but prior to and since that period has been acting with the Democratic party. He has filled the various offices of the town and county, and in 1882 was elected to his present position as a member of the Lower House.
He is a member of the Masonic fraternity, and of the Baptist Church. Mrs. Symonds was born December 6, 1839, in New York, and is a daughter of Sidney O. and Ophelia (Eaton) Thomas. The family consists of Lilly, Lula, Helen O., Edwin, Minnie and Sidney O. Symonds, the eldest of whom is deceased.
Excerpt from "History of Wayne and Clay Counties, Illinois 1884 "




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